Sunday, October 23, 2011

Forever love...and Granny's new man.

One of my favorite things to do is go to church with my family. It's all about God, but there's just this certain feeling about going back to your hometown and having those you love sitting right beside you. One of my favorite people is always there waiting on the rest of the family: my grandma.

Granny is a sweet little Southern lady, and never fails, she is always sitting the second row from the back in our lil' Baptist Church. If she's not there, we quickly leave to find her because we know something is wrong. However, she is usually there expecting the rest of us to be late. Because I live out of town, she's never positive when I'll make an appearance. It always gives me the best feeling when I slide in the pew beside her, and she gets that surprised look on her face and gives me a huge hug. Nothing beats it.

About a month ago, I was sitting in the second to last pew beside Granny and the rest of the family, when I looked down and noticed something: my grandma was still wearing her wedding ring. My Granny and Papa were happily married for more than 50 years. Unfortunately, he suffered a bad stroke in his seventies and passed away about 11 years ago. My grandma, who is now in her early 80s, is still very much self sufficient. She's slowed down some, but still gets around really well.

Seeing her wedding ring reminded me of hearing her tell someone (after Papa had passed), "I'll never marry again. He was the only one for me." Thinking about this almost brought tears to my eyes. Not sure if it was the overwhelming emotion of missing my grandpa, the fact that I've yet to find that significant other, or maybe just the deep respect I felt for my grandma for having that one love and standing true to it, even if it meant living out the rest of her years a little lonesome from time to time.

I understand that bad things happen to good people sometimes. And...I don't look down on anyone who's been married more than once. Sometimes, it just doesn't work. However, I hope (if I ever do get married) to follow in my grandma's footsteps. To know that even if my husband does pass before me, that I was satisfied enough with the "forever love" we had, to live out the rest of my life happy.

With the above said, I slipped into the pew this morning beside my Granny and got a huge hug again. We were finishing up the last hymn when Granny motioned toward the door, asking if I wanted to slip out early. She usually doesn't do this, so I just thought she was hungry. I caught a ride with her to our usual Sunday lunch place, and it wasn't long before she mentioned the Denver Broncos game starting at 1 p.m. Wait, let me re-phrase that. This is how she put it, "...and Tebow starts playing at 1 p.m." I automatically started giggling as I know my Granny and Mom both became huge Tebow fans when he began playing for the Florida Gators. I'm actually not sure either of them really watched any football before he quarterbacked. They quickly gained respect for his Christian ways (on and off the field), paired with his leadership qualities and athletic ability. Both women in my family are Gator fans turned Bronco fans.

I joined Granny for the first three (ugly) quarters of the game, and on the drive to my parents' house to watch the last (awesome) quarter of the game, it dawned on me: Granny may not ever get married again, but she's found herself a new man. And...just a word of caution, she's almost as faithful a fan to Tebow as she was a wife to my grandpa, so don't ever say anything bad about him in front of her (if you value your life).

Sunday, October 9, 2011

There's no place like someone else's home. And...first date fun.

Yesterday proved to be a very productive Saturday. Not only was I a wild woman and hit up the Parade of Homes with my mom, but I also got to be a third wheel on a couple's first date. Okay, technically they didn't know I was on the date with them, but I was there in full force...just left before the goodnight kiss (which I highly doubt happened). More on this later. Read on. I promise you will be amused.

For those of you who've never experienced a Parade of Homes event, you haven't lived. It combines a few of my hobbies: people watching, discovering different likes and dislikes of homes to contribute to my future dream house, and last...but most important...fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. "Chocolate chip cookies?" you ask. Yes, but here's a helpful Parade of Homes tip: you have to visit most of the homes to actually find what I consider the "jackpot house". Some got tacky and offered popcorn in Styrofoam cups. I mean seriously, were they trying to sell a house or take me to a ballgame?

My parents aren't looking to buy a house, but they are in the process of renovating their bathroom, so mom was trying to get some ideas. For this reason, I felt somewhat guilty listening to the realtors' five-minute infomercials. Actually, I only felt guilty at the "jackpot house" because I knew the realtor was really making an effort.

Let me give you some more tips on how to make the most out of your Parade of Homes tour:

  1.  Convince the person you are with to try out the tub or shower (fully clothed with no water, of course). Be sure to take a picture to document for future use (As demonstrated below).
  2. Sit down on one of the toilets (with pants on, of course), and freak out other people when they first walk in and haven't yet realized it's staged.
  3. Pick up one of the fake apples in the kitchen and wash it in front of the realtor and pretend like you're about to take a bite.
  4. Walk up to a fellow Parade of Homian and, with a very disturbed look on your face, ask: "What in the world are you doing in my house?!?"
  5. Walk up to a fellow Parade of Homian and ask: "Did you hear about the sex offender who lives next door?"

