Category Archives: Travel and Trips

The Green-Eyed Monster

And I’m not talking about Ducks, although he does have really excellent green eyes.

I’m talking about jealousy.

Jealousy and covetousness are my biggest failings, I think; definitely the areas I need to work on most. I’ve always been a little insecure, and I think law school has exacerbated this situation.

It’s really a head vs. heart battle. In my head, I know that we’re doing the right things – paying as much as we can toward law school and taking out as few loans as possible. Before school started (while Ducks was still working), we paid off both our vehicles, and we don’t accumulate any credit card debt. We pay our cards off in full every month without dipping in to our savings, even though that means we may have to miss out on expensive dinners out and glamorous date nights. So, in my head, I know I should be proud of our accomplishments, that I should look to the future and how financially secure we’ll be, and that I should be content to wait through the short time that comprises the rest of law school before enjoying some of the better, more exciting, more fun things in life. In my head, I know that extra money (when we have it), goes toward our mortgage so we can pay our house off sooner, and occasionally goes toward our one spending vice – basketball season tickets.

But my heart is a completely different story. This past weekend proves it. What happened? We went to a wedding. Not just any wedding – the wedding of one of Ducks’ high school friends to a girl who went to college with us. And all my pea-green envy welled up inside me at every turn. Sitting in the reception that certainly cost far more than my salary for an entire year. Hearing some of Ducks’ other friends talk about their summer vacation to Guatemala. Checking out one of his high school friend’s fiancee’s engagement ring and zealously evaluating whether it measured up to mine (in case you’re wondering, the end conclusion was that mine is bigger). I even started feeling jealous over things that have NEVER bothered me before – over the fact that my mother-in-law doesn’t gush to people about how wonderful I am when she introduces me to people. Over the fact that I wasn’t wearing a $200 dress to the reception, but was instead wearing something I’ve worn to several weddings in the past.

I shouldn’t feel bad over these things, because we could afford to do them as well, if we used more loans instead of paying a large chunk of the tuition ourselves, if we accepted money from Ducks’ family educational trust (which he refuses to do), if we ran up our credit cards, or if we simply depleted our savings. We have other goals in mind and other ways we plan to spend our money, so it shouldn’t bother me. But sometimes it does, and that’s the honest truth.

Being surrounded by opulence at this weekend’s wedding (that should have been on Platinum Weddings) – from the enormous glassed-in ballroom at the top of a skyscraper overlooking their city, to the steak and swordfish dinner, to the open bar, to the cake that belonged on Ace of Cakes, to the bride’s dress, which probably could have fed a small village for a year, I felt like a peasant wandering outside Versailles. I wouldn’t have chosen that kind of wedding for myself, and I did have a lovely wedding of my own, which I wouldn’t trade. I just hated to think of my own wedding, my own husband, my own life, being evaluated and measured against what everyone else from this little clique was doing. Ducks is part of a group of four from high school who stick together and who are still good friends, attend/are in each others’ weddings whether they’re in rural Texas or in far away Wisconsin, call on each others’ birthdays, send each other weird movies and all that – I just don’t want to be measured up and found lacking in comparison with these other brides.

How do you stem the rising tides of jealousy and insecurity? Again, in my head, I know that I have the best of the four husbands/fiancees 😉 , so that should tip the scales in my favor. And he was extremely handsome this weekend in his seersucker suit, ladies.

(Left – one of the high school besties; right – Ducks!)

That should take the sting out of the bride’s $250 shoes, compared to my $25 (on sale) dress I wore to the grand event, shouldn’t it? (PS Natalie, I did wear the wrap I won on your blog contest!).

Do you guys get jealous? How do you deal with it?

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Warning: Whining and Complaining Ahead

Sigh.

We were really hoping to go on a vacation this year. We wanted to go to Boston because I’ve never been there, but I don’t think it’s going to work out.

Sigh.

With Ducks doing the internship this summer rather than going back to his previous job, we’re not going to have the discretionary funds available for a big trip, and airfare to Boston is just too expensive (it’s sucky living in a city that pretty much only does connecting flights, thus tremendously increasingly travel costs). Of course, we’re really thankful for the internship and we know it will pay off in the long run, but it’s not as much money as he would have otherwise been making this summer.

I’m trying not to get depressed because I really wanted to take a vacation this year, but it’s hard! We’ve also got several weddings coming up, which will mean mini-trips and bridesmaid/groomsman expenses and gifts, etc., etc. And, we did buy the new bed, which was actually none of the pictures that I showed you. Of course, when we went shopping again, we decided we loved a competely different one (will post more on this later).

So, long story short … law school means delaying fun. This is one reason why I really want to wait to have kids until at least two or three years after law school (when I’ll be in my 30s….wow), because I want to have some time to have fun and be able to do things. I hate the feeling of just delaying and delaying. Before law school, we did have the most wonderful honeymoon, and then we went to Chicago last summer, but there are so many other trips I want to take.

Sigh.

I guess I’ll just leave the vacation fund alone and let it continue to slowly accrue money. At least, maybe, when we finally get to the end of law school, we can go on an awesome celebratory trip.

Sorry for sounding so whiny and spoiled! I feel like a brat complaining about not being able to go on vacation when there are so many other more important issues going on in the world.

But still, any ideas on what we could do to spend a couple of days having fun economically?

What We Did. Also known as, how my husband ruined my life

So, we decided to go to the game. I think, overall it was a good decision. We had a good time. We got a tan … kind of. I got to sit in the bleachers between my two sisters and yell a lot and sing the fight song and make fun of people. Oh, and we also won, which always makes everything better. Only one truly horrible incident occurred to mar the day, and it was severely emotionally scarring (really, only to me. No one else’s emotions were affected in the writing of this blog). It took me two touchdowns and a field goal to get over it.

