Saturday, August 14, 2010

I Made a Cake

I used a Groupon and went to Sweet Wise to learn how to work magic with fondant.

A story in pictures:

You must start with a large clean area. And a tall stool. That is crucial:

You must also have surgical gloves and dye:

Then you grab a ball of putty and make it yellow:

When it's good and taffy-like, roll it out:

Next, take a nice picture that will show-off your freshly manicured hand and ring:

After that, you make little yellow thingys. Set them aside to dry:

Then you grab more putty stuff and make it into a purple blob:

Massage it; work it out. Roll it, but not too thin or thick:

Next, line up with your classmates to get a frozen cake:

Now this next part gets tricky. It apparently makes people cry. Frost the cake. If you start to cry, step away:

Carefully lay the fondant on the cake:

Make it look like an octopus:

Cut off the extra:

Add the dried yellow thingys. Hey, they make a bow!:

Add some curlie Q's (for effect):

Pack it up, and say goodbye to your friends:

I am now a certified 'fondant put-er on-er person.' Call me.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eye Doctor Drama

I went to an optometrist to have my eyes checked out after being told I have a freckle on my eyeball. Yes, a freckle.

I'm fine, but I always get a chuckle out of doctor's offices. It's something about how vulnerable and exposed you become when you're locked in a room, at the mercy of nurses and doctors. I've never actually tried to open the door, but I'm SURE they lock them.

I walked into the office 20 minutes late because of traffic. I may have left the house late and run into a normal amount of traffic, but if the roads were empty, I definitely could have gotten there faster.

The nurse came to get me, calling out: 'Ms. Shambless? Shambless!' In my pre-marriage naivety, I thought the mispronunciations of my name were over. We then played a game called: 'I'm going to ask you questions about your paperwork, and then interrupt you before you can give me full answers.' She won.

Next, she looked at my eyes, had me read a few letters on the wall. Then said 'oh wait, maybe I didn't need to do that,' and walked out.

Another lady came in. She put torture drops in my eyes. Felt like pepper spray, and dripped yellow goop down my face. I told her it burned, and she said, 'oh yeah, those hurt.' A little warning next time!? THEN, they poked my eyes! She mumbled something about testing eye pressure, and POKED ME IN THE EYE! Apparently I was tense, and she told me to relax.

Next came the eye dilating. More eye drops, and the world went fuzzy. To read my blackberry, I had to hold it 2 feet away, close one eye, squint the other, and cock my head. Took me awhile to figure that combination out. On to the waiting room. Choices for entertainment: TV, or magazines. I chose squinting/head cocking at the TV. I think I saw someone I know on the Today Show.

Then back to the exam room. As I waited, I quietly sang the song 'Hungry Eyes' and turned the lights down. Hope the doc didn't get the wrong idea.

Josh came home to me lying on the couch with my glasses and sunglasses on. I tried to email my boss to tell him I wasn't coming in, but I couldn't see. Hope he got the message.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Garage Sale Finds

I went to the World's Longest Yard Sale this past weekend with my family, and had a grand ole time.

My finds:

Telephone Table (I want to redo this somehow...)
Marked $15.00, paid $10.00

Vintage Suitcase
Marked $1.00, paid $.50

Vintage Mirror
Marked $22.00, paid $15.00 (more than I wanted to pay, but I've been looking for a mirror like this for a long time.)

Bird Statue
$2.00 (I'm going to paint this to match our livingroom.)

And my favorite picture of the day:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer of '98

A few months ago, Josh discovered the way to my heart is by taking me to see famous guys I have a crush on. It started with Anderson Cooper back in May (he had never seen me that excited! I'm getting flushed talking about...) and continued this week.

Let's go back in time:

It's the summer of 97, and 'Mmmbop' is creating a stir. Three long haired, squeaky teen brothers singing something no one else could pronounce. I didn't like them cause they had long hair, and that's just silly. But by the summer of '98 this was my bedroom:

I wasted A LOT of time defending their long hair; and hanging up posters. I had a lone friend that liked them, Carrieann.

I was convinced I was going to marry Taylor Hanson. I believe an excerpt from my 7th grade journal reads:

'I am in love with Taylor Hanson. I know we're meant to be together. I just know it.'

