Romanticizing the Claw Foot Tub…Don’t Do it.

This isn't a photo of our bathroom but it's pretty much the same tub.

This isn’t a photo of our bathroom but it’s pretty much the same tub.

When we were taking a first look at the condo we eventually bought, there was one thing that stuck in my mind when we left – the beautiful claw foot tub in the master bathroom.  I had never lived anywhere that had a claw foot tub so I had nothing but romantic ideas about the tub.  I imagined sipping wine while taking a luxurious bubble bath.  Well…that’s pretty much where the romantic thoughts ended because, well, that’s where the movies’ portrayal of the tub ends too.  Regardless, I was excited at the prospect.

The day we moved in, I couldn’t wait to use the tub – albeit a shower.  This is precisely when my hatred started.  Have you ever taken a shower in one?  It’s the worst.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve banged my shin as I’ve raised my leg high but not high enough to clear it’s sides.  Then once your inside, it’s like you are wrapped in a cocoon of shower curtain. Seriously, it’s a 360 wrap of curtain.  Then, comes the lack of shelving for shampoo and soap.  Because it doubles as a shower, I can’t buy one of those pretty wooden shelves that rests on the tub.  Instead, we balance our stuff on the edge, leaned against the wall…this starts another world of problems.

A claw tub does not sit flush to the wall.  Instead it has approximately six inches on every side.  Six inches of space that allows the filth of shower and wetness to get into the crevice of every stone that surrounds it.  I almost knocked myself out, followed by getting stuck when trying to clean it.  I had my arm as far as I could stretch, trying to reach the floor and darkness below.  Before I knew it, I slipped into the most precarious position that I thought for a moment I might die of starvation.  There was no way I was getting out of it on my own.

So this is my warning.  If you ever have the chance to have a claw foot tub, don’t…well, unless you have a separate shower,  Then, totally do it because they are pretty.  But only do it, if you don’t plan to take baths.  Those are worse than the showers.

You’ve been warned.

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Sausage Casing

You know what a man should never see?   A woman, specifically a significant other, putting on tights.  I wiggle, shimmy and dance to pull the tights over my soft legs eventually pulling the waist of the tights as high as they will go. 

The waist of the tights are secured under my bra.  I make every effort to prevent the waist of the tights from slowly rolling down my midsection exposing the softness tucked neatly inside. 

The sheer nature of tights leave nothing to hide.  Panties are frequently wadded up underneath and the squeezed shape of my body begs to be let loose. 

It just shouldn’t be seen.

Monday

Toy poodle or feret on steroids?  You decide.Photo source: Yahoo!

Toy poodle or feret on steroids? You decide.
Photo source: Yahoo!

Most Mondays, I question that I chose working as a career.  Why couldn’t I have majored in vacation?  I am really good at sitting, eating, smiling, enjoying, relaxing, drinking and sleeping.  Basically, I bring all the skills needed to be the CEO of Vacation.  Yet, nine years post college, here I sit (in a cube no less) every Monday daydreaming about five day weekends and two day work weeks, asking myself, why?  

Usually to make myself feel better, I take a five minute break here and there to catch up on the latest and greatest on the interwebs.  Yahoo!, known for its groundbreaking reporting and stories, is where I typically start.   This morning was no different and as I perused the carousel I saw a headline that read, Man buys toy poodles, discovers they are actually ferrets on steroids.  Um, yes please – tell me more.  

As it turns out, there is a market in Buenos Aires that sells “puppies” that are actually ferrets and rats.  They pump varmints up with steroids, fluff their hair and scam people.  Now, I’ve seen both rats and ferrets.  They are both disgusting, smelly animals that I am shocked could be mistaken for puppies.  But then I thought about it for a bit.

If I were the CEO of Vacation, Buenos Aires would definitely be on my list of destinations.  I would sleep in, eat a lot and drink more.  Then, after I had a substantial buzz, I would wander around the city taking in the sights, which would most likely include a visit to La Salada, Argentina’s largest bazaar.  In a vacation high, I would wander up and down the aisles of the market seeking out the cutest puppies.  I would pick them up and cuddle them, disregarding every red flag like the weasely movements and hissing. 

“What a cute puppy!” I’d exclaim to my vacation employees. 

“I want one.  If I could just hold onto him.”  I would look around as the puppy shimmied out of my arms.

“Do you sell leashes?” I’d ask the booth owner.

“Perfect!  I’ll take both puppies and two leashes.”  Then, my vacation high would be replaced with a puppy haze of happiness except that they weren’t really puppies.  They were ferrets.  And ferrets are weasels.  And weasels are gross and mean.  I would feel like the dumbest CEO of Vacation so I would try to hide the puppy scandal from everyone around the world.  I would fear getting fired from vacation. 

Then, my work phone rang and snapped me back to reality – maybe a career in working after all isn’t so bad.  I hate ferrets.

Growing Up

Growing upI lived my twenties as a free spirit.  I had a lot of fun.   After all, the only person I had to take care of was myself.  I was an independent, young adult with a lust for life.  I did what I wanted, and only I had to suffer the consequences or so I thought. 

