I Don’t Mean To Be Dramatic, But . . . .

Car 1

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This is how my Wednesday started.  Again.  I’m sure you all remember last summer when my car had a come apart on four separate occasions and I and my savings account fell apart right along with it.  I got all of that fixed and we have been happily driving together for just over a year now.

Here’s the truth of it.  I owe $87 on my car.   We all know what that means.  I’m terrified to make that last payment because the precise moment that payment clears my bank, my transmission is going to fall out of the bottom of my car on I-40.   I thought that’s what happened on Tuesday night when I was stranded alone at work, yet I’m proud to say I didn’t cry even once.  Have I grown up? Am I callused?  Maybe.

What I did do was call roadside assistance (the program I’ve paid $2.99 a month for seven years for and only used once) and ask for a jump start.  After dissecting everything that happened when I turned the key, roadside assistance opted to have me towed instead.  It was late, dark and 27 degrees so rather than wait for an hour on a tow truck, I decided to let it sit overnight and called Pee-tah for a ride.  He’s such a gentleman.  He rescued me, offered me dinner and dropped me off at my door when I said no.  He knew better than to push too hard.  This is why we date so well.

Wednesday morning I cornered the maintenance guy I like so much, Daniel, and asked for his help.  I just wanted someone with more knowledge than how to crank a car to tell me what I should expect to hear from the repair shop when they give me the skinny and the cost.  Remember last year I paid far, far too much to get my brakes done (screw you, Firestone) because I am dumber than a box of hammers when it comes to cars.  To prove to Daniel that I do know something about a car, I ran down to the parking lot to open my hood in preparation for his ministrations and in doing so, saw something utterly disgusting.  Murphy (screw you, Murphy) had either barfed or had some sort of intestinal disturbance on the hood of my car, right between the hood and windshield, actually.  I hate that cat sometimes. Why does he do this to me? Why?!

I grabbed a wad of napkins from my car – I keep them to blot the shine from my nose and never thought I’d have to use them to clean unspeakable Murphy innards from my car – and cleaned it off, hoping that Daniel would never notice I’d been driving around with poop on my car.  Oh, hurk.  Oh, my stomach.  I threw it over into the grass, very far from my car, and threw the wad of napkins away. Lunch was not going to happen that day, I could already tell.  Blergh.

This gets worse.  I want you to guess who stepped in it. Just guess.

Poor Daniel who is so sweet and so sincere in checking my battery and banging around under my hood, that guy who is just the nicest man, doesn’t really stand still all that well.  I forgot about that when I threw Murphy’s guts.  I remembered it, though, once Daniel started pacing and then I got nervous.  I threw the innards very far away from every car, very far away from where everyone walks.  I made sure of that.  But Daniel in his pacing walked right in it and I was horrified.

It was a sudden realization for him.  His foot squished and he stopped and said, “What was that?”

I just stood there.

“Oh my God, what was that?!” he questioned as he looked at the bottom of his shoe.  “Oh, gross!  Is that mud?  That’s mud, right?” He began shuffling on the grass, making his way over to the sidewalk to scrape his shoe.

“Is that crap?  Did I walk in dog crap?” The look on his face was so disgusted.  I just stood there, and I could feel the laughter start bubbling from the very bottom of me.  I know it isn’t funny!  I know that!

“Oh, God,” he said as he scraped his shoe over and over, “it’s really sticking.  Man, this is sick.  I’m going to have to buy new shoes.  Damn.  I have to go to Bowling Green today too.  What is that?!”

Y’all, I felt horrible.  So, so bad.  And I looked right at him, watching him scrape his shoe in disgust and said, “I have no idea.  Gross.”

I’M SUCH A TERRIBLE PERSON!

Daniel, one of the nicest men I know, felt really bad for me and said over and over, “Jimmie, I’m so sorry about your car. I wish I could fix it for you.”  And all I could do was nod and squeak out a thank you and try my damnedest to not let the laughter that was literally taking over my whole body not explode out of my mouth.  Why am I so bad?  I deserve to have my transmission fall out of the bottom of my car.

Turns out, however, it was just a bad battery.  The kind people at Firestone offered to install one for merely $144 plus tax and labor (screw you, Firestone) so I drove on down to Advanced Auto Parts and got one for $116, tax and labor included.  Got to get my savings back up for when the shocks rust and disintegrate into nothing, you know.  Once that last payment is made it will happen.  Perhaps I’ll buy Daniel a new pair of shoes, too.  I’ll take it out of Murphy’s cat food allowance.

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Jimmie, As Per Usual

PROLOGUE:  This was the year, in June, that I turned 41.

As an aside, I’d like to say that 41 is boring.  It isn’t sexy at all and while I do have nine years left to get my sexy on according to my Auntie Anne, this is not an auspicious beginning.

Eons ago, before I moved to Nashville, I lived in a crappy placed called Alabama.  After living in Alabama for ten years, I decided it was time to get the heck up outta there, and began to search newspapers and online job boards for a job in a place called Anywhere-But-Alabama.  I scored interviews in places called Memphis, Atlanta and Nashville. We all know how that worked out, but not everyone knows the process I went through to get to Nashville.  I’m going to tell you about that.

It took three formal interviews for the company in which I landed to realize my value and offer me a position.  Right before I was given my offer letter, my interviewer dropped the f-bomb a minimum of six times.  In the interview before that, one of my interviewers forgot to comb his hair and had on a sweatshirt inside-out.  And in my first interview – oh law, what a story that was.

