I think nine times out of ten people are cruel because they have something better to say…but they can’t think of it at the moment. Can’t think on their feet so they act like a heel. They have to be funnier than kind. Hurtful is hilarious and sweet is just plain silly. I think nine times out of ten people are critical because they are jealous. They don’t want to admit to being lacking or without. Just because they can. What does it take for someone to see the riches in life without making comparisons? It takes a tragedy to recognize a triumph.
And now for something completely different.
Thank you for making me smile. Thank you for taking me out of my funk. I am glad I agreed to go. I’m glad you were there to greet me. Here’s the thing. I don’t say it enough but I value every minute of your time. I don’t take advantage of that time everytime but you inspire me just the same. Even if I only take ten minutes I am so much the better for it. Really. In the here and now I am on the other side of jumping. I think I have even started to climb down from the ledge. I think I’m close enough to the ground to stand on my own two feet. Soon. But, but. But! I still need you and your smile. I still need to know you are there. Even if I decide to jump after all.
I had to say no several times yesterday. What a weird concept. Usually I skirt around the issue, not wanting to come right out with not participating. How liberating, how honest to just say no. Not now. Nope. Why haven’t I thought about this before? Why haven’t I dared?
In the case of the work whiners it was easiest when I could look at the time and say we need to continue this tomorrow. My charges? To find out what makes some so damn inefficient. Easier said than done. No Grace under pressure. I had to admire this one administrator. In mid-sentence she was told she needed to be somewhere else. It didn’t ruin her day. It didn’t ruin her attitude. She was able to slide over to a new way of thinking. When I asked her how she managed she looked at me and deadpanned, “interruption is not a word in my vocabulary.” I love it. Word to the wise. Wise up.
It’s harder to say no to friends. I had plans to get together with someone who really means a lot to me. Yet, I need to stay on my training schedule. I couldn’t have done both successfully. It bothered me that the training won out. It bothered me to have to tell her no. After all, she is my inspiration. She is my hero. Yet, I put her off, hero or not. This is the way it had to be. No, I said. I need to train. Her graceful acceptance allowed me to walk nine miles. I got it done because I didn’t give in.
Later, an invitation to chat. Under any other circumstances I would have loved sparring with this flirty friend. He’s quick with the compliments and quicker with the innuendos. I love the sass. I love the challenge this conversation always presents to me. Who can be the most indulgent, the most daring? But, sigh of all sighs, I had to tell him and his innuendos no. I needed a warm bath and a hot cup of tea. As I let the water wrap itself around my tired legs I thought about this new no I seem to have. While I don’t necessary like it or want it, it works for now. For now.
“I’m guilty just the same.
Sometimes you’re needed badly so please come back again…”
~Duran Duran Hold Back the Rain
The last month has been a weird sort of hell. While the house has been awesome, getting settled hasn’t been all that fun. We are still moving out at the same time as moving in. Still. We are still living out of boxes. Still. Yeah, yeah. Don’t tell me because I’ve heard it before. These Things Take Time. I should be wearing the words as a slogan across my chest. Or tattooed on my forehead. Something. Yeah, yeah. I know the words. It’s not like I haven’t moved (17 times) before. My frustration lies in the lack of time I have to dedicate. It takes time but I have no time to donate.
Last week They were on campus. They are the same They I talked about in my Entitled to Tell You So blog. They stormed the gates again and this time I took it personally. Here’s another yeah yeah moment. I KNOW they weren’t talking about MY job performance. I KNOW they weren’t talking about ME when the listed the library as a concern, as a weakness to the institution. Nothing they announced was new. So, why do I take it so personally? I’ll tell you why. I have been busting my azz to say We Need This- We Need That. My words went nowhere. But, talk is cheap. Words are well, just words. think of all those sayings – put your money where your mouth is, talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words…blahblahblah. I felt like I was screaming into the wind when I should have been learning to harness that wind and fly. DO something.
