Roadtrips, Runza, and Mules

Before we get into the bulk of this week’s blog, I’d like to brag about where I’m writing this from.  I’m currently plunked out on my patio, having coffee and brunch with my Scout-a-Roo, and writing.  Thank goodness warmer weather seems like it’s here to stay.  Spring on the prairie can be a roller coaster ride of 80 degree days followed by mini blizzards…..waking up each day is like opening Forest Gump’s box of chocolates…..you never know what you’re going to get!

At least for this weekend anyway, spring seems to have finally sprung, and that means I can have a lazy weekend breakfast with my little one before we pack up and head to Momma’s for chores and Mother’s Day things!  Brunch this morning consists of coffee….obviously, some watermelon that’s on its last few good days, and a mini potato, cheddar, and chirzo quiche that I picked up yesterday from the fancy bakery downtown.  Seriously, things are looking fancy as fuck around here this morning….minus that fact that I’m in a hoodie and sweatpants.  It’s early enough that the sun hasn’t quite reached my patio…..so at least for the moment, warmer clothes are required.

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Now that you’re all…..I’m sure….jealous of my super posh lifestyle, let’s move on to the main event.

Last weekend The Engineer took me home to meet the family!!

It’s been a long time since anyone I’ve dated has taken me to meet their family, and apparently it had been several years since he has taken anyone home.  I had apparently been the topic of some Facebook creeping before we arrived….which is totally fine.  That’s the age we live in, you generally have a good idea about people, at least how they look, before you even meet them.  I was sort of amused however because they thought I would be shorter in person.  This is really only amusing because if you were to dig through most of my Facebook pictures,…..I’m the tallest one in every picture!  Maybe they just assumed that girls from SoDak are extra short?!

I should back up a little bit and start the weekend at the beginning I suppose.  It may or may not have been discussed on the blog, but I was a dancer growing up.  I danced until I graduated and moved off to college.  Technically I was on my college dance team, but that’s not really the same sort of thing, at least at my college.  Momma still works the front desk at the studio I grew up attending, so we usually attend performances.  Last Friday happened to be the start of their annual recital weekend……so I made The Engineer go!  “Made” really isn’t the right word, he did sort of offer to come with.  I know that recitals can drag on a bit, especially if you don’t know any of the dancers, but there were enough tiny puff tutus on tiny ballerinas to keep us amused and entertained for the couple hours a performance takes.

Saturday morning we got up and headed down into Nebraska.  Now, maybe it’s just something that’s engrained in us “born on the river, SoDak kids,” but Nebraska isn’t really a place we like.  No one from there can drive, they make fun of our none existent accents, and they come to our drive throughs and attempt to place no less than 18 individual orders over the rumbling of their mud coated diesel dually trucks.  We get it….you’re from the country……ughs!  It’s important to note that the rumblings that people like me produce are lessened ten fold if you take us into Nebraska the sneaky way….like down the interstate and over into Omaha to shop for example.  However, if you cross us directly over the river…….the grumbling begins.  I don’t care that you put an extra “r” in Norfolk so that unlike the apparently civilized people of Virginia who have Nor-Fuck…..I have to suffer through Nor-Fork.  Don’t make fun of my accent when you’re just adding in letters willy nilly!  Also!!!!….Did you know that apparently in Nebraska they are taught that the capital of SoDak, Pierre, is Pee-Air?!!?  What?!  No….it’s Pier….like where you put a boat.  Seriously Nebraska….get it together down there!

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When you take a SoDak girl across The River weird things happen!

As much as I like to hate on Nebraska, they do have a couple things of note.  Husker football….if you’re into that sort of thing, Trader Joe’s, Lush, and Runza.  Runza is a preferred snack/meal of mine….mostly because I get it on such a limited basis.  Now, for those who are unaware, runzas are basically a bread tube stuffed with beef, cabbage, and spices.  There are variations, such as a mushroom and swiss runza, but in it’s purest form thats what it is.

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They might actually be the state dish of Nebraska.  I know plenty of families that make them homestyle style in their own kitchens.  Clearly, it’s a thing……

I had actually never had a runza, because initially I was confused and overwhelmed in the drive through with the varieties one could purchase.  I had no idea options were going to be available to me, and I got a little freaked out.  Not wanting to be one of those people who holds up the drive through line, I panicked and ordered chicken strips….which are amazeballs….and that’s been my standard order every time I got to a Runza.  Life doesn’t get much better than actual chicken made into deliciously huge stripes, thick and potatoey crinkle fries, and honey mustard.  Honestly, Runza honey mustard might be the best thing that Nebraska has ever created, and is the standard by how I judge all other honey mustards……here’s looking at you Sonic and Arby’s with your crappy honey mustard!

