Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thoughts just passing through my head

Today, in a burst of creative energy, or let's face it--unproductive boredom and apathy--I decided to chronicle the thoughts floating through my head the entire day.   Why?   Firstly, because I suffer from a particularly rabid brand of narcissism which leads me to mistakenly think anyone cares about my own inane thought synapses.   Secondly, there has been more than a few times in my life in which people have asked exasperatedly, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!"  and this will prevent today from being a time that they will ask such a question, because after referring to the list below, they will know.

1. I wonder what my hair looks like under a microscope
As I was watching E! News and eating my oatmeal today, I saw an infomercial for a product called "Wen," which is a cleansing conditioner and thus don't dry out your hair the way the sulfates in shampoos do.  I love informericals, especially when they get scientific, such as during the "Wen" infomercial when they showed a microscopic photo of a hair follicle before and after using Wen.   My hair has been looking a little dull lately.  This sequence of events inspired the thought above.

2. Why is there a Saab at the Goodwill auto auction lot?
As I was driving through Vandalia to drop off some fliers, this little gem popped into my brain.  I totally understand the Volkswagen "Thing", the Oldsmobile '88, and the Honda Del Sol.   But who donates a Saab? What could the tax write-off possibly have been?!

3.  My God, I am no oil painting
While looking at myself in the bathroom mirror, noticing my mascara was smeared, my tummy is bloated, and my hair is frizzy.   Bonus Points:  I have a zit that almost has healed enough to be mistaken for a Cindy Crawford mole instead of a devastating and recurring skin condition.

4. Does anyone actually USE Bing?
Hello Google?   This is win.   Why Bing is the default on my desktop is absolutely and completely beyond my comprehension.  I was looking for an address and it completely and utterly failed me.  So I checked Google and what I needed was THE FIRST LISTING.   There is probably one guy in the word who actually likes Bing;  I imagine he also drives a Pinto, inhales chips with Olestra, and has a Discover card.

5.  Good for you, Khloe Kardashian.  If I had a sister you looked like Kim and I looked like you, I would have given up a long time ago.
I don't watch "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" so I don't know if she has a nice personality (as if watching a Reality TV gives you any insight into a person's Psyche) all I know is she has a jawline you could cut glass on and has a normal woman's body.  Unfortunately, she is consistently photographed next to Kim, who is a goddess.   I saw an article in people that Khloe's lost 10 lbs.  Good for you, but seriously, I'd be mad at God for fishing from the shallow end of the Kardashian gene pool if I were you.

6.  Why does a birthday card to a significant other consist either of sex invitations or creepy gushing?
Matt's birthday's tomorrow and I wanted to pick him out a nice card.   My choices were weird leopard print cards that said, "I'll blow out your candles," or cards with flowers and calligraphy that said things like "Happy Birthday, counterpart of my soul."   Sorry Matt, I'm pretty sure Ben and Jerry's Americone Dream ice cream is the counterpart to my soul.  I am, however, fond of you.  I settled on getting a card with a stupid pun that was intended for a ten year old boy.  

That pretty much does it.   I mean, I thought other things of course but that's a pretty accurate sampling.  You don't want to be inside my head?  God, just imagine how I feel.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


If you're like me, breaking up with someone doesn't need to be a bitter or hurtful proccess.   Sometimes it's as simple as two adults maturely and calmly realizing that they're not right for each other.  I actually am friends with the great majority of my exes, who are lovely people, aside from some minor deal-breaking deficiencies (kidding!).  Seriously though, I have been known to grab a coffee or beer with an ex, and we both happily chat about the new signifcant others in our lives.   During these encounters sometimes I like to imagine "Cool" by Gwen Steffani playing in the backrgound...

 And then there are those other times... when after the breakup friendship is not an option.   Sharing a universe is not an option.   In these situations I like to imagine my exes died in fiery car crashes caused by getting behind the wheel after a long night of trying to drink away their sorrows. Sorrows obviously stemming from allowing a woman such as myself to walk out of their lives.  Prefably this crash happened the night we broke up, so I don't have to imagine scenarios in which they are highly functioning, successful members of society.  It's not that I don't wish them well, per say, it's that I wish me better.  Unfortunately, reality sometimes interferes with my conveient method for dealing with troublesome exes.

I certainly don't seek out these experiences. I am not likely to facebook stalk non-friend exes, although most of them are still my "friends" on facebook, like a graveyard of poor choices.   I hate when a feed pops up toting their accomplishments.  Annie's Ex is "stoked about his promotion" or "loves his lady" scrolling across my facebook feed first thing in the morning is more than enough to make me gag on my oatmeal.  The only acceptable feed update would be, "Guess what?  I am gay."

But much worse than a facebook feed announcement dive-bomb, is the dreaded FACE TO FACE encounter.  And of course, without fail, it always happens when I am least prepared.   During these encounters, it's preferable to be a) lookin' hot b) with someone equally hot (preferably a man) and c) exuding success and mental health.  At my most recent ex encounter, I was none of these things.   And despite the fact I did the dumping--all's fair in love and war, and this of course means, I still should be rocking all items on the list above.  Instead, I had just come from a long day of work, decided in a moment of weakened self-disgust that I ought to join a proper gym, dragged my frazzled, rain-soaked self to said gym, and was sitting alone waiting for the stupid manager to come back with my paper work. I was twiddling my thumbs like an idiot, kicking my feet like a child, and then I saw him.  Over by the free weights.  My ex.  Looking good.  He was tanned, well-rested, glowing from a good workout, and probably had lost 10 lbs since I last saw him.  I was not with a group of fabulous people, head back, hair shining while laughing, so it was uneven. DAMN DAMN DAMN!   And while we did exchange pleasantries, the encounter was so brief I didn't get adequate chance to fabricate impressive facts about myself.  Loss.

We've all been there, Carrie.

And why this event is making it's way onto my blog now, instead of last week when it happened, is that last night I had a dream about another ex.  This man is a mysterious and dangerous ex, blocked from my memory sybil-style. And in my dream, MY dream, when I have the chance to make myself riding in a porsche with Salma Hyak's boobs, Giselle's body, and Jessica Alba's face, I was buying a Swiffer Sweeper wearing sweat pants.   Thanks, subconcious.  You fail!  And also in my dream, my ex was engaged and I was with, not my handsome, succesfful boyfriend, but instead my parents.  Why?!

So aparently, even though I am on good terms with MOST of my exes, and chose to gracefully ignore the rest (or supress their existence, whatever), apparently, I still will never get the upper-hand--even in situations of my mind's own creation.  What is it about ex boyfriends that make us feel small?  I'm a successful, accomplished, independent person, yet all that is going through my mind during such encounters is, "Is my mascara smeared?  Do my boobs look big?  Do I appear well-adjusted and normal?"  Thank God, my exes can't read minds.  However, assuming that they can in fact read blogs, I suppose the truth is out now, have they the will to read this. Buuut, it's fair to point out, having dated me, these guys probably already know I'm mal-adjusted and abnormal.  :-)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wasp McWasp Wasp

My whole life there have been two groups of people I have been equally fascinated by; WAPSs and big ethnic families.     While these two groups seemingly have little in common, they are both completely alien and exotic to the way in which my family conducts itself, which is the commonality that lends to my fascination with them both.  Even though I am a Cashew, (which for those of you who never caught on to the reference which is the namesake for my blog, means I am part Catholic and part Jewish.  Hence, "Cashew.") I was raised in a pretty typical upper-middle class, Midwestern fashion.  Like, even though my mom's Hungarian we still have turkey for Thanksgiving which is pretty much a dead give a way we're diluted and American-ized.  And while one would think the Catholic side of me would add some ethnic flair, it comes from my dad's very "eins, zwei, drei" German side instead of something cheeky and fun, like Italian, so thus in my family a christening is not an occasion for a brawl or excluding a sad, mayonnaise-based macaroni salad, pasta of any sort.      I always envied Italians from Staten Island or Irish from Boston, the kind with loud accents who could use racial slurs affectionately to each other at family gatherings without being racist.   One of my favorite things to do, especially after movies such as "Gone Baby Gone," or "The Town," is fake a Boston accent and say, "Ohmigod, I swear if these f*(&ing kids don't stop screaming their fat little heads off I'm going to eat them like a mother f*(&in praying mantis. " Because, you know, that's obviously what all Irish from Boston do.   Stereotypes exist because they're true.  

A typical, NON-STEREOTYPICAL IN ANY WAY, Italian christening.


But on the flip side, a stark departure from the loud, cursing, accent laden, pasta munching, brash, fresh off the boat, ethnic families I was always sad to not be a part of, the WASPs held equal fascination for me.  For those of you who don't know, WASP stands for white, anglo-saxon, protestant, and they are a fascinating race.   Picture families that don't hug.   Also those who hide feelings, have several chocolate labs, vacation at Martha's Vineyard or Cape Cod, belong to a country club, and brag about the fact that they can trace their families back to the American Revolution.  While I don't want to BE a WASP per say, their L.L. Bean wearing ways have always intrigued me, and I wished very much to study them, just like Jane Goodall studied the gorillas.  My boyfriend, however, IS by definition a WASP, and he aspires to the WASP lifestyle in ways that I find hilarious.

For instance, his number one goal in life is to own a sailboat.  And his aspirations are not for a dinky little schooner that one could take out on Lake Erie for the weekend, no no, he wants essentially a yacht.   Also part of the dream is that he could send out Christmas cards with his children (assumably four, two girls and two boys, all blondes) lined up in matching red turtlenecks in front of his yacht.   He also is currently a member of "The Wine of The Month" club and talks seriously about investing in a pair of white linen pants.   This man is a WASP wannabe!   And what's fascinating for me, is that I get listen to his thought processes behind these things that he covets, while I know, in comparison, my children will be swarthy and hairy and if we had a christmas card picture (which I doubt will even be a thing that I would do, my mom and dad never made us flaunt our awkward stages to distant relatives and B-friends during the Yuletide growing up, so I tend to think I'll pay that courtesy forward to my potential future children) it would be in front of a station wagon, at best.

