It’s A Nightmare On M Street

I’ve never been to Nightmare on M Streetbut every year I tell myself that next Halloween I’ll give it a go. At 26, though, I’ve decided I’m done with bar crawls.

Since I got POTS I haven’t been a huge fan of going out into big crowds as I often feel dizzy and worry about fainting in a crowded area, but even if I didn’t have a chronic illness I don’t think it would be my jam anymore. It’s hilarious talking to friends who feel the same way. I definitely still have a mix of people who enjoy big parties and loud music, but for the most part everyone is starting to settle down and enjoy a more low-key weekend with family or a friend or two.

Yesterday I handed out a few handfuls of candy with my mom, then went over to give out candy with Robert. Guys. I don’t think Halloween has ever been this much fun before. Giving out candy and seeing all the trick-or-treaters made my heart so happy! I definitely started off a bit too jazzed, though, as I told the kids, “Take as much as you want,” and then quickly realized there were going to be too many people stopping by to make that a sustainable practice. It was just so great seeing their eyes light up as they chose their favorite chocolate bars from the mix!

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I also loved how polite most of the kids were. I remember when I used to go door to door every Halloween how I would only take a piece of candy unless offered otherwise. Most kids this year were really sweet and thankful, but it cracked me up when one of the girls dug her hand deep into the bottom of the bowl and scooped out as many pieces of candy as her hand could hold. She was the reason I had to start rationing the candy better, and when she came back for a second treat a half hour later, I had to tell Robert that he’d need to turn her down if she had the guts to come back for a third scoop (thankfully she didn’t) because we still had a good hour left for other kids to come to the house.

Sitting by the door with a bowl of candy in my lap was one of the most fun evenings I’ve had in awhile. I loved seeing all the creative costumes, complimented the ones that weren’t the coolest to other kids, but that I thought were neat — like a Groot and a “sweatpants mannequin,” which was made from a black bodysuit that covered even his eyes — and I smiled about all the little middle schoolers who probably wouldn’t get to go out again next year. I love seeing any age of children trick-or-treating; even the older kids who don’t really dress up are great because I think it’s sweet that they are still doing something as innocent as getting free candy with their time instead of getting into trouble.

By the end of the night the kids had cleaned out almost 3 big bags of candy, but Robert and I noticed that that we were left with primarily Almond Joy candy bars and Whoppers. We’ve been having a big debate on my Facebook page about which is better, and somehow far more people seem to like Almond Joys than Whoppers. What the heck?! I always liked getting Whoppers in my pillowcase, but I never met a kid who liked an Almond Joy. I suppose next year we’ll need to try to find big bags of Reeses mixed only with Hershey’s bars, Twix, and M&Ms, rather than trying to pawn off the two untouchable candy bars. You live and learn, right?

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This was the “before and after” of our candy bowl. Note all the Whoppers and Almond Joys that were left! >_<

I’m already really excited for Halloween next year, as I want to give out more candy and keep seeing cute costumes throughout the evening. I think we will need to go all out in the decorating to try to really attract a crowd next year. What’s your favorite part about Halloween? And are you as excited about Christmas as I am now? Sadly I hate most Christmas music, but I can’t wait to start seeing all the decorations and enjoying all the Hallmark Christmas specials and movies on ABC Family (now known as Freeform) as I want!

Our Sad Spot Was Macy’s.

I think everyone has places you associate with an ex.

Mine were my alma matter, — particularly where we carved our initials in the sidewalk and our running route — Dunkin Donuts, Georgetown, and he would never know this, but our saddest spot is Macy’s.

Macy’s was the place I was when we had our first big argument over the phone. It was the first place it began to sink in that he may not care about me as much as he did his work, and the place I realized it was the beginning of the end.

Macy’s was the place he casually shopped for new clothes right after we talked about potentially breaking up for the first time. I held back tears as he felt the blue leather jacket on the sale rack. I didn’t like the jacket, but I didn’t care about it — I just cared about him. I wanted to keep him, even if he did have a new off-putting jacket.

