Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Auspicious Beginning

In what is sure to become a series this year, I am about to regale you with the story of our first date. (When I say "our" first date, I am referring to Chris and myself. Not "me and you," as I did not date most of those of you reading this. At least... I hope not. A couple of nights along the way are kind of hazy but... well, yes... I'm sure).

Why am I doing this? A good question! Because yesterday was (drum roll please)... the 10th anniversary of our second first date! TA DAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Yeah, you read that right. Ready? Here we go.

I've already shared with you how Chris and I met one January night ten years ago. If you don't remember the story, either blogger ate it, or I will send a prize to the person who can dig it out of my archives. I couldn't find it anywhere. I may have to rewrite that, but meanwhile...

We met in January. In early February, we became aware that we were interested in each other. I was in the middle of breaking up with someone I had been dating for several months who just couldn't seem to commit to much of anything in regards to "us." I was at the "shit or get off the pot" point, and Chris entered on cue, Stage Right.

Although instinct told me that I should really let the break-up sit for a while, I also was kind of intrigued by this self-(over-?)confident young fellow and thought that a little online chatting wouldn't hurt anything. He became more and more interesting to me over the next couple of weeks, and finally, on February 25, he asked me out. To a hockey game. One month away.

"The Canes are playing the Leafs there in Greensboro," he said over the phone line. I had never been to an NHL game. Still... a month to wait for our first date? "Um... sure!" said I. And then I hoped that maybe he'd ask me to do something before then.

The next day, he called me at work and asked what I was doing that night. Truth be told, I was planning on having a couple of beers, a pizza, and watching a movie. But I said what any girl who wants to go out with a guy says to that question, "Oh, nothing much." (Yeah, really hard to get. I'm so good with the head games, aren't I?)

He asked if he could drive to Greensboro (where I lived at the time) and take me out somewhere. "Sure!" says I, again with the playing-hard-to-get. He arrived on time and almost immediately earned himself a black mark on the "potential life-mate" scorecard when he asked, "So... what do you want to do?"

For years... YEARS... I dated guys who never put a moment's thought into planning an actual date. There were a few exceptions... and one who never planned anything, but would wing it without shrugging his shoulders and saying, "I dunno... what do YOU want to do." Is it too much to ask that when a guy asks you out, he has some idea of what he wants to do?! Argh.

He did, however, have something of an excuse... he wasn't from 'round these parts, you see... so he didn't know what there was TO do. I would argue that Greensboro has all the date mainstays of any other medium-sized city... movie theaters, restaurants, go-karts... whatever. But, I cut him some slack... because I'm just that nice. And... he's pretty cute.

As we debated restaurants or movies or whathaveyou, he asked... "Well, what would you have done if I hadn't asked you out tonight?" I told him that I had been planning to watch Return of the Jedi, which my friend had let me borrow, since I hadn't seen it and Episode I was due out in a few months.

He fainted.

Well, no... he didn't faint. But he almost burst a blood vessel when he realized that he was actually talking to a person who had not, in fact, seen every Star Wars movie made to date, and in fact, had only seen Star Wars itself maybe four times. I'm surprised he didn't flee the premises. So now we're tied... one to one... for black marks against our characters.

He then insisted that we watch Jedi IMMEDIATELY and he even resisted the urge to recite the whole movie as it transpired. I was impressed. He kissed me. I let him. I even kissed him back. And then, if I remember correctly, he slept on the couch. I wouldn't let him drive back to Raleigh that late, but I wasn't ready to provide any other comforts, if you know what I mean.

So that is how we had two first dates... one month apart from each other... back in 1999. We did, in fact, go to the hockey game and I learned that NHL hockey really is that much better than minor league games.

Next up in the series... Chris pops the question. Look for it in about two weeks... the 10th anniversary of when he actually asked me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Back Away From the Scissors

Athena has a serious addiction.


She cannot get enough of their shiny, squeezy, sharp goodness. She's not really skilled with them... especially when it comes to doing her "homework." Each week, she is required to find pictures in magazines of things that start with the letter ________ and take them to school to show off to her friends and stick on the wall. (This week was "X." Seriously? X. Yeah... we forgot our homework this week.)

Anyway, the scissors thing has been a problem since her early 3's. She returned home from school one day missing a big chunk of hair off the side of her head. She and her friend Zachary "cut each other's hair." Apparently, although this doesn't appear to have been a contest, Zach won, as there was nothing noticeable missing from his head.

Months go by and it grows enough for us to cut it to hide the damage reasonably well.

She did it again several months ago right after we got her hair cut. She also cut Marcus' hair, which is especially impressive when you know he'd just had it buzzed. Looked like someone had tried to carve a design into his hair. This time at home. So we hid the scissors.

