Monday, November 7, 2011

put your feet up, and your expectations down

It's been awhile since I've shared a good story about the Ex that made my life kind of miserable interesting. Some people might say it's because I've now matured and no longer feel hurt or betrayed by many of the things he did because I now realize they were his issues and not mine.

Those people are wrong.

More than likely, the reason I barely think about this Ex any longer is because I'm way happily married and satisfied with everything that Hubs provides me(without me begging)and I no longer require a glance into the past every four minutes.

But last week I was driving by one of my old workplaces, singing along to Rihanna on the radio and trying to make a list of things that last longer than Kim Kardashian's marriage (bananas, a sun tan, my nail polish, days between eye brow waxes) when all of a sudden-

BAM

- there it was. A memory I had long since forgotten brought to the forefront of my brain by simply seeing a building at which I was once employed. I sat back in my seat and thought over the memory, and though I remember being incredibly sad when this happened, I couldn't help but now think-

THIS IS A BLOG WORTHY STORY.

So here we go.

It's 2005. I'm 24 years old working at a job I love with people I respect and adore. I've become good friends with several gals in my department, and we tell each other stories.

(Actually they're all married and settled, and my life is a hot mess, so really I just tell them my stories.  And they're fine with that - I think.)

Anyways, they're all more than familiar with the five years of drama that is Me and Ex. Sometimes he calls, sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he wants to hold my hand, sometime he wants to date other people to see what else is out there but asks me to please stick around and not date anyone else because he knows he'll be back after he gets it out of his system and he's really sorry but he has to do this and I understand, right?

It's an all too familiar tale.

But on this particular day, I'm excited. For one thing, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey have just announced they're divorcing, which means I can get Season 1, 2 and 3 of "Newlyweds" at a seriously discounted rated.

Yes, I liked that show. Shut up.

But more importantly, the weekend is near. And just last night I had a very interesting phone conversation with Ex.  It went something like this:

Me: (winding up our long conversation about how awesome it is to fish in the summer. It was a mostly one-sided conversation.) Well, I gotta get to bed, Ex.

Ex: Okay, yeah. Cuz you have to work in the morning and all. Are you excited about this weekend?

Me: (shrugs shoulders) I mean, yeah I am.

Ex: (voice hardening) Why don't you sound excited?

Me: (takes a deep breath) Well Ex, it just seems like I'm always driving the 60 miles out to your Dad's house to see you. I live in an apartment alone here. It just seems so weird driving that far to stay with you at your Dad's. We'd have a perfectly great weekend here...alone.

Ex: (sighs audibly) We've talked about this. Gas is expensive and you have a way better job than me and you get great great gas mileage. Besides, we have the fishing pond here.

Me: Right. I forgot.

Ex: And - I have something for you that I think you're really going to love.

Me: (putting down my ice cream to listen carefully) You have something for ME?

Ex: (smiling through the phone) Yep. Just got it this week. You're going to be pretty excited.

Me: Now wait, this is something you bought? Like, with money? Or did you steal it like the Dr. Pepper and the cactus flower on Valentine's Day?

Ex: (snorts in disapproval) Ha ha. No. It's something you've been waiting for a long time...let's just say that.

***

So after the conversation, I'm feeling more than excited. Ex is not a gift buyer. At all. This has to be something that has him pumped.

The next day I rush to work to discuss it with my girls. We go over every detail of the conversation.

Friend 1: Did he sound uncomfortable, like he spent way too much on whatever it is?

Friend 2: He never buys you anything. Did he actually refer to the gift as "it"? Because that sounds like jewelry to me.

Friend 3: I think you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

We go at least 18 rounds deciding that if he bought it with his own money, it can't possibly be anything over $40. BUT, if he used a credit card, then it could be a big gift. Like, one that requires some deep thought and preparation. I'd take a bracelet. Or earrings. Or something that doesn't come in a Victoria's Secret box that he got with his mom's discount. And that she picked out.

Friday arrives. All day long I'm a basket case. I have not only convinced myself that tonight is going to be a great night, but it's going to be a night I'll never forget. My boyfriend is going to give me a gift without me asking, begging or hinting. He's finally growing up.

At 4:45, I've already shut down my computer, packed up my purse and am sitting in my task chair, my legs bouncing up and down at the anticipation of 5:00.

Friend 3: (rolling her eyes) Seriously, I can't believe you're this excited. I've never seen someone so worked up over a gift.

Me: I know, but you don't understand. I have this weird...feeling.

Friend 1: It's indigestion, we had Mexican for lunch.

Me: No, it's something else. I feel like this gift is going to be a strong indication of the coming year for me and Ex. Like a pace setter, ya know?

Friend 2: Well, we're all so excited to find out what it is!

Me: (leaping out of my seat) It's 5:02!! I could have left two minutes ago. Bye guys! See you Monday!!!

****

MONDAY MORNING:

Friend 1: (bouncing over to my desk) SOOOOO????

Me: (faced away from my friend, staring out the window) Hmpgh.

Friend 2: Uh, what does that mean? Did you have a good weekend?

Me: Hmpgh. (flops head down onto my desk, burying my face in my arms.)

Friend 3:  Oh no. What happened?

Me: (muffled) Hrmph drff refaph mrff wrrp chrr.

All three friends: Huh?

Me: (sitting up and spinning around to face them.) He bought me a LAWN CHAIR.

Three Friends: (blank stares)

Me: That's right. I went to his house on Friday, so excited at the possibilities. He led me into the garage and said he apologized that it wasn't wrapped, but it was too big, right?

Three Friends: (nodding eagerly)

Me: We get to the garage and I see two boxes leaning up against his Dad's wood shop bench. And they're lawn chairs. LAWN CHAIRS.

Friend 1: (optimistically) Wellll, did you ask for a lawn chair recently?

Me: (nodding, fighting back tears) Apparently so. A few months ago my Mom got one of those new types of lawn chairs that you can lean back and recline, ya know? So I said it was pretty cool. And apparently THAT means I want one.

Friend 2: So, wait, why were there two?

Me: (throws head back laughing) Because HE needs one, too! This way we can both benefit and be comfortable when we fish.

Friend 3: (puzzled) You like to fish?

Me: (eyes narrowed) I. Hate. To. Fish.

Friend 2: (sighs) Well, look on the bright side. He did finally buy something for you. And without you asking!

Me: His dad bought them for us.

Friend 2: Oh.

***

And so it was, in fact, a pace setter for that year with Ex. It turned out to be the year of the forced ring shopping and the proposal that never happened (which is a story I've yet to tell).

If I had been smarter, I might have ended things after the lawn chair debacle. But I'm a stubborn gal, and decided to let it ride. Maybe I was a glutton for punishment. Maybe I was just insecure. Either way, I know the gals I worked for got a kick of that story, and I bet they never looked at lawn chairs the same again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

eat mor chikin, just don't be a jackass

Confrontation isn't my strong suit. Generally I enjoy getting along with people and avoiding conversations that make me feel awkward.

(I mean, unless some hoochie tries to take the last adorable leather jacket I've been eyeing for WEEKS at Nordstrom Rack. Then I'll cut a bitch.)

But on the average day, I'd prefer smiles and joy rather than yelling and angry eyes.

Yesterday was not an average day. Here's what happened.

****

It's 11:30 am on a gorgeous fall day. I have a lunch presentation at noon with a very large client that I want to make a great impression on. My hair looks nice (aka it's clean and combed), my outfit makes my legs look long and I feel prepared.  I just need to pick up the catering for the presentation.

