I have noticed lately that Facebook has been asking me a lot of questions. They say they wanted to help people get to know me. I find that humorous because I totally overshare on Facebook.
Most of the questions are benign.
In case anyone was wondering-
1) Too many to quote but anything from Love Actually, 10 Things I Hate About You and Mean Girls will do the job.
2) Hoodies and mugs from places I travel, especially Starbucks You Are Here mugs
And then Facebook thinks I should tell people about my first kiss.
Excuse me, Facebook? That’s kind of personal, eh?
My first kiss was not exciting but this question felt like it crosses so many boundaries.
After I was done being put off by the nosiness of Facebook, I decided to share my first kiss on my WordPress blog. Because WordPress didn’t press me for the information. (See what I did there? The pun was intended).
But yeah, my first kiss.
I was a late bloomer. I was a shy teenager, at least when it came to boys. I had very little confidence. I did not have a boyfriend in high school or most of college. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and give my younger self a pep talk to increase her confidence. But she will eventually get some confidence, though it will take years.
Anyway, it was a Saturday night during my sophomore year in college, meaning it was 1998 or 1999. I was wearing overalls that I bought at Wal-Mart and my hair was in a ponytail as I let a friend do a box perm (also bought at Wal-Mart) on my hair in the dorm bathroom and all it did was create a frizzy mess. So my hair was in a ponytail that whole year.
I wish I had a picture.
You may be reading this and cringing. Or laughing. Trust me, I am cringing and laughing as I write this. I wish I could back in time and along with the pep talk, I wish I could give my younger self a lesson in style. Because 20 year old Kerry has her assets at their best, she just didn’t know how to accentuate that. And that there are more options of places to shop at than Wal-Mart.
Where was I?
Saturday night, sophomore year, 1998-1999ish, overalls and bad perm. I was chatting with a guy named Dave in my friends dorm room. I don’t remember his last name (or maybe I never knew it) but it began with an “S”. He was a friend of a friend and he didn’t attend college.
We were alone. Maybe it was 1999 and everyone else was just partying like it was 1999. It was one of the few nights that someone did not pull the fire alarm which usually happened at least four times a week in my dorm. I spent many Maine winter nights outside freezing while waiting for the fire department to let us back in. Eventually we learned to just go to Dunkin Donuts when this happened.
The caffeine never bothered me anyway.
This Dave guy and I were talking.
I remembered we had identical cars. We both drove green 1998 Saturns.
(I miss Mean Green. Drove that car for 10 years and 240,000 miles. Even took it out to Indiana at around 219,000 miles when it was leaking some sort of fluid. Probably not the best idea but the car got me back to Maine before she was retired.)
Where was I? I keep getting distracted.
Saturday night, sophomore year, 1998-1999ish, overalls and bad perm, etc.
So this Dave guy that drives an identical Saturn as me and doesn’t go to my school kissed me.
It was not exciting. Actually it was very anti-climatic.
I saw where this was going. I did not wait a long time to just be some hookup on campus.
A voice inside me told me that I at least deserved dinner. Heck, I probably would have settled for one of those stir-fry sandwiches made by Scary Gary from the Crack Shack. (Okay, it was called the Snack Shack and there was a guy named Gary and everyone, and I mean everyone, called him Scary Gary. I may have called him that to his face when I was drunk one night. I am sure I wasn’t the first. Or the last.)
I wish I had a picture. I wish smartphones and Facebook existed back then.
But maybe 20 year old Kerry was more of a bad-ass than I give her credit for. She was not desperate for male attention. After all these years of thinking she had low self esteem, maybe she knew her worth all along.
I told this Dave guy that we needed to get to know each other better. Dave verbalized his understanding.
He had nowhere to sleep that night. I made him sleep on the floor on the flip and f*ck. (Which is now in my old bedroom at my parents house).
He snored. Loudly.
Dave and I never went on a date. I continued to wear those overalls and I never got another perm. I didn’t kiss another guy until my senior year in college. And that guy did think I deserved dinner. And I liked Pizza Hut Pan Pizza. And then we saw 101 Dalmations.
Okay, I still do like Pizza Hut Pan Pizza…occasionally. But now I would not be impressed if I was taken there on a first date.
Eventually that relationship ran it’s course. It was evident that this guy did not ever want to get married.
Looking back, I can see a lot of red flags and problems but my younger self had to learn for herself.
A little over two and a half years into that relationship, 24 year old Kerry listened to a voice that told her that she deserved to be happy.
So she broke it off.
Oh and if you are wondering, their first kiss was not exciting either. No fireworks in that relationship.
I began to get involved in politics and met many new friends. One friend was like an older brother to me. One time we were driving to a political event and this friend was trying to give me dating pointers. One thing he said to me was that if a guy took me to a chain restaurant on the first date, then there shouldn’t be a second date.
At first my friend’s advice seemed harsh but then it made sense to 27ish-year old Kerry. I mean, her college boyfriend took her to Pizza Hut and there was zero passion in this relationship.
It took several years and several frogs but I did eventually meet a special man. A man who thought I was worth steak dinner. And fancy Italian dinner. And quality dinner of many different cuisines.
The relationship with that man had so much passion. No anti-climatic kisses.
For eight years, that man loved me. We were married for four of those years.
For eight years, that man worked so hard to give me, and later our daughter, the world.
It took awhile to find him and I had to kiss some frogs but I am thankful for the love he showed me. For thinking I was worth it. For setting the bar high on any man that might come after him.
I don’t know what the future holds but at least, thanks to Bryon, I can go into it knowing what love is and not to settle for anything less than what I deserve.
You were supposed to be born on or before September 14, 2014. But you had other plans.
On Thursday, September 18, 2014 I woke up around 4 am and I was convinced I was in labor. You father was too and he started to pack his bag. He said we were having a baby that day.
I called the OB/Gyn. They told me to come in which we did.
They hooked me up to the machine to measure contractions.
Your father tells me about how someone asked him how many centimeters dilated I was. Your father said that he thought it was weird, that that person was asking about my vagina- his wife’s vagina. I said that that person wasn’t asking in that way and it didn’t matter because I had heard that when you are delivering a baby, you don’t care. Your father then said “Like that time on Saved by the Bell when Zack had to deliver Mr. Belding’s baby in an elevator.” I said “Now that would have been awkward.”
We sat there for a half an hour and the contractions had stopped. We weren’t having a baby that day. But we scheduled an induction for Monday, September 22, 2014.
I was in a bad mood and I didn’t go back into work. I was tired of people asking me where the baby was.
The next day, Friday, September 19, 2014 and it started out just like the day before except your father didn’t get excited pack a bag. The morning passed but my contractions were still 10 minutes apart. I took a nap. I kept having to stand up. I had back labor and it hurt. I told your father that you were going to be an only child.
Your father had refused to take any childbirth classes. He remembered seeing an episode of Murphy Brown where she took a childbirth class and the other parents were tools. He didn’t want to be in a class with tools. For an extremely intelligent man, he sure had times where he had trouble separating fictional TV scenarios and real life.
I was in the middle of a contraction and your father said “Maybe we should have taken that childbirth class…”
I look at him. He told me that when I looked at him, he couldn’t tell if I was going to laugh or if I wanted to murder him.
Evening came and contractions were still 8-10 minutes apart. I told your father that I heard walking helped with labor so we went to the mall. So it was a busy Friday night at the mall and your father and I just slowly walked the perimeter of the mall. We stopped every 8-10 minutes.
During the overnight, my contractions finally got closer together. We went to the hospital around 3 am. I had been in labor for about 24 hours at this point.
I got my epidural and like was good for several hours. They thought I would be pushing around 3 pm.
Well 3 pm became 4 pm. And then 5 pm. And 6 pm.
You could say I was not a happy camper.
I just wanted you out of me.
It was decided that after 42 hours of labor, I was going to have a C-section.
They doctors were getting ready. Your father put on scrubs. The anethesiologist asked if anyone had a questions. Your father said he did. The anethesiologist is polite and said “okay…” and your father gestures toward the scrubs and asks “Does this make me look fat?” The anethesiologist burst out laughing.
Your father also used that joke on the nurses and they thought he was hysterical. Your father was proud.
So I will spare you the details of the c-section. I do remember that once you were born, they asked your father to announce if you were a boy or girl as we didn’t find out. He just stood there looking at you. I couldn’t take the suspense and I said “Well, did we have a Maddy or a William?” Your father just smiled in awe and said you were a girl.
The second you were out of me, I was given morphine. I remember that I was suddenly transported from the operating room to a yellow foam fun house and I thought it was awesome. Your father was there with me in the fun house wearing his scrubs. And then as quickly as I was transported there, the fun house just melted away and I was back in the operating room. But your father didn’t move.
I kept talking about the yellow foam fun house. My obstetrician said that she was starting to get jealous because this yellow foam fun house sounded cool. I kept alternating between being excited about the foam fun house and being excited about your birth.
Since I was too drugged up, your father held you first. They placed you in his arms and the first thing he said was “Oh my God. You are so cute.”
I stayed in the hospital for several days. The highlights:
1) You saw Top Gun with your father when you were a day old.
2) Your father watched the Bills with you on his laptop.
3) At one point you were crying and he was holding you. He started to sing to you but it wasn’t helping. I was half asleep and said “She likes “Let’s Hear It For The Boy'” (You did in utero). Your father then sang the whole song, word for word. I feel like I should be surprised that he knew the words but I am not. And it worked. You stopped crying.
We celebrated your first birthday a day early on Saturday, September 19, 2015. We didn’t want your party to be overshadowed by the Bills playing. We had a Minnie Mouse theme and a taco bar.
When we celebrated your first birthday, we had no idea that it was going to be your last birthday with your father.
As we celebrate your second birthday without him, it still feels unreal. The only birthday he was at is the one you definitely won’t remember.
It is just so unfair.
At least once a day, I think about how you are going to grow up without him, without remembering him, without every knowing him in his earthly form.
And every time you do something new or funny, I am reminded that he won’t get to see you grow up. He used to tell me that he couldn’t wait until he could talk because you would probably say the funniest things.
Every time you reach a new milestone, he won’t see that.
Every time you say something funny, he isn’t here to laugh.
He got robbed of that.
You got robbed.
Life can be so cruel. And I know soon you are going to start asking questions. I dread that but I won’t hide anything from you.
But I want you to know that your father loved you so much. You were the center of his world when he was here. And I know wherever he is, he loves you very much. His death doesn’t change that.
And many of the people around you loved him too and they love you too. And we all can’t wait to celebrate your third birthday.
Today’s blog post was inspired from Rachel’s post about wanting to meet a rude Canadian.
Bryon and I met a rude Canadian once.
Actually it was two rude Canadians.
We were on a cruise in February 2014. It was the cruise we took when I was nine weeks pregnant (before Zika was a thing). The cruise was aboard the Carnival Sunshine and we left from New Orleans and visited Montego Bay, Jamaica (never again), Grand Cayman (loved it) and Cozumel, Mexico (fun time).
That cruise could be dubbed a lot of different things:
The time I cruised when pregnant.
The cruise where I threw up Virgin Daquiri’s. (Sorry).
The cruise where I pretty much just ate potato salad and loved it.
The cruise where Bryon got a bad sunburn and then had to pay $15 for aloe on the ship. The label called it liquid gold and Bryon said it better be for that price.
The cruise where we hung out in the piano bar most nights.
The cruise where I met an Elvis impersonator.
The cruise where I won a geography trivia contest.
The cruise where the somelier at the steakhouse spilled Bryon’s Chateau Neuf de Pape while she was trying to transfer it from the bottle into the decanter. I can still feel Bryon’s blood pressure rising over this.
The cruise where Bryon pissed off a Southern lady at the pizza stand.
But this story is about how we met rude Canadians.
On that cruise we made friends with another married couple from Florida. The dining room was tight (as most dining rooms on cruise ships are) and our tables were next to each other. We started chatting and remained friendly during the rest of the cruise. In fact, we still remain Facebook friends. Maybe I will cruise with them again. If I can ever bring myself to go on another cruise. That was Bryon and my thing.
Anyway, we invited this couple to be part of our team in a trivia contest. This trivia contest was different than most. Instead of just writing your answers on a sheet, each team took a chance to answer a question. If you got it right, you got the points. If you got it wrong, the moderator went around the room asking everyone else until someone got it right or until she got back to the original contestant.
Well this couple came in and joined the fun. They were there own team and they called themselves “The Canucks.” To be honest, I can’t even remember the name of our own team.
“The Canucks” were before us in the rotation of questions. So whenever a team got an answer wrong, we would quietly discuss our answer as a team. Somehow “The Canucks” heard us because they kept stealing our answers.
Needless to say, we were pissed. So on the next rounds, we got even quieter and Bryon would semi-loudly say “I think it’s *wrong answer*. Yeah, I definitely think it is *wrong answer*”.
“The Canucks” bought our fake answer and -surprise- they got it wrong. Then it was our turn and we gave our correct answer and they glared at us.
Now on the Carnival Sunshine as well as a lot of other Carnival ships, there was a cocktail bar called Alchemy. The bartender on this cruise had actually been our bartender the previous year on the Carnival Glory. We had become friends (still Facebook friends with her as well) and right before our trip on the Carnival Sunshine, she announced on Facebook that she was going to be on that ship. So we were so excited to be reunited. Most nights we would go have a beverage before dinner (non-alcoholic for me) and then we would return after the evening entertainment. Well we are at the bar and the rude Canadian couple was there. And they glared at us because we were friendly with the bartender.
They continued to glare at us whenever they saw us. To be honest, Bryon and I thought it was kind of funny. Though we were surprised because we had never met rude Canadians before and we usually went to Canada several times a year.
The story concludes with our the first leg of our flight home. Our flight went from New Orleans to Chicago then to Albany. We were using airlines miles (I have an airline credit card) and they did not have any coach seats available so we decided to use more miles and fly first class. I am not going to lie, I loved it.
We were sitting in the second row and we see the rude Canadians board the airplane. Bryon, who already had a drink in his hand waves hello to them. And, you guessed it, they glare at us.
