Stunted Adults

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That Night I Got Drunk With The Pastor

This past weekend I was lucky enough to watch two of my absolutely dearest friends marry each other.  It was truly amazing.

But, before that perfect moment, I got drunk with their pastor.

Yes.

That’s right.

I pretty much got hammered with God on Friday night.

Oops.

It all started out innocently enough.  You see, the pastor didn’t look like a pastor.  He was my age.  He was wearing hipster glasses.  He had carefully mussed shaggy hair.  When I met him at the rehearsal and he told me that he was the pastor, I sarcastically said “nice to meet you father” and moved on to the next person.  I honestly thought that he was just one of the groom’s fraternity brothers messing with me.

It was totally something that this guy would do.

It was totally something that this guy would do.

But then he stood up in front of everyone and started telling us how the ceremony was going to go down.  He was totally the pastor.

I pretty much told God that he was a liar.

Oops.

When I saw the pastor afterwards at the rehearsal dinner, I invited him to sit next to myself and a couple of the bride’s close friends.  I was going to make amends, because, you know, he was probably pretty tight with the big JC.

The pastor, most likely against his better judgment, pulled up a chair with us.  After I apologized for our rough introduction, he kindly explained to me that “pastors are just normal people who happen to be interested in God.”

That was a valuable life lesson, but one that I perhaps took a little too much to heart.

Since we were just a bunch of normal people hanging out, the pastor, my two friends, and I grabbed some drinks and started telling stories.  Turns out JC is down with celebrating the gloriousness that is beer.

in the words of my new pastor friend, "I'm drinking Merry Monk, so its all good."

In the words of my new pastor friend, “I’m drinking Merry Monk, so its all good.”

After about two minutes of warm-up material, my friends and I got right down to brass tacks.  We started interrogating the pastor about his love life and began figuring out which of our single friends that he should meet.  You can’t let a nice, single, well-educated man like that go to waste!

During that conversation, I might have invited him to come visit me because I knew lots of single girls and could “guarantee him a good time, if you know what I mean.”

I pretty much told God that I could get him laid.

Oops.

Just call me the dirty Yenta.

Just call me the dirty Yenta.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, then we started making cracks about how the pastor didn’t have to worry about driving home after our many rounds of drinks because he could just ask Jesus to take the wheel.  Yes, we quoted Carrie Underwood as gospel to the pastor.

I pretty much told God that it was cool to drive drunk because Carrie Underwood said so.

Oops.

Carrie Underwood

She might just be God.  At the very least they are homies, because the only way you get hair that good is if you have a direct line to the big guy.

Here’s the thing about a pastor, you just can’t not tell him stuff.

After I shared with him that I knew some easy women and that I get most of my spiritual guidance from a former-American-Idol-constestant-turned-country-music-superstar, I then, along with my friends, told him all about the bride’s bachelorette party last month.  You know, the one with the bidet.

Yes.

That’s right.

We told the pastor about what happened to the bidet and explained to him that our motto for the weekend was to be classy lite because we recognized that we were not actually capable of being classy for any extended period of time.

bridesmaids

Guess what he’ll be picturing when he sees our motley crew parade down the aisle.

So, for those of you keeping score at home, before dessert had hit the table, I had insinuated that the pastor was a liar and had told him that I lived a life full of debauchery, idolatry, and errant excrement.

Well done, PinotNinja, well done.

But, of course, I had to outdo myself.

My dignity really took this to heart on Friday night

My dignity really took this to heart on Friday night.

At the end of the night and multiple bottles of wine, my friends and I dared the pastor to include some key phrases from our conversations in his sermon.  That’s right, I decided to turn someone else’s sacred moment into an opportunity for my own personal entertainment.

The afternoon leading up to the ceremony was fairly hectic, which caused me to temporarily forget about the drunken dare we had made the night before to that nice man of the cloth.

The ceremony began and everything was full-on classy.  We all looked gorgeous.  The outdoor farm setting was stunning.  Tasteful orchestral music played.  We all made it down the aisle, even the two dogs and five small children, without a hitch.

It could not have been more perfect and elegant.

But then, as always, the wheels started coming off the train.

During his sermon, the pastor mentioned the rehearsal dinner.  Suddenly, I remembered everything that we had said the night before.  I was overcome with a sense of panic.

The pastor mentioned how lovely the couple’s friends and family were.  He mentioned how warm and open we all were.  I relaxed, thinking that maybe we were in the clear.