I pull into the Chick-Fil-A parking lot feeling calm and ready. I open the glass door and step inside. It is mass chaos. At least four children are crying, the line is a mile long and the cashiers look like they're going to commit suicide at any second.

Remaining calm, I step into the food line and wait for the six people in front of me to order. My watch reads 11:34. Eep.

A frazzled kid of about 17 stands behind me and audibly sighs at the line. I turn and shrug my shoulder as if to say, "Whaddya gonna do?"  And really, it's not so bad. The cashiers are moving quickly; people are in high spirits. I relax.

Suddenly a groan booms from a few feet away. A man in his late 50's stands behind Frazzle Kid. The man is bald with intense brown eyes and a permanent scowl, which is doing nothing for the wrinkles on his face that have clearly formed from years of grumpiness.

"Which damn line you in?" he grumbles to Frazzle.

"Uh, not sure," Frazzle squeaks. "I think it's just the one line and you disperse as you get up to the front, ya know?"

Grumpy scoffs and runs a hand over his greasy head. "This is so ridiculous. I'm in a hurry."

"Next," calls a young cashier. I've been so preoccupied with Grumpy and Frazzle's conversation, I've failed to realize it's my turn.

"That's me!" Grumpy calls out and jumps in front of me and Frazzle, waving his credit card.

Remember, I don't love confrontation. But this guy is trying to jump in front of at least two people. Not cool. Do I say something? I glance at my watch. 11:39. Time to get confrontational.

I act quickly and beat Grumpy to the counter.


"I'm actually next," I say with a smile. "I'm just here to pick up my catering order. My name's Kim."

"Oh sure," the adorable cashier with a bouncy ponytail smiles. She can't be a day over 16. "Just step over to the side and we'll get you all taken care of. I can help the next person!"

Frazzle doesn't have a chance. Grumpy flies up to the register, elbowing me further to the end of the counter. He puts his credit card in the young cashiers face and yells, "I want a chicken sandwich, no pickles and a fry. Put it on this card, right here."

That extra helping of Chick-Fil-A happiness training kicks in and Ponytail Girl smiles even wider. "Of course, sir," she says through clenched teeth. "And your drink?"

Grumpy shifts his weight and puffs out his chest. "I don't WANT a drink. I already told you that! Chicken sandwich, no pickles. Fries. That's it! On the credit card right here."

I can feel the entire restaurant holding their breath. Children have stopped crying and watch the scene playing out. Ponytail Girl has her smile screwed on so tight I'm afriad her cheeks are going to break. This can't go on.

I open my mouth to say something, but the manager has just emerged with my food. I can just walk away, pay my tab and be done with it. There's no need to get involved. Grumpy will get his food and karma will handle him later. But that isn't right. I know Ponytail Girl can't say anything because the customer is always right.

Well I'm a customer, too, and I decide to show Grumpy what is right.

I move back down the counter, take a deep breath and speak.

"Sir, you really shouldn't speak that way to her. She's doing the best she can to get your food and you're being incredibly rude."

Grumpy turns in slow motion and looks me up and down, his eyes blazing.

"You can eff off," he spits, obviously not using the politically correct term. "Leave me the eff alone, bitch."


Ow. That stung. It also makes me mad.

"Wow." I shake my head in disappointment and turn to Ponytail Girl. "I apologize for this man. He is very rude and you don't deserve that."

"And you should mind your own effing business," Grumpy yells, his voice growing louder with every word. "Be a lady in your stupid black suit and shut your effing mouth before I teach you a lesson."

My eyes narrow into slits and I see red. "You know, I AM a lady. I would never speak to someone like you are. You should be ashamed of yourself."

"Eff off, bitch. Get a life!" Grumpy screams and I can tell this isn't getting me anywhere. I've said my piece and I can't do anything else. 

I resist the urge to use my knee (which is covered in my stupid suit) to discombobulate a sensitive area of his anatomy. An employee hands me my catering bags and walks out with me to my car.


As I climb into the driver's seat, I'm kicking myself for not coming up with something more clever to say. I look down and realize my hands are shaking. I'm so angry I don't even know what to do with myself.

I need a drink of my Dr. Pepper. (We'll address the fact that I'm an addict later, okay?) Except I left my drink on the counter. I have to go back in.

Mother of pearl.

Assuming that Grumpy Grumperson is probably long gone by now, I gather myself and head back toward the restaurant. No such luck. Grumpy is on his way out. We are going to collide right outside the restaurant...where there are less witnesses.

Still in a hurry, Grumpy doesn't notice me until he's out the door. Suddenly his eyes register recognition. Armed with his sack of chicken sandwich and no pickles, he charges by me in a cloud of anger and snarls, "Eat sh*t and die, you nasty bitch."

Classy.

He skulks to his Mercedes which is naturally taking up two spots and drives away like a very un-talented Andretti.

"Thank you for saying something to that horrible man," a small voice says from the patio. A young woman is sitting with her daughter enjoying their lunch.

"I just can't believe someone else didn't say something," she continues, taking a bite of her french fry. "You know there was a table full of cops right behind you, don't you? They didn't say a word."

I shrug my shoulders. "It was loud enough in there, maybe they didn't hear what was going on," I reply. "Either way, I don't think I really helped. I just don't like to see people treated that way."

The woman smiles at me as she cuts a piece of chicken for her daughter. "Well, you did the right thing."

As I head back into the restaurant to grab my totally deserved Dr. Pepper for the day, I think to myself, "was that the right thing to do? Maybe the man was sick in the head, or drunk, or having a really, really bad day?

Then I decide that there is never an excuse to speak to someone that way. Plus, I would have felt crummy all day if I hadn't spoken up. I've worked in restaurants and retail many times in my life and have been treated terribly. I wanted someone to come to my defense then, and I'd still want them to now. I would want someone to do the right thing, even if it didn't really get them anywhere. At the very least I know Grumpy had to have felt at least a tiny bit humiliated by a girl half his age telling him he was a bozo. Right?

What would you have done?

Friday, August 26, 2011

talking trash

It is no secret that I am somewhat...scatterbrained. It's the way I'm built; I can't help it. It doesn't take much for me to get side tracked and - wait, that Russell dude from the Real Housewives of Orange County killed himself?

Hold on. Must research.

**** (muzak playing in your head)  ****

I'm back. Where was I? Oh right, scatterbrained.

My mind tends to wander and prevent me from focusing on whatever task is currently at hand. Over the years this has cost me in dearly in many ways. Examples?
  • Lost babysitting money that I JUST HAD IN MY HAND three seconds ago.
  • Purchasing at least 5 pairs of gloves every year, because I always lose them even know I KNOW FOR A FACT that I left them in the car seat, Hubs, I really did. Some homeless person probably broke in and took them. What would they need a GPS for?
  • Missed appointments with clients because my keys have decided to grow legs and scurry underneath the sofa, even though it is WITHOUT DOUBT that I haven't gone in that living room for the last three days. Really.
Anyways.

For the most part, I can keep these little mishaps under wraps. Yes Mom, I know I got paid babysitting money last night. No, I didn't LOSE it...I used it to, uh, buy tampons. So can I have some money for the movies?

Yes, Hubs, I know you asked me to go buy a new watch battery. And yes, I took the old battery with me in my wallet. In THIS EXACT POCKET. But when I got to the store, it was gone! What's that? Oh, you found it on the floor board of the car? How odd. My wallet must have a hole in it. Guess I'll have to get a new wallet.

