See You Later, Kasi Starr

I promised you a story about Kasi Starr but I haven’t wanted to write it for a while.  See, she left.  She moved to another state.  We both knew she probably would, even from the beginning, but it didn’t make it fun for either of us. 

For weeks before leaving, Kasi Starr planned her move.  She packed boxes and gave away stuff and sorted and packed her car then unpacked her car then repacked her car.  She got boxes from the post office and mailed them to her new address.  We took some stuff to less fortunate people.  She bought calming spray for Miss Kitty, so that putting her in her crate would not be traumatic (didn’t work).  She cancelled her gym memberships and had parties with all her friends.  Etc.  However, not once through this process did either of us remember that the end of this process would bring her departure.  Until the day that she left, that is. 

(An aside here – Murphy got it.  He knew what was going on, as evidenced by the urinary soaking he gave everything near her stuff before she left.  The limerick I wrote?  About him peeing on stuff?  Yeah, that was the weekend after she left and I cleaned out from under her bed.)

So the day rolled around that she was to leave.  She had been so excited about her move, the new stuff she was going to do, and I was excited for her as well.  Excitement quickly waned when reality hit.  This was our conversation.

Kasi Starr:  Well, I’m all packed.  I’ll be gone by lunch so I’ll give you a hug now.

Jimmie:  Wait, what?

Kasi Starr:  <silence> <small tear>

Jimmie:  <silence> <small tear>

Kasi Starr:  So . . . . good-bye? 

Right in the middle of the good-bye, she choked.  And then:

Jimmie:  No. Not good-bye. <choke>  How about, see you later?

Kasi Starr:  Yes.  <choke>  See you later.

And then we hugged the tightest of hugs and it was fabulous and awful all at once.  Neither of us wanted to cry because we both knew that once the waterworks started they wouldn’t stop for a while.  I was going to work, the place where I don’t want to look like someone used my eyes as punching bags (as opposed to all the other places I go and DO want to look like someone used my eyes as punching bags), and she was going to be driving a long distance with one seriously pissed off cat.  Tears were not going to work. 

I learned a long time ago that women should never live with friends, if you were friends first.  Nothing breeds contempt any faster than two BFFs deciding that a roommate situation is a great idea.  However, if you meet a stranger and invite her into your home and THEN become friends, well, when they leave it is just awful, especially if that person is sweet and funny and nice and charming and always keeps the house supplied with paper towels.  I am so happy to have made a new connection, a new friend, and I am so happy that she is beginning her new journey.  This is the good stuff.  The awful stuff is that when the new connection, new friend, person, leaves, they leave a hole. 

I got a new roommate already.  She is also very sweet and nice and she understands that I never buy paper towels and so she came home one day with this.

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I love them.  They work great.  But it isn’t the same.  When I feel a little melancholy that Kasi Starr is gone, I take a paper towel out to the garage and look at her stuff that she left behind and sniffle.  This is what’s left. 

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She’s coming back to get it one day.  When she does, we will give each other the tightest of hugs that will be mostly fabulous but a little awful because it won’t be long before she leaves again. 

When she does, I’ll say, “See you later, Kasi Starr.”  And she’ll say the same to me.  Not good-bye.  See you later.   

 

I Am On A Budget. And I Have Some Addictions. These Are First World Problems. (Part Two)

So money is tight. I’ve told you that before. It’s okay, I’m not complaining. I’m learning actually. I’m pretty good at budgeting and stretching a dollar and I’ve always been the queen of planning. I view this era of my life as a challenge and as a growing process, so it isn’t bad.

Now that I have written the “rah, rah” section I will now begin the “huh, this is . . . fun” section.

Due to lack of funds (see above: Budget) and lack of dates (see entire blog: Single) I now occasionally find myself in the enviable position of having a Saturday night with absolutely nothing to do. Nothing. Not a thing. No thing. At all. Enviable, right? When that happens I’m not sure what to do with myself. Usually. However, lately I seem to have overbooked myself professionally and socially and so when I understood that I was going to have a weekend that did not include people in any format at all, I began to rejoice. Honestly, I was getting rather emotional and snippy as I had had no alone time in weeks.

