On the Weekend, Happily

This weekend was non-stop, action-packed, and all-around awesome.

Friday night: date night – we went out to dinner at a newly redone restaurant. My grandma actually found it, and I found out about it when we met there for Easter brunch – such a hip grandmother that I have. When we pulled into the parking lot, I remember thinking, hmmm…this was an interesting choice, but the interior was fantastic. I asked my uncle where he’d heard about the place, and he asked me who the hottest, hippest woman I know is, and then my grandma – all 4’9” of her – just shrugs and gives me that side look, like, yep, I got this. I had a chocolate Manhattan, which was…interesting. The glass was rimmed with Nutella. Now, I am pro-Nutella all of the time, but maybe not this time. The presentation was awkward and globby, and the Nutella overwhelmed the whiskey. Although, if that’s what you’re going for, seeking to create a diabetes dampened drink, then yes, they definitely nailed it.

After sharing two small pizzas, we went late-night bowling. I love bowling, and none of my friends will ever go with me, so I was really excited when boyfriend agreed to go on a bowling adventure. I lost 4/5 games, which was frustrating, but at least I proved to be sort of solid competition. The bowling alley was busy – there were intense bowlers to our right, and a lively group to our left. At one point, there was a random lingerer just lingering at our spot. I thought he was with the other group until they asked me if he belonged to us. He did not. After a bit of back and forth, the man was eventually escorted out of the bowling alley. You know you’re having a rough night when you get kicked out of a bowling alley for being a completely odd lingerer. The music was everything I love – all sorts of upbeat oldies and Motown, as well as some of those 80s pop classics. I was wiggling and dancing, which may have resulted in the loss of my ferocity as a competitor. The stakes were high, and I’m slightly disappointed that I didn’t just absolutely crush boyfriend. Ah, well. Next time.
Saturday: My brother’s girlfriend was in town this weekend, so we had brunch near my house. It was wonderful. After brunch, we spent 20 minutes playing with a boxer puppy (oh such a sweet baby) who was tied up in the grass outside. He was so little, and so soft, and we all just melted over him. He was just getting his puppy teeth in, and was happily chomping on everything, still uncoordinated with his big puppy paws, all soft and roly-poly, happy to be snuggled.

Then we went and test-drove bikes. I’m thinking I’m going to end up being a road biker with the guys, and if that’s the case, I’ll need something more suitable for that than my vintage Belgian road bike. Ugh, which will mean that I will end up being one of those people who owns spandex bike shorts and jerseys. I’ll just channel as much Lance Armstrong as I can, which may mean that I’ll eventually have to learn how to bike in a straight line. Goals, I guess.

It was lovely, actually. The woman who sized me for a bike (54cm, apparently) was so passionate about biking, and I loved listening to her. Somehow, seeing people who are really passionate about what they do in their element makes that subject so much more interesting. The bike I rode was beautiful. It was so smooth, but also $2000 and that was the low price point. Ha, not going to happen. We’ve got a bike guru scouring the internet for potential bike frames for me, so hopefully that will turn up a nice deal.

After that, I went and met boyfriend’s god-kids. They are so adorable. We went to Dave and Buster’s (they should have just called it “The Germ and Money Pit”), and we played some games. It was really funny – at one point, I was playing one of those motorcycle driving games, but could not figure out how to get the motorcycle to actually go. I had to turn to the 4 year old girl next to me and ask her how to start it. She gave me a look that read, “Wow, you’re old AND pathetic,” and then told me how to do it. Apparently, you just have to pull back on the throttle. It was a very humbling moment. I was pleased with myself for hitting 6 checkpoints in a row, until one of the 6 year olds told me he could do it better and got on the bike to complete my race. (Just for the record, he was not better than me. I told his sister that, and she agreed. She was so sweet, telling me that even though her little brother is really great at all the video games that he plays, he is really terrible at these driving games. We watched him run into some walls before he lost interest and we moved elsewhere.)

