So remember when I told ya’ll that my Pseudo Sis 3 got engaged? Remember? It was the perfect engagement that involved all of our favorite people (lots of people)and places (the Wormy Dog during daylight hours) and things! (All things icy, shots, beers, diamonds!)
Well I had dinner/drinks with Maggie and Shiny (Chris) on Friday night in Norman. It was so fun to have friends IN Norman!!! I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but really it is. I miss my social life here in OKC and wish for it to be the same down in Norman. I want people to Sunday Funday with, to sit and listen to music with at the concerts that Mark helps produce. I miss MY friends. So this was a real treat.
During our meal and beers and laughing and kind of tip-toeing around PseudoSis1’s. . . fierce arrival. . . Maggie finally broke the news and spilled the real reason for our gathering.
She and Chris asked me if I would get ordained and along with Michelle (PS1) would we officiate the wedding ceremony!
I started laughing and crying and I was still chewing my bite of nacho and it was a messy, hysterical glob of family love. At this point Maggie handed us both hand stitched handkerchiefs that said NO UGLY CRYING. Michelle’s in orange. Mine in Fuschia.
Such a nice touch. Sweet Sweet Sweet.
Of course I accepted the honor and my brain immediately started racing, going through the files of quotes, passages, special writings that I love about love, movie quotes, song lyrics.
Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togever…Yeah. You know I said that about a million times. The scenario of Michelle and I at the end of the aisle, both nonchalantly sucking at our custom designed Xanax Necklace (patent pending) was enough to send us all into a tizzy. I at one point said that at the end of the ceremony, instead of a nice presentation of the couple I was just going to clap my hands and exclaim:
and walk away.
I’ve also got a puppet just dying to do some interpretive readings of some Journey lyrics. Do not tempt me.
All kidding aside, I don’t know if I can express what an honor this is. To be a part of this relationship, to be a witness to the life they are building, to be a part of the foundation of family and friends and love that they’re building it on…
This is what it’s all about ya’ll.
This day has given us some pretty devastating news. People near and far are hurting and experiencing profound loss.
Tonight, as I sit here and watch The Voice and sip a little jelly jar of $3 wine and proof my final research paper for That Grad School Thing, I choose to focus on this.
Mark’s brother-in-law lost his fight with Fucking Cancer this week. It was, as it always is, just bullshit from the get go. It’s not really my story to tell here, but as we all know, this kind of thing just sucks.
I’ve been in Norman every night, spending time with family, being together, and that part has been lovely.
Last night, I dreamed crazy. I dreamed about school. I dreamed about being so far behind on writing my thesis. I dreamed about not graduating until the Fall and everything just falling apart. I dreamed about this assignment we have for my Shakespeare class…
I had emailed my professor with questions about this last night and then dreamed that his reply…well his reply was nothing that I could do. It had tons of information, tons of stuff to help me…if I were Chris. I kept looking over the paper, and saw prompts that would make the assignment easier and I kept saying, “But I don’t know that episode of the Simpsons. I didn’t watch the X-Files. Dr. Who has never been on my television. Chris would know this. Chris could do this.”
It was like that all night long.
Cindy’s post today was really on point. “It doesn’t get easier…” It really is a relief, I think. . . to know that. Of course, the interpretation of “easier” is up for grabs…just depends on your journey.
The closer we get to February, the more I’ve been thinking about him. About Cindy. About that day, about that trip with Amy and how it is still just so raw. I guess I too, have been waiting for it to get easier. This week has just kind of peeled back the scab.
I was thinking this week about Mark’s sister. I was thinking about having lived an entire life with someone…only to have another entire life ahead without them.
I was thinking about my friends who are on this path already…some many steps ahead of the other but walking it, nonetheless.
The list is just way too long.
Today I’m paying bills, reading more homework and heading to class. I didn’t go on Tuesday. My place was in Norman. So I’ve got some catching up to do. A little time in the salon with clients, then load the car, feed the livestock and head back down.
I’ve said for years, “You never have to do this day over again.”
Eventually something shifts and it becomes, “You never get to do this day over again.”
We’re somewhere in the middle this week, and that’s okay.
Sunday night I sat at the Depot wedged between people that I love, and the minute that Gretchen Peters opened her mouth, everything I’d been carrying with me just dissipated and I was instantly lighter. The bulk of the week, the emotion of the weekend all of it immediately dissolved and I was at once in a moment of magic.
I’d had a little bit of a pity party this weekend, and since there really was no good reason, we can just blame it on the full moon. For whatever reason, I felt a little lonely. I wished for my friends. I wished for my friends to be in Norman, to be in my circumference, to be close. I always wished for a “plus one” so that I could “couple” with my friends…and that has happened maybe once thus far…Don’t get me wrong. I’m not laying out a big guilt trip for those who read. I’m well aware of the busy and the children and the schedules and the Life that requires planning. Lord, am I aware. I’m merely just laying out there the shape that my psyche was in.