The best day of my 13 year old life was seeing them in Detroit. I spent every moment babysitting that summer, and had $200 to spend on merch. (Who does that?!) Came home with a life size poster. Taylor looked right at me that night and smiled. Didn't he? Yes, I'm sure of it.

I can still draw the Hanson logo if needed.

Back to present day:
The moment they walked on stage I may have had to take my sweater off. They look exactly the same, except taller, with short hair. Still squeaky. I'm sure Taylor remembers me. I could be that fan that says, 'Remember when I waved to you from stage 12 years ago and we had a 'moment'? That was special, huh?'

The rest of the night was a blur of fried pickles, and watching a touchy-feely boyfriend whisper sweet Hanson nothings into his girlfriend's ear.

Josh couldn't whisper sweet nothings in my ear because he had his ear plugs in. We prefer to text when we can't talk in normal voices.

Oh, and I think I saw Nick Jonas slow dancing with a drunk girl. Can't be sure.

Conversation on the way home:

Me: Wow, that was great. Brings back so many memories from when I saw them back in 1998.

Josh: What?! You've seen them before?? I thought I was fulfilling a dream!!

Oops. ;)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Torture Diet

Josh and I started doing the South Beach Diet last week. I've done this several times in the past, and typically eat a low carb diet due to my blood sugar anyway, so this was not a big change for me. Josh, however, can't believe that someone who loves him would torture him in such a way. (For the record, this diet was actually his idea.)

Day 1 (Pumped Up Day)
Not that bad. We had steak for dinner. This was also the day Josh discovered sugar free pudding. A true gem. It's not rare for me to see him dejectedly looking in the fridge, sigh, and then pull out 3 pudding cups.

Day 2 (Crushing Hope Day)
This was a sad day. We went to Kroger to load up on veggies and Josh ran off to look at pastries while I shopped. I thought he was just torturing himself, but he came walking down my aisle with a huge smile on his face, carrying a sugar free apple pie.

He thought he beat the system.

It crushed me to break it to him that we could not have it because of the carbs. He commented that he would not survive if he were stranded on a desert island. We bought 5 packs of sugar free pudding. That's 30 pudding cups, for those of you counting at home.

Day 3 (Breaking the Spirit Day)
I started hearing the word(s?) 'al dente' a lot. Apparently Josh likes all of his vegetables this way. I'm not positive he knows what it means (heck, I don't even know what it means), but I Googled some recipes. This was also the day of the 'begging for Cheerios' incident. I don't want to talk about it.

Day 4 (Rock Bottom Day)
This day involved a lot of sleep. Josh said the only time he wasn't frustrated or hungry was when he was sleeping. I believe I heard the phrase 'life's not worth living' at one point.

Josh admitted he was convinced I made this diet up and started Googling. Much to his chagrin, the diet was real and the website was NOT a good source for coming up with fun new foods to eat. He was looking for some sort of 'hidden gem' in this diet madness. He commented that you can eat anything you want, except for what you want.

I commented that he gets mad at me a lot. He told me he just gets mad and I happen to be around a lot. Luckily, I do not take it personally.

Day 5 (Desperation Day)
We were pulling into the driveway after dinner with the family, (which consisted of us bringing our own broccoli while everyone else ate mashed potatoes and glorious carbs), when I mentioned that he could eat pepperoni. He slammed on the brakes, threw the car in reverse, and off to the store we went. He ate a pack on the way home. Apparently he liked that idea.

Other things I have seen/heard this week:
-Josh order a Diet Coke.
-Josh eating salsa and peanut butter with a spoon.
-'The only emotion I feel is hunger.'
-'Write that down for your blog.'
-'I can't quit cause my failure will be on your blog.'
-'I want to burn the South Beach website.'

We're now on Day 8 and have turned a corner.

We even have weight loss charts on the wall in our bedroom.

Current weight loss:

Josh= 6 lbs
Ashley= 0 lbs


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Off We Go

Last weekend I made the trek up to Michigan for the third time this summer. This time was in a van filled with my 15 year old sister, my 10 year old brother, and my mom.

4:03 am
My day started when I awoke to my normally quiet neighbors singing. Loudly and drunkenly. Along to a CD of Spanish music. Is that the correct genre name? Now the singing did irritate me, but what irritated me more was the fact that their dog, Lucky, who barks at me through the fence anytime I take out the trash or start the grill, seemed to actually like the singing and sat quietly watching.

4:03-4:59 am
I sit awake listening to the singing with a piercing headache. And watching Josh sleep soundly.

5:00 am
Josh and Brittney wake up well rested and ready to go. I curse at both of them quietly. Josh thinks the neighbors tried out for American Idol this week and were celebrating. Brittney thinks it's really weird that someone would get up in the middle of the night to sit outside and sing.

5:45 am
We leave the house just as the amigos next door go to sleep for the night.

7:00 am
After dropping Josh at the airport, driving to Lebanon, and a stop at McDonald's, we're finally officially on our way. Mom's driving, I'm eating.

7:08 am
The minute I'm done eating, mom yanks the car to the side of the road so we can switch drivers. I did not see this coming.

7:32 am
Have to stop for a cow in the road. Then a squirrel. Then I ran into a butterfly.

8:45 am
2nd McDonald's stop for a bathroom break. Brittney gets a large drink. Mom gets a large coffee. I glare at them.

9:17 am
3rd McDonald's. When we're back in the car, I ask that we make it our personal goal to not stop until at least 10:30.

10:43 am
Goal met! And slightly succeeded, but let's not get too excited. Bathroom break and gas fill up.

12:02 pm
Lunch stop. We hit McDonald's for the 4th time, AND Burger King. Highlights: I have to show Brittney how to get in the restaurant. Guy at McDonald's gives my change to someone else.

12:23 pm
I get flipped off after honking at a lady that pulled out in front of me. Brittney is outraged. I laugh.

1:34 pm
Brittney tries to tell me how I can improve myself. Just as we're passing a prison and see this sign:

I stop the car and try to drop her off, but mom forces me to keep driving.
We stop at Dairy Queen and she buys me ice cream. All is forgiven.

And other than mom denying me a 5th stop at McDonald's, and David asking if he can drive, and then chanting 'kick Ashy's butt, kick Ashy's butt' after I tell him no, the rest of the drive was uneventful and we arrived around 5 pm.

The rest of the weekend was filled with lots of fun with family: Birthday party for my cousin, family reunion, and family girls' night at the Three Rivers hot spot...Apple Bee's!

I'm flying next time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


We have a spare guest room. It's where I put all my clothes and accessories because they won't all fit in our bedroom. And so I don't have to wake Josh up when I blow dry my hair every morning. It's kinda nice. My own space where I can be a little messy and not annoy my clean husband.

Until recently. Recently, I realized I'm actually sharing the space with someone else. A little guy that looks something like this:

My first encounter was when Josh was out of town, as all encounters with bugs and critters and things that break are. Nothing happens when he's here. I'm 99% sure they can smell fear.

I noticed there were crumbs and...other evidence of a critter in the guest room. I had a bag of peanuts in a travel bag from a recent trip, and he chewed through a cloth AND plastic bag to get to his feast. Gotta give the guy points for effort.

I never actually saw or heard him. So I went about my business in the back room and hoped he had slipped out, never to return.

Two days later, I was sure we were in the clear. Then I walked in the room, flipped on the light, and saw him scurry across the room.

I screamed.



Luckily, Josh was home and I was able to ruin his hearing.

He told me to calm down.

I said no and vowed to never go in the back room again.

I asked Josh where the mouse went.

My closet of course.

A few days later, I was running out of clothes from the small stash in our bedroom. I was re-wearing clothes for the third time. I was starting to smell. So I snuck back there, on tip toe. And I heard him rustling around. I ran.

I decided to only go in the guest room if Josh went first. He had to do all the laundry. Josh even tried a cat call on him, but it didn't work.

We set traps. Apparently there were 3 of them.

It's now been a month, and despite 5 traps and D-con, we haven't seen another.

Last week I opened the front door and walked my face right into a spider. Landed on my cheek.

