how (not) to spend your weekend

1. Lose the keys to your dad’s place, where you hope to spend the weekend.
2. Find the keys about half an hour after you had wanted to catch the train.
3. Take the train up to Rotterdam and find out only half the market stalls are present. Go food shopping anyway.
4. Take another train and end up in Leiden after a long, good day visiting cooking stores, coffee places, and book stores in Rotterdam.
5. Find out that those keys you found might have been on a key ring your dad gave you, but they’re the keys to your mom’s house.
6. Blame that on the fact that you came from a broken home.
7. Call your sister in Den Haag and ask to stay with her. Find out she’s at her boyfriend’s apartment so you have the run of the place. Take another train.
8. Finally collapse on the couch for a ten PM dinner of rotisserie chicken, flat bread, chocolate, chips, and cherries. Watch CSI.
9. Watch B. start sneezing and coughing and ask if he’s gotten a sudden cold until it hits you that your sister has a cat and both of you are allergic.
10. Sit in B.’s spot for a minute while he’s off scrounging toilet paper to blow his nose once every 2.1 seconds.
11. Start sneezing yourself and realize that comfy spot on the couch is likely where the cat always sits. (Have this confirmed by your sister later.)
12. Go into the bedroom and open all the windows. Sleep fitfully and have breakfast in bed the next day since the rest of the apartment is off-limits.
13. Go into the city the next day and enjoy some window shopping. Buy new water glasses for B. since you dropped and broke most of his. (Accidentally, for the record.)
14. Send B. on his way home while you go to your sister’s birthday party and get to eat all kind of delicious food.
15. Come home with a headache and wake up at 2:30 because your head hurts so much. Get up for some aspirin, then vomit a couple of times, just for good measure.
16. Go back to bed.
17. Wake up on Monday morning feeling very grateful that you don’t have to go to work today.
18. Go back to bed and sleep until 10 o’clock.
19. Spend all of your time wondering if those weren’t your dad’s keys, where the hell are they?
20. Find them in the same place you found your mom’s keys. Resolve not to tell B. how easily all the drama could have been avoided.
21. Go back to bed.


news from the front

So things have been kind of quiet over here. Part of that is because I’m working full time at the local hospital for the summer, without daytime access to WordPress. But mostly, it’s because I’ve been distracted by something else.

B. and I are breaking up.

I don’t want to write too much about it, mostly since it’s not solely my story to tell and B. never did really like being blogged about. So I’ll stick with this: we’re breaking up because we want different things in life. We’ve tried so hard to make it work, but we’ve had to admit defeat or risk annihilating each other in the process.

This kind of emotional upheavel is detrimental to blogging. These days, when I come home from work, I go back and forth between enjoying the last weeks I have with B. (coffee dates, hours spent watching Project Runway and The Big Bang Theory, cooking together) and packing up my stuff (books, lots of books). There are also a lot of tears. And thus not much time for blogging.

I’ll be writing a bit sporadically in the coming weeks as I adjust to my new life. Bear with me, please, as I find my feet.

B. and me (hey, it rhymes!)

Wednesday, June 6, marked our two-year anniversary. On Tuesday night, B. and I lay in bed talking about very early on in our relationship, before there was even really a ‘we’ to speak of. We had been kind of dating for about a month and a half and were very carefully not talking about relationship statuses. And what I remember most from that time is all the meals I missed. We’d meet for coffee at 3PM and then around dinner time, we’d still be there, talking. I’d be too afraid that if I mentioned dinner or my hunger, the date would end, so I didn’t. You guys know how much I love food, so voluntarily missing meals? I must have loved this guy, even then.

B. will kill me if I reveal too much personal stuff, so I’ll just keep it at that. I just want to tell you that I had a big exam (on systematic theology, no less) the morning after our first kiss. I remember sitting at my desk, trying to study with a big smile on my face, and floating through the exam. That was a pretty magical summer.

Two years later, there’s less magic but more love. We fight a lot, but we’re getting better at listening. We still like to eat. One of my favorite things to do on the weekend with B. is go downtown and have coffee together–except we won’t have long, meaningful conversations. No, we’ll both bring our books and/or magazines of choice and occasionally point out interesting tidbits to the other. I love that I have found a guy that relishes being alone together as much as I do.