Matt Wishes.

To add an exclaimation mark to my boyfriend's WASP-esque ways, last night he and I played Bocce ball, drank wine from Matt's "Wine of the Month" club, and Matt smoked a cigar while wearing his Sperry's and a striped oxford shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren.   I told him he looked like a robber baron, and I was waiting for him to say, "The rent is due, O'Shannahan.  I can't make a profit on 'your word'," to the down-on-his-luck tenet that asked for an extension because his wife is sick.  Matt just chuckled and puffed his cigar like Mr. Moneybags from Monopoly.  But basically, the whole thing is my dream come true... I've dated ethnic people before, but this is the first time in my life I've broken into the inner circle of the ever elusive North American Wasp!  

Actual photo from Matt after Bocce Ball.


Saturday, June 25, 2011


I haven't written a blog entry for over a week...for someone who is obsessed with chronicling all their inane thoughts, that is a long gap.  And it isn't that I've been busy or stressed or anything else.   It's just that I don't really have anything to say.  Which in itself is kind of odd.  Especially for me.  I'm just kind of in purgatory, nothing is bad, nothing is great.   And I feel pressure to be my usual witty self, be full of opinions, full of sarcasm and jokes and "guess what I did today"'s to share on my blog.  But here's a secret most people don't tell you about work:  it's the exact same thing every day.   Like groundhog's day.   A cup of coffee, staring at a computer screen, phone calls, spread sheets, tuna on wheat for lunch, afternoon meeting, another cup of coffee, more staring at the computer, funny story with coworkers, drive home, lean cuisine dinner.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.   And that should comfort me, but I just feel sort of like I don't have very much to look forward to.  Tuna on wheat doesn't exactly qualify as a highlight to my day.

About as exciting as my life gets...

Even "exciting" bits of my life feel like deja-vu.   And I'm disappointed they're over even before they're over.   Like last night, after a brief (and terrible) bought with illness (probably some kind of food poisoning) I went on a picture perfect date (which I've been looking very much forward to) with my boyfriend to celebrate his promotion.   We walked to an Italian Restaurant right by my apartment, had a great dinner, then saw a fantastic Woody Allen movie at the local indie movie theatre.   And I caught myself, in the middle of dinner feeling depressed and thinking, "and tomorrow's already Saturday. The weekend's basically over."  That shouldn't be my thought process--especially since the evening wasn't even over, let alone the weekend--something tells me that's absurdly unhealthy.  

But as I type that, I remember as a kid and I would be sad in August because my birthday was coming in September, but then it would be over and I'd have to wait a whole year for it to come again.   I mourn the  anticipated loss before I can even celebrate the anticipated event.  God, that was a mouthful.   Surely, this makes me an ideal candidate for the poster child of some new kind of psychological disorder they will name after me.  "Schuerman's Syndrome" will be the next designer disease soccer mom's in the suburbs will be secretly thrilled to have their children diagnosed with.  There will be ribbons and bake sales devoted to finding a cure.  And a new generation of children will be afflicted, causing parents to cluck nervously that everything from violence on TV to vaccines are to blame.   My picture will be in every medical book, the sad caption underneath reading, "Schuerman's Syndrome, first identified in the patient, Annie Schuerman, causes one to experience a profound sense of loss in response to anticipated events as well as causing a feeling of ambivalence about life."      

Ah well, hopefully some inspiration will strike soon.  Something to shake up the routine a little.   

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Judgement Day

Yesterday, I went to get a Father's Day card from Walgreen's for my dad.    I picked out a very nice card, a gift bag, and some tissue paper.   My intentions were pretty obvious.  Nonetheless, when I was checking out, the be-spectacled clerk said, "YOU look like you would be interested in my specials today.   Two for the price of one, M & Ms."   It took a while for the slow cogs in my brain to register the enormity of what just happened.    The Walgreen's clerk just called me fat.  I couldn't let him get away with it.   "Are you calling me fat?"  I asked point blank, hoping at least for a lame apology.   "No, you just seem like someone who likes candy."   Not helping, fucker. "So, like a fat person?" I asked.   He finally realized his mistake.  "No, I mean, you're figure looks like it could stand to have some candy."    Nice try, ass.   I'm not buying shit from you.   

While the experience was HUMILIATING, I think, what pissed me off the most, was that this man who I don't even know, took it upon himself to judge me.   And that got me thinking, how many times do I judge or am I judged daily?  

I know I'm judged I'm a daily basis.  As we've already discussed, I'm clumsy, I sometimes chew with my mouth open (which horrifies me and I'm trying to be more concious of), and I often spill things on myself.    Just the other day I was driving in the car, belting out a rap song while simultaneously picking my nose (like you do) and some soccer mom gave me the dirtiest look I've ever seen.   Was I embarrassed?  More like annoyed.   Hey Honey, I bought this TSX, I can pick my nose in it and sing badly if I want!

Speaking of cars, I recently judged another based on their choice of automobile.   As I was leaving the Fairborn Regal movie theatre, I saw a Niessan, with doors like the Delorean in "Back to the Future," you know the kind that open up?   How do I know they opened like that?   Why because this gentleman was cruising around the parking lot with one door open.  As if that wasn't enough to put him in the douchey Hall of Fame, his undercarriage was lit in neon and purple and his license plate said, "I CANDY".  When I saw this, naturally I doubled over and laughed so hard I almost broke a rib.  "What a douche!"  I said between gales of laughter.   "Shh!  His door's open, he can hear you,"  said Matt.  "Oh my God, I can't breathe,"  I snorted, still doubled over.   In this instance, I think judgement was warranted.  Never mind that upon further inspection we saw the car's operator was wearing skinny jeans, spiky hair, sunglasses (at night), and a muscle-tee.

So is it ever okay to judge?  The Bible says no.  But I'm pretty sure even Jesus would at least crack a half-smirk at "I CANDY" and his sex mobile.  Maybe as I type this, the Walgreen's clerk is typing the exact same thing about the fatass who had the nerve to get offended when he said she looked like she liked chocolate.  Touche, candy man, touche.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

High School

Do you remember those people who told you high school would be "the best years of your life"?   If you're anything like me, you looked at your awkward social graces, your bubbling acne, and your inability to infiltrate the "cool crowd" and thought, "Shit, if this is as good as it gets, should I just end it now?"  Luckily, there was a light at the end of the tunnel... "it won't always be like this," I reasoned.  I was confident people would grow and mature and be kinder and wiser and smarter....FALSE.   I have come to believe, unfortunately, most human beings will never leave high school.   From college to the work force--there are still the pretty popular girls, the "men's men," politics over who sits at what table at lunch, the pressure to look a certain way, and finally, the never-ending quest of one one-up-manship.    I know, I know, it sounds cynical, but I am completely and fully convinced that its true.   

As I just recently started my first job, I know the concerns attached to it.   One of my greatest concerns was, "what if no one wants to sit by me at lunch."  Literally, the thought of eating alone in the corner, or worse, alone at my desk, was more terrifying than anything related to job performance.   I've learned from my internships, there is always someone left out of the office clique, and I was determined that this couldn't be me.  Ostracization conflicts with my border-collie like need to be liked.

And, just like High School, at work, everyone is constantly and acutely aware of what everyone else is wearing.   Seriously, especially given that everyone in the office is female, work is a fashion show.    What's her face got a new dress from Kohls--on sale!!!  So and so got new "shatter" nail polish!  Do you know Sally Hansen makes a cheaper version than the original kind by OPI?    Yep, you can get it at Kroger, and I have a coupon!   P.S. That is one thing that's different from High School, we have a couple extreme coupon'ers in the office.   Our office manager even got Wal-mart to pay her after she worked her voodoo with the Sunday coupon section.   Given I'm pretty new to grocery shopping (I don't know how much ANYTHING costs, I estimated Wheat Thins to be 3.79$ a box and laundry detergent to be 1.99$ a gallon jug--which entertained the masses.  It's like when Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development thinks a single banana costs 10$) I think I need to pass on coupons until I'm a little more savvy.

Oh, and the volunteers I work with, aren't charmingly similar to High School, like my coworkers (who I like a lot.  I'm just making observations about the work/high school similarities, not judgements) but instead are, in some cases, a lot like a gaggle of mean girls.    A lot of the volunteer issues dealt with by staff people center around this volunteer not liking this other volunteer or gossip as to whether so and so is equipped to plan the campout this year.  Honestly?   The fate of the free world doesn't depend on these volunteers, but some of them take their jobs more seriously than George W. Bush took his presidency (ironic because in his case, the fate of the free world very much depended on him...).  I hear my coworkers dealing with volunteers sometimes and it's hard not to think, "Oh my God, this cannot be how grown women behave."

And in trying to find my niche at work, which I think I'm discovering little by little, I realize it's very similar to the niche I forged in high school.  The funny-chubby girl.   Although, I don't think I'm that chubby anymore, I still, am the girl people come to for jokes, not the girl whose fashion tips people covet.   Like, yesterday, I was talking about how my cat likes to burrow into my ass cheeks at night, and how sometimes, horrifyingly, I don't even notice.  Like, you know you have a big ass when a small animal can be nestled in there and you don't even feel it.  I was telling people this and I thought to myself, "High School survival 101, self-deprecating humor."  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Today when I got out of work at 5, I had a buzzing headache.   I don't know how else to describe it. I felt like a halo of stress was buzzing around my head like some bizarre blood-pressue elevating force field.   I know from experience there are only two ways to get rid of that kind of stress headache; 1. Working Out 2. Drinking heavily.   I am pleased to report that I chose the former.

I always get into a weird mood of self-congratulation after a workout.   I feel like I've been doing extra credit, instead of just maintaining bodily health as is expected of every human being.   I ran on my little treadmill, and after I was done I felt like I had been reborn in my own sweat.  My buzzing headache was replaced by a satisfying dull ache in my legs and also with a sense of pride swelling in my bosom.  Maybe I feel so amazing because my choices aren't always so physically and mentally satisfying.  

Last night, for instance, I was so tired and drained when I finally got home to my apartment (at about nine o'clock) I tucked into cookie-dough ice cream (which is made for stress-eating, like, let's make something taste like cookie dough so fat, depressed single women don't have to physically eat it out of the tube).   The sheer physical exertion of stuffing my face left me exhausted, and I fell asleep, spoon in hand with the television on, only to awake at 2:45 am to an informercial for the Ninja Blender, still clutching the spoon in my left hand.   The only difference between that and an addict's "rock bottom"?   That I was holding a spoon instead of needle full of heroin.  I really need to be more careful, apparently everyone who started working in my office gained 15-30 lbs within the first few months.   I will slit my wrists if that is me.

But that's just the physical stuff.  I could fill a binder with all the mentally unhealthy practices I participate in.  Comparing myself to models in the magazines, engaging in magical thinking, being cynical and jaded at age 22.  But one of the most mentally unhealthy things I do is check facebook.

I'm not talking about "facebooking" my friends.  I was talking about this with my co-workers the other day, and we identified three reasons why one might look someone up on facebook 1) you actually know and like them 2) you're jealous of them and want to view their pictures and compare yourself unfavorably 3) you want to feel better about your own life.   Number 2 and 3 are pretty much unacceptable if one is aiming for sanity.   I however, engage in both... a lot.    Oh whatever, don't judge, you all do it too!   Recently, for example, I saw a girl who used to call me fat has gained about 80 lbs. since highschool.   VICTORY!  And that perfect girl that I wish I could be?   Yeah, she's still perfect--she and her attractive boyfriend just got back from Bora Bora!   Want to see the pictures?  Of course you do.

So while I've quit smoking, cut way down on drinking, eat (with the exception of last night) healthy, and work out 3-5 times a week---obviously I'm a far cry from peak health--especially mentally.  

Monday, June 13, 2011


I'm starting to fit in with my coworkers at work.  More exactly, some of them have confused my inappropriateness and verbal diarrhea with instead, a hearty sense of humor.  Allow me to explain.

I started this Monday morning by stubbing my toe as I walked out of my apartment building.   So I didn't have high hopes for this day going smoothly.  To make matter's worse, on today's agenda was a 6 hour meeting on generational differences, or as it turned out, more aptly, "What's up with these damn kids and their texting?"  During the meeting I got bored and started to doodle (lack of attention-span is apparently a classic trait of those in the "Millennial" generation).  Naturally, because my Irish co-worker and I are are pale and chatted this morning about how we both got crispy instead of tan this weekend, the doodle I decided to draw was a picture of a ghost (me) and a four-leaf clover (my Irish co-worker) sunning themselves with the caption, "What Claire and I wish we were doing now instead of sitting through this meeting."  Naturally.  I was pretty proud of myself and I passed it across to the adjacent table where Claire was sitting.

After we broke for lunch, I found Claire and said, "How'd you like my cartoon?"   She looked at me, and said in her hearty Irish accent (now understand, she is actually Irish, as in born in Ireland) "It was bloody brilliant.  And I thought to meself as I read it, 'I really like her.   I want to hang out with her outside work.'" I nearly pee'd myself I was so excited.   You know how there is a "cool girl" in every crowd?  Someone everyone wants to be friends with?  At work, Claire is that "cool girl".   I feel like the captain of the cheerleading squad just asked me to sit at her lunch table.  

In addition to feeling awesome for having made not only a friend, but a cool friend,  I was in rare form as we ate lunch outside on the office deck space.  I don't know, maybe sitting for three hours listening to Baby Boomers describe why they think every subsequent generation sucks made me feisty and irreverent.   The meeting, by the way, was council wide, meaning all four Ohio offices schlepped to Dayton for the event.   So when I say a group of us were sitting outside eating lunch on the deck, these are co-workers as well as people I've never met from other offices.   Yet my lack of familiarity with people didn't keep me from weighing in with my silly opinions.

Ok, backtracking for clarity's sake, in one of the exercises at the meeting, we were asked "What kind of recognition do you want from your office, if you could get any kind you wanted,"  and then we shared our answers in our small groups.   I, instead of saying "money" like nearly everyone else did, I said I wanted a compliment.  More specifically, I wrote out, "Annie, starting a new job is always stressful, but you're adjusting beautifully and we believe that you can do this job and do it well.  Also, you're really pretty."   I shared this in group.  That exact script.  I found nothing wrong with it.   Apparently, everyone else thought it was hilarious.   So this is what started the festivities on the deck.  

