On last week’s episode of NBC’s Parenthood, Adam asks his wife Christina what she wants when she gets out of surgery.
“Burger.” she says, definitively. “Big fat juicy… cheeseburger. With cheese.”
“OK, cheeseburger.” he says as Christina is wheeled away.
I hit pause on my TiVo and cried for 15 minutes.
I was in a hospital once, for hours. I wasn’t allowed to leave and was scared and hungry. When Rob finally got out of work, he called on his way and asked what he should bring me.
“Cheeseburger!” I said. “With fries.”
He showed up with the cheesiest, greasiest, loveliest medium-rare burger I’d ever seen (shout out to Bareburger in Park Slope!) and this small bit of TV shook something loose in me. I cried not really because I miss anyone, but because who, exactly, is going to bring me cheeseburgers if I’m stuck in a hospital now?
This is the part that scares me.
image of a burger from Bareburger from Zest’d
“To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.” -Mary Oliver
Tino moved in with Rob over the weekend.
Months ago, it had been left it up to me (she who cried every time we left them for vacation) to choose what happened to the dogs in the split, and I opted to keep all of three because, at the time, loosing even one on top of everything else was just… way too much. Then, when the bulk of my emotional storm passed, I took a look around and thought, “My god. There are three dogs to take care of.”
It had been mostly alright, although Tino seemed to have a tougher time with it than the other two, but when he suddenly developed a weirdly clingy thing a few weeks ago, he became an unbearable little shit. I’ve been dating a musician and – What?! You guys don’t know everything! Geez. – and when he went on tour at the beginning of September, Tino lost his mind. He’s a “guy dog”, and with (another) guy suddenly not around, he seemed lost. (Is that even a thing, dogs liking certain “kinds” of humans? Because the other two are friendly to everyone, but seem to get especially lovey around ladies and little kids.)
At night he would Houdini his way into bed with me, despite the baby gates and wooden boards around the dogs’ bed to keep him in, and would cry and bark incessantly if my “fortress” was built too well, even at three in the morning. If I was sitting on the couch, he would jump up next to me and then worm his way onto my lap, insisting on having his face in my face and his body wedged against me. It was really intense, and Matty and Leeloo couldn’t get any attention for themselves. They were starting to get bummed out from the lack of sleep, too. We all were. No one was happy.
After crying for four days and talking to some of my sweetest friends, I pressed send on the email I’d written and saved, telling Rob that he was welcome to take the little guy if he still wanted to. (It was something he had expressed interest in before.)
While I would never, ever, ever give my dog over to a pound or shelter in this circumstance – and a big “fuck you” to the person that would, by the way – handing him over to a Rob, who not only loves him but was excited to have him, made this a good decision. Not that it was easy; I was mostly wrecked for the rest of the day, but then I slept all night for the first time in two weeks, and reports from Rob tell me he’s doing well and adjusting, so I feel better.
But still, I miss my littlest buddy.
This was right before Rob came to get him. Tino was standing on my laptop, and I was couldn’t stop crying long enough to take a decent photo.
Old Navy opened at 3am. Rob and I were in line at 12:30, hoping to score a free copy of Lego Rock Band (with $20 purchase), given out via wristband to the first however many folks in line (supplies are “extremely limited” the fliers warned). We brought lawn chairs, wore layers, and hunkered down under the umbrella. I borrowed my father-in-law’s old man gloves, the kind that make your hands useless and ridiculously cozy. We each had our iPhones with games, audio books and podcasts (thank you Hey Girl Hey for getting me through the 1 – 2am stretch!), and we chatted with other people in line, talked about stuff with each other, and people watched to keep entertained.
We had actually had fun. I mean, it sucked when it started to rain, and I got loopy towards the end from lack of sleep, but the headphones and lawn chair and gloves made it bearable, and hanging out with each other under weird circumstances is always entertaining.
It’s a cool thing to have someone you’re in a relationship with totally understand why something that sounds so awful, like standing in the rain for two and half hours in the middle of the night, is an experience worth having, if only to get through it together (the savings on clothes were fantastic, too; we’re stocked for the next year with stuff to wear.) It’s bonding to have the rest of the world call you crazy.
Sometime in the middle of it all Rob placed his hand on the side of my neck and ran his thumb across my cheekbone thoughtfully. “There isn’t anyone else I’d rather be here with.” he said. “I like being here with you.”
My thoughts exactly.
“There I was, up to my elbows in dog food, hoping to make him love me.”
I wrote that two years ago as the beginning of a story I was going to tell, and never did. Now seems like a good day to post it.
When Rob got Matty (shortly after I met him) he inherited a gigantic dog food container. It belonged to his sister, but she’d started to cook for her dog and didn’t need it any more. There was a scoop with it that he stored in the container, and sometimes he’d forget to take the scoop out before he filled it up with new dog food, thus burring it under fifty pounds of kibble. One time he did this right before a long shift at work when I was scheduled to feed Matty for him, and he called to let me know I should just “eyeball” the food because the scoop was way at the bottom. I, being ridiculously in love with him and hopeful that I could win his love back, thought I would reach in and get it, and then he would be so grateful that he’d love me, marry me, and I’d get to have his babies. Love is not a rational thing.
