Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Still. catching. up.

In case you are sick to death about hearing me drone on about how great Salt Lake City is, here is the horrible thing about SLC I mentioned in my last post: My stylist doesn't live here. I know this is probably petty to those of you who are not hair-challenged and that everyone has to have a bloggy moment about hating their new haircut, but that's the way it is, and I will try to make mine brief: First, I got my hair cut by a person who didn't look like she was a total masochist--she was actually very nice--and it was horrendous. It's probably my fault for expecting her to interpret "I don't mind how much you need to take off" as what it really meant, which was "Please make it 3 inches longer and naturally straight and fine," so I accept full responsibility. But it was way, way bad. As in, I first left thinking, "Well, this is a little more Markie Post than I wanted to go" to "Markie Post? I wish. It's more like Marky Mark, but with less Funky Bunch." UGH. But my sister's miracle worker stylist triaged it for the wedding and I now feel I can at least go out in public without people going, "Dude, does that person with the manly-man hair-helmet have boobs?"

Okay, and as of today, I can now add another horrible thing about da SLC: the Junipers are no longer in it. But more about their visit and the absolutely insufferable cuteness that was allowed to proliferate between the Matic and Juniper offspring will have to wait for next time, because I have all this stuff I need to say about my sister's wedding and Traveling Alone.

My sister's been married before, you see. The only word I can use to describe her ex without getting sued is probably "unsavory." We [and I do mean "we"--the entire extended Matic family] were pretty darn happy when they split. Suddenly, she was herself again, and I realized how far apart we'd grown in the three years she'd been married and had placed herself in what amounted to a self-imposed exile from our family. We got together in New York City one weekend shortly after her divorce was final, and she became the first family member (outside of the two involved directly in the process) to find out D was going to become part of our family. I worried she might be hurt or pissed, anticipating even more pressure from my parents about her family situation, but my sister's not as selfish as me: she was thrilled. When we parted, she kissed her hand and pressed it gently to my still-flat belly, and I cried.

So when we heard about The New Guy about 2 years ago, we were skeptical. He's been married before, too. He has a child who's now six. So we ran him through the wringer the first weekend he met all of us: we teased, asked tough questions about his past, pressed him about his Intentions and were probably so inappropriately protective that had he not been so smitten with my sister, he might have had the presence of mind to be pissed about it. But he couldn't see anything but her, and so he survived. They moved in together last year and apparently he finds a great deal of charm in people who can be perky at 5AM and who keep giant, breathy boxer dogs that think they are throw pillows. So when I was asked to be Matron D'Honour at their wedding, I accepted. Once it was discovered that the wedding fell the weekend before Daddymatic's new job started, it was decided I would go Alone. As in, without my husband or my baby.

Unlike Rebecca, my nerves kicked in beforehand. I felt D had had so much going on this month that to add this to it wouldn't be fair. I mean, the twin pillars of his world had just left two days previously, and Daddymatic's work schedule would mean he'd need to have *gasp* a SITTER for several hours the first day I was gone.

But like Rebecca, I was also fine, and so was my kid. His babysitter Leah brought her daughter, who's two, and they taught him to high-five. Again. He's apparently pretty smitten with "Leeee-yah," and I tried to explain to Wood what a compliment it was that he kept calling her that. Daddymatic took him to parties, on hikes and to fun little markets as they explored the city together.

And I got to be with my sister, my beautiful, strong, smart, baby sister, and focus on her and her Big Day for a whole weekend. Her beloved and I stayed up late the first night arguing about sports and talking about war (he was in Desert Storm) and I got to crack jokes at the Bridesmaid's Brunch and the Rehearsal Dinner, when I read some funny haiku Daddymatic penned for the occasion. The wedding was gorgeous, and the reception was enough fun to probably not be totally legal. But what was most important was that I got to Be There for her in a way I never have before: no adorable but demanding toddler, no winsome but (wink, wink) distracting husband, no other demands on my time but hers. Now of course I felt totally awkward for turning their wedding night into a fun but completely uncomfortable pajama party while, at their insistence, we got takeout sushi and watched Wedding Crashers in our ratty post-partywear, so I finally took matters into my own hands and fairly pushed them towards their nuptial bed and retreated to my room across the house.

And the travel? People kept saying "Oh, twelve hours in an out of airports! Poor you." "A 4-hour layover? In Newark? That stinks." And I just smiled, knowing that I'd see my baby soon, but also that I could enjoy twelve hours of mystery-novel-readin', boutique-browsin', crossword-doin', coffee-sippin' relaxation before that happened.

But I'm back, and I'm happy. I missed my man and my boy and even my 6AM-noisy cats, and where they are feels like home.