My father’s family

This weekend, I went to visit with my father’s family.  Not the whole thing, obviously, just a few.  My uncle has cancer and he was in town.  It seemed like a good idea.  And so it was

I didn’t socializing with new people this week, unless you count my uncle’s friend, who just fit right in and seemed bizarrely comfortable with the family.  I just hung out with the family.  I love how when you get enough together the stories start coming out.  I love hearing the stories of all the things they have done, the happy self-mockery, the stories of each other’s exploits and mistakes and adventures. I wish I knew them all, but am glad that there always seem to be new ones i haven’t heard.

I love my uncles, my aunts, my cousins.  And I love the bitty children of my cousins.


I give up

For a week.

I have to write a brief.  It is long.  And complicated.  And I have to work all weekend to finish.  Soooooo.  No socializing this weekend.

But I do have guilt: When we passed the bar, lol, Bluebook and I were discussing where we should go to celebrate.  Bluebook suggested New Haven, and I said that was fine but if we went there, they would have to walk me and Statute to our cars, since New Haven wasn’t safe.  He said of course, and expressed surprise that I needed to make a point of that.  I said I had been surprised to learn I needed to say it too, but that previously I’d found that other people did not think it necessary to walk girls they were with to the car at night in downtown New Haven, the fourth most dangerous city in the country.  He said the other guys I’d been with were dicks.  I agreed.  We ended up not going to New Haven, due to Statute’s suggestions, and rejoiced all night, and I thought that was the end.

Till I went to lol and Bluebooks for dinner Friday.  Stayed to watch a movie, and it was dark when I left.  As I was going out, both stood up and asked if I needed walking out to my car.  In their apparently safe apartment complex (I’ve never seen a complex so full of families) where the my car was right outside their door.  At the time I did not put this all together, laughed and asked if something dangerous was happening at the apartment.  They said no, but someone should walk me out since it was dark.  Bluebook did.  I thanked him and went home.  But apparently I accidentally gave them both guilt.  And now I’m not sure how to unguilt.


Apples and corn

We passed the bar.  Everyone I cared about did.  Poppy who does not like being around so many indians did not.  I cannot find it in me to feel sad.  I got to the ACLU that day and demanded that they give me the craziest intake available to keep me focused.  They did.  I was all set not to start checking till noon, but then Car said his were up by 10:30.  So I started checking as soon as intake was over at 10.  AND THEY WERE UP.  AND I PASSED.  I was so relieved I went quiet.  My hands shook with relief.  Words can’t describe.  I thought I’d be able to work after that but I was useless. I was just so full of adrenaline.  So I took off (with encouragement of Sea, who told me to take the rest of the day off and celebrate.  Being an obedient intern, I did as instructed).  And had lunch with lol to celebrate, hung out with him and….seriously, yall, I refuse to Dr Pepper this.  Bluebook.  Then we all arranged to go out to a bar.  I had a glass of wine and was distinctly tipsy.  And threw cheese in Statute’s boyfriend’s hair (it was so puffy!  I couldn’t help myself!)  WE rejoiced.  We passed.  It was fun.  Bluebook got drunk and insisted repeatedly that I drink huge amounts of water (though I’d only had a glass of wine) while drinking next to none himself, and assuring me that I’d thank him when I wasn’t hung over the next day (I’d already filled my wine glass twice with water and downed it, so I had twice as much water as wine before this started).

Then M suggested a trip to go apple picking and cornmazing.  YAY!

So we all went today, M, K, lol, Bluebook and me.  Parking there was dreadful, and the weather was in the high 80s.  We ran into Awesome, who was in her 3rd year when I started lawschool, and is just Awesome.  She’s great.  She made me feel okay for loving law school, and is just incredible in all that she does.  It was great to see her and her cute new baby who is adorable.

We went through the corn-maze, using a process by which whoever was in front led until they went the wrong way and were then demoted.  I was only allowed to lead twice, partly because I had a tendency to start laughing evily when I led and that made them demote me even before I went the wrong way.  It was good fun, though M wanted to CHEAT.  And use a MAP.

Some people just have no sense of decency.

We eventually found our way out of the maze, right at the point where K, M and I were proposing to occupy the corn maze in protest of its environmental impact.  It was sad.

So we went to go pick apples!  But we all wanted to cook with them and they didn’t have Macs!  Or Granny Smith, but I don’t cook with those.  It’s a family thing.  So we decided to pick a few of each kind of apple, thereby securing at least some right apples for our pies, cakes and crisps.  We wandered the aisles of apples, plucking them as suited us.  lol tried to throw apples at me, because I mentioned in the car that last time I went apple picking everyone knocked apples down on me.  So not okay, apples HURT.  Then we went home.

The upshot?  Good fun.  M and K are a lot of fun to be around.  Nothing new on other fronts.  I’m not sure if this counts as a socializing effort, but it’s a chance at new friends, so I’ll give it a close enough.  Maybe the church has a young adult group I can join?




Week four: I bare my belly button

This weekend I did two things: Garba then Renaissance fair.  At both I was rather skimpily, but beautifully clad.


