The Plunger

Recently on vacation a 20-year-old announced 5 minutes after our arrival at the condo that she needed a plunger, at that moment I realized I really like her.  She took a possible embarrassing moment and hit it head on.  I also realized she is probably an anomaly, not many of the younger generation would admit to that.

Of course I took that funny situation and thought about how it could be a story. It then occurred to me that no one actually taught me how to use a plunger.  Change a tire, sure, but I’ll tell you people will need to use a plunger more than they’ll need to change a tire in their life.  Here are my tips and tricks about plunging and plungers.

Buying the plunger: it’s always great to purchase the ‘bathroom set’ which means the plunger and the toilet brush match, but it’s not the smart thing to do, ever.  The reasons have become apparent when I’ve been standing in front of the toilet with the water to the rim full of paper and other unmentionables.

First of all, the handle of the ‘cute’ plunger is never long enough, your hands are way too close to that water.  You can’t get a good grip and really put your weight into it with a handle that short.

It’s inevitable that the ‘cute’ plunger will turn inside out and get stuck like that during the plunge.  There’s nothing worse than looking at the inside out plunger with wide eyes knowing that at any second it’s going to ‘right’ itself and splash all over, and no one wants what’s in that toilet all over them.

The shape of the cute plunger doesn’t even work with the toilet.  It’s short and wide….kinda like me….and it never actually seals the opening of the toilet to get good suction.  That makes for an unnecessarily long plunge.  Not something I look forward to.

Now you have the right plunger and it’s the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen.  It’s probably black and yellow and looks menacing.  It’s not something you like having as an accessory in your bathroom but it works, and it works good.  It has to be used correctly though.

When using the plunger you have to REALLY use the plunger.  The plunger can’t be approached with any sort of tentativeness.  Grab it, carefully submerge it in the crappy water (pun intended), position it over the hole, hands apart, position yourself over the handle so you can put your weight into it and push with gusto.  This should be a very quick process if done right.  If this job makes you break a sweat and makes your arms sore you’re doing it wrong, have the wrong equipment or you need to see a doctor for whatever it is that just happened in there.  Repeat until the blessed event of water receding happens.

The few times in my life when I’ve used a plunger I’ve also needed some sort of face mask.  I prefer a dish towel wrapped around my face like I’m ready to rob a bank.  Plunging the toilet is one of those jobs that gives me the feeling of throwing up even before I start.  I should probably invest in one of those butcher aprons, you know the ones that are basically made out of rubber and gloves that go to the elbows.

Make sure your plunger is in a place where it’s easy to find.  If company happens to clog your toilet you could save them the embarrassment of having to ask where the plunger is.  Nothing changes the direction of a get together like a bad bathroom incident.  You don’t want someone having a Dumb and Dumber moment and not being able to do anything about it.

It’s Been a Long Winter

When I wrote Winter is Here I had no idea how true those words were.  Old Man Winter and Mother Nature are still shacking up in the empty lot down the street and they have now added a foundation under their RV.  We may never see the other three seasons again.  All I can say is they best not be reproducing, I can only imagine how tragic that would be.  I’ve been dropping off birth control outside their door so hopefully they get the hint.

There was no easing into winter this year.  Winter hit us like the fat kid hits the buffet, hard and fast.  There was a storm, then another storm, then a thaw and then another storm and now the cold.  The roads are bad, the alleys are worse and my parking spots are the worst.  Putting the trash or recycling out to be picked up is like working your way through a corn maze in a blizzard.  You need climbing ropes, an ice pick and some oxygen.  Then you have to go through it again to put them back.  I’m thankful my neighbor does the garbage so I only have to do the recycling.

Each time I go outside I feel like I’m taking my life in my hands.  The odds of falling are at about 90%, the odds of getting stuck somewhere is about 60% and because I haven’t had one in this vehicle the odds of a flat tire are increasing every day.   Then I take into consideration the other drivers on the road and I completely panic.  The drivers that are out on the bad roads are the crappy drivers that were on the good roads during the good weather!!!  Not a pleasant thought.

School has been canceled around here so often the kids are all going to flunk this grade, they’re just going to have to do the whole year over again.  They may as well call off the rest of the year and get the little buggers a job.  Preferably clearing snow and shoveling for those of us who aren’t supposed to.  I’m not sure I remember a time when school was canceled due to it being too cold when I was a kid.  However, I actually wore boots, a coat and mittens to school and the bus picked us up.  I live near a middle school and those kids who have to walk to school should dress better.  I say my prayers for them every day.