One coworker brought up my comment from group, and said, "so if anyone ever needs anything from Annie, just tell her she's pretty."   After that comment was brought up, I became drunk with power.  The attention had shifted on to me due to for my compliment-whore ways and  I realized the others thought I was being funny.  For the first time since starting work a week and half ago, I was the funny girl instead of the brooding new weirdo in the corner cubicle.   I felt the spotlight on me.   And I seized it.   I was on.  Bam Bam Bam like a stand up comedian.   I told stories about my hippie sister, my thoughts on how some people are so stupid they can't choose which flavor smoothie they want, and how I'm becoming boring and prematurely middle-aged.   TWO people came up to me after the lunch conversation with positive comments. One person said, "I think your quote about smoothies was hilarious, I'm going to use that,"  even more surprisingly another unlikely candidate, a school-marmish looking middle aged woman with a severe bun said, "I really enjoyed you at lunch... you have such spunk."   Oh, stop!  

I am victorious.  I have broken through the tedious world of the office clique.   I may not be in the in crowd just yet, but funny gets you far, and now I am the newest "class clown" at the office.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Runaway

Thursday at work, I was sitting at my desk chatting with a couple of my new co-workers.    Most of whom, are in their mid-late twenties or even their early 30s.   They were curious to see how I, a newly minted college grad, was grappling with the transition from college to the working world.    Instead of a typical, "It's fine, thank you"  (which probably would have been the more appropriate choice)   I made some confessions.  "Actually, the other day, I was sitting at my desk, staring at the 4:55 on the clock, willing the seconds to pass until it turned to five and a terrifying thought occurred to me.  Oh my God, what if this my whole life?   Chained to a desk, counting the minutes until five, except instead of 22, I'm 52, and instead of coming home to my cat I'll be coming home to a demanding family?"     My coworkers laughed, and actually assured me they have felt the same way at various stages of their transition periods, and that it will get better.   But really, isn't that a valid question? Why, as intelligent, educated people do we elect to spend our lives this way?

Not to get all hippie on you, but it isn't lost on me that most of my life has been about preparing--like a good little worker bee drone.    In elementary school it was all about being invited to take algebra instead of pre-algebra in 7th grade, which in turn would put you on the fast track to the AP classes in high school, which in turn would ensure you would get into a good college, which obviously guaranteed you would have a good job and subsequently a husband, 2.4 kids, a collie, and a Mercedes.   Nothing was presented as an end in itself--instead everything was just another rung on the ladder.   I hope that somewhere along the way I have begun to appreciate things as their own ends, but that doesn't keep me from sometimes feeling short of breath and panicky when I realize how similar I am to a hamster on one of those stupid wheels.  In college I encountered this frantic realization most of the time when I was driving (and actually sometimes on the treadmill)  and I comforted myself by thinking, "I could run away.  I could drive and drive until I ran out of gas, then keep driving, and no one would ever find me.  I could start a totally new life."  I pictured myself going to Santa Fe, working in a cantina where cattle ranchers came to drink away their troubles.  Or in New York, living in SoHo, writing the newest off broadway smash.  But then these happy thoughts were always eclipsed by how worried my parents would be or how I owed it to myself to finish the education I had (quite literally) worked at since elementary school, or how most likely the scenario would end with me dead and eaten by stray dogs in a heap of trash on the side of the road instead of in success.  But somehow, as ludicrous and unlikely as the whole scenario is, the option was a comfort.

Now?   I don't really even have the option.   I have a car payment, rent, insurance--not to mention 3 lives (don't judge that it's only a couple plants and a kitty, you have to start somewhere) that directly depend on me for their survival.  I no longer have an opt out clause.   I can't decide I want to be a writer/painter/astronaut/actress and just opt out to follow my dream and chase my windmills in the sky.   I'm trapped.   

So maybe that isn't a bad thing.   As I write this  I am sitting in my OWN apartment with an incredible view of the skyline and come the 15th, I will enjoy my very first paycheck on my job that I had coveted for so long.  But nothing seems to ever turn out like you thought it would.   When I was a kid what I wanted the most about being an adult was the freedom and now, that I'm well on my way to being an adult, I realize that there is very very little freedom in the whole equation.  Like, I can't stay up all night and eat ice cream and chocolate syrup because, I have work in the morning and gee, chocolate and ice cream isn't on my diet right now.   Last night I went to bed, on a Friday, at 10pm, simply because I was too tired to keep going on much past that.   The Annie at age 16 who used to stay up until 3 am, and dreamed of throwing parties AS SOON as she had her own apartment, would kick my lame, adult ass.   