But then he said, “the thing about the couple is that they really now how to keep it classy or at least classy lite.”

The dude did it.

He took our dare head-on and he knocked it out of the park!

Before I could fully process what had occurred, everyone from the bachelorette party lost their damn minds.  There was actual hollering, ear-piercing laughter, and above-head clapping.  The bride fell into a fit of giggles.  One of the dogs started barking in response to all of the chaos.  The groom just looked at all of us with a mix of amusement and exasperation.

And, with that, we had turned the event into a classy lite affair.

colbert_mic_drop-52522

Our work at that wedding was done. PinotNinja and friends out.

At least we always keep it real?

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Bonjour, mon amour.

I just returned from a two-week work trip in Paris. Well-timed, I might add, to coincide with Paris Fashion Week. I had the extreme pleasure of dragging my ass up and down the streets of Paris in ill-fitting suits and uncontrollable bed-head alongside women like these:

I just can't compete.

I just can’t compete in my polyester suits.

So, thanks Paris!

I love travel and don’t do enough of it, but in my line of work, there is no such thing as travel in the traditional sense. I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit some very cool places, but only able to see the sights contained within my hotel and conference room. I pretty much only have my passport stamps as proof that I’ve “been there, done that.”

Now, PN is an expert in all things Paris and had a lovely list of recommendations for me – all of which are still languishing in my inbox. You see, I worked 20 hours a day (roughly) and had no time for things like cafes and runs along the Seine. So although it was super cool to take up a two-week residence in Paris (PARIS!), I didn’t have an opportunity to fall in love with the city. I knew the cafe on the corner for a quick bite to eat, the security guard at our office space, and to always watch your step on the streets of Paris. Nothing fancy, nothing remarkable… until one evening late into my trip.

All I wanted to do was to avoid this.

All I wanted to do was to avoid this.

It was 3 am and my team was hungry. It had been a long day and it was stretching out before us into a long morning. I was lucky to be working with two Parisians who knew a great spot to grab a late night meal. Before we trekked over to the restaurant, one of them grabbed my hand and squeezed it tight before she whispered: “aligot.” Then she danced off down the street in her Chanel shoes (seriously, Parisiennes are remarkably well-dressed…).

At the time I was delirious and starving, so I simply smiled and laughed figuring that “aligot” was a French word that I missed in my last-ditch attempts to learn important French phrases. I sighed at my less than amazing handbag and footwear and hurried to follow her into the dark streets.

We sat down and I was immediately told to order aligot, no matter what I wanted for dinner. I sounded out the word to our waiter who laughed at my Americanness, but dutifully scribbled down my order of “meat and something called al-ee-go.”

When it arrived, my life changed forever.

Hello, lover.

That is sexy.

It’s like fondue and mashed potatoes made sweet, sweet love and created the world’s perfect food. It’s cheesy, it’s starchy. It’s heaven.

I nearly licked my plate clean. And it was from that moment on that I could say that I truly, madly and deeply loved Paris.

I have several tales of my French experiences (including when a group of amazing, leggy models and I joined forces in Charles de Gaulle to start a near riot at the Air France check in… another story for another day – just me and some models), but none of them will ever compare to the instant connection I felt with aligot.

I always expected that I’d fall in love with a starch/dairy combination. Who knew that he’d have a French accent to boot?


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Death by Deer: A Tale in which I Save My Husband’s Life and He Doesn’t Appreciate It

A few years ago, my husband and I went hiking in Yosemite National Park.

Everything was glorious.

Yosemite

What could ever go wrong here?

We were just happily traipsing along in the woods when, suddenly, danger struck.

Deer 1

Danger! Striking!

I froze.

My husband, however, continued to move towards that wild beast with his camera at the ready.

Deer 2

Work it girl!

Panic filled my entire being.

I had no choice but to whisper “psssst!” at him with a tone of dire urgency.

He did not respond.

Deer 3

He just kept on taking pictures

Terror filled my entire being.

I whisper-pssted louder.

He did not respond.

I channeled my inner Tami Taylor and whisper yelled: “Get over here!”

He gave me an annoyed look and continued creeping towards the ferocious beast.

I was then faced with an existential crisis.

I had said more times than I could count that I loved my husband so much that I would do anything for him.  During drunken karaoke, I had publicly proclaimed that I would catch a grenade for him.


