I know I haven’t been around much lately, but believe me when I say that I was really busy this summer. Online jigsaw puzzles don’t put themselves together, you know. But besides that particular effort to stave off early-onset Alzheimer’s by keeping my brain “active,” I also managed to do a few other things these past few months. Here are just a few of the highlights:
1. I Learned How I Will Live As A 90-Year Old
After dropping the kids off at camp (Jack cried, Sam said, “See ya!”), I returned to an empty house because Chris was on a business trip for four days. I was doing okay by myself until I called my parents and started sobbing, “This is just the beginning! Next up is college drop-off! Then they’ll get married to women who hate me and never let me see my precious grandbabies!” (My mom: “Oh, stop. They probably won’t even get into college.”)
I then tried to console myself by talking to the cats about how stupid it is that The Real Housewives of New Jersey has a woman in the cast named Ter-eee-sa and another woman in the cast named Ter-esss-ah, but those losers were too busy licking their feet to offer an opinion. But then, after a few hours spent refreshing the camp’s website picture page every two seconds, the weirdest thing happened to me: I finally started to relax. After all, there were no dirty dishes, no messes to to sweep up, and nobody was fighting for control over the TV remote so they could watch f-ing “Jessie.” It was actually kind of nice being home alone. I felt like Howard Hughes without the fingernail issues.
But even better than that is the fact that I discovered I can live happily on just two bottles of wine and a tube* of summer sausage for four entire days. That totally bodes well for when I’m in my decrepit years and on a fixed income because I haven’t held a job in thirty years. Score!
(*Do not know the proper term for a unit of summer sausage.)
2. I Got Married!
Chris and I went to Vegas for two nights while the kids were away at camp and we stayed at a beautiful new hotel called The Cromwell. We both remembered the property from when it was a slightly less beautiful casino called The Barbary Coast. And by “slightly less beautiful,” I mean it was the most smoky, disgusting slot pit there ever was. In fact, way back in the early 90’s, I was working for Walt Disney Theatrical and, as a perk, they flew my department to Vegas for a fun weekend to celebrate the success of “Sister Act.” My co-workers and I were told to wear hot pink t-shirts that blared the name of our newest movie, “3 Ninjas”, and we agreed because we were in our 20’s and stupid. I remember all of us then trying to fight our way through The Barbary Coast, which had enough smoke in the air to cause lung and vision problems, until some wasted old gambler suddenly staggered into our path yelling, “Three ninjash? But there are sixsh of you! Who wants a kissh, baby?” (There were four of us. Nobody took him up on his very kind offer of Hep C.)
Anyway, after one night in Vegas, Chris completely surprised me by arranging for us to renew our vows! Which we happily and sweatily did in front of the Bellagio fountains—right after I surprised him by taking him to the fake Bee Gees show at the Excalibur. Yes, I know, he wins for Sweetest Surprise Ever, but thanks to me, he also got to enjoy a group of DMV workers from Ohio disco dancing to the Faux Gees’ version of “Jive Talkin'” while I drank vodka and snottily told the Argentinians next to us that there wasn’t actually a Bee Gee named “Todd.”
So, much love to my wonderful husband for arranging the incredibly sweet ceremony that he keeps referring to as “renewing my lease after 22 years.” While also trying to kick my tires.
Here’s us with the stars of The Barry Gibb Talk Show:
Also, please note that we’re registered at Costco in case you want to get us five pounds of brownie mix to celebrate our gettin’ hitched.
3. I Went Down to Chinatown
After the kids came home from camp, we went to visit my parents for a week or so. The boys had a great time, especially when they got to drag race up and down the block on my dad’s scooters. I’m telling you, the racing had all of the excitement of watching two sloths run the mile in the Summer Olympics.
With the kids occupied, Chris and I zipped over the mountain to spend a little time together in San Francisco. I guess it was kind of like our second honeymoon, if a second honeymoon includes stopping at the Jelly Belly factory to buy bags of irregular jelly beans, then polishing off half a bag while yelling, “Blech! This one’s gross!” every other bean. Anyway, we ate only four meals in San Francisco and three of them were Chinese food because you can get great Tex-Mex in Austin, but the Asian restaurant are a little lacking. It’s true. My neighbor once told me she thought Panda Express was “the most excellent Oriental coo-zeen in town.”
After looking through the shops, I really wanted to bring a few things from Chinatown home with me for my kitchen. Dried deer tendons are Paleo, yes? But then two Chinese women got into an intense screaming match about a melon in front of a window full of de-skinned frogs and knock-off “Caleen Kulean” underwear and I forgot all about it. But that’s probably for the best because as of this writing, I still haven’t figured out Bisquick.
4. I Survived A Waterpark
Anyone who knows me knows that I hate waterparks with the same white hot passion I usually reserve for people who can’t figure out four-way stops. In fact, when I was on the Austin American Statesman’s podcast a few months ago, I even stated that the name of the famous waterpark near us, Schlitterbahn, means “Holy shit I just swallowed someone’s Band-Aid” in German. However, instead of putting me on a “No Slide” list, the nice people at the park offered me and the boys free passes. I know, it’s like they were just dying for me to have a water wedgie. (Which, I confess, I did have after Jack made me go on some ride where water is blasted in your face while you make the noise “EEEEEEEEE” and mentally compose your will.)
But I admit that the boys absolutely loved Schlitterbahn and, once I hunkered down in the heated pool with a swim-up bar that’s reserved for the park’s “partially handicapped guests and infants,” I had a great time, too. Plus, I now have a new tattoo idea thanks to a certain gentleman who was sporting “Exit Only” on his tailbone in Comic Sans.
5. I Have Two New Bathrooms!
I’m going to write a HGTV-style post about our remodel experience soon, but just know that our two horrendous bathrooms are now fresh and beautiful and no longer look like the city park restrooms where married men get arrested for having illicit sex. Yay! Of course, the construction means that I’ve had to use the boys’ bathroom (aka The Chevron Station) for the past few weeks, so every once in a while, I smell like Jack’s very pungent watermelon body wash. A woman at the post office recently asked me if I was carrying rotten fruit in my pockets, so that’s been fun.
Anyway, not to ruin the surprise or anything, but here’s a sneak peek at my new shower:
I know, it’s Fanilow fabulous! “Oh, Wendi, you came and you gave without shaving.” So many possibilities. So many. Anyway, I put this picture on Facebook a few weeks ago, and quite a few people actually believed this was my real shower. And I call those people “my relatives.”
But all I have to say to that is if that if this was indeed my real shower, my husband definitely wouldn’t have renewed his lease on me. Not even for a tube* of my summer sausage.