The smell was awful because the dog food was fresh (and this was back when Rob was buying the cheap stuff which is horrendous), but I dug deep, wiggling my fingers through greasy kibbles, all the way to the bottom. I was half way down when I stopped and realized I was being crazy. “Let him get his own scoop,” I thought. “He’s not going to fall in love with me if I do this.” I pulled my arms out and washed them off, fed Matty and stormed out of the apartment totally pissed at myself.
Clearly it was the right move.
And so, on this day when everyone is saying what they are thankful for, I am thankful that I have Rob (and Matty, and now Leeloo and Tino!) and that he usually remembers to take the scoop out first before he pours in the dog food now, and that if he doesn’t, he gets it out himself. I’m doubly thankful that I don’t have to resort to levels of ridiculousness to feel like I’m blipping on his radar. I’m also thankful that he’ll walk to the store that’s six blocks away, in the rain, past the one right around the corner, because they’re the only ones that have the right kind of pie tins; that he’ll go to the store again to get the one thing I thought I had for baking, but forgot, even though he asked before leaving the first time, “Are you sure you have everything?” and I was all, “Pshh! Yeah!” I’m thankful he takes the time to be way affectionate through it all, even when I’m crazy making five pies, and that he deals with my blasting of Christmas music a few days earlier than I promised I would (I tried to hold out until Friday, I really did, but I was baking and it seemed so apropos!).
I’m really, really thankful that we get to live together for always. It is awesome.
For the month of November a local bar has been having Connect Four night every Tuesday. You can place in any of the first three nights, and then on November 24 all the semi-finalists will compete for a few grand prizes.
They have a bunch of standard game sets to play on scattered around the bar and then a giant, big-ass connect four board, and after I played some qualifying rounds (and won!) Rob and I teamed up as a duo against a couple of guys we met there. Nicole snapped this photo of us contemplating our next move, whispering strategy behind checker pieces as big as saucers. I’m a pretty intense player, but when you’re plunking huge plastic disks into on a board that’s three feet high and four feet long, it gets taken to a whole new level of serious.
“You know what phrase I’m surprised got adopted into common ussage? ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold.’ It’s an old Klingon proverb.”
“Oh. You know what I think is a weird phrase that gets used a lot? ‘It is what it is.’ I mean, of course it is what it is. Everything is. Dumb.”
“Not Transformers. They’re ‘more than meets the eye!’”
Yeah, that’s right! Two list items in one weekend!
Saturday night me, Dana, Wesley and Rob headed to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. There are touristy things to do in New York City that are way overrated, but going to the top of the Empire State Building is not one of them, especially at night when all the lights on the ground are twinkling and you can see three states worth of view. The observation deck is open until 2 am and the last elevator up is at 1:15. We walked through the lobby doors at 1 and sailed through the empty maze of velvet ropes that usually are jammed with tourists. From lobby to observation deck was about 5 minutes.
At the top, I got good and kissed.
This is Rachel Lee Walsh. She’s pretty awesome.
This was the first time it occurred to me to snap photos of our studio. Rob likes to have the microphones just so, and you can tell in the sound quality of my final project. If you need a sound engineer in Brooklyn you should hire him and pay him lots of money. He’s worth it.
Rachel and he were scheming to play together, because she noticed his upright base in the corner of our sound booth and found out that he used to play blue grass. She has a country/folk/blues kind of thing going on. I think they’d rock together.
At one point in the interview I say to her, “Oh, you are of my people” which is a weird thing to say, I know, but the way she writes songs is from the perspective of wanting to tell a human story, and this is the way I do my podcast. Her writing is both clever and simple.
This is Rachel’s guitar strap, and I think it’s SO cool. It’s from Kelly Horrigan.
To listen to our interview, go to the interview page at HeyBrooklyn.com or type Hey Brooklyn into iTunes.
“You didn’t actually want to paint!” I said to Rob. The realization hit me suddenly, roller in hand, mid-roll, and I froze while paint dripped down my arm. I felt terrible.
“It’s fine!” he said, but then later he admitted, “I would have just left it. But I know you. You need it nice. So, we paint.”
How great is my guy? It hadn’t occurred to him to bother talking me out of painting the entire apartment, he just sucked it up and did it.
You may take this moment to stand up and applaud my husband for his awesomeness, thoughtfulness, and wonderfulness.
Later, he was all hugs and consoling pats on the back when I had a meltdown and could not paint another single stroke. After that, I was sent home to shower and relax while he spent the day finishing up by himself. I really hate moving, but since I have to, I’m glad to go through this with Rob. He is a good dude.
We painted two colors, a light slate blue that’s unusual but growing on me, and a color that I thought would be a hip modern camel-butterscotch beige, but what actually turned out to be a mustardy, baby-poop, project housing hallway tan. Bummer! I’m hoping that will grow on me, too.
The whole process of picking colors was frustrating and overwhelming. I’ve picked paint before and had both great success and horrible results. If I was doing it again, I would have borrowed the ENTIRE color deck selector from Home Depot rather than deal with traveling to Home Depot several times for a bunch of chips (at one point I had about 2 dozen different beige squares spread out on the floor of the new place and let Stu! pick what she liked; she told me to throw them all out and try again).
According to this article NYTimes, we are part of a growing trend of people that rent in NYC and buy in the suburbs. I wish we had thought of this before we spent months and months looking for something to buy here last year! We felt a little crazy taking this unusual real estate path, but it seemed like it made sense, and a year later, I’m excited about our decision. See? I do live and learn! Just not about picking paint colors.
After, with Jen, who also donated about a foot of hair.