Throwback Thursday! No Words Needed

Madre

Madre

Auntie Pastel

Auntie Pastel

Lynnette

Lynnette

Junior Prom Date and Jimmie

Junior Prom Date and Jimmie

Jimmie and Martie

Jimmie and Martie

Dammit Todd

Dammit Todd

Jimmie

Jimmie

Martie

Martie

Madre and Poppa

Madre and Poppa

Martie and Jimmie

Martie and Jimmie

Tuesday, 6:00 A.M.

“Yes, ma’am, that happened because you are older than 25,” my new dermatologist said as I pointed out a skin flaw I have recently developed.

I groaned and pointed to another. “Mmm hmm, that one is because you are older than 25, too.” One more. “Yep, over 25.”

I pointed out a final weird skin thing, and looked up hopefully, waiting for her to finally tell me that one of my skin oddities could be easily fixed with an application of lemon juice and tooth paste. “That one, yeah, that one is because you are over 40. Yes, honey. Sunscreen. Go get it. Next time you come in here you better be lathered up in it.”

You want to feel old? Go to the dermatologist. When she lets you look at some exuberantly brown freckle through her magnifying glass, you’ll feel old as dirt. Your skin looks like crepe up close. Did you know that? And then to add insult to injury, she’ll ask you for $80 for her assessment (that’s the discounted rate) and have you schedule the first of many appointments just to get some work done on the damage aging has caused. It was a slow realization for me, that she meant it when she said “daily all-over sunscreen, even in the rain,” only because I’m loathe to wear it all the time. Not only does it make me permanently flushed of cheek, but I’ll be an oil slick, too. Yee-haw. Why am I still single, I wonder?

So that was a great way to start a Tuesday. Really made me feel good about myself.

On the opposite end of the coin, last week I ended a Thursday in a way I never expected. I’d have told you that there was enough alcohol in the world to make me to do it, but that the amount of alcohol would knock me on my duff, out cold on the sidewalk in the dirty part of town before I ever reached the point of wanting to try this activity. Yet there I was, in a dance studio, taking a ballroom dancing lesson. I know! Me! The girl with no rhythm, the one people have made fun of as I danced, that pasty white girl! I was learning how to dance!

In all fairness, I should tell you that the dances I learned involved four steps: forward, back, side, side. No wiggling. No sashaying. No hip shakes of any sort, although when I watched the instructors dancing I realized that they looked less mechanical than I and somehow far, far sexier. But four steps! How can I mess that up?

I’ll tell you how. First, when the instructor, whom I shall call Antonio, says, “Ready, 5 – 6 – 7 – 8, now back – back – side – together, back – back – side – together,” you’ll want to whisper to yourself, “Ready, 4 – 5 – 6 – wait, I mean 8, back – back – side – back – no wait, together, no wait – I lost it, now back – back – side – together, yay I’m doing it, back – oh crap, I lost it.” That’s how.

And then when Antonio says, “Let’s change the tempo. Now we are going to s l o w – s l o w – quickquick,” you are going to silently count it out and forget that right after quickquick comes s l o w – s l o w and drag Antonio along with you in the wrong speed because you are bossy and don’t know how to follow.

After 45 minutes of practicing your follow and your counting (I’m not kidding, I’m bossy – it’s hard) and stepping, stepping, stepping, forward, back, side, together, you’ll start to get it. Antonio was very patient with me and rather bossy his own self and teaches this for a living so I’m certain I am not his worst pupil to date. Then after your group lesson when it becomes readily apparent that you are the newbie with zero skills, you’ll feel even better about things, especially as all the instructors remain bossy but don’t let you remain bossy and give you pointers at every step and count out every dance for you. Finally, when they have the dance party and every single instructor fights for your attention as a partner, you’ll stop caring how stupid you look and just enjoy the dance. That’s the whole point anyway, to enjoy it.

