As of tomorrow I will be a participant in the "blog-or-die" campaign. Me and one million other bloggers. Hey, its fun to be part of an invisible and large community and have an extra excuse/incentive to keep it up.....every day. Yup, every freaking day. That is the goal of the contest, one has to post every day in the month of November, otherwise you ain't eligible for 'dem prizes. Yes, to that too, there are prizes. Check it out here: http://www.fussy.org/nablopomo.html
My mother never drank beer, she still doesn't. So growing up, I believed beer was something men drank. I thought ladies didn't brink beer. My dad always had one when he came home from work. He would have placed the mug in the freezer the day before to insure a frozen glass. Not once do I recall my mom even taking a sip. When I got to college, I really saw women drink beer for the first time. I mean consume it. Don't get me wrong, I drank in high school like the rest of 'em. Mostly it was Zima, wine coolers and later on straight up tequila. Don't ask, I still cringe thinking about the amount of Cuervo we went through. There were typical keg parties with red plastic cups. But still we opted for the hard stuff. So it was not until college that I saw girls drink beer. It was college, we were in sororities and it was New Orleans. Drinking deserved a bold statement.
One night, my freshman year, I met an older girl; probably a Junior or Senior. She was my friend Torie's friend from high school. She stood there in tight jeans, probably Mavi jeans given the year, a tank top, holding a Bud Light, in a bottle. She took swigs straight from the bottle. She was in the basement of a fraternity house surrounded by raggedy beat up couches, a floor covered with tarp and dirty, and khaki short flip-flop wearing frat boys. But I thought she looked cool and sophisticated. To me it was not just her appearance, but the beer. From then on I made sure to order my beer in a bottle too. If only I could emulate cool.
Today I drink substantially less beer. Well, substantially less in general. I need to maintain my employment. But the bloating from it, gets to this girl. So less beer for this lady. On Saturday I saw ladies drinking beer. Like only ladies can. Jacksonville is the meeting place for the Gator Bowl; where Florida and Georgia fans converge every year for an SEC showdown, rivalry and tradition. There were a lot of fans, a lot of spirit and a lot of beer. The announcer declared that close to 85,000 people were in attendance. Most of those were outside tailgating before hand. Tents, blankets and actual tailgates open to accommodate coolers, tables, grilles and picnics. People throwing footballs, eating and drinking. I had never been to such a football game, Tulane does not do things like that. Though, it all reminded me of the parades during Mardi Gras; people, food, the weather and the beer.
Everyone was adorned in team colors. The Gators showed their pride with orange and blue, tees, shorts, hats and even sweaters when the sun went down. The Georgia fans, on the other hand, were much more lady-like. They dress for these games. I mean really dress. Black dresses with red ribbons, red heels or red jewelry. Yes they wear heels to football games. I even saw satin heels trekking through the grass into the stadium. These are true Southern ladies. They glisten. The older women had black and red Gucci scarves, black and red Burberry coats, and black and red Louis Vuitton hand bags. These were items they must have collected over years of attending Bull Dawg games. They were all drinking beer. Obviously NCAA rules prohibit such consumption in the stadium, during the game. But before hand, dresses, heels, pearls and hair do's, standing in the sun drinking beer. Gotta love the south and football and a lady who will drink beer.
That is for the three horses at work today. As in "I am going to see a man about a horse". Three of them, all at work, all today. Triple Crown. Gross and insanely immature to be writing about this. Well it is the little things in life that excite me to no end. And my friends, this is no little feat. My belly was so bloated, I looked to be a good six months preggers. Magoo was picking out names. We pushed on my belly to let the gas out. We both took turns. I even put my hands on top of his for more effort. There was some serious, I am not going anywhere, I have found a new home, kind of gas stuck in there. Well, that was last night. That is why today there were three. That is why it is a crowning success. Triple Crown style. Gas be gone and it was. Ladies, I work with, beware.
At a recent lunch for ladies lawyers, we heard a group of “power” speakers. These women are not lawyers, but travel and put on performances meant to inspire and give women power. The stories we heard were their life stories condensed into five minutes and told to give maximum effect to their point. This experience stood out for a number of reasons.
1. I previously elaborated here, where I saw the different experience I was having vs. what may go on in other firms with women.
2. One women told of trying to breathe through every moment of life. She emphasized not missing moments or living for the future of “when I's…..” I realized that I have not done that in a long time. Sure I look forward to events, especially when I have planned things, like vacations. But that is healthy and positive. Hers was meant for a grander scale. I don’t do it like that, any more. With this outlet and my push to write everyday, I am forced to take inventory on a regular basis. I can assess and discern. I am acutely aware (maybe even too much so) of what is going on and where I am mentally. Check one for me.
3. But being there made me question why I have not turned my URL over to my actual friends and family. I let strangers read these thoughts. That is easy, who cares what they think? Chances are I am not going to offend them and they will not offend me. A harsh comment from a stranger can be blown off because they don’t truly know me. My fear paralyzes me. One speaker said that was our biggest impediment to enjoying life and fulfilling our goals, fear. She urged us to let it go. I also silently noted that these people had no problem displaying their lives and performing in front of people. They were not scared at all. They had no fear of being laughed at or getting a bad review. They were living their dreams and appeared extremely happy. They took the risk. The reality of that hit me, I need to follow both their spoken words and the example they set. Trade my fears for passions and follow my dreams. To me, that could be sharing my thoughts and writing with my friends and family. They love me and support me and will stand by me good or bad. I shouldn’t let fear of criticism stand in the way of that. Especially when a positive comment can make my day. I am shutting myself off from even allowing the positive and from the growth you get from allowing others to share in your work. Fear has prevented all that.
I finished writing this and then two days later attended a speaking event with Rachael Leeds. She writes, lectures, and aids women into creating what she calls “an ethical will”. This will is meant to be stories and blessing you write to pass onto your loved ones, family members, and children. So they know how you feel about them, they know your story and history, and they have some of your lessons to pass onto future generations. It was all very special and touching. Her message was clear and her stories were compelling. I cried as she read some examples. A grandmother’s tale to her granddaughter about how she cares for her now and in twenty years the roles will be reversed. A letter to a two year daughter on what she wants her to see in her life. Then I thought about #2 above and what I had been doing. It was exactly that. I wanted this not just as therapy for me, but a document of my life. For me to reflect on and my loved ones and future children to cherish. They can see the start of my relationship with Magoo and struggles I had as a young professional. I can see them too, and hopefully smile at how far I have come. God, do I hope I can smile then. The speaker made me keenly aware of what I already knew, the reasons I have been doing this. But this woman succinctly nailed them on the head and at the same time made me proud. I had been doing what she preached and what already sounded like an excellent idea. More so, writer or not, female or not, we should all do this. For our own sake and our families sake. It is truly valuable. Legacies, tradition and stories are valuable and they are powerful. They give you the power to understand your own voice. Get at the heart of it and hear yourself. They get you to look to where you came from, the whole family history and to rememberyour own mothers’ lessons. Those that affect and effect you. Those you want to pass on. Reflecting on your current mental and physical status. A quick status check to make sure you are okay. Sharing your dreams and aspirations, again a status check to insure they are what you are actually working for and what you still want today. Not what you wanted a dozen years ago or what your parents wanted for you. So that others know what a dreamer and a go getter you were. It is all powerful, for all involved.
I am having a distraction of a day. I cannot concentrate on any one thing. Even those that seem entertaining are not capturing my attention; house searches, blog hopping, internet window shopping. None of it is interesting to me. I have my door closed and music on in an attempt to reward concentration. Clearly, I should be doing my work and billing my hours. But I can’t focus on that either. I search for a distraction, only to find myself distracted.
I constantly think about food. Even though I just ate and felt filled to the brim ill from it. Yet, I am planning my next meal. It is more about the break and a way to fill the boredom. Both the planning and the break itself. It is really a diet coke that I want the most, from the quickie mart across the street. Then I think, no just keep your ass glued to the seat, push through and get your work done. That lasts for seven seconds and my mind wanders again. Food, drink, bathroom, the way my hair smells, whether I paid my cable bill, if I should have scheduled that doctor’s conference, what should I pack this weekend, I am sure I can get a diet coke from my co-worker, can I get to the pre-mediation status report today, what time is my hearing tomorrow, I had to have paid that bill, when will Senior Partner get back, did I tell him about the depositions yesterday, yeah my hair does smell like food, I really need to finish that Request to Produce by Monday…..and so it goes. One distraction piled on top of a slew of others. Distracting me from my distractions. Making it so I get nada done.
Labels: Everyday Life
This afternoon I attended a woman in law luncheon, for lawyers who practice in Hillsborough County. This is a monthly meeting, one I plan on attending more regularly. It was amazing being in a room with close to 100 female lawyers. They ranged in age, including some who had just taken the bar exam. I am certain there were all practice levels and practice groups there. At my table there were two women who introduced themselves as partners. As in they practice together. We just loved the ring of that. It sounded powerful and sassy. They were well dressed and well groomed, Ferragamo handbags, St. John's Suits and Anne Klein pumps. They were clearly successful in their eminent domain practice. I always love meeting and seeing women in their forties and fifties and beyond who are stylish and sophisticated. They had beautiful jewelry, perfect makeup and obviously a law practice and families. How do they freaking do it? I sort of think the money tends to help. But, that is why I plan on becoming a regular; maybe I can pick up a thing or two or three.
