Saturday, October 30, 2010

Peeking Over the Hill

We’ve established that I work in an office but for the sake of this story, it should be noted that most of the girls I work with are in their early to mid-twenties, so at 33 I am the oldest of the bunch.

That being said, we’ve got this young guy whose had to frequent our office on a pretty regular basis here recently and he’s notorious for killing time by leaning across the counter and flirting with the receptionists. On the days he calls instead of coming in, he lays on the ‘charm’ by referring to the girls not by their names but as, “Sweetie…Honey…Darlin.”

Be still my heart.

My sister was the lucky duck who took his call the other day and I giggled as she rolled her eyes and pretended to gag. Come to think of it, at one point I think she did actually look a little green but in an act of true professionalism, she persevered and dutifully jotted down his message before passing it off to me to deal with.

When I called him back a short time later, I braced myself for the barrage of idiot pet names that he normally subjects the girls to. But as I finished up my little schpeel, do you know what he had the audacity to say to me? “Thank you…ma‘am.”

Ma‘am?? MA’AM!!!!!

That was the moment it hit me.

Oh my God….I’m OLD!!

I’m the girl they call ma’am!

When did this happen? Someone should have given me some warning! It’s not as if on your birthday you’re issued a new driver’s license labeled, “Over the Hill“ instead of “Under 21.” I mean, sure I may go to bed a little bit earlier than I used to and maybe my ass is just a wee bit wider that it once was…but so what.

When I got home I threw myself face first onto the couch next to my husband and whimpered, “There’s a young guy that flirts with all the girls in the office except me. ME he calls ma’am!”

My husband laughed and rubbed my back. “Aw, Darlin…That’s just because he isn’t old enough to know what a real woman is. It’s the difference between a boy and a man. Let him have his fun with the little girls, I’ll take you over them any day.”

Have I mentioned that my husband is pretty awesome? With that kind of sweet talk, peeking over the hill doesn't seem that bad at all.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Devil Wears Brown

I work for a company that gets daily UPS deliveries. And by a stroke of luck, it just so happens that my office is where the boys in brown choose to plop their packages before literally sticking their little signature pad in my face without regard to whatever else I may be doing. God forbid I’m on the phone or in the middle of writing something because then comes the dramatically loud sigh or the vigorous clearing of a throat…plainly signaling me drop whatever I’m doing at all costs so that they may have my undivided attention.

Some days I’m tempted to offer them a lozenge from the depths of my desk. Of course I’d have to pry it from the bottom of the drawer but surely it’s still good. It’s only been there since last Christmas…or was it the winter before that?

No matter.

Pluck off that bit of lint and they’ll be none the wiser.

If they choke on it…even better.

Nevertheless, most of the time I do stop to sign the proffered tablet just so I can rid myself of them. Though between you and me, I’m not even sure why I bother. Before I’ve even gotten past the first three letters of my name, their hands are already snaking towards the tablet, fingers visibly trembling with the desire to snatch the thing right out of my hands.

The pressure to write faster than I can blink has become so great that I’ve taken to sneaking from my office when I realize they’ve entered the building. On the days when my warnings come a bit late, it’s admittedly less like sneaking and more like hurling myself out the door. Though of course not every escape attempt is a successful one. I once ran face first into the UPS man’s chest, nearly knocking us both over. Imagine my disappointment when instead of reaching out a hand to steady me, he handed me the tablet.

Always the gentleman.

Personally, I think they take great fun in watching me scribble my signature with tortuous speed. Maybe if I sign as, “Asshole” next time they’ll get the picture.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Toot Toot For the Home Team

Alas, baseball season is nearly over.

Evenings spent drinking beer, eating peanuts and cheering and cursing at the field have always been a favorite pastime of the husband and myself. I’m even keen on a lively round of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” though halfway through I always find myself lamenting over that I did in fact, forget to buy cracker jacks.

This generally results in a silent, doe eyed plea cast in the hubby’s direction until he heaves a heavy sigh and makes for the concession stand, appeasing his wife and helping himself to a beer for his troubles. It’s win-win, see.

Now, I’m a firm believer in supporting your home team. Paint your faces, wear your jerseys, wave your giant foam fingers until your arm hurts! But…exercise caution if you are a fan in enemy territory. Many a rowdy, brash, drivel for brains rival fans have passed through the gates at Turner Field. The ones that made it out, left with a healthy appreciation for the passion and depth of home town loyalty.

Now, I say this with the utmost innocence. After all, what would a sweet, southern girl such as myself know about devious behavior? I’m as pure as the new fallen snow.

…Until you are a Philly’s fan standing behind me for the better part of an hour, cheering far too loud and far too long for any call that went against my Braves. Then a lady may just have to forget that she is a lady and come to her team’s defense the best way she knows how.

By letting rip a toot-aimed right at the Philly loving little bastards.

Manners be damned!

These are desperate times and call for desperate measures.

The heat that flooded my face after the assault wasn’t me having the grace to feel abashed…it was pride. Pure, unadulterated satisfaction washed over me as I spared a glance over my shoulder and found the enemy in full retreat.

The Braves may have lost that night. But I took home a victory.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


I like to refer to last month as, “The Great Funk of September.”

From beginning to end, I was pursued by my own personal little rain cloud. No matter what I was doing or where I went, you’d see a teeny, gray puffball hovering patiently nearby. If nothing else, I can at least say the damn thing was loyal. It had eyes for no one else but me.

The offenders responsible for my shadow had the misfortune to make their debut at the same time I found myself consumed by the overwhelming sorrow of “Life After Dad.” I’m not sure why it’s affected me more profoundly this month than any of the others, but with everything compounded together, it’s been like a hammer blow to the chest over and over again. I just couldn’t catch my breath.

Loss is like a deep, gaping wound that leaves us with a profound pain and a fear that it will never heal. But loss is also a lesson. And sometimes lessons are hard learned. A few days before my father passed away, we had a big pool party at my parent’s house. My dad was manning the grill in between his cannon balls into the pool…it was a typical family weekend for us. At the end of the afternoon I was in a hurry to get back home for some stupid reason that I can’t even think of now, and I told my mom goodbye and asked where Dad was. In typical Dad fashion…he’d snuck off for an afternoon nap and being that I was in a rush, I bypassed his room and instead chose to head to the car…after all, I’d talk to him later, right?

I’d made it as far as the garage when I heard my Dad calling my name behind me. He’d gotten up and chased me outside so that he could give me a hug and our standard, “Love ya bye.”

That was the last time I ever saw or spoke to my father.

To this day, I live with the intense shame that I was in such a hurry that I couldn’t be bothered to stop and tell my Dad goodbye. I don’t know that I could have lived with myself if that day had ended differently, if he hadn’t chased me down and given me that hug.

Lessoned learned.

His loss has also brought about other lessons for me:

* Life is too short to have people in your life that don’t have your best interests at heart. Time to treat life like Facebook and hit the “End Connection” button on the friend list. Purge the negativity.

*Life is too short to be miserable.

*Life is too short…take a risk…make big goals.

*Life is too short…stop rushing. Enjoy the ride.

I can’t explain it, but there was something about October 1st. Nothing special happened in history and it’s not a national holiday…but for me on that day, the weight that had been bearing down on my shoulders and crushing my spirit, magically disappeared and with it…my little rain cloud.

I’m free.

But what do I do now?