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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Paranormal 30's

What I have heard about ghosts is that they are dead people that just don't know they are dead and they wonder around their old stomping grounds and think everything is fine...except its not because they are dead.  Recently I discovered that my 30's are a lot like that.  Let me explain...
We have been looking for a babysitter to allow us some freedom on the weekends to go out with friends and come home slightly intoxicated whenever we want.  I found a great girl that is a nursing student at an all girls university and our boys loved her. She was born the same year I was a freshman high school.  That didn't stop me from believing that I was the same age as she.  I can remember when I was 20 like it was yesterday. I talk like her, know all the "hip" things, really we aren't that far apart in age.  Hey, we could be bff's! Except the fact that she wouldn't want to be my bff because she views me as a mini-van driving mom who is socially lame (even though I have a facebook account and I even text).  I must say, that my 20 year old self wouldn't have noticed that she sent me an email at 3:44 a.m. and maybe if I was as cool as I think, I wouldn't have noticed either. She probably thinks I'm pushing 40, hell, When I was 20 every person over the age of 25 was old and whether they were 24 or 44 I put them in the same category as my parents. But being that I am 7 months shy of my mid thirties, I am in complete denial and I don't realize I'm in my 30's.  I notice that some of my closest friends are starting to show their age and look more like their mothers did when we were in high school more than what they looked like in high school.  But I must be the exception.
My niece recently asked me to take her to a party that my sister wouldn't take her to. Being the "cool" aunt that I am, I agreed. I put the baby in his car seat, turned on the young hip radio station (rather than the adult alternative one that is always on) and we were on our way.  I tried to give her "wise" advice from when I was 14, "you don't need to worry about boys, you have your entire life." She half listened and was texting the majority of the ride. She is a beautiful cross between Brooke Shields and Jennifer Connely. She really doesn't need to worry about getting boys attention, they notice her already. But my advice is dated (apparently). But that doesn't stop me, heck it wasn't that long ago I was a freshman in high school and playing soccer and chasing boys. (30's denial once again.) We arrived at the party and I noticed that there was a group of 15 or so boys standing in the drive way.  I asked her if any girls were planning on being at this party.( Trying to ignore the fact that I sounded just like my mom with that statement.)  She looked at me, pointed and said "duh" and all they way across the enourmous yard was a group of 15 or so girls.  I guess my memory had failed to recall the fact that boys and girls don't actually communicate at pre-freshman age parties. Before I knew it she was out of the van. (Admitting that a mini van IS a little embarrassing).  My ghost of a 30 year old may need to come to a realization that things have changed.  When I was in high school there wasn't facebook or even laptops for that matter.  There were car phones, but not cell phones. Caller ID didn't exist yet and my cable only had about 34 channels.   I felt that if she listened to me she may learn some valuable information, such as,  never go to Taco Bell at 3:30 a.m. because if a cop happens to show up you are stuck in a drunk driver party line with no where to go and chances are you may get arrested... maybe its not my advice that she needs. If I would have listened to all the old people that gave me advice I wouldn't have had nearly as much fun as I did.
Although I may look 30 something I certainly don't feel it.  There are a few times where I look in the review mirror and see 4 little guys safely strapped in their seats and I wonder how in the world I got to this point.  I swear that just yesterday I was flirting with Don in a bar on 4th Street in Santa Monica. Now I'm driving through Starbucks because I couldn't bear to listen to the baby cry and slept sitting up, not because I was out partying. And I can't just go home at 2 and take a 4 hour nap.
There are times though when I wish that I could have a sleep over and paint my nails and read magazines and care only about what is happening tomorrow rather than what the next month or even next year looks like.  Perhaps embracing this decade will exorcise the ghost.
But for now, I will float along lost in a pleasant purgatory of a decade that seems to have a relevant purpose to gently give me the realization that I am, indeed a grown up.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This sucks

I have returned to the work force. Well, sort of. Yesterday as I was walking into work I went right past my building and into the Starbucks next door. I needed a little liquid enthusiasm. I was greeted by my boss whose first words to me were in the form of a question. "Do you like my shoes?"  "Yes." Which was followed by a story about Funky town.. I don't know.  Once I opened my office door I was hit by a waft of stale energy that needed reviving.  I started my computer's engine and swear I saw that little yodeling guy from the Price is Right  Cliffhanger game climbing up my mountain of email and falling off the cliff around 500.  I began to sort through the messages and somehow ended up changing my screen savor. Naturally I couldn't have a spring photo, I needed a summer one. So I found a perfect one of the boys jumping off a pier, which lead me to go through all our vacation photos and before I knew it an hour had gone by.  Just in time for my first meeting which was regarding aspestos removal from the crawl space in our 100 + year old building, a building that I have been working in for four years and had been pregnant carrying our youngest child in.  After that I went back to my office and googled aspestos danger to pregnant women along with symptoms of mesothelioma. Before I knew it, it was time for lunch.  I went home to find that 2 of the boys didn't even know I had left, one was in their pajamas and one was too busy reenacting the Backyardigans to notice I just walked in front of him.  Don was indifferent, except in regards to a phone message he had taken which said that I had been entered into a drawing which my name was called and I needed to claim my prize. I was going to let it go, but he was persistent.  I called and I was told that I won my choice of either, a 3 day 2 night trip to a resort, a digital frame, or kitchen knives.  This should have been the first warning sign.  Of course I chose the trip and they said they would personally bring me the prize but I also had to watch a short pure air demonstration.  Wait what? I reluctantly agreed and we set a time for 7 pm.  By this time Don realized why I thought it was crap in the first place. "but why did you agree?" he asked. Rather than entertain this argument I returned to work to discover I have forgotten everything about my position.  I had what I like to call vacation induced dimentia.  I resorted to cleaning my desk until I was interrupted by my boss who recently invited Don and I over for dinner on Thursday and knowing that I don't eat meat, has decided to serve steak, he even offered to make mine tar tar. (insert fake laugh here) After minutes of fretting (not) he reassured me that he had made me a pasta dish. Before I knew it, it was time to go home. Our salesman arrived at 6:59 in an old cadillac, at which point he lugged two enormous bags out of his trunk.  He was overweight and was a combination of Chris Farley and Zach Galifiankis. At which point Don and I made a pact to make his visit the most unaccommodating possible. Don turned on the tv for the boys, let the other two play video games and let the dog out.  Immediatly he asked what the boys names were.  That creeps me out. Why is that necessary information for a air purification sales person? Well, he wasn't born yesterday, he dropped their names like they were hot. " Oscar needs clean air to be healthy and grow" "What do you think of that Jack?" Even throwing in the dogs name for extra credit.  We were not humoring his questions  like,
"What do you think of when you think of pollution? " or " Do you like the fact that your wasting hours of your time grinding more dirt into your carpet and ruining your home? " At that point Don said yes.  Strategically, neither one of us were sitting at the same time.  Kids were skipping through the house, milk was spilled, Graham was barking, Oscar was crying, snacks were being dispersed, a fight club had developed down stairs, and we just let it carry on. If our house didn't break him, nothing would.  We discovered that our air was in the "DANGER ZONE" based on his electronic meter and that only he had the solution to our pollution. At this point, we could not contain our laughter, that is just too cheesy.  The next laughable moment is when he asked Don if he knew how long his hose was.  But as much as the boys climbed around him, Graham sniffed him, his persistence was growing on me.  Except when he asked for a drink of water. How rude of me, he is our guest after all!  Yes, he was sweating like a pig, but I thought that only added to the discomfort. I gave him one of the boys miniature plastic cups.  Then he decided to demonstrate how we wasted good money on our new vacuum by sweeping our carpet 100 times. Trust me, he counted.  Then immediately following he used his super duper vacuum and guess what? He picked up a big hair ball of dirt, dust and probably e coli.  And if that didn't make us feel good enough he dumped it on the floor to show us.  By this time an hour had passed and my evening glass of merlot was calling my name. In other words, I had checked out.  Finally as we begin to anticipate a closer approaching us, he shows us yet another statistic based on clinical "research". We could barely hear him over Oscar's cries but we got the jist. We are filthy parents and our kids are going to die of lung contamination, but considering I already have asbestos related lung cancer I can except that fate.  By this time this man was infringing on Don's date with ESPN and he was done.  Before he could even ask if we could put a price on our young children's health, Don stopped him. He explained that although his presentation was flawless, albeit long, we were not going to buy anything...now or ever and we would like our vacation prize.  He seemed to understand but not enough to stop talking. At this point I started cleaning the kitchen and he asked to use our phone. He called his "manager" to explain that we were not going to buy anything and , "yes, he explained that, and even though we were at a dangerous level we still said no".  He assured us that gets paid just for coming over (because we were so worried) .  Don was standing at the door as if to say  kindly, get the f*ck out, and he gave us a wrinkly brochure with our choice of "premier destinations" such as Iowa, Florida and even Mishawaka!. 
I wonder if a similar experience happened to Arthur Miller when he wrote Death of Salesman. Willy Loman  was a vacuum salesman right?  Just as we think his foot is out the door he hands us a piece of paper and with puppy dog eyes asks us for 3 referrals. WHO does this?? I kindly agreed and gave him the names and the near numbers of my friends. I may or may not have changed a number or made an 8 look like a 9 or 0.  All I know is that if my friends knew I referred them to this tool, they wouldn't be my friend for much longer.  
So that was my day back, after two months.  But as much as it killed me to leave my family of bugs all snug in their beds,  I was able to go into work and be entertained by a co-worker who showed me a video clip of a white party where Stephanie, a fantastic drag queen (who recently came out of retirement for one show only, and made me feel just a little insecure that a man can me more feminine and graceful than me), and call it work. The Universe was reminding me to be thankful that  I'm not a air/vacuum salesman.