I have to remote start my car twice before I can even get in it.  Then I have to go out and start it and let it run for 20 more minutes.  I’m averaging about 12 miles to the gallon right now because I let it warm up so much.  I also received a lesson in changing my car battery.  Wasn’t really a lesson I asked for but I was bound and determined to not be such a girl and do it myself.  That probably won’t happen again, nothing wrong with being a girl who needs to be rescued sometimes.

Here are my Facebook posts from the battery changing incident:

“Battery dead and won’t jump.  Determined to take it out myself so I text knowledgeable man for instructions. Instructions good, toolbox bad, smarty comments from knowledgeable man.   (Below is the picture of my pathetic excuse of a toolbox I sent him).

IMG_0347[1]

Find wrench that might work hidden under hammer.  Get one cable loose. Open roomies truck to take off gloves to check phone.  Coffee container escapes and rolls under truck.  Lay on ground to try to reach it, need wrench to help retrieve it. Now wet from head to toe with one battery cable sort of off. If the battery weren’t already dead it would have been after my tantrum with the wrench. On a mission to find socket set and maybe a Valium. This is going to happen!!

Later that evening post..

“Thought I posted earlier but apparently in my celebration of still having all my fingers and toes I did not.
Borrowed a socket set.  Took out battery according to texted instructions, 10 minutes to get nuts and bolts off and another 30 minutes to figure out how to get it out around a plastic filter cover and a boatload of hoses.  Had battery tested.  Dead (obviously).  Bought battery.  One last text question to make sure I didn’t electrocute myself during install. Put it in and used all the parts to get it secure!  It only took 4 hours, a little frost bite, no tears, no booze and no drugs.  I did think I gave myself a black eye at one point but it hasn’t bruised yet so I think I’m good.  It’s been quite the day.”

Next time I think I can get the battery changed in under 2 hours!!

I procrastinated putting up plastic on my living room window this year.  That was a really dumb thing to do.  I now have folded laundry stacked on the back of a chair in the living room and I leave it there because it blocks some of the cold air.  A very redneck way to take care of the issue but who’s to say I’m not a redneck deep down.  Okay, okay, I’m a redneck on the surface too.

I have discovered that I do the ‘sneak and floor it’ move several times a day.  You know the one I’m talking about.  You’re at an intersection you sneak, sneak, sneak out to attempt to see beyond the giant snow banks to see if anyone is coming.  When there comes a time you believe you can make it you put the pedal to the metal and say a quick prayer.  You certainly don’t go very fast because it’s slippery but your wheels are turning like you’re in the Daytona 500 until of course you hit a small patch of dry pavement, then you get a mild case of whiplash.  It’s a tricky move but I think I have it mastered.

It was 20 degrees here in the Northland today and someone posted on FB they spotted a man on a motorcycle.  We sure are a desperate bunch around here!  Sounds like it’s going to be in the high teens and twenties over the next few days so I think I’m going to sneak over and pack up Old Man Winter and Mother Nature myself and run them out of town.  This is Wisconsin and I’m pretty sure I can find a mob of people to help me.

Pneumonia

This will be the most embarrassing story I’ve written to date, by far.  It’s been a couple of weeks now and although it wasn’t completely hilarious at the time, I find it pretty funny now.  Plus, I believe it will be an ego boost for most of you.  I’m here to help people, I’m here to help.

A little over two weeks ago I started getting sick.  This is how it went:

Day 1:  Took a 20 minute snooze prior to work at 6:30 PM.  Woke up and didn’t quite feel right.  Tightness in the chest and a bit short of breath.  After about four hours at work I started to cough.  Urgh.  Probably bronchitis.

Day 2:  Woke up and didn’t cancel my plans to go to Minneapolis to watch my God-daughter play volleyball.  I was convinced I could work through whatever this was, loaded up on DayQuil and whatever else I could find in the cupboard and hit the road.  As the day wore on I went downhill.  Insisted on going out for dinner and hopefully catching some live music somewhere.  The downhill slide continued during dinner and we ended up going home and vegging on the couch.  I then kept everyone up all night with my coughing.  A great house guest for sure.  Yup bronchitis.

Day 3:  As the alarm was shrieking at 5 something AM it became clear to me I was not going to be able to attend any sort of sporting event that took place in public.  I was a mess and needed to get home….some how…..some way.  The how was driving, the way was hopping myself up on Mucinex, DayQuil, Alka Seltzer Plus and Cloroseptic spray.  I remember about 50% of the drive.  Not good but I made it.  May be typhoid fever.