Let me tell you what I particularly loved about that lesson. I loved that Antonio held my hand every time we walked across the dance floor. He never took a hand or arm off of me. He made me feel special and that I could trust him. I think there is a dance lesson in there about following, about trusting your lead, but whatever it was, I loved it. I belonged. His time was my time and nothing could take that away. The other instructors who cut in every few seconds during the dance party also made me feel special. I know I was terrible at it, and I know that if any of them became a permanent instructor to me, they’d sigh at the amount of work they had to do, but the attention I got from them did not belie that at all. They held my hands and led me around and counted for me, even when I lost the count and even when I didn’t shake anything at all but simply did the White Man’s Shuffle.

I sat down with Antonio after my lesson to discuss pricing. Truthfully, I had attended the lesson to be nice as one of my lovely new co-workers got a free lesson by bringing a guest. She’s been dancing for years and it shows. It made me proud to watch her. But I had only expected to pass an evening and not love it like I did. However. Pricing. Turns out that ballroom dancing is for swanky people and since my salary is going to be invested in Neutrogena sunscreen from now until death, I can’t see my way into paying for lessons that may or may not yank that bossiness right out of me. I’m afraid that eliminating it altogether would prove to be an impossibility, but maybe some tempering of it would have been nice.

Still single. Wonder why.

Snow Day!

We had a snow day last week.  A snow day in Tennessee, whether we get ¼ inch or two feet, means that everyone buys milk, eggs and bread in bulk and piles up on the sofa under 14 blankets with some hot chocolate and a nose spray to wait out the blizzard.  No one and I mean NO ONE gets on the road.

This is what happens at my house on a snow day:

Text exchange between Jimmie and her neighbor, Luke.

Jimmie:  Okay, Lucas.  When can I go to work?

Luke:  Hold on.  Let me check the roads. (Can y’all tell he’s being snarky?  I can tell he’s being snarky.)

Jimmie:  Are you still at home?

Luke:  Hell no.  I left at 5:45.  Made it in 25 minutes.  Did 55 mph.

Jimmie:  So you just basically called me a girl and a drama queen.

Luke:  Yep.  Get going.

Jimmie:  God, I’m the best neighbor.  You are so lucky to have me.

Luke:  Yes I am.  Good luck.

For the record, I made it work just fine.  Had some French Toast for dinner.  Was fabulous.

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

Car 1

image

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.

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.

For Mature Audiences Only

Recently some friends of mine got married.  I love to hear stories of how couples met and how they decided that marriage was their thing, so naturally I grilled them about their story.  They met online, which really seems to be the way to go anymore.  I mean, every time you turn around you find someone who met their someone on a dating sight.

I pondered over internet dating for a while and after some time, decided that it sounded fun.  It was a lark – what was it going to hurt, right?  I marched on over to that dating website on a Sunday afternoon and I threw up a profile.  First, though, I ruminated over how I wanted to present myself and over what I’d ideally like to find.  I decided that negativity was no way to begin so I gave myself the name of Happy; then I decided that I’d like to weed out anyone who wasn’t on the same page as me spiritually, so I explained that I’d need the interested party to put God first.

There was a section titled “You should message me if . . . .”, and I wanted to do this right, too.  I asked for bravery and niceness and then said the following:

I can definitively say who shouldn’t message me:  the guys who say “wow, I bet your body is amazing” or “how do you feel about making out with 25 year olds?” or “I am stuck in Nicaragua where my mum is dying and I need $3000 to save her and I love you, please wire money.”

See, this is okay, right?  Overall it was kind of light and happy and fun.

This is what happened on Monday:

I didn’t think I would ever find someone half as cool as me, but I think you might be able to measure up.  Seriously, you really do seem like a very sweet nice lady.  Anyway my name is XXXXX and I decided you should shoot me an email.  Oh by the way, when a big fat man comes and puts you in a bag at night don’t be scared.  I told Santa I wanted you for Christmas!

