A Rabbi walks into a bar and we’re still waiting for the punchline

Are you ready for the rest of the joke? A Rabbi walks into a bar and he doesn’t stop talking.

At about 20 minutes in, I exchange a glance with Captain. It says,

‘I’m not sure about this guy.’ He’s non-stop talk and not much of it is relevant. Hearing about the Irish/Greek/Jewish French Canadian wedding he did was interesting on the phone. Hearing about it several more times over the course of a beer, is less helpful.

At 40 minutes, we haven’t been able to talk for longer than it takes to spell our names and our parents’ names. Shouldn’t he ask us something about ourselves besides what Captain’s Hebrew name is? Captain and I exchange another glance.

Is this guy for real? I decide to interrupt,

“We’d like to talk about the actual content of our ceremony.”

He manages to do this for 30 seconds and then is back to telling stories about other weddings, bar mitzvahs and a symbolic bris he did where the baby got to keep the tip of his penis. I’m happy for the baby.

At 60 minutes, Captain and I are reaching our breaking point. I bargain a little just in case. You’re welcome Mom. As soon as the Rabbi leaves, Captain and I breathe a sigh of relief. It has never felt so good to sit in peace. Captain says,

“I’m not sure.”

“All I can think about is how I don’t want this man talking to me at our wedding.”

Captain and I were excited to meet this Rabbi who we were hoping would marry us. We talked to him on the phone last week and my gut feeling was: Wow, this guy doesn’t let you get a word in edgewise.

Instead of listening to my gut. We went forward with meeting him in person. I am doomed to repeat this classic online dating mistake. If you know any available Rabbis/Jewish wedding officiants willing to interpret Judiasm however we want, send them my way.

A Rabbi, a Captain and a former cheerleader walk into a bar…

One party down. Three to go and then Captain, my security blanket and I will be legally bound together.

My mom threw a wonderful engagement party. Thanks mom. And even though I did not register for cases of wine. We received several bottles and enough money to go buy a case. So that was a success.

And where better to have an engagement party then in Worcester? The number of people who don’t know where Worcester is, but live 30 minutes away, is amazing. Several people booked hotel rooms. I think the only hope for Worcester is inter-city marriages.

Tonight we’re meeting a Rabbi in a bar.

That sounds like the start to a mediocre joke. I’ll tell you the rest of it tomorrow.

Who gets the conference room table?

I’ve got good news for my office mates. None of our furniture is moving with us to the new office. We’re going to give it away to whoever wants it. But before we do that, my co-workers and I will have the opportunity to buy the pieces we want at auction. That’s right, my immovable desk from 1970 will go to the highest bidder.

I’ve been thinking my living room could use a little ‘Je ne sais quoi?’ Now my wait is over. I’ve got an office cube and a filing cabinet. As long as no one out-bids me.

Who wants a file?

My blog is suffering. It used to thrive on all the stupid things people said to me and to each other.  People have not stopped saying stupid things, but now I represent an organization that’s not a bar.

Tomorrow we have another meeting of the infamous relocation task force. Our office is moving. I’m on the team dedicated to figuring out what we need to do and I have no idea. I’m just starting to get a handle on how this office works: Which printers are my friends and which ones are gunning for my demise.

We’re trying to figure out how many files we need to take with us. I vote for zero. The PowerPoint shows our office floor plan with all the filing cabinets labeled. I find my cube. The floor plan is wrong. I speak up,

“This plan doesn’t show it, but there’s a large filing cabinet in my cube full of files.”

“What files?”

“I have no idea, but every once in awhile someone walks in my cube and grabs one.”

Better luck next year buddy

April Fools is one of my favorite days of the year. I don’t always do it justice but I try. I already April Fools’d you. You thought I might never blog again, but I am.

I fooled 2 coworkers and I fooled Captain 3 times. For one coworker I wrapped up a beautiful gift bag and put it on her desk. She unwrapped my business card. I let her keep it.

I gave my other coworker flowers from a difficult client of hers. I thought for sure she’d know they’re from me, but first thing she does is pop by my cube and declare,

“So-and-so sent me flowers!”

“Really?”

“Yeah, it’s so weird.”

I brainstorm with my coworkers about how to April Fools Captain. Everyone has a million great ideas about what to do to his bed, but they’re forgetting that this is also my bed and I don’t really want it soaking wet or full of glitter.

We decide on Saran wrapping his entire pillow and sticking something in his night cap. I rush home. Captain walks in the door. I mention,

“I put my notice in at work.”

“Really? For soon?”

“For a while from now.”

“Oh ok.” And he turns and goes into the fridge. He believes me AND I’m not getting any reaction. I sigh,

“April Fools!”

“Really?”

I get in bed first and wait for Captain. He slides in and lays his head down. He lifts his head up. He lays it down again. He lifts it up. I’m stifling a major fit of giggles. He turns to me,

“I think there’s something wrong with my pillow.”

“Yeah?”

He reaches his hand behind his head and pulls at the Saran wrap. He asks me,

“Is there something on my pillow?”

“Yes! It’s Saran wrapped. April Fools!”

“Saran wrapped?!”

He unwraps his extra fresh pillow and says,

“Fool me once, fool me twice…”

“What happens if I fool you a third time?”

“I don’t know.”

“You better put on your thinking cap.”

He reaches for his nightcap. The contents crinkle.

He laughs,

“You got me. I didn’t even know it was April Fools.”

Who said open floor plans are bad?

My office is moving and I’m on the relocation task force. I’m not sure what that means and the vice-president leading us isn’t sure either. I do know that none of our furniture is moving with us. I’m counting the days that my filing cabinet/standing desk and I will be together.

The future looks bright. The new office will have one of those trendy, but not so popular open floor plans. I will be able to see multiple windows and I will be able to bother my co-workers without getting up from my desk. Think about how much time that will save me!

Right now I have to leave my cube, cross the hall, pass several other cubes before I can plop down in my co-workers cube, only to have her declare,

“Jessica, if this isn’t about work I’m going to kill you.”

Then I have to leave her cube, pass several other cubes, cross the hall and finally return to my cube. It wastes so much time that I could’ve used to bother someone else.

In the new office I’ll just turn my head, shout over several other people’s heads and she’ll be able to see and hear me without me having to move.

His and Her Drills

I could’ve used a wedding registry 12 years ago and again 5 years ago when I was setting up house. Now that I’ve combined my apartment with Captain’s apartment and the overflow has gone to our respective parents’ homes, it’s hard to wrap my head around the idea that we need a wedding registry for more stuff.

I understand that someday we may live somewhere that has more than two rooms. But as easy as it was to dream about my wedding for the last 20 years of my life, it’s very hard to picture what color towels we want for our imaginary master bath.

Captain would like power tools and I’m looking for an online registry for cases of wine. Monogramming optional.

Shark finger food, video included

Just got back from Captain’s family vacation and I’m mostly intact.

Last Saturday we all head down to Atlantis in the Bahamas. I have never been more ready to see a palm tree in my life. 
Our cab driver from the airport is part tour-guide, part Bob Marley impersonator and part preacher/gospel singer. He serenades us all the way to our hotel. As we’re getting out he reminds us,
“You never know how many days you have on this earth and you probably don’t want to know.”
Huh. He adds,
“Have a great vacation!”
The next morning everyone is talking about relaxing. I’m talking about water slides. I’m ready to do every single water slide in the resort until I can’t walk up the stairs anymore. We join Captain’s family by the lazy river. Captain is eyeing the lazy river. I tell him,
“I’ll do the lazy river, but then I’m going on the water slides.”
These are the compromises I hear engaged people need to make.
I’m so excited. I run ahead of Captain, jump in the lazy river, dive under the water and take a big swim stroke. OW!!! My hands scrape the bottom HARD. I pull them out and stare at them. They’re not bleeding. One second. Two seconds. The blood starts.
I stand staring at my hands as blood drips into the lazy river. Do I need to get out? Can I still swim? My vacation just started, I don’t want to stop now. Captain walks up. He looks down at my hands,
“Oh no, is the ring ok?”
“Is the ring ok?!!”
“All of your fingers are bleeding!”
“I know!”
“At first I thought it was only one finger.”
So we’re not sure where the line is, but somewhere between 1 and 7 bloody fingers, the state of the fingers becomes more important than the state of the ring.
We go and get proper medical attention, band-aids and head straight for the water slides. Bloody fingers are one way to get out of going on the dangerous lazy river. 
Several days later, Captain and I are sitting in bed staring at my hands. He says,
“Looks good.”
“Yeah, the ring is beautiful.”
“I was talking about your fingers!”

No thanks extra large speculum

Doctor visit continued.

I will never understand why I need a sheet over my lap so I can’t see my lady bits and the doctor can. I hang out with my lady bits all the time. 
The sheet does not help me pretend that this strange, awkward event is not happening. All it does is create a mystery voice rising up from between my legs. 
The doctor picks up the speculum the nurse has selected for her. She declares,
“Oh we don’t need this small one.”
“We don’t?”
“Are you sensitive?”
Aren’t most lady bits sensitive? The doctor tries again,
“Do exams usually cause you pain?”
“No.”
“Great.” She pulls out the biggest speculum I’ve ever seen. Should I plead mercy now or wait and see? She waivers,
“We don’t need this big one.”
“Phew.” Who needs that big one?
We settle on a medium one. She asks,
“The nurse didn’t give you a sheet?”
I’m sitting on the sheet. One of these days I’m going to have the balls to say that my lady bits don’t mind if I watch. I pull the sheet out from under my butt and hand it the doctor.

I’ve got a decent amount of mileage and everything under my hood is in working order

I haven’t had a primary care doctor since I was on my parent’s health insurance. It was only an issue  when there were countries I wanted to travel to that required more than your standard round of vaccinations. Other than that, Planned Parenthood has more than met my medical needs. Until now.

Captain is a fan of the doctor and he’s been wanting me to go. He tells me,

“Everyone needs a tune up.”

“I’m a car?”

“You could drive 100,000 miles without getting an oil change, but it’s not a good idea.”

He’s very worried about my cholesterol. I can’t be the only person in the world who eats mayonnaise sandwiches.

Considering I do have health insurance for once, I might as well see what all the fuss is about. The nurse calls me in. She looks at me,

“Wow, you’re tall.”

“Yup.”

She weighs me and measures me. She exclaims,

“You ARE tall.”

“Does that prove it?”

We head into the examining room. She sticks the digital thermometer under my tongue. We wait and wait and wait. Nothing happens. She pulls it out and puts it back in the other side of my mouth. We wait and wait and wait. Nothing happens. She tries again. She shakes her head,

“I’m not getting a signal.”

“I promise I’m alive.”

My photo may be on a blog besides mine. I’m about to blow up.

Captain and I head to NYC for Valentine’s Day weekend. We have tickets for New York City Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet at Lincoln Center. As we walk across the plaza, people with professional looking cameras are everywhere. A guy snaps a photo of us. Another woman with a camera yells at us,

“Stay right there!” She starts snapping a bunch of photos.

I whisper to Captain,

“What’s going on?”

He asks the woman,

“What’s going on?

“It’s Fashion Week. Can I use your photo on my blog?”

“Of course.”

And of course I forgot what blog she said and I can’t find it. But it’s proof that Captain’s ballet show attire is on point.

We have amazing front row seats and we can see the whole orchestra pit. As soon as the curtain lifts my eyes are glued on the dancers. At intermission I turn to Captain,

“What do you think?”

“Did you see the piano player? He’s really good.”

“Piano player?” I forgot that guy existed.

We go back to our hotel. We have a couple hours to kill until our dinner reservation. In our ballet attire: Captain’s suit and my pale pink sparkly dress with lace overlay and a satin sash, we head up to the hotel’s rooftop bar. It’s 6pm. It’s a club and it’s bumpin’. A DJ is blasting booty shaking music. A man in a full-length fur coat and fur hat walks past. Then a woman in leggings and a bra. I turn to Captain,

“Did you see that woman?”

“Yeah.”

He seems unfazed. I remind him,

“She’s only wearing a bra.”

“She wasn’t all that.”

More half-naked and fully-furred people come in.

A woman, spotting our non-booty shaking attire, leans in next to Captain and explains,

“It’s fashion week.”

And from what I’ve seen, that means wear your craziest outfit and if possible add some fur.

As we get up to leave and join the world where my dress came from a guy stops us,

“Where are the tall people hanging out tonight?”

I don’t know. Two tall people are hanging out in room 501, but it’s only 200 square feet.

On a dress quest

If you think you’re already sick of hearing about my wedding planning, you’ve got months to go kid.

Last weekend my mom and I head into our first wedding gown store. We’re surround by an army of women doing the same thing we are. It feels like the wedding industry has swallowed me whole. Here I am shopping for “MY VERY SPECIAL DAY” while being shoved around by other women shopping for their “VERY SPECIAL DAY.” It starts to feel like there are a lot of special days. But don’t get me wrong, no army of crazy brides will stop me. I am all about this.
 
I’m in a small dressing room, in my underwear, with a store employee responsible for getting me in a dress bigger than the room. I try on one. I try on another one. My mom is not impressed. I try on a third. She breaks down sobbing.

I thought this might happen, but I didn’t know it would take 3 dresses. I’m enjoying myself. Trying on wedding dresses is something I’ve always dreamed of. It’s hard to believe it’s actually happening. I tell my mom this. She agrees,

“It is hard to believe and I’m not sure why, because it could’ve happened a lot sooner.”

Boston Public Transportation: helping people get their exercise

More snow. In two weeks we broke the record amount of snow for an entire winter and it’s still snowing. I’m all for snow, especially now that I can work from home and blog on my lunch break.