Garba is an Indian holiday.  It involves a LOT of dancing.  In very very pretty outfits.   Statute invited me.  I was going to be a third wheel to her and her boyfriend (they’re both lovely, but being third wheel at a dancing event is dreadful) and expressed discomfort with this (not the least because the fun dance requires a partner).  So she persuaded a friend of hers, Poppy to come.  So I came.

(An aside about Poppy that makes me happy EVERY time I think of it.  Statute was in India buying dresses for me and Poppy and she showed her mum one she was considering for me.  Her mother looked at it, and told her, “No, it’s not good enough for Toretha.  Give it to Poppy.”)

My dress is glorious.  It is totally awesome.  It is black background with red and golden brown patterns on it, and sparkly beads sewn all over it.  They fit into the pattern and aren’t overly gaudy, but when I spin in it, they pick of the light and I am covered in sparkles.  The skirt flows to the ground, long and full and perfect for twirling: wide enough to do what I like, but heavy enough that it won’t come immodestly high when I twirl.  The blouse is patterned the same as the skirt, fits my perfectly, and ties very prettily in the back, with a flap you can fold back to show your back, or fold forward to hide a bra strap.  And the scarf is a brighter red that complements it perfectly.  I adore it completely.

So, Statute told me to meet them at Poppy’s place and we’d get ready together.  Statute did our hair, we all put on our pretty outfits then all of us, and oh?  Poppy’s bringing a boyfriend?  WE two couples and the fifth wheel set off.  Statute also forbade me and Poppy from covering our bellies with the scarf like last year.  She said this year we had outfits that were meant to compliment bare belliedness and we had the bellies to do that.  I felt mildly awkward but got over it.  Poppy who had no reason to feel even mildly awkward fussed and fussed.

Poppy wanted to bring an extra car, and leave later, so we arrived first.  Got food.  Not very good, last year was WAAAAY better.  After we’d eaten, we went looking for Poppy, we’d figured she and boy would find us in the cafeteria when they arrived.  No go.  Statute and I, being skimpily and pocketlessly clad hadn’t cellphones, so Statute’s boyfriend eventually got the call.  Poppy concluded that Statute and I would naturally wait outside for her.  THis might sound reasonable, but I will tell you why it is not.

One: Poppy had said she was going to be late and we said we were leaving now so as not to miss things.

Two: Our outfits were beautiful but very belly button baring.  It was Quite Cold outside.  No way in hell.

Three: Poppy’s reason for wanting us to wait: it was because she was uncomfortable going  into a group of that many Indians without Statute.  She said this.  Repeatedly and angrily, upon discovering that we hadn’t waited.  This made me uncomfortable.  In fact, throughout the night she reprised this theme of too many indians I am afraid of them.  Despite the fact that they were all lovely.  Complimentary on our appearance, on how nicely we were trying, and how well we were doing for being inexperienced, and generally totally friendly.  (Except to Statute and her boyfriend, who  a few people stopped to scowl at ferociously.  Statute didn’t notice.  Boyfriend did.  I did too, and smiled cheerfully at scowlers just to annoy them).

We danced.  I sucked, as always.  But I have fun sucking when I know what i’m trying to achieve, and I didn’t mess up the line too much or bump into people too much, so I had fun.  Poppy whinged about how she didn’t know if she could do it right.  Poppy’s boy was a perfectly gentleman, polite, graciously dealt with Poppy’s brattiness and threw himself enthusiastically into the dancing.  Way too good for her.  When the fun dancing (with sticks!  You hit sticks and twirl!  I LOVE IT) came, I didn’t have a partner for a while.  I joined some kids doing it, then Statute came and grabbed me into a line when someone stepped out to get a drink of water.  It was GREAT.  I had so much fun, and actually pretty much did it right.  lovely.

Result: I’d forgotten how good it feels to do things that make me live inside my body.  I need to so that more.  I feel asleep still counting the dance to drumbeats in my head.

Day two: RenFair.

I love RenFaires. And no one up here was free to play but Lol, and he wouldn’t enter into the spirit of it properly.  No spontaneous joy from him.  So, I figured, dress up pretty, go, play, see if I meet people.

In the spirit of bellybuttonbaring, it was a warm day, so I put on my favorite outfit: long green embroidered skirt, with matching halter top.  Bellybutton and back baring.  My hair was gorgeous: still straight at the top so the chestnut gleamed and falling in perfectly articulated waves at the ends.  I went.  I wandered.  I saw plenty of guys checking me out.  I smiled friendlily at them, in a come and talk to me fashion.  But I clearly do not give off the right vibe, for nary a one did.  But I had fun anyway.  I talked with the performers, and the stall people, and people in line.  I insulted the Cardinal and the Pope, bought an indulgence, joined in the cheering and heckling at the shows, shot arrows, fell off the impossible to climb ladder so enthusiastically I got applause, bought bizarre jams, and generally had a lovely time.

But, seriously?  WHY DO I NOT HAVE THE VIBE? Guys were absolutely checking me out, guys my own age, for a pleasant change!  I looked hot!  I smiled friendly!  I was clearly geeky and enthusiastic!  I WAS TOTALLY APPROACHABLE!