Monthly Archives: September 2013

My Fruit Flies Spilleth Over

photoIn the break room at My Retail Job, there are fruit flies.  Every single ever loving time I go in there, fruit flies buzz about my head as if I were a pile of camel dung.  This began the very first day I started and continues almost 5 months later.

At first, I thought it was me.  I was feeling a little insecure because I seemed to be the only one swatting at them.  And I don’t swat gracefully.  I literally have a fight with those bastards.   I curse and cuss.  I  smack the air and hit whatever surface they are resting on.  The other day I think I killed about 8 of them.  I was feeling really proud.  I had visions of me holding the Fruit Fly Killer Employee of the Month award.  That vision was short-lived.  Because their siblings were right behind them.  Mocking me.

I never had a problem with fruit flies in my life.  I had a conversation with a friend just 3 days ago.  I was complaining about the fruit flies at work.  She explained to me that she was infested pretty badly once.  She then proceeded to tell me that they multiply.  And multiply.  And freaking multiply.  Like house lice.  Then she told me about a little trick that gets rid of them.  I didn’t really pay attention.  After all, I’ve never had them.  If it hasn’t happened by now, I’m sure it won’t.

I am an extremely superstitious person.  I knock on wood to ward off bad luck.  I don’t step on the cracks so I won’t break my mother’s back (you’re welcome mom) and I will never, ever put up an umbrella in the house.  Well, I guess I didn’t knock on that damn wood because guess what?  I am now the not-so-proud owner of fruit flies.  A lot of them.  I do not lie.

So, I called the friend who told me about the trick that I didn’t really listen to.  Here it is.  Write this down because it’s a bit difficult.  You will need:  a bowl, apple cider vinegar, saran wrap and a hole poker.  Pour some vinegar in a bowl.  Cover it with Saran Wrap and poke some holes.  The holes need to be big enough so the flies can get in.  I guess they are drawn to the vinegar.  And then they fly in and can’t get out.  Ooh, not such a nice way to go.  Sorry about that guys.  Ok, not really.

I put out my little trap.  I went to go check a few minutes ago.  Nothing yet.  But I wonder if it has anything to do with the apple crisp I made that is sitting on my counter open to the public.  And when I say public, I mean the fruit fly public.  Oops.  Tomorrow will be a new day.  Hoping to wake up to a village of dead flies.  Cross my fingers.

Baby Who?

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I am not a big fan of organized religion.  But before anyone out there judges me harshly, let me tell you that I AM a big fan of God, Jesus, Mary, Angels and all else Heavenly.  I talk to God all the time.  I am pretty consistent in asking for forgiveness because I happen to screw up on a daily basis.  I’m terrified of pissing off the Big Guy and possibly spending all of eternity down under and I’m not talking about hopping with the kangaroos either.

Every year, I put out the Nativity Scene at Christmas.  The same Nativity Scene I have been putting out for 20 years.  I place it under the tree.  I don’t really know why I put it there.  It’s kind of a pain in the ass for the placement of presents.  And it’s made of glass.  Joseph is missing a hand.  The Shepard is missing part of his staff.  A Wise Man has lost his Myr-cense-a-thingy.  But it goes under the tree because where else would I put it?  On the mantle?  That just makes too much sense.

When The Kid was about 4, she was helping me put it out.  Suddenly, she said, “look mommy, it’s Baby Julia.”  I thought I heard wrong.  So I asked her to repeat it.  Again, she referred to Jesus as “Baby Julia.”  Just to fill you in, “Julia” happened to be my friend’s baby.  I suppose it was the only baby she knew at the time.  And well, you know what I’m getting at.

My overly devout Irish Catholic grandfather probably would have disowned me had he been in the room.  It was at that moment that I realized I had better do something about it.  Because it was also at that moment that I felt like the biggest loser of a mother.  My 4 year old, actually she may even have been 5, didn’t know who the heck Baby Jesus was.  I made the decision right there and then to introduce her to religion.  I wasn’t being a hypocrite.  Well, not completely.  I just wanted her to learn about God and Jesus and all that good stuff.  And she wasn’t getting it from me.  All I could recite was the Adam and Eve story, a little about Noah and that Moses parted the Red Sea.