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That good honey mustard feeling!!!

Anyway, The Engineer has learned that the best and fastest way to turn my mood is with a snack.  Like, I’m not saying he got his Costco membership just to get me guacamole…..but that’s mostly what it’s been used for so far! 🙂

After nearly an hour of listening to me bemoan the horrors of dually trucks in drive throughs and debating the proper pronunciation of Norfolk, we stopped and got Runza.  It was decided that I’d get chicken, he’d get a runza, and we would just share.  Now, I’d been informed by several people that I would like runza.  After all, I like all the things that go into a runza, so it seemed logical that I would like it.  However, logic apparently doesn’t always apply.  Dislike isn’t really the word I would use, I mean I’d eat one and be sorta happy about it.  They have a flavor that vaguely reminds of me when Dad used to be in charge of dinner if Momma was gone for something.  These dinners occasionally would be canned Dinty Moore beef stew on a couple slices of bread.  It’s not a bad flavor, but certainly not one I’d want all the time.

Realistically, I don’t see myself changing my standard order anytime soon.  Why would I get a runza when I know how glorious the chicken stripes are?!  Also, I’m not much of a fan of their onion rings…..#BurgerKingRingsforLife…..however, should you be unable to decide between rings and fries, Runza has revolutionized the food scene by allowing you to get Frings……half fry, half ring.  If you were say….in the business of trying to hunt a Nebraskan, I’m fairly sure that a trap baited with an order of Frings and a Busch Light would get the job done every time!

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The snackies make me happy!!  Yes, I take these embarrassing SnapChat pics….I feel no shame!

We spent a nice weekend with his family doing mostly lazy outdoor things like sunning and drinking.  I’m generally totally on board with lazy summertime drinking so this worked out just fine for me.  His brother in law eventually made a whole series of super yummy thin crust pizzas….honestly I couldn’t even tell you the flavors.  Cheesy, saucy, deliciousness that was most definitely needed after a day of drinking and attempting to discover the glory that is the moscow mule.  They are apparently, a “mulie” family.  I had never really had one before, maybe just the occasional sip off of The Engineer’s.  Even he doesn’t drink them often when he’s with me.  Usually around the house we are beer people, margaritas if we are feeling extra fancy!  Apparently, the vodka makes the mule….and I have to say that Svedka Blue Raspberry makes a fairly delicious drink.  Personally…..I’d probably be more onboard with Jalapeño Grapefruit….but that’s just cuz i’m zesty like that!

Decisions, Decisions!

All in all, it was a good weekend in “The Good Life” country.  I left sunburned and happy having had my honey mustard fix.  I even survived a brief escapade into the small town, downtown bar scene.  I call his home town small…..it’s actually twice the size of my hometown……but that’s irrelevant!

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Dull Week and Some Firsts

It’s been a weird week.  Busy at work, crappy weather, and just general winter blah.  I’ve got a few “exciting things in the pipelines” as they would say at work, so this week is a bit of a dud.

So, about those firsts I mentioned.  Well, there was a first date…..which lead to the second first…..getting my car stuck in a snow bank.  I guess that’s the risk one takes going out on a first date in the middle of a blizzard with only a front wheel drive SUV.  The date went well, and I eventually managed to get my car dug out and moved so I guess that all counts as a win.

I also got to have my first drink in a limo!  We finally had our work Christmas party which involved a limo ride between dinner and our escape room fun.  So, squished into and sweating to death in a limo which was supposed to “comfortably” seat all of us, I had a Bud Light tall boy.  Honestly, that’s probably the largest amount of Bud Light I’ve ever had, but the experience was good.  We’ve had a lot of shake up and change at work, but we’ve finally starting to settle in and it’s becoming more fun again.  If nothing else, sometimes just having the right people around to bitch with is everything.

My limo photo skills might leave something to be desired, but ya know….you get the picture!  We were all maybe being way too amped to be drinking in a moving vehicle.  These things are generally frowned upon you know.

Chapter 15: The Ghost of Batman

Since I have somewhat depressingly become a single, twenty something again that means the return of dating.  As much as I hate dating, I’m often reminded that prince charming is not going to just spontaneously arrive at my front door and therefore….I need to sometimes leave the comfort of my couch.  After all…..