I thought this problem would just magically go away someday, but frankly, the older I get, the more frequently these episodes occur.  And unfortunately, they're getting harder to hide.

Like this:

It's Wednesday. I've finished my second appointment for the day and have another one in an hour and a half. Not enough time to go home and not NEARLY enough time to go search the shoe rack at Nordstrom's. Damn.

Instead, I trek to the nearest coffee shop. The shop is fairly empty, save a few people furiously typing on their laptops or organizing their wedding planner book. I purchase a fruit smoothy, take up residence in a comfy booth and check Facebook schedule appointments for next week.

An hour later, I glance up from my computer and notice that quite a large number of people have arrived in the restaurant. A quick glance at my watch shows that I have 15 minutes to get to my next appointment with time to spare. Well, didn't I time this well?

Congratulating myself for getting so much done in such a small amount of time, I stand to gather all my stuff. And by stuff, I mean:
  • Laptop bag
  • iPad
  • Phone
  • Purse
  • Planner
  • Magazine
  • Notebook
  • Smoothie cup.
Needless to say my hands are full. In my right hand, I carefully balance my notebook and iPad. Hanging on my right arm are my laptop bag and purse (which, incidentally, weigh a minimum of four pounds. Each).

With my free left hand, I pick up the smoothie cup and my phone. I just need to toss the cup in the trash, and I'm good to go.

This is where my scatterbrain syndrome takes over. As I walk to the trash, this happens.

Okay, so, trash can first. Throw away smoothie cup, get keys out of the left pocket of my purse and- HOLY COW that girl's dress is cute. Is that mustard yellow or more of a canary? Her boobs are smaller than mine; I don't think I can pull that low cut look off. Plus my arms would look jiggly. When I get home tonight I'm going to start doing push-ups. For real. Then I'm going to cut out sweets. I read that article the other day that said-

"Excuse me, Miss," a voice interrupts my list of resolutions. I'm now standing in front of the trash can totally blocking a guy from getting to his booth.

Embarrassed, I smile and shrug, "Oh, so sorry about that. Just need to throw this away," I hold the smoothie cup up for him to see and gracefully aim it over the trash can.

And then I drop my phone in the trash instead of the cup.

Jay. Zus.

What am I supposed to do? This is not a normal trash can. This is a trash can with a GIGANTIC wood enclosure around it that's covered in ranch dressing, cream cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.

I know I have to act fast before someone comes over and dumps their un-eaten tomato basil soul in the bin. A minimum of ten pairs of eyes eagerly watch me as I flag down an employee. My audience is hoping I have a total melt down. They might just get to see one.

"Can I help you ma'am?" a young girl with a brown ponytail and high cheekbones asks.

"Yes, please," I say in my most unconvincing "Nothing is Wrong, I Can Totally Handle This" voice. "See, I dropped my phone in the trash instead of this cup. Haha! I'm sure that happens all the time."

Silence.

"So anyway, it's too far down in the trash for me to grab it. Can we take the trash out of the bin thingy and I'll get it that way?"

Ponytail Girl is trying not to laugh, I know it. She's also hoping her bagel friend is recording this whole thing for You Tube so she can label it #CoffeeeShopFail and it'll get 31,000 hits by the time the dinner crowd comes in.

"Sure," she says sweetly, reaching for trash bin. "You just open this here, and pull out the can. There it is, right on top."

Quickly I grab the Blackberry from its perch on a Styrofoam sandwich container and brush off the bagel crumbs.

"Guess this'll teach me not to try and multi-task, huh?" I joke.

"Well, at least you dropped it in a trash can and not a toilet, right?" she offers.

I decide not to tell her I did that a few years ago. Twice.



Thursday, July 21, 2011

don't ask me wifi

The last few weeks have sucked. Between living in a hotel and rotating four outfits because we don't have a washer and dryer in the new house, I'm about to dump gasoline on my head and smoke a cigarette.

But I won't.

The light at the end of the tunnel is poking through. We at least have a functional television.

Then again, we have no cable. Which means no True Blood, Real Housewives of ANYTHING, So You Think You Can Dance, or Flipping Out. I may as well not have a TV.

One great part of the move that's complete is all three pets are back from Grandma's house and living with us again. As I posted the other day, we just rescued our new dog Tootsie, and she's fantastic. I'm excited to someday cuddle up with her on the couch and get some work done.

Notice I said someday.

Because we don't have Internet.

For the last three days we did have "free" wifi from an unsuspecting neighbor who didn't have his service password protected.  It only took 72 hours for him to figure out why his internet was so slow.

So there went that.

Today I had several things that I needed to get done that could not be accomplished via my Blackberry.

(Mainly because my Blackberry is as efficient as one of those Speak 'N Spells I played with when I was 4.)

That being said, I needed Internet.

Panera only allows 1/2 an hour of Internet at a time, and I needed at least 2. I don't drink coffee, so Starbucks was out. Then Hubs came up with a solution that fixed one problem but created a whole new set of others.

McDonald's.

Apparently they have WiFi.  Really?  Do a lot of business people frequent McDonald's? I usually only see mu mu's. Maybe that's just me.

I was desperate though, and I went to the McDonald's. I located a booth,s at down, and began to work. 
While sitting there, I discovered:

1) It is impossible to concentrate on work when a 2 year old child is screaming, "I HATE FRENCH FRIES! I WANT MACARONI! Mommy always takes me to get macaroni.  You're a DOODY HEAD, Daddy!

2) McDonald's does not offer outlets, despite their Wifi. Charge your battery prior to leaving the house.

3) McDonald's Diet Dr. Pepper tastes like a mix of prune juice, Hi-C and a shot of Keystone Light. As a (self-proclaimed) Dr. Pepper expert, I'm tempted to call corporate about this travesty.

4) If you find yourself forced to use your laptop in a McDonald's, no less than three people will ask you, "McDonald's has WiFi now?" or "Working hard or hardly workin', eh?" or "What kinda 'puter is that? I just got me one of them iPad's from my daughter for Christmas. So, wheredo you live?"

5) I am not a nice person when I get interrupted.

In other news, I have found the PERFECT DOG to go adopt so Tootsie can have a brother.

(YES, I was working while at McDonald's using the Wifi. I can't help it if I had to take a slight detour to the Wayside Waif's website while I waited for a file to download.)

(Also, Sam Moon has fantastic jewelry at super cheap prices.)

(And J-Lo might have been cheating on Marc Anthony while they were married.)

All right, back to work...oooh wait, there's a Red Box at this McDonald's. Wonder if any good movies are in there this week?

Friday, July 15, 2011

the (hot) dog days are over



Here I lay, on my new couch
I'm not quite sure that I deserve this
I'm comfy and my tummy's full
And there's cool air on my tookus

My mom and dad at my house before
Bought me so I'd make babies
But a baby of their own came soon
And I guess they didn't want me

They put me out in the hot, hot heat
And tied me to a chain
Sometimes I didn't have water to drink
And I'd hope for it to rain

I'm full of life and energy
So I'd try to jump and wrestle
But my chain would get all tangled up
So under a tree I'd nestle

I wanted to go back inside
What had I done so wrong?
I wouldn't hurt their baby girl
I'd lick her all day long

But no one came to bring me in
In the grass I'd have to lie
I tried to smile as people passed
But I was just too hot to try 

Then one day, something changed
A lady stopped to pet me
My mom didn't put up a fuss at all
She seemed relieved and happy

The lady scooped me up so tight
She kissed my bony body
Then whispered, "I know the home for you"
I was so happy I almost pottied

Hubs and Kim took me right in
They snuggle and they coo
I get treated like I'm special here
And there's always lots of food!

