Category Archives: general mushy love stuff

i’ll be eating grilled cheese for breakfast, lunch & dinner from now til october

except for breakfast it’ll have an egg in it with only one slice of cheese (see: egg & cheese sandwich). this is because holly’s away in western pee-ay mon-thurs from now til the end of september taking care of her gram, who just had hip surgery.

what i’ve come to see is that, when holly leaves and i’m left to my own devices, i promptly forget we have an oven and thusly only cook things a) on the stove b) in a frying pan with c) melted butter. and if i’m not cooking with melted butter, it means i’m making a quesadilla. before you turn up your noses please note that i add spinach which makes it healthy.

it’s not that i can’t cook, it’s that i’m spoiled and now lazy. you see: i married a fabulous cook. no no, i married a fabulous gourmet cook.

i mean, she’s so damn fancy these days she can’t even make a freakin tuna sandwich without making it a spanish tuna melt with smoked spanish pap-freakin-rika, garlic powder and who knows what else. then she goes and adds manchego cheese, made from sheep’s milk from organic sheep living in the spanish alps. (hah. just totally made that up. also there are no spanish alps but you knew that right? of course you did!)

here’s what i bought at the store today:

hot dogs
fries
american cheese
two frozen dinners
an amy’s pizza (mushroom & olive)
smoothies
english muffins
milk (yes milk)
eggs (yes eggs. see: egg & cheese sandwich)

i didn’t buy peanut butter because we already have some here. same goes for butter.

yes, folks, i am really living the life. i am also sleeping with my diva defense (“pepper spray with style!”) next to my pillow. see below.

Leopard print Diva Defense pepper spray with sparkly blue jewel.

as i always say, if the pepper spray doesn’t blind you, the bedazzling jewel will! i have the one in green leopard print w/the lime-green gemstone, however i think it might be discontinued.

i’m also sleeping with a police baton from holly’s days with the military police in the navy next to the bed and i will bash your skull in after i blind you with my gemstone.

i’m also blasting madonna day and night because holly’s not here to say BABE MADONNA AGAIN?! (to which i always reply: YES BABE MADONNA *AGAIN*) also i’m going to do my nails with these, which my mom happily purchased for me with her $10,000 worth of “cvs bucks” while i visited my parents in philly a couple weeks ago.

not my hand or nails. some random person’s hand from the internet.

when i showed my new fabulous sally hansen salon effects nail strips in yes, houndstooth (see above), to holly at her parents’ house last week she promptly rolled her eyes and told me she “didn’t want to date a teenybopper.” to which i promptly replied that “we’re not dating, we’re married. and i don’t want to be married to someone that doesn’t like me to have fun with my nails and get over yourself, have a sense of humor and you don’t know anything about fashion or style and etc.”

then she told me to move my morroccan oil because it was blocking the tv. then i told her i was going to blog about all of this, which, true to my word, i am now.

if she says anything about my houndstooth nail strips again i will divorce her ass in multiple states. then blind her with my gemstone.

except for i won’t because dammit i miss her already and she’s only been gone since sunday! (sniff)

now i’m actually getting a little emotional, tho it might be because i’m listening to roxette’s epic ballad “it must’ve been love,” as featured in the 80s hit movie pretty woman. (oh shuddup, you know you totally got emotional when she leaves and richard gere goes after her.)

anyway, if any of you want to cook for me, please, be my guest. or if you want to do your nails with me. or take me to the store because holly has the car. otherwise you will find me here, at our house, eating grilled cheese at approximately 11:30am (lunchtime, duh) and 6-ish. sometimes alternating with quesadillas. and eggs, if it’s breakfast.

xox
jessica

wedding blitz: THREE WEDDINGS IN ONE DAY!

in celebration of our three-year wedding anniversary (i.e “the BFGW“) this tuesday (nov.15th), holly and i are going to get married in THREE STATES IN ONE DAY: new york, connecticut and vermont!

(massachusetts is annoying and won’t let us get hitched there, too, since we’re already legally married in d.c. so whatever, we’ll bypass mass. and go get our maple syrup on in vermont.)

(did i just say go get our maple syrup on? omg i kind of love that and i’m not even that into maple syrup.)

of course holly came up with this idea. she of the “b—jerk” (which is pronounced “bah-jerk” not “bee-jerk,” in case you were wondering. and if you haven’t read that post yet, you really should right now).

i guess she thinks i’m not that much of a bitch jerk after all since she wants to marry me three more times, bringing us to a total of five. if she wants to divorce my ass, she’s gonna have to travel up and down the friggin northeast so good luck with that, babe! you’re really in it now!

(holly was laughing and then suddenly stopped laughing and looked scared.)

since we’ll be in north jersey for my 15-year high school graduation on saturday night–HOLLA JAMES CALDWELL HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1996 WHADDUP!!!! (hello, i totally don’t feel that old! 15 years?!!)–which is just a couple days before our anniversary, she was like BABE, I HAVE THIS IDEA.

i was like greeeeat. (holly always has “ideas.”) at first i was like, could we really do this? and then, after some phone calls to different cities/counties in ny, conn. and vermont, i was like we COULD really do this!

so we’re doing it!

we’re doing it to celebrate our 10+ years of love, to take back our wedding day (unfortunately,  it was so filled with drama/discomfort, it wasn’t everything we wanted it to be) and since we can’t be married federally, we decided we’re gonna get married in every friggin state til we can. (fyi: since maryland recognizes our legal marriage in dc, we file our maryland taxes as “married” but have to file federal taxes as “single,” which is ridiculous). we also want to do it so one day, when we have kids and they’re older, we can show them all of our marriage certificates and they’ll see that we lived thru this historical time and fought hard for our love and to be recognized as equal–hopefully marriage inequality will be ancient history by then.

btw: if you’re new to lunch at 11:30 and would like a jessica & holly wedding primer (it gets confusing, as we’ve been married twice “without a divorce in between,” as i like to joke to people) i suggest visiting the BFGW (Big Fat Gay Wedding) page here.

yes, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll probably need a snack break. (i often need a snack break just writing posts. then again i’m ready for lunch at 10am so i think it’s fair to say i have a problem. that or a tape worm. which is also a problem. ok i think i’d rather just be hungry early.)

so here’s hoping we can can hitched three times in three states between the hours of 9am and 5pm. ready! set! WEDDING! xxo!

happy 10-year anniversary, babe!

holly & i, sept. 3, 2001: see? even then i was smothering her. (remember: streaky hair was in back then. so were studded bracelets. and blue nail polish. so shuddup.)

ten years ago today, i went on a date with a girl named holly. (you can read all about that date here. warning: longest. entry. ever. so grab your hot drink of choice and get your lumbar pillow.)

from the outside, we were an unlikely pair. i was a trashtalkin badass. she was…not. i was from jersey. she was…definitely not. but…we fit. she smoothed my rough edges. we were everything we never knew we needed.  

“i knew i loved you even then,” i say to her sometimes about that first date.

“aw, babe,” she says, rubbing my hand. “no, you didn’t.”

“yes! i did! i mean, i may not have known it explicitly, but i think in my heart i knew it.”

then i usually get weepy and she hugs me until i squirm away and we start laughing. 

i am so lucky to have found someone that knows me better than anyone else in the world. that knows exactly what i’m feeling and thinking just by the look in my eyes. who can calm me with just a few words or a touch or a glance (which, trust me, is a big deal b/c my ass is hard to calm down.)

holly, you have the reigns on this jersey girl’s heart. you always will. thank you for making the past 10 years the most exciting, most rewarding years of my life. thank you for supporting me in everything that i do. here’s to 10 years and a 100 more. i love you.

extraordinarily ordinary (license to wed!)

we did something so ordinary today that it was absolutely extraordinary:

we applied for a marriage license. in DC. we went to the courthouse, found a parking spot, went into the building, got scanned at the metal detector (got my camera temporarily confiscated but that’s ok) and…asked where we–my partner, my longtime female partner, and i–could apply for a marriage license.

“fourth floor,” the security guy said as his metal detector beeped over my wedding rings. “and congratulations,” he added with a smile.

i smiled back and said thank you. i felt like pinching myself. it was just…so ordinary. so normal. so everyday-weekday-just-another-couple-applying-for-a-marriage-license. i felt so happy (absolutely elated, in fact). i felt like part of the crowd, like everybody else. i felt…respected.

as a same-sex couple in america, you just get used to feeling–in “official” situations and everyday situations, too–less than. as not valid. i mean, for crying out loud, i still have to mark “single” on medical forms! and taxes! even tho we had a *huge* wedding and holly and i have been together almost nine years. but today we weren’t less than. today we were on equal footing like all the other couples in the marriage bureau. we had the same paperwork. the same people processed our information. we have to wait three business days for our license like everyone else. just like everyone else. oh my gosh how i love saying that. just like everyone else.