There's much more you can do...just use your imagination. This was just to help get the ideas flowing. You're welcome.

Unfortunately, my mom found a tile and style she loved, so I guess I'm going to have to start baking my own cookies. It was a sweet ride while it lasted.

From there, I took myself to a nice dinner. I usually sit at the bar, so I don't feel as lonely, but decided a table was a better idea last night. I was enjoying my tapas and glass of sangria when a young couple was seated at the table beside me. Within three to four sentences, I picked up it was a first date. Jackpot!

I found myself considering the dos and don'ts of dating (especially the critical first few dates) as I listened to the loud, overbearing young woman drone on about herself. I think the guy maybe got in five sentences the entire date. I was feeling bad for him, and predicting how there would probably not be a second date, when his phone rang and he answered it. He talked on it for about three to four minutes, and it was enough for me to decide that I would not solicit friendship from either of these individuals. I didn't want a headache from listening to her, and I didn't want his rude habits rubbing off on me.

I do realize that I, eating alone, was criticizing someone's first date (at least they had a date, right?), but I couldn't help and think the mistakes we all make too often in these situations. For instance, within the past two years, I've been hit in the face by a nervous guy who was spastically trying to give me a goodbye hug in his truck, and I've had a guy squeeze a tail off a shrimp and get shrimp juice and seasoning all over my new blouse. On the other side, I'm sure I've told too much about myself (rather than keeping some mystery as my parents instruct) or have let my goofy side come out too early. We're all human, though. If the other person can't accept that, it's not meant to be.

Lessons to be learned this post: Parade of Homes is as interesting as you make it...and delicious, too. Also, keep those bad first dates coming. It provides us lonely people entertainment and blogging topics.

I went to see a movie today and stopped in the bathroom on the way out. I was in the stall when I heard this woman walk in whistling like nobody's business. Seriously, she had a stronger whistle than Andy Griffith. As I hovered the bowl, in my best effort not to touch the seat, I tried to determine the tune. It sounded very animated, but I never could put my finger on it. It didn't take long before I started giggling uncontrollably in my own stall.

That's it. That was the story.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

No worries...God and Torie are watching over you.

I am a Christian and grew up in a Christian home, so when someone says, "God is always watching you," the thought doesn't bother me. I know the Boss upstairs has my best interest in mind. In general, though, it is a little creepy to know someone is watching you...especially if you just happen to catch them staring. For example, I've watched movies before where one of the scenes showed the husband watching his wife while she was sleeping. Some might think that's sweet. It would freak me out. If you can't sleep, get up and do productive.

This whole thought of people watching people (I guess I have no room to talk. I've already admitted in an earlier post that I enjoy observing people interact.) came to me in the Best Buy parking lot this afternoon. I was finishing off a delicious Chick-Fil-A snack (knew they wouldn't want my greasy paws touching electronics), when I noticed a sweet-looking elderly lady walking her small dog out of PetsMart and struggling to get him in the back seat. My initial thought was, "Wow, Tor, that's probably going to be you someday. Your day will revolve around getting dog food from PetsMart." I thought some other things that I'm not going to mention in this blog, and then it hit me: I'm watching this woman, and she has no idea. Who is watching me?

I looked around (with french fry crumbs probably all around my mouth), and felt safe no one was watching me. I then thought about all the times I do crazy things and think no one can see me. These "crazy things" usually involve music. I jam out in my truck. I also enjoy jamming out in the gym parking lot. This has caused some humiliation before because when my ear buds are in and my iPod is on, no one exists but me and Daddy Yankee (he is a Latino rapper for any of you who aren't familiar). Actually, it was Miley Cyrus who I was dancing with one day in the parking lot. She told me to put my hands up in the air because they were playing my song, and I was so lost in the music that I listened. About the time I was swinging my hands around in the air, I noticed a very cute guy smiling at me from inside his truck. Okay, so yeah, he was laughing at me. I took a bow and waved.

Think of the habits we all share. The ones we pray to the good Lord no one sees us in action. Maybe those pants are just a little too tight, and you have to pick your wedge; maybe you ran out of Kleenex to blow your nose (you know what I mean); maybe you get caught re-adjusting your bra...the list is endless! Who is sitting in the Best Buy parking lot watching you pick your nose? It's probably just God, but be careful...I might be there watching (and picking up future blog topics), too.

Alone at last! Or are you...?