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Post-Partum Depression

I feel like a breast-feeding mother whose baby won't latch.   Gracie, my brand new cat, doesn't love me.   When I went yesterday to pick her up from Columbus, she climbed right into my lap, stared into my eyes, and purred.   She laid on my lap contentedly, lovingly.  I was in love.  Hooked.   But I think the car-ride back to Dayton spooked her.   She mewed the whole time and I felt like I was torturing her.  I tried talked to her.  I tried to touch her.   My singing only made her more upset.  She was obviously terrified.  And soon as I got her home, she dashed under the couch.  Which is where she's been ever since.  I have no idea what to do.   I've laid on my stomach, ass in the air, face butted up against the underside of the couch, whispering like an idiot begging Gracie to come out.   Nothing!  She's barely eaten the fancy feast I've laid out for her, and the universal language of cats, a stick with a feather attached, has even failed to tickle her fancy.  I just feel awful that she's so scared of me.  I've been talking in a low soothing voice but my ability to continue providing a calming environment for her is becoming greatly reduced.  I feel like sobbing.   I want her to love me!   It never occurred to me she wouldn't.   What if she just never likes me? I've wanted a cat my ENTIRE life.   Literally.  I begged my dad for one when I was 5, and I swore to myself as soon as I was old enough and had my own apartment, I would get a cat.  Has my entire dream failed?  She's STILL under the couch.   If I wanted to feed and provide for something that would take me for granted, I would have gotten pregnant instead of rescuing a cat.  Obviously something was missing in my life and I wanted to fill the void.  You know, the way women snatch children out of grocery carts, that's what me getting a cat was meant to prevent.

 But the lack of love coming from my kitty isn't the only thing that's testing my already fragile mental health today.  It's been one of those "Ok Universe, you win,"  kind of days anyway.   I got my new TSX last night, and I was so worried about getting Gracie up to the apartment and comfy that I left the lights on in my car all night and needed to call AAA for a jump this morning. So it's like, okay, you just made yourself responsible for another living thing, and now, you're probably going to get fired and have no way to provide for it.  For someone so bad at change...maybe it was stupid to get a cat within a week of getting a new job, car, and apt....

Ok, not to sound bi-polar but just as I wrote that... Gracie came and sat on my lap!   It's a miracle.   It's a sign.  And I think it's even more likely that we'll get along because she jumped up on my lap during "my big fat gypsy wedding" on tlc which means she likes making fun of gaudy people as I do. YAY!  Maybe she'll love me!

Monday, June 6, 2011


I am a young, urban, professional--a yuppie.   Finally, I've reached my goal.  And not unlike in "American Psycho" and Huey Lewis songs, I feel that it is "hip to be square".  So instead of adopting an African baby like swanky hipsters such as Madonna or the Jolie-Pitt klan does, I am adopting the un-hippest thing I can think of.  I have several name choices.  But my favorite is "the C-word".   C is for... that's right, Cat!   I am so excited.   Tomorrow I am driving up to Columbus to pick up my (already spayed) little bundle of joy.  She is a rescue, 3 years old, who likes purring and sitting on laps--ideal for my love-sponguing ways.  Picture Elmira from Tiny Toons.  That will be my cat and I's relationship.

Isn't she adorable?  I don't know why people dislike Cats.   I like most animals, but it isn't beyond me that some animals eat their own excrement and need other people to scoop up their excrement in little plastic baggies or it gets left in people's yards.   Cats are discerning.  Like a fine wine.   They only agree with some people's palates.   Also worth noting, most "dog people" don't end up hoarding an amount of dogs which allows several to die  and be buried under piles of debris without anyone noticing, but as A&E has taught us, "cat people" do.   So you know, you take the good, you take the bad.   I know that my personality is sub-par, and my looks will fade... so I might as well embrace my crazy cat lady ways instead of fighting them.  I find my attitude very zen. Disclaimer:   When I start trying to throw a birthday party for C.C., my C-word, that's when it's gone too far.  

Speaking of C-words...I have another new one in my life.  A car.   Going against the grain of frumpy cat-lady.   I have secured myself a sexy car--a 2008 Acura TSX.   Silver.   Black leather interior.  

I'm re-reading this, and this is a dull blog about my NEW ACURA SPORTS CAR.   What?!  Is it true working in an office, surrounded by buzz-words like "deliver the mission," and "positive leadership experience" has dulled my otherwise razor sharp wit?  Will I someday, somewhat defensively, pull up this blog and point to it violently, "See! See!  I used to have funny stories!  I used to make dick jokes!"  Will I be saying that while I pet one of my seventeen cats, wear a beige pantsuit, and worry about whether the micro suede on the coach will repel the stain from the weak tea I now like to drink (because the caffeine in coffee disturbs my ulcer)?    I need to work on keeping sharp.   Maybe my boyfriend's right... maybe the cat is the first step to a slow and steady decline.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Bed and why I fail at first impressions

Today is a red letter day.   For the past week and some change I've been sleeping on an air mattress, in someone else's bed, or on the floor.   Tonight I will no longer live the meandering existence of a crack-whore.   Tonight I will sleep IN MY OWN bed.  

