Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays

Look! I remembered! Hurray! Although I remembered Totally Awkward Tuesdays today, the downside is that I really think that I may be out of awkward stories. Seriously. Unless I'm able to dredge up some more long-repressed memories of times I humiliated myself in public, Totally Awkward Tuesdays may be totally over. It's been going for over eight months, and that's a whole lot of awkward, even for me.

But don't mourn quite yet, my friends, because I still have one more awkward memory to share. Those of you who've participated or at least read the Totally Awkward Tuesday stories over the last few months will not be at all surprised to learn that this is yet another "Tova and her friends made fools of themselves while ogling boys at summer camp" story. Remember that time that I said I wasn't boy-crazy as a teenager? I think I may have been in denial.

As I've mentioned once or twice before, my cousin Hannah, my friend Mae and I all went to the same summer camp every year, and we spent a good deal of time developing crushes on fellow campers (always of the male persuasion) and then following them around like junior stalkers. When we first arrived at camp each year, we'd spend a few hours scoping out that year's crop of campers to see which cute boys had returned from the year before and which cute boys were new. Then we'd find somewhere to talk so that we could compare notes on which of our crushes from the previous summer had returned.

This particular year, Hannah and I had noticed that one particular cutie, whom we'll call Nate (actually, come to think of it, his name may have actually been Nate... or maybe not. I can't remember, so I'll go with Nate) had returned to camp that year as he had for the last three or four summers. We also noticed that he was wearing a cast on his right arm. When Mae arrived a few hours after we did, Hannah and I quickly sat down on a bench with her to tell her which boys we'd seen and asked her if she'd passed any on her way in. As we went through the list, one of us mentioned that Nate was there and that he had a broken arm. When Mae heard that, she contradicted us by saying that she too had seen Nate when she came in, but that he did not have a broken arm, and perhaps we were getting him confused with someone else. But Hannah and I were adamant that no, it hadn't been anyone other than Nate, and that yes, his arm was in a cast. We cheerfully disagreed about this for a few minutes, then moved on to other subjects. After we'd been sitting on the bench talking for awhile, who should walk past us but Nate, complete with a cast on his arm.

Mae looked up, saw him, and before she had a chance to stop and think, blurted out (loudly enough for him to hear), "You're right! He does have a broken arm!"

We spent the rest of the week engaged in friendly bickering as to who should be most embarrassed over this incident (Hannah and I insisted that we should be, since by saying "you're right," Mae had outed us as the ones who were talking about him. Mae insisted that she was more humiliated, because she was the one who said it.) and speculating as to whether or not he had guessed why we were talking about him and his broken arm (probably).

So, ladies and gentlemen, that's my Totally Awkward Tuesday, and it just may be the last one. That means that you should definitely, absolutely, 100% participate this week, because it might be your last chance! For old time's sake, here are the rules:

1. Think of an awkward story that happened to you and then blog about it. 2. Link to my blog from yours. 3. Post a link to your totally awkward post in the MckLinky box below. 4. Ta Da! You're Totally Awkward!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Maybe I should work for Maytag

Hi! Remember me? The blogger who only blogs once a week lately? What is my problem, anyway? Actually, I have a lot of stuff going on, which I will probably tell you about. Someday. Maybe. But anyway...

Totally random, but Mr. Darling and I bought a washer and dryer yesterday (Whirlpool, 3 years old, $250 total on Craigslist. Hurray!), and I've spent most of today being a handywoman. I just sent this email to Mr. Darling and thought I'd post it here, because I really feel like I deserve a prize of some sort for being unusually handy. This email is word-for-word (except for the names, of course) the email I just sent to Mr. D, who is at work right now, where he gets no cell phone signal, but occasionally finds a minute to check his email in between getting bugs out of patients' ears (true story). This email proves to you that the way I blog is really the way I talk to people I know in real life. In other words, sexy reader, you and I are practically BFFs.

Monday, August 31, 2009 4:59 PM
From: Tova Darling
To: Mr. Darling
Subject: Maybe I should work for Maytag

Mr. Darling,
So... they don't sell 3 to 4 prong adapters for dryers (at least not at Lowes). Instead, according to the appliance guy at Lowes, you have to actually detach the three prong plug and attach a four prong plug. Which I did. By myself. Because I am awesome! (I am seriously unreasonably proud of myself for doing this. I think I should get some sort of medal or trophy. Maybe a plaque?)

Anyway, having done that, I was well on my way to being able to dry things, when I noticed that the back of the dryer says that you should absolutely NOT use that flexible foil hose for your exhaust. I looked it up online, and apparently every dryer in the history of the world says that, because it poses a fire risk. You should only ever use rigid metal piping. So, do I go back and get rigid metal piping? I think it's more expensive, but on the plus side, it won't burn you to death.

I have to go back to Lowes anyway to get an adapter for the water hookups, because one of our water connectors (the cold water one) is randomly smaller than the other, and the hose doesn't fit, so I have to get an adapter. So if we want rigid metal piping, I could get both things at once. I had to switch the washer and the dryer because they were on the wrong sides, and the washer hoses aren't long enough to reach the water unless the washer is on the left. The hot water is now hooked up, but not the cold.

Final question: The green grounding wire connected to the back of the washing machine - Where does that connect? I hooked up the grounding wire for the dryer when I changed the plug, but I'm curious as to where the green wire on the back of the washing machine goes to. Any tips?

In case you couldn't tell, I'm so pleased with myself for doing all of this! Hurray, me!! I feel like an electrician. An electrician who sprayed water all over herself when she tried to figure out which pipe was hot and which was cold, and then immediately sat in cat litter... but still!

I'm going to have you look over all of my hard work before I plug anything in so that I don't electrocute myself.

I love you!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Um... Oops.

This morning, I woke up and went to get a massage. After a fabulous massage, I walked over to Starbucks and got a white chocolate mocha (my favorite). Then I wandered around to a few stores looking for a dress for a dinner we're going to tonight (more on that tomorrow). I bought a dress at Forever 21, then walked over to a department store to look for some accessories. As I was going up the escalator, I suddenly said - out loud, to no one in particular - "Oh fudge!" (I really did say fudge instead of the other F word.)

Because it finally happened. I forgot Totally Awkward Tuesday. Argh! So, um... feel free to be awkward amongst yourselves, but I've got nothin'. (Sad face.)

I'll post for real tomorrow. In the meantime, I'll be doing penance by eating leftover mashed cauliflower. (Haha, just kidding... that's not penance... my mashed cauliflower is delicious. Maybe I'll share my recipe with you.)

If you want to share an awkward story anyway, even though I'm a complete slacker, you may do so below.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesday

I almost feel like I'm cheating by using this story as a Totally Awkward Tuesday, since I already mentioned it on Twitter, but it was extremely awkward, so I thought I'd flesh it out for those of you who aren't following me on Twitter. (Speaking of which, why aren't you?)

Two Tuesdays ago, I flew back from a fabulous visit with my sister. I love flying, but on this particular flight, I had the middle seat between two other people, which is my least favorite seat on a plane. (I'm pretty sure that's everyone's least favorite seat.) About half an hour into the flight, I realized that I needed to go to the bathroom, but I hate making people get up so that I can get out of my seat. Plus, the woman in the aisle seat fell asleep, and I didn't want to wake her up. So I decided to hold it. That was my first mistake.

When we finally landed an hour and a half later, I thought my bladder might burst, and then, of course, there was a delay because another plane was still at our gate. After what seemed like forever, I finally got off the plane, at which point my need to go to the bathroom was nearing emergency status. I knew that Mr. Darling was waiting for me, but it was an absolute necessity that I use the bathroom before meeting him. As soon as I got out of the plane, I started speed-walking in the direction that seemed likeliest to lead to a bathroom. Finally, I saw the "Restroom" sign, and I sprinted towards it, turned into a little hallway, and ran into the bathroom, carrying my gigantic purse and wheeling my carry-on bag. I ran to the first open stall, pulled all of my stuff into it, and then turned to close the stall door.

The bathroom (like just most other public restrooms) was set up so that the stalls were facing the sinks which were in front of a gigantic mirror. As I turned to close the stall door, I noticed that the woman at the sink directly in front of me had very short hair. Then I noticed the face reflecting in the mirror - the "woman" with short hair was actually a man. I felt a brief embarassment for the poor man who had wandered into the women's restroom by mistake... until I noticed that there were also men at every other sink in the bathroom.

Yes, somehow, I had not only run into a very crowded men's restroom, but I had also failed to notice that I was rushing past several men in my hurry to get to the stall. I stood there in shock for a minute, then grabbed my bag and ran back toward the exit. As I came out of the bathroom, I nearly collided with two women who had been sitting near me on the plane. They looked at me, looked at the large sign by the door that said "Men," and then one of them asked the obvious question - "Were you just in the men's restroom?"

To make matters worse, I then had to walk with them the rest of the way down the hall until we all reached the proper restroom.

In the future, I'll gladly wake up any sleeping airline passengers so that I can go to the plane's unisex bathroom.

So what's your awkward moment? Share it on your own blog, link back to mine from yours, then link up below!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

To boycott or not?

