This morning as my shift was ending, I upset one of my coworkers. He seemed genuinely offended. I want to tell you the story, but of course I want to protect his anonymity, so I’ll just call him “Delicate Flower”.
It began as a conversation between Delicate Flower, and a regular guy on the day shift. I’ll call him “Regular Guy”.
Delicate Flower: I’m taking vacation tonight and tomorrow, so I’ll have 5 days off.
Regular Guy: Where are you going?
Delicate Flower: I’m not going anywhere, I’m just going to be off two extra days.
Pollyanna: you’re going to what two extra days?
[I didn’t think anything else was necessary at this point, but no one was laughing so maybe I was too subtle]
Delicate Flower: I’m going to BE OFF two extra days.
Pollyanna: Ohhh, BE off.
[Regular Guy laughs]
Now, Delicate Flower likes to joke as much as anyone. His favorite joke is of the “gotcha” variety. He pretends something is true, then when you believe him, he laughs. Not what I call high comedy, but I’ve gotten used to it. So when he seemed to be angry with me over my little joke, naturally I thought he was faking. So I laughed more. Looking back, I don’t think he was faking, after all. I tried to apologize, but it probably would have sounded more sincere if I could have had a few minutes to compose myself first. I’ll be honest… I’m still giggling.
So now, living in the kinder, gentler times that we do, I can’t help thinking there’s a real possibility that one day next week I will find myself sitting in a private conference room in Human Resources. And there, with my matronly boss beside me, I’ll have to retell my little masturbation joke. And while I haven’t had any experience with this sort of thing, I’m guessing they expect you not to laugh in those meetings… and that, I fear, will be too much to ask of me.
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When I woke up today, I found two posts on my long distance, online, pretend boyfriend’s Facebook page. The first was a link to the Pearl Jam song, Better Man. I decided to read through the rest of his page before I made any comments.
The next post was a story about a man who got arrested for chasing a bear. It included this bit of wisdom: Getting drunk and chasing bears through the woods with a dull hatchet is “strongly not advised.”
At first, the advice about the bear seemed unnecessary. If you’re drunk enough and foolish enough to chase a bear with a hatchet, you’re not going to listen to anybody anyway. But then I realized, this was more than it appeared to be. This wasn’t just a story about a drunk and a bear. This was a sign. This was The Powers that Be warning me, “don’t comment about the Pearl Jam song!”.
My mail order Zoloft finally arrived, two months late. I didn’t off myself or anybody else; I didn’t wreck my car, or have ill-advised sex with a stranger. I didn’t quit my job or yell at my boss. One could say that my crazy pills arrived in time.
On the other hand, I did begin a minor fling with a young… very young… fellow from work. That can’t have been a good
idea. I’m hoping he doesn’t find “sane” me as appealing as crazy me, and he’ll just quietly go away.
I’m going to miss crazy me. Life on the roller-coaster is amazing when you’re on the ascent. I’ll miss singing and dancing in public. I’ll miss laughing out loud at dumb movies. And, if I’m honest, I’ll miss flirting with the sweet young thing from work. I could regret losing all of this, if I didn’t know that the roller-coaster always goes down again. There’s no escaping gravity.
And this insomnia is killing me! Sane me sleeps… I miss sleeping.
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I was reading something yesterday about what women will never understand about men, written by men. Much of it was stuff that we really don’t care about. Really… all that stuff about adjusting your balls… we don’t care. But I found one interesting thing. Men… apparently many men, because quite a few agreed and I didn’t see any dissenters… are loyal to their friends, no matter what. If his best friend becomes an asshole, then he just has an asshole for a best friend until one of them dies.
I find this fascinating! And I think it might explain a phenomenon that I’ve never understood. When you’re in a terrible relationship, and you break up with a man, why is he surprised? How did he not see this coming? Could it be that he was expecting unconditional loyalty?!
Mothers: ya gotta love ’em… especially today…whether you like it or not.
I don’t begrudge anyone their day, but I can’t be the only one who just wants to disappear on Mother’s Day. It wasn’t always like this. When I was young this wasn’t an issue, but at some point strangers began assuming I have kids. I don’t. So every year, I have conversations like this, with people I don’t know…
person: Did your kids take you out for Mother’s Day?
me: I don’t have kids
person: oh….well…. you have a mother!
me: she’s dead
It isn’t just on Mother’s Day that I feel judged or pitied for not having kids, but this is the one day of the year when I can count on it happening…all day long.
When I woke up today, this was on my Facebook timeline, courtesy of someone who loves me:
What a wonderful thing to wake up to on a day when I was expecting nothing but awkwardness and a desperate wish that it was tomorrow. A thoughtful gesture, a nice compliment, and a hilarious joke, all wrapped into one. I encourage you to steal this meme if you have a friend who could use a smile. I guarantee it works.
Walked into the dark living room to check the door. As I reached for the doorknob I felt something crawl from my sleeve and down my arm… something big. Being the reasonable adult I am, I screamed and failed about as I beat the hell out of my left arm. Finally I managed to turn on the light and verified that I had killed it. That’ll be the last time I have any trouble from THAT dryer sheet.
When I began blogging I decided not to use curse words. I thought it would be impolite. It might offend. It might drive some people away. As it turns out, the opposite has happened… NOT swearing has driven ONE person away: me. It’s just not natural for me not to cuss once in a while, so fuck it. I’m cussin’.
My grandparents had a big mimosa tree in their yard that was perfect for climbing if you were a girl about 9 years old. One summer day I wanted to climb the mimosa tree, but my aunt said I shouldn’t because her son was there, and he was too young to climb a tree. Then to clarify her point she added, “monkey see, monkey do”. This was the first time I had heard that phrase, so I begged an explanation. She told me that whatever I did my cousin would want to do. I didn’t get to climb the tree that day, but that was okay because I had a lot to think about.
If I had looked at it from another perspective I would have realized that monkey see, monkey do was a familiar dynamic in my life. But I was used to being the little monkey, always wanting to do what my big sister did. [It occurs to me that my sister needs a pseudonym. I can’t go on calling her “my big sister” forever. So, what the Hell… let’s call her Marcia] I was forever apeing Marcia, and she’d call me a copycat, I’d say no I’m not, and it went on and on and on. The concept wasn’t new to me at all, but it looked new. I was the big monkey? Amazing. I immediately began to think about how I would test my new found power.
I was an insomniac from my earliest memory, so I was always the last one to wake up. The day after the day I didn’t get to climb the mimosa tree, I woke up (last, as usual) at my aunt’s house. I went in to the kitchen for breakfast. Everyone else was finished, except for my cousin. He was still sitting at the table with a bowl full of cereal, and across from him was a place set for me, with my empty cereal bowl. Without saying a word I picked up my empty bowl and flipped it over onto my head. My aunt walked into the kitchen just in time to see her precious baby boy pick up his bowl full of cereal, and make good on her prophecy.
I go for long walks with my dog every chance I get, and I track our distance with an app on my phone. My old phone had a female robot voice that would update me with our progress. From time to time she would say something helpful like, “one…mile…in…seventeen…minutes…four…seconds…lap…pace…seventeen…minutes…four…seconds”. I liked this friendly robot lady.
My new phone has the most seductive female voice I’ve ever heard. After every mile she coos “one mile in seventeen minutes four seconds. Lap pace…” in a way that would make a phone sex operator blush. I still find it helpful to have that information, but on a nice day when there are lots of people out walking you might find me loitering on the path, just shy of the one mile mark.