Also, remember when I hired Ernesto, my house cleaner, and I was jazzed that he came every two weeks and folded my toilet paper ends into points? Remember how I loved him and swooned over his work? Well, I miss him (see above: Budget). My house does too.

These were my plans when I went to bed Friday night: to sleep as late as possible (7:00 a.m., baby! I am a sloth!), and to clean my miserable (miserable) wreck of a house. Do you think it is sad? Do you feel a little sorry for me? Don’t! It was marvelous!

Following is a list of what I accomplished:

Two carloads full of stuff were taken to Goodwill, some mine and some Kasi Starr’s. (There is another story here – tune in later for that episode.) By full, I mean there was room for me and that’s it. I could see out the front driver’s side windows and that’s it. It, I tell you.

The areas where one of the kitties vomited unspeakable things onto the carpet were shaved off with a razorblade. Gross. I’m currently not speaking to Murphy or Miss Kitty.

My garage is completely organized according to girl code. Boys, you have no dog in this fight. My garage is perfect. I do not need your advice about how to arrange my storage space according to your strict and non-negotiable standards of tool/garden object/car/cleaner areas.

The interior of my car was vacuumed and scrubbed.

The trunk of my car was emptied and vacuumed. I hope you guys caught that. The trunk. Of my car. That I have not really touched since April when I was laid off. Was cleaned out. It was sad a little. I had a whole life at that company and that whole life was stuffed into my trunk where I did not have to face it. But after I threw a whole bunch of that life away, I felt lighter somehow. Also, look at it!

Before

Before

After.  Ain't it beauty-ful?

After. Ain’t it beauty-ful?

I cut my thumb open with a vegetable peeler. Not only was I not cooking anything, but I had been whipping about a razorblade all morning with no ill results, yet the moment I washed the dishes, I nearly bled to death in the kitchen. It was a scary time.

I lost my car keys. How I did that in this spotless, completely organized house is beyond me. I don’t know how you guys stand me. Really. I can barely stand myself.

I organized my closet. And here, my friends, is Addiction, Part Two.

Wall One

Wall One

Wall Two

Wall Two

You see all that? Those are hoodies. I love them. I can never have too many. I am on the never-ending quest for the perfect one and despite what you see here, I have not yet found it. One of those hoodies was stolen from an ex-boyfriend. It was literally the only thing I kept from that relationship of one whole year and my whole heart. Two of them I stole from a guy I went on two dates with. Four of them I stole from Coach (you see how I’m his fake wife?). Martie recently purchased one that I covet and the minute she gives even a whiff of letting me borrow it, it will be mine. That gray one there in the middle, it’s my favorite. That Titan’s one has a matching scarf Madre knitted for me. That pink one is for sleeping. Madre tried to borrow the purple one for just a week or two and initially I said yes, but as she was trying to put it on, I kept pulling it off and not letting go and eventually she just gave up and stuck it back in my closet. Some of them are specifically for use in the gym. Some of them are for house cleaning. Some of them are for dates (as if). Some of them are to be paired with jeans on casual Friday. Some of them have matching socks and t-shirts although all of them look good with a lacy camisole. That one up there with the bleach stains? You should know that the zipper is broken meaning I have to wrangle it closed with pliers, and it is two sizes too big, yet I cannot seem to part with it. You want me to go on? No? Really?

What were we talking about? I think I got ever so slightly sidetracked with the hoodies and now have forgotten the entire point I was trying to make. But, uh, I’m on a budget (perhaps it was how you can have a no-money fun weekend? By cleaning?) and I have addictions and these are first world problems.

The end.