For the past few months, several stores in the area have had large groups of picketers in front of them. Mostly, it's Wal-Mart, but a few other chain stores seem to be picketed every now and again, too.

These people may have really good reasons for picketing. They could be the best reasons ever. They could be eloquently worded arguments that would convince me to never, ever shop at Wal-Mart again. The problem is that their signs look like this:

We are printing our reasons in ridiculously small font so that you can't possibly read them from your car.

Seriously, I have excellent vision, and even when my car is stopped at a light, one lane away from the picketers, I cannot for the life of me make out even a single word of the tiny font that explains their reasons for demanding that I not shop at Wal-Mart. My best guess is that it's something about unions or healthcare, but for all I know, it could also say "We protest the mistreatment of the smiley face logo" or "Their bakery-fresh buns are not quite as round as we'd like them to be."

How on earth do they expect me to support them if it's impossible to tell what I'm agreeing with? And they're marching at the far end of the parking lot, about 4,350 parking spaces away from the actual entrance of the store, so unless I park a mile away from Wal-Mart, get out of my car, directly approach these people, and ask them what it is that they're protesting, I will never know what these signs say, and let's be honest - I'm never going to do that. If you want my support, it's probably best not to make me work that hard to support you.

Every time I drive past, I think, "Somebody should really stop and tell those people that their signs would be more effective if people could tell what they said," but I'm definitely too lazy to do that. In the meantime, I'll continue to shop at Wal-Mart unless someone comes up with a good reason I shouldn't and then prints it in two-foot-high letters and holds it up in front of me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesday

Friends, one of these days, I am definitely going to run out of awkward moments. Today is not the day, but I'm afraid that it's fast approaching. Yikes!

Today's Totally Awkward moment is yet another "Tova had a childhood crush and ended up horribly embarrassed" story. I'm starting to sound like I was an extremely boy-crazy teen, which I never thought I was, but the more I read about myself, the more boy-crazy I sound.

When I was growing up, my parents were good friends with another married couple who had four sons. For a few years, this family lived near the beach, so for a few summers in a row, we spent a week of vacation staying with them. Seeing as there were four boys in the family and I was in my teens, it was only natural that I would develop a crush on one of them. He was the second son. Two years older than me; tall, dark and handsome; and exactly the kind of guy that a shy teen girl would spend her vacation obsessing over. Unfortunately, he was (and still is) even more painfully shy than I have ever been (his dad actually privately thanked me once for talking to him, because he was concerned that his son would never get used to talking to girls otherwise), so I just spent a week each summer staring at him awkwardly while he avoided my gaze.

During one of the summers that we stayed with them (the summer I was 14), I spent most of the week staring at him and then finally, amazingly, blissfully, got up the nerve to ask him if he wanted to take a walk with me. How I worked up the courage, I'll never know.

Now, at the time, I had had a boyfriend for about a week (I "dated" this particular guy for a total of three weeks [and by "dated," I mean sat next to him at lunch in school]), so clearly it wasn't the love of a lifetime, and not enough to keep me from wanting to take a walk with a handsome "older man." I'm not saying I was fickle, I'm just saying that I was 14.

Anyway, I somehow managed to ask him to take a walk with me while also simultaneously avoiding inviting my younger brother to take a walk with us. It was one of my finer moments.

Allow me to set the scene: It's a warm summer evening. There are millions of stars in the sky. We are walking along a beautiful, moonlit bay. I am more charming than I have ever been. The street is empty except for us. And my brother is sneaking along behind us in the bushes.

See, apparently, my brother was mad that he wasn't invited on the walk. He was 12, and therefore hadn't picked up on the fact that I had intended this to be a romantic walk rather than a walk with my baby brother. So, he thought that I had just left him out to be mean, rather than the real reason I left him out, which was that this was my one chance to make the object of my affection fall madly in love with me.

So we're walking along, blissfully unaware that we're being stalked by my brother, and we're making awkward, stilted conversation, but it's still conversation, so I'm happy. We approach a small dock, and one of us suggests that we walk out onto it. By this point, my brother had figured out why I hadn't invited him on the walk, but was still irritated, apparently. My crush and I step out onto the dock, stand side-to-side with excitingly (to me, at least) little space between us (ok, it was probably at least two feet, but still...), gaze up at the stars, and....

...my little brother bursts out from behind the bushes and shouts, "You have a boyfriend!!" and then runs away.

The chances that my crush would've made a move even without that interruption were slim to none anyway, but after that, there was no chance of us doing anything but maintaining an uncomfortable silence on the walk back home.

Ok, so what's your awkward moment? Share it below!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nature Girl

I'm going camping tonight. In a tent. If you're thinking, "that's interesting... I didn't really picture Tova as the camping type," you are absolutely right. This is only the second time I've ever been. The first time was with my former best friend when we were in college. She woke up one day and decided we should go camping. And so we did.

Here are a few highlights from the trip:
  • We locked my friend's keys in the trunk of her car for an hour... before she remembered that there was a trunk-release latch in her car... and the doors were all open.
  • When we showed up at the campsite, she was wearing a skirt and I was wearing flip flops with kitten heels. We probably looked like Paris and Nicole in The Simple Life. Who wears kitten heels camping? Me, that's who.
  • We removed the tent from the bag and realized that we had no idea how to set up a tent. We stood there looking forlorn until several men and a small child came and set up our tent. The child was about 8 years old, and was a much better camper than the two of us put together.
  • During our trip, other campers also: 1.) Dug a fire pit for us. 2.)Lent us cooking utensils. 3.) Lit our grill. 4.) Gave us food. We didn't ask for any of these things; we just looked like such total misfits that everyone felt sorry for us.
  • We were almost attacked by seagulls, because I got the bright idea of throwing them a handful of pretzels.
  • Camping seemed like a great time to work on our tans, so we coated ourselves with baby oil and got so horribly sunburnt that we could only wear bikinis or loose-fitting clothing for a week after our trip.
  • Our air mattress deflated every night so that we woke up laying on the ground.

The trip was supposed to last for five days, but we only could handle three. We also videotaped the whole thing. The video was edited by a friend of ours who set it to music and produced the funniest twenty minute camping film you've ever seen.

Anyway, I'm camping with Mr. Darling, and I'm pretty excited. He's definitely more capable of surviving outdoors than I am, so it'll probably go more smoothly than my last camping experience. Just keep your fingers crossed that I don't get eaten by a bear.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays

Sorry for my blogging absence, friends! I've been on vacation, and I was feeling too lazy to be a productive blogger and schedule posts. But I couldn't just leave you all awkward moment-less. So here's an awkward moment that took place soon after I started dating Mr. Darling.

In order for you to fully grasp why this moment was so awkward for me, I first need to give you a brief explanation of the families that Mr. Darling and I grew up in. Our families are both very religious. We were both raised with very strong morals and values, which is good, and we were raised to believe that it's possible to have a close relationship with God - also a good thing. But in our families, we did not talk about sex. Ever. It's just not something we discussed (except for the brief, "don't have sex" talk I got when I was younger, which basically just consisted of that one sentence.)

Obviously, I'm capable of discussing sex in a healthy way now, but when Mr. Darling and I first started dating, I wasn't comfortable talking about sex. That's what made this moment awkward.

We'd been dating for a very short time (about a week), and we had just gotten to the frequent-hand-holding stage in our relationship.

Now, not to make me sound crazy or anything, but I like to hold hands in a specific way. When you hold hands, one person's wrist is in the front (as if they're leading) and one is in the back. I prefer to have my wrist in the back. I'm not sure why, it's just more comfortable for me. (Maybe it has something to do with height?) Anyway, Mr. Darling and I weren't yet to the point that he knew I preferred to hold hands that way, so he grabbed my hand with his in the back. That just wouldn't do, so I let go of his hand, then grabbed it again in the "right" way. He looked at me funny and asked why I'd done it, to which I replied...

"I like it from behind."

As soon as I realized what I'd said, (the realization was aided by Mr. Darling's laughter), my face promptly invented a new shade of red. How very embarrassing! Mr. Darling later told several of his friends this story, which added to the awkwardness, but he also fell madly in love with me, so it all worked out for the best.

Ok, so what's your awkward story? Share it on your blog, link back to mine, then include a link to your blog in the space below. And don't worry, I'll be back to my regular blogging in no time at all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesday

Today I'm going to mix things up, and instead of sharing just one Totally Awkward moment, I'll share details of a Totally Awkward relationship I was once in... kind of.

To start, I met the guy on the website Hot or Not (sharing that with you all feels like an awkward moment in itself). He sent me a message after my college roommate and I had posted our pictures online to find out if we were hot... or not. Anyway, I was single for Valentine's Day that year (it was about three months after I'd met Mr. Darling and two months before we actually started dating), and the Hot or Not guy, who we'll call John, asked me on a date, so I said yes. (I met him in a public place and did not expose myself to possible danger... just so you know.) We went to dinner (I forget where) and then to a movie (I can't remember which one), and at the theater we ran into Holly, who has been a friend of mine since eighth grade. She asked how we'd met, and he promptly told her that we'd met on Hot or Not, which embarrassed me to no end. He later accidentally insulted Holly by making a negative comment about her profession.

