Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Whole Lot O' Busy

Sorry I haven't been updating the stories as much as I should. I have been busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest lately. Work was crazy for a little while and I almost had to travel over seas. Now work has died down and my personal life has really kicked up several notches.

I found another house in the area that I like! Yeah! We are moving soon! What do you mean I have pack again? I hate packing. If I could afford to buy everything new I would so not pack. Too bad I am not independently wealthy. I will be packing and getting ready for the "Reunion" as well.

What reunion? Didn't I tell you? Well, here is the story. I contacted my five best friends from high school, the Angels. One thing lead to another and now my going back to our old town has turned into a good sized reunion. Not your typical high school reunion with just one class and one school. No, this reunion includes several schools around the area with alumni from the classes 1984-1987.

Guess what? Chris wont be there but I will see him in November when he returns from his travels. I might stop the stories until I chat with everyone to make sure I don't forget anything. So far everyone else is really surprised at how much I remember from high school.

Well, I need to get a few boxes packed tonight so I am going to close this for now. I am not abandoning you, I am just taking care of few things. Believe me, I would love to do this every day but the responsible side of me keeps pushing me to take care of things.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Unexpected Turns

So, there we were, Giggles, Dave, Chris and I all on our way to O.C. in Giggles gigantic Mercury. It took about three hours to get to the Bay Bridge. Once we were there traffic came to a stand still. This always seemed to happed at the bridge, even in the middle of the night. I decided to get out of the car to stretch my legs. Dave also got out of the car to stretch.

I didn’t know Dave at all, he sort of gave me a weird vibe so I didn’t really talk with him much during the Prom. I actually found myself keeping a good deal of distance between us. Outside the car he started out with small talk which I didn’t mind. Then it started to feel like a quiz game with him asking me question after question. This wasn’t a conversation it felt more like an interview. Since the cars were still not moving forward I leaned back on the hood of Giggles’ car. Dave came to stand next to me and started stroking my right arm. I quickly pulled away from him and Chris jumped out of the car. “Hey buddy, what do you think you are up to?” Chris pulled me away from the car and away from Dave. Giggles started complaining about being the only person in the car. I looked at Dave and said “Why don’t you give Giggles a break for a few minutes.” Dave folded his arms across his chest and said “It’s not my car. She wanted to drive. She gets to sit behind the wheel.” I rolled my eyes and walked over to the driver’s door “Ok, you come out and stretch, I will sit behind the wheel. If the cars start moving then you take over. Ok?” Giggles wasn’t about to let anyone get behind the wheel of her car. “No! All of you come back inside the car. I am sure we will start moving soon.”

Chris opened the back door on the drivers side and push me in. He looked at Dave and said “You can sit up front with YOUR date.” Dave said “Prom is over Dude. I am just along for the beach trip.” Then he opened the back seat door on the opposite side of the car. Giggles was not at all happy. She should have been angry with Dave but no, she was upset with me. She demanded that I crawl up to the front seat with her. Chris and I argued that Dave should go up front with her. In the end no one was willing to change their current seat.

There I was in the back seat with Chris to my left and Dave on my right. Dave irritating me by whispering in my ear so Chris pulled me up to sit across his lap. It was very late and I was getting sleepy so I rested my head on arm rest of the door. Chris asked if I was comfortable and I nodded. He wrapped his arms around me and put my head on his shoulder. “Isn’t that better?” and I agreed it was much better. I was just about to fall asleep when I felt something on my leg! I looked over at my legs and saw that Dave was rubbing my leg!! I started kicking him in the chest! "Get off of my leg! Leave me alone!! Geesh, can’t you just let me be!"

Giggles had had enough as well. She yelled at me to get up front and told the guys to go to sleep until we get there. I leaned forward to climb over the front seat but Chris held on to me. He argued that Dave should be the one to move since he couldn’t behave. I told Chris “It’s ok, I am tired of having to deal with this. It’s better if I just go up front.” I wanted to sleep but Giggles said I had to stay awake to keep her company. If I was going to stay awake I needed to move around a bit first so I got out of the car and walked up the bridge a bit. At this point we were crawling along with traffic but at least we were moving a bit. Giggles told both of the guys to stay put in the car “She will be back in a minute so don’t worry about it.”

Finally, we reached the end of the bridge and traffic opened up! We were going at the pace of the speed limit. In only a few minutes we would arrive at our hotel. This seemed to pick up everyone’s spirits. As I saw the end of the ride was near I glanced around the car and saw each of them were wearing beaming smiles.

We reached the hotel where Giggles told the guys to unload the car while she checked us in. I was instructed to keep an eye on the guys and our luggage. Giggles came back and showed us the way to our rooms. I carried a few bags, Giggles carried hers and they guys carried up the cooler, their bags and a few odds and ends we had packed. Giggles inserted the key (an actual metal door key) and opened the door. As she flopped down on one of the double beds she laughingly said “Home Sweet Home.” The guys were still outside when Chris said “So, where is our key?” Giggles sat up and said “I need to explain something to you. We only have one room instead of two. I cashed in the other room to pay my portion of the room when we come back for senior week.” The three of us looked at her in disbelief. She continued to explain “I needed more money for gas and rather than ask all of you for more money I changed our two rooms into one. The girls will sleep in one bed and the guys will sleep in the other.” Chris was not happy at all with this arrangement. “I did not spend good money to sleep with some strange guy. I would have gladly paid more for gas than have to share a bed. You didn’t even give us the option. You wait until we are already here to spring this on us?!” He shoved the cooler into the room and stormed off. Giggles said “I don’t see what he is so upset about.” Dave pulled out a beer from the cooler then sat down on the other bed. I went to find Chris to see if I could calm him down.

I found Chris down on the beach kicking sand. He didn’t see me coming up from behind him but something made him aware that I was there. He stopped kicking the sand and without even turning around he said “Can you believe she did this to us?” With that he plopped down to sit in the sand. I sat down next him without saying a word put my hand on his shoulder. He went on to say “I am not, repeat, not going to sleep in the same bed with Dave.” I patted him on the back then said “I completely understand. I don’t even want to sleep in the same room with him.” I paused for a moment then let out a sigh “Poor Dave, no one wants to sleep with him.” We both laughed. I took off my shoes and walked ankle deep in the ocean. I kicked up a bit of water towards Chris. At first he pretended not to be bothered by it. As I turned my back towards him he rushed up behind me, picked me up and swung me around. I screamed and giggled myself silly.

Chris cheered up and we didn’t have to worry about sleeping arrangements for another few hours. We were still planning to watch the sunrise. That was the whole point of driving out to the beach in the middle of the night. We walked back to the room to have a few drinks. I knocked and Dave opened the door. I asked where Giggles was and he explained that she went down stairs for ice. We each had a few drinks and Dave started in on me again. Chris and Dave started arguing so I poured my drink into my prom glass and went down stairs to find Giggles.

I walked down the iron stairs towards the front office. As I passed the front office windows I saw Giggles was obviously flirting with the guy at the front desk. Well, I wasn’t going back up to the room where the guys were arguing so I decided to sit by the empty pool to enjoy my drink in peace. I could hear the crashing waves and a distant radio playing. Everything seemed soft and light. I was surprised that Chris didn’t come looking for me but that was ok. I was enjoying my time alone.

When I finished my drink I decided to go back to the room. Surely the sun would be coming up soon. On my way to the pool gate I stepped on a small piece of glass in my bare feet. I walked up to the front office to see if Giggles was still in there. I didn’t see anyone inside, not even the guy behind the desk. I checked the door and it was still unlocked so I went in. I looked around to see if I could find a Band-Aid. Just then a new front desk guy popped around the corner. I explained in sort of a slurred speech that I stepped on some glass by the pool gate which led to my searching for a Band-Aid. This guy gave me a short lecture stating no one is to be at the pool after 11:00 pm and it was nearly dawn. I laughingly said “What? Are you afraid I would drown in a pool with no water?” He laughed and produced a Band-Aide. He washed off my cut then put the Band-Aid on for me. He insisted on carrying me back to my room “to prevent further injury.” I knocked and Chris answered the door. The front desk guy said “I believe you might have lost something.” Chris didn’t think it was funny but the front desk guy and I thought it was hilarious.

