{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.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie July 30, 2012 at 11:19 am

What a rough week! I’ve definitely had those moments where I was so exhausted I couldn’t continue to carry on like a normal human, usually when there are too many compounding stressful factors.

That photo idea sounds amazing, can’t wait to see your final product!


2 Mel July 30, 2012 at 11:29 am

Your reaction reminds me a bit of being in a minor car accident. Everything is OK but after being hit you go into shock and you wind up crying crazy tears just to get the tension out of your body. Tears are natural regardless of the setting – maybe your body was just tired of waiting for an excuse to release them.

Anyway, we’ve all been that girl who cries for no reason at dinner (I actually did this once several months ago at a friend’s birthday – we were at Dick’s Last Resort and all of a sudden I had an unexplainable fit of tears. (I think it had something to do with the poke-fun-at-you hats the staff makes everyone and mine reading “High Maintenance;” and of all the things to make fun of me for, I just felt like no one knew me. OY.)) and I’m glad things have turned around so fast! PHOTOSSSS! of the house please!


3 Paul (@minutrition) McConaughy July 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

It’s good you told your readers that what Eric got you was a telephone. If they’re not old movie fans they wouldn’t have know what it it. Does it work or is it Body no juice?

I can remember sitting on the floor in the bedroom, back against the bed, bawling… although I can’t remember what triggered it now. It’s always good to know you’re normal!

Keep up the great life! Paul


4 IDK My BFF Jes July 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I’ve def been there! Ugh. how awkward and embarassing, but you still can’t seem to stop. Mine happened from a mix of moving stress (no where near as complicated as yours has been) and work stress. And it’s always in public. Why can’t it happen at home, or in the car?


5 Sarah July 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Hi Rachel,

I’ve never commented before but read your blog often. I had to comment on this post because it make me laugh out loud. My fiance and I are getting married in 3 months and purchased our home last December. We were extremely lucky that our house experience went perfectly (closed on time, had our house keys handed to us at closing, had a week to move from our apartment to our house) and even with all of those things it was a nightmare.

I vividly remember one night, probably two weeks in, putting yet another layer of paint on our family room walls. Our stuff was packed a mile high in the middle of the room, I hadn’t slept for days, and we’d spent what felt like our life savings at Home Depot and Chipotle in the course of a few weeks. I looked around and saw the endless mess, and just started to bawl. Snot running sobs that sent our dogs under the chairs. It felt like no matter how much work we did, we barely made a dent. It had been weeks and there wasn’t a single.room.done. It scared the holy hell out of my fiance, and I just couldn’t stop. We still laugh every time we hear the words “baked brie” – the paint color we spent over $100 on because I was convinced it was THE COLOR for our huge living room, only to hate it on the walls.

You’ll eventually have everything put away, and you’ll really really love the house. Projects will become fun again, because they will be smaller and you can take your time with them. The house will lose the smell of the old owners and start to smell like home. You’ll get there, don’t worry


6 Rachel July 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Ahhh, Sarah, this comment summed up SO MUCH about our experience!! “we’d spent what felt like our life savings at Home Depot and Chipotle in the course of a few weeks.” YES!!! And glad I’m not the only one who has splurged on paint and then not loved it. (“Sugar bean” is the problem around here haha.)

Also, thank you for addressing the smell thing! It’s totally freaking me out…I’ve noticed that certain rooms (like the ones with new floors and paint) don’t smell like the old owners, but they don’t smell like us yet, and the upstairs rooms are just totally the old owners. Such a weird small thing and I’ve been wondering if/when it will change!


7 Sarah July 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Honestly the smell thing was tough for me too, partly because I never expected it. Apparently my brain thought the house would smell like us immediately upon entering, so every time I walked in it felt like it was still their house. I guess the best way to explain it is that it made it hard for me to “bond” with the house right away. It took about 3 weeks for our pups to stop regressing into territory marking nutsos, and about 8 weeks for the smell to go away completely.

Looking back now all I can remember is a blur of misery and an empty bank account. But it does eventually end, and we honestly love and enjoy our house every day. I can’t wait to have a real Christmas in it this year.


8 Rachel July 31, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Thinking about the holidays makes me SO excited! I was gushing to one of my coworkers about how excited I was and he was like, “Is that…is that a tear in your eye?” Ha…I think my excitement for holiday decor was clear. I seriously cannot wait!


9 emily hassman July 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Oh dang, I just caught up reading about all your moving woes. I’m glad you’re making it through! And that vintage phone is a gem.

I’ve had one of those unreasonably exhausted/crying in public incidents before, although mine was at Best Buy followed by Carrabas. I started crying when there was a wait at the restaurant, because I was simply too exhausted to sit at the bar. I ended up sitting on the floor of the handicap stall… and crying, because it was so gross. Although, mine ended up all being caused by a wicked UTI + PMS. Yikes. Take care of yourself!!!


10 kate July 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

did you feel totally refreshed after the cry? cries like that usually do that for me. (i’m not a naturally teary girl) glad you feel like you got somethings crossed off your lists this weekend. still handing you a box of tissues, just in case there’s another (much needed) break down in there.


11 Rachel July 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm

You know, I really did! I’m not a big crier either (I tear up at stuff on TV easily but I don’t actually cry that often) but a lot of times, I don’t find it’s a relief. I usually just have a huge headache and a puffy face. But now that I think about it, I’ve had a few sort of spontaneous, alone-in-my-car-feeling-overwhelmed cries throughout this moving process, and that has felt super cleansing! I think if it depends on the reason for the cry for me, but yeah, these cries that feel like summer storms — unexpected, happen in those moments when you don’t see it coming, end quickly — tend to really be cleansing and refreshing.

Thanks for the virtual tissues but hopefully I won’t need them for a while!


12 Mandy July 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Aw man, this is why moving’s the worst. It exhausts/overwhelms you to a point that you just can’t fight anymore. And then, yes, you end up in tears and delirious somewhere. For me, it was at Ikea. Blergh.

I’m moving this week from California to Texas, so I imagine there may be a meltdown somewhere around New Mexico.

Glad everything’s looking up for you! I love the adorable elephant bank!


13 Rachel's Mom July 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm

That reminds me of the play that Beth was in, when she was on the floor bawling her head off after everything that had happened to her during the show, and the mother in the play says, “She’s destroyed with tiredness.” I think you just happened to be destroyed with tiredness and Eric’s commercial impression was the tipping point. At least it’s one of those things you can laugh about now.


14 Rachel July 31, 2012 at 12:04 pm

LOVE both of y’alls gifts!! And, true story, I knew a guy in college who dated Mattress Mack’s daughter. …


15 Amanda August 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Oh man, I’ve had the kind of crying experience you described. It was during a university class when the professor asked me a question. She ended up giving me all kinds of “life advice” while I tried to convince her I wasn’t crying (but I totally was).

Those photos are fantastic, a real treasure!


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