Thursday, April 30, 2009


I always appreciate anyone who can make a good clock reference. Very rarely can you just say "hot guy, 9:00" and not look over to see that person with their eyes to the ceiling, visualizing the big hand and the small hand in their head, nor just outright rubber-necking to see who you were talking about. The subtlety of The Clock is completely lost on some folks.

Saturday night kicked off what was the first of five parties for my friend AG before she gets married in July.

Wedding Season is not a 100-yard dash- it's a marathon.

I picked up my ladies KR and MK and we headed southwest of Dallas to the city of Ft. Worth. AG's fiance is from Ft. Worth, he is the first of the three brothers in his family to get married, and no fewer than eight families were hosting the party- held in a private room of Joe T. Garcia's, a Mexican food restaurant which is an institution in the city.

AG and WS, her fiance, are one of the few blind date success stories I have ever known. As a result of a successful match, and using her party schedule as ammunition, AG is now working her magic and trying to set up some of the single ladies in her wedding... myself, MK and KR. I got a breezy email from her last week, mentioning "a guy" she had in mind for me. Oy. She winced before showing me who he was, saying: "he's blond and kind of nerdy." I was affronted, because A.) I LIKE nerdy- I think it's endearing, but B.) I guess because I have dark hair and eyes, I'm usually attracted to similar looking guys? Probably true.

So while at her party, sipping on strong- nay lethal- margaritas, AG came over to point out the single guys in the group who were hanging out near the bar. We had all seen them and decided that AG's 17-year-old brother was better-looking than the lot of the Ft. Worth guys. True story.

We proceeded to sit and have dinner, and while AG was mingling from table to table, she came to us and said "okay they're all asking about you guys and wanted to know who is single." The funny thing was that none of them had approached us all night. MK, who met literally everyone there and spent some quality time at the great aunts and grandmas table, had met all of them briefly but had to initiate the introduction. Let me also clarify that these guys aren't fresh out of college- they're all pushing if not already 30. 30! I am no stranger to shyness but seriously- there were not that many of us and we are far from unapproachable. Many of them had mothers in attendance, and I'm not sure if that hindered the situation.

We were sitting at a table after dinner and some of them got to up say their good-byes and leave. A few brave souls stopped by our table to say that they were going out to some nondescript bar in Ft. Worth (a city that took the capabilities of three women, my car and my iPhone's navigational systems), if we wanted to come. Oh really? You don't say a word all night and then mention going to a bar when you've got one foot out the door?

I don't really understand it- we ended up going out in Ft. Worth afterwards and some of the guys who had mentioned the idea weren't even the ones who came along. The way men and women communicate with each other, or fail to do so, never ceases to amaze me.

It's funny because I don't go into those situations expecting to meet guys- I don't like the idea of being on the prowl in general, much less at a party where marriage is already the primary topic of conversation. Add that to the fact that I enjoy catching up on life and whatnot with my busy friends, on a rare occasion when we are all in the same place at the same time, and I would probably prefer hanging out with them 99 times out of 100.

Is it a wonder I don't date more?

“No one will ever win the battle of the sexes; there's too much fraternizing with the enemy.”
-Henry Kissinger

Monday, April 27, 2009

April Vows

Just catching up on a few things... these are photos from my friend EC (now EM's) wedding last weekend:

*Not pictured: AR in a pink taffeta dress, doing her patented air guitar... BF singing Don't Stop Believin'... several empty glasses of champagne... HR smirking into my lens after hijacking my camera.

"Brief is life but love is long."
-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sick Day

Today is the first day I have ever called in sick to work. For the two years it has been since I graduated college an entered the working world, any sicknesses I have incurred have conveniently scheduled themselves on holidays and weekends.

I felt a headache coming on yesterday afternoon at work, took medicine, felt it again after dinner during Bible study, and put myself in bed when I got home... after watching the highlights from the Mavs/Spurs game, of course. I woke up, hot and feverish, at 3:30 AM, and alternated between trying to find the cool side of my pillow, waking up as soon as I found sleep and trying to find some form of Tylenol or ibuprofen in my bathroom cabinets.

Just one of those nights.

At 6 AM I started vomiting. That was really breaking point; I gave up on my 24-year-old self-medication and decided to cross back over into my childhood, walk downstairs and tell my mother. Who else would you really want in that situation, anyway? I ended up curled in a ball on the couch downstairs in my robe, dozing with my dog (her usual morning routine), while my mom left for appointments and my dad left for work.

Work sick days are different from school sick days... and when was the last time I was even sick on a school day? I probably could have missed class with an excuse during my sophomore year when I got a minor concussion (which I didn't immediately know was a concussion... another story for another time) but the malady coincided with my finals, which at that point could not be rescheduled.

School sick days were awesome- missing class, lounging at home watching movies, sleeping were the most you could ever hope for from a weekday. Now as a working adult, there is the looming wonder of what am I missing at work? What am I going to have to deal with Monday? There comes a point when it's just enough, clearly your body is trying to tell you something and it probably boils down to two words: slow down.