we got up to room 4485 and got in line. luckily there wasn’t a crowd (or protestors outside) like there was wednesday, when DC began issuing marriage licenses (or, rather, taking applications; regardless of gender, all couples have a three-day waiting period until a license is actually issued). there were a few couples in front of us, and then, eventually, behind us. we all stood on the institutional tiles together, waiting. i kept joking with holly that she could still back out. b/c, until this point, we have been, as i like to say, “unlawfully wedded.” i played a lionel richie song for her on the way to DC, “stuck on you” (i’m sure you know the one, even if you don’t realize it–good song!).

“you ready to be stuck?” i asked holding her hand, smiling mischievously as baltimore’s industrial scenery whooshed by.

you ready to be stuck?” she asked back.

we both laughed and sang along a little. yeah, we were ready.

eventually it was our turn, and we were called into the tan-carpeted, downright drab government office. it could have been the taj mahal as far as i was concerned, i was thrilled just to be there. we signed in and handed off the necessary paperwork (which we got online and filled out at home to save time), our drivers licenses and sat back down. then a worker with a thick accent called us up. he asked us to check out the forms to make sure he had inputted all of our information correctly. we told him it was and then, without warning, asked us to raise our right hand and pledge that everything we had written down was correct.

we raised our right hands and pledged yes. just as he was reciting his lines, i noticed they had a radio on, close by, it sounded like. it was that great new train song, “hey soul sister.” everything felt so perfect. even tho holly was so tired from a trying week (see my previous entry; we just got back yesterday afternoon) and was a little grumpy. and it was hard to understand exactly what the guy was saying with his thick accent. and i was hungry (hey it was past 11:30 and i hadn’t eaten lunch) and there were still little mounds of dirty snow piled up on the sidewalks here and there all over the city and i had the hangover of a five-day migraine…i swear it felt so perfect. more perfect than our wedding day, even, which was so rife with stress and worry. i started tearing up. i looked over at holly to see if she was, too, but quickly averted my eyes just in case the guy thought i was trying to hide something. i practically had to bite my lip to hold back tears.

we left and stopped to pay $45 at a cashiers office. then we went downstairs and picked up my confiscated camera.

“you do what you came to do?” the same security guard asked.

“we sure did,” we said.

and with that, we walked out into the cold and back to our car, which, thankfully, wasn’t towed or even ticketed since we parked it in a spot that we weren’t for sure certain was 100 percent legal. a miracle, i thought. a special present for our marriage license application day.

as we were driving away, i was like, did you hear our song? they were playing our song! holly asked which song. “hey soul sister,” i said. that’s not our song, she said, annoyed. i thought you were talking about our wedding song (technically, we have two, since we each dedicated one to each other at our wedding reception). i explained that although it’s not our song per se, it’s a song we both like and sing along with. and since i’m basically still five years old, i consider this one of “our songs” and figure she does, too.

“it’s one of our songs,” i said.

“no it’s not,” she said.

we agreed to disagree, and i told her to stop being such a grump. i couldn’t help laughing a little bit inside. we were really annoyed with each other for about 30 seconds there, not even 15 minutes after we, for all intents and purposes, were finally were legally bound to each other. the more things change, the more things stay the same. i’m smiling now as i write this.

so our day wasn’t perfect (we had other “moments” on the way to the courthouse; holly had some…road rage issues, we’ll just say–love ya, babe, no worries), but what day is? marriage isn’t about perfection. it’s about patience and love and understanding, even when you’re tired from a long week and the chips kind of feel down b/c life has had more climbing than coasting lately.

we wanted to have a celebratory lunch. i told holly that it was up to her, just not chinese, and she really couldn’t decide. we finally settled on raku in dupont circle. i surprised myself by ordering actual sushi, like with (a small amount of) raw fish inside (tuna–always a benign choice–and no seaweed; they now have a soy paper option, thank goodness) and topped it off with a tofu salad. holly ordered a huge japanese beer, which took the edge off and had her relaxed and smiling. i silently cheered once more as we got back to our car, which, again, was parked in a spot that was…mostly legal. another gift.

