Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Quick question...

You hear a rumor that an old friend *may* be visiting other friends in your area over Memorial Day weekend, but you haven't heard anything from that specific friend herself. What do you do?

1) Assume she will be staying with those friends?
2) Prepare the guest room (which is really the teenagers' rec room...scary) in case she assumes your invitation to "come over and stay with us anytime" still stands
3) Pretend you haven't heard a thing because it's a rumor and it only *may* happen
4) Other (explain in comments)

There's a lot more to this question, such as the difference between my relationship with my dear lifelong friend and her only recent relationship with the "other friends" she's allegedly visiting instead of visiting me, but we'll start small.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

That one time Gary Oldman* was checking me out

*not really Gary Oldman

This one is mostly for me because I know in a few days I'm going to convince myself that this was all my imagination. I want to keep this where I can remember it.

Preface

Have you ever met someone in passing and had a very strong feeling you'd encounter him/her again someday?  I'd had this feeling once many years ago.
I was a high school sophomore.  I rode with my parents to visit Army Sister and her husband in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  My brother-in-law invited me to go with him to a track meet at the nearby college.  One of the families from his church was going over to watch their son compete, and my brother-in-law thought I'd have more fun going along than hanging around the house.  So I went.
I remember very little about the event except that I couldn't see anything, certainly didn't see anyone running, and completely missed the end of the race.  What I *do* remember is walking up to a sweaty college man sitting on the grass with his head between his knees trying to catch his breath.  His family and my brother-in-law all clapped him on the back and congratulated him while I stood off a bit, awkwardly wanting to be supportive but not knowing what to do.  When he looked up and our eyes met, I'm pretty sure I had a deer-in-the-headlights look about me, and I stammered, "Good job."  He nodded and went back to panting.
The family offered to give my brother-in-law and me a quick tour around the campus.  I couldn't have cared less, but I agreed because I was certain we would see that young man at some point.  I was sure of it.  I simply knew I would see him again.
But we didn't.  It was a boring walk around the place, we got back in the car, and we left.
It was completely pointless, this trip.  I couldn't figure it out.  Why, if we didn't run into him again, was I even here, and why did I meet him?  It puzzled me.  I had been so sure I was supposed to see him again.  I was supposed to.

Months later, Army Sister and the brother-in-law chaperoned their church youth group ski trip to northern Michigan.  On their way back to Ft. Wayne, they planned a stop close enough to our house that Mom and Dad and Lily and I drove over to visit with them at a McDonald's.  At some point during dinner, my brother-in-law stood up and announced that "my sister-in-law, Roses, is single" and that "any guys here who are interested should give her their phone number".
Not only was *I* mortified, but some poor guy named Tom was pointed at and teased mercilessly that he needed a girlfriend.
The youth group climbed into their bus, my family climbed into our car.  And on the way home, Lily slid a piece of paper into my hand.  "This is Tom's phone number.  He's really nice.  You should call him."
Tom was really nice.  Over the next year or so, we exchanged letters, talked on the phone, and whenever Mom and Dad and I visited Army Sister in Ft. Wayne, Tom and I had a date.  He made a special trip to Michigan to watch me play volleyball.  He was a runner, so when we were together, i'd ride bike alongside of him. He took me to prom my junior year of high school.  But the long distance wasn't great, and we eventually decided to just let the relationship go.
However, somewhere in the middle of our lovely little romance, we had a conversation about where he went to college near Ft. Wayne and how funny it was that I had once visited that same school to watch some guy run track.  Some guy that I had been sure I was going to see again.
That guy had been Tom.  Neither one of us could know it at the time, but I had awkwardly said, "Good job" to my future prom date as he sat sweating and panting like a dog.

Today's Story

Monday was the last day of my spring semester.  I had an appointment on campus after my last exam, and I was directed to take a seat in the lobby while I waited.

In the three semesters I've attended this college, I haven't encountered many students my age, and until Monday, I had never encountered a male student my age.
But there he sat in the lobby.

OMG, those eyes...
Let me rephrase that:
He lounged in the lobby.
All Gary-Oldman-as-Sirius-Black kind of lounged.

Now, he probably looked nothing at all like Gary Oldman; however, much like the time I sat next to John Cusack on an airplane to Tennessee, in my mind, I shall forever from this day forward remember seeing Gary Oldman in that lobby.