Pertinent Facts – age: 27, height: 5’6”

Kind of sweet, definitely original, and although I had no interest in a 27-year-old little person, I was flattered.  I messaged sweetly back and moved on, thinking, “This isn’t so bad.”  Y’all, let me tell you, Monday I peaked.

This is what happened on Tuesday:

Hello, how would you feel about a guy if he called you an amazon as a compliment?

Pertinent Facts – age: 27, location: Istanbul, Turkey

I’m looking for a good woman who would like to f— and hang out sometimes.  I’m sorry if that’s forward but I’m honest. You interested?

Pertinent Facts – who cares?

Doesn’t a good massage sound fun? I’m a great kisser.  Ever had a full body massage?  Like a sensual massage, not one for your health lol.  Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Pertinent Facts – Religion: Christian, and serious about it

Did you have lucky charms for breakfast?  Because you look magically delicious!

Pertinent Facts – Married

You are 5’11”?  I bet your feet are amazing! What size shoe do you wear?

Pertinent Facts – Professional photographer, business info attached

I gotta tell you, Tuesday pretty well took the wind right out of my sails.  I examined my profile thoroughly to see if some pervert had hacked into my account and changed my lead in to “Please Message Me If You Want All Sex All The Time.  🙂 🙂 :)” To my surprise, my profile read exactly the same as my original posting.  Also, my pictures had not been tampered with. This was again a surprise as I fully expected to find that someone had photoshopped my head onto to Pamela Anderson’s naked body and loaded those pictures.  But no.

This was certainly a dilemma.  My girlfriend told me you’d have to weed through a lot of low-hanging fruit to find the good ones but I was getting slightly nauseated at all the fermented pieces I was attracting.  Hurk.

A couple more days, I decided.  I could hang on for a couple more days.  Maybe something fabulous would come along.

And then this happened on Wednesday:

I love your profile . . . a lot . . . kiss me . . . . hold me  . . .  touch me . . .  let me kiss you . . . .hold you  . . . . touch you . . . .make you very turned on . . . . excited and yes  . . . more, much more

Pertinent Facts – age: 62

And then this happened on Thursday:

Dear Happy –

We are sorry to see you go.  We’d like for you to take a brief survey and let us know how we can manage our site better so as not to lose valuable customers like you.  If you change your mind, you can always come back!

Sincerely,

The Dating Website

In all fairness, no 25-year-old person from Nicaragua messaged me.  That’s something, I guess.

And in case you are wondering – all of this here?  True story. No lie.  No exaggeration.

Back In The Groove?

In 91 days, Woney and I are leaving for Ireland.  Actually, we are leaving for New York first, then two days after that we are leaving for Ireland.  When things are on an even keel, it is pretty much all I talk about anymore. 

So I was on the elevator, talking about Ireland with a co-worker, when one of the maintenance guys riding the elevator with us asked, “Are you of Irish descent?” 

I said, “Of course.  Can you see my freckles?  That is the Irish part.  The giant calves I have, that is the German part.  So I’m both.”

Here’s where my story takes a tragic turn.  The maintenance guy twinkled at me and said in his best flirty voice, utterly proud of himself, “There is nothing wrong with a sturdy woman.”

Sturdy.  Woman.  

Sturdy. 

I don’t even want to talk anymore. 

The end. 

Valentime’s Day, Or As I Affectionately Call It, Singles Awareness Day

Don’t you hate it when people call it that?  There is no M in Valentine.  Do you also hate it when people call it Singles Awareness Day? Tough, it’s my blog.

So I had a party for all my single friends on Singles Awareness Day.  We went to the bowling alley.  You should know that I am a terrible bowler.  Really awful.   I don’t know why I do this to myself.  You remember Thor?  He claims to be the worst bowler ever.  I say this with love – he’s pretty bad.  I have another friend who doesn’t see too well.  Her vision started to go when she was young yet she has adjusted beautifully.  She’s an okay bowler.  We had some new friends come to the party who tried their hardest to lay claim to the title “Crappiest Bowler Ever”, throwing gutter balls and missing pin after pin.  Y’all want to guess who got the lowest score in every game?  Want to know who was so spectacularly bad at the bowling that breaking a 40 was considered a fantastic accomplishment?  That is correct – yours truly.