But I had never had to deliver on that promise.

Until now.

I had to decide whether I would take a charging deer hoof to the jugular for him.  I broke out into a cold sweat.  I frantically pondered what kind of person I wanted to be.  I imagined my life without him.  I imagined what death-by-deer felt like.  I imagined death.

Before I knew it, I was racing towards my husband.  I grabbed him and yanked him away from the deer.

After about one minute of that show, my husband wrenched himself free and asked: “What is wrong with you?”

I explained, triumphantly: “I saved your life!  I sacrificed myself to save your life! I caught a grenade for you!”

He responded: “I repeat, what is wrong with you?”

I said: “I repeat, I saved your life!”

He scoffed: “From what?  The wonder of nature?”

I responded, now questioning his mental capacity: “No!  From the deer!  Did you not see them?  You were going to die!”

He questioned: “Yet again, what is wrong with you?”

I exclaimed: “What is wrong with me?!  What is wrong with you?!  The deer was going to attack you! When deer see people they charge towards them and trample them!  You should never be outside with deer!  How do you not know that?  Didn’t you grow up in the country?”

He, between fits of laughter, exclaimed: “That would be amazing!  If deer ran after you, that would make hunting so much easier.  I could just go stand in the woods, give a yell, and we would have venison for dinner every night.  Deer!  Here deer!  Come on over tasty little deer!  Where did you get that idea from?”

I self-righteously lectured:  “From my mother.  All growing up she told me that I couldn’t play outside in the yard any time there might be deer around because they would attack and kill me.  It’s real.  First, they look at you, then they charge…”

Suddenly, all the pieces came together.

Deer do not attack and kill people.  My mother just didn’t want to go outside 20 times a day with her 3 rowdy children, so she told us the tale of the killer deer.  Once that tale of horror was seared into our little brains, she could shut down our never-ending whining about wanting to go outside when she was in the middle of something with a simple “not now, I just saw some deer.”

She probably assumed that her children were intelligent enough to figure out that the killer deer was a Santa Claus style farce by the time they reached double digits in age.   That was a highly inaccurate assumption.

I still get credit for catching a grenade for my husband, right?


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Gay Weddings Are the Cure for All That Ails You

I’ve recently learned that there is NOTHING that a gay wedding can’t fix. Feeling sad? It’s a freaking happy event. Feeling sober? Not for long. Feeling like the local economy could use a boost? How about making it a double shot because ridiculously intricate centerpieces and epic stage-lighting are not cheap. Feeling like love doesn’t get a fair shake these days? You will be tripping on Cloud Nine for weeks. Feeling like maybe you could use a reality check that you are not mind-blowingly fabulous in every way? Just pull up a seat.

I just attended my first epic gay wedding.

I’ve been to celebrations of civil commitments and receptions for recently married couples. All were lovely, awesome, and joyous. I left each feeling hopeful and happy. But I have to admit that each of those love-filled, tear-jerking events just got shown up by the Real Deal First Gay Wedding of the Summer 2013 Season. This ain’t your grandma’s wedding (or maybe it is, then mazel tov to you and yours, and please invite me to their vow renewal).

And I can’t even begin to tell you how many of the guests – straight and gay alike – referenced the SNL skit of “Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings” as having a serious kernel of truth. I could have used a visit from Ye Olde Pharmacist easily a half-dozen times. Luckily, Doctor Prosecco wasn’t too far behind, so he did all the heavy lifting.

My stress started off the night before we even left for the wedding. I told BigBrawler I had to stop to get my eyebrows done, but that if I couldn’t get it done after work, I’d have to go first thing and we’d just get a late start. BigBrawler pretty much told me I was crazy and what was the big deal about having to get my eyebrows done. I told him: “my eyebrow and shoe game better be tight as hell.” He told me I was being a douchebag. I barely made it to my eyebrow lady in time. I wouldn’t be a fat uni-browed, cavelady lost in the country, I’d be the fierce fat lady with bad ass brows in the country, which is obviously more acceptable. Score!

Latrice Royale is my Patronus. Always.

Latrice Royale is my Patronus. Especially for Shade and Eyebrows.