A few minutes later Giggles returned to the room, without ice. “Sorry, ice machine is down for the night.” I laid on the bed closest to the bathroom. I was too tired to stay awake and wanted to take a nap. Giggles said if I fell asleep now I would miss the sunrise. I assured her that I would need a little tiny nap in order to actually see the sunrise. Chris promised to wake me up in time to watch it with everyone. Giggles decided to walk out on the beach since she didn’t want to stay in the room when the beach was right outside.

A few hours later I woke up to the sound of doors slamming. Apparently Giggles was trying to wake me up by slamming the bathroom door shut a few times. With a great deal of sarcasm she said “Oh! Did I wake you? It’s about time you got up. You missed the sunrise already. Do you want to miss a whole day at the beach?” Dave had to put his two cents in too “I had to sleep in a chair since Giggles wouldn’t share the other bed.” I was confused. I didn’t know what he was talking about. I sat up in the bed, rubbed my eyes then I saw him. Chris was asleep in the same bed I was still in! I could see his bare shoulders above the top of the sheets. My hand went to my mouth as I gasped! “Surely, he, he isn’t …um naked under there is he?!” Apparently Chris was awake and heard everything that was going on. He was only pretending to be asleep. He laughed and threw the sheet off of him in one swift movement. I covered my eyes with both of the my hands! I didn’t want to see him naked! Giggles was laughing at me so I peeked through my fingers and saw that Chris was wearing shorts. He said “You fell asleep on top of the bedspread so I covered you up with my half and I slept under the sheet. No big deal. What do you think I am? Some kind of pervert? Please.” Giggles stopped laughing “Chris you were suppose to share a bed with Dave.” To which Chris responded “I never said I was going to sleep with Dave. That was never in the plans we all made.”

I decided to take a shower before heading out to the board walk with everyone. Chris wanted to check out a few things along the beach. Giggles was ready to head out and wasn’t waiting for anyone. She asked Dave to come along and enjoy the day. He decided to stay and wait for me. This lead to Chris staying as well “Heather in the shower and you in the room, not a good combination.” Giggles grabbed her wallet and my arm then whispered in my ear “Make sure you lock the bathroom door. You don’t want either of them in the bathroom with you.” I assured her I was going to lock the bathroom door. Heck, I locked the bathroom door when I took a shower at home.

About an hour later I emerged from the bathroom wearing a pair of white shorts that came down to about my knees and a pink Esprit sweat shirt that completely engulfed me. What? I was tiny and it was the last pink one they had on sale at the Limited. So what if it fit me like a tent. Chris and Dave were both a bit astonished at my baggie look but Chris said “You still look cute but I think you might want jeans. Your legs are going to freeze until lunch rolls around. I assured him I would be just fine so long as I kept moving about. With that the three of us set out to find Giggles. Ok, I was the only one who wanted to find Giggles. They could do whatever they wanted but I reminded them that she had the one and only room key.

Not much was open and the board walk was pretty barren at this time of the season. Add to that most people were keeping warm inside during the cool morning hours. As we walked along the boardwalk I almost wanted to whisper as to not disturb those who might still be sleeping. While on our search for Giggles I popped in to a few shops looking for souvenirs for friends and family. One thing I knew I couldn’t return home without was the Salt Water taffy. Why do people make such a fuss over taffy? Why did I have to watch as if I were mesmerized by the taffy pulley in the front window display?

During our walk I was surprised by a man who seemed to be from Jamaica. He wore an over sized rainbow colored crochet hat with long dreadlocks dangling down from all sides. I loved listening to his accent. He convinced me that I just had to try this new art. You pick out a colored or white square piece of paper then he places it on a spinning wheel inside a container. After which you pick out different colors of paint in what looks like cheap restaurant ketchup squeeze bottles. Once your square started spinning in the container you squeeze the tubes of paint either one at a time or two at once at the square. It makes a neat little design that reminded me of an Spiro-graph. The guys thought I shouldn’t waste my money on it but I decided it was an inexpensive souvenir and a little funny too.