I have stressed so much about the upcoming, inevitable failings that I have blown off friends and family. I owe my mother a phone call. I owe my nephew an apology. I owe just as much as I woe. My head has been up my azz looking for the sh!t that makes work work. If that makes any sense. Because now that it’s done I feel dumb. I worried for nothing because They didn’t tell me anything new, nothing I didn’t already know.
Now it’s done. I’m done with the rant, too. I got it out. I got over it. Now, it’s time to do something. It’s time to start flying.
We don’t know when we will close. How silly is that? The biggest purchase of my entire life and I don’t know when it will happen. I knew there was trouble last Thursday when kisa said there was a “miscommunication” with the seller’s lawyer. Whatever that means. Unprofessional moment #1. It was hard to go to bed not knowing the plan for the next day. No idea of the walk-through; no idea of the closing. But, I had a good idea it wouldn’t happen at all. A feeling of helplessness was mounting and all I wanted to do was vent – to cry on someone’s shoulder. I’m at the point where I just want to be done with this whole thing. Anticipation is giving way to frustration.
Friday comes and goes. Kisa and I are at the mall. Anxiety is creeping in and people are starting to look stranger and stranger. I couldn’t admit to being okay. We try to stay busy to stay focused. I’m buying candles to light the gloom: gardenia, tea & honey, cedar & pine, and HomeSweetHome (as if!). When we get home every time the phone rings I retell the story and it gets funnier and funnier. It all comes down to a bad boob job. Suddenly, I’m making breast jokes like a guy.
Finally, it’s Sunday and we are back where we started. It’s Thursday night in reverse. We don’t know when we are closing. We don’t know anything. It’s as if we are on a plane, sitting on the tarmac. We are about to embark on a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime vacation. There’s nervous energy in the air. We are excited. We’ve planned for weeks. But, we’re not moving. Minutes turn into hours and there is no explanation for the delay. The idea of going anywhere seems slim, yet we do not understand why. The captain comes on and to say there has been a miscommunication with the tower. Whatever that means. All we know is that we aren’t embarking on that fabulous vacation. We’re stuck looking at the airport terminal. Our bags are packed – have been for days. Yet we cannot move.
I’m having a battle with my email. One of my 2009 resolutions is to pare down the amount of shouting shopping emails that sneak into my inbox. You know the ones: 70% off sale through this email offer only! Newest arrivals – first peek in this email! Keep your new years resolution! Lose more weight with this email!
Every day I “unsubscribe” to one. It’s interesting how each company handles the UNSUBSCRIBE process. Some are incredulous, “what do you mean you want to unsubscribe? Are you sure? Are you really sure? Really, really sure?” Some are stubborn to stay, “Can you tell us why you want to unsubscribe?” I almost expect them to say ‘Give us your excuse and make it a good one. If we don’t buy it we’ll continue to send you crap.’ Others make you work for the unsubscription: fill out this form, reconfirm your name and email address, give us your first born. Some sound pitiful by claiming it will take weeks to get off the mailing list. They apologzie for the emails that might continue “in the interim” but, rest assured, they are working to save your profile changes. The threatening ones are the best, “You will no longer receive announcements from —. You will miss out on great savings opportunities!” I almost expect them to add a shrug and sniff and add, “your loss!”
Today I received a new reaction to my unsubscribe request. All I had to do was click ‘unsubscribe’ and I was done. Deceivingly simple and painless. No incredulous attitiude. No forms to fill out. No apologizing or threatening. One click and supposedly I was off the list…Too good to be true. This company just had to have the last word. They not only sent a follow up email saying “your request will not be fulfilled until you reply to this email, but they also sent a confirmation that my request had been received. Are you keeping track? In the process of trying to get rid of one email they sent a total of three. And here’s the kicker – I still don’t know if I sucessfully unsubscribed!