Day 3 Facebook post:  “At the urging of Pam I went and picked up Delsym.  It took everything I had to  head to Walgreen’s.  On the way home I’m positive I saw an alien in the car next to me, it looked right at me and it was glowing.  Scared the crap out of me.  I wonder if I’m running a fever……Delsym seems to be good though, feeling better already.”

As I know now, the feeling better was short-lived.  I’m still unsure about the alien, I’m positive that’s what I saw.  During the night things went downhill with each passing hour.  Unable to lay down I made my bed in the living room chair and hoped for some good TV, that didn’t happen either so I turned off the TV, turned on the fan and took more Mucinex.  I personally think the one tablet every 12 hours is more of a guideline than a rule and does not apply to me.

Day 4:  The night was miserable and this is where the embarrassing parts of the story really start.  I have not had kids but I am aging at the speed of light and I would imagine that is why I’ve lost the ability to cough and not wet my pants at times.  This happened a couple of times in the wee hours of the morning but I ignored it, hoping it was a rarity.  I was wrong, I was so very wrong.  Against all I wanted to do, I broke down and went to the doctor.  It took me about an hour to shower and get ready because every 10 minutes I had to take a break and have a coughing fit.  At this point I was also pretty sure I had cracked a couple of ribs and pulled some muscles.

The doctor diagnosed me with pneumonia and influenza.  He told me he’d do the influenza test but it’s wrong about 50% of the time.  He said the meds wouldn’t hurt me if I didn’t have it but he was 99% certain I did.  He prescribed a hearty antibiotic, Tamiflu and an inhaler.  Told me to come back in four days if I didn’t feel better.

I went to Target to fill my prescriptions.  The Pharmacist said “It will be about 15 minutes, you can go shop”.  As he was saying it he looked up at me and added “Nevermind, you can wait right there” and pointed to the bench.  Apparently I didn’t look so good.  I sat down to wait for my scripts and people watched.  As I was people watching I realized people were actually watching me.  I was the one, the one everyone was staring at and talking about, at one point I think someone may have called the coroner for me.  A few minutes into my wait a delivery guy showed up. when he bent over to pick up boxes he passed gas….very loudly.  When he turned around to look at me I said “Really?  Are you serious?”  He shrugged his shoulders and went about his business.  Of course that would happen.

I took my drugs in the car and collapsed with exhaustion in the chair when I got home.  For the next several hours I coughed, drank fluids, then peed my pants, then coughed some more and peed my pants some more.  I should probably state here that it wasn’t an all out peeing of the pants, it couldn’t be because I was going in the bathroom every 10 minutes I was drinking so many fluids.  The most frustrating part is it would happen as I was getting back into my chair from the bathroom.  I had just went to the bathroom, where was it all coming from!!!  I was now positive it was the Plague.

I had burned…well peed through every pair of yoga pants and pretty much every pair of underwear I own.  I was on my last pair and it happened again.  As I was sitting in the bathroom crying while using the hair dryer to dry my last pair of underwear I broke out in hysterical laughter.  How ridiculous is my life that here I sit, on the toilet, using a hair dryer to salvage my last pair of clean underwear, bawling my eyes out and trying not to throw up at the same time?

Of course I had to share my scenario so I sent a text to my understanding, non-judgmental, she’ll laugh at me but still love me friend that went something like this, “Well, 8 pair of underwear and 3 pair of yoga pants and I’m out of both because I’ve peed my pants so many times from coughing so hard.  I have now resorted to blow drying the crotch of my last pair of underwear as I’m sitting on the toilet.  I am too sick to do laundry.”  If I remember correctly her response was “I’m dying over here”.   There may have been a series of texts prior to that but there’s large amounts of time I do not remember during this two weeks of sickness.  May have been due to the fact that I blatantly ignored dosage instructions.

Day 5:  I had to force myself to do laundry for obvious reasons and also force myself to work.  After getting directions from the doctor that I of course ignored I worked….all week.  It’s bad when you have to pack extra underwear for work in case you have a coughing fit or five.  Like I said, I was hoping to just plow through this sickness, if I ignore it, it will go away, right?  Wrong.

Day 6 & Day 7:  More coughing, more throwing up, less energy, more drugs, more exhaustion, zero food, more liquids and more text messages explaining the terrible things my body was doing.  More laughter from my supportive friend and a phone call from her to another friend yelling because I was getting no help at home.  Well, I was offered help from some but I did not take it because I was really irritated with those that should have helped.

Day 8:  Another trip to the doctor for a lecture about working too much and not taking care of myself as I should.  So shocking that I didn’t listen.  There was another round of drugs, this time prednisone for my breathing and some cough syrup with codeine, glorious, glorious codeine.  Once again, I skipped the part on dosage.  Helping my cough helped my pants peeing problem.

Skip to day 18, which is today:  I took my meds the last two weeks, borrowed some more meds, didn’t take time off work and am finally feeling better.  I haven’t wet my pants in at least 10 days, life is pretty good.  The only thing I listened to the doctor about was the no outside shoveling, etc.  Which of course has been a disaster, I think the mailman quit delivering the mail because I haven’t shoveled the front walk.  I probably should ask for help from those that actually offered previously but I’m not very good at that.  And now it’s so frozen it won’t actually clean up until spring.  Oh well, such is life for a very stubborn pants wetter.

Winter is Here

Old Man Winter has arrived in the Northland and I believe he’s here to stay.  I spotted his RV parked in an empty lot down the street and it looks like he’s not planning on going anywhere anytime soon.  I think he’s shackin’ up with Mother Nature these days and it’s pretty disturbing.  Can’t they vacation in Arizona like the rest of the old folks?

There’s always things worth mentioning as we hunker down, snuggle up and start drinking hot totties.

A four-hour trip turned into a five plus hour trip after Thanksgiving weekend because drivers have completely forgotten how to actually drive in the snow.  Going 15 MPH doesn’t help anyone, especially when the roads aren’t THAT bad.  I realize you have no idea you just caused that 27 car pile up but it was you, completely you.

I spotted a car that had slid through a stoplight, as I approached I thought, I should stop and help them push the car out.  As I got close, I realized they had slid through the light, went in the ditch, taken out a pole and completely abandoned their car.  As if they said “oh crap, well, nothing I can do, I’ll come back for it later” and walked home.  No cops, no other cars, nothing.

Snowplow drivers will get the finger more in the next four to five months then any other drivers on the planet.  As if they can help that you JUST finished shoveling the sidewalk when they come by and push snow back on it.  And they can’t help that you JUST finished shoveling what they pushed back on the sidewalk and they do it again.  And they certainly can’t help that when you throw your shovel at their truck because it happened for the third time, that your shovel gets run over and lays mutilated in the street.  On a serious note, I do respect these people, they put endless hours in during the middle of the night so that we can have decent roads and parking lots.  Try to wave normal at them in between waving with the middle finger.

I will wish every single day for a man to be around to shovel, put plastic on the windows, take care of me when I’m sick, warm my side of the bed up and all sorts of other winter chores.  When summer comes I may change my mind and send him back but for now I will wish.

I can’t wait to see all the dog crap that doesn’t get picked up sitting on top of the snow in our yard.  Not only will it be on the neighbor’s side it will be on my side as well…and I don’t have dogs.  It’s so pleasant to look at everyday and I like it a lot when they leave a present for me on my sidewalk.  My hope is to look like a bunch of rednecks who can’t be bothered to pick up after their pets.  Makes such a great impression when I have company.  And I can’t even tell you how awesome it is when spring comes and everything thaws, gets mooshy and smells….it’s so great.

I’m looking forward to falling somewhere between 5 and 100 times.  I have a tendency to not stay on my feet at times anyway so when you add snow and ice it really makes for a busy falling season.  Good thing I packed some extra pounds on the old tush so I have plenty of padding when I fall.  Here’s to a bruised ass for the next five months and several chiropractor visits.

We will start drinking things that we never would otherwise.  I will choke down a hot brandy with lemon when I get a cold or sore throat, only because Mom used to say “drink that, it will help”.  It sure did, I passed right out and forgot about my illness.  Bars will blow the dust off their microwaves for hot totties and will stock up on Bailey’s so they can serve it with hot chocolate or coffee.

I will put winter survival stuff in my car.  Boots, blankets, a jacket, hats and gloves.  I don’t actually wear a jacket unless it’s well below zero but figure I better have one in the car just in case.  I do wear gloves though, I’m not completely insane.  For those of you who have read my book, you know that I needed those things when I found the ditch one evening in the middle of nowhere.  On my 5 hour trip a few days ago I panicked because I did not have those things in my car.  I would have looked pretty silly with no coat, hat or gloves if something had went awry.

We will see poofing out of chests and ‘my truck is bigger than yours’ wars until 4WD is no longer needed.  This time of year gives those boys who have big trucks a license to drive fast, act 16 and think women should not be on the road.  I just nod and smile, all the time thinking to myself “I can’t wait until I see you in the ditch a mile down the road in need of my help”.

And last but not least for now, if anyone is driving by on 21st Street and sees me laying in my front yard unconscious please call 911, I probably collapsed from shoveling or perhaps fell and hit my head instead of my ass.  Stay and make sure the good-looking EMTs are the ones working on me, I don’t need the toothless guy who hasn’t showered in a week giving me CPR.

Sleepless in Minnesota

I don’t like to wish ill on anyone but I am glad I’m not the only member of some clubs.  Like this sleepless issue I have, it seems others suffer from the same thing, possibly for different reasons but sleepless nonetheless.

My friend Sharon was kind enough to share her story with me and I would love to share it with all of you.  I’ve been slacking in my stories lately so guest writers are always welcome.

“Sleep or No Sleep, We Must Get Along”

As I have gone through several stages of life, sleepless nights have created a variety of entertainment for me. I have experienced bouts of sleep deprivation for many years. Reasons, reactions, and outcomes of long nights with little sleep have always resulted to be quite interesting. The positive side is the opportunity to share stories and laughter with friends.

Mischievous thoughts are plentiful when you have an awesome husband with nighttime flaws such as falling asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. It took me many years to understand and accept this flaw. I lie next to him and want to talk about the day or ask questions about tomorrow. The usual response I get is, “Yes, dear.” and before I realize it, he’s sleeping. And I remain wondering, how does that happen and why doesn’t it happen to me? Then before I know it, his snoring begins and another sleepless night begins for me.

Years ago, one night my husband was asleep on his back, pillow over his eyes and forehead, mouth open and was snoring. My mind raced to find a solution to this problem. The only thing I could think of at the time was to hold his nose shut. I thought about it for a while before I acted. I thought, hmm, can’t hurt him because his mouth was open. So I proceeded to pinch his nose shut. As one may have guessed, that was not a smart choice. He was gasping and swinging his arms. I laughed; he didn’t because he elbowed me in the head. The next time I attempted this maneuver; I kept a slight distance from him and put a pillow by my face. I succeeded. He stopped snoring and rolled over. I remember that outcome being a little too boring for my taste.

Throughout the years, I have implemented a variety of actions that I thought would be a solution. After 20+ years of marriage, his snoring and my sleepless nights continue. As my frustrations surge, I say a few naughty words directed at him, and proceed to leave our bedroom and venture to a different bedroom.  Why I bother saying anything is beyond me because he doesn’t hear me anyways!

Last night I awakened at 12:40 a.m., wishing it was 5:40 a.m. so I could get out of bed and do something, I knew it was going to be a long night. Of course the mind starts to plan the day and prioritize everything. Like that’s going to happen when sleep has not been part of my routine for quite some time. Once again, my frustrations surged, I said a few naughty words directed at him, and proceed to leave our bedroom and venture to a different bedroom. I lay in bed and thought about our day’s accomplishments and what we still had to get done in preparation for the winter months. That did not heighten sleepiness at all because I started to smile and giggle to myself, followed by a reflection of my mischievous actions in our younger marital years.

At about 2:30 a.m., I logged onto Facebook and played Candy Crush. Through the walls, I could hear my husband snoring. I mumble utterly to myself and became completely frustrated with Candy Crush. I logged off of Facebook and thought, hmm, what can I do now? Then, I had a thought. I went to the garage because I thought of a sign I hung on the wall. I read the sign, and then looked at the boat and snow blower. This concludes how I spent the wee hours this morning.

sharon1

And you two must share a garage stall!

sharon2

How I Get Things Wrong

It’s amazing how I get anything right some days.

The other day I stopped for a beer with a friend and saw someone who was a regular at a bar that I work at.  She’s always been super nice and we get along well.  We exchanged hellos  through the door from the bar to the smoking patio and then I asked her how she was doing and what I heard her say was “I’ve got the shits, had them for two months, I’ve been miserable.”  Well crap (yes pun intended), what was I supposed to say to that?  I didn’t know her THAT well so I just said “Ahhh, that’s too bad.”

When she came into the bar I asked her if she was drinking and she said “No, I can’t with the medication I’m on so I’m just having coffee.”  Then I was thinking, what the heck is she having coffee for, that’s like an instant dose of laxatives, no wonder she has issues.  I started to panic and actually moved away from her for fear of an accident of some sort.

We sat there for a bit and she went back outside to have a smoke so I told my friend about the conversation and she laughed and said, “Wow, I don’t even share that stuff with you.”  After about 15 minutes the woman with the ‘problem’ came back in and started chatting with someone who had just walked in.  She started in with her story again, this time I was sitting closer to her and heard her tell that person she had shingles.  Ohhhhh, well, that made much more sense.  I started to giggle and corrected the story with my friend.  We laughed and laughed.

Once the shingle-ridden woman was by herself again I told her how I had misunderstood what she said.  We had a hearty laugh over the whole thing.  I saw her a couple weeks later while I was bartending so asked how she was doing, she said “Well, my shits are gone but I still have the shingles”.  Then she laughed and laughed and laughed.

The other day at work we had a no biting discussion.  Yes, at work we were having a no biting discussion, don’t judge.   One person was typing and typed ho biting instead of no biting.  Then said “Get your chompers in we’re going ho biting”.  I thought she said “Get your chaps on we’re going ho biting”.  At that point I was hysterical with laughter.  Once I caught my breath and told them what I thought she said, we were all hysterical and the conversation took a considerable turn for the worse as I’m sure you can only imagine.

It seems as I get older my hearing isn’t what it used to be.  I’m in the process of learning to ask someone to repeat themselves if I hear parts that don’t quite make sense.  Sometimes though it’s much funnier to go with what you think they said in the first place.  Keeps life interesting.

Jealousy

I’ve realized I’m jealous.  Not in the sense of I’m jealous of skinny people or I’m jealous when it comes to relationships.  I’ve realized I’m jealous over a few strange things.

I’m jealous of the Amish.  We recently visited the one-room home of an Amish woman who does some crafting.  I took in the surroundings with awe.  Gas stove. Canning supplies.  Single bed in the corner with a gorgeous handmade quilt. Organized bins for her bead work.  No TV.  No pictures.  No clutter.  No outlets.  I left there deep in thought and jealous.  Jealous of the simplicity, jealous of the lack of clutter, jealous of not having to put gas in a vehicle.  Now, I’m not going to go and attempt to join the Amish or even live like the Amish because I think it would be very difficult to move backward……especially when I write a blog.  It would be pretty hard to send you all a hand written letter with a story in it every few days (weeks lately), you each may get one every year or two.

I started watching a reality show about a family living in Alaska, like the Amish, I’m jealous of their simple life…..except the outhouse, I’m not really jealous of that aspect of it.  I guess you can’t have one without the other though.  I’d have to talk someone into digging the outhouse hole REALLY deep.

I’m jealous of chubby people who wear things that people think they shouldn’t.  I believe these people are comfortable and think they look good.  You know who I’m talking about…..those with the swimsuit two sizes too small or the ones with their ass crack hanging out because if they pull up the jeans to where they should be then they would have to buy a bigger size.  I’m chubby, I try not to wear things I shouldn’t but I’ve realized what happens is that I end up with tan lines I don’t want or like or I actually look bigger than I am because I’ve purchased something that’s actually too big for me.  This my friends I can work on; however, if you see me in a swimsuit two sizes too small or my butt crack peering out the back of my jeans like the Grand Canyon then know that I’ve turned to drinking or drugs because on a sane and sober day I would not do that…..even if someone told me I looked good.

I’m jealous of people who know how to do something cute with their hair.  You know the ones, give them a couple of pencils, two bobby pins and some toothpicks and they look like they’re red carpet ready.  I myself have two hair dos, down and up.  Up is in a pony tail or a clip, either way it’s just up.  It doesn’t look super cute with messy bulges or sleek and sexy, it looks like a pony tail, even if I spend 15 minutes on it, it still looks like I just crawled out of bed and didn’t give a crap what I look like.  Now, I rarely spend 15 minutes on my hair so maybe I should start doing that consistently and maybe I should buy some things like a comb for teasing, some goop of some sort and possibly a brush that I could use while blow drying it.  Instead I’m using a pick (yes I said a pick, leave me be, the 80’s has not called and asked for that back yet), no goop and no brush while blow drying.

I’m jealous of people who have no problem asking for help.  I’m getting better in this area but even when I do ask for help it eats at me because I hate doing it.  It’s so silly I know, I have no problem dishing out help but I sure have an issue asking for it.  If I were keeping score there would be lots of people who owe me ‘help’ but the scorecard wouldn’t matter because I’d never pull it out and use it.  This will always be a work in progress for me.

I’m jealous of people who can tolerate jackasses.  I try my hardest to be respectful to everyone, even if they’ve displayed jackassy behavior in the past but once I’m done with them, I’m done with them.  Then I get so frustrated that it eats away at me, as if I can actually do something about it.  My head knows that those people will never change, that’s just who they are, my heart thinks I could/can do something to make them see the error of their ways.  Yes, I know……..I can’t do anything about those people, stop yelling at me.  I recently sat at a business dinner with one of these people and I’ve pretty much stated to my coworkers that never seeing him again would be too soon for me.  The others just blew him off but now even the mention of his name sends me into a small tantrum.  I’m going to have to seek therapy for this one I think.

I’m jealous of people who just don’t care.   I care too much most times.  I care about people’s businesses, their families, their jobs, their well-being.  If they don’t care, why should I?  I lose sleep over the dumbest crap, not only my dumb crap, other people’s dumb crap.

Well, I’ve realized my list of things to talk to my therapist about has grown so I’m going to quit now.  I can already see my therapist bill rising like the national deficit.

Back to School

Remember this time of year when you were a kid?

These days it means something different to me and a bunch of my friends.  For me, it means the weather is going to change, Christmas is coming and I’m still not living in the Caribbean.  For some of my friends it means going to the mall, where is the money going to come from and days getting longer with extracurricular activities before and after school.

The first day of school came and pictures were taken and away we went on the bus, hoping for the best.  The pictures got developed six months down the road, maybe even longer, and your first day of school picture was mixed in with pictures from a wedding, a tree getting cut down, something on fire and 10 pictures of people at the family reunion you couldn’t remember because the film had been in the camera for so long.

Now the picture gets taken and immediately it’s shared with hundreds of people on some social media site who comment and ohhh and ahhh over how big the kids are and how cute they are.  And then it happens, you see that one picture, oh yeah, you know the one, where the proud parent posts the picture of their kid and you scroll down to take a look and almost pee your pants from sheer terror.

There are several reasons I didn’t have children, one clearly being I would have been blessed with an ugly, mean and very unruly child, karma stings sometimes.  The kicker is I would have known my child was a menace, I would not have sugar-coated it.  I saw a picture this week of a young child who frightened me so terribly I had to call someone.  Someone who actually knew this child and would also tell the truth.  I outright asked if we should worry about the other children on the bus or if there were any younger siblings to worry about.    I didn’t dare look into the child’s eyes even in the picture for fear my soul would have been sucked out.  I looked away very quickly.  Some photos are never meant to be shared.

I also saw a few pictures where I would have liked to post a comment along the lines of “are they going to school or a pajama party?” or “did he borrow your pants?” or “what brand of pork chop did you use to comb their hair?”  Kids nowadays I tell ya.  I am still convinced even the 80’s  fads were better than what’s going on now.

I’m glad we didn’t have social media back then, one first day picture and one school picture were humiliating enough for me for the year.  Sometimes we’d even throw in a family picture now and then, that usually happened the day after I cut my own bangs with a Fiskers.

Because I was from a small town there were never a whole bunch of new kids to meet, I didn’t worry about not knowing anyone, nervous about where to sit on the bus or who  to sit with at lunch.  Not until week two or three anyway, that’s about the time the bickering and fighting started within the little clicks.  It would last for a few days and then go away and cycle back again.  Some people wish for those days back, I DO NOT.  I would dare to bet that still happens.

The part that’s different now I noticed is the school supplies.  Now a list is sent to you on what your kid should have on the first day.  A certain kind of pencil, certain types of folders, a particular notebook, etc.  Well, really?  I’m certain my parents did not get a list of stuff we needed and we certainly didn’t have a community pool of stuff that everyone pulled from.  I had to beg, borrow and steal if I forgot to bring a pencil on the first day.  Lots of schools have ‘community supplies’ so everyone has the same things and enough for the entire year.  Sharing?  Who would have thought?

What happened to the Scott Baio or Michael Jackson folders though?  With Mrs. Scott Baio scribbled all over the outside?  Now, I’m not saying I had Scott Baio folders, it was just an example.  I’m sure you know what I’m saying here, there was always some teen idol we were thinking we’d marry some day….or a guy a couple of years older than us.  One of my friends and I always had a crush on a couple of brothers 6 and 7 years older than we were, oh so young and naïve.  Those were the names you wrote on the inside of your folder because you thought no one would see them there.  Everyone still saw them, kids are nosey…..and ruthless.

I look longingly as I pass schools now, refraining from stopping to tell them that their school years don’t define them and that their whole life happens after that, those are just starter years to get them in the groove.

Now back to snickering at more first day pictures…….

Bottom Teeth

I’ve been more than absent lately!  I promise to be better, life is CRAZY busy right now but I need to get back to writing.

Well, it happened.  He walked in and lo and behold he had bottom teeth in.

In case you missed the top teeth story you can find it here.

This happened a couple of weeks ago and I just didn’t know if I should embarrass myself any more than I already have or not.  Well, it’s not like you guys don’t know a whole lot of embarrassing things about me already so I may as well tell you the second half of the story.

I didn’t have anyone else in the bar when he walked in, which was a good thing because it was one of those ‘oh crap’ moments.  I knew immediately when he said ‘hi’ that his ship….I mean his bottom teeth….had come in.  It was also a dead giveaway when he wasn’t wearing a baseball cap.  I was thankful no one else was going to see this.

I poured his drink and proceeded to lean on the cooler and chit chat…….A LOT.  I mean, honestly, I couldn’t even help myself.  Again, I was staring and staring and staring.  Not only had I never seen him without a cap on I had never seen him with ALL his teeth.

He was very quickly becoming an object of my affection and I could not stop myself.  I heard myself say “So, where have you been?”, “Oh is that where you always hang out?”, “How are the house renovations coming?”  and “I’ll have to come have a drink with you sometime.”.  What??  Did I really say all those things?  I did and he found it very entertaining, I could tell, he could not stop smiling.  Seriously, I have no idea what got into me with this guy.  It’s amazing what teeth do for some people.

Well, after about 20 minutes of making an ass out of myself I actually got control  and had some normal conversations with him.  I’m not sure that helped undo what damage I had done but I sure hope it helped. He left with all parts and pieces in tact and I didn’t even look at his backside when he walked out.

He hasn’t been back since.  NOT a good sign.

Teeth

I notice teeth.  Whether people have them, need them, should get them fixed or need a toothbrush.  I notice teeth.

Tuesday at the bar while I was working a new set of teeth walked in.  And I mean a new set of teeth, fresh from the carving station and they were attached to one of my regulars.  Now, he hasn’t been in on my shift for a few weeks but I know he did NOT have that set of choppers last time I saw him.  They were white and shiny, brand spanking new, I don’t even think they’d seen a glass of Efferdent yet.

I’m never sure what to say in this situation.  Do you act like you don’t notice them?  Do you  say “nice teeth”?  “I like the teeth.”  Where’d you get them”?  Or, do you say nothing and just stare?  Well, I chose none of the above.   I said “Hi, good to see you, you’re looking good.”  Honestly, this guy hasn’t looked good since he was a junior in high school in 1977 and even then it may have been iffy.  But I was at a loss for the right words so I improvised, very poorly.  Plus, I could not stop looking at him.

My compliment and my staring apparently appealed to him as he was grinning like the chubby kid at an all day buffet.  You would think I would have stopped staring at that point, nope, not one bit.  There is something definitely wrong with me.  I should probably mention at this point it was just his top teeth that were new, his bottom ones were still MIA.  I did not care, I couldn’t get over how different he looked, and by different I mean nice looking…..in a bad boy, used leather, rode hard, lots older than me sort of way.

Yeah, I know, I’m crazy, he still didn’t have his bottom teeth!!!  The more I stared and saw his laugh lines and his smile lines around his mouth that was no longer sucked into his head, the more I was really attracted to this guy.  I need to mention again that he still didn’t have any bottom teeth!!  I even caught myself flirting with him.  Now, I really should reiterate that I flirt with most everyone when I bartend, it’s part of the gig but I think I was really going out of my way on this one.  I kept reigning myself in to just talk about what he’s been up to since I’ve seen him last because it had been so long.  At one point I even had to go and sit across the bar just so I would stop rambling.

He stayed for three drinks and he never stays for three drinks!!  I forced myself to stay away from him so I would stop staring, it was obvious he had noticed me noticing him.  I’m sure he just thought it was amusing as there’s no way he was attracted to me.  Honestly, I’m not really attracted to him either, it was just one of those days and one of those things that caught me off guard and messed with my senses.  What a fiasco.  He finally left, grinning from ear to ear all the way to the door.  Things were so bad I even checked the rest of him out on his way out.

I shared this story with one of the other bartenders and she said “oh, he used to be very good looking”.  Great, just great.  I hope next week he doesn’t come in with new bottom teeth, if that happens I cannot be held responsible for my actions.