DINKs Careening into Thirtysomething!!! And Other Grown-up Sillies Amid the Camels

Previously on A&A's Adventures in Cohabitation:  Dates! Sweetest separation of our scrappy (momentarily) singlsey couple. Sofas save the day in grandiose splendor! And, of course, people run in terror of the DINKY power couple in surreally matched running gear and determined pace-set charges through the forests... Coming up. Well, more of the same, really. A warning about those dates, as new discoveries are made of old. The Wright household bustles and stirs, rife with preparations for Mr. (W)right's spectacular foray further into that uncharted territory known as thirtysomething(!!). And all the while, Thaddeus the spice man looks on with inscrutable calm.

Suited up and Ready for (Monkey) Business - Well, there was this thing called a weekend. It happened. I enjoyed it. Quite a lot. Apparently, it has ebbed into some strange thing called the week (I might be spelling that wrong, I really couldn't say). I know this mostly because somehow I am now on a treadmill, in an office, wearing suit pants. I vaguely recall having hopped from bed and donning these pants in the laundry cove that has become my personal boudoir.

 I never imagined I would end up having a boudoir, but given our staggered sleeping schedules, it is quite convenient. Andrew's auxiliary dressing chambers appear to inhabit the study/den/office/SOFA-room. I am happy with this development, as he returns from track-night far after my bedtime (sounds so seedy, doesn't it? Like he rolls in reeking of rye whiskey and crushed hopes, having spent our rent money on hobbled horses and impossible dreams). I have taken to stocking the shelves above the dryer with a week's worth of socks, underwear and shirts. The pants cycle in and out. The laundry basket stays on the washer - forever perplexing Mr. (W)right, who may just think that I do laundry on a quotidian cycle. A pair of shoes are always along the wall. Cherubs flock the upper regions of the room and sing as I half-heartedly endue myself in grown-up raiment. 

So, yes, I remember this sartorial scene from earlier this morning. I remember doffing my satin leopard print pjs for another new pair of pants. These are "2 longs" from Express, meaning they are made of that beautiful stretchy but not very fabric that only Express seems capable of mastering. I dispute the "Long" part of that description, as they hem just about the tibii and would not suffer heels lightly. But I think they are hunky dory and comfortable to boot. The only real drawback appears to be my choice of pairing low-waisted pants with high-waisted underwear. But then, who doesn't think it's classy to have a brilliant flash of fuschia poke out? I also remember breakfast. It was unlike a weekend breakfast in that it happened hie on the heels of stirring the Andrew beast. On weekends, there is lingering. There are pre-breakfast courses of coffee and chocolates. Not so today. There was also tupperware and "lunches" being "packed," which rarely occurs on weekends unless we are taking a trek to the middle of nowhere for some masochistic cycling event. 

  I think I remember, too, hopping in my car at 6:15 and wishing my love a happy day "at work" (not that he is not in a constant state of staying-at-work-being-himself, but it was not much of a weekend goodbye). I have vague flashes of Tony Blair's voice on NPR. Walking up stairs. Unlocking a door. Trudging through an ocean of mail slipped under the office door. Making a second pot of coffee in a new location (I am the empress of the coffee pot in all orbs of life)...

 And yet, I'm not entirely sure any of this occurred with conscious intent or full awareness. I seem to be stepping out of a dream with each plod forward-back on the treadmill. My body complacently begins its workday routine; my brain gazes from a fog, contemplating the oddity of it all. A word document seems to have opened - "mediation letter" and a date emblazoned in the title bar. Messages have been written and scrawled. Emails appear to have vaulted from the safety of my little google world into the wider web. 

Here or not, this day appears to be happening.  I suppose I'd better jump right into it, shall I? Shrieking, hooting, and hollering, hopefully. 

Thaddeus the Spice-Man Guards Our Table.. The zen garden stays in equipoise through Thaddeus' gaze. Under his aegis, odd piles of smart-devices and Andrew's training books, towels, and books keep peace with my piles of crosswords from pilfered papers. Wood glue is never needed for the creaky chairs. Bolts stay bolted. Our spiceman is made of old utensils, so he understands utility intimately and is willing to oblige. But  he's also a romantic at steely heart: We are reminded to "compliment each other perfectly" by a gift note affixed to his wrist. 

Thatddeus' spice bottles contain infinite potential and insatiable nullity. While I keep an entire spice drawer in the kitchen, including a rather large bulk can of pepper, our home doesn't own any salt at the moment. I've occasionally considered choosing a few of my staples - perhaps cayenne and cumin - to outfit Thaddeus' bottles, but the placid alpha-omega of his pure containers overrules such considerations. It is good as it is. 

Our dining room table god was a wedding gift. Although we specified a preference for no gifts, I'm rather pleased with the ones we did receive. With little guidance and some restrictions, people who were dead-set on gifts got quite creative. Most of the gifts we did receive were hand made and personalized. Of course now that we've settled in, there are certainly items I'd post-dated add to a gift registry, but then again I would have to give up our cash haul post-datedly as well... so nevermind. Something about the new home definitely inspires bizarre nesting instincts I've never quite known. I have developed fetishes for the glass storage bins that my old roommate kept on his kitchen counters. I crave magnetic spice jars. I have an immersion blender, a regular blender, a food processor, a "spice" grinder, a salad  spinner, a Pyrex army, and several measuring devices. I'm understanding why one would want a pressure cooker and a slow cooker. I think I could go quite wild in a Bed Bath and Beyond (provided that the store were closed and I was allowed free roaming).  Thaddeus understands, but makes no comment. The gleam of light across his hermetic mien makes me think I see a flash of a smile at this unanticipated domestication.

I wonder what Thaddeus does when we are asleep. Does he stand guard, snatching at imps and succubi rat-tat-tapping at our open window? Does he nap atop his little zen garden? Does he rummage through the spice drawer searching for the consummate spice for his empty jars? Or does he throw on a little LMFAO and get his shiny boogie on? It will remain a mystery to me. Still, I feel a small surge of sanguine to know he tirelessly stands guard over our domestic domain. 

Somtimes you crave a night of dates and honey... sometimes you'd rather have the stewed prunes - Yesterday was our second date night of married (W)rightness. I know that the entire universe has been waiting with bated respiration to hear the sordid gossipy details (that's right US Magazine, I saw you rooting through our doggie bag last night!)

I'll start by building some dramatic anticipation by refusing to (ever) answer straightfowardly: About ten years ago I spent some time knocking around Morocco with a friend. It is a lovely place to go when you're moorless, broke, and willing to live in tiny Medina inns with squat toilets and electricity that only works at certain hours of the day. We meandered about the entire country, which encompasses several different climate zones and feels. For the most part, the Medinas were quite chill. We haggled well enough in broken french and large gestures, and weren't much harangued.

And then we went to Zagora, which we agreed to be an evil, evil place.

Zagora probably is not actually evil, but it is the Gateway to the Sahara, meaning within five seconds of stepping off the bus you will have been accosted with several men hawking camel treks (and several more promising morphine, hash, and any other number of illicit substances or favors from unidentified youths). It is also mercenary in its treatment of tourists, salting the food to unbearable amounts so they will purchase bottled water (tap water was not advised in the area and never available at the tables). We both had horrible dreams the night that we stayed. Dan, my friend, woke my up to tell me he'd dreamt I was a robot, and he was still not entirely sure this was not the case. He was... kinda freaked out. Maybe because we were already half-starved and likely dehydrated by that time.

We decided, sagely, to return North as soon as possible. As we waited for the bus, we stopped by a market and bought some dates to eat as we spent a few hours sitting on the curb hoping to escape to the soothing anonymity and tenebrous cafes of Meknes. I began to eat a date just as my companion spat his out virulently, and with some alarm. In the middle of the mid-masticated date there was a maggot. I'd never seen one before and the experience was quite surreal. After so many references in so many macabre stories, I'd expected something more ominous than this wee creature. Perhaps again because we were dehydrated and hungry, we stared at this little maggot - whom I dubbed Frederick - for the next hour and a half. The remaining dates were not eaten and a queasy feeling overtook the hunger that had greeted our morning.

I still am a little wary about buying dates in the store since Zagora. And I can promise you that I may have kissed a camel in Palestine, but have shied off from all things camel-related since that Sheltering-sweltering-Sky moment these ten years back.

But dates! Yes, and date nights. I'm not saying that our date night was something bitten into with great gusto only to discover a maggot at the center (thank goodness, because that would be gross!). I am saying, sometimes you dress up and look beautiful and get swept off your feet for a perfect evening; and sometimes you still dress up with even more attention, and your husband comes home an hour later than you'd hoped, looking grungy, feeling frustrated, and obsessing over work, and you still go out but maybe somewhere quicker. And maybe, just maybe, you have a little bit of one of those internal struggles between your desire to wallow in that twinge of disappointment about how canting "date night" doesn't magically turn daily life into Cinderella, your genuine sympathy for your husband's stressful day, and your recognition that if you want to enjoy yourself then it's really up to you to let go of that wallowing thing and make an effort to shake it off.

These various impulses vied for supremacy in a bit of a touch-and-go battle through our pho. I'd chalk it up to a near stalemate between the three through that period: sometimes coaxing out details of the frustrating day, sometimes glaring into space, and sometimes animatedly chattering about Stephan Colbert's deep chagrin to be left off Maxim's hottest chicks list. Things were slowly breaking towards the positive at the end of dinner, possibly because it's a lot harder to stare despondently into space when you don't have a phone to channel that stare. Perhaps, also, because our waiter put on quite the fantastic show in getting my almost uneaten punch-bowl of pho into a small drink container without spilling a drop.

