Thursday, January 29, 2009

I won my husband in a bet!

My fellow blogger Bay View Herb asked a little favor of me to share a love story, in particular my love story with my husband. He only asked for 100 to 200 words but as I sat down to write how my husband and I met and why we are still together after all these years, I realized I had more than 200 words to share. I don't want to spoil Herb's article so I won't disclose any of the tidbits I gave him but I will share how I won my husband in a bet.

When I was in junior high I belonged to bowling team. Not because I was great at bowling. I just happened to have lived across the street from a bowling alley and I had nothing else to do on Saturday morning. Okay, I will admit there was a boy or two that I was interested in. Once I dated said boys and the season was over I moved on to other interest. Then in my senior year another boy dared me to wear ugly clown shoes and throw balls at pins. A sweet boy who had given up asking me out just when I decided to say yes. In fact, he asked my best friend out instead of me. He thought the reason we were stalking him was because she liked him. She has remained my friend because she said no!

It was the weekend before league started up and I went to the bowling alley to grab a soda. I was approached by a mother who knew me from my junior high days and she asked me to join the league. I started laughing and was going to decline when a little voice said ask her who would be on my team. You guessed it, the sweet boy would be my teammate. Of course, I said yes and went home to share the news with my mother. She stared at me with her mouth open until I mentioned there was a boy. Mom said well that figures. Then she giggled when I said I would be dating him by Halloween. Mom loved the fact that I always put self imposed time lines on my goals.

I have to admit it was not as easy as I thought. You see I was a little bit of a flirt in high school and this boy had become desensitized to my charms. So I needed to get creative. The second week I came up with a plan and started challenging him with little bets. I would offer to make him cookies or buy him a hamburger if he picked up this difficult spare or that split. Lucky me, he followed suit by saying if I picked up this or that he would buy me a candy bar or soda. Then one week before Halloween, I received a gift from the fates. I had a split that is not easy to pick up and I turned to my future boyfriend to say "What will you give me if I pick this one up?"

He said, "I will take you out for a steak dinner." The bet was set.

When I turned around I knew, I just knew that I was going to pick it up. I released the ball with a smile on my face and turned around without even confirming my hit. I was watching him as I heard the ball make contact and saw his eyes widen then his face redden. He looked at me and said, "When do you want to go out?" With a nonchalant shrug I said, "Call me."

I guess the rest is history except for the break up and get back together routine we accomplished over the next year. Frankly, he scared me. I could picture a future beyond high school with him. He once mentioned something we would do when we got married and I could envision it. I was a casualty of a parental divorce and dysfunctional household. I planned never to get married. However, I am not without courage and so when he asked me to marry him I said I would.

After we had been married for a while, I told my husband how I tricked him into asking me out and he shared that he tricked me into marrying him by basically daring me. He knew I could never resist a dare. I was a lucky girl and now after a couple of decades, I am still a very lucky woman.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Band Geeks Unite or Momma's got her Proud Hat on!

I know I often complain or share little stores in an unflattering way about my kids but I am a proud mom. I am often left stunned by my children and their ability to succeed and shine in small or large moments. Last night, I watched my oldest daughter (Princess) playing a band concert exhibiting leadership, talent, and a little magnetism. I was in awe. Don't get me wrong she has been a child who often takes out her star for a polish but I often forget in the throws of the give and harass relationship we have that she is a blossoming adult.

My husband sat next to me in the same state of awe and we shared several moments of wonder especially when her Band Director took the time to recognize her as one of the best players and the glue that holds the band together. How many times does a person get public recognition? My sweet daughter blushed pretty and flashed her dimples at her hooting friends in the audience.

The moment of awe was not limited to just our child, we were equally inspired by the passion and talent of many players and their instructors. We have noted many these kids since well they were kids not the young blossoming adults we witnessed last night. For most of these kids its not just about practicing or sharing a love a music it is about taking on a leadership role and knowing how to allow others to shine. It is about generosity, expertise, inspiration, team building, and following through on a commitment that is not always fun.

Did you know that the top colleges and universities student population consists of 60% former (or current) band geeks? Originally, Princess decided to take band because the options in the curriculum was band or chorus. Band was the lesser of the two forms of torture. Her instrument choice was based on what was left over and had the most opportunity to wiggle in it. Princess needs a little wiggle room. Now she is in her 4 year of band and has embraced the band geek title. She has found friends, confidence, and in some cases moments of equalization. Princess is easily successful at almost everything she does but band has made her have to work.