I know how lucky that I am
That this family took me in
Will you do the same for another like me?
Believe me, everyone wins

Love,
Tootsie Roll

Special thank you to Hubs' mom, Janette, the "nice lady" who was smart enough to remove Tootsie from her previous home. The family only wanted Tootsie to breed her. But once they had their own baby, they simply didn't want her or have a need for her. Apparently in that household, pets have to earn their stay. At our house, the only form of payment accepted is love. And Tootsie's bank account will always be full.

To rescue an animal of your own, contact your local animal shelter. In Kansas City, check out Wayside Waifs and Animal Haven.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

the house that paint built

WHERE have you been, you ask?

Did you fall off the earth?

No.

Did you hit your head on something and forget who you are?

No. (I don't think so, anyway.)

No, it's none of the above. We've been moving to a new house. Or rather, we've been trying to move into a new house. First we rented out our townhouse, only to discover we couldn't close on the new house soon enough. Therefore we moved to a weekly hotel for two week...THEN we moved into the new house.

In 120 heat.

It's been rad.

Between brown recluse spiders, delayed closing, a completely useless air conditioner and 3' tall grass, it's been enough to make Hubs and I question exactly what is was that we were thinking.

But then, early this week, we were finally able to begin the move into the house.  So we rented a Uhaul, borrowed my parents for help, and started the move.

The night we moved the big stuff, the heat index was hovering around a pleasant 116 degrees. Totally optimal moving conditions. The four of us soaked our shirts, shorts and every other body part with sweat, going in and out of the Uhaul like ants. It wasn't fun.

After the first load, we all stood there contemplating whether anyone would mind if we just stripped naked.

Just then, I noticed movement from the corner of my eye. I turned to see two women walking up our driveway.

J: (waving) Hi there! We're your neighbors from across the cul-de-sac. This is A and I'm J.

Me: (thinking about the pool of sweat that's in my boobs that I would totally dig out with a Kleenex if total strangers weren't in front of me) Oh hi! Nice to meet you. Please excuse us, we're prett gross right now.

J: (waving her hand non-chalantly) Don't worry about it, we totally understand. So...how's it going?

Me: Pretty good, I guess. We've got the first big load done. So, now onto the next.

A: We've seen your cars over here once or twice, and wondered if you were going to be our new neighbors. Both of our husbands are police officers.

M: (kicking myself for coming over several times in one week to look in the windows and *maybe* try and sneak in through the garage) Yeah, we've been back and forth from here pretty often. We're pretty excited to move in.

A: Well, everyone around here is really nice. Like I said, our husbands are both on the KCMO PD, so you can feel safe.

Me: (internal monologue) So no getting drunk and running around the house naked on a dare. And no knock down, drag out fights with Hubs on the front lawn screaming "YOU THOUGHT OUR WEDDING WAS BORINGADMIT IT!")

Me: (out loud) That's great!

A: So...(pausing and cocking her eyebrow), you guys really liked the house then, huh? We've been waiting for someone to move in. (pausing again)

Me: (carefully) Yyyyeah, we like it a lot. I mean...there's some work to be done.

Hubs: We're both designers, so we bought it as a fixer upper.

A: (raising eyebrows and looking at J) So, you're going to do stuff to the house, then?

J: (salivating like a dog after a t-bone.)

Me: Well, as soon as we can we want to paint itm, so-

J: (throwing her arms around me) Oh thank GOD! I'm so glad to hear you say that. The day the woman that lived here started painting this house, I was watching through the blinds, and I immediately called A and was like, "WHAT THE HELL IS SHE DOING OVER THERE?"

Me: (laughing) It's definitely on our list to get done. As soon as we can!

J: (putting her hand over her heart) That makes me feel so much better. I'm so glad you guys don't like it as much as we don't. Although it does make our house easier to find when people come over. 'We're across from the crazy bright house!'

***

So, we have nice neighbors who really couldn't care less whether we're axe murderers or pedophiles, as long as we paint the house. Which I get.  Cuz right now?  It looks like this.



And it doesn't stop there. Ms. Previous Owner was not afraid to get in touch with her inner Crayola.

Our Master Bath?  Looks like this.


(Blogger is being stubborn and won't turn the picture.)

But she didn't stop at green, oh no. Check out the upstairs bedroom. Ahoy matey! Thar I see land up ahead!




And the dining room. Don't forget the dining room.


I've always wondered what it'd be like to crawl inside an eggplant to eat my breakfast. Now I know.

But fear not, if we grow weary of eggplant casserole, we can easily move on to butternut squash in the 3rd bedroom. Tasty.




Yes, the previous owner of this house clearly had a Rainbow Brite complex, and brought it into her home. But one day at a time, we will overcome.  One paint stroke out a time, we will slowly turn this into the house of our dreams.

(Just don't tell the neighbors we plan to do the outside before the inside. Shhhhh.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I scream, you scream, but mostly I just scream

  
Scene: Two nights ago. I am jonesin' for ice cream.


Me: (sitting in a ridiculously long line at Sheridan's Frozen Custard talking to myself) Holy crap...How long can it take to give someone their ice cream!

(line creeps forward three inches)

Me: (smacking the stirring wheel over and over) HURRY UP!

Lady five cars in front of me at the drive- up speaker: Um, I want three large cookie dough concretes...no wait, just two cookie dough concretes. And...hold on. WHAT ABBY? WHAT DO YOU WANT? (pause) Okay, and one small vanilla custard with chocolate sprinkles, but not too many chocolate sprinkles. (pause) Okay, and, change the two cookie dough concretes to one cookie dough and one Oreo, but I don't want a ton of Oreo's in it. And then...yes, Abby I know...a large chocolate shake with two straws. Do you take checks?

(Rapidly dialing Hubs' number)

Hubs: Hi babe.

Me: Hubs! This is crazy. The line to Sheridan's is like, 8 cars long! I want ICE CREAM!

Hubs: (sighs) They have the walk-up counter. Is it busy?

Me: (shrugs) No.

Hubs: So go up there and order your ice cream.

Me: (softly) I can't.

Hubs: Why not?

Me: It's too far. I don't want to.

Hubs: Oh for heavens sake. If you don't want to wait than you're going to have to.

Me: (picking at my jeans) Yeah, but I can't even if I wanted to.

Hubs: Why?

Me: Just cuz.

Hubs:  WHY?

Me: Because I'm not wearing a bra. I left the house quickly and didn't think I'd need to be out of the car.

Hubs: So? We live in Wyandotte...you'll fit right in.

Me: (pondering) That's true. 

Hubs: So....what are you going to do?

Me: I'll just wait, I guess.  It gives me a reason to bitch.

Hubs: Shocking.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

toto, i don't want to be in kansas anymore

Today Kansas City was rocked with some pretty severe weather. Thousands of people were herded into basements, hallways and bathrooms, hoping that a tornado wouldn't touch down and repeat the damage and devastation in Joplin. 

Here is my experience:

Around 11:00 this morning, I hop in my SUV to meet a client for lunch and disucss a project. Our lunch is located in Overland Park KS, approximately 15 miles from my house. As I got ready this morning, I barely even noticed the severe weather warnings. Yes, there was some information crawling across the bottom of the screen with the words WARNING and SEVERE and ACTION PLAN...but I didn't have time to look at those.

