Lakeside

This past week, I have been at Roy Lake/Gull Lake/probably 10,000 others since this is truly the land of ’em, Minnesota.

It’s been a long summer, and a long year, and all I’ve been doing is spending every second I can on the water, eating chips, playing bingo and hanging with the family for my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary.

Heaven.

And yes, even with my family kind of driving me crazy, it’s still heaven, which tells you how nice this lake is.

Can I please be able to do yoga, like you see my grandmother doing below, at 82? And while I’m asking for things, can I inherit her skin, too?

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It Ain’t All Flowers and Candlelight

It’s almost CHRISTMAS! My favorite time of the year.

A time to spend with loved ones. Which I am–don’t get me wrong–but I’m also learning something about my relationship (something that I’ve learned again and again, and each time it strikes me anew): it ain’t all flowers and candlelight. (Although you can read some about our adorable romance here.)

Specifically, splitting holidays. Because we live together, both of our families expected us to go to each respective house. Even after trips to Vegas for a family wedding and a trip out to see them at Thanksgiving.

Well, we’re broke, and we aren’t married, so we won’t be spending Christmas together, unfortunately. And yet the majority of my friends in Bozeman are bringing their respective significant others home for the holidays. Which means, I’ll be some kind of ninth wheel–somehow, even when I have a boyfriend, I never have a date in this town.

It’s the Bozeman jinx.

It’s also one of the those times where I catch myself saying “this would be so much easier if we were married. Then we’d just go to one house and the other house would have to suck it up.”

Don’t worry–I usually catch myself. The thought of marriage still makes me pee my pants.

(Plus, my mother is not the type to “suck it up,” but would nag me so I would visit not long after Christmas, anyway.)

And as the holidays strike, the epidemic of engagements begins again. I fall into that trap of wanting to be married, of wondering why I’m not engaged yet and why (insert chosen name here) gets to be happily planning their wedding.

However, folks, one thing I’ve learned: marriage does not solve everything. When I was about fourteen, I thought getting a boyfriend would solve everything. When I actually got a boyfriend (about four years later) I thought that going abroad as I had always wanted would fix everything. Then, when that didn’t work, I thought changing my majors would make everything perfect. And so on down the line.

The point of this story is: there’s always something else that would make life absolutely perfect.

These days, the BF and I are pretty happy, and I can’t imagine marriage making anything better or changing anything.

Except we’d be a lot poorer, if we had a wedding. (Well, I will insist on a honeymoon, at least).

And maybe we’d be together for Christmas.

But, life isn’t perfect. Not even at Christmas.

(Although all the pretty lights really do help. AND we can’t forget the plethora of Christmas cookies.)

I think this is what growing up is.

NOW I just need to…getintogradschoollearntocleanfixmycargotoparis…

KIDDING.

Another One Bites the Dust

For some reason, every time another one of my friends gets engaged this song immediately pops into my head.

It’s kind of sad–I’m happy for them and I totally support their decisions and am probably slightly envious–but I assure you that it’s (pretty much) ironic. It’s mostly because the sheer amount of weddings that happen in the summer, and that have been happening in my life.

Last night, I went to another Bachelorette party.

It was a good time, complete with garlic fries, hard cider, homemade cookies, surprisingly detailed balloons featuring a certain part of a fella’s anatomy (give it a guess) and the requisite risque lingerie, all taking place at a local restaurant called Weebee’s.

(Weebee’s is delectable, by the way, to any Bozemanites who may peruse this blog!)

I, of course, supplied the edible bra, because let’s face it, every girl needs one of those.

My friend, even despite the balloons her super mature friends kept shoving in her face (maybe I had a little something to do with that…) and the scandalous undergarments (being opened on an open terrace of a restaurant…where else?) was glowing. That’s so cliche, but it’s so nice to see!

I’ve know this particular friend, Karli, since I was about in 2nd grade, and I’m psyched to see her so happy.

Bachelorette parties are also some of my favorite parts of weddings. You don’t need a date, for one–even when I have a boyfriend I never have a date for a wedding, go figure–and who doesn’t love to shop for edible underwear?!?

Well, my sister might not, but hey, it’s my job as the older and wiser one to show her the ways of the world. (Muahaha).

I’m at the point in my life (well, at little earlier than I would like, maybe) where engagements and weddings are a common occurrence. I pretty much love weddings–they’re so happy–which is a good thing because every year the wedding bells ring more often.

It gets me thinking about my wedding. If I even have one, that is. Sometimes I really want to get married here (you can rent it!), and sometimes here, and sometimes I just want to elope and not tell a soul.

Sometimes I don’t even want to get married at all.

My mom informed me they’ve always figured I would have a big wedding–after all, my graduation party reached into the 200s of people.

Although it was combined with my friend Brian (who’s currently with the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan–read his blog here–he doesn’t believe in proof-reading but it’s still entertaining) who happens to know the entire world.

Still, it kind of freaks me out that marriage is the next natural step. Don’t get me wrong, I have a serious boyfriend that will soon be my live-in boyfriend, so who knows.

I may be the next one who bites the dust.

Okay, who am I kidding, I can barely write that much less seriously consider it. Guess I’m a late bloomer, as always!

(Except for the mammary area…I was way ahead of the curve on that one. I guess I’m just usually a late bloomer in the emotional department).

(Congratulations to all of you out there who have ironically bitten the dust–happiness to all of you!)

When Your Foundation Crumbles…

*cue dramatic music…*

Today I received some devastating news.

My parent’s engagement story is FALSE.

Yes, I’m being ridiculous. But I always thought their engagement story was so nice, and in fact used it as a model for several of my early short stories, in my young, romance-obsessed adolescent years (I was a late bloomer–didn’t date much until college, so I had to write about it, obviously).

It went like this: my father was the roommate of my mother’s brother (my someday Uncle Lance). On a visit, all the way from Minnesota to Arizona (although I never heard the story of how my dad, a marine biologist, and my uncle, a entymologist, ended up rooming together, but whatever)  my parents met, sparks flew, and yada yada yada.

Two years of correspondence later, and in those days it was pure snail mail and the very occasional phone call (which I remind one of my friends who is facing two months of that when her boyfriend joins the army in June…don’t get me started on that situation), they reunited, reignited the sparks, and my dad proposed in the back of a moving van, spontaneously.

Today, I learned the real story. It’s a little more exciting, I admit, as it involves scandal in the form of co-habitating before marriage–a huge scandal in those days, especially for my mom’s Lutheran family (my father’s family, the Catholics, are weirdly more flexible on this matter…maybe because they’re a little more lapsed) and treachery. Treachery, in the form that they had already decided to get married, and in the back of the moving van my dad had the brilliant idea that  he should have proposed in that moment, and so that’s what they would tell their future children. Although I bet they never thought they would have a future child like me, the queen of dissecting and recording every little thing, especially remotely interesting true-life tales.

I’m not sure why my mother randomly spilled the beans after so many years but perhaps it’s because an alarming amount of my friends are biting the dust (a.k.a getting engaged) or at least are in the talks leading toward marriage or obsessed with weddings.  Or, even more frightening, having babies.

Either way, one of my most romantic stories I now have found to be fake. I’m not entirely sure what to do with this information (except my mother informed me I shouldn’t tell my dad that I know the truth, so apparently I’ll be working some of my own treachery as well), although I have come to the conclusion that this must be an integral part of reaching adulthood.

Finding out truths (often unfortunate) about your family.