Archive for May, 2011

One of the most helpful/most dangerous tools out there on the Internet is the Amazon Wish List.  I use it to keep track of books I want to read or books I want to buy as gifts or music I have an interest in, and yes I know that you can add more than just books and music to an Amazon wish list but I try to have some restraint.  Usually.  It’s like pushing a shopping cart around the store for weeks on end, just browsing and adding things that strike my fancy.  Sometimes I force myself to edit my list, because sometimes down toward the bottom of the list are things that I have no idea why they’re there.  I mean, obviously I added them, but the reason somehow escapes me. 

I also limit myself to one wish list.  I suppose it would make sense to tailor lists in order to send them to the people in my life who would want to know what to buy for me, but the fact of the matter is, I would really just rather have the money.  So I don’t make customized lists and I don’t share my one list with anyone and I sort of use it like a massive notepad. 

Still, if my wish list for life — for the material goods of life — was easily available online and as easy to add to as “click here”, my list would be populated thus: 

  • A new roof
  • Repaired plasterwork inside where my roof has leaked
  • A new cell phone — a smartphone
  • A new dishwasher, one that actually gets the dishes clean
  • A new pair of glasses
  • A new car

That’s a list I would be more than happy to share with someone who would like to buy me something. 

— Mox

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Twenty-five years ago today, I donned a frilly lavender taffeta dress and stood up with my best friend as she made the biggest mistake of her life. 

I suppose that’s a bit melodramatic, but considering that we were both 18 at the time and supposedly adults, we didn’t have that first clue as to what we were doing.  I stood up there in the front of that little country church with a heavy heart and a confused mind.  Why on earth was my best friend, with one year of college behind her, jumping into the shark tank that is marriage to a man seven years her senior?  A man from another country, mind you, whom I didn’t quite like. 

You do what you do under the guise of supporting your friend, when under your skin you know that this is not going to be all it’s cracked up to be.  The differences were so great between those two — age, culture, maturity level — and I tried to talk her out of it, I tried to get her mother to talk some sense into her, and everyone was hurtling forward toward this conclusion and all I can tell you is, even at the age of 18 I knew something was not right about the whole thing. 

They married, moved all the way to Texas, and I did not see her again for seven years, other than her occasional visit home to see her family.  It felt like an amputation to me, losing the one friend who knew everything about me, whom I’d seen daily since first grade, who since third grade had been my best friend and the sister I’d never had.  Yeah, it hurt. 

In 25 years their marriage has been full of ups and downs, just like anyone else’s, but I can honestly say that in those 25 years my gut feeling has never changed.  And I don’t feel the least bit vindicated that my gut appears to be right.   

It hurts my heart to see how my friend’s husband treats her.  I can’t even be objective enough here in the anonymous space to enumerate the many ways he grinds her under his boot.  I suppose the most objective thing I can say is that he is emotionally and mentally abusive.  He has managed to take an intelligent and lively girl and compress her spirit to the point that she appears and feels to be ten years older than her 43 years.  His one saving grace had been that he had always been a good provider, and even that has fallen away; he’s two years unemployed and apparently making no real effort to reenter the job market. 

I find it hard to honestly wish her a happy anniversary today, knowing what I know and feeling how I feel.  While I would wholeheartedly support her if she decided to end the marriage, I know that for whatever reason she won’t do it.  People divorce for far lighter reasons than the ones she could muster up, and I think maybe she might just be a glutton for punishment. 

I want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her until her teeth rattle, and I’d do it, too, if I thought that would shake some sense into her. 

If I could turn back the clock, if that would make things any different, I’d go back and try harder to talk her out of it.  I’d tell her again and again what I felt in my gut, until one of us dropped from the sheer exhaustion of it all. I supposed I’d even sacrifice our friendship for the sake of her happiness, if that meant she wouldn’t take that step. 

Trust your gut, folks. 

— Mox

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So, I got to thinking the other day.  Y’know, I was feeling pretty full of myself, which is what will happen when someone hires you for a new job, particularly when that new job wasn’t even advertised and you got in on word of mouth.  Yessiree, feeling pretty good. 

But here’s the thing:  I have my old job, my new job, and my side business now.  The combination of which is approaching 40 hours a week. 

I don’t particularly want to work a 40 hour week, as I may have mentioned in this space. 

Don’t ask me how I managed to pull this off.  It was never my intention. 

I was in the shower the other day, and I was pretty exhausted — I’ve been exhausted a lot here lately — and I was trying to orchestrate in my mind just what my schedule was going to be the next several days.  And that’s when I started adding up my hours, and it got pretty close to 40 pretty fast.  And maybe that’s why I’m feeling exhausted. 

And I am not putting this here as a way of complaining, because heaven knows I’ve done enough complaining about the lack of work.  As it turns out, I know I’m pretty lucky right now. 

— Mox

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We live in a part of the country that has been inundated by rain these past several weeks — rain, wind, tornadoes, hail, you name it.  Personally I’ve been waiting for the frogs to rain down from the sky too.  It has seemed a bit apocalyptic.  The back yard is flooded.  The front yard is flooded.  The rivers have flooded.  School districts all around have either delayed classes or cancelled them entirely.  If it had been cold enough to snow we would have really been screwed. 

Today, however, the clouds parted and the sun broke through.  And on my Facebook page nearly every post was some variation on “what’s that big light up in the sky?”  Clever people, I know. 

But as good as it was to see the sun, and to know that tomorrow there would be another day of sun, the best part of the day was this: 

I got a new job. 

Say what you want about “traditional” job search methods, or even “new world order” job search methods.  I’ve tried them both.  And what it came down to was word of mouth.  How about that? 

A young man who works with me was interviewing for a new job (which he got) and happened to mention to his interviewer that someone else in his company was also looking, questions started flowing, and next thing I know, I’m sitting in this guy’s office fielding questions.

My situation is unique, and that helped in this case.  They wanted a working parent, someone who didn’t want full-time work, with a college degree, who could copyedit and wordsmith text from people who are not writers. 

DING DING DING I said.  I am your girl. 

And they are fully okay with me working other jobs too.  So I will continue to be busy, continue to work my current job, and continue to work my side business. 

And I start immediately. 

As I have had to keep reminding myself, things will work out as they are meant to. 

— Mox

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