On a happier note, the ants in the kitchen seem to be gone.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I like garage sales. A lot. I love thrift stores, and I get really pumped when I find stuff at a bargain.

I also love Plato's Closet. A consignment store, featuring only the latest in fashion. After a notsosuccessful yard sale, I decided to take my 3 garbage bags of clothes, shoes and accessories to Plato's to see what I could get for them. I had 3 bags. That's a lot! Success was pretty much guaranteed. Josh even had to help me carry them in.

I hefted the bags up on the counter, and watched the lady's eyes get huge. Never before had they seen so much brought in by one person! And then I waited.

Naturally, I started shopping. I figured I could buy at least 3 shirts, and still have money to spare, after they bought all my cool clothes. I'm thinking I'd walk out of there with $ $50.

They say it takes about 20 minutes to go through your clothes. After 35 minutes, Josh was waiting outside, and I was tapping my foot whilst sighing loudly. That was when I realized they write your name on the board when they're done, and you go up to the counter to receive your results.


So I go up, and they bring my bin over of stuff they want to buy. I see my garbage bags sitting on the back shelf and think 'Jackpot! They want to keep it all!'

2 shirts. That's it. That's all they wanted of my wardrobe. The lady sheepishly told me that's all that was trendy enough for them. Her sympathy made my face turn red.

I put my 3 shirts back and walked out with $4. I had to call Josh to come back in and carry my 3 bags out, while the other customers cleared the way and stared. I think one of them shook her head in pity.

I think they still talk about me sometimes. There might even be a story posted in the store about me titled 'What NOT to do.' Hopefully they didn't get me on camera. I can't be sure because I haven't been back. But I've heard rumors.

Next time I'll be ready, Plato's. You just wait.

Monday, June 21, 2010

10 Things I Like About Waffle House

Waffle House is one of my favorite restaurants. I'm a cheap date.

Here's what I like most:

1. It's a hole in the wall diner.

2. They have sugar free syrup.

3. It's open 24 hours. You never know when the need for scrambled eggs with cheese, wheat toast, grits, and occasionally bacon will strike you.

4. The lady who laughs like a hyena at the one I frequent. Actually no, I don't like her laugh at all. It's actually pretty annoying. I jumped the first time I heard it.

5. The 'light' portion of the menu includes a ham biscuit, and a chicken melt.

6. They ask me if I'd like my regular when I come in. Yes, thank you, I would.

7. They keep their job applications very accessible, right next to the cash register. I take one when I'm about to have a rough day at work.

8. To apply, all you have to do is list all of your criminal convictions and call their hotline from a quiet landline. Oh! And take the questions seriously. That's what the application says. No tomfoolery folks! These people run a tight ship.

9. My favorite waitress likes 'Twilight'. We talk about it. I forgot her name.

10. Wait, her name's Mel. Mel likes vampires. She's cool.

Friday, June 18, 2010

It Hurts To Be Beautiful

Have you heard of eyebrow threading?

You can have it done at a booth at the mall. You’d think I would learn after the massages, but I like to try new things.

They lay you down in the chair, comb your eyebrows, and then somehow tie tiny threads around each eyebrow hair and slowly tear them out of your face. It’s awesome.

I don’t remember it being very bad the first time. Maybe I was too stressed about the wedding to really feel the pain. I left with a smooth face, albeit flaming red.

So I went back this week. Since the last time, they’ve moved out of the kiosk and into a storefront. Business must be good, but I’m going to start warning people. People need to know.

The foot massage people next door were a little jealous I chose eyebrows over them. I heard them mumbling at me under their breath as I walked by, but the eyebrow ladies beckoned me in.

Then they sent me back across the mall to the ATM for cash.

Then they beckoned me back in again.

They sat me down in the torture chair and laid me back. I don’t know what was different this time, but tears poured down my face as she slowly pulled my eyebrows out one hair at a time.

I jumped a few times, but she held me down and continued. I’m not one for making a scene. I like to act tough, but I did yell ‘ouch!’ once and told her it didn’t hurt this bad last time. She kept going, unphased, and told me I shouldn’t have waited this long to come back. Is this supposed to motivate me to come back more?!