Oh, about the almost getting kicked off part-
We were started to taxi and the pilot announces that we were going to return to the gate for a security concern. I look at Bryon. He points to the seat in front of us and mouths to me that he thinks it’s them. In the first row was a couple who had been extremely rude to the flight attendant.
The gate manager comes up to our row and tells us we need to exit the airplane immediately. I just sat there in shock.
The flight attendant comes up behind the gate manager and says “Row 1! I said Row 1!”
The gate man apologizes and then has the couple in the row 1 exit the plane.
I said to Bryon that the rude Canadians probably thought it was us getting kicked off the plane.
Bryon said that they will never know because they we way back in coach.
And then we laughed. Like we were people who always flew first class.
He asked my best friend for help with choosing my ring. I had my suspicions when she suddenly wanted to discuss. I mentioned it to a coworker, but I was afraid that if I mentioned it to anyone else that I would somehow jinx it.
We were at the bar where we went on our first date, Mahars Public Bar. The bar sadly closed years ago. They had beer from all over the world and a computer that kept track of your total. At 50 beers, you got a T-shirt. At 200 you got a mug. At 500 you got your name on the wall.
Bryon and I had been drinking there for years. I was one beer away from 200 and he was one beer away from 500. It was going to be a night of milestones.
Bryon was antsy to go. Almost nervous which is not like his character.
We get to the bar and sit at a small table. Bryon is acting sappy. Again, not his character. Then he is on one knee and proposing.
It was the exact ring that I told my best friend I liked.
I said yes.
Then his friends seem to come out of the woodwork to celebrate with us. Apparently Bryon told a bunch of them that he was going to propose that evening.
No picture of the proposal exits. A good friend said he was going to get a picture but his blackberry was acting up. But we did a staged photo. Of which I took off of Facebook. I hope he doesn’t mind. If he does, I will make him a funfetti cheesecake. Or maybe Poblano mac and cheese. Depends on how pissed he may be.
September 6, 2011 was one of the happiest days of my life.
4:59 PM me: Depends on when I wake up and get on the road 🙂
5:00 PM me: I actually wish I had known this was going to happen. I originally wanted to take tomorrow off and come out Thurs and go to Cooperstown on Fri
But it was not meant to be. No baseball hall of fame for me
Bryon: its not that great.
5:01 PM me: overated?
Bryon: yeah. but I havent been in a few years
5:02 PM me: Thanks for crushing my hopes…
Bryon: thats me though, you may like it
you should come out early tomorrow and go.
5:03 PM Its not far from albany
me: I doubt it
Bryon: doubt which part?
me: Isn’t it like an hour away?
me: I doubt I will want to drive another hour after driving 8
5:07 PM Bryon: I would be interested in going again, I would go, and drive.
me: But’s it’s lame…. 🙂
Bryon: yeah but there is a great brewery in cooperstown
me: so the truth comes out…
5:08 PM Bryon: lol
me: when would I have to be out there if I were to do that?
5:09 PM Bryon: whenever, Cooperstown is an hour from albany, I have a meeting until 1, so whenever you would like.
5:11 PM me: Mapquest says it takes 7 hours and 23 minutes to get from Surry, ME to Albany, NY
When does the baseball hall of fame close?
5:28 PM Bryon: sorry i was away there
the hall closes at 9
5:29 PM me: I figured that out. Went to the website.
I am used to Maine, where things close at 5
Bryon: that is why NY is better
5:30 PM me: If you say so…
5:31 PM Alright, I will plan to be out there around 2 or 3. That way I don’t have to get up at an ungodly early hour
5:32 PM Bryon: sounds good
This is the conversation that led to our first date, brought to you by gchat. What can I say? We are representative of the social media age.
I always teased him about this conversation, about how the Baseball Hall of Fame was lame until I said I wanted to go. Bryon never tried to hide the fact that it was me he wanted to see.
* * *
August 1, 2008
Nine years ago today I went on my last first date. I was a Maine girl in New York and her “friend” took her the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. At first there was a work scheduling conflict but it ended up working out.
After going to the Baseball Hall of Fame, we weren’t ready for the date to end. So we had dinner at The Pump Station. The after dinner, we weren’t ready for the date to be over so went to Mahars. Then Lark Tavern.
August 2, 2008
Saratoga Springs, NY
Bryon and I were at the New York State Young Republicans Day at the Races. We spent the day avoiding each other because we didn’t want anyone to know that something was going on between us. But we snuck away to the paddock for some time alone together.
* * *
August 3, 2008
I say good-bye to Bryon. I was sure this was going to be a fling. None of this made sense. He was seven years younger than me and lived three states away. I mean, he just graduated from college and I was almost 30.
But love had other plans. And we never looked back.