Monday, July 30, 2012

Shiny! Pretty!

I’m just gonna come out and say it: I love jewelry.

I do. Really, really. Shiny or colorful or gaudy or just plain bizarre? Sign me up. More than once, I have come home from the flea market with some treasure purchased from a card table set up outside of a Winnebago and had this conversation:

Dad: That’s … interesting. What are you going to do with it?

Me: Umm … I’m gonna wear it?

Dad: Oh. Well, that’s nice.

I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that because I never get rid of anything, I have secret stashes of jewelry around my house. That way, I’m totally prepared once those huge earrings from 1983 come back. All that stuff they sell at Forever 21? I probably have the banged-up original. And yeah, it’s way cooler than the knock-off.

Lest you consider busting into my house, the total value of my shiny! pretty! hoard is probably about $12. But I love it.

It’s not often that I am insanely jealous over another woman’s baubles, but I’ve definitely had my moments. Usually, it’s some over-the-top vintage piece. But there was a time when I had severe engagement ring envy.

I was jealous of the shiny! pretty!, but mostly, I was jealous of what it stood for. I was lonely. I felt like I was destined to be alone forever. I wondered if my friends with the shiny rings truly appreciated the value of having a best friend who was their partner in crime. I wondered if they occasionally looked down at their left hands and smiled, seeing both the physical beauty of the jewelry and the galactic, holy-shit amazingness of having 2 humans promise to work together to figure everything out forever.

When My Guy and I talked about getting engaged, he was surprised at my enthusiasm for ring shopping. He didn’t think I’d want to go. Shaaa - right! I totally wanted to go!

Except it was totally stressful and overwhelming. None of the rings were quite right.

Until … we saw The Ohmigod Ring. Because I tried it on and all I could say was, “Ohmigod.”

My sweet husband gave me that ring 2 years ago today.

I look at it all the time. Sometimes I wear my wedding band and engagement ring on different hands, so that I can appreciate them separately. Sometimes I just look at them because ohmigod, they are so pretty. But mostly?

Mostly, I look at my rings and think about My Guy, and the look on his face when he gave them to me. And I think about how lucky I am to have a true partner and friend, and how My Guy was so totally worth the wait.

Now, granted, sometimes I look at them and think, “Damn! I need to clean these rings - I look like a hobo!”

But, keep in mind that My Guy always refers to his wedding ring as “My Burden” - typically while raising his left hand to the heavens and pantomiming a classy “Why, God, whyyyyyy?” moment. Either that, or he’s playing with the ring - err, excuse me, I mean burden - spinning it around, tossing it in the air, and generally making me believe his prediction that at some point, he will lose the ring - err, burden - and I can’t be upset.

So, it’s cool. Marriage is all about balance. Plus, I have a bunch of lovely plastic flea market rings he could wear instead.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dog lover or mentally unstable mess?

I’ve been thinking about volunteer opportunities. Basically, I need to get out of my rut of hating my job and hating everything because it’s, like, 847 degrees all the damned time. Also, I think a chance to do a little nurturing will help me figure out this whole “we’re probably never getting knocked up” thing.

It’s complicated.

I’ve researched helping socialize dogs at 2 different animal shelters. I could just hang out with dogs! I like dogs a lot! I am good with dogs! It would be a win / win!

Gratuitous dog photo

Except both my mom and My Guy had the exact same reaction:

“Shaaa, riiiiiiight. That would be the worst volunteer match-up ever. You’d adopt, like, every single dog.”

Actually, I believe My Guy added a healthy dose of “oh, helllll no” to his response. Given that he lives with 4 dogs, I guess it’s understandable that he’d have a really intense reaction.

But, see? I could go, work with the dogs, and then go home. I’m not dumb enough to believe that I could work at a kill shelter. I’m talking about a super low-kill shelter, and only working with the dogs who need to be socialized so that they can find their forever homes. It would be like I was running a finishing school for debutantes, but we’d work on not shitting on people instead of, you know, which fork to use.

My Guy was gentle, but firm. “Your heart is just too big,” he said. “You’d bring all those dogs home, and we already have too many. You know there’s undiscovered pee somewhere in our house. We have too many dogs, and only 1 of them isn’t an asshole.”

