Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Past, Present, Future, I'm Yours

I'm not feeling 110% today, you guys. I'm not going to tell you how it happened because I'm a little embarrassed to find myself in this predicament on a Tuesday morning but let's just say, Monday was a Monday. Today's my day off, though. It's chilly outside and I'm wearing leggings which means, ain't no one going out that front door. So I'm going to tell you some stories. Sound good? To give you a feel for the vibe I'm feeling, today, it's not all bad. I'm streaming Nous Non Plus's new album Freudian Slip on Spotify. Not everyone has Spotify (because they do not know how to make good life decisions) but everyone has YouTube so here is their song J'en Ai Marre. French pop. Who wouldn't love it?

So, anyway, several 1.5 weeks ago, I went to Kansas City for Ani's wedding! Katie and Ryan and I dressed up in our goin' out to meet new people clothes and set out on a daytripventure. Ani got married in a part of town that looked kind of abandoned. In fact, when we looked it up on Google maps I asked Ryan which part of town it was in and he said, "Well, it's just down the street from The Edge of Hell. Do you know where that is?" Camera cuts to a talking head of me:
"Yes, I do know where that is."

And we got in the car and we hit the road towards--but not too close to--The Edge of Hell. But we turned left and everyone going to Hell turned right. Whew. Close one. We did accidentally drive past it on our way home when we got a teensy weensy bit lost and we did get to see some demons. Demons are tall but mostly people-shaped. So that's at least comforting.

Cool part of town to get hitched in, though. The streets were fairly empty and it was mostly just brand-new art galleries dressed up as hundred year old warehouses. Or maybe it's the other way around. Yeah, that's probably it.

So they get all married in this entry way with dusty floors and not a lot of decoration, save the boss chandeliers and girls in blue dresses, and no seating at all. So there are these two who are literally surrounded by their family, everyone just standing there. It was sweet.
So they're all like, "cool, we got married, go inside and let's party!" And there's this bar back there that I, guess, used to be an old speakeasy back in the day. Officially, I have referenced speakeasies twice on my blog. Weird. Anyway, it's not just a cool bar but it's all decked out (punny!) to feel like you're on a ship. Katie and Ryan and I, along with tons of other people sat in this long entry way with port holes and lights that made it feel like the boat was rocking a little bit. Back in the bar area, though, there was this sign. I lifted this photo off of Katie's Facebook but we all know she doesn't mind.

It was a lot of fun to surprise Tamra who had no idea that we would be there. It was also fun to finally meet Ani for the first time IRL. She's known Tamra and Ryan for a long time but we never did meet except on the internets. It was fun and short and fun and there was dancing, cake, and an open bar--at least I think it was, I didn't pay for my beers. It was everything a wedding should be. A little bit of crying and a hell of a lot of laughing. I liked it.
Then we piled in the car and drove home, arriving at 12:30 am Monday morning.

Then it was a whirlwind. I tidied up put sheets on the guest bed and went to sleep. At around 5:00 am, Alyssa and Jeremiah and their daughter, Jocelyn, showed up! They drove here from Colorado as they're experiencing a bit of a family vacation. In the morning, Jeremiah took Jocelyn and drove to Topeka to meet up with some of his friends. Alyssa and I took a girl's only weekend. It was a lot more fun that I expected it to be. We had no plans whatsoever so we drove to Olathe. Driving into town I said, "Where should I go?" She said, "Um... I don't know." So we went to where we always go. Old Navy and Target. Then we got hungry and went to Noodles and Company. I used to work there and I love it and I couldn't decide what to have but we both settled on the mushroom stroganoff con albondigas. It was delicious and everything I ever wanted. Until the very end where in the last bite of her last meatball, Alyssa found a hair. And not just a hair on the plate but it was all up in that meatball. It was all I could do to not make a horrific joke. But I didn't then and I won't now because it's tacky. But, too easy. Anyway, we told a server who looked just like a teensy weensy version of Melissa McCarthy and she brought us a coupon for a free bowl of noodles and two cookies. Hooray! I love Noodles. I don't care how many hairs I find, I'll never stop going. Maybe.