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Since I’m trying to be good with the budget, and since I’m saving lots of pennies for a major purchase…. 🙂 ….. I decided to give Tinder another whirl.  Why….why do we keep doing things we know are stupid in the hopes that “Oh, maybe it’s mystically gotten better!”  It hasn’t…..please don’t go conduct your own research, I’m here to do that for you.  I present to you….the steps you should follow on tinder to avoid this kind of situation in your life!

However, one night, I thought I had found the mystical tinder unicorn!  He was tall, good looking, never been married, well educated, no kids…….was looking promising.  We started texting and things seemed to be going well.  He’s funny, clever, easy to have a conversation with, and didn’t have bad grammar.  Note to dudes of the world…..maybe try and be on your best grammatical behavior the first few texts?  I know I make grammar and typo errors…..but I’ve gotten some tinder messages that are almost down right unreadable!

What u up to

–Because adding in atleast an ‘r’ and a ‘?’ was gonna be way too much effort…..

Hey how it goin

–Oh ya know…..it’s going….away from you!

So, “Batman” and I texted for a few days and decided that we should go out and get drinks.  I will point out that at this point I knew he had gotten a Batman robe for Christmas, but he said it was from his brother and I just figured it was some kind of gag gift or like White Elephant thing or whatever…..because ya know….I just made assumptions.  Step 1: Never make assumptions.

So Date Day arrived.  I was excited, the girls at work were excited.  And then….he cancelled.  This almost immediately sent us into a flurry of online research trying to learn more about him.  I’d like to say that we are all twenty something girls and that’s just what we’ve been conditioned to do in the face of adversity, but our office manager….who sorta led the charge…..isn’t a twenty something.  But she has two twenty something kids so that makes her an honorary member?!  I think yes!

In googling, we discovered his ex girlfriend.  We also discovered that his ex girlfriend had been at Christmas with his family.  (This occurred the week between Christmas and New Years)  Needless to say, we dug pretty deep around Facebook, and found out some less than stellar things.  Everyone told me to leave it alone but I, being the somewhat bitchy, no bullshit, and impatient person that I am, sent the girl a Facebook message.  Now many of you don’t know, but it takes me maybe 7-9 mins to get from the office back to my house.  Before I had even made it home, she had texted him and he had texted me all pissy that I had talked to her.  Well……maybe don’t be on Tinder when you’re cuddled up to your ex girlfriend in your Facebook profile picture?!?  It doesn’t give off the “I’m single and ready to mingle” sorta vibe to say the least.  I figured that was the end of us talking, lost another one to being an asshole, and moved on with life.  Step 2:  Always trust your gut.

I didn’t think much of him until I was on my way to see my cousins for New Years Eve.  I started getting texts from him about how he was really a nice guy,he wasn’t trying to lead anyone on or be sneaky, he’s totally single and she’s seeing someone else, and he was sorry for the misunderstanding.  Against my better judgment, and in total disregard of Step 2, I agreed to meet him for drinks New Years Day night.  I was home alone after having to cut my weekend cousin party short due to weather anyway…..might as well go out and do something right?!

Show up for drinks….he’s in a super hero t-shirt.  Granted he does have a button down over the top of it, but you can still see the super hero beneath.  Now in talking to him I had started to realize that he was a big fan of the super hero, and I mean we all have to have our thing.  But……really…..on a first date?!  While on the date I also discovered that he has the Batman symbol tattooed on his wrist.  Couple thoughts…..I find that to be a very feminine place to get a tattoo, possibly just because I know a lot of girls with tattoos there and not very many guys, and second……why Batman?!  I don’t know a ton about super hero and comics and whatever but isn’t Batman considered to be sorta the dud amongst them?!?  Someone more well versed in these things can feel free to offer up opinions and explanations.

The date went well…..or so I thought.  He was pretty much as expected; tall, good looking, funny, clever, he kept up drink for drink with me which is impressive, well educated, and well traveled.  We basically only left the bar because they were closing down and we had to leave.  I wasn’t even home yet when he texted saying what a great time he had and how he wanted to see me again.  A couple texts later we had agreed to meet again Wednesday night.  Nothing specific, just pencilled in Wednesday night plans.  This all seemed well and good….UNTIL I NEVER HEARD FROM HIM AGAIN! Step 3:  If they have to apologize and tell you they aren’t an asshole before you’ve even met them….they are probably an asshole!

