June 28, 2001
Bubble Days


I remember walking to work, one glorious November morning three years ago, and thinking Someday I'm going to remember this as one of the best times of my life.

It was Indian Summer in Oregon City. I was newly sober, newly in love, and counting down the days until The Big Move to California (three weeks/two days/twenty-two hours/fourteen minutes). I have a singularly vivid memory of walking along Beavercreek Road that morning, on my way from the bus stop to my job at The Knife Factory ... swinging my book bag back and forth in the air, smiling at the guy driving the bread truck, kicking through piles of fallen leaves in my Birkenstocks ... telling myself, "Someday I'll wish I could come back in time and re-live this whole month."

(And it's true! As soon as The Time Machine is up and running, November 1998 is one of my first destinations! Right after I go back to 1972 and kick a little ninth-grade cheerleader butt, that is.)

Of course, November 1998 wasn't all about bread trucks and Birkenstocks. David and I had more than our share of problems and worries and *negativity molecules* to contend with. We were 600 miles apart. We were having HUGE problems figuring out the logistics of moving me (and all of my worldly possessions) from Oregon to California. I was still struggling with new sobriety. I was sad about leaving the Tree House. I was concerned about moving even further away from The Tots. I was nervous about entering into another Big Relationship so soon after the last one (or three) had crashed and burned so spectacularly.

(I was worried about where I was going to fit all my *wordly possessions* into a FOUR HUNDRED SQUARE FOOT apartment.)

But in spite of the scary stuff and the worrisome stuff and the negative stuff we had to deal with that month, mostly I remember spending November 1998 feeling like I was walking around in a bubble. A floaty, weightless, invisible bubble of happiness and hope and nauseatingly giddy anticipation.

It was nice.

Today has been one of those walking-around-in-a-bubble days. From the moment I opened my eyes this morning (The bathroom sink is backing up ... but I'm getting married!) ... through a spectacularly tedious and awful day at The Totem Pole Company (Bark at me all you want, VP of BFD! I'm getting married!) ... right up to the moment I ran out of the building and jumped into the Subaru and ordered David to drive us home (I hate my job, my boss is a jerk and somebody stole my lunch out of the refrigerator -- but I'm getting married!) ... I have been dangerously distracted, deliciously impatient, and almost ridiculously happy.

Bob The Engineer Guy stopped me in the middle of the afternoon, as I was cruising up and down the hallway with an armload of file folders, trying to look busy.

"You have such a *glow* about you today," he teased. "Is that due to impending bridehood?"

I blushed and giggled and did all of the appropriately stoopid/appropriately girly response-stuff. ("It's probably just the bean burrito," I deadpanned.) We chit-chatted for a few minutes -- about my upcoming vacation, about the requirements for getting an out-of-state marriage license, about the latest Totem Pole defection (Leon the Office Manager is taking an "indefinite leave of absence"). And then Bob the Engineer Guy leaned towards me, frowning, and he said, "Hey ... are you wearing your shirt inside-out on purpose?"

Oh. Geez.

On any other day this would have sent me sinking through the floorboards in embarrassment. I've been parading around the office with my shirt inside-out since 8 a.m. this morning, and I'm only now finding out about it? But this isn't any other day. This is a Bubble Day. And on Bubble Days, I am impervious to things that might ordinarily rattle me ... like walking around all day looking like I got dressed with my eyes closed.

"Actually yes," I said. "I AM wearing it inside-out on purpose: I'm practicing for my wedding day." And I told him the story about the backwards wedding dress, which he found charming and goofy, and he related a similar story about his wife wearing the wrong shoes to their wedding, and when our conversation was over I floated off down the hallway towards my office, still feeling secure and serene inside my bubble. (But not, of course, before I went to the Ladies Room and turned my shirt right-side-out.) I have a feeling that the whole next month is going to be like that. I'm going to smile too much and daydream too much and talk to myself a lot and not pay attention to things going on around me and basically walk around making a great big idiot out of myself a lot of the time ... and I'm not going to care at all. And why not? Because I'm in this bubble, perched on the edge of my life's next big adventure ...

... and a little voice in my heart is saying Someday I'm going to remember this as one of the very best times of my life.

one year ago: on second thought

throw a rock