we stopped at our kosher butcher (they catered our wedding) and got a hug and a mazal tov from one of the owners that we’ve become friends with. we bought some chicken, one of the workers gave us a good deal on a couple nice steaks, and we picked up a few cookies at the bakery. we stopped at starbucks to get some coffee to enjoy them with, and drove home, the sun warming our knees along the highway. we were in maryland, and i felt a certain peace in my heart knowing that once our license is issued, we’ll be able to drive back and forth from dc to our home in maryland and still be married. what a huge couple weeks it’s been for us. i don’t take any of these victories for granted, and realize that there’s still a chance they could be taken from us. but for now, we won’t think about that.

no, for now, i’m going to sit here on our couch–next to my partner, my soon-to-be-legal spouse–who’s sleeping at the moment, actually, and keep living like we have, keep blogging, keep climbing until we can finally coast a little. i’m going to savor these victories we can one day tell our children about, who will, upon hearing about them, shake their heads with wide eyes that same-sex marriage wasn’t always legal in this country. the same way we shake our heads with disbelief that segregation even existed in this country. tonight i’m going to sleep well knowing that today we were part of a very significant time in our nation’s history. small victories, i keep telling myself. b/c rome wasn’t built in a day, you know? we each have to do our part to build it. we built our tiny little part of it today in a drab, tan-carpeted downtown dc government office sometime between 11:45am and 1pm. and all for $45.

(oh and for the record, yes, holly was tearing up, too. and whether she wants it or not, we totally have a new song now. sing along if you know the words! haha. goodnight!)

here’s why it’s important to be nice to people everyday

b/c you never know what’s going on behind someone’s eyes. the person you have some random, fleeting contact with some random day could be having the very worst day of his or her life. something kind that you do for that person, even just something really small, something you don’t even notice you did, could brighten that person’s day like you wouldn’t believe.

not to harp on the oh-woe-is-us, our-neighbor-died-weeks-ago-and-now-our-house-stinks-and-we’re-traumatized [b/c, to be fair, as i mentioned, the smell is lifting (altho today was kind of a doozie, since it warmed up outside, hence warming up his air-tight house, which, in turn, passed more foul-smelling death air into our house…but i digress)] but last week, as you know, was bad. in fact, i never felt so terrible in my life. never. i felt horrified. i felt sad. i felt sick and violated somehow. and overwhelmed. and out of control. (and honestly, without sharing w/you on this blog, i think i would have felt even worse.)

there were three times during last week’s really dark days when my mood was lifted. and all three times had to do with some random person being kind to me/us. i think they all happened wednesday and thursday. wednesday night was our first night sleeping back at our house. after a horrible sleep spent breathing nasty air and having bad dreams, we woke with a start. or i did, at least.

“oh my GOSH, honey,” i said. “it’s trash day. i think i hear the truck!”

we threw on clothes and sneakers (well, sneakers for me, slippers for holly) and ran downstairs. i made it to the back door, trashbags in hand, just as the green garbage truck was beeping its way out of the alley. since baltimore–low on funds, like everyone else, i suppose–switched to once-a-week trash, trashday, thursday, is big in our household. it’s probably big in every household around here. if we miss it, we’re absolutely screwed. we don’t have a garage. and storing trash bags outside isn’t an option b/c of all the rats.

“maybe you can catch them!” holly shouted as i ran out the door in the pouring rain. “hurry, babe! catch them! call out to them!”

so there i was, carrying three trashbags, stomping thru the sopping wet yard trying to avoid potential feral cat crap landmines–oh and rat turds, gotta love those–my hair an absolute early-morning disaster. lord knows what i was even wearing. i think a jean jacket over my pajamas. and white sneaks. i ran thru the yard (it’s not all that big, but i still had to run) and swung open the gate.

“wait!” i shouted, sounding–and looking–pretty desperate, i’d say. “wait! i have…i have…”

the truck continued backing up and beeping the way big trucks do, into the street. i stood in the alley and put down my arms, defeated.

“trash,” i said, dejected. i walked back into the yard, my head down.

suddenly i heard something. it was the trashman! he had walked back from the truck into the alley and then into our yard (!!!)  to get my trash. i was in disbelief. he was like…an angel. in the form of a garbage man. a garbage man angel in a yellow raincoat.

“you came back!” i said.

he smiled. “do you want me to get that stuff, too?” he said, pointing to our bags (and bags and bags) of recycling.

“no, that’s ok. it’s all recycling. we’ll put it out tuesday.”

“you sure?” he asked, loudly over the sound of the nearby truck. “b/c i can take it now if you want.”

i was flabbergasted. he was so friendly and it was so nice of him to come back. plus i looked crazy and wet, and it was brave of him to even talk to me.

