OK, so FIRST OF ALL, I want to thank commenter BobTheShrew for providing me with the clip of my beloved Samuel L. Jackson MTV Movie Awards commercial that I referenced in this post. Please go to the comments of that post & click on the link, for it is sheer brilliance (it’s totally SFW, but with all the bad-word bleeping, it will sound like you’re watching an episode of Deadwood).
Fine Purveyor of Cocksuckers since 1870.
Thanks, also, to all of you for your thoughtful comments and emails following last week’s post. I can’t tell you how much it helped me to talk to some impartial third parties* about the things that were laying pretty heavily on my mind. The situation has gotten a smidge better in some ways, but mostly I’m just waiting around for it to fully explode. But you know what? I’m prepared for it (as prepared as I can be), and I’ve sort of made peace with that. And as for you ladies who suggested to rant elsewhere? Well, I may have done that too. Or not! Who knows?
The Shadow Do!
The highlight of last week, however, was definitely the weekend. We headed out on Friday afternoon to small town central Ohio for a friend’s wedding, and it seems that a change of scenery and a weekend away was just what I needed. I had been looking forward to our little road trip, but I had no idea that it would end up meaning as much to me as it did. I think the first trimester had gotten me down a little more than I realized, and the opportunity to get away for a bit really made me feel like an actual, functioning member of society again, instead of an incubating mess of hormones.
Something tells me this incubator does not cry at Animal Cops: Houston or consume hot sauce by the gallon. On the other hand, I am not filled with adorable baby chicks.
We took a half-day at work on Friday and got on the road around noon. We stopped at Wendy’s for lunch, where I let a spicy chicken sandwich love me the right way, and got to our hotel by 3pm or so. Have I mentioned to you how much I love staying in hotels? How much I ADORE the wealth of king-sized beds and piles of clean towels and miniature bars of hand/face/body soap that liquefy in the dish overnight? How it thrills me to be provided with a complimentary breakfast of half-stale bagels and watered-down cranberry juice? Because – in case it wasn’t clear – I firmly believe that hotel stays are the best $109/night plus tax a girl can spend without putting herself at risk for an STD.
OK, to be fair, there is the risk of bedbugs (check your mattress as soon as you get into the room!), but they are rarely transmitted by a male escort with broken English named Giorgio.
Our charming little hotel was right on the edge of a cute town called Newark (New Jersey not included). It should be noted that Newark, OH, is the home of the Longaberger Basket Company. If you’ve never heard of Longaberger baskets, take a (very boring) moment and educate yourself. Basically, it’s a company that sells ridiculously expensive baskets, sometimes through your “local representative” who will throw one of those high-pressure sales parties in the style of Tupperware/Avon/Pampered Chef, during which you’re completely torn between feeling obligated to buy something and the dread about the interest you’ll gather on your credit card if you purchase the $210 “Messenger Bag” (it’s a BASKET, my friends. A BASKET PURSE). Someone in my office threw a Longaberger party once, and I wanted to buy something to make her feel good (I really wanted to!), but OH MY FUCKING GOD, the only thing I could really afford was a fabric LINER. To a basket. That I did not have.
But wait! Allow me to steer the story back from my tangent and get to the BEST PART: our hotel was owned by Longaberger. That’s right. We were staying in the House That Baskets Built. And if you think we didn’t make jokes about this the entire drive through Ohio (“I bet the toilet is just a basket with a plastic liner,” “I bet the box spring is really just woven basket parts”), then you are sadly mistaken.
So, when we pulled into the hotel parking lot, I drew on my reserves of Pregnancy Excuses and asked Brad if I could just wait in the car while he checked in, instead of hauling my lazy ass ten feet into the lobby.
I was busy digesting that spicy chicken sandwich. FOR THE BABY. You understand.
Five minutes later, Brad returned to the car. “There are baskets EVERYWHERE,” he said, with just a tinge of fear in his voice…and I got the impression that maybe – just maybe – this place was going to totally surpass our basket-laden expectations (which were stored in baskets! With liners! And decorative lids!).
We had to walk through the lobby to get to the elevators, and Internet: the baskets. THE BASKETS! Basket planters, basket trash cans, baskets just for fucking basket’s sake. The place was lousy with baskets. The monetary value of the baskets in the lobby alone could put gas in my car for a year. The lobby also inexplicably contained a baby grand piano (for comprising ballads about baskets?), underneath which sat a really creepy dog figurine (not in a basket) that I thought was real EVERY DAMN TIME we passed through.
“Please call the ASPCA – I’ve eaten nothing but baskets for 5 weeks – AROOOOO!”
When we got up to our room (located at the end of a hallway FILLED WITH BASKETS), it was more of the same. Basket trash can, baskets holding the accessories in the bathroom, an all-basket porn channel on the TV. (OK, that last part was an exaggeration, but can you imagine? OUCH.) There was also a strategically-placed Longaberger catalog on the table – you know, in case the HUGE, BASKET-FILLED gift shop in the lobby hadn’t fulfilled all your $350 basket needs.
In the interest of full-disclosure, I DO own a Longaberger recipe basket, but it was a wedding shower gift! A gift, I say! Also, I don’t keep cookie cutters in it, as it is a RECIPE BOX. What the fuck?!
We had a couple hours to rest in the woven wonderland of our room before we had to head out to the wedding rehearsal, and lo, we did not know the wonderment that awaited us there. For on the way to the rehearsal, we would pass the Longaberger headquarters, which – if I may ruin the surprise for you – IS A BUILDING SHAPED LIKE A HUGE BASKET.
Seriously. It was like the fucking mothership.
Now, you’d think that everything after seeing the GIANT FUCKING BASKET BUILDING would be a let-down, but no. We really had a great time. We had a yummy rehearsal dinner at an Amish restaurant (those people know their homemade ranch dressing, OH MY GOD), a leisurely Saturday afternoon walking around the local mall, taking naps & eating Fazoli’s for lunch (I have an unnaturally strong love for Fazoli’s, as the chain started in Lexington, KY – where I went to college – and it was my special off-campus dining treat. However, even though the chain was headquartered there, there was no building shaped like a giant manicotti or some such nonsense), a lovely wedding and reception, and a lazy Sunday morning spent lounging around before we had to check out.
Now, I know that might sound mind-numbingly boring and lame, but believe me – it was the equivalent of a week in the Caribbean for me. I was finally feeling normal again (despite my 9pm bedtime), and I could feel some semblance of my old self returning. (This was evidenced at the rehearsal dinner, when I made a really, really inappropriate joke and no one laughed. Except Brad, of course. Because he’s awesome. And has no problem laughing at thinly veiled anal sex references at an Amish establishment. And this is why we’re married.) There were a ton of kids at the wedding and reception, and I started to feel the first real twinges of excitement about what our family would look like this time next year, or in the years after that. I imagined Brad dancing with our daughter. I imagined me being able to introduce some little person as my son. I imagined being able to divide the joys of a weekend hotel stay by three instead of two.
And shit, if the kid won’t stop crying and hogging the bed and I can’t get any sleep? I’m sure they make a basket for that.
Honey, Mommy can’t understand what you’re saying when you’re all muffled like that.
*I went to high school with this kid named Jim – a really smart, nice guy who also happened to be a MASSIVE POTHEAD. So much so that his essays & papers rarely made sense, even though he really knew his shit when he wasn’t stoned out of his gourd. Anyway, one day in history class sophomore year we got our papers returned to us, and Jim was not very pleased with his grade. He began to openly argue with the teacher, who told him she would have the other history teacher (the class was team-taught) re-grade his paper if that would shut him up. Jim stood up and declared, “No. I demand to have my paper read by an impartial third party!” And the comment has lived on in infamy amongst my high school friends ever since. Seriously, that is some Grade-A, American Revolution, straight up Patrick-Henry-soundin’ shit right there.
Give me Hindu Kush, or give me death!