Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fun, Fun

Let me tell you, there is nothing like mixing pleasure with illness. I say this as I slowly wait for the snot to drain out of my head. I've been waiting for four days now and alas, minimal drainage has occurred.

This started on vacation. Actually ON vacation.

So the hubby and I loaded up the toddler after dropping the wiener dog off at the dog hotel. (Which we HATE to do - he is a rescue dog, after all, and definitely doesn't like being left behind. You'd think after all these years, he'd figure out we're coming back to get him, but no. Who knew a three-legged wiener dog could dish out the guilt so effectively?) This is the first hotel-based vacation we've taken with the toddler since my sister Hannah got married two years ago in Denver.

The toddler was 1 1/2 then, and I was only packing his little tush onto a plane once, so we went a week early and made a vacation out of it. I think the most consecutive sleep we got in the whole 9 days was 4 1/2 hours. The night staff at the swanky hotel we stayed at knew us by name before we left, because I was usually down in the lobby around 2 a.m. where the toddler could scream a bit more freely without waking up the hotel.

See? There's a good reason it took us another 2 years to try the hotel thing again.

So we headed up north to Minnesota to see one of my oldest friends, Erik (he of the wedding story) and his lovely wife and baby. Our kid is older, so we did the driving. The first night we made it halfway up Iowa and stopped at a hotel with a pool.

I grew up with a swimming pool, but man, I don't think I've ever been so glad to see one as I was that Thursday night. The toddler, completely stir crazy after 4 1/2 hours in the car, kicked around that pool (with alternating parents holding his head above the water) for a solid 45 minutes. I got tired just watching him. Then we went to dinner at some Texas Road/Steak house thing - the one with buckets of peanuts on the table - well, that was a huge hit. Then we headed back to the hotel and did something the toddler's never gotten to do - watch TV in bed.

I love TV. I don't understand it, but I love it. We watched the grown up version of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood called How Stuff Is Made, and then an American rip-off of a Japanese game show called Hole in the Wall - doofuses in silver spandex body suits have to contort to fit through a cutout in a foam wall or be pushed into a green pool of water. Silliest thing I have ever seen, and the toddler loved it. We'd only been on vacation for 7 hours, and already the toddler was having the time of his life.

It only got better. Next morning we bought donuts and ate them in the car. Even the toddler started saying, "We're on va-ca-tion, Mommy!" We made it to the Mall of America by 11, and then the real fun began.

They've got a new theme park in the center of that mammoth mall based on Nickelodeon characters like Spongebob, Blue, and Dora. In his shoes, the toddler was 42 inches tall, so he could go on all but 4 rides with Daddy, because Mommy sure as heck was going to spend that time shopping. After all, the Mall is about 8 times the size of our local mall (with 8 times the number of Hat Stores. Seriously. 8 different hat stores?)

Needless to say, the boys had more fun than you could shake a stick at. Just look at the expressions on their faces on the log flume:

What? Can't see their faces? Trust me, they were having the time of their lives. The log flume was the toddler's second favorite ride - believe it or not, my three year old enjoyed shooting "ghosties" in the haunted house most of all - he even went by himself while the hubby rode the "big kid" rides (seriously - the Spongebob Squarepants Rock Bottom Plunge? Most terrifying thing I've seen in a long time.). The third place went to Big Rigs, a small loop with cars that looked like - you guessed it - Big Rigs. Big Rigs with Bicycle horns. He had a blast. And I got a totally awesome pair of jeans. The mall was a big success all the way around.

After another hotel room with TV first thing in the morning (Oh, the toddler loves vacation!) we headed up even farther north to see Erik and family. They live in a cozy little house near a lake (I know, hard to imagine in Minnesota). One of the problems with being friends with a guy as opposed to a woman is that, in 8 months, I'd only gotten one picture of his baby, the birth announcement. So I was dying to see this kid - and, frankly, see how Erik was handling Fatherhood. (Answer: Wonderfully - except for the part where he sat the baby on the ground and told him to eat leaves. The baby was only too happy to oblige. This is how outdoorsmen get started, I understand. Eating leaves. The kid's got great things ahead of him, no doubt!)

