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First (And Final) Mate

The P-Dawg hails from a family of sailors.

His parents met and fell in love because their boats were docked next to each other.

He and the Brothers-In-Dawg used to spend entire summers on their sailboat. They often slept on their boat and rolled out from under the deck to attend sailing camp in the morning.

My husband was the commodore – yeah, I said commodore – of his college sailing team.

I love sailing, too.

I love to sit on a sailboat wearing a nautical themed J.Crew outfit and Jackie-O sunglasses, sipping a drink.

I love to watch my husband putting up the sails and tying knots and what have you.

I love the scenic drive down to the yacht club, and I love to eat dinner in the restaurant.

But in our ten years of marriage, I haven’t learned a thing about the actual art or science of sailing. It’s embarrassing when someone asks you to tie a cleate for them and the best you can manage is bunny ears. So when we put the boat in for the season today, I decided that this is the year I will learn.

Of course, it’s not going to be smooth sailing. Because I do have a tendency toward seasickness not to mention I’m directionally challenged.

But I want to experience sailing through the P-Dawg’s eyes and feel what he feels when he’s out on the water.

I want to become one with the wind.

And if we’re going down, I don’t want anyone to say, “She’s dead weight. Let’s throw her in the water.”

 

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Don’t Let This Post Deter You from Trying My Delicious Recipes

The minute I heard the key turn in the door, I abandoned my laptop at its perch on the kitchen counter and scurried over to the sink.

When the P-Dawg walked in, I was busy scrubbing a potato.

“Hello, darling, how was your day?” I greeted him.

“Are you talking to me?” he said.

My husband took his coat off and draped it across a chair. (Why, Lord? Why?)

Then he made his way over to the computer.

“Wait a second!” I panicked. “Don’t look at that browser window I have open, Okay?”

“Why not?” the P-Dawg’s interest was immediately piqued. “What are you trying to hide from me?”

Alas, it was already too late.

He had seen my Google search of shame:*

“HOW DO YOU BAKE A POTATO?”

*(In my defense, I was pretty sure I already knew the answer.)

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Happiness is Running a Vacuum Cleaner

I’m always a little caught off guard by Christmas when it comes, but not this year. This year I have it marked on my calender and there are a lot of context clues to help me out. Like, for example, on Saturday the P-Dawg and I hosted a legitimate Christmas party where a lot of people came all dressed up.  It was very exciting because I had a good excuse to go to town decorating the house and spend the week prior cleaning, and the P-Dawg had a good excuse to set out his bottle of Absinthe.

I like to clean things and put them away. One of my favorite sounds in the world is the sound of crumbs and small plastic toy parts getting sucked up into my vacuum cleaner.  In fact, one of the hardest things for me about hosting a party is resisting the compulsion to follow my guests around with my Dyson, which never loses suction. So I’ll admit that some people’s appetizers might have been cleared a little prematurely last Saturday night, but that’s the price you pay when you put your plate down for five seconds chez Rama. All in all, though, I think everyone had a good time.

Another major clue is the fast approaching Lithuanian Saturday school Christmas pageant, during which my friend V and I will be reprising our roles as the emcees, elf Dzingu-Lingu and elf Žvang-Žvang. Our act was such a hit last year that we are Lithuanian Saturday school Christmas pageant legends. Probably everybody wants our autographs, but is too shy to ask and don’t even get me started on why CNN Europe or Lithuanian Dawn has offerred to interview us yet.

V and I are feeling enormous self-imposed pressure to make this year’s pageant even better than the last. And since me descending from the ceiling suspended on an invisible cable in a pair of red tights and elf tunic is out of the question, we struggled a bit at first to come up with something equally creative. I’m dying to tell you our brilliant plan, but it will have to wait because I don’t want to spoil it for the Lithuanians who read my blog. (Special note to Lithuanians: Please don’t get too excited.) So just keep your fingers crossed that we come up with a script by Saturday morning and don’t choke on our lines.

Between decorating and vacuuming and practicing my elf moves and a side of sitting around in my pajamas putting random things in my Amazon shopping cart only to abandon them three hours later, I haven’t been able to focus on writing Posts with a Purpose.. But I miss blogging with regularity even though I’m not sure anyone is even reading this thing anymore. Is anyone reading this thing anymore?

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Flip-Flops: The Real Reason Dinosaurs Became Extinct

I consider going to an orchestra performance among those occasions in life when a person should dress up.  A half an hour before the babysitter arrives, I like to step inside my closet and take a look around. Sometimes I even try on as many as four or five outfits before settling on my little black dress.  As my husband and I are heading out the door, I’ll notice that he has once again tried to get away with a dinner jacket and Birkenstocks, so I’ll kindly ask him to change. And while he’s at it, would it kill him to get a haircut?

We went to a Cleveland Orchestra performance (or “show,” as the P-Dawg calls it) a few weekends ago.  I wore a little black dress.  And while sipping chardonnay from a plastic cup in the lobby, I happened to notice this:

Of course, not everyone has a spiffy black dress and sensible pumps or stilettos she can wear to the Rachmaninoff show. I understand that Jesus himself wore sandals and it’s not the 1950s anymore. But if you’re going to an event that’s hosted by a group of men and women in tuxes and gowns, my feeling is that you should dress similarly as a courtesy to them. Would you show up for a planned photo op at the White House in flip-flops and a tank?

We all want to be comfortable. That’s why we take our bra off the minute we walk though the door at night and sleep in our pajamas instead of hairshirts.  We have grown to expect our clothing to be more a second skin, less a sausage casing. The first time I tried to hang a clip-on tie on my son, he acted as though I was attempting an emergency tracheotomy. And I’ll be the first to admit that when I’m wearing a pair of Spanx or nylons, it’s all I can do not to start running in circles and lighting things on fire.

But I still maintain that dressing up is good for you.  If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.  It’s OK if you’re not 100% comfortable. (Remember, I’m sitting just a few seats over trying not to pick my own wedgie.) I think that when we go to some trouble about our appearance, we comport ourselves to match it. I think when we dress up, we become more refined versions of ourselves. We start opening doors we might have otherwise let slam in faces. We become more graceful or more debonair. We’re more inclined to smile at a stranger. We put our water bottle in the recycling bin instead of throwing it away.

Flip-flops aren’t the reason civilization is going to hell in a hand basket, they’re just the stone that starts the avalanche. First you wear flip-flops to the symphony, then you don’t bother to write your grandma a thank-you note for the cash she sent you at Christmas.  Next you plagiarizing your college thesis off the Internet and before you know it, you’re calling the president a liar on C-SPAN and leaving misspelled, incendiary, anonymous comments on someone’s post at Salon.com.  In twenty years’ time, you’re running the country (badly, in ALL CAPS).

I’m just saying it’s a slippery slope, and your flip-flops are perched on the precipice.

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