Actually, we were more parallel when we left the bathroom. I probably held the door for El Senor Roach. We stayed stride for stride. My friend, a witness, noted my pitch did not shift too much higher. And here lies my only bit of dignity in the whole matter.
There are concerns that a pregnant roach crawled into my gym bag and is now starting fresh in West Duluth. It's not so much a gym bag as a Free Bag with Purchase that I got from Lancome and now it smells like socks. Did you know that cockroaches are one of the main things standing between me and moving to a major metropolitan address? Did I say cockroaches? I meant laziness.
Last night we watched the movie "Ida" which was so, so good. When it was over I turned to Chuck and said "I forgot what it was like to watch a super good movie."
(Two days earlier we'd watched "Saving Silverman," which Ma Pista has anointed "probably the worst movie I've ever seen." Correct.)
You're probably wondering why I would even consider bringing a 17-month old to see "The Nutcracker." Answer: Because if it would have worked, it was going to be awesome. A lot of The Girl's favorite things would be happening in that hall: dancing, clapping, music, clapping, people. I knew the odds were stacked against me. Namely, kickoff was at naptime. But it was a matinee show, which I believe makes for a slightly younger, rowdier audience. I thought she might blend in.
This might be the first time a kid looked at the stage and yelled "Elmo!" though.
We crawled into the very last row of the building and she promptly kicked the kid in front of us in the head. He ignored it the first time, as we got situated, but the second time he whipped around and said to her:
"Stop being a Halfway Herbert," he snapped.
"I'm sorry," I said to the kid, then turned to his dad. "What's a Halfway Herbert."
He went on to explain that it's a character in a children's series who does everything halfway, like brushing his teeth. Only the top (or is it the bottom) shine and sparkle.
"Ah, a literary reference," I nodded.
"Anyway, Halfway Herbert is just very rude," the dad said before turning around again.
I took that opportunity to find a different seat on an aisle with no one in front of us.
The Girl was at max antsy when the lights went down, and then, like that, she was immediately into it. Still, every muscle in my body was clenched as I waited for her to dish out one of those shrieks that bore straight into an eardrum. But she was hanging in there. Three minutes, six minutes, eight. Everytime the audience clapped, she clapped and looked around smiling like "ARE YOU PEOPLE GETTING A LOAD OF THIS?"
Then she went a little crazy, so I took her out into the lobby to buck off some energy.
Take 2 went okay for a few minutes. She wanted to sit on the wall and lean forward with her mouth resting on the railing, but didn't lose her shit when I pried her off of it. Once again, she was loving it, clapping, and then she nose-dived straight into Shity Audience Member.
At that point we just left. Twenty three minutes of "The Nutcracker." We were total Halfway Herberts. Not even Halfway. Just Herberts, I guess. We'll try again next year. I mean two years after that.
The other day The Girl learned to crawl up and stand on the chairs at her tiny table. She stood there, balanced, chanting "Yay Yay Yay!"
Ma and Pa Pista were in town to babysit while we went out Friday night for Chuck's birthday. On Saturday we traipsed through a highly decorated Christmas display. Not the one that tens of thousands of other people were headed to. No, the other one.
This required an upper level of navigation that resulted in us never being stalled by traffic. At least, not significantly. Not enough for road rage. I had to take some super turns here and there, and hot damn if I wasn't proud of myself.
After seeing the lights we went to this Mexican restaurant I'd never tried and I ordered the combo that included a taco, burrito and chimichanga. Instead, I was served about four cups of ground beef and some soggy corn tortillas. Gross.
First stop Friday night was the company Christmas party, where I won a gift card literally 4 seconds after saying to Chuck: "I'll probably win one. I'm really lucky today." Then we went to The Birthday Rally in Spirit Valley. Unfortunately, no drink could penetrate the wall of red meat that I'd consumed. Not beer. Not something called a Peppermint Patty, which included Schnapps and Hot Cocoa mix. So I just kicked back and watched the night unfold.
Later, after we'd left the American Legion, Chuck noted a group of 20-somethings at the next table.
"You know what's weird?" he asked. "West Duluth hipsters."
We started Chuck's birthday weekend on Thursday night by making a bunch of cookies. The Girl sat in my lap under the guise of helping, but really pulled the sprinkles, one at a time, off of the sugar cookies. She also stuffed wads of peanut butter cookie dough into her mouth, hands faster than a card shark.
As for the cookies in a baked state? She's all Meh.
We also put up the Christmas tree and listened to "Serial," which has become way too boring.
Meanwhile, less than 2 hours after I'd left the neighborhood grocery store a woman was murdered in the store's bakery. A random act by a man who had walked in there with a knife. I slept with my eyes wide open that night. I haven't been back to the store since, mostly because I haven't needed to go there and the one time we did need stuff, Chuck went.
I can't decide if, when I do stop in, I'll have to a) go to the bakery to try to imagine what happened or b) stop eating bread completely. You just never know with these things.