Here’s what happened:
The tipping point in our decision to go to the game was the fact that an acquaintance from our school’s sport message board offered us free tickets. We just had to go by his tailgate and take him some beer. So, we purchased the beer and I baked some aopapilla cheesecake to accompany it and to take to their tailgate as a thanks for them saving us a great deal of money on tickets.

I went to my JL project in the morning then came home and put on my game gear (note to New Teacher New Wife – casual attire: team shirt, skirt and metallic flip flops). And we drove to the game. I actually drove us, which I rarely do, so that Ducks could do a little more reading on the drive. When we got there, it was only an hour to gametime, which to my husband is tantamount to being at least an hour late.

I dropped him off near the main tailgating area so he could find and retrieve our tickets, then drove away in search of parking. However, all the parking close to the stadium was for sale and since I let Ducks out, I had no cash. I never have cash, which is often problematic; however, this was not the traumatic occurrence i finally found free parking about a half mile from the stadium and walked around trying to find Ducks. But my phone didn’t work (curse you, AT&T) and so we couldn’t find each other because of course we hadn’t made a plan. We’re irresponsible and stupid like that.

So I walked around, got dust all over my flip-flopped feet and got sweaty, gross and disgruntled. I also forgot to mention that I was carrying around four beers in my purse to give Message Board Guy in exchange for our tickets. Why four? Because the whole six-pack wouldn’t fit and I was embarrassed to wander about all alone carrying a six-pack of beer at our private, uptight university.

Fast-forward a little. We don’t find the guy, game time is upon us and we are ticketless, which is causing a state of agitation in both of us, but especially in my husband. He finally locates someone with extra ticket to sell and buys them, which then negates the whole purpose of the trip (exulting over the free tickets).

As we get ready to enter the stadium, we walk past Touchdown Alley (the tailgate area) one last time. I see a trash can and take the opportunity to divest myself of the beers in my purse, since they can’t be taken in the stadium. And then my eyes light upon a glorious sight – the college basketball team.

Now, I may have mentioned a few times that I like sports. But, above all other sports teams — more than the Cowboys, more than the Mavericks, more than the Rangers, etc, etc — I love this basketball team. Seriously love. Like, stalker level. In fact, I have actually stalked them and made the players take photos with my sisters and me. I’m pretty sure I would ace a quiz if these players’ middle names, hometowns and nicknames. And, yes, I may have Facebook friended some of them (mainly Frellis, our fam fave – not his real name).

So I’m throwing away the beer and I see the team. And I am struck with inspiration. I’ll give them the sopapilla cheesecake. That will OBVIOUSLY make them love and remember me and will win their loyalty for all time.

I turn to take the cheesecake from Ducks —

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

He had THROWN IT IN THE TRASH!

And by thrown it in the trash, I meant to say ruined my life. My dreams of becoming the team’s patron bakeress and close personal friend to future NBA stars went completely went up in flames.

I seriously considered fishing them out of the trash and still taking them over there. They were wrapped in about 17,000 thicknesses of saran wrap so there is no way a single molecule of garbage touched them. But I decided that giving the much-acclaimed basketball team food salvaged from the trash would be generally frowned upon. It could, technically, I suppose, be considered an act of poisoning. So, sigh, away we walked, leaving a dream behind in the gritty dust.

Anyway, suffice it to say that I was not well-pleased or very congenial company for the first part of the game. To be honest, it wasn’t totally Ducks’ fault. I didn’t tell him of my brilliant plan so he was not to be blamed.

But then we went into the game and won. And my sister Beth made a pact with me to visit the basketball team’s tailgate next home game on my behalf (she actually is friends with several of them) So all was well with the world.

Hope your weekends were filled with glorious adventures!

Weddings and Travel and Such

We’re getting ready for the next round of weddings. We actually dodged one this past weekend – a childhood friend of mine. Not a best friend – and not even someone in the same class with me. So it was excusable. Plus, it was in my hometown, which is not only 6+ hours away but also a place that I don’t like to visit very often. It’s just too small, too insular and people are too nosey. 😉

This weekend, we’ve got another wedding for college friends. This one’s in Plano (near Dallas) so we’ve got quite a drive ahead of us.  The best part of the wedding weekend? We get to meet George! Who is George, you may ask? He’s my in-laws’ sweet new puppy!

Substitute Photo of George

Not-George-but-somewhat-like-him

So, this is not George – this is a picture of another sweet little Corgi that I found online. We’re very happy that my in-laws have him. Their previous dog, Scooter, was also a Corgi, and she was killed by some pitbulls belonging to their neighbors. So….now that my MIL is done with the school year, they’ve gotten a new dog. Since I want to get a dog after Ducks’ first year of school, I’m excited to see what the weekend will be like with a very young puppy.

But anyway, I digress. Back to weddings. I love weddings that I’m not in. The last one I went to – in March – my husband was a groomsman and I was just a guest. It was fantastic. You just get to drink, hang out, talk about basketball with your husbands’ friends because you don’t know any of the bridesmaids — suffice it to say, it’s good stuff.

The NEXT wedding – the following weekend – is in the far far north. In a state known for this.

Yep, that would be cheese. The wedding is in Wisconsin – that’s where the bride’s from. So, then after that we spend a couple of days in Chicago. It’s our last vacation for three years, thanks to law school, so hopefully it’ll be fun and memorable. Any advice on what to do? I’ve never been there.

Okay, so back to watching a lifetime movie with the sister. That whole situation has gotten better, but I will write about it later.

PS Brittany, thanks for commenting on my blog! I only have a handful of readers so far, but I’m excited to get to know you. My husband’s not going to the same law school as yours but we’re just an hour or so away!