Our first kiss was in my college apartment. We were sitting on the floor (one of my roommates had moved out at the end of the previous semester and had taken the couch with her) watching a movie, when John leaned in and kissed me. He then pulled back and gazed into my eyes, at which point I sweetly said, "Stop staring at me! Why are you staring at me?" (Seriously, I'm so smooth.)

On our third date, he introduced me to all of his friends, who referred to me as his girlfriend and made me feel extremely uncomfortable. At this point, I had started "talking" more with Mr. Darling, and I realized that I was very interested in dating Mr. D, even though he lived 1,000 miles away from me at that point. This led to my very awkward "breakup" with John, which went something like this:

Me: Um, there's this guy who I met in November, and I've been talking to him for a while, and I'm kind of hoping that something happens with him, so I don't think that it's really fair for me to be dating you while waiting to see if something happens with him.
John: But you're not dating him now?
Me: Well, no. He lives in (name of state that's a thousand miles away).
John: What?? Is he moving here?
Me: Um, no.
John: Is he coming to visit you?
Me: Um, well, he hasn't made any plans to.
John: Has he said that he wants to come see you?
Me: Well, not exactly...
John: So let me get this straight. You could date any guy you want. You could throw a stick up in the air in a room full of guys, and whatever guy it hit when it fell, you could date if you wanted to (this is pretty much a direct quote, which I remember because it seemed like kind of a funny thing to say), but instead of dating a guy who lives near you and who you know actually likes you, you're breaking up with me for a guy who lives a thousand miles away?
Me: Um, yeah... pretty much. I'm really sorry.

As it turned out, my intuition that Mr. Darling was someone really special turned out to be correct, so at least I felt vindicated about my reason for not dating John. Although, I guess even if it hadn't worked out and I wanted a new boyfriend, I could've just gone into a room full of guys and thrown a stick.

Ok, so share your own story about an awkward moment on your blog. If you have an awkward relationship story, feel free to share it. If not, share whatever awkward story you've got! Be sure to link back to my blog from yours so that your friends and readers can play along. Then, link directly back to your awkward post using MckLinky below.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Phrases I hate

The following phrases really annoy me:

"...have your cake and eat it, too." What exactly is the point of having cake if you can't eat it??? People always use this phrase to mean that people are expecting too much and being unrealistic, as in "You just want to have your cake and eat it too," but I challenge you to find one person who wants to have cake but not actually eat it. Who wants cake just for decorative purposes?

"It's always the last place you look." Well, yes, obviously. Because once you've found whatever it is you're looking for, you stop looking. So, the place you found it is the last place that you need to look.

"My bad." (When used in place of "I'm sorry.") For example, someone will accidentally spill something on you and then say, "My bad!" Um, are you claiming responsibility? Because I kind of already knew it was you - an apology would really be more appropriate.

"Quote... unquote." You can't "unquote" someone. It's supposed to be "Quote... end quote," as in "This is the end of the quote I was sharing." (My fifth grade teacher explained this to us, and it's annoyed me ever since.)

I'm sure I'll think of more phrases I hate later. In the meantime, what phrases do you hate?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mr. Darling's Totally Awkward Tuesday

As the title suggests, today's Totally Awkward Tuesday comes to you courtesy of Mr. Darling, who told me this story of something that happened to him last week and made me cringe (and then laugh really hard).

Most professionals in any field know that it's a bad idea to say negative things about a colleague to anyone else unless you know the person you're talking to very well (and even then, it may be a bad idea.) Mr. (Dr.) Darling, who is utterly amazing, is of course also very professional, and he's not the type to talk badly about his coworkers under normal circumstances - or even abnormal circumstances, for that matter.

However, last week, he was working with an attending physician (whom we'll call Dr. Attending) and another new resident (whom we'll call Dr. Resident). He hasn't spent much time working with either of them before, since they're in a different department than he is (and also because he's been working at the hospital for less than a month), so he doesn't know either of them terribly well. For some reason, Dr. Attending was being extremely rude to Dr. Resident - very insulting and demeaning, and generally just being a jerk. Dr. Darling was feeling bad for Dr. Resident, who didn't seem to deserve the abuse. Almost anyone would feel embarrassed at being berated in front of another colleague, so after Dr. Attending walked away, Dr. Darling sympathized with Dr. Resident by saying, "Wow, what a jerk!"

To which Dr. Resident replied, "She's my cousin."

Umm... oops.

Share your own cringe-worthy moment on your blog, link back to mine so that your friends know to join in the fun, and then share a link to your Totally Awkward post by entering it below.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Finding Mr. Right

I don't know about any of you, but when I was in high school, I made a list of qualities, skills, and attributes that my future husband absolutely must have before I would even consider marrying him. And, as you might expect, the list was completely and utterly stupid.

Unfortunately, I can't find the list (it was probably thrown away), but I do remember a few things on it, and they reveal that I clearly had no idea what made a good marriage. For example:

- Must play an instrument. Why? I have no idea. As it turns out, Mr. Darling did play the trumpet in high school, but it has never had any impact on our marriage, as I've never even heard him play. Did I want to be lulled to sleep by the melodious and soothing sounds of a trumpet solo? Did I hope that he would herald my arrival each day by playing that trumpet-y song they play when royalty shows up in a movie? Why on earth did the ability to play an instrument translate to marital bliss in my teen-aged mind?

- Must love to read Shakespeare. Um, seriously? The only thing this reveals is that I was kind of pretentious as a high-schooler. Maybe I thought that my husband and I would sit around and quote sonnets to each other. (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day, Mr. Darling? No, I shall not.) Mr. Darling recently mentioned that he's never read Romeo and Juliet, and I didn't freak out or threaten to divorce him, so hopefully that's a sign that I've become somewhat less ridiculous in the last ten years.

- Must love animals. Apparently, liking them a reasonable amount wasn't enough.

Naturally, some of the things that are really important in our marriage didn't make the list at all. Here are things that weren't on the list but should've been:

-Must be slightly compulsive about neatness. I'm just going to come right out and say it - I'm a slob. And if left to my own devices, I would probably live in squalor. So some subconscious part of my brain that is responsible for self-preservation has always, without my knowledge, sought out guys whose need for neatness and cleanliness bordered on an obsession. This part of my brain is obviously trying to avoid me being the subject of a newspaper article with the headline, "Tragic Accident - Blogger dies by smothering under piles of own clothes." Mr. Darling likes things to be very neat, and he gets frustrated when the house is a wreck. So, my love for Mr. D keeps me from living up to my full slovenly potential, and his love for me and for neatness causes him to clean up my messes without too much complaint.

- Must have patience. I am messy. During one particular week of each month, I can be a bit cranky. If Mr. Darling weren't patient with me, we'd both be miserable. But he treats me with more patience and love than I could've hoped for, even though I don't always deserve it.

So what about you? When you were a kid, what did your dream spouse look like? And has your idea of the perfect mate changed significantly since then?

Friday, July 17, 2009

The one in which Tova gets covered in baby poop

Since I'm unemployed and feeling useless, I've started volunteering at a local nonprofit that offers various services to local women. One of the services they provide is free babysitting for mothers who are in school. Last week, I went with some girls from the Bible Study I've been going to. They each had taken a turn in the nursery, so I decided to offer to take a turn in the nursery the third day. Bad idea.

It was AWFUL! Two of the babies cried nonstop the ENTIRE time. Then one baby - a four month old who had cried for two hours straight - began to cry even more hysterically than normal (she cries all day, every day when she's in the nursery), so I picked her up out of the exersaucer she was in and began walking around with her, singing songs that didn't calm her in the least. Finally, I gave up on walking and sat down to rock her... and then I noticed that my entire left arm, my shirt, and my skirt were COVERED in green poop. It was also in various places around the nursery.

Apparently, she had had a poop explosion in her diaper which then came out of the leg hole of her outfit. I almost barfed. Luckily, the other woman in the nursery (who works there all the time and whom I may nominate for sainthood) offered to change her diaper (and clothes) while I spent 15 minutes getting poop off of myself. When I got home I showered for about an hour.

Let's just say that my timeline for having a child of my own has been pushed back by a few more years.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays

(I'm posting this Monday evening, because scheduling the posts to appear on Tuesdays hasn't worked for me the past few weeks, and I know that some of you night owls like to get your posts in during the wee hours of Tuesday morning, when I will definitely be sound asleep.)

A few weeks ago, I shared a Totally Awkward story about how I pseudo-stalked this guy, Kevin, at summer camp. In case some of you were still wondering why Kevin didn't fall madly in love with me, I just remembered another awkward Kevin moment. It's seriously kind of amazing that I'm married, with all of the guys I managed to drive away.

This particular incident took place during one of the three summers in my early teens when I was madly in love with Kevin - I'm pretty sure it was before the summer where I used up an entire roll of film snapping off blurry, unrecognizable photos of him. As I mentioned on the last TAT that featured Kevin, my cousin Hannah attended summer camp with me. We are three months apart in age and have always been super close. We both had our quirks, and since mine have been featured in dozens of awkward posts, let's focus on hers for a second: Hannah is the youngest of four kids - four boys, to be more precise - so she was something of a tomboy, very outgoing, could be very silly, and liked to play practical jokes. Usually, it was funny. Sometimes - like when you were trying to eat - it wasn't quite as funny.