Then she told me I had a pimple. I asked her what she’d like me to do about it. She didn’t answer. Just kept pulling and handing me tissues.

She upped the anti and made me participate in the torture. I had to use both hands to hold my eye shut and pull my eyebrow up so she could get a better grip. I paid for this. I PAID FOR THIS!

Imagine pulling nose hairs out one by one. Slowly. It’s the closest thing I can think of. At least with waxing eyebrows, it’s one yank, a scream, and you’re done.

My face radiated heat for an hour after. Half way through I vowed never to go again. I’d rather have a unibrow.

Google it. Look up ‘slow and painful torture.’

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wait Time

My commute has become a lot more interesting since a sign similar to this beauty decided to grace the exit I take:

Now, instead of tapping my foot impatiently at the exit, I use my time to come up with scenarios where this might be relevant information.

Pregnant Wife: Honey, look, the wait time is down to 5 minutes. Let's break my water and get this show on the road!

Man with broken leg: Nah, I'll just wait till tomorrow. Wait time's too long.

Someone with head injury: You know, the bleeding has really slowed down. I think I can wait until the wait time goes down.

I'm baffled as to why someone felt these billboards are necessary, but I found some great information on a couple of websites. tells me:

'The Hospital Corporation of America's East Florida Division is using tech to "lure" patients into their emergency rooms.'

And just in case you're at home and can't see your local billboard, they also have an iphone app.

Wait time today: 14 minutes. Too long.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Watch Out, Drivers!

Do I look like a threat to society? Seriously, you should tell me. I think I should know if I do.

I had a clean driving record when I moved down here. Never pulled over once. Now I'm up to 6, maybe 7 times of being pulled over.

Let me recount my experiences and you can decide for yourself.

Number 1: Guilty, court date.

Driving innocently along the road in Lebanon. Ok...I had expired tags and no registration or insurance...I was a ticking time bomb, and I knew it. I actually kind of chuckled when I saw the blue lights and thought 'surprised it took this long.' In my defense, I bought the car from a friend and she had lost the registration, and I needed wheels till she found it.

Number 2: Innocent

How are people supposed to know they have a tail light out without getting pulled over? Hope a friend drives behind them?

Number 3: Guilty, accidentally.

11 pm on a Friday night. Car full of sisters and friends and I'm lost on backroads trying to get home. Pre-Google Maps and GPS.

Then, I see a HUGE car wreck up ahead. Naturally, I pull into the nearest driveway, turn around, and head back the other way. To stay out of their way, you know. I'm trying to help!

2 cop cars chase me down. It was kind of exciting. Like something you see on TV. I'm in a car chase! Annnddd then they inform me I evaded a sobriety check point. They had to explain what that was. We don't have those in Michigan! Or I'm just really, really innocent.

They laughed at me. The cops laughed at me. Then they made me turn around, and drive back through the check point so they could laugh at me again.

Number 4: Definitely guilty
Going 80 on a highway in Indiana, trying to get back home. But let me explain the week I'd had.

My mom had fairly serious emergency surgery early in the week. My uncle died the end of the week. All during the busiest time of my year at work. I got a speeding ticket driving home from a funeral. That's just mean. I didn't even care when I saw his lights. I pulled over, stuck my hand out the window, and took the ticket. And then I laughed and shook my head.

Number 5: Innocent
Pulled over driving home from Josh's for a burned out headlight. Ten minutes earlier, Josh realized it was out and promised to change it the next day.

Number 6: Guilty...I think?
Did you know if you wear your seat belt tucked under your arm, you can get cut in half during an accident. Pretty picture the cop painted for me.

Verdict: I think I'm overall guilty. I wrote this, and convicted myself. Didn't see that coming.

Where were the cops when I hit two deer, totaled my car, forgot my cell phone, and walked in the dark to a stranger's home?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dear Husband

Dear Husband,

There are a few things I probably should have told you before we got married.

-I'm going to keep all the wedding magazines I collected during our engagement. And I'll still pull them out from time to time.

-I have a cupboard full of mixing bowls, and I need to keep every single one of them.

-I also need to keep the kitchen gadgets that I can't remember the names of, and can't remember what their uses are.