(I'm one of those people who wears fluffy, light skirts on windy days and chooses to flat iron my hair when there's a 99.999% chance of rain. I am oblivious to weather predictions. Unlike my mother, but that's another story.)

Approximately 4 miles from my destination, heavy rain begins to splatter on my windshield. I think to myself, "Hmmm, the sky looks a bit iffy. I wonder if there's a severe thunderstorm warning or something."

I switch from a CD (the artist of which I will not share with you because it's too embarassing) and tune into a local radio station.

BEEEP, BEEEEEEP, BEEEEEEP!!!! Really, I only needed the one beep to pay attention.

Seconds later, a robotic voice informs me that yes, the city I just entered is now under a tornado warning.

Not watch.

Warning.

Um...

I'm not going to lie. I begin to hyperventilate. My palms begin to sweat as I completely ignore the road for a solid 10 seconds and examine the sky. As if I have the slightest clue as to what I'm looking for. Gary Lezak is always talking about funnel clouds, but do I actually know what they look like?  And what about those hooky echo-y things? Should I look for those?

But then I think, "Overland Park is a big area. I mean, what are the chances that I'm in the exact right spot for this thing?"

The robotic voice then me that between mile marker 67 and 80 is in the direct path of the tornadic activity.

I'm on mile marker 78. Holy shiz balls. I am going to die.

For the next few seconds, I ponder if Hubs will miss me when I'm gone. Then I realize I'm totally passing my exit. I whip the car off the highway like I'm auditioning for NASCAR and pull into my lunch spot, Blanc Burgers.

(Which, FYI. Yum.)

The rain has almost completely stopped as I walk into the restaurant. Hooray! I'm safe! Scary stuff is over!

Then I walk in, and every single customer, server and bartender is glued to the television, which is showing an HD feed of a tornado forming basically right over our heads.

Neat.

I take a seat and order a Dr. Pepper. If I'm going to die, I'm going down with Dr. Pepper in my stomch. But I never get my drink. The manager/owner/person in charge at Blanc comes to each table and calmly informs his patrons that we are now going to evacuate to the downstairs.

I'm not prepared to say that I shoved to the front of the line to go downstairs, but I'm also not going to say I wasn't. Blanc man leads us through the kitchen (immaculately clean, by the way) and down the concrete stair well. I breathe a sigh of relief at the though that I'll at least be in an enclosed basement. I walk through the final door...and find myself at the mouth of a parking garage. So maybe not so safe and enclosed after all. 

And there it is. The giant funnel, swirling and twirling, disguising itself as a beautiful phenomenon when it's really a potential storm of death ready to come and eat me alive with its scary cloudy jaws.

I walk up the parking ramp to the outside and whip out my phone to take video. Cuz that's safe.

As I finish video (which refuses to upload on my blog), I take in my surroundings. Everyone around me is with a friend or co-worker. My lunch appointment had stayed behind at her office (and rightly so), Hubs is at work, and I don't know anyone.

 I suddenly have visions of a tornado dropping out of the sky and sucking all of us into it's windy funnel, rudely plopping us four miles away through the brand new skylights at Oak Park Mall.

I dial Hubs. No signal. The cell towers capabilities are clearly crippled with the thousands of people calling their loved ones. I quickly summon my expert "Radio Contest" strategy and began dialing Hubs once every 15 seconds. On the eighth try, I finally get through.

"Hi, babe," he answers.

"It's me!" I breath into the phone. "Thank goodness I got through! I am literally watching a tornado form RIGHT NOW."

"Really?" He replies. "That's cool."

"It is NOT cool," I hiss into the phone. "I could die at any second if this thing touches down."

"Well, go back inside then." Men are so annoyingly pragmatic.

"No!" I say back, kicking at the concrete. "I mean, it's kind of neat to watch it. But really, I could die."

"You're not going to die, Kim. Can I call you back?"

I am disgusted. I could be Twister'd at ANY second. This might be our last phone call to each other EVER. And he wants the last words spoken to his wife of nearly four years to be, "Can I call you back?"

"Sure," I shrug my shoudlers. "I mean, if you have something more important to do than speak to me while I witness a potentially huge F5 torando, you should do it."

"Okay, I'll call you back in a bit. Love you!"  Click.

I bet Ryan Gosling would have told Rachel McAdams how much he loved her final phone call on earth, but whatever.

As I stand there and prepare for my exit from this world, I start to think. This is the first "real" tornado situation I've ever been in on my own. I mean, when I was a kid, tornadoes were always experienced with my family. And I sure as hell never saw one. Mostly because Mom shoved all three kids under the stairs, covered us with a mattress and ran back up to my dad screaming, "IS IT HERE??? BILL!!! IS THE TORNADO COMING? GET IN THE HOUSE BEFORE IT SUCKS YOU UP!!!"

Super calming influence for a nine-year old.

In my college years, I always had roommates to help me weather the storm. They were always very calm people, much like Hubs, who sort of took me and my ever-present paranoia under their wing and dealt with my crazy death irrationalites every April-June.

And now, Hubs is always there for me, reasuuring me when bad weather strikes. And yet here I am, alone. With a giant tornado possibly looming over me. And I'm doing okay. There are no tears (that can be proven), almost no irrational thoughts, and I'm all by myself.

I really have grown up.

Fifteen minutes later the storm officially passes, and we all go back up to the restaurant for lunch.  I feel as if I should receive some sort of a medal or at least a pat on the back, but no one produces one.  I guess I'll just have to settle for my own personal pride.

And besies, no one has to know I pottied in my pants a little.

Monday, April 11, 2011

color me stupid

It should come as no surprise to you bloggies that I, on occasion, say or do some really not-so-intelligent things.

(If you really need proof, feel free to read about my shenanigan's here, here and here. And trust me, this is a very small sampling.)

It might, however, surprise you to find out that I've been having these issues my entire life. I don't know if I have a lack of ability to think things completely through before I say/do them, or if I'm just destined to make people laugh through my ridiculousness.  Either way, you benefit.

For example:

I grew up in a relatively strict household. No, my parents didn't chain me to the basement and make me wear a chastity belt, but they did keep a pretty tight eye on me and my siblings.

One area they pulled the reigns back was for movies. I rarely got to watch anything above a PG rating as a kid. On the rare instance that I watched a PG-13 or God forbid, R movie, my mom would chew her fingernails, anxiously awaiting the naughty parts. When the kissing turned to petting or an f-bomb was just arround the corner, she would jump off the couch like a crazy person and fast forward the scene to secure my innocence.

But every now and again, my mom would love a movie so much that she gave up her worries for my well-being and allowed me to watch a film well beyond the PG level. With her, of course. "Dirty Dancing" was one of those movies, and I got to watch it when I was 11.

From the first moment I watched it, I was hoooked. I couldn't get enough of it. The story of Johnny and Baby and the drama of wondering if they would get together and would that dude from Law and Order ever like Johnny and see that he was a good man? It sometimes kept me up at nights.

Anyways...

The summer after I saw that movie for the first time, we went on a family vacation. I don't remember where and it doesn't matter. All that does matter is I was away from my VCR for two weeks solid. No Johnny. No Baby. No "I carried a watermelon?" to laugh at. No scenes where I was thisclose to seeing Patrick Swayze's man parts.

When we finally arrived home from the vacation, the first thing I wanted to do was watch the movie. Knowing my Dad's answer would be flat out "no", I went to Mom first. I found her in the kitchen, dutifully putting away all the food from our coolers into the refrigerator.

