Tuesday, October 22, 2013

To Debbie

"Uh, T-Bag. We, uh, we mmmiiiight not be at church in time".

"Don't worry. I knew you assholes were going to be late. I told you guys 5 but rehearsal really starts at 5:30.... You're welcome".

That is a brief phone conversation I had with Debbie, Nicole and Jodi the evening before my wedding. They made it to rehearsal on "time", even though they took the worst way to the church and claimed to have been stuck behind a school bus and a tractor.( Pfff, really? In Wisconsin?). I lived with those three for many years of my college life and they were an important part of my and Brad's relationship. They continued with their roles at our wedding, two being bridesmaids and one being my "bitch" (her words, not mine).  Debbie only swore twice in church. I got married and she kept her swearing in single digits. I call it a successful day.

L to R-Debbie, me, Jodi and Nicole.
The last picture of us four.

Three weeks after the wedding, on October 22, we lost Debbie to a car accident. I remember where I was (at home), who I was with (Brad), what I was doing (eating), what I was eating (food I won't eat anymore) and what the weather was like (cold and rainy). You can't accurately describe or portray how you feel, physically or emotionally, when you find out someone you love dies. You can't. It either sounds over sentimental and full of shit or indifferent and cold. So I won't try to. I also won't bore you with the same sentiments of "cherish the times you have" or "be grateful for every person in your life". Even though you should do all of those things. Because if I did, I could hear Debbie say "[It's] Sad that you suck so much".
908 Union Roomies
I met Debbie when I was pledging for the sorority, Phi Omega, my sophomore year of college. I dragged my roommate, Jodi, along with me to some of the events. Debbie definitely stood out. If I could accurately describe her in three words, they would be "Loud as hell". She couldn't help the fact that she was a human megaphone. We affectionately called her "Foghorn". She called me "T-Bag" but NOT for the reason you sickos might think. She liked her food hot, Schmude Hot, which is straight out of the fryer hot. New girls in the sorority, myself once included, had always been intimidated by her. She fronted as a hardass, but she wasn't really that big and bad. At a sorority retreat, the new girls were in charge of making breakfast for all of the active members. Debbie was still sleeping and we told some girls to go and wake her up. "Nuh, uh. I'm not waking her up. She'll yell at us", they said. I reassured them that she would not yell, that was just how her voice was. They didn't believe me. So I told them I would wake her up and that they should watch the master at work. I grabbed a flip flop, got a running start into her room and flew at her like a spider monkey. I smacked her on the ass with the flip flop, tucked and rolled off the bed and shouted "Wake your ass up, Debbie. Breakfast's ready". She grumbled, got up (eventually) and came out for coffee.
Debbie, Jodi, Nicole, Anna, Franny, Jess and I all moved in together (not all of us at the same time) in the shithole known as 908 Union. It was truly terrible; the house and us. We were the messiest group of bitches I've ever encountered. I eventually lived across the hall from Debbie, the only two downstairs. She wouldn't let me forget that she was there. Many days I would wake up at the crack of noon to her blaring ABBA and 80's music in the shower, which was right next to my head. Instead of texting Jodi or going upstairs to talk to her, they would both scream at one another. "WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR LUNCH" "I DON'T KNOW, WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR LUNCH?". Hey guys, you know what I want for lunch? A big helping of shut the hell up and meet at the stairs to discuss this, I have napping to do. We lived there together for two years. We laughed, cried, fought, watched horrible movies, got broken into, got egged, almost started the fucker on fire TWICE and left with five truckloads of garbage that we dumped off at the campus garbage bins. Why? Because we stopped cleaning a month before our lease was up. I could probably go on and on with stories about that house. I'll save it for another time...maybe I'll write a book :)
Debbie had some amazing qualities. She was fiercely loyal. No one messed with her family or friends. Brutally honest as well. She wouldn't sugar coat things and would tell you straight up her honest opinion if you asked for it and even if you didn't. I once had the greatest idea ever. I told her that I was going to take my new phone and record the ringtones from my old phone onto it so I wouldn't have to buy them again. After I laid out my plan, I beamed at her, waiting for her to tell me it was the best thing she's ever heard. "That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. It's not going to work". I told her it was going to work and that she could screw off because she didn't think of it. Five minutes later, after it didn't work, I told her she was right. She nodded her head in agreement, because she already knew that. One thing that I admired the most about Debbie was the fact that she never put herself down. She would never sit around and complain that she didn't have a boyfriend or wish that she was skinny. She was who she was and didn't give a shit. She was like the original Honey Badger.
I would like to finish up with one of my favorite stories with Debbie. (Now, we had many, many stories, quite a few of them being a touch inappropriate to bring up right now.) Every year, Debbie's family (which is like 50 people) would go camping for the weekend at what was called the Thresheree. It was a small town farm equipment thing held every summer at the grounds next to a river. We never really paid much attention to what the weekend truly was about, because we aren't farmers. All we knew was that it was an excuse to camp out for an entire weekend, drink and go tubing down the river. One night, after drinking throughout the day, Debbie became upset about something. She refused to tell anyone what was going on. So I thought I'd cheer her up. I went up to her and sweetly started to serenade "Have I Told You Lately, That I Love You?" by Rod Stewart. Surely this would be the key to her happiness. "Stop it ", she told me. "Why? Doesn't this make you happy?" I asked. "No, it makes me want to punch you". Idle threat. I continued to sing, like a sweet drunken bird. She continued to tell me to stop, but I knew she secretly loved it. "You ease my trouble, that's what you do", I exclaimed. "I'm going to ease my fist into your face if you don't leave me alone". Then she ran away, but I ran after her. She let me catch her and sing to her some more. I wonder if she would've liked me to sing "Rhythm of My Heart" as an encore? (Youtube it, it's good).  She thanked me at some point, whether it was that night or the next morning.
I'm not sure what about that story makes it my favorite. Maybe in hindsight, it's because I was able to tell her I loved her in my own way. Well, in Rod Stewart's words, but my own way nonetheless. Maybe it sticks out because other memories that were of everyday events are starting to fade slightly. But it really described how our relationship was: me annoying Debbie but her not minding it because I was her T-Bag and I earned the right to annoy her. Regardless, I choose not to mourn Debbie today, but to think of all the crazy times I shared with her. Not just my stories with her, but her friends and families memories and stories too. She would have expected that. (I can just hear her say "Oh my gawd, did you seriously just say that? LAAAAAME!!!). 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mommy and Daddy Fun Time (Day 1)