Marcus seems to have recovered completely (the boy drinks some serious milk) and Athena also seemed to have evened out. Apparently done with hair, Athena attacked Young MC's hockey net two weeks ago. Cut a huge hole in it. She says she is sorry, but I'm not buying it.

Leading us to yesterday. When I picked up the kids from daycare, they were playing outside. So before I collected them, I went into Athena's room to collect her belongings. Much to my dismay, in her folder of stuff to go home was a ziploc back with a large chunk of hair inside it. Just to clarify for me, they had clearly labeled it "Athena's Hair." Drat. Then, on her "report card" sheet, there was a note (copied as it... incl. punctuation errors, etc.):

"Mr. and Mrs. Caran,
I'm sorry to inform you that during nap time Athena
decided to cut her Hair. Ms. Monica and I spoke to Athena and she felt
very bad. If any questions please speak with me.

Thank you"

So since it was unsigned, I went to get Athena, assess the damage, and ask her teacher the first question that popped into my head, "Where in the blue hell did she get SCISSORS during NAP TIME?!"

Side note: I love how they don't sign their notes to me so I never know which of the rotating series of teachers in there throughout the day wrote the note.

I found Athena and asked her where she cut here hair. She held out her greatly decreased length of bangs. Actually, she didn't HAVE bangs... she does now. Here is the scariest part... it's not half bad. You can certainly see that they are uneven when you look hard, but upon a cursory glance, she doesn't look bad at all. I'm thinking from now on, we let her cut her own hair. She's happy. We save money. It's a win-win. But I digress...

I asked her teacher my innocent little question and was surprised to learn that Athena... with her history of NOT napping AND cutting her hair and the hair of those around her... was placed in the ART CENTER to nap. ooooooooookay.

So I went to Ms. Monica... the Center Director... with a little suggestion. "Um..." says I, quite eloquently. "Could we maybe consider NOT putting Athena in the art center at nap time?" Ms. Monica, whom I really do like and respect, came back at me with, "Yeah... that was the first thing I said when I learned of the incident." I'm pretty sure that had we been hanging out at the bar over a couple of cold beers, she would have added a "WTF were they thinking?!" But ever the consumate professional, she did not.

The icing on the cake? Today was picture day. This is the haircut that will live in INFAMY!!! Muahahahahaha....

And no, I haven't taken pictures. Yeah, I'm a slacker.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This Is Why I Don't Break the Law


I got pulled for speeding. It's been at least ten years since the last time it happened. But it always happens in a trap of some sort. Wide, new road... ridiculously low speed limit. This time, it was a school zone.

The good news is... even though I was speeding in a school zone, he gave me a warning! That never happens! The only other time I got a warning was when a cop tried to stop me late at night and I was alone and I wasn't speeding (although I might have been speeding before he actually clocked me... I slowed down before I was in range of him... but that's just between you and me, okay?) In that case, he actually stopped me because he checked my tags and they weren't in his system yet (it was a new car... well... new to me).

Anyway, that's the good news. Hooray! The bad news? He gave me a ticket for my expired tags instead! Dude! I had no idea my tags were expired. I have not seen anything from the DMV telling me to renew. I know this because I've been on a "clean up the paperwork" kick lately, and I've pretty much touched every piece of paper lying around the house in the last ten days... either to file it or throw it away. Or pay it, of course... if it's a bill.

I do, however, have two small children... the eldest of whom has been very excited to get the mail lately. So I'm guessing that something didn't quite make it from the mailbox to the mail sorter back in December or so.

Yeah... the tags were REALLY expired.

Now, I do really tend to follow the law. It was not my intent to have expired tags, and I take full responsibility. The cop said I could just renew online, but frankly, I don't want to drive around for a minute more with expired tags. So I went to the DMV, stood in line for a whole 30 seconds, and got outta there. Guess with all the online business, the DMV isn't such a bad place anymore. At least not for tags.

So now I have my fresh new 2010 sticker on my tag and a pretty piece of paper telling me to show up in court with proof I fixed it. I could just pay the ticket and be done with it, but I've been told that sometimes if you show how responsible you are, they'll waive the whole thing. And I can honestly use that $146 for something else.

The interesting, wacky thing? I got stopped for speeding in a school zone today... March 17th... my son's 3rd birthday. My court date was set for April 30... Athena's 5th birthday. Okay, okay, Karma! I get it! No speeding in a school zone! My children will thank me! Got it!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I thought I had a couple of good topics to free me from an seemingly unending combination of writer's block and stuff I cannot write about related to kids and work and my own personal emotional issues. I found my high school diary, which is just as painful to read as it is fascinating, and I also am commiting to a 5K event in September, which should lead to some interesting preparation and planning.

However, last night, just before I sat down to start writing, I was browsing Facebook and once again, I suddenly lost all desire to write. I'm hoping that just by writing that I don't want to write anymore, I'll suddenly want to. Using a little reverse psychology on myself.