Monthly Archives: October 2013

If That’s What Makes the World Go Round, I Think I Wanna Move to Mars

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The world is filled with thousands of different personalities.  And we all have to coexist.  We have to figure it out.  We have to either decide to get along with people who are completely different from us or not.  We can let these people make us miserable.  Or we can accept them for who they are.  It’s a fine line.  And it isn’t always easy.

In my experience and at my age, I have pretty much dealt with just about all types.  I, myself, like to say I’m more upbeat than not.  I am laid back, loud, definitely obnoxious but yet a tad bit shy.  I have the patience of a 2 year old trying to unwrap a lollipop.  I can also become very angry if I am pushed too far.  But to my credit, I have to be really pushed.  Like off a cliff.

I work with all types of people.  Most of them are young.  2 or 3 are about my age.  A couple are my father’s age.  In all honesty, I like them all.  Even the weird ones.  The cranky ones.  The moody ones.  Because they are human beings.  And under the crank, mood and weird, there is good.

At My Retail Job a couple of days ago, I was pushed off a cliff.  A very high cliff.  It ended with me saying some very unkind things, loudly, in the middle of the store.  With customers around (I think…I had on my rage blinders, so I can’t say for sure).  One of my other coworkers was trying his damndest to get me to settle down, bless his heart.  Needless to say, it didn’t work.  After threatening to quit, I stormed off shaking like an oak tree caught in a hurricane.

Unfortunately for me and for whoever is at the other end, once that switch is flipped it’s very, very difficult for me to use any sense whatsoever.  It all goes out the window.  All of it.  DH and I have had a disagreement or two in public, and I have been very vocal about it.  He has better sense than I do.  He keeps his mouth closed until we get home.  Me?  The entire world pretty much sees what an ass I am.  I do the same thing with The Kid.  Every single time I regret it.  For days.  Every apology in the world just doesn’t make me feel better.

So yesterday when this person — let’s call him/her “Pat” — pushed me over that edge, I lost it.  Without giving too many details, Pat was a bit too derogatory and condescending for my taste.  Maybe it’s my own insecurities that got the best of me.  But I do not like being spoken to like a 5 year old.  It just doesn’t sit with me well.  There is a way to speak to people.  To communicate.  With that being said, I was less than professional in return.  Which also sounds suspiciously like not communicating.  Hmmm.  I do happen to see the error of my ways.  And am accountable for them.

Which made me do this when I got into work this morning:  apologize to the coworker who was trying to calm me down.  Because he did not deserve that.  And apologize to my manager.  I even tried to apologize to Pat.  Not for being angry, but for behaving unprofessionally.  Because I deserved to feel angry.  And no one can take that away from me.  I took the high road.  “Pat” does not see the error of her/his ways.  But that’s okay. Pat has to live in this world with him/herself.  I did, however, make it very, VERY clear that I will not be spoken to in that manner ever again.  Right now, Pat is not speaking to me.  I think it’s for the best.

My Retail Job is not a big deal in the big picture.  It will not be forever.  It gives me something to do while The Kid is off doing things that really does not require my help.  But I feel like I’m contributing.  It may be a little.  And when I say “a little”, I mean a puny little.  This job also gives me confidence.  I can call it mine.  And I happen to like it.  Right now, I have to coexist with this person.  I have to make it work because I spend more than half my week there.  So, I will repeat after me…”I am filled with love, forgiveness and peace.”  This I can do.  Let’s just hope there are no cliffs.

The Vent of a Half Irish Woman Part 2

On the ride home.  I had lost every last marble I had left in my head.

On the ride home. I had just about lost every last marble I had left in my head.  Look closely. You can see one coming out of my ear.

I don’t know who I think I am.  I’m not even whole Irish.  I am half.  Half.  But yet I stayed in a full-on Irish rage for close to an entire weekend.  This rage actually continued through today because I had a really bad day at work.  But I will save that for another time.  Because what happened today deserves a post all on its own.