I wish I could be singing Danke Schoen on a float in Chicago right now, but I doubt my current diet of Saltines and 7-Up would grant me the fortitude for such a production. Besides, my friends are ready to party it up at an engagement dinner for a friend tomorrow night, and who am I to rain on anyone's parade?

Ferris: Cameron, what have you seen today?
Cameron: Nothing good.
Ferris: Nothing - wha - what do you mean nothing good? We've seen everything good; we've seen the whole city! We went to a museum, we saw priceless works of art! We ate pancreas!
Ferris: Ladies and gentlemen, you are such a wonderful crowd, we'd like to play a little tune for you. It's one of my personal favorites and I'd like to dedicate it to a young man who doesn't think he's seen anything good today - Cameron Frye, this one's for you...
-Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Shell

I am really a different person when you get past my often quiet and guarded exterior. My personality is like a castle- there is a proverbial mote around it. I could hole up and live in here forever, or at least until all the seasons of Friday Night Lights were over or Prince Philip showed up. Whichever came first.

I worked at a camp for a summer in college, and one of the good friends I made there was a bubbly girl from Auburn. The orientation for new staffers lasted about 10 days, and two weeks into our two months there, probably while making tie-dyed shirts for 7-year-olds who would later forget them completely, she turned to me one day and said who would've known you were so funny?! She was right- my sense of humor does not come out until the coast is clear.

That's not the first time someone has said something like that to me- and I actually take it as a compliment. I like that I know when I am at ease around someone by how naturally my joking tendency comes to the surface.

A perpetual joke with my friend MG is that we had a history class together our freshman year, would always save seats for each other and exchange brief pleasantries, but never actually interacted beyond that. For an entire semester. We were both so shy and not until later on in college did we actually discover how easily we get along with each other, and now we will be living under the same roof within a matter of weeks.

A coworker even said the other day that they were happy that I finally came out of my shell. I started my job over nine months ago and this is just now acknowledged. Closed-off, much?

I think a hang-up for me is that if I don't know a person and cannot gauge their sense of humor, I'm not going to dive in head first and risk a concussion in the shallow end of my first impression; know what I mean?

I also do not compete for attention. There is nothing appealing or particularly validating about it for me. I like that people have to dig a little if they want to get to know me. I have always subscribed to the notion that the less you say, the more people pay attention when you actually speak. You are filtering instead of blurting, and while the world needs all types of people, I am thankful for those who take that extra moment of consideration.

I am glad that there are people who have found it worth their while to get to know me, because I don't always make it easy. My shell and I, we are quite a pair.

"I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know..."

-Hoobastank, "The Reason"

Friday, April 17, 2009


"Inaction, contrary to its reputation for being a refuge, is neither safe nor comfortable."
-Madeleine Kunin

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Fever

I am not typically this impatient for spring. I like cold weather, and since I live in Texas and the bluebonnets are already blooming along the highways, that means it is only a matter of time until the heat wave hits.

I haven't been keeping up with blogs as much in recent weeks, both others and my own, out of restlessness. I was finally catching up on some recent entries tonight and I forgot how funny and insightful complete strangers can be. I just spent the past two hours reading, so seriously... feel appreciated.

Before Easter I was doing some closet-cleaning, in preparation for my move into a house in Dallas with some friends at the end of this month, and I found myself pulling out a handful of new spring and summer dresses. They were just begging for a tan body and some face-time with the world outside of my closet. Easter Sunday I had planned to wear a new pink ruffle-collared dress, but alas, Sunday brought torrential downpours and temperatures in the high 40's.

It was not meant to be.

This Saturday, however, I have a wedding to attend. I know- what's this?- a wedding?! That's right- more friends, more flowers, more vows, and also the perfect opportunity to finally start wearing my Spring 2009 Collection.

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.”
-George Santayana

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Is This Seat Taken?

A few weeks ago, the first day of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, to be exact, I went to run an errand during my lunch hour.


I wanted to pick up lunch and there was a Chili's in the same area, so I decided to order a salad to go and watch the basketball games while I waited. Great idea.

I should have predicted this beforehand, but there were seriously dudes everywhere to eat and watch the game, so I put in my order and told the to-go girl that I would be in the bar whenever my food was ready.

I walked in and took the closest chair I could find at the bar and asked the guys next to me if anyone was sitting there. Nope? Great. They were in the late-30's age-range, talking about a woman one of them was dating, and randomly decided to loop me into the conversation by asking for my advice. Who me? Why?

I was half-listening at this point because obviously the basketball game was on, and so they started giving me a hard time about not being a good listener and how backwards it was that they, the men, would be discussing relationships while I, the girl, would be oblivious and glued to the T.V. They asked me questions about my (so-called) dating life when my to-go bag arrived. I grabbed the plastic handles, prepared to say nice meeting y'all and heard a barage of: Stay! Eat here! You're watching the games anyway... which I found odd, since my dating life is neither exciting nor do I have any good advice to impart. They had a point about the games though. So I asked for silverware and stayed while I ate.

FYI: It is not standard operating procedure for me to talk to strange old men in bars during my lunch hour.

