God bless me.

I had a really weird exchange with a woman at the coffeeshop tonight. She came in only a couple of times with a regular – her mother in law. The mother in law is really nice, but not overbearing. The daughter in law started coming in by herself on Monday nights to get a medium latte with vanilla and decaf. I knew her drink when she came in tonight and had it started when she walked in the door. You would have thought I paid her mortgage off or something. But then I’d already voided out her payment and put it on my tab at the store. When she handed me the cash to pay (and this lady looks like she can afford it, but she’s sooooo nice), I told her not to worry about it – we had it. She always pays when she comes in with her mother in law and they both make such a big deal about the father in law loving our store because another one they used to go to was apparently awful. We all know his drink and make chit-chat and some people just love that shit.
Well, this woman then literally gushed over me. I’ve never had anyone gush over or about me, so it was really embarrassing. I felt like I was rubbing my toe in the ground and saying “Aw, shucks.” The woman was just pleased as punch. And this is a term I imagine she uses often. Then she explained she’d had a rather bad day and had just gone to a bible study class (uh, oh) and things started looking up.
“You know, sometimes it’s the little things people do that they don’t realize brighten someone else’s day so much?” I agreed. “And it’s just nice to sit in awe and experience the glory . . . to just be with God and pray, you know?”
Of course, I didn’t say, “No.” I just nodded and smiled and started to feel really uncomfortable.
“It’s just such a blessing to have such thoughtful girls like you,” she said, nodding at Adrienne. “You really are a blessing. God bless you girls.”
Then she tried to hand me a twenty again and said, and I quote, “Are you sure you don’t want any payment for this?” ‘Any payment’? Who talks like that?
Oh, boy.
Well, I think I’ve created a monster. Adrienne said she thinks the woman acts like this because she was raised to be a perfect housewife and god-fearing Christian – Adrienne said she thinks the woman is insincere. I don’t know what she acts like when she’s at home. She could be a total bitch for all I know. But she’s always such a pleasant, nice person. It’s hard not to feel flattered by all her compliments and nice words. And while we apparently disagree tremendously, religiously, at least she appears to be a good Christian. Whatever that means.
But I really don’t want to get into any conversations with her about church.

Hierarchy of Order

After spending way too much time watching or flipping through daytime television shows lately, I’ve determined there is a certain order in which they are placed. At least, in my mind.
From lowest common denominator to top:

– Jerry Springer
– Maury Povich
– Good Day Live
– Texas Justice
– Judge Mathis
– Judge Joe Brown
– Judge Judy
– People’s Court
– Guiding Light
– All My Children
– Days of Our Lives
– Sharon Osbourne
– Regis & Kelly
– Ellen Degeneres
– Montel Williams
– Good Morning America
– Dr Phil
– Oprah

I hesitate to put Maury so low on the totem pole since I am a fan of the “results” shows, but he really is pretty trashy. Sorry, Maury. I also put Good Day Live so low because I really hate the people on it.

Ready to Move Again

We just started our first month at this new place in June, the end of May, and I’m already itching to move again. I can’t believe how much we pay for this place. At the time, we were ready to throw down the cash because we were sick of the ghetto and wanted to live on a quiet street. After seeing Traci and Medhane’s place (that’s a good $400 less than what we pay here), I’m overcome with jealousy.

I don’t want to believe that we made a poor choice in moving here, because it really is a great house and a nice street. But I can’t help but think that I was so sick of neighborhoods with bass booming out of car stereos 24 hours a day, bodies popping up here and there, and shitty neighbors that I just ran into a lease that was more than I could afford. Even with two housemates, we’re each struggling. I’m sad to say that I’ve found places of similar size in quiet neighborhoods that are much less expensive. It’s not the ritzy part of you-know-where (the area of town we live now usually makes people say, “Oh. Can you really afford that?”), but it is peaceful and cute and affordable. Double sigh.

But I couldn’t have known when we moved that I’d be going to Herron, or that I wouldn’t be working in Fishers. In fact, part of me wanted to look closer to that side of town, but because of Chad (she sneers) Kate didn’t want to move too far from his side of town. Ugh.

I need to stop second-guessing myself, but this house is almost too much for me to clean on my own. If I had more help with the serious stuff (I’ve never seen either of them so much as pick up a mop or rearrange a shelf – it’s all about a light sweeping or running the vacuum and they’ve done their part for the week), it wouldn’t be as difficult.

Anyway. I need to stop obsessing about it. We’re in a lease and we can’t get out. I’m sure we’ll find something supercute next May . . . I hope . . .

