My Glorious Weekend – Past and Future



Next weekend one of my girlfriends and I will go to the beach.  The weather in Nashville has been gloomy at best over the last couple of months and we regularly lament that fact while we are working.  Our email exchanges look something like this:

 

Jimmie:       I want to be on a beach.  This weather is killing me.

 

Freddie:      Yep, me too.  I’m dying.

 

Jimmie:       The sun . . .

 

Freddie:      Why aren’t we there now?

 

Jimmie:       Because we are dumbasses.

 

It took us a couple of weeks before we had our light bulb moment and had the following exchange:

 

Jimmie:       I want to be on a beach.  This weather is killing me.

 

Freddie:      Yep, me too.  I’m dying.

 

Jimmie:       The sun . . .

 

Freddie:      Why aren’t we there now?

 

Jimmie:       Because we are dumbasses.

 

Freddie:      We could change that you know . . . (a ha!)

 

In a furious flurry of internet searching we found flights and a studio bedroom-type condo and had it all booked, before our minds or checkbooks caught up with us.  It was only then, when all of the non-refundable stuff had been booked, that I remembered to ask for the time off work.

 

This occurred about a month ago, and needless to say, every weekend leading up to the beach weekend has paled in comparison to the forthcoming glorious 3 days on the sandy beaches with girlie drinks and sun and bathing suits and shorts.  And sunscreen, because I am careful. I have roasted myself like a pig on a spit more times than I care to admit with the end result being a body literally covered in freckles and a hyper-sensitivity to some sort of skin cancer, I am sure.  Have you ever seen the cartoon of the pig lying on a beach towel next to a strip of crispy bacon, also on a beach towel?  The pig says, “I told you to use sunscreen . . . “ Yep, that’s me. 

 

I’ve wanted to pack my suitcase since the day we booked the trip. I’ve had an abnormal number of houseguests lately, though, and feared that they would make fun of me for packing for a trip a month in advance.  Plus, Murphy and Seamus fight over which one gets to actually wallow in the suitcase full of my stuff and the resulting scuffles usually end with me having to lint-roll my underwear, my shorts, the liner of my suitcase and finding a random cat claw in the padding of my push up bra. 

 

So this weekend was the final free time before we take off into the wild blue yonder, also known as “Jacksonville” via “Southwest Airlines”.  I was lazy this weekend for the most part which makes me feel bad but not bad enough to do anything about it.  And sometimes, my laziness can also lead to my sadness.  I hate that.  I try not to do that to myself but sometimes misery calls. I don’t pretend to understand it but I do sometimes succumb to it.

 

After rolling around in the misery for a while, I thought to myself, “Self, screw this.”  So I got up and started cleaning.  Always a tonic.  And then I took a shower, which was beneficial for everyone.  Even the cats had started to eyeball me with disdain. This from the animals who puke on my carpet and then come back later to inspect it and see if it is worthy of an afternoon snack.  I had plans to go out for a friend’s birthday but I couldn’t be arsed.  I didn’t want to get all gussied up and make nice and pretend like everything was grand when I really wanted to face-plant in my margarita and have myself a good cry.  Nothing kills a festive mood like someone crying into their drink with salt crumbs flaking off their cheeks at every wail.  So I cancelled and then headed out for some dinner where I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone or be festive.

 

As I was backing out of my driveway, I almost ran over one of my neighbors out walking his dog. He’s a nice guy, we’ve chatted a few times.  I don’t know him well but I do know that he is dedicated to his dog so he can’t be all bad.  I stopped to say hi and said, “Well, aren’t we a couple of losers staying in on a Saturday night . . . .”  We both wheezed at this and then to my complete surprise, I said, “Want to go to a movie, maybe?”

 

Maybe to the surprise of both of us, he agreed.  Still, I had taken a shower so I couldn’t have been terrible.

 

So I got out of my car and we chatted and made plans and I said, “I’m not changing clothes. I’m going like this.”  And this was: sweatpants, a hoodie (only the greatest invention of all time and I have far too many of them), giant pirate hoop earrings and pigtails.  He looked me over and said, “Okey.”  And I assured him I would come back to pick him up and then zoomed off to have dinner alone where I could regroup and ask myself what the hell I just did. 

