Whirlwind Weekend and Etiquette

When I was younger I collected etiquette books. Perhaps I thought that they would somehow transfer their contents to my actions. Take, for instance, the thank you notes from our wedding gifts… It is my current goal to get them out by Thanksgiving weekend. It was my initial goal to get them out immediately. Modified goals… Maybe you can modify a goal once or twice, but once you hit three, I think you can go ahead and admit it was either an impractical or bad goal. Or you failed… I kid. Ish. Anyway, I just turned a paper on classroom etiquette at the request of professor Cambridge. We’ll see how it goes. I think I totally screwed up the in paper citing on interviews, but, it’s hard to know until I get the paper back. I am sure I screwed up the commas too.

Thanks everyone for asking – THE PARTY WAS FANTASTIC! I definitely had a sobbing, heaving chest, red face and eyes break down the day before, but I came back strong-ish from it. We went to the Regal Beagle in Brookline to celebrate AM&UK’s 22nd wedding anniversary and so they could see our absolute favorite neighborhood place in Boston. It was wonderful. We got up the next morning, sat around and had coffee, then made a trip to Jim’s so they could see the way we really live. Jim was incredible and it ended up being my favorite breakfast I’ve ever had there.

We surprised AL&UM at noon with the surprise guest. It was so fun, and then it was time for work. DTB, CoCo, Boo, the Cousin, the cousin’s SO, Stace and I set to work putting together an authentic German event. Complete with wood paneled, slanted ceiling, beer hall. It was so much work and so much fun. My cousin’s (and both K’s) did such an incredible job putting this together for their parents, and their speeches were moving. Cousin said at one point, “You taught us to work hard, and play harder.” I thought it was a precious and perfect insight. This is one of my favorite things about my family, their work ethic is unreal, but their play ethic is obscene. This makes for a very fun life.

Needless to say, I think all of us were pretty wiped out the following couple of days. Though AM and I made ourselves do a long run on Monday morning. She is my favorite running buddy and I have to say that being with her is one of my favorite things in the world. I will not say that I cried when my uncle left, telling myself that it was because his visit was so short… But I did the same thing when she left… I just associate home so much with where they are. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have Boo and the other fam here. I remember the loneliness of Berlin. I am so thankful to be in a different season. Missing them there, being alone in the midst of people that I loved… It makes me so deeply grateful for this life that I am living now. And so thankful for my husband. What a perfect and wonderful companion.

OK, so here is the random stuff. My potato salad kicked ass. I attribute this partially to ladyA who cut up TWENTY POUNDS of potatoes with a kid on her hip. That’s right. Global knife on the right hand side EV on the left. EEEK. LadyA is a saint and I could not have done this without her. At one point I had the chaffing dishes on the ground and this 12qt pot between my legs shoveling it into the dishes. Attractive.

I also attribute the success of the potato salad to the five pounds of bacon used in it’s preparation. Also, the highlight of the evening came… Well. Let’s back up. Remember how
AL was all “What sauerkraut recipe are you using?”
Me “Uh, the one where I add bacon to the pre-packaged?” (YES BACON, get over it)
AL “Oh well you should get Helga’s (name changed to protect the innocent but just imagine the most intensely GERMAN name you’ve ever heard) recipe. From what I remember you chop it up and then soak it in the bath tub and drain it for days and days until it comes out just perfectly.”
UHHHHHH – EXCUSE ME??? This is Thursday – party is Saturday. I HAVE ONE BATHROOM – maybe that’s why sauerkraut tastes like it does. Everyone just showers on top of it?????
Me “Really? Well, I have a great recipe (LIE.) But maybe I’ll call her (bigger lie.)”
Needless to say I called Jacob’s Wirth and ordered theirs. Here’s the conversation that occurred at the party:
AL “CC (nickname Boo calls me, used to protect my innocence) this potato salad is JUST DELICIOUS. It is the BEST POTATO SALAD I HAVE EVER EATEN. EVERYONE LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUVVVVVVEEEEESSSSS it. Also, Bob says these plastic plates are nicer than his China, and they match” followed by floating laughter.
Me “Thanks. How’s the kraut.”
AL “Oh, I don’t know, I haven’t tried it. I am sure it’s fine.”
That’s all you need to know.

Also, don’t think I have forgotten about the orphans. Go here to give. I am going to keep begging, so get over it.

Thanks to those of you who have been leaving comments (Joel) and talking about me on your blogs (Emily) I am sorry I failed you. I know that it’s the ultimate blog failure to not post for a few days, but what could I do? I was ‘festing.

So, this is actually cooking tips day. Obviously, my first is add bacon to everything. It’s sure to make it better. My second is that you should never over-buy brats because then you have to figure out what the HELL to do with them. Third, buy that 12qt All Clad pan. It is awesome. Fourth. If you are going to cook 5 pounds of bacon get out every quart pan you own and cook it in there, it will keep you from cleaning your stove top off from inches of grease. Other than that, I haven’t really done anything exciting in the kitchen except for quick meals and left-overs. Sorry. I am going to do better…

Also. I am getting really discouraged about the tendency of women in this day and age to function in such self-deprecation and self-loathing. I am not sure how I am going to respond to this, but I feel like I have to. I have gotten a few emails, or had a couple of conversations lately that leave me grieved about the state of a woman’s soul these days. I think this is particularly true with my generation, and perhaps it is our age, but I feel like I need to respond. However, I will leave you with a piece of my current advice for those of you who are your own worst critic… There is a lovely French proverb that says, “We should enter into everyone’s condition.” As women, I think we find when we enter into another’s condition compassion, empathy and understanding well up. When we look at ourselves frustration, disappointment and what we SHOULD or COULD be well up. Instead, look at yourself and ask yourself if you were talking to a friend in your position or situation what would you say? Stay tuned. I am going to find a way to respond.


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