Extenuating Circumstances

I hate insurance companies. I do. I know it's my job and I know my job makes them richer, but I do everything I can to make sure I put clients with good companies that I trust. When I can I put people with the company that has the red device you use for rain. That's who I have and I love the company. They're great. But the lengths that insurance companies go to in order to come out on top and the cold way they handle things sometimes just blows my mind.

Here's the story that happened in our office today:

We insured a commercial client sometime in the last 5 years. They left our agency to go elsewhere and now they are going somewhere else to get a quote. They called us today and said that an accident was showing up on his record from when he was with us (we had him with the company whose logo is Harry Potter's Patronus) that was being categorized as "At Fault" but he said he believed in his heart it should be reclassified to "Not At Fault" because of the circumstances.

So the rep in our office asked what the details were. The guy was driving his work truck with a guy who was his friend (emphasis on the WAS) when the passenger reached over and started trying to kill the him. He lost control, you know, due to being strangled, and hit a fire hydrant. The guy has documentation, a police report, a medical report and an ex-friend in prion for attempted murder. Even after our office pleading with The Hartford, they will not change the classification. They said that whether or not the man was being killed is irrelevant, he lost control and hit the fire hydrant.

Jackassery. You can illegally park your car and if someone hits it because they don't expect it to be there, you are considered to be not at fault for the accident, but if someone is actively trying to choke the life out of you, I'm sorry, that's not good enough of an excuse.

Shaking her head at the corporate douchebaggedness of it all.... Hamlet's Mistress

One of the boys...

I had a surprisingly nice day, today.  My in-laws had a picnic and invited all their closest friends all of whom are my in-laws' age, so it was a little odd.  But my husband and I haven't seen most of them since we got married almost 5 years ago.  At first, it was a complete bust as far as I'm concerned.  A bunch of 60-somethings talking about retirement and all their ailments.  

Then my husband and this one fella were talking and I was listening to them and one of the women was like "Join us!  You've been married 5 years, you don't still have to pretend you're interested in what your husband has to say."   So I laughed and talked to them a little, but ya'll I've always been more comfortable with men.  My senior year of college my friends were all guys.  I didn't have one single female friend.  I hung out with my boys and that was that.  6 of them.  And I only hooked up with two of them.  Yay me!!!  I was, um, less than proper in college... 

But I digress.   Eventually someone turned on the little league baseball game and I was watching that with a couple of the men and then at 4 the  Phillies game came on and I watched that and these 60 year old men and I just talked and talked about sports.  This made me so happy.  In my family my grandfather and father think I know NOTHING about sports.  Like seriously...  NOTHING.  And it's infuriating because I know more than them... more than most men, actually.  So it was wonderful to actually have dialogue about sports where I was actually taken seriously. 

When they were leaving (they're brothers) with their spouses the one actually told them he had to use the restroom and came back in just to say how wonderful it was to meet me and that he had a great afternoon talking with me.  Isn't that so nice of him?  Don't think it's creepy that he lied about why he came back inside.  His brother is a nice guy but he's a very "When I say I'm leaving, I'm leaving right THEN" guy so if the guy's reason to come inside was just to "say bye to Amy" yeah...  that wouldn't have worked out and he probably would have been left behind.   (Amy=me just in case you didn't know because I haven't mentioned it here before).

I don't know why I interact better with men.  I just always have.  It's not that I'm not interested in decorating or paint colors or talking about menopause and hot flashes...  I can interior decorate it up with the best of them and having gone through menopause at 23 because of some injections I had to go on for 6 months, I can wax poetic about night sweats and mood swings, too.  I guess I just prefer not to.  And don't get me wrong.  I love being a woman.  I think I just find it more satisfying being a woman in a man's world.  Surprising people with knowing what typically women are not perceived as knowing. 