I learned a valuable lesson today. You have to take the trouble to be the trouble. Originally, I wanted to think I had all the answers. I came armed with what I considered reasonable solutions, reasonable requests. Instead I was met with words like “not strict enough” and “doormat” and “fantasy land.” It was hard to believe I was being described in this way, especially after the month I’ve had (or thought I’d been having).
I’m not fierce enough. This isn’t a popularity contest. No one should like their boss. Not one that should be respected anyway. I let people make the same mistakes a billion and one times, and if I include today, a billion and two. How do I say You Can’t Communicate in any other way? “There has to be a penalty for the mistakes” I was told. Okay.
I’m not diligent enough. I don’t watch the clock and add up the minutes. I don’t pay close enough attention to the comings and goings, the called out, come in lates. You can be late a dozen times on my lax watch. “There has to be a penalty for tardiness” I was told. Okay. Okay.
I don’t hold my cards “close enough to the vest” as they- no, as she said. I need to learn phrases like “when it concerns you I’ll let you know.” I need to recognize situations; situations that cost money like when people waste time wondering about something that has nothing to do with the responsibility. I need to re-prioritize people. Reorganize people. Re-everything. Okay, okay, okay!
So, I took a crash course in management. I took criticism on the chin. It made me stronger. It made me think clearer. It made going back to the office to work on the dreaded schedule a whole lot easier. I didn’t try to juggle the birthdays as closely; didn’t try to dodge the anniversaries; didn’t cave in whimsical requests. Like it or lump it I changed things up for the better. Finally. Finally, I’m taking the trouble to be the trouble. I like a challenge. I like confrontation and I like change. So, I changed me. When I handed the whole schedule – all 12 months of it- off to a trusted coworker I felt justified in my reasonings. It was a relief to let it go.
I haven’t known how to write this letter. I haven’t known exactly what to say. It wouldn’t really matter because, knowing me, once it was all said and written I wouldn’t have sent it anyway. Excuse the grammar but it’s true. You wouldn’t have gotten whatever it was that I wanted to say, in more ways than one. Instead, I am tempted to be like a politician and say what you want to hear all the while not really saying anything at all. This is how we get along best, am I right? I don’t tell you what I really feel and you don’t spill anything worth a thing either way. Polite as polite can be except with a bite of caustic. That’s us.
You told a story over a meal and I wanted to throw up. What you didn’t say was so telling. What you meant was so obvious it made my stomach roll. I realize I have always been the stronger one. There was never a need to protect me. I acted like nothing could pierce my armor or hurt my pride. My heart was unbreakable and my soul, unreachable. Cold as an Ice Queen in the heart of January. I accept that image. I am comfortable with the chill of uncaring. But, here I am, waiting. I wait for glass half full comments; signs of compliment. They never come. Condescending, accusing, critical, not a single good thing to say. With each utterance I slide away. Closing myself off from wanting to be anywhere near your mouth. If you don’t have anything nice to say…. I played a game in my head. For every criticism it’s one less month here. When I got to three years I gave up knowing I could never stick to my story and stay away for that long. There are too many other things I would miss. Even you. Eventually. I don’t care that I’m not worth worrying about. I don’t care that I’ve never been a cause for real concern. Blame it on the drugs. Blame it on the maladjustment period (or whatever they call it these days). Blame it on the rain. I don’t care.
So, I didn’t say what I really wanted to say. Mums the word.
I got a ticket. A fukcing parking ticket. Only my third in my entire life. Only the second one that was actually my fault. Ironically, the two tickets that mattered were for the exact same thing: parking in the wrong direction. Go figure. Leave it to me to park in the wrong direction. I’m irritated. But, before I spit and spew and rant about the this newest ticket, let me take you on a parking ticket detour. Better yet, I’ll give you my whole freakin’ driving history and then maybe my irate manner will make more sense.
I didn’t get my license until I was 25. Don’t laugh. I didn’t need it. I got around just fine with the help of extremely cute boyfriends, generous girlfriends and the strength of my own two legs. When I got a license (finally) I proceded to be the model driver (according to the DMV). They didn’t know about the time I somehow got my Cutlass Cierra Clown Car stuck on the doorframe of my garage…or the time I crashed into a curb going 15 miles an hour with three sleepy passengers. Or the time I killed a frog. Splat.