I probably roll my eyes when men (always older, out of my "age-range") act like it is preposterous that I don't just date all the time. Have 'em lined up around the block. Beating them off with a stick. Mostly this comes from, in a girl's life, your dad, your uncles; people related to you and programmed to think you are the pinnacle of feminine awesomeness. Granted, I am a bit of a one-date wonder because I decide a lot in a first-impression. I can always be counted on for a decisive opinion on guys and clothing. They had plenty to say about me dating/me not dating, but quickly picked up on my Good Girl vibe and tailored their advice accordingly.

I left the restaurant, finally getting around to the nice meeting y'all portion of the hour... the random but harmless hour.

I had all but forgotten about this encounter until today.

So today when I met my mother for lunch at a different restaurant probably a mile and a half away from Chili's, who did I see a few tables over? Same guys. Exact same guys. I saw one and thought no way, can't be... They were with other coworkers this time, and I was with my mom, but over a bite of spinach, cherry tomato and balsamic vinaigrette, it was confirmed. My random lunch buddies; resurfaced. I laughed to myself, remembering some of their attempts at wise words and how they took pity on the guys I have written-off in the past. I glanced over and smiled as we were leaving, just in case they had been speculating as I was.

If they are craving chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A on Monday after Lent is over, we may meet again.

"I must learn to love the fool in me- the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool."
-Theodore I. Rubin, MD

Monday, April 6, 2009

Who Does That?

An email came through my phone Sunday morning entitled 2:29. Seemingly random, and coming from my friend MK, who is not big on forwards (we all have friends who are big on the forwarding- you know who you are), I opened it immediately. It was a one-liner:

Ran my first half marathon this morning! Ya baby!

Um, what?

I was completely confused. Since when had she been training for a half-marathon? I was just with her in Austin last weekend- a weekend definitely not spent running. There was even a picture for proof. I called her for clarification.

Saying things like "it was amazing/inspirational" and "I have no desire to train for a full marathon" in the same breath, I got her explanation. She did no intentional training for this. She had been running 30-40 minutes a few mornings a week, that is all. This was not pre-meditated; she attended a crawfish boil on Saturday night and talked to a guy who was extolling the greatness that is marathon-running, and told her she should try it.

Sure, why not?

So alone, she showed up to marathon's starting point in Dallas on Sunday morning and ran for two hours and twenty-nine minutes; successfully completing her first half-marathon. You would have to know her to understand that while a surprise in-and-of itself, this was not shocking. She's totally the type to do something like that, just to prove to herself she could do it.

Half marathon? Check that off the list.

Professor Callahan: Do you think she just woke up one morning and said: "I think I'll go to law school today..."
-Legally Blonde, 2001

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Name Game

I received another "I'm pregnant" text from a friend the other day... this time it hit a little closer to home because it came from my friend EL, who I grew up with and who was my roommate my freshman year of college. The only person I have lived in a room with longer than in a summer camp situation. The guy she married was her high school sweetheart, and they have been married for more than two years now.

I would be sitting at my desk, studying late at night, while she would be in bed talking to him on the phone. More than once I remember sitting there thinking that they had a great deal of their lives planned out for being 18-years-old, and I recall a specific conversation involving what they wanted to name their children.

I know, how do I remember this stuff?

So after receiving that text, I replied with my congrats and asked if she was still naming her baby [firstname middlename] if it is a girl. She was completely shocked that I would remember that, and confirmed that yes, that would be their daughter's name, but that they were stuck on boy names.

I had dinner with my family the night after I found out, my brother was home at the time for Spring Break, and when I told them about EL's pregnancy, it sparked a conversation of the other names which were in contention when he and I were born.

My parents apparently also liked Haley and Halle for me, either of which would have been a mouthful with my last name, but could not choose either. Why? Because the wife of one of my dad's lifelong friends, who was only dating my dad's friend at the time I was born, found out that my mom was considering the name Haley and said "I've always wanted to name my daughter Haley." My parents wanted to be surprised when I was born, so they didn't find out my gender until I was out of the womb. I think that's awesome, by the way, and if I am fortunate enough to have more than one kid then I want to do that with at least one of them. Let God do his thing. My mom, being the peacekeeper that she is, decided I would not be named Haley for this reason, named me Amy, and eventually that friend ended up having two boys. Two sons and zero daughters. Watch out for karma in the delivery room.

So with my brother they learned a thing or two about names, found out they were having a boy, then kept their names closely guarded. My Dad has four boys in his family, only one who goes by his given name (he and the others go by their middle names) and they knew that whatever his first name was, that's what he was going to go by.

My brother, we found out, was almost named Sam or Heath. I think Sam is an adorable name, but Heath does not suit him at all. Heath is the topping on a DQ Blizzard- Heath is not my brother. Like Haley and Halle, it would have been too much with our last name.

It's funny to think of how my life would have been different had I been named something else. How would a different name have altered my life experience? There actually ended up being a Haley H. (my last name) because one of my cousins and his wife named their daughter that. I can live vicariously through her, if need be. I will also mention that five of my friends from college are named Haley (spelled three different ways).

I think I'll stick with Amy... it suits me.

"Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble."
-Dennis Frakes