I prefer sports to chick-flicks (though when there aren't sports on I'm an absolute SUCKER for a good chick- flick), I prefer jeans and sneakers to dressing up pretty, I prefer beer to fruity mixed drinks...  I guess I'm a tomboy.  When we have kids, if we do, I want boys, not girls.  I wouldn't know what to do with a girl.  How to teach her to be feminine.  I mean, I know not to burp and fart in public, when we do go out I do make sure I look nice, but I've never been girlie.  I wouldn't know what to do with a daughter who wanted to go to dance class or be a cheerleader or be a nominee for homecoming queen.

There are some guy things I don't like.  Movies with lots of blood, things having to do with cars and sex with women to name a few.  But today?  Today was a good day.  I was one of the boys and damn it, I had fun.

Able to call balls and strikes before the umpire does...  Hamlet's Mistress

P.S. So reading back over this, I've realized something...  I'm completely and totally intimidated by women.   THAT'S the issue.  I feel judged by most women...  inferior.  With men  I can just be me without worry that I'm being compared to what they think I should be and that allows me to bond with them in a way I can't with women because with women I feel constantly scrutinized.  With men, I can just be me...  and me???  Is someone confident and secure in who she is and what she has to say.   Other women intimidate me.  I never realized...

I'd just really like to meet him

[caption id="attachment_122" align="alignleft" width="164" caption="Isn't he the ADORABLEST EVER????"][/caption]

Colin Firth.  No really.  I love him.  I find him to be absolutely adorable.  He's 50 this year which gets into kind of the creepy factor as far as sex goes, but I'd be up for it, I think.  I mean if he was (able to).  But honestly, he just seems like he'd be a great guy to just know.  In the non-Biblical sense.  Like your favorite uncle.  Even in movies where he's not the nice guy...  i.e. Shakespeare In Love - I still just adore him. 

I love What a Girl Wants - because of him.  I love Nanny McPhee - because of him (and also because of Emma Thompson who I totally have a girl crush on.  I'm completely in awe of her. ) But this is about Colin.  Bridget Jones Diary ... love - because of him.  And the aforementioned Shakespeare in Love... love!  Because of him.  I just think he is the cat's meow, the bee's knees, the best thing since sliced bread AND all that and a bag of chips.  

I think we'd get along famously.  He's been in movies I love...  I love movies he's been in...  one of them was about a Shakespearean play...  I love Shakespeare...  He's met Emma Thompson...  I love Emma Thompson.   It really seems meant to be.    

If I was truly awesome I'd have written this on September 10th when he actually turns 50, but I decided to write this post and then needed to see how old he was...  to, you know, see if the sex would be gross or not.  And THEN I saw when his birthday was and felt dumb.  But I'm nothing if not committed to my ideas so the post must go on. 

So here's to you Colin and your cute British accent and proper enunciation.  You maybe be getting ready to be numbered 50 in years, but you're numbered 1 in my heart. 

Seriously...  can't I just MEET him?...   Hamlet's Mistress

#5 on my To Do list... DONE

I have to weave in the ends and sew on my tag, but it's done!!


Don't mind the bear.  He's mortified at me photographing him with his bow all untied and looking all disheveled.

[caption id="attachment_110" align="aligncenter" width="525" caption="Heavenly blanket... eyeballs from hell."][/caption]


Meaningless Ramblings - Ed. 1

I had ideas for a great post this morning.  But as it turns out, I'm just too tired.  Maybe it was the 16 inning game I stayed up to watch.  Was it stupid to stay up given that I had to get up for work this morning?  Probably...  but it wouldn't have been if my team had won.  But it was still entertaining, so although it was a loss...  it wasn't a complete loss. 

