Blog Page 9

“Yeah. I can beat that price. *beep* Let me see if I’ve got availability and I’ll get right back to you.”

“This is Wendy.” I answered as now my other line beeped in.

That’s how my whole morning went. Call after call after impatient call. No sooner would I be on the line with one person than another would be calling in.

I didn’t have time to breathe. I was fending off calls so quickly that I couldn’t even get a call into operations. Finally both lines were mercifully silent and I frantically started working up bids.

Rrrrrrrrrring! Ack.

“This is Wendy.”

“Cupcake!! There’s a FABULOUS sale at the Mall of America and you need to…”

“Jade. Hey. I can’t talk. Work is insane today.”

“But that has nothing to do with me and did you hear what I said? A sale! *beep* You need to see me anyways *beep* because I haven’t waxed your brows recently and…”

“I’m hanging up on you now.”

“This is Wendy.”

“I need another bid on a partial to Smithfield, UT.”

“Sure thing Sam. *beep* I’ll work it up and get back to you ASAP.”

“This is Wendy.”

“I’m going to pretend you didn’t hang up on me Bert. Now. About that sale.”

“Bert? Why are you calling me Bert?”

“Because I haven’t waxed your brows in nearly 6 weeks and you must be looking very Sesame Street by now sugar. So we’ll take care of that before a lovely little lunch followed by a good shopping spree. I have Michael’s credit card.”

“Look, I don’t have time to think let alone eat or shop and do you NOT remember how pissed Michael was the last time we took the card?” I reminded him as my line beeped again. “Hanging up.”

“This is Wendy.”

“Wendy this is Michael. Jade’s line is busy and I just noticed I didn’t grab my American Express off the table before flying to New York this morning. Is he on the line with you?”

I bit my lip. The American Express? There’s like, no limit on those things…*beep* “Michael I have another call gotta go.”

“This is Wendy.”

“I’m not feeling the love Bert.”

“Ok stop calling me that. Michael just called. He said you took the American Express.”

“Lies! I didn’t take it I found it just sitting there on the table. Clearly he wanted me to have it for the day. I’m famished. Let’s go to Hooters. Oh wait…nothing on that menu I want. We’ll hit the Tratorria. The waiters are so cute they have to be gay. Serve that right up…and I do mean up.”

“Can’t do it sweetie. Not that I’m against gorgeous unavailable men. Have fun.” Click.

The calls continued, luckily Jade was not amongst them.

Rinnnggggggggg!

“This is Wendy.” I answered and was met with silence. Rinnnnnngggggggggggggggggg! Huh? Oh. The door.

I opened the front door to find a pimply faced teen with a pizza box.

“Pizza delivery for Bert.”

Unbelievable. “How much do I owe you?”

“Already paid for on an American Express card. Enjoy Ma’am.”

Pizza. Oh god….Chicago style, pepperoni with extra cheese. Even breathing the aroma causes weight gain. I’d need at least 2 hours of gym time per slice. Did that guy call me Ma’am? What am I, my mother? I deserve this pizza. I have been verbally assaulted!

By the end of the day I was exhausted. I’d also managed to rack up a need for about 6 hours of gym time. I changed into sweats, my red T-shirt that says “Please don’t interrupt me while I’m ignoring you!” and took off for my atonement at the gym.

I hit the weights and by the 4 th interruption from someone saying “Like that shirt. Does it work?” I’d become a not-so-fun-person to talk to.

“Clearly not!” I responded brattily and took off for the elliptical machine.

I’d worked off about ½ a slice of pizza when the intercom piped through. “Lifetime paging Miss Bert ….sir are you sure about this name?….Miss Bert Cupcake. Miss Bert Cupcake to the front desk please.”

I hit stop on the machine, allowed myself a calming breath, counted to 10 and went downstairs to the front desk.

“Hi Jade.”

“I can’t believe you didn’t thank me for the pizza,” he pouted while ogling a bicep boy walking past.

“I thanked Michael. How did you know I was here?”

“Oh please. You? Eat pizza and not race to the gym? Give me some credit sugar. I’m here to wax your brows. You look hideous and that’s poor PR for me.”

“You’re going to wax my brows at the gym?”

“Well just as soon as I tour the men’s locker room, yes.”

“Jade…”

“Oh alright. Lay down on that bench over there.”

Well I guess it’s not the weirdest thing people have seen at the gym. Fifteen minutes later I took him on a tour of the gym. When we walked into the aerobics studio I got the first look at my brows.

“Jade what did you do to me!?!?” I stepped closer to the mirror and stared. My brows were perfectly shaped but they were dark brown, nearing black.

“I tinted them cupcake. You needed to stand out more. Now you do. Plus now you’ll agree to come in for lowlights for your hair on Friday. You must or you won’t match. Honestly, you look pretty ridiculous.”

“Jade…”

“Well cupcake I’d talk further but I don’t want to violate the order of the shirt. See you Friday at 1:15!” he said with a wink and then picked up his pace to catch up with a beautifully toned man heading out to the parking lot.

Is there a point to this story? Of course. My life is completely out of control. I’d explain further but it’s Friday and I have a hair appointment.

 

I’ve become quite the regular at Krispy Kreme. A box of those little sugar laden lard babies can equal a week of shipments. It’s fun to pull into a customer’s parking lot, climb out of the car and see employees peering out the window and salivating. Well at the box of donuts, not me.

In today’s health conscious society you’d think customers would more appreciate a box of bagels, but show up with a box of donuts and they’re like little kids fighting over who gets the sprinkles and who gets the raspberry filling.

Having landed a new customer the afternoon before, I planned on starting the day by delivering donuts as a way to say “thanks” and “keep the orders coming in.” This particular customer was one I’d acquired via phone conversations and emails and I’d never actually met them. I didn’t know how many employees they had, just that I should go to the office and not the warehouse. I picked up 2 boxes so I wouldn’t cause a brawl.