Erik and his lovely wife showed us all the sights - the Festival of Foods grocery store, the Mighty Thirsty liquor store, and the local lake, where the toddler walked around in 2 inches of water chasing ducks who were clearly too old for this kind of thing. But mostly we hung out, got caught up, and ate Mexican while all that fresh Minnesota air settled into my sinuses.

Yes, the perfect way to end any vacation is an 8 hour drive with a squirmy three year old in the backseat and a rising tide of sinus miscreance. But I got us home.

We stopped in Charles City for lunch (really - just outside a windfarm - the toddler LOVED the big windmills.) If you're ever in Charles City, you have to find the vintage park tucked up behind Dave's restaurant (great fried chicken). Vintage 1960s swings and merrygorounds. Weirdest swing I've ever seen there - a diamond shaped humpty dumpty with two swings attached, and the whole thing rotated like a tetherball. Needless to say, the kid loved it. It made me dizzy (which was sort of the point, I gather).

We are still recovering from this vacation. Both the hubby and I are muddling through our snot, and the toddler is struggling to come back down to normal reality. At least the dog has stopped turning his butt to me. He even jumped back on my lap last night. Only took him three days.

But the vacation was a success. The toddler slept in hotel rooms through the night (and stayed dry to boot!) we did tons of fun things (the hubby strongly recommends the Air Bender ride, whatever that is), and had a superb time with old friends. Can't really ask for much more than that. Except another box of Kleenex. I'm all out.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blame Oprah.

I was going to do it. The logical progression of stories goes Hubby, Dog, Toddler. I was going to write about the toddler, and only the toddler.

Then I caught Oprah at the Y. First time I've been in months. First time I've seen Oprah in many months. And she's doing A Very Important Show on child sex abuse.

I can't do it. I'm too paranoid at heart - deeply, deeply paranoid in that OCD kind of way - to put the toddler out here. So he's going to stay a background character in this crazy little story called my life. And I'm going to tell some more Dog stories. Blame Oprah if you thought you were getting Toddler stories today. Sorry.

But Hey! Look on the bright side. Jake's story went over really well. People LOVED reading about the wonder wiener. So welcome, new readers! Keep passing this on to your friends!

The Continuing Adventures of Jake the Three-Legged Wonder Wiener!

Now, as you might have gathered, Jake isn't too terribly bright - that's how he lost his leg in the first place, I reckon. But he has moments of Dog Brilliance that are astounding.

You might think that a dog who is physically incapable of seeing a bunny ten feet from him is just not that into predation, but every now and then, Jake surprises me. The first time his Inner Dog came out was on a trip to Petco up in Chicago. I was rummaging around the sale bins (of course I was!) and Jake was distracted by something under the aisle shelf. I just figured he'd sniffed out a treat and was trying to get to it (thereby proving that there are some things that are too low for a wiener dog to get under).

So I go to leave, and I'm having to drag that dog away from his aisle. We get to the end cap, and Jake brakes left, then right, and before I can rein him in, darts so hard that he's almost half wedged under the end cap. Now, I'm snapping at him while I'm trying to reel him back in on his retractable leash, and finally I get him and his wiggly little butt out from the shelving.

He spins around, his tail going at top speed and his ears perked.

"Jake!" I quietly yell. "What are you . . . what is that?"

That would be something about 3 inches long, white and thin, hanging out of his mouth.

"What the? Jake, drop it!" Oh, the look of pitifulness on that dog's face. He didn't drop it.

"DROP IT, Jake!"

Now, even the dog knows that I Am The Momma, and that tone of voice is not to be taken lightly, so begrudgingly, he drops it.

It's a little white mouse. A dead little white mouse.

Now, I didn't scream, but I did come close as Jake starts dancing around. You could almost hear him saying, "Didja see? Didja see what I caught? Huh? Huh? Huh???" while I'm turning shades of green.

So I go up to the nearest cashier and say, "Cleanup on aisle seven."

The cashier - some bored, underpaid high schooler, no doubt - goes, "Pee?"

"No. Dead mouse. My dog just killed . . . it." By the time I finish the sentence, he and two other worker-types are back by the dead mouse, examining the clean kill and debating which mouse tank the recently deceased had come from. And they're touching it!

Maybe it's a guy thing. The cashier came back up, rubbed Jake's ears, and gave him a treat. Jake was on wiener dog cloud 9 for days after that, and anytime we go into a Pet/co/Smart megastore, he vigorously checks all aisles for vermin. Maybe not quite as dumb as he looks.