What Would Dr Phil Do?

In the mail today I received a letter from Charlie’s dad. It was an apology for all the things that he said almost four years ago. It’s been a long time coming.
At first, I was afraid to open it. I wasn’t in the mood to deal with drama and had been banging away at homework all day. When I finished all of my psych homework, I passed the letter on the kitchen table. Made some lunch, passed it again. This time I didn’t look at it. The third time I saw the letter, I finally decided to open it. It said exactly what I thought it would, but I couldn’t bring myself to really think about it. It’s been 1,475 days since he first started saying nasty things to me, and a little under that since I wrote him and his wife a three-page letter, asking for forgiveness for whatever I’d done wrong. I couldn’t figure out, exactly, what it was that made him call my dad a loser, or why he called me a “lying bitch,” but the last time Charlie saw him, he asked when I would be coming to another game. I guess Charlie said I wasn’t planning on it as long as his dad would be there. Honest, but brutal. His dad seemed a little hurt and said, “Well, I can sit far away and I won’t talk to her.”

It bothered me that he responded like that. I didn’t know what to say to Charlie. I don’t want him to think I “hate” his dad and I don’t want their relationship to be strained now that he’s finally reached out to apologize to me. But I also don’t know how I can ever forgive him for what he did. He said something in the letter about how he should have formed his own opinions and he was under the influence of other people. So he’s excusing his behavior by saying his ex-wife made him do it? No one forced him to say anything about my family, call me names, or call my house screaming at me. And any 65 year-old man that acts this way is certainly no friend of mine.

But for the sake of Charlie, I’m assuming I’m expected to pick up the ball and accept the apology, then we can all go back to being hunky-dory.

I can’t help but wonder what Dr Phil would say. I have to stop watching daytime television.

Dinner and Parking

On a sour note, I missed both my morning classes. I was all the way down to campus when I noticed my parking pass was missing. Without my knowledge, Kate had borrowed it on Saturday for the Irish Fest because she hadn’t wanted to pay for parking. She forgot to give it back. After talking to a couple of guys ticketing illegaly parked cars, I determined that I was one ticket away from having to pay fifty bucks a pop. I can’t really afford the two tickets I have. One was completely my fault – on the first day of classes I couldn’t find a spot anywhere, so I parked on hash marks and got a $15 ticket. Last week I accidentally parked in “B” parking, rather than “E” and got another $15 ticket. I can’t afford anymore and I’m not happy that I missed my classes as a result of someone forgetting to give back my pass.

But here’s some more pleasant stuff . . .
I had dinner last night with an interesting couple, Traci and Medhane. Traci I met while working at the publishing company. They also invited over Chris and Sherri. Sherry also works for the publishing company, which is how Traci met her.
I don’t know how Chris and Sherri met, exactly, but he is definitely an interesting character. He’s probably in his mid- to late fifties, tattooed, wearing crazy retro tan shoes with dark brown diamonds on them. He had on a wife-beater and, over that, a Hawaiian print cotton button-down.
Standing in the kitchen while Traci and Medhane traded the apron back and forth and worked on butternut squash soup with goat cheese (delish), I realized I was the shortest person in the room by a good 6 inches. Traci might be around 5’6″ or 5’7″ but she seems a lot taller than that. Her husband is close to six feet, Charlie is over six feet, and both Sherri and Chris had a few inches on the latter two men. I felt like a little kid standing in the Adults’ Kitchen, rather than a thirty year-old woman having dinner with some friends.
The chicken was wonderful, as well. Sauteed with tomatoes, cilantro, and lime, it was juicy, tangy and sweet. For dessert we had an African coffee I’d brought as a housewarming, and a chocolatey creme brulee. They even broke out the old torch (I don’t know what those things are called, but they look dangerous, especially in Medhane’s drunk hands). It was almost too sweet, but just sweet enough, smooth and super creamy.
All in all, it was really a wonderful experience. The dinner was extraordinary, the conversation was lots of fun, and it was interesting to meet these two new people with whom we had a blast.
I would definitely love to get to know both the couples and all of the people better, but I’m afraid we don’t have the space to eat dinner with four other people. We can barely fit four at our table now. I told Charlie we need a new dining room table. In fact, I’m going to go look at them online now.
We also need lots of other new things because my stuff sucks. Traci and Medhane’s house is simple but fun and has all kinds of adorable little nooks, crannies, and personal touches the previous owners put in: mosaic tile on the back porch, a modern-looking scene painted on the front porch, built-ins with stained glass, built-ins separating the dining and living areas, a fireplace, painted walls.
I covet!