I flash to our female role model here. One female partner. That is par with the country average where approximately 17% of partners in law firms are women. With four partners here, our quarter representation is fair. Yet, she does not relish the womanly role. What is unclear is whether this is by choice, as in it is not a part of her personality, or whether by consequence. Maybe that is how she got to where she is today, taking a tough attitude, not playing into the feminism and displaying her female side. No, I am not calling her manly or butch. By far she is not. It is just different; she would not have attended one of these functions and does not put on an air that she would care to. She does not flash her "I am a woman" card often.
So I have no real experience with female lawyers, especially successful partners in firms, who chose to participate in these ideals. We saw women enter with their younger associates in tow. Obviously this could have been a mandated event that they had to participate in and even that the firm sponsored. Ours didn’t. We shelled out our own $20.00. I can’t even imagine what that is like, having that kind of firm environment. It was like watching and envying a mother/daughter relationship that was in perfect synch. I know there are a ton of extraneous factors that can contribute to the appearance they presented at the luncheon. But for arguments sake and what I witnessed, they moved together like actual friends and compatriots.
That would be nice. It would foster a more generous environment. There would not be such a hierarchy, one that they seemingly want to dismantle and are confused by. Yet, it is obviously there still because this is lacking. The lack of compassion for their female brethren and their legal community both contribute to that problem. There is no desire here to enhance that atmosphere of the firm, though in reality it is a huge part of the actual practice of law. You need to be a member of the community that you share your legal oath with. There is no desire here to teach that alongside deposition techniques and litigation strategy. It is not something on our to-do lists. Instead it is strictly business and billing. Talk about not fostering a realtionship, we don't get credit or billing for our attendance at such events. There is seemingly no want to create a small community here, where we can turn to each other as women and share, confide, and associate. We are associates after all.
"We need to conference and cocktail. I know, you know, what we need to discuss."
"Oh, yeah, I know. I have been in Atlanta all week, any new developments?"
I played dumb, pretending I didn't already know the details. They had been provided to me already out of concern, not gossip. But I needed to get the full story straight from her. So I listened the entire time, to her version and the details from the beginning.
I knew she approached it from the condescending way. I knew her all too well. Hell, she pulled it on me in the past, she had done it too all of us. Even when it was not warranted. And here it was warranted. God good was it warranted. I even heard first hand that these comments were dished out. She said she wanted to cry, get her bag and leave. But she stuck around and heard it. I can't say she listened, because to me that implies comprehending. Crying probably would have been good for her. Make her emotions run out and let reality set in.
I just didn't know what ground she covered and to what extent. Do you start with the adultery? That he is married, two kids, a house and a dog. He had the whole package. With another women. But now she was "the other woman" and not in a good way. Hell, is there ever a good way? But that part of the drama was so evident, did that need to be re-enforced? How could you even want to enter into that sacred bond? I think she probably brought it back to reality. Used an analogy to all their married girlfriends and tried to illicit sympathy. Think about if she was the victim. Or even her own parents. Who god knows probably have gone through some of their own affairs, and look where it left them. We all know how that family structure looks today, like a dilapidated house cracking at the seams. Not so steady. So would that have hit it home? Made the reality of it all come crashing down on her one bedroom apartment?
Or did she discuss how they have never even met each other? How she has conjured up this reality that may not actually exist. Who knows who he is. What he looks like. How he smells. What is touch is like. All those qualities we derive attraction from. Are you really attracted to someone you have never seen in person? What about all those fermones you read about. I don't think you can send those via IM. Not only does it beg the question of, do you really like him vs. do you like the attention, but is he telling you the truth? How easy is it to create stories over e-mail? He does not have to look her in the eye. And she does not get the benefit of women's intuition coupled with the tell-all body language signs. None of it could be true. Especially the part about how heinous is wife is. One day he could stop playing this game and turn back to his family. Where does that leave you? Alone and forgotten. I hope she threw that one in.
Maybe she went with the obvious complications of any relationship, truth telling and adultery aside. He lives in another city. Is someone going to move? Or will this just be long distance. What about if he does divorce her, that could take months or years to clear up. I can't imagine you want that time to coincide with the start of a new relationship. Then there are his kids to consider. Their role in your relationship. I hope she pointed out that he probably won't move here owing to that fact. Do you want to be a surrogate mom to them? Will the ex even let you near them? Highly unlikely given who you are. So then what really?
I have to think she said all of that. I am sure she even threw in more that I didn't calculate. Like I said she can be evil. She generally does not hold back with chastising words. The almost tears probably came from some where.
So I went a different route. I didn't criticize or condescend. I tried the reality and even went so far as doomsday predictions. I played the lawyer card on her and told her the worst case scenarios that she has created. She will lose her job. Not a question. Coming from someone who has contemplated firing a lot recently, she will be fired for this. So will he. They spent time when they were supposed to be working, having an affair. They will find the IM's and e-mails. Totally a firable offense. She seemed to think the embarrassment stemmed from having her IM's read. Well fine, if that did it. But how about explaining to your potential new employer and your family that you had been fired for an extra-marital affair that you used company time and resources to conduct? How does that sound? To me that is pretty embarrassing.
I explained that in a nasty divorce, with a good lawyer, those same records would be subpoenaed. His co-workers would testify. Hell, she would even be called to testify. All of those records would be read, by a lot of people. Maybe even publicly. There is no doubt she would be fired then. I didn't point out, but hoped it was obvious, how is a relationship supposed to withstand that? Lost jobs and failed marriages? I then lied, to prove my point, and told her that her cell phone records showed the actual content of the text messages. People will read every single one, see the flirting from the beginning. They will see how many there were, especially during business hours. Those will be subpoenaed also. Yup, even yours. Don't think they won't find your phone number. C'mon that is easy and it is their job. You made it that much easier and that much worse by adding him to your plan and sending him a phone. Now it's just child's play for them. Her lawyer will go to town. I know I would.
I just don't think any of it worked. Mine or her approach. It is only going to get worse from here. Unless it ends. And not the bad way. Just fizzles out and ends. If that is possible. People are already hurt and some lives are impacted. I don't want to say devastated, because people recover from divorce. Especially when someone cheats. It usually means there is something wrong in the first place. But an impact and dent have been made on that family. The best that can be done is if she removes herself. Leaves them alone and they are left to deal with their own problems. I just don't see it happening though. She was not processing any of it. Not a thing. She was convinced she had not done anything wrong, after all it was just texts and nothing physical. I swear she said that. Good god woman. You are so knee deep in it, you can't see through the shit. That is what I mean about burying the guilt and living with it. It is freaking sad and scary, for her and for all wives really. That's why I need a cocktail. I also think that is where my cheating dream came from, all of this rattling around my brain.
You searched through her office. Door closed, occasionally files dropped outside in the hallway. What were you looking for? Evidence of what? You already got rid of her.....we are not owed an explanation. But when you are in there for hours, eye brows are raised. Was that the reason she was let go? In her condition? With a baby...c'mon really.
We converse quietly amongst ourselves, trying to figure it out. Doors are closed, three, four of us in one space at a time. All whispering different theories and bits of conversations. "Yeah, yeah I heard that too". But no one knows the truth. I personally think there is no truth. It is something amorphous, you can make up as you go along. One answer for this person on this date and a different one tomorrow. If it is Wednesday it must be her billing. Or something like that.
Then the next bombshell. He is leaving too. HA! Serves you right in some ways. Never, never saw that one coming. Did ya? He was your golden child. We teased that his desk should be next to yours, in the same office. He was in there so much anyway. He could do no wrong, though his ability to hide such was Houdini like. He got the face time and ass kissing down. I guess those do win you points. Go figure. Then he leaves. Poor timing to say the least, but completely out of the blue. And for what? Less money. But that is what makes it hilarious. Or heelllaaarious, said with an evil smile, as Magoo does. Literally, it was pointed out to all. Who would want to leave here? And for less money? Have ever a stranger thing been done?
Now you are in a jam. When just a brief moment ago it was jeopardy, my jeopardy. Instead of threats, you need to know we are okay. You smile sweetly at me. Buzz my phone with "hi theres" and "how ya doings". Offer me funny tid bits about claims and cases. Even chat about the weather. Yet you stand there awkwardly looking at me. You know you need to be nice, but aren't sure how to socialize. I twirl my hair around my finger and make sweet banter right back at you. You are skating and need to make sure we will be there to catch you. Funny. The tables turned rather quickly, in rapid succession. Now that is comedy. I know I am smiling. Plus, I move up in the parking space hierarchy. Small and petty. But doesn't that show my loyalty? That space would not be mine if I had not already devoted this time here. We joke that the spot is a sign of power. Clearly it is a joke.
But then what? What does loyalty, and power for that matter, get you? Respect? Hardly. Her boxes sit perched on the chair. Pictures taken down and wrapped with paper marked "fragile". Not a remnant of her left. A single phone call left to determine an appropriate time for pick up. How is it that we go from the friendly to the crude? In six months whose turn will it be? The whispers never stop. We all see through the fake friendly. But we take it and smile back. Why be rude? We certainly criticize for them for their attitudes, that would be hypocrisy. And we are so against hypocrisy. After all we are earnest while associates who would NEVER do things this inhumane. So who knows? One thing is for sure; my escape is now made easier by my new parking geography.