Not THAT kind of time perverts, but sweet, sweet, glorious kid-free time! Brad and I had been meaning to get away for a weekend since our last weekend away (October 2012, which is pretty much forever ago) but it didn't happen..... until last weekend (or two weekends ago, depending on when I feel like finishing this post). We had thought long and hard about where we wanted to go this time around, since we went down to Madison the last time. Chicago? St. Louis? Vegas? The options and locations were endless! Not really. When I say endless, I mean within 2-3 hours from us because I don't want to be in the car too long with Brad; it's irritating. So with endless possibilities, we again chose Madison, naturally.

Unfortunately, the week of our trip, we all got sick. Brad awoke me Monday and told me he thought he had the flu. He rarely gets sick, so it was unusual because whatever he had knocked him the fluff out. Then, because he is a wonderful, sharing man, he fucking gave it to me. And not the good kind of give it to me, but the give it to me flu version. He then woke me up on Tuesday freaking out because he thought Teagan's eye was swollen shut, which it wasn't. We took the girls to urgent care to discover they had bookend ear infections. One on the right, one on the left. Because I didn't feel good, it took all my strength not to pass out at the doctors because I didn't want to A)incur a bill to see the dr myself, B)lay on a couch full of germs and people's DNA and C)fall over like a rhino being shot with a tranq gun in slow motion. I was even sick on our anniversary. You know shit's bad when I not only miss our anniversary dinner, but I turn down pie. PIE!!  Everyone eventually got better...except me. But I'll be damned if I was going to miss a once a year opportunity because my body wouldn't cooperate. It may be old and saggy (that's what she said) but I was going to force this old battleax into the car for a three hour trip.

Now, because I'm super geeked that I was able to have an entire weekend as Tara and not as "She Who Provides the Num Nums", I'm going to go through EVERY freaking detail. It's like being invited to someones house under the assumption there will hard liquor and cheese dip only to find out you will have to go through that persons boring ass vacation pictures. If the pics aren't of kids, people I know or people making complete asses out of themselves, then assume I'm sleeping with my eyes open. So here's our trip. Savor it...

That Friday, we had dropped the girls off at my parents house. Now this was a big deal, because my parents didn't like the idea of having them out of their natural habitat, but they have all adapted nicely. Honestly, I don't even think the girls knew we left because my parents house looks like Toys R Us barfed everywhere.

The trip was long and boring (hopefully not what she said) and we got to the hotel without incident. Before dinner, I had to change out of my mom clothes and turn into a normal human being. Now, I forgot to take a "Before" picture, so I took the liberty of creating what I thought I looked like.

Before                        After
**Just be aware it is very difficult to draw boobs in Microsoft Paint. And those are yoga pants, not Aladdin's pants.**
That first night, we decided to go out to a fancy sushi restaurant. I made sure to ask one of my friends where the best place was, as I didn't want to get the sushits. We walked in and we were surrounded by hipsters. We settled into our small ass table and order a bunch of food that we really had no idea what it was. Then, a hipster couple and their small child, I'd say about 2-3 years old, sat down right next to us. How modern of them to have their toddler eat a meal that cost more then it does to fill up my gas tank. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, even though I was irritated that we had to sit next to a kid. So irritated, that I inadvertently elbowed the waiter in the junk while I was making fun of the douchenozzles on the other side of us because he kept coming at me from my blind side. Which, because I have glasses, is both sides. I shouldn't have given the kid the benefit of the doubt, because about three minutes into him sitting down, he chucked a chopstick at the table behind him. The best part though, was when his parents began having a deep discussion on how people should parent.  You know, after their child javelined a utensil into an unsuspecting table full of people. I struggle to try to remember exact quotes because I'm not sure my mind could wrap around the shear denseness that came out of those people's sushi holes. The food was very yummy though. PS, the other table of douchenozzles next to us were middle aged women who sat down, looked at their water glass and questioned, "Hmmmm, is this sparkling water? Sir, can we get some sparkling water? Gosh, I LURV sparkling water".
Then we went to get gourmet cupcakes. Soooo sophisticated.
Gratuitous food shot.
I won't bore you with the details of the rest of the night. But it involved swimming and early sleep. Real, actual sleep, not the "other" type of sleep. You just don't do that after sushi.
If you want to read about the rest of the weekend, I'll have another post shortly. I didn't want this one to get too long (that's what she..ok that's enough of that).