Monday, August 31, 2009

Living differently

In the last week that I’ve stayed at Lucy’s house, I have been doing a lot of observing. Digging around in her cupboards, searching for a dishrag, swearing and pondering how we all live.

It is all basically the same but so noticeably different. Like taking laundry out of the dryer and folding it right when it finishes. My mom does it. I do it. Aunt Marie doesn’t do it. Anna doesn’t do it.

Staying at Lucy’s house, I notice it. Staples of my house she doesn’t carry in hers. Things that I do automatically she does not.

Like her stove, for example. Lucy and I do not share the same Wipe The Stove Down After Each Use gene. While I’m pretty thorough when it comes to making sure that I haven’t left any splattered olive oil or bothersome crumbs behind, it is clear that she does not. Nothing disgusting, really. Just a difference.

I’m sure that there are things that I automatically do that puzzle others. For the life of me, however, I cannot pinpoint what those behaviors may be. Making the bed every morning, perhaps. (Or blogging details of my life and broadcasting them, via the internet, to complete strangers.)

Anna thought that I was a neat nick. And I was, when I lived with her. I couldn’t go to bed with dishes in the sink. Even exhausted, I would take the time to make sure that the sink was empty when she got home from work.

Living by myself – if I’m exhausted, and there are a few dirty dishes in the sink? I’ll overlook them. I’ll go to bed.

I’m fussy by nature. Especially fussy when others are around. Because I’m considerate, I think, not because I’m putting up a front.

Well, maybe a tiny bit of a front.

I’ll be honest: I like projecting Holly Housewife.

But I also like Holly Housewife's house. The one with the beds made. With no crumbs on the counter or clothes on the floor.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Above the shoulders

This is the shortest my hair has ever been.

I thought my hairdresser was going to faint when I told her that I was ready to cut it short(er). "I've been wanting to do that for so long!"

While she was cutting, my hairdresser kept telling me how much time my new cut would save me in the mornings. It must've never occurred to me to tell her that I slap a little gel into my post-shower hair and show up at work with a wet head.

The haircut isn't going to save me time. But it will save me from going out into the arctic winter air with wet hair. It will also force me to learn how to use a blow dryer.

I'll post a picture later in the week. Once I figure out how to style it. And hopefully once I decide that I like it. At this point, I'm on the fence. It feels matronly. Sometimes. And cute. Sometimes. And blah. Occasionally.

Here's what I'm sure of: I'm going to save a ton of money on conditioner and styling products.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Perk of the job

My job has recently involved an increased number of young, rich, attractive professional athletes buzzing around in my atmosphere.

It is a temporary arrangement of AWESOME.

I really have nothing to do with them.

However. For the record. The cocky swagger of the professional athlete is pretty much the hottest thing ever.

When I am a hot librarian, I will sincerely miss these boys. More specifically, I will miss their asses.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I don't consider myself picky

Yesterday, Brandy at It’s like I’m ...mmmagic blogged about her heartbreakers. Otherwise known as dealbreakers. Otherwise known as Signs You Should Run.

I’m not really sure that I should’ve given the topic so much thought. Or started writing mine down. Or continued to write mine down. Because now I’m not sure if I’m picky or just really good at writing lists. (Possibly both?)

1. Being weirded out/intimidated by my athleticism
2. Inability to keep up with the sarcastic/humorous element of my personality
3. Lack of appreciation for family
4. Refusal to eat the goodies that I bake
5. Blanket arrogance
6. Failure to show passion towards a hobby, goal, pursuit, desire
7. Dislike/indifference towards travel
8. Poor hygiene, especially oral
9. Dislike or fear of babies and children
10. Inability to write a complete, coherent sentence
11. Constant, heavy, regular, immature binge drinking (functional alcoholism, I suppose)
12. Excessive moodiness
13. Maintaining the eating habits of a small child: a diet restricted to soda, chicken fingers and fries or something of the like
14. Excessive moodiness

You’ll notice that living/working in Europe for 2/3 of the year is not on the list.