 

Later, dog-neighbor came over and we piled up in my car and took off for the movies.  I told him, “When you tell your friends about this, feel free to make up whatever you like about me.  I don’t mind if you make me younger and hotter and more likely to feel you up in the movies.  It won’t happen, but just know that I will support whatever story you want to tell your friends.”  I believe at this point he started to rethink his decision to say yes to my invite.  But he gamely stayed in the car, even at the red lights.  We went to the movie and laughed.  We talked about all kinds of stuff, mostly fluff and nothing too deep, much to the enjoyment of the other movie-goers. Apparently the novelty of a night out with an almost stranger did not lend itself to Inside Voices for us. So now all 7 people in the theater can speak with authority about our lunch habits and our current living arrangements and the last movie we saw in a theater. 

 

And now an apology and an explanation:  Yes, I realize that I ditched very good friends for someone that I barely know.  I know how bad that sounds.  I traded dinner and drinks in a swanky place for dinner alone and a couple of hours in a dark movie theater with an almost stranger where, if I face-planted in my popcorn and cried, no one would know except an almost stranger. You can yell at me later.  It wasn’t my intention to do that but if you have ever been in a funk, you can relate.  And I promise to make it up to my friends. They know I’m good for it. Because they know I will wear my best push up bra to their band performance and throw granny panties onto the stage, Tom Jones style, and generally be charming because I care about these people.  I want to give them my best.  And hopefully that makes it all better.  Felix, I am sorry for missing your birthday party. Truly.

 

Plus, Freddie and I are going to the beach where I can buy presents and take pictures of hot people in their Speedos (as if) and bikinis and send awesome postcards to friends back home to rub their noses in it as gifts.

 

 

BTW, Seamus was the winner!

 

 

 

 

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Good Stuff

Several really good things happened to me on Wednesday.  I want to focus on those – that is what this is about.  We can find good in lots of things if we just look for it and honestly, I didn’t have to look hard for them.

I’ll go in reverse order, mostly because I want to get it all down and the last thing is the shortest thing.  I’ll get long winded later on. 

Third of all, I bought my house about 18 months ago and was lucky enough to get one that didn’t need much fixing-upping.  The woman who lived there before me had decorating tastes similar to mine and with the exception of the putrid red shiny wall, I didn’t have to change a thing.  The house came complete with a pretty little tree in the front yard.  A crab apple tree. Which really, why a crab apple tree?  What purpose does the crab apple serve anyway?  I suppose a quick Google search might teach me something but right now I’m too lazy for that.  But the tree is pretty in the spring and for that I’m grateful.

Monday I noticed a lot of tiny red buds on the tree. And on Wednesday all of those buds had fully blossomed.  It was gorgeous!  Very pink and some green – very flowery. 

 

While it is a beautiful tree, it has its flaws that thrill my neighbor as much as they thrill me.  All of those blossoms on that tree mean that the crab apples are coming.  It also means that those thousands of crab apples will rot and fall off and produce a shit ton of tiny little crab apple sprouts in his yard and in mine which have to be mowed down regularly so as not to have a forest of crab apple trees overtaking our postage stamp yards.  I suppose I could pick the apples out of our yards before that happens but again, I seem to be too lazy for that.  Actually, only as I was writing this did it occur to me that I should do that. Maybe I should take lessons on being a good neighbor.

Upon reflection, though, I would call us pretty laid back neighbors.  Our introduction went like this, a day after I moved in: 

<ding dong> (this is my doorbell for those of you wondering)

Jimmie:            Hi!

Neighbor:        Hey, I’m Luke.  I’m your neighbor.  We have moles.

Jimmie:            I . . . okay . . . . well, should we, ah, do something about that?

Neighbor:        No, I took care of it.  I just wanted to tell you.

Jimmie:            Want me to go halfsies on that?

Neighbor:        No, I got it.  Okay, nice to meetcha. See ya around.

And then a year and a half later, he finally came over when I invited him for dinner to hang out with me and my friends.  That didn’t take long. 

Secondly, I drove home in a monsoon.  The sky was a bit cloudy when I pulled out of the parking garage and before I had driven a mile the bottom dropped out.  The raindrops were so hard and heavy that it sounded like I was being pounded with giant rocks inside my car.  That is called “hail”.  I only realized how loud it was when I decided to call Phranke to chat on my way home.  I spent most of that conversation yelling about my day and not hearing a word she said in return.  I’m sure she had a good day, though.

