Brandin

We just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. I hope every married person feels the same when I say, my wedding day was the best. Obviously it’s who helped make everything happen, who showed up to watch me forget my vows and who danced the night away – but most of all I got to marry Brandin Boggs, and there was a chocolate fountain.

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Dreams really do come true, ladies.

Marriage isn’t easy. You know this, because at least two of those picture-quotes zip through your newsfeed on Facebook daily. It’s not surprising that cohabiting, co-parenting, co-budgeting, co-everything is hard. Sometimes it actually sucks.

This one time, in the midst of a bickerfest, I told Brandin that he makes me more angry than anyone else, I might have thrown the word ever in there but I hope I didn’t. As soon as the words flew past my lips I knew they were hefty, not only did they actually feel like there was weight attached, I saw Brandin’s face drop. After going through the motions of justifying the mean words I actually decided that it wasn’t really all that crazy.

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Me.

Please know that am not completely unreasonable and I’m aware of this thing called time and place and shouting it out while having a disagreement was probably not appropriate.

I’m terrible at math, and this isn’t even going to make any sense but let me pull some numbers out of my ass real quick. The amount of time I spend with Brandin is 98.34% more than I spend with any other human. So, in this totally illogical math/emotion problem he would also make me happier than anyone else. It all comes down to comfort. I can be a bitch and he can be an asshole, we know this.

We probably should have mentioned something about that in our vows, I could have remembered those.

I promise to always apologize after saying wild shit.

I wrote and really laid out our uncommon love story a while back if you’re interested in finding out more, if not, just know that we have history that backs much further than the eight years I’ve called Wisconsin home. We’re that couple that made a pact back in the day, when we thought 26 was so old and if we weren’t married by then well, shit, we better just marry each other.

Brandin is my personal chef and driver. An occasional babysitter… like, he babysits me after too many adult beverages. We stay up late listening to rap music while playing scrabble… because we’re confused 30-somethings. This one time, before confronting me with something potentially relationship-changing, he bought me a piece of cheesecake…just so I’d know he still loves me.

We have mastered a few looks, good and bad, that the other can read without saying a word. We grocery shop together, cook together, clean together, and want-to-go-home-as soon-as-we’re-out together. He’s logical, sometimes to the extreme and I can be quite the opposite – it’s a nice balance.

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We disagree, we raise our voices, we say things that we shouldn’t. Parenting is not always eye-to-eye, and sometimes we annoy the shit out of each other… but at the end of the day, we always have each others backs and we love each other way more.

B is for Brandin.

 

We’re not in the food-business. We’re in the people-business, serving food.

I’m a career waitress, a fair share of my life has been spent observing a ridiculous range of personalities and listening to bizarre words exchanging between them. Thankfully, the days of slinging half-price appetizers to seven high school juniors are over and I’ve moved onto something more age-appropriate for a 32 year old waitress.

I wine and dine folks inside a cozy Wisconsin supper club, where the conversations and company are consistently mild, regulars come in the through the back door that we go all Cheers on and our cooks prepare a mean steak. The owner of this quaint restaurant has this saying he loves, not only because I think he probably made it up himself but also because it’s true.

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“We’re not in the food business, we’re in the people business – serving food.”

The other day I experienced this first hand and while I hope you can take something from it, I’m writing mostly so I do not forget the feeling this experience gave me.


A3 is yours and it’s a 62nd wedding anniversary, the hostess spit out zipping past me. Note taken. Swiftly I glimpsed around the corner to decide how I wanted to approach their table. It varies depending on how happy, grumpy, or hangry people appear to be in the .52 seconds I take to assess the situation.

Happy Anniversary. 62 years, wow,  that is really something to be proud of!

You must really like each other.

I wasn’t sure about the last line I delivered – it wasn’t really planned but with a big toothy smile this lovely woman with white curly hair laughs while her husband holds not more than a simple grin. Mentally I jotted down that this was a pair of pleasant people, which happen to be my favorite kind. They ordered two Tom & Jerrys and an order of calamari to start their celebrating and I excused myself from their table by the window.

Sitting nearby, three pretty ladies –  a young grandma, a young mom and an adorable little girl over heard that it was a special occasion and insisted on picking up table A3s dinner bill.

I love it when that happens.

We discussed all the important details and I was instructed to let the anniversary couple know it was all paid for after the ladies had left – not before. As they wrapped up their dinner, I observed the gals make a quick stop and wish the couple a happy anniversary.  I’ve never been good at keeping secrets but always pretty amazing at delivering good news.

I carried over a big homemade cupcake with a candle, forks, and a little coffee. Who celebrates without cake? I told them they were welcome to stay as long as they’d like, I’d keep an eye on their coffees but not to worry about the bill. Confused, I explained that the table right next door had already taken care of it.

The gentleman, with the same simple grin he had earlier in the evening thanked me and his bride sat speechless. Selflessly, she asked if I had been tipped on their tables portion of the bill. I tilted my head to the side and thanked her for asking because, let’s be real, I make $2.68/hour. In this instance, the tip was the last thing I was concerned with and told her that I was taken care of in the process and they do not need to leave a dime.

Another table nearby had been sat and before I even had their water glasses filled, we were talking about how adorable table A3 is. I let them in on the secret that another table had picked up their tab and I gushed over what a great night they were having.

On my way to deliver the new diners cocktails, table A3 was getting ready to leave. The bride with the toothy smile and curly white hair approached me and while it’s not unusual for patrons to give an additional thank you as they exit, she had tears in her eyes.

Not only did she thank me, she hugged me and held onto my shoulders so tight. In a low voice she expressed sincere gratitude while telling me that her husband has dementia and this might be the last time they dine in our restaurant together. Her chin quivering,  I reached back out and wrapped my arms around her while quiet tears rolled down her aged cheeks.

Thank you for making tonight so special.

I told her that I’ll see her next time, and with that she walked over to her husband who was waiting by the coat rack. While delivering the newcomers cocktails, they pointed out how romantic it is that he still helps her with her jacket. Turning around, I watched them walk out the door hand-in-hand.

That is the night I realized that we are indeed in the people business – simply serving food.

12 Things That Happen After 30

[1] Anyone: “How old are you?”

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[2] You realize you’ve accomplished approximately 1/8 of the list you started 10 years ago…of the things you’d do before 30.

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[3] Secretly you hope 20-somethings at the bar either a.) think you’re 28 or b.) think you’re the most badass 30-something they’ve ever met.

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[4] Plans are made roughly three hours earlier than in your younger days.

 Well, ideally I’d like to be in my pajamas on the couch by 9:30 – so, dinner at 6:30?

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[5] You become much more accepting of your flaws, maybe because you’ve reached the perfect level of don’t-give-a-shits or, maybe you’re lucky and embrace them. Either way, this is a win for us 30-somethings.

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[6] You take care of your body, before it’s sick. No. Not like working out… 

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[7] A night of excessive cocktails is rarely rewarded with chipper mornings and brunch. 

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[8] Friends start pointing out stray grey hairs that you’ve been wondering exist for the last 5 years.

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[9] Your social media has become a plethora of pets and babies… and you like it.

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[10] Your body has chosen its desired shape and weight, if you would like something different – good luck.

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[11] The excitement level for a new lawn mower <insert any major appliance here> exceeds levels you didn’t know were possible in your 20s.

 

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[12] You read and contribute reviews. Restaurants, mattresses, curtains, daycares, cars, pens, tables, music, hotels, dogs, movies… anything.

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…Cheers to your 30’s.

RIP Baby Logan

Not often do I use Properly Ridiculous for much more than to rant, rave and shove my opinions on everyone. Today, I am putting that aside and using this platform in an effort to help a family who recently lost their son, Logan.

I went to middle school and high school with both of Logan’s parents, and while we do not have a close relationship today – my heart is breaking for them. A blended family, both mom and dad having children from previous relationships – you have to believe that little Logan was the final piece that tied them all together.

Logan was only three months old when he passed away in his sleep during his afternoon nap, as a result of SIDS.

When I told my husband the sad news, conversationally he asked me if I thought it would be harder to lose a child that young, or after years and years have flown by. I know how it feels to grow a child in my body and lay eyes on him for the first time and the answer was easy – I think the sorrow and pain has to be so great, seemingly unbearable, regardless of age.

I do not know how they are getting by emotionally or financially so I am simply asking you to take this chance to eliminate even a small amount of stress this family is going through.

If you’re not able to contribute financially, all I ask is that you keep them in your thoughts and if you have children, give them an extra hug tonight.

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CLICK TO DONATE

Current Struggle: I want to be skinny but I love calories.

It was 75 degrees and sunny in Wisconsin yesterday, which happened to be Cinco De Mayo, when I walked into my job that specializes in German fare. Given the lovely weather and the holiday that doesn’t make patrons want to go out for Weiner Schnitzel – I wasn’t anticipating a stressful night.

Usually slinging food until roughly 9:00pm, when I was on my home at 7:30 with the sun still shining it only seemed right to stop and buy myself a giant can of Bud Light Lemon-Ade-Rita. I should tell you though, before that purchase, I got the boys in my life some Oreo shakes from Burger King and congratulated myself on my spectacular self-control.

Three Oreo shakes, please…

You ran two miles today! Don’t let it be for nothing! You got this! 

Nevermind, make that two.

Gosh, I’m the best.

When all was said and done, I consumed 600 calories of Lemon-Ade-Rita instead.

Can’t win them all.