Posts Tagged ‘history’

Time To Renew

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Our Seaport membership lapsed last month, even though I’ve been planning to renew since March. I even went into the office to do it, but got distracted by the free lemonade and coffee and keeping my children from destroying the antique furniture.

I’ve been thinking maybe I’ll just wait until next summer to renew, since they close for part of the winter anyway. But we drove past last week and Evan started shouting “I WANT TO SEE MY BOATS! I LOVE BOATS! I NEED THE BOATS!” and Caroline cried. I told them we were going to get ice cream and they still insisted they wanted BOATS instead. (I threw in the playground and they acquiesced, but only because I promised the Seaport another day.)  Then I found these in June’s photo file when I was transferring it over to the external storage. I don’t think I can miss the rest of the summer and fall at the Seaport.

Besides, Chowder Days are in October and only crazy people who hate deliciousness miss Chowder Days.

p.s. We left Evan’s hat on Long Island earlier this summer. I really need to get it back.

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Old Sturbridge Village

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

I really like taking the kids to do Fun But Educational Things, which is why we spend most of our extra time and money on memberships to places like the aquarium and Mystic Seaport. Up until recently it’s usually been much more about me than about them, since they couldn’t care less where we go as long as they can run around in circles while I say “Look! Nature! Science! Historic Crap!” All they’re really interested in is pushing buttons.

Unfortunately, I put a lot of pressure on myself to make all of our visits the kind of amazing memories I have from my own childhood. Nevermind the fact that I’m sure for every beautiful spring day at Old Sturbridge Village churning butter in a bonnet there were probably 14 visits to some dumb museum where I whined the whole time about how booooooring it was can we go hooooome now? I need to pin a note to the inside of my purse that says “They are TWO and THREE, don’t WORRY” so when I’m digging for some granola bars to stop the ear-splitting whining from the double stroller I remember, oh yes, they are TWO and THREE I don’t really need to WORRY if they aren’t interested in the finer points of blacksmith…ery.

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All in all, it wasn’t too bad for an outside adventure in January. We’ll definitely be back in the spring to see the sawmill in action and in the summer for the gardens (There’s an antique carriage rally in June! That is EXACTLY the sort of event I will greatly enjoy forcing my family to attend!) I’m tempted to buy a membership but SIX memberships (well, five memberships and a season pass to Sesame Place) seems a little…excessive. Maybe I’ll hold off until the kids are old enough to appreciate all the history a little more.

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Story time

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

I like to think I’m pretty good at telling stories. I have a good sense of timing and rhythm and can make something slightly amusing into a must-tell party anecdote. It’s one of the reasons I like blogging so much, because I get a chance to tell so many stories and really take my time writing them up in the most entertaining way possible.

In high school, I had a friend named Matt who was eightybazillionty times better than I will ever be at telling stories. He could make anything funny, and even after retelling the same story over and over and over he could still have us rolling on the floor laughing over that one time he walked into the wrong hotel room and yelled at a total stranger. Or the time he was canoeing with the Boy Scouts and the younger kids ran their canoe into a dead cow that was floating in the river.

I swear, when Matt told it, the cow story was the FUNNIEST STORY EVER. And he told it so many times I could have (and did) repeat it word for word. But I’ve forgotten most of the context and all the funny parts. Now it just sounds sad and kind of gross. It seems I’ve forgotten tons of those anecdotes over the years, stuff I thought I could never lose from my brain, the same way I thought writing “Today C and I met J at the ice rink, but SHE was there and made me mad” in my diary would still mean as much to me today as it did in 1995.

So in the interest of never forgetting, today I’m going to share two stories: one that happened a long time ago but is still one of my favorites (although it’s truly much funnier in person) and one that just happened recently but is too good not to be immediately added to my collection.

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Although I didn’t exactly go to a Serious College, I at least picked one that didn’t make my guidance councilor cringe. And although I didn’t exactly take College Seriously I was proud to graduate in the standard 4 year/8 semester time frame without ever getting into trouble that involved police involvement or parental notification.

It was finally the week of graduation and I was attending mandatory ceremony rehearsal. My school graduated everyone together, all walking one huge stage, in a beautiful outdoor extravaganza that hasn’t changed at all since the school was founded in 1770. Except for in 1905 when they started allowing in women. Or 62 years later when they integrated (South Carolina is not the most progressive state, y’all). The women wear white sundresses and carry red roses and the men wear formal white dinner jackets and red boutonnieres.

It’s very, very Southern.

Somehow, thanks to pure luck, a major in the most common concentration at the college (Communications, WHOOOP!) and a last name that started with a “G”, I ended up sitting in the very front row. Since the stage is raised above the audience I was in pretty much the only seat that made my parent’s presence worthwhile – every student in rows 2-infinity was invisible until the moment their name was called to walk. It also meant I had to sit like a Lady in my skirt and pretend to be interested in the most boring 90 minutes of speeches EVER.

