23 year old girl scientist, happily married to a man in uniform. In my 2nd year of my PhD, new home owner, and owner of 1 dog and 2 cats.

Friday, December 03, 2004

What if?

So far, Friday has been a significant improvement on the rest of my week. Friday always has a tiny feeling of hope to it, knowing the weekend stretches out in front of you, and there's only one day left of work before you can stay up as late as you want and sleep in.

Fritz has been so sweet lately. I think he was really concerned about my escalating stress levels and spontaneous crying spells. While I was preparing my presentation all morning, he made me coffee, brought me a blanket, kept asking if I needed anything, and gave me little hugs and kisses. Then we got in a silly, stupid fight but made up quickly (hence pre-presentation crying fit). He felt really bad for making me cry before big presentation, and I felt bad for being a Super Bitch.

We went to Bonefish Grill last night for a hot date. :) It's amazing to me that although you can spend an inordinate amount of time with a person, you don't really Communicate. You pay the bills, do the laundry, cook dinner, have sex, hug and kiss, but rarely take the time to sit and flirt and truly listen. It was absolutely heavenly to do that last night. We ordered wine and my favorite appetizer (bang-bang shrimp, YUM!) and just talked. We talked about what we're doing for Christmas (going to Delaware), Fritz getting out of the Coast Guard, our families, our lives, moving to California.

My absolutely favorite part of the night stemmed from a discussion of people from our past. Specifically, our home towns. Yesterday, our new stove was delivered from Home Depot. Fritz walked in and said the people knew me, and asked if I had gone to North Marion High. I was lounging in comfy pajama pants, old long sleeve tee, glasses & no makeup, but went out nonetheless. (after all, stove delivery men aren't really high up on my urge-to-impress list). I didn't recognize the guy or girl standing there.

She said, "Do you remember me? I'm Krista's little sister! I was 3 years behind you in school."
Me: "Sure, of course!" [lying].

We started chatting about little things, who all we still talked to and what we were doing. I finally remembered her when she gave me her sister's email address, which included her last name (McGuire). This girl was a tiny blond girl (CJ? or something), 20 years old, with 2 babies. She shared stories of our old mutual friends, ALL with babies or twins or toddlers. None stayed in school. Not one. She talked of her stretch marks, and dropping out of school. I talked of traveling, and school, and marriage. I found myself struggling to diminish my accomplishments, purposely omitting the fact that I'm working on my PhD. I had a feeling she wouldn't really understand what I do, anyway.

I told her of my favorite pen pal moving to Seattle. She was incredibly impressed. "Wow... Seattle. Washington. I've never been there. I'm so jealous! She's made it so far! Have YOU ever been to Seattle?" I told her yes, and she looked impressed. I said she should go there. The look in her eyes told me she would never leave Ocala. Her, her two illegitimate babies, her high-school dropout boyfriend. I wanted to hug her and fix her problems and whack her tiny little butt back to college. But she was happy with her young mom friends, talking about who was a bad mother and who cheated on their husbands and who had gotten fat. I had to leave to finish my presentation, and told her I was happy to have gotten to talk to her. I was, genuinely happy. She seemed pleased with her life, and was proud of her children, and her boyfriend who ran a delivery business.

So Fritz and I talked about this, and what our lives would have been like if we had stayed behind in our little hometowns. A little drunk and heavily flirting, we played a silly game and took turns building each other's lives for the other.

He said I would: have had a baby immediately, dropped out of college, my husband was an alcoholic who chewed tobacco and wore the tan workman's overalls. I lived in a double wide missing one wall which I covered in blue plastic. I had 6 dogs and was skin and bones because my fat husband ate all my food. [me: "Noooo! I lost my ghetto bootie??"] I sold Avon and had to ask my parents for money every month. I was dirty, barefoot, and constantly pregnant. I bought all my clothes from goodwill, and babysat the other trailer park kids for minimum wage.

I said he would: have married a skanky peroxide blond (dark roots, v. stringy ends), worked for his high school job's landscaping company. His wife was a cheating alcoholic and they both smoked. He sold Amway. His wife, who was a Kash N Karry grocery store clerk, had a really fat and flabby stomach and skinny legs and ankles, and drove a 1982 brown Ford Tempo that she prostituted herself out in. He lost all capacity for happiness and emotion, and developed massive beer belly from drinking beers in front of NASCAR on TV all day while depressed. He stopped cutting his toenails. His rusty old pickup truck had old beer bottles rattling in the back.

We were giggling hysterically and our "What If's?" were getting more & more ludicrous every minute. Suddenly, he said, “I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” I asked if he was getting jealous of my trailer park redneck husband. I finished the game, saying he & Skanky brought their 6 children to Disney World, where I worked a second job selling tickets. He saw my skeletal self and all capacity for emotion was restored, and he finally learned what it was like To Love. He got a job in a tollbooth and we ran away together.

The End.


  • At 3:30 PM, Blogger Amanda said…

    Hey there! thanks for your post on my blog! Hope we can stay in touch. Yes, my husband and I are staying in England. He is orginally from here and has a lot of family here as well. I on the other hand come from a small family and the majority of them like to travel so it works out well. (when their budget allows them to, of course!) By the way, I want to add you to my favourites as well.. How did I do that???? Take care and enjoy the rest of your week!!! :) -Amanda

  • At 10:35 PM, Blogger An American Dante said…

    Hee hee! I am so thrilled that you mentioned me! I totally don't remember this person, but whatever. . . Isn't it funny what would or could have happened with our lives if we hadn't left Ocala. It really sucks people down, but I've also noticed that the people who are there, love being there and living that life. *sigh* I, however, just can't ever imagine being satisfied with that. By the way, you write the best blogs! Call me tomorrow or I will call you for sure! Love you!


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