Monthly Archives: February 2014

I Fell Off the Wagon

I’ve been naughty.  And I want to come clean.  I gained a little weight back (8 pounds).  I know how I did it.  It’s not rocket science.

Here’s what it’s going to sound like:  a bunch of excuses.  And they are.  One excuse after another.  One reason is because I have a disability called Laziness, but I am also an excuse maker. I’ve been like this my whole life.  No surprise there.

For those of you who were around for my life changing journey, you know the deal.  For those of you who weren’t around, you can read about that here (I actually lost another 10 pounds after I posted this).

Here’s what I think happened:

  1. I had knee surgery on November 1.  On October 31, I went on a 6.4 mile run with a friend.  That was the last time my body saw real exercise.  7 minutes on the recumbent bike at PT does not count.  My knee is not healing the way I had hoped it would.  It hurts.  I can’t run.  I’m not even sure I can go for a power walk around my neighborhood.  But I have a perfectly good elliptical DH bought me for Christmas a few years ago.  It’s turned into the stereo-typical clothes hanger.

    Ok, so our Martian Man took it over. It's time to kick him off.

    Ok, so our Martian Man took it over. It’s time to kick him off.

  2. I quit My Retail Job.  I used to burn up to 1,000 calories in an 8 hour shift.  I know this because of FitBit (long story).  Because it was a physically demanding job.
  3. I quit My Retail Job.  I know I just said that.  But I would pack only healthy lunches/dinners and snacks for myself.  Now I sit around and blog and eat bagels.
  4. I went away on an all-girl’s 2 day scrapbook retreat.  Which included margaritas, a free breakfast buffet, potato chips and margaritas.  Believe it or not, I came back from that weekend with a good 4 pounds on me.  That’s crazy, right?

I threw away all my bigger clothes.  I still fit in my new, smaller clothes.  No problem.  I didn’t gain that much weight.  But guess what?  If I continue on this path, I will gain it all back by the time summer comes.  Who am I kidding?  I will gain it all back in 2 months.  Because being a middle aged woman sucks.

It literally took me 6 months and a lot of sweat equity to lose that weight.  And it has taken me less than one month to gain almost a third of it back.  I did not like the way I felt with those extra 30 pounds on me.  I promised myself I’d never go back there.  Ever.

The reason why I am telling you this is because you people keep me on the straight and narrow.  You make me accountable.  Whether you know it or not.  I fell off the wagon, but I’m getting back on.  I’m hitching those horses up and going for a ride.  Ok, I’m not really getting on a horse because they scare me but you will see me on my elliptical 5 days a week.  At least.  Geez, I hope I don’t burn out the motor.

This Helicopter Needs to Go Down

Have you ever seen that movie “Terms of Endearment?”  It’s on my top 5 list.  I laugh (you can’t actually see me, but I am laughing) because you know that scene where young mama Aurora checks on baby Emma with a mirror to see if she is breathing?  That was me.  Okay, that is me.  Still.  Well, only sometimes.

I know.  I’m nuts.  I have gotten better over the last couple of years, but I do periodically check on The Kid to make sure her blankets are going up and down with her breathing.  When she was a baby, sometimes I would poke at her while she lay sleeping in her crib.  You know, stir her.  If she woke up, it was okay.  Because I knew she was alive.  And I would breathe a huge sigh of relief and go to sleep.  You know, for at least 20 minutes.

I was a young child in the 70’s.  A time when our parents didn’t worry about child snatchers or concussions from falling on a bike without a helmet.  Damn, if I cut my face open, my mother’s response would be, “get up, brush it off and go outside to play.”

Once when The Kid was about 4, she fell because she was running on cement in flip flops.  I knew she was going down.  I got that weird prickly feeling in my shins.  You know what I’m talking about?  Well, I swooped her up and ran her to the first aid station in complete hysterics.  I had one finger on my phone to dial 911.  What’s the matter?  She scraped her knee.  And there was blood.  What did you expect?

I was neurotic (you know, in case you haven’t figured that out yet).  “Don’t run too fast, don’t walk backwards, don’t skip, don’t climb on that, don’t jump on the bed, don’t look at the sun too long…”  I could smack myself just listening to that me.  I was secretly happy when she didn’t quite get the concept of riding a bike the first time DH tried to teach her.