Although I don't have kids and haven't gone "back to school" for 11 years after summer vacation, there's no denying that it's that time of year.  I'm always filled with a bit of melancholy sadness this time of year.  I always loved going "back to school" after each summer.  Not because I was a big nerd.  (I was)  And not because I was totally boy crazy and wanted to size up the potentials for the new year.  (I was and I did)  But because I loved the feeling of that clean slate.  We don't get that as adults and it's something I miss horribly.  I loved closing one chapter and opening another each year.  I miss that excitement and anticipation of "new" and miss that relief of being "done".   I seem to miss it more each year instead of less and I'm not sure what to do about it...  yet. 

Oh the other night my husband and I had to wrangle a vicious snake out of our basement that had gotten in.  It was dicey and there were times I thought we might not make it.  But the hubs, the snake and I all made it out unscathed.  Wait...  am I saying snake?  Yeah...  I meant toad.   It was a toad.  But snake sounds way more impressive, right? 

At work the other week I DIDN'T do something wrong.  (I swear I actually didn't) But the one owner thinks I did and is still giving me the cold shoulder.  It's been like two weeks.  It's a very small office, so I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to deal with it.  I NEED an escape plan...  pronto. 

And lastly, Scott Barry needs to get his power issues under control and do his job and not be an unimaginable bastard who wouldn't know his ass from his face.   Google him.   The assface. 

Sleepy and slightly grumpy and not inclined at all to work today...  HM.

It's a beginning...

I started on my project today.  I wrote just probably 500 words.  Maybe between 500 and 1000.  Off to a good start I think.  I've pitched the concept to a couple of people who think that, done right, it's completely intriguing.  So let's hope I do it right.  I obviously don't want to say what it is, lest someone else do it first, but I think it could really be great.  Is this how the best ideas are born?  Real life experience turned into inspiration?  Maybe, maybe not, but that's where this idea has come from and if it works?  If it becomes what I think and hope it will.  Then I'll know.  I'll finally know what I'm supposed to do for as many trips around the sun I have left.

Getting my act together...

So since I started this blog about a month ago, I've been working... that's all I can call it... to get myself and my blog "out there". twittering, conversing, visiting tons of blogs and commenting. It has worked to a certain extent. However, I became completely obsessed and I'm stepping back from the non-stop promoting. If you're here and you read this? Great, I'm so happy you're here. The time will come that I want and try to get more readers, but for now I have some things that need my attention.

1. My job. I totally let this blog-thing distract me from my work. During work. And today I rededicated my time to what good people are paying me to do and I hate to admit it, but I've found some mistakes I made in the past month. That's unacceptable to me. I hate my job, it's true, but I need it and I need to do the best I can with it while I'm there.

2. I had a complete stroke of genius today for something I want to write. Something a bit bigger than a blog. I'm excited about it and I want to get to it and get it started and done. I love the idea and I can't wait to bring it to fruition.

3. I saw my uncle this past weekend. I don't see him a whole lot because he lives pretty far away, but every other year or every 3 years he and his wife make the trek up to attend the family reunion. While my husband and I were talking to him about current events type stuff and our opinions and disgust at some of what is going on and talking about social security and the downfall of our economy and how the people of my generation are SCREWED basically. And I was saying how with everything going on, it's not that we don't WANT to plan for our future and put money away, we just don't have the disposable income to allocate to it. As it turns out, my uncle is certified by a pretty big name financial guy who teaches the whole get out of debt, do it now and this is how thing. So I've dedicated myself to that and I think my focus on that trumps my focus on promoting my blog. Also, this figures into number 1 as well because I NEED my job to make this no debt thing happen.

4. My book club is suffering a bit. I'm not giving it the attention I want to. I have to come up with 3 books for my group to pick from by Wednesday and I've not done it yet. I don't think it's fair to them. The books we've read have been phenomenal for the most part and I want to keep that up. I feel I owe it to them as a group of fellow women who love to read.

5. My crochet. I have one project I need to get done in the next week or so and several others I want to get done and it's just not going to happen with the time I spend on here... not posting... but obsessing over stats and incoming links and number of views and which posts are getting read the most and on and on. I've let myself get crazy with it because apparently I had some lofty goals of my blog making me a living. It's not going to. I'm not a trailblazer like Heather Armstrong or amazingly hilarious in a way that I have rarely seen before ever like Allie Brosh. I don't have cute stories about kids and I live a normal life without amusing and engaging stories on a daily basis.

