Wednesday, February 02, 2005

away weekend

The weekend was snowful and cold -- therefore, we went to the beach.

Jacqui, my mom, and I drove over on Friday afternoon. It was the sort of day that looked warmer than it was; blue skies smiled down at us as we crossed rural Delaware. The ride over was completely unexciting, with the exception of that one surreal moment when a DUCK rose from nowhere and nearly sideswiped my car. If my mom and I hadn't both seen it, I'd've thought one of us must've been hallucinating.

On Saturday we did the unthinkable: we went shopping at the outlet stores. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but Jacqui loves to shop. This is very frightening to me; I do NOT love to shop. I don't enjoy crowds of people, I hate waiting in line, and browsing isn't something I do outside of Firefox. On the other hand, my two pairs of jeans have both developed new ventilation systems, so it was time.

How fortunate, then, that Jacqui was with us to enjoy the outing! We found two outlets for children's clothing and she made fast friends, if only temporarily, with a couple of toddlers -- one of whom walked right up to me and put his hands flat against my belly, looking up at my breasts with hungry eyes. I realize they're impressive right now, but I was NOT wearing my "buffet is open" t-shirt! (No, I don't actually own such a thing.) He followed us around one of the stores, hiding behind displays and grinning bashfully whenever I made eye contact, until his mother eventually came looking for him.

And what was she thinking, letting him wander around on his own? He was MAYBE two years old and cute-as-a-button, and all of the CODE ADAM stickers in the world wouldn't have saved him from a predator. He was out of her line of sight for at least ten minutes during which any number of nightmarish scenes could have taken place. I've never been an advocate of leashes for children, but what's wrong with a little old-fashioned hand-holding? Whatever happened to "stay with me"? What is WRONG with people??

Jacqui, snug in her stroller, had an excellent time. She touched more than she should have, she gifted many folks with smiles, and she filled her social-meter for the next two days.

And that was good because on Sunday we were snowed in. The three of us spent the day watching "men trying to kill their wives" movies on TNT, playing on the floor, and eating microwaved food. And it was Sunday afternoon when Jacqui stood a couple of feet away from me, then held onto my outstretched legs like gymnastic bars and WALKED TO ME.

Monday was a travel day, so we spent the bulk of the morning repacking; we spent the bulk of the afternoon driving to my mom's house. It was very late at night when Jacqui and I pulled into the snow-covered driveway of home; we used Mailman Tony's footprints as our path up to the front door, and we walked into an empty house.

Geoff arrived not long afterwards -- he had flown away for the weekend to spend some time with his folks and his brother in Canada (where it didn't snow on him at all -- where is the justice?). We spent the weekend sending each other text- and photo-messages with our new cellphones.

Today the puppies came home from the kennel, and now we are again one big happy family.

And THAT is the end of my story.