As I flopped into an adjacent seat, I smiled and said, "Hi." He did one of those head twitch acknowledgement greetings back.
I sat there awkwardly for a moment debating whether or not to start a conversation, but I couldn't think of anything to say, so I dug out my cell and hid behind it pretending to check for emails.

The whole time, I could tell he was watching me. Pointedly.
And, with apologies to The Husband, I didn't hate it.
I didn't hate it... a LOT.
I felt like the most attractive woman in the world.  Like he couldn't help but look.  It was very nice.

Was it just my imagination that he was watching me?  Pointedly?
Perhaps.
But if it was just my imagination, the timing was quite coincidental that as soon as I turned my phone off, he spoke to me.

"Is that a microphone?" he asked.
I looked down at my lapel pin. "It is!" I replied.  "Nice catch.  It's an old fashioned one."
"Can I ask why a microphone?"
"I used to work in radio.  I'm a recovering radio DJ."  I thought this was very funny, but he didn't exactly look amused as much as he looked curious.  And he just kept looking at me.  I felt a bit as if I was being studied.
"Are you a student?" he asked.
"Yes."
"Me, too."
"What are you studying?"
He gestured toward the window, "I'm in that building for Counseling."

I thought that was an odd way to answer the question, but I let it slide.

He continued, "You?"
"I'm studying PR."

There was a brief, awkward silence then which I will fill in with this belated thought regarding his odd way of answering my question.  Perhaps he was thinking that we'd run into each other during a regular class day.  What he was telling me was, "I'm usually in this area of the campus.  How about you?"  Therefore, when I replied that I was studying PR without adding context to which area of the school I frequent, well, I interrupted the flow.

"How much longer do you have left?  How many years, semesters?" he wanted to know.
"Many." And I blathered on a bit about being part-time and taking forever and hoping someone will hire me early because I appear to be so close to graduating even though I'm not.

For someone who doesn't like to talk about herself and who felt more and more awkward as she talked, I sure wouldn't shut up.

You know what?  It could be I misread the whole thing.  Could be he thought he recognized me and started the conversation just trying to determine where he knew me from.
Or maybe we'd met before, and he simply couldn't believe *I* didn't recognize *him*.

When I was called off to my appointment, I hope I said, "It was nice talking with you," but to be honest, I don't remember even saying goodbye.

An hour later, my appointment done, my head was full of the day ahead of me:
How soon could I get to work, and how much work time did I lose on this appointment?
Should I treat myself to fast food or eat the lunch I'd packed? 
I had nervous sweats during the final exam.  Would I have time to stop at home and change my clothes, or should I just go to work?
Should I walk to the corner and use the crosswalk, or can I skip across the street here and take a shortcut to my car?

I had just decided I was going to cut across the grass when I heard, "Hey."
Not "Hey!", just "Hey."

Before I turned, I knew it was the guy from the lobby.
Just knew it.
He had stepped out of the building seconds after I had, and had taken two steps in the opposite direction when he'd seen me walking away.
When I turned, there he was all Gary Oldman/Sirius Black standing there looking happy to see me again.  I damn near melted.

Had I been single and looking for romance, this would have been a scene from a movie.
I'd have stopped and said, "Hey."
He'd have invited me to coffee.  Let's make it lunch.
I'd have blown off work.  We'd have spent the afternoon together, and most of the summer, and graduated college together.
And lived happily ever after.

Then...
I'd have eventually learned he has anger management issues, a drinking problem, and three failed marriages.  And he'd have learned I'm a repressed crazy cat lady who needs two hands to count all of her medications.
And the beautiful fantasy would be broken forever.

"Recovering radio DJ" sounds far more intriguing than "repressed cat lady".

So...
I smiled and waved at Gary Oldman, and I said, "Hey!  Have a great day!"
Then I turned and crossed the street.  And didn't look back.

I have preserved this amazing memory of a smoking hot man who could not take his eyes off me.
I will cherish it.

But I'll be damned if I don't have that feeling that I'm gonna run into him again.
I'm supposed to.

Dang.  Now I gotta watch me some Gary Oldman flicks.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Time is Relative

The employee at 4:45pm:  The boss won't mind if I leave now. It's close enough to quitting time.

The employee at 5:02pm:  I WANT OVERTIME!

