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.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tova's Moving Extravaganza - Meandering Melissa

Today's episode of Tova's Moving Extravaganza is brought to you by the wonderful Melissa over at Meandering Melissa! Melissa's identity was recently stolen by someone who used her bank account to buy Christian t-shirts (no, seriously! Read about it on her blog!), but luckily for all of us, she submitted this story before she had to start sorting out that mess:

I had just spent a year living in Germany as an exchange student, and was anxious, yet scared to be going home. I would miss my German family, friends, and experiences, but would be going home to my American family, friends and life.

I was standing in a small airport with a handful of students from my area. We were all flying together to a larger airport for our connecting flight back to America. My dear, sweet, adorable, and horribly hott friend Anna (yes, names have been changed) and I were checking in together, so that we could hopefully have seats next to each other on the flight to the big airport. But all I managed to do was pass on my fair share of terrible luck. The lady behind the desk refused to let us check our luggage all the way to the States, because of some sort of problem, that I’m sure was just her being mean because we were American. None of the other students that we knew had a problem. Just us.

What did this mean to us? Well, we got the seats together on our flight to the big airport, but it also meant that we had to re-check our luggage. Both of my bags were overweight (and I mean overweight!), and Anna’s were awkward. To pick up our bags, we had to go down a level, get our bags, and bring them up. My huge duffel bag wouldn’t fit in the elevator, so Anna and I both struggled to get the damn thing up the worst flight of stairs on the face of this planet.

Then we had to wait in line. They refused to look at us poor students until our program director talked to them (our PO was one of the most frightening, but really cool German women I have ever met) in such a way, that we were rushed to the front of the line, because our flight was due to leave at that moment. They took our bags without even looking at the weight, and gave us our tickets, and managed to hold the plane for us. Anna and I had to run what seemed like a million miles to catch our plane. We had to clear security, and stripped as we ran. We were completely and utterly ridiculous. My pants were too big for me (I had lost a lot of weight), and about lost them after I took my belt off, which I wrapped around my neck so I wouldn’t lose it. Anna, silly, but hott, was wearing combat boots. Thank God they were the kind that zipped up the side! I carried one, while she had the other, and we managed to get all questionable items ready to be scanned by the machines. Managing to get through security (which the airport personnel had thoughtfully cleared a line, just for us!), we still had to sprint our way to our gate. It was just like the movies, where someone is late for a flight. We had personnel directing us the whole way, cheering us on, and wishing us a safe flight back to the States.

We made it to our plane, where our group was excited to see us. Anna and I re-dressed, yes, we had run through everything half dressed, and plopped in our seats.

Only to wait 45 minutes before our plane even moved to taxi to the runway.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tova's Moving Extravaganza - Regina

Today's Moving Extravaganza story is brought to you by the fabulous Regina at The Recovering Actor. It will definitely make you smile!

I've had to move a few times in my life... live in three different states (all adjacent to one another...) so I never felt like it was much of a change. Except for the first move I remember. My parents moved from Philly suburbs to Jersey before I turned one, so I don't remember that... but when I was about to start Kindergarten and we had to move, forget it.

I was perfectly fine in Jersey. I was right down the street from my baby cousin who used to bite me, I had a really cute neighbor whom I used to bite and another cute next door neighbor with a Nintendo and a twin sister, so I was set. Not to mention my best friend Cara with the lisp. I was golden at the tender age of four and a half. Except when I was picked as the cheese in the Farmer and the Dell... but that's another story.

I was not a happy camper when we had to move. At all. I was starting at a new school with all new friends in an entirely new state (back to PA, but I didn't remember PA the first time around). The house we were moving to still looked a lot like the Jersey house, but green instead of brown. And it was newer. When we moved in, actually, there were only about fifteen houses built in the entire development. Now it's much larger.

When we pulled up to the house in my parents' station wagon, there was a little girl sitting on our front steps. She walked right up to my mom and said "Hi, my name is Rachael and I'm six. Do you have any kids I can play with, preferrably girls?" And we were instant best friends. By the time we moved to the new house, I had just turned five... so a six year old as a best friend was okay with me. Cara was a year older than me. The neighbor with the Nintendo and his twin sister were both a year older than me. This was going to be perfect!

At it was. Until she moved to Florida. But at that girl on my front steps back in 1989 really made my first move (that I remember) way less scary than it needed to be. And ever since then, I haven't been nervous about moving. So far I haven't had anyone else sitting on my front steps. And maybe you won't have a little six year old on your front steps, Tova, but hopefully there will be that one person in your new state that will make it all worth while (besides Mr. Darling of course)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays

Since I'm beginning the moving process RIGHT NOW (no, seriously, I am loading a truck while you are reading this sentence. We will actually drive it to the new city tomorrow), Totally Awkward Tuesday is still on semi-hiatus.

For those of you who are new here, Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays is a Meme I invented ("invented" makes it sound more creative than "randomly thought up when I was bored.") Being awkward is something that I'm very good at, so I decided to share the awkwardness. You can read some of my mortifyingly awkward moments by clicking here. What typically happens on Totally Awkward Tuesdays is that I share an awkward story about something that happened to me, and then all of my lovely readers share an awkward story on their blogs, link to my blog from theirs, and then post a link to their own blogs in the Mr. Linky widget that typically appears below.

But since I'm moving and Mr. Linky isn't working, this week I decided to mix things up, and instead of sharing an awkward story, I am linking to an extremely awkward (and therefore fantastic) blog. It is AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com, and it will make you laugh for at least half an hour. One of the ones that made me laugh the hardest was this one, in which a family has inexplicably gone to a portrait studio to have a picture taken of themselves dressed as Winnie the Pooh characters. I made the unfortunate decision to show it to Mr. Darling. My intent in showing it to him was to laugh at these poor people. Of course, he immediately thought it would be hilarious to do the exact same thing to use as a Christmas card photo when we have a baby some day. I am totally unwilling to utterly humiliate myself for the sake of a few laughs, so hopefully Mr. D will have forgotten about this by the time we decide to have kids.