So then we were bored and decided to drive back to the old stompin' grounds. Stompin' grounds? Who came up with that term? We drove to campus. A little bit of us was hoping to run into someone we knew but we didn't and I think we were mostly relieved about that. It was kind of fun to see how everything changed. The Stockton/ Rice lobby got a facelift. I'm talking leather couches kind of facelift. And they have open dorms every night of the week! Now, most people didn't go to itty bitty Christian colleges like I did but Open Dorms was a big damn deal. The girls had their dorms and the boys had their dorms and ne'er the twine shall mix. Except twice a week for a four-hour period--which was strictly monitored. No reclining was permitted and the over-head light had to be on at all times in the presence of a boy. But now, what, they're just letting the fellows run about willy nilly? I mean, from an older, wiser perspective it's for the best because it takes a little bit of the "ooh! boys!" factor out of your college experience because it's just an everyday thing but as a former student I choose to be outraged. Honestly by second semester of sophomore year you dreaded open dorms anyway. It's such a pain in the ass to not be able to shower for a four-hour period twice a week. You wouldn't believe it but it's true. Oh, also laundry is free now. Right? I know. Who even heard of such a thing?

The doors were locked to strangers (that would be us), so we snuck around the outside of the dorms and took pictures by our old rooms. Here's Alyssa next to her old room in Rice. Oh, those were the days. I got a picture, too, but it's on her phone. In fact, pretty much most of the pictures of me are on her phone. So, you get lots of shots of Alyssa.

My first senior year, a new upper class lady's dorm was built. And they named it Spindle. I wanted to see my old room really badly because I had such memories in there when I lived with Cindy and Amy and Mandy and Whatsherface. You need a special card to get into the dorms so I figured we'd go get as close as possible. We hung out in the lobby until a girl was coming in and we just snuck in the door behind her. My room was downstairs and you need a card to get in there, as well, so a little bit of me thought the stairway would be the closest that we would get. But, no, this girl lived in the basement, too. Score! So we snuck down behind her again. Finally I said, "I don't mean to freak you out. I just used to live here. I was in the first class to ever live in this building. In fact, they were still building it when we moved in." So we're walking and passing rooms and I see that she's going to the very end of the hall. I said, "How funny would it be if you lived in my old suite?"
"Ha. Ha. Pretty funny." I think what she meant was, "I would call the police."
And she did! She lived in my old suite. I said, "Can we come in really quick? Is that weird? I want to take a picture in your bathroom." She forced a laugh and said, "sure" and then she walked into a bedroom. I squealed! "You live in my old bedroom!! What are the odds that the first girl that we stalk into Spindle lives in MY OLD BEDROOM!?" And then, "I apologize for stalking you down here. That must be scary for you."
Turns out that Alyssa knew two of the suite mates, too. They went to her old church when she lived in Iowa. Small world. Small, small, private school campus.

So, yeah, I got a picture in their bathroom that I wanted to put on Facebook and show Amy and Cindy and Mandy but not Whatsherface because she was a jerk and I really don't even remember her name. But, alas, it's on Alyssa's phone.

We walked up the hill to Rice and took some more pictures and then sat on the front porch in those white rocking chairs and pondered what to do next and the women we've become since we met right there eight years ago. I have had some resentful feelings about my time at MNU but I know that going there was a choice that I made and I have no doubt that it was exactly the right choice for me at exactly the right time in my life. I was sitting right next to a living, breathing example of that in Alyssa.

The next morning we drove to Westport and bought wine and chocolate at World Market. We bought gasoline for $3.12 in Missouri as opposed to the $3.28 in Kansas. Then we drove to The Plaza and I developed a crush on a mannequin. We also convinced the sales girl at Michael Kohrs that we really were in the market for a $480 knitted bag and we just needed to run it by our husbands really quick. Right. What the fuuuh? That's more than my rent, lady!!

The day came to a close at around lunch time. We ate turkey burgers alfresco and made sure we got in all of the talks that we needed to do. I believe at one point I may have even said, "Alright, did we talk about everything?" And it was decided that, yes, we did talk about everything. And it was good.

So I stopped at Quik Trip and got a Pepsi. I listened to Lazlo and Slimfast on my old, favorite, alternative radio station and listened to it for as long as it would take me. And when I got home, I didn't go directly to my house. I drove to the corner and sat on the bench outside of Sounds Great with Katie and there I met Kellory and Abby and I listened to our friends practice their songs in the space above a store and I remember thinking that revisiting the past was good and necessary. And living and adoring this present is good and necessary, too.

To all of my friends all over the world from years ago to the ones I met most recently:
I love you.


Katie Hurl said...

I love everything about this!

Ani said...

: ) i'm really glad you got the vibe we wanted to express at the wedding. our only goals were to have fun, do it simply and something we could afford. it was an absolute blast and i never want to plan a wedding ever again. ; )

i don't know why i didn't comment on this post when i read it months ago...

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