I think it was a good decision.  She enjoys it.  The church we belong to is pretty cool.  Very relaxed.  No weird rules.  You just go.  And pray.  And learn.  So now, I can say with confidence that my child knows who that dude is in the manger.  My job is done.  Um, that was Moses who parted the Red Sea, right?

Fido Is Coming For Dinner

I am not a cook.  I never claimed to be.  In fact, it’s a joke among my family and friends.  Sure.  I can cook up something real good when I am in the mood.  But I need to be in the mood.  Which is rarely.

I really, really loathe the “what’s for dinner” question from DH.  He asks every day.  No really.  Every.single.day.  It doesn’t matter what time it is.  The question could come at 9am.  It could come at 4pm.  After a meal.  Before a meal.  Whether he is hungry or not.  Every single day.  I really do try to make myself unavailable.  You know.  When I see him coming, I pretend I’m on the phone.  Or go into the bathroom and feign diarrhea.  I’ll even try to change the subject before he brings up that subject.  Because I always know.

Every week, I sit and make a plan.  I plan every meal.  Every week.  The problem is sometimes I make crap that I know the family may not enjoy because it’s easy.  I also plan a meal I’ve made a bazillion times.  There could be a chance that they are sick of it, but I don’t want to know.  Because it’s easy.

Tonight, I had plans to go out for drinks with a friend.  Not dinner.  Just drinks.  But I knew that we would probably order some appetizers.  Which means that I would probably not be eating dinner.  You know, when I got home.  I generally like to make dinner for the family on nights like this because otherwise I’ll feel guilty.  But guess what it has to be?  Easy.

I found a recipe online for beef stir fry.  Who doesn’t like stir fry?  It had 5 ingredients or less which is my rule for making a meal.  Unless I am in the mood, of course.  Which is — say it with me — rarely.  I bought some stuff at My Retail Job.  You know.  The “beef.”  I added some carrots, broccoli, garlic, soy sauce.

I had a nice time with my girlfriend.  We shared some damn nice appetizers.  When I got home, I asked the question I truly didn’t want to know the answer to.  “How was dinner?”  They both looked at me like I just crapped my pants.  With total disgust.  DH’s reply?  “Why did you give us Alpo?  And by the way, we saved you some.  And I’m gonna make you eat it.”

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This is tonight’s dog food, er, I mean, dinner. Okay, probably not the best choice.

Ok, so I’m not the best beef picker outer.  Maybe it was full of a little too much grizzle.  I really didn’t have much of a choice.  But damn.  I made dinner.  Hey, at least they got some vegetables.  Isn’t that what matters most?

Back to the Issue

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Have I mentioned lately that I’m too old for My Retail Job?  Why, yes, I think I have.  If you missed my myriad of reasons, please click here.

There is now a new reason why I think I am too old for My Retail Job.  The crap I do there is intended for the back of a 20-something year old.  Or a camel.  But I am neither so therein lies the problem.  How did I even get hired for this job?  I am a humpless mature woman (remember, I have been reminded twice).  Hmmm.  If you ask DH, it’s because “I’m smart, reliable and trustworthy.”  Apparently, the world is in short supply of these attributes.

That is all well and good, but it still doesn’t hide the fact that I’m old for this job.  Yesterday I was pushing some product, helping to unload the truck.  When there was a sudden pain in the bottom right part of my back.  What’s it called?  Whatever it is, it hurt.  So, I took some Advil, and it worked its magic.  Masking the pain.  So what did I do?  Pushed more product.

This morning I am lying in bed.  Writing this post.  I should be cleaning the kitchen from last night, doing at least one of six loads of laundry and washing the toilets.  Am I?  No.  Because I can’t move.

I have to work later today.  Until almost midnight.  Looks like I’ll be O.D.’ing on some Motrin so I can get through it.  And making My Retail Job people document what happened.  You know, just in case it doesn’t get better.  Which it will.  It’s just a pulled muscle, I’m sure.  But you never know.  I really hate complaining about stuff like this.  But what did they expect?  They hired a dinosaur.  Wait.  Didn’t dinosaurs have strong backs?

