Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Life Lesson Learned

I have kept a personal journal since I was in 3rd grade. I have an entire box full of journals and notebooks. Some are interesting to read, some are embarrassing-did I REALLY act like that....NOOOOO. Some hold movie and concert ticket stubs, one holds flower petals from a flower my baby sister picked for me after my first boyfriend dumped me. One holds the first card Ryan ever gave me. Those books hold my entire life story, every thought that I would never share with anyone for whatever reason, every emotion, every new chapter, it's all in that box.

I pulled out my journal from this year and turned to the first page, the page holding my 2009 New Years Resolutions. I have always been an over-achiever. Each year I come up with a list of goals and expectations that are really not achievable at all, but for whatever reason I write them down and expect to complete those goals by the end of the year. Most of the time the list is about half done, the other half, written in red on the lined page, stares up at me, reminding me of what I didn't accomplish that year. I was fully expecting to turn to the page and see the same half-completed list that I see every year. Instead, my journal read this...

Here it is, the start of another year. Of course, I have hopes and dreams for this year, but I've decided not to have any expectations for 2009. Obviously I want to reduce my debt and continue with the pursuit of my degree; but with Ryan leaving the military and us becoming civilians, we have no idea where we will be living, or what we'll be doing. It could be like starting all over in a new area, or we could be staying here. Either way, I don't want to put expectations on this year, because I have no idea what to expect. I look at what I accomplished last year and two of my proudest accomplishments weren't even on my resolution list! I went back to school and started my blog, my two favorite accomplishments of 2008!

I think when it comes down to it, besides the few things that I do want to accomplish, this year I should take things as they come, roll with the punches. WHICH, is not my personality...at all. I'm a planner, I'm an analyzer, but I do feel that there should be a balance and I definitely lean towards the overly anal side of the scale. I might as well use this year and not knowing what's to come, as a tool, a learning device, to bring balance to my overly analytical mind. Perhaps I'll even feel enlightened at the end of 2009! Or I'll feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.


I had two goals for 2009-reduce my debt and continue with school. Both of which I have accomplished. Yeah we have the blasted house in VA causing all kinds of problems, BUT our debt total is less than what we started with in 2009, by a few thousand actually. No idea how or when that happened, but it was a nice surprise! I may be behind in getting my degree, and I may have dropped a couple classes and took them again to spare my precious GPA, BUT I continued with school, and I'll be done in a year! It's rather nice not to look at a long laundry list of crap that I never accomplished. It's really nice not to have the burden of being a disappointment to yourself.

I feel...free...enlightened. I know, I know, some of you are reading this thinking, this chick has some serious issues. When I told my husband all this, he looked at me and said, "That's great babe, I'm glad you finally realized that you put way too much pressure on yourself and that you can stop, just by saying ENOUGH." I'll admit it, it's usually the DUH-captain-obvious moments that give me my epiphany.

SO, from now on I am banning all New Years resolutions, and have decided that I will live my life free of all ridiculous long-term goals. I have two things I want to accomplish this year-reduce my debt, and continue with school. I, of course, have a few little things here and there, such as going to Mardi Gras (we live here, might as well), I have a small book list I would like to read, including Anne Rice's new novel (EEEEEEEEEEEEEE, those are squeals of delight in case you weren't sure), and I'd like to learn how to sew buttons on a shirt without it taking several hours; however, if I do not accomplish these small things, it's not a big deal. It's the long-term goals that are the important ones, and the ones I would get my panties in a wad over. So no more! ENOUGH, I say!

Here's to 2010, and plenty of delightful surprises around the corner!

Oh, did I learn to roll with the punches...not really. I'm still working on that one. One thing at a time damn it.

Confessions Of An Underwear Sales Girl-1

As I was attempting putting together a rack of sequined and rhinestoned pajamas, that was mutilated by the herd of 12 year olds that plowed through the store 20 minutes earlier (seriously where the hell are your parents?), I came across a scene that made me a tad irritated. It went something like this...

Two women were standing at the pantie bar (no this isn't a joke, although it sounds like a joke I would attempt while getting hammered; and for the men who read this-a pantie bar is a large bar shaped table that holds endless amounts of underwear). One was an older lady and the other a middle-aged lady. I had spoken to the middle-aged lady earlier, she was picking out panties for her 18 year old daughter. I could overhear the older lady telling the middle-aged lady how excited she was that her daughter and granddaughter were coming to visit. After the divorce, she hasn't seen them since they moved away, blah blah blah, she's really excited, and she wants to get her granddaughter something "cool" that most grandma's don't buy.