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

What It's Like to Find Someone Who Gets Your Sense of Humor

The grocery clerk wasn't old enough to run the six-pack of beer the man ahead of me wanted to purchase, so the clerk called to the Service Desk, "Can I get a scan, please?"


The woman behind the Service Desk had been in the middle of inflating a mylar balloon.  She came over with a giant football balloon pinched shut in one hand and scanned the beer with the other. 

As she walked away, I said to the clerk, "You can't scan beer because you don't have a football. You need a balloon in order to scan alcohol."
The clerk smiled as the customer looked at me sideways. "I wondered where you were going with that," the customer said slowly. 
"Going absolutely nowhere," I quickly replied. I got the impression this guy was NOT amused one bit by me poking my nose in his beer business. Not one bit. I pointed at my head and drew an invisible circle around it. "Not going anywhere but here."  
He nodded. "Funny in your head but nowhere else. I get it."
He collected his change and his purchases and walked away. 

I suppose there are people in the world who never speak to strangers out in public. I am aware that people find it odd that total strangers sometimes make random comments to them at Walmart.
I'm that odd person that talks to strangers. I can't help it; I think I'm funny. (There's a song that goes with that.)
Yeah, I get looks.  I think disparaging remarks are made behind my back.  I often wish I could keep my mouth shut. 

But sometimes, I meet a kindred spirit. 
The beer customer obviously was not this kindred spirit. 

The clerk was. 

He rang up my order, and as he bagged my groceries, he glanced at the next customer's stuff on the conveyor belt.
There was another six-pack of beer.

"Can I get a scan please?" he called out.
"And bring the balloon!" I added... and immediately wished I hadn't.
The clerk snorted. "She has to inflate a different balloon each time she comes over."
We grinned at each other.
I told him, "I would go buy some beer just to see that."
He shrugged.  "It's store policy . What're you gonna do?"

Absolutely made my day. :-)

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Texting Lane for Drivers

The Husband came up with a great idea today.
You've heard of carpool lanes, passing lanes, and turning lanes.
He suggests a special separate texting lane for drivers who want to text and drive.

 It's one lane... for both directions.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Cat is a Jerk

I am used to the cat pawing at the bathroom door anytime I go in there with the door closed.

It is so expected that immediately after closing the door, I open it again and he's there, as if it's a well rehearsed magic trick.

The other morning, I made it through an entire shower without disruption. But as soon as I stepped onto the mat, he was scratching at the door. 

Before I tell you what happened when I opened that door, I must first point out that I had just stepped out of the shower.
And I need to remind non-cat owners that a cat, when given a choice, will always barf on carpeting. Always.

And my cat is a jerk. 

Okay, so I had just stepped out of the shower to jear the cat pawing at the door.  I had one hand on the doornob and the other hand clutching a towel around myself. 
I opened the door expecting a flash of fur to dart past my leg. 
Instead, I opened the door, the cat looked up at me, turned around and ralphed on the hallway carpet. 

He *could* have come into the bathroom (as he'd been begging to do), and he'd have barfed on perfectly good linoleum. 
But no.
Barf on the nice absorbant carpet, would you please?

Another note for the non-cat people:
Like the postman's knock, the cat always barfs twice.

So, okay, he didn't make into the bathroom (where he'd been begging to be) for the first round.  Surely he can do me the courtesy of placing the second round on the easy-to-clean linoleum. 
No.

I think I've mentioned that my cat is a jerk. 

He had to run down the hallway to the wide open living room where there's lots of open (read: visible) spots to stain the carpet. 

And I'm dripping wet in a towel. 
Towels don't hold themselves up, y'all.
Have you ever tried to pick up a cat with one hand?
And have you ever tried to pick up a cat with one hand while you're dripping wet?

I'm not sure my children had ever heard me swear a real swear word before that morning. 

I managed to wrestle the cat into the bathroom before he could barf a third time. 
But that's mostly because he didn't bother to barf a third time. 
Jerk.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Office Feng Shui

I missed some work last week.  Had school appointments, had to escort a family member to a medical appointment, you know... stuff.

It was a stressful week with all the running and the loss of income.
I indulged in comfort food and treated myself to a new pair of jeans.