During the several months we took to break up I drove the long way to get to classes. I stayed on the highway a little longer just to avoid the spot with our names. I wished they weren’t carved in the pavement.

Later, I found out that although our names were set in stone, our relationship wasn’t.

We broke up.

It took time to go back to all of “our” places, but it slowly didn’t bother me as much. Time went by and suddenly I was more shocked when I actually did think of him, since those thoughts were scarce.

I began thinking of Elizabeth and Megan when I saw Dunkin Donuts (It’s always been their place as well), and then met another special man who happens to be from Boston and obsessed with the place. I think of my time in New York City when a group of my girl friends came to visit and Thanh spilled her Dunkin hot chocolate all over the subway. I think of donuts — I don’t just think of him.

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Georgetown became a place I traveled to with friends to go shopping or grab a cupcake, and my school became just that — my school — including so many memories with and without him. I am able to look back on our time there fondly and separate that part of him from the part he became when he grew up.

Macy’s was a hard place to tackle — until it wasn’t. The heart has a way of healing itself, and you learn to let go. I’m so glad I did, too, because one of my fondest memories now lies there — picking out my new guy’s dress suits together for his trips to the embassy while he is overseas.

Adventures With The Army Part 1

I just had the craziest week.

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog or my Instagram, you surely know all about my crush on the Army man I’ve been seeing. I just happen to think he’s the best, and super-awesome, and am probably making you gag reading this.

I went to his departure ceremony just over a month ago, and we had been chatting long distance for about 5 weeks while he was at Fort Hood (Texas) doing last-minute prep work until it was time for him to head overseas. We said our goodbyes over the phone, and promised to email each other until we could figure out when a good time for both of us to Skype is.

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Our first goodbye at the departure ceremony.

My heart sunk a little as we said goodnight, realizing this was likely the last time I’d hear his voice for awhile.

Then fate intervened.

His plane was crazily delayed due to inclement weather, and he texted me at midnight that he was stuck at BWI airport — their flight’s last stop in the US before going overseas.

That’s right down the road from me, I thought.

My wheels started turning immediately, trying to figure out how I could see him — even just for a few minutes to see him and say goodbye in person. After all, we couldn’t be in the same area and not meet up!

There was a lot of back-and-forth, as his itinerary kept changing.

The next morning I found out that I could see him until the early evening. My only problem was that I was stranded at home without a car. I quickly texted my best friend, and since the word “best” is in her title for a reason, she immediately asked her boss to leave and took a long lunch break to make the hour-and-a-half drive to the airport.

We chatted and had a nice little road trip, and by the time we arrived to the airport my hands were sweaty from excitement. I hopped out of the car, excitedly turned and thanked her profusely, as she told me to have a great day.

I walked through the automatic doors, straight to the gate he had given me, but realized it didn’t exist. I quickly found out that we had just miscommunicated a bit, did a 180, and saw him walking toward me. I don’t remember the last time I felt so excited.

We hurried to each other and embraced in one of the best hugs I have ever had. I think hugs can sometimes be a really intimate form of love — welcome home hugs when you’re in a long distance relationship are one of the warmest feelings in the world.

He smiled at me, and I got lost in his hazel eyes as he asked if I would like to get out of the airport and go out to eat.

That is where our adventure began.

This will be a 3 part post. Come back on Sunday if you’d like to hear about the craziest and most exciting date of my life.

The Walk Of Shame

One thing I have mentioned time and time again is how POTS has not only affected the way I feel, but it’s also taken a toll on some of my interpersonal interactions.

For example, I’ve told you about my sweaty palms and the way I can’t help but blush when a boy kisses me — but I failed to tell you about how this happens all the freakin’ time whenever I feel the slightest sense of embarrassment, annoyance, or frustration. The other day I ran into one of my high school crushes at Target. Obviously I have no feelings for him whatsoever anymore, but as soon as he mentioned that he was now married my face turned bright red because I am apparently just programmed to be awkward.

