Marija was there with her Mexican guy friend. I always feel a little awkward around him because his English is about as good as my Spanish, so one of us always has to be fumbling for words and I'm too squeamish to have that be me much of the time. So I've never gotten to know him properly. It would be easier if I didn't know how meh Marija feels about him. It's not his background (although I do think she is very silly for admiring the fact that he comes from the poorest neighborhood in Mexico City, or so he says) or the fact that his favorite hangouts are MS-13 bars in unfashionable neighborhoods; it's just that he's not crazy about her, and has said as much, and she keeps breaking up with him, then getting back when the loneliness gets to be too much. I know he can't be dumb or he wouldn't be a Fulbright scholar in economics, but he's not the most approachable guy in the world. He does seem less squirrelly when he talks to her than he does with everybody else, maybe because they split languages about 50-50. I don't know. Whatever she's doing, I hope it works for her.
Saturday morning I went to see the crazy yoga lady again at the studio in my neighborhood. She's hardcore, but in a good way: I felt soooooo refreshed when I left the studio. I noticed that certain positions feel a lot more natural and achievable in her class. She might even make a good replacement for the Rock Star at Willow Street, who's leaving for California in April. Best of all, she's trained in the Kripalu tradition (crip-ALL-oo, not cripple-you, contrary to what it might seem) not that annoying Anusara, so she doesn't always hound you about tucking your tailbone and inner- and outer-spiraling except when it makes sense to do that.
Saturday night I finally used the Red Lobster gift card from my Christmas stocking, in shiny downtown Silver Spring. I invited Liz to join me (using the Mr.'s immortal words—read with a Tony Soprano sort of accent—"Hey baby, I got this... coupon"). We ordered a bunch of stuff and ended up having to pay quite a bit more than the value of the gift card, but I was pleasantly surprised. The crab cake appetizer was good, and the half-portion of the catch of the day was moist, flavorful and reasonably priced. Liz was happy with her lobster pasta dish. The notorious biscuits didn't disappoint either.
The spring sunshine is killing me. I know I'm a freak and I've annoyed you all with my love for winter and cloudy weather, but the flip side is KILLING me. This has got to be reverse SAD, for sure—I've always felt this way in bright sunny weather. The light slicing through the bare trees makes me feel totally bereft. The sudden change is like being yanked out from under warm snuggly covers and thrown into an interrogation room to sit on a cold metal chair with a spotlight in my face. I tried to deal: keeping busy around the house and taking Stella for a long walk to the off-leash park (only to find NOBODY there), but by the end of the afternoon I really could see no reason at all to go on.
I went to the 5:30 PM Mass, which I usually avoid because the happy-clappy folk music makes me itch (I usually go to the austere 7:30 AM one, with no music at all), but yesterday I have to say that singing to schmaltzy melodies was just what I needed. The people at the 5:30 feel more like my people, too, younger and warmer. I like the aged nuns who attend the early-morning Mass, but the very well-heeled older Georgetownians, not as much, not least because they've openly snubbed me more than once. So thank you, happy-clappy. You turned my day around.
In the evening I went to Target and got some much-needed sunglasses and a new cable for my iPod. I have to fill an Easter basket for a 15-year-old boy. Never having gotten an Easter basket in my life, I'm at a bit of a disadvantage. My first thought was porno and cigarettes, but that's probably not the thing for a church charity. So I bought some sunglasses, a couple of pairs of athletic shorts in size large, some pens (the school supplies suggested by the sheet from church), some breath mints in a silly slick-looking package, and some chocolate Easter eggs. Stuff I would have bought for my kid brothers at that age. Any other ideas? I'm sorry, I'm NOT going to spend my money on Axe body spray. But any other suggestions that won't break the bank are welcome.