Strip clubs and psych tests.

Next test I got 24 out of 25. Not terrible, but not perfect. I also have to revise a four page paper by Tuesday for English.

Around the middle of next week I should learn if I get the job on campus or not. My manager at the part time gig has screwed up my schedule again. This time she's got me opening one Saturday till noon, then going back in the next day to close. She really needs to figure out how to rotate people so no one has to work a full weekend. But, you see, the reason we have to this is so that she can have the entire weekend off.
That Saturday I open I've been invited to a former co-worker's bachelorette party. I've never been to one, but I have been to a few bachelor parties.

By the way, I really despise them. I don't want to be sexist here, guys, but how many women do you know slept with a male stripper the night before their wedding? I've never heard of that happening to any female I know, but I've heard a lot more the other way around.
It's not that I'm opposed to the parties, but when it comes to friends or someone I know well, it irritates me that they would go out of their way to get lap dances and drool over cheap floozies – and PAY for it! – when they're a few hours away from getting married. My theory is that this is not, in fact, your “last night of freedom.” Your last night of freedom was the evening before you proposed to that young lady whose name you've forgotten as the 38 double-D's smelling of baby powder are being pushed into your face.
So, why women allow their fiance's the opportunity to get shit-faced and tug at g-strings is really beyond me. Isn't the point of getting married that all that stuff was out of your system a long time ago and NOW you're ready to settle down?
And what about this whole ball-and-chain business? I think of it as being really archaic and offensive to the woman. Dressing up a man in a prison uniform as if he's getting ready to throw his life away. Maybe these people should think a bit harder as to whether or not they're really interested in getting married?
Sometimes when I'm out on a Saturday night and I see a group of twelve men (or boys) howling and punching one another, it scares me a little bit. People can get so out of control and they seem to think that a bachelor party is an excuse for everyone to act like a complete moron.
Maybe I'm just a grumpy old woman, but I don't get it.

Montel, Oprah, Dr Phil

I think part of the reason that I'm doing so well in my classes is that I'm not spending all my other time stuck in front of a computer, squinting and getting tension headaches from editors and page layout supervisors making me feel stupid. I was guiltily enjoying a particularly dramatic episode of Dr Phil (are any of them not dramatic?) and got up during a commercial to go have a cigarette. While I was outside, I made a mental grocery list and was struck by the pure enjoyment of sitting outside, no one else being home, and it was only 3:30 in the afternoon. I don't think I'm always as positive a person as I should be, but I'm definitely grateful for this opportunity, to be able to go to school full time, and to only have to work part time.
Now, if we could only fix it so I don't have to work at all . . .

Of course, I could also be doing well because I'm almost 30, have a good 11 years on 99% of my classmates, a but more life experience, and the desire to study and do well. Also, they're freshman classes. So not too hard.

Why does Oprah have to have Barry Manilow on the show? Who knew that so many white, 27 year-old housewives loved him so much? Aren't they my age? And don't women my age listen to classic stuff like the Go-Gos and Duran Duran? Donna Summer, Madonna, and Run DMC, that's what I grew up on. Not goofy f-er Barry Manilow.

Good News For People Who Love Bad News

Today in psychology I noticed a cute, pert young thing sidle up next to me and sit down. This is the second time in as many weeks that I’ve noticed her do this. It’s also the second time since last Thursday that I’ve noticed a classmate do this.
And it’s not because we’re good friends, have a single thing on common, or like to chat. It’s because these kids have gotten through life on looks and perkiness alone. I, on the other hand, have to apply myself by wearing makeup and sucking in my gut when attempting to find a mate.
Last week it was this kid who carries around a leather-bound bible and disrupts the class with two other boys who think they’re incredibly clever. This week it was a girl who would probably turn her nose up at me if we passed one another on the street.
The guy asked me about the chapters we were supposed to have read, what we were doing in class, what the instructor was asking of us to be turned in this week. The girl in psych didn’t ask me much. In a way, I felt bad because neither of these kids was prepared for class. On the other hand, it’s college. We’re all paying to go here (well, I am, anyway), so I don’t particularly care to spend class time going over what other people don’t know, and assisting them to be prepared when it’s their own fault.
I’m also completely thrilled that the obnoxious kid (part of the gaggle from english that thinks they’re hilarious) emailed my entire class to tell us not to worry — he’ll be back tomorrow. And I was really beginning to enjoy the peace and quiet.

If you remember car trips with your parents as Billy Joel and Elton John played in the background but also like listening to more modern music like Air and Daft Punk, you may enjoy Scissor Sisters. They’re a throwback with a techno touch. I really enjoy their self-title debut. Just FYI.
The funny part is that the amazon.com page I hit with that album recommends buying this one in conjunction with Franz Ferdinand . . . Kate and I made that very purchase at Target on Saturday. Although I wouldn’t really compare the two. At the bottom of that page are all the CDs I either want now or want nothing to do with. Modest Mouse, Air’s new one, Keane, Wilco, Hives . . .

Fancy KFC and Taco Bell in one!

I got home not too long ago from dinner with Marshall. I ended up getting stuck in traffic in Indy and not making it all the way to Cincinnati. By the time he was getting off work, I’d been on the road for almost 45 minutes but was still quite a ways away. We met at a Taco Bell (of all places), ate a little, then chatted for an hour or so, and went our separate ways. It sucked to go all the way out there and not really be able to spend that much time together. I’m not sure when we’ll have that much time, with the kid, and our significant others not really being friends . . .
I’ve known Marshall for years and years but we always seem to be passing one another. First he was in Michigan then I was on the north side, then he moved to the north side and I went back to the old stomping grounds. Then I came back to Indy and he moved to Florida. Then I moved to Florida and he moved to small hick town outside of the Ohio/Indiana/Kentucky border. Now I’m back in Indy and he’s still out there. It sucks.
He’s one of those people who always makes me laugh, no matter what. He’s really clever and witty, but he always seems a little unhappy. I want to fix things and make him happy, but I don’t know if I can.

Anyway. I just found out my dad’s birthday gift was delivered to the wrong address. Thanks, Charlie! ARGH! The bastards that live at 307 – you know who you are – take it back to 304 where it belongs!!

Strangers attack me, I have a nice weekend anyway.

We had a pretty nice weekend except for the fact that I’m paranoid I’ll miss my psych test’s closing date – tomorrow at 4pm.
On Saturday we spent the day laying around, watching TV, cleaning, and I did some shopping. Saturday night we had a lovely dinner with Traci from my old full-time job, and her husband Medhane. Andy and Amy also came. I got quite trashed by the end of the night. One of those drunks where I thought my head kept popping off and floating around me. I was really woozy. Woke up at 6:30am thinking I was going to barf, but I didn’t.
Got back up at 11am Sunday morning, showered, and headed out to my parents’ house in Lafayette. We had a yummy dinner: salmon with a cheesy reduction, olive bruschetta, endive salad, dirty rice with beans (lima?), and a raspberry, strawberry, and banana over chocolate and real whipped cream. I noticed my mom kind of just picked at her plate, which was frustrating, because I wanted her cheesy sauce not wasted but on MY plate. Charlie, of course, was in heaven.
We talked about the difference between existentialism, nihilism, objectivism, and some other -isms. I ended up looking them up in the dictionary then sending my dad specific definitions. I had existentialism way wrong. I was looking at it from the terms of Camus’s “The Stranger” and made it out more like nihilism or . . . you know, what’s his face . . . Nietzsche. I’m spelling it wrong, I’m sure.
Then, today, we had an impromptu cookout. Just a few people came over, had burgers, hot dogs, and beer. It was very nice and relaxed.
But I really, really, really need to take my test tomorrow.
Oh, and I just found out I’m allowed to drop the freshman seminar course. But I’ll only be reimbursed 50-75% percent for it. Still — yay!

I’m probably heading out near Cinci Wednesday night to have dinner with Dana. I got royally chewed out by one of his listeners last night. I was trying to figure out why I hadn’t heard anything from him in a while and was looking at his website which, apparently, has a message board. As a joke, I posted “Call your friends. We worry about you.” Partially because I wanted him to call me, and partially because I saw a note he’d posted to a concerned listener asking where he was. He’d stated that he had taken 2 weeks off for “personal business.”
Why the hell hadn’t he come out and seen me or had me come out in all that time? I wondered.
So, after my joke message board post, I got an email saying someone had responded. “If you’re really his ‘friend,'” the listener wrote, “why don’t you just call him instead of leaving personal notes in his WORK messages??!! I’m really sure he’d appreciate that.”
Whoa. Sorry.
He said I handled it well. I had just said I was sorry and I would go ahead and give him a call. He said he didn’t even know who this person was. Most of the listeners who post messages he’s met a handful of times, but this chick just came out of the blue. I thought it was funny, if unnecessary.