Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Flourless Feasts

Have any of you experienced the feast or famine phenomenon? You know, when nothing is really happening, not much is going on, and then suddenly everything is happening, everything is going on (and then some)?

After nearly a year on the couch (and the knee to show for it), I've suddenly become insanely busy. Auditions, a new church calling, helping out with a film project, a new part-time job, and writing and directing the ward roadshow (which I could write a novel about. I really could. And I really want to. But I won't.).

I've felt like a useless lump of a thing this past year on the couch, so it's wonderful to be busy once more. However, the training for my new job occurred in a different state than the one in which I currently reside, and as a result I missed celebrating both my birthday and Valentine's Day with my husband. (We're going out tomorrow night to commemorate both occasions. Have you ever had the Godiva chocolate cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory? It has layers of flourless chocolate cake, chocolate cheesecake, and chocolate mousse. Did I mention the chocolate cake is flourless? I may have wept the first time I tried it, and I am not ashamed of that.)

So, in honor of my birthday, I admonish you to try the Godiva chocolate cheesecake. For your own good.

And, in honor of last week's Valentine's Day, I present to you the engagement photo we ultimately decided against:

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Call Me Letisha

Last week I received a voicemail from a person whose voice and telephone number I didn't recognize. He sounded a little like Barry White. This is what he said:

"Hey, baby. Been thinkin' about you. Wish would call me. You know I would treat you right, Letisha. Call me, baby."

Hmmm, I thought. Too bad my name's not Letisha. If it were, I know he would treat me right.

A few nights later, I got another message from the same man:

"It's me, Letisha. And your phone is off the hook or somethin'. So call me, baby. I'm still up."

Hmmm, I thought. Too bad my name's not Letisha. If it were, I totally would have called him, 'cause I was still up, too.

This morning, while I was getting ready for church, my cell phone rang. I recognized the number. It was him. I answered:

"Hi, this is Emmelyn."

"Letisha?"

"No, this is Emmelyn. You've been dialing the wrong number."

"This isn't Letisha?"

Pause.

"No. This is not Letisha. This is Emmelyn. On my voicemail, it says Emmelyn. Please stop calling this number."

"Oh. I was looking for Letisha. Sorry."

He hasn't called back. So Letisha, if you're out there: Call him. He's probably still up. And he will treat you right.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Of Oak, Pine, and Particle Board

Ever since my marriage in August of 2003, I have been searching. Searching for something that seemed unattainable. Searching for something I feared I would never find. Searching . . . for a reasonably priced, not-made-out-of-plywood bedroom set.

My quest began with hope (as most quests do). That hope was quickly dashed, however, when I walked through the doors of a store that claimed to be part of the largest, most reasonably priced furniture chain in Southern California, and was immediately confronted with this:



This bedroom set, the furniture chain employee cheerily informed me, is called the Palm Court. My apologies if anyone reading this actually owns this bedroom set. I don't mean to question your taste. But seriously, what are you thinking? And also: we can never be friends. (And also: do you live on a Jamaican plantation?)

After the Palm Court fiasco of 2004, my bedroom set search went from bad to worse. Browsing Crate and Barrel one day, I thought I'd found my salvation, but, when I looked at the pricetag and realized that my salvation would cost an entire month's salary, my hopes were dashed. I mean, please. I wasn't about to pay an entire month's salary for my salvation, of all things.

(But just so you know, if I had a million dollars, I would waltz right into Crate and Barrel, and purchase one of their beautiful bedroom sets. With CASH.)

Some of you, knowing my affinity for a certain Swedish warehouse, might wonder why I didn't just drive a truck on over to Ikea. Surely they must have a reasonably priced bedroom set, you might say. And you would be right. And I was just about to purchase such a bedroom set when I happened to read the fine print and realized with dismay that their bed frames fit a European king mattress, and we have a California king. Stupid Europeans and their more uniformly shaped mattresses.

After Ikea, I gave up for a while. Sometimes my strength would return for a fleeting moment, and I'd be drawn to a 40% OFF! sign in a store window, only to be disappointed when I worked up the courage to venture inside. One night, my fevered brain even considered ordering furniture from Target, but, much as I love the place, I couldn't bring myself to purchase a headboard that looked, from the picture on the website, like it might turn out to be more than slightly orange.

And so, my husband and I lived without the objects of my desire. And my husband, being a typical male in some respects, stated that he didn't care. He didn't need a nightstand, he informed me; the plastic box full of clothes he hadn't worn in years (some with price tags still attached) would do just fine. And our dresser was fine, too: the dresser I'd purchased in grad school; the one my then-boyfriend helped me carry up the stairs and put together (he put the top on backwards, but I never told him, 'cause he was being all manly and Mr. Fix-It and stuff). Once in a while, the bottom would fall out of one of the drawers, or the entire front panel would come off, but my husband always re-attached it with remarkable efficiency (he's pretty manly, too, you know).

And then, in January of 2007, just when it seemed all hope was lost, a miracle occured. While searching Craigs List (love it) with furniture-related despair in my heart, I found an ad for a (dare I say it?) very reasonably-priced, very lovely bedroom set. It seemed too good to be true, but it wasn't. The ad was for a store nearby that had just opened - a little store in a strip mall where one could order one of five different styles of furniture, in one of eight different colors. And so we ordered. And so it arrived. And there was an agonizing moment when I thought it wasn't going to fit through our bedroom door. But it did. And when we put the bed together, the very heavy, real wood frame only fell on Steve's toe once. (He was very manly about it.) And, when we woke up the next morning, I felt like I was in a hotel. A beautiful, non-Jamaican hotel. And my husband? He loves it. And he doesn't miss his plastic box full of clothes he never wears. Not even the littlest bit. (It's a good thing, too, because that plastic box and all it contained is now resting peacefully in the back room of Salvation Army.)

I'm not going to show you the bedroom set yet, because I still need to hang curtains and do a few other non-manly, decorative things. But, before I head off to dreamland in my antique-stain sleighbed, I will tell you this:

Sometimes, dear readers, if you hope long enough, and never, EVER give up, wishes really do come true.