Should I be ashamed that this past weekend began and end with us eschewing vegetables and ordering pizza? Obviously the answer is yes, I should be ashamed. But oh man, I love take-out pizza. And sometimes there are weekends that just need pizza to happen… sometimes they even need it twice. Sometimes you just want to eat dinner out of a greasy box and throw away paper plates. Sometimes you want dinner to come to you, the final element of the full circle began by those long ago hunter-gatherers ancestors. Fellow pizza-ordering lovers, let us have no shame. Some days are for kale salad and organic free-range roasted chicken, and some are for Hawaiian hand-tossed with that awesome butter garlic dipping sauce for the crust.
I helped throw a baby shower for a friend on Saturday, which meant that Friday night was a marathon of studying, game planning, and miniature fruit tart making. My mother in law is a fantastic cook and for Christmas she gave me a set of miniature tart pans and her renowned sweet tart dough recipe. It was therapeutic really, pressing that yummy dough into so many little shells and then sliding them out in all their buttery glory. My new passport came last week, meaning that my name is officially changed on all major documents, but strangely, making the family recipes that James’ mom has perfected over the years makes me feel more a part of their clan than an updated passport and awful picture.
The majority of Saturday was spent celebrating Christine and the fast-approaching birth of her little babe. When I see my friend about to become a mother, I am shocked to realize that we have grown up. All of us. Many of my friends are on their second or third child, buying houses, making professional names for themselves, building beautiful and full lives. How did it happen? How did we go from college kids who ordered pizza at midnight and made no concrete plans to grown-ups [who, admittedly, still ordered pizza twice in one weekend]?
After more marathon studying Saturday afternoon, James and I went to go see the sole DC performance of “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host” starring Ira Glass from This American Life.* James grew up listening to TAL, but I didn’t discover it till the year I lived in Paris. Without Internet in my tiny apartment, I would load a couple episodes in the cold second floor exterior stairwell and then carry my laptop back up to my room. Ira Glass became my friend that year, as I blazed through the archives sitting in my little studio high above Paris. When he came on stage I wanted to stand up and yell “THANK YOU FOR KEEPING ME COMPANY EVERY EVENING IN PARIS AND CAN WE BE FRIENDS IN REAL LIFE?!?!?!?!?” but it would be pointless. Everyone who listens to TAL routinely feels that way about Ira. When we bought tickets to the show we knew nothing about it beyond his presence, but it was perfect. I went from snort belly laughing to actual, full-fledged sobbing several times. Yes, for me perfection means a total emotional purge that covers a wide spectrum. We ended our evening with milkshakes and fries at Burger Tap and Shake, because once you have started your weekend with pizza, you might as well plunge full steam ahead.
Unsolicited marriage advice from an unqualified person: go on real dates with your spouse. The type where you plan in advance, experience something new, change out of your couch clothes, and ride the metro all giggly around the city.
My mom passed through town on Sunday night and we piled on the couch to watch figure skating because I think it is the most beautiful display of athleticism and grace ever. She painted my nails dark purple and I proudly showed off our living room remodel. We ended the weekend the way we end many weekends, with friends at the table playing viciously competitive games. Oh, and ordering pizza, of course.
I hope your weekend was full of the very best things, like deep belly laughs, family recipes, babies, board games, and greasy pizza boxes .
*If you don’t listen to TAL podcasts, you really should. I usually end up laughing and crying in almost every episode. Plus, it gives you fantastically random facts to insert into conversation and if you happen to meet another TAL listener, the connection is instant. If you need a place to start, some of my favorites are Act V, Notes on Camp, Americans in Paris, and Prayer.