I’m not totally afraid of too much.  Most of the time anyway.  Like you won’t catch me dead on a pair of skis because I like my appendages where they are.  But I have no problem driving to places I’ve never been, or doing something I’ve never done (except skiing, sky diving and heroin), tasting food that is off the wall and going on roller coasters with the double loop-de-loop.

So, why am I such a nut job?  Overprotective and overbearing at times?  Is it because I only have one child? People always told me to have another.  That my neurotic behavior would lesson.  But that’s hard for me to believe.

Now, she’s getting ready to learn how to drive.  I thought I was worried before.  What the hell?  I guess I am the quintessential Helicopter Parent.  But I don’t want to be one of those.  I make fun of those people.  There’s no way I am.  So I looked it up:

A parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children.

Oops.  Well, I’m the first part anyway.  Because taking an excessive interest in the life of your child?  Well, that’s just plain, old, dang nuts.  Pffft.  And that car thing?  Does anyone know how to pull out some wires so it doesn’t start?  Inbox me with instructions.  Thankyouverymuch.

Linking up with Shell

School Is Cool. Unless You are Me.

Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop Writing Prompt:  What was your least favorite subject in school?

Mama’s Losin’ It
 

I was not a student.  I’m still not a student.  While I will praise school and push the importance of education until the cows come home on my daughter, I did not continue education for myself.  Because I hated school.

What was my least favorite subject?  Let’s change that question to ask what was my favorite subject.  Actually, let’s change that question again to ask what was the only subject I liked.  You know, in the interest of time.

The only subject I liked was English.  Because it was the only subject I was good at.  And the only subject that interested me.  Being that I’m turning into a quasi-writer, I guess that’s a good thing.  At least I know where the some commas go.  And the difference between their and there.  And too and to.  And I know what a run-on sentence looks like although I always break that rule because in my head a run-on sentence gets my point across better even though everyone probably thinks I’m a dope and knows I’m making a major faux-pas. You should probably not start a sentence with “And” either but I do that because this is my blog and I can.

I did not like Math.  I still don’t know all of my multiplication tables.  Don’t test me because I will fail.  I love and appreciate History now but not so much back in the day.  I could give or take Science.

I absolutely abhorred gym because I was insecure and hated the way my legs looked in shorts.  I was scared to death of Dodge Ball.  (They finally banned that, didn’t they?  See, I knew what I was talking about.)  And I was so happy when I contracted Mono and my doctor said I had to sit out for gym for the remainder of the year.

I didn’t go to college.  I tried.  For 2 semesters.  When I was 20.  The company I worked for was giving me a full ride.  Guess what?  Hated it.  Even free.  Not only that, but I sucked at it.  Big time.  DH and my parents would say that I didn’t try.  But I did.  I just sucked at it.  Or maybe I just sucked at it because I didn’t take any classes that interested me.  I don’t know.

I used to be embarrassed when the inevitable question came up at play group…”what college did you attend?”  I had a speech for this.   I felt the need to explain myself.  Every time.

Now?  The answer is, “I didn’t go to college.”  Period.  End of story.  It’s taken me years to get to this place.  My daughter said to me a few years ago, “You know mom.  You can go back to school.  You aren’t too old.”  It made me realize that I had no interest in going back to school.  And that I shouldn’t be ashamed of my choice.  It’s my choice.  And I have to live with it.

My daughter doesn’t seem to have much of a choice.  It seems that these days you need a degree if you want to be a Professional Ass Wiper (that’s not what she wants to be, I’m just saying that you would need a degree to be one).  But I digress.  Wow.  I just realized that I really digressed.  A lot.  Geez.  Sorry about that.  What was the question?

Oh, right.  So, that’s my answer.  Math, History, Science and Gym.  I didn’t mind Recess.  Oh, that’s not a subject.  Or the answer to the question.  I forgot.  Never mind.

Demagnetization Belongs In the Toilet

hotel key

I am not a public pooper.  If I am out and about and it happens to come on me, I’m thrown into a bit of a bind.  This has been a problem with me for forever.