I feel dirty. Owing to the fact that I have not showered. I always think I can get away with it. Throw my hair in a pony tail and even add a headband to hide the grease. Use extra deodorant and perfume all over. I really think that those just slide of my body because of the dirt, they don’t hold like they do when you are actually clean, when you don’t actually need them. Isn’t that so the way life works? Now I have the grease and slime of too much perfume and the headband mats down the oil in my hair. Not covering, instead displaying it for all to see. I also sense some B.O. You can’t ask your co-workers to comment on that, can you? I know my feet smell, sweat in my pumps. That is one I don’t need a second opinion on.
I feel disheveled. Owing to the fact that I currently occupy a new office space. My files and personal belongings are strewn about the new office. My diplomas are on the floor. Most of them located near the door where they were dropped to insure a quick return to billing. Things are in a cluttered mess. I am of the school of “a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind” though. My heel caught on the lid of a bankers box throwing me forward. I let out an “oh shit” as I threw my hands against the wall to brace for a fall. My left leg is scrapped up from the side of the box. Though I saved my face literally and my ass from hanging out from underneath my skirt. No one wanted to see that, I don’t wear underwear. Maybe there is a bad karma in here, after all, she was fired.
I feel destitute. Owing to the fact that Sallie Mae, Progressive Insurance and a whole slew of other collectors put a dent in my checking account. That and I intended to deposit my expense checks at the Bank of American on Saturday. Instead I took the envelope from the outside teller and brought it to my car and drove away. The checks are still in my purse in their envelope. One cannot deposit money into their bank accounts without actually handing over the checks to the bank. Minor problem. Add that to Saturdays other missions including an attempt to make coffee without adding water to the machine and an attempt to make toast without turning on the toaster. None worked, if you were wondering or thinking that I had some special technology here in Tampa. Nope we call those special talents a hangover. But I think that is pretty universal.
So I want some candy and nap and not necessarily in that order.
Labels: Everyday Life
I dreamt last night that I was being courted away from Magoo. The details are fuzzy. I was at a hotel and being seduced by Rhett Freeland, a real person I went to high school with. I had a major crush on him in early high school. I am certain he never knew. I would even drive by his house, for unknown reasons. What would I have done if I actually saw him? Ahhh the mind of a teenage girl. No clue where he came from in my dreamworld either. I saw him a few years ago after law school at the bar exam. So I know he is an attorney in South Florida, that is it. Like I said we were never friends and he rarely paid attention to my existence.
But he was there in my dream telling me everything would be better with him. He didn't know Magoo per se or even anything about our relationship. He just wanted to court me in a self-ish, I am so good looking way. We were building up to having sex, through flirting, touching and talking. Those early moments in new relationships where everything was new and fun. There was excitement. Hey, it was flattering, I had a huge crush on him. But on top of that there was guilt. I felt awful. I kept thinking about Magoo and how I betrayed him. I even rehearsed a break up speech.
Then I realized how people do it, I began to justify to myself why it was okay. Seriously, that must be how people maintain extra-marital affairs. I told myself that I needed to see how this felt with Rhett, as a way to best judge what I wanted from Magoo and I. That I was doing this for the betterment of us. That there were issues in our relationship and maybe a relationship with Rhett would not have these same issues. It all felt new, fresh and good. So it had to be right?
Then reality, oh and guilt, all seeped through. God who thinks that cheating is going to help a relationship? I was on my way to convincing myself of such. Irony doesn't even cover that. Even in the delirium of the dream, I had these rational thoughts. Then the reality, Rhett probably does not want to date me, this is probably just a chase for him. Even if we did start a relationship, there are issues that we would have too, ones that don't rear their heads until several months into the relationship. Things you don't know about a person early on. Don't you love how self doubt plagues you, even in your dreams, when you are courted by a sexy man?
And I was there torn. I was on an elevator heading toward Rhett, probably for some sex, but that is the last thing I remember. I woke up. Really disturbed. So many things raced through my mind. Would I have cheated on him? In my dreams? In reality? Do I want to? Or was this just a manifestation of how I am supposed to handle those problem issues in my relationship. In that I am NOT supposed to cheat. Ones that have been weighing on me recently. Knowing how bad I felt for cheating and recognizing it as an unrealistic option, for 97 different reasons. Seeing how awful I felt and thinking about how it would hurt him, I know I am meant to stick it out and deal with these issues in a healthy mature way. Not by cheating. Like we all know, that if you have to cheat, there are serious issues in your present relationship. Either deal with them or get out. You are doing no one good by staying and cheating.
It gave me a peak into the mind of an adulterer. How people cheat. Which is something I know Magoo has zero tolerance for, not that we all don't or shouldn't. But it really showed me how people get there and stay there for that matter. In some ways one stray move is easy to see, but a relationship and consistent contact is harder to justify. Yet, I saw myself doing it. I foresaw a relationship with this Rhett character, at least until I got the courage to dump Magoo. I doubt the guilt ever disappears, you just learn to suppress it and push it down, further and further. Like not thinking about what goes on in Iraq on a daily basis or how you need to get your teeth cleaned. It is easy as humans to chose to ignore things, especially those you don't want to see. Those things would be your affect on a human life and on your relationship. That has to be how affairs last for years. You become numb and then find it easy to live with the decision. You no longer consider guilt as a real emotion. All of those important signs and feelings suppressed. Those ideals you know exist, are buried, making it impossible to be rational or see the true story. That to me, is why it should not even be entered into in the first place. A loss of self and values coupled with the loss of relationship.
We lived in that house for 17 years. That childhood bedroom was my bedroom. Despite the changes, it was where I did my living. It was where I did my growing. To mirror my transformation into full on teenager it too got a make over. I went through puberty, it went through Hurricane Andrew. It struck in 1992, when I was 13. I got new boobs and a new bedroom.
The original bedroom was adorned with pastel striped wallpaper. They were thin vertical stripes. Pinks, purples and light blues. My family in Montreal had the same paper in a primary color combination, it is still in their guest bedroom today. I visit there and am taken back to these times and my little girl days.
To match the walls there were two pink and light blue bedspreads decorated with butterflies in a soft water colored way, made for the two twin beds. They were sitting on white four poster beds, placed under one of two windows in the room. All of the furniture was white. Including a large shelving unit placed on top of the dresser. It was across from my beds and next to the desk, which was wedged in the corner. It stood tall to the ceiling. Housed my books, my piggy bank collection and stuffed animals. Namely, a large pink elephant that was all the way on top of the shelves. To reach him I had to put one leg on the dresser and grab onto the shelves to pull my whole body up. There was always a fear the shelves would crash on top of me, but that never deterred my mission. I still grabbed onto the shelf for support. When I got up there, I had a very small space to stand on, where the shelves didn't cover the entire dresser. I reached gingerly up to grab the top up to the elephant. I would then quickly, in one move, reach for the elephant and throw it down to the floor then jump back down landing on my knees. My grandfather gave it to me. Over the years it became smaller and smaller, though that was my perception. I became bigger and bigger. Isn't that always the case, memories become less impressive and smaller with time? The same was true of the Raggedy Anne doll, also a present from my grandfather, she sat next to the elephant and given to me when I was a newborn. In honor of my chosen name.
The desk was in the corner next to the other window. I could look to the right and peer into the backyard. There was a playscape, a swing set and a small canal that ran the length of the yard. Nothing glamorous about living on the water. It was industrial like, teeming with cat fish. On sunny bored afternoons we fished for them using salami and left over stale bread. I don't recall ever catching one, because what would I have done with a catfish? Small boats and canoes traveled down the canal. Our neighbors enjoying the outdoors. The dog ran up and down the bank chasing after them and barking. Protecting her yard. I sat at my desks on Saturday listening to Christopher Cross and writing. The fan was on high and all the blinds were up. It was bright, cool and comfortable. The sounds of the lawn mower or my parents busy with weekend house hold chores, echoed in the background or outside the window. I made up stories and wrote a book at one point. I was in the fourth grade and pasted it over an existing book, cover and all. My story bound and “published”. I was proud of the book and that I created an entire story line; including three creative names of movie titles the characters wanted to see. That. That, I was very prideful of.
The closest was closed with rickety doors, painted white. There were two large doors and the wheels squealed when opened, often times sticking due to age, humidity and paint. They required a strong arm and a tug to get them closed. Above that there were two small doors used for storage. Up there, in the storage, were remnants of my past, drawings from preschool and arts and crafts projects completed in kindergarten, that my parents dutifully kept. Stored in boxes and old x-ray sheets to protect them and because that was what we had available to us. The green leaves holding remains of my even earlier childhood. I would take special pride and passion in bringing down those boxes and digging through my memories. Sitting on the carpet in the middle of the room, my legs crossed with dust covered paintings and first grade report cards surrounding me. On the wall next to the closet were two diplomas, one from kindergarten graduation and later one from fifth grade graduation. The room ended there, no more graduations to display.
The room ended there too, the summer before eighth grade it was ruined. The windows blew out, there was damage to the roof and water came in from all over. It smelled like rotten fish. I got a do-over. Same house, new room. Having to give that up, and not by choice, leaves it all as a fuzzy memory. Warm from the love my parents created, cool from my recollection of Florida air conditioning
Drunk-ity drunk drunk. One vodka with italian soda lemonade and a splash of lemon. Two glasses of pinot grigio. That night is still young, I wanna keep making love to you, while the night is still young. That just sits in my ears. Not sure who the loving making is with, but the young night part is true. Magoo is out with the boys. Which means nothing. His friends, yeah nothing. Aroma of freshly baked goods and I am too drunk to make my self presentable for the bars in Tampa.