“no that’s ok. but thank you!! oh my gosh, thank you for coming back. that was so nice of you. and we really needed it today. thank you.”

no problem, he said.

the day before. on wednesday, veteran’s day, we went to our local safeway to buy odor-controlling supplies. like baking soda (didn’t work), air fresheners (didn’t work), etc. i was feeling pretty much my lowest. it was shortly after we realized our house was smelling even worse than it did last sunday, the day they found our neighbor’s body. i think my face was still swollen from crying like a crazyperson on our stoop. 

as we were walking in, there was a safeway employee selling hot dogs outside. they usually do that for charity, i think, and usually in the summer. it was cold for a change (as in: november weather. not this weird stuff we have going on right now) and if i were her, standing in the cold and just barely out of the rain, i don’t think i would have been so chirpy.

“happy veteran’s day, ladies!” she said, loud and clear. “would you like a hot dog?!”

her sudden, and random, friendliness caught us off guard. it was wonderful.

“happy veteran’s day!” we said back, smiling while we politely passed on the hot dogs.

“let me ask you a question,” she said, leaning towards us over the hot dog stand. “do you know what the veteran’s day color is?”

we paused, looked at each other, and said we didn’t know.

“maybe red, white and blue?” i said.

holly guessed yellow.

“hmmm…good guesses. maybe it is yellow. or red, white and blue!”

“isn’t it kind of cold for you to be working out here today?” holly said.

“no, it’s fine,” she said. “i chose to be out here anyway.”

before we went inside the automatic doors, she wished us a happy holiday again and i swear i could have jumped over the stand and hugged her. i think holly and i both felt like crying. it just cheered us up so much. i don’t know what it was but i swear it helped.

since our house was still kind of foul and we just couldn’t get ourselves to cook, we decided to go to our favorite local diner for lunch. it’s greek-owned, just like in jersey, and has fabulous scrambled eggs and home fries and pancakes and pretty much anything else you order, regardless of the meal (despite the fact that i named off only breakfast foods! you can see where my mind’s at…) it may have been wednesday, it may have been thursday. but we were both so tired and deflated and dirty-feeling w/probably smelly death clothes.

i barely had an appetite but knew i needed to eat. holly felt similarly.

this great waitress came over to take our order. she’s one of those professional waitresses, that’s what i call them. a woman who’s been a waitress for so long it’s second nature to her, and she’s pretty much unflappable and calls everyone “hon” or “sweetie.”

i don’t know what she said to us, but she was just so nice. so so nice. we were really disoriented and holly was having a hard time figuring out what to order. she was struggling between two hot sandwiches w/gravy, mashed potatoes on the side, that sort of thing. it was either a sirloin/roast beef open-faced sandwich or turkey. she settled on the beef, with the waitress assuring her it was an excellent choice. i loved her demeanor. she was so nice. and funny. she was like…a breath of fresh air. which we needed. obviously.

our food came quickly, as it normally does there.

“enjoy, ladies,” she said.

when she was out of earshot, holly said quietly that she brought her a turkey sandwich by mistake. i could see the disappointment in her eyes. it’s kinda like, when you want a certain something, you want it. and turkey is surely not a replacement for a sirloin sandwich.

“why don’t you just tell her, honey? it’s not a big deal. i don’t think she’ll mind.”

“no, it’s okay,” holly said, starting to cut into her food.

“are you sure?”

“yeah. it’s fine.”

i looked at her face as she started to get ready to eat a sandwich that she really didn’t want. i knew she would never tell the waitress b/c she knew she would feel so bad she brought the wrong thing, esp. b/c she and holly spent such a long time debating the merits of each, with holly finally settling on the beef.

“you’re a good egg,” i said to her. of course i felt like i was going to cry again. she got emotional, too. she knew exactly what i was talking about.