My first recordable offense was parking the wrong way. A $35 fine in Morristown, New Jersey. I’ll never forget it. A friend was in town and we were going to see a movie. Cruising down a side street, looking for a parking spot I saw one on the other side. What would you do? I pulled a u-turn and parked. No big deal, right? Wrong. It was a one way street.
My second offense was a warning. A cop caught me pulling another u-turn. Illegally. This time in Chicopee, MA. I was horribly lost and horribly late to meet my rigid, watch-watching, pain in the azz, control freak boyfriend. Through tears and sobs I woefully explained my carelessness and lateness and lostness to the cop. He took pity on me and let me off with a warning. What I could have really used were directions. You know, one of those police escorts with lights? When I finally got myself home aforementioned boyfriend wouldn’t speak to me for nearly a day. Brat.
My third offense was a doozy. Accused of blowing a red light. I won’t get into it, but suffice it to say I crawled through a green-yellow-then red light, only to be pulled over. I fought the ticket and was found not accountable. So there!
My fourth offense (and second ever parking ticket) wasn’t my fault. Same schmuck of a boytoy borrowed my car, got drunk, got a ride home and got me a ticket.
Which brings me to my latest offense. Parking in front of my own house. Going the wrong way. $10. Seeing as how I’ve worn myself out ranting about the other offenses all I have to say about this one is: In the grand scheme of things is that really necessary?
True to my word, these are my waking thoughts.
I have decided to give myself a Sunday ticket. I’m done house hunting. I’m done house talking. I’m done house pushing. This open mind for houses is now closed. My ticket to Sunday is the freedom to do whatever I want.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate the effort we put into looking, because I do. I learned a lot. We spent a solid month opening cabinets, trudging down into dark basements, standing in backyards, peering out windows, talking the talk, walking the walk. Kicking the tires on a place called home. It was a learning experience, for sure. In every place I imagined trying to live there, trying to be happy there – asking myself what would it take? With 80% of them it was an impossible feat. It was all we could do to keep from running away. Laughing all the while, but running just the same. But, but. But! With three – only three – houses I found myself. I could see Bruno in the rocking chair. Zeke on the sun porch. Turtles lining the window sills. Cookbooks around the counters. House #1 had a foundation problem not worth looking into. House #2 had a driveway problem impossible to look into. House #3 had a price problem too tiring to look into.
So. All this looking has been fun. But, I want my Sundays back.
I was perusing someone’s photos the other day when I got that eerie feeling they were a bit stalkerish. You know, that ‘Wow, that is really intrusive’ feeling. My only problem was I couldn’t pinpoint why I felt that way. I was enjoying the photographs until I got to a certain one that seemed to go overboard, get too close. The next one was more of the same and so I stopped looking – turned away from the discomfort I was feeling. I don’t think I’ll go back.
My experience with the photos got me thinking about home and the levels of intrusiveness I felt there. Early in our vacation Kisa, the boys and I were hiking the island. We stopped to catch our breath at a very popular landmark, and to enjoy the view. Of course there were tourists on every side and their conversations were easily overheard. “I can’t imagine what it must be like to live out here,” one woman exclaimed. “All these people walking through their back yards.” I snickered and Kisa cast a knowing smile. For years he has been hearing my gripes about tourists taking advantage of such an unusual place. They walk across private porches, set up easels in the middle of the only road, have lunch in obvious backyards, let their dogs dump in vegetable gardens. This attititude of I can do anything while I’m on vacation has been long debated. I’m not bringing up anything new. But, it made me wonder – what makes separates fan from fanatic, tourist from terrible? In the picture above a woman has set up her easel on the dock. Look for the hat by the door of the silver truck. This dock is where 3-5 trucks converge to pick up island supplies, luggage, etc. It’s a more that busy, hectic place. In the bigger picture another woman has set up her easel in the shadowed portion of the road. Not only that but she has chosen a dangerous corner where she isn’t all that visible. She and the woman on the dock are lucky they didn’t get sideswiped!
I think I’ve said it a billion and one times. Today makes a billion and two. I always root for the underdog. That doesn’t mean I like the self-professed Homer/Family Guy; the guy who is proud to be life’s class clown fukc-up. Kisa, when I first met him said “I’m dumb.” But, that didn’t mean he was describing his whole IQ in a nutshell. He meant when it comes to meaningful relationships he’s not Mensa. I like that honesty, that soul-baring GiveMeAbreak mea culpa. I’ve Never Done This Before kind of virginity.
Let me clarify one thing. Underdog doesn’t mean under-confident, under-powered, under anything. Really.
I think I speak for every woman out there when I say tough is attractive. There’s a reason why the bad boy wins and nice guys finish last. Sometimes. Confidence is kickazz. Awkward is…well…awkward. Daring James Dean trumps goofy Gilligan every single time. Why am I saying this? Well, I’m tired of that guy saying he’ll never find someone. I know why. He knows why. He sells himself short. He takes pride in being a punching bag, the punchline to someone else’s joke. Meek is murder on meeting people. It’s frustrating when the personality has flat lined five minutes into the conversation. The underdog is scrappy, a fighter, a face to be reckoned with – not walked over. I was telling a friend about Kisa and she exclaimed, “but he’s such a nice guy!” Yeah, he’s nice, but not exactly innocent when it comes to trouble.
I came across someone’s Woe Is Me-ness the other day. If I had a remote I would have changed the channel. No, if I had a remote I would have hit the mute button. No, no, no! If I had a remote I would have shut the whole thing off. Here’s a tip, boyfriend: you are smart, you are funny, you are even cute to boot. Stop whining about what wasn’t or what was at one time and wonder what could be. Stop telling me how everything about your life falls short. Do something about it. Do something about you. Really. Be a man for fukc’s sake. Or, if you can’t be a man, be a bad boy.
What you owe me is an apology. An apology for being so fukcing insensitive. An apology for thinking we are close enough for that elbow-in-the-ribs-just kidding-hardy-har-har sh!t. Didn’t you notice the silence that followed? The slow, drawn out, dripping with barely contained sarcasm when he replied, “riiiighhht….” Was the tension thick enough or did you move right through it oblivious (as usual)?
This is a public rant so filled with anger you might want to turn your heads. Someone touch a nerve you ask? Not hardly. This wound is so raw, so tired of people poking at it, never giving it time to heal that it has bled dry. Nothing left to give. It gets tiring, always making excuses, pretending to be brazen and beyond it all. Well, not anymore.
DINK. Dual Income No Kids. Also stands for Didn’t I Not Know? Here’s what you don’t know. I’ll break it down for you:
Dual Income – yes because neither one of us is in it for the money we need both incomes to live the life we want. Neither of us has the luxury of being a stay at home anythings. Dual income because we love the work we do. Wouldn’t change a thing even though it means working for nuts and peanuts.
No Kids – Here’s where I gnash teeth and spit nails because you have no clue what you are talking about. Did you ever consider this: Clinically infertile. Barren. Irrevocable damaged goods. WhatE-v-e-r you want to call it. No natural born killers kids. No. Maybe there was a kid and now he’s gone and nothing can replace him? One shot deal. Adoption is a laughable gesture. Who in their right mind wants to hand over a kid to someone who has lost a mind; been to the funny farm? Has a shrink on speed dial? Has tried to commit suicide more than once? Has mental moments on an almost daily basis? Give me a fukcing break.
There comes a time when you know something just wasn’t meant to be. Seriously. You don’t pine away. You don’t cry over spilt sperm. You pick your azz up and carry on. Last but not least, you don’t take too kindly to the nickname dink.
So, back to what you owe me. Dink.