You know that question you should never ask a woman unless you are completely sure?
You know? THAT question?
Well, this woman was asked that question yesterday.
I don’t know what to think about it, but here’s what happened:
I was at church. The hubby and I were sitting on a couch in the lobby, waiting for the teens to show up. An older gentleman that we see every week sat down and started chatting with us.
I mentioned that I was feeling tired (I had worked on Saturday night and didn’t sleep well).
“Oh, you’re tired? (He grinned) Are you going to be giving us some news?”
I didn’t get it, “What? What kind of news?”
“Oh,” he said, “well, my wife and I have been talking and she was saying she thought you’d be telling people that you were expecting soon.”
“Um… well, not that I’m aware of.” (Insert my jaw hitting the floor)
“Well, I thought you were saying you were tired because you were dropping a hint,” he said. “You know, you don’t want to say anything too soon…so I thought you were trying to give me a hint.”
Nervously laughing, I replied, “Well… If I was expecting, I think it would be a pretty big surprise to Ben and me… I’m just tired because I worked late last night.”
“Oh.” He paused for a moment, unsure what to say, “Well, when the time comes, at least you’ve been blessed with a great husband. That’s a huge thing.”
Nice save with the husband comment. Totally true. And I can imagine he was as mortified as I was for that mistake.
But I have to ask….
1. Why do people expect couples to start having babies right away?
Ben and I have been getting “so, when are you going to start a family?” for a long time (funny enough, this question comes from everyone but our families). Why do we have to rush? We haven’t even been married two years!
Honestly, it wouldn’t even be on our radar, except we’re asked this question all the time!
To put it simply, we aren’t ready. The fact that I even have to explain that is frustrating.
2. Does this mean I look like I am starting to show? Or is it ….something else?!
A few friends assured me it was the latter, but I’d be lying if I said that this didn’t bother me some. I’m going to chock it up to the age of the parties involved.
Let’s chat, have you ever gotten THAT question (or worse, made that mistake?!)? What did you do? What are your thoughts on marriage and babies?
PS. Second funny story: the same day, another man (who we see weekly at church) asked if I was the wife of Ben’s best friend…while Ben was standing two feet away…Really?!
When I last left you, I had just experienced the first openly awkward encounter with one of the family members.
It was in the previously mentioned sea of bubbles that I was blindsided. I was expecting things to be (the closest to) normal with this person…but I was wrong. And it didn’t get better…we had another, and equally awkward, run-in at the reception.
At first I was a little miffed about the weirdness, but after some thought, I realized that it had to be equally as uncomfortable for this group to see me as it was for me to see them… I mean, I was supposed to be a part of the family and then I just… wasn’t…and even worse, I went off and married someone else! So… yeah, it was a weird situation.
Ben and I quickly moved on to a different part of the group and--after a flub-up on a relative’s name and a sideways glance after telling her that Ben was my husband– had a really nice chat with other people I knew. It was while standing in this group that I almost had a heart attack (numero uno).
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a familiar face walking toward us.
“No. No. No. There is NO WAY that he’d come over here. NO WAY! Just… NO,” I thought.
But, he kept coming. Closer and closer. Everything slowed down to the point that I was a living instant replay….
“Nooo-oooo-oooo Waaa-aaaaay,” I screamed inwardly!
And then, standing right in front of me was the ex.
If the ground could have opened up and swallowed me whole, I wouldn’t have minded. As it was, I am pretty sure that my face changed three different colors and my legs almost gave out.
This had to be a joke, or a mirage? Something.
And yet, there he was. Still standing there.
It was the first time that we had seen each other since the day I left Virginia, just over two years ago. Except, this time, I was looking at a stranger.
“Hi! How’s it going?!” He asked, as if we were best friends.
After a pause to collect my thoughts and concentrate on my face not turning purple, I replied, “I’m doing very well, how are you?”
Now, I said in my previous post that I was more worried about seeing the family of the ex than the ex, himself. As I mentioned, we aren’t on bad terms but we also are not friends. We just… aren’t on any terms.
Needless to say, I hadn’t planned on him coming up and acting buddy-buddy. I figured he would do what any reasonable adult would do; ignore my existence unless we ran into each other getting a drink and then politely nod, exchange the obligatory, “nice to see you,” then go back to ignoring me. That’s what a normal person would do. And as much as I hate to admit it, it’s what I had planned on doing.
