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I had lunch out with my dear friend Natalie and my Mama today. Nat said she thought I was feeling sassy, and I was because it's my Friday today. I don't work again until next Wednesday because Kelly and I are going on a little weekend trip for his birthday/Valentine's Day. I kicked up little tantrums here and there until I sat, back to the wall, in the center of the rounded corner booth and surveyed the entire restaurant like a queen and ate Loaded Baked Potato Soup and was finally satisfied. I'm only friends with people who will humor and spoil me, and my promise is to provide entertainment with my neuroses and flair for the dramatic in return. Nat's so nice she'll make you defensive as hell about her. She's humble even though she's incredibly talented and it's admirable, and half the time I spend wishing I were more like her. The other half the time, I think about beating to a pulp anyone who has crossed her. After lunch, Mama kidnapped her pug-grandchild and Facetimed me at the office. I answered from the front desk. Everyone in the office could probably hear the conversation, but I was feeling free and didn't care. "Look who I've got," she said, and I could see Mearl happily between Mom and Dad on the couch. She's probably getting fed so much she won't eat dinner, but that's what pug grandparents are for. We're those people. We don't have kids, and my parents were always like, "Don't have them. We don't care about grandkids." Thank God.

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Mearl-Purvis Ponder with My Mom Getting Spoiled.  She's a lady even though everyone thinks she's a boy because of her blue collar.

 
Today, a student walking by said: "You are so pretty," and I batted my eyes and lit up like a Christmas tree. Later, two other girls came in giggling and said, "We're looking at boobs." "Enjoy," I responded. I know they're adult women, but when you're 35, and they're 21, in my mind, they're girls. They have been listening to 80s music in their office and dancing. Everyone is a bit lighter because of the sunshine and almost crawling into Friday. They have been plying me with sugary coffee drinks and bossing me about what shows to watch on Netflix. They're right though, The OA
is great! They're obsessed recently with the OJ trial and Monica Lewinsky because they were wee when that was going on, and I enjoy being the expert.

This morning, K. and I deflated the air mattress because our new bed has arrived! As we rolled this way and that, pushing the air out with our weight, I confessed, "I had a sex dream with Todd Clever last night. That's what happens when you make me watch rugby before bed." Fortunately, K.'s not a stupid, jealous sort and knows he has nothing to worry about ever. He's mine for life, and besides, Todd was in a nudie shoot in ESPN magazine and his name is "TODD CLEVER", and who cares about a Viking beefcake? In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have said anything, but I'm always tell all. He's so muscly and beautiful that he's not even real. His middle name is Stanger. I give K. permission to look at boobs at a Hooters if he'd like in exchange and repentance for my dream dalliance.
Todd Clever
Photo from
here

On the agenda for our upcoming trip--Frank Lloyd Wright house, Giant Spider, maybe the 410 Vintage Market, flock of bluebirds of happiness, grilled cheese restaurant, heavenly used rare bookstore, and ancient ruins, an old brothel and a yurt.  Details when we return, I promise.  It'll be early next week before you hear from me.  

I read about a morning wedding on an old Livejournal recently, and I think that sounds so perfect now! Maybe I'll take Kelly up on renewing our vows someday, and we'll have a morning wedding and then eat beignets and have black coffee. I love the clean slate of morning. I've always been a morning person. I love the promise of the day. I can't think of anything more romantic than promising your eternal love and waffles.
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Valentine from my sweet Grandma.  I love that she still takes the time to jot out handwritten cards and letters to people all the time.  The inside reads--"Be Mine.  Keep the prayers coming. Love, Gram!"

 
Last night, around 1 a.m. Mearl woke up and started frantically pacing in circles around our bed.  She would jolt a little bit like she'd had a spasm (or how dogs have the hiccups--but it wasn't the hiccups).  I was up for about 2 hours with her doing that, and her tail was unfurled and down, and her pug eyes looked at me with confusion.  We both finally passed out, and before you know it, the alarm was going off.  She and I both yawned a lot and forced ourselves to start the day.  She seemed a bit better this morning, but I was still worried.  Perhaps from lack of sleep, maybe neuroses, potentially that I posted on the pug forum, but I was quickly convinced that my precious pup was suffering from Meningitis or Pug Dog Encephalitis.  Fortunately, I called Dad and he took us to the vet.  He tries to be gruff, but he patted her a few times to comfort her--she adores my Dad.  She has a really bad ear infection so she's on 8 drops in each ear twice a day and pain meds.  