That interview process began with a spelling test, a math test and a grammar test.  In order to pass them, I had to score a 100 which was easy as they gave me a dictionary, a calculator and a thesaurus.  (I found out later I was one of only two who passed.  Unless you are a moron of the highest order or you don’t follow directions, there was no reason to not pass.) After the tests, I was asked a series of questions along the lines of:  if you could be any animal in the world, what would it be; if your work were a painting, what would it be titled; and describe the kind of tree you are.  I was stunned.  It was the strangest interview I ever had in my life.  I had gotten my last two jobs just by being nice and bubbly and so having to go through this rigmarole was new territory.  I chalked it up to big city ways, though, and soldiered on.

Halfway through the oddball questions, the interviewer smoothed her hair and said, “I’m sorry about my hair.  It usually wear it up, never down like this.  It must be getting on your nerves.”  She looked at me expectantly and right then I got it.  I was dealing with a narcissist of epic proportions and if I wanted this job, I had to play the game.

“Oh no,” I breathed.  “Your hair is lovely.”  She preened and we moved on.

To be fair, there were valid discussions in which I got to explain my work history and philosophy and since I was called back for second and third interviews, I reckon I made a good impression.  At the end of the first interview, though, my narcissist said, apropos of nothing, “I’m 41 but I know I don’t look it”, and she smoothed the skin on her face and showed me her nicotine-stained teeth.  We both sat there in silence for a moment, me trying to formulate the response that would get me hired and she waiting for my breath to stumble at her beauty.

I managed to choke out a believable “I never would have guessed!” even though I totally would have guessed and made it to the car before I guffawed aloud.  Oh, this place was going to be fun, I could tell.

Years later, my second job in Nashville fell apart because Boss ditched me for Kansas City and I landed the gig where I am now.  Recently I received that promotion I told you about and you should know that the promotion launched me into a recruiter position in which I get to conduct interviews.  And right after I became a recruiter, the position I had just vacated was opened up for interviews and Daisy, my lovely, lovely co-worker, applied for that position and I got to interview her.

My current supervisor, a woman who is the epitome of professionalism and good graces and never says things like “My hair MUST be getting on your nerves”, nor does she preen unnecessarily, had always done the interviews in house and was preparing me to interview Daisy.

“You have a list of questions for her?” MJ-Love asked.

“Yup,” I said, right before I spit out my gum.

“Professionalism is what we like to see, you know,” MJ-Love counseled.

“Yup, I got it.”

“You aren’t nervous at all about this?  You know the entire HR team will be sitting in with you and asking questions of our own, correct?”

I shrugged and said, “Naw, I’m good.”

“Okay,” she said.  “Let’s go get Daisy.” And off we marched.

As we were settling ourselves into the chairs in the conference room, I could tell Daisy was nervous.  I don’t know why as we all desperately wanted her to join our team and were terrified that she would change her mind.  MJ-Love said, “Jimmie?  Go ahead.”

I took a deep breath, grinned at Daisy with my minty-fresh teeth, smoothed my big, sexy hair, and to MJ-Love’s eternal horror said, “Daisy, I’m 41 but I know I don’t look it . . . .”

EPILOGUE:  Daisy was hired, and I was not fired, and MJ-Love has recovered nicely from her stroke, and we all lived happily ever after.

The end.

Guest Post: Seamus. Journal Entries.

Monday

I can’t wait for Person to get up.  I want the sink.  Had no idea there was water in the sink.

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Tuesday

Person is taking forever to get out of bed.  The sink!  I want the sink! Water!

Wednesday

I know.  I will lie in the sink.  Person will surely get up now.

Thursday

The sink is my favorite place. So cozy.  I wish Person would stop grimacing in the mirror over the sink.  She’s hogging all my space.

Friday

I hear Person!  She’s going to the sink!  Must dash – she cannot think the sink is hers!

Saturday

Why do I not have thumbs?!  Person is very stingy with the water in the sink.  I know.  Will smother her in her sleep but must make sure the water is on before doing so.  All the water, all the sink, all mine!

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Huh.  Person misunderstood smothering and took pictures and told everyone that I was snuggling her because I was cold.  As if.

Sunday

Person is not here.  Dying.  Must get water from the sink.

Monday

Genius idea!  Will cuddle with Person and meow forcefully until she turns on water in the sink.

Seamus 5

Tuesday

Uh oh.  Person now thinks I love her, due to cuddling.  Very, very bad.  Must ignore person.  Will do some thinking in the sink.

Wednesday

Ha, ha, Person left the sink on the entire time she was in the shower.  Ha, ha, she is such a moron.

Thursday

Person invited someone over called Slim.  Slim uses my sink.  I hate Slim.

Nevermind.  Slim turned on the water.  I love Slim.

Friday

Person interrupted my nap in the sink.  I hate Person.

Seamus 1

Saturday

Person invited someone else over called Woney!  Woney uses my sink!  I hate Woney!

Sunday

Wait, I forgot.  I love Woney!  Cannot explain it but I love her.  Want to cuddle with her.  Does not compute.

Monday

Person laughed at me in the sink.  She took my picture.  Hate Person.

Seamus 3

Tuesday

Person laughed at me in the sink.  She took my picture.  Hate Person.

Seamus, weighing in at 14 pounds, give or take a bag of treats or two

Wednesday

Murphy tried to get in my sink.  I love Murphy. Hate Person.

Jimmie’s Note:  You guys! Seamus cuddled with me!  Murphy wasn’t even around and Seamus crawled up on the couch and cuddled with me!  He loves me.  I knew it.  He really, really loves me.

Seamus’s Note:  No I don’t. Hate Person.  Love sink.

Seamus 4