We finally caught up to Giggles at Freddy’s, a pizza place right next to Board Walk Fries. As I had pizza before but never the Board Walk Fries I wanted to try out the fries. For just a few bucks you get a giant sized “cup” full of fries with the skins still on, sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning. They were Great! I couldn’t eat the whole “cup” myself so I shared with everyone. Eventually we ended up giving them to Dave because he licked his fingers then grabbed a few more. Ewww. Who wants Dave’s soggy cooties on their fries?

After the rest of them ate pizza Giggles asked “What should we do next?” I suggested building a sand castle but that was too juvenile for them. Chris said the only way he would play in the sand is if he could burry Dave. Giggles and I sort of snickered but still, we couldn’t do that. He didn’t want sand up his shorts and we didn’t want sand all over the hotel room either. Growing up on the East coast beaches took it’s toll on me. I hated more than anything to get sand in my hair. Even after living in Maryland, hours and hours from the beach, for six years, I would still catch myself running my fingers through my hair checking for sand granules. (I still do that to this very day…weird I know.)

We decided to make our way up to the very end of the board walk. This was actually my first trip to O.C. and everything about the traffic on the bridge I had only heard about from my friends. I think my parents were tired of the beach so they never took us on family trips to O.C. So, I was a little disappointed to find out all the rides and games were still shut down. Every board walk I had been on in the past seemed to be open year round. If you have ever watched Gallagher “The Maddest” (comedian) when he talks about how the US was discovered in earlier days, when people reached California they saw the end of the continent and they were pissed so they built piers. When I reached the end of the board walk I felt just like that. That was it? I wanted to go further!

Oh well, with no further to go we turned around and headed back down the board walk. We walked down a long pier near the middle of the beach and then under it to see if there were any sea shells the shops didn’t get that morning. There wasn’t much else to do so we went back to the room to have a few more drinks. Well, I wasn’t up to having anything to drink, alcohol wise. It was getting a little boring in the room so I decided to go back outside and build my own sand castle by myself. A little boy came over to help me with my castle. We had sticks and blades of some sort of weed for flags, a few pebbles and itty bitty shells for decoration. When we thought it was finished we decided a moat was needed. Unfortunately, the sand sucked up all of our water in the moat. I noticed that my legs were growing red so I let him burry just my legs in the sand. His mother was close by and seemed to enjoy the fact that she had a babysitter right there on the beach. After awhile they had to leave.

I left my legs buried in the sand as I watched the waves roll in. Even though it wasn’t near dark the beach was a bit deserted. I don’t remember how much time had passed but eventually Chris appeared at my side. “What are you doing out here all by yourself and only half buried?” “Just enjoying the sounds of the beach. See my sand castle! A little boy helped me build it.” Chris laughed and sat down next to me pushing his bare feet under the sand. He brought with him two drinks and I said “I hope one of those is not for me.” “No chance, these are mine. Go brave the essence that is Giggles if you want a drink of your own. I have had my fill of her for the day.” I giggled at the thought of the two of them battling wits and my missing it. At times it was really something entertaining to witness. Their Q-tip debate always gets me!

Chris and Giggles, the way they didn’t get along always seemed to surprise me. Yes, each can rub someone the wrong way. Giggles usually could rub anyone the wrong way but Chris only seemed to rub the wrong kind of people the wrong way. If he was getting under someone’s skin that was usually a sign they were not the sort of person you wanted to be around. Giggles on the other hand, she was one of my very best friends and I couldn’t really see why the two of them were constantly at each other. Giggles was very head strong and seldom wrong about most facts and calculations. Chris always seemed to pick the morally right side of things. Maybe that was it, morally right and factually right are not always the same thing. Chris was a great moral compass even when he didn’t intend to be.

Chris and I sat on the beach chatting about this and that. What we planned to do with our lives and where we saw ourselves in 5 years. Ok, Chris wasn’t exactly sure where his life was heading but he knew he was going to make a good go at life. On the other hand I knew exactly what I wanted and where I wanted to be. I wanted to be Ronnie’s wife and where ever he was I was going to do everything I could to make his life easier and better. Would I work? Of course, I couldn’t just sit at home all day waiting for Ronnie to get home. I wanted to make some sort of financial contribution. The only thing I needed to figure out was what sort of job would allow me to be home before Ronnie left for work and before he came home. I was completely and totally for making him breakfast and seeing to all his needs before he left in the morning. Pack him lunch or bring him a picnic lunch in the middle of his day if he was not out in the field. I also wanted to have dinner on the table when he came home and even have his slippers and paper for him when he was relaxing after dinner. I wanted to give him massages and take every kink out of his day. I want to look good for him, make a good impression on his superiors and his colleges. To make him look good in front of his superiors and colleges. I would work part time, join all the on post charities I could, work in the Sunday school on post, make delicious baked goods for fundraisers and luncheons. I wanted to be the perfect wife and then after two years of marriage we would have our first baby.

I had it all planned out how my life with Ronnie was going to be. After explaining every detail to Chris I was so excited I could hardly wait for it to all start! Chris was not so thrilled “Come on, you can do much better than being a housewife.” How did he not see that what I was planning for my future took a great deal of brains and finesse? Chris thought I should have a wonderful career that included a large corner office with huge windows covering two walls of that office, over looking some grand city. Maybe before my biological clock stopped ticking I would have one child, a pet cat or some tropical fish. How could our views of my future be so completely different?

In the next post...maybe some sex, pillow fights and more travling.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

All Fired Up After Prom

We left off with the end of the Prom…

We Angles hugged each other and went our separate ways. No one wanted to go to the overlook since they were sure I would cry. Ronnie and I went to the overlook often when he was home. The rest of the Angels were dropped off at their homes via the limo. I drove Chris to Giggles’ house where we were going to change in to regular clothes for the drive to Ocean City.

Giggles rushed out to my car when I drove up. Change of plans, Giggles’ parents were home and awake. They did not know boys were coming with us to Ocean City. Giggles told her parents the same lie I told mine “It’s just going to be us Angels.” Even though there was a separate room for the boys our parents would not have allowed us to go. How would they have stopped us? They own the cars we drove and they paid for the car insurance. She waved towards her house and Dave ran from the shadows up to the rear passenger side door of my car. “Heather, take the guys to the McDonalds on 7th Street. They can change in the bathrooms there.” Chris was agitated to say the least. I calmed him down while Dave climbed in to the back seat. “Giggles! I need to change at my house and grab my bag for OC. In my rush to pick up Chris earlier I forgot it.” She said “Fine! Hurry up though. We need to get on the road. Meet me back here so you can drive home when we get back. We will take my car to pick up the guys at McDees.”

So, off I went to drop the guys off at McDees. I didn’t understand why they couldn’t change at Dave’s condo but who was I to say anything. After dropping off the boys I sped off to my house to change my clothes quicker than I had ever changed in my life! I felt a great need to get to the overlook. Just to be there for a few minutes, looking over the city lights as Ronnie and I had done so many times. Although he couldn’t be with me tonight I needed to feel close to him, be somewhere we would have gone after Prom. Surely it would only take a few extra minutes for this little detour across town.

When I reached my house I ran up the stairs and pulled off my dress before I even reached my bedroom door. I threw the dress on my bed, kicked my heels off in the direction of my closet and pulled on my jeans. While hopping around with one foot slipped into a white Keds sneaker I reached for a random shirt hung up in my closet and grabbed my packed bag. I hopped on the way down the stairs to the front door while trying to slide on the other sneaker. Just as I grabbed the knob of the front door my Mom appeared. “Did you have a nice time? Where are you going now?” “Mom! Oh, Giggles said I better not be late, we are leaving for O.C. to watch the sunrise remember?” I hugged and kissed her and ran out the door before she asked me anything else. As I ran to my car I shouted “Love You Mom! See you Sunday night!”