The middle-aged woman pointed to the cotton panties in the older woman's hands, "Are those for your granddaughter?"
The older woman lit up like a Christmas tree and responded, "Yes!"
"Oh, well, kids these days don't wear those underwear anymore. Those are for older women, so you should swap those for thongs. Your granddaughter will never wear those."
You could see the old lady's eyes droop in disappointment. She looked at the panties in her hand, and looked back at the mountains of underwear on the table, "Oh...I...I didn't know that."
The middle-aged woman responded with, "Yeah, kids wear thongs now", and handed her a hot pink thong that said Ride Me.
The older woman held the lace in her hand as she looked at it, crinkling her eyebrows together. I chose that moment to step out from behind the masochistic wonderland that is pajamas and hangers tangled together, and approached the two women. "Are you ladies finding everything ok?"
The middle-aged woman smiled at me and said, "Yep, I got everything I need", and trotted off to the cash register. I looked back at the older woman still holding the naughty string of lace and gently smile at her. She looked back at me and said, "Kids don't like these?", and handed me the cotton ones she had already picked out.

I took the string of lace from her and said, "How old is your granddaughter?"
"She's 11."
"Ok, well the lady you were talking to, was choosing panties for her 18 year old, I don't think she realized you were buying undies for an 11 year old."
The old lady nodded, and said, "I want to get her something she'll like."
I nodded and took the panties from her. In the end she decided on a combination of panties, three of which she had already picked out, none of which were naughty or thongs, and I'm fairly confident that that little girl will be happy with her gift.

I realize that the middle-aged woman was only trying to help, but seriously, could you not tell when the poor little old ladies face dropped that you completely burst her bubble! THEN you continued to tell her that her choice in panties was lousy, and she should choose again. All she wanted was to get a gift for her granddaughter that would be different. Her tone was just so harsh, like the little old lady is supposed to know that little girls wear thongs that say Ride Me with a picture of a bike next to the neon wording. Sometimes I just want to slap people...like the kids that ransacked my pajamas display. That took 30 minutes to detangle. Seriously, where the hell are your parents?!?!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Pep Talk To Myself

It can be very easy to get sucked into your own problems and forget about the world around you. Ugh, we could lose the house in Virginia, and then I'd end up with a foreclosure on my credit score. A foreclosure on my credit score means I could kiss my accounting career goodbye. The accounting career that right now, I technically don't have because, there are no jobs in Louisiana, yeah...that accounting career. Let's be honest here, no, foreclosures aren't good, they're not something that you ever want, but it's not like people haven't bounced back from a foreclosure. Yes, I may have to change my career options around a tad, but if there are no accounting jobs around here right now anyways, I'm gonna have to do a little shifting as it is. It's stressful, and disappointing, and going through this isn't exactly cupcakes and rainbows, but compared to some, we really are doing ok.

We have each other, if it came down to choosing, I would give up every career option I had, work at the 7-11 for the rest of my life and lose 14 houses if it meant keeping my husband, sisters or best friends safe and sound. I feel so silly for making such a big deal out of my financial/job situation when others around me are going through such trying times. Talk about having my head in my ass. Everyone is going through something, sometimes they talk about it, sometimes they don't. Some are more drastic than others, yet each one is important to whom that situation is affecting.

In the last few months I've become much more active in the blogging world. Moving to a place where you don't know anybody can result in that. I read blogs where people deal with medical issues, family issues, infertility, financial situations, loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, depression, I could go on and on. I feel almost embarrassed that I've been whining about my problem that doesn't even hold a candle to some of these other individuals issues they are going through.

Life is what you make it, and I really need to grasp onto what's important, that's relationships. I could have made it through my life without my best friends, but it would have been difficult and I would have missed out on one of life's most precious gifts-friendship. I feel lucky that Ryan and I found each other so soon. Some people search an entire lifetime for the relationship Ryan and I have. We truly do balance each other out. Trust me, no one but Ryan would put up with my crazy ass, and I'm fairly certain the same goes for him. Yeah, so I sell underwear and smell like I live in a perfume cloud, at least I have a job, which is better than some. I'm able to continue my education, some don't have that opportunity. I have four sisters, and a brand new nephew, WHO is the cutest thing in the entire world. This financial hiccup isn't the end of the world, and I need to stop allowing my focus to rest on that. It's only allowing bitterness and depression to set it, and that's no good. I need to focus on what I do have, and the opportunities that are right in front of me.

Alright, so there's my pep talk for this morning. Sometimes I really just need a kick in the ass. Who better to do it than me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Brandy

Hey guys. I have recently found, through my own trials and life hang-ups, that the blogging community can be an amazing support when things aren't quite going how you had hoped. Every now and then we are given the opportunity to give back to the blogging community that so strongly supports us, now is one of those moments. I have only been reading Brandy's blog for a few months, but her blog has become one of my favorites. She never fails to put a smile on my face or make me laugh when I'm in the worst mood ever. Not to mention, she shares my love of Ryan Reynolds ads, hello can you blame us! Please read her post below and send some good juju her way. I have found that just the simplest things, like telling people that you're thinking of them, can make such a huge difference.

