Yesterday's outdoor wedding, sit-down dinner, winter hike and child’s birthday party went swimmingly, thanks to the four changes of clothing I brought.
And actually, it was such a beautiful day that I didn't feel like slitting my wrists until after we got to my nephew’s birthday party. But only because Chuck’s brother’s wife is a she-beast. I won’t get into that now, however. Instead I’d like to tell you where I've been for the last week—and not because I want to bore your pants off, but because I think I started dating someone.
It all started Tuesday night. My brother Ted called me in tears. He and his fiancee Holly were having problems. She’s getting clingy and is too eager. He needs space. They would be at our house bright and early Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Ted and Holly arrived for brunch. Chuck beat his chest and said he was going to Home Depot; Ted would help him. Holly and I spent the next two hours watching Junior push Thomas the Train around the track.
"Is Thomas puffin'?"
"YES. YES. YES."
When Chuck and Ted got back to the house, I contemplated puffin’ myself.
Ted informed me and Holly that he was getting together with the boys to play poker; Chuck offered to sit in for someone. Holly looked forlorn and asked if I wanted company. Despite my internal noooooooooooo, I heard myself say yes. I spent the next few hours drinking wine and listening to Holly’s childhood pet stories.
The highlight: The time Holly’s guinea pig had pneumonia and she nursed it back to health with a heating pad. The lowlight: The time Holly’s guinea pig had pneumonia and she nursed it back to health with a heating pad.
On Thursday, Holly spent the day with her family. While Ted farted and enjoyed his space (all ten feet of it), we ate turkey at my mother’s house.
On Friday, Holly and Ted came over again. After lunch, Chuck and Ted "got lost" at the casino on the way to Home Depot (don't ask). Holly and I spent the next five hours watching Junior push his trains around the track.
"Is Thomas puffin?"
"YES. YES. YES."
Somewhere in there I drank mass amounts of wine and sent Chuck threatening text messages like, “I guess u never want 2 hve sex again.”
The men came home. Chuck left for a stag (yah, I know). Holly and Ted spent the night. We played Scrabble. The only words Holly and I could come up with had to do with trains. Ted felt suspiciously like a third wheel.
On Saturday, Ted left at 8 a.m. to be to work in Boston. Holly offered to keep me company for breakfast while Chuck slept (bastard). Again, we watched Junior push his trains around the track. When Junior asked, “Is Thomas puffin'?” she answered, “Uh huh! Yes! Yep! He is! Uh huh! He is, sweetie!”
Suddenly I realized I’d become numb to her eagerness to please. I also realized I’d rather hear her sing-song voice than my brother’s toxic flatulence. When Holly left at noon, Junior and I watched her from the window. I started to feel something, something achy and sad in the stillness: separation anxiety.
If a train puffs in a playroom and Holly isn’t around to hear it, does it make a sound?
I swear, if my brother breaks off the engagement, I will date her myself. Even if she is clingy and lazy and she monitors my wine intake like a busybody. Even if she does tell too many guinea pig stories and leave lubricant everywhere she goes.
I’ve invested too much time to let her go that easily. We can make it, baby!
Holly and me, up in a tree
First goes Chuck,
Then goes Ted
Then comes Thomas in Tidmouth Shed