"Mom?" I asked, kicking at a bug on the floor. "I've finished un-packing my bags and sorting the clothes into the color piles like you asked me to. Could I please watch a movie?"

Mom glared at me as she rose up from the fridge. "Kim, it is 95 degrees in this house right now, we have tons of crap to put away from the trip, and I haven't slept well in three days. No, you can't watch a movie."

I sighed, but was not deterred. I knew if I could make enough racket or possibly even cause a small disaster, I had a shot at changing her mind. The plotting began.

"Okay, well, I'll just help you put this food away then."

"That would be great," she replied, wiping a drip of sweat from her forehead. "Hand me the pickles, Velveeta and the Coke's from that cooler by the front door, over there."

This was my opportunity. I grabbed the requested items quickly and *possibly* on purpose, dropped one of the Coke's on the floor. It didn't break open, but a small hissss of sticky, wet foam began to pool on the tile floor.

"God bless America!" she screamed. Blessing America was a sure sign she was about to lose her mind. "Kim, you have to be careful!" She grabed a dish towel and began to soak up the brown liquid.

I waited. She looked up at me, my hands still full with three Coke cans and the Velveeta cube.

"Honey, I just don't understand why you can't - just - never mind." She motioned to the living room, exasperated. "Go get your brother and you two watch a movie. I just don't care."

Mission accomplished. I beamed.

Walking over to the VCR storage, I opened the green notebook that spelled out which movie was recorded on which of our 149 tapes. 

Princess Bride, tape 41. Charlie Brown Christmas, tape 13. Music man, tape 22. Ah, there it was. Dirty Dancing, tape 27.

But tape 27 was not in it's place. It was gone. I ran through the house, checking all the VCR's in the house. Tape 27 was nowhere to be found. I knew going back and asking Mom for help was more dangerous than playing jump rope with a viper. I would have to ask Dad.

Unfortunately, Dad was now in the kitchen helping Mom. I'd have to play this carefully, with patience and skill. I eased into the kitchen and spoke sofly.

"Dad? Um, Mom said I could watch a movie, and the one I want isn't in its slot."

Dad licked excess mayonnaise from his fingers as he prepared a sandwich. "Find another movie, then." Ugh...the one answer I didn't want to hear.

"Yeah, I would," I replied. "But I really want to watch this one movie I haven't seen in like, forever. It's on tape 27, and I can't find it anywhere. So..."

Turning away from his sandwich, Dad eyed me curiously. "Well what movie is it?"

Shit.

"Uh, it's that movie where the girl dances at the summer camp?" I felt my mother's back stiffen at my description. Dad's eyebrows raised.

"What?" He leaned agains the counter, incredulous. "Since when have you seen "Dirty Dancing", young lady? Diana, did you hear what your daughter wants to watch?"

My mother forced a smile and laughed lightly. "Yes, I heard." She waved her hand nonchalantly. "I let her watch it a few weeks ago while I was folding clothes. She didn't see the really bad parts." Dad just stared.

Uh oh. This was not in the plan. Now my parents were involved in some sort of weird parental Mexican standoff that went way deeper than I understood.

"I see," Dad replied, turning back to his sandwich as he contemplated what to do. It was an impossible position for him to be in. Mom had already let me watch the movie(and amazingly I hadn't burst into flame), so he couldn't say no due to content. At the same time, he clearly didn't want me to see it again, what with all that evil bumping and grinding and abortion business. So he did what my parents always did. He gave me the absolute stupidest excuse ever conceived.

"Honey," he said. "It was a long trip we just went on. That movie is just too heavy of material to watch after a vacation, okay? Why don't you watch "Swiss Family Robinson" instead?"

Mom nodded quickly in agreement, as though Dad had just discovered a cure for herpes.

"DAD! I don't WANT to watch  that," I moaned, stomping my foot. "I want to watch "Dirty Dancing"! I promise not to watch the bad parts, I know where they are and I'll tell you when they come on so you can fast forward!"

(I left out the fact that I knew when the dirty parts were because I had watched the movie several times secretly with my sister when my parents weren't home.)

This response seemed to only solidify my father's decision.

"No, Kim. No." He had made up his mind. "I can't believe you have even seen that movie once," I felt him glance at my mom. "In fact," he paused. "Yes, I don't think you need to watch that movie again until you're a little older. Like 14."

Oh. My. God. I was going to explode.

"That's THREE YEARS AWAY!" I screamed, fighting back tears. How could I wait three years to see Johnny dance on the log again? It was too painful to imagine. But rather than feeling sorry for me, my Dad began to get angry. His face turned red.

"I cannot believe we're even having this conversation!" he boomed, his voice echoing in the kitchen. "That movie is way too mature for you. Mom should not have let you watch it, and I'm sorry she did, but you're not watching it again right now."

Tension filled the kitchen and I flinched as Mom started throwing tupperware into cabinets,slamming them shut and re-opening them again. She was no doubt thinking up a good defense for her and Dad's private conversation later.

"But Dad!" I pulled on his shorts in despearation. "I can't wait until I'm 14! That's three years away. By the time I'm 14, the movie will have changed to black and white!"

Suddenly all movement stopped. Dad's knife hung suspended above his sandwich. Mom froze loading a plate into the dishwasher. Had I gotten through to them? Did they finally understand the brevity of this situation? 

"What did you say?" Dad asked, a grin creeping acros his face. This was my moment to bring it home.

"In three years," I held up three fingers for effect. "I won't be able to enjoy the movie as much as I can now, becaue by the time I'm fourteen, the movie will have gone to black and white like the movies you watched when you were a kid. There's NO way the movie will be as good in black and white, Dad! So... can I watch it now?"

Mom laughed first. Just a chuckle, maybe even a snort. But that's all it took. Suddenly the kitchen was filled with laughter. Hard, uncontrollable laughter. Dad was lucky he didn't stab himself in the stomach with his knife.

I was so confused. What was so amusing?

"Oh honey," my mother began. "Movies don't change to black and white. They can add or take color away whenever they want, to any movie. Are you serious? You don't you know that?"

I started to answer but couldn't hear my own voice over the roaring laughter. I suppose I should have been glad that my parents were clearly no longer mad at one another. Mostly because they were busy wondering what part of my brain was missing.

Defeated, I shuffled out of the kitchen into the living room and turned on "Swiss Family Robinson." To this day, I still despise that movie. Color or not.

And to this day, I swear my children will be able to watch "Dirty Dancing" whenever they want. So there. 



Monday, March 14, 2011

Clear the launch (i)pad...

So Friday was exciting.


For those of you who take up residence under a rock, the iPad2 was launched on Friday. Normally I would stay home and feel sorry for myself because, once again, technology exceeds my budget and I have to settle for an average run-of-the-mill laptop while everyone else enjoys the fruits of Apple's most recent labor.

(Get it? Apple? Fruit?  I'm a genius.)
The good thing about last week's iPad launch, was it fell on a week right after I had turned 30. Due to that blessed occasion, I got lots of nice presents from Hubs, parents and in-laws. Well, really just one present. Cash. I mean, what else are you going to get a 30 year old who has a tendency to pout for three hours when she doesn't get the gift she wanted? The correct answer is of course, gift cards, cash or Dr. Pepper.

My family was smart enough to give me cash. Bless them.

And of course Hubs also pitched in to provide me the necessary dollars to get my dream gift. But he warned me that getting the iPad2 on the day it was released would be touch, and I should probably just order online and wait patiently for its arrival.


