What the hell is with greeters in every single store? It used to be just Walmart and they didn’t bother me much because I make it a rule not to shop in there. I have my reasons – and you should too. But this isn’t a political blog so, I’ll shut up about that.
Now there are greeters everywhere. You can’t shop without being accosted. When we go into Blockbusters the teenage staff hollars at you from the counter. Subway actually yells at you the minute you walk in the door. I’m in Target at least once a week – sometimes more – and you can’t walk down the aisles without the red-shirt brigade stopping you.
“Can I help you find something?” Really? In Target? I’ll bet I can tell them where a few things are in that store.
I work for a very, very large bank – in the mortgage department. I walked into my local banking branch today to make a deposit and wasn’t even five steps in the door before some little schmo jumped me.
“How can I help you today?”
First off, you can get the hell out of my face. “I’m just making a deposit,” I told him as I veered around his skinny little road block.
“Let me escort you to the teller line.” Seriously? Little man had better get his hand off my arm.
“I’m fine. I sincerely doubt I”ll get lost on the way across the room to that large area defined by the velvet ropes.”
The worst of it is Safeway. I rarely shop there. Wanna know why? Those people are like cult members at the airport. I’ll get asked 15 times if they can help me find something from the front door to the milk and back up front to the check out line. By the 3rd or 4th time I’m not able to control the irritation in my voice. 7th and 8th or so and I’m rude and snarky. 11th – 15th and I’m not even forming words, just growling.
I don’t want to be bitchy. Well sometimes I do, but a person can only take so much. Customer service needs to back the hell up and give a shopper some room.
This is bound to make anyone feel better after a rough day.
After an excruciating day at work, one that was so bad in fact, the only reason I didn’t kill someone was because then I couldn’t go to Disneyland in November.
More about that later. For now, let me wallow in the misery that is mortgage banking.
However, on the way home I saw this bumper sticker.
“Rescue is Coming”
Surely they know what their talking about right? Right?
I don’t know what’s going on with me lately, but I’m an incredibly forgetful mess. It doesn’t even seem to matter if I put reminders in my phone, on my desk calendar, post things on the refrigerator and tack sticky notes to the front door.
This morning I remembered the biggest thing I’ve forgotten so far. When I dropped the kids off at school and left The Bandit at kindergarten it occurred to me that I was the snack mom this week. And I’d signed up for cricket duty too.
What, pray tell, is “cricket duty” you ask? The Bandit’s kindergarten class room is like a petting zoo. There’s a turtle, a guinea pig, two giant assed bearded dragons, a tankful of fish, and two fairies, William & Gwen, that live behind cute little doors up on the wall. The lizards, Spike & Zippy, eat crickets. Each week a parent is in charge of feeding them.
I ran to Target and picked up some snacks – enough for today and tomorrow, and managed to sneak into the classroom and leave them while the kids were all out at an assembly and only got to work 15 minutes late. Pretty good, I’d say.
When I picked them up from school, The Bandit was carrying a clear plastic
box with odd tubes inside. He kept insisting that we, WE mind you, needed to catch a bunch of crickets and put them inside. Yeah. That wasn’t going to happen of course. We got to the pet store and the three of us trooped in: me in my work clothes, Sassy in her school uniform, and The Bandit in his karate gi. We brought the mysterious cricket box with us.
“We need fifty crickets,” I told the fish guy at the store. “Does that sound like a lot?”
“Nah, that’s normal. They’re over here.” He led us to a big box full of egg crates and about a gazillion tiny crickets.
I looked at the box warily. “You’re going to get them out, right?”
“Sure, I can do that.” He laughed at the mom doing the heebie jeebies over the crickets.
“I think they go in this box, right?” I showed him the mysterious box.
“Can you make that happen?” I really didn’t want to mess with these crickets. One cricket in the living room is pesky. Fifty wee crickets hopping all over you is another thing entirely.
Mr Smirky put the crickets in the box and we went up to pay. As we walked down the aisle, I laid down the law. “You do not take the caps off the tubes. You do not open the box. You do not drop the box in the car. You don’t mess with the crickets in any way. You got that?”
“Yeah, Mom,” The Bandit agreed to the terms, but I had my suspicions about his full commitment to the rules. He has a tendency to forget once his curiosity gets the better of him. He wanted to keep the crickets in his room. Yeah – I nixed that idea right away.
When My Honey came home from school, I showed him the cricket box from where I stored it on top of the refrigerator. Out of sight – Out of mind. When I brought the box down to eye level, all the crickets were gone.
I hope and pray they are all in the tubes. My Honey says they are but he might be telling me that just to keep my hysteria down to a controllable level.
We went out to dinner on Friday evening. Everyone was in a good mood – which was nice. I was totally shocked when the kids ordered chicken fingers. Not. When we go out, they only ever eat chicken fingers, mac and cheese and, on the rare occasion when they get a little crazy, grilled cheese. I will say, however, they both generally order fruit with dinner as opposed to french fries – especially the boy. He’s a fruit freak.
So My Honey and I were sitting at the table Googling what actually qualifies something as a fruit or a vegetable. It turns out it’s ridiculously complicated and gave me a headache. Do not leave me a comment about fruit vs vegetables – it turns out I don’t care that much.
Our waitress walked by and The Bandit yelled to her, “Hey woman, I need more strawberries.”
It didn’t matter that the waitress laughed, I was embarrassed. “He’s fine,” I told her while I shushed him.
“I’m not fine,” he insisted, “I’m a strawberry lover.”
“I’ll get him some more,” she said, still laughing.
“No, really, he’s fine.” I repeated. My Honey was trying to stifle laughter.
“I AM NOT FINE.” And he didn’t look fine either. He looked like he better get some strawberries and get them now.
“It’s no big deal. I’ll bring him some more.”
The waitress did indeed bring him a plate of strawberries and he ate every last one of them.
Let’s hope this doesn’t become a habit. Pretty soon he won’t be a cute five year old maniac, and he won’t like his strawberries so much when the kitchen staff spits on them.
This is the joke The Bandit made up at dinner.
What’s red and purple and red and purple and red and purple?
A lion running through a blueberry bush.
So much hilarity that his father and I were cracking up just at how much the boy amused himself. Of course, the joke doesn’t make any sense, but I defy you not to laugh if you picture my five year old jiggling in his chair, snorting away in glee.
I was on a business call at work today – an important call – when my cell phone rang. The caller ID told me it was my literary agent. I could barely get that other person off the phone fast enough.
I can’t tell you how much I love saying that: My Literary Agent. I feel like I should only write her name in all caps. Today’s phone call put me right back in that giddy place I was in last month. She was calling to give me an update.
I need to back up a bit and give you the scoop on what happens now that she has my book. Together we wrote a pitch – a less wordy, very descriptive, three paragraph synopsis enticing an editor to want to read my book. Like what you see on the back of a book you’re considering buying, only more in depth. A long teaser if you will. Then she sent that to editors she feels will be the most interested in my book. The editors then let her know if they’d like to read the entire book.
WELL. Bantam asked to read my book. Bantam. Oh ho!
Other editors have the pitch as well – HQN, Berkley, Avon, Pocket.
I’m going to lose my mind.
You know what I’m supposed to be doing? Coming up with the plot for Dalton’s book since I lost the meat of the thing in the lap top debacle and I wrote it so long ago I can’t really remember what happened. I know the gist of it, but honestly, I didn’t know where the plot was going ….. just where it needed to end up.
I went to Walgreens after the kids went to bed and bought poster board and sticky notes so I can work it all out. I also bought M&M Pretzels. I highly recommend them. Of course, they’re totally not on my diet, but whatever.
When I got home, Sassy was asleep enough that I could get my Tooth Fairy duties out of the way. Her father and I can’t get over how much money some of her friends get from that damn fairy. That’s what we get for sending our kids to a private school. But her daddy and I will not cave to the peer pressure.
Some of my other prize winning parenting skills are evident this week, too. I have entrusted Sassy, the seven year old, with making sure I, her forty-one year old mother, gets up on time in the morning. How awesome is that?
I’m teaching her responsibility, right? But why shouldn’t I utilize her natural habit of early rising? It seems like a win win to me. And she’s much nicer about waking me up – and being persistent about it, than my father ever was. I know I’m not easy to wake up, but I seriously hope I never see Sassy standing over my bed swirling a pot of ice water.