I should have remembered that nothing I ever plan on actually happens… usually the exact opposite happens.
Instead of moving away from the group I was with, the ex continued to stand there and pry conversation out of me as I skillfully hid the fact that I was having a minor stroke.
I can’t imagine what was going through Ben’s head as he watched his wife, face changing colors, sweating and legs shaking, and her ex-fiance, standing there with a manic smile and equally red face, trying to make small talk. That Farmer Ben is a keeper. If he was nervous, he didn’t show it.
I eventually re-introduced the ex to Ben, proving that I am, in fact, the universal queen of all awkward situations on the planet. Let’s just say, it could have been a lot less weird, but I took care of it.
About 15 seconds after this awful re-introduction I saw another familiar face striding toward me.
“JAY!” I screamed as I practically jumped into his arms. I had never been happier to see my old roommate than I was at that exact second.
After a few more painful minutes, Ben and I headed back toward my car and started driving toward the reception site.
We decided that we both needed a beer.
I had been told by the ex that the reception site-the eagle’s club- had a giant eagle statue in front of it. I realized this was true after I sped past it. Of course I had someone following me, so I was pretty embarrassed when I had to slam on my brakes and pull into the next driveway to turn around. Oops. My bad.
Jay and his girlfriend, Ben and myself and another couple found a table in the middle of the reception hall. This seemed to be the safest place…at least that is what I had planned on, anyway.
We sat and chatted for a few minutes and watched as the rest of the wedding crowd trickled into the room.
The family and wedding party started to find their way into the building.
My heart sank as I watched something happen and knew there was nothing I could do to stop it.
Cue slow motion.
“Nooooo…No….Nooooo… No-ooooo Waaa-aaaay,” my inner warped voice screamed.
It was happening again. As I watched in horror, the ex and his date entered, he made eye contact, glanced hurriedly around the room (or in my mind, slowly around the room) and then made a beeline for a table. But not just any table. The exact table that Ben and I were sitting at.
The two sat down and everyone else at the table collectively stopped talking, exchanged looks of horror and then stared down at their laps. No one knew what to do.
I am pretty sure my face went from its normal pinkish-pale to bright red to paper white and my stomach went from its usual place, down to my butt, up to my throat and back. Twice.
Ben, noting my face color, asked “Are you okay?”
I heard the ex mutter to Jay, “I figured I would dispel some of the awkward-ness now. You know?”
I almost jumped on the table and yelled “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! How is this NOT AWKWARD?!” But I remembered that it wasn’t my day and that I was in a crowded room, so I didn’t. Instead I sat there, exchanged a dumbfounded look with a friend of mine and then got up to get a beer.
After that, the night was pretty calm. There were a few more awkward interactions and I somehow ended up having a really nice conversation with the ex’s date (she was a pretty cool lady, props! ). Go figure.
Ben and I enjoyed a few dances together and Jay, our friend Danielle, and I reminisced about our time in DC.
Everyone at the table enjoyed people watching and the awe that comes with being in such a rural town. I really loved seeing Laura and Ted enjoy their first few hours of wedded bliss. So much happiness.
As much as I hate to say it, I give the ex props for being the bigger adult in this situation… not saying that I would have been rude to him, but I probably would have handled the situation a little differently if the roles were reversed.
In short, I got through the night. Ben got through the night. We did it together. I couldn’t have asked for a better date…or a better husband for that matter.
Upon leaving, I sighed with relief. I knew that I had survived the collision of my past and present. I smiled to myself as I realized once again that I am truly blessed. Every ridiculous crazy things has happened for a reason, even if I have no idea what it is at the time.
We got in the car and drove back toward my sister’s house. The night was over. And I was leaving with my person. Thank God.
A Note from Noelle: I’ve actually had this post written for a couple of weeks now but I’ve been stewing as to whether or not I should post it… In the spirit of being overly honest, here you are!
A few weekends ago my past and present collided. Literally.
As I drove down and across New York State , my hands shook, my hair stood on end and I was sweating. A lot. It was hot, cold and everything in between. I think I put on and took off my hoodie about 37 times during the five-hour trip.
The only thing that kept me driving down the highway at slightly over the speed limit was Ben, offering an affectionate squeeze of my hand or an encouraging smile every few exits.
