Monday, July 20, 2009

Meet the Republicans, er…Parents

David and I road tripped to Nebraska for our rendition of  “Meet the Parents.” Fortunately, his mother is nothing like Barbra Streisand. They do, however, watch Fox News. All. Day. Long.

For a girl raised by a Democratic politician, this is eye opening.  The anti-Obama sentiment is strong.  My party is responsible for ruining the country. Liberals make decisions based on emotions, not facts. Cap and trade is a disaster. The proposed healthcare plan will lead to a country of crooked teeth. (See Canada.) Why hasn’t Obama fixed things? (Seriously, in seven months Obama is supposed to make up for eight years of Cheney, I mean Bush?)

The truth is, neither party does much for me right now. I’m adrift in my beliefs, needing to brush-up on details, but struggling to tear myself away from Perez long enough to do so. Because watching celebrities self-destruct is much less stressful.

It is David’s goal to “convert” me to the Republican Party, though he thinks I’m already there and still brainwashed Democrat by my upbringing. He may be right. I’m in political transit and not sure where I’ll land.

Politics aside, his parents were kind and welcoming. His mom is the quintessential grandma, overindulging the grandkids and making massive amounts of food. His stepfather is a good ‘ole boy, partial to Budweiser and the recently installed tiki hut next to the pool. (With a flat screen TV so you can watch while in the pool. Awesome.) They are salt of the earth and darn good people.

Not unlike may parents. I think they’d get along fine. As long as no one brings up politics.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Sister I Choose

Blood may be thicker than water for some, but not for me.

Don’t misunderstand. My family is incredibly important to me. We are a hodgepodge of steps, half’s and even some full-blood relations. And while I love them all, the person that knows me best is not a family member.

Becca is my memory keeper, confidante and sounding board. We met as wary six and eight-year olds after a 25 meter backstroke race. My third place finish surprised Becca, the winner and year-round swimmer.


She sauntered up and said, “You’re pretty good.”

Me: “You’re pretty good, too.”

Becca: “You wanna come over and play?”

Me: “Yeah, but I gotta ask my mom.”

And that was the birth of our sisterhood.

We spent hours in her dad’s workshop inventing household items. (Who wouldn’t want a sign for the dishwasher that stated “clean” or “dirty?”) Our makeshift haunted house in her basement nearly torched the house. The Halloween costumes that left paint in my dad’s new Oldsmobile. She taught me how to shave my legs, smoke a cigarette and set me up with college guys when I was still in high school. Becca single-handedly increased my coolness factor.

She remembers and celebrates my mother, reminds me of bad dates I would choose to forget and is my voice of reason when I overreact. Without our daily conversations, something feels amiss.  And our significant others should be grateful, as it relieves them from having to listen to every, single detail of our day.

Maybe I didn’t choose Becca. Maybe something bigger just knew I needed a sister like her. Either way, I’m lucky.

Happy 38th birthday, Becca Jane.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My feet have a resumé.

(Apologies for the delay, my three loyal readers. Vacation and general life chaos have been time consuming. Per your request, I'm back in the blogging saddle.)

Feet are ugly. Home to toe jam, nail fungus, bunions, callouses, corns and hammer toes. While mine don't suffer all these maladies, they did elicit a strong reaction from my first pedicurist. She called over three women to witness the extent of my callouses, while shrieking in a language I didn't understand. It was horrifying.

But a pedicure is just putting lipstick on the pig. Razor off the callouses and pumice my heels , but three runs later and sandpaper feet return. And there's nothing to be done (short of surgery) for the sweet bunion forming on my right foot. And the occassional missing toenail and blisters just goes without saying for a triathlete. (See above blister, post Ironman Florida.)

As I bemoaned my ugly feet, a kind soul told me, "Your feet have a resumé." I was taken aback.

Why did I care what my feet look like? A lifelong athlete, they have crossed multiple Ironman and marathon finish lines. Pedaled endlessly on my bike. Ran around tennis courts, danced through endless ballet classes and even high kicked on my college pom squad. Of course they are not the Giselle Bundchen of feet. They're barely Howard Stern.

So as I give myself a Swiss Family Robinson self-pedicure, (Wusthauf knife and sand block from Lowe's) I have a new appreciation for my gnarly wheels. It's not about how they look, it's where they're going.