-I have great ideas about what the kitchen should look like. Oh, I forgot. You actually already learned that when we registered for wedding gifts.

-When we're shopping and my purse is in the cart, you are not allowed to leave it unattended for any reason.

-When we travel, I'm going to take my hair dryer, curling iron, straightener, mousse, hairspray, AND 2 shampoos.

-Then I'll take 20 minutes to do my hair, and end up putting it in a ponytail.

-I'm also going to take a bag full of drinks and snacks. And we'll have to stop every hour to use the bathroom.

-Then weI'll probably need to stop for snacks when the ones I brought don't look interesting.

-OH! And the night before we leave for our honeymoon, I'm going to realize we need an oil change AND my drivers license is expired.

-If a bug flies down my shirt, I'm going to scream and jump around. I might even drop the bag of groceries I'm carrying and break everything inside.

-I might wash our towels with a rug and die them all brown. And I there's a good chance I'll keep burning everything I cook.

-My car will often be a mess. I might have to clear a spot for you when you ride with me.

-I'm going to drive you absolutely crazy, but I'm too cute for you to get mad at.

Here's to another list in 3 more months!


Your Wife

Monday, May 31, 2010

Hello, Mr. President

Josh and I met the President.

Ok, the former President Carter. We weren't allowed to tell him where we were from, or speak to him. Or shake his hand, unless he initiated first, but we did get a picture. And Mrs. Carter put her arm around around me. I think she liked me.

We decided to make the trek to Plains, GA where President Carter teaches Sunday School at Maranatha Baptist Church. It's a tiny little church. The bulletin listed attendance like this: Members-26, Guests - 228.

We pulled into the church.

Me: Oh! Look, they have someone to greet us in the parking lot.

Josh: Uh, that's the secret service with a bomb sniffing dog.

Me: Oh.

First experience with secret service. Hopefully, not my last.

But in case you are worried we were bored in little ole Plains, have no fear. The small town had lots to keep us busy.

We got to our Super 8 hotel to check in and asked for a recommendation of a local place to eat dinner. Our conversation went like this:

Me: What's a good local place to eat?

Receptionist: Oh, the Ruby Tuesday's is great!

Me: Oh, well...we were looking for more of a local, hometown place.

Receptionist: I said Ruby Tuesday's! Everyone goes there.

(Josh steps in)

Josh: Well, we mean more like something we couldn't get anywhere else. Something we could only get here in Plains.

Receptionist: Oh. Well. I don't know what you mean. Do you have La Hacienda? That's real good. Or! I know! You can go to Forsyth! But it'll set you back about $200 for the two of you.

Ash: Uh, ok, thanks. We'll find something.

Before dinner we decided to stop at the Suds Bucket laundromat to do our laundry because of water rationing in Nashville due to the flood.

We made a friend. I don't know her name, but I like to think of her as the Laundry Nazi. I'll admit, at first I was afraid of her when I saw her yell at some poor guy who used too much soap and created a sudsy mess in 'her' washer. But she took a quick liking to us foreigners and came over to chat.

You know, sometimes it's hard to start a conversation with a complete stranger, but she really had a gift for easing into small talk. I believe her first words to us were 'You know, OJ Simpson isn't guilty.' What do you say to that? It's OK, I didn't have to respond. As soon as I looked at her in acknowledgement, she launched into her account of the case and all the evidence that was purely circumstantial.

From there, she segued to her son who died in 1985 because he was 2 and needed a liver transplant. And did you know that in Europe they cut livers in half so two people can use one liver? They don't do that in the US though. Josh is checking into this whole liver theory. I'll keep you posted. I felt really bad for her.

Until she went into her story about meeting Martin Luther King JR and being a part of the Civil Rights Movement, and being locked up for 3 weeks, with no food or bathroom. Then she remembered it was actually 45 days. And she was only 12 when it happened. And she's actually honored in a museum in Birmingham, and have we been there? Yes, I tell her, actually I have. Then she asks when i was there and says she was inducted after that, so of course I wouldn't have seen it.

Oh, and she also survived a flood like the Nashville flood we had just survived, AND a horrible tornado. We're good friends; me and the Laundry Nazi. She's praying for me. She told me she would when I left.

By the time we were done folding and listening, it was 9 pm.

We went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Before You Register, You Should Know

Josh and I are getting married in two weeks, and I think it’s only appropriate to share this story with you before we tie the knot.

This is a three-part story. First, we travel to Macy's.

We walk in, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to get that gun and start scanning! A very sweet foreign lady who doesn’t speak much English escorts us to a desk in the middle of the china.

30 MINUTES LATER, she is typing my last name for the third time, to get us signed up for our registry. I politely spell my name all three times, ‘that’s s-C-h…,’ as she hunts for each letter on the keyboard.

Josh's leg has started to twitch. I smile and put my hand on his knee. And then the lady can't find the period key on the keyboard. And I lose it. And I stand up, lean over the desk, and type the period myself. Done.

Being the sweet fiancée that I am, I let Josh hold the scanner gun, and we head to the kitchen section. We are quickly smacked in the face by the fact that we have nothing in common when it comes to decorating. Nothing.

At first, we are passive in how we tell each other. When one of us says 'Oh, I like that' and the other is silent, we move on. We decide to quickly scan anything that we both like. After 15 minutes, we are not so passive. ‘Fight in aisle 3, everyone.’

We decide to move on to Target and finish Macy's another day. But before we can leave, our sweet little foreign assistant absolutely insists that she needs to print out a copy of our registry for us to take.

Bless her heart; the woman has no computer skills. As she fumbles around to print it out, and multiple copies of pages 1 and 2 of our 5-page registry are shooting out of the printer, Josh quietly scoots around to a self help kiosk and prints off our registry on the first try. We thank her and back away, slowly, until she's out of sight.

Things we learned at Macy's:

1. We both like the color gray

2. Josh loathes teal

3. Registering is a lot more stressful than we thought.

Part Two: Target

Out of the four registry kiosks at Target, one says it needs service, one is completely dead, one touch screen won't work, and one is fine. We go for the 'fine' one, and begin. After we've put in all our info, there is no submit button and it closes, without saving. Fail. Now we have to interact with an employee.

Luckily, the girl wants nothing to do with us; her mere presence seems to fix the machine, and soon enough, we are skipping along with another scanner.

Fairly uneventful, you say?

Part Three: Bed, Bath, and Beyond

We walk in on a Saturday, with an hour before we have to be somewhere. Ha! We’ve tricked them this time. We’ll just tell them we’re in a hurry, and they’ll give us the gun, and we’ll scan, and we’ll leave.

Looking back, I’m convinced they sit around dreaming up ways to terrify newly engaged couples. Maybe it’s some sort of initiation. Like joining a sorority. They pounce when they see you walking towards the china room (why do new couples even need china?!), where the registry desk is so strategically placed.

They smile when we walk in. I swear I heard them evilly laugh. They take our information. Why can no one seem to type my name when I spell it out? And what is so hard about setting our password as our wedding date? So very many questions run through my head.

My personal favorite part (at least while we were still sitting at the desk) is when they try to convince Josh that he should register for luggage.


Mr. ‘I’m an elite traveler with every airline.’

Mr. ‘I get to hang out in the fancy lounges at the airport…would you like to come as my guest?’

I just shake my head and sit back for that one. She asked us if we’d like to browse through the luggage catalog. We politely decline. She insists every new couple needs luggage. I chuckle; Josh says ‘no thank you.’

Her boss says ‘No really, you should at least look, we’re running specials.’

Josh bursts out, ‘I travel 200 days a year. We’re SET with luggage, thankyouverymuch!’

(Sidenote: Josh’s luggage broke after we registered. I wonder if they hired someone to break it? I’m looking into it.)

They have now unlocked the scanner from its safety deposit box, and we can see it. They start to hand it over… But first she’d like to give us a tour of the store.

I’m fully convinced she’s going to lead us around the store to scan items for us. She swears she just wants to give us a tour, and after fighting that fight for about 5 minutes, Josh agrees to a tour if he can carry the scanner.

