Musings, Thoughts and Creations

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Big Ed

My mom has three sisters. And each of her sisters has at least one daughter. And some of the daughters have a daughter. When we girls get together, I feel badly that the men miss out on such sincerity, hilarity, gossip, and fun. I would go through the travails of womanhood ten times, just to be a part of the elite club of the women in my family.

Some of my best memories are sitting around a living room or a hotel room, just talking and laughing. The conversation is not usually highbrow – bodily functions are a consistent topic – but those conversations are the most fun. And my stomach will literally ache from laughing so much.

The ringleader of all this is my Aunt Edda. She is the comedian, and when she gets going, we are all in stitches.

My mom and her sisters are named Sandra, Patricia, Christina, and Edda. Edda always jokes about the raw deal she got with her name. “How can you look at a tiny baby and call her Edda? What kind of a name is Edda?” She often refers to herself and signs her emails as Big Ed, which cracks me up every time. She and my aunts are all almost 6 feet tall (my mom, strangely is only 5’7″). So big is appropriate, though there is nothing manly about my beautiful aunt. But Big Ed makes me laugh all the same.

I wish I could relate all the funny stories that Edda tells, bring them alive here, but I can’t. I’m not funny enough to do them justice. I wish sometimes that I could bottle up the jokes, the stories, the feelings that I get when I am with my family, and then transcribe them so that I’ll have them forever. All I have is the soft, sort of shadowy memories that make me smile even if I can’t quite remember why.

I hope to see you very soon Big Ed. I miss you and all my aunties, and I need a good dose of your kooky antics.

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Love at 800th sight

This is long and gushy. I apologize, but I’m feeling nostalgic.

It’s a very romantic ideal to say that Rob and I fell in love the moment we looked at each other. Our eyes met across a smoky bar, sparks flew, alarm bells went off, and the rest was history.

More accurately we met across a semi-quiet classroom. But really I don’t even remember when we first met. Rob tells me we had freshman religion together, but I do not remember him from that class. Crazy to say that I don’t remember the first time I met the love of my life, but to be honest I don’t remember much of freshman year period. Probably not a good thing to have so many holes in my recent memory (it’s not like it was 40 years ago), but the strongest memories I have of freshman year are of my classes, the pain of losing friends and being lonely, and the joy of finding new friends and having someone to eat lunch with again.

I DO remember Rob from sophomore year. We had geometry class together and he and this other boy Kyle both had curly hair. They were kind of dorky and got in trouble for talking, once, a few times. Maybe I’m just usurping Rob’s memory of this class. That’s about it.

My first real introduction to Rob came at the very end of sophomore year. I remember that I was sitting on the metal picnic tables in the courtyard by the student store. Mr. Khoury, my biology teacher, introduced me to my partners for DART (Drug Abuse Research Team), a program we’d be at for a week that summer and all of next year. He introduced Rob and a girl named Lenore. And my first thought was, ugh, I have to be stuck with these nerds for a whole year? Yes, I’m not proud of it, but I was a judgy, little self-absorbed brat when I was 16.  If you could see some of the pictures of me from when I was a sophomore you will know that I had very little room to judge anyone, nevertheless…

That summer I got to know Rob a bit better. We went on the same high school trip to Europe for three weeks, and we spent 5 days in Sac State for DART training. I still thought he was a dork, but a funny, smart one.

We spent a lot of junior year together. We had a lot of classes together, we did DART work together, we now had the same group of friends so we would hang out together, we were in speech together, we went to formal together (not as dates, just in the same group), and I would hang out at his house after school a few times when we had AP Biology labs in the evening. Was I falling in love during all of this? No. At least, not consciously. But he was my friend.

It wasn’t until a few months later, during the summer when I realized I “liked” Rob. I hadn’t seen him for a while, and we went to Great America together with two other friends. After that day I couldn’t stop thinking about him, and I realized I missed him and wanted to see him again. When school started back up again, I did get to see him. But in the irrational way of teenage girls, I avoided him, lest he detect my feelings and vulnerability. If I had told him right away would he have reciprocated? Probably. But I did not, so that didn’t happen. Instead he got a girlfriend.

After that I tried to forget about liking him, and told myself that it was a passing crush. Over him. Moving on. That lasted for a few weeks… In October we were partners in a debate competition for speech (yes, I realized our nerdiness rating in high school was extremely high). All the feelings I had tried to shove away came back. And to make it worse, he was still dating his girlfriend, and I had a giant zit on my chin. After one of our debates, Rob high fived me and said, “That’s my girl.” I haughtily told him, “I’m not your girl.” Nice one Jill. That ought to win him over. It seemed the more I liked him, the more I pushed him away.

A few weeks later Rob and his girlfriend broke up. And a few months after that we went to the winter formal together. And it was on this night that sparks flew and alarm bells went off. And the rest is history. : )

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