Wednesday, November 23, 2005

some days in the life

As I get older and years tick by, I notice that certain dates start to take on a personal significance, sort of like a holiday just for me. For example, on January 20th my first period started (at age 12), Dr. K cemented braces to my teeth (when I was 13), and he pried them off (exactly two years later). So I've come to associate the date with coming of age, and I find it comforting that the guiding force in my life seems to be on some kind of schedule.

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving is another one I've come to anticipate because history indicates that something exciting -- for better or for worse -- is a little more likely to happen on that day.

Seven years ago today was the first time I broke a bone (unless you count my nose when I was 17, but, um, that wasn't exactly an accident). I was living in my first post-college apartment, a three-bedroom duplex I shared with Ryan -- a rich kid who worked for his Dad and brought strippers home on the weekends -- and Anna -- a girl so dumb that when I told her my tale of breast reduction surgery to stop her complaining about her little mosquito bites, she nodded sympathetically and said, "Oh, right, I remember you mentioned you're lactose intolerant..." But my roommates weren't home that night, and my parents were already on their way to pick me up for the drive to New York, so after I tripped over my Thanksgiving suitcase and fell with my foot turned under I could only sit and wait, and turn the TV up loud enough to drown out the "crack" that had issued from my ankle and was now echoing inside my head. It still makes me shudder. My mother didn't want to take me to the hospital; We were already off to a late start and my ankle wasn't swollen to her satisfaction. But I put my (other) foot down and even though the ankle did turn out to be broken, the satisfaction of that irrefutable "I Told You So" really took the edge off the pain. For the next six weeks I told people I'd been injured wrestling in jello.

Three years later, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving 2001, was the first time I learned what it meant to make love. No, it wasn't the first time I'd had sex, but it was the first time I slept with the first man I loved, and I honestly felt so deliriously in over my head I couldn't even remember the person I'd been before we met. (Not so healthy, I know, but I was young and foolish and it was exhilarating at the time.) On Monday -- the day before -- we'd finally admitted we were head-over-heels crazy for one another. Tuesday was our first night together and I declared it the best sex I'd ever had simply because I was so damned happy. Wednesday morning I left for my annual pilgrimage to New York (pardon the pun) and on Thursday, just before Thanksgiving dinner, he called my cellphone to say, "I'm running out the door but I had to tell you that I love you and I miss you terribly." And seriously, I thought my heart would burst.

And finally, there's this: On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving two years ago, I moved into my condo. Not the first time I'd lived alone, but the first home I ever owned. (And so far the only one; I'm still here.) My relationship with S had ended a few months earlier, just before we were set to move into the apartment he'd bought for us. (This is an experience I liken to being kicked off the Titanic just before it left port.) I was between jobs while we were dating, so I'd spent a great deal of time making our new apartment feel like a home. I took particular care designing the kitchen. I love to cook, so I'd be spending a lot of time in there, plus I'd always wanted a black-and-white tile floor like a 1950s diner. Oh, the lengths I went to pulling that place together. I met with S's contractor, spent days tracking down the best tile store... It was a labor of love. For the apartment, really, not so much for him; I'm a sucker for a corner unit. And then we split up on the second day of my new job, and I -- emboldened employee of a women's empowerment organization, champion of economic security for chicks everywhere -- informed S that I would simply buy a place of my own. To which he guffawed, "You're not buying shit."

Oops, look at the time! I'm running late so I'll let this picture tell the rest of the story for me:

Eat my glazed ceramic dust.

I'm off now to celebrate another Thanksgiving with my family in the (other) Land of the Jews, Flushing, New York. Since Grandma only just signed up for touch-tone dialing, I think it's safe to assume WiFi will be out of the question for the next three days. But I'll be back home on Saturday with a couple amusing anecdotes or at least photos of some Jewish holiday food that'll make you either drool on your keyboard or wretch in disgust, depending on your nutritional leanings. I should be finished digesting sometime next week.

Have a brilliant holiday, everyone. I'm really going to miss you.


The Daily Rant said...

Is this your current kitchen? OMG...I SO love it!!! It's fantastic!! When do I come over for dinner?

Hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving and I can't wait for you to get back and tell more tales. Pictures too! Wow.

Safe trip!

Claire said...

Kick ass floor! Sweet. I'd write more but I've gotta jet. Travel safe.

Lior said...

One of my roommates in Israel once described the ordeal of eating a dinner with his Jewish-Polish parents. The food was so heavy, it's like having a concrete foundation poured directly into your stomach.

"If a fly lands on your mouth, the only chance of getting rid of it is if it dies first."

Happy T-day, D. xoxo to your grandma, heheheheheh.

Frozen Jap said...

love your blog.

fantastic tales of life in Washington.

all the best

Frozen Jap

Washington Cube said...

I gave someone in my life a remembrance of a date like that, July 14th, and the date contained such weight, just the mention of it made the person stop speaking to me. Now next July 14th I can add TWO memories tied to that date--neither good.

Here's a good date for me: November 5th, just to offset the bad.

Chairborne Stranger said...

That IS a nice kitchen.

Merujo said...

LOVE the floor and that awesome retro wall color! I loathe my kitchen. Well, my landlord's kitchen. It has a new stove and fridge, but it also has rodents. Ah well...

Gordon said...

Those parents sound familiar - the whaddya mean it's not swollen I can't walk.

Great kitchen, have to agree with the floor mob - it's cool.