I called my mom part of the way through the weekend and babbled on about the events. I even forgot to ask about the kids for the first few minutes because I HAD TO TELL HER ABOUT THE WELCOME BAGS THAT HAD A MAKE YOUR OWN GIN AND TONIC KIT, complete with knives made from recyclable materials. Mini bottles of water are so last year; mini bottles of tonic water are the new thing. I confessed that although I was surrounded by everyone that I loved in my life for a full weekend at my own wedding, this country wedding where I only knew about 1/10th of the people there had taken the top spot in Best Wedding Ever. Sorry, mom.

Picking a dress for the event was heart-stopping. I didn’t have the ability to purchase anything new, so it was back to the closet for anything that could pass muster and fit my Mom of Twins physique. I ended up bringing three options with me and nearly melted down on the wedding day when the leader of the pack had slid off the hanger into a crumpled ball on the closet floor. No iron would save us. I don’t know how I made it through that emergency alive, but after much wailing and thrashing, I managed to pull on a dress and sky-high heels (remember: shoe game needed to be off the charts) … for the outdoor event. Dumbass.

As I plopped down into my chair for the ceremony (breath-taking and moving – barely a dry eye in the house) holding the glass of pink lemonade I was handed fresh off the bus, I noticed each perfectly coiffed and styled man around me. These dudes came to play and/or meant business. I think it can be both simultaneously.

I, however, just looked a hot mess – literally. My painstaking application of make-up had traveled a good inch down my face in the blistering heat. I imagined I looked like a plastic surgery victim whose latest “lift” had revolted. My breathing was labored and I struggled to fan myself with the card in my hand (containing what was obviously a sub-par gift). Meanwhile, one of the guys next to me barely looked dewy in his khaki suit and striped bowtie, with purple socks, as he beamed at the grooms. Sir, I bow down to you and whatever deal you had to make with the devil to look so perfect.

I wish I could pull off the Tammy Faye (RIP) - I think I would've been received better.

I wish I could pull off the Tammy Faye (RIP) – I think I would’ve been received better.

The perfection didn’t end there. The cocktail hour on the grounds of this country estate just reaffirmed to me that my heaven is a pasture where cater waiters roam with trays of roasted duck/goat cheese/artisan sausage/etc. and there is endless prosecco. Someone suggested that I put a little elderflower liquer IN the prosecco and my world will never be the same.

This little bottle will change your life.

This little bottle will change your life.

I actually told another guest that I could die in that moment and be happy. Then she asked if I was related to either of the grooms. Not a chance. Looking the way I did, I either would not have been invited or would have been subject to a Mia Thermopolis-style makeover to make sure that Cousin ErinGoBrawl wouldn’t embarrass the groom. In any event, the other wedding goer slowly moved away probably because she didn’t want to be in the cross-fire if the gods honored my request.

Then we marched off to the reception in a perfect, rustic barn, lit up with Hollywood-like perfection (with freaking deluxe restrooms in a trailer that were bigger and better than every bathroom I’ve ever had combined). Martha Stewart can pretty much walk right into the ocean, because she would never create a scene better than this reception. As the night wore on, I realized I had never danced so damn hard at any wedding I’ve ever been to – including my own where BigBrawler and I ended up in a completely spontaneous dance off. I’ve also never laughed so hard at any wedding – including the one where BigBrawler did “The Gator” solo in the middle of the dance floor. When Gaga’s “Born this Way” played, every soul on-site stomped, sang and shook – it was absolutely electric. I am grateful that the throng of dancers let me convulse next to them as if I belonged. The famous DJ spinning us into oblivion made the rural, rinky-dink DJ at my wedding look like a child with a Fisher Price boom box and a worn Guns ‘n Roses tape.

You know what I am talking about.

You know what I am talking about.

I was heartbroken when everything wrapped up and we headed back to the hotel, only to be reminded there was an after party. BECAUSE OF COURSE THERE WAS. And we munched on sliders and quesadillas and painstakingly revisited every single moment that had happened earlier – like it had been YEARS since we walked out into the pasture and the perfect sunset or when greens fell from the ceiling and onto our faces during a particularly sweaty, barn-shaking dance to Macklemore.

I didn’t even have a hangover the next day! I woke up happy, excited and talking a mile-a-minute, much to BigBrawler’s dismay. I just don’t understand the witchcraft required to make that happen.

And then there was the brunch. THE BRUNCH. Complete with Bloody Marys made from what I assume to be vodka made with glacier water. I ordered one out of curiosity, and was instantly sad that I couldn’t drink the whole thing thanks to a long drive home where my passing out covered in tomato juice would not be welcomed.