The only problem is Boston’s public transportation system seems to be dying a slow, drawn out, painful death. It has the potential to linger on life support for many more years, but it’s not going anywhere fast.

On any given day I can walk 2 miles to work or I can take the Red Line to the Green Line and sometimes get there faster. The other day I head down to the Red Line platform. There’s a train half-in half-out of the station. The woeful people on the train are staring back at me. The MBTA guy says,

“I have no idea when this train is moving.”

I walk to work.

Two days later I get on the train home. Three stops later it’s not moving. Fifteen minutes later it’s still not moving. The driver announces,

“The train ahead of us broke down. I don’t know when we’ll be moving.”

I should’ve walked.

This weekend, extra large coffee in hand, I get on the commuter rail to Natick to meet my mom and begin realizing my dream of a wedding dress after years of designing it on the back of Friendly’s place mats.

The train gets stuck between stops near Newton. I’m still enjoying my coffee, but I’ll need a bathroom soon. Half an hour later the train hasn’t moved yet. I need a bathroom. Other people seem to feel the same way.

The conductor announces,

“The bathroom is out of order.”

I cross my legs, stare out the window and contemplate the last remnants of my really large coffee. The weirdo guy across from me tries to get my attention. I ignore him. My patience is very thin. He tries harder,

“Excuse me excuse me excuse me!”

I look at him.

“Is there a bathroom?”

Join the club buddy.

We’re 10 minutes from my stop. I’m an hour into really needing a bathroom. The train gets stuck again. I peer my head outside. Three of the train workers are standing on the platform staring at the wheels. If staring at trains fixed them, then this one would be all set. I tell the conductor,

“I’m desperate for a bathroom.”

“It’s out of order.”

“I don’t mind.”

I’ll pee on a clogged toilet. I’ve done worse.

“I can’t let you in the bathroom, it’s covered in blood.”

I call my mom,

“I’m getting off the train now.”

I would like a dress that doesn’t require an army to help me pee

I don’t know when the last time you tried to plan a wedding is, but there’s a lot to do before we get to enjoy the open bar.

I head in for my normal 2 hour hair cut. A luxury that I love every minute of. Last time I saw my hairdresser she said,

“Next time I see you you’re going to have a ring.”

I wasn’t so sure, we were still months away from the final diamond spreadsheet. But it turned out to be true. I show her my hand. She squeals and we start talking plans. She recently got married and she tells me what dress store not to go to. She warns me,

“My dress came and it didn’t fit. They tried to force me to pay for it. My lawyer got me out of it.”

“Lawyer?!”

“It was a $12,000 dress.”

The ear hair you’ve always dreamed of

I work with all women. That’s an exaggeration. I work with 50 women and 2 men. It’s very easy to go all day without seeing a guy. It’s not that long ago that the office’s two “women’s rooms” changed to the all inclusive “restrooms.”

After our holiday party where Captain was one of the few men, he jokes,

“That was a high pitched party.”

“What?”

“The voices of all the women.”

The morning before I head into work freshly engaged, Captain tells me,

“Enjoy.”

“I will. You can be glad you’re going to miss it.”

“Miss what?”

“All those women?”

“Oh the shrieking.”

I’ve got dibs on Bride

I tell my Little Sister the good news. She informs me,

“I’ve had dibs on flower girl for a year now.”

“It’s all yours.”

“What am I going to wear?”

“We’ll find a pretty dress for you. What do you think Captain should wear?”

“A pink and purple polka-dot bow tie.”

“I’ll let him know.”

My Little Sister continues,

“Is your wedding going to be pink?”

“I hope so.”

“A little pink or a lot pink?”

“Probably a little, why?”

“Because if it’s a lot pink that would be AWESOME.”

I’ll see what Captain thinks. She asks,

“When is the wedding?”

“October.”

“That’s SOOO far away.”

It’s official, I’m almost Mrs. Captain

Back in September, Captain and I were sitting on the beach. We started talking about weddings. He asked me,