I considered this. I do have a track record of adopting special-needs (read: cute but completely untrainable) canines. I will not comment on how this also correlates to my choice of husband.

“Are you saying that without you, I’d become an animal hoarder?”

My cute husband got that evil little lying smile. “Your parents and I talk about it all the time,” he said. “I saved you from being a hoarder. You were 1 marriage away from being on that show. Your folks are always thanking me for saving you from being knee-deep in poo and dogs.”


Considering that I am somewhat fastidious about keeping the level of filth in my home to a mere yellow on the Homeland Security threat level chart, I find this hard to believe. But maybe my husband and my mama have a point.

Any tips? Ideas for other volunteer opportunities that might be less likely to get me my own humiliating show on TLC?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Yet another example of my mom's extreme awesomeness.

She sent me this response to the post about my evil choir teacher:

[Choir teacher] was a total shit. We hate her (I'm sorry, Lord - but it's the truth).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

In which I am overly sensitive and carry a grudge about things that happened in 1990.

Since I’ve been living in the past lately, let me tell you about a recent Facebook mindfuck.

One of my high-school classmates posted a photo on Facebook. It was the group photo of the high school show choir in their performance outfits. (Costumes? Crimes against fashion?) As you might imagine, the pic featured lots of radar bangs, shoulder pads, and gold metallic fabric. I laughed. I pored over the photo, trying to remember names and playing that mental who’s who game.

We had this choir teacher who made kids cry on a regular basis. As a somewhat mentally healthy adult, I can now see that she had real Problems. She got involved in her students’ social lives and played mind games and was generally a walking billboard for Hot Mess.

She eventually got fired for hitting a kid. This surprised me, because I remembered her hitting kids. When I was in school, that wasn’t the sort of thing that got you fired. Reprimanded, maybe. It was a different time.

It was this choir teacher who called little sophomore me at home the night before the show choir list was going to be posted.

Of course I had auditioned. I was the strongest soprano in my grade. I had tons of musical theatre experience from our community theatre. I had been fantasizing about being in show choir since I had first seen the group perform at our local Miss America pageant when I was 4 years old. Of course I would be in show choir!

Except that I wasn’t. The choir teacher called to give me a heads-up that I didn’t make the cut, on account of some intricacies she explained to me which now escape my memory. I think it had something to do with holding a spot for a girl who was being treated for an eating disorder even though I was the better singer.

At any rate, it was not fair. And it was especially not fair how the teacher told me to be on my best behavior and maybe she’d change her mind in the middle of the school year - after all, she had a skirt in my size.

Yeah, I wore the same size skirt as the girl with the eating disorder. Keep in mind, too, that I had no idea that girl was being treated for an eating disorder, but the teacher told me alllll about it.

Anyway, she lorded this shit over me for the rest of the school year, and I was never “called up “ to show choir, except when they needed help hitting the high notes in the national anthem. So I stood with them, the only one not in a matchy-matchy outfit, and I sang, and then I had to leave. Later, the choir teacher would tell me I’d made them look bad because I’d worn a too-short dress.

By the time my junior year rolled around, I realized that I wanted to limit my exposure to the choir teacher as much as possible. Also, I decided that the show choir was lame in their gold lamé. So, screw you guys!

And I never looked back. Except for 22 years later, when I can admit that dammit, it hurt my feelings.

Also? That dress was really cute and it wasn’t too short. My mom bought it for me, and it was adorable.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rain, ice and lack of sunlight. Oh, and bomb threats. And no, the heat isn't making me delirious - why do you ask?

It's been so hot for so long that it's starting to color everything. I feel wilted. Even the dogs look haggard. And let us not mention my landscaping. Not my ladyscaping - I'm talking about those dead plants in the yard that give off a very Morticia Addams feel.

Late this afternoon, I heard thunder. It made me giddy! And then? Then, it rained. I know this because I immediately ran to the window and watched fat drops run down the glass.

It made me think of my junior year of high school. That winter, we went 23 days without sunshine. It was one of those winters where we got snow Nov. 1 and everything stayed icy and decrepit until the end of March. Yay, Iowa!

But that February day when the sun finally came out? I was in accounting class when the sun broke through. Our teacher didn't have a firm handle on our class - her mind was elsewhere. It was an open secret that she was having an affair with the athletic director - the athletic director who had just been fired for embezzlement. And she was the accounting teacher. I don't think us kids in Accounting I: How to Balance the Checkbook You Might Someday Have were her top priority.