Let me remind you that I was in Irish Hell for close to 2 days.  I say close to 2 days, because I had to cut one day short for work.  Which was a treat.  Seriously.  This was my weekend:  Saturday – Irish Dance performance at the Irish Festival.  Sunday – Yet another Irish Dance Competition.

When a town puts on a festival of any kind, people come out in droves.  It could be the Annual Festival of Accountants.  They come.  Because unless you live in NYC or Paris, there is never enough to do.  Add in beer, bagpipes and irish dancing and it turns downright insane.

The venue for a festival of this capacity should be held in a small stadium.  Not an irish pub the size of my living room.  When I came to this realization, which was when the light turned from green to red TWICE and I didn’t move but a car length, I should have kept going.  That is IF I could have kept going.  I would have saved myself some indigestion, an ulcer and a few gray hairs.

Just because you see a spot in an overcrowded parking lot, does not mean it’s yours.  Even when you are on top of said spot.  Even when you are about to turn into said spot.  How do I know?  Because the guy in front of you, although he originally passed it up, can decide to slam his car into reverse and enter your spot on two of his four wheels.  All while his wife is telling you to back up.

My next episode of Road Rage came when I had to exit the lot and go back to the light that went from green to red twice.  Except this time, I was going to run the part where it turned red to make a left.  Which would have worked out fine if the guy coming in the opposite direction didn’t decide to ALSO run the red light.  Can you believe he shot ME a dirty look?  Of course, I shouted some obscenities at him.  While my window was down.  It was then that I saw a fellow irish dance mom walking on the sidewalk with her sweet little child, someone that I do not know well, look at me disapprovingly.  Proud moment in my life.  Proud I tell you.

I noticed there were 2 potential spots.  I say potential, because two old ladies were shooting the breeze.  Without a care in the world.  Just standing there.  Talking.  While twenty thousand people are looking for a place to park, they decide to stand there and talk.  Not get in their cars, back up and meet for coffee.  Stand there and waste two perfectly good spots talking.  So, I did what every other irate woman does…made my own spot.  I didn’t care who or what I was blocking at that point.  I had a piece of the entertainment in my car.  Did they want to see some Irish Step Dancing or what?  Or should I say, “Irish BREAK Dancing.”  Because that is what one spectator referred to it as.  Yes sir, it’s Irish Break Dancing.  Have another beer.

After I elbowed enough people to cause permanent damage, I managed to find a spot in the grass with the other moms.  Our dancers were soon herded like cattle into the place.  I barely got the chance to wish her luck and say goodbye.  I tried to catch her performance.  But do you know what it’s like to get past 8 thousand tipsy irishmen?  It wasn’t even worth it.  Knowing she had a safe ride home, I left for work.  Feeling a little defeated and a lot sad.

Sunday was going to be a better day.  Or so I thought.  It started great.  Getting The Kid’s hair into her wig went perfectly.  No one screamed at each other.  Little did I know, the wig would be a complete waste.

We rode up to the competition with friends.  It was an hour and a half drive so it was great to have the company.  It was also great to not to have to drive because of what happens to my legs after 12 minutes in the driving position.

The place was a zoo.  As always.  And it’s rainy, wet and cold.  I opted for flats. Not boots. My feet were wet before the day began.  Fun stuff.  I had on a short sleeve shirt.  Some sane voice in the back of my head told me to grab a sweater before we left.  So I did.  It’s probably the only thing that went well.  Listening to the little voice in my head.  Because it was freezing.  Everywhere I went.  Again, should have checked the weather report.  This is becoming a real problem with me.

After we secured some real estate, the girls started prepping.  You know, putting on the shoes, stretching, practicing.  Have you ever known of an injury occurring while stretching?  It can happen because it happened to my child.  It involved a high kick followed by an ass on a twisted foot and a lot of tears.  She had just come off of a stress fracture of her other foot.  This felt very similar.  She was scared.  I was freaking out.  Not a good combination.