Anyway, I went to New York City last weekend to visit some friends and have a girls’ weekend with my mom. The trip was awesome and I will be sharing a few stories on here about it this week, but the first one is hilariously embarrassing.

Before we went to the DC to New York bus stop I gave Megabus a call to make sure they would be stopping once to stretch and use the restroom. Not only do I have to drink a lot of fluids to keep my symptoms at bay, but I also need to walk around regularly to get my circulation going. The person who assisted me on the phone said this wouldn’t be a problem and that we would definitely stop. Thank goodness! I suddenly felt a lot more comfortable about making the big trip to the city.

Things did not go as planned, though. Our bus was 30 minutes late, so the driver said that we would not be stopping. After shuffling up to the front to talk to him, he kindly told me that he would stop if I needed it — I just needed to reach up and press the giant red emergency “STOP” button above my seat. If I needed it? I definitely will! This is so uncomfortable, I thought to myself. I quietly went back to my seat and waited for the giant Smart Waters I had been throwing back to take their course.

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About three hours into our ride I realized I would definitely need to pee and stretch soon, so reached up to the button — then pulled away. What if it makes a loud buzzing sound and everyone looks over? I really hate being high-maintenance, but that ship sailed when I got sick. You kind of have to be to take care of your chronic illness.

So I closed my eyes, reached up, and shoved my index finger into the giant glowing button as I held my breath. It was quiet. Oh good, I thought. The driver must just get a notification at the front. 

But he didn’t. I waited and waited until I realized he wouldn’t be stopping. That’s when I finally went to the front to see if he had seen my cry for help. He was once again very kind and said he would stop at the next rest area.

This is where the story takes a hilarious turn.

He pulled right up to the front of a gas station and shouted, “Alright darlin’, we’re here! Go do your thing.”

Oh my goodness! He’s just stopping for me! I thought that this would be a rest stop for everyone, but apparently I got to walk the red carpet down the bus aisle to go to the bathroom all by myself. I stood up and realized my balance was a bit off from the long ride — POTS does that to me sometimes. I can sometimes have a hard time keeping my balance on solid ground, but it’s even worse when I’ve been cooped up in a car for several hours. I stumbled down the aisle, bumping into a pretty young twentysomething who was just trying to mind her own business and taking out a guy’s knee on the way. I offered a muffled apology as I turned bright red and scampered down the steps.

I felt everyone’s inquisitive eyes on me as I pranced from the bus into the gas station and wondered what they must think of me. This is humiliating! They’re probably coming up with a billion stories in their own minds of why I had to make this huge emergency stop. 

I hurried inside and was back within two minutes. I didn’t take the time I needed to stretch because I didn’t want any false assumptions from me taking forever.

As I walked onto the bus — my face once again matching the red carpet beneath my feet — I realized no one was really paying attention to me. The twentysomething girl glanced up from her laptop, but for the most part people remained preoccupied with their own activities. It was at this moment that I had an overwhelming realization that no one really cared what I was up to and all eyes were, in fact, not on me.

Today’s lesson: People don’t really care what you are doing — so you should just do you and not worry so much about what others think.

Hello From The Other Side

Dear Torchy’s,

I live outside of Washington DC, so we are over 1,000 miles apart. I used to date someone from Texas, so I got to visit you regularly, but he and I broke up awhile ago and I haven’t been back since.

I miss you, Torchy’s. What I really miss most is your queso. I never even liked dip until I tried yours, but I quickly became addicted. Every time I’d go to Texas I would make sure to visit you several times a week.

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Photo courtesy of @torchystacos on Twitter

So I have a crazy request.

Could you please send me the recipe so I can make my own here in DC? It doesn’t appear that you are moving here anytime soon and I’m not sure that I’ll ever find anyone who makes queso quite like you.

Love Always,
Your Biggest Fan