If I do, she is so seriously grounded!
I have Ed the Computer Dude, otherwise known as Ava’s husband, working on extracting anything of Dalton’s story he can from my dead lap top.
On one hand, I’m in the 6th stage of my grief – reconstruction & working through, and I don’t really want to give hope any energy.
But, it would be foolish not to try.
I’m trying to coax myself into sitting on the floor with my stack of sticky notes and working out the plot line all over again. To accomplish that I really need my Sisters and a pitcher of martinis.
Tomorrow I’m going to Walgreens and I’m buying a big piece of poster board and I’m gonna get the whole thing mastered. I just really, really, really hate to redo all that work.
And you know – here’s the rub. As I was rereading the first 11 chapters, I was fairly unhappy with it. There was a lot I wanted to change and the writing wasn’t as good as I know it can be. But the missing nine chapters that I can’t reread – somehow in my mind, those lost chapters were the best nine chapters I’ve ever written. Probably didn’t need any editing at all.
I love being delusional.
This came from one of my writer friends. She did not write it and unfortunately, I’m not able to give credit where credit is due. Enjoy. It’s funny and scarily true.
There is this thing currently going around tumblr about why dating a writer is good. I think it’s nice that this thing is going around, because I like writers, and lots of us could use more dates. As a writer who has dated people, though — including other writers — I would like to offer some correctives to this list.
The items in bold are the alleged reasons to date a writer. I have replaced the original commentary with my bleak corrective, in lightface.
- Writers will romance you with words. We probably won’t. We write for ourselves or for money and by the time we’re done we’re sick of it. If we have to write you something there’s a good chance it’ll take us two days and we’ll be really snippy and grumpy about the process.
- Writers will write about you. You don’t want this. Trust me.
- Writers will take you to interesting events. No. We will not. We are busy writing. Leave us alone about these “interesting events.” I know one person who dates a terrific writer. He goes out alone. She is busy writing.
- Writers will remind you that money doesn’t matter so much. Yes. We will do this by borrowing money from you. Constantly.
- Writers will acknowledge you and dedicate things to you. A better way to ensure this would be to become an agent. That way you’d actually make money off of talking people through their neuroses.
- Writers will offer you an interesting perspective on things. Yes. Constantly. While you’re trying to watch TV or take a shower. You will have to listen to observations all day long, in addition to being asked to read the observations we wrote about when you were at work and unavailable for bothering. It will be almost as annoying as dating a stand-up comedian, except if you don’t find these observations scintillating we will think you’re dumb, instead of uptight.
- Writers are smart. The moment you realize this is not true, your relationship with a writer will develop a significant problem.
- Writers are really passionate. About writing. Not necessarily about you. Are you writing?
- Writers can think through their feelings. So don’t start an argument unless you’re ready for a very, very lengthy explication of our position, our feelings about your position, and what scenes from our recent fiction the whole thing is reminding us of.
- Writers enjoy their solitude. So get lost, will you?
- Writers are creative. This is why we have such good reasons why you should lend us $300 and/or leave us alone, we’re writing.
- Writers wear their hearts on their sleeves. Serious advice: if you meet a writer who’s actually demonstrative, be careful.
- Writers will teach you cool new words. This is possibly true! We may also expect you to remember them, correct your grammar, and look pained after reading mundane notes you’ve left for us.
- Writers may be able to adjust their schedules for you. Writers may be able to adjust their schedules for writing. Are you writing? Get in line, then.
- Writers can find 1000 ways to tell you why they like you. By the 108th you’ll be pretty sure we’re just making them up for fun.
- Writers communicate in a bunch of different ways. But mostly writing. Hope you don’t like talking on the phone — that shit is rough.
- Writers can work from anywhere. So you might want to pass on that tandem bike rental when you’re on vacation.
- Writers are surrounded by interesting people. Every last one of whom is imaginary.
- Writers are easy to buy gifts for. This is true. Keep it in mind when your birthday rolls around, okay?
- Writers are sexy. No argument. Some people think this about heroin addicts, too.