We Will Never Forget

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Our parent’s generation remembers where they were and what they were doing the moment they heard the news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  Our generation remembers where we were and what we were doing the day our country was attacked, changing our lives forever.

It was a Tuesday.  It was The Kid’s first day of pre-school.  She was 3.  I remember being in my car, backing out of my garage to drop her off for her big day.  The news was on because, unbeknownst to me, the news was on everywhere.  A plane had hit Tower 1 of the World Trade Center.  At first, the reporter said it was a small plane.  I immediately had visions of a Cessna.  Then I thought it was a joke.  I thought of the “War of the Worlds” radio program of 1938.  I remember just laughing it off.  Think about it.  How could it be possible?  This was stuff that only happens in the movies.

Except this wasn’t a movie.  By the time I pulled into the parking lot of the school, I knew it wasn’t a joke.  At this point, it was confirmed that it was indeed happening and that it wasn’t a Cessna.  Other mothers were standing in small groups throughout the schoolhouse lot.  I remember trying to put on a brave face for our children.  Our sweet, little, innocent children.  This was history in the making.  To be a chapter in their history books just a few short years from that moment.

We all rushed to our homes to call our loved ones and to sit in front of CNN for days.  And days.  Lines were tied up.  Air traffic was stopped.  Everything was quiet.  It was surreal.  We all ran out to buy flags for our car windows.  We all came together in crisis.  We loved one another.  I remember a deep peace among our neighbors.  There were no honking horns because someone sat at a light a nanosecond too long.  There was no anger.  Anywhere.  For a long time.

I also remember the deep sense of loss.  I was fortunate to not have lost anyone I knew personally in the attacks, but the people lost were fellow Americans.  The hurt was deep.  Today marks 12 years since that tragic, absolutely horrific, day.  We will always remember the lives lost.  We will always remember the heroes.  We will never forget the families and friends that suffered and are still suffering.

As I sit here writing this post, I am watching footage of that day.  All those feelings I had 12 years ago come rushing back.  My heart still hurts to remember.  The dread, the tears, the complete sense of loss and helplessness.  It has affected all of us this way.  We will never forget.  We are a changed nation.  Our children live in a different world.

Tonight, I pause to remember that day, to pray, to hope for a better future.  Tonight, I remember how we came together as one.  Tonight, as always, I am proud to be an American.

Maternity Wear Third Floor

Have you seen pregnant women these days?  I see them all the time at My Retail Job.  They are cute as a damn button. Cute.as.a.button.  Why?  Because maternity wear designers stopped making tents.  Either that or tent designers stopped making maternity wear.  I’m glad for the modern pregnant lady.  I’m also a bit jealous.  15 years ago, all that was available was the Coleman Special XXL.

I was so excited to start showing.  I couldn’t wait to wear maternity wear.  Because I was so impatient, I would go into a dressing room and strap on whatever size belly I wanted and had at it.  As I tried on one dress, or shirt or pants after another, I felt more and more horrible.

All DH heard from the other side of the curtain was “Oh God”, “ooohhhhh no”, “Give me a break”, “Dear Lord”, “You’ve got to be kidding”, “What the f***” (before WTF was fashionable) and finally “I give up.”  He would feverishly bring me more and more things to try on.  I remember it just getting worse and worse.  One tent was as awful and ugly as the next.  And lest I remind you, I wasn’t even big yet.  I hadn’t gained much weight.  I was barely showing.  My booty was still a size Small, so were my thighs, arms and boobs.  You can just imagine how these articles of clothing looked on me when I was showing.  Lucky for you, I have attached a pic.  Enjoy:

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Maybe a belt would have made things better. But probably not.

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So, today’s expectant mom?  I guess I just should have thrown on a t-shirt from my drawer.  Or a wrap-dress from my closet.  Because that is basically what they are wearing.  These new age maternity clothes are fitted and flattering.  Seriously.  Why didn’t I think of that?  Can I rewind time?  Can I ask for my uterus back?  Because I want a do-over.

I swear I had a dress just like this.

I swear I had a dress just like this.and 14 of these

…and 20 of these.

