{living in sin} In the Present

by Rachel on July 30, 2012

Friday night I experienced a first: I burst into tears while out for a steak dinner.

On Friday evening, after a killer week and a million more things going wrong, Eric and I went Fry’s to get a bunch of items for the house. While we were there, I felt myself slowly regressing to my childhood. I was so physically and mentally exhausted and kept checking out of shopping and conversation because I was desperately trying to find a place to sit down. While Eric talked to the salesman about the mounting brackets, I was wandering around in circles in a bit of a daze, trying to find a low, unoccupied shelf on which to curl up. I realize now that this is not the behavior of a normal adult who is of sound mind and body, but at the time it made perfect sense. I’m reminded of a story Eric told me about when he was in college and came home one night (or morning?) very drunk. His roommate asked him something and his response was a desperate, near-crying, “Tried…can’t.” And then as an explanation: “Body no juice.” Then he promptly lay down on the futon and fell asleep. We often say this when we’re tired or frustrated, but it was beyond true for me on Friday. Body no juice.

Once we were through at Fry’s, we went to Texas Land & Cattle for dinner. Toward the end of our meal, we were discussing the fact that we didn’t have a bedroom set yet, and Eric suggested we go to Gallery Furniture and then launched into his impression of their super annoying commercials. This is nothing new, and, because both the original and his impression are annoying, I did as I usually do, and mock protested. But apparently, my body thought it was a real protest, and it just couldn’t handle any more frustration, so after I said, “Nooooo!”…I burst into tears. I didn’t even realize what was happening at first, but then Eric said, “Zsas…are you crying?!” and I covered my face with my hands and said, “No!”…and cried harder. I was so confused that I started to laugh, really hard, but then I’d sort of start choking…and then I’d just start sobbing again. Eric, naturally, was horrified, and kept apologizing, but I couldn’t stop. I had no reason to be crying — I don’t hate Mattress Mack that much — but I couldn’t stop. The waiter came back with the box I had requested, and our check, and I just kept crying (while repeatedly saying “I’m not crying!” through my tears). I was trying to be polite and thank the waiter, as I normally would, but I think it came across as really unsettling, given the fact that I was crying so hard. We paid the bill and I walked out with my face in my hands, still laughing, choking, and unable to control my tears.

I really have no idea why I lost it at that moment, for no apparent reason. But (I guess?) I’m happy to say that that was rock bottom for me. After getting caught up on sleep this weekend, I’m beginning to feel like my body has juice once again. We got a ton done and though it didn’t all go smoothly, and there are still a lot of boxes to unpack, I feel like we’ve turned a corner. Today is the first day in a long time wherein I’ve felt like I’m truly present. I’m not distracted by any house drama and it feels so good.

And aside from being happy because I feel present, I’m also really happy about the actual presents that have come into the new house!

Last month, Eric suggested that we give each other housewarming gifts when we moved in. I loved this idea because I love gifting, and I was really excited that he had suggested it. I actually pretty surprised about it, as he usually gets really nervous about gift-giving. I love picking out gifts for people but Eric always gets stressed and asks me for a list, which is a bit disappointing for someone like me. I was impressed that he was feeling so confident but his confidence was warranted; he ended up getting me something that I had secretly been thinking that I’d love to receive: a vintage telephone.

My gift to Eric was an elephant bank. He had mentioned needing something for all his change while we were packing, and he had been on the lookout for elephant decor for our new bedroom (the room’s theme is “safari lite”). I liked this modern, clean take. Unfortunately, it arrived in a million little pieces on Friday morning, but the customer support guy from Casa.com was awesome and they overnighted me a new one which arrived in one piece. Eric loved it, which made me really happy.

The best gift for both of us, though, came from Eric’s mom. My uncle has an area in his house with framed photos of nearly all the women in the family, from my great-grandma down to my cousin Ella, and I love it. I wanted to create something similar, so last month, I asked my mom to send me some old photos of the women in my family. As I was planning this, I thought it would be cool to include photos from Eric’s family as well, so I reached out to his mom and she said she’d send me some pictures. On Thursday, I received two fat envelopes from her. She sent tons of photos and divided them up by person and included typed explanations about each person.

It was like Ancestry.com exploded and it was amazing! A lot of the stories were new to Eric too, so we read them all together. One of his great-grandmas hunted rattle snakes, loved practical jokes, and spoke her mind freely. Another great-grandma’s sole goal in life was to be a mother and grandmother. I’m really excited to start working on the photo project, though it’s likely going to be a little while before I get to it. This week, I’m just focused on getting working Internet, figuring out what the hell to do about our missing bedroom set, and not bursting into tears at inopportune times. It’s not quite hunting rattlesnakes, but it needs to be done.