Impatience is my middle name.


No dice.


Friday arrives. Word on the 'net states that multiple stores wil be selling the device this time around, not just Apple stores. Armed with this knowledge, I arrive at my local Beat Buy store at 10.00 am on the dot. The parking lot is practically deserted, which I take as a good sign.
 I saunter into the store and bee-line for the iPad section. A stray Beat Buy employee eyes me as I whiz by in a whirlwind of determination and confidence.
"Can I assist you, Miss?" he asks politely.


"Um, yeah," I stop abruptly and turn around. "I want that uh, iPad2 thing," I mime a rectangle with my hands and pretend to type on it. Just in case this person doesn't know what an iPad is.
 Employee man raises his eyebrows. "They don't go on sale until 5.00 pm."

Duh. I shift my weight back and forth like a toddler who needs to pee RIGHT NOW.

"Yeah, I know, but there's already a line at the Apple store. Don't you read Twitter?" God, these ridiculous people. "I thought there would be a line here, too. I want to be sure to get one. Like absolutelypositivelynodoubtaboutit want to get one."

He smiles and nods his approval. "I think you're safe to come back a little later. Not many people even realize this store is here since it's so new and small. Good strategy coming this early, though."

I sigh and buff out a black scuff mark on the floor with my shoe. "Okaaaaay, so if I came back around 3:00, would that be a smart time?"

He thinks for a moment. "Well, I know that's when we find out how many we're getting in the store, so that sounds good to me. Is there anything else you need while you're here?"

I pause for a moment. I have always wanted a television in the girls' room. And I KNOW they have a good selection of movies here...no. Must stay focused. These damn sales people.

"No, that's all I'm here for. I'll be back around 3:00. Thanks!"

I drive home and re-group. The Twitter posts are getting more and more frequent. The lines at the Apple store are growing into the hundreds by noon. Should I go back to Best Buy a little earlier? Maybe around 2:00?

(In all honesty, I drive by the Best Buy store six times in total on Friday. It's only 3 miles from our house, so it's okay.)

I manage to focus on work for awhile at home and knock out some pending tasks, but all I can think about is how fun it will be to do these tasks on my SHINY NEW iPAD2!!! And then I start to daydream about playing Angry Birds on a ginormous screen.

All work productivity is officially lost.

At 2.45 my phone rings. I pray for a telemarketer I can ignore but see that it's an important client. I answer and spend the next few minutes answering questions. By the time I hang up it is 2:56. I am supposed to be in line in four minutes.

I grab a book, triple check that I have my wallet (don't laugh, this has been a problem in the past) and drive like a bat out of crazy town to Best Buy. Relief washes over mewhen I see very few cars in the lot. I totally have this. It is 3:05.

Upon entering the store, I immediately see the line. Or glob. It is at least 10 people. How did THAT happen? The competitor in me was kind of hoping to be first.

As I approach the group, I can't tell where the line starts. Like Ralphie and the line for Santa Claus in "A Christmas Story". Where the hell am I supposed to stand? This is no way to run a rodeo. 

"I assume this is the line for the iPad?" I ask upon approach in my most confident voice.

"Yes," says a tall man who looks very tech savvy. (Read, nerd.)

"Great! Where does the line begin? I can't really tell."

"Right over there," says a man in a green shirt, who looks at me like I'm going to steal his first born child. "This is the front," He points hard to his spot. He is clearly proud to be first in line.

"So right here?" I ask in only the slightest of condescending tones as I take my place behind a young man in a KU shirt.

"Yes, right there. This here. This is the front," Green Shirt Man says, almost out of breath. It's like he's just dodged a bullet. He seems agitated. Now I am agitated.

"Well really, your spot could be the end of the line," I motion to the glob of people. "There isn't a very clear indication of what the front is."

"She's right," Tall Nerd says. I love him. 

"What we should do," I say as I make a wide swinging motion with my hand, "is stand single file along here so people can tell where they're supposed to stand when they come in. Just a thought."

Green Shirt's eyes narrow. "Well, we don't have a control freak in our line at all, do we?  HA HA HA HA HA HA."

Okay, that was rude. I am NOT a control freak. Yes, I like to know where I'm supposed to stand and when I'm supposed to stand there. And besides, who insults a complete stranger for trying to bring some organization to a potentially chaotic situation?

It is at this point that I get out my phone and update my Facebook Status.

"Omg, just WAIT for my blog about my ipad2 experience here at Best Buy. Been here two minutes and there's already drama."

It is also at this time that I become even more agitated at Green Shirt Dude. Seriously, what's his deal? Is he afraid someone is going to stand in front of him? He's FIRST IN LINE.

So I decide to take a picture of him for my blog later.



Do you see what I mean by GLOB? If Green Shirt Dude is first in line, someone explain White Shirt Lady to me. And what is the lady on the floor doing?  Taking a nap? 

I inquire how long Green Shirt and Floor Lady have been waiting, since they are clearly together. Green Shirt actually looks at his watch and actually thinks before replying, "In two minutes, it will be ten."

So eight minutes.

Is it really necessary to sit on the dirty Best Buy floor after you've waited for eight WHOLE minutes? Is it also really necessary to act anxious and worried and call a complete stranger a CONTROL FREAK after waiting only eight minutes? If it had been two hours, I could understand. But eight minutes? Really?

I wonder how crazy things are over at the Apple store where hundereds of people are waiting. Something tells me over there it's all Coach purses and complimentary backrubs and tech talk over espressos. I'm in Wyandotte County in Kansas. Apple's on the Country Club Plaza. When in Rome... 

I decide it can't get worse.

Fifteen minutes later a tall sales kid with killer dreads and a great attitude comes out and begins counting heads. By this point I have done my own count and determined that I am 9th in a line of 16. Surely I am going to get an iPad2.

As Dreads counts heads, I notice his wide grin dwindling as he gets to my part of the line.

"Um, okay guys, listen up!" he barks and claps his hands. "I need you to listen to what I say very, very carefully. Okay?  LISTEN. In about twenty minutes, I am going to hand out vouchers for the iPads. The store ad states that we must have at least four iPads at this location. It also-"

"ONLY 4!?" A big guy with gold teeth exclaims. "But, I'm 5th in line! I thought for sure that I would-"

"Please LISTEN to what I'm saying," Dread's interrupts. "At this location we are only REQUIRED to have four iPads. That does not mean we only have four. LISTEN TO THE WORDS I SAY. And for the love of God, back up!"

I hadn't even noticed, but Green Shirt, his floor wife, Tech Boy and Gold Teeth have slowly taken a step closer to Dreads with every word he says. They're close enough to get a view of his dental work. 

"Look guys, there are about 20 of you here," Dreads continues, massaging his temples. "I can't promise you all are going to get the iPad, and further I can't promise if you do get one that it will be the one you want. I don't even know what we have in inventory yet. Think of it this way...I have to watch you all get the iPad and I don't even get one."

"But you do have at least two?" Green Shirt asks quietly, nudging Dreads. I think Dreads is going to kill him.

"I. Don't. Know. How. Many. We. Have. Please step back," Dreads is starting to lose it. "I will come back in a few minutes with the vouchers. I'll also go over with you what accessories we have for the iPads for those of you that get one. Okay?"