Towards the end of the mandatory rehearsal, the head of campus security got up to make a few announcements about the behavior he expected from us as Ladies and Gentlemen of a Certain Quality. We were not allowed to make spectacles of ourselves during graduation. We were not allowed to make condom balloons. We were not allowed to show up late. We were not allowed to show up DRUNK.

“Because,” he said in his most serious rent-a-cop voice,”If you show up intoxicated, I WILL be arresting you and I WILL take you to jail. You’ll be happy to know the Charleston County lock-up serves Rice Krispies for breakfast.”

The girl sitting next to me rolled her eyes. “That is so not true!” she scoffed. “I’ve been to jail TWICE and all I got was toast!”

During the ceremony later that week I made her wave to my parents. I wanted them to see how worthwhile that education they just finished paying for was.

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In case you’re new here (or you forgot), my friend Erin got married a couple weeks ago and I was one of her bridesmaids. Erin was actually one of MY bridesmaids back in prehistoric times when E and I got married, which I thought was really special. I also thought it gave me the right to be Mrs. Bossy McBossypants when it came to offering advice, whether it was asked for or not.

At the rehearsal, as we practiced lining up and walking (two things everyone learned in kindergarten but requires 2 hours of practice before all wedding ceremonies), someone mentioned that after the ring-bearer brought down the pillow he needed to give it to the best man, who would in turn put it on a little table, because when it came time for the exchange of rings they needed to be available.

“Oooooh” I said doubtfully, “You’re putting your REAL rings on the pillow? Maybe you should use fake rings. We used fake rings, like from a gumball machine. I mean, I’m not saying your ring-bearer {who was at least 12 and not at all irresponsible} can’t be trusted but those rings are important.”

I was assured the rings were fine on the pillow.

“Well. Ok. If you say so. Although I don’t think anyone would NOTICE the fake rings and then your best man dosn’t have to worry about untying them or anything but if you want to do it your way that’s good too. I’m sure it will be fine.” I was really annoying about it. I think I followed up my comments with a story or two about lost rings at various weddings, although they might have been stories I read on the internet rather than anything that happened to anyone I know.

“And just so you know,” I jokingly added, “I’m wearing my wedding rings today for the first time in like a zillion years so if it comes to it, you can always borrow mine.”

Fast forward to the ceremony and the moment when the minister asks for the rings. The best man grabs the pillow, unties the groom’s ring…and starts to look panicked. He glances at the ground. He turns over the pillow. The minister says “Do we have the rings?”

15 incredibly long seconds tick by while everyone stares at the ground uselessly.

The bride snaps around and whispers “Give me your ring!”  I hand my bouquet to the bridemaid behind me, yank my diamond band off my fat swollen finger, and pass it to her before anyone even notices.

Erin hands the ring to the minister, everyone thinks the crisis has been averted, Elliot puts my wedding ring on Erin’s hand and they are declared husband and wife. And lived happily ever after.

Personally, I think using my ring means I’M married to Erin. Or maybe E is married to Erin? Or we’re all four married to each other? I am fine with any of the above scenarios. And if you had to use someone else’s ring for your wedding ceremony, I ring that’s brought 6 successful years of marriage and 2 babies to the original user isn’t your WORST choice, right?

P.S. I did not say “I told you so” or anything similar to “I told you so”. Although several people said it for me.

P.P.S. It turns out the ring-bearer didn’t lose the ring at all – it was still tied to the pillow, just tucked under a ribbon. The best man just couldn’t find it and once he started to freak and assume it was lost no one thought to double check the pillow. So the person we should have been worried about messing up is the Englishman who had been drinking constantly for the previous week. Shocking.

What’s your favorite personal story?

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You & Me Always

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Considering the amount of time spent comparing the baby’s features to our own (I think he has my nose but E’s eyes but my hair texture and E’s color but my toes and E’s wrists and my elbows, etc etc etc), it’s amazing it took me this long to actually dig out some old baby pics and compare tiny Baby Evan to Baby Suzanne and Baby E. It’s extra fun because my birthday is only 5 days (and, uh, twenty*cough*cough*cough* years) after the baby’s. So in July and September and December we’re almost the same age.  This is probably the last time I ever enjoy having a birthday so close to my son’s.

So is he definitely my kid or what?

I supposed I should include his father in this little game too, although I think it’s pretty clear Baby Evan got most of his cute genes from me.

Oh. Well. Ok. Fine, then, I guess MAYBE the baby got a tiny bit of his father too.

But just let’s not forget Baby Evan is just as much Glidden* as I am:

*Ok, so this relative isn’t actually a Glidden but it’s still my dad’s side. Whatever, I’m not a genealogist, you want historical accuracy go talk to someone who gets paid for that sort of thing.

(Edited so hopefully y’all can see the pictures. Anyone know WHY they wouldn’t work on some screens?)

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