Thursday, July 31, 2008

The History of the Pickle Tree

I like to think that I am a smart person. That's a particularly hard thing to say without sounding ridiculously arrogant, but I am, I'm really smart. Not street smart, no way. I mean, my closest neighbors while I was growing up were cows, and the biggest threat I had to worry about was Lyme Disease, so who are we kidding? But I am exceptionally book smart with an uncanny ability to remember an obscene amount of details.

I got straight A's in high school, and my 4.0 average in college was only marred because my boyfriend of six years had the bad manners to break my heart mid-semester. (It was all downhill from there, seeing that shortly thereafter I stopped going to college all together. Some would say that was not exactly a smart choice. I prefer to leave off the label and simply call it a choice.)

Tim is smart about different things. For the complete lack of street smarts that I posses, he makes up for in spades. He also has a great deal of common sense (which I also lack sometimes), amazing instincts, and more knowledge about the music industry that one person should have.

Brains notwithstanding, I do have my moments of sheer stupidity. So does Tim. We affectionately refer to these instances as "Jessica Simpson Moments" (JSMs)

The most famous of these JSMs involves the Pickle Tree.

For a while Tim went through a pickle phase, and any meal he ate needed to have a pickle accompany it. So one night as we were eating hamburgers and french fries, I find myself staring thoughtfully at the jar of pickles.

"What's the deal with pickles, anyway?" I asked Tim.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean what is it, really?"
"Are you kidding?" he asked, incredulous.
"No I'm not kidding, why?"
"You really don't know what it is?"
"No. What the hell is it?"
"It's a cucumber."
"Shut up."
"Seriously," he said, starting to laugh.

I grabbed the jar of pickles and looked at the ingredients. Sure as shit, cucumbers were the main ingredient. I looked at Tim curiously.

"So, there's tree?" I asked.

Tim could hardly contain his laughter. I think he laughed for ten straight minutes. I attempted to redeem myself by swearing that I had read a book about a pickle tree when I was little, and the image must have stuck ridiculous or not. I even called my mother to verify the existence of this book. Tim was having none of it. He was in his glory. His super smart fiancee just had the biggest JSM ever, and I was never going to live it down.

There are many other JSMs, most just referred to between Tim and I by one or two words, and generally thrown back and forth in an attempt to make the other feel like an idiot in the middle of a disagreement. For instance:

Trojan War:
This refers to the hours I spent proving to Tim that the Trojan War did not actually happen, but was merely a story from The Iliad and The Odyssey told and retold over time. I often lose an argument when my last shot is this JSM because, as Tim so often points out, there are quite a few people who believe the Trojan War actually happened, so he's not so stupid for believing it too.

Tim threw out the comment, in reference to what I can't remember, "Rome wasn't built in a day, baby." To which I responded. "Rome was too built in a day, that's the amazing thing about that saying. Duh."

Test Tube Baby:
The night I found out that Tim believed test tube babies actually came to term in a test tube. I only got the concept through to him when I asked "Don't you think if they had figured out how to grow a baby in a test tube, women would be lined up around the block screaming "Sign me up, I'll be back in 9 months!"

We even use a few JSMs that are not rightfully ours, just for the humor of it.

"Oh my God, those poor birds!" was my cousins reaction to seeing flamingos for the first time and thinking that each bird only had one leg.

"Aubree, Jesus died a long time ago," was the dead serious response of an atheist friend's sister when overhearing Aubree ask, "So Jesus died yesterday," as I explained Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

We have so many examples of smart people saying stupid things, yet the pickle tree reigns as the most famous and most amusing. My entire family knows about the pickle tree. For my 30th birthday my older brother gave me a card in the shape of pickle. The inside read "I bet you didn't expect to get a paper pickle for your birthday!" and my brother had written, "Hey kiddo. I 'picked' this one just for you!" Yes. Hysterical.

You may wonder why I would choose to share such an embarrassing moment with...well, however many people are actually going to read this blog. It is not one of my proudest moments, but I figure if you can't laugh at yourself what kind of life are you living, really? So that is the history of the Pickle Tree. I hope you get as much of a kick out of it as my husband, my family and friends.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hi My Name is Nanci and I Recently Turned...30

I would like to apologize to all of those who believe that 30 is the new 20, that life can only really be appreciated after 30 and that 30 is not even in the vicinity of old, for what I am about to say.

30 is 30, will always be 30, and is absolutely, unmovingly 10 years far away from 20. I appreciated life just fine when I was 29, and every time I am forced to pronounce my age I visibly shudder because, let's face it, 30 is old.

Now that you know my stance on that, you have a decision to make.

Dare you keep reading?

I offer this warning to aid in your decision: you may very well encounter similar life stances, arbitrary theories, unyielding opinions and admittedly dumb comments should you choose to visit the world I inhabit. However, you may also find a refuge of empathy, humor, completely useless knowledge and random escape from your reality.

My reality goes a little bit like this:

I already gave you my age, and I flat out refuse to give it ever again.

I live in Coconut Creek, Florida, with my husband Tim, our 2 cats Hades and Azrael, my hedgehog Styx and Tim's ball python Hydra.

I grew up in East Fishkill, NY (upstate to everyone south of Westchester) and my entire immediate family and my oldest and dearest friend Liz are still there. Since I also spent time living in Boston, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo, I learned to despise the cold. Florida will work for me for quite a while, thanks. Luckily Tim feels the same way. He grew up on Long Island which leads him to belive he is cooler than me. (Among many other reasons) He loves to snowboard but shares my distaste for the cold, gray weather of northern winters. He has recently discovered skim boarding, which in my opinion is snowboarding on sand, so he's all good.

My husband is my best friend in the entire world, and there is nothing I would rather do than spend time with him. Since it would be unhealthy (and the married version of SWF) to do that all the time, I have plenty of other things to amuse myself.

I love to read, and I love to sleep. I spend a lot of time and attention on what will allegedly one day be my first novel. I make the valiant attempt to work out several times a week, since I have an unnatural anxiety regarding gaining weight. I have a deep affection for hanging out with my pets, I don't think I could get through a day without talking to Liz at least once, and in the free time I have left I run a freelance business catering to the random whims of Realtors. My temporary passion is perusing and organizing my wedding pictures, but I have a feeling their novelty will wear of just as soon as the novelty of being married does.

I go to work every day, although believe me this is not by choice. Until I work out how to colonize my own island, rule my own planet, or profit from writing or sleeping, I will continue to work full time as a Project Manager for a fairly large marketing company. It's the closest thing to the perfect job I am ever going to get. It's all about organization, planning, and problem solving. What could be better for a Type A, hyper-organized, slightly OCD newlywed? (It's a little bit quirky that I am by turns also extremely lazy. Plague of the Gemini, I suppose.)
I finally quit smoking after 11 years, but I can't seem to kick my addiction to Starbucks. Or Target, for that matter. Willpower is fickle.

That's the nutshell version. You'll get to know me a lot better if you (and I) keep up with The Pickle Tree. To tide you over until I post again (because I know you are salivating with anticipation) here's a weird fact about me: Every time I walk up or down a foreign flight of stairs I count them. Bizarre. If you feel like commenting, you could also provide a weird fact about yourself. Just a suggestion.

Tune in next time for "The History of the Pickle Tree"