Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The News Round Up - Soup, Cake, Drugs, Financing

1. Late Saturday afternoon my friend Rachel called just as I was in the throes of preparing the last big pot of soup (Portuguese Kale Soup) of the year, as it is now if not actually Spring, it is at least Spring-like and getting warmer and who needs big bubbling pots of hearty soup when it's warm out? Anyhoo... I heard the phone ring and hollered out to MDH from the kitchen that if it's for me tell whoever it is that I'm elbow deep in kale and that I will call them later... but then he hollered back that it was Rachel so I hollered back - tell her to bring Dave (her boyfriend) and come over and have soup with us - and so she did.

Then I called Ladette to see if she wanted to come by too and damned if she didn't just happen to be hanging out with her husband at a pub only a few blocks away. They came too.

Hence an impromptu dinner party - my dream come true.

Seriously, I dream of this but the stars are so rarely aligned in such a way as to accommodate impromptu dinner parties. House is clean? Check. Even the bathrooms? Mostly, check. Am I clean? Check. Got snacks? Check. Beer's cold? Check. Plenty of food? Check. Holy shit - c'mon over!

As if the evening wasn't already great enough Rachel caused me to squeal and carry on like a contestant on the Price Is Right, when she walked through the door with a Chantilly Torte cake from Arnie's for dessert. It's only my favorite cake EVER! Thanks Rach.

2. I start my new old job next Monday. When they told me that I'd have to take a drug test sometime this week my initial reaction was a quiet moment of slight panic until I remembered that I have nothing to fear. I have a guilty conscious but haven't been stoned in well over 10 years - unless you count Pamprin and I don't. If anything having to take the drug test is inconvenient because it causes me to leave the house and drive across town.

It's been awhile since I've had to take a drug test so I was very pleased to learn that they just take a hair sample now, which is so much more civilized than sitting in a room full of strangers avoiding eye contact with each other because we all know that each one of us is there waiting our turn to go piss in a cup. Eye contact avoidance aside, I will admit to looking around and trying to figure out who among us in the waiting room had the most to be worried about and it was never me.

3. MDH and I got a new bed a few weeks ago and it has been a glorious, transformative, life changing thing. It's a gigantic, king-sized, leather and teak* monstrosity of a bed. It's hard as a goddamn rock (extra firm) and so enormously huge that I have no idea what the hell MDH is getting up to waaaay over there on his side of it and I don't give a shit because I'm too busy sleeping like an angel through the night and waking up with no aches and pains.

His bowling ball doesn't knock over my wine glass anymore.

We love the new bed so much, and our bedroom has transformed into such a beautiful haven that we have agreed that whoever wakes up last makes the bed - and we have made the bed every day since. Not only that, but the room has remained clean and pristine. I actually dust in there now and put away all my clothes and shit where it belongs. Previously we were neither one of us bedmakers and we** had crap strewn everywhere to the point where not only was the room not a haven, I didn't even like walking by it. It was like a messy dorm room. We*** feel like grown ups now.

Each night before we turn out the lights we gaze lovingly at each other from across the vast expanse of it, sweep a leg around until our big toes are touching and declare aloud our love for each other and the new bed. I think it might be the best money we've ever spent.

*I don't actually know what kind of wood it is, but it is dark and teak-like.



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Large Corporation

(This photo is meant to represent eagerness)

Six months have gone by since Large Corporation gave me the old heave-ho because of their ridiculous policy that only allows contractors to stay for 18 months at a time. Six months is the amount of time that has to pass between my leaving and being eligible to work there as a contractor again.

They called me today and wanted to know if I wanted to come back and do my old job, and if so when could I start? I said let me just brush my teeth and I'll be down in about 20 minutes.

This time though it's going to be different:
  • I'm not going to kid myself that they will ever hire me permanently.
  • No matter what anyone there leads me to believe I will not get my hopes up that they will ever hire me permanently.
  • Even though I found out that my good friend Hey Mr. DJ and that stupid old fart Bag O'Mice are retiring next month I will not get my hopes up that they will ever hire me permanently.
  • I will passionately continue to seek full time permanent employment elsewhere because I know in my heart that they will never hire me permanently.
  • I mean it.
  • Fuck them.
  • Now, where's my parking pass?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

My mom worked in accounting at the main office of a chain of appliance stores for over 30 years. She took a short break after my sister was born but was right back at it as soon as my sister was old enough to start going to school. Thirty years is a long time to work at the same place. I just can't imagine it.

Over the years the company changed and grew and my mother's job along with it. She had started working there part time when she was still in college and they only had one or two stores in Central Ohio. Back then her office consisted of herself and two other women and the owners of the company. By the time she retired the company had stores all over Ohio and the Midwest, she had a staff of over 20 people and she was a company wide legend. Everybody knew her and she knew everybody.

When you work somewhere for that long people really get to know you and in my mother's case it seemed that she shared every intimate detail of her life with these people. Whenever my sister and I tagged along at any company or accounting department sponsored party or event her coworkers seemed to know everything about us. Good and bad. Mostly bad it seemed. They all knew to congratulate me for making the honor roll or to chastise me because I had gotten caught making long distance prank phone calls. They knew about how I had stolen the "key" to the cable box and watched pornos. They knew that I had spiked the kool-aid at a slumber party with my dad's moonshine. They knew everything. I figure my mom must have walked in the door of that place each morning and immediately begun to blab about me to her coworkers and anyone who would listen all goddamn day.

Not that I didn't constantly give her the need to vent frustration.

Still I assumed that some things between my mother and I were sacred.

I was wrong.

Eventually I discovered the degree of my mothers blabbitude, much to my horror and disgust when three or four of her co-workers actually fluttered about me like buzzing middle aged mosquitoes at a 4th of July picnic (or some potluck or such) somewhere around the year of our lord 1978 and had the collective balls to talk to me in loud whispers all about how I'd recently started having my period. As if they thought we were all chummy characters in a Judy Blume novel having a lark and not a shy and stunned 11 year old girl being psychologically tortured by cackling grown-ass women who were, although very good friends to my mother, strangers to me.

I thought I would die.

I had a hard enough time talking about period related stuff with my mother (I had even begged her not to tell my dad) so it was the last thing that I wanted to discuss with my mother's co-workers. I soon discovered though that it was only the beginning of a long, one sided and yet very intimate relationship I was to continue to have with 15 to 20 women that I only ever saw or spoke to about 3 or 4 times a year. Women with whom I could barely match faces to names, but would know it seemed every single detail about my life.

After the Great Period Fiasco 1978 I confronted my mother regarding her breach of respect, trust and privacy and she merely laughed at me like I was an adorable little chit.

"When a bunch of women get together they talk", she shrugged.

"Yes, I get that, but did you have to talk about that?"

"Yes." She said. "I did. I can't help it. You're my kid and you hit a milestone and I told all my friends about it. I'm proud of you and if it makes you feel any better they all tell me all about their kids too."

It didn't make me feel any better, but over the years I got used to it I suppose and began to automatically assume that everyone at the appliance store knew my bra size, the diameter of my nipples, my preference of tampons over pads, and all about my every cramp and gas bubble. Frankly the Great Period Fiasco of 1978 was the beginning of the end of me sharing any personal information of any importance with my mom.

At this point you might think that I'm telling you all this psychotic episode inducing shit about my mom so that I may continue to use my blog as a form of cheap therapy. Well there is that. But it's also so that I can tell you about how our friend Pecan Sandie is sending her teenage son Miles to come and stay with us this week.

Long time single mom Pecan Sandie called us a few weeks ago crying and babbling about how Miles had gotten himself into a spot trouble of a sexual nature with a girl. Nobody is pregnant or diseased or anything like that. Actually it's all pretty innocent and normal stuff (by my standards) and my only beef with any of it is the fact that I FUCKING KNOW ABOUT IT AT ALL.

Suddenly all that stuff about my own mother discussing the intimate details of my life with her friends was brought screaming and unwelcome back to the forefront of my cranial lobe. I thought I had put it all behind me.

Sandie had told me over the phone all about what Miles had been up to with the girl in very graphic detail. I'll just say this - it was pretty juicy stuff - but waaaay too much information and while I wanted to be a good friend and good listener at the same time I wanted to throw the phone across the room, put my hands over my ears, shout LALALALALA and stamp around in circles until all of the damaging visual images Sandie had put in my brain went buh-bye. I was able to steer the conversation to a place with fewer details but wondered how in the hell she had come upon all of this very personal information about her son. Apparently he'd told her all about it. I shuddered.

Anyhoo... Miles is coming to stay with us because Sandie thinks that MDH is a good role model for how a young man should conduct himself with the ladies, which just makes me want to snicker, and she's hoping that Miles will be able to talk to MDH about things of a sexual nature in such a way that she as his mother is unable.

Meanwhile I'm looking forward to having Miles come and visit for many reasons. He's a great kid and it's always nice to have a house guest. Besides, MDH and I could use some more youthful influence around here. We have lots of plans to take Miles to do cool stuff while he's here, but I will leave all discussions of sex up to MDH and plan to pretend that I myself have been given no knowledge of Miles and his recent previous shenanigans.

Finally, what I realized after all this time is that talking about your life and your children with your friends is only natural. I myself, although I don't have any children, can think of oh so many embarassing personal details about the people that I love, including my husband, that I have spilled not only to my friends, but right here for public airing on this blog. So I'm guilty too, but what I have also realized is that it wasn't the fact that my mother shared stories about me with her friends that upset me so much as it was that her stupid fucking friends, who I barely knew, felt like they could openly discuss these intimate details about my own life with me.

So I'm never even going to hint to Miles that his mom said a word to me about his sex life. If anything I might talk to him about the many benefits of keeping secrets from your parents and if I have that discussion with him I won't tell his mom about it.