So when I last blogged, I was talking about moving into my apartment.  Well I've moved into it, and it's amazing.   I had some severe buyers remorse because I fell in love with it so totally and completely and so quickly, after looking at only one other apartment and I wondered if maybe I had jumped the gun.  This panic intensified when my dad asked me questions like, "How's the water pressure," and "Is the door easy to unlock?"   Uhhhh... I dunno but I had a good "feeling" about it.   No.   Not what a responsible adult would do.  Buuuuut it turned out beautiful and I decked it out with knick-knacks from my travels and invested in a nice liquor cabinet and a couch from Ikea.   The view is the main selling point, the thriving metropolis skyline of Dayton unfurls in all its glory before your eyes.

As you can see, it's pretty, like me, and tasteful, very unlike me.   But it was missing a bed AND internet access because I couldn't schedule appointments for delivery of both until Saturday.  And to compound the problem, I had made plans to meet Matt's family at his sister's wedding in Chicago, so I wouldn't be there. My mom kindly agreed to babysit my place while they delivered the goods (THANKS MOM!) but even so, seven nights is a long time without a bed--and seven days is a long time without cable or being able to blog.   Matt brought over his air mattress last Monday, but it deflated in weird places and was hot and rubbery and ultimately sucked only slightly less than sleeping on the floor, in a bathtub, or on an airplane next to a fat man who keeps eyeing your thighs and you're not sure if he's attracted to you sexually or he wants to eat you so you are afraid to drift off...

But when I got back from Chicago tonight, my mom had made my bed (with hospital corners) and my aching shoulders might have involuntarily shuddered in bliss.  

So now that I've gotten unnaturally excited about my bed...let's talk about the rest of my week shall I?   Ok, those of you who me, know that I have talents, but I also, like most people, have glaring, gaping blind spots--things I'm less than talented at.   #1 of all of these things, is change.  

As a toddler, I resisted leaving the bathtub so doggedly, that I locked my feet to the sides by simply tensing my legs against the walls of the bathtub.   My mom couldn't remove me, nor could my father, so they just resigned to let me stay in until I got bored and/or pruney.   Keep that image in mind.  My Lennie 'tard strength applied against change of any kind.   That's sort of been my attitude adjusting to my new job.  Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to be working for such a great organization and I think I'll love it once I get into the groove of things, but mostly I hate first days and adjustment periods and growing pains.  So this past week, I've felt slow and stupid and mainly have been thinking back wistfully to the days when I accomplished something if I ate all my peas.   Everyone's very nice at the office, too.  So I know it's going to be something I like soon.  Ugh, just first days... it's embarrassing not knowing where the coffee is or where to put your purse or whose name is what and who does which job.   My life moves fast, I don't like to have to follow a learning curve.  

Another thing I'm bad at... being graceful.   I didn't realize but apparently I sometimes chew with my mouth open.  How disgusting is that?  My boyfriend pointed it out to me recently and I was like, "great, just another thing that's repulsive about me."   I also snore.   Not loudly, but I mean, I do.   I constantly trip and drop things on my nice clothes, and I also am INCAPABLE of going into a room without leaving a trail.  I'll forget to turn off the lights, spill water on the sink, drop some crumbs.  It's like a disease.   I would be a terrible ninja.

So Friday, when Matt and I were having dinner as a pit stop on the drive up to Chicago for the wedding, I looked into his eyes, my own eyes shinning with the desire to be accepted and I said, "Baby, do you think your family is going to like me?"  He looked down, thoughtfully, almost chuckling, then said, "Well, just don't chew with your mouth open like you're doing now."   I was a little embarrassed and hurt, so I proceeded to immediately, as if on cue, spill yogurt on my silk shirt in response, you know, like you do. Matt laughed at me and said, "They're going to love you."   But I mean, obviously only because he felt sorry for me.  Matt also told me not to talk politics and we came up with the codeword, "giraffe" to use whenever I was drifting toward inappropriateness.  I got "giraffe'd" a lot this weekend.

After arriving late Friday, Saturday morning, Matt and I and Matt's grandparents (at whose house we were staying) Matt's brother, Chris, his sister, Liz, and Liz's husband, Kurt all gathered around the table for breakfast.   It was the first time, aside from a brief hello the previous night that I had gotten the chance to speak to Matt's grandparents.   And what did I do?  I flailed my hands wildly while telling a stupid story, like an idiot, and knocked over my plate.  The hash browns and sausage and eggs and toast Matt's grandpa had prepared all crashed on me, the chair, and the ground.  Great.  First.  Impression.

And it gets better.  Later that day, sitting down with Matt's father for the first time, I went to blow a bubble with my gum and accidentally spit it out on the table.  I couldn't make this stuff up.

Yet despite my grace and poise, I really liked Matt's family and they (surprisingly) seemed to like me.  The wedding was a blast and I had a great time dancing and chatting with everyone.  I was sad to have to leave.   Nevertheless, I'm excited to spend the night in my cool apartment, in my own bed, instead of Matt's grandparents balmy house on someone else's mattress, probably sulking over the last stupid, clumsy, thing I did.