One of the new friends whom I shall call Flash pulled me aside on the last two frames of the game to give me some coaching lessons.  “Jimmie,” Flash said, “how do you feel about me giving you some pointers so that maybe you can tie for last place instead of being dead last all by yourself . . . . again?” 

“Sure, why not.”  And so Flash coached me, enabling me to get a strike AND a spare and thus I tied for last place with a guy who fervently tried to convince us that he had never bowled before.  I am amazing.

Lest you think I am a total loser, I do have things at which I excel. 

For example, I am excellent at lecturing men on what constitutes a good Valentime’s Day gift.  Simply look at this post, which can be used for almost any gift-giving occasion in which women are to receive tokens of affection.  I used it with great success on a guy at work, whom I shall call Yao Ming (he is tall and I like standing next to him). 

“Yao Ming,” I said as I cornered him in the supply room, “what are you doing for your wife for Valentime’s Day?  You have planned ahead, correct?”

“Uh . . . .” said Yao Ming.  “I usually do pretty well on ValentiNe’s Day.  I’ll get balloons or flowers or something.”   

“Well, you better giddy on it, Yao Ming.  I do not want any of my friends in the dog house because of a lame Valentime’s Day gift.  I once knew a girl, my sister-in-law actually, whose boyfriend gave her a set of free weights and the advice that she could use lose a few pounds.  She was a rail already but either way, that boyfriend spent a lot of time recovering from that snafu and I do not want the same fate for you.  I like you too much for that, Yao Ming.” And then Yao Ming made some excuse about all the work he had to do and fled to the other side of the hall. 

I used this same argument successfully with the postman, the UPS man, and the Fed Ex guy.  I am very popular. 

Another example of things I do well:  I am excellent at playing with other people’s children in bowling alleys.   I know this because after coming back from a routine visit to the restroom I found a small child hanging out in our lane.  He was a tiny little black boy with the cutest curly Mohawk you’ve ever seen.  He was less than two and had the sweetest eyelashes.  His elbow was propped on one of our chairs and he watched our game intently, probably fascinated by the wildly spinning colorful balls that flew all over the lanes.  Ooh, I snatched him up immediately, cooing “Hi, muffin. What’s your name?”

He looked at me with giant eyes and then turned his attention back to the out-of-control game we were playing.  He leaned against me, completely content.  Oh, I could have held him all night.  After a few minutes, though, I could see the realization dawn on his family that they were missing a kid.  I held him up to show I had him, that he was safe and while they rushed over to rescue him from the wild woman who bowled as if she had a muscle deficiency, they were very kind in letting me get a hug from him before taking him safely to his own lane.  We bonded, though, because he waved good-bye to me as he left.  He was my Valentime. 

I also have other assorted skills like layering on glitter eyeliner in thick, even lines; backcombing my hair into a giant poof; matching my socks to every occasion and outfit (up to and including Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, Equestrian holidays, Dog holidays, and Valentime’s Day); asking Boss for gifts that he never sends; and making friends easily.  You know why I make friends easily?  It’s because I never throw people under the bus by telling stories on them when they are crappy bowlers (Thor) or when they get super excited about the nerdy Tupperware gift they received for Valentime’s Day (Yao Ming). 

This is a pretty impressive list, don’t you agree?  Y’all want to hang out with me this weekend?  We should go bowling.

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! 

Speaking Of Snooty Snotholes . . . .

Want to know how my day started today?

Lady at the gym:  Are you working out with a trainer? 

Jimmie:  No.  But I’ve taken a lot of classes from Lynnette.  She taught me well.