That was five years ago. When we moved to our nice, old house in this nice, small town, Jake got to break out his vermin eradication skills again. Every fall, we get rats in the basement. (Hey, this house is 115+ years old. Breaches are inevitable.) He's alerted us when something is rustling back behind the cabinets or in the crawl space we refer to as "Rat Club Med" and once chased rats out of the living room and the kitchen, but he'd never gotten close.

Until this summer. We excavated some bushes under the kitchen window, where the hubby had long suspected that the mortar in the foundation had been eroded, and he filled them in (love that spray foam stuff - however temporary it may be). And one afternoon, I let Jake out.

Instantly he was on wiener dog high alert. Tail stiff, moving in tight little circles, hackles up, ears cocked for movement.

"Go get it!" I urged, not sure what it was.

The answer was a rat, half hidden under a tarp. Jake pounced with as much wiener dog fury as he could muster on his three little legs. The rat headed in my direction, apparently trying to get down an old sewer pipe.

This time, I did scream. But I also grabbed a hoe that was luckily right there, and I came up swinging.

Now, I'm not sure if I stabbed it or just got its body between the tines, but the rat decided that he'd rather take his chance with the dog.

Bad call.

Jake darted left, then right, and then dove under the tarp.

Man, I hate the sound of rats screaming, don't you?

Jake came out with rat in mouth and began to shake. Now, all you wiener dog lovers out there, you know what I'm talking about. These, after all, are dogs designed to hunt and kill - badgers, primarily, and anything smaller. And they do that with amazing jaw strength and neck muscles that don't give up. Wiener dogs shake so hard, so fast, that they snap necks and backs in seconds. Watch one play sometime. You should see Jake 'kill' his blanket. And remember that cute scooby doo picture?

Let's just say scooby met an unpleasant end, because Jake was the head Dog in that house.

Seconds were all it took for the rat. It took me four times as long to pry the dog away from his trophy as it did to capture and kill the danged thing. Because I sure as hell wasn't touching it. I leave that to the Man of the House, God bless him.

But Jake hasn't forgotten his latest victory. Every time he goes out now, he does a quick perimeter check, because the ground squirrels (or chipmunks, for those of you not from these parts) are getting cocky.

He's tangled with a squirrel or two, and my in-laws and I do not speak of the time he broke the leg of their favorite kitten. (That was life four for that kitten. Sadly, she did eventually use up all nine of them, but at least Jake wasn't the final blow.) So, although he spends most of his time snoozing on laps and couches or ignoring bunnies, it's important to remember that he's still a dog.

Because he'll never forget.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Three Legged Wonder Wiener

So, I gathered from everyone's responses last week that the How I Met My Hubby story went over real well. Darn it all, I hate it when my sister Leah is so right all the time.

But I thought I'd keep the quirky story thing going this week by talking about my dog, Jake.

Jake the Three Legged Wonder Wiener.

That's right. Three legs.

This is Jake's story. Everyone has one, even the dog.

So Jason and I had gotten married and bought a house. And you know what that means for young professionals on the fence about starting a family right away - yup. A dog.

I grew up with wiener dogs and wanted to get one. Jason didn't care a whole lot one way or the other, but he wanted veto power. My mom's wieners were a handful back in the day (known as the terrorists from the family we adopted them from) and Jason didn't want to be sued by people who'd had their ankles broken by a tiny dog with an size complex. And being a frugal bleeding heart liberal, I didn't want to pay $500 for a purebred when there were plenty of perfectly good dogs in shelters.

Thus, the quest for a dog began. We lived in Chicago, which had a dedicated dachshund rescue organization. But for every wiener profile I brought home, Jason found problems. Not good with kids (pretty common for wieners). Antisocial. Kills bunnies in the yard. (Although, Jason fondly thinks of Red Fred, the dog who killed bunnies, when Jake sits 10 feet from a bunny and has no idea it's even there. What he wouldn't give for a bunny hunter these days.) Every dog was not right for our family.

So I broadened the scope of the search. Wisconsin wiener dogs. Indiana wiener dogs. Missouri wiener dogs. And Jason found problems with each and every one.