When we got off highway and made the turn toward my sister’s house, I knew there was no turning back… unless I suddenly came down with a nasty stomach bug… or my car broke down… or something, anything else.
As I tried on the first of the two dresses I brought, Ben smiled at me and my sister told me to wear it. I was fretting about wearing the right thing and not being too dressed up or down. My stomach was doing backflips and I was wondering if it would be too late to quietly back out.
Ben and I had a quick lunch together, consisting of a giant burger and french fries, then we rushed back to my sister’s house to get ready. Time was passing too quickly and before I knew it, I was hurrying Ben out the door and into the car.
I turned back on to the highway and headed west. As I drove, I wondered what I was thinking when I had RSVP’d yes.
It was a trip I’ve made several times but this time it was different. I was with my husband, who’d never traveled this road before and had no idea what to expect.
I was going to place I hadn’t expected to return to, and especially not under these circumstances. I was seeing people I’d never thought I’d see again… at least not on purpose.
We were quite literally traveling straight into my past life. The town where I grew up, with people I used to know, in a time where I didn’t even know who Ben was. As we got off the exit, we passed familiar fields and houses. I had forgotten how long it took to get into town and as we drove, Ben was surprised at how rural it was. The landscape had a few changes, but for the most part, all was the same.
We drove slowly down the street to the address mentioned on the invitation. Of course, I drove by it the first time. As we circled the block, we took in the sights of a small town that hadn’t changed in years.
I parked the car and realized that my hands were shaking, and I am pretty sure my legs were, too. As I opened the door, I felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff, knowing that I needed to jump off.
Again I wondered, “is it too late to just get back in the car and drive away?”
I looked over at Ben, who simply took my hand, and smiled as we walked toward the church. I’m still amazed about how cool and collected he was compared to me… if the roles were reversed, I wouldn’t have been able to speak, let alone keep encouraging him.
We climbed up the steps and hung a right into the sanctuary. My plan had been to sneak into the back of the church unnoticed, but I had forgotten where we were. Needless to say, it was a small enough church that no one walked in undetected. As I chose a pew in the back, I looked up and saw my ex’s father standing in front of me. Along with an uncle, aunt and some cousins.
At this point, my legs were shaking so badly that I am not quite sure how I made it down the row and returned their “hello’s,” but somehow I did and I introduced them to Ben. My husband. I felt like my stomach was going to leap out of my throat and my hands continued to shake as we finally sat down.
Another Aunt sat down behind us and, realizing it was me, continued to make small talk for the next few minutes. I was cursing my need to arrive at big social events early.
Luckily, another familiar face sat down behind us and I was able to switch conversations. An uncle smiled at me from across the room and mouthed a “nice to see you.”
Perhaps I should explain myself, before you think I’ve completely lost my mind.
My ex’s sister and I are still close. She even attended our wedding. And to be perfectly frank, I was fine with seeing the ex. We aren’t on “good” terms per say but we aren’t on bad terms either…we just…aren’t on any sort of terms. So I knew that we wouldn’t be having any in-depth conversations. I doubted that we would even speak.
I was, however, absolutely positively terrified of seeing the family.
I was not in a good place three years ago when we broke up. I was extremely scared and insecure. Completely uncomfortable in my own skin. I haven’t seen the family since the day the ex and I parted ways and I was unsure what to expect this time. Especially because I would be bringing a date (my husband-who isn’t their son/nephew/cousin) with me.
I’m a very different person than I was back then and my life has changed in so many ways, it’s difficult for me to connect to my old self and seeing this family was going to force me to do so.
They are wonderful people, but I am sure they thought it was a little odd that I was going to the wedding. Most people would have just sent a nice gift. If they did think it was odd, they didn’t let on. All of them were wonderful, and-with the exception of a few sideways glances-everyone exchanged pleasantries and small talk.
I have to admit, I definitely made this a bigger deal than it actually was, but when you go from having people very much a part of your life to… not a part of your life, what can you expect? I had no idea. Neither did Ben.
The ceremony was short and sweet and I have never seen Laura look more beautiful than she did in those moments.
After the ceremony ended, the crowd made their way outside to enclose the bride and groom in a sea of bubbles.