Lady at the gym:  Well, you always work out really hard. Well done.

Jimmie: <preen>

Want to know how my day started yesterday? With jazz.  In abs class.  Who plays a jazz soundtrack for an ab workout?  Jazz makes no sense.  How are you supposed to breathe rhythmically to power through 600 bicycle kicks when you listen to jazz?  Everyone knows that you either play some sex music or some Adele in an abs class, because everyone knows you need to be motivated by some kind of sexy or raw emotion in order to not quit after ten crunches.  Ima have a word with the instructor, who by the way won’t be here for the next two classes because he’s going to a class reunion.  I’m pretty sure he’s going to walk around with no shirt on the whole time because I’m pretty sure a 50-something year old man with a stomach like a brick will win the prize for “Most Well Preserved”, and everyone knows that is the only reason you go to reunions anyway – to show off how good you still look and/or how much you have accomplished since you last saw each other at graduation.

And now, speaking of snooty snotholes, I have a story about a lady at the YMCA, where I used to go. Once upon a time, before Lynnette started teaching classes at the Y, I had never been to a Body Pump class.  I really wanted to go, though, so after much encouragement from Lynnette and assorted others I ventured to try it.  I went to the Greenway first and ran about five miles. I was pretty gross, but I didn’t worry too much about it as no one really expects you to be hawt at the gym, right?  I got to the class and set up all my equipment.  While the class was tough, I gave it my best.  One exercise required that we have partners and it seemed to me that everyone in there already knew each other so people already had established partners.  The instructor asked if anyone was solo, I raised my hand, and she asked another lady who was partnered with two other people to even it out and partner with me. 

The woman walked over towards me and we gave each other a look.  She had on some pretty tight spandex-y pants, a tiny little sports bra as a top, a giant well-manicured ponytail that had obviously been washed and styled just that morning, a full face of makeup including lip gloss and some giant hoop earrings.  Her stomach was as flat as a board, her butt perky, her boobs suspiciously firm-looking.  Etc.  What she saw when she looked at me I don’t know, but her eyes rolled from the top of my head down to the toe of my shoes.  She heaved a sigh and then called out to the instructor, “Nope, I’m good” and walked back over to the two people she had already partnered with. 

Needless to say, I never went back to that class until Lynnette started teaching it.  Sweet little old Lynnette who, while even being a hottie when she works out never makes anyone feel like crap about themselves because they sweat.

I was hopeful that my new gym wouldn’t have any snooty snotholes but unfortunately that is not the case.  There is a woman who I see nearly every day, in the gym and in the locker room (Ima call her Bianca which is totally a fake snooty name, in my opinion).  Bianca likes to kind of sashay around the gym, swishing her butt all around and then park on the elliptical machine for her allotted workout time.  She wears a sweat band (70s-style terry cloth) around her forehead and regularly makes unfortunate choices in workout pants.   When her workout is over, she sashays with her swishy butt into the locker room, gives me a once over as I am drying my hair and NEVER SAYS A WORD TO ME.  NEVER.  I know she speaks because I’ve heard her have conversations with others.  Yet there must be something about me she finds aesthetically unpleasing because she routinely ignores me as if I am not there.  I’m guessing that matching bra and panty sets offend her. 

There was a time when that would really bother me, when I could never let her beat me.  I’d do anything to make her talk to me, nay even like me a little even if only grudgingly.  But that was the old me.  The new me could give two rips.  Also, the new me will totally let her sashay around the gym with her swishy butt and never tell her that the unfortunate choice she regularly makes in workout pants really emphasizes the fact that her underwear is all wedged up in her butt crack and everyone can tell.  Suck on that, Bianca!

I’m so nice.

P.  S. Tony, I just want you to know that that other day when I was running on the Greenway, I saw four men IN UNIFORM running in front of me.  I’ll have you know, that phenomenon really did make me run further and faster!  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.  You’d better *bring it* next time I come out there.   

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