So that being said... I just have other things to focus on. Other things like life. And I need to be living it. Not trying to get people to watch me live it.

Stopping with the endless self-promotion...  Hamlet's Mistress

It was magical...

Last night the Phillies played.  Last night the Phillies were losing.  Last night 30000 people left Citizens Bank Park when the score was 9 - 2 in favor of the Dodgers.   And then last night, magic happened. 

I believe  this kid  had something to do with it.  (It's worth watching for the sheer cuteness of it all.  It's only like 2 minutes).

As 10000 remaining fans screamed their heads off, I'm sure that boy was convinced he'd helped lead the Phillies to their stunning victory.  I hope he does, anyway.  

And to that boy, wherever and whomever he may be?   Never stop believing in your own special magic.

Don't stop believing...   Hamlet's Mistress

How I really feel...

In my "About Me" section I mentioned how I'm the consummate optimist.  I refuse to see the worst in any situation or in anything, really.  Except myself, it seems.  This constant need to "see the bright side" drives my husband crazy but when he's down about something or angry about something, I feel that I have to be the positive voice. 

Case in point, this new to us car we just got.  My husband already hates it and keeps threatening to sell it.  We JUST got it and it's eons better than my car that is about to fall apart.  We still have my car, but since we carpool the new to us car is really OUR car.  So there's my shitbox and then this new acquisition.  So whenever he gets mad that we bought this car and that it has problems he didn't know about (he's an auto shop manager and therefore his cars must not have any idiosyncracies or it drives him crazy and makes him furious).  It turns into this whole downward spiral about how we're "failures" because we couldn't even get a loan to buy a nicer car.  A newer car.   But I always say the good things all the time about it. 

1.  It doesn't sputter and threaten to die every 30 feet.

2.  The air-conditioner WORKS.

3.  The passenger seat is all in one piece.

4.  The interior is pretty much flawless.

5.  It doesn't have enough body damage to keep a repair shop in business for a month.. 

All of these are in direct contrast to my car that we were driving...  in this excessive heat.

So how do I really feel??

1.  It clunks.

2. It vibrates (and not in a good way).

3.  It's 11 years old.

4.  It's an old person's color car.

5.  It's a major gas guzzler.  And since I don't want him to get pissed off about that fact, I'm putting gas in it like every day that he doesn't know about so he doesn't know how bad it actually is...  but ya'll it's bleeding me dry.

So how do I really feel???  It's a PIECE OF SHIT.  But I don't admit it so that I can keep things on an even keel.  But I sort of hate it.  

That's how I REALLY feel.

I can't drive....  fifty-five....  Hamlet's Mistress

Here we come...

So I really wanted to post tonight, but every time I stop and think about what to say, song lyrics pop in my head instead of my usual attempts at pithy humor or insightful self-analysis.  Seriously.  Just now, before I started this, the theme song from The Monkees just would. not. stop. 

About an hour ago, I was going to start a post and my mind had Suck My Kiss by The Red Hot Chili Peppers was on repeat.  That one, I at least know where it came from.  It was on the radio today, (edited bah!), much to my elation and I rocked out hard to it in the car and since I know all the words the edited version may have been coming through my radio speakers, but it was all kinds of uncensored up in there once I laid my vocals down.

So to save you from me just jotting down lyrics to Every Rose Has Its Thorn or Cradle of Love, both songs that just now popped  into my head while writing this, I'll forego the post this evening.

This is ground control to Major Tom...    Hamlet's Mistress

If I could have anything...