After Dreads leaves, everyone in the line loses their minds. Green Shirt is calculating the chances that they will have more than two iPads, even though Dreads just told us they are required to have four. Tech Savvy Guy is debating between whether he wants the 16 or the 32 GB model and gets in a tech arguement with some pimply dude next to him about 3G versus Wi-fi. The kid behind me who is clearly in high school is on the phone calling in sick to work. I think a lady in the back of the line is crying.

I want to hang myself.

Instead I update my Facebook status again.

"OMG.You guys will not BELIEVE this. #iPad2"

(That's two "OMG's" in one day for my status updates. I think it's warranted.)

The moment of truth finally arrives. Dreads comes back out, this time armed with a second employee for back up. He has pieces of paper in his hands. I know he only has a certain number of papers, and there aren't enough for anyone.

I suddenly pray he gives a Tyra Banks America's Next Top Model speech. "I only have 10 vouchers in my hands...the people who do not receive vouchers must immediately pack their belongings, and go home."

Instead of a speech, Dreads just says that when he's out of papers, he's out of papers. End of story.

He walks to the front of the line and I can already feel people pushing me forward. WHY? This is not going to improve your place in line. People amaze me.

Green Shirt and his Floor Wife get what they want (despite my control freak-ness) and immediately walk around with a satisfied "I Just Took a Huge Dump" grin on their face. By the time Dreads gets to the guy in front of me, I'm convinced I'm not getting one.

Guy in front of me wants a black 32 GB. Dreads doesn't have it. He settles for a black 16 GB.

Dreads comes to me. I want a white 16 GB. He gives me the ticket for the model I want. The kid behind me takes the last piece of paper, and Dreads holds up his empty hands.

Game over.

Without thinking, I throw both hands up in the air and shout "YAAAAAY!" like a five year old. I have a desire to hug someone. People stare. Green Shirt glares at me. I think he's actually mad I got one.

Whatever.

Dreads wishes everyone in the line well and also mentions that if any of us wish to sell our tickets, we can't do it in the store. He then informs everyone that we have an hour to kill before we can purchase our iPads. We can look at accessories until then or busy ourselves elsewhere. He doesn't really care.

I ask for a picture with Dreads, whose name turns out to be Franklin. I prefer Dreads.



Hubs arrives twenty minutes later to wait with me. I try to convey to him the chaos that has ensued while he has been away, but it's impossible to explain.

The time soon arrives for us to purchase our iPads. As we're all standing in line with shitty grins on our faces, a thought occurs to me. You would think this group had just won the lottery. In reality, we simply won a chance to spend over $500 of our hard-earned money on a gadget that likely will be replaced with an even better gadget in a few short months.

And then Dreads reminds me they have a Buy Back Program. For a small, nominal fee.

I shake my head and laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, and even consider walking away. But then it's my turn to buy. And Dreads puts the iPad box in my hands. I remember Angry Birds. And Face Time. And email. And apps. And bright lights and colors. My eyes glaze over, I swipe my card and head home to play.

Monday, March 7, 2011

think before you acronym

Instant messaging with a colleague of mine last week:


Me: So yeah, that's what's new with me. I'm excited for my birthday weekend. Going to relax as much as possible!

J: 30 isn't that bad, trust me.

Me: So says everyone. OH, get this! I totally have to get STD insurance! That's probably another $50-$75 a month.

J: ???

Me: Short Term Disability

J: OH! Wow, I just saw STD and thought that wasn't a conversation you should be having with me.

Me: I don't even think there's such thing as STD insurance for what you're thinking, dirty mind!

J: If there is, I don't want to know about you needing it!

***

I had an AMAZING 30th birthday surprise party this weekend. Hubs' completely pulled it off despite my constant snooping for the last few months. I hope to have picture soon. Thanks to all my friends and best buddies that came out. It was definitely a birthday to remember forever.

Monday, February 28, 2011

taken for a (boat) ride

This morning I interrupt my already busy day to go to the Motor Vehicle Registration place. It is packed. I take a number. It shows #202 and they are currently serving #166. My business is very important to them and they appreciate my patience. If I could please refrain from leaving the premises, it would be appreciated.

One hour, twenty minutes later.

Carol: (over the loudspeaker) Number 4, please?

Me: (closing my magazine and walking over) I need to renew the tags on one of my vehicles.

Carol: Okay. Where's your registration form?

Me: (holding it up) Right here. But I have a question. I alrady renewed my other car and my husband's motorcyle online earlier this month. But when I went to renew this car, I found that for the second year in a row, I didn't have a PIN number to renew this car online. So I had to come all the way here anyway. 

Carol:  (yawning) Mmm hmm.

Me: (handing over my registration info) The whole purpose of renewing your tags online is so you don't HAVE to come down here during work hours. I happily pay the extra $4.00 fee for the online thing, and yet I STILL have to come here.

Carol: (takes my paperwork and clicks away on her keyboard) Yes, there isn'a a PIN number associated with this vehicle, but I can't tell you why. You'd have to go through the department in...wait a minute.(Knits her brows together in confusion)

Me:  What?

Carol:  This registration says "Hubs Antisdel".  Who is Hubs?

Me: My husband. But I can still pay for the registration on his car can't I?

Carol: Yeah, yeah. I'm just... (leaning in to toward the computer screen.) He's the one with the boat, then?

Me: Beg your pardon?

Carol: The boat. That's his?

Me: We don't have a boat.

Carol: (shrugging) The computer says you do. 1982 Galaxy blue boat. See, you haven't paid the registration on it for the last two years. That's why they're forcing you to come down here.

Me: (wringing my magazine in my hands) We. Don't. Have. A. Boat.
Carol: (ignoring me) You owe $229.74 in taxes on the boat, and you have to pay it today with your other car's registration.

Me: I am not paying $229 for the registration on a boat that isn't MINE!

Carol: It's in the computer.

Me: (exasperated) The computer is wrong.

Carol: (smirking) Maybe your husband has a boat you don't know about? You can go call, you won't lose your place in line.

Several minutes later, Hubs has convinced his very concerned wife that no, he has never owned a 1982 Galaxy boat. Also, he is no way affiliated with a secret government agency, nor does he have ane extra wife stashed somewhere. While ending the conversation with Hubs, Carol motions for me to come back.

Me: (stuffing the phone in my purse and approaching the counter) Yes?

Carol: (smiles) It was a glitch. You don't have a boat.

Me: No kidding.

Carol: So you'll just need to pay for the Scion. $167.75.

Me: (handing her my credit card) So I've been down here for two hours because of a glitch that the state made two years in a row?

Carol: (unphased) It isn't this office that handles all that.  Oh, by the way, there's a 2.5% convencience charge for credit cards. Plus the $3.00 convencinece charge of using this annex to do your registration. So total, that's $7.30 additional for the convenience charges. Is that okay?

Me: (smoke emitting  from my ears) So I have to pay more for the CONVENIENCE of coming down here than I would have had to pay for doing this onlinefrom my home? But I couldn't do this online because the State had a "glitch." Can you at least comp me these charges since it isn't my fault for the mistake?

Carol: No.

Me: Awesome. Thanks so much.

Carol: (motioning toward my left arm) Hey, is that Khloe Kardashian on your magazine?

Me: No, it's Katy Perry.

Carol: Oh. She kind of looks like you.

Me: Thanks.

Carol: I always wonder how they get their chest up so high. It's probably a special bra or something.

Me: I gotta go.

***

I have no clever remarks about this experience today. I will instead just tell you that for lunch I got the hugest bucket of Dr. Pepper Chick Fil A had to offer, with a gigantic box of chicken nuggets and waffle fries.

That is all.