If I were home, it would be no problem.  Of course.  But if I go into a public restroom, my sphincter tightens up as if it were a boa constrictor sucking the life out of its prey.  It’s like my bowels are on center stage.  With bright lights and an audience.  Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit it but my digestive system and I suffer from serious stage freight.

I went away on a girl’s scrapbook retreat this past weekend.  In the middle of scrapping my 2010 vacation to the Outer Banks, I felt the urge.  It was strong and it was sudden.  And I wasn’t home.  Obviously.  Thank God for hotel rooms.  Because I was gonna be needing my private stage, err, bathroom.  Pronto.

With a sense of relief, I made it to the door of my room and swiped my “key.”  Instead of the welcome light of green, I got red.  I swiped again.  And again.  And a-freaking-gain.  Red. Red. RED.  After a few expletives, I speed walked to the elevator, climbed on and made my way to the front desk.

There is nothing worse than standing there telling the front desk employee that you need a new key while doing everything in your power to not accidentally let out any bit of why you so urgently need to get into your room at 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon.  This is the one time you don’t want them to be so friendly.  No, I don’t give a damn about the wind outside.  I’m more concerned about the wind inside.  Please give me my new key before you need to call the janitor.

I know why my key didn’t work.  I started to put it in my pocket with my cell phone.  Started to.  Which means I had it in my hand, surrounded by my fingers and palm.  When I felt my phone with the back of my pointer, I knew it meant “danger.”  And I immediately retreated.  I took it out before I let it go.  Because I know the damage it can do.  It’s happened to me before.  A lot.  But I was pretty sure I stopped the process of demagnetization.  Apparently, I did not.

metal hotel keyI miss the good old days of a plain, old metal key.  I really do.  Sure, it’s not as easy to carry.  It doesn’t slide into your wallet without a snag.  Or can’t be put into the back pocket of your jeans without you getting poked.  So what?  It also doesn’t run the risk of demagnetizing.  I would hang that friggin’ piece of metal around my neck if it meant I didn’t have to make umpteen trips to the front desk.  Every dang time I stay in a hotel.  Every dang time.  No lie.

Demagnetization.  It’s a bad, bad word.  Please don’t use it around me.  And by the way, I made it.  By the skin of my…never mind.  I wouldn’t want to give you too much information.  You know, some things should be sacred.

The Bookless Book

My mom texted me the other day.  Here is how it went:

Mom: I have a book question.  Is “We Are Water” better than other Wally Lamb books or on par?

Me: Geez, I don’t remember.  I know it was really really good probably one of the best books I ever read.

Mom:  We Are Water is his newest book.  U finished it?  I was asking cuz I was looking for a recommendation as to which of his older books I should read next.

Now, you wouldn’t think there was anything wrong with that text exchange, right?  Except I am currently reading “We Are Water” by Wally Lamb and I am about an eighth of the way into it.  And it is new.  My memory is bad, but come on.

Why didn’t I know she was talking about a book I am currently reading?  Because I own a Kindle.  And I don’t know any freaking book that is on that thing because it doesn’t have a cover.  If it doesn’t have a cover, then I can’t be reminded every ever-loving day and night when I pass by my nightstand.  It’s a problem.

That looks like a cover but it's an ad for another book.  See what I mean?

That looks like a cover but it’s an ad for another book. See what I mean?

So, if it’s possible to be embarrassed by something you said to your own mother, the answer is “yes.”  I felt like an ass and had to explain myself.  Also, because she is a book worm and can read 2-3 books at one time.  Me on the other hand cannot do that.  Because I have ADD/Squirrel Brain.  Not possible.  No way, sista.

Anyway, she recommended I read this Wally Lamb book.  I didn’t realize he wrote another book and he is one of my favorite authors ever so I was glad to hear this.  But my mom has a habit of asking me how I like books she recommended.  Like from the moment she recommends them.  Okay, so I may be exaggerating a little.  But just a little.  (It’s okay mom, I don’t mind really.  Kind of.)

Here’s my other problem:  Lately it takes me weeks, sometimes months, to finish a book.  Mainly because I am absolutely obsessed with this blogging gig I started for myself and also because I can no longer read a book for more than a page or three without my eyeballs doing the back-of-the-head roll thing.  But I digress.