I also love that he sends me links every day, that he buys my favorite foods while I’m away, that he allows me to mess up his house every week with my stuff and only gently asks me to gather it all up when I’ve taken over all empty surfaces. He’s proud of me when I accomplish something but also when I don’t. He tells me I’m beautiful but gets nervous when I tell him the same. He cheerfully lugs the groceries home from wherever we are, and always has an extensive plan for our days out. He is a good man, a kind man, and I love him for it.

penguin love

Isn’t this Penguin edition lovely? B. and I found two of them in a wonderful used bookstore here in Nijmegen and I’ve wanted to start collecting them ever since. (Space and money restrictions do a good job of limiting my enthusiasm, however.)

We found out early on that B. and I have a mutual interest in Agatha Christie – we both read pretty much all her books growing up and throughout our college days (although obviously not contemporaneously). These days, we watch the film versions together. Poirot, never quite my favorite, is really starting to grow on me.

My only disappointment is Poirot’s mustache. From all that reading about luxurious mustaches, I had expected them to protrude at least a couple more inches.

Luckily he does wear his patent-leather shoes faithfully on screen. At least that’s one less item on my list of “neurotic things to obsess about”.


So I have finally fallen down the rabbit hole that is the Pinterest wedding page. This makes B. very nervous as he isn’t at all sure he wants to get married (just so you know, the issue isn’t with me, but marriage in general). So I usually browse those pages when he isn’t around, to avoid the deer-in-the-headlights look.

But the thing is that despite my previous disastrous engagement at age 19, I do want to get married. So our compromise is that whenever I ask him if he wants to marry me (I like to spring it on him, hoping he’ll slip up and say yes) he says, sure, someday. (It’s very clear that this someday is a long time away. This explains why my own wedding board on Pinterest is called “hypothetical weddings”.)

It shouldn’t surprise you that if/when we get married, we don’t want a traditional wedding. We’re not a traditional couple as the age difference alone will testify, and the fact that he is atypical is one of the things I love about B. And of course, although I never executed it, I have already planned a wedding – white dress, flowers, pictures, cheesy music, the whole nine yards. I definitely don’t want to do that again.

I guess it says a lot about the person that I’ve become that the dresses I like the most on Pinterest technically aren’t wedding dresses, but simple, colorful bridesmaids dresses. (My favorite involves green and blue polkadots.) In fact, the only thing I might want to incorporate from Pinterest are these.

Because food is what we do best.


miami slice

B. and I like to send each other fun links. And after I sent him this, he sent me this (via Pinterest). We’re about three episodes into Dexter right now and loving it (even if I do have to look away whenever the blood starts to flow).

Awesome, right? (I mean, as awesome as ice cream can be that’s modelled on a show that glorifies a serial killer.) It even contains chocolate body parts.

Christmas break

Today, B. and I took advantage of Christmas break and walked around town together. (Amazingly, we weren’t the only ones, it was packed. It took us three tries to find a place to have some coffee, as all our favorite spots were filled up tight. Which makes me far less charitable to other shoppers, I have to say. Peace and goodwill to all men, until they impede my coffee-drinking progress, apparently.) We wandered from store to store, making a stop at the library (yay, new books to read! Richard Russo’s That Old Cape Magic is now lying next to me) and our local chain bookstore. And there we struck gold, as they were having a “75% off” sale. Do you know how cheap books become when they’re 75% off? I kept looking at my phone’s calculator in disbelief: am I really only going to pay 3 euros for this book? (I kind of doubted my math skills – seriously, simple arithmetic is not my forte – until we went to the register and our discount was more than sixty euros. That was a very good feeling.)

This was our haul:

The big hardcover book is a real treasure, the food photography within is so gorgeous I’m seriously considering buying an extra copy and cutting out several pages to hang framed on our still bare walls. I know, I know, cutting up books is morally questionable, but I might just do it anyway.

And the best part? At the register, B. surprised me by telling me those books were his late Christmas present to me. Wasn’t that nice of him?