It was difficult to see for much of my drive home but when I got off my exit, the skies cleared enough for me to see a huge rainbow!  I love the hopefulness of the rainbow.  I love how each color fades into the other and how perfect those colors look together.  I always heave the biggest sigh of pleasure when I see one.  Had I had a camera and a view not obstructed by power lines and not been driving (because I would never do something to distract myself from my driving, like yell on a cell phone to Phranke), I would have snapped a picture and posted it here.  But I can draw one for you, so you know what it looked like. See? 

And firstly, I got into a scuffle with Louis, our security guard at my building at work.  Louis is an adorable older gentleman who wears a coat and tie every day as part of his uniform.  I call him a tiny thing which infuriates him. His neck is the approximate width of a toothpick and the collar of his shirt is most likely the smallest size he can get and still wear adult clothing.  When he ties his tie, it pleats up the collar of his shirt like a plastic grocery bag and the flaps of the collar overlap.  He looks handsome in his uniform and I have a sneaky feeling he uses it as a medium to drive his lady-friend wild.  He sits on the first floor of our building and speaks to those he likes while ignoring those he doesn’t as we all come in and out for the day.  He is perfectly pleasant at all times, though.  I can tell when he is in a mood because those days he just grunts and waves.  I know better than to be chatty with him those days.

A couple of weeks ago he asked another co-worker for a ride to the bank.  It is only a couple of blocks away but he struggles with the hills and the traffic.  Downtown Nashville is no place to play.  She didn’t have her vehicle that day and couldn’t drive him but asked if I could.  Of course!  So when we went down to get him, he offered to pay me for the ride. 

“The bank is three blocks away.  No way.  I’ll just drive you,” I say. 

And he says, “Jimmie, no now.  I’m going to give you some money.” And he is stern and I can tell he will be offended if I don’t take the money.  So we depart for the bank, drop him off, circle the block and pick him up again.  He gives us each a sucker and gives me $6.00.  For a three-block drive.  We had Words. I told him it was too much but he insisted.

Wednesday he asked if he could get another ride.  “Of course,” I said.  And off we go.  And when I circle around and pick him up, he hands me a $10.00 bill.  Ridiculous.  I try to say no and he is affronted.  We argue.  He tells me that I cannot tell him what to do and that he is older than me and that I need to respect him.  This argument has worked for me when I want to get my way, usually with my younger sisters.  So I take the money because while I am happy to drive him, he is happy to give me the money.  And I honestly believe it is important for him to pay me.

The joke is on him, though, because on Monday I am buying ice cream for the three of us and paying for it with his tenner.  This just makes me want to hug his skinny little neck but I’m not sure which of us would be the most embarrassed about that.

I’m on a roll!

Let me begin by saying, iPod and Passkey: FOUND.  I know you were worried.  Not half as much as me, but again, it is my stuff.

I’m going to backtrack a bit.  I’m a devoted member to my gym, the YMCA.  The staff members are so friendly, the patrons are often just as helpful as the staff, and my friends go there.  One of them even teaches some classes and while I’m very certain she tries to kill or at the very least maim us (is that in the rule book for being an instructor?), she’s very good at what she does.  The sweet little old ladies who take the water aerobics classes and invade the locker room while I’m getting ready for work every morning are delicious.  They wear the best sparkly blue eye shadow and comment regularly on my choice of bra and panty and tuck their t-shirts so far into their own panties that the hem comes out the bottom of the leg holes. 

An aside here.  One of the little ladies pays particular attention to my lingerie sets.  That’s what she calls them, my lingerie.  She gets tickled when they match and normally they do.  I prefer it that way.  One day I had a particularly fetching set and she approached me about it. 

“Honey,” she says, “are you married?” 

“No ma’am,” I say.

“Well you should be because that would be enticing to a man.”

Right.

And another time, I was just not feeling it.  I had on stuff that didn’t match.  And she wandered over from her locker to check me out.  She eyeballed me and heaved a big sigh and the look on her face was just heartbreaking.  “I’m just so disappointed,” she breathed.  I felt horrible about that. She is precious and I love her.

You can see why I pay my monthly fee gladly for the privilege of being a member.