A typical meal with Hannah at summer camp might involve spit balls, loosening the top of the salt and pepper shakers so that the next unsuspecting user would end up with a pile of salt on their plate, and random items dropped into your drink the second you looked away. If you were actually hungry, trying to eat while shielding your food and drink from flying shrapnel could be a bit much.

One day at lunch, Hannah, Mae and I had strategically positioned ourselves at a table with a very good view of Kevin and his friends. Hannah was particularly wound up that day, so in between sneaking glances at the boys, she was putting salt and pepper on mine and Mae's plates, dropping things into our drinks, eating our chips, and generally making it hard to concentrate on the most important part of lunch, which was boy-watching, of course.

Finally, I had had enough. I picked up my large glass filled with Sprite (and green beans, courtesy of Hannah), and dumped it ALL over her lunch. And then I looked up... to see Kevin... the man of my dreams... staring at me like I was a psychotic toddler. I'd been trying to catch his attention all week, and naturally the moment he actually looked at me happened to be the exact moment that I decided to drown Hannah's lunch. I was easily embarrassed at that age, anyway, but being caught acting hideously immature by my crush turned my face even more shades of red than normal. Since he was at a different table (and since I was painfully shy around boys), I couldn't even explain to Kevin that I was just giving Hannah back the green beans she'd dropped in my Sprite.

To her credit, Hannah helped me clean up the mess (I'm sure the cafeteria staff wanted to strangle us), and then we made a hasty retreat from the cafeteria. And this, my friends, is just another reason that Kevin managed to avoid falling in love with my womanly charms.

Ok, share your own awkward moment by entering a link to your Totally Awkward blog post in McLinky below! Don't forget to link back to my blog from yours so that everyone can play along!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tiny Clothes and a Big Purse

On Monday, I bought a plane ticket, which is agonizing of course, because there are all these rules, like "If you try to cancel this ticket even one minute after you buy it, even if it's because you got run over by a truck, and your house burnt down, and there's a tornado bearing down on your car at this exact second, and you need a refund because you need every extra penny for truck-injury-repairing surgery, a new house, and tornado restoration services, we will not give you back any money, and we will charge you an extra $250 for even attempting to cancel your reservation. Also, don't even think about spelling your own name wrong, because the airline's penalty for a plane ticket name change is death."

But the thing that I'm all riled up about right now is how much they charge you for baggage. After I went to various travel sites and all of the various airlines' websites to find the lowest price for a ticket, I realized that I had to revisit every site to see how much they charge for checked baggage. Because prices vary from about $15 to $25 for just one bag (each way). So, if you pick one airline because their price was $10 cheaper and then you have to pay $50 for your baggage to come on the trip, too, it kind of defeats the purpose. It used to be that every airline gave you two checked bags for free and then charged you for extras. Then it was one free checked bag per person. Now, most major airlines charge you to check any baggage at all. That's annoying enough as it is, but it gets worse.

On some airlines, you are charged not only on how many bags you're bringing, but also on how much each bag weighs. So, on a US Airways flight for example, you pay $20 for your first checked bag, unless it weighs over 50 pounds, in which case you pay $70 each way. For your second bag, you pay $30, unless it's over 50 pounds, in which case you pay $80 each way. Obviously, they're charging you these exorbitant amounts because of the bad economy, fuel costs, etc, but the thing I'm annoyed about at this exact moment is this - the premise is that the heavier the plane is, the more fuel it's going to use, so the more it's going to cost, right? But... they don't weigh the passengers! So, they can't possibly have an accurate idea of how much the plane weighs, because they don't know how much everyone in it weighs. So, let's say I bought a plane ticket for $200. If I take my 123 pound self onto a plane, and I bring two checked bags, each of which weighs 51 pounds (because I would totally be that unlucky), I'm going to pay $500 to have the plane cart 225 pounds on a round trip flight. Meanwhile, if a 350 pound NFL linebacker flies round trip on the same flight, for the same ticket price, but because he's a guy (and let's be honest, the average guy typically packs less than the average girl), he only has one 25 pound carry-on bag, he pays $200 to fly 375 pounds round trip, while I pay $500 to fly 225 pounds round trip. It's like the story problem from hell!

The long term solution is for us all to write angry letters to the airlines. I'm not saying that they have to weigh the passengers - I'm just saying that weighing luggage is completely useless and arbitrary if they're not going to weigh the passengers. And also that $50 to bring clothes with you on your trip is exorbitant, and it's pretty unfair to charge me more if the combined weight of me AND my luggage is less than the weight of the guy next to me.

My short term solution to this problem is - as this post's title states - tiny clothes and a big purse. I'm going to the beach with my sister, so I feel like it's possible to pack a week's worth of bikinis, shorts, sundresses and tank tops into a carry on bag and a big purse. Can I do it? I think I can, but stay tuned to find out! (Although, when I was in bed, about to fall asleep last night, I suddenly jolted awake when I realized that I can't bring my gigantic hair dryer and diffuser with me if I don't bring my typically enormous suitcase. Sigh. Luckily, my flat iron is small, so I guess I'll just have straight hair all week - which will be challenging when I'm by the ocean...)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays

Welcome, one and all, to another Totally Awkward Tuesday, courtesy of yours truly. You'd think that, having done this since December of last year, I would've run out of awkward stories to tell about myself, but so far, I haven't. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing...

Like always, you - yes you! - are invited to share an awkward story on your own blog, link back to my blog from your own, and then share the link to your awkward post. Then, we can all read each other's most awkward moments and laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

This week, my awkward moment took place when I was in high school, which as far as I can tell, is pretty much a universally awkward time for everyone.

When I was in high school, I attended a very fantastic church youth group. Every year, the youth group competed in a nation-wide talent competition-type-thing. There was singing, instrument playing, acting, writing, art, and all sorts of other fun stuff. I always participated in the drama portion of the competition (because in high school, I was nothing if not dramatic) and also various singing competitions (solo, duet, group, praise band, etc). Vocal solos were one of the favorite categories for all of the girls, and any female who could carry a tune (and many who couldn't) would agonize for months over the perfect song to choose for her vocal solo in the annual competition. It was a pretty big deal for us at the time (which indicates that we didn't yet have many real issues to worry about.) You could either sing a capella, with live musical accompaniment (ie, a friend who could play piano), or to a recorded accompaniment on cassette or CD. Recorded background music was typically the way to go, since it was easiest, and you didn't have to ask your accompanist to practice with you thousands of times until they eventually grew to hate both you and the sound of your voice.

There was a Christian bookstore in my town that had a great selection of backup tapes, so every year, I would go to the store to pick out my song. The backup tapes were in a corner of the store, and set up next to them were several cd/cassette players with headphones where you could listen to the music in peace and quiet, and decide which song you wanted to buy. The headphones were something like this -

- designed to keep noise out and the music in so that everyone else didn't have to listen to all of the songs you were playing 14 times in a row to decide whether or not you liked them.

So, this particular year, I went to the store like I'd done for two or three years before, picked out a few tapes, and then sat down at one of the cassette players to pick a song. I popped the first cassette into the player and slipped the headphones on, and the music started to play very, very quietly. I turned the volume up, but the music was still too quiet to hear, so I turned it up a little more. I kept turning it up, but it was still much too quiet, so I finally cranked the volume knob ALL the way up, as high as it would go. I could finally hear the music, but not nearly as well as I should've been able to, so I made a mental note to tell a store employee that the headphones were defective. As luck would have it, though, the employee approached me first - I'd been sitting there with my headphones on, listening to the music for about a minute, when a salesperson tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, you have to turn your music down - you're disturbing all of the other customers."

I took off the headphones to hear her better, and that's when I heard the music blaring from the player I was listening to. My headphones were not plugged in. I'd been sitting there, wearing noise-canceling headphones and wondering why I couldn't hear anything, while everyone else in the store wondered why on Earth I thought it was appropriate to blast music at uncomfortably high volumes while everyone else was trying to shop. Needless to say, I made my decision on which song to buy very quickly that year.

Ok, so what's your awkward moment? Blog about it, make sure to link back to my blog from yours, then include a link directly to your Totally Awkward Tuesday post in the exciting new MckLinky box below!

Friday, July 3, 2009

My husband is so freaking hot.

An hour or two ago, Mr. Darling and I were at the grocery store. We were standing in one of the checkout lines, getting ready to pay for our groceries, when I noticed a crowd of people. "Mr. Darling," I said, "there's a woman lying on the floor!

Very calmly, Mr. Darling handed me the groceries he was holding, and walked quickly over to the crowd of people. He introduced himself to a store manager who was standing by the woman, and said "Hi, I'm Dr. Darling. Can you tell me what happened here? Has anyone called 911?" Then, he was on one knee by the woman, holding her head in one hand and checking her pulse with the other while he instructed a woman who introduced herself as a nurse to open the woman's purse and look for ID and any medications. She passed him some prescription bottles, which he looked at quickly and then said, "Ok, she's on (name of some medication which is apparently used to treat seizures); she's had a seizure." He continued kneeling there, talking to the woman and assessing her vitals, while I shook so hard that I almost dropped the groceries.