There are 5 things I would want:

1  A better house in a nice neighborhood with room for a child.

2.  An income that comes from somewhere other than working 45 hours a week that is the same or more than I make now.

3.  No debt.

4. A more reliable car.

5.  The ability to crochet like, full-time.  I have so much I need and want to do.  I have a froggie hooded blanket that I need to get done for my 7 month pregnant best friend, an afghan for a baby shower next month that is probably not going to happen for another friend, another baby blanket for a woman at work who is going to have her first grandchild in January and an afghan for a friend of mine getting married, but I have awhile on that one.   Then I'd also like to make things to donate to local nursing homes and terminally ill children.  I'd ideally like to make a few things now and then to sell, as well.  But I just can't do this all.  Not with all the time I spend at work and commuting.  So really, probably all that will get done is my friend's frog blanket and the blanket for the woman at work.    It makes me sad.  I want time to hone my craft and learn new patterns and new stitches. 

I just need to figure out how to make this all happen.  Where is that long-lost uncle who I never knew but leaves me an absolute fortune when I need him....  to die...   That would be a horrible thing to say if I HAD a long-lost uncle, but I don't.  So it's not horrible...  just funny.  Ok funny-ish.  Maybe part funny, part mean.   Oh hell, this is my blog.  I say it's funny.  So it is. 

Wanting to change the world one stitch at a time....  Hamlet's Mistress

What I did today while not at blogher10

1.  Went to Workher10

2.  Picked my husband up from work because I'd taken a session on carpooling at livingonabudgether3

3.  Had dinner.

4.  Frantically cleaned up the house after attending a crash course session of The Inlaws Are Dropping Over Unexpectedly After You've Been Out of the House for 13 Hours a Day for the Last Five Days.

5.  Watched part of the Phillies game...  it was tied 1 - 1.

6.  Spent an hour with the inlaws who did not come in, rendering $4 pointless.

7.  Started watching the game again.  It was now 2 - 1 with the Phillies losing.

8.  Discovered Homeher10 and decided to attend.  Spent 2 hours attending the conference while cheering the Phils to an exciting 7 - 5 victory.

9.  Realized I felt like crap and it was time to go to bed.

Living the glamorous life....  Hamlet's Mistress

What I did while not at BlogHer10 tonight.

1.  Had a less than good dinner at a local pizza place.  There were onions in my salad...  ONIONS!  Ugh.  Ruined the whole thing.

2.  Played with me dogs.

3.  Watched the Phillies finish out their sweep against the Marlins.  Watched Choooooooooch save the day again.  Love him.  Love.

3  Interspersed with the Phillies, watched Knocked up.  The totally edited and therefore kinda lame version.

4.  Wrote this. 

5.  And now my Henry cat wants to play fetch, so I must go...  will the thrills EVER STOP???

So what did you do tonight while you weren't at BlogHer 10.  You know, the 7 others of you that aren't there...

Living it up here at home....    Hamlet's Mistress

I talk big... don't be fooled.

So I love Ghost Hunters on SyFy, formerly SciFi.  It may be my favorite unscripted (yes, it is!) show on TV.  Wednesdays?  Hands down favorite night of the week because the Ghost Hunters extravaganza starts at 7 and ends at 11.  Four hours of uninterrupted awesome.  And hell, even if I thought it all was a bunch of bull, I'd watch anyway for Steve Gonsalves alone because he is all kinds of yum.

That show gets me so interested and preoccupied with the paranormal that any time my husband and I plan a trip to a new place the first thing I do is see what ghost tours there are.  I get so excited when we go somewhere with a lot of history like Boston or like when we thought we might go to Savannah.  But even other places, I always check.  Cape Cod, the Outer Banks...  they all have their ghost tours and I get PSYCHED!!!  I love reading all manner of ghost encounter stories and can't wait to see the places.   You would not even BELIEVE the number of ghost tours we've gone on.   I'll tell you, cuz you'll never guess.   Zero.  Not one.  Why?  Because I love thinking and learning about ghosts, but hell if I actually want to potentially encounter one.  Which I never realize until I'm about to click the Submit button to make our reservation for one of these said tours and then I'm like "um...  no".

I've had my actual ghost experiences.  No, really, I have.  But there is just SOMETHING that stops me from voluntarily coming face to disembodied spirit of the deceased.  If they cross my path, there's not much I can do about that.  However, paying to encounter them and have the ever-loving bejeezus scared out of me is completely avoidable.

So to that end, I can cross the Spalding Inn off my list of places I must go stay.  It was bought by the two Ghost Hunter founders (TAPS is the actual name of the group).  They bought it a year or two ago and I just watched a re-run of another team, from Ghost Hunters International, go through and investigate it.  Yeah, SO not going there.  Ever.  And yet, I came right in here to get ready for bed but took a couple minutes to hop on the inn's website and thought about booking a damn room for a few weeks from now.  We're due for some vacation time, why not head up to New England and spend a night or two at the inn?  Because I'm chicken shit, that's why.  I SO want to go.  But never will.

I'm a living breathing contradiction of myself when it comes to that stuff.  I remember for our honeymoon we went to Boston, Salem, Providence and then over to Martha's Vineyard and I was so stoked for all the ghosties around THOSE places and then it dawned on me that I'd spend half my honeymoon on the ghost tours and the other half locked in the bathroom too scared to come out and have sex with my new husband...  which I'm sure just would have made him ALL kinds of pleased.

Someday, maybe I'll put on my big girl panties and go on a ghost tour or two.   But until then, I guess I'll live vicariously through the Ghost Hunters crew and deal with whatever spookies happen to cross my path.  It doesn't seem as though I'll be searching them out any time soon.

And I'm afraid of the dark, too....

The Menagerie

I was doing some reading today about what makes a blog interesting for others to read.  Of all the different things I read one thing was resoundingly clear.  Write what you know.  You know what I know?  My animals.  I have a bunch of them.  5 to be exact.  Two of the canine variety and 3 of the feline type. 

Two of our cats don't get along and have to live in separate areas of the house.  The one almost killed the other, but since we have the means to separate them, we made the decision to not get rid of any of them.  We have no kids, they are our kids, we couldn't give any of them up. 

Our dogs are just about the laziest dogs on the planet.  They eat, they drink, they poop.  They sleep.  A lot.  That's about it. 

We have two cats brimming with personality, the same two that don't get along, and one with zero personality except that she always wants petted.  Always.  She's like...  generic.   I adore her.  

So here they are in order of acquisition starting with the cat I got before I got married when I moved out of my parents' house.  He's the killer cat.   Romeo.

He looks so innocent, doesn't he???

The next one we brought in was Sophie, the generic kitty I mentioned earlier.  She is the most loving cat ever, but really only if you're petting here.  If you call her name and want to pet her she will tear from one side of the house to the other to get to you and so long as you pet her,, she'll stay.  She's wary of strangers.  She'll hide the duration of the visit.  It makes my husband and I feel good, really, that she loves us and trusts us.  She is beautiful.  Here's Sophie.

She and Romeo love each other very much.  Now, the next one we adopted from the front porch of our apartment where he was born, Romeo does NOT like.  But we cherish this cat more than I can even say.  He is a once in a lifetime cat.  He's so smart and so playful and amazingly affectionate.   He's our super monkey cat, Henry. Here he is now and as a kitten.

The cats are aged one right after the other over a 3 year time period.  It was really like we went through a phase where we always had to have a kitten in the house.  Luckily, we got over that.  Because holy, crap, we'd have like 4 more cats by now.

Two years ago we bought our house and it has a partially fenced in yard, so clearly a dog was the next thing we wanted.  We started living her August 1st of 2008.  We got Morgan the 14th.  Her family couldn't keep her and she was free and her name was GAG! Savannah.  She was 2 when we got her and she didn't respond to her name at. all.  And we hated the name so we renamed her Morgan.  She seems to like it.  She knows it and responds to it.  She is lovely.  She's a Beagle/Basset mix...  at least we think so.  Here she is in all her sad-faced beauty.

She was a very happy dog for a couple weeks.  And then she changed.  She barely would move.  She didn't play.  Nothing.  She had come from a home with 3 kids and we were thinking she maybe missed them.  So we did some research and Bassets are pack dogs and she was missing her pack.  We work, so it was clear she needed a friend.  Enter Wilma.  We got her two months after we got Morgan.  We got her from a breeder, she was a retired momma dog doomed to live out her life with the breeder.  And don't get me wrong, they have a wonderful set up and the dogs are very happy, but we knew we could make her happy, too, and Morgan, who we took with us to meet her, LOVED HER.  So Wilma came home with us.   Here's a couple pictures of her.

She is a VERY happy dog.  Her tail never stops wagging and she never stops with the kisses.  And Morgan immediately did a 180 degree change.  Immediately.  It was an instantaneous change back to the dog she was when we met her. 

So that's our brood.  Until we have kids, if we do, they are the most important things in our lives.  We love them and they love us and never cease to provide us with smiles and amusement. 

They will be mentioned in this blog from time to time, individually, or a couple at a time, but rest assured they'll be here. 

I hope all my new friends have a WONDERFUL time at BlogHer.  I'll be here.  Hanging with my animals. 

Always the zookeeper...  Hamlet's Mistress

Can't I just BE mad?

My husband is a master at making me laugh at the most inopportune times...  like when I want to be mad at him. 

Case in point, this evening instead of picking my husband up at work, he had to take a car to a place just about 10 minutes from my work.  There's always traffic from leaving his work, so I dallied at my work for a while, reading blogs...  actually listening to videos that I'd seen earlier but couldn't put the sound on, like Anissa's Vblog

When I picked him up I apologized again. And he was so snotty. When I apologize, and then he's snotty, it makes me SO ANGRY. Why do I apologize if he's going be a crabass anyway. He made sure to tell me he'd waited a total of 30 minutes and was just generally crappy making me feel worse... until it made me irritated and then angry.
We stopped for a quick dinner at Burger King and when I came out of the restroom the following conversation took place.

Him: You look so angry, what's wrong now?
Me: Same thing.
Him: I was venting. You apologized but I hadn't accepted it yet. I accept it now.
Me: Well, now it's too late, now I'm waiting for YOUR apology.
Him: Well, what if I get you a crown? Cuz I'll get you a crown. (we were at BK, remember?)
Me: I don't want an effing crown.
Him: Are you sure? Because I'll get you a crown, because I love you. I will.
Me: (Turning head to hide smile and the fact that I'm trying not to laugh, because dammit, I'm MAD)

I went through a few minutes of passive aggressive stuff... like only taking my cup to get just my drink... only getting one straw... only getting napkins enough for me. And then when he got his drink, napkins and straw he put it all down at the next booth over. He looked at me and we both started laughing. Fight over.

He does this all the time. Different circumstances, but he'll make me laugh and it's done.

That's why we're still married. That's why it works.

On my way to happily ever after... Hamlet's Mistress

Something like that... it just sticks with you.

Something happened to me about 21 years ago that definitely had a profound impact on me.  It may seem like nothing, but it was huge and to this day I can be immediately sucked back in time and feel the exact feelings just as intensely.

Before one of our local malls was completely renovated it was a dark mall.  Dark hallways...  just dark.  Except one place.  Outside the DEB store, it was all lit up and bright.  I was probably 11 or 12.  Back then it was ok at that age to walk around the mall alone.  Mom and I always checked in with each other like every half hour at one store or another.  But I was walking down the hall and coming towards me was a girl about my age and she kept looking at me.  I didn't like her.  She didn't look nice.  She was NOT attractive and she looked just as unimpressed with me and she would not stop looking at me.  I wanted her to stop.  I would avert my eyes and as soon as I looked back there she was looking at me.  I was getting angry.  As much as I knew I shouldn't think it I just kept thinking, "She is so ugly."  