P.S. I also have a wrapping paper addiction and am on my second year of a three year wrapping paper purchase ban. I also seem to have great affection for the long sleeved t-shirt. If any of you forgot to buy me a birthday present and feel pretty bad about it, I could give you a few suggestions.

P.P.S. Also, pajamas.

Boy Loves Girl – A Story For Your Heart

There’s a little dollar store I stop in on my way home sometimes to pick up the occasional grocery item.  They don’t carry a lot of things but they have the basics.  They also carry seasonal items, and last week when I stopped to get some necessities, I swung through the Valentine’s aisle to check it out. 

As I was admiring the chocolates, cards, and stuffed animals, a woman walked down the aisle with her two boys.  Initially I didn’t pay a lot of attention to them.  I took my quick glances at the sweet stuff and then moved on to get the items on my list.  I then did a quick walk through of the store, just to see if I “needed” anything else and finally found a check-out line to stand in. 

In the check-out line was a Valentine’s balloon nearly the size of my car.  It was a monstrosity.  The mother and her two boys walked up to stand in line behind me and the youngest boy was instantly captivated by that balloon.  I heard him breathe in sharply and ask, “Mom, do you think she would like this?”

“Well, you already have chocolates and the dog for her.  That’s enough money for today,” she replied.

“But Mom, this would really work.  I just know it.  I’ll pay for it.  I’ll wash dishes,” he pleaded.  Let me clarify.  He was not whining.  He was asking.

“Don’t you think it’s a little big,” she asked.  “It’s probably expensive.”

“I love her, Mom. It has to work.”  I could hear the emotion in his throat. 

Her heart melted.  I felt it.  I turned to look back at him, to get a closer peek.  This boy was maybe nine or ten.  He had red curly hair with red-blonde eyelashes and a million freckles.  He was earnest and sincere and he had the sweetest little eyes.  He also had a stuffed dog under his arm and a heart-shaped box of chocolates with a picture of a guitar on it. 

He saw me looking and explained without my asking, “It’s for my girlfriend.  Well, she was my girlfriend and then I heard at recess that she’s going out with another guy and I have to get her back.  The dog I picked out because it’s colorful, like her, and the guitar I picked out because I like music and I want her to think of me.  Do you think she would like the balloon, too?” 

“I think everything you picked out is just perfect.  I think you chose really well,” I said.  “She must be very special.”

“She is,” he said simply.  “I love her.”  It was all he needed to say. 

They bought the balloon.  I watched them stuff the Valentine gifts in the car and I heard him telling his mom how many nights he would wash the dishes.  I hope that little girl is worth his heart because she sure has it, hook, line and sinker. 

funky-pink-heart

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I wrote a love story last year, too.  If you haven’t read it, you should.  It’s my favorite one. 

Once Again, A Story About My Hair

Martie and I have an arrangement.  We have for years, ever since she decided to attend cosmetology school the day she graduated from college.  She would learn how to make hair look fabulous and I would let her practice on me.  In essence, I am her guinea pig.  And now that she is advanced in her career it is no longer called “practice” but “experimentation”.

Over the course of her career, I have been a blonde, a brunette, a redhead, a redhead with blonde chunks, a blonde with orange stripes, a blonde with brown chunks, and finally a blonde with red streaks.  I’ve also worn a glitter tattoo, fake eyelashes so long that I couldn’t even wear my glasses, and a feather in my hair.  Every new trend that comes along will be tried on my hair unless it interferes with my professional career which sadly eliminates the ombre in violet tones (I would rock that in a heartbeat), the beehive (this disappoints me like you would not believe), and the dip-dye (I’m not entirely sure what this is but I’m pretty sure I desperately want it). 

More than once over the years Boss asked “What have you done to your hair?” Once I determined that my new hair wouldn’t get me fired, I dismissed him.  Lynnette, on the other hand, has asked more than once over the years “Ooh, what have you done to your hair?”  Once I determine that she likes it, we discuss it at length. 