Regardless,  three things can be said (1) it is better to have that time alone without devices, errands, or other personal distractions than not to; (2) I really did look cute last night in my houndstooth skirt and crazy socks; (3) coming home from date night is the best part of all. Our date night didn't necessarily have singing mice or a pumpkin-carriage, but it did end blissfully with a couch, cuddles, and some Sports Night. Quibble about the rest of the evening, but everything after the garage door closed was marital bliss down-time on steroids. Going out is nice, coming back in together is the nicest. 

*Note: No camels were kissed in the making of this date-night*

Hey Sartre, I found your exit!! That's right, It's not-so-bright and fairly early Friday morning. I spy signs for the off-ramp to the weekend express. Sure the little arrow is on empty and the gas light is on, but we've got reserves in the tank for just that last little push ... right? Of course. 

Tomorrow marks the national observance (and actual date) of Mr. (W)right's effulgent endeavor into existence. He'll be turning 32, which is a satisfying number (two 16 year olds, oh my!). Given his interaction with mornings, "turning" may be an overly enthusiastic word for what he will be doing as the day arrives. Tossing, grumbling, blinking, and shying away from thirty-two may be more accurate... Possibly rousing long enough to mention that he is very sore from having spent his final evening as a 31 year old in super-hero costume pummeling around an oval track vying with other crazy people for "upgrade points,* which seem slightly more tangible than bitcoins but not by much (which makes one wonder, if there a black market for upgrade points? Could we use them to launder money? Starch shirts? I obviously need to look more into this "track racing" thing).

I, for my part, am letting him test the waters a little bit before committing to the whole thirtysomething thing. I'm looking forward to my 31st in a few months, but am still more tentative about taking any action without thorough and tortured lucubration on the matter. I strongly support Mr. (W)right in his move and will be sure to celebrate the transition with him as one could only expect the (W)rights to celebrate: WORKING OUT! Yes, and no. It promises to be a busy day tomorrow, but somehow the training calendar snuck into the plans like a beautiful but insidious blackberry bush. Because it wouldn't be a day with Andrew without something sweaty that requires special shoes, a heart rate monitor, some sweat bands, and a good shower afterwards (oooooh baby, I think I just revealed our romantic plans for the day... oh my again!)

The full agenda, according to our calendar begins at the Welding Rodeo (obviously!), followed by some ridiculously unhealthy brunch at Old Country with my father. Followed, I believe, by a trip to the Hannegan Speedway to watch the Baja Formula SAE races. Followed by a run (well, we'll see how hardy we're feeling about the birthday run in a deluge, as our weather forecast augers a dank birthday)... 

Followed by our little gym-tryst in which manly men will grunt and writhe like women in labor, some even biting on - I have seen this - leather straps as they squirm through a last rep. I will be shunning that section, mostly, but have noticed an increase in Lamaze breathing as I start to  work up my burliness and increase the weight load. The parturient aspect of "working out" does seem particularly palpable when I am on the abductor apparatus (kind of the industrial version of a thigh master to target your inner thighs by requiring you to do a weighted flap in and out of your knees). Breathing. Pushing. Spreading my legs. Swearing at the bastard who did this to me! Ok, not that one yet... but, yes, to continue... 

Followed, according to the calendar, by a bike ride (that will be a solo one if he gets to it), hopefully followed by a shower and eating,  followed finally by a tango evening, where I'll be teaching and I suspect Mr. (W)right will start by razing the treat table and then falling into a somnolent stupor for the remainder of the evening.

Then on Sunday he drives to Enumclaw in the morning to CORNER MARSHALL a road race that his team is putting on. Talk about an awesome birthday celebration! I wonder if he gets a special marshal  hat. With feathers. It should have feathers. 

There's chatter about also trying to take his car back to the tire place to return the tires that turn out not to be energy saving or what Andrew wanted.  I'm fascinated to see how many of these calendar events actually get accomplished. It all looks so neatly spaced on the calendar, but things have a way of starting later and taking longer than anticipated in my experience (ok, mostly my vicarious experience as I am a time hoarder who over-attributes the time taken to do anything and am compulsively early to all events!).

Anyways, before the merriment, there is  work. I'm chugging down that highway staring at the empty sign, but wind resistance is on my side and an evening of cabbage chopping and cleaning is in sight. Or boyfrianceband cossetting, possibly, since his track nights get cancelled when it rains. 

Happy Friday!! Hope the weekend plans are approaching faster and more furioser than Vin and Dwayne on a hijacked international space rocket (that's in the next F&F movie, right??)
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