Life is Busting out ALL Over!

Archive for August 2009

So, there are some cool things about dating someone who’s first name is basically similar to Zack Morris. When you talk to your bestest friends who live 1200 miles away or scattered somewhere else across the country and tell them about this great guy who they probably won’t meet unless things end up super serious down the road but yet their opinions still matter to you, chances are as soon as you say his name, their response almost always close to: “Ooh, nice name. I like him already.”

Thank you Zack Morris and Saturday morning live action TV shows on NBC when we were teenagers. So, Zack Morris it is.

There are other reasons why my Zack Morris is particularly awesome including:

Awesomer #1: That time a couple weeks ago when we were planning to see this movie and I insisted we have dinner at the theater – all one large popcorn and two cokes style – and when he suggested we could  get grosser and go for a hot dog, I replied that having a  crappy hot dog at the theater will make me sad because it will only remind me that it’s not a Vienna Beef and that would make me homesick for Chicago. So instead he takes me to a movie where we eat dinner and drink surprise beers anyway without any sort of gross hot dog or nachos on the menu. Awesome.

Awesomer #2: After the Vienna Beef discussion,  I sighed I was getting homesick and memorysick (is that a real thing? I think it is) for Chicago and familiar things in the summertime that do not involve anything to do with worrying about how to adapt my day for heat in the 100s day after day. (Seriously, Texas? Hottest July on record, I GET IT. Let’s move on, and lower our standard, please. 89 would be great. 95? Maybe??) Saturday afternoon,  Zack Morris picks me up for an excursion. I decided randomly to go to IKEA and he offered to take me.

I jump in his truck and Zack Morris tells me he needs to make as stop first because he’s hungry, and asked if I was hungry. (I wasn’t but the dude NEVER eats and still runs and bikes for 49 hours a day, which I don’t get, so I was THRILLED to hear him actually want to get something to eat and wasn’t going to derail him). We drive and we drive and we drive out to the “suburbs” where IKEA is and now I’m starting to get hungry and my stomach is growling and I’m hoping that he’s not thinking of the IKEA cafeteria because I just don’t think I can stomach it there (I know, I know it’s supposed to be good but it just appears to me as wrong).

We get off the highway and pull into here. A Chicago style grill – legitimate Vienna Beef hot dogs served. I saw the sign on the shop and my heart melted. And then I walked in and I almost started to cry. On the walls, no, COVERED on the walls were posters of Chicago. The one place in the world I could close my eyes and get anywhere. Home.  Images I have not really seen in great detail for 7 months. I stood in front of the poster taken from the Sears Tower looking north, framing the river and River North and Streeterville for 10 minutes. I pointed out the older beautiful building on Hubbard where I worked for years, the old Sun-Times building, the Tribune Tower, explained the Marina Towers to him.  I explained why I gasped at the owner’s own pictures of the original Portillo’s restaurant, Al’s #1 beef, Giordiano’s establishments that were framed on the wall. He quizzed me on the poster showing the players on the field from the 1985 Chicago Bears squad – who he already knew were responsible for me thinking for YEARS that the Super Bowl goes on for days, not just mere hours. I couldn’t even taste my Chicago Dog, I was so happy. AWESOME.

Awesomer #3: As we pull into the massive shopping center where IKEA lives, we both see another store and shout, “REI!!!!!!!”.  So we made a detour. Wherein Zack Morris spent way too much time fascinated by a fold up/in bike, and then rode the bike and then stared at bike tubes and tires and widgets.  And then! He made ME get on a bike to measure my bike size because I forgot about my bike riding abilities the moment I got my driver’s learners permit years and years go and I don’t have one to go riding with him. And he asked me if I like the bike (I did!), noted the size of the bike (19 inches! I have no idea what that means!) and told me he has something at home that would work for me and then grabbed some tubes (??) or widgets (??) or something he needed to fix it up. (Yay! A Bike!)  Then we went over the the camping section and looked at sleeping bags, where all the ones I picked out are suitable for getting through ZERO degree weather

Me: I LOVE this one, it’s so pretty and blue!

Zack Morris: Yeah, but it says it’s made for 0 degree weather, where would you use this?

Me: Chicago.

Zack Morris: Unless your parents make you sleep in your backyard during Christmas  it’s too hot for Texas, even at night.

Me: But it’s so blue! and soft!

Zack Morris: I have already have two bags that work at home.

Me: But..

Zack Morris: I’m pretty sure they are blue and soft.

Me: Okay… I guess that makes more sense.

Then I spotted a map room and he found a map of his home state (where I didn’t think anyone actually lived. Well, except Dick Cheney. Booo.) and got excited showing me where his hometown was, that National Parks to him are like how growing up by shopping malls were to me, and the best spots to view the Milky Way are. I think he might have won the”coolest place to grow up” game. I lost as soon as he said “Gorge”.  We sat at that table in the map room for a long time, talking and deciding we wanted to do small road trips, but realizing that it would take so long to get out of Texas that they will have to be here. Which means West Texas desert camping, exciting for a midwest non-desert non-mountain girl like me! We finally left before we got kicked out and continued our conversation over margaritas and chips and queso. Awesomer.

Awesomer #4: Then the next morning he told me he LOVED me. It was totally surprising, although I thought some feelings might be spewed at some point, I was. not. expecting. that. But hearing it was pretty awesome and felt easy and natural…

I’ve been alternating replaying it in my head and freaking out and trying to rationalize and somehow come up with an answer to something that may not have one.  But I go keep going back to a conversation we had hours after the L-bomb was dropped, when we were driving to another bike shop (for more tubes and widgets, I think. I don’t even pretend to understand) in silence he looked over at me and asked me if my ‘freak-out’ had started. I said I think it was. He asked what I needed from him. I told him some time to process and then to talk it out. He dropped me off later that night, called me  the next day and came over the day after that. To talk. And we did. And it feels good.

It feels good. easy. comfortable. happy. and unspoken. Except although it feels unspoken, it no longer isn’t. I’m done questioning it. It just is.  And *that* feels right.


And away we go…



musings and panic attacks of a Chicago girl embarking on a new life in Texas. Only it's not always June and it's not in song.

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