I took him back to my house….and let him inside for the first time. I’m quite surprised we haven’t had to have a “it’s not me, it’s actually you” talk – and we laughed about how long it would be until it was socially acceptable to break up with me. I’ve been avoiding letting him into my space (I do that…I’m better off on other’s people’s turf than my own when it comes to living spaces, and since I’m rarely home, my room is a disaster area of things – pulled out and neglected, or thrown here or there. I try, sometimes, and am successful in organization on occasion, but honestly, it’s a matter of both unwillingness to cull my possessions and also a completely overwhelming feeling of not having any idea how to organize. Also, time. I spend so little time at home because I’m always on the go, and so my time at home is not spent decluttering. Instead, it’s spent trying to maybe relax a little. Or do laundry.). And so, he’s seen it. He has not mentioned it since, but I do believe that he was entirely overwhelmed. A friend of his once told me that she found him to be very judgmental about her house, and I laughed and promised her I’d never bring him home. But it is my thing – I can scrub, happily, but I will most likely always need assistance with the clutter/organization. I’m honest about it – I’m terrible at it. I’m aware of that. I need someone to guide me, to keep me on track, and then, still love me.

From there, we stopped off to meet his friends at a nearby bar – twenty minutes exactly was the time limit, because we were parked in a spot that becomes valet parking at 5pm. The valet asked me if we were valeting when we parked, and I looked at him, raised an eyebrow, and told him it wasn’t five yet – he cautioned that they tow promptly. And so, mindful of the timing, we socialized for 19 minutes. Ha. It was nice, actually, you just get to go, say hello, mingle for a minute, and then leave, as quickly as you came. It’s the perfect way to meet new people.

Then, my friend Jared needed help with modeling some clothes that he made, so we got ready for dinner and then went down to play dress up. I was laughing, because we got there, and my friend Jacob goes, “We’re playing sweatshop!” It was true – there were bits of cloth everywhere and we were throwing the finishing touches on clothes as we put them on to model. It was amazing. I do love an excuse to get all sorts of undressed, so when Jared asked if I’d model just the meggings (man-leggings), I was super keen. Downtown Denver saw a lot of me that afternoon, but it was so much fun. Jared is an architect by day and a super-seamstress by night, and he makes the best clothes. They’re so fun and the patterns are always amazing. I’m going to ask him to make me some meggings to do acro yoga in.

We were running late to meet my family for dinner downtown, so when the cab got hung up at a red light, we looked at each other and decided to make a run for it. Getting out of the cab, taking off my shoes, and booking it down a busy street was the highlight of my weekend. It was beautiful – both of us in our fancy dinner clothes, me with heels in one hand and my purse in the other, sprinting through a very upscale area. We stopped half a block before the restaurant to collect ourselves, and then walked into the restaurant cool as cucumbers. As we walked in, me laughing at the absurdity of having just sprinted through all sorts of fancy people, I told boyfriend that on the plus side, he will never be bored.

Dinner was excellent. I really love my family. My mom is my favorite human being. I was showing her some of the pictures that boyfriend got on his phone from the photo shoot, and of course, most of them were of me wearing only meggings and heels, with hands covering the rest of the things that needed covered. I love that my mom doesn’t even bat an eye. I swore to her that there were other clothes and more coverage at some point, and she just nodded, certainly thinking, “Suuuure.” My mom and aunt took the light rail downtown – I was impressed – and so we walked them back to the light rail so that they could get back home. On the way, there was another puppy, this one a baby yellow lab. I jogged up ahead so that I could stop his owners and snuggle him, too.

We ended up at a vodka bar, drinking horseradish, pickle, pineapple, and beet vodkas. Horseradish is not my cup of tea, whether it’s in regular or alcoholic form, so that was…..an experience. The owner came by and we traded jokes for a while; it made for a very nice evening. I love my brother’s girlfriend and it’s nice to be able to gang up on him for a change. Usually, it’s the other way around, with me taking the brunt of the teasing. Since I never go out with my brother, it was really nice to have a night where we were all out together.

By this point, I realized that I had lost my wallet somewhere. I am notorious for losing everything, but never the important things. Keys, always lost only briefly, mislaid but not forgotten. Wallet, never. Phone, same as the keys. Close but concealed. But to open your purse to see nothing is a very disconcerting feeling. I decided not to stress about it, and we ended up finding the wallet in the Lyft that we had taken – boyfriend drove all the way to get it on Sunday for me. The sweet relief of having your possessions returned to you intact is really such a wonderful feeling – the driver was absolutely fantastic. He had apparently attempted to contact Lyft to tell us the night before (when I lost it), and we had attempted to contact Lyft, but had been met with resistance. Once we got in touch with the driver through the app, he called me back immediately. I was so grateful. It’s nice when people are kind and honest.

Sunday, we met my dad and his wife for sushi lunch. I am disappointed. I used to love our cheap sushi place, and now it’s lost its luster. Food has gone from okay to eh, and the service has fallen apart as well. All of the things were not in line, and the lunch was a little bit of a strange situation. My dad and his wife are wonderful people, but I felt very off-kilter in that setting. Maybe it was because dad and wife were meeting boyfriend? Or the lingering effects of all of the vodka? Or…I don’t know. Ah, well, it wasn’t too bad. He was asking boyfriend a hundred million questions, and I was awkwardly attempting to keep things level while looking completely at ease. Which I was not.

We got ice cream after, and stopped into the hipster plant store just to look. I walked out with four new plants, but have gifted two of them, so I feel as though my purchases were justified. There’s this amazing book/record/comic/coffee shop on Broadway that I’d never been into, so we wandered through there. I taught boyfriend the game of picking up random books and only reading the last sentence (or two). No context. It’s really fun, if you’re in the right mood. We found a book for my mom in the humor section. It’s a comic book for cat-haters. You’re welcome, mom. You’re going to love it. I just need to wrap it.

After that, we went to Cheeseman Park to do some afternoon acro yoga. I was spacey, maybe tired, maybe just a little bit over-stimulated from all of the weekend, but I had a bit of trouble. I took a few really solid falls that afternoon, but overall, enjoyed myself. I am working on getting better at star, with is upside down and involves a headstand into it. Once I get that down, I’ll be able to do a lot more. We were also working on side star, and some transitions, and after a bit of miscommunication and recalibration, we actually made some legitimate headway there. Also – I have a girl date! I’m really excited. Girl friends are so hard to find/make/keep, and there’s a woman in the acro yoga group that is amazing. We’re going to have drinks soon and bond, which I think will be lovely.

We went back to my friend Jared’s for more modeling/fashion fun after the park. Poor boyfriend – I forget how hard it is to just jump into an established group of people. He was a total trooper, and ended up modeling several pairs of meggings/man pants, tanks, and even a tiny retro swimsuit. (I was not complaining about the last one…) It was fun. He definitely loved the lines of the clothes, and told me that he’ll be using Jared as a fashion reference in the future. We had fun, modeling business wear, meggings, and some dresses.

Then the hunger set in – we found ourselves at Whole Foods (ugh) buying steaks. Oh man, that was the most amazing thing. I love a good steak, but have no idea how to cook meat, so I was content to be on veggie duty while the steaks were prepared. I made roasted potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and beets and beet greens. I nailed those. I was really proud of myself, because I’ve never actually sautéed mushrooms before. I browned butter – because browned butter makes everything better – and then used that and a bit of olive oil for the mushrooms. The potatoes were just cubed up and hit with some rosemary, because that’s the best things, and then I boiled the beets and sautéed the greens with a lot of lemon. We had a nice bottle of wine, and we put on his favorite classical violinist while we ate.
At one point, as were sitting there in the low light of the candles, wearing sweatpants and nibbling on the last bites of dinner, I stared off at the screen where the orchestra was orchestrating and felt a few thick tears slide down my face. Sometimes the joy just overwhelms me, and it swells up inside me and leaks out in liquid form. It wasn’t a sob, no shaking, no moments of gasping for air, just the heady thrum of contentment, encapsulated in the moment, and feeling full – of gratitude, happiness, contentment, steak, promise, and joy.

Life is beautiful. It is wild and strange and so brief. I am happy to be here, now, exploring and adventuring and enjoying.

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