The day I returned to a regular day of work, I wore my new jeans.
It was the weirdest thing.  They made my legs sore.  It felt like I'd just run up and down the stairs a bunch of times even though I'd done nothing but sit all day.
I have no idea why a pair of jeans would do that, but maybe they were just a little too tight in the thigh?  I don't know.

The next day back at work, I wore my "old" pair of jeans.
Again, sore thighs.
What?  Why?

"Hey," I asked my cubiclemates, "when I was out of the office, did someone else sit at my desk?"
"Yeah."
"Did that person, by chance, change the height of my chair?"
"Yup. Yup, he did."

Dangit!
I'm the Princess and the Pea!
One small thing out of place throws everything off!

I couldn't tell you if my chair was higher or lower, but it was just a little different.
I must have been sitting just a little bit differently and my legs had to adjust.
Of all the goofy things...

Since we're on the subject, my aching shoulders and neck eased up a bit after I put my computer monitor up on phone books.

As a society, I think we bow to our electronics and entertainments far too much and don't pay near enough attention to what our bodies are telling us.
Laptops are the worst things to ever happen to our necks.
Well, those and smartphones.

Geez, we can be really stupid to ourselves.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tired of Headaches.

Have you noticed that no one has sympathy for you when you're tired?  It's a debilitating condition that effects your physical and mental abilities. Yet, being tired is often shrugged off as either unimportant or the fault of the person suffering from it.

That's why I no longer tell people when I'm tired.

I lie and say I have a headache.

People tend to feel bad for you when you have a headache and they treat you nicer.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Hair today, Gone tomorrow

Just me, or do you put off going to bed on days when you're having a good hair day just because you know when you wake up the good hair will be gone never to return?

Yeah.
I'm in mourning today.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

How to Hide a Candy Stash

My candy stash was discovered this week, and I found myself wondering again, "Where can I hide my candy so my kids and husband can't find it?"

It's not that I'm greedy.

Just, sometimes, I buy a special kind of treat that is maybe more expensive or maybe a little more decadent than a simple bag of Hershey Kisses. And I don't want the people I love to snarf it down like it's a bowl of popcorn.

Here's a list of ideas I've used.  What other suggestions do you have?

1) Feminine Supplies
One popular hiding spot is the tampon box.  No male would ever think of looking there, and I suspect that any male who knows the truth about what's hidden in the box would never touch the tampon box to get it.
The tampon box is a good hiding spot for a lot of things.  Money, a small notebook, credit cards would all be hidden well there.

Exceptions:
If you live with women, however, this hiding spot may be discovered easily.
Plus, I'm not fond of keeping food in the bathroom. So, this is not a place I can hide my candy.

2) Containers of Food Only You Consume
For a long time, I managed to keep my candy stashed in a powdered chai can right next to The Husband's coffee.  No one ever drank chai but me.  No one else ever opened the can.  No one suspected anything even though there were always two chai cans up there.  They all assumed I kept a spare so I'd never run out.

You can hide almost anything in a food container that no one else opens.  Diet food packages or specially flavored coffee/tea are good options.  "Grown up" breakfast cereal boxes are great for hiding things from small children.  If there's no cartoon character on the box and no sugar in the package, they will avoid it like bathtime.
I kept candy in a box that used to contain snack bars that the boys didn't like.  Kept it right there in the cupboard next to all the other snacks.  I watched the boys pick up that box, look behind it for something tasty, and put it right back on the shelf without knowing a thing about its inner secrets.  The only reason this spot isn't still in regular use is because The Husband found it... and he started eating my chocolate*.

My chai hiding spot was only found out because my family members are so darned thoughtful and considerate.  One morning The Husband and Younger Son were working in the kitchen while I was minding my own business reading the newspaper at the table.  The Husband asked if I wanted some chai, and before I could say anything, Younger Son reached into the cupboard to get the can down for me.
The can of powdered chai... rattled.
Game over.

3) Personal Hobbies and Crafts
Ain't nobody in my house gonna go looking through a basket of yarn.  They'll never find the Ziploc baggie of chocolates buried in the bottom of that pretty mess.

*Important Note:
The secret to keeping your stash a secret is to make it appear there is nothing hidden to begin with.
Once your stash is discovered and you need to change it, leave a decoy in the place that was found.
That box of snack bars the boys don't like that The Husband eats from?  I keep a handful of candy in there just to make him think that's still where I hide candy from the boys.  He has no reason to go looking anywhere else.