So with all of my joy and ecstatic happiness with my Y membership, imagine my dismay when I discovered that upon leaving my very expensive flat iron in the locker room one day, it was stolen, like within an hour of my leaving it.  And also my dismay when I left my yummy shampoo and conditioner behind and they, too, were stolen.  (See?  I lose a lot of shit.) 

Apparently I am not alone. I see notices on the community bulletin board asking for “The person who stole my size six silver strappy sandals” to return them and then a week later, another plea for the “very expensive, super awesome sandals that are MINE and not YOURS” and then again a week later a message urging said thief to “be happy with your lying, stealing conscious, you dirty filthy cow who stole my sandals!”  I’m assuming the sandals were never returned. 

Fast forward to the birthday Vegas trip where I enthusiastically encouraged my sister and myself to Run!  Yes, let’s exercise on Saturday morning in Sin City!  And I had my iPod and used the “Porn Star Dancing” song to motivate me the mile and a half I actually ran on the treadmill.  That was the last time I remember having it.

I was on a high after finding my checkbook.  So when Phranke suggested that I call the hotel we stayed in on the off chance my iPod had been left behind and turned in, I blew her off.  In what universe would I be lucky enough to actually recover all three of my missing items?  None, I tell you.  But she was insistent and asked me in ways like, “What did the hotel say when you called them?” Just like I would do to make it seem like it was my idea all along.  She’s a smart cookie, that one. 

Now I planned this trip for my sister’s birthday.  I planned it with a budget in mind and thus we could not afford the likes of the Bellagio or the Cosmopolitan.  Instead, we stayed at the Excalibur, one of the cheesiest hotels on the Vegas strip.  Yes, I chose it but was slightly sneery about it.  It was cheap, clean, smoker-friendly and smelled a bit like ass.  With a Febreeze overlay.  Like lots and lots of Febreeze overlay.  Kind of gross when you smell it in person.  But we reasoned that we were not going to limit ourselves to spending all of our time in that casino. We had things to see and do that did not involve castles and maidens and the Thunder from Down Under boys (sadly).    Needless to say, I’ve never thought of the Excalibur as the highest quality hotel on the strip.

With no hope at all, and with a laissez-faire attitude, I called customer service at Ye Olde Excalibur.  The polite person on the other end asked if I had lost my iPod in the casino or in my room.  I gave her my room number and date of checkout and much to my surprise, she said, “Yes, we have it right here.  Silver Nano with a black case?”  I nodded, realized that she could not see me, and then breathed in ecstasy my “Yeeeeessshh.”  She offered to send it FedEx the next day and within a couple of days, I had it back in my hot little hands.

What makes me laugh is this.  I leave things behind at the YMCA, a supposed Christian organization, and it gets stolen.  I leave things behind in Las Vegas, Sin City, where what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, in a hotel that I was slightly snotty about, and they get returned.  Oh the irony. 

And so I say this.  Excalibur, ye olde hotel that smells of ass and Febreeze, thank you for being the high quality hotel I did not give you credit for and for taking me down a peg or two and for making me eat crow.  May I never judge a book by its cover (or smell) again.  Pass the salt.

I Lose a Lot of Shit

Oh, you guys! I’m so high right now! I just found my Alicia Keyes CD and I’m completely excited!

So I just got back from a birthday trip to Las Vegas with my sister. And over the course of the week, I’ve realized that a few of my things have gone missing. Scary things like my checkbook and things that piss me off like my iPod and annoying things like my passkey into my office. And all week long, I’ve had this rock in the pit of my stomach over that stuff, for fear of what might have actually happened to it all.

I remember having my checkbook before we left, so I could go to the bank and cash a check. I mean, everyone needs cash in Vegas, right? And I remember having my iPod at the hotel because my super-cool, awesome younger sister Marty and I went to the hotel gym one morning (as if walking the 40+ miles per day up and down the strip was not enough, I was all like, “Yes, let’s run! And Exercise! Because we will consume lots of alcohol and it will make us feel Virtuous!”) So I know I had it then but I also have a sneaking suspicion that I had it when I got home but I just can’t quite remember. And I know I had my passkey my first day back at work because everyone made fun of me for carrying it around on a lanyard. How all three items disappeared at roughly the same time is a mystery to me.

I’ve looked for them all week with no luck and I was lamenting this fact to my friend, Phranke (again, name is another story for another day), over lunch one day. As an aside, I’ve lectured her for a couple of years now about how she needs an iPod because it will change her life. And a few months ago she bought one and sure enough, it has changed her life. (I was right!) We often talk about new songs we bought and the latest place we’ve discovered it helped us. So at lunch I tell her about my loss and how I’m really kind of worried about it and how I’ve looked in gobs of places to no avail.

We had a tiny little prayer session right before I got in my car, about finding my stuff. And she left and I proceeded to tear my car apart looking for my goodies.

You guys! I found a penny! And some gas pills (I don’t know either . . . .) And a French fry. The funny part about that? I haven’t had French fries from a fast food place in YEARS. And there sat one, under my driver’s seat, looking exactly as it would if I had just bought it. I mean, it was kind of hard and all, but it looked exactly the same as a fresh one. No mold. No fungus. What is this crap we put in our bodies and wonder why we are fat and have health problems?

It was when I shoved my passenger seat forward that I struck gold. Two CDs sat there, all shiny and round. Cat Stevens (again, I don’t know either. It wasn’t even the Greatest Hits album.) and my Alicia Keyes that has been missing for months! Oh the excitement!

See, I got my heart broken about 7 months ago. I can talk about it now, but up until recently, I was one hot mess. I’ve never had the pleasure of someone ripping my heart from my very chest, throwing on the ground, grinding it into the pavement with the toe of a steel-toed boot and taking a shit on it. That was then. This is now and I am an Experienced Woman. Sadly. And in my virgin state of heartbreak, I figured that nothing could be better for me than some Alicia Keyes, all bitchy and in-your-face about what a lying sack of dog shit you are. (No one can rock the love song like Alicia Keyes, but she can also rip you a new one verbally if you hurt her. I like the duality.) Specifically, she has one song where she practically spits the words out and it is thumping and awesome and just so vindictive! And for the last few months I wanted that song, over and over, on repeat at top volume so I could ride down the interstate on my way to work and sing it as loud as I could to every man that dares pass me in my Hyundai Sonata. Because every man is the asshole. Especially in rush hour traffic in Nashville on a Monday morning.

Last month when we had the “blizzard” and the whole city shut down and traffic moved at approximately ½ mile an hour for 2.5 hours, I made my boss (whom you should know is the closest thing to a man in my life at this juncture) drive my car to his hotel (long story, another time). And because he was gracious enough to drive us, I played the part of Nice Passenger who would DJ our way home, for entertainment purposes. I very much wanted to torture him with some Christian funk or some Bill Withers or best of all, Alicia Keyes. And I was certain that her shouty CD was in my glove box and I just couldn’t find it amongst all the other CDs in there. So I emptied my glove box, finding embarrassing things like Soulja Boy, Nelly, something labeled XXX, that in retrospect I should have played on my own and not in front of my boss (Nine Inch Nails, Closer anyone? Or Buckcherry, Crazy Bitch? I’m pretty sure I’m fired.) I think he was slightly relieved because I might have been a little too vocal about my affection for her shouting and spitting and general disdain for men, particularly in that one song. Not anymore, ladies and gentlemen! Now I am again, the proud owner of one Miss Alicia Keyes (isn’t she a Mrs. now?) and her venom.

And Monday, I will pick up my boss at the airport and I will give him a moment to put his bags in the trunk, adjust his seatbelt and settle in. Then I will turn on my stereo, put the song on repeat and sing to him about what a sorry excuse for a human he is, because he has a penis. “Fuck you, Bossman” I will sing. “I hate you, you pus-filled sack of worm guts. You broke my heart and are good for nothing except giving me a paycheck.” Awesome. I’m sure he will be thrilled and more than ready to promote me at the nearest opportunity. Poor guy. He puts up with a lot from me, and really, he is a pretty great boss.

In totally unrelated news, while I was having my RO session with my brand newly-found Alicia Keyes CD, I found my checkbook. In my glovebox. Which had been there the whole time, even during the “blizzard” when I emptied that stupid glove box to find the much-needed Alicia Keyes CD. Turns out it helps if you actually have the light on when you look for stuff in your car. Who knew?

One down, two to go.