So today, I am still walking around with the pride for my child's accomplishment and moment of acknowledgment. I am hoping that you will go tell some kid to join band. They will be surprised by how comfortable the title of band geek will feel on them. Finally, take a moment to send an email to your legislator and your school board trustees to remind them that without band geeks this world would not be filled with music.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


CindyH over at Huckleberries asked an question that has been on my mind this weekend, "Do you hug people you don't know well?" I was a luncheon on Friday and greeted many of my friends with hugs or an open ended squeeze. My friend who I was meeting there watched from our saved seats with a slight smile. When I joined her she said "I can't take you anywhere." After the luncheon a sweet man I have only spoken to maybe a dozen time came over to tell me his wife had passed at Christmas time. Without even thinking about it, I pushed myself out of my seat and came around the table to hug him. Afterwards, I was speaking with my friend about the moment and she asked me how well did I know the grieving husband and I said not very well. She was stunned and we had a discussion about hugging strangers. She admitted she reluctant to hug people especially men she does not know well. I was unable to explain adequately how I determine when to hug and when not to hug. I mumbled something about the icky factor and then quickly changed the subject.

However, this conversation has stuck with me all weekend and I have even spoke with my family about said topic. My husband shared the fact that he is often jealous about how freely I hug and has never seen me withhold a hug. I tried to defend the icky factor but boxed myself into a corner. So what is the icky factor. It has to do with how my initial contact with an individual. It is pretty easy if a man hits on me, they receive no additional response and will be lucky that if I will even attempt another conversation with them. If a woman gives me the up and down look like we are some kind of competition, I don't waste my time. And finally, if a person makes my warning lights go off, such as that innate ability we have to know when we are in danger or any physical contact is unwelcome, I will keep my space.

To get back to the grieving husband, I admitted that I did not even think or hesitate when he shared with me, I reacted. I felt the moment. So do I hug people I don't know well? The answer is yes and without hesitation.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ice, Ice, Baby

Finally, the kids are back to school. I am relieved and ecstatic about my day. But I am going to miss them just a bit. Even though my kids are teens it reminded me of when I was a stay at home mom and my 100% focus was them. Finding projects and things for them to do, making sure that they were fed and happy, and receiving satisfaction from their happiness. It was nice to pull those skills out and dust them off for a few weeks instead of just on the weekends or in the throws of getting homework, dinner, and bed time rituals done. Today, however, I will dust off my other life and get to work even socialize with other adults. Yeah me.

As I ventured out to take my girls to school, I found ice. Lots of ice and little lakes with bare patches to give anyone a sense of safety. But we still need to be cautious. A little car, dare I say Ford escort, weaved in and out of traffic with music booming. I am sure he was feeling a sense of liberation after being bogged down by too much snow.

He turned unto Dalton ave like it was a spring dash and was confronted with the new lake being formed at the corner. Going as fast as he was, the lake rose up on both sides like a boat in a wake. Two or three seconds, I lost sight of all his doors. It caused the car to slow and I thought it was going to stall but the car succeeded in its forward motion and broke free. (Now wait for it, wait for it)

The car pulled to the side and I passed it. I looked in to see why he stopped after his successful swim. Only to see a young man dripping from head to.... Seems Mr. Ford Escort was embracing the idea of a spring thaw with his window rolled down and his tunes blasting (I swear to god it was the song it was Ice, Ice, Ice Baby.) I didn't hear any music blasting as I watched the young man pull of his wet baseball cap. I had to keep moving because traffic was building up behind me and by the time I swung back to check on him and offer him a towel I keep in the back of the car for swim lessons, he was gone.

Lesson: Don't drive with your windows down, winter still has a few surprises for us.

Question: How do you get the song "Ice, ice baby" out of your head?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Letting go of Baby

I celebrated my birthday last month and my daughters will be celebrating birthdays in the next couple of weeks. My youngest will be a teenager. Normally, I am not one of those people that get all worked up over turning another year older. Except for a few mile stones, I celebrate my age and the hopeful wisdom that comes with it. However, this year as I slide into my mid forties, I am a little squeamish. I realized the other day as I was holding my niece's baby that my baby making years are coming to an end. Mostly by choice but a little by the circle of life.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the freedom of being baby-less and having more time to spend on my husband or me. I don't necessarily have the desire to become pregnant or have another child. But I do miss the nurturing focus that an infant craves. My girls are frustrated by the attention and/or focus that I am thrusting upon them. Just yesterday, my daughter suggested I get a hobby or something as I was attempting to help her organize her room and fix a teen girl drama.

The rational side of me is willing to admit that this loud ticking of biological clock may have less to do with my need to procreate than my teenage girls preparing to leave the nest. I think I can reconcile with becoming a crone, I don't think I am prepared to reconcile with not being needed. An infant needs you and has no choice but to count on you for survival but a teenager can take you or leave you. Darn little darlings are ticking bombs of maturity and created the fuse.

By the way, anyone know how to get this ticking out of your head? Tick, tock.