Needless to say, she did not dance.  Which was the smart choice.  But still.  $40 to sign up for these effing competitions that suck the ever loving life out of me and she could not dance.  It was disappointing.  And to add insult to injury (here’s a time when that expression actually makes sense) we were stuck there until the very bitter end because of our carpool.  The car ride home was really fun.  And happened to save my sorry ass from completely going over the edge.  After spending the next morning in the orthopedics office, it was determined that her injury is a sprained foot.  Alleluia.

This recent occurrence prompted me to write a list of all her injuries incurred during Irish Dance in the last 10 years.  Actually, these injuries all were incurred in the last three years, but who’s counting?

  • 1 broken wrist
  • 2 knees suffering from Osgood Schlatter’s Disease
  • 2 hips suffering from IT Band Syndrome
  • 1 stress fracture of the left foot
  • 1 sprained right foot
  • 1 ankle with pulled tendons (do ankles even have tendons?)
  • Swelling of the protective coating of an achilles heel.  Or whatever.  I’m numb by now.  And it ain’t the wine talking either.

Not to mention the 100’s of bloody socks due to blisters on top of blisters.  And that’s nothing compared to some of the other kids’ injuries.  I’m thinking Chess Team is in order.  What’s the worst that could happen?  The Knight could drop on her finger and chip a nail?  I’ll take my chances.  And I may actually live longer.

 

The Vent of a Half Irish Woman

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The Kid does sports.  She is on the JV Field Hockey team at school.  She also is an Irish Dancer.  Before you roll your eyes and say that Irish Dance is NOT a sport, think again.  Anything that requires dedication, desire, all of your blood, sweat, tears and money, lots and lots of money, is a sport.

Last weekend she had a dance competition.  Anyone who partakes in any kind of sport, knows what a freaking affair it is.  We were gone for literally 10 hours.  TEN.  From the moment we pulled out of the driveway to the moment we pulled back in.  An eight and a half hour shift at My Retail Job is less draining.

While I am standing there, waiting, waiting and waiting some more, surrounded by crying and screaming competitors, listening to the “bang bang bang” of hard shoes practicing over and over up and down the halls and hearing the same irish music again and again for 6+ hours, I was thinking about what we mother’s do for our children.  And why we do it.  Well, we do it because we love them.  But is that enough?   This is the crap I need to vent about right now because I will be doing this same exact thing tomorrow.

I sat in a car for what was supposed to be one hour and 20 minutes.  I cannot sit in a car for one hour and 20 minutes because my body is not that of a 15 year old.  After 20 minutes, my knee starts to pulsate.  After 32 minutes, I have sciatica pain running down both legs.  After about 56 minutes, my bunion starts acting up in my riding boots because when I left in the morning it was 58 degrees and I felt riding boots were in order.  If I had bothered to look at the weather report for the day, I would have seen that flip flops would have been the smarter choice.  Freaking Indian Summers suck.  Just make up your mind Mother Nature.

Our one hour and 20 minute car ride turned into a 2 hour and 20 minute car ride because, well, I didn’t know why.  I was guessing an accident.  But there was a nothing.  Nothing.  We were crawling for no reason at all.  I’m not lying.  No reason at all.  NONE.  Understand?  The Whitestone Bridge is 3,770 feet long.  If my calculation is correct, it took me 62.83 seconds to go one foot.

When we arrived, it took me five minutes to extract myself from the position in which I was in from the driver’s seat of my car.  And another five minutes to walk to our destination, just mere feet into the venue.  Because my joints were stiff.  I think I caught a glimpse of what a 92 year old woman feels like.  And it ain’t pretty.  Just so you know.

It’s great fun to be body slammed.  Continuously.  I swear I feel like I’m at a punk rock concert every single time I subject myself to this madness.  I also really love it when people form a human chain in the middle of the corridor.  That’s ok, people. Really, I did not need to pass.  I’ll just take out my magical wings and fly over you.  There are enough people at these venues to heat the inside of Yankee Stadium and I was wearing a sweater with a tiny camisole under it.  Which means I had to keep the sweater on.  Again, it would have been smart to check the weather report for the day.