The Kindle.  I’ve owned it for a year or two.  Maybe longer.  I don’t know because time marches as if it’s being chased by a one-eyed monster on methamphetamines.  Two years is really ten.  Get what I’m saying?

I was looking through photos the other day and I swore a vacation we took to Boston was only about 4 years ago, but it was more like 8.  How can that possibly be?  But I digress.  Again.  I am the Queen of Digression.  Called me Queen D.

Do I like my Kindle?  I’m not sure.  The jury is still out on that one.  I’ll write a pro/con list like I did in high school when I wanted to break up with a boyfriend.  Okay, I actually didn’t do that because that would have required too much work.  But I had friends who did.  I think.  Whatever…

Pros:  1) I can download a sample. So I can check it out later.  This way I can’t forget.  Which is a problem for me.  Well, the forgetting part isn’t the problem.  It’s the remembering part that gets me every time.  2) I have a bookstore at my fingertips.  3) It fits in my pocketbook real easy-like.

Cons:  1) No cover.  But I already said that.  2) It’s a pain in the ass to charge the darn thing.  3) I can’t get used to that little percentage number in the bottom right hand corner that tells how much of the book is left.  4) Sometimes I think I’m just scrolling back a page but then realize that I scrolled back, like 10 pages.  What???  5) I miss holding a real book.  And smelling a real book.  And seeing a real book.

So, I guess the answer is “No.”  No, I don’t like my Kindle.  But I think I do.  Did I ever tell you I also have a problem with making decisions?

Love,

Queen D

 

Oh Pool Boy, Another Margarita Over Here…I’m On Brain-cation

Look, I know I’m not alone when I say that I am so damn sick of this ever-loving winter that seems to be droning on and on and on.  I can’t seem to look out the window without seeing a flake fall from the sky.  And the piles of snow?  Really.  Where are we supposed to put it all?  Is there a snow dump we don’t know about?

The sky just keeps vomiting snow.  We are in some serious danger of drowning in the shit.  Shit.  Yes, I said it.  Because that’s what it looks like after mere hours after it stops.  The white turns brown and gets all over our cars, our boots, our pants.  I have permanent snow shit on the back of a brand new pair of slacks I recently splurged on.  I even tried getting out the snow poo with OxyClean.  It didn’t work.  I may send Mother Nature the dry cleaning bill.  And charge her extra for pain and  suffering.

I can see you all rolling your eyeballs at me.  “Shut up already.  We know you are annoyed.  You’ve said it a thousand times in the last month.  Embrace it, lady.”  Well, guess what?  I don’t want to embrace it.  I’m done embracing it.  Besides, I’m not a hugger.  Okay, well that’s not entirely true.  I am.  Sometimes.

Which brings me to my next thought…vacation.  I want one.  I don’t care what I have to do to get myself one.  I’m not talking about a weekend in Maine.  Or 4 days in the Poconos.  I’m talking full on Caribbean island I don’t care where as long as there are 80 degree days, trade winds, white sand, the ocean and a drink boy.  Or drink girl for that matter.  As long as he/she is capable of carrying a margarita on a tray without spilling a drop.  I’ll tip generously, I promise.  The only ice I want to see from here on out is the ice in my drink.  Or I may lose my mind.

Am I going on vacation?  No.  There’s school for The Kid.  Work for DH.  And me?  Well, I’m kind of free but no one is available to take me.  The only vacation I’m going on is the vacation inside my head.  It’s not that bad.  If I sit in the window facing due West at about 2:26pm with a pair of sunglasses on I do a pretty good impression of the summertime me sitting on a beach.  Accompanied by palm trees, salty air and seagulls.

Except that would be a margarita and I would be glasses of the shaded kind.

My brain-cation sunny spot.  Except that would be a margarita and I would be wearing glasses of the shaded kind.

Unfortunately, the sun has to be out so my mind vacation doesn’t happen often.  But when it does, boy is there a party up in there.  Who wants to join me?  I’ll bring the tequila.

This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.  The word “Vacation”… 

Mama’s Losin’ It

Snow Day Fun In a Handbasket

When did I start to hate snow?  Like really, really hate it?  Probably yesterday.  Seriously.  I complain about the stuff, but secretly I enjoy a good snow day.  I mean, if I don’t have to go anywhere.  Or shovel it.  Or play in it.  Or stand outside.  Or touch it.

All was fine and dandy with the world, until DH had the bright idea to help him shovel the 200,000 pounds of snow off of the deck.  Some crap about the weight blah blah collapsing blah blah blah.  If you’ve been to my house and had the pleasure of enjoying a margarita on my deck when it is a balmy summer evening, then you know that my deck is just about as big as the smallest island of Hawaii.  What’s it called?  Kahoolawe?  Yeah, I just looked that up.  And I am exaggerating a little.  Obviously.  But it is big.  My deck.

A teeny of the deck from hell BEFORE the big lift

A teeny portion of the deck from hell BEFORE the big lift

You know that expression that you bit off more than you can chew?  Yeah, well, I just took a huge chunk out of Antarctica.  And it wasn’t going down.  DH was helping me.  Then he left to rake snow off the roof so we didn’t have another episode of ice damming.  And he raked the snow off the boat.  And he snow blowed the driveway.  And he snow blowed the walkway.  And shoveled the front stoop.  In other words, he was busy.

When I realized I was probably going to have to finish the job alone, I started to cry.  Not the “I’m sad because my goldfish just died” kind of cry.  It was the “holy freaking hell, this is the most frustratingly awful thing ever and I want to just throw myself over the edge of this deck and put myself out of total and complete misery now this very minute” kind of cry.  And I was dropping the “F” bomb every 30 seconds.  I might have to go to confession to wash my soul.

This wasn’t fluffy, fun, nice, sweet angel snow.  This was something the devil sent.  The top 5 inches was ice.  And a shovelful of snow felt like I was lifting half a car.  Every muscle in my arms were screaming.  My back felt like it was going to split.  And both my knees were starting to crack under the pressure.  Yeah, my good knee too.  And when I looked around, I felt like I hadn’t accomplished a thing.  Not a damn-friggin’ thing.  True story.

To make matters worse, I realized half way through it (at about hour #2) that I never stocked up on wine.  I had no wine.  Not that I NEEDED wine.  But  I WANTED wine.  And I deserved it dammit.  So, it was at that moment that I was going to brave those deadly snow plows and ice balls and crazy wind-blown tree branches and walk my butt down to my neighbor’s house to borrow some (I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for some wine today).  The walk there and back is probably close to a half a mile.  I didn’t care.  And I knew she had it because they are prepared for an apocalypse.  Or in this case, Snow-mageddon.

I was dripping wet.  Not from sweat although there was plenty of that as well.  But it was sleeting/raining/snowing and my parka was not keeping me dry.  My hair was a mass of frozen icicles and my nose…well, let’s just say it’s hard to tell what is coming out of your nose holes when your face is suffering from hypothermia.  Remember the cart attendant at Shop Rite?  Yeah, that.

That teeny portion AFTer the big lift

That teeny portion AFTER the big lift

So, now I was down to a smallish but biggish ovally mound.  As I was standing there staring at it because I did not have one bit of energy left in my little biceps to lift one more smidgeon of freaking snow off of that deck, DH came around the corner and had mercy on me.

My leftover mound

My leftover mound

It was then that I realized I could not take another step.  Even if it was to get some red medicine that can only be opened with a cork screw.  So, I sat my wet ass in my car and literally slid down the road.  I stood on my neighbor’s front step and eagerly accepted her gift.  Not one, but two bottles of wine.  Thank you.  You are my savior.

When I got home, I took a 150 degree shower, poured that very well-deserved glass of wine, sat on the couch and fell into a deep, dreamless coma.  That is what I did on our snow day.  The End.

snow wine

My borrowed reward

Raising a Person is Like Eating Soup With a Fork

raising a person

Who here panicked upon arriving home with their first child?  I know I did.  As soon as we strapped that kid into her carseat, my first thought was, “wait, how did these doctors and nurses just let us leave the hospital with this person?”  Seriously.

The most experience I had was babysitting a couple of little boys when I was 12.  And I wasn’t very good at it, either.   Most times I played the parent’s Styx album (too too too too much time on my hands…) until there were grooves in the grooves.   I talked incessantly on the phone to my girlfriends and told the boys to go play amongst themselves.  One time one of the kids came home from school with poopy-pants and I took his unders and hid them behind the winter coats in the hall closet.  I’m not sure I really earned that dollar an hour.

Think about what it takes to raise a person.  Just think about it.  It’s a battle of some sort for every single phase of this kid’s life.  These guys come out of our bodies not knowing a single thing.  They can’t even lift their heads, for God’s sake.  We are responsible for making sure they don’t starve to death, or suffocate or freeze.  We have to know what every single cry means.  I remember when I figured it out.  I felt like I had won the lottery.  I even called DH at work to tell him the good news.

And it continues.  One thing after another.  Throw up, pneumonia, temper tantrums, broken bones, broken hearts.  Those stupid questions (where do babies come from, why is the world round, why do cows moo?).  Damn.  No wonder we stopped at one.  This is some hard business.  Seriously, I think people should have to get a degree in parenting before they can parent.  Or at the very least, send us home with an owner’s manual.  I really could have benefited from an owner’s manual.

But through it all, we have to somehow manage to make sure these little people grow up to be respectable, responsible, kind, semi-intelligent, hard working adults.  You know, good people.  People who other people can stand.  Who other people will like.  I’m not even sure I’m always responsible, respectable and semi-intelligent myself.  How the hell am I supposed to teach a whole other person how to be those things?  From freaking scratch?  It’s not like they ever got a crash course somewhere on what to expect before they came to us.  Geez.

Now we are on to the next stage.  Boys, and driving, and parties with alcohol.  Then college in the next blink.  The fear that we did the right thing by her.  That she isn’t spoiled beyond belief and will indeed be able to boil a pot of water or purchase her own bottle of shampoo.  Will she be able to find her way out of a paper bag?  Will she heed our warning about not leaving her drink for even a minute?  Will she be wise about choosing a partner?  You know, for life.  Oh Lord.  Here we go.  Give us strength.

Would I do it again?  You betcha.  Because with all the sleepless nights, the worry, the pain, there is so much joy and love.  Joy and love that goes above and beyond all else.  Still.  I’m kinda glad we stopped at one.  That’s some scary crap.  This raising a person business.

Linking up with Shell

My Favorite “Candy”

flintstonesFlintstones Children’s Multi-Vitamins.  Apparently, these were my favorite candy as a child.  Even though they aren’t candy.  What does Bayer expect when they make these delightful little character shaped guys taste like fruity goodness?  It’s like an explosion of deliciousness in your mouth.  I’m sorry.  But you cannot have just one.  Nope.  Not when you are 4.

The story goes like this:  We lived on an Army base at the time.  I somehow managed to find my way to the stash of Flintstones in our kitchen.  Because I was in the mood for sharing.  And that’s what I did.   I shared.  I sat in a circle with a few of the other Army people offspring in my neighborhood and I rationed them out right there in plain sight.  Under the swing set.  Yup, I did.  Emptied out the entire bottle.  Right into the mouths of all my little followers.

It’s really very simple.  We OD’d on Fred, Wilma and Betty.  Could you imagine the headline?  “Four year old Flintstone dealer murders her fellow tots by brainwashing them to overdose on Bam-Bam.”  Try to live THAT one down.

Needless to say, no one died.  In fact, the only mother who seemed a bit concerned was my own.  I was rushed to the hospital where they pumped my stomach.  Actually.  No.  That didn’t happen.  Sounded exciting though, didn’t it?  I was rushed to the hospital.  Where I was forced to eat bread.  To absorb the iron or something to that line.  The other mothers weren’t concerned.  They were just gonna sit back and see if anything happened.   Maybe they were waiting for rainbow colored vomit?  Who knows.  But we all survived.

Did it make me swear off the Flintstone forever?  Nope.  When The Kid was small, I would sneak them into my mouth.  But no more than 2 a day.  Sometimes 4.  If it was a particularly rough one.  Five.  Tops.

This blog post was inspired by Mama Kat’s writing prompt:  A favorite candy when you were a child

Mama’s Losin’ It

I Almost Got Killed By a Floor Polisher and Other Stories

floor polisher

Only WAY bigger

So, it’s been a week since my final shift at My Retail Job.  Yes. You heard me.  I quit.  I put in my 2 weeks’ notice and was counting down the days.  When my final hour came, I wasn’t expecting to actually be sad.  I had to choke back tears as I was walking out the door.  I wasn’t sad because I was going to miss the job necessarily.  I was sad because I loved every single one of those darn people.  Even the one(s) I butt heads with.