My name is brandy. And I have a blog.

And a plea.

I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog- single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.

He’s a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He’s the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He’s the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He’s a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He’s made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He’s listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.

The holidays have hit us hard. He’s recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma- an incurable cancer, that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me, rather than worrying about himself. He’s the most selfless individual I know- (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would promote or encourage but when I’m overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort, two things I desperately need at this time.

As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren’t sure what’s happening. He’ll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what’s going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as ‘brandy’s hot awesome dude’). If you don’t pray, please keep him in your heart.This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.

I want to give a big thank you to the blog owner who scraped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven’t seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).

I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making- but this is life. Right now. And I’m throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you and if you know anything regarding MM- please email me (my email is on my blog). This isn’t a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It’s just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be with the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next. Maybe it is silly, but I really do believe that positive thoughts can make a huge difference. Thank you for reading this and if you haven’t already? Please tell someone you love them today.

I did.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Surprise Christmas Gift

I got to work on Christmas Eve, we weren't completely packed wall to wall with people yet, I found a mug full of candy in my locker, and a certain phone call that morning happily ended a listing battle for the Virginia house, so I was in a chipper mood. I had mentioned weeks ago about possibly having Christmas weekend off to go see family, especially since my sister-in-law was due to have her baby around that time. I knew I was hired as seasonal, and it was a long shot, but I thought I'd try. I, of course, was scheduled for every day Christmas weekend. My boss and I get along pretty well, she's easy to like, and we're fairly close in age. After the schedule came out, I had mentioned to her about my request. She smiled and told me she'd see what she could do. Usually when she says that, it means, don't count on it. So, much to my husband's dismay, I let it go.

My boss walked up to me, with her usual perfect smile and said, "Hey Stephanie, did your sister have the baby?"
"She did! I've been told that everyone is doing just fine."
"Well, you can see for yourself this weekend."
"I'm working this weekend."
"No you're not. I have it covered. Enjoy your family."
"You're not firing me are you? Cuz I kinda need this job."
"No, we like you, you're not being fired. Merry Christmas."
"I am so buying you a fruit basket when I get back."
She laughed and pranced off to socialize with the customers.

We drove all night to Tennessee, to see Ryan's family. We rang his parents doorbell at 8am Christmas morning. Ryan's mom came down the stairs, saw us through the door window and started jumping up and down, screaming. She flung open the door and threw her arms around Ryan, tears streaming down her face. Due to Ryan's previous military status, his deployments that always seemed to occur around the holidays and now with us living 8 hours away, seeing family is usually a once or twice a year excursion. Needless to say, she was surprised and thrilled. His siblings and dad had similar reactions, minus the screaming and jumping up and down for the men of course.

That, my friends, is impossible Christmas wish numero dos, that has been answered. Snow in Louisiana, Christmas with family, AND, since we fired our property managers, hired a new agent and put the house up for sale, I suppose the tenants wish no longer applies, so we can cross that one off too! And people say Santa isn't real. PLEASE!

Merry Christmas to all my loyal blog readers! I hope your holiday is full of surprises and memories!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stocking Stuffers From The Underwear Shop

First off...bad news. My hair dryer is dying. I suppose I shouldn't be too upset, I've had that thing since I was 13 years old. I think 15 years is a good run for a hair dyer, I certainly got my money's worth; however, you have no idea just HOW CRUCIAL my hair dryer is to the chaos that is my hair in the morning. Ugh. Keep your fingers crossed that it's last leg is a long one.

Apparently, panties are the best stocking stuffer for females, and drag queens. Who knew? I guess it makes a lot of sense, who wouldn't get all giggly when they turn their stocking upside down to watch a sea of assorted candy colors, all in lace and ribbons come tumbling out onto the table? My sisters and I never got anything like that in our stockings. We typically would get fruit that came from the fruit bowl on the kitchen table, toothpaste, chapstick and a candy cane. We thought that was completely normal and we were happy with that, until one of our friends said they got electronics in their stocking. My little sister asked if it was an electronic toothbrush.

My first Christmas I spent with Ryan's family was our first year married. His brothers and sisters had DVD's and CD's in their stockings. I remember thinking, HOLY CRAP, DVD's were one of our main gifts growing up. We would get one Disney DVD each Christmas and Easter. We looked forward to that every year, we couldn't WAIT to get to the Disney movie gift. You should have seen us the year we got Aladdin...ah, the memories.

I have seen more moms come into the store buying panties for their daughters stockings, than any other customer. I found a girl crouched on the floor hovering over one of our bins, we had just received a shipment of a certain brand of flip flops, she bought one for each of her sisