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Archive for September, 2010

While I seriously doubt anyone has missed me here on this miniscule spot on the internet, I do feel like I need to at least put up a post to let you know that I haven’t been killed in a tragic paper airplane incident. 

So here I am.  Alive and well.  Or at least alive. 

My life has kicked into overdrive as of late.  And because we’re about to embark upon our annual thousand-mile journey south, I don’t see it slacking off anytime soon. 

It’s turned cold here.  And by “cold” I mean 70°.  I realize that some of you out there think that 70° is the height of comfortable, and while I will not argue with that logic, I also know that somewhere toward the end of this train there are temperatures that only have one digit.  And that does not make me happy. 

Oh well, this time next week I’ll be basking on the beach. 

— Mox

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Lonely only?

As an only child I’ve spent a considerable amount of time on this earth by myself.  I don’t mind it, actually, though once in a while I worry about myself, that I’m so content on my own.  I feel like maybe I need to be embracing my loved ones more.  Because there is a possibility that I may be the last man standing at the end.  And then being alone won’t be an option. 

A lot of my pursuits are solitary ones:  horseback riding, reading, writing.  I love going to the movies by myself, and even better, I love sneaking off to the movies by myself.  Just me and a tub of popcorn and a drink, getting lost in a story.  No one knows where I am.  I love it.  It’s hooky. 

Problem is, I don’t do it enough. 

Most new moms get the same old advice — make time for yourself.  It’s actually pretty laughable.  Most new moms are too shell-shocked to think about this whole “making time for yourself” thing.  I was one of those new moms.  The first couple of years went by pretty fast.  Going to the grocery store was the height of my alone time. 

But then my daycare arrangements were forced to change and with Spawn safely tucked away for the day, I was able to sneak away in the course of a workday and get myself a massage.  Or slip in a trip to the mall, just for a few minutes.  On the rare occasions I got an afternoon off, I treated myself to a grown-up meal, complete with grown-up drink, within the confines of a cozy bar somewhere.  I had no one to answer to, at least for an hour or so. 

It’s only recently that I’ve been able to take myself to the movies again.  I get to see movies that my husband would rather eat glass than go to (romantic comedies, anyone?) and I get that big tub of popcorn all to myself.  And I feel a little guilty that I enjoy it so much.  But a matinée is fairly cheap so the guilt isn’t too bad. 

The best part about it?  I don’t tell anyone.  It just makes it all that more delicious. 

— Mox

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Smoke coming out of my ears.

I work in a high-rise office building, the first five floors of which are a parking garage.  Because I am in the downtown area, parking is at a premium, and I am especially thankful for the fact that I always will have a space, somewhere, inside, waiting for me. 

On the fourth floor of the parking garage, management has thoughtfully converted a corner of the garage into a smoking lounge.  In this smoking lounge there are abandoned and broken down office chairs and an assortment of ashtrays.  It ain’t pretty but to my mind, it gets the job done. 

There is an ordinance on the books in my work city that smoking is not to take place within 25 feet of building entrances.  Management has posted this helpful fact on all the building entrances, including those in the parking garage. 

The question here is:  does anyone pay attention? 

The answer:  well, hell, no. 

Yesterday I was on my way to pick up Spawn after school and rode the elevator down to my second floor parking space.  When I got to the entrance for the second floor parking area, what do I see but a clutch of three women, standing around smoking.  And not only were they just standing there, nowhere near the smoking lounge, they were standing right next to my car

I know, right? 

I held my breath, fixed a polite but icy smile on my face, and pressed through their group so that I could load my laptop into the passenger side of my car.  They had at least a bare minimum of manners to mutter a “sorry” in my direction, and had I felt more brave or courageous I might have said something.  As it was, I went around to the driver’s side, got in, and left. 

My car smelled like smoke. 

I think there is a fine line between being assertive and being confrontational, and most of the time I do not know where that line is.  This is where emotion gets involved.  I’m fairly sure that had I said something to those three smoking women next to my car, it would have fallen more squarely on the confrontational side of the line, since it really did make me angry to see them there.  If I could have been assertive about it — and emotionally detached — I would have been able to say something without it being an invitation to fight. 

I find that most smokers are plenty rude.  They don’t realize, or they don’t care, that they smell.  I don’t want to smell smoke.  And I certainly don’t want to ride around in a car that smells of smoke.  And call me crazy, but I think that I am well within my rights to expect to not have to deal with smoke, particularly since there is an ordinance on the books that delineates smoking zones.

I mean, hell, they don’t even allow smoking in bars around here. 

Still, you never know what you’re going to run up against when you point out to someone that they’re in the wrong.  People don’t have a problem going all Jerry-Springer on you these days.  Women, especially, like to hold grudges.  Had I said something I may have found my car keyed.  I don’t know, I’m just making an assumption here.  But you just don’t know about people.  The thin veneer of civility that this society used to operate under is gone nowadays.  And it seems to have been replaced by a nice, thick, cushy layer of lawsuits. 

Bottom line is, I don’t want to fight.  I just want people to behave themselves. 

— Mox

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I work in an office building where every floor has a set of community restrooms.  We share ours with two other companies on our floor. 

There is a woman who works in the largest company on our floor who is, I think, the most fastidious person I have ever seen.  I don’t know her name, and I have only exchanged pleasantries with her, but through my keen powers of observation I have witnessed a personal grooming quirkfest that sort of boggles my mind. 

It started off with the dispenser of floral lotion soap that sat on the shelf above the sinks.  At first I thought, how nice, building management is providing name-brand soap for us ladies so that we can smell like freesia.  But then, the soap dispensers that are mounted to the sinks were full of pretty pink generic soap, so maybe not. 

Then there was the can of air freshener that rested atop the paper towel dispenser.  Oh, what a welcome sight that was. 

Once I spotted the corner of something peeking over the edge of the paper towel dispenser, next to the can of Glade.  Of course I picked it up to see what it was.  Wouldn’t you?  Well, what it was, was an individually-wrapped personal cleansing wipe.  Hmm. 

During all of this bathroom discovery, I would run into this woman occasionally, and I would notice her using the name-brand soap whenever she would wash her hands.  Oh, I thought, she brought this in.  And so I surmised that she was probably responsible for the other stuff, too. 

So what, you might be thinking.  It could be her.  It could be anybody on the floor.  But I’m telling you it’s her. 

Well, yes, of course it could.  But the other day I went into the restroom and boy, I had to go.  Bad.  And I needed to be alone.  And there she was. 

She was brushing her teeth. 

Ok, it was after lunch.  Lots of people brush their teeth after lunch.  I’ve been known to do it myself.  This lady does it every day, as far as I can tell.  And ok, that’s fine.  We all have our routines. 

I was in something of an awkward position, having to go to the bathroom and yet not wishing to be in there with someone else for the duration.  Going up or down the stairs to another floor was… not a good idea.  I couldn’t just turn tail and run, for a number of reasons. 

So I went into a stall and I made appropriate noises and I waited. 

tick tick tick

I could tell from the sounds that she was finished brushing her teeth and I began to hope that she’d hie on out of the restroom.  But no. 

What’s that sound?  twick, thwick, pickpickpick

Seriously?  Really?  She’s flossing her teeth? 

At this point I am undeniably trapped.  I’m in the stall, my pants on the ground.  It’s been several minutes already and there has been no flushing.  It’s pretty obvious someone needs to be alone. 

Who the hell does a full flossing in a community bathroom at two o’clock in the afternoon? 

I managed to wait her out, though I was beginning to wonder if she was going to gargle next.  She finished her periodontal ministrations and moved along.  How glad was I. 

Perhaps I am just not quite as high maintenance. 

— Mox

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I have questions.

How far is up? 

Consumption of what number of bananas will cause you to grow a prehensile tail? 

Will they miss me at the gym this week? 

How is it I have a home I love, a husband and child I adore, and yet somehow I hate my life? 

Where did the white hairs come from in my eyebrows? 

How can I have the stomach flu for five days and yet not have lost my potbelly? 

Where did my creative mojo go? 

Will it ever rain again around here? 

What is it about my mother that drives me up the wall? 

Do grilled cheese sandwiches count as dinner? 

What is happy, anyway? 

When am I going to find time to get that pedicure? 

Didn’t things use to be easier? 

What the hell was I thinking? 

— Mox

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So today is my birthday. 

I mention this not because I want adulation from (all three of) my readers, but because it is a fact, and other than what the calendar is telling me it feels pretty much just like any other day. 

I’ve heard that birthdays get that way after a while. 

My Facebook page is burgeoning with well wishes from near and dear, nodding acquaintances, and far flung old friends.  See, the thing I like about Facebook is that it reminds you of when people’s birthdays come around, provided they’ve entered that info, and gives you a chance to tip your hat to them, where ordinarily the date wouldn’t even register on your radar.  Most people just want a little recognition, a little “howya doin'” in their lives, and especially on their birthdays.  So the fact that Facebook tips people off when it’s your birthday, that’s nice. 

I am long past the days where I required a big deal be made over my day, much to the relief of my big-deal-challenged husband.  Mostly I just want a greeting, maybe a free lunch or a beer, or a hug.  But only if I know you well enough to hug you.  And for God’s sake, please do not throw me a surprise party.  I will cut you out of my will. 

Other than the fact that it is September 1st, my day is progressing much the same as August 31st did.  I got up hella early, took Spawn to school, went to the gym and tortured myself on the weight machines, came home for a shower, and am fixing to embark upon a busy day of errand running and putting out fires.  My husband will be out of town this evening, and my parents want to take me to dinner, so at least I’ll get steak.  Spawn and I will fuss and argue over homework.  There will be laundry. 

Just another day in paradise. 

— Mox

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