Now, I’d understand if we had gone on a date and he just wasn’t feeling it and we never went out again.  That’s cool, it happens….no big deal what so ever.  But why would you ever go out of your way to make second date plans with someone and then just fall off a cliff?!  What even is the point of that?!  I suppose much like “How many licks does it take to the tootsie roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” the answer is of course, “The world may never know….”

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Chapter 14 : Naked Burrito Dude

Now that I’m a single twenty something again, I can return to writing about all my dating adventures.  Apparently……this is something that’s frowned upon in relationships.  I’m not sure why, because my past relationships are what shaped me into who am I and brought me to this point in my life.  But, I suppose on the other hand I can understand how being confronted with your person’s past all the time could be awkward.  When you get to be this age, we all know everyone has dated someone else before……we just collectively don’t acknowledge this fact and pretend it’s not a thing that’s happened.  It’s just one of the unwritten laws of being a single twenty something.

 

For this particular chapter, we are going way back on the dating scale.  Back many moons ago when I was merely a middle aged twenty something in search of a quality drunk weekend with friends.  Ok, so I’m still generally in favor of a good old fashioned drinking weekend…..but the point is I was younger and life generally seemed better!

I mean, would you just look at us?!?  Babies!  Infants!  

Blissfully still unaware of how much being an adult can suck.  I had strings of pink tinsel in my hair!!!  So, there I was all done up with a fresh hair cut, dye job, and tinsel……in a silver mini dress….wearing spanx and two bras (to shove the girls way up there fake boob style)…….and 5 inch silver heels.  I’m going to be honest when I saw that plenty of guys talked to me that night, but all of them were short and not really all that great.  I was also the subject of a fight between a married couple at one point because he was sure my boobs were fake, and she was sure they were real.  I’m not sure what happened to them, or how the fight ended….it was sorta weird and I mostly just exited their area.  Things were going along as they do most party nights at a bar, and then up walked Burrito Dude.

I remember taking off my heels and standing in the sawdust at the Saloon 10 to verify the fact that Burrito Dude was taller than me.  I tend to put people through this check before I invest any sorta energy into them…..does that make me shallow?!  It probably does, but to be fair I don’t think it’s changing anytime soon.

I was fairly drunk that night and I don’t remember a ton of details, but I do know that in trying to dance with me, he unzipped my wristlet and sent my poor little slider phone flying across the dance floor where it landed and broke apart.  The phone and I survived the night….barely, and the night ended with Bitch Faced Bestie yelling at Lil B about being a lady because she was sitting on the sawdust covered floor trying to find us a ride home.  We did get a safe ride home, but we still haven’t let her live down “the sawdust event”.

Next day, in the middle of hangover lounging with the BFB, Burrito Dude sent a text asking if I wanted to go to dinner.  I didn’t really want to, as the hangover was becoming pretty real, but I did eventually agree to go with him.  He ate steak tips and I sipped a Diet Coke….I’m sure I was a great date….although I think I probably did munch a couple of his fries.  He went home, I passed out to sleep off the weekend, and drove home the next day not really thinking much of it honestly.

A few weeks come and go and Burrito Dude decides that he wants to come see me.  He does, but I don’t even know what we really did.  I do recall that before he left town we went to Ihop and I had cheesecake pancakes.  I think it must say something about my priorities in life that I remember that I had cheesecake pancakes, but I can’t honestly tell you what he and I even did other than that.

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They have chunks of cheesecake in them…..who wouldn’t want these!?!?!

I did end up making a trip back out to the hills Valentine’s Day weekend.  Now, don’t get any ultra mushy, romantic ideas.  I mean I did see him, but mostly I went because The Girls and I had planned to go to a fancy masquerade party.  I don’t think we went…..I think we instead ended up drinking downtown again, as we usually do.  He was in town with his parents for some fundraiser activity, and he ended up driving me and my car back to his house in Rapid City.  I’m pretty sure I passed out in the passenger seat.  (Don’t judge me…I was younger and partied harder back in the day!)

Once again, I don’t think we did anything all that exciting, but at some point he decided we needed food and we went to Qdoba.  Just as I was getting all ready to show my chicken burrito who was boss, he chirped in with the fun fact that if I had gotten a naked burrito bowl I would have saved myself 300 calories.  In response to my dismay at why he would even know that sort of information he replied,

It’s just more calories to work off at the gym.

That was really the beginning of the end for us!  I also ended up making him taco casserole…..which is amazing, and he said it would be better if it had less cheese and sour cream…….(cue cricket noise of shock)…….