I am back from the Rack. I guess it is rhymin time. Feasting on sesame noodles with too much soy sauce and enjoying Real World/Road Rules Challenge. You wonder aren't these people too old for this? Well no, no they are not. Not with viewers like me. Dedicated. They can say that about me when I die. She was dedicated to MTV. This helped keep random twentysomethings employed by hanging off cliffs and creating pseudo-drama about eating disorders. Yes, she was a noble woman.
Labels: Everyday Life
We spent Thanksgiving last year in Vermont, as a family. Just the four of us. Four days in the snow in a 1200 sq foot condo. Half of us don't ski. I have not been in the snow in years. It is lovely and quaint. But the term cabin fever was coined for a reason. There is only so much scrabble you can play. Plus it took all of us several hours to travel there from Florida and North Carolina, where my sister was in grad school. I think that explains why the following conversation went down, on Saturday morning.
"How about, when you come home for Christmas we go shopping to buy you clothes to interview in and some to wear to work? I think something casual will do, since you probably don't need a formal black suit."
"Why wouldn't I need one? Is my job not going to be as important as Annie's? She got a black suit"
"No, I just thought you wouldn't want to wear one or that it was necessary for the work environment you were entering into."
"Oh, so you are saying I am not as smart because I am not a laaaaaawyer?"
Yes, that is so clearly what she was saying. It is obvious to us all, that her unwillingness to buy you a plain black boring suit means you are an idiot. Only idiot gets other types of work wear and less formal interview clothes. Idiots also graduate number two in their high school class, magna cum laude from an Ivy League school, attend graduate school and apply for jobs that involve words like hydrogeomorphology. Idiots are also published several times over.
Let's not forget who the real idiots are - laaaaaaaaaaawyers. We are the stupid ones. We chose to be laaaaaaaaaaaawyers.
I don't really mind writing about work here. To me it is a big part of my life. The job I have is a part of my career and truly something I worked for my whole life. I was in school until 25 and spent three months studying for my professional certificate and license. Lets not even get into the cost of all that. We have 30 years and six figures to deal with that. So this has not only been something that is my whole life but it is a great part of my life. Given all that, I really need to explore options outside of my job. Oh boy do I ever. Tennis Anyone? Yoga, baking, volunteer work. All on my high, high priority to-do list. Yet, for the time being, and for the greater part of the last two years, the job has been a dominanting force in my life. Having invested so much time and effort getting here, its really no wonder. I am reminded of it every month when Sallie Mae deducts a chunk of change from my bank account.
I also derive a lot of satisfaction and esteem from the job. I know I am not the only one. We all do because of the time, effort and expense we put in to get there. Plus the hours spent in the office itself. Blood, sweat and tears if you will. Yes, true tears, and not always behind closed doors either. Senior and Junior partner are like parents in their own right. This is true not just based on gender, but because they want to really care and know and be in control of your life, just like 'rents. They also have the power to make or break your day with comments, criticism and critiques. Just like mom and dad. So with all these factors in place it is no wonder the job has become the J.O.B. Trust me it is not a place I call home just because I spend most of my waking hours there.
So I have no problem writing about it. Otherwise, this would not be about my life. My stories center around my job, in the same way they do my (non-psuedo) friends and family. There should not be any secrecy about it (attorney-client privilege understood). I know, I know, no one wants to hear about other peoples job woes. After all, we all have them. But these are by far unique to the legal practice. While bull shit is bull shit, it runs a whole new stink in a law firm. It is probably the effort and time put in to getting there. It is also definitely the attitude amongst litigators. Yes, their shit does stink. This is what creates new and different bull shit. It is also what makes them unique and crazy.
What is especially unusual here is that mom and dad atmosphere we have going on. This also creates a sibling relationship(or rivalry) amongst the associates. Truer because they are all young as well. I mean really under 33. Pretty young. In general really the whole staff is young. This creates a jovial environment and fun times. Lunch, coffee breaks, discussions about boys, TV and feeling FAT. A close knit group that can rely on each other in all situations. And we have; babies, breakups, weddings and deaths. It is a lot of camp like drama and sorority type times. That is until you lose a member of your family. It is inevitable. People leave all the time. We even hear in those practicing with professionalism classes, all associates will be fired from a job sometime in their legal career. Still when it happens in your home, it really hits the bull shit on the head. BAM. It is the reality that it can happen at any time to any one. It is the reality that we are down a man. For a small group, that is a large percentage of our family gone. It is the reality that your esteem and self worth, your home, can be swept away quickly. In an instant.
But it is not an instant. It is something we have talked about over morning coffee, afternoon lunches and times we should be working. Yeah those doors are closed, we are talking about about it. We are paranoid and insecure. Are their lights on because they are talking about us? Why am I not doing that depositon? She has a lot more hours then I do. Since we are not privy to all the information, speculation is rampant. It is our second favorite past time, right behind eating. On top of that, it is something I have thought about on my own and wondered about out loud to my parents.
I want to believe they care. I really want to think that the feelings and sentiments are genuine. They do play the mom and dad card. Not that they use that phrase, since those are our sentiments. But they create a role and appearance like they are parentals. Asking and prodding about our lives. Playing good cop-bad cop off each other. I know my parents divided up the roles like that at time. Plus, they are human and at times exhibit emotion (while that may sound obvious, sometimes that is in question, note I said at times). References have been made to the machine like qualities they exhibit. No joke, plugs and all. But, they too have been here, where we are, and you would think a level of recognition and understanding would be present. We can all empathize. But then you think back to your sorority initiation days of hazing, fat circling and binge drinking. That was done to you, because it was done to them. They remembered how much it sucked, but did it anyway. So couldn't the same be true here. Lets throw in several hundred thousand dollars that makes it worth their while. I mean why would they repeat the refrain of caring, understanding and compassion? About futures, partnerships and responsibilities? It's like saying you are funny. That doesn't cut it. If you are, people know it. It does not need to be explained and defended. It shouldn't be. That is why we tend not to believe. And why we speculate. But really that is why it is interesting.
Labels: Mr. Magoo
In my senior year of college I took a semester off. Rather then graduate early, I chose to take the fall semester off. I wanted to finish with my class and I had the credits to take the break. I thought it would be fun to extend the summer, live in an apartment with five girls and continue my kush job for another three months. My boss and employer, were one in the same, and completely relaxed. He was 27, which at the time seemed old, but in reality it meant a ridiculously relaxed atmosphere. We became friends, and still are today.
It was then that I learned what Wednesday blahs are. I only worked Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The rest of the week I studied for the LSAT's, which I took in October and applied to law schools by December. That was my semester. But come Wednesday I always had the blahs. It was generally a rough day. People were unhappy with your work. You missed lunch. I had more to do then possible. There was some issue that prevented your job from getting done. Customers were grumpy. There was traffic. I spilled coffee on my skirt. Whatever it was, it happened on Wednesday. I remember never having a good Wednesday. At the end of those days we would celebrate at Superior Grill and enjoy no-underwear Wednesdays. Margaritas and cheap mexican tended to cure the blahs.
Today is no different. I have spent the greater part of the day fighting administrative battles. I have had to re-do work because someone else lost it. Records we spent several months and several hundred dollars to procure are now missing. I guess paper has legs here, because it certainly walks away a lot. I was rude to a co-worker, unnecessarily so. There is even someone outside my office drilling. I hate the sound of a drill. Blah, blah, blah. Wednesday blah.
Is it because by this point in the week people are tired again? The happiness of the weekend has worn off. We still have work to do and deadlines to meet but we are grumpy. Friday is still too far away to appreciate its significance. So we get lazy and mad. Look back at the past two weeks posts, whining and work crap. Wednesday has always been the day of blah. I irritate easily on Wednesdays. Maybe it is all those factors combined with my own thin patience. I have been going to a yoga class on Wednesday nights. Okay so it is hokey pokey of me. But by the end I am relaxed and calm again. The problem is that it does nothing to get me through the actual day. I am bithcy as all get out when I arrive at the studio. Because no matter what, Wednesday brings the blah.
I skipped yoga last week. I needed to really walk by myself. Power walk, with my i-pod. This week I am also skipping, S wants to walk. It will be good girl time and she promised me soap opera type stories, a big helping of them. Her single girl tales have to be a cure for the blahs. Like chicken soup, good stories and girlfriends. Oh yeah.....Lost, PR and a new season at Top Chef. Yippee. Here's to blah free.
Labels: Everyday Life
This has always been an issue in our relationship and something I thought could haunt us for our entire future. I first really noticed it in our first few weeks of dating on our way to the Strawberry Festival in Plant City. Magoo was driving, if you can call it that. He was sitting in the left lane on the Interstate cruising at a steady 40. I don’t even think that is the minimum required speed. I actually kept my mouth shut and was nice about it. On Thursday night it was getting late and he had a headache. We both wanted to go to our hotel and get something to eat. So I took over the driving. I knew we needed to haul ass, so I pushed it – hitting 90 at times to get the last hour knocked out quickly. I looked over and saw Magoo gripping the door handle.
“Does my driving make you nervous?”
“Well we just drive differently”
“Yes, I am quite aware. I have to say I am more aggressive and definitely faster”
“There is no doubt those are both true, but I trust you. Overall, it does not make me nervous, I just choose to drive differently and I make no apologies for it.”
That was fair. As long as I didn’t make him uneasy to ride with me and that he trusted me I figured we were doing wonderfully. It really was a win-win, that night we could get to our food and beds faster with my driving style.
On Sunday morning we knew we had to leave by 10. There was a seven hour drive and a time difference, we lost an hour. We needed to get back to Tampa to pick up the Ging by 6, otherwise Fuzzie Buddies closed and we would be charged for another night….assuming they had the room and were willing to let her crash there. So we knew we needed to hustle and we got our butts out of Pensacola around 10:04. Not too bad so far. Yet there was traffic on the bridge leaving Pensacola, we were already behind. That set us back 15 minutes, which was slowly becoming priceless time. But we kept on going, Magoo at the wheel. We make it several hundred more miles and 1 o’clock became 2 o’clock, central to eastern. The phone rings and I explain where we are and where we need to be.
SHIT. It’s 2 o’clock and we have 270 miles to go. You do the math, because we did also. Speed limit 70. We need to do 80 miles the entire rest of the trip. Nothing less. Yet, with slower drivers, traffic and a stop to get gas, at least, we will not be allowed to go 80. So we need to top that at times, hitting 90 and 100 to make up for the time we may lose.
“You have to go 80”
“I am, it’s not like I am slacking over here”.
I look over, and see a steady 72, 73. I doubt he has hit 80.
“That’s not going to cut it, you need to step on it or scoot over. I get the whole safety thing, but we have to move it.”
So we pull over at the next exit and on the side of the road perform a Chinese fire drill. I take the wheel and do what I do best, speed. It is now 2:12 and we have 260 miles to go in under four hours. I had my doubts. At 3 we were able to call Fuzzie Buddies, when they opened for their pick up hours. They give us a 15 minute grace period to get there before the doors are really closed and we are charged an extra day. Otherwise, they would hold her until we got there and charge us an extra $35. Okay, I could breathe some. In the past hour I had done just over 75 miles. At that pace, I had 185 miles to go and just about three hours to get it done. Not a problem. We both agree that if they were willing to give us the 15 minute grace period, we could probably push it to 6:20 or 6:30, someone was probably going to be there to care for the dogs anyway.
We head into Lake City and pick up I-75. At 3:35, I pull over at the first exit for the trifecta break, gas, food and bathroom. I give us 10 minutes to get it all done and we triage our responsibilities Due to complications, most at the BK, we run up a 20 minute break. Still, I felt okay with the pace we had been on over the past hour plus.
But then it falls apart. I can barely pull 60 mph. There are tons of cars on the road. We are somewhere near Gainesville. Maybe people traveled for the football game and the traffic will drop off? Nope, no luck. Still tons of cars on the road, making it very difficult to pass people or keep a speed much higher then 70. I curse a lot. Then it gets worse. I slam on my breaks and scream. We are stopped. On the Interstate in the middle of Florida at 4:13 on a Sunday afternoon. I look up at the bridge ahead and all I see are tail lights. What is going on? Magoo flips through the radio stations to find out what the delay is all about. We don’t find a thing. No explanation for the seemingly endless line of cars. We probably inch forward for 15 minutes until we reach a small accident that was off the side of the road with a cop attending to the action. I suppose mid-Florida drivers don’t have a TV because this was entertainment for them. At this point, I really don’t think we can make it. Magoo convinces me we have the time and it will get better, so I push on.
Once we get past the non-event, the highway breaks for the Turnpike and the traffic clears some. He was right. So I step on it. We see 90 and we pass everyone.
“You learned to drive in Miami didn’t you?”
“Isn’t it obvious? Don’t forget that I was also taught to drive by a New Yorker driver”
“Yeah. I can tell.” And he draws in his breathe. r>
We keep moving. At 5:48 we pull onto 275, and see we have close to 18 miles into Tampa, plus we needed time to get off the interstate and over to Fuzzie Buddies. I again doubt that this can be done. Magoo calls the FB to see if there is anyway they can keep it open for an additional 30 minutes or so, maybe just to 6:30. There apparently is no way they can stay open, unless we want to give them $35 more dollars.
He tries to rationalize with me. After all, it is just $35 and it may not worth busting our asses to get there. Otherwise, we can leave her there for another night for only $20. Clearly these are both real options. It is obviously not worth it to risk our safety over such small money amounts. But at this point I need to make it there on time. I think he has forgotten that it is still a realistic possibility. I see his point about the money, but to me it is the principle of it. I need to make it. I feel like I am on the Amazing Race. I can’t lose at this point. Plus, the bonus prize at the end is we get our girl back.
We now had just under 25 minutes. Thankfully the remainder of 275 was fairly clear. A silver Lexus had the same agenda I did and we pushed 75 miles in the 55 speed limit. We now had four lanes to move through. Those last 11 miles flew by, literally. We jump off 275 onto I-4. Generally known as malfunction junction. But I prayed it would be clear at 6:06 on a Sunday, since I thought it was the most direct route. It was. Not a car on it. No malfunction there. 6:09. We quickly exit for the street. There are four lights between us and the Ging and a 45 mph speed limit. We make the first two but sit at the last two. C’mon. C’mon. We both are franticly looking at the clock and the light. Then in the distance we hear a train whistle.
“Crap. Where is that coming from?”
“I don’t know, just keep moving. Until we see it, you keep going. We can do this.”
The lights change and I swing onto the last bit of road. I gun our engine and we both smell burnt tires. We were one turn away from the driveway of FB. It was 6:14. I haphazardly pull into the front, jump out of the car without turning the engine off and bang on the locked door. The girl knew who I was immediately. She lets us in and jets back to the desk. It was JUST 6:15. She runs over to the computer to check us out. Now it is her urging with c’mon, c’mon. Apparently she needed to get the check out through the computer system before the clock changed to 6:16, otherwise she was required to charge us the late pick up fee. Amazingly, she gets it done, in time for us to look up and out the door. Again we hear the train whistle. This time it is close since the actual giant train was passing right by.
We both know that if we were seconds later, we would have been stuck behind the train and never would have made it. As we get back in the car and sit and wait for the train to finish passing we reflect. One more minute at the bagel store this morning. One more minute at the rest stop getting gas. One more minute traveling at 76 mph. Any number of factors could have prevented us from making it. Since we were wrong. We had to be there at 6:15 and not a minute late. I can say our success was mostly thanks to my mad dash. Yes, it was just $35.00, but it made our looooooooooong drive an adventure and a mission. I also think Magoo trusts me more now. Not to mention, I am a damn good speed racer and we have Ginger home with us, safe and sound.
There was the ex. She came right before me, like seriously a few weeks, if that. I knew about her early on and even had a moment of panic one morning when I thought things were different. I just had one moment when I processed everything and tried to really look at things clearly. I grew REALLY concerned that this was a Sanjay type situation. Where I am just a replacement. A space to fill and a warm body, literally. So I panicked and confronted him. He swore it was nothing even close to that serious between them. There was nothing to really "get over" and since this was going so well it was not even a question. I believed him, since this seemed reasonable. I too had the same response about my most recent relationship. Those were my feelings, so I knew he mirrored them.
Yet, there was still unanswered questions. He had a giant big old box, of Tampons on the shelf in his closet. He had shampoo and cream rinse, for color protected hair in his shower.He had straightening product in the bathroom. He even had one of those disgusting pillows you attach to your shower to lean your head against while taking a bath. Finally, there was the grossest, tackiest piece of jewelry, an ankle bracelet probably, that looked like it came from Claire's, left in the bottom drawer of his night stand. I found that when I was looking for a heating pad. I asked, a long while ago, about the shampoo and told it was his sisters, left over from when she came to visit. But this made no sense. Who brings an entire normal sized bottle of Pantene when they travel? I know she was not there for more then a night or two. She is 35 and has three young boys. She was not on vacation or an extended stay. It also does not explain the tampons or bath pillow. No one travels with that crap. SoI knew they were hers. And he was lying to me.
Two weeks ago, after several classes of wine, two beers and no dinner I got the true story out of him. I didn't even ask. I had long ago dismissed my concerns. After being re-assured that one panicked morning and trusting him, I stopped thinking about it. It really was nothing to be concerned about since we had progressed even further since that initial conversation in February. She had lived with him. The version I got, was it was for one month and she was still engaged to the person that she is now married to. She left him to go to Paris, never returned his calls and is now supposedly married and living in Tallahassee. They do not talk, out of respect for me. Not something I ever asked him to do.
The story actually clarified all the questions from above. Yet, I chose to keep my trap shut and not say that I already knew and suspected that to be the case. Or even point out that this was not the version I got when I actually asked about it in February. I know he knew that already. It was good that it came out. I could care less if they ever talk, she is married and he cares about me enough that occasional conversations are not a big deal. After all, I spoke to G just last week at Temple. There is nothing significant about it. Again, my feelings were supposed to be a mirror of his. However, this morning she came up again. But she was not mentioned. I just know that he was talking about her and therefore had talked to her. And even worse it was done in the context of questioning me.
"What route are taking to Tallahassee? Is it really the most direct one? Have you thought about this?"
"I am not sure what you are asking? What highway are we taking? Or are you asking to help me out and plan our trip?"
"Well I was just talking to someone in Tallahassee and she said that the way you wanted to go would take five hours and there is a way to go that would only take four"
"Oh, who were you talking to?"
"Just someone who lives there"
"Well, don't you think there could be other routes that take less time then going in 75? "
If we were in the same room I would have thrown my papers at his head while simultaneously kicking him in the gut and screaming my head off.
Since I am at work, I draw my breath in sharply and begin. "I do not know why you even question me on this. I have just spent 20 minutes on Mapquest printing out five directions, one from work to Tallahassee, one from our hotel in Tallahassee to the restaurant, one from our hotel in Tally to our hotel in Pensacola, one from our hotel to the church and one from the hotel to the airport. Looking at the direction on 75, it is 240 miles or by their estimate, going 60 mph, it is 4 hours and eight minutes. We all know no one drives 60 mph. Not to mention that I have done that drive 57 times having lived in New Orleans for seven years, so I know it will never take five hours. Now have I thought about it more then that? No, actually I have not considered that state road 19 offers an alternate route that does not take us into the middle of the state and through Gainesville, which is out of our way, like 75 does. Nor have I even driven on 19 before as an attempt to see if it is actually any shorter. Nor have I thought that 19 is a state road with two lanes and a 50 mph speed limit. There are no rest stops or motor assistance. There are no restaurants or gas stations. Nor have I considered that for us to get to 19 we have to go out of our way, or to get to our hotel in Tallahassee from 19, we have to go out of our way, or even that from where we sit in Tampa we are directly on the on-ramp to 75. But I have not really thought about it. So do you now want to tell me who told you it takes 5 hours to get to Tallahassee or whether we have considered alternate routes?"
He knows it is best to hang up quickly. Or my shoe may have made it through the speaker of the phone to the 15th floor of his office building.
Before getting off the phone, he did happen to compliment me and say that he trusted my sense of directions. Well, buddy, if that were the case, why then did you open this whole can of worms?
On MTV they used to regularly run a special where they followed celebrities around their lives for several days. Generally they were doing mundane things. These were timed to coincide with an event to generate publicity. I saw Katie Holmes, before the Cruise fiasco, at home in Ohio baking cookies with her Mom. Those sorts of "we are real people too" ideas. These Diaries where used to show they are normal and there were things about them the tabloids did not cover. Sort of a whine, on their parts, as well as the publicity. To convey this, MTV had the celebrities repeat "you think you know, but you have no idea". I loved that. I use it all the time. You think you know, but you have no idea. It just hits it home.
I hate being called a spoiled brat, when I try my damnedest not to be one. (Any thought about that?) I feel like I am pushed into the role without my choosing but because it is assumed of me. How dare they then throw the label back in my face? I worry, at times, I look like one, but I sure as hell don't feel like it. I get what I want but I work for it and I own it. All of it, the mistakes included and the problems are all mine. (See what I mean, I do honestly believe it. They are mine. Did you know I even thought that?) But is that spoiled? It doesn't feel like it....not right now at least. Right now, I feel tired and worn down. Having to maintain control of everything all the time is tiring. Tired and tiring. I wonder what would happen if I just stopped and let all others control. Would the gassy stressed out stomach finally deflate? Or would it become worse because things would get fucked up? Not truly fucked up, but handled in the way that I hate or cannot stand so that I am even more panicked. Imagine the gas then. Do spoiled brats fart like that? It doesn't seem to come to mind when I generate an image of them in my head. Anyway, isn't generally the term used here J.A.P? Princess, Jewish, that whole package. Still, no, I don't think JAPS fart. But I do. A lot. Bet ya didn't know that one either?
Does the perception come from here? Does this mean I am a brat, because I'm pushy, I'm bull headed and I am as stubborn as hell. (Aries. 'nuf said). I need to be right and generally believe that I am. I only believe this because I like to think I come to my conclusions with careful consideration and thought. These are not irrational, fly by the seat of my pants, emotion filled decisions. There is thought. So when I make the decision I stick by it. Mistaken for stubborn or spoiled? But I don't really care. Because I am right. I will then make it so you see why I am right and how I came across that opinion. Again, mistaken for pushy and spoiled? Ditto on the don't care. Here not only am I right but I am sensitive and sharing. I want you to understand where I am coming from and how I got there. I want to share my perspective so we all can have an understanding of what is going on. Yes, this also means I want to hear what you have to say and think and your processes. See, sensitive and rational. (didn't think I was that either did you? You think you know......) And yes, I will grow frustrated and even chide if your processes are not rational. How can you stand by your opinion without having gotten there with a clear process? Why would you not extend the same courtesy to me that I did for you - giving me a guide post to follow your decisions and understand your thoughts. Maybe then I can see your side and learn from your logic. If done, I will, honestly and truly, re-evaluate. (I am rational after all) Otherwise I stick by my decision. Ka-peesh?
Fine. Pushy, stubborn and pig headed. And for chrissake, spoiled. But god dammit, please call me rational. Oh and gassy. A true gassy lassy. It's not fair without that label. After all, if you are going to sling names around, then you know me, right? And if you knew me, you would know the gas too. Just calling it like I see it. Anything else you got for me? Let's just say, you think you know but you have no idea.....and leave it at that.
1. Pack Ginger's food, cookies and bed to take to Fuzzie Buddies.
2. Pack remaining clothes and toiletries. Remove my running shoes.
3. Pack my healthy and lackluster lunch for today.
4. Grab last minute crap - my book, cell phone charger and the wedding present - with the card.
5. Make 3 trips to the car with items 1-4. Finally bring dry cleaning in from the car.
6. Use the treadmill for 25 minutes
7. Bring my running shoes back to the car.
Note - it is not yet 8 am
8. Get to work, sans Starbucks, to finish medical records and mediation status report.
9. Lose my head uncontrollably at Magoo for making an irrational comment about leaving town during rush hour traffic when are ETD is 2 pm. His brain may be mush right now. Unsure, will check that out on our seven hour drive.
10. Eat my unsatisfying lunch and have deep remorseful thoughts about inhaling a pizza.
11. Meet with senior partner to discuss my work progress and the status of people who are not working, ie) the plaintiffs.
Second Note - it is just now a quarter after 11
12. Try to breathe freely without my head exploding.
13. Finish reviewing the prior attorney records.
14. Try to eat some oatmeal in hopes it will satisfy my urge for pizza. Clearly not the case.
15. Drop Ginger off. Mope a little, it is kind of sad to leave her.
16. Add my name to the insurance records.
17. Get the hell out of dodge. We don't want to get stuck in that 2 pm traffic, do we?
I will get through this. Magoo and I will both arrive safely. I will not slaughter him with my plastic fork or drop him on the side of I-10 while going 75 mph. That is not on my to-do today list......yet.
My co-workers are talking babies. This makes good sense since they either have them or are pregnant with them. They are talking clothing, cute dresses with duckies for girls and whether they dress or will dress their boys in preppy cute clothes and suits and ties. They all have boys. Everyone of them, even those unborn yet. Even those that have since left the firm. Everyone has given birth to a boy. Another reason to leave, a girl would be nice and this place is cursed. Boys or bust. What is strange is the conversation is not that odd. Maybe it is all the talk that has permeated our environment for months and months, but I never thought I was there with the babies, the booties and gender preferences. Now it strikes me as totally normal. It is a welcome change from shop talk, but heck there are a thousand other topics that are as well. The weather, politics, even last night's episode of Dancing with the Stars. Anything could have done, but today it was babies. And today I didn't seem to mind one bit. Maybe I am growing or maybe that infamous clock is actually ticking.
Yet, I am not even married. Scratch that, not even engaged. We don't even live together....yet. There is talk about all of it. But it is not what our present is about. Not our immediate present, anyway. I do not know anyone who is getting married. None of my girlfriends are even in flipping relationships. They are all S-I-N-G-L-E. (Almost) every single one of them. Save for dear A, out there is L.A., who prays nightly for a ring. (Whole other can 'o worms.......)
This is why baby talk is seemingly okay. It is the closest thing I get to relationship talks these days. No one wants to hear about mine. Good, bad or indifferent. They don't ask and don't want to hear why I am upset about an argument over directions or cleaning up his socks. It is too mundane. It is so not their life. I tend to believe there is an aspect of jealousy and resentment. Not in the bad way or in the "I hate you" way. But just what happens with girls when their friends are in relationships. I have been on that end of it. Trust me. Nothing about hate or even me. I don't take it personally. Yet it means that there is no conversation about the daily life of a girl in a relationship.
Forget what happens if there is an engagement or even a wedding to plan. I am beginning to dread it. That is not something I want to go at alone. I want friends there with me when I try on 57 ugly dresses. I want them to help me pick out flower colors and decide which invitations work. Yes, yes I know my real friends will be delighted to lend a hand and help out. They are my true friends after all and most have been for several years and decades even. But how can they just be there for the party and the hoop la? Where are they for the every day blahs? Wednesdays always bring blahs. They should be here for that. Does it only count when there is a white dress and diamonds? Or even then will my conversations only be limited to planning details?
I just feel this absence. It is glorified because of the relationship. But it has been there before he was here. I was new to a city and needed to make friends. But I didn't really. I have always had them, friends that is. They have surrounded me. For years I had only girlfriends, gaggles of them. I was generally man-less and could always count on those ladies to fill my days and nights. Movies, sun tanning, tv shows, manicures, coffees, wine, breakfasts, lunch and dinner. That was what made me. It defined my high school existence, so much so that I am still in good touch with them. It got me through law school like none other. A stressed out law student needs someone they can watch 7 episodes of 90210 back to back with while in their pyjamas. I got none of that going for me right now. Work, geography and the boyf all factor in. But it is because of what I use to have and what I know to be a girlfriend, that I miss it that much more. I want all of those goofy good times and I want it to be with someone I can embrace all the details of my relationship with.
I need a girlfriend I can be in love with the same way I am in love with Magoo. Okay, don't be immature and silly. Clearly not the same way. But I want to love my friends, really be in love with them, the way I am use to. It would also help with Magoo. He would not bear the brunt of everything. There would be a sounding board and a voice of reason, so that I would not burst out at him over everything. Overall, good friends are a good asset, for all parties involved.
This is why I sit silently and pick at the lettuce leaves of my salad as Christenings are discussed. I throw in the appropriate questions when necessary and laugh and smile at the jokes and pictures of their little buggers. God knows when I have a little girl, I know I will want that too.
Recipe for danger. Me alone, a bottle of shiraz, a left over bag of Nestle chocolate chunks and the Gilmore Girls. Followed by a double episode of SATC. If there is time, viewing of the recorded episode of Iron Chef America. The treadmill? Ha. About that, packing and prepping for this weekend.....Psah. Those are for people without wine and chocolate. Will tell Magoo there was a great national emergency. Yes, yes..... I couldn't get to Target. Tres believable.
Definitely time for one more glass and Iron Chef, after I walk Ginger. And I'm off.....
Labels: Everyday Life
I never doubted that trust until now. That craziness that possesses me and makes me into an irrational mess had not surfaced in weeks and weeks and weeks. I felt it initially and you beat it out of me. Gently and kindly with love, but it was gone. When B came in June she immediately noticed my calm. Having seen me through many a relationship, both in person and on the phone, she never heard this kind of calm. At least not from me, at least not on any sort of consistent basis. At times, I have wondered if the calm was a bad thing. Did it mean I didn't love you? Where was all the drama and heart palpations? Don't those mean love and passion? In the past they always seem to have gone together. Yet even those questions passed. I knew I loved you, in the way you let me and taught me. After all, the calm was aaa-mazing. Calming, earning its name in every glorious minute of it.
But maybe I fell too deeply into your trap. My instinct to question and doubt should have still been turned on low, like a burner left on a stove. Litigator, interrogator and questioner. I shut mine down, at your urging. To me, my friend, that was the biggest show of trust I could have given to you. Ever. But it was you that betrayed that big heaping ball of trust.
If you tell me to believe and you coax me into a state of calm you have to honor that calm. Taking it for granted and pushing it to the maximum are not signs of respect. I have given you a present and you left it in the driveway to be run over by oncoming traffic or picked up my the garbage men on Monday morning. You have to be honest and upfront. To me, and us, to honor the calm, you have to be truthful and not hide things you think will hurt. That only makes it worse. You commit fallacy upon fallacy. It made the hurting feel like lemon juice dripped into an open wound. Not only have you misrepresented information, so that we are living a lie presently. But you have made me question what other information was not true. So that we may have been living a lie in the past. Finally, the last squeeze of the juice, you presented this calm package for my taking. I unwrapped it and lived in it for months. When all of it was a lie. I should have never even been calm. Even that was a farce. The wound itself was not bad enough, you dumped a lemon grove into them and scarred me.
The calm is gone. Bits of the trust have fallen off. Remnants of the past person's indiscretions are boiling to the surface. Ready to be dished out all over again. While they are not yours, you will take credit for them and live them. It is your burden, for the wounds, the scars, the lemons and the trust.
I know you love me. The words, the e-mails and text messages. All say the same thing. That is the problem and where the issue takes root. Where is the truth? You led me to believe in the love, along with leading me to believe in the calm. And we saw how well that turned out. I should not believe any of it and the believing stops here. I don't want to keep falling deeper into this trusting bathtub. One day I will drown. It will have been your doing and you will not be there to rescue me. I will have to resuscitate myself, step gingerly out of the tub, one toe at a time and towel off. Stand, shake and shiver from the cold. I will be there alone to dry my hair, apply deodorant and brush my teeth. I will eventually be able to leave the house in a presentable form, but it will take weeks and months to get there.
That is why we start now. I am reclaiming my crazy and receding. That ball of trust is back in my court. The burner will be back on low. Before the scarring can get any deeper. I hate to turn back like that and I am sure the Dr. Phil's of the world would disapprove. Shake their head in disapproval and lecture on building and foundation, loving, relationships and all. But I can't get there yet. I am a creature of my past, my friends, the movies and literature. I have seen others blind sided by trust. This is a sign that is meant to be yielded to now, not in six months when I am sitting with my girlfriends over bottles of wine and tears, recounting why it didn't work. I don't want to look back and say, "yeah, I should have used that moment as a warning." Why not use it now as a warning and work with it at this point. No head shaking or tears, at least not yet. At this point I get to evaluate, re-tract some and make my next move. It can be crazy and it can be recession. But, it is my choice now, one you lost when you made your move.
We went on an ooh la la vacation to the Ritz. The one on the beach in Naples. I learned there are two; another at the golf course. I am not kidding about the oh la la. The sheets felt like one million count satin-y cotton. There was music playing as we entered the room. Hardwood floors and a flat screen plasma TV. Bulgari soaps and shampoos. We walked barefoot on the beach to dinner. A balcony, with two chairs and a small table that to the right looked over the green trees and scenery of Naples and to the left showcased a stunning view of the Gulf of Mexico, 12 stories high. In the morning, with the complimentary New York Times, I sat and watched dolphins play in the waters of the Gulf. There were two pools. After enjoying both, I got sick. Not so ooh la la. Maybe it was the heavy dinner from the night before, filet, mashed potatoes with dill and a chopped salad with champagne vinaigrette. Or just the stomach of a 90 year old women I have been blessed with. On came 'rhea at the Ritz.
It hit me out of nowhere. I enjoyed my pool time, relaxed with the most glorious chaise lounge. Four hours in the sun, three magazines, complimentary orange smoothies. They are genius there, they added a small hood to the towels to attach them to the chairs. Preventing the age old problem of towel slippage against your wet bathing suited body. Then I felt a pang and panic. It was this day that I attempt to look sophisticated and sport the one piece black swim suit. One piece?? I need a bathroom fast and to get that suit off stat. I rush inside and close both bathroom doors. Yes, they have a suite for just the commode. Yet, for all the gloriousness that our accommodations provided, these so called genuises, they skimped on the toilet paper. Rolled elegantly underneath the silver chrome holder was single ply paper that was classified somewhere between loose leaf notebook and card board. The most horrific thing I have ever taken to my butt. I think I get the expression, tore me a new one. As if the 'rhea wasn't bad enough. Would one less crystal dish soap container been anything to cry about, when it could have provided for Charmin? I would gladly trade fresh lilacs at night for the cotton-y goodness of Angel Soft. Nothing fancy schmancy about crappy toilet paper. Literally.
Despite this, there is one perk that having 'rhea at the Ritz provides. A telephone in the bathroom. You can call to the main room. I had Magoo bring me my clothes with strict instructions to drop them before the door and run. No inhaling. He didn't need to die at the Ritz. That would not be oh la la.
You make my heart bleed, when I think of you. It is this swelling feeling as if it wants to explode. From joy. Like Warm Love. Like a pinata. All sorts of even better goodies spray across the floor for me to grab. They are sweet and delicious. A combination of memories, all good and blissful and a longing for the future and our newer joys.
One picture, a word or thought can trigger that feeling. I am addicted to it. I know I am alive from it. I knew it once, long ago and knew it was right then, a Warm Love. After that it was tucked away in the bottom of a drawer with the un-worn t-shirts. I reclaimed it with some cleaning, time and energy. But now it is back and I remember that I knew. I also know what was right. At times I can be a doubter. But because of that feeling I know those are only precautions. It is that Warm Love. A feeling reminiscent of a song that triggers memories from a time ago. The song, the feeling and the memories are fresh and real like jumping into a crisp, cool, ocen blue pool.
The bleeding can hit me anytime. Right now. I have too much work to do. I should be doing that work. I should have already done the work. But it hit me now and I need to express it to you, for me. To remember, when there are doubts or fights or even nasty words. They mean little when there is warm love, that is in my heart and yours. That is sent from me to you. I love this feeling and I love you.
In Response, M says....
"You make blood run through both my heart and to other places on my body!!"
Labels: Mr. Magoo
For my mom's 60th birthday I decided to bake a cake. This sounds pedestrian, but in our family I cannot say that it has ever been done before. No one bakes cakes. We don't even buy cakes for each other. I felt that this was a trend worthy of an "oh" birthday. 60 seemed as good a time as any to bake. What resulted was a mild comedy and an almost disaster.
I decided I wanted a moist delicious chocolate cake, sans Betty Crocker. I could do this myself. Of course I had nothing by which to accomplish this. None of the ingredients necessary to bake and none of the tools either. I was just that prepared....
The first step was a trip to Target. I purchased a single nine inch cake pan and a hand held mixer. This seemed like the fun part. Who doesn't love Target? It was there I also found my recipe. There was an amazing picture of a chocolate cake plastered to the inside of the pan. And just my luck, they knew what I wanted, on the back of the picture was a recipe on how to create that magic beautiful cake on your own. Yourself, no Duncan Hines. For $5.99 I purchased a pan and a recipe.
The list called for 11 easy ingredients:
¾ cup of butter or margarine
2 cups of granulated sugar
1 ½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 oz. melted unsweetened chocolate
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
All of which I proceeded to Publix to purchase, like I said I had nothing by which to bake. I also threw into my cart a multi-colored happy birthday candle, vanilla icing and sprinkles.
All ingredients should be at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
That night, I began the process of baking. Spray 2 nine inch rounds with vegetable pan spray. I didn't have two 9 inch pans. I only bought one at Target, the one with the recipe on it. But the recipe called for two, in order to make both parts of the cake at the same time. I conference in Tom's opinion on what to do. Little did I know this would not be our last issue with the cake. We calmly decide we could do the cake in two parts, separating the batter and baking at separate times.
In mixer bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I don’t have a mixing bowl. That fact also escaped me. I decide, on my own, that a glass bowl would do. It didn't. It was not deep enough to hold the sugar and butter. I don't think the butter was melted enough either. So rather then achieving a light and fluffy mixture I had clumps of butter coated with sugar. Which honestly is not a bad combination, it tasted pretty good, as I licked it off my fingers. I also had a giant mess, since the bowl wasn't deep enough, the sugar butter sprayed across the counter, stove, sink and wall of my kitchen. After some attempts at cleaning the slimy butter up, my solution was to try the different mixers on my new hand held device. This didn't help the problem. Though in my defense it didn't hurt either. So I moved on, clumps and all.
Add milk, eggs, vanilla and chocolate; mix well. This didn't seem possible given how small and crowded the bowl already was. I couldn't imagine throwing in two cups of flour, three eggs and melted chocolate. Yet I persevered and added the next two ingredients into the chunky mix of butter sugar. All while I began the slow process of melting the chocolate chips in the microwave. At this point Tom comes home and offers to help.
"Can I do anything?"
"Yes, can you make sure the chocolate continues to melt, while I clean up some"
There were still clumps of butter sugar all over the counter and at this point some flour too, as I spilled it when I tried to measure out two cups. I needed to take a wet rag to the whole surface.
I did not notice that he set the chocolate to cook for four minutes.
Well it did not matter that there were 240 seconds of cook time available since about two and a half minutes into the chocolate charring, smoke started to stream out of the microwave. It smelled like hot crap.
Instantly our noses jerked up and we both jumped back and began to scramble. He was so panicked he didn't know what to do first. Looking to stop the timer and trying to end the smoke. Finally, in a moment of clarity, he yanked open the microwave and grabbed the steaming bowl. A percentage of the chocolate remained. But who cared, because there was a good chunk of the chips clumped together to form a lovely inedible mass of black char.
He took a fork to them and tried to mix it together. This revealed that the whole bowl was actually a black char covered slightly with an appearance of still real chocolate chips. This was not suitable for a cake. It was not suitable for even the dog. It was nasty.
I freak. As only I can do. I withdraw, scowl and begin to scold. This is his fault. Who puts the chocolate in for four freaking minutes? I start to dump the chocolate into the garbage can, scraping it out of the bowl, with the fork he initially used when he tried to stir the char. I am super bitter and upset. How can I mess something so easy up? I stomp around the small enclave of the kitchen. I shake the bag that holds the remaining chocolate and comment under my breath how there is not enough left to do it over. I stand there and stare at the glass bowl that holds three eggs, flour and clumps of sugar butter. This makes me even more angry. I open and close the refrigerator violently. Looking for chocolate that was never there. I just need to act busy to match my annoyance. Pushing the dirty dishes around the sink, running the water over the charred bowl and fork. Attempting to get the sugar butter off clumps off the back splash of the wall using violent sweeping gestures. I ignore his pleas to talk, discuss and rationalize. He wants perspective, I want my chocolate back. So he grabs my arm and drags me to face him.
"Stop acting like this is the end of the world. I will go buy some more chocolate at the grocery"
"Well, it is the end of the world. I mess everything up, I can't even bake a freaking cake with simple ingredients. I can't even melt........you are going to Publix? I tilt my head up and smile sweetly, as the words register.
"Can you get me a real, plastic, big ass mixing bowl, you know the kind, right?"
"Uh... well, then why don't you just go? I have already been to the store once today.
"Oh. Okay. I seeeee............"
I turn and attempt to walk out of the kitchen. Pouting ensues. Again, my arm is grabbed and I am dragged back.
"Don't walk away from me. What is the deal with your attitude? I said I would go to the store but you gave me a look like I would f that up too. Or would you like, instead, I can go home and leave you alone."
"I have no attitude. I am mad at the chocolate. I am not angry at you, just a little frustrated. I will go to Publix. I walked away from you because I needed to put on clothes where my nipples are not showing."
That was a lie. Of course I needed to change, public decency and all. Plus there was smeared chocolate all over my shirt and pants, remnants of my violent cleaning attempts. But I was still mad and also didn't want to actually be the one to go to the grocery, we both knew that was why I pouted my way towards my bedroom.
Since he was acutely aware of that and would do anything to get my spirits back he said, "Stop pouting, I will go. I honestly don't mind, that was why I offered initially. One trip to Publix, for my baby. Coming up a giant ass mixing bowl and a fresh bag of chocolate. Please, just make me out to be the good guy here."
He returns from the store with my mistakes; new chocolate and a good sized bowl. I follow the remaining directions. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend at medium speed 2-3 minutes or just until flour is blended. That bowl made a world of difference and made the rest smooth sailing. Or baking. And mixing. And a nicer relationship. Good god, that bowl carried a lot.
Pour into prepared pans. Bake 45-50 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in the center. Cool ten minutes on the rack; loosen sides and remove from pan. Cool completely. Frost with favorite icing.
The directions I didn’t read, that weren’t there, but were the most important part: serve to your grateful mother on her birthday. Given to you with love (and sweat and tears). Happy Birthday.
I blew it and it fell out of control. Completely and utterly without borders, a lack of control. I was not able to do a thing right. During that time, I crawled under the covers of my bed and re-read old diary entries, ones from five, six, seven years earlier. I was a baby, in high school. Yet, looking back at those I was stronger and more confident. There was no doubt I was happier. At 16 years old, I was happier. Now I was weak. I had faith in you. Leaned on you. Stood on you for support. Listened to the promise. My own reality forsaken for yours. You were my confidence. Now I had none, nothing and no one. How was that possible? How had I lost it all? Aren't you supposed to continue to grow as you continue to age. I had regressed. I lost all confidence and I lost myself. I could not recognize her at all.
That was not the only thing I lost. There was the weight. A whole shit ton of it. Globs of pounds. I wish I could say what my number was, but I was so unaware of it (I was unaware of anything but my emotions) that I did not see a difference. My best guess would be twenty pounds, in two months. I could not even tell you that I was eating. But I wasn't. Clearly. The ass hugging Sevens purchased on a cheer me up trip at the Bloomies in NY were huge. I could slide my thigh into them no problem. The cheaper J Crew jeans I bought to wear until I gained some of the weight back were suddenly too big. The waist swam on me. In a matter of weeks they too were falling off. Size 4 probably.
I let the depression sink in as the pounds dropped off. I only got out of bed when the phone rang. At night I intentionally left my cell in the living room, so I was forced to answer it the following day. If no one called, I did not get out of bed. I didn't tell anyone I was doing this. Otherwise they would have called. They would have known. As if the sick skeleton and the sulking weren't a give away. I did stay out of bed once I answered the phone. You got to have rules, you know. This one I set and followed. I knew well enough not to stay wrapped up in bed all day. That would be sad. I tried to pretend to avoid appearances of sad. Yet happiness was not something I was familiar with. It was a non-existent variable and a seemingly impossibility. I no longer had a grasp on what it meant. I remembered knowing it, but that turned out all wrong. So now that was gone too.
I spent hours of days replaying the whole deal. Doing it over. Doing it under. Wondering and sacrificing. I was not actually living in the present, I was consumed with the past. I cried. At all times and for no reason at all. I bawled when it happened. In the corner of the couch wrapped in a ball, my face pressed into the cushions, I was all alone. I clung to the telephone for support and the sound of a human voice. But that loneliness was what did me in. I could have been okay. But the depth of it pushed me too far. Big heavy sobbing tears with no breath. My chest hurt. My hands hurt. My head hurt.
It was the ramification of it. It was the way it was handled. It was what was sacrificed. It was the promises of the future. It was what it all signified. I never had anything like that. To be taken away was too much for me to handle. So I didn't. I broke down. I also never had to deal with the break down. So I broke down further. A visit to the bookstore to read self help books that were wildly above my own issues. Another visit to the doctor to talk about what these issues were. That should have brought perspective. But that needed to come from within. You can only help yourself.
There are things that remain. The resentment. I still have regret for letting it all go. The ramifications persist today. I know they do. Everyday I live that decision. Those mistakes are our lives, my life. I live with that choice, the choice I made and the consequences of making that choice. Regret is present, no doubt. It is the kind that has a multiplying effect. Regret times four.
But I would not be here and this would not be my life, at all, not even close, if it did not all happen. This is geography and emotion. Every aspect of my life would be altered. I would be there or I would be elsewhere if I had strength enough to turn from the choice. I never thought I would be here. Yet my life is this now because of what happened. My life is my past. It defined me. It continues to define me.
Labels: Last Life