And so, when the sun broke through? We ran to the windows and laughed. The glass was steamy, thanks to the unpredictable-at-best HVAC system, but we rubbed it down with our sleeves and basked in the sun.

A few weeks later, we ran to the same windows to check out all of the squad cars and fire trucks that had surrounded our school. There had been a bomb threat, and the authorities were checking it out.

Notice that they were checking it out - not letting school out. Because this was 1992 and not 2012, they did not evacuate the building. No, instead, they locked down the school. Because, see, bomb threats? Were how degenerates got their girlfriends dismissed from school. Call in a bomb threat, school is dismissed early, and your girl is free to hang out with your lowlife self.

But the school administrators and the law nipped that in the bud. They outsmarted the scum, and locked a few hundred high schoolers - including the girlfriend in question - in a building that was purported to contain a bomb. Bwah ha!

It was a different time.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I am old. But moderately informed.

Today, my childhood officially ended.

Sally Ride passed away. And Weekly Reader is shutting down.


I feel like I should have smart, thoughtful things to say here, but I really don't. Sally proved that a girl could do anything and go anywhere. And Weekly Reader proved that school can be really boring, but consistent.

Sorry, but when you're in 2nd grade and read at an 8th grade level? Weekly Reader isn't a star in the great educational-engagement sky.

I will say, though, that Weekly Reader represented my first foray into presidential politics. Right before the 1980 presidential election, the Weekly Reader had photos of all 3 candidates on its cover. My kindergarten class voted, and the ballots were tallied.

I had a moment of panic because I had no idea who to vote for. So, I voted for the candidate who looked the most like my grandpa. I distinctly remember this train of thought: Grandpas are smart. Therefore, grandpas make good presidents. Which candidate looks most like a grandpa?

Sadly, my little 5-year-old brain thought that independent John B. Anderson looked most like my grandpa. I was 1 of 2 students to vote for him. A lot of kids must have thought that Ronald Reagan most closely resembled their grandpas.

I worried that since only 1 other kindergartner voted for Anderson, I had voted wrong. Who knew who that other voter was, anyway? It could have been 1 of the paste eaters. So, I figured I needed to expand my political horizons a bit and, you know, learn some stuff.

Since 1980, I've sided with the candidate who looked least like my sweet grandpa. Not because that's still the only criteria I use, but because, well, I guess my grandpa looked like an old-school Republican. And please, don't make me decide who looks more like my grandpa: Obama or Romney.

So, Weekly Reader? You expanded my horizons and turned me into a political activist. Or, at least someone who tries to place an educated vote. Thanks for that.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stone cold. Stone in love.

It's so hot!

Cha Cha, how hot is it?

Lemme tell you. It's so hot that I am sweating in my house. It's so hot that My Guy and I are stuck on our couch - literally. We're talking skin merged with leather, thanks to the industrial glue commonly known as ass sweat. It's so hot that we didn't change the channel and watched an entire movie featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin.

See, he was a former cop turned vigilante. And there was this bad biker gang, running guns and drugs. And Stone Cold Steve had to get all stone cold and kill some bad bikers. Like, they'd come at him with tire irons and he'd just, you know, kill 'em with his stone-cold fists.

I have to admit: I enjoyed it. And perhaps Stone Cold Steve is the answer to the Hades-like weather. Perhaps the A/C in my car - for which I paid $95 for a fix that stayed fixed less than 24 hours - could be permanently fixed if Stone Cold Steve would just drive around in my car with me.

Now, I kind of doubt that the real Stone Cold Steve would be available to just, you know, cruise around with me all the time and be cool. So, I just figured I could get a Stone Cold Steve action doll, and plop him on my dash - kind of a "Stone Cold Steve is my copilot" sort of thing.

Except! If you Google "Stone Cold Steve Austin doll," you know what comes up?

The Danbury Mint made a porcelain Stone Cold Steve baby doll - complete with WWF belt.

It's so, so wrong. How can a baby look so hard? So ... stone cold, if you will? This doll doesn't make me feel cooler. It makes me afraid for my safety. I'm pretty sure that if I put this doll in my car, I'd end up in a drive-by, possibly as the shooter. And that just doesn't feel in keeping with the spirit of adult Stone Cold Steve's style of vigilante justice.