One of these days, I’ll make a Habits, Fondnesses, Offensivities, Personalitisms and Other Ridiculousness Not Covered By Real Words Watch List. You know: what will raise my eyebrows but won’t immediately eliminate your eligibility.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Simplicity

The Groomsman will not be attending the Super Fun Wedding Party Picture/Video Viewing Bash of the Century.

I felt only a slight disappointment when reading that news. (From the bride, not from him.) Yes, the event would be more fun with a cute boy to look at/flirt with. But I'm not certain that mixing with a boy who dropped me like yesterday's news would do much for me.

Except distract me from The Athlete.

Which is, of course, exactly what The Athlete did when I was smitten with him.

I am a very simple creature.

For other examples of my simplicity, please see:
-Pleasure derived from finishing first season of Gossip Girl on DVD.
-Feeling of failure because Lucy's dog, Wolf, hates me (still).
-Happy dance performed after successfully removing Mom's birthday cake from the Bundt pan.
-Counting of the number of times a coworker used a deviation of "fuck" in a phone conversation with me today (11, for the record).
-Extreme happiness felt for my sister when she relayed that her program suggested that students come to class in sweatpants.
-My newly acquired Lady Gaga and Britney Spears CDs.

Maybe I shouldn't mention that these all happened today?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Big Move

Emma. Emma is at college.

Emma is away at college, living in her teeny tiny dorm room with her teeny tiny roommate. Her posters are on her wall. Her shoes are stacked in the bottom of her closet.

Moving her in was not as painful or as difficult as I had anticipated it would be. I expected more fighting. More bickering. More "you know what, Dad? You're really pissing me off." And more "Emma, you better show more respect."

There was a little of that. But I expected much more.

I drove her down in my car. Her parents took another vehicle. This was part of my strategic plan. Keep them apart as long as possible. I must say - it was a good move. We left early. Stopped for coffee and breakfast.

She was pretty calm, honestly. She worried -- but she always worries. "My roommate isn't going to like me," she repeated over and over again. "I'm just nervous about my roommate."

Her roommate? She seemed fine. Fine and unprepared. When she got to the room, we were nearly finished putting all of Emma's things away. The roommate came with four family members. A television. Some towels. A box that I presumed contained her clothes. And that is it.

(Thank goodness for older family members, right? That poor thing was wildly unprepared.)

We made it through the unload and unpack process fairly painlessly. It helped that my uncle was traveling back and forth from the car to Emma's fourth-floor room nearly the entire time. Aunt Marie was doing her best to help (she still isn't very mobile or strong). And I was helping, while trying to direct Emma to what I thought was best without telling her outright. (She wouldn't react well if she thought she was being bossed around.)

We had lunch. I drove us all to a cute little restaurant in the downtown restaurant. Just the type of place my aunt and uncle like to eat at, it turns out. Luck of the draw. I had Key Lime pie for dessert.

And then there was shopping. Emma needed food. And a few other things she'd forgotten. "We'll just run in," I told her parents. "You guys stay out here." Aunt Marie was clearly exhausted. My uncle could stay with her, right?

Wrong.

"You know, I think I'll come in," he said. He said it even though Emma had started getting snotty with him in the car.

No. He said it BECAUSE Emma had gotten snotty with him in the car.

At that point? I wanted to smack him.

Emma was two hours away from being independent. Is this really a time to exert your power? Really? And don't pretend like you're coming to help. I know you've been to a grocery store less than 30 times in your life.

Ugh. The games that their family plays. RIDICULOUS. Oh, I was so pissed. Seriously. Back the fuck off, dude. Do it for Emma (you really don't need to fight with her before you leave) and DO IT FOR ME. Can't you see how much easier I've made this day?

So bloody irritating.

But we made it through.

And my aunt and uncle went back up to Emma's room to tell her goodbye.

I stayed a bit longer. Wanted to make sure that her internet was hooked up. Wanted to make sure she was comfortable. Wanted to be there to take her elsewhere if we'd forgotten anything.

Finished up quickly. Gave her a hug and a kiss goodbye.

Every time I've seen her number on my caller ID since she's moved (she has called three times - only one of which she sounded on the edge of a breakdown), I hold my breath.

She's going to call and be upset. It is in her nature. And it is in my nature to try to talk her through it. (Though, honestly, it never does much good.)

I can't stop those phone calls. I'll never be able to stop those phone calls.

But I can hope that they're vastly outweighed by the others. By the ones like the call I received last night. "I don't feel like I live here," she told me, breathlessly. "It feels like I'm away at summer camp. Summer camp with homework."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Being an auntie

Lucy is in Israel for two weeks.

Chet, her husband, has been there for two weeks. He will be there for two more.

When Lucy left today, I took over care of their puppy. And their house.

Problem: the dog hates me.

But first there was another problem.

Lucy was booked on a flight set to depart on Saturday night. She did not depart Saturday night. It was not Delta's fault. It was her own fault. Her passport was expired.

HER PASSPORT WAS EXPIRED.

She realized it at 7:00 pm on Friday. After all of the passport offices were closed. And not just closed for the day, my friends, closed for the weekend.

There was panic. First, she thought she could express her passport in and have it returned in 24 hours. And since she thought that would work, she booked a flight for Monday.

Oh. But the 24 hour turnaround? Not on the weekend.

The Monday flight was already booked.

"Chicago," I said. "Doesn't everyone who needs a passport right away go to Chicago?"

Turns out that there are offices where you can get same day passports in Detroit and Chicago. Lucy booked appointments at each. The earliest she could get a Detroit appointment? Friday. The earliest for Chicago? Wednesday.

"I'm going to go to the office first thing on Monday morning," she told me. "I'm going to play dumb. And hopefully they'll process me."

She knew that it was doubtful. "If they don't, Chet will come home a week early and we'll do something here."

And somehow - only Lucy could do this - she ended up with a passport by noon. And was on a plane to Israel by 7.

Now back to the dog. Wolf. That little stinker. He hates me. He won't come out of his crate. He looks at me with these suspicious eyes. "I know what you did to my parents," his eyes say, "and you won't get away with this!"

(The neighbor kids watched him for a few hours sometime last week and he wouldn't come out from underneath a bush for 8+ hours. Apparently he's a little shy.)

This should be interesting. Will I be able to get him out of his crate and into my car and off to doggy day care tomorrow morning? Will he go for a walk? Willingly? Without staring forlornly back at the house?

I'll keep you all updated.

I'm hopeful, though.

If Lucy can get a passport in 3 hours anything can happen.

Coming soon...

-How Lucy almost missed out on her two week vacation to Israel (but instead left two days late).
-Recap: move-in day with Emma
-Even More Cousin Drama! (This time featuring Danielle.)
-The grand completion of my summer soccer season.
-Bridezilla’s post-wedding photo/video viewing session. Will I go? Will I see The Groomsman? Will I care?
-Choppin’ off my hair. Tonight at 5:30 pm.
-How everything comes back to The Athlete.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The buffer

Tomorrow is a big day.

Tomorrow I move Emma to college.

I am going as a buffer. Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that Emma needs a buffer, from her parents, from herself. It is my job to keep her from spewing vicious hatred at her parents. To keep her from psyching herself out. And to move the occasional box. I’m not all that strong. But I’m not there to be a pack mule. I’m there to pretend to be a pack mule while I hide my real intentions.

It is a covert mission.

I’m excited for Emma. Emma is not excited for Emma. “I’m going to hate it there,” she says. “I don’t want to go to college. I hate Ohio.”

That’s the right attitude to have, right?

Her attitude is why I am, understandably, a little bit nervous. She doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to big changes. Her coping skills are lacking.

It will go one of two ways.

1. This is preferred. Emma makes friends. She puts up with her school work. She learns how to live with a roommate. She joins a few clubs. She decides she loves college. She stays.
2. She calls me in a tizzy every night. She treats her roommate like she treats her family. She refuses to cope. Maybe she refuses to take her medication, too. She threatens to drop out. And perhaps she does. This is not preferred, but not entirely unexpected.

I hope that Emma surprises me. I hope that her transition is effortless. I hope that college is the best time of her life. I hope that she joins the club swimming team or works at the rec center or finds a nice boyfriend or falls into the perfect course of study. I hope that she doesn’t need to call me because she’s panicked. But I hope that she calls me when she is.

She’s a pain in my ass. But she’s been through a lot of bullshit in her life. She deserves to love being away at school. She deserves to excel.

I wonder if she’ll allow herself to.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Odd things that happened today

1. I was asked "have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs test?" And I have, but I honestly don't recall what type I fell into. "You're definitely an E," I was told.

E is extrovert. Here's what Wikipedia says about the attitudes portion (introvert v. extrovert) of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

People who prefer extroversion draw energy from action: they tend to act, then reflect, then act further. If they are inactive, their level of energy and motivation tends to decline. The extravert's flow is directed outward toward people and objects, and the introvert's is directed inward toward concepts and ideas. There are several contrasting characteristics between extroverts and introverts: extroverts are action-oriented and desire breadth, while introverts are thought-oriented and seek depth. Extraverts often prefer more frequent interaction, while introverts prefer more substantial interaction.


I don't think I'm an extrovert.
I actually think that I am a very strong introvert. But I can turn on the extrovert in certain situations. Where I am comfortable. Or when I'm in a smaller group. In this situation, I was in a smaller group.

The same woman later asked me if I blog.

And I admitted that I do.

A personal blog, I told her when she asked me what I blogged about.

I've never admitted to blogging before.

Thankfully she didn't ask for a link.

Because this all happened at a job interview.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What is potentially a mess

My boss is the president of the organization that both of his daughter's teams play for. He started it, actually, with his BFF. Who happens to be the president of our company, too. (My boss is the VP.)

Anyway. His daughters are a few years apart, so there are two age groups (and, thus, two teams) between them.

Well, Boss was stuck between a rock and a hard place in the springtime. A coach left the organization. They were without a coach for one team. One day, he says to me, "would Meg be interested in coaching?"

And that is how my life got just a little more inbred. My sister coaches with my boss.

Oh, and then she asked my dad to be an assistant coach.

Boss is opinionated. Opinionated and sarcastic. He has a really strong sense of what is right and he isn't shy to tell you what that is. He's also a really decent mentor, not to mention a former collegiate and professional athlete. I knew that, if Meg were interested in doing any coaching in the future, this would be a great place for her to start. He's good at coaching. She would learn a lot.

It is a really weird thing, hearing Meg's name come out of Boss's office. (He's always shooting the shit about youth sports.) And thinking about them hanging out together at a tournament on a weekend. And when she interrupts our conversation with "oh, that's Boss, I better go."

So far, it has been a good experience for Meg.

It has not been such a good experience for my dad.

Who strongly, strongly dislikes my boss. "He doesn't let Meg run any drills," he bitches after they have a combined practice. "And I don't think that he even knows my name."

Today it was, "he breaks the girls up into different stations, and each coach runs a station. He doesn't let me run a station. And I am THE BEST COACH OUT THERE."

Now, I love my dad. Absolutely adore him. But he has no coaching experience. I have an ever-so-small doubt that he's the best coach out there.

"And he's sarcastic. Really sarcastic. One of these days, I'm going to give it back to him."

OMG, DAD. PLEASE FUCKING DON'T. He probably doesn't know your name because nobody told it to you. And you probably don't run your own station because he doesn't know if you're any good at coaching. And he's a sarcastic motherfucker. I'm sorry, but he is and you're just going to have to put up with it. You get used to it. You might even like it one day.

So incredibly awkward.

I'm calling the head coach - who happens to be my sister - to intervene.

Monday, August 17, 2009

An Open Letter To My Hot Bod

Dearest Body of Mine,

We make a good fit. A little stronger than we look. Weak in areas that we're careful to hide. I think that you, my outside, largely fits my insides.

I'm sorry that I'm not entirely happy. And I'm sorry that I won't likely ever be entirely happy. But I do my best.

Thank you for being so easy to care for. I know that I have it easy. The consistency of your weight is ridiculous. Your metabolism is a joy. Health wise, we've had only a few minor slips on an otherwise perfect record. Can we keep it that way? I like knowing my doctors on a very superficial level.

For your sake, I wish I'd discovered yoga years before I did. Likewise, I wish I would take it more than I do. Thanks for not being too unbearable with the post-exercise stiffness and pain. Although I wouldn't mind doing away with it entirely, if you have the option of such.

Next week: eyebrow wax and haircut. I promise.

And one day, I'll feel secure enough in my finances to significantly boost the number of pedicures we get per year. When that day comes, it will be so bloody fabulous that I may do a back handspring. (Oh, right. We don't know how to do that.)

I don't always treat you like I should. That huge, purple, throbbing knot on the outside of my left ankle? I'm going to ignore it tomorrow and play in my soccer game anyway. Thank you in advance for your support.

Oh, and the sugar. I know. I'm working on it. One day soon, I'm going to forget about the massive stash of gummy butterflies in my desk and we're going to be a better working machine because of it.

One day I'm also going to jack up the water intake and stick to it. Despite running to the bathroom every 10 minutes. (Is there something we can do about that? I have no problem with the water, honestly. But I do have a problem with the incessant peeing.)

I like that you reflect equal parts mom and dad. It isn't so bad, having skin that doesn't tan. And, while my nose came with a slightly pointed end, I will appreciate its positive points: it works well for Halloween costumes and if I were to ever end up in a fight, I could probably take someone's eye out with it.

Thank you for all that you do.
Thank you for all that you don't do.
Thank you for putting up with my abuse.
And the occasional put down.

I know that I'm lucky. Even when my legs feels huge and my chest looks flat.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Slightly below average

What a weekend.

What a weekend to try to write about.

It was uneventful. I spent a lot of it in my car. I worked. I skated. I spent time with Emma, who demands more attention than I could ever give her.

I worked on the scarf that I started knitting with The Athlete in mind. I doubt that I will ever give it to him.

I saw a movie with Lucy. It was lovely, though our time together was a little too short. And our conversation somewhat too focused on Colleen.

Had coffee with Ashley. I was tired. I didn't want to go. I went anyway.

There was a trip to Target.

I lost my keys. I found my keys.

Not an exciting weekend. Not an eventful weekend.

Yet I feel strangely satisfied.

I might be confusing satisfaction and exhaustion.

Friday, August 14, 2009

305 days ‘til departure

Oh, did I not blog yesterday? Sorry! It seemed to have completely slipped my mind. My mind that is consumed with all things South Africa 2010.

OMG, you guys. I am having SO MUCH FUN spending all of this time and effort and cash money planning this trip. I’ll just apologize now for my incessant babbling about it for the next 305 days. Oh, if something falls through, ya’ll should just quit reading for six months because I will be broken.

I found the cutest little B&B for us to stay in. I’m mildly obsessed with it. But afraid to book, because the whole accommodation ordeal is a gong show. There is so much to take into account: location, safety, price, travel to/from the airport and games, internet access (obviously!) so that I can blog about every second of every day like the maniac that I am.

Also The Really Cute B&B is offering some day tours, which really fires me up. I am obviously all about the soccer, but I’m all about getting a taste of the destination, too.

So that is what is tap dancing at the top of my mind these days. Other things occupying my time, effort and energy include: embracing my inner bookworm, working out somewhat fiendishly (more on this later), worrying about my cousin Danielle (also more on this) and trying to figure out how and when I’m going to use the 13 vacation days that I’ll lose as of January 1.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Love Letters

Dear Cuteish Boy In Yoga Class,

Maybe you should bring your own mat next time? Or lay off the yoga, if you're such a germaphobe. I must admit, however, watching you scrub at the gym-issued mat with no less than 10 wipes made waiting for class awfully entertaining.


Self,

The amount of food you consume? Really? I understand that usually you don't have time for lunch at work (making up for it by snacking all. day. long.) but maybe the two dinners is a bit much?



Dear Lady Who Sharpens My Skates,

Your hours sort of suck right now. As does your location in relation to my office. Trust me when I say that, if I had any way of holding off a few more weeks (or months, I'd be doing so.


Dear Twitter,

I can't help but wonder how long you'll continue to hold my attention.



The Athlete,

If you'd like to invite me to Europe, I'd like to take you up on the offer.


Dear Company That Is So Fortunate As To Employ Me,

Reducing time off in addition to the 4% in pay? Really?



Dear Gossip Girl,

Season 2 available on DVD as of next Tuesday? Come to momma.


Dear Hiring Managers Everywhere,

I was excited to get email confirmation of an application this week. That's how brutal you people are. I'm sorry to generalize. I know that you get an astounding number of applicants jobs. Be decent. Send rejection letters. Acknowledge that people exist.



Dear Ashley,

I would like you tell you my opinion on your slutty friend. I think you might have some idea. But, really. Honestly. We need to talk.


Dear Workweek,

Stop with the dragging.



Dear Sleep,

I don't think I'll ever love anyone the way that I love you. How is it that I never tire of you? Never get sick of you? You are a mystery, sleep. A beautiful mystery.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More of the same

So this must be part of being an adult, all of this sameness. The repetition.

I don’t mind it, actually. I’m just noticing. For the past four years, I’ve skated on Sunday mornings. For the past five years, I’ve played soccer on Sunday nights in the summertime. Sunday nights in the winter and fall are for hockey. Thursdays are for Grey’s Anatomy. Mondays suck at work. The gym is forever the gym. (Even when I go to different locations, it looks exactly the same.) In the fall, my dad goes to the orchard religiously. For Christmas Eve, we go to Aunt Annette’s house. I have German Chocolate Cake for my birthday.

I like routine. I’m not looking for a life that is insane. Where I don’t know what city I’ll be working in next week. Where playing soccer on Sunday nights in the summertime is impossible because my schedule is so chaotic. I don’t want that.

A little change, though. A little change would be nice. A new office to drive to every morning. The challenge of learning the politics of a new company. Playing indoor with a new soccer team. Getting to know a new group of friends.

Repetition is exhausting. And so incredibly easy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Reproduction

"You should know," Lucy said, "that Chet has baby fever."

We were in her kitchen. Colleen was slicing up bread. I was finishing a batch of brownies. Lucy was at the stove, carefully stirring cheese fondue.

"And so," she continued, "I will need one of you to get pregnant. I will not be the first of us to get pregnant."

It is preposterous, really, for Lucy to think that Colleen or I would be pregnant before her. She’s been married for nearly three years now. In that time, Colleen hasn’t had a steady boyfriend. And I wasted substantial time with Colin.

"Good luck with that," Colleen snorted. "I have a plan, you know. A husband, and some time before..."

"I’m in." I surprised myself, a little bit, with what I said. "You give me the green light and I’ll go ahead. Go a little wild, see what I can do."

There I was. Standing in Lucy's kitchen in my bare feet and my blue sundress. Offering to become a single parent in support of Lucy's aspirations to birth a baby into a stable, loving, two-parent household.

I'm a very good friend.

Who maybe hears the nagging tick of her biological clock, too.

"Why not?" I shrugged my shoulders, threw up my hands. "I'm convinced that my parents wouldn’t care if I came home knocked up. Not now. Not at my age."

I meant it. That they wouldn’t care. I’m sure there would be concern and worry – but nothing like if I’d come home pregnant at 16 or 18 or 19. There would be excitement.

And some neighborhood gossip about how my parents - with their perfect girls and their snobby educations and their enviable athletic talent - ended up with a bastard grandchild.

Colleen and Lucy agreed. Not about the neighborhood gossip. But about my parents. How they'd get over it. Surprised and overjoyed.

"Or you could just let me know, like, the second you got pregnant. I would go on a massive whorefest," I giggled. "And we could be pregnant together."

"Oh God," Lucy squealed. "Can you even imagine?"

We laughed. I pictured us, pregnant, in Lucy's kitchen. Making fondue.

Not that it is in my plans. Not that I'm having sex with anyone. Not that I could raise a baby on my own. Not that I'm particularly capable.

I was - and am - all talk.

The conversation was half amusement, half reality check.

Lucy and Chet aren't planning on starting a family until she's done with grad school. It will be a year. Maybe a year and a half.

But even that. Even that doesn't make it an option. I'm so far behind her.

I know that it isn't a race.

I know that I shouldn't compare.

But I do feel a little bit like I'm losing.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

On being an elephant

I'm willing to bet that I would be a bit better off if I didn't have this detailed, long memory.

I cleaned out my bedroom at Mom and Dad's yesterday. I'll never clear it of all of my belongings. But I made a dent.

The shirt I was wearing the first time Colin kissed me.
Ticket stubs - oh, they were everywhere. I could tell you who I went with. What we did before and after.
Trinkets from the post-high school roadtrips that Lucy and I so adored.
A Sweetest Day card from Colin tucked into a box.
Postcards from Lucy's trip to Thailand.
The captain's armband that I wore for soccer.

There is so much of it in my bedroom. Significantly less of it now, yes, but it is all stored in my head. I keep it all. I remember so much that I shouldn't.

I remember how The Athlete insists on eating a side dish with every meal. "Otherwise it is just a snack," he told me.

I remember which dress I wore to which wedding.

I remember that The Groomsman had gotten a new camera just before the wedding we were in together. He'd been at a baseball game a few weeks before and asked his cab driver to take a picture of him and his friends. The driver dropped the camera.

I remember when I say things that I shouldn't. When I embarrass myself. When I felt out of place.

I remember the name of my high school not-quite-boyfriend's dog, even though I'm quite certain that I never met it.

I remember exactly how people hurt me. The careless insult that hurt more than I let on. The failed plans. The email that wasn't returned.

There are times that my memory is an asset. Absolutely.
But I'm not quite sure that it does me all that much good. Not with the dial turned this high.

Friday, August 07, 2009

From the barefoot files

My boss has been out of the office most of the day. You know what that means? I am currently sitting at my desk wearing no shoes.

It also means that I finished up the required essays for that job application and popped that sucker in the mail. I finished up another job application last night, too, and also sent that on its merry way.

I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels a little bit, when it comes to the job search. Thankfully, I’ve had a busy summer. Boys to distract me. Soccer to keep me busy. Weddings to attend. A trip to plan. Books to read. I’m trying not to completely obsess. Getting a job is important, obviously. But I can’t apply for jobs that don’t exist. Patience. I’m trying to remember to exercise patience.

I have a feeling that patience will be in short supply come November, when it gets cold and dreary and work gets monotonous and I have to start paying my student loans. At least I’ll have new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy to drown my sorrows in.

***

Plans for the weekend include golfing, skating, soccer, finishing up the book I’m reading and an evening at Lucy’s house with my lovely and talented friends. We’re making fondue and sitting on the patio. The evening will likely feature Colleen bitching about how she is going to spend her entire life alone, planning for our September road trip and spontaneous dancing to our favorite music of the 1980s.

We have to soak up all the Lucy we can. She’s leaving soon for two weeks with Chet’s family in Israel. I’m staying with their sweet little puppy in their cute little house while they’re gone.

I’m sometimes jealous of Lucy’s life. The husband and the house and the dog. Like she’s already found what I’m furiously chasing after.

***

I’m turning into a bit of a golf junkie. I’ve played a bit this summer with my dad and Meg. Surprisingly, I’m improving. I have progressed beyond Completely Fucking Awful and can now be classified as Pathetically Bad.

Dad bought Meg and I a series of lessons with one of the golf pros at his country club.

I am all about getting good at this game. It is a good social sport. You can play it your whole life. It has a stellar man: woman ratio.

And – the ultimate inspiration, for little heartsick me: I keep thinking about how fun it would be to go golfing with The Athlete when he gets home from Europe in the springtime.

***

While we’re on the subject of The Athlete.

He’s still in Europe. I’m still here. It still sucks.

I sent him an email on Monday – work related, actually – and I got a few text messages in return. It was nice to hear from him. I’m not going to push it. I realize that he’s busy. Readjusting. Getting prepared for his new season. I’ll give it some time.

I don’t expect to hear from him every day. Or every week.

That isn’t to say that I wouldn’t like to.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Goin' with my gut

I booked the tickets to South Africa.

(SQUEAL!)

I quite nearly booked our accommodations and transfers to/from the airport and matches, too. But then I looked at the bottom line, nearly had an anxiety attack and wimped out. The travel agent that I was going through – he seemed great and knowledgeable. And really, really expensive. I couldn’t pull the trigger.

I might’ve done it had that 4% wage reduction not hit me in the pocketbook yesterday. It isn’t a terribly large amount of money (you’d actually have to make some dough to have 4% be all that substantial), but that combined with the huge chunkage of money I’d also be withdrawing from my savings account to cover what I needed to give the travel agent made me a bit woozy.

I’m going to go with that feeling in my gut, which is usually fairly accurate, and wait a bit. We’ll find somewhere to stay. We’ll find a way to get to/from games.

This might go horribly wrong and we’ll be forced to sleep on the streets of Johannesburg, but isn’t it great practice for turning down my neuroses?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The good, the bad, the eventful

I randomly checked flights to South Africa this morning. I've been looking somewhat regularly -- and flights always are in the $3,000 range. Which is a truly obscene amount of money. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the figure.

I check this morning. And flights are $1,800. Significantly less.

Amazing.

I would've booked right there, but I can't seem to get my sister's frequent flyer number. After a few phone calls, I'm pretty sure my dad is imagining this account.

In the meantime, I got pulled into a company-wide meeting. Employees are, across the board, being treated to a warm and fuzzy 4% pay cut.

Sweet.

I’m booking a plane ticket for an outrageously expensive trip. And my pay is being cut 4%. On the same day.

I’m still going ahead with the plane ticket.

And then: those essays.

I think a 4% reduction in wages and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to South Africa might be just the inspiration I need.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Dangerously close to tearing out my hair

I'm frustrated.

OhmygoshIamsofrustrated.

I'm just trying to apply for this job. A real one. Full time. We don't have many of those here, you know. In my line of work. (Or my intended line of work, I should say.) Ones that offer benefits and a salary in exchange for 40 hours a week of your time.

And, for whatever reason, it requires three short essays. Which seems a little ridiculous -- but I suspect that the reason is to give the search committee something besides a cover letter and a resume to go on when picking interviewees. And I'm normally a fairly decent writer/bullshitter. So this shouldn't be hard.

Except that it is.

Infinitely hard. I went to the library tonight to hammer out the essays and I came home with 127 words. Seriously.

I am so annoyed. I could have sworn that I wanted this job. That I had already jumped ahead to the part where I put in my resignation for my current position. Where my boss begged me to stay but, sorry, I had found the perfect fit. That also happens to pay me more money.

I thought that I wanted it.

But I'm certainly not producing like I do.

What is my problem?

Sometimes I get the feeling that I sabotage myself without even realizing it.

Except for this time. I realize it. And I'm going to overcome.

Stupid essays.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The summer so far

Relief.

That is what this summer has been about. A lot of relief.

Relief in that I am done with school. While I sailed through my program in a year and a half, the waters weren't always calm. And though I was so absorbed that I never fully noticed it, I was regularly worn quite thin.

It is just so nice to have the days stretch out in front of me. I leave work to tackle more work. I leave work to go to the gym. To stop at the grocery store. To talk on the phone with Lucy. To zone out on Facebook. To watch Gossip Girl on DVD.

Oh, and there's time to read! I forgot what it was like, honestly, reading what I want when I want. Even making time to dig in to issues of Rolling Stone as they arrive -- for the last year, I've largely ignored the fact that I have a lifetime subscription.

I've dabbled in a lot this summer. Two head-over-heels crushes. (Both of which materialized into nothing. We'll discuss that another time.) Golf. Friends. Planning a trip to South Africa. And another to Cleveland. Knitting. Skating. Sunning. Bar crawling.

I've had a good, healthy amount of everything. Nothing over the top. It is possible, I'm learning, to play soccer but not on three teams. To go to the gym but not every day. To socialize but not stay out late every night.

Apparently I do have the ability to turn myself - my endless drive - down a bit. It seems that perhaps I don't have to schedule every second. To do everything to be the best.

Consider it the lesson of the summer so far.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Possibly

Minding my business at Chet's birthday party tonight. Lucy and some random guy named Tim are standing a few feet away.

"This girl," he pointed at me. "This girl has to be the most innocent girl ever. I just met her, but I know."

I think she agreed.

And it isn't that I disagree. It's that I want to know what it was that I was projecting.
 
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