The vet office was  a nightmare, though.  The vet is either really good with everyone excited, reuniting in the lobby and licking and jumping and yapping and baby talk and head pats, or the vet is really bad.  Today, the vet was really bad.  A grown burly man dressed head to toe in camouflage--he looked like a farmer--came in with his Boston Terrier.  He cradled her like a baby the whole time, and he rubbed her under her chin until she dozed against his chest.  When they came out to collect her, I noticed her eye was horribly infected and bulging even more than Boston Terriers usually stick out.  He was insistent that they were gentle with her, and he reluctantly passed her over to the assistant.  Then, he sat down in his chair, and he started to cry.  He had tears rolling down his cheeks for quite some time, and he snuffled  and several times wiped his entire face in his t-shirt.  I wanted desperately to hug him, to tell him how I didn't know what he was going through but how sorry I was.  I wanted to offer comfort in some way, but I also didn't know if how he felt about crying in public. I wasn't sure if he was embarrassed since he kept staring off outside the door, away from everyone in the room.  I was the only one on his side of  lobby, but I didn't want to impose on his sadness either,  you know?  When I'm having a hard time and crying, I hate people to touch me, and I'd prefer to be left alone. Out of respect for him, I averted my eyes just in case he wanted privacy.  I really wanted to just pat his knee, though.  I wanted to not say anything but give some sign that I understood, that I was sorry.  They took him back to speak with the doctor, and not 15 minutes later, an older woman came in dragging a dog slowly behind her.  The animal looked in pain and crouched low, and in spite of her soothing tones, it dug its heels in and just allowed her to pull it's defeated body behind her. This was definitely a bad case.  She covered it with a towel and sat near it in a chair.  She was already crying, and she whispered and whimpered apologetically to it, "I waited too late. I waited too late."  My eyes welled up with tears, and I figured I was about a minute away from crying myself. The assistant quickly came out, comforting both her and carrying the huge dog in her arms and found them a private room.  The administrative assistants apologized to me for making me wait, and I shook my head, fighting back tears. Compassion was heavy in the room.  The television played softly in the background, more news of the world falling apart. Everything on the Internet lately leads with “This should terrify everyone,” and it does, but this moment of pure compassion in the lobby, our eyes cast down softly, or when we dared lock them, hoping to convey our love, our understanding.  The madness of the world seemed like it was happening on another planet.  We all just stared at the 80 something year old parrot.  He meowed or said "America" intermittently while furiously ripping newspaper and throwing it through the cage bars onto the floor.  

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From inside Hail Dark Aesthetics--one of my favorite shops in Nashville 

At work, they are amused but not surprised that I know about the rally and that I was invited. The "Republican" or "Fox News", as he is known behind his back, a holdover from his first week on the job when he brazenly turned on the television in the lobby to said offensive channel, calls me "The Radical." I used to loathe him, but he grew on me like a tumor. We don't agree on anything, but he is sometimes funny. He posts up photos in his office of Trump and motivational quotes that give me the heebie-jeebies. They are all in black and white because he doesn't have access to the color printer. He has plastered them over a Kandinsky that a colleague left in that office.  The work still partially peeks through.  I begin to wonder if I might have synaesthesia as the artist did because whenever I look in there, I can certainly hear the colors drowning under it all and screaming.  In spite of this, I let him borrow my phone charger every day, and he always returns it. He tells me he likes my hair this "standard color" because it is back to my natural color, dark brown. I secretly chuckle to myself and wonder what he'll think when I come in next week with a buzz cut (more on that later, it is deserving of it's own post).

She tells me that she is always surprised when I post my pictures of myself in my twenties when I only wore vintage, and I say, "Yeah, I was beautiful and thin." I just happen to find things more important now than being beautiful and thin. Old age will do that. So, I was pretty. Who cares?  I really took to heart when I hit 34 that quote about as a woman not owing anyone pretty.  I don't see the point in pretending to be modest about it all when wasn't anything special I did or any talent I developed.  

I love the new house, and I'm discovering many things about it.  I think it will be the perfect yard for picnics in the spring and summer.  I must get one of these.  Then, I'll be able to tie Mearl-Purvis (my pug) to a tree near me, and she and I can laze about reading books and chewing sticks.  You can decide who will do which.  There's a perfect tree to sit under, and beneath another tree, I think I discovered a rose bush.  I hope so!  Kelly used to have a rose bush at his old house, and when we were dating, he would sometimes bring roses for my blue bud vase.  Then, when I moved next door to him, he had the roses and I had a gorgeous hydrangea bush.  We both had pecan trees in our backyards in our side by side campus houses, and our new house has a pecan tree, too.  

I have almost bought out the Asian grocery in town of Green Fields Thai Tea.  It's makes me sing silly songs and laugh at myself, and Kelly laughs too and says, "Someone's in a good mood."  Really, I suspect it's just the good hit of sugar.  I took home some of these Green Tea cakes.  They remind me of Fig Newtons, but they have Green Tea mixture in them instead of Fig.  I also have already finished the Peanut Mochi I bought.  