I threw my bag to the passenger side and sped off on to the highway. I reached the overlook in about 15 minutes. Surely I could get back down the mountain and back to Giggles house before she started to get concerned. Just as I was about to turn off the car I heard a familiar song on the radio, Angel by Madonna. It was then that I remembered something wonderful! Before Ronnie asked me to dance that first night, I was dancing to that song with my friends. Ronnie came up from behind me and whispered in my ear “I think you’re an Angel.” I quickly turned around to see who said this incredibly sweet thing to me and there he was, smiling at me and I knew he meant what he said. My hands went immediately to my cheeks in an attempt to cover the blushing that was overtaking them. I spun back around to face my dancing circle of friends. Then I realized I wasn’t dancing, I was only trying to catch my breath. My friends were each giving me a quizzical look. I shrugged my shoulders and tried to get back in the swing of the dancing. Flic was on my left and defensively asked “What on earth did that guy say to you?!” I waved her off since I couldn’t yet speak. Later at our table I told all of the Angels what he said. Giggles thought it was just a come on but much later realized that Ronnie meant everything he says.

That memory was the warm glow I needed after Prom. I wondered how long I had been sitting in the car thinking about Ronnie and decided I didn’t have time to look at the city lights. I had to get back down the mountain to Giggles house or the drive to O.C. could be a disaster. As I drove down the lone dark road I saw an unfamiliar light ahead. There was a car…ON FIRE! Completely consumed with flames! A fireman about 30 years old motioned for me to stop my car about 12 feet before I reached the burning car. Just as he reached my car window I heard a loud explosion! I covered my face with my hands and screamed!! He reached in, grabbed my wrist and said “Don’t be alarmed miss! That is just the tires blowing out from the heat. They always do that. Nothing we can do until the fire dies down. I asked what happened and he said “You kids and your Proms.” He shook his head and looked down “We are reporting this one as a domestic dispute. Better turn your car off and wait bit.” I didn’t recognize the car or anything but for some reason I started to cry. I asked him “Are the people ok?” He told me they were taken to the hospital but expect them to be out before the night was over. Then I snapped back to reality. What?! Wait a “bit”! He didn’t know Giggles. She will be furious if I don’t get off this mountain like NOW! I explained that I had to get “home” immediately. He saw the panic in my face so he gave me directions to get down the mountain…the back way. “Turn around, take this same road down until you see a church on your left. Turn right and you will be heading towards town.” That sounded simple enough. He forgot to mention that the paved road turns into what seems like a one lane gravel road about halfway down the mountain and I was a good 20 minutes away from the church.

Ok, so there was some drama when I reached Giggles’ house. I told her that my Mom stopped me at the front door and asked questions. This was not exactly a lie as it did happen, it just wasn’t the reason I was late. She was already upset that I was late. I didn’t want to hear how stupid she thought my idea of going to the overlook was. The guys were also upset about the long delay. They voiced their grievances while climbing into the back seat. Yes, this was going to be a “Memorable” trip to the beach! I had three people angry with me for this long road trip in the middle of the night.

Surprisingly, Dave was the first to say “That’s enough. She obviously feels bad about the whole thing. Nothing she could do about. We are on our way now so get over it already.” Chris didn’t say anything, he just slunk back in his seat, folded his arms and shook his head. Giggles on the other hand just couldn’t let it go. She harped on me for the next half hour. I kept my mouth shut thinking if I said anything it would just prolong her anger. Aside from that, it was really my fault and we could have been on our way sooner if I didn’t feel the need to go up to the overlook.

Chris decided there had to be something on the radio to listen to instead of Giggles’ ranting. When he asked her to turn on the radio she pointed to the sign taped over her car radio. “No, the radio doesn’t work! But I will sing to you if you want.” This tickled her! She even laughed for a few minutes! Then she uncovered the boom box in the center of the front seat. Giggles popped in a tape …The Go Gos! Ok, the guys were not thrilled with the selection but they were happy with the fact that Giggles stopped griping about the late start. Giggles and I sang along to the songs and even danced a little in our seats. I was relieved that the fight went out of her. It looked like we were going to have a great weekend after all.