Monday, December 13, 2010

If you are actually attacked by a bear...

I've been daydreaming a lot lately about hiking the Appalachian Trail. Haven't worked out any firm plans yet, and probably won't for a long time, but for some reason I am totally fascinated by blogs about and information on planning a thru-hike of the AT.

I've spent an obscene amount of time looking at gear. An extraordinary amount of time reading about dehydrating food. More attention than I knew I had to discussions on how to pee with your pack on. And hours and hours and hours reading every portion of, where I found the following piece of information:

"If you are actually attacked by a bear, you should fight for all you are worth with anything at hand – rocks, sticks, fists." (see the section about "wildlife")

I wonder how I would do at punching a bear.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Friday, early evening:
Cab driver: So y'all look dressed up!
Me: Yeah, my sister's getting married tomorrow so we're on our way to the rehearsal.
Cab driver: That's wonderful! So is she following in your footsteps or will you be following in her's?
Me: (awkward pause while I try to figure out how to answer this) Umm, a little of both?
Cab driver: Uhhh.... Ok. (*crickets*)

Earlier today:
Me: Oh, I wasn't in yesterday because my sister got married this weekend.
Co-worker: Oh, that's wonderful! (looks at my left hand, sees no ring) Is she older or younger?
Me: She's younger.
Co-worker: Huh.
Me: (mentally slams head down on desk)

My sister had an incredibly lovely wedding this past weekend. My new brother-in-law is great, I love them both, and I'm totally happy for them. They're coming for Christmas this year and I'm very excited to get to see them again so soon. The reception was a rocking party during which I witnessed an incredible of amount of dancing by all of my relatives. It was outstandingly fun and I've been having a great time looking through the pictures.

................................. however.
I just wish my grandparents didn't give the same shit that I don't give about when (or just even whether or not) I ever walk down the aisle again. Multiple times over the weekend both grandparents said "Maybe now you'll get a ring!" Grandma kept saying how it was good to bring my boyfriend to as many weddings as possible so that he'd get the idea. During the reception, she pulled me close and started hashing out the details of my hypothetical wedding. Right before we left the hotel to drive home, Grandpa not so subtly implied that I should get married as soon as possible because they'd really like to be there and they aren't going to be around for too long.

Last year over Thanksgiving Grandma declared, "Well don't worry, you won't be alone forever." And when I stared blankly at her, not knowing how to respond, she clarified by saying "I mean, you'll get married again someday!"

It mostly bothers me because the message I get from all of it (and I've been getting it since before the ink was dry on the divorce decree) is that I am somehow not complete unless I'm married. I'm like a loose end that they want to see taken care of before they die.

And I seriously dislike the implication that I must be dieing to get married and it's just that my boyfriend needs a little prodding to pop the question. What if I don't want to get married right now or potentially ever? Why can't my grandparents get that? I do my best to brag about grad school and other things that I'm proud of and talk about how great my friends are and how full and fun my life is. But that all seems to just fly over their heads. It always comes back to when will I get married.

The rest of my family is great great great about this. My mom (having seen more closely what I went through before) is in absolutely no hurry for me to get engaged to anyone. My dad has repeatedly said he doesn't care what my tax status is so long as I'm happy. My aunt and uncle, who got to meet my boyfriend for the first time this weekend, simply said how much they liked him and they were happy that I'm happy.

So I suppose I'm actually lucky that it's only grandma and grandpa. But still. I hate to say it but I'd call and write more often if we could have a single conversation without this coming up.