maarmie's musings

Thursday, June 28, 2007

We need cash, alright? Get over it!

I'm finding that even a low-key wedding involves a dizzying amount of preparation. There are so many things to consider for even the simplest of affairs. Location, notary, dress, shoes, hair, rings, cake, flowers, food/drink, music, invitations.

Having never done this before (and never planning on doing this again), I think I'm doing pretty well. In the span of two days, I've secured a location for the wedding AND the reception (thank you Michael!), found a notary, ordered the cake, sent out half the invitations, researched rings at jewelry stores in Tallahassee and decided that, with the help of several gracious friends, the food will be prepared by C* and I.

The cake will feed 80, but I have no idea who is actually going to show up besides my dad and step-mom, my brother and sister-in-law, a couple of friends who live in Maryland and Tennessee, several coworkers and a handful of Tallahassee friends. C*'s mom and brothers might make the trip from England, but that's just a maybe. I'm hoping that, within a week, we will have a final tally.

The invitation situation would have been easier had we had the time to order personalized invitations like everyone else on the planet does. But with such short notice and such a skimpy budget, I was forced to buy some that I'm having to fill out by hand and assemble myself. That's taking a lot of time.

And another thing: I'm having a shitty time handling the whole wedding gift situation we are finding ourselves in. It boils down to the fact that I am honest and that this particular honesty can't be put in nicer terms: We need cash.

Don't give us blenders or dishes or flatware or bread machines or picture frames or anything else I'll have to sell or return while I'm busy getting rid of everything else I own for my upcoming move to Scotland. Cash, my friends, will more than do.

Against the warning (mandate) of my father, I have conveyed this information in the invitations. After consulting with several friends, I ended up writing this at the bottom of every one of them: "No gifts, please. Any monetary contributions will be greatly appreciated."

It's not like I'm telling people they HAVE to send something. I'm telling them that if they do, this is what we want. Cash is crass, I know. But there's no way around the truth. Not only do we not want anything from a department store, but a deluge of useless household items would hurt us. Tacky, right? I know, I know. But at least I'm honest.

I told my father about the wedding a little over 24 hours ago. I can't say I was thrilled with his what-do-you-want-now-how-are-you-going-to-inconvenience-me-this-time-why-can't-you-just-leave-me-alone-once-and-for-all attitude concerning the whole thing. He definitely didn't act like a father whose only daughter is finally getting married and starting a family. After asking if I was going to register at the Salvation Army Thrift Store (he's so fucking funny) and NOT asking if there's anything he do to financially lend a hand, he told me they'd just come up that day for the ceremony and leave the following morning. Don't you just feel the warmth?

I was recounting this story to one of my close coworkers who also had a shitty father. She said it's sad that some parents have every opportunity to have close, loving relationships with their children but seem to do everything they can to quash any hope of that and create ill feelings. That just about sums up my relationship with you-know-who. But I need to get off this topic, because it's only going to bring me down again. And anyone who brings me down needs to fuck off.

C* will be here on July 16, and I can't wait. My days and nights and my bed are so lonely without him, and I am so very keen to show everyone just how I feel about him by making him my husband on July 21.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The skinny on my impending fatness

I know I haven't written much more than a few complete sentences ever since I've found out that I'm pregnant. The truth is, it's been such a shock - not in a bad way - and there's so much that needs to be done that I haven't been focusing on much more than reading up on nutrition and exercise (I am tracking my daily nutrition at and the steps C* and I need to take to get my ass back over to the UK on a fiancee visa so we can get married and get on with our lives and our family.

On Father's Day, I told my dad that I was pregnant. Having never met or even heard of C* before (except the few facts he likely heard from my step-mom), I expected him to be full of questions about the father-to-be.


His questions were of the more masculine (read practical) variety. How long does it take to get a visa? Was this planned? When are you going to tell your boss? Etc.

But he seemed happy for me and said I sounded really happy. When I told him, he was speechless. When he regained his voice, he said to my step-mom, "Honey, she's pregnant." My stepmonster never got on the phone or asked any questions or said congratulations or anything. I'm sure she was far too busy welling up with negativity and bitterness because she allowed her own uterus and eggs to dry up like so many dead flowers while actively wanting to have a child of her own. Seriously, show her a kid, and nothing else matters. She can't get enough. Chances are, she won't be getting enough of mine, either. I'm not too keen on my child ever even meeting her.

My boss got a full briefing this morning, and many of my coworkers were told the big news yesterday. Everyone seems overjoyed for me. Naturally, they are full of questions that I don't have the energy or knowledge to answer now. All I think about is debt and vitamins and bills and and sleep and money and first doctor appointment and baby and baby and baby. And I'm wanting to get rid of as much debt as possible before I no longer have an income, am officially C's dependent and am unable to work for god knows how long.

The longer I stay here, the more debts I can pay. But the longer I stay here, the closer it gets to the delivery date and the more I'll be showing when C* and I get married.

Expected due date

My new book says that an expected due date can be calculated as follows: Take the first day of your last period, subtract three months and add seven days.

May 7 minus three months is February 7. Add seven days, and you've got February 14, Valentine's Day. That would make the child the ever socially-conscious Aquarius. Just a few days later, and he or she would be a Pisces.

Either way, belated or not, I'm thinking this baby will be the best Valentine's Day gift I could ever give or receive.

Friday, June 08, 2007


He wanted me to try just a little so he cut some up and heated it over a flame. I sat there staring. I was afraid. I'd always heard just how bad this can be. How just one little taste can put you over the edge. But everyone does it here in Scotland. If I wanted to live here, he said, I'd have to give H a try. I did.

Chris bought a small haggis from the butcher shop a couple of days ago so I could get this thing over with. Ever since I've been here, I've been wanting to try it. How bad could it be?

Instead of boiling the haggis inside the bag it comes in, he cut the bag open and chopped up the meat in a pan for frying.

It looks like canned dog food and smells and tastes like liver and canned dog food. I guess that's good considering what's likely in there.

I took a baby carrot-sized chunk of haggis from the pan and put it on my plate. Not even one minute later, I knew haggis wasn't for me. At least I can say I've tried it. My issues with liver go way back.

I've tried marmite, too, while I've been here. I like it better than haggis, but it's too salty!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Recipe for (delicious) disaster

1 Mars candy bar + batter + deep frier = a deep-fried Mars bar mushifried mess + a stomachache

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Random crap/therapy session

Including today, I have only nine full days before I head back to Tallahassee. That place seems a million miles away, like it's not my life, like I don't belong there. I don't, and I never have. This place has always been home. I just didn't know it until now.

On Thursday, C* and I have an appointment with an advisor at the Citizen's Advice Bureau to talk about the steps I can/need to take to come here permanently. It's not going to be as easy as I once thought.

I looked at the web site of the immigration office for the United Kingdom the other night. I can apply to come here as a fiancee, but the application has to be accompanied by all kinds of documentation including C*'s passport, a copy of his lease, a statement of our intentions to marry, financial statements, proof of employability, etc., etc., etc. The fee is $1,050, and the money is nonrefundable even if my visa is denied. If it's accepted, I can live here for a maximum of six months before we have to be married, and I can't work until we tie the knot.

C* putting new front brakes on his car at his mum's house:

I've been applying for jobs this past week, and I think my chances of finding a job here are pretty good. I have a college degree and loads of professional work experience, and smart people tend to leave the Highlands for better jobs in bigger cities. I really like it here, though, which is good considering we'd be here for 5 years minimum. This place is really decent for a small city. It has a nice downtown with a city feel yet there are great country walks and drives not far away.

Boats on the Seine - photo taken by C*:

a-z of the 90s is on the TV right now, music videos of popular and not-so-popular songs from that decade. I'm starting to get sad knowing that I'm going to be leaving here and that I won't be with C* again for months and months. Worried that my visa will be denied. Worried that what I want rests in the hands of some fucking stranger in New York City. Perhaps I'm being too negative. Why should my application be denied?

Bridge in the woods, Cawdor Castle:

I talked to my brother the other day. He told me that my dad was rushed to the hospital the other day with weird heart problems. It turned out that one of his chambers was beating ultra fast, out of time with the others. The doctor said that in 95 percent of these types of cases, there is something else wrong with the heart, some kind of more serious problem. But, in his case, the doctor said, he should be fine. He didn't find any other problems.

My dad was put on medication and will be reevaluated in six months. Instead of being happy at hearing that my dad will be OK, I was disappointed. What a weird feeling. To be disappointed that my father isn't on his last legs. I'm not just being adolescently morbid here. I was actually disappointed. I still am. I think I need to go back into therapy.

The beach at Loch Ness:

Did ZZ Top really have a song, much less a video, in the 90s? Viva Las Vegas. God help us all.

A trunk in the woods, Cawdor Castle:

My dad and I haven't talked since last September. That's when he called to find out how I did on the LSAT and found it highly amusing that I spent $500 and studied my butt off only to do so poorly on the test. He. Was. Laughing. That's when I informed him that I didn't exist for his amusement and that I was really, really tired of him treating me like he does. That's the day he hung up on me (again) after informing me that he wasn't ever going to talk to me again (again). Since then, there's been a Thanksgiving, his birthday, a Christmas, a New Year's, my step-mom's birthday, my birthday, Mother's Day. Not a single phone call in either direction, though they still sent the yearly Christmas card and $200 check - the same thing I've gotten each year since I turned 18. We could have no communication for the entire year, and I'd still get the card, a corporate-type boxed card they send to everyone, and the check. There's no thought put into it on their end, and it has never meant anything to me.