The actual end was when he basically kicked me out of his house later that weekend so that he could go skiing.  Nothing says, “I’m into you” like waking a girl up and kicking her out of your house so you can go hit the slopes.  I went to Philly Ted’s, picked up my traditional order of cajun chicken sandwiches to bring home, hit the road, and basically never looked back!

Shortly after me, he met a girl that he still is currently dating.  Actually, I saw them the other weekend when I was out in the hills for the concert weekend with the besties.  I was pretty sure that he didn’t know who I was, but BFB was pretty sure that he did.  Who knows really, but it wouldn’t have worked out anyway.  The only things I remember about hanging out with him was what I ate….and probably he was secretly judging me the entire time.  

……Plus, he’s a cat person….and I’m sure you’ve all figured out by now that I am not a cat person.

Chapter 13: The Blog I Thought I’d Never Have to Write

I never thought I’d have to write this blog.  I’ve written blogs like this before, but I never thought I would have to write one about this person…..Main Squeeze…..

 

I wrote the title and the first line 2 months ago, and then I just sat on it.  I waited in the hopes of not burning a bridge, I waited hoping that things would change, and we would get better.  I waited thinking that if you had love everything else would eventually fall into place.  I waited thinking that a connection as strong as and instant as we had had to mean something.

I was wrong

For two months I fought everyday to hold on to feelings and a love that I thought could get us through anything.  I knew I couldn’t make him love me, but he swore that he did, and he promised that a life with me was what he wanted.  He was my person, he was the one I turned to to make things better, and even now I just want him to tell me that things will be ok.

For two months I waited.  Waited to feel like I mattered to him again, mattered more than just a text message, or a random phone call.  Waited for him to decide that he wanted to see me, and that things would go back to how they had always been.  In the moments were it all felt hopeless he would talk to me, and we would talk about how we were feeling and how much we loved each other and it felt like we’d turn a corner…….but the corner was never a corner, just a ring.

For two months we talked everyday.  He told me how much he wanted to fix things and that we were going to work on things to be better together.  And for two months I believed him, I trusted that we wanted the same thing, and I had hope that things would be ok.  After one ruined vacation with him, he told me he wanted to go on vacation with my family, and I trusted him.  I invited him to spend time with my family even though I had never met his.

For two months I poured my whole heart into something that couldn’t have been more of a lie.

Yesterday he told me that he’s no longer in love with me, but that he still loves me.  Yesterday he told me that we have nothing in common, because I don’t love sports the way he does.  Yesterday he told me he no longer could see me in his future, because he doesn’t want to be in a relationship like we had.

In that moment, everything felt like it was crumbling.  I had known things weren’t perfect, and I knew we were nearing the end, but to have it happen all over again was something I just wasn’t ready for.  I had woke up Friday morning knowing that he wasn’t going to come see me for the weekend like he promised. I don’t know how or why any of this caught me off guard and made me feel so helpless, but it did.  To have to listen to him say those things after finding so much comfort the night before in him saying that I was the girl he wanted and that we weren’t fizzling out, it was crushing.

I don’t even know how to feel…..

 

Sometimes Life Just Hurts

I am hurt, I am heart broken, I’m exhausted, and I just need to regroup.

 

Times like these, you’re reminded who your real friends are. They are the ones who drive an hour to meet you for lunch because you’re too exhausted to go to the gym. The ones who text to make sure you aren’t sitting at home alone on a Friday night, and the ones who welcome you, spur of the moment, into their own plans with family and friends because your world came to a crashing halt. The family and friends who try to help salvage a ruined vacation, and who make sure you eat because they know you wouldn’t otherwise.

 

This weekend, while everyone is celebrating freedom and an extra day off work, I’m trying to recollect myself and celebrating my friends and family who have never, ever let me down.

So Yea…..

…..I didn’t get a blog written this week. I meant to, but school and life got the best of me. I thought I could write one while I was in Omaha this weekend, but that got away from me too. So instead, I spent my time hanging with the Main Squeeze, grilling out, and generally being lazy.

Next week I will do better, but I will leave you with this little fun fact. I decided that I was finally adult enough to get to and from Main Squeeze’s house without my GPS. Not that I really know what roads I’m on, but I thought I had a pretty good handle on the overall route. My plan was going well until they decided to close my way outta town. So alas, I had to fire up the map app to get me headed in the right direction. Maybe next time I can make a GPS free trip. Maybe that’s just the hazard of living in the big city!?