Egad. I spend the entire summer doing nothing, posting erratically, then come home and get slammed with more exciting things than I know what to do with. That's not to say that my summer wasn't exciting. Au contraire. Indeed, some memories of this summer will be fondly treasured, and not even Swedish Fish will temper their poignancy.
No, the problem is that five weeks of pent up excitement got condensed into four days. The science of it all is mind-boggling. I should've anticipated an exhausting weekend when I woke up with Shakira's "Suerte" stuck in my head.
On Thursday evening, my beautiful Laura arrived for a night of gossip, giggling, and insomnia. The high point of the night was when we were both chatting through my Facebook account, confusing our friends and coming across like a character with a split personality disorder.
Friday morning, Laura's boyfriend picked us up, and we went to meet some friends to see Cowboys & Aliens. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Afterward, we all went to a little pizzeria for lunch, where they had a yellow brick road painted on the floor to guide you through the back into the dining area. Their calzones were worthy of Olympus.
Friday night, the Knights of Ubiquity, as my friends have christened themselves (I missed that meeting), met at Sh.'s house. Ostensibly, we were there as chaperones for her sister's sixteenth birthday party. In reality? We threw our own, better party right under their noses. We were dancing like fools to N*SYNC and Taio Cruz and singing our hearts out to "Dancing Queen". Sure, the high schoolers had some sort of show off-y diving contest, but mostly it seemed like they just sat around being lame and requesting Justin Bieber songs. Drew stalwartly refused to play any, bless him. That's right. Not only were we chaperones, but our numbers supplied both the DJ and the photographer. Psh! Listen to me talking like I actually did anything.
Even if the young 'uns' festivites did come across as weak sauce, Sh.'s family sure knows how to throw a party. There was a pool; a popcorn machine; a snow cone maker; two separate blowup slides, one of which was a water slide; and a dunk tank. Ya heard me. A dunk tank.
At one point, I walked around by the water slide to escape the speakers for a while (Ch! me and my sensitive ears), and my friends somehow convinced me to go down it. So I did. Fully clothed. Several dozen times. My thighs are still complaining about the climb up to the top. You'd think I'd forced them up that spiral staircase in the Parisian catacombs again.
One of my favorite parts of the evening was when Drew made me dance with him. Okay, he didn't have to try that hard to convince me, but I got the feeling he wasn't going to take no for an answer. Maybe it was because he said, "The next song, I'm dancing with you," instead of phrasing it like a question. And so it was that I swing danced (swung danced?) to Michael Bublé's "Save The Last Dance For Me". Mostly I tried to keep up and not die while he threw me around the dance floor. I had a blast, though! He dipped me at least three times and spun me around so much that I was dizzy when it was over. I could grow to like this swing dancing business.
After the teenagers started wrapping up their party, we all went down to the basement, dimmed the lights, and blasted Beethoven. This is what happens when you hang out with music majors. While most people were in a string quartet-induced state of semi-consciousness, I had my first experience with Angry Birds on someone's iPad. Eventually someone started a massage train. I was the caboose, but I didn't mind. Just being around everyone was enough to make me feel like I didn't have a care in the world.
Saturday morning was blissfully lazy. In the evening, Bonster came over bearing a Walmart bag full of candy. That girl is a wonder. She's like my drug mule. Anytime I need some Swedish Fish, there she is with a pound of the little darlings in hand. As a point of interest, the first three ingredients listed on the packaging are sugar, invert sugar, and corn syrup. No wonder they're such a great emotional cure-all.
Saturday happened to be my dad's girlfriend's birthday, so we all went to Joe's Crab Shack (Bonster tagged along). I love crab! I had my first out-of-the-shell crab meat on Saturday. Some people may think it's a pain in the butt, but I found it to be rewardingly challenging. I ate way too much food that night. I shouldn't have packed in dessert, but the fudgey-ness of the chocolate cake made my tastebuds swoon with delight.
Later on, Bonster and I walked home from my dad's girlfriend's house (she has to have a shorter title!) in a light spattering of rain. Uncharacteristically, we chatted about boys. Characteristically, the conversation evolved into a philosophical discussion on the nature of human relationships.
On Sunday morning, I walked into a shower of hugs at church. It's like that every week, but after being gone it just completed the sense of rightness I'd been feeling all weekend. Every friend I've seen since I've been back, every hug and hi-there, has hit me like a solar flare. I feel like the sun has been shining from inside my heart. Every bit of my soul is aglow. It's the same way I felt when I first applied to ASU. I may miss Missouri dearly, but every bit of me is singing that this is where I need to be right now.
Around 4 PM on Sunday, I met with my little visiting teaching circle, and they got a lightning-fast rundown of my summer while we stuffed ourselves with tortellini and cheesecake. It had to be speedy because I had to get to family dinner by 5. I couldn't very well skip because there were so many family birthdays this weekend. This is what happens when your aunt and uncle are twins.
While I was at family dinner, a monsoon hit. It was gorgeous! It might not be a Missouri thunderstorm, but there's something intoxicating about the scent of the desert when it's wet.
Speaking of gorgeous, Pandora presented me with this little gem today:
Le happy sigh. <3
Listening to: "Limón Y Sal" by Julieta Venegas
Reading: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson