Thursday, April 24, 2014

ONLY SERIOUS CANDIDATES NEED APPLY

A few years back ... 

Back when I was young enough for it to really matter ... 

Back when I hadn't moved out of Michigan and across the BORING state of Indiana and the Mason-Dixon Line ...

In other words, a loooong time ago, a few colleagues and I were having lunch, and during this lunch, we, quite by happenstance (as these things so oft happen) created a list of requirements for our Prince Charming's.  

Mine was a simple list, and, for the most part, it hasn't changed much over the years.

It goes something like this:

Said Prince Charming should

  • have some sort of Federal and State taxes taken out of an ACTUAL paycheck (this excludes any sort of long-term Federal or State aid check) on a regular basis.
  • have all of his own teeth and MOST of his own hair
  • have no Baby Mama Drama.  
  • be able to prove that he lives in his own domicile.  Said proof should exist in the form of mortgage receipts and/or regular rent payment receipts. 
  • be able to prove that aforementioned domicile is not, in fact, the same location where his maternal caregiver currently resides. 
  • have some form of reliable transportation.  Said transportation excludes mopeds, ten speed bicycles, unicycles, scooters of ANY sort, or motorcycles.
See.  I don't ask for much.  It really isn't a lot when you come right down to it. 

However, today, while dragging my garbage cans back down the hill to my garage, I came up with an addendum to the original list.  After all, that list was crafted some 12 years ago. 

Times have changed.  

I'm not the same person I was ... mercifully ... thankfully ... any of the -fully's you might consider.

Prince Charming addendum:
  • Prince Charming, hereto referred to as PC, shall come to the union with a means to trim dead branches in numerous trees around my property.  Such means might include various and sundry chainsaws, telescoping and mechanized saws as well as some means of trimming dead bushes that are ugly and need to be removed ... soon.
  • PC should come to the union with the desire to mow lawns.  
  • PC should come to the union with a loooooong ladder wherein he can scale the sides of my home to clean out the gutters each fall. 
  • PC should have some knowledge of various squeaks and creaks that occur in the attic as well as the fortitude to enter aforementioned attic and deal with the mysteries it may reveal. 
  • PC should be able to efficiently deal with alllll the birds (numbers are unknown at this point in time) that have come to their final resting place (and then refuse to decompose) in the crawl space of said property.
  • PC must also be willing to deal with any and all snakes, birds, squirrels, unknown Kentuckian bugs, and any other living organisms that frequent the domicile.
  • PC should have some working knowledge of such things as automotive issues, plumbing issues, roofing issues, and other such issues that crop up when one owns a home/vehicle.
  • PC should have some working knowledge of how to resurface a driveway at a cheap price as well as the ability to power wash and seal a large-ish deck. 
Only serious candidates should apply ... 




PROBLEMS

I have said numerous times this week, "I don't know how I don't have a drinking problem yet." 

I have said this tongue and cheek. 

There really is no need to form an intervention.  Really.

And I certainly don't want to make light of some one's struggle with such vices.

But seriously, people.

If you knew the crap-storm that has been my last three weeks, this one included, you might wonder the same thing.

I said this to my wonderful teammates, today, as we were lining kids up after recess, the time of year we should all enjoy, but that create a whole host of problems, namely, "SHE DID THIS, HE DID THAT, SHE LOOKED AT ME FUNNY, MY TOE/FINGER/KNEE/HEAD/WHOLE BODY HURTS, WHEN IS IT TIME TO GO HOME whine-fest.

"How have I NOT developed a drinking problem!?"
 I hissed this at one of my teammates as we were walking to the front of the line.

And then it hit me.

I'm fat.  Holy crap!  I am FAT!

I don't have a drinking problem because I have an EATING problem.

Awesome. 

That is good to know.

Knowing is half the battle, right?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ASKING TOO MUCH

Is it too much to ask for those liftable dealy-do's on the jars of peanut butter and cottage cheese and frosting containers and a myriad of other things that we buy on a weekly basis ... is it too much to ask that they actually lift off?

Okay.  I am going to be frank.  Liftable?  Removable?  Able to be taken off even a fraction of an inch from any surface it's glued on?  Well, it's a loose term, really.  Tonight, after only being able to successfully peel back the thin layer of film on the top of the liftable safety cover on the mayonnaise jar, I had to finally break into it by jamming a pair of kitchen shears into the top of said jar and hacking away at it until I was finally able to pull it off ... in strips ... five, to be exact ... all the while getting mayo all over every one of my fingers. 

I get it.  I get it.  You are making my life a little safer by making sure someone doesn't open a jar of mayonnaise and spit in it or something. I really am eternally grateful for that. But gee whiz!  The lengths to which I must go just to smear some mayo on my sandwich.  It's mind-boggling, and after the day I've had, slightly annoying.  

Just sayin'.

And then there's the educational loan specialists.  Listen, I know I change the furniture arrangement in my living room around A LOT.  I like variety. So, sue me!  But the only real person I am affecting by this constant rearrangement of furniture is The Cat, and, quite honestly, I find a certain amount of joy in annoying her, seeing as she doesn't blink an eye when annoying me.  

My educational loan "holders," lets call them ... they change like I change my underwear.  

I change those daily, just in case there was a question.

I mean, I have a crap-ton of loans.  Will have for the foreseeable future, and good grief!  I've had a TON of loan holders for all those loans I have ... all the bunches and bunches of loans.  So, of course, I get this lovely note today that says, and I quote, because, honestly, it's too laughable NOT to:

"Nothing has changed YET -- you can still visit _________ for account access. Stay tuned over the next few months for information about website changes and payment methods."

Dude!  You don't understand who you are dealing with here.  You are super duper lucky you get the payment every month!  I.  HATE.  PAYING.  BILLS.  I'd rather go to my girl doctor every week for a month, and I really, really dislike going to her.  The fact that you are asking me to stayed tuned is the most laughable thing I've read in since, well, forever! I can barely remember that the gigantic pile of envelopes spewing paper every where and creating a whole situation on my kitchen counter are bills that are begging for attention like NOW.  And you want me to stay tuned?

Listen, just send me the address to where I am suppose to send my old school check, and we'll both skip through life with smiles on our faces and no worse off for it.  I don't need you changing payment options on me or messing with my already shaky, at best, bill-paying methodology.  Nothing good can come from that.

And garbage day.  I am alllll about a community garbage pick up.  I am beyond thrilled that a portion of my taxes goes toward the job of picking up my garbage.  But, seriously, after a day of making a ton of decision and hearing my name squealed at various decibels throughout the day as well as picking up after my little mess makers, gathering garbage from all over the house, taking it down stairs and then dragging it uphill to my road is just a bummer.  And I have had enough bummers in my day as it is.  So, adding insult to injury here is just plain cruel.

My mother always said life isn't fair.  Nobody said it would be.

Profound, isn't she?

Welcome to my childhood. 

But she's right.  Life isn't fair.  If it were, I would ride to work on a rainbow-colored unicorn everyday while catching the Skittles that are raining down upon me in my mouth and waiting for my Prince Charming, who will be making me dinner while taking the peelable covers off all of our jars.  Then, he will set about paying the bills and taking out the garbage. 



Monday, April 21, 2014

"WE HAVE A GOAT."

I am just not a traditional church sorta girl.

Not at all.

Yes, I grew up in a traditional church.

But, as a young child, I knew it didn't feel right.  I can't tell you how I knew this.  I just knew.

So, I found myself sitting in a VERY traditional church on Easter Sunday.

I felt out of place.

Like a giant, swollen thumb.

Like a booger on the end of your nose.

Like a "toot" in church (my mother would grimace and fuss if I used the OTHER word for toot.  She raised me better than that, don't you know?).

So, there I sat, in a creaky, old pew (even the word sounds uncomfortable), and stared up at all the stain glass.  I mean, I love stain glass.  It is GORGEOUS!  But, y'all, my church meets in an old factory. And I love that.  I love those old cement floors and the crazy bathrooms and the mason jar pendant lights (so much so that I plan to do that in my kitchen ... one day ... the mason jar pendant lights ...  when I get a little extra cash ... or marry Prince Charming ... oh, who am I kidding!?  I have a better chance of finding some extra cash).

My church before I moved down here?  We met in a big, ole rambling building that they made every effort to NOT make look like a church.  There is crazy art all over the place, and chairs rather than pews. They sometimes worship in the round while incense burns, and they have black toilets!!  There is a whole back story with the black toilets, but that's a blog post for another time.

Suffice it to say, I am comfortable in my non-traditional worship setting.  I feel like I can be myself.  Among the stain glass and Easter millinery and robed "important" people, I don't feel authentic.

So, there I am ... in the middle of TRADITIONAL, and my friend texts me an Easter greeting.  My response?  "I AM IN TRADITIONAL CHURCH HELL."

Okay, admittedly, this might have been a slightly, how shall I put this?  Over the top response?  Yes.  An over the top response.

The next thing I do is text my mother:

"Lord help me, I am in a pew!!"

No melodramatics there, right?  And then,

"Thankfully, I decided to wear a dress."

To which my mother replied,

"LOL.  You will continue to live.  Just take a deep breath!!!"

Doesn't matter how old you get, you're mom will always remind you that you will continue to live.  Of course, I, perhaps, melodramatically replied,

"There's stain glass and vestments and stuff!"

Her calm reply?

"Yes, churches still do have those things."

I was not to be deterred.

"An organ!  There is an organ!!!!"

I will admit.  My mom's next text got me.

"We had a goat in church today.  Did you have a goat in church?"

Yeah, so it doesn't matter how old you get, your mom STILL knows how to shut you down when your melodramatics begin to get out of hand.


AN OUTSIDER LOOKING IN

Sometimes, I feel like an outsider looking in. 

Sometimes, I am okay with that. If I don't have to be bothered with the details, I am perfectly fine with that.  I like structure.  I thrive under the need for direction.  Clear, concise direction.  I don't need to be involved in the planning.  Just tell me what to do.

Sometimes, I just feel like I am being drug along behind.  I try to jump on board.  I try to get my footing.  Then, something comes along and pushes me over the edge ... and I am left bloodied and bruised (figuratively, of course) and mangled by it all.  

Sometimes, I am not sure what "it all" really is. 

Sometimes, I am happily driving down a country road, a sun-shiny day stretched out before me, and I am thanking the good Lord for blessing me with this place He set me in. 

Sometimes, I am completely blindsided by circumstances beyond my control, and I'm left wondering where I fit in it all. 

Sometimes, I pray that the little things won't get to me, only to be hit by the BIG gigantic things.  How did I not see THAT coming?  

As my mom so kindly and gently reminded me today, God has a plan.  Mercifully, He doesn't let us in on the whole plan all at once.  Personally, I'd kind of like it if he did, but I also know my little pea-brain would most likely explode at the brilliance of the plan.  I am relatively sure I couldn't manage all that awesome in one viewing.  He recognizes this in me, in all of us.  And so He reveals bits and pieces ... slowly ... for us to savor ... and take in ... and digest ... and well, not explode over. 

Sometimes, we just need to be okay with being an outsider looking in. 




Wednesday, April 02, 2014

READ SOME BOOKS IN 2014 CHALLENGE

So, I just finished Fannie Flagg's All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion last night.  I lead a book club in my home, and this was the book we chose to read for our upcoming meeting.  
That brings me up to FIVE books in my READ SOME BOOKS IN 2014 book challenge.  Go me!

Listen, don't judge haters.  I am FINALLY (insert sing-songy voice here) out of my reading slump and am FINALLY (insert same sing-songy voice) regaining my reading mo-jo.  

I still have five more days of SPRING BREAK left, and a huge stack of books to get through.  I am confident I can power through and add a few more titles to the list.  Plus, it's only April.  I still have approximately nine more months to really knock your 100% vegan-fed, Sherpa wool socks off.  

Give me time.

In the meantime, if you are looking for a nice, easy, entertaining read, you must pick up Fannie Flagg's book.  It will make you love the Greatest Generation and the South!

POISONOUS PERSPECTIVES

I get bee venom shots.  I have been since October 2013.  They are a gigantic pain in my rear end.  No, not because I get them in my rear end.  Rather, they have, up to this point, been a weekly thing, and beyond the huge inconvenience of having to leave right after school to get them, they come with a certain amount of risk -- not to mention a cost involved.  

You see, I am allergic to stinging insects.  Two to be exact.  A yellow-nosed hornet and some sort of wasp.  I have forgotten which one. 

Is that bad?  That I've forgotten?   I mean, you would think if a stinging insect could, perhaps, cause, oh I don't know, death, I would remember what it was, right?  

You don't know me very well, do you?

We have not been formally introduced.  Hi, my name is Megan, and I have difficulty remembering important stuff.  

Random stuff?  Not a problem!

So, yeah, these injections.  They cause my arm to swell and itch.  In fact, last night, I woke myself up a half a dozen times itching the injection site that had, of course, swelled.  And that's with a couple of doses of Claritan both before and after said injection.

So, yeah.  A good time.

But after five looooooong months of this hassle, I am finally on what the professionals in the biz refer to as my "maintenance dose," which means I can now go every month and get this poison injected into my system, and crossing my fingers, it will have a 99% effectiveness in keeping any reaction to bee stings I might receive in the future from actually happening.  

Seems like a win-win to me.

So, why am I rambling on and on about it? 

Good question.

A good friend and I were having coffee (it sounds soooooo cosmopolitan, doesn't it? Ladies that lunch and have coffee? And we are the true epitome of cosmopolitan, let me just tell you!), and I brought up the fact that, recently, it seems, I've been asked my opinions on topics only to have my opinions demonized as well as being told just how far off the mark I am in terms of those opinions.  

What has increasingly frustrated me is not that someone chooses to ignore the opinion.  Hey!  It's a free country.  Do what you will.  Not my problem if you choose to do or believe something stupid.  No, what bothers me is this idea that if you ask for my opinion, I give it, and then you immediately put me down for it.  Listen, you ASKED me.  I am very sorry that I didn't agree with you.  Dude!  Look in the mirror.  Misguided and judgmental all over the place! 

However, my ever-so-smart gal pal reminded me, "Poisonous perspectives ultimately result in misguided thought processes.  You are so wrapped up in the fight while drowning in the toxic environment, you forget what is true and right."  

Oh man!  Did she ever nail it!  We've all been there.  Full on toxic environments that, on the onset, you knew was toxic, but you thought you could do good despite it.  You thought you could make a difference.  But you get soooooo wrapped up in it and the fight and the desire to just survive,  you lose perspective.  

I am blessed that I have been granted time and perspective on those toxic moments in my life (and LAWD, there are have been a ton!) and I am a better, more attuned individual for it now.  I think there is value in carrying those lessons around with us, because in sharing those poisonous perspectives, we are able to give vision to what can be if you are willing to move past it. 

As another friend said to me recently, "I would hope that, as a good, true friend, you would have the courage to hit me upside the head when I am doing something stupid.  And as a friend, while I might not like it, I would hope I would listen to you, weigh it carefully, and try to gain a different perspective."

It really is all about perspective.  If you are unwilling to see another perspective, perhaps you aren't really willing to change.  And change is good.  Sometimes, the fight? It's just  a fight.  And what do you gain beyond being bloodied and bruised and broken?