I spent my Labor Day weekend (which, as my friend Corey pointed out, should more accurately be referred to as NO-Labor Day) helping my mom throw a party and TOTALLY NOT FREAKING OUT AT ALL that I hadn’t heard from Jonathan in several days. Which I managed not to mention during my consultation with a wedding DJ, who was polite enough to stifle her laughter when I explained that we’ll need to find a subtle way to transition from the Horah to “Achey Breaky Heart” during the reception. (She told me she once did a Bar Mitzvah that requested a rap version of the Horah…and she found one. Bonus points.)
My first Labor Day surprise was a gift from my dad, waiting in my room at my parents’ house when I arrived:
(Dazzling photo effects are brought to you by Instagram.)
The second surprise was that my hometown Walmart did not have a single pair of women’s camo-print pants, which Jacki pointed out is a disturbing downward trend for patriotism in this country. They did, however, have chocolate Twizzlers, which taste sort of weird on their own but taste so good when you’re drinking a cocktail of Diet Dr. Pepper and Captain Morgan with one of them as a straw that I’d consider making it the signature cocktail at my wedding if there weren’t so many kids invited who I’m afraid would try to get drunk off them.
The third surprise came only an hour later, from Jonathan’s sister Michelle, who was coming home from Hershey Park bearing the kind of gift that confirms my good judgment in selecting her as a bridesmaid:
The fourth surprise isn’t so much a surprise as just a reminder that when my mom throws parties, she throws the best parties.
Not pictured: the chocolate wine that Barbara, the guest of honor, brought; and my mom’s cheesecake. Because I consumed the majority of both.
(Technically the cheesecake was also a surprise, but it doesn’t count because I promised only one of the surprises would be about cheese and I don’t want to be a liar.)
The final surprise is that it turns out Jonathan is not stranded in a ditch somewhere with both his arms blown off; he was just traveling, and ended up at a FOB where the soldier-to-computer ratio is somewhat disappointing for anxious fiancees. And all the hope I had that he wouldn’t be moving around as much during this tour is proving to be immediately misplaced, and I recognize it’s sort of my fault for forgetting he’s fighting a war and not just on a scenic nine-month backpacking trip through a desert with semi-consistent 3G coverage. Although honestly that sounds pretty shitty to me too.
I hope you all enjoyed the holiday while keeping in mind that deployed soldiers actually “labor” on Labor Day instead of going to barbecues; I did my part by spending my work-free Monday in a sugar hangover from too much chocolate wine and cheesecake, and bleaching my bathroom. So in case you could also use a pick-me-up for the start of the work week, here’s a picture I took on the drive from my house to Jacki’s over the weekend: