I Suggest That No One Mess With Me Any Time Soon

For real.  No one needs to tick me off in the near future.  I don’t know what exactly God has me going through lately but I can tell you what it’s doing for me.  It’s making me so damn strong right now.  And slightly pissed off, frankly, which is why I suggest that you all be kind to me.  I will come out of this a total badass but the ride is bumpy and not that pleasant.  Watch out. 

This picture is the view of my car from the back window of the tow truck.  This time it’s my starter.  Is anyone counting with me?  This makes four high dollar car fixes in less than three months.  For the record, I am not made of money so in addition to you being nice to me, you need to not need to borrow any money from me. 

A guy at the car place asked me, “What’s wrong with your car?  Why are you here?”  Bless his heart.  So I told him. He just kind of sat there with his mouth agape at the word vomit that poured from my mouth, and finally, he snapped his mouth shut and then said, “Good luck.  I mean it.”  And then he left.  Quickly.

There are some positives in this, at least one.  Believe you me, I’m looking for them.  Six years ago I decided that it would be a good idea for me to have a roadside assistance plan.  Being a single female in Nashville makes that a smart idea, right?  Today I didn’t have to pay for my tow.  I mean, I’ve paid Verizon $3.00 a month for that plan for the last six years but TODAY I didn’t have to pay for that tow truck.  That’s some savings right there.  When I come up with another positive, I’ll let you know. 

In truly happy news, Poppa came home on Saturday.  He sounded tired, just plumb worn out, but he’s doing alright.  Martie went to visit him right away and when she got there, Poppa was laid out on the couch with their cat, Sonic, in his lap.  Poppa isn’t what I call a gruff man necessarily, and he’s always been very kind to all of us, but seeing a virtual Viking of a man with his arms wrapped around a furry gray cat and snoozing was enough to make us all realize that life is a fragile thing. Sonic, often affectionate anyway, was so kind to Poppa, like he knew that he was needed, so he sat stoically in Poppa’s lap, completely upright while Poppa napped. 

In other happy news, I realized that I never showed you a picture of Miss Kitty.  I took this today. This is how she sleeps although I caught her in mid-yawn.  It must be exhausting to be a house cat.

 

And in unhappy news, Murphy is being relocated.  He peed on Kasi Starr’s stuff again.  This was after he peed in her gym bag, in my gym bag, in her second gym bag, in Roommate’s gym bag that he left behind, and after he attacked Seamus two nights ago.  He cornered him in the bedroom and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and just bit him.  Kasi Starr found them and separated them. Murphy acts all innocent when I’m around him, meowing and wanting attention, but lately to get attention he’s been doing more than just tapping me with his claws. He nips at my arm with his teeth, and it seems like any amount of attention is never enough.  I probably don’t want to talk about this again, so you’ll understand if I never mention it further. 

In conclusion, I’d like to tell you that the hours spent at the car fixing place were spent typing all this up and watching my first ever Clint Eastwood Western.  I’ve got say, I didn’t love it.  It was awful.  I see his appeal, though, so that’s something and I do feel like all of that testosterone oozing out of that movie should make me smarter about my car and perhaps this time I won’t get cheated.  That would be awesome. 

UPDATE:  The guy at the car place knocked $50 off my bill because I questioned some things.  Thank you, Clint.  I owe you one.

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The Pity Party Stops Here

I’m back at status quo now.  Thank you to all of you who DID NOT check on me but let me know that you cared in some way.  You all are a crafty bunch and I give you major points for following my wishes while still sneakily making sure I was okay.  Also, I’d like to point out that a good chunk of you who checked on me without checking on me are people I grew up with, people from my hometown.  I’d like to point that out specifically because later on in this post, I’m going to throw a stranger from my hometown under the bus and I’d like to say something nice before I do that. 

I really wanted to write a counter post to the last one, but the minute I mentioned it to a friend, she immediately said no, to not negate my feelings.  She’s right.  Those feelings, while not pretty, were real and I really felt them.  But for now, I will say “The End” to the pity party.

Want to know how I’m celebrating my returned good mood?  By going to abs class.  The instructor has returned from his class reunion and while he didn’t show off any trophies he received for “Stomach Most Resembling a Plank”, he did bring some stories and residual guilt about all the cake he ate.  The class members could acutely feel his guilt by minute six of his first class back because we were panting and snorting and grunting and sweating like warthogs.  I finally asked in a high-pitched alarm “How much cake did you actually eat?!”  He told us it was only two pieces but I call him a liar.  No one inflects that much torture for two measly pieces of cake.

In other gym-related news, I’d like to tell you that Snooty Snothole Bianca with the Swishy Butt talked to me!  Two days in a row, even.  And of her own volition.  When she began speaking I didn’t even notice. I thought the music piped into the locker room was interrupted for an announcement of some sort so I ignored it. But after a minute or so, I realized that her mouth and words were directed at me, and honestly, I didn’t know what to do with that.  I stood there bundled up in my towel and matching undercrackers with my hair wadded around a curling iron and just looked at her. When my hair started to smoke I came back to my senses and responded; I’m not even sure what I said, I was so surprised.  Turns out she’s thinking of joining another gym and she wanted me to know that it isn’t good for your hair to wash it every day.  I could have lived my whole life without ever having those conversations, but whatever moved her was enough to break off that padlock she keeps over her lips, so I listened.   It was the least I could do.

In non-gym-related news, we welcomed a new CFO to the company for which I work.  I had no idea when he would make his initial visit but seeing as how I’m the face our visitors see first, I treat everyone nicely.  Besides being the first impression of our corporate office, I also perform other functions that require me to be away from my desk.  I have this handy little portable phone that I carry around and when my hands are full, it fits nicely in my cleavage, anchored in by my cute dresses with the elastic band around my chest.  Easy access to the phone, close to my ear so I can hear it, and hands-free!  You can probably see where this is going.  The other day when the CFO came to the office for his initial introduction, I had been running around the office delivering mail, and I warmly greeted him, not having a clue it was our new CFO nor remembering that I had a phone stuck between my boobs.  Welcome to new your office, Bossman! 

I’d like to share (nearly) one last story before concluding.  Martie works in a salon (glamorous!) in our hometown and as such, she hears and sees loads of things that make us blush or roll our eyes so far into the backs of our heads that we hurt ourselves.  A couple of years ago, a man came into her shop and was complaining about a dish he had ordered at the single decent sit-down restaurant in the town.  This is what he said:

“We went to Legend’s last night and they had salmon (pronounced SAL-mon) on the menu so I ordered it.  They brought me this plate with what looked like a big ole piece of fish on it! <said in horror and confusion>.  That didn’t look like no salmon (pronounced SAL-mon) I ever ate.  I sent it back.  Nasty.”

This, ladies and gentlemen, is where I grew up.

Also where I grew up is Poppa.  He had some surgery recently in which all of his toes were broken and straightened and some bone was shaved off the bunion part of his foot.  (Sorry about making your digestive tracts squeeze up in sympathy pain).  He’s got these cool blue metal pins sticking out of his toes which make him look like Freddie Krueger and a super cool camouflage cast.  But he’s had some complications from that surgery, he’s not doing well, and they are bringing him up to Vanderbilt as I type this.  I’m worried about him, a lot, so I’m asking if you would think of him, pray for him, and send him some good thoughts.  We love that man and we need for him to be okay. 

No More

This post will be a bit of a deviation from the norm.  It isn’t happy.  It isn’t funny.  It is in no way heartwarming.  It is raw and honest, though, and it is my bloodletting.  You don’t want to read me whine? Then go away because there is nothing here for you.

I mentioned a meltdown I had a few weeks ago.  I had another one last week.  These were not my only two since losing my job.  Looking back over these last four months or so, I’ve had more meltdowns than I’ve been honest about.  Sure, I have been positive about good things happening for me, and yes, I do look for the good in my life.  I cannot deny that some very nice things have happened for me and that I have been carried through some troubles and that, of course, these are first world problems.  It does not mean that these last few months haven’t been rough on me, though, and honestly, I’ve had enough.  If I began to cry about them, right this instant, I’m not sure I would be able to stop.  I’m not being funny.  I’m dead serious.

Yes, I have a new job that many people would love to have.  I also make $10 grand less a year than I used to.  I’ve had to make big adjustments in every aspect of my life and while I can do it, I resent it.  I miss my people.  It is a visceral, deep ache, a true loss.  My friends will always be my friends but this is a big change.  I worked closely with a man who did a lot for me and whom I did a lot for, then I got left behind.  I had to leave my gym with my friends who worked out with me every day.  I was denied unemployment because of a glitch in the computer system that I am still trying to fight and thus spent more of my savings than I wanted.  I was uncertain on every level how I would survive.  I felt abandoned and alone and very, very sad a lot.  I was mad at myself for trusting humans, for putting my eggs in a basket that got thrown out a window.  I was mad at everyone around me who was making it, who didn’t suffer alone, who seemed to breeze through this with ease.  I know that is not fair or even a little true.  Didn’t change my anger. 

I briefly mentioned here a few posts ago that I was saving my squealing brakes for another story.  I’ll make it short.  About two months ago I needed new brakes.  I took my car to a reputable place, had to sit in the floor of the business for hours, propped up against the wall between the men’s and women’s bathrooms because they had no waiting room, and got cheated by at least $100 because I don’t know enough about brakes to know what a fair price is.

Coach fixed my toilet as promised and two days later it broke again.  It hasn’t worked right since April.    

A couple of weeks later, my check engine light came on and upon taking my car to the dealership, I learned that my catalytic converter had croaked.  Thank you, Ethanol.  It is another fix I will have to budget for before the end of the year.  I was smarter on that trip, declining to leave my car at the dealership so that I can shop around for a fair price before signing over the last of my savings to fix my exhaust system on a car that is only five years old.   

Last week, I bought a new deodorant and dropped it in my makeup bag which I take to the gym faithfully.  While I work my bags sit in my car, usually in the shade, but this day was particularly hot and I didn’t get my regular parking spot at work under my leafy tree.  That afternoon when I left, I thought I would touch up my powder and reached into my bag only to discover that my brand new deodorant had melted thoroughly and completely into a soup in the bottom of my bag.  There was not even a miniscule scrape of deodorant left in the container.  It was all floating around my eye brushes, my glittery eyeliner, my beloved mascara that makes my eyelashes look like caterpillars.  The air conditioner, which generally works very well, blew cool air onto the bag during the drive home, solidifying the soup back into deodorant which is now caked in big chunks on everything that was in that bag. 

The very next day, my blower motor for my car’s air conditioner died.  This was Friday.  Phranke and I did some research before making an appointment to repair my air conditioner (and may I say here that I am so, so thankful for her). Because I didn’t really know where I was going, I was a few minutes late for my appointment.  I began with an apology to the man behind the counter, yet it fell on deaf ears. He was intent on putting me in my place for being late which he did no less than three times, exactly as many times as I apologized for being late.  I finally just stopped talking to him altogether.  I merely handed over my keys and sat in silence while I waited.   The part is being ordered and hopefully by Wednesday I will have a working air conditioner.   

All day on Friday co-workers asked me if I was alright.  I was told that I looked tired, sad, like I had been crying, that my eyes were red, etc.  I have no makeup.  I am sad.  I am tired.  I only want to sit at my desk and do my job and not have to give an answer when someone is concerned for my well-being, because again, if I start crying I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop. 

So this is my bloodletting.  I don’t want to talk about it after I’ve written all this.  I don’t need anyone to check on me because I really am fine.  Again, first world problems.  I will live.  Yes, I have tried to be positive through all of this mess but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard and wasn’t scary and that I’m not still slightly resentful.  I resent the fact that I’m completely out of my comfort zone now.  I resent the fact that I make far less money than I used to.  I resent the fact that the benefits I worked so hard to achieve are no more and that I’m starting over from scratch, again, at forty.  I resent the fact that I’m doing it alone.  I resent the fact that the only fighting for me is done by me. 

I know that millions of people do this every day.  I know that millions of people are alone, even when their spouse is right next to them, or their brother, or their mother, or their best friends.  I don’t get to claim loneliness as my singular battle.  I don’t get to claim fear as mine alone.  I know that.  But this is my walk, my experience. I’m the one who feels my pain and my confusion and despite my having people around me who support me and love me, I feel it alone.  I walk it alone. 

Here is where I bring my spin on it, my flair.  I do know that somewhere during all of this mess, I learned something.  I do know that I have grown although I may have no idea how right now.  I do know that someone will come into my life who needs my wisdom and friendship because they are going through what I went through.  One day I will look back on all of this as a valuable experience.  But when I’m sitting in my sweltering car and the air craps out and I can’t even put the windows down for my drive to work because it’s raining buckets and I have no glitter on my eyelids to make me smile through the tears, I really can’t give a shit.

In conclusion, and this part wasn’t even planned for this post, I’d like to tell you that three hours ago my wallet was stolen.

No more.  I cannot take it.   

 

UPDATED: So We Were Talking About Food . . . .

A quickie to get us started:  I babysat Pooh and Tigger this weekend.  I took them out to lunch Sunday after church.  Tigger had eaten her sandwich and was making her way through a bag of Cheetos when abruptly she’d had enough.  Halfway through a Cheeto she said, “I’m full” and threw the other half of the Cheeto back into the bag.  Who does that?  Who leaves half a Cheeto uneaten?  It was like Pee-tah was sitting right next to me and I almost cried, I miss him so badly. 

Anyway.

Remember me telling you about my garden I had a couple of summers ago?  I think it was three.  Yes, three summers ago.  I planted all kinds of things, some of which did well (those damn jalapenos) and some of which didn’t (I grew about 12 green beans from 6 green bean plants, total).   That garden was the result of a lot of hard work I did with a specific someone in my life.  We tilled and planted and weeded that garden together, at least for a while.  But then, like all good things, it came to an end and I was left to tend alone a giant planter full of vegetable plants, some of which produced actual fruit. 

Lord, how I cried over that stupid garden.  One day I got tired of crying over it, though, and I ripped every single plant out of the ground.  The Brussels sprouts, which had grown into tree-trunk like proportions were nearly the death of me but I wrestled them into submission finally and threw them, along with all the other plants, away.  What plants fit into my compost bin went there, and all the others went into the garbage can that someone kept stealing.  I honestly didn’t think about what went where until last summer when I realized that one of my tomato plants was actually thriving in the compost bin.  I saw all kinds of fruit budding but never really took the time to pick it, and so fed the birds for an entire summer.

Also, remember last year when someone stole my hose and I was all mad because I couldn’t water my lone lethargic and disgraceful tomato plant?  I barely got any tomatoes out of that plant which upset me a little bit.  I’d really like to think I have some of Madre in me but I reckon I don’t.  At least not when it comes to green thumbs.  This year, though, I got a new tomato plant, a roommate who is interested in growing things, and specific instructions from Madre on how to grow very good tomatoes.  You’d think I’d have done well yet would you lookit the stupid thing? 

 

Have you ever seen such a scraggly mess in your whole life?  I don’t get it.  I spend lots of time sweet talking into its leaves.  I prune it.  I give it water.  I bought extra special dirt that smells a lot like manure for it.  WHY? It’s been growing since May and this is all is has done.

Now would you lookit this? 

 

My tomato plant in the compost bin that is now three years old has produced all these tomatoes, more tomatoes than Kasi Starr and I can eat.  This crop is just from today!  What is going on here?  What is the lesson I am to learn?   That I should just leave stuff alone? That I should quit messing with all the stuff I want in my life and just let it happen?  I gotta tell you, I have trouble with that.  Control issues?  Yes, please, I’d like a double order. 

In other food related news, let’s revisit my spend-the-night-dance party with my nieces this past weekend.  I like to give Martie and Coach a date night every month.  We all get excited about it:  me, because I love those girls, those girls because I’m Cool Aunt Jimmie, and Martie and Coach because they get special married people time.  We exchanged the children from one vehicle to another and I asked with great expectations what Martie and Coach would be doing on their date night <eyebrow waggle>? 

Their reply:  “Going to Kroger!” 

I’m going to pause for a moment to let that really sink in before I ask this.  Is this what I have to look forward to if I really want to start dating again?  This right here?  A trip to a grocery store?  Is this what you kids do nowadays in the dating world?  Look here, man who is 6’5” with really nice teeth who can fix toilets and the like, I’m going to be ticked when you finally come along and ask me out on a date and we go to Kroger.  Unless it’s special. Is it special?  Ima let Martie and/or Coach and/or any other married person weigh in here and explain to me, in detail, why a trip to Kroger constitutes a good date.  I mean, I’ve had some doozies in my lifetime, sure, but I’m pretty sure a date to Kroger would have topped the list as “all time lamest date ever”. 

Perhaps I am missing something? 

UPDATE:  I forgot to include this and I really meant to because I laughed so hard! 

Email from Lynnette:  GAG! Plain Greek Yogurt is horrible! It is better for me, it is better for me, tell me!  GAGGG!