CLARIFICATION:  This was written a couple of months ago when I was still a bit raw.  I really don’t hate men.  I kind of dig them, actually.  But I’m nothing if not true to my feelings so this post goes in.  It was truth at the time it was written.

Howdy Y’all!

So, this is my introduction to the world at large . . . . I never quite pictured it this way.

I’m a friendly person overall and let it never be said that I’m shy. I don’t suppose I’ve ever met a stranger. But I’m strangely nervous about this. I’m putting myself out there in all my glory and improper grammar. What if it’s a bust? What if I’m really lame and no one told me? And what if I put all of this effort forth and then (gasp!) get bored with my own thoughts?

Luckily, today I am not bored with my own self and am feeling adventurous. I’m courageous. And you can call me Jimmie. There is a story behind that name which will be told another day. But for now, I’m just Jimmie. Nice to meetcha!

A bit about me first . . . I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch lately. Everyone goes through it. Everyone gets their heart trampled on at least once in their life, right? Everyone loses a job, a family member, a home, something at some point. What kind of childish humans would we be if we floated through this life unscathed and whole? Pretty weak, I would bet. And boring. Life would hurt less, sure, but a life filled with unicorns farting rainbows breathing big puffy pink clouds would surely lead to some sort of breakdown. You can only have too much cheesecake before a heart attack brings you to your knees. We’ve got to grow, to learn, to gain wisdom, to fight.

Mostly because of this rough patch, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my life and feel slightly disgruntled by it. I spend a lot of time being ordinary, even boring. Certainly nothing special.

Work is, well, work. I’m not challenged there but I’m not sure I want to be. I’m smart, yes, but also lazy. I have a fantastic job that lots of people would be thrilled to have. I realize that I’m one of the lucky ones and I have zero complaints about that. Sorry to anyone who was looking for that sort of complaining forum. You won’t find it here.

I have a home.  My house is nothing special right now and I don’t fully appreciate it. I allow it to be messy and haphazard. I take it for granted. I don’t even mow my own lawn. That’s what side businesses are for, right?  But again, I am one of the lucky ones. I have a home that keeps me warm and dry and houses all of my super cool stuff.

I have two cats, Murphy and Seamus. I thought about giving them fake names but they don’t even answer to the names they currently have.  I’m thankful that Murphy still sleeps with me at night and that Seamus will wend his way around my legs of a morning, but really, they piss me off more than they comfort me what with their meowing and clawing at my furniture. It’s irritating. Plus I have to clean a litter box which I am sure will make my house smell like cat urine at some point. I don’t want that. I also don’t want to be covered in orange fur on a daily basis like I currently am. I’ve roller-brushed my coat so much that the nap is starting to get threadbare, yet I still have little orange and white hairs sticking out of it. Like horns. It’s embarrassing.

I’m overweight. Sigh.  I want to eat crap all the time. I haven’t been exercising lately and apparently will use any excuse to get out of it. My stomach is starting to pook out again and I’m afraid all of my hard work of late will go down the toilet.

I’m surface nice but deep down, I’m not sure I’m all that nice. I’m not mean. I just don’t want to fully commit to being that person that goes the distance for you.

In short, I am just ordinary. I don’t want to be just ordinary. If you know me long enough, you will learn that you don’t have to tell me how you feel about me. I’ll tell you how you feel about me. “I’m your favorite.” I say it often. It is bold and sassy and I want it to be true. I want to go the distance for you, my family, my friends. I want to live the life of happiness and contentment and excitement and comfort and challenge and philanthropy and goodness and love and all of it.

So I propose this. I’m beginning a journey. I’d like for my life to be special. I’d like to have an extraordinary life. Yes, that’s it. Extraordinary. I want things to be exquisite. I want them to mean something and get me somewhere and I want to wring every bit of goodness I can out of this life. All the love and all the funny and all the poignant moments and all the memories, all the good stuff. I want love. I want passion. I want friendship. I want joy.

Sometimes the bad comes, yes. It, too, can be something special. I want to experience it all. I want to look forward to all of it, as much as I can, because it all will happen. I want to not let life pass me by or take for granted all of the beauty and goodness here. I want to have a life that is full, positive or negative, good or bad.

I am Jimmie. I want extraordinary. And this is my journey.