This decision has been in the making for the last few weeks.  It started when I asked for a little, itty, bitty raise and was turned down.  Well, that wasn’t the only reason.  That just started the ball rolling.  I realized that retail just wasn’t for me.  I was missing out on a lot of weekends with my family.  And working until almost midnight some nights.  All for minimum wage.  It wasn’t worth it.  And I’m too old for those late nights.  Unless, of course, I’m out with the girls partaking in the fountain of youth (aka margarita on the rocks with salt).  

Here are a few stories about my experience.  And perhaps what made me realize that this job had served its’ purpose and over-stayed its’ welcome.

  1. The night before I handed in my resignation, I almost got run over by a mongo floor polisher.  The guy running the thing had been a burr in my butt for the past 9 months.  Every time I heard that thing rev up, my heart rate would dramatically increase.  And I would spend the next half hour of my life dodging that man and this machine.  For the most part, I kept my mouth shut about it.  Until that last night.  All I have to say is that it’s a good thing customers weren’t in the house.  The words that were being projectile vomited out of my mouth would have made a truck driver blush.  And I’m pretty sure polisher man is afraid of me now.  Oh, yeah.  He’s not sleeping at night.
  2. Was it a coincidence that about an hour after I asked for a raise, I was reprimanded for being 5 minutes late on December 17?  I think not.  Sorry about that.  Curse that patch of ice that wouldn’t let me up the hill.  Curse it.  Or was it because I couldn’t tear myself away from that episode of “The Kardashians?”  I guess I’ll never know.  (I’m actually not bitter about this.  I just find it a bit humorous and oh so coincidental.  I just love a good coincidence.  Don’t you?)
  3. I will not miss the bodily function emittance from complete strangers.  Farts and burps alike.  Case in point:  a woman recently came into my aisle and let one rip.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  So, after I got it together, I turned and asked her if I could help her with anything.  She replied with “bathroom please?”  Just kidding she didn’t say that.  But she did says “oops” which didn’t help me.
  4. The employee bathroom in the back room was beyond disgusting.  Like, dis-gus-ting.  Not really suitable for human use.  I tried to hold my breath whenever I had to go in there.  But I am not David Blain.  So, I was always faced with the tough decision of breathing the smells into my brain or tasting them.  I’m still not sure what’s worse.  A treat for my sinuses?  Or a treat for my mouth?
  5. In addition to announcing that they are closing, the lights dim.  A tell-tale sign that it’s time to head out if you are a customer.  Unless you are a lady who absolutely needs to get the leftover Christmas wrapping paper because it’s on sale and she’s afraid it will be gone the next day. Don’t worry, we understand.  Really.  It’s not like the store has been open for the past 15 hours.  And we have only been here for 8 out of those 15 hours so please, by all means, take your time.  None of us need to go home. Really.  Actually, I was just thinking I could snuggle up on the crib mattress in the baby aisle for the night.  Who needs a real bed?
  6. Parents and their children who get confused and think this is a sports arena.  Seriously.  I cannot begin to tell you about all the Dodge Ball, Hide and Go Seek and Chase games I witnessed.  Too many to count.  And I don’t want to count them anyway.  Because YOU SHOULD NOT BE PLAYING FOOTBALL IN A STORE PEOPLE!  

All complaining aside, it was a fun job.  I enjoyed it.  It got my booty out of the house and gave me something to do.  I literally burned thousands of calories.  It kept me in shape.  I met some really great people.  But when I slept at night, I would fall into a coma.  With pig snores and all.  I had aches and pains that would rival the aches and pains that set in after an Iron Man competition. I think.  Because I’ve never actually competed in an Iron Man before.  I did do a 5k once and that hurt so I can only imagine.

Retail and I have parted ways forever, I’m afraid.  I gained some new life experiences, stories and friends.  It was short-lived but very memorable.  Thanks Retail Establishment.  It was fun.  See you on the other side.  I promise to leave before the lights do.