Moments later, as I was almost to the DEB store a horrible feeling came over me.  I felt as though I'd been socked right in the stomach by a big strong burly man.  How I remained upright still baffles me.  Because I was standing there.  Stopped dead in my tracks in the middle of the busy mall as I stared at the girl.   The girl with my hair and my eyes and my clothes and glasses.   It was a mirror.  A mirror that cast the illusion of being a wholly separate group of people.  A mirror that reflected me as other people see me.   And I was horrified.   I found the closest bathroom and cried until it was time to meet my mom.  I don't have any recollection of what I told her made me cry, but I do remember being too ashamed to tell her the truth.  In fact, I've told no one.  Until now.

Don't get me wrong, I had boyfriends in high school and college and after college.  I've had relationships with wonderful men and some not so wonderful men, and I'm happily married now to the best of the very best of them all, so I know I'm not hideous, and I must have gotten better with age...  like a fine wine...  but that day, and that moment.  It sticks with me.  It was such a shock to my system that I don't know if I'll ever forget it. 

To this day when I'm questioning how I look or if I'm attractive to my husband or anyone else for that matter, I flash back to that day.  Even just fleetingly and picture that ugly girl in the mall.  And how I didn't like her.  I wonder about her sometimes.  Is she still a part of me?  Is she still here?  And has she come to terms with that day?  I know I haven't, so I'm guessing she hasn't either.   She was looking at me with just as much disgust as I was looking at her.  I'd like to go back to that day and reach out that girl and let her know that she was going to turn out ok.  So she wouldn't have to think about it, still now, 21 years later.

Trying to break free of reflections of the past...  Hamlet's Mistress

Ten reasons our home is just a starter...

1.  We have one neighbor with 15 gas grills in their side yard.

2.  Same neighbor also has at least three hundred and twenty-four lawn ornaments.

3.  There are 8 houses within a tenth of a mile from our home that have fake water wells in their front yard.  Strangely enough that's the ONE yard ornament previous neighbor doesn't have.  Unless it's hiding behind the rest.

4.  One neighbor put a drinking fountain IN their fake water well.  Like an industrial, in a school hallway drinking fountain.

5.  You can't drink the water here...  which everyone knows and previous neighbor has already told us the drinking fountain won't actually be for drinking.   Um, so then why?

6.  Another neighbor has a mobster car in their front yard.  Like a 1940s black big ass mobster car.  Like this:

But not as nice.   And did I mention it's in the FRONT YARD?   But I will admit it's better than the big electric blue  GMC Jimmy with the plow on the front with the weeds growing up through it that was there before the mobster car.  So things are looking up there.

7.  Everyone who lives around here has been here FOREVER.  They have no desire like we do to get out of this neighborhood and into some place nicer.  They all inherited their houses, which I guess makes us stupid because we actually BOUGHT ours.  We paid to live here. 

8.  Our home is 900 sq ft.  Prior to living here we rented my husband's grandmother's house from family.  BAD IDEA.  But it was 3300 sq feet.  And then we bought this place thinking we didn't need more room for just us and our pets.  Wrong.  And also, we can never have a baby here.  There's no place to put it.  :( .

9.  We commute 47 miles each way to work.  We carpool.  I spend an hour and a half driving every morning. 

10.  We're certain our home was built as a project to see how many things you can do wrong in the house and still find a schmuck to buy it.  I'm looking around the livingroom right now and I see 1, 2 schmucks.

We gave ourselves a 5 year timeline to live here.  June 30th was 2 years.  Here's hoping for good things to happen in the next three years.   Fingers crossed and mind racing as to what we can do to make it happen!!

With lofty ambitions....   Hamlet's Mistress