“this is exactly why i married you.”

b/c even when she’s having one of her very worst days–and her partner is pretty much falling apart in front of her eyes and her house smells literally like death warmed over (and over) and we don’t have a single decent-smelling thing to wear and our world has been flipped upside down–she still cares about other ppl’s feelings.

i’ve told you all about my theory about breaking the cycle of meanness. well here’s the other side of that: just being nice to everyone, as much as you possibly can. even when you’re having perhaps the worst day of your life, try to be nice to ppl. b/c you could be the “old man next door” who has absolutely no one, practically, in this entire world. you  might be the one person he comes into contact with all day. or you could be the two girls next door who are having the worst day ever. hold the door for someone. smile. make some idle conversation in line at the post office. anything. you could be the bright spot in someone’s day w/out even knowing it.

you’re going to think i’m a total bee-atch for saying this

but my feelings for holly change when she’s in serious need of a haircut.

she knows i feel this way, so it’s not like she’s going to be mad when she finds out i wrote this (i told her i was going to anyway; geesh, ppl, cut me some slack willya?)  i mean, i still love her. but there’s just something that happens to her–her face, at least, and her general demeanor (at least in my demented mind)–when her usually short hair gets somewhat overgrown.

“why do you look so grumpy today, babe?” i’ll say to her on those days, or, heaven forbid, weeks before a long-overdue haircut.

“i’m not grumpy!”

“you’re not?”

“no!”

(my pestering, of course, leads to imminent grumpiness, which i can usually alleviate by suggesting we rent a movie or go buy ice cream or something.)

“are you  mad at me?” i’ll also ask.

“no! why do you think i’m mad at you?”

“b/c you look mad.”

“i’m not mad!”

(and then she sometimes gets mad.)

holly’s hair is not long by any stretch of the imagination. (you can see proof of that by looking here) but when it grows out i it’s like i can’t see her face!  i love her eyes. oh those big brown eyes. i just feel like i can’t see them as well when her hair gets “long.” you’d think she was a sheepdog the way i’m talking about this.

anyway, i feel a great deal of relief when she finally gets her hair cut at our salon in dc. (shout out to our peeps at BANG! whadDUP!!!) her eyes look so big and brown again and her face, oh that cute little face, it’s mine oh mine again. suddenly she looks cheery and i have my holly back.

she just got her hair cut on tuesday and i am still on cloud nine. she’ll be lovable for about…ohhh…three or four weeks. then i’ll start asking her why she looks so doggone grumpy again.

“it’s like it happens overnight,” holly just said to me [we’re sitting next to each other on our couch right now; she’s looking over my shoulder as i write this (go’way, babe! i’m trying to write!)]

“i think having overgrown hair actually makes you grumpy,” i just said to her

“no! it doesn’t!” she’s saying. “it’s you telling me i look grumpy that makes me grumpy!”

i think we’re at an impasse here. whatever, i’m just happy to see your face again.

holly tried to run away saturday but she came back

mmm-hmm that’s what i said. and when she found out i was writing this entry she told me, “i want to check the facts before you post that!” no need, honey. here are the facts, everybody:

we had a nice, relaxing weekend planned. the first weekend in ages, it felt like, where we didn’t have overnight company or were traveling or had tons of household errands to do. apparently, i “ruined the weekend” by “acting like a bitch,” which is, as you know, distinctly different from actually being a bitch. and yada yada yada, all the sudden holly was like “that’s it! i don’t have to stick around for this crap. i’m going home to pee-ay!”

i’m like, fine! go home to pee-ay! and how convenient for you, since the friggin farm show’s this weekend! a few years ago, i would have been like, noooooooooo don’t goooooooo. but hell, we’ve been together over eight years, we’re married. we’re not breaking up anytime soon (read: ever). i’m thinking, heck, if you want to go home, if that’s what’s going to make you feel better, then go, b/c i’m not apologizing.

so she came downstairs w/a packed dufflebag and she left. and then i felt very sad. she called me from the road and was like, WELL? and i was like well! and we hung up. then a little while later i missed her too damn much and called her and said honey, come home. so she turned around and came home.

the rest of the weekend was good, but i kept laughing just thinking about the bag she packed.

when she came back home and i noticed it plopped on the floor near the steps, i was like, “oh, is that your little runaway bag?”

and she was like, “uh-huh.”

and i was like, “oh yeah? whad’ja pack? candy?”

and she was like, “no, flip-flops. and my bathing suit.”

ha.

here’s the bag:

bag

holly's runaway bag, apparently packed full of flip-flops and swimsuits. i'm sure there's some candy tucked in there, too, but i haven't found it yet.

ha.

saturday and sunday night we watched movies on our rooftop deck (holly and her cousin built it. it’s huuuuuge). she is so crafty and designed, all in her head, this projector screen frame out of pvc piping. she went out to home depot friday and built it before my book club (shoutout to bookclubbers: HOLLA!) came over to watch “pride & prejudice” (the ’05 version; stop laughing) friday night. the party ended early after the screen fell over in the wind. but we bought some reinforcement pieces saturday afternoon and holly fixed it.

here she is:

screen

holly's motto: "if you can't buy it, build it!" she cooks, too! i am totally spoiled.

we watched “i love you, man” (omG *so funny* you all must see it) and then “new in town” w/renee z. and harry connick jr. (not bad, actually! surprised myself by liking that one plus it had lots of snow it in which kind of made me feel less hot) then sunday night it was “mr. woodcock,” which was funny but really annoyed me b/c billybobjoe whatever the hell his  name is…his character (and by default, him; the whole time i kept thinking, wait, did angelina jolie really marry that guy b/c he seems like such an ass! or maybe he’s just a really good actor?? aw hell, he’s probably an ass in real life, too!) really pissed me off. i wonder what everyone else thought?

wait, who’s everyone else, you ask? well the hookers, pimps and dealers, of course! plus jerry and janet, the neighborhood drunks, bless their hearts, they’re sweet and i hope they don’t topple over into traffic one of these days, i wish i was kidding! they were like “turn it up!” (holly hooked up these old surround sound speakers we’ve had in the basement, don’t even ask me how they still work but they do) it was up pretty loud, so if they couldn’t hear it from the street then, i don’t think they’ll ever be able to. (plus i think jerry’s a little hard of hearing. we give him beers sometimes. wait, is that bad?) anyway, i think the neighborhood enjoyed the show.

ok, now i’m thinking about that bag again and i’m laughing. i keep hearing bon jovi’s very first single in my head, oooooooooooooooh she’s a little runaway. man i loved that song!

i love you, honey. i’m glad you came back home 😉

eight years ago today

 i woke up in takoma park, close to floor, as i didn’t have a box spring those days (silly considering how many roaches umm “hung out” in my apt). it was just another wednesday for another new-ish college grad at her very first job. i was a community reporter with pink-streaked hair and a bad attitude.  i talked big but i was lonely. i could have never guessed, not in a million years, that later that same day i’d meet the love of my life.  

i remember it was unseasonably warm the night we met: april 3, 2001. it was “ladies night” at a now-defunct dc bar called chaos at Q & 17th streets NW. it was by chance that i wound up there. a girl i randomly hung out with those days and i went to go see sandra bernhard at my alma matar (university of md, college park), where i graduated not even a year earlier. a couple of other girls (other entirely random girls i don’t think i’ve seen since; one was a stripper the other was a corrections officer, go figure) invited us to go out. i was like “eh, ok,” so they picked us up afterwards from my place and off we went.

a girl in a yellow sweater (who turned out to be holly’s longtime close friend) had another girl tap me on the shoulder b/c she must’ve thought i was cute (i must say that i was wearing an exceptionally 80s outfit that night, so hell if i know why she even wanted to talk to me!). it was all very high school, but very cute. anyway, she wound up introducing me to all of her friends. one was this quiet girl (well i thought she was quiet then…) named holly. we were being wallflowers, holly and i, as i recall. the bar was hot and, as per usual, i was breaking a sweat (i break a sweat sometimes just thinking about breaking a sweat). i went to stand in front of a fan and she was there. we started talking and i invited her outside to talk some more where it was cooler.

 i remember touching the black shirt she was wearing.

 “your shirt’s so soft,” i said.

 i also remember thinking how cool it was that i was talking to someone with a good head on her shoulders at a bar.  i got her and her friends’ email addresses. and again, hell if i know how i remembered her email (come to think of it, probably b/c it had to do with her darling brown eyes) b/c it wasn’t even close to her name. anyway, i don’t think her friend expected us to start chit-chattin it up outside the way we did, and her group wound up leaving and i was like, “um, aren’t those your friends?” she was like, “oh! yeah! email me!” and with a squeeze of her hand (tho she doesn’t remember squeezing it, but she was drinking and i wasn’t and i say she did) she was off.

anyway, i emailed her almost a week later from my reporting gig:

From: “Jessica”
To: “Holly”
Subject: chaos craziness etc.
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001

holly…

hey so it’s been almost a week since the chaos at chaos so i figured i’d drop you a line…i was in my new jersey homeland this past weekend for passover. i really love new jersey. it is, after all, the *garden state* — that’s what the license plates say

geez i hope you got home ok wednesday night…your friends looked like they were heading off without you. what was that all about??