So back to our agreement, Martie and me.  Every month I give her a date night with her bohunk, Coach, and every time I need new hair, she does it for free.  Win/win.  This weekend was a win/win for both of us as she and Coach needed their alone time and I needed my roots done before my pending trip to Tampa.  I also needed to see my nieces so maybe win/win/win?  Oh, did I tell you about Tampa?  I’m going to Tampa. I won’t get a tan, as per usual, but I do plan on having fun.

So I was in the beauty shop “helping” her mix my color this weekend.  She had already wound my hair up into chunks and cut the foil and draped the cape over me.  We trotted off to the back where she got out the chemicals and started mixing.  Right in the middle of the mixing she said, “Oh shit.”  Being the curious type and also the type that defines herself by her hair, I hollered, “What! Oh crap, what!  What did you do?” And she said something in Swahili about mixing one developer with another something or other and basically she was pretty sure it was going to work but it had never been tried because these things had never been mixed before and then she slapped it on the roots of my hair and wadded it up in foil and stuck me under the dryer.  I heard her say to one of the other girls in the shop, “At least it’s just Jimmie” and they all nodded in agreement.

I wasn’t really worried.  Not really.  I trust Martie completely and truthfully, I am her best advertising.  I knew she wouldn’t let anything happen to my hair.  But I still had a moment of trepidation when she took the foil off.  I always have a secret fear, a very small one mind you, that she will take the foil off and my hair will come with it.  This day was no different.  The cursing beforehand probably didn’t help.  BUT!  She took the foil off and whacked my hair off into a fashionable cut and put some fancy-smelling hair goo in it and dried into the perfect coif.  And then said, “Viola!  I knew that would work.”  It was then that my stomach stopped quivering. 

Man, she’s so smart.  See why I trust her? 

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Also, as a bonus for you because I’ve been gone so long, here is the picture I promised of me and Pooh.  I took it over Christmas after I hugged her tight for a while.  I love that girl. 

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I Remain Unchanged

Yesterday was my yearly Doctor Appointment. You know, The Doctor. The Cookie One. The One I Hate. If you are new to me, think about it for a minute. You will figure it out.

I think everyone is always a little hopeful that time will grow me up, that I will no longer act like a two-year-old throwing a hissy fit in the toy aisle at Target when I go to The Doctor. No one is more hopeful than me, though. Every year I gird my loins, so to speak, giving myself pep talks and practicing some deep breathing and also praying. This year I was so hopeful that I did my makeup before stepping foot into that office. Used to I’d cry it all off and have to redo it so I learned that perhaps it was best if I just waited until after my appointment before glamming up my eyelashes. Not this year! This year I caked all that mess on and then drove on over for my appointment.

Want to have a recap of that visit with me? Let’s do this.

Did I unsuccessfully attempt to pee into a cup? Check.

Did I get huffy at the scale when forced to weigh in? Check.

Did I snap “Why in the world does that matter?” when the nurse asked if I was single, married or divorced? Check.

Did they give me a paper towel to wear? Check.

Did I lick the edges of the paper towel and stick it to myself in order to get maximum coverage? Check.

Did they measure my blood pressure? Check.

Did they have to re-measure my blood pressure after the exam to see if it came down to a non-near-death level? Check.

Did I use half a box of Kleenex for my snotty nose and watery eyes? Check.

Did I curse at The Doctor? Check.

Did I call someone a liar? Check.

Did I call another someone a liar? Check.

Did I mouth off to the scheduler and also call her a liar because upon making my appointment she told me that all doctors come in no earlier than nine, that it was the earliest appointment available, yet I could clearly see on the sign in sheet that my physician had been taking appointments since eight that morning? Check.

Did I go to work looking like bees stung my eyeballs? Check.

Katniss, my work friend, sent me a message today after witnessing my swole up eyeballs and beet red complexion and also my crappy attitude that read: I am so glad I am your friend and not your doctor. She has a point. I never cuss my friends like that.