It was in this mass exit that I had the first-and most unexpected-awkward exchange of the evening. I’m going to chalk it up to having too much going on and not being sure how to react in the bubbles, the people and the activity. There was one more sideways glance, but again, it was done with grace and barely detected.
And now…for a short break. Click here for Part Two.
Okay…I need to clear something up. Apparently one of my posts from last week caused quite a stir (as evidenced by my phone blowing up with texts and Facebook messages), so I have some explaining to do. I’m sorry I didn’t elaborate sooner, it just wasn’t the right time to do so yet.
Ben and I are having a baby. No. Totally kidding. We are, however, embarking on a new adventure.
Ben is starting as head chef at a new restaurant…it’s such a great opportunity for him and I am so excited and proud of him! Again, it wasn’t exactly expected, everything just sort of fell into place.
We’re also making plans for the next step/adventure. Those details are still a little foggy.
Now that that is cleared up (phew!), there are a few other things I am super excited and/or happy about.
- The restaurant I work at in the summer is finally open! It’s gotten a much-needed facelift, an updated menu and a super talented chef (see above). I am really excited to be working there again and seeing all of my regulars. It’s going to be a great summer!
- I sent out my foodie pen pal package! I can’t wait for Lauri in Texas to get her box full of Upstate NY/VT goodies!
- I should be getting my foodie package soon! I looooooooove mail!
- The Farmers’ Market is finally opening for the season!
- We have corn coming up in our garden. And beans. And lettuce!
- My friend Angela just moved to the area! We had dinner on Monday…I am so excited to hang out with her more.
- I had a great conversation with my friend Christina on Tuesday. I love knowing that my friends are doing well!
- I had a run/dinner/girls’ night with my friends Nessa and Tina. I am so social lately!
- It’s finally starting to feel like spring!
- I just noticed that I have used an exclamation point in every single bullet! !!!
- I got in a great walk at lunch today and am just itching to get out and run!
One last thing.
Happy belated birthday (it was yesterday…oops.) to my amazing Aunt Rayna! You are such a wonderful lady and an inspiration! Here’s to many more!
Over and out.
I am about to embarrass myself…more than usual.
Fun Noelle Fact: I love pickles. If you give me a jar, I will usually consume it in less than a week. I’ll eat them until I get a stomachache from too much vinegar. I love them on sandwiches, in salads or straight from the jar. My pickle of choice is dill, but I’ll take bread and butter, too. Some may call it an obsession… it could be worse.
Luckily, my husband knows what’s up and cans a ton of pickles (Maybe we can convince him to do a guest post so he will divulge some canning secrets???). We even gave them to our wedding guests. For Christmas, I purchased Ben a special wooden lid for fermenting items such as sauerkraut…and pickles. True love.
Anyway, as promised, I am getting back on track…and am putting everything down in my food journal- my fitness pal! I got home from work last night and was feeling a bit hungry…I didn’t want something heavy because I’d have to record it. Opening the fridge for inspiration, my eyes landed on a super sour jar of pickles, the 2010 variety.
I knew that that was what I was meant to snack on and grabbed it out of the fridge. Now, I don’t know if you have ever eaten pickles from a Ball jar, but they have this fun little vacuum seal on them. Even after you’ve broken the initial seal, they can still be a bit difficult to open.
I am standing in my kitchen, twisting with all my might to open this stupid jar. I probably looked like a reject member of Cirque de Soleil. I was grunting, groaning and pulling. I even tried whacking it on the counter.
After a few minutes and no success, I took a break as I was huffing and puffing from the effort. “Seriously? Is this some sort of sick joke? I just want a pickle!” I thought.
As Ben had not arrived home from work, I had to get creative. I grabbed a kitchen rag and gave a good twist…to no avail. As you can imagine, I was getting pretty annoyed. I tried a few more times. Nothing.
I waited a moment, took a deep breath, and twisted the jar so hard I’m surprised it didn’t break. Finally! I felt the lid budge… at the same time a sharp pain went shooting through my neck. “OWWW!”
Yes, I tried so hard to open a jar of pickles, I strained my neck. I couldn’t turn it to the right for a little while, but luckily I have full rotation this morning. Does this call for an intervention? Let’s hope not.
Anyway, your PSA for the day: be careful opening pickle jars.
I know I probably should have just waited the extra 10 minutes until Ben came home, but when I finally did take a bite of that pickle, it tasted like victory. Delicious.