Are we still blaming it on the moon?
Maybe I should blame it on the weather.
The weather was gorgeous. Unseasonably gorgeous. Mark was at the Depot setting up for the show. I was at the house ostensibly doing my reading homework…yet I was not. I was wallowing in the ridiculous…and took it out on my bangs. I put Urban Cowboy on, turned it up and sang along. I love that movie. I love those songs. I’m unapologetic for my love of country music. Mainstream country, Old School country, I don’t care. It’s part of my fabric. It’s part of my quilt. I was emotional, and the Bloody Mary was delicious and before I knew it I had cut the everlivingbejeasus out of my poor, friendless bangs.
I’m not mad about it.
I wasn’t mad then.
But I was feeling lonely.
I’m going to blame it on the music actually. The movie AND the music. Lotta memories wrapped up in that package.
Last week George Strait came through town on his final tour. The Cowboy Rides Away, and after a lifetime of seeing him at the Myriad every October with Audra, layer after layer of memory and tears, we went to listen, to clap and sing and say good-bye. This year however, we took our sisters with us. The four of us. All in a row.
My sis has her own hectic life, choc full of children and a husband and family and work. Her escape is reading these days, and for her, this was a weekend of uninterrupted words. Staying up late, no drinks to get for anyone, no snacks to fix. All her. Only her. I was so happy she was here.
Now, I go see live music a lot. From the time I could drive, that’s what I’ve spent my money on. Audra and I would pile in and drive to the City and land in an audience of whoever. Or we would head down to Lloyd Noble or the Myriad. We’ve seen big names, little names and a Beatle. My sister has not. Not really. And raising two rowdy boys doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to run off to a music festival. Tae kwan do lessons don’t always allow for today’s ticket prices.
It was even more special for me, to see her enjoy the show. To see it all through her eyes. As we were getting ready, we listened to George tell us how good we looked in love. We put on our boots and headed out for our possibly first ever Sister’s Weekend.
The night was magic.
We danced in our chairs. We sang at the top of our lungs. We watched as a woman pert near 75 years old told a much younger, much drunker, obnoxious concert goer standing in front of her seat to “SIT DOWN. I CAN’T SEE THROUGH YOUR. FAT. ASS.”
I was both amazed and a little afeared. There she sat with her perfectly coiffed white hair and her pocketbook in her lap, her sister sitting quietly next to her. The drunk girl got kicked out. We were all relieved. Seriously, she was That Drunk Girl. I’m glad she went elsewhere. I told Taryn, “that’s probably going to be us someday. But you’ll be the one screaming for her to sit down. I’ll just sit back and watch the shitshow.”
We laughed. Oh how we laughed.
Martina McBride sang to us about broken wings and concrete angels. We all sang about Independence Day and as Maggie said at intermission “hit every single note as if it were my own.” George took us to Marina del Rey, we blamed it on Mexcio and much to our chagrin *we sang right along to all of the Pure Country songs.
*ahem. Taryn. ahem*
When the cowboy finally did ride away, we’d been given over three hours of music, we were choking back tears and waving goodbye as if he could see each and every one of us.
If only I would have known, if only I’d have been as nostalgic in my 20’s as I am in my 40’s…maybe I’d have kept every ticket stub, or written down all the dates, or collected every shirt. As it stands, what I have are memories. Memories of my best friend, Ropers and Wranglers, holding hair and sneaking backstage. Added to that, I have this night, full of sisterly love. The cowboy gave us a great show before he rode away. A great show.
When she left that Sunday to head back home, she said “if you see anyone else coming get us tickets! I’ll come back!”
The magic…she got a taste of it.
Gretchen Peters is an award winning musician and song writer.
She wrote Independence Day, and when Martina recorded it, she won Song of the Year.
She sang it Sunday night after a year of taking it out of rotation.
I’m ever so grateful.
I loved everything that came out of her mouth that night.
She sang, and I sang, and and looking down at the hand holding mine I knew that I was in a place that was safe and secure. There would be no shenanigans from the past come to hurt us anymore. There was only to be honesty and trust. I looked over and saw Marks mom, who had snuck in from her post out front where she spends most every show working. She was watching and listening and taking it all in.
I looked over at Brad and Lisa, my friends, our friends who were as emotionally engaged as we were with every note. . . I looked at all of us and knew in my heart that I wasn’t alone.
I never had been.
And maybe it was the weather,
and maybe it was the moon.
But I’m going to go ahead and blame it on the music.