Tiny Dancer

A quiet Monday night, curled up on the couch with my puppers and the wood stove blazing away. I spent five out of the last seven nights out of the house, which is sort of amazing for a hermit like myself. Four of those nights I had choir rehearsals, and I have to admit that by the end of the week my voice was faltering, but our concert went really well (I think? I find it hard to be objective). The last piece we sang was a super-bouncy Bollywood-style number, and we were encouraged to let loose and move around to the music. I am incredibly scared of being the center of attention and had already asked my mother-in-law not to look at my butt (long story), so this was very daunting to me. Nevertheless, I sucked it up and shimmied and bopped around. In my mind, I was basically screaming, “LOOK AT MY SWEET-ASS MOVES!!!!” After the concert ended, I met Mark and my friends Heidi and Alex in the lobby and excitedly asked them how energetic I looked on stage…only to be met with blank stares. Alex said sweetly, “Well…you sort of mildly swayed when you noticed other people dancing.”

Last week was hard for me, maybe because of the severe lack of sun, or maybe just because I was so busy in the evenings. I felt supremely irritable and couldn’t seem to shake it off. It all culminated when I slipped and fell down a few stairs, hitting my chin on the bannister and landing really hard on the tile floor, bruising my tailbone. It hurt, yes, but my reaction to it was so over-the-top hysterical that it’s pretty obvious to me now that I was crying about many other things. I was doing the little kid sob — you know the kind? With the big deep intake of breath and the chest-heaving? Mark immediately ran downstairs to see if I was okay, and Luka jumped off the couch and also started freaking out — howling and whining and trying to climb into my lap. Poor Mark had one arm around the dog, trying to keep him off of me, and one arm around my shoulders, attempting to calm me down and eventually he just sort exclaimed, “I don’t know which of you to comfort first!”

After that, I could laugh, and in fact, I was sort of laughing as I was sobbing because I knew how absolutely ridiculous I was being. I was really quite embarassed afterwards, but in some ways it felt so cathartic to just let it all out, even if I am 28 years old and should probably have a better handle on my emotions by now.

Despite my fall (and my grumpiness) there were so many lovely things that happened last week, and I really did notice them.

That guy above is one of our only Christmas decorations and I like him so much I might keep him out all year round.

When Mark is out, Luka just waits and waits, never leaving his window post.

Alex turned 30 a few weeks ago (in my motherland!), so I made him a birthday cake. Despite the absolutely frightful-looking cursive, the cake was pretty damn good — chocolate zucchini cake with sour cream-chocolate frosting. Yum.

I know I sound like a crazy dog lady, but I love this guy. Love love love him. Oh, what did we ever do before him?

Like many others, I spent a lot of the weekend thinking a lot about Connecticut and guns and how people hurt each other. And how short life is, even if you get more time than most. I am so happy and grateful for the life I’ve built for myself. I never, ever forget that, even during a fall-down-the-stairs kind of week.