Tom and I recently placed an offer on a condo in the city.  We first saw the condo in January.   It is a large, vintage unit with two floors.   From the moment I walked in the door, I was in awe.  The space was unlike anything I had ever seen.  I wandered into the kitchen seeing our future flash in front of my eyes.  I imagined myself standing at the sink making dinner, hearing the pitter patter of little feet running down the hallway and later in life standing in the same place hearing laughter of teenagers echoing from the basement.  I could smell Tom’s coffee brewing as he shouted to me from another room.  The condo was warm and inviting.  I knew in my heart it was the place we would raise our family.

After we left the building, Tom and I excitedly talked about everything we liked in the unit.  It needed work but the bones were good.   Plus, Tom needs a house with projects.  The unit had the original woodwork from the early 1900’s and quite frankly, we were never going to find another place that size in the neighborhood we were looking.  There was only one issue, it was slightly more than we wanted to pay.  

For the next three months, we looked at more places comparing it to “the one”.  We looked at it online every night to see if it was still available or if the price dropped.  We talked in length about what we would do to the place if it were ours and more importantly, did we need that much space?  We did everything we could to talk ourselves out of the place, even placing an offer on a different condo, but in every scenario, “the one” was staring back at us.  

After consulting two of our sisters on what we should do, we decided to make an aggressive offer.  After some negotiating, the condo was ours and thus begins the rest of the process.  The process of buying house is a lot of work, and there had been one piece I was dreading – the finance piece.  While I had gotten my act together in the past few years, I had made some mistakes as a free spirit.  And while it wasn’t a surprise to Tom (seriously, we have no secrets), I felt terrible.  The consequences of my actions weren’t just mine anymore, they were Tom’s too.  

I took an afternoon off from work so we could go to the bank.  I was a bucket of nerves the entire day.  

“I’m nervous.” I said grabbing Tom’s hand as we walked into the bank. 

“It’ll be fine.”

We sat in front of the broker going over every detail of our life.  Every rock was turned over and bumps in the road exposed.  I sat there face flushed.  In comparison to Tom, I had a long ways to go.  While he’s 29 going on 60, I’m 31 going on 28.  

“Elyse, don’t worry.  It’s not bad.”  The broker had gentle eyes and a kind smile.  I looked down in my lap and Tom squeezed my hand.  It was my worst nightmare, as she asked more and more questions. 

“I’ll be right back.”  She said walking off to get something.

“I’m sorry, Tom.”

“Don’t worry about it.  It’s not bad…just promise me you’ll continue to make good decisions going forward.”

“I promise.”  I bounced my feet as I waited.  My heart was beating ninety to nothing.  One of my biggest fears in life is letting Tom down. 

The broker came back with papers in her hand. 

“Congratulations.  You are approved”

My heart leaped out of my chest.  Buying a home had suddenly become a reality.  I didn’t have to hide behind my fear anymore.  I didn’t have to be skeptical that it wasn’t really going to happen.  I could relax and get excited.  We were going to buy a home…together.

What is weird, anyways?

I wear my mini top hat every opportunity I get, which is a lot.

I wear my mini top hat every opportunity I get, which is a lot.

I remember the first time someone called me weird. I had always been considered weird because I didn’t talk like everyone else. My parents were Yankees, and ‘ain’t’ wasn’t a part of my vocabulary. But no one had ever said it to my face until high school. I would have been insulted no matter who told me, but because it came out of the mouth of my weirdest friend, it really hurt.

Annie was smart, funny and quirky. I never knew what would come out of her mouth, her driving made me want to pee myself in fear, her choice in boys was questionable and she was awkward. I liked her a lot but if she thought I was weird? Well, I was in trouble.

For me, being different in high school was not desirable. I wanted to fit in with the crowd, go by unnoticed and unscathed. And while I liked Annie, I thought her weirdness brought her down. I was naïve to the fact that being weird is a good thing.

This mustache, which is awesome by the way, was a 29th birthday present.

When I went to college, I left a lot behind – my friends, my family and my image. I was dropped off in a Midwestern town ten hours from my Southern roots. I knew no one. My accent was different again but in a good way. To them, I had a Southern accent. It was like everything in my life had flipped. I no longer had to play to the small town image I had – responsible and straight laced with a bit of a stick up my butt.

This is an array of my favorite hats.  The head dress was for a birthday, the balloon hat for Lollapalooza and the warrior hat for a race.

This is an array of my favorite hats. The head dress was for a birthday, the balloon hat for Lollapalooza and the warrior hat for a race.

I was relaxed in college. It was a fresh slate without any preconceived notions so I let my freak flag fly. I let it out occasionally in high school, but it was never flown for a long period of time. I hoisted the flag sometime my first semester of college and have never taken it down since. Today, I’m weirder than ever.

I was talking to my trainer yesterday, when she said, “I saw your New Year’s photos on Facebook. I love your mini top hat. It’s the same one from Halloween, right?”