We are waiting for a new bed to arrive so in the meantime, Kelly is sleeping on the couch, and Mearl I sleep on an air mattress in the bedroom, back to back like Girl Scouts.  She is tiny and furry, of course, but she snores loudly.  I love her stupid wrinkled face so much. I love her marble eyes, and I love how she farts and bites and sleeps under all the blankets with her head on the pillows.  In the morning when my alarm goes off, she lays on my chest and yawns with her "bubble tape tongue" unfurling as Kelly calls it.  

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Photo from our trip to Natchez of the Mississippi River at sunset

 
We are currently still in the old house but should be completely finished moving soon. Once I sort everything out, I will post photos of the new place which I'm crazy about! It will take a while to get settled because my husband is very finicky about how and where we hang the art. I generally pick the art, although he has some mixed in, and then he decides on placement. It's a joint project which takes time, but I'm very giddy about the decorating and nesting so hopefully it won't take too long to show you. It's funny because before I was married, I loved art but I'd just haphazardly hang it up any old way on a wall. Tacked, crooked, and taped. K. is particular. While it frustrates me with my immediate demands and lack of patience, I do admit it looks better when he's in charge with his maddening measuring and eyeballing and teeny pencil marking. Shh! Don't tell him.

In our neighborhood in the front of our street they are building a new road. Behind us they are building new graduate halls so there is always something going on when I come out every morning with the dog. I’m always at my worst, hair standing on end from sleep, eyes blinking in the morning light. Today there are cars parked in our yard, several bulldozers, half a fence torn down around the site, and workers in boots gabbing by our pecan tree. Mearl, our pug, is miffed, and she tells them loudly and insistently. She charges down to the creek, and her eyeballs bulge as she chews madly on weeds while watching them. I imagine she’s thinking of what she’d like to do to them, but in truth, she’s dumb as a box of rocks and eats everything like a goat. She is a delightful little companion, and I’m mad about her but she’s definitely lacking in the intelligence department.

I finally tried Confetto, the last of the perfume samples. It’s good, but it smells like a sissy version of Hypnotic Poison. Some described it as better than Hypnotic, but I prefer how the Dior scent smells very naughty with the softness of the vanilla. Confetto just smells soft to me, and I like depth and mystery. It’s okay, but I don’t have to own a bottle. I put on the Salome again this morning, and I’m truly in love with that perfume. It’s my next “to buy” scent (or to have bought for me if I play my cards right at holidays or birthday). The Cumin is so heavy in this perfume, and it’s naught, naughty, naughty. Some of my favorite online reviews/descriptions of it are below—

The first perfume that actually made me blush. Jehzus. Elephants. Circus. Straw. Feces. Leather. Sweat. Definitely of the ‘Grossmith’ older perfume house ilk, it felt vintage but more daring. It honestly makes me swoon a little just because I feel like my brain can’t process or define the intensity that I’m selling. This is Not for the faint hearted and definitely not one to wear at Christmas dinner with the in-laws. Or is it… "

Wow. Just wow. All the little animals contributing their wonderful stinkiness amid the flowers. I think I love it. Quite powerful and would avoid crowed elevators while wearing, but this is a beauty.

“This beauty blew me away! Absolutely stunning. Gorgeous fragrance reminiscent of a vintage perfume on a glamorous silent film starlet. Animalic, a little smoke and a lot of hot sultry "come hither".

“You know the famous scene in When Harry Met Sally: " YES! YES! YES!" ? Well, I will DEFINITELY have what she's having. OMG, Salome is utter delight. When I was 26, I fell in love with L'Heure Bleue, before the whispered reformulation. This reminded me of that: vintage, amazing, beautiful, bold. But this is different: it is its own modern thing, and delicious on its own. It takes a different turn & has many different scents going on during the drydown. Witchy candle-wax, vintage, castoreum, sex.

“Oh, man! Got a sample and immediately had to have the full bottle. I'm in love with each stage of this gorgeous, vintage-smelling, sex pot of a fragrance. The smoke, the indolic flowers, the deeply unsettling and very carnal humanness of this scent is like nothing I've smelled before. All I can say is WOW.

“Um, whoa. Right off, Salome socked me in the eye with a very vintage Rochas Femme feel. Of course, Femme is about as raunchy as they come. But this is unshowered Femme, with her JF hair & post-coital cigarette, & she is unimpressed with you. Flowers, my butt. This is cumin, ashtray &, well, particular mucoidal fluids. If you are confident enough to pull this one off, more frickin' power to you! Tough sell, though, for more conventional palates, I predict.”