Highland cow:

My step-mother had a birthday in March. My brother lives a 10-minute drive from our parents and had a birthday card to give to her. He called to find out when a good time would be to come over that day, and our father informed him that he should mail the card instead because they were hosting a birthday party for her at their house with all their friends. Mail the card. Because there was going to be a birthday party. For his mom. At his parents' house. He wasn't invited. Am I the only who thinks this is weird?

Paris - photo taken by C*:

Every time they shun him, which is often, his feelings are hurt. That makes me very, very mad. It also makes me mad that they are willing to fly to Virginia to stay with my dad's other son, the one he didn't raise, and his wife and their daughter. They do it several times a year and have photos of their grandchild all over the house. But my dad can be in Tallahassee and not even take 10 minutes out of his schedule to see me. It has happened. Oh, yes. It has.

An alley in Paris - photo taken by C*:

I can't stand him. Or her. I wish they'd fall in the water on one of the two cruises they take each year and never be heard from again.

Cawdor Castle:

Hm. I think I definitely need more counselling.

Oscar Wilde's grave, Paris - photo taken by C*:

In other news: my ex-boyfriend and now ex-friend
got married last month. Good for them. Seriously, I'm actually happy for them. Everyone has their match, and I'm glad they found each other. I didn't send a gift, but, then again, they didn't tell me about the wedding. I heard it from the father of ex-friend's kids. He gave them a dinner cruise as a gift.

Paris view - photo taken by C*:

Time to get moving for the day. Thank you for listening. : )

My love:

Monday, June 04, 2007

I loves me some tennis

There are some nice courts just a five-minute walk from C*'s front door. When the weather cooperates, which is hardly ever, we get on the courts for some exercise.

Here's C*, dejected after a good thrashing. : )

Camping on the Isle of torrential rain and gale force winds

C* and I and The Boy and his best mate and Woody attempted to go camping Saturday night on the Isle of Skye, a monstrous and magically beautiful island that sits off the northwest coast of Scotland where Gaelic is still spoken and sheep get a lot more than sheared by their shepherds.

What a fucking nightmare.

The previous Thursday and Friday had been sunny and warm, perfect for sitting on the back porch of C*'s friend Thursday night after a great Scottish meal that included this delectible little cheese made in these parts and a stew of fish and prawn and a dessert made from raspberries and homemade whipped cream dotted with oatmeal flakes. A bottle of homemade wine here, some undistilled whiskey there and a few thousand cigarettes over there, and we were having a mighty fine time. That's when the thought hit us. Great weather! An impending weekend! The Boy! His friend! An offer of a loan on some camping gear! The Isle of Skye!

The drive out there was fabulous. Clear skies, warm. Not a drop of sky water in sight. Once over the bridge, we stopped at the "beach" on the Skye side and let the boys out with their nets to see what they could find while we made lunch and fed and watered Woody. It was warm. Clear. Gorgeous. That's how I remember it, anyway.

But after looking at the few photos I snapped, anyone could have seen the downpour coming from a mile away. Perhaps I'm an optimist after all?

On Skye, there were huge mountains, old castles and quaint towns between us and the area we had picked for camping on the western side of the island. By the time we got there, however, it was pouring down rain. The sky opened up. The clouds were angry. There wasn't a sun in sight. Onward, we trudged. To a campside back toward the east. Still raining. Onward. To a campsite even further east, back toward the bridge. Rain. We decided to give it a go.

In the downpour, C* and I got the big tent out and attempted to erect it. Once it was halfway up, though, it acted as a net to catch the horrible wind. It took all my strength to keep it from flying away while C* worked on getting it pegged down. No luck. In our haste, we had done something wrong, and the tent, on one side, wasn't sitting properly on the ground. Soaking wet and cold, I gave up.

"Let's go home."

That turned out to be the best suggestion anyone had made all day. After all, the weather was crappy, the kids were acting like major brats (I'm hungry, etc., etc., nonstop) and I wanted to get rid of The Boy's friend because he's a fucking asshole who I'm sure will grow up to be a thuggish construction worker/thief/vandal who drinks way, way too much. I'm quite sure I shouldn't be an elementary school teacher after this weekend.

On the way back off the island, we stopped so I could nab a photo of this castle:

The rain continued for two days. The end.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Making a move?

Sent out a few job applications Inverness. I'm 95 percent sure this is where I'm going to make a new life.