Turned out there were just 3 guys. Three very talkative guys. Donuts can be like booze. Get a few of them down and they spill everything. By the time I left I knew exactly what type of shipments they have on a regular basis, what their business plan was and what the growth trend would be over the next year. Information like that is even sweeter than donuts. J By the time I made my escape I was late for my next appointment, and it was too close to the lunch hour to deliver the extra box of donuts to another account.

I’ve been very well behaved lately. In fact I am pleased to announce I haven’t had a cheezit frenzy in nearly a week. My workouts are going well and I’ve been relatively active. I’m not back in my size 2 stuff yet but my 4’s are getting loose and some of my muscle tone is starting to consider coming back.

As with the rest of the country, Minnesota has been ridiculously hot. Early in the day and already we were in the 90’s. I tell ya, warmed up donuts can really make the car smell yummy. This was not a problem, I have self control. I’d just drop the extra donuts off to my operations people to enjoy later in the day. Gotta keep your coworkers happy too, right? Good decision.

Of course now I wouldn’t have time to stop for lunch. I suppose that since I’d designated the extra box to the office, of which I am also a part, it wouldn’t hurt to have just one. A celebratory donut per se, to reward myself for my new account. Yes, I have EARNED this.

I peered into the box. It was an assorted variety. Score! There was one of the glazed devil’s food cake donuts in there. Oh…but there was also a cinnamon apple filled one with frosting. How to choose? Well apples are healthy. Fruit. I’d go with that. They should really rename these babies “sugar delivery devices.” Within seconds after licking the last of the frosting off my fingers I felt giddy. Sugar high baby, wheeeeeeeee!

I got to thinking. There were only 5 people running ops today. 11 donuts left. Hmmm. That means they would each get two and then there would be a fight over that last donut. Do I REALLY want to be responsible for that? The one to upset the office harmony? That would be wrong of me. I could avoid all the hassle by just eating one more. It was the right thing to do. Mmmmmmmmm. Devil’s food. Muahahaaaaaa.

The day progressed. I had a few odd comments from a couple of my accounts.

“Are you always this happy?”

“Gee Wendy. People usually walk through the warehouse, but you kind of bounce.”

“Been hitting the coffee today girl?”

“Can I have some of what you’re on?”

I was a frenzy of ambition. In between appointments I cold called at as many places as I could. “Hi! HowareyoumynameisWendyandI’mwithLogisticsUnlimited. Couldyouleavethisforyourshippingmanager? Oh,andwhoshouldIfollowupwith?” After I’d repeated myself for the obviously incompetent receptionist I sailed out the door to the next.

Suddenly it was 4:45 and I was at least 30 minutes from the office but just a few minutes from home. Well the donuts would keep til tomorrow. I grabbed the box to bring inside and it felt rather light. Opening the lid I was shocked to see just 4 donuts left. HUH? How did that happen? Well I can’t possibly bring these in now. I’ll just let Krista have them. Who doesn’t like a Krispy Kreme? Of course it would be poor parenting to let her eat 4 of them….

Moo.

551

Sigh. It’s a sound and cadence I’ve grown accustomed to over the last 18 years. In fact it really hasn’t changed much at all. The only variation has been from slappy barefoot stomps to less effective tennis shoe stomps to oh-my-poor-hardwood-floors heel clicking stomps.

It’s the sound of someone being in trouble. In most cases me.

There are a few instances with Krista that stand out over the years.

Age 3 (sorry, 3 and a half): “No, you may NOT have chocolate pudding for breakfast.” STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP *SLAM!* Shaking my head I turned back to the morning routine. Emerging from my room a few minutes later I hear my nosy neighbor Janice at our patio door asking Krista if everything is alright, she had heard a loud noise. “My mommy won’t let me eat breakfast today,” sings the little liar’s sweet as sugar voice.

Age 5: “Sorry munchkin, I’m afraid an important cartoon is not a good enough excuse to miss kindergarten.” STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP *WHOMP!* Whomp? A tearful Krista re-emerges with a rather sad looking headless teddy bear. “He was in the way but I checked and it’s all clear now.” STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP *SLAM!*

Age 13: “I don’t care what all the other girls at school are doing. I care about what YOU are doing and my answer is still no. And before you start in again let me just say I’ve heard enough and you are not to say another word. If you still want a tattoo when you’re 18 that will be your choice.” STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP *SLAM!* 5 seconds later….STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP *GLARE!* “You know what? FINE. But next time you have a daughter, DON’T raise her to speak her mind. DON’T teach her to have an opinion. DON’T tell her that her body is her own and no one else can tell her what to do with it because clearly that is NOT true!” STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP *SLAM!*

Mother +Daughter= contents under pressure. It’s like some universal law or something. If any of you moms out there have teenaged daughters I highly recommend the book Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager. Yes, apparently they are new these days. Krista and I are close in age, but I really have never found that to be a benefit. As far as she’s concerned, 17 years older makes me ancient and completely out of it. For example:

We get out to the car to head to the mall. After I’ve started the car she glances over and says, “Oh. So is that what you’re wearing today?” No, I think sarcastically to myself, this is just my starting the car outfit.

But as fashion challenged as she claims I am, she always manages to raid my closet. If I go to wear something and find it missing it is most likely hung up on the floor (a lil joke she and I have) in her bedroom. In fact I got so sick of this that we made a new house rule. Feel like borrowing without asking? FINE. If you get caught the other person gets to take any 3 items of their choice for the next 24 hours. This has actually come in handy at times. I’ve found myself hoping she’ll take something so that I can take more than 1 item of hers. It doesn’t apply just to clothes. The other day my 3 items of choice included a CD, a pair of shoes (no, that does not count as 2 items thankyouverymuch) and a sweater.

So most types of arguments have become a thing of the past. The majority of the time we are good friends, confidants and respectful roomies. The stomping thing seemed to be a thing of the past too…until last week.

“Hey Mom. I’m going out. I’ll be late.”

Late? What’s late to an 18 year old? Apparently 10 am the next morning. Oh I was beyond ticked.

“Geez. Relax. I’m 18 now. It’s not as if you can ground me.”

“OH Yeah? I wouldn’t punish myself that way. But congratulations on becoming 18. CHILD LABOR LAWS NO LONGER APPLY!” STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP *SLAM!*

Oh and that last stomp and slam? That was me. It felt pretty good actually.

569

1997….

I was so engrossed in my book that the ringing made me jump. I glared at the phone but it continued to ring anyways. By the 8 th ring I figured I may as well answer it. I reluctantly set aside Canterbury Tales and, using my best “I’m annoyed” voice said a curt hello.

“Hey babe. It’s me. You sound ticked…still reading Chaucer?” asked my boyfriend, Dan.

“Yeah, well you should have known better than to introduce me to his works. What’s up?”

“I’ll regret this too…but we have a situation here and I need your help. One of the newest inmates escaped and no one has been able to catch him. Can you come down?” Dan had a 2 nd job part time over at PetSmart. Every once in a while a cat or bird or other creature would escape its confines and I seemed to have a knack for luring them into a catchable location.

“Why would you regret it? I help you with that all the time” I said while looking longingly at my book. This was supposed to be a couch day for me. I never should have answered the phone.

“You’ll understand when you get here. See you soon.”

I arrived to find the typical scenario. It never seemed to matter what type of creature it was. The escapee would be hiding out of arms reach, usually under the raised stack of cages (why they didn’t just set the cages on the floor directly was beyond me) and ignoring the pleas of the employee trying to get at them.

“Hey Shauna,” I said to the frustrated employee of the day, “who we after this time?”

“Well thank god. Cat lady is here. Good luck, this is the kitten from hell. Little brat won’t move an inch. I even tried a broom and he deftly stepped over every pass. I was supposed to leave 20 minutes ago. Not to mention we had 3 families that probably would have taken him home if I’d been able to catch him. His loss.”

Shauna closed the glass door behind her. I watched her head towards the front doors past the cash register. Dan was working one of them and he gave me a salute and I saw him mouth the word “Babe.” I gave a half hearted wave back (things between us were not going well) and turned back towards my task. I said a quick hello to the other inhabitants of the room, sitting quietly in their cages and longing for new homes. Only one cage was empty. Right. Time to fill it back up.

Kneeling down, I peered into the darkness at a pair of glowing golden eyes.After my own eyes adjusted I could see that it was a black kitten, incredibly small and incredibly scared. “Rough day, huh?” I asked while considering the best tactic.

“Meow.”

“Yeah, I hear ya. My day hasn’t turned out how I thought it would either. See I’m supposed to be at home enjoying a rare day alone. You weren’t on the agenda little one. So if you don’t mind, could you just stomp on back to your cage and we can both call it a day?”

I’ve always had a great connection with animals, an ability to calm them and coax them, but this was unexpected. The kitten came directly out (and I swear those paws actually were stomping) and jumped up into the cage. Well then. Go me. I scooted over to shut the door and the tag with the inmate’s information caught my eye.

Name: Chaucer
Age: 6-9 weeks
Sex: M
Breed: Domestic shorthair

Chaucer? I glanced into the cage and we made eye contact. Whoa. Ever feel déjà vu? Ever meet someone for the first time and you could swear you know them? That’s what I felt when we made eye contact. “Are you feeling weirded out too?” I asked.

“Meow.”

Okey dokey then. I opened up the door and he climbed up onto my shoulders, wrapped himself around my neck and began to purr.

“I knew it” said a male voice behind me.

“The name. Your doing?” I asked while nuzzling the little face hanging over my shoulder on the right.

“Nope. I’ve got the intake papers to prove it.”

And so began what would be the most incredible friendship I’ve ever had.We were inseparable.As a kitten he would gain squeals of delight from my daughter and her friends as he’d do back flips over strings and pounce at them playfully from under the couch.He’d patiently endure the little outfits they’d put him in.He’d sit for as much as an hour at a time next to my daughter as co-pilot of the cardboard rocket ship she’d made.I swear he acted out the parts as I’d make up another story about him for Krista at bedtime.“Do the Chaucie voice mama” was a regular request.

He was the man of the house. Each night he’d patrol the perimeter with me as I locked the doors and turned out the lights. He’d wake me with a stern meow and a paw in the face every time one of the gerbils or hamsters or chinchillas or ferrets or various other critters we had escaped their cage. He regularly snoozed on my shoulders as I washed the dishes…folded the laundry…talked on the phone…or read yet another book.

He slept under the covers and at times draped himself over my forehead in the night. He never broke eye contact as I’d tell him about my day. He graciously absorbed my tears into his fur when life brought me down, even reaching a paw up to catch a falling tear on many occasions. He’d greet me at the door every day after work, extending his paw straight out (always the left one) and letting out a hilariously long “meeeeyoooooooow.” He never got indignant at the many nicknames bestowed upon him. “Long paw of the law,” “Chauce vader,” “Chaucinator”, “Chauska” and “Chauce the boss.”

Not having him in my life was unimaginable. When I arrived home from a 4 day vacation on the North Shore on the 4 th of July something seemed wrong. I’d checked in regularly with my Dad (always a favorite pet sitter with my animals) and he’d said everything was fine. Chauce greeted me with the paw-n-meow as always, but the meow wasn’t quite right. His face looked puffy and the rest of him looked thin.

He howled the whole car ride to the vets as usual, and immediately jumped out of his box to race around the exam room.Probably just a cold, he sure was acting normal now.The usual questions and tests were completed, and as Chaucie attacked my purse the vet said all the wrong things.

“I’m sorry. It’s not good. He’s got Squamous cell carcinoma. It’s a terribly fast growing and invasive cancer. As you can see, he’s swollen on the right side of his jaw. The tumor is in his mouth, jaw and nasal cavity. It will grow alarmingly fast and I’m afraid there is nothing we can do. It’s ok to take him home, he doesn’t seem to be too uncomfortable yet.”

“How long…”

“A couple weeks at the most.”

It did grow alarmingly fast.Chaucie became (if possible) cuddlier than ever.He would mash his little body up against me and stare into my eyes.He listened to me beg him not to leave me, and reached his paw up many times to touch the tears.

Yesterday his breathing was labored, but he was still cuddly! Still eating! Still begging for treats! Still whapping at the dog with a paw! It couldn’t be time. Not yet. He looked at me and said “meow.” It wasn’t a usual meow, it was sad. He jumped to my lap, put a paw on either side of my neck and rested his head on my chin. Krista sat next to us and we both pet him and cried for the next hour.

The vet was so good to us.They took him away to put a catheter in his leg and then they gave us a room for some final time together and said they’d come back in 20 minutes.Chaucie didn’t try to jump down and scope out the room.He just laid in my lap and let me pet him.I thanked him.For everything.All the years, the laughs, the conversations and the love…and then I held him as they injected the euthanasia into the catheter and the wheezing breath silenced.He was no longer in pain, he was at peace.

The house is silent.His presence is so desperately missed.The other 2 cats are still looking for him.The pillow in the corner (that he stole from the dog) remains empty, but the impression from the last time he laid there remains.

His ashes will be returned to me next week. The vet said the urn will have an imprint they will take of his paw. I will be burying him with his favorite mouse, his favorite blanket and a copy of the story I wrote in his honor years ago, “Canterbury Tails.”

Goodbye Chauce. I will miss you forever, and I love you with every piece of my broken heart.

662

Even I could have predicted that I’d have a difficult day working while anticipating the trip to the psychic. This was a completely new experience for me. My only other connections to the paranormal were playing the Ouija board as a kid (I still say Colleen made the planchette move to the letters) and a palm reading at the Renaissance Festival where the woman went on and on about a mark on my hand that turned out to just be caramel from the apple I had.

The work day finally ended and I raced to my car to begin the 2 hour trek to her small town office. It is never a good idea for me to have that much time to think. By the time I was half way there I was in full skeptic mode. After all, if this lady is truly psychic why did I have to schedule an appointment? Shouldn’t she just know I’m coming? I spent the second half of the drive getting nervous. What if she’s not psychic but just reads minds? Do I really want someone to know all the stuff in there? What if she looks at me in horror? Or worse yet…what if she takes one look at me and just starts laughing?

By the time I found the office I was a wreck. I followed the smell of incense into a bright corner office and found a woman in a flowing black pantsuit sitting Indian style on the floor sipping a Starbucks Frappusomethingorother.

“It’s on the corner one block down. You didn’t see it because you drove in from the opposite direction.”

“I’m sorry?”

“You were wondering where the Starbucks was and why you hadn’t seen it when you drove through town.”

Oh my god…she was reading my mind…this was a disaster. Any second and she’d ask me to leave once she discerned what I thought about her outfit. And the shoes…oh god, think of something good. Kittens. Puppies. Dancing children.

“HA!” she declared gleefully as she bounced up from the floor. “I was right, wasn’t I? Oh calm down sweetheart, I can’t read minds. Just a little psychic humor. Anyone could have known from the look on your face that you wished this coffee was yours. Have a seat. Do you mind if we keep the door open? I don’t want to trap any energy. THAT’s what I read darling. Energy. Energy and colors, and oh boy are yours a mess. Take off the deer in the headlights look and have a seat.”

I selected the chair closest to the door and proceeded to sit there silently as she gazed silently back. I told myself to refrain from fidgeting. Maybe she was running an important scan or something. Why wasn’t she saying anything?

“Umm, I don’t really know how this works? Do I ask you ques…”

“You really need to stop it you know” she interrupted while lowering her glasses on her nose and staring me down.

“I’m sorry?”

“Yes, exactly my point!” she exclaimed. Her bracelets clicked alarmingly loud as she threw her arms up to the ceiling. “You are always so sorry! Good Lord child are you hard on yourself. You have got to stop being so nice all the time and blaming yourself for everything that happens to the people you love. You’re a wonderful mother by the way. Exceedingly patient. Did you know your daughter was your older sister in a past life? And oh boy, was she ever bossy. People often mistake you for sisters, don’t they? Oh. Be sure you tell her that the breakup with her boyfriend had nothing to do with her. He just wants to enjoy being young, and if you ask me she should too.”

And then it happened. From out of absolutely nowhere I burst into tears. Those of you who know me will find that even harder to believe than the fact that I went to a psychic. Cry in public? ME?

“That’s ok dear you just go ahead and let it all out. You are entirely too busy being independent and strong to ever let yourself have a good cry. I’m exhausted just thinking about being you. Did I mention your colors are a mess?”

She then proceeded to tell me a number of things about my personality that of course I already knew but was convinced I kept well hidden from others. She also told me which people in my life let me continue to believe that they don’t know. Hmmm.

The process was really quite easy. I’d give her the name of a person in my life and she would tell me who they were to me and what was going on in my relationship with them. I was too busy wanting to know all the details that I didn’t have a chance to freak out about the fact that she knew who these people were. The only information this woman had before I arrived was my first name. She didn’t even know that I had a child.

According to her, most of these people have been people I’ve known in prior lives. She says that we reconnect to try to finish or fix something left out during the last life. Apparently I’m an old soul and I’m cruising through this life and doing a fabulous job of wrapping things up. She said she knew I was frustrated that people disappear from my life but that it has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that what was needing to be done was done.

“Ok, really? I’m not too sure I believe in past lives.”

“You believe in God. You believe in the afterlife. Why wouldn’t you believe you’ve lived before? Let me help you with this. I’ll give you 3 examples. First: You stopped wearing watches years ago because you lose them almost as soon as you buy them. This is because you were an apprentice to a watchmaker in a past life and it was your job to inventory every piece. You hated it. Your self conscious remembers that. Every time you buy a watch it gets uncomfortable and when you take it off you leave it somewhere. Second: You’re wearing shorts today but in all honesty you are uncomfortable. You prefer dresses and skirts, even to relax in. You feel prettiest in things that are extremely feminine and you have an absolute love of shoes, preferably heels. Your happiest life thus far was during the Victorian Era. You were a lady of society and had a gorgeous wardrobe. Third: You have a black cat that is currently dying. You are completely distraught about this because you have a profound connection to him. You have conversations. You believe that he understands you although your mind balks at the thought. This cat has been with you in every life and will be with you in the next one. He is only going away from you physically but will not leave you spiritually. Has he started whistling yet?”

“I’m sorry?”

“No, child you are NOT sorry. You did nothing to cause this cat to be ill so stop it. Has the cat been making a whistling sound?”

“Yes. He has a tumor blocking the right side of his mouth and his nose, it’s growing and he started breathing with a whistling sound a week ago. The vet says he isn’t in pain yet…but that I’ll know when it’s time and he only has about a month.”

“I know. The whistling has nothing to do with the tumor. He wants you to get used to the sound. I’m sorry but you will need to put him down and he’ll tell you when it’s time. The pain is coming soon. A week after he dies you will begin to hear the whistling again. You’ll know that he’s with you. Any other questions about past lives?”

Need I mention there were tears again by this point?

Ok ok. All you people want to hear about is my future and whether or not I’m going to be single my whole life. Well I did too, but she doesn’t believe in telling people very much about that. According to her any specific knowledge of what’s coming can cause us to upset the whole thing and thus change it. Humans have free will and all that happens today will affect tomorrow. Her goal as a psychic is to help people understand their past and their present so that they CAN have a decent future.

She did give me some generals:

  1. My spiritual guide is a French dude named Evan who was an author. She said that he is my creative inspiration and that she thinks I will eventually decide to make my living as a writer. She suggested I look into finding an editor and getting started sooner rather than later as I’m just wasting time.
  2. My guardian angel is my grandma’s sister and that in an attempt to get me to relax a bit she implemented getting my counselor from last year to have me knit. See my blog about knitting for clarification. According to my psychic I am a horrid knitter and that when things come together easily it’s because Anne is sitting with me.
  3. I will meet a wonderful man but that all she can tell me is that it has to do with the number 3. This could mean I’ll meet him in 3 days…3 months…the month of March or 3 years from now. (sigh) She did say he’d be worth the wait.

And then my time was up. She’d actually gone on for nearly two hours and I only paid for one. She said she’d keep talking but that I had an important phone call coming in a couple minutes and she didn’t want to keep me.

I began the drive home reviewing all the things she said…and the fact that I really don’t know any more now than when I went there. Uncannily enough, I felt pretty good and peaceful. I snapped out of my thoughts as the phone rang.

“Hey Mom! When are you coming home? I miss you. We should go to Starbucks and get a frappucino. Can I borrow your black blouse? The one that ties at the midriff? You could wear that other one you have and we could look like sisters….”

My daughter is at an interesting age. Now that she’s 18 and an “adult” (cough) she feels she has the right to comment on my life and give me advice. Ok, so she’s been doing that for years, but sometimes she’s a bit blunt about it.

I could be reading too much into it…but the fact that she handed me the book “He’s just not that into you” must mean something, don’t you think?

So I read it. It was incredibly funny and it was nice to see that most other women are as ridiculously hopeful as I am when it comes to a man we think has “potential.” As it turns out, there’s no such thing as a guy not being ready to commit, or just wanting to be “friends with benefits” for now. He’s just not that into you! Move on! Okey dokey. He didn’t call when he said he would? He’s just not that into you! Gotcha. He doesn’t believe in marriage? He just knows he could never be married to you! Check. He cancelled plans or forgot you had them? He Is Not Into You! Righty O.

So my future is bright! I now know how to read the things men say without actually saying them. According to the book I am fabulous and beautiful and there is a man out there who will think so. Why would I not want that? As they said, “Don’t waste the pretty.” AGREED! Bring on the men. I’m set. *tap tap tap* ok there doesn’t seem to be one here right now. Well doesn’t that just figure? I know all the signs to look for and not a man in sight.

Luckily my entire love life will be figured out tonight. In 4.5 hours to be specific. I can live in limbo for that long. I’ve waited 36 years, what are a few more hours? No……I don’t have a date. What made you think that? No I am not registering as a mail order bride. No I haven’t found a man who would fit a book titled “He is that into you!” So how will I know where/when this man exists?

I’m going to see a psychic of course. Stay tuned…I guarantee there will be a blog out of this experience.

I had been putting this off for quite some time.  I knew there would be a price to pay.  In fact knowing this had only made me put it off longer.  But inevitably, these difficult situations catch up to us…growing day by day…until they grow completely out of control.  It could be put off no longer.

It was time for a bikini wax.

I tried to calm myself while I waited for my name to be called.  I’m a strong woman.  I’ve endured childbirth for god’s sake.  How bad could this be?  Deep breaths.  Calming sips of herbal tea.  I leaned back to take in the soft new age music and rest my eyes for a bit.  It was starting to work until a loud slam from the next room made me sit up in fear.

“I DON’T CARE IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT YOU LAZY #*&@#” an angry voice screamed from behind the Employees Only door.  Seconds later I heard a phone slam down.    “Jenny, get him back on the phone for me.  I want to hang up on him again.”

Deciding that perhaps I could put this off for just one more week, I quickly stood, gathered my purse and keys and quietly headed past the employee door to reach the exit.  Just then the door opened.

“Well well well.  Look who we have here.  If it isn’t Miss Wendy herself.  Going somewhere are we?”

“Umm. No?” I asked while avoiding direct eye contact.

“You’re damned right you aren’t.  You OWE me an explanation and don’t you dare mess with me today.  I’ll have the truth out of you.  Room 4 you traitor.  Strip down.”

Ok so this wasn’t getting off to a good start.  I found room 4, removed what was necessary and awaited my fate.  I passed the time by reworking my budget in my head to try to figure out whether or not I could afford electrolysis instead.  I heard the door open behind me and my heart started to pound.

“You know what?  Forget it.  I don’t even want to know where you’ve been.  No. Not me.  I am above that.  What’s it to me if you’ve been seeing another man?  I’m telling you sugar I have plenty of women who were happy to take your spot. PLENTY.  So you just lay there with your mouth shut and your legs open and let me get in there to do my job. KAY?”

“Yeah. Umm, Jade?  I haven’t been cheating on you.  Really!” I pleaded as he set his things in order.”  I sat up and gave him my sweetest smile.  “And might I add, you look fantastic. I love your hair like that. Are those new earrings?  How are things with Mike?”  The words were no sooner out of my mouth when I realized I was in trouble again.  Jade’s eyes narrowed dangerously and his lips took on a pursed expression which has always been a precursor to his temper tantrums. 

Laying back down I resolved to grit my teeth and bear the pain without a single sound.

“HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD!” screamed Jade in horror.  The fact that he was looking at the area he was about to wax while he ranted gave me cause for great shame.  “What have you done?  Did you…no.  Did you shave this sacred area?”

Well it was true.  In an effort to cut down on costs I had stopped seeing Jade and begun to go the route of the razor.  I figured no one else was seeing it, why spend more?  I had thought enough time had passed since shaving that he wouldn’t be able to tell.  Apparently not.

I was about to answer when the first strip came off.

Riiiippppppppppppppppppppppp! “HOLY @(#*&@#!  What was that?!?  Where’s my numbing cream?  Jade?  Owwwwwwwww!” I screamed.

“Well maybe you should have thought about that before you ruined my work” he whined as he applied the next strip.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiippppppppppppppppppppp! “Oh my god!  Jade!  Take it easy!  If I wanted to lose skin I would have shaved again!  You’re going to make me look terrible!”

“Oh for the love of Cher.  Quit your whining.  Whoever has been seeing you like this obviously doesn’t care.  I mean really, what type of man are you with?  My Mike would never put up with such a lack of attention to detail…

Riiiiiiiiiiiiipppppppppppp! *whimper*

…although between you and me he wouldn’t put up with you anyways.  You’re the wrong sex.  Speaking of sex, how is Mr. whoever?”

Rippppppppppppppppppppppppppppp!  “Oh you know.  I’ve been pretty busy lately.  Who has time for that?”

“Oh you poor child!” gasped Jade while quickly setting aside his waxing stick and taking my hand. “Sweetie?  Is that why you haven’t been to see me?  There hasn’t been anyone?  Well now you just let Miss Jade take care of you.  Where did I put that numbing cream?”

A short *considerably less painful* time later Jade set his things aside and happily proclaimed “Ta daaaaa.  Beautiful.  Well for a woman anyways.  It’s not your fault you missed out on  the good stuff that men have.  Here.  Take a look.  I don’t havetime to give you a Brazilian so instead of a bare floor you have a small area rug. Now I expect to hear how this goes over for you.  Don’t you dare let my artwork go unseen.  You don’t want to make me mad again.  Now hug me darling and get the hell out of here.  I need to call Michael.  Off with you darling and for god’s sake think SEX!”

“Well actually Jade, I’m not seeing…him anytime soon.” Good subject change I thought to myself.  He doesn’t need to know that I’m still single and this is merely for the purpose of being able to wear a swim suit.  I air kissed him on both cheeks and made my escape.

And so it is that I am presentable yet again…for absolutely no purpose.  But Jade doesn’t need to know that.  ;)

195

It started out as just another ordinary day. The morning routine was well underway. In fact I was doing pretty well. 3 cups of coffee. 45 minutes of aerobics. 3 trips to the refrigerator in which I stared at the contents waiting for something appetizing to present itself. 2 outfit changes followed by looks of disgust in the mirror and the feeling that aerobics is a waste of time. A couple close calls with the box of cheezits in the pantry. You know, a regular morning.

And then it happened. The mail came. If you are a single woman reading this then you are already cringing as you are well aware of what’s coming. Yes. The envelope. Not any regular old envelope, mind you. No. The silver script fancy print addressed to “Miss Wendy Smith and guest.” Cleverly hidden amongst the usual junk mail, the pre-approved to pay us a zillion in interest charges and the you-may-already-be-a-winner notices.

Well I wasn’t about to open it. I already knew that the contents would only depress me. In fact I threw it on the counter and firmly resolved to forget about it completely. After all, I had work to be done. Accounts to call on. Quotes to complete. Important proposals to follow up on…hmm. Proposal. I wonder how he proposed to her. I’ll bet it was disgustingly romantic and we’ll all have to hear about it at the stupid reception.  Of course we’ll be expected to smile and tear up. Then she’ll give some disgusting speech about how she just knows we’re next and throw her little bouquet. Well it’s one way to get flowers without buying them for myself…

After all, some of us are career women. Yes. I am a CAREER WOMAN. I don’t have time for trivial mail. Or a trivial male for that matter. I mean really, what’s left anyways? The good ones are already married or just too young to know what they want after claiming they wanted you for an entire year and then the moment you say yes they decide that they don’t really want you anyways and how was I supposed to see that coming…

It’s a good thing for coffee or I would have a difficult time staying on task. I will NOT look at the envelope. I never should have grabbed the mail this morning. I thought everyone was done with this wedding stuff. Who would have guessed? …and he’s the last person I would bring as a guest because I’d spend the whole night trying to convince myself I’m not in love with him anyways and there are plenty of men who I could invite as my plus one.

 

Stupid envelope. I was doing just fine staying away from the cheezits. I WILL drop another 10 pounds. Maybe 15 after these cheezits. I mean it’s almost as bad as Valentines day. Also known as SAD, or “Singles Awareness Day.” A big fancy embossed tree-killing-cardstock envelope announcing that HA! You are still single. Well I’m not falling for it. I will not allow this to interrupt or bother me one little bit. I’ll just see who the bragging female is and get back to my day.

Dear Wendy and Guest,

You are hereby invited to attend the best opportunity for a timeshare yet! That’s right! You, as our special prequalified guest….”

Figures.

592

Dearest Friends,

I know that you have enjoyed a Wendy story or 2 in the past. I’m afraid that this particular story is not of the enjoyment kind, but should serve as a warning of what can happen if you aren’t terribly careful when shopping.

This is what happened to me just before the New Year rang in. A friend invited me to a formal party. Formal? Me? So I went to my other friend Nan immediately for guidance. Nan helped me out by telling me what people have worn to this party in the past. I wrote back that I couldn’t possibly justify purchasing a new party dress. Nan thoughtfully explained that the way a woman can and MUST justify such an expense is by buying something sleek and silky in black that can easily be added to something I already own and worn again and again. She further advised that she had seen items of this specific nature in the Calvin Klein section of Marshall Fields.

Prepare yourself. What happened to me was a tragedy. If I can but help one person from suffering the same tragic experience it shall have been for a good cause…below is the letter I wrote back to Nan about what happened.

Dear Nan,

Armed with my credit card and your fantastic advice on the justification of party dress purchasing I stomped on into Marshall Fields. Turning my nose up at all the frilly temptations I immediately headed for the Calvin Klein section to check out anything and everything in black that could be easily used again and again. Will power? Check. Inventory of closet items that could match something new? Check. Blinders to other sections and bright colors? Check. OH I was so proud of myself! Such discipline!

And then it happened…. *sob* It wasn’t my fault Nan! I was so well behaved! I entered the dressing room with basic black! Truly, can I help it that some shoddy salesperson hadn’t emptied out the dressing room? Could it NOT be argued that there was a reason, no, in fact that it was FATE ITSELF that caused that bright emerald dress with the silver stitching and plunging neck line to be hanging there so beautifully IN MY SIZE? Who am I to argue with fate? I mean really, what was the harm in at least trying it on? Can I help it that it fit so well?

Okay, so it was a ridiculous amount over what I had told myself I could spend. But for God’s sake Nan, it was ON SALE! I stepped out to the 3 way mirror just so that I could remember what it felt like to have on a dress like that. I was not at all prepared for the saleswoman to gasp and say “Oh it’s lovely. You MUST have that dress.” Well now she’s the professional, right? I mean she works right there as a representative of Marshall Fields itself. Me? I am no professional. I think it would be wrong of me to imply that I know any better than her.

So I bought it. *cringe* I know I know. It is a ridiculously obvious color that I will not be able to wear amidst the same company ever again. Therefore the amortization justification can not be applied. I am a weak woman. You should not judge me, but feel pity. It’s quite sad really.

So there you have it. I did not follow your advice. I’d talk further, but the saleslady recommended a fabulous place to find shoes to match the dress. Oh now stop it! Wipe that look off your face! Of course I must find shoes to match perfectly after the ridiculous amount of money I spent on the dress! Why, the whole thing could be ruined otherwise! Then it would all be for naught! (Yes, naught…not naughty. Amazing how one little letter can change the whole context of a thing.)

Okay. See you tonight then? We’ll keep this little chat between us?

So knitting doesn’t seem to fit my persona. Ok I’ll give ya that. People have asked how this came to be so I shall post a story that I wrote about it back when I first began in October 05…

A stitch in time…saves nine. What a stupid cliche. I’d like to know who comes up with these types of sayings. In fact I was so annoyed that I decided to look it up. The result? There was no origin listed. Just a simple explanation:

1. If you address problems when they first happen, you will save time and prevent trouble in the future.

Well now there’s a concept. Why not just SAY that? Cliche’s drive me insane. Especially when they are WRONG. A stitch in time (ok, let’s just start right there. Who the hell actually stitches “time”?) saves nine. OH really. Nine you say? It will save nine stitches? Where’s the data on this? Who compiled the facts? Why not 8 stitches?

So you might be wondering what I’m rambling about. It all started last week and was entirely someone else’s fault. After all, I am much too hip to wake up and decide “Well now. What a beautiful day to learn how to knit.” It’s a feat that I can even lace my own shoes after all the years that velcro was the trendy way to go. Trust me, this was not my idea. No. It was brought to my attention that perhaps I should find a new way to relax. That perchance I am wearing too many hats (explanation: to perform many different tasks), that I’m wound tighter than a spring (explanation: to be very tense or often angry) and need a source of relief.

A source of relief? This lovely woman (ok so I’m seeing a therapist) has taken HOW MUCH of my money to tell me I need to relax? What brilliance! You mean I didn’t begin therapy because I was overwhelmingly happy, calm and at peace? She then suggested that knitting could be quite therapeutic. I told her I couldn’t wait to refer people to her, scheduled my next session and hit the road. Knitting. Puhleeze. Oh that’ll happen.

I drove home only to find myself locked out. Peering through the front window I saw my keys hanging exactly where they were supposed to be…had I been on the other side of the door. This was easy to see because every single light in my house was on. Just then my house started to shake. Windows rattled. The chair on the porch slowly bounced it’s way back and fell off the edge. Score! The teenager was home! Unfortunately the hideous music my house was dancing to was so loud that she couldn’t hear me knocking or calling her cell phone.

HA! The back door. The child never locks the back door after letting the dog out. I have lectured her about this til I am blue in the face (explanation: talking so fast that one loses oxygen to the point where one’s face turns blue). With my heels sinking into the mud I unlatched the gate and walked through to the back. So intent was I on getting myself inside that I didn’t watch where I was going. Clearly the teenager had not gotten around to doggie poop patrol. #@*&!^ Locked. She chose TODAY to listen to me? I would have gone through the roof (explanation: to get very upset or angry) but that would have required that I be inside.

30 minutes later I was scraping my shoe on the curb in front of the craft store while some woman walked by with a hideous child pointing and laughing (I stuck my tongue out at her since the mom wasn’t looking). Oh yes. This relaxing thing is starting already. What a great suggestion.