 

Maturity is Overrated

Unknown-4I’ve always considered myself “young.”  I’ve never acted my age.  Ever.  Even now, as a mother.  The Kid is constantly reprimanding me because of my inappropriate behavior.  I do silly things.  Make dumb choices.  Laugh when someone farts.

But not only have I always acted young.  I always looked young.  When I was 12, I looked 8.  When I was 18, I looked 14.  And so on.  When I finally turned 21 and I ordered my first legal glass of White Zin, the waitress stared at my I.D. for about 17 seconds then accused me of forging my birth year.  I got carded for quite a while.  And then, I didn’t.  Huh.

So, when two “collegues” in the span of about 7 days approached me at My Retail Job asking for my advice because I am a “mature woman” I was a little more than shocked.  Me?  Mature?  What do you mean?  I looked around to make sure they weren’t speaking to someone else.  Like some old biddy standing behind me, perhaps?

Unfortunately, they weren’t.  “You know, you’ve been around a while.  You know what to do.”  I ran home both times and stared at myself in the mirror.  Okay, so I have a few more wrinkles than usual, my lips are pretty much non-existent (why does that happen) and my jowls rival those of Julia Childs.  But come on.  I’m not old.  Am I?

Hmmm.  I do tend to pee without warning when I sneeze, cough or just because.  I can’t remember what I did 30 seconds ago pretty much all the time.  I need longer arms so I can read.  My hair is going gray.  I have parenthesis between my eyes.  My knees are sagging.  And my boobs have joined them.  My body aches when I get out of bed in the morning.  I need to turn up the volume on the TV to about 42.  Oh.  Holy Shit.  I’m old.  When the hell did that happen?  But, I was just young the other day.  I swear it.

Ok, so this old chick isn’t giving free advice anymore.  If you want it, you’re gonna pay.  Except it ain’t gonna be a nickle.  Hey, we seniors have to make a living.  And if you ask for advice and use the word “mature” in any form, there’s going to be a premium added.  Let this be your warning.  Have a nice day you whipper-snappers.

Times They Have a-Changed

That Bob is one smart dude.

That Bob is one smart dude.

There was a job posting yesterday. For an Administrative Assistant/Receptionist position.  Here’s the job description, in a nutshell:

  • Greet guests
  • Answer the phone
  • Sort and distribute the mail
  • Order supplies
  • Receive and distribute faxes
  • Stock the printers with paper
  • Maintain calendar and contacts
  • Print crap
  • Order lunch
  • Keep the reception area “tidy”
  • Type some letters

Would you like to know what the prerequisite was?  A College Degree.  To order lunch and keep the printer full of paper.  Really?  Because that right there is some important shit.  And apparently, the only way to learn that important shit is to spend thousands of dollars on a 4-year degree.  By the way, I had no idea that there was a class called Receiving Faxes 101.  Who knew?

The way I see it, Experience seems a bit more important.  Let’s see…keeping things tidy, maintaining a calendar, ordering lunch, answering the phone and opening mail is something I’ve been doing every single day since the day I moved out of mommy and daddy’s house 21 years ago.

The rest?  I have a resume with about 15 years of hard experience.  I worked as an Executive Assistant for almost half of those years.  And I acquired these jobs without a College Degree.  Then I quit to raise a child.  I have since come to find that 98% of the postings I see, require something much higher than a high school diploma.

A fellow dance mom that I know came into my Retail Job last week.  She was surprised to see me working there.  It turns out, she is in the same boat.  She is now working in a retail environment.  Like me, she has an administrative background and used to work in an office.  She quit her job to become a mom.  This is what she said, “I am being punished for raising my children.”

I’m not sure we are being punished so much as the rules have just changed.  A lot.  But I do have to say it gets my goat a little.  I’m sorry, but it takes experience to book extensive international travel for your boss without major-league screwing up.  It takes experience to balance several schedules and to talk to some pretty major heavyweights.  It takes experience to be one step ahead of, well, everything, all the time.

If I ever get into the door for a job interview, I may bring along this attitude.  Think it will get me somewhere?  Sure, as long as I bring along a sandwich.