If you'd like to participate in Totally Awkward Tuesdays despite the lack of a Mr. Linky widget, just blog about an awkward incident, link to my blog from yours, then post a link to your awkward entry in the comments section of my blog. Make sure to visit the blogs of your fellow awkward bloggers so that we can all have a good laugh.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tova's Moving Extravaganza - Gidget

Tova's Moving Extravaganza is proud to introduce Gidget of Fidgeting Gidget who shared this story of something that happened just after she moved and therefore fits my loose criteria for Tova's Moving Extravaganza. Her story even includes pictures! And a great hat! Here's Gidget's story:

I graduated college in May, and after taking a quick maternity leave substitute teaching position until October, I moved up to MI to be closer to my man (The Grouper). Since he's almost 13 years older than me and is quite established in his career, it was best for me to move, since I was just getting ready to start my career. Anyway, that was just a little bit of a back story. I moved in on a Sunday, and the following Thursday was opening day of deer season. The Grouper and two other guys he works with own a hunting cabin in Northern Michigan, so opening day is a big deal. They have a lot of their other co-workers up to the cabin for a "guys weekend" complete with lots of drinking, gambling, probably some porn watching (eww, I know) and playing with guns in hopes of shooting the trophy buck.

Now, being that I had JUST moved in five days prior and that I wasn't employed, so I had spent the entire week sitting at home in his house doing pretty much nothing, I was not too thrilled at the fact that he was going to leave me at home alone for an extended weekend. The Grouper, being the sweetheart that he is, invited me along for opening weekend of deer season. I wasn't too sure about how 10 of his closest friends were going to feel about his girlfriend going along on a testosterone filled trip, but he assured me it would be fine. He also said that he would spare me from staying at the cabin with all of the guys since they'd probably be very drunk and sleeping in every possible space. He got a hotel room for us in town. I was more than pleased, because even though I'd have to be alone for some of the time, he told me that I could sit in the deer blind with him and learn all about hunting, and I wouldn't have to sleep in the same cabin as a bunch of drunken neanderthals. The plan sounds great, right?

Well--we left our house late, so by the time we got to the cabin, the hotel was closed and we couldn't check in. Everyone else had left work early and had been drinking for many, MANY hours by the time we got there. One guy was so hammered that he locked his keys in his truck and needed to get some hunting stuff out of it, so he spent two hours trying to pick the lock with a hanger. The Grouper drove him over to another cabin (since he was the only one sober enough) because he thought maybe he had left his keys there. Nope. He came back, kept trying to pick the lock, and then finally, affter another hour, realized that the back window was open the whole time. Dumbass. This is the stuff I dealt with. They all looked at me like I was stupid for being there---although once they realized I could drink beer and pretend to be one of the guys, they burped, scratched, drank, and talked dirty. The Grouper and I ended up sleeping on a pullout couch in a room with three other guys...and one wore long underwear. When he woke up the next morning, he itched his balls, stretched, and then farted. Eww. When I looked at him in disgust and disbelief, he simply said, "Welcome to deer camp, sweetie." At that point I realized I needed to stop being such a prude and embrace this once-in-a-lifetime experience (because let me tell you, a girl only needs to go to deer camp once...that's enough.)

We were in the deer blind by 5:30AM. It was so dark walking out there. I wore camoflage everything, and of course I had to buy the bright orange Elmer Fudd hat, because it ain't worth doin' if it ain't done right. I at least had to look the part, even though I've never shot a gun before.

The Grouper told me that I had to be absolutely quiet and I only should move when it was completely necessary. Ok, fine. Then I started hearing the mouse feet running around, and I noticed the little mousy remnants they left everywhere....and I started to hyperventilate. I. HATE. MICE. But I sat quietly, my eyes shifting back and forth, looking for rodents. Then my little toesies started to get cold. The Grouper decided to light a fire in the little makeshift stove that was in the deer blind. He opened the door.........and out scurried 3 mice! I screamed, but I clapped my hand over my mouth. He squished one of them with his big hunting boots. Then I felt better.

We saw a few deer, but they were too far away for an accurate shot. We went back out before dusk, and it was the same result--we saw some, but it was getting too far away to shoot at them. Then we hear a loud BANG. One of the Grouper's buddies got a deer. I spent the next two hours trudging through the woods trying to track the thing with three other guys. Once we found it, it was then deemed my job to hold the flashlight as they "field dressed" it....also known as slitting it from throat to butt and dumping out the guts. It sounds gross, but I was always the fascinated student during the frog dissections, so it was kinda cool. We put it on the back of a four wheeler to get it out of the woods, loaded it in the truck, and took it into town. On opening day of deer season, the big bucks are brought in to the town square to hang on the "Buck Pole." It sounds gross, once again, but that day is one that the die-hard hunters look forward to, and they're very proud to display their trophies.

This was an experience I never would have had if I hadn't been such a wimp about staying home in a new environment. I'm glad I was a wimp, because I learned a lot of stuff and gained an appreciation for a hobby that lots of people have that I had always considered barbaric. **If you consider it barbaric, sorry....it's really fun, I promise, and the deer population is too high, and deer meat tastes great!** Anyway, the moral of my now much-too-long post is, don't be afraid to try new things, especially when you're moving to a new place! You never know, you might like it!
In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks. ~ Calvin & Hobbes