The options for lunch (which was really dinner, which was really lunch because we somehow missed that meal):  cardboard pizza as stiff as my joints after a 2 hour car ride or 2 for 1 american wedge slices.  I opted for the wedge.  The cheese I think was supposed to be a slice of american.  I’m sure that at the start of the day it looked just like that.  A slice.  But by the time I got to it, it resembled that of Cheese Whiz.  So why did I choose the sandwich?  Because it was the bargain of the day.  And I am not one to pass up on a good deal.  In the meantime, The Kid scored herself some spaghetti and meatballs.  Don’t ask.  I’m not sure.

After what seemed like an eternity, “they” were ready to announce the awards for The Kid’s competition.  The outcome was not good.  But I will say she danced her little ass off.  She was amazing.  She tried her hardest.  It was the first time doing a competition in months because of an injury.  So this mamma bear was extremely proud nonetheless.  BUT, I now had to deal with a very disappointed child.  In a car ride where the only thing I can concentrate on is how I can manage to keep my legs from atrophying.

That felt good to get off my chest.  Thanks for listening.  I get to do this all over again tomorrow.  Come join me.  I’ll be the woman with wine in her water bottle.  Someone get me a lobotomy.

Flick My Bic

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My secret weapon

I love to tell The Kid stories from my youth.  Of course, she could probably care less.  I’m pretty sure most of my stories bore her to tears.  But I trudge on.  Not really caring what she thinks because she MUST know.  I mean, there is no way she can go on without knowing what my life was like as a teen.  I had no cell phone.  I had no laptop.  I had no texting.  But do you know what I did have?  Eyeliner pencil that was applied by heating it with a lighter.

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Me and my “liquid” eyeliner

I remember ducking into the girl’s bathroom between classes to reapply.  Lighting the end of my liner pencil until it was soft.  Pulling down my lower lid and applying hot, black, liquified liner to the inside of my eye.  What is that part of the eye even called?  I don’t know, but it was silly.  What I did.  What all of my female classmates did.  And what you did.  Because I know you did this exact same thing.  Don’t try to deny it.

And if we forgot our liner at home, or lost it, or it was too short to use any longer, we would borrow a friends.  Because we loved to share everything.  Including Pink Eye.  And another perk?  Those cool little funky black dot floater things.  Running all around the white part of our eyeballs.  So sexy hot.  Honestly, I don’t know how I wasn’t distracted by everything going on in there.

After reminiscing with myself about my beauty routine of 1984, I wondered if anyone still does this?  So I did a little Google search.  And the answer is “yes.”  This silly little beauty ritual is still practiced today by some.  But I think I’ll stick with eyeshadow.  It’s fast, easy and foolproof.  I don’t need a steady hand.  And I happen to like my eyeballs where they are.  Droopy eyelids included.

One Moldy Oldie

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Soul Asylum. I think that’s their name.

There are many, many things I am too old for.  I’m too old for drama.  But I will not discuss that here because this blog is for fun and inspirational subject matter.  I’m too old for My Retail Job, even though I have to admit I’m having a blast among all the aches, pains and “you’re a mature woman” comments.  I am too old for roller coasters, which pisses me off because I would go on one a thousand times in a row if my brain didn’t scramble into a million pieces after the first 30 seconds of the first ride.  And as much as I love my new sport of running, I may be too old for it because my knees feel like they have been through a war.  Maybe even 2 wars.

Last night I met a friend of mine for dinner about an hour away from where I live.  A very old friend.  She’s not old, our friendship is old.  We were having a great time, having great conversation as always.  Halfway through dinner she asked if I wanted to go with her to meet some of her friends at this theater outside of town to see a band.  Who am I to pass up a good time?  PLUS it was an opportunity to meet new friends.