This shirt was for a trip to Toronto to visit Lana.  Evelyn, Lana and I wore different kitten shirts for a day of site seeing at Niagara Falls and winery tours.  Classy.

This shirt was for a trip to Toronto to visit Lana. Evelyn, Lana and I wore different kitten shirts for a day of site seeing at Niagara Falls and winery tours. Classy.

My mini top hat is black and sparkly with a bow. In the middle of the bow is a skull and cross bones. I originally bought the hat for a friend’s bachelorette party but have since worn it every opportunity I get. It’s weird. Yet, most everything I do is weird.

I wore this for my 25th birthday.
I wore this for my 25th birthday.

For this post, I was originally going to show only a picture of my mini top hat but then I got the idea to look through some pictures for some other Elyse weirdness. After about ten minutes and a lot of photos, a pattern emerged – crazy hats. They are one of my favorite things. When I have on a hat, I am allowed to be silly, and it’s like a costume without the commitment. It’s a win, win.

I also found pictures of various wigs and some kitten attire. In every picture, I’m with a group of friends with smiles on our faces. We are having fun, laughing like hyenas and enjoying life with flair. If that’s weird, well, I’ll take it. Being weird is much better than being ordinary.

 

A New Year Means New [Lofty] Goals

GoalsI kicked off 2013 the same way I’ve kicked off every other year for the past decade – nursing a wicked hangover. I woke up in Evelyn’s bed blinded by the sun. She always complains it’s too bright in her apartment. While I always responded that it wasn’t so bad, yesterday, I realized she has been right all along. I tried everything to slow the drumbeat in my head – my arm splayed over my eyes, the pillow wrapped around my head and blankets pulled high. Yet, as usual, nothing worked except time. As Tom and I made the epic journey back to the suburbs pale faced and nauseous, he asked me what my mom always asks me, “Was it worth it?”

I was quiet.

For the first time in my life, I found myself not answering an enthusiastic “Yes!” Instead, I was rewinding the night. I was fortunate to ring in the new year with my best friends – Evelyn, Jack and Tom. Yet, I could have had just as much fun if I had only 3 glasses of champagne instead of the countless number I drank. But as with every new year, I celebrated with the freedom of ending one year and the hopefulness of another. It’s a fleeting feeling but one that fills me with joy to know there are new beginnings ahead.

As I drove into work today, relieved to feel like myself again, I thought about the year ahead and the things I want to do. I’ve never been one that’s good on follow through but last year I began to make a series of life changes. Work is going well, I’ve been working out regularly, being more money conscious, writing, etc. Surprisingly, those changes have added up, and somehow I’ve turned into a responsible adult. With this revelation, this year I’ve decided to make a few more hearty resolutions. When I texted them to Tom this morning, he said, “Wow, that’s a very comprehensive list.”

He’s right – it is. But I’m already on my way. This year is about taking the changes of last year and bringing them to a new level. Here are my resolutions, exactly as I sent them to Tom:

1. Enter a writing competition
2. Continue to work out each week to get into my goal pants (I bought the pants a year ago. They didn’t fit when I bought them so I’m not sure why I bought them. They taunt me every morning in my closet).
3. Reach new goals professionally – this one is vague but includes trying harder at work and/or a new job in the city
4. Maximizing the money I put into savings
5. Try to limit the processed foods eaten at home (this one is a bit aspirational). I want to continue exploring how to make things from scratch.
6. Be the best person I can be for Tom, Sam, friends, etc. This means always contributing at home, coming up with and initiating things to do on the weekends, being kind, etc.

So there you have it. I am welcoming 2013 and all it has to bring with open arms…and lofty goals.

What are your resolutions?

Wardrobe Decisions

Cowboy BootsI am always antsy the day before a trip. For one reason, I wait until the very last minute to pack every time. It’s a bad habit that will most likely never change.

There is a lot of thought that goes into packing for a trip home. When I was in college, the primary one was do I pack all dirty clothes to take advantage of easy access to a washing machine or do I pack half and half? I once brought home a 55 lb suitcase of dirty clothes. Luckily, it was before the days of being charged for luggage. In my twenties, I thought about how often I would be out with friends. And now in my thirties, I think about how many lounge outfits I need because let’s be realistic – when I am at my parent’s house all I do is sit around, eat, drink, watch tv, hang with the family, rinse and repeat. It’s awesome.

This year is a bit different. While lounge outfits are still what are being primarily packed, there is one other factor to consider. My mom is getting me a pair of cowboy boots for Christmas. I have been dying for a pair of boots and picked them out myself. I know they are already wrapped and under the tree, and I can’t wait to get my hands on them. When I do, I will have four days left at home to wear the boots. That means, I have to plan four outfits that I can wear with my new boots. It also means, I have to actually get dressed in real clothes for the last half of my vacation.

I love skirts and dresses with cowboy boots, but I also have a newfound love of skinny jeans after working my butt off at the gym. I have a lot of decisions to make today – maybe a spreadsheet will help. What do you think? What should I wear with my new boots?