“What sort of setting do you like?”
“I like the beach.”
“I mean for a ring.”
“Ah. I have no idea.” I’ve been planning my wedding since I was twelve years old and I’ve given little thought to ring settings. I reassure Captain,
“I’ll figure it out right away.”
We’ve talked about our future together before, but this was the first time we got down to specifics. I ask him,
“What started this?”
“I want to get a move on.”
So I did. I picked out a setting the next weekend. I give him the details and I butt out of it. A month later, I’m not sure if anything is happening. I ask,
“Do you need help?”
“I’m researching diamonds online.”
“Online?”
“There are several 100,000 diamonds online, so it’s a better selection than in a store.”
“That’s so many! How do you narrow it down?”
“I’m not sure.”
Several months later, Captain is still narrowing it down. At this point we start booking a band and a venue with the knowledge that someday there will be a ring and hopefully in time for the wedding.
A month ago Captain reassures me,
“I made a spreadsheet and I’ve narrowed it down to 20 diamonds.”
Progress. A package comes in the mail. My friend texts me,
“Any news about the ring?”
“A special magnifying glass came today.”
Captain tells me,
“This way when you need to take it in for servicing you can make sure you get the right diamond back.”
“What sort of servicing do diamonds require?”
“I’m not sure.”
Last weekend Captain got down on one knee, his good one and now it’s official; he has committed to a diamond. It’s big, gorgeous and sparkly. Better than anything I could’ve dreamed of. If you want to see it in person let me know.
I know you’re worried that this blog will get even less exciting if I’m married, but I think the day job is the real culprit. Drunk Harvard professors are hard to come by.
Between sobbing and laughing, I ask Captain Fiancé,
“Has your family seen the ring?”
“Nope. Just you, me and the Fed Ex guy.”
  

What’s an inauguration without a bowl of baked beans?

Guess what? I was at the Governor’s Inauguration the other day. He asked my office for cheerleaders and if there’s anything I’ve done well in my life so far it’s cheerleading.

I started working on a company cheer, but it wasn’t done in time. Plus I’m not sure how many of my coworkers can kick as high as their heads and if this is possible in business casual.

I was lured to the event with the promise of refreshments. It took some investigating, but I shed my handler and I found them. The food was the oddest combination: cookies, cake, Danishes, muffins, I know you’re thinking this sounds like par for the course, but then there were baked beans, corn beef sandwiches and oysters on the half shell. Plus all you can drink soda.

I returned to our holding room where all my co-workers were. They exclaimed,

“Where’d you get all that!?”

“Upstairs.” Vague is good, in case I just crashed the Inauguration reception.

It’s a cake!!!

New Year’s Eve and a bathroom my bike and I can live in

I do not have any photos to prove New Year’s Eve happened, but it did. I have the wet bathing suit to prove it.

For New Year’s Eve Captain and I didn’t have any plans. The plan was to make dinner, have some drinks and celebrate being done moving. Maybe head outside to watch the fireworks. Maybe.

The day before New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Eve Eve, an email went out to everyone in our condo building. The guy on the top floor is having a party, feel free to stop by.

Sounds like a warm place to watch the fireworks. Captain and I are in. Maybe the penthouse guy will even agree to store my pink bike, as nice as it looks in our living-room. We take the elevator up a little after 11pm. The door is propped open. We follow stairs up toward the music. It is a legit party pad: floor to ceiling windows, long couches, fur throws, fireplace, candles, huge platters of food and a full bar. There’s definitely room for a bike.

I stand still while people take turns coming up to ask us what we do. After it’s established that we’re probably not useful for anyone’s career, we’re left in peace. Captain and I wander around. I find another beautiful room. It’s smaller but it also has long couches, floor to ceiling windows, and a toilet. This is a bathroom I could live in.

We return to the food island. The host tells us,

“It’s almost time to hit the hot tub for the fireworks!”

“HOT TUB?!”

“Yeah, upstairs. Go put your suit on.”

I’m almost halfway out the door back to our place, when I have a moment of doubt. What if this is an elaborate hoax to laugh at me when I come back in my bathing suit and there’s no hot tub? Captain and I decide to investigate first.

Half-way up the stairs I see it. There is a huge rooftop deck with a steaming hot tub, the Boston skyline behind it. I turn to dash down the stairs for my swim suit. Captain declares,

“I’m going outside to check it out.”

“I’ve seen all I need to see. I’m going to put on my suit NOW.”

Captain decides to follow suit. 😉

Suits on we head back up, top up our drinks and sink into what feels like a dream. Across the hot tub from us is a woman who looks familiar. She’s chatting with some of the guys in the tub,

“I always go commando for work.”

“Go on.”

“We stand all the time now; I can’t have panty lines on camera. Viewers were complaining.”

Just then the fireworks start to explode. Captain and I are in a rooftop hot tub with a local news anchor who goes commando and several other people who I can’t remember what they “do.”

On our way out. The host says,

“Please come again.”

This sounds like an empty invitation, but I’m not going to let that stop me. I’ll be here next weekend, with my bathing suit already on.

I was looking for a funny picture of a bathroom with a bike in it and I found this toilet bike instead.
You’re welcome.