Me at a craft store. No one would believe it. I don’t have a creative bone in my body. I can remember presenting people with my drawings as a child only to have them say “Oh it’s lovely. What is it?” I am not what one would call artistic.

Most of the stuff in the store made no sense. Did you know they have an entire aisle of twigs? Twigs! People pay money for this? I have a fortune back home that I didn’t even know about. Making a note to myself that I should pay for my next therapy session in twigs I headed to the back corner where the yarn was kept.

Wow. Look at it all. This is not your grandma’s yarn basket (explanation: derived from the original saying “this is not your daddy’s oldsmobile” it is taken to mean things have changed over time for the better). Hundreds of types….colored, multicolored, flecked, fleeced, veloured, feathered, nubby, prewashed, glazed…on and on. Oh and look at all the different kinds of needles! Did I mention patterns? Samples?! I found a whole rack of lovely things that I could knit. Christmas is solved! I’ll simply knit for people this year! No more stressing over not being able to afford nice gifts! I’ll be so relaxed that I’ll sleep right through the holiday. In fact I’m feeling relaxed already. This will be great. I don’t know why I never thought of this before.

I dumped my armful of tranquility onto the cashier’s counter. I beamed at the cashier. She beamed back. Such good buds we’ll become. I will remember this day fondly.

“SO, knit anything lately?” I asked her.

“Why yes. In fact that very sweater on the front of the book you’re buying. I knit that for my cousin’s daughter. Cute as a button she is (explanation: said as a compliment, this phrase describes someone as very cute). I just hope it will fit. She’s been growing like a weed (explanation: to grow quickly or out of control). That one’s pretty easy to put together. It only took me a month.”

A month? It takes a whole month to knit one lousy sweater? It takes, what, 5 minutes to buy at the store? Deep breath. Just think of the joy a handcrafted sweater will bring. The praise that will be lavished upon me for my devotion and skill. I am calm. I am relaxed.

“Now then dear. That will be $147.53. Do you already have the spacers, cable stitch holder, gauge and yarn needles at home? Oh you’ll need 5 yarn bobs too. Sweetie? Are you ok? Why you look as if you’ve just seen a ghost (explanation: to pale in fear).

So 20 minutes later I left with 3 types of yarn, 2 sets of needles and a “You can learn to knit” book as well as a registration for 2 knitting classes and a receipt that was much prettier than the original price quoted. By now the child had called 3 times to see why I wasn’t home yet and to inform me that for some reason unbeknownst to her a fuse had blown and we were all out of the type we need. (Yes, I need to update my electrical system but that’s another email entirely.)

Have you ever looked at an instruction book for knitting? “Ezy knitting” is what the company that makes the book is called. Beautiful. I’m trusting my mental health to people who can’t even spell. Touting the easiest instructions ever it promises I’ll be knitting in no time. After a brief explanation of the knit stitch and the purl stitch it tells me it’s now or never (explanation: the time has come to make a decision or take action) and that baptism by fire (explanation: to gain experience by being in a stressful situation) is the best way to go. Excuse me? A stressful situation?! Isn’t that what I’m trying to avoid by knitting to begin with?

Knit two…purl one…knit two..purl one….

“MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Where are my gold heels?”

“You have gold heels? What are you wearing that’s going to match gold heels? Wait a minute..it’s 9:15, where are you going at 9:15 in something that matches gold heels?”

“Do you have them or not?” mutter mutter mutter when I ask a question mutter mutter mutter.

“Seeing as how I didn’t know you even had any gold heels I would guess not.”

Oh great. What row am I on? Purl or stitch? How is one supposed to tell when what one is knitting doesn’t remotely resemble anything pictured in the EZY book? Ok. Purl 2. Knit 1. Purl 2. Knit…

“Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Tara’s here and we’re going up to Caribou to study and then to pick up my gold purse and can I borrow your Linkin Park CD and oh I’m taking your keys because I can’t find mine. Ok bye.” The door slams and I hear what are presumably gold heels clicking down the sidewalk.

She has a gold purse? I commiserate for a moment with Kali (the dog) about how out of it I am and then look back at my knitting which by now resembles something that should be relegated to rag status and thrown into the bucket in the laundry room. Merry Christmas dear family members. I have knit you rags. At this point Klepto (one of the cats) pulled hard enough on the yarn that it broke. Amendment: I have knit you half a rag. Ho ho ho.

Cut to an hour later. The child is now 15 minutes late. The dog is at the bottom of the yard barking at something on the other side of the fence. Rembrandt (one of the cats) is merrily chewing up the roses my date gave to me (yes, that’s a different email too). But am I screaming? Why no. Am I stressing? Why no. I have managed to knit an ENTIRE inch of what will hopefully become a scarf and it actually looks like it has a shot of becoming one. Ah peace. Bask in it.

Sudden honking from the front. Krista stomps on up to the porch while shouting goodbyes to someone in a car that I don’t even recognize. She has the gold purse. She does not have my keys or my cd. Shall I vent? I take the high road (exlanation: to take the morally or socially acceptable route) and decide to show my child how genius her mother has become at knitting. We get into my room just in time to see the final stitch unravel as Chaucer (one of the cats) walks away with the yarn in his mouth.

I tell you what, I was “madder than a wet hen” because now I was “back to square one” after having spent “an arm and a leg” to attempt something the “boils down to” me having “bit off more than I can chew.” But let’s not “beat around the bush” about this because if after I have “burnt the candle from both ends” trying to make something lovely for people they should be kind and remember that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and even a rag is “better than a kick in the teeth” and if you think you could do better then you are “barking up the wrong tree.” So the “ball is in your court” but don’t expect me to teach you how to knit “at the drop of a hat” because that would be like “the blind leading the blind” and it would leave me with an “axe to grind” and possibly make me believe you have “bats in the belfry.”

And don’t you dare tell me to “look on the bright side” because that would be SUCH a cliche and not even funny enough to “leave me in stitches” because now that the cat has done his work I’m mostly just left with a “yarn to tell.” Sigh.