So, I guess I'll go back to the auto shop and throw some more money at the little A/C problem. Anything to keep this creepy doll away from me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Things that are awesome.

I woke up to the sound of cicadas. Because we have bad-ass bugs that are so noisy that they wake you up.

It's 106 degrees.

The air conditioner in my car died. I guess my 9-year-old Honda is due for some freon, but the timing? C'mon.

I accidentally blasted Dio's "Holy Diver" throughout Cubeland when I couldn't get control of my phone. If anyone at Mega Corporate Behemoth actually spoke to me, I'm sure they'd give me grief about my love of metal.

Creepy Chuck has added not 1, but 2 "No Trespassing" signs to his yard. One of them even threatens to prosecute violators. I considered taking a picture, but the chances of our paranoid neighbor having cameras rigged around his house are high.

And that? Is all I've got.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Where are they now: Creepy Rajeev.

I just heard a woman in Cubeland say “irregardless.” Like it’s a real word.

You know, many of my former compatriots at Corporate Behemoth were not as super-duper lucky as me - they haven’t found awesome (cough, cough) gigs like mine yet. It’s eerie to see how many haven’t updated their LinkedIn profiles yet. Those old Corporate Behemoth titles are still there, pretending to be current. It’s almost like a death.

One of the involuntarily laid-off workers was your friend and mine, Creepy Rajeev. I know, I know. Who will be Corporate Behemoth’s director of sexual harassment? Who will lead the Overwhelming Cologne Taskforce? Who will represent the interests of the close talkers and boob grazers? Who is making the women of Corporate Behemoth feel violated?

I just don’t know.

Creepy Rajeev hasn’t updated his LinkedIn profile, so I’ve been wondering what he’s up to now. I’m not a licensed job coach, but I could surely direct him to some careers to which I know he would be well-suited. Here are some options.

Something overtly sexy: Gynecologist, sex therapist, lingerie fitter at Nordstrom, and too-grabby masseuse all fall into this category. However, they all feel a little … trite. Surely there’s something more imaginative out there.

Service: These industries are rife with previously unappreciated opportunities for creepiness!
  • Produce guy: Think about it. Rajeev could fondle all the produce at your local grocery. One minute, you’re innocently picking up a zucchini. The next, your helpful produce guy is standing right next to you, caressing some tomatoes and murmuring about stir fry for 2. 
  • Waiter: I’m sure Rajeev would consider this way beneath him, but just think about the opportunities for brushing up against women, and marking them with his man musk. 
  • Elevator operator: If only this were still a real job. Lots of people in close quarters, just waiting to choke on Rajeev’s cologne? Yes, please! 
  • Tailor: It is this person’s job to be grabby and touch your stuff. While possibly too obvious a choice for our creepy pal, I think Rajeev would look swell with a tape measure around his neck. 
Entertainment: We all want room to explore, grow and be the best we can be. I think Hollywood can offer that to Rajeev.
  • Casting director: Let’s just cut to the chase and get this man the casting couch he so richly deserves. The nice thing about this job is that with his ego, Rajeev would never be bothered by the pesky conscience that plagues many in the same position. 
  • Game show host: Richard Dawson is dead. Who is going to slip the tongue to entire families in the new millennium? Creepy Rajeev, that’s who!
  • Artist: I’m pretty sure you can’t be an artist without drawing nudes. Just sayin’. 
  • R&B singer: Dey be all up in bitches an’ shit. Plus, if R. Kelly and Chris Brown still have careers, there’s lots of latitude for a minor groper like Rajeev. 
Now, I’m obviously not an expert on careers and stuff. My 9th-grade career questionnaire said I should be an interior decorator (cool!) or an auctioneer (what?) - neither of which I have managed to attain. So, help me out - what fantastic careers are fitting for a leering, cologned creep?

Also? He’s already tried IT. It obviously didn’t work out.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Learning to be.

Another day, another 8 hours of doing not much in The Cube of Despair.

I am too adult and too proud to ask yet again for something to do. And so? I’ve spent today reading, and daydreaming, and moving my laptop’s touchpad enough to keep my IM status as “available” instead of “not doing a damn thing related to my computer and therefore not working.”

It’s important to keep up appearances. Sure, I’m so not here mentally … but I should give off the vibe of being engaged.

The contractor across the aisle from me is similarly bored. However, my sense of kinship with him has faded since a) I found out he graduated from high school in 2006 - you know, that year I bought my second house?; and b) he mentioned he’s teaching himself Java during this downtime … the downtime I’ve spent shopping for curtains online. Oh, and c) he said he’d love to be hired full-time to sit around and do nothing, the thought of which makes me want to shrivel up and die and then rot in a really stinky, maggottastic way.

My sweet and wise friend A. mentioned this weekend that I should view this gig at Mega Corporate Behemoth as a well-deserved work coma. You know how sometimes you fantasize about being in the hospital because you’d actually get to rest? Yeah, like that. Except without being sick or having to deal with insurance. Oh, and I’m getting paid.

I’m getting paid, and I’m having time to work through the PTSD from my last job, and process the whole infertility debacle / adventure / what-have-you. These are good things. And, I’m writing, and simultaneously attempting to embrace not having a plan while also thinking about maybe sometime possibly creating a plan. All this, for the low, low price of attending the occasional meeting or whipping out some brainless copy.

But I’d be lying if I said it was easy to get out of bed every morning. It isn’t. I hate rushing to get to a job where my main goal for the day is not to be caught skulking in late to sit in my cube and do nothing.

And, if I’m being honest? It’s a total ego blow to go from managing a team that I think liked me and respected me to being the lowest of the low peons who cannot get her manager to give her the time of day.

I like to think my obvious mad skillz, genius and supermodel looks make everybody nervous and jealous. Intimidation, yo.

But really? I’m sad that I laughed when a friend suggested I try a good lunch spot near Mega Corporate Behemoth. I don’t have any friends to go to lunch with!

So … here I am.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vigilence, with a side of creepy-as-hell.

My Guy and I have been blessed to not be That House on our street of immaculate homes. While our little repo house with the dead shrubs isn't the gem of the hood, it isn't the one that drives everybody's property values down. No, that dump-ass house is directly across the street from us.

When we moved in, we met our neighbors. David was an elderly gent who lived across the street with his grown son, Chuck. David was proud to announce that he was 89, and he'd lived in his house since 1972. He was nice enough, and we figured that home maintenance wasn't a priority for an 89-year-old. However, his son? Was creepy as hell.

Creepy Chuck didn't have a job, and would sit in his conversion van in the driveway of the house. Sometimes, he moved the van out of the driveway and parked it in the street directly in front of our house. You could feel our home losing value and starting to feel really bad about itself. It was sad.

We've painted and landscaped and our little repro house is looking pretty OK. But the house across the street is getting more overgrown and more craptastic. David died. Creepy Chuck now spends most of his time sitting in a lawn chair in the driveway, staring at our house. He put up Christmas lights last week. We do our best to avoid Creepy Chuck, because he's always talking about prowlers. He is paranoid, and it heebs me out.

Because we are horrible people, My Guy and I have to laugh when we see our neighbor kids react to Creepy Chuck. They have obviously been coached to avoid him at all costs. So, when they are outside playing and see him, they literally drop what they are doing and run like hell. It's like he's Sasquatch or a tsunami.

I came home from work the other day, got out of my car and walked out of the garage to get the mail. And I jumped, because Creepy Chuck was standing in my driveway. Ack! He looked so excited.

"I just wanted to let you know that the FBI was snooping around your house today," he said.

Oh, brother. "Oh, yeah?" I asked.

"Yeah," he continued, with no small amount of pride. "The guy knocked on your front door, and then he started snooping around the back yard. I didn't hear your dogs bark, but I came over to check it out. He wouldn't talk to me, but he just showed me his badge and kept moving."

At this point, Creepy Chuck pantomimed said badge flashing by lifting his never-washed Bob Jones University t-shirt to flash his pale, jiggly midriff and the waistband of his red underwear. The scent was overwhelming, and my eyes were momentarily blinded. I can never unsee the horror.

I managed to regroup. "Well, you know, I bet he was just trying to serve papers to the guy who used to live here. We still get some of that," I said.

This set Creepy Chuck off on a tirade about how the former owner of our house was his good friend and has emailed him once since he moved. OK, fine. Then, Chuck puffed out his chest and said, "You know, that Secret Service agent was probably scared to give me his name because he knows I'll know several of his friends."

Creepy Chuck got a job as a mall cop. He is obviously deeply ensconced in the federal law-enforcement community.

A few days later, the doorbell rang. An older guy with a badge and a gun on his belt stood at the door. I visited with him, and he was friendly. He was a process server, looking for the former homeowner. Oooh - guess who called it? Who's the law-enforcement expert now, Creepy Chuck?

I had to ask the process server if he'd been to our home a few days earlier. "Yeah, I was here on the 12th," he said. "I tried the front door, then I walked around to see if anybody was in the backyard."

I laughed. "Yeah, my creepy neighbor told us that the Secret Service or FBI was casing our house."

The process server laughed out loud. "Well, I'm retired DEA - does that count?"

About this time, I realized that Creepy Chuck was standing in the middle of the street, zeroing in on my front porch with a mixture of glee and adrenaline. The process server noticed it, too.

"You should tell him I'm in the neighborhood looking for Russian spies. Have fun with it!" And then he left.

It was obvious that Chuck was on the verge of running over to our house to rehash the entire affair. Oh, Lord, please, no. My Guy realized that we needed to take immediate action. "Let's go for a walk!"

So, when we saw Creepy Chuck had another neighbor cornered, we knew we had time to make our dream a reality. We literally ran throughout our house, changing clothes and grabbing shoes. Then, I panicked. "How will we get out? We're surrounded! We need to take the car! Go, go, go!"

So, we jumped in the car and sped down the driveway. As we drove past Chuck and the trapped neighbor, I looked at My Guy intently. "We're having a super-intense conversation!" I said.

"And I am a MAN, focused on driving," My Guy replied.

Once we had safely passed Creepy Chuck and had escaped more talk of the FBI, we checked out the scene in the mirrors. Chuck stood in the middle of the street, staring longingly at our car as we sped away from him, running away from home.

And this, my friends? Is not at all what I thought adulthood and home ownership would be like. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Oh, oh, oh, Amadeus!

Today is a red-letter day! As you've probably guessed, this means that I heard "Rock Me Amadeus" not once, but twice this afternoon.
This song takes me back to the days when I religiously listened to Casey Kasem every Sunday. Suddenly, in fifth grade, it became very important to know what songs were popular - you know, just in case there was a quiz on the playground Monday morning.

So, it was vitally important that I listen to Falco's song and whatever interesting trivia Casey introduced with it. Nevermind that my parents hated the song - they said it was "disrespectful" to Mozart. It seems quaint that that was the big argument against a pop song.

I was never one to disobey my parents, and they certainly didn't restrict what we could watch or listen to or read. But I turned the radio waaaay down low so that I could keep the peace but also do my best to memorize "Rock Me Amadeus." It was another bit of information that just might hold the key to success in the strange tween years that I was entering with such clumsiness.

I was sure I would be called upon to discuss the finer points of the St. Elmo's Fire soundtrack, or recite Wham! lyrics on command. I actually transcribed Madonna lyrics just in case I needed them - like hoarding for my own personal nuclear fallout.

It was a stressful time. And how amazing was my fifth-grade brain to think that my social life would depend on Top 40 radio?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Madcap adventure or selling my soul?

I hit a new low today at Mega Corporate Behemoth.

I read a book.

I know. I'm kind of ashamed. But also kind of ... delighted. I'm so naughty, reading a book about creativity while bored at my job that's supposedly being a creative writer!

It was a nice balance to the all-hands meeting I attended this afternoon. I was curious to see if Mega Corporate Behemoth serves up the same flavor of bullshit as my old stomping grounds, Corporate Behemoth.

I am here to tell you: Never fear! Corporate crap is universal! Kind of like a universal remote - once you learn it, you can apply it everywhere! Mention "core competencies" and you can immediately pass as one of them!

At Mega Corporate Behemoth, all of the leaders in the meeting were men. White men. White men wearing golf shirts, slacks, and driving moccasins. And extra credit goes to the VP who managed to nonchalantly mention how he and the CEO have been working on X concept forever - since they worked together at some other company. The guy might as well have worn a sandwich board that screamed, "I am in the CEO's inner circle! Align with meeeee!"

I am coming to realize that I have a super-duper shitty-ass attitude about work - or my lack thereof. It's like I have PTSD from my experiences at Corporate Behemoth, and my angst is now easily transferable to my new employer. Kind of like being pissed off at your boyfriend over something your ex-boyfriend did.

Or ... maybe you're dating 2 assholes in a row.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In-law wrap-up

It sounds like a teevee show from hell, right?

Number of days between finding out we can't have kids and in-laws descending upon my house: 1

Number of days in-laws were in my house: 3.5

Number of in-law-type folk in my house: 15

Number of hours I spent in kitchen, preparing food, cleaning up, and/or trying to keep it together: 14

Look on my face when BIL, after watching me set out a ton of food, said, “Well, we’re hungry, so we’re gonna go somewhere to grab a bite:” 

Yes, they stayed. And ate the food I lovingly prepared with my own hands and didn’t poison in any way.

Time I found out that Crazy SIL was planning on staying at our house that night: 11:07 p.m.

Look on my face when she later thanked me for letting her stay unannounced: 
Number of times I refrained from strangling my 7-year-old niece, who insisted on playing board games but hard-core sulked whenever another player took the lead: 3

Number of dirty looks I shot her father whenever he proudly responded, “She’s competitive:” 27

Overheard response from my MIL when My Guy told her that our procreation attempts were at a standstill: “Why? WHY? WHYYYYYYYY?”

Number of swigs of Citron I snuck into my Black Cherry Kool-Aid: 2

Number of times I had to respond to direct “when are you having a baby” questions: 0, thankfully

Number of times I honestly and truly thought I might lose my shit: 1

Cause of possible shit-losing: BIL and SIL brought MIL’s cradle to the family gathering, with the intent of giving it back to her since their baby is now too big for it. MIL is always talking about how tiny her car is, and how tiny her house is … which left open the possibility of said cradle being left at my house, since My Guy can’t quite deflect his family’s efforts to use our house as their personal storage unit. See also: his brother’s kayak that’s been in our garage forever.

One and only clenched-teeth conversation I had with My Guy: “I ask 1 thing of you, and that’s to keep that fucking cradle out of my house no matter what. That’s all I ask. I beg of you.”

How I felt like reacting when my BIL fit the cradle in the back of MIL’s car: Kissing BIL on mouth, possibly with tongue.

Number of times My Guy told me he loved me and that I was the best wife ever and that he totally owed me and would make me many sandwiches and give me lots of the sex: 856

Number of times I responded to said compliments and promises with just a tight smile, even though in retrospect I so, so appreciate them: 856

Total amount of time I spent holed up in bathroom, playing with iPhone and wondering how long I could hide out before folks thought I had food poisoning and had possibly given it to them as well: 1 hour, 47 minutes

Escapes to grocery store during which I pretended the store was super busy and just stood in the paper plate aisle, texting my mom and enjoying Hall and Oates on the Muzak: 1

Timing of 1 and only downpour in the last month: Duration of My Guy’s attempts to grill food for 15

Number of times I told MIL to get out of my Kleenex-sized kitchen and go enjoy her family: 17

Reaction to 4-month old nephew: Initially bipolar. Unsure of whether to kidnap him and claim him as my own or pretend he doesn’t exist. Settled on being happy for the family, as long as that fucking cradle doesn’t get left at my house.


And how was your weekend?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Like yeast, I will rise to the occasion.

It’s 104 degrees outside. This means that I want nothing more than to lie in bed in my underwear, reading, with the air conditioner blowing directly on me.

There is nothing sexy about this. It’s truly the only comfortable thing I can fathom that doesn’t involve a large body of water, and possibly a boat. Since we have been unsuccessful at goading any of our friends into purchasing a boat? I dream of the underwear / bed / book / AC combo.

Instead? We are hosting My Guy’s entire family this weekend. He is one of 5 siblings. When the entire family gathers, I find myself a bit … well, more than a bit … overwhelmed. It’s yet another gathering that awakens my inner Foxie Doxie and makes me want to hide under the covers.

The in-laws? Are good people. And I will get my hands on our new nephew for the first time. So, this is exciting.

However … now that we’ve been married for lo these 15 months, I am bracing myself for questions of the “So, when are you having kids?” variety.

My Guy and I got some news today that probably put the final nail in the proverbial fertility coffin. As in, for real? If we have a biological child, it will most likely mean the second coming is upon us. And since I’m not a virgin? I’m pretty sure that I would not be the first choice to carry Jesus The Deuce.

So, yeah. The oven? Empty. No buns.

We’re reeling a bit. And cleaning, and running to the grocery store, and wondering just how crazy Crazy SIL’s new boyfriend might be.

Maybe all of this activity will provide our collective married-couple subconscious with a nice opportunity to work through some of this information. But if somebody asks about the functioning of my ladyoven, and why we don’t just get with the program and pop out some younguns already?

Well … so far, I have a handful of possible responses. Vote for your favorite, or suggest your own!

Option 1: Run crying out of room. Lock self in bathroom, where flask of brown likker will be hidden.
Option 2: Pick up nearest piece of furniture. Break it over head of imbecile who asked rude question. Turn to other family members and start random conversation about this summer’s tomato crop, as if nothing unusual just happened.
Option 3: Take a deep breath and channel inner Julia Sugarbaker. Be ridiculously poised and gorgeous, and carefully enunciate 1 of these bons mots:
  • Bon mot 1: Honey, how sweet of you to be concerned with such sensitive areas! And by sensitive areas, of course I mean my lady areas.
  • Bon mot 2: Now, you know the judge said My Guy isn’t supposed to procreate, what with that criminal insanity and all.
  • Bon mot 3: Well, we’re still trying to figure out, umm … S-E-X. Is it really supposed to work the way the books say? Can you show us?
Help me out. What option do you think would pack the most STFU punch?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Land of the free, home of the grouchy.

We spent Independence Day fighting off aliens.

OK, maybe not. We spent it spreading approximately 97 tons of mulch around our backyard. We shall have independence from weeds!

This brave fight also means that we are exhausted from working in the heat. Our plans to go watch fireworks? Totally abandoned in favor of watching the Boston Pops on the teevee. We might even go to bed before it's over.

As if you needed further proof that we're old and decrepit, My Guy just turned to me and said, "If I hear any illegal fireworks after 10 p.m., I'm totally calling the cops."

Did I mention I found an inch-long hair growing out of my jawline the other day? We are so ancient and gross and have obviously given up on life.

And how was your holiday?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Your mama don't dance.

Thanks for your kind words about the HSG. And really? I'm glad that my post about this horrific thing was sort of funny. The funny is the only thing keeping me from taking to my bed and staying there for a very long time.

I didn't even mention ... the doctor? Was a tiny Asian man with chin-length hair. He was going for sort of a Johnny Depp thing. Except he was wearing these glasses. Not as protective eye wear, but as, like, a fashion statement.
It was like he needed a TV show, except that last Thursday, that TV show would have been called, "Let's Torture Cha Cha and Her Ladyvagina."

So, I'm still processing. It's difficult for my not-so-inner overachiever to make peace with the fact that I don't have to have a solid plan of action right this very damned second. It's OK to take some time to think about whether I want to star in my own version of "Extreme Babymaking: Now With More Procedures and Hormones to Fuck You Up!" Or if I want to go all Angelina and adopt, like, 27 kids.

I had a realization today while performing 8 hours of copy / paste, copy / paste in my Cube of Despair at Mega Corporate Behemoth: If we adopt, it will cost, like, a gajillion dollars. So, I will have to keep working at Mega Corporate Behemoth.

I mentioned this at dinner to My Guy. His response? "Well, yeah, it is expensive. But working at Mega Corporate Behemoth isn't the only way you could make money."

As God / Allah / Oprah as my witness, right at that moment, "Pour Some Sugar on Me" came on the radio. I immediately began an oh-so seductive strip tease, pulling my tank top down while also still eating pasta salad.

It took My Guy a second to catch on. He laughed. "Well, yeah, I guess you could do that. But ... this song is so overplayed at strip clubs. Why not some Loggins?"

So, yeah. My husband and I brainstormed for several minutes about how I could develop a niche strip club clientele by stripping exclusively to medleys of Kenny Loggins' greatest hits. Highway to the danger zone, indeed!

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