anyway, it’s deadline day here at the newspaper, tuesday afternoons, the papers come out wednesdays, but i’ve finished all my stories. now i’m going food shopping.

are you gonna be in dc anytime soon??? we should meet up.

let me know how you’re doing…

take care.
jessica.

every year i log in to my old hotmail account (i only keep it around to save our old emails and there are a lot of em; yes, i’m sentimental….) to count back the days to figure out exactly when we met. anyway, a week later i get an email back. we email and talk on the phone for a month until we meet for our first date (also on 17th st. NW, same street as our wedding reception site and just down the street from where we had our wedding ceremony). that first date is a whole ‘nother story. but that first date led to a second which led to another and…the rest, as they say, is history. but i just want to say to you, holly, my hunny, my sweatheart…i love you so much. i thank G-d every day that eight years ago, for whatever reason i decided to go out with those random girls and bump into you. you are the light of my life, and meeting you was the best thing to ever ever happen to me…

to all of you out there still searching for that special someone, take heart. i thought it could never happen to (little badass) me: meet someone, fall in love, build a life with another person, get married. i’m not saying you’ll meet that person at a bar (for the record: we’re telling our future children we “met thru a mutual friend” (hey, she’s a mutual friend now!) until they’re older, not that meeting someone at a bar is a bad thing, ijs) but you never, ever know. it’s been an interesting eight years, hasn’t it, honey? ever since i met holly, every day has been…an adventure. looking back, my life was in all blues and grays before i met you.  i love you, sweetheart. here’s to april 3! here’s to eight more years and eight years after that. here’s to forever. mmwah… ❤

chaos

great news for all lunch at 11:30 fans

i’ve started work on my memoir, which will essentially be my blog on steroids. only better. in chapters. maybe w/capital letters? names will be changed to protect the innocent (or not-so-innocent, as the case may be).

who will play me when it’s made into a movie?? she must be hott. and willing to kiss chicks. no jersey accent required. 😉

when was the last time anyone packed your lunch?

for real.

i mean, i haven’t gotten my lunches packed since, gosh, probably elementary school? [no, no, i wasn’t raised by wolves. (plus, there’s no wolves in new jersey. ijs.)  i just opted for the cardboard cafeteria pizza and juice drinks (whhhhyyyy??) once i got to middle school. (there’s probably a crust of that pizza or a some renegade fake cheese hiding out somewhere in my intestines. ok, that’s gross. but again: iJs.)] but srsly, if you stop to think about it, there’s something so special about getting your lunch packed.

it’s hard to put my finger on…maybe b/c the mere fact that someone does that for you means they care about you. and if you’re lucky, there’s a little something extra special in there for you–a note, maybe, in mom handwriting (“i love you” or “have a great day!” or “see you soon, honey!”) or a nice little dessert. the whole thing gets me nostalgic (i’m probably the most nostalgic person ever). so you’re probably asking yourself: why is she writing about this anyway?? here’s why:

now that holly’s home a good portion of the day (she was laid off in october, three weeks before our wedding. don’t even get me started), not only is she available to cook dinner [she’s a GREAT cook. messy, but great (hi, hunny! i’m sure you’ll read this sometime today…)] but she packs me LUNCH!

and you know how i feel about lunch. big fan of lunch. huuuuuuge.

these days, the lunches are leftovers, which i love. and the way she packs them is just so special. like, she puts everything in all these different tupperware containers and plastic baggies and knows i like this separated from that (i’m incredibly picky about these things) and wraps things in tin foil so nicely. this morning (after she made me a delicious egg & cheese sandwich) she put my lunch is one of the leftover gift bags we have from the wedding (used as welcome bags for out-of-towners staying in our hotel wedding block), which, fittingly enough, are made of brown paper bag material.

so i’m running around like crazy this morning, kinda grumpy from a headache (from today’s double-digit temperature jump, no doubt) and not feeling like i want to leave the house at all. and she’s like, “here’s your lunch, honey!” and i look down into this bag, and just above the lil ziploc bag of tositos (to go w/the tiny container of salsa she packed for me, awww) sit two of those super mini candy bars (milky way darks; also from wedding) and i’m like, “awww, hunny!” (yes, i’m a huge sucker for, well, pretty much anything.) i gave her a hug and a kiss and the world, despite the rain outside, suddenly became a much brighter place. and seeing how it’s just after 11 am, you know i’m gonna be breakin’ into that lil lunchbag soon. (but i’ll probably save the candybars til later) it’s really the little things in life, you know?