What I’m saying is, it makes normal people say, “What’s that smell?” It makes me say, THIS IS PERFECT. I always wonder why I like the dark so much? I pray about it, “Dear Lord, I want to be good, but I love the hard edges and mystery so much. Is that wrong, too?” I always imagine Heaven as arriving at the gates and finding I belong to one of the 12 tribes of Israel. I just would like to get up there, and Jesus would say, “Okay, here is where you come from.” I would see this group of warrior like people that have fought their anger issues their entire lives, but Jesus uses them as the badasses from Heaven who fight the Dark. So they’ve got a little Dark too because you can’t go toe to toe without picking up some. They would be silent people with icy eyes and moon skin like mine. They would always be pacing and prowling like animals and restless and want to wander, and my lifetime of anxiety would make sense then. Oh, these are “my people”. These are the ones I came from. Everything has a rhyme and reason now. That’s my version of Heaven. Getting down to the roots of why I am how I am. That or this other version—everyone exists in the same place at the same time, but we each are independently also living our own version of Heaven. Like, mine might be ballets and beaches and operas and libraries and your’s might be golf and…what do people that play golf like? Anyway, we’d each be living our version unbeknownst to the others, but we’d all be doing that together. Does that make sense? My favorite is the first version though where we all each come from some tribe of likemindeds. We hang out together up there doing whatever you do in Heaven, but we have a special connection—like twins do—with our tribe. I was so jealous of the forever history when I toured the beautiful synagogue in Savannah. I wanted that sort of history and those kinds of stories. I want onion history going back to the 1500s. Anyway, I’m sure that’s not how it works, and He has a better plan but that’s the best I can come up with.

Anxiety is going to get your 6 month refills on your prescriptions/wellness check from your doctor, and being beside yourself for days before with consuming worry that threatens to swallow me about the entire situation. “Hey, how are you?” I really want to answer, “I’m still crazy. I still worry about sinkholes swallowing me daily. I still worry about having an aneurysm. I still worry that my husband will die in the 15 minute trip to the grocery store. I worry that my dog has rawhide wrapped around her intestines. I worry that my dog has asthma. I still think every time the heater comes on in the house, that it will explode. I still can’t drive because it’s huge gaping laughing terror. I still have anxiety about this anxiety med appointment. Please help, Doc?”

While we wait together, my Mom asks me, “Are you happy, Sarah?” My matter of fact response, “No, I haven’t been happy in a very long time. Years, maybe.” “Are you happy with your marriage still?” she questions. I quickly and fiercely respond, “That is the only thing I am happy with. That is what gets me through my days. That is the one thing I cling too.” It’s everything to me. He’s everything to me. He is my anchor. I can’t tell you what the problem is because I don’t know. It’s just here, and it’s been here for the last 5 to 7 years, I guess? It’s become such a part of my life that it doesn’t even make me sad to admit it. “No, Mom. I’m not happy. I don’t remember her. I don’t know what she looks like. She was years ago for a brief time, and then she died. She’s not coming back, and it’s not important that she come back. What’s important is to figure out, how to keep surviving, and I do. I will. But my marriage, is what gives me shiny droplets of happy, dripping in daily. It comes into my cell to give me a little bread and water, and I wait for it to visit every day. It’s bits that drip down into my life and are so special and perfect. It is the only thing that means a damn out of all of this that I messed up somewhere. That probably sounds pathetic to you, but I don’t care. This day to day heavy curtain doesn’t even bother me anymore. It’s just here. It’s forever. I am learning how to carry it better, but please never touch my perfect K. with it. He is my life raft. That's not to say that I'm on the verge every day, and I don't have things I enjoy but I've accepted that this undercurrent will always be a part of my life.

Oh, other happy moment, though! My Uncle that passed away used to make this amazing Wild Rice Soup that he predatorily guarded the recipe for, despite my pleading. My aunts, uncle, cousins, and mom and dad all met up at Grandma’s to celebrate their belated 60th anniversary with a family party, and they made his famous soup. Mama brought me home a bowl and a bottle of Merlot sent to me from Grandma. It was as amazing as I’d remembered. I thinned it out a little with milk to make four bowls from the one (it’s very rich), and it’s so yummy! Fortunately, the recipe was passed on to Mama so when we make it, we can also think fondly of Mark.

In outlandish things, I was absolutely dreamy about these copper sneakers by Stella McCartney, but she is entirely too proud of her outer space shoes made of ground up pennies as they are $385 (marked down from $550). Also, everything she’s done shoe wise as of late is on a huge foam-looking platform. She takes sensible and slaps audacity on it and calls it a day, and unfortunately, I couldn’t love it more. It’s not for me to wear, but I do delight in them even if I think it’s ridiculous to spend so much on shoes which to me are just functional. Put ‘em on your feet and walk. I definitely didn’t get the stereotypical lady obsession with shoes. But all these that look like they’ve been presented on a pedestal, and I’m admiring just a bit.

This weekend: more moving, trip to the library to collect new books and return those read, celebrating a friend’s birthday with a dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, and hopefully, sorting through some thrift stores if I can convince my love. I hope your weekends are all marvelous! What have you got planned?  


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