We trekked on over the border into the next town to see this band.  You may remember them.  Soul Asylum.  I was never a grunge band follower.  I am classic rock and moldy oldies all the way.  After singing half a dozen songs, they sang ONE song I vaguely recognized.  But every person in that room had gray hair.  If they didn’t have gray hair, it was colored I’m sure.  So, I didn’t feel out of place.  A Justin Timberlake concert I would feel out of place at.  This concert?  I just felt old among the old.  And the music was just too effing loud.  I mean, how is a mature woman supposed to have an intellectual conversation with all that noise?

Me and my old friend

Me and my old friend.  And that would be Sprite in my cup.  I swear.

Me and my new friends

Me and 2 of 4 of my new friends.  And my Sprite.

Sure, I had a good time.  Sure, I danced to music I never heard of or even liked.  Sure, I had a drink.  Ok, half a drink.  Ok, a quarter of a drink.  Because after about 20 minutes into being there, I hit a wall.  Not literally.  But the “holy shit, I need my bed NOW” kind of wall.  As much as I was enjoying these women, my new friends among my old one, I felt a very strong urge to put my head on a pillow.  In fact, if there was a pillow somewhere in that place, I would have had my ass in a corner on that floor.  Even amongst all the racket.  And it wasn’t even 10pm yet.

And the band?  They have to be at least my age.  Where, may I ask, do they get their energy?  I guess from their hair.  Because they had plenty of it.  Hair.  Good for those guys.  But I will bet any amount of money that they went home, slathered a crapload of Ben Gay on their joints and fell into a deep coma.  Because that’s what I did.  And I’m not too proud to say so.  I mean, who needs pride when you pee your pants every time you sneeze and, well, never mind.  Anyway, I think I’ll stick to James Taylor.  He gets me.

What a Difference 223 Days Make

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I was thinking about something today.  Running.  Not “running” from the law.  Or “running” away from a bad relationship.  “Running” as in “I ran around the block 5 times.”

I was not a runner.  I abhorred it.  Oh wait.  I was on Track Team when I was 14.  And I only did it because my gym teacher at the time thought I was fast and wanted me on his team.  Which was really weird, because I skipped gym a lot.  I hated any type of physical activity.  That and my legs looked like the legs of a newborn fawn.  I would rather have died than let the boys get a look at those babies in the hideous shorts we were forced to wear.  In fact, I even went and got myself Mono just so I could skip gym for half a year.  Well, not really.  I mean, I got mono.  But not on purpose.  I digress.  I only did track for a year.  Because that crap sucked.

I tried running again about 6 years ago.  At which time I realized that I just can’t run for long distances without getting this weird pain in my side and other weird pain everywhere.  So I stopped.  I never got the concept.  It hurt.  Bad.  I was pretty sure the people who ran just liked to torture themselves.  They would have monthly meetings to see what other torture they could inflict on themselves.  Just for fun.

In February, I decided to get healthy by eating right and exercising.  I started out by walking.  Then it turned into a little walk-y here, a little run-ny there.  But even after a few months, I was having a hard time running for more than a couple minutes at a time.

Then I did my first 5k in August.  And was able to complete it with a little help from a friend.  I did it without walking once.  I almost died.  Ok, so maybe died is a strong word. But I sure the hell thought I would collapse.  I remember thinking that someone may want to have an ambulance somewhere between here and there because I was going to need it.

Needless to say, I didn’t die.  I didn’t need that ambulance.  But it hurt.  Like hell.  I had pain everywhere.  My stomach, my legs, my back.  But something happened to me that day.  I realized that even with all the pain, that I actually enjoyed it.  I released enough endorphins to last me a week.

I completed my second 5k this past Sunday.  And I beat my time by 2 minutes.  And I didn’t feel like I was going to die.  In fact, I could have gone another mile or so.  Because I have become a runner.

So, the point of my story is this.  Because I cannot get to a point without making my story long.  I’m not saying you WANT to start running.  But I am saying you CAN run.  Or you can do whatever it is you think you can’t do.  Please, you must rely on my word here, if there is anyone in this world who would make THE BEST poster child for laziness, it would be me.  Ask anyone.  Really.  So go.  Fly.  Be free.   Go do what you think you cannot.  Because you can.  I am living proof.