I’m just glad I got married five years ago, because I’d hate to have to follow this wedding. Apologies to everyone if I am a guest at your future wedding, because I will be thinking about how once upon a time I attended the BEST WEDDING EVER in the Summer of 2013, and yours just can’t compare.

But it wasn’t just the wedding details and the planning, or the fact that it was a perfect evening in every possible way. It was this incredible, overwhelming feeling that these two amazing men were celebrating their love and life in front of their community and loved ones, and nothing could stand in their way. When they were announced husband and husband, it was like a shot went through the crowd. Equality punctuated everything (including the amazing stage-lighting that displayed “EQUAL” over the dance floor all night). It was amazing. Still not moved? I implore you to check these out.

And as I await what will surely be a perfect series of pictures of the blessed event, I am imagining just how many photos of dashing, joyful men will be inadvertently photobomed by a sweaty, chubby woman clutching a half-full glass of bubbly who looks completely mad, but is sporting some impeccably groomed eyebrows.


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I Can’t Believe It’s Over (That’s What She Said)*

After 9 season and 200 episodes, The Office has left the building, and it has left me heartbroken.

In the words of Andy Bernard and Lorelei, “I will remember you…”

In the words of Andy Bernard and Lorelei, “I will remember you…”

I remember watching the first episode of The Office.  It was on a painfully low-def tube television.  I watched it with my boyfriend while we ate spaghetti for the 80th night in a row, because that was all we could afford since I was in grad school.  We were shivering under a mountain of blankets because it was March in Boston and we were in no position to splurge on things like heat.

Last night, I watched the final episode on a flat screen HD television.  My boyfriend is now my husband, and we watched it while eating salad because we can afford fresh produce now.  We were wearing t-shirts because we left Boston years ago for the tropics.

Despite all of those changes, my reaction to the theme song and opening credits was exactly the same when I watched the last episode as it was when I watched the first.  I had a giant smile on my face, because I could tell that something special was about to happen.

And special it was.

The Office is based on an absurdly simple concept.  It’s a show about a gang of regular people at a boring company in a declining rust belt city.  No one is particularly attractive.  No one does anything particularly outlandish or opulent.  And nothing particularly dramatic ever happens.

But, all of that is exactly why the show is so incredibly hilarious.  That gang of regular people on The Office did things that we have done, things we totally could do, or things we really want to do.

The Office understood that work can be painfully dull and that sometimes a little immaturity and creativity goes a long way in making the monotony tolerable. I have never once worked in a place where pranks were not an integral part of the day:

 

The Office understood the dangers of the George Foreman Grill, a device that we have all precariously used in the past and which, if it has not already, could have burned any one of us in a totally random location because we were trying to make breakfast in bed:

 

The Office understood that the one thing everyone secretly wants to do most is to make their own cool music video with their friends.  That’s why it brought us the greatest girl group of all time (sorry Destiny and her children), Subtle Sexuality:

 

The Office even understood the love/hate relationship we have with a cappella music.  As someone who went to a university where every archway was permanently occupied by an a cappella group (Go Big Red!), the Nard Dog’s loyalty to Here Comes Treble resonated particularly well.  I will roll my eyes and audibly groan whenever I hear the faint strains of a pitch pipe, but, secretly, I kind of love it.  So, Nard Dog, give me that beat that soothes my soul:

The true magic of The Office, however, was not in its humor.

Because, at its core, The Office wasn’t about humor.  It wasn’t about pranks and making fun of corporate culture.  It wasn’t about being awkward.

At its core, The Office was a show about love.

It was about love for your co-workers, love for your soul mate, love for your family, love for your friends, and, especially, love for the one person who is all of those things, even if you never would have expected it.

I dare you not to laugh:

I dare you not to cry:

 

The Office reminded us that, at the end of the day, love is all that matters.  It reminded us that we are surrounded by people who care about us and who we care about, even if we never realize it or expected it.  There is a magical moment when our co-workers become our family and our friends, and The Office reminded us to keep our eyes open to that wonderfulness and to remember to reach out to the people around us all day long.

For all of this, I say thank you to everyone involved in The Office.  It has been an honor and a privilege to share the last eight years with you and to get to be a small part of something so incredibly special.

As Michael said, goodbyes stink,

 

but I know that, in my heart, we’ll be together forever.

 

 

* Because there is no more fitting beginning or end to a discussion of The Office.