Everything about it was just so... sexy! (Well, I mean, not the fact that the woman had a seizure. That was unfortunate. But she came out of it relatively quickly and refused to get in the ambulance, so she seemed ok.) It's just that Dr. Darling is so calm and in control and... hot! Despite not being involved in the situation in any way, I was shaking in my flip flops, while Dr. D acted as if finding a woman lying on the floor while shopping was an everyday occurrence.

After the ambulance arrived, Mr. Darling and I left. The store managers and the paramedics all thanked him profusely for stopping to help, and I felt so proud of him that I was genuinely concerned that I might explode. In the car, I just stared at him like he was some kind of super hero. I kept saying, "I think I'm slightly in awe of you" and "You're so hot." I just love that he is so calm and in control. He's the complete opposite of me.

(If you're ever in an emergency and have to choose between having either me or a wild pigeon there to help you, choose the pigeon, because at least maybe you could tie a note to the pigeon's leg so that it could bring someone helpful to you. I'm terrible in emergencies. I think it's genetic, because my sister is also awful in emergencies. Once, when my sister had guests over for dinner, her toaster oven caught on fire, and instead of using the fire extinguisher that was literally three feet away, she ran all over the whole house yelling that there was a fire. Luckily, her sister-in-law put out the flames before the entire kitchen went up in smoke. It's for the sake of people like us that grade-school students are made to practice the "stop, drop and roll" technique in case they ever catch on fire. Because I guarantee that, were I ever to find myself on fire, my first instinct would be to run screaming through a field of hay or something.)

Anyway, I got to see my doctor in action today, and it was amazing. If you ever have an emergency near us, you're in good hands - Dr. Darling can save your life, while I look around to see if there's a pigeon handy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dr. Darling, unemployment, and a bow tie

Yesterday, Mr. Darling (along with every other new resident in the country) started his residency! I'm so excited and proud that I can barely contain myself! I made him wake me up before he left for work (at 5:30 am) so that I could take his picture on his first day (which made him feel like he was in elementary school all over again). Since it was 5:30 in the morning, I didn't notice the flashing message on my camera that said "No Memory Card," so my camera pretended it was taking pictures, and when I woke up again four hours later, I realized that I had no pictures of Mr. D on his first day. *Sigh.* Oh well - these things happen, I suppose. I took his picture when he got home, so that'll just have to do.

So, I'm currently unemployed. It's weird. Sometimes, I'm a fan of unemployment (I get to sleep in and do whatever I want, whenever I want.) But it also makes me feel kind of... listless and unproductive. I haven't been unemployed in at least nine years, so it's a strange feeling. I plan to get a job when the summer is over, but I'm in a friend's wedding this month, I have plans to visit my sister, and Mr. Darling and I will be visiting his family, and I didn't think it would work for me to get a job and then say, "Oh, by the way, I'll need to take three weeks off." It probably wouldn't have gone over very well.

The other thing to consider is that Mr. Darling's schedule will be a bit crazy. It'll be different every month - sometimes he'll work more "normal" hours on Monday through Friday, and other months he'll work nights and weekends. So what I really, really don't want to do is get a job with a strict schedule that might mean I hardly get to see my husband. Right now, my ideal job is to be a substitute teacher, but I don't know yet if that's going to work... cross your fingers for me!

In the interest of making money and having a flexible schedule, I took an "independent contractor" position as a sample-passer-outer in a grocery store last week. Honestly, it was humiliating. Passing out samples wasn't actually too bad. The horrible part was the uniform. I had to wear a tuxedo shirt and a bow tie, and let me assure you - I did not look cute in them. At all. If I could've passed out the samples while wearing normal clothes, I would've been fine, but please explain to me why cross-dressing is considered professional looking. You'd never expect a guy to wear a ballgown while he was working (well, maybe... if his job was cross-dressing), so why is a woman expected to wear a tuxedo shirt and a bow tie? I looked like an idiot. I did it once, but I'm probably not going to do it again... unless we are in dire need of money. (The weird thing was that some guys actually hit on me while I was wearing that outfit. Maybe I have a cute head, because everything else looked ridiculous.)

If one of you would like to pay me to blog, I'd be much obliged. Otherwise, you can look forward to hearing about my job hunting.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays

Ok, I scheduled this to be posted at 12:01 AM, but for some reason, the post scheduler has forsaken me.

It's Tuesday again, and it's time for our weekly support group meeting for extremely awkward people.

Hi, my name's Tova, and I'm totally awkward.

This awkward moment happened at least 18 years ago, when I was eight or nine years old and therefore had an excuse for lacking common sense. (I've got no excuse now.) I had forgotten all about this moment, which I think is actually the first truly awkward moment that I can remember having. When I was hanging out with my sister last week, she reminded me of this mortifying moment, so I thought I'd share it with you. (In addition to reminding one another of childhood traumas, we also sang along to Amy Grant's album, Heart in Motion, at the top of our lungs. This album came out around the same time that this awkward moment occurred, and my sister bought the cassette as soon as it came out, yet somehow we still remembered every single word of every song on the album. [Why is it that I can remember every word on an album that is almost two decades old, but I can never remember the names of people I met two minutes ago? It's mind boggling.])

A-ny-way. My sister and I shared a bedroom for about ten years, and we fought for approximately the same length of time. This story is not about a fight, though. Our bedroom was in the front of the house, and there was a pretty good-sized window facing the street. In front of the window was a red desk that we shared. Covering the window were curtains that were held up by a tension rod with no brackets or anything supporting it. (That's an important detail.)

I had just finished taking a shower, and I had come into our room wearing a towel. My sister was changing or getting ready to shower or something, so we were both less than dressed. As I was about to get dressed, I noticed that there was about a one inch gap in the curtains covering our window, and I was immediately horrified that someone might see us. I tried to tug the curtains closed, but they were stuck in the middle of the rod.

Obviously, the best possible solution was to climb up on top of the red desk, the bottom of which was exactly even with the window sill. So, there I am, standing on the desk, wearing only a towel, in front of a window that faced a reasonably busy street, and am being sheltered by only a curtain held up by a flimsy rod. (You all know where this is going by now, I'm sure.) I grabbed the curtain and yanked, and... the curtains and rod came crashing down. I screamed and was so startled that I promptly dropped my towel and stood for a full two seconds on the desk, stark naked. Now, keep in mind that I was nine and therefore had nothing much to show the world, but being naked in front of just about anyone was the most humiliating thing that I could imagine at age nine. When I finally unfroze, I hopped down from the desk, and sat on the floor while my sister laughed hysterically at me. Then, she made me climb back up on the desk to put the curtain back up. I spent at least the next month wondering which of my neighbors had seen me naked. It was very traumatizing, but also completely hilarious. For the past 18 years, whenever one of us has mentioned this story, we both burst into uncontrollable giggles.

Ok, so what's your awkward story? Share it on your blog, link back to mine, and then include a link to your post in the comment section of this post.

Then, check out these other awkward bloggers:

Write? Right.
Rooftop Melodies
Sizzling Publications
My Latest Adventure
and if it's a hero that you want, I can save you
Lady Jane
Beak Tweets
True Confessions of a Single Mother
Fancy Shmancy
The Telltale Heart
Savvy Stitcher
Well okay, Sassy Britches
A Madcap Psyche
Weekly Jules
Creative Explosion by Moxie
Jen's Voices
The Worthams
Contentedly Neurotic
Simply Valorie
Lines Composed

Monday, June 29, 2009

Oh, also...

Happy Blog Anniversary to me! Today, Secret Life of Tova Darling is one year old! Hurray!

To answer your question...

Since my blog has started getting all of these fun new visitors, I've been getting some fantastic comments and emails! I'm enjoying every minute of it. Most of you are sweet or interesting or complimentary or informative or inquisitive or funny in your comments and emails, and I love you for it. And then there's the guy who claims that I am not in love with Mr. Darling because I know how to pole dance, and somehow, this guy has decided that I must therefore also be in love with my stripper pole? I am not making that up. I didn't even respond to his email, since I couldn't think of a sufficiently sarcastic way to tell him that I am not, in fact, in love with a piece of metal. (For the record, though, I am not, nor have I ever been, in love with an inanimate object.)

After my last post, several of you asked if Mr. Darling gave me a foot massage before we filled out forms, and the answer (of course) is yes. :)

One question a lot of you is asked is how I got three columns in my blog layout. I owe it to this post on Blogger Buster. She explains how to get three columns on your blog, so I followed those instructions, and voila!

Another question I've gotten from quite a few of you is how you can get more readers. My advice (for whatever it's worth) is this: Find blogs you like, follow them, and comment, comment, comment. Participate in as many Meme's (themed blog topics where you write something about yourself, Totally Awkward Tuesdays, for example) as you can. And of course, it really doesn't hurt to be Blog of Note.

The last question that I've gotten more than once is, "Where do you live?" The answer is that since I'm anonymous, I can't tell you. My mother-in-law could have spies anywhere. Also, now that you all know how amazing Dr. Darling is, if you knew where we live, his fan club might go to the hospital with fake medical problems just so that they could meet him, and his bosses might not look too kindly on that.

On an unrelated note, Joanie suggested that I have a Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays button that people could post on their blogs to link back to mine for Tuesdays. It's a completely awesome idea! Unfortunately, I have no idea how to go about creating a button. Am I blog-challenged? Perhaps. But if any of you want to help me, I'd be eternally grateful, and of course give you full credit for your blog wizardry.

I'll leave you with a fabulous quote delivered by Mr. (Dr!) Darling the other day. I was blogging and he was ready for bed, and I kept saying, "I'll be there in just a minute." Finally, he laughingly said: "Listen, I know your blog is incredibly popular, I know you're like a rock star now, but I have needs too!"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


(In the car)
Me: I'm in a bad mood. And I'm feeling kind of sad.
Mr. Darling: How can I help?
Me: Will you give me a foot massage when we get home?
Mr. Darling: Yes.

(Back at the house)
Mr. Darling: Let's go over these forms tonight.
Me: What forms are they?
Mr. Darling: They're for our health insurance.
Me: What about my foot massage?
Mr. Darling: Let's do the forms first, then I'll give you a massage.
Me: Can I have the massage first?
Mr. Darling: Which do you want more: health insurance or a foot massage?
Me: Right now? A foot massage.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesday

It's Tuesday, and that means that once again, it's time for us to all sympathize with one another's awkward moments. Last week, some very funny bloggers shared their own awkward moments, and everyone is invited to participate again this week. Join in the fun and show the blogosphere your awkward side!

In my last Totally Awkward post, I shared a story about how incredibly smooth I was when I had a crush on a guy in sixth grade. To prove that my awkward, somewhat obsessive crush on Tim A was not, in fact, an isolated incident, I'm going to share yet another story about how creepy I could be when I had a "secret" crush as a pre-teen. (The fact that Mr. Darling married me instead of running away screaming when I fell in love with him is hopefully an indication that I became less awkward around guys as I got older.)

For the majority of my childhood and adolescence, I attended a camp every summer, which offered me an opportunity to develop creepy crushes on guys who I literally saw for one week out of every year. (Incidentally, it also offered guys in whom I was not interested the opportunity to develop creepy crushes on me and send me weird love letters which I wish I had saved because they were awesome. So at least I wasn't the only weirdo at summer camp.) Every year, as camp time would approach, my friend Mae, my cousin Hannah and I would begin to write letters to each other about whether or not the guys we liked would attend camp that year, and more importantly, whether or not we would actually get up the nerve to talk to them.

For several consecutive years, I had a gigantic, ridiculous crush on one particular guy who we'll call Kevin. He was tall, dark, and handsome, and we had had approximately two conversations during three consecutive years of summer camp, so clearly it was a match made in heaven. One spring, as camp approached and my obsession with Kevin increased, I got the brilliant idea of sending Mae a cassette tape of me talking instead of my usual letter. And of course, I spent a good 45 minutes talking about how I was madly in love with Kevin.

The details get a little fuzzy here, but somehow, Mae's older brother and his best friend (both of whom also attended the camp) heard the tape. Which meant that once I actually arrived at camp, I very soon found that someone (not me) had written Kevin's name in huge letters on my camp notebook and surrounded it with hearts. You'd think that this would have been enough to cure me of my crush, but apparently my feelings for him were less fickle than the ones I had had (or would later have... I forget the order in which the Tim and the Kevin incidents occurred) for Tim A, because I was totally undeterred. I covered over Kevin's name with stickers (which apparently I brought with me to camp?), and continued pseudo-stalking him.

This is how Mae, Hannah and I would pursue the boys we liked: we would follow them around from a distance and sneakily take pictures of them with our cameras. The pictures would never, ever turn out, because we'd take them from at least 100 feet away, and we had old-fashioned film cameras with no zoom, but we kept trying anyway. So, this particular year, despite Kevin's name mysteriously showing up on my notebook, I still followed him around taking his picture like some sort of ineffectual paparazzo. Either Kevin noticed that I was taking his picture (I wasn't exactly famous for my ninja-like stealth), or Mae's brother and his friend had ratted me out, because on about day three of my Kevin-stalking, Kevin himself actually approached me and started asking questions about my camera. Somehow in the conversation, he managed to get me to say that I had almost no film left, at which he expressed surprise and asked "How could you almost be out of film? We've only been here three days! What have you been taking so many pictures of?" Obviously, I couldn't say, "You," so I responded with something extremely eloquent like, "Um... I don't know." He looked at me like I was a crazy person and then wandered away.

Later in the week, Hannah, Mae and I ended up hanging out with Kevin and a friend of his for an hour or so and actually getting a legitimate picture of him, which gave me something new to obsess over for the next three years, but my creepy crush didn't go unnoticed. A few years ago I was talking to another guy from camp, and he said "Didn't you used to have a huge crush on Kevin and follow him around taking his picture?" Umm... yes. Yes, I was extremely creepy. Can we talk about something else now?

Ok, now it's your turn! Share an awkward moment on your blog, link back to mine, and then post a link to your entry in the comments and I'll link to you below.

Sizzling Publications
Pink Banana
Love Letters by Cora
Optimistic Cynicism
Frannie Fires Back
True Confessions of a Single Mother
Write? Right.
and if it's a hero you want, I can save you
Meandering Mel
This Provincial Life
The Adventures of Captain Teabot and Pink-Head (Just so you know - I'm unable to comment on your blog!)
Forever Fat Girl on the Inside
Creating Blessings
With a Little Grace
Creative Explosion by Moxie (I can't comment on yours either!)
Operation Baby
Lines Composed
Weekly Jules
My Own Treasure Island

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm not the loneliest person in the whole city

During some of the more intense pity parties that I held for myself before Mr. Darling and I moved, I pictured myself curled up alone on the couch for days on end, wearing sweatpants, watching reruns, being used as furniture by my cats, crying into a glass of wine, and stuffing my face full of Cheetos. The occasional car would drive by, and I'd leap up, sending my cats flying, and run to the window shouting, "Will you be my friend??" The car would drive away, its passengers pointing and laughing, and I'd go back to being lonely.

My biggest fear about moving was that I'd have no friends. Back home (which is a phrase I really need to stop using, since this is home now), I had plenty of friends. I spent the majority of my time with my fantastic best friend, Elle (who came up to see me this past weekend and whom I almost did not allow to leave. Seriously), but there were at least half a dozen other girls that I could call up whenever I wanted to hang out. I'm still friends with those girls, obviously, but now they're a four hour drive away, and I'm here. Alone. (Not really alone, of course, but once Mr. D's residency officially starts, I'll be without him for hours and even days at a time. Blah.) I'm a people person. I'm very social. And I was petrified to live in a city where I didn't know anyone.

So, I'm quite relieved that so far, the only time I've worn sweatpants and curled up in the fetal position with cats lying on top of me was during my unfortunate bout of food poisoning. Other than that, I've been meeting people left and right! On Sunday, Mr. Darling and I went to a church we'd visited during our house-finding mission a few months ago, and a girl about my age (which technically means she's a woman) whom we'll call Rae promptly befriended me. She invited me to her house, where I met her sisters (also in my age group) and some other girls, and they in turn invited me to a join a small group they're starting with their church. Rae and I also have plans to meet for lunch next week. On our fourth day here, some neighbors stopped by to bring us a pie, and then two days later, some other neighbors invited us to their son's graduation party. Mr. D and I are attended the birthday party of one of the residents this past weekend, where we met the other residents and their wives/husbands/significant others, and I've already hit it off with a few of the wives. We also have tentative plans to meet another resident and his wife (who I met at the dinner before Mr. D's interview here and who is really sweet and adorable) for dinner next week.

In other words, I'm not the pathetic shut-in I was envisioning myself to be! Score! Now if I could just find a job...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm Back!! (Kind of.)

Hello, wonderful bloggers! As you've probably guessed, I am officially all moved in to my new house. Most of it actually looks like we live here now, as opposed to before when it looked like we were using the house as a storage facility for piles of boxes. We also officially have internet now (as opposed to poaching it from the neighbors without their knowledge.)

Naturally, once I finally got settled and comfortable, the obvious next step is for me to pack some bags and drive four hours back to my hometown to stay with my parents for a week (in a bit of a college flashback, I'm toting with me a gigantic bag of laundry, since Mr. Darling and I need to buy a washer and dryer.) My sister (who moved away from our hometown two years before I did) is spending a week at our parents' house with my adorable nephew, and since they (my sister and her family) now live a depressing 13 hours away from me, AND I haven't seen them since Christmas, I'm headed back home to hang out with them. Mr. D will be here, fending for himself, while I'm staying in my childhood bedroom, using my parents' washer and dryer, eating their food, and generally pretending that I'm 19 again. I may or may not be blogging during that time, but I've scheduled a post to tide you over. (By this time, I'm a pro at scheduling posts.)

Here's a very, very quick recap of all of the major events that took place in the last three weeks:

Mr. Darling's Medical School Graduation: I started crying five minutes into the ceremony. No joke. I am just so, so proud of him! Mr. Darling's family got along with each other and with me, and that was the best I was hoping for, so I can't complain about them too much. The ceremony was long, and Mr. Darling texted me during the ceremony because he was bored, but I was so proud and excited that it was hard to be bored. I took approximately 9,438 pictures.

Mr. Darling's Graduation Party: Frankly, it was fantastic, if I do say so myself. I have had four years to plan an amazing party for him, and it went off exactly as I've been dreaming it would for the past four years. I smiled so much my face hurt, talked to everyone, could not eat a bite of the food I prepared, and even got compliments from Mr. Darling's mom. So, all-in-all, it was even better than I could've hoped.

The Move: Moving sucks, there's no way around that. However, it didn't suck as badly as it could've, so that's something, I suppose. We paid people to load the truck on one end, then paid other people to unload it on the other end, so that saved our backs at least. (And when I say "our backs," I obviously just mean "Mr. Darling's back," because I am no help at all when it comes to lifting things.) I cried. A lot. My parents came with us to help us unload and unpack, and then spent the night and left the next day. When they left, I cried so hard that I couldn't even talk. I'm doing a lot better now, though.

Blog of Note: Since being Blog of Note (Hurrah!), I have almost 1,000 readers, and I think that you are all amazing. And funny. And sexy. I have gotten some wonderful comments and emails and have been introduced to some awesome blogs and bloggers. I am still trying to make the rounds and follow up on comments and emails, so bear with me on that. I have also, of course, gotten some really weird comments and emails, which I will of course be sharing with you, because they are funny.

In other news, in addition to my food poisoning (such fun), I also got another fun bug, which required an antibiotic, which caused me to break out in a horrible rash all over my torso and legs. So apparently I've developed a new allergy. I think my body is just constantly on the lookout for ways to annoy me. I am on the mend from all of my various health problems, but I've developed a fun new fear that everything I eat or touch will make me sick. At least I now officially live with a doctor.

Well, I'm rambling, and I need to finish gathering dirty laundry for my trip, so I'll wrap this up. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays

Totally Awkward Tuesdays are back! Seriously! The old fashioned way!

For my awesome new readers, let me give you a brief explanation of Totally Awkward Tuesdays. One day, I was sitting around, trying to think of a fun theme to blog about weekly. Then I remembered that I am particularly good at being really, really awkward. I decided it might be amusing for you all if I blogged about some of my awkward moments, and thus, Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesday was born. (Did you notice that I used the word thus? That makes my story sound historical and accurate.)

You are all invited to play along. Here's how it works. I'll write a story about a time that I was awkward (there are a lot of them.) You'll read it and laugh or roll your eyes. Whichever. Then you think of an awkward story that happened to you. Write about it on your blog, and be sure to link back to my blog. Then, leave a comment on my blog letting me know that you participated and include a link to the awkward blog entry. I'll post the link in the body of this blog entry so that everyone can come read about your awkwardness. It'll be fun! And now, here's my awkwardness:

I don't think that I would classify myself as ever having been "boy crazy." I wasn't the type of girl who hung New Kids on the Block posters on my wall or drooled over Jonathan Taylor Thomas on Home Improvement. (Unlike my childhood best friend who was legitimately convinced that she and JTT would meet someday, fall in love, and marry. She was always telling me why they were destined for each other, using facts that she had gleaned from fine journalistic sources like Tiger Beat: "He likes girls with brown hair, and I have brown hair! We have the same favorite color! He likes to listen to music, and so do I!")

Instead, I would talk to a guy twice, develop a crush on him, and then obsess over him for the next three or four years, write his name on every available surface, tell all of my friends about him, but never actually talk to him again. I was very classy and mature like that. I have multiple stories about how awkward I was when it came to having crushes on guys. So many, in fact, that this could become a sub-series of Totally Awkward Tuesdays. But today, I'll share one that took place in sixth grade.

There was a boy in my sixth-grade class who we'll call Tim A. He was popular, funny, tall, and very cute, and even though the high point of our social interaction came when he wrote "Your very quiet but your a kool girl" in the back of my fifth grade yearbook, I was absolutely smitten. So I did what any quiet (but kool!) sixth grader would do and spent large portions of math class doodling his name in my notebook. But since I was oh-so-sneaky, I made sure to cover up his name with doodles, swirls, and squiggles. For weeks on end, I expertly hid his name in doodles so intricate that even a CIA code-breaker would never know that Tim A was the apple of the eye. Or at least, that's what I told myself. Until Jenny W called me out.

Here's what happened: the whole class was standing in line in front of the lockers (bathroom trip? lunch time? art class? Who knows. The majority of sixth grade seemed to be spent standing in line to go somewhere as a class.) Jenny W (who sat behind me in math class) was in front of me in line, and I was talking to one of my friends, sporting my awesome multi-colored plastic heart bracelet that I wore almost daily because it matched everything. Suddenly, Jenny turned around, and asked loudly enough for at least half of the line to hear, "Do you have a crush on Tim A?" My face immediately turned bright red. Obviously, my only option was to lie, so I promptly said, "No way! I don't have a crush on him!" To which Jenny replied, "Then why do you always write his name in your math notebook?"

The best liars in the world would probably be unable to come up with a lie capable of convincing an entire sixth grade class that writing a boy's name in your math notebook 4,392 times did not mean that you were in love with him, and I wasn't even a semi-good liar. For the next week or so, I was taunted regularly for my unrequited crush on Tim A. So much so, that my crush very quickly turned to something approaching disgust, and just the sight of Tim A made me feel angry and embarrassed.

I learned at that exact moment not to doodle a boy's name anywhere unless he was my boyfriend, and I avoided talking to Tim A for the rest of my life. (Literally. I think he transferred to a different school district after sixth grade, but I'm 99% sure it wasn't because of my crush.) Luckily, sixth graders have extremely short memories, and someone else did something embarrassing enough to take the focus off of me within just a few days. However, I have not, in 15 years, forgiven Jenny W.

Ok, it's your turn! Share an awkward story on your blog, link back to mine, and then include a link to your blog in the comment section! Then check out some more awkwardness by these fabulous bloggers:

Love Letters by Cora
Frannie Fires Back
Infertile Myrtle
Recovering Actor
West Coast Newlywed
and if it's a hero you want, I can save you
Write! Right?
Hopscotch and Handbags
I am Omega
True Confessions of a Single Mother
Running with Hemostats
Well Okay, Sassy Britches!
Creating Blessings
Sizzling Publications

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tova's Moving Extravaganza - Weekly Jules

Today's episode of the Extravaganza is brought to you by Weekly Jules, a fellow doctor's wife who has been through the joys of being married to a medical resident and could probably warn me about what the next three years are going to be like... if I wasn't too scared of hearing horror stories to ask her about it. Here's a traveling story from Julie:

My husband was a 3rd year med student, I was a fresh college grad, we had only been married seven months, and we were broke. And trying to attend a friend’s wedding in Denver as cheaply as possible...

After driving since 5:00 in the morning, we checked into a dive hotel (saved $10 over the wedding party's hotel) about an hour before the wedding, smelly from a day of travel, and in dire need of showers. Unfortunately, Dave realized he had forgotten to pack a dress shirt. He called the front desk for directions to the nearest mall, which was supposedly out of the parking lot and south about one mile. While he left to get a new shirt (there went our $10), I headed to the shower. But when I pulled back the shower curtain, I found the tub was covered in mildew, the drain surrounded by hair, and, I swear, a dead cockroach was being carried away by a colony of red ants.

So I did what any other suburban newlywed would do, and re-packed everything I could, donned the rest (Dave’s beat-up camo-green jacket and a hat), grabbed the fancy wedding gift, and checked out.

I still had not taken a shower.

I waited on the hotel steps for my husband to return before deciding I probably looked like a vagabond trying to score a free room. So I picked up all our stuff, exited the parking lot on foot, and started walking south, thinking surely I could hit the mall, or at least flag down Dave on the street before he got back to the hotel. Mind you, this was a few years before cell phones hit the free world.

After trudging along for what seemed like two miles dressed like a homeless person, carrying a duffle bag, a backpack, a garment bag, and a wedding gift, I spied police officer driving along the road and started flagging him down for help.

Officer pulled over, and, as I explained my situation, he silently put my belongings in his trunk and told me to get in the car, specifically the back seat. I urged him to swing back around so I could find my husband and get to the wedding on time. He muttered something in his CB about a woman (poor thing was wandering the streets of suburban Denver) and did a quick U-turn. Within seconds I spotted poor, uninformed Dave driving northbound and squealed with delight to Officer. He flipped on the lights and siren and did a U-turn in hot pursuit of my husband.

I saw Dave look back with panic as Officer motioned for him to pull over, then I saw my husband shake his head after making momentary eye contact with him in his rearview mirror.

We all pulled over, I pulled the car door handle, relieved to have found my true love lost in the Denver suburbs and ready to leap into his arms, but the door was locked. Officer got out instead.
“Sir, I found your wife walking southbound on this street. She claims she was looking for you?” Officer was puzzled. Dave was not.

“That sounds like something she would do,” he said.

Officer unlocked my door and let me out. Dave opened his door and let me in, and we enjoyed the rest of the weekend at a Marriott in Cherry Creek.

No, there was no charge at the first hotel. No, we will never skimp on a room again. And, yes, we made it to the wedding on time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tova's Moving Extravaganza - Adriana

Adriana of the blog From KS to PA is a few years ahead of me in the whole "being married to a resident" process, so throughout the past several months, she has offered me some very helpful advice about interviews and residency in general. Two years ago, she moved for her husband's residency, so she went through the exact same thing I'm going through right now - except she did it with two kids, and her move was about four times longer than mine will be. Yikes! The fact that she is still happy and sane after that is very encouraging to me. Here's Adriana's story:

The name of my blog comes from the journey my husband, two kids, and I took two years ago. We moved from Kansas (where all of our family and friends lived) to Pennsylvania (where we knew NO ONE). Similar to what Tova is currently experiencing we were "matched" to PA in March and had until the first of June to move and be settled because my husband's program started. PA was our second choice and being in complete denial finding out that we matched to our second choice was a huge surprise.

So in less than 3 months we sold our house, packed up everything we owned, found a place to live, and moved to PA. One of the most difficult chores in this whole process was the actual move itself.

If you have ever sold a house before you know that a lot of unexpected expenses tend to come up which left us without a lot of cash. Although ideally we would have liked to hire a moving company we just couldn't afford it. So instead we rented 2 u-haul trailers and hooked them behind two full sized pickups and road tripped our way across the country. Actually my husband, father-in-law, and husband's uncle did cause me and the kids stayed behind to close on the house and would drive up a few weeks later.

Moving in it's most basic sense is actually not that hard. I don't mind packing or unpacking. What I mind is sorting. You know the piles (sell, giveaway, throwaway, keep). After the biggest garage sale I have ever had we still had way too much stuff. You see we were moving from a four bedroom house into a two bedroom apartment and a small storage unit. In my fragile emotional state (I had a 3 month old baby and was still in shock that we were moving) it was very difficult to let go of our things. We worked hard for those things and there was nothing wrong with them so it was hard to sell them at discount prices when I felt we might need them. I realize now that I just had a hard time letting go.

Come moving day and everything is packed and ready to load onto the trucks. Bret and I started early in the morning the night they were planning to leave. The day progressed smoothly as it was a matter of just carrying things from the house outside while Bret worked on packing everything. We had the back seat of two trucks, the backs of two trucks, and two massive trailers...no problem right? Wrong.

We ran out of room. This would not have been that big of a deal except by the time Bret figured out that everything was NOT going to fit there wasn't much room for prioritizing. Things I would have been OK with leaving were packed and weren't coming out. So I was left with choosing what HAD to go and what could stay. My husband saw the look of panic/horror on my face and made quick promises that we could keep things at our parents' house until we came back and got it the next time but I knew that somethings were just never going to make it to PA. It was also starting to get dark and the need to hurry was pressing.

Through tears I made irrational choices about what things HAD to be packed and what could be left behind. What started out as organized and flowing turned into a disaster. When there was absolutely no room left I was still left with several boxes and large awkward things that were just not going to fit. Bret and I had a hurried goodbye and suddenly I was alone with the kids in a half empty house trying to figure out what I was going to do next. I had Emily's powerwheel car, lots of toys, trashcans, a mower, boxes of just stuff like photo albums and candles, baby clothes, and much much more. Through the gracious efforts of Bret's parents, close friends, and the help of Craigslist and Salvation Army I was able to either store, sell, or get rid of everything that wouldn't fit in my little Saturn after our clothes, car seats, etc. Bret too ran into issues as the apartment wasn't ready to move into so everything had to be stored in a large storage unit. After this most disastrous experience of moving my husband has made a solemn vow that we will never move ourselves again. My hope is that we won't have to move again for at least two years (when he is finished with the program) and then who ever he signs a contract for will pay for us to move too :) Hopefully Tova's move is going much much smoother.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

And then I got food poisoning from a quesadilla...

Today is supposed to be Totally Awkward Tuesday, which I had not planned ahead for, but for which I was going to type up a post yesterday (we have intermittent wireless internet that we are "borrowing" from a neighbor with unsecured wireless - we'll get our own inernet connection in two days.)

Anyway, I was planning to type up something yesterday, and I had thought of the story and everything, and then I ate a leftover quesadilla for lunch... a leftover quesadilla that I had accidentally left in the car for an hour and a half the night before but that I figured would be fine. And then I got violently ill. So I ended up laying in bed and whining most of the day, with periodic episodes of sitting with my head over the toilet. It was awesome.

I can't even remember what story I was going to share for TAT, so instead I'm offering this explanation as to why today isn't as awkward as normal. Feel free to be awkward amongst yourselves, though. In the meantime, I'll be here... finding out whether or not I can keep down half a glass of 7up. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tova's Moving Extravaganza - Tova

I promised you all that I'd include one or two posts of my own into my Moving Extravaganza series, so here's a moving story that's all mine (unfortunately).

Freshman year of college, I had a really terrible roommate whom we'll call Roommate From Hell. She smelled. She stole my clothes. She gave me lice (and I had really long hair. Long CURLY hair. It was even worse than you're probably imagining.) She broke my computer printer. She never cleaned anything, ever. She cooked food in my dishes and let the leftovers harden in them until they became a permanant decoration. She "couldn't sleep" unless she was listening to loud rock music. She regularly came back to our dorm room completely drunk in the middle of the night, tripped, ran into my bed, and then would tell me about her drunken exploits when I was trying to sleep at four in the morning. Needless to say, my first year of college was... interesting (adding to the drama was my breakup with the good ex, getting mono [which I also got from Roommate From Hell, who got mono and then accidentally drank from my drink several times and didn't tell me until after I'd used the same cup], and beginning to date the bad ex. It's a wonder I didn't drop out.)

During our second semester of college, Roommate From Hell just stopped going to classes. She literally did not go to a single class after the first week of the semester. She just got drunk every night and then slept all day until it was time to get drunk again. She ended up getting pregnant and dropping out of college the week before finals.

Frankly, I was glad that she dropped out. Her leaving before finals week meant that I could actually get some sleep without being woken up when she drunkenly ran into my bed at 4 am. What sucked was the cleanup our dorm room needed after she moved out. Obviously, I was aware of the fact that we basically lived in a trash heap. However, I was unaware of the extent of the mess until it was time for me to move out. I'm an extremely disorganized person by nature, but my awful roommate made me look like Martha Stewart by comparison. She once left a slice of pizza face down on the carpet for a week before I discovered it and threw it away. She did not do a single load of laundry all year. She never once changed her sheets (when she got lice and gave it to me, I told her she had to wash her sheets and clothes, and she claimed not to know how. When I offered to teach her, she never showed up for the "lesson." I had to strip her bed and wash her sheets for her. And rather than going to the trouble of ever putting her pillowcases back on after I had washed them, she used New Kids on the Block t-shirts as pillowcases for the rest of the year). And when she moved out, she didn't bother to clean up anything. When I left for class one day, she was packing her bags. When I came back, she was gone, along with her clothes and personal belongings. Her mess remained.

On the last day of the semester, my parents came to help me move out of my dorm, and that was when we realized the full extent of the disaster my roommate had left behind. When we went to un-bunk the beds and move them back to their original position, we discovered hundreds and hundreds of popcorn kernels under the bed. Since I'm not a big popcorn fan and hadn't made a single bag all year, we knew they were all from her. With the amount of kernels under the bed, I wouldn't have been at all surprised to learn that she was starting a corn farm under there. When we checked to make sure all of her dresser drawers were empty, we discovered that she had inexplicably filled an entire drawer with an unidentifiable white powder. Baby powder? Cocaine? Flea powder? We had no idea, but whatever it was, the drawer was completely filled with it. When I tried to pick up a copy of Cosmo magazine off of the floor under her desk, I discovered that she had spilled soda on top of it and that the cover photo had completely transferred to the floor and was being held on with a sticky shellac that no amount of bleach or scrubbing could remove. My parents and I spent hours cleaning the 12x12 room, and it was still basically filthy when we left.

A few weeks after I moved out of the dorm, I got a notice in the mail telling me that I had to pay half of the $100 fine we'd been assessed because the room had to be cleaned thorougly after we left. I honestly can't remember whether or not I paid the fine, but I can remember being really, really ticked off about it.

The final blow from my roommate didn't come until the beginning of my sophomore year. I was sharing a dorm room with a different girl (she was a neat freak - I had learned my lesson), and as we were moving in, another girl who lived in our building stopped by. I'd never been crazy about this girl, partly because she had been good friends with Roommate From Hell. I liked her even less after she walked into the room I was sharing with Clean Roommate and said, "I'm kind of surprised that Clean Roommate asked you to live with her. Roommate From Hell said living with you annoyed her because you're really messy."

All I can say is that Roommate From Hell was lucky she was pregnant when I found out she'd said that, or I might've gone to her house and punched her.
In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks. ~ Calvin & Hobbes