Only he didn’t experience the ‘tour’; he left me out to dry. He scanned things like a breathilizer and poker chips, while I was forced to listen. And when I turned around and said ‘Hey!’ to him, the lady scolded me! ‘Just let him go. It’s his registry to you know.’ And she touched my arm!

Finally, FINALLY, she leaves. But every once in awhile she pops up just around the corner. I am very jumpy at this point. I’m scared. We start ducking behind corners, and peeking around before moving aisles. It’s all very unsettling.

When we’re done, we hide behind a corner, watching the registration desk. We wait until they lure another unsuspecting couple in, and quickly throw the gun on the desk. And RUN!

We finished registering online. Their website is very user-friendly.

And we canceled the Macy’s registry. Who needs fancy stuff anyway?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Asian Massage

Here’s a little secret: Josh and I like to get massages from the Asian’s at the mall. You know…the annoying ones with the chairs in the middle of the walkway, who beg you to stop while you walk by.

We usually go when Josh gets home from being on the road and he needs a little relaxing. So off we went Monday night to our Opry Mills date night. We don’t do dinner and a movie. We do dinner and Asian massages. And yes, I’m aware of how bad that sounds.

I never get more than a 22 minute massage, while Josh usually goes a little longer.

I sit down in the chair, and they whip out their sign with the length of time and price. I point to what I want, and they inevitably attempt to convince me that won’t be long enough. It’s the little dance we do. I secretly wonder what they would do if I picked the longest one on there. Is there a back up sign they’d whip out with more choices?

The first time I went, I made the mistake of asking if I should take off my sweatshirt. I got a quick ‘No, no no!!’ The guy even took a step back and shook his head and arms. What the heck did he think I was gonna do?! Strip in the middle of Opry Mills? Now I take it off without asking.

I always spend the first 5 minutes convincing them I will only be getting 22 minutes, and they pretend they don’t understand and keep saying ‘forty five, yes?’ I finally get to lay my head down, and let out a relaxing breath.

He starts on my back because I don’t let them touch my head. I let them rub my head once, and I’m pretty sure part of my brain got squished.

Once your head is on the chair, the talking among them begins. And the laughing. I can only imagine what they’re saying to each other.

‘This girl crazy.’

‘I see butt crack.’

They make a point of yanking the back of your shirt down to cover any exposed skin, and tuck it into your belt. They yank your shirt down with such authority that I feel like I did something inappropriate. ‘Shame on you for exposing your skin with your short shirt.’ I almost feel like apologizing.

This particular time, after about 5 minutes, of what I would assume is the ‘warm up’, the guy taps my shoulder and I lean my head up.

‘You need tirty-five min. Muscles.’

Me: ‘Muscles, what? What are my muscles?”

He starts adamantly pointing at my upper arms and saying ‘Muscles, muscles.’

Me: ‘Yes, those are my muscles. What about them? No, I do not want 35 minutes.’

‘But your muscle sfpsdiohin’.

Me: 'Huh?' (Glancing over at Josh who is quietly enjoying his massage and pretending he can't hear.)

‘Your muscle sfhdlksh.’

Me: ‘No, I still want only 22 minutes.’

‘I give you forty-five for tirty dolla.’

(Normally 35 minutes is $30).

Me: (Seeing an opportunity.) ‘Well how much would 35 minutes be?”

‘Tirty dollas.”

Me: ‘Nope.” Head down, discussion over.

I’m pretty sure that’s when he decided to hurt me. I let out a little yelp. He didn’t seem to care. It was a long 15 minutes. He ended with rubbing my temples and I had the sneaking suspicion he was trying to get me to pass out.

Oh, and when he released me and I sat there waiting for Josh to finish, he tried to convince me I needed a foot massage. When I declined, he laughed like ‘yeah, I didn’t think you’d fall for that one, but I had to try.’

Then, he asked me how much my engagement ring cost. And told me he was beautiful. Like nothing happened. Like he didn’t just punish me for only getting 22 minutes. Like we were friends or something.

I couldn’t walk the next day. I limped around the office, felt dizzy, and stairs were NOT an option. I left work early feeling sick.

I’d like to say I will never go back, but I will. Next time, I’m getting 45 minutes though, so we can be friends. And so I won’t be paralyzed.