So what did we learn here? That I am rock steady, never changing? You can count on me to be consistent? Check.

I Don’t Know Why Everyone Gets So Worried

I think I forgot to tell you that Daddy-O and JiJi got me a new pink pocketknife for my birthday.  It was a happy moment.  Ain’t it purty?

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I’ve toted it around in my purse proudly for a few months but have only had a couple of chances to use it so when Christmas rolled around, I was pretty stoked.  See, we are a family that likes ourselves the ribbon.  We enjoy twisting that curling ribbon all around the package and tying it as tight as we can. It makes the packages look more festive.  We are also a family that enjoys ourselves some tape.  We like taping the gift boxes shut and also all the seams of the wrapping paper so that finding a finger hold to rip the paper off is nearly impossible.  But the packages look pretty and that is what is important.

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When Coach was opening his first package and having some difficulty, I ran to my purse to get my pocketknife.  “Here,” I offered, “you can use my pocketknife.”

Coach looked at me with horror.   “No,” he hollered.  “You put that away!  You’ll hurt yourself!”

And then Martie said when I offered it to her, “No, I’m good!  I’ve got this, see?”  And she sawed away at the tape with her nail.

Daddy-O said, “Lord, go get some Kleenex before you bleed all over the couch!”

Poppa whipped out his own pocketknife and sneered at my tiny little pink one as he expertly flicked his open and sliced through the ribbon.

Madre let me open my knife and use it on one of her gifts but when I had a brain cramp for a minute and couldn’t remember how to close it, Coach took it away from me and stuffed it down between the couch cushions. 

I got my knife back and will have you know that all my fingers remain intact.  I don’t even know why you worry. I am excellent with sharp things.  Except for this one time.  Geez, bunch of worry warts. 

 

Men, A Gift Giving Guide

Alright, boys, I’m here to help.  I know that most of you have yet to begin your Christmas shopping.  I’m guessing Wal-Greens is your first stop. Actually, I’m guessing Wal-Greens is your only stop.  While I personally feel like you should have already scoped out the perfect gift for your girl and ordered it online from Tiffany (or Godiva), I understand that perhaps you operate best under pressure and since you have a full 30 hours left of the holiday shopping season, you feel calm and serene.  Amirite?

A few years ago when I was a married woman, I had a husband who felt like useful gifts were a fantastic idea.  I’m here to tell you that they are not.  He purchased for me one year a Dust Buster.  You know, one of those instruments to CLEAN with.  As a Christmas gift.   For ME to CLEAN with.  I did manage to smile and say thank you.  He had purchased it before Christmas and wrapped it himself, so A for effort.  But my Dust Buster broke in the first year of ownership and do you know he got me another one the next year for Christmas?  That was a pleasant experience for him and me both.

Men, I care for you.  I want what is best for you.  I hate to see you spend long, lonely, cold nights in your dog house.  Because I care for you and don’t want you to spend long, lonely, cold nights in your dog house, I have compiled a short checklist for you to help with your holiday giving this year.   

  1. Small boxes are best.  Blue ones (like Tiffany blue, for example) or gold (like Godiva gold, for example) are particularly appealing.  Also, gift card boxes are extremely welcome as are small notes inside of big boxes that read:  Merry Christmas, baby. Let’s go shopping. 
  2. If your gift plugs in and she has not specifically asked for it, take it back.  Immediately.
  3. Cookware is not a good gift.  Nor are cleaning items of any sort. Anything that we can use to better serve YOU?  No.
  4. If you value your life at all, or most importantly your nether regions, do not even consider, nay don’t even breathe in the direction of exercise equipment or diet books.  Purchasing gifts of this nature will cause women everywhere to react in the same manner, as if you threw us nekkid out of the car onto 2nd Avenue. 

Following these simple rules will allow everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season.  It will also allow you to sleep in your own bed on Christmas night.  Isn’t that a nice thought?

Love,

Jimmie 

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