I kept searching. I enlisted the help of my sister Hannah. Hannah has the unique gift to find the most pitiful animal available and fall in love. So she started trolling, where she'd gotten her high-strung cat, Dulcie (Love you, Dulc!). And I got an email from her. "He's so cute!" she gushed. So I clicked on the link, and saw a cute little red wiener dog.

With no left front leg.

"He's missing a leg!" I wrote back.

"But he's so cute!" she repeated.

So I printed Jake off and took him home to show Jason. And the man went, (and I quote), "Awww."

Problem was, Jake was in Tennessee, and this was December. So I contacted Jake's keepers, Jerry's Rescues, and they agreed to hold him until April (our vacation) if we paid $125 to cover the two for one cost of leg amputation and neutering. Oh, and we had to have a home visit to make sure we were appropriate people for a wiener dog.

Jason still rolls his eyes at that. We had to be interviewed by other wiener dog lovers to make sure we we're some sort of deviant wiener dog fanatics. Although he did make them cookies. . . I love that man.


Vacation time approached. We planned our vacation around a trip to Tennessee. A few days in Nashville, then on to Lewisburg where Jake was at. We ate pralines and saw Little Jimmy Dickens do his thing at the Grand Ole Opry. And then we left the touristy parts behind and headed for the hills.

Literally. Lewisburg is a small burg, famous only for the Tennessee Walking Horse Hall of Fame, which is an actual Hall between the lobby of the National Tennessee Walking Horse Association building and the secretary's office. A hallway with pictures.

And we had a few more hours to kill. We spent them in the Piggly Wiggly. And then we drove out to The Middle of Nowhere.

Cue freaky banjos playing ominously in the background.

Jerry's house was way out in the hills, several miles from paved roads. No one but about 100 dogs were home when we got there, and they were all barking. Jerry apparently subscribes to the never-throw-stuff-away philosophy, popularized during the Great Depression, because there was stuff everywhere.

The banjos got a little louder.

We waited for an hour in our little car, rain pouring (of course rain was pouring). Finally, Jerry showed up. Picture Grizzly Adams holding a chihuahua, because that's what he was.

"I'll go get that Jake for you," he said after we exchanged nervous pleasantries. "You don't wanna come in the house . . ."

Somehow, I figured. I didn't even want to imagine the carpet stains.

So he directed us to what looked like an outhouse with a shower curtain. "You stay here, out of the rain."

I swear to all that is holy, there was a chainsaw in there. I knew we were agonna die, all for a three legged wiener dog.

But we didn't. Jerry came out with a mildly nervous 12 pound wiener dog and told us the story.

A church secretary had found him tearing into the garbage behind the church, his leg dangling useless. He was on the verge of starving. She kept him for the day, but then took him to the city pound. Now, I'm not saying the pound people are heartless, but they have a job to do, and a mangled, half-starved wiener is not high on that to-do list. He was going to be put down that night because he was in bad shape.

Enter Jerry. "I stop by the pound every night to see if there's someone who needs savin'" he explained as I only mildly quaked in terror in the shed with the chainsaw. "And, boy, did this one need savin'. Figure he only had another 15 minutes on that clock." As you might have gathered, Jerry is one big softy beneath that Grizzly exterior.

Yup. 15 minutes. That close.

Jerry's vet took off the leg - "jes' a dangling by a tendon," Jerry explained as my stomach turned - and tossed in the neutering, and three days later, put Jake's picture on the web. Hannah found him two days after that.

It seems that Jerry had found Jake's original people, but they didn't want him back. I'm not sure if they dumped him at the side of the road, or if he ran off after the UPS truck (because let me tell you, he's got it out for the UPS guy, bigtime), but he'd been hit by a car.

I like to tell the kids who say, "Hey! Did you know your dog's missing a leg?" that he forgot to look both ways before he crossed the street. For the younger ones, I toss in how he forgot to hold his mommy's hand.

Jason likes to respond by gasping dramatically and saying, "He is?? OH NO! Where'd it GO!" But he's funny like that.

Every year, we send Jerry's Rescues a Christmas Card and a check for saving our dog. They're good people doing good work.

Now some of you might think I have a predilection for those who might be termed "special." But it's not just me. My sisters have dogs (and a cat) that all belong on a far shorter bus than Jake does, but we love them anyway. And just because he's special doesn't mean he doesn't get tortured. Just look at the things I have done to my poor dog.

He drives.

I love his ears. The toddler does, too.

His ears get cold in the winter. I tried to keep them warmer. He hates it.

And this is my favorite picture of my dog. 12 inches of snow can be pretty daunting for a pup who's only 8 inches tall.

We love Jake. My son calls him "Jakey Wiener Dog" and will stop mid-stride to hug and kiss him. Jake's pretty okay with the kid, too, if only as a primary food source.

But there was one time he almost didn't make it. And this just drove home the fact that Jake was lucky to have us.

Being purebreds, wiener dogs are suseptible to a variety of genetic flaws. They have a lot of back problems, what with being long and low. And we accepted that Jake's problems might be worse after the accident and missing leg thing.

And true to form, he slipped two disks. Couldn't walk, couldn't stand, couldn't even pee. I was 3 months pregnant and not exactly rational, but I refused to let them kill my dog. He'd come so far, I just couldn't do it.

So we plunked down the $3,000+ smackers to have that dog fixed. So much for vacation that year. And you know you're screwed when the surgical center has a 10,000 aquarium tank and marble countertops.

But they fixed my dog. And left him with another scar.

Jake's probably about six, maybe seven now. He's mellowed as he's aged, unless someone rings the doorbell or the UPS guy drives by. (Nothing beats the UPS guy ringing the doorbell, in Jake's opinion.) I don't know how much time he's got left. Maybe he'll live to be 10, maybe 13. But I knew that going in - his time was shorter than a puppy's might have been.

But that's okay. Because he will have spent that time with us.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Everyone's Got a Story

My sister Leah is a real pain. Thank goodness I love her, but still. Outside of Mom, she's the one who nags me the most about this whole "being an author" thing.

"What are you wearing to the conference?" I pull out the brown slacks. "No," she summarily dismisses my best pants. "That's not the story you want to create. What do you want your clothes to say?"

That sort of thing - good for me, but still makes my eyes roll back in my head.

And one of the things she harps on the most is this blog. What usually happens is I tell her what I'm going to write on for the week, and she says, "But that's not showing any romance. You've got to create a tale that proves you know romance."

And I roll my eyes.

She's really good at this - she teaches drama and could set a scene in her sleep. So today I'm going to do what she says. Again.

Everyone's got a story. This is mine.

My dear friend Becca was marrying another good friend, Jim. Black tie formal, interfaith ceremony. And I had a date.

Oh, not a date. Erik is one of my oldest guy friends going back to a marathon floor hockey game, and we were all good college buddies. But still, I wasn't going to my first big social outing in Chicago - my first big outing in over a year - alone. I had a date.

And then I didn't. Erik got himself a girlfriend, and I was escortless.

I knew exactly two people in Chicago, and they were marrying each other. I had only been at my first post-grad school job for 2 months, and the office was mostly populated by women and Mike, the married accounting manager.

I did not want to go to a black tie wedding alone. I had had exactly two almost dates in grad school - including one with a bouncer named Creature, but that's another blog - and both had ended in a handshake.

I believe desperate is the word to use here.

In a fit of despair, I found myself explaining this to Mike and his assistant, a lovely older woman named Robin, in the kitchen. I was whining, sure. But Mike - with a mouth like a sailor - was actually listening - to a woman who wasn't his wife complain about men.

Even then, I knew it was odd.

And then he said the magic words:

"I know a guy you could take."


Mike went on to explain that there was a guy who used to work there who was single. Nice guy, Mike says.

And Robin got that excited look on her face and said the best line I've ever heard:

And I quote - "You mean Jason?" She turned to me and said, "Oh, he's perfect for you! He's blind!"

Let that sink in a bit. He's perfect for you! He's blind! Okay, ready to move on? Good.

Mike hissed, "I wasn't gonna tell her that!" as I whimpered, "What's that supposed to mean?"

Robin quickly backpedaled as she blushed so hard I thought she might faint. "I didn't mean that - I could barely tell he was blind at all - he can see and stuff - I just meant -"

Mike interrupted. "I'll give you his number. He's a great guy. Not that blind."

Not that blind? What the hell??

A blind blind date. My dad still thinks this is the best joke he's ever heard.

I sat on the number for a week. My mom called, and I told her about the whole pitiful story. "Are you going to call him?" No, Mom, I'm not going to call up a strange man who may or may not be blind and ask him to my best friends' wedding. And Mom, God bless her, said, "But honey, when was the last time you had a date?" This from a woman who wouldn't let me call boys I already knew in high school.

But she had a point. So, pitifully desperate, I called. And hung up on his snarky answering machine. Same thing next night.

The third time, still getting the machine, I gave up. "Hi, my name is Sarah, Mike gave me your number. I'm sorry I've been hanging up on your machine, but if you want to call me back, here's my number." And then I went shopping for supportive undergarments for my dress for the wedding.

I got home an hour later to find that he'd called me back 10 minutes later. He'd been screening his calls, and my number came up as unlisted, he explained. And he promised he'd pick up if I called him again.

So I spent several long minutes taking deep breaths while trying not to hyperventilate. And I called.

We agreed to meet at a small coffee house, and I would drive us to dinner - he knew a nice Chinese restaurant. "Would it be okay if you drove me home afterward?" he asked, sounding a little nervous.

The big white blind elephant in the room.

"Not a problem," I replied.

I spent the rest of the week spazing out about my closet. I had a very interesting conversation with my sister Hannah, who insisted I clean my apartment, just in case I brought him home with me. And Leah, as usual, told me what to wear.

Friday rolled around. I got no work done. I went to the coffee shop feeling like I was going to throw up at any second.

He was already there. Taller than I am, with close cropped dark brown hair. Slim, with a nice striped shirt. And his eyes moved a little funny, but he held the door for me. No cane, no dog. I directed him towards my little red car, and he found the door without feeling around or anything.

Not that blind, apparently.

After we made it to the restaurant, he read the menu and asked for chopsticks. Once the tea got on the table, things began to flow.

He'd left the company in April, two days after he got his MBA. He had a good job as an financial analyst with a big company I had heard of. He was impressed about my MA (I did leave out the porn part, just so you know).

He was funny. Intelligent. Nice. And seemingly not that blind.

The date went well enough that we hit a Starbucks to talk some more until they closed. On the drive down to his apartment (My brain swirling - my first time driving in any of these places - how the hell was I going to get home? And was he going to try and kiss me? I am NOT going into his place - you never know - what am I going to wear on the next date? Will there be a next date? How blind is he?), we drove past a billboard for Unbreakable - that Bruce Willis movie.

"If you want, we could see that next time," Jason said.

A second date! Let me tell you, I hadn't had a second date in damn near three years. "Okay," I replied, trying not to giggle. We shook hands and he got out of the car. Didn't even try to convince me to come in. Nice guy.

I went home and called everyone. The order for every single person was, Did you have fun? Are you going out again? How blind is he? Yes, yes, and I don't know. He read the menu.

Next morning at work, I looked up the movie - and it didn't open for another month and a half. AIEE! Does that mean we aren't going out again until November? AIEE! Massive brain panic in full swing just as Mike walks back. He'd just gotten off the phone with Jason - and had the exact same panicked conversation.

"He wants to know if you want to go out again and see another movie."

And just like that, I'm back in junior high. So I pass on the news that I do want to go out and will see any other movie.

We saw Legend of the Drunken Master II. Jackie Chan rules! Only once, during a fight in the dark factory, did he ask me what happened. Awkward hug at the door of his apartment. No kiss.

Same phone conversations. Did you have fun? Are you going out again? How blind is he? Same answers. Yes, yes, and I don't know. He watched the movie.

Third date - the week before the wedding. Sunday morning, he wants to go to the Art Institute and see the Japanese scroll exhibit. I'm game. This is it, though. Third date in three weekends. Big wedding next weekend. My brain is spazing big time.

We went to the Institute, where he showed off by reading some of the Japanese scrolls to me. And I was impressed. We had dinner at a diner, and that night I kissed him. While Jimmy Buffet sang in the background.

Did you have fun? Are you going to take him to the wedding? How blind is he? Yes, I don't know, and I don't know. He reads Japanese!

I decided I liked him. A lot. And I decided that I didn't want to take him to the wedding. A loaded setting, taking a guy you are just getting to know and throwing him into a commitment-laden environment. I didn't want to put that kind of pressure on him. If I had thought it was a doomed relationship, I would have taken him and then dumped him. But I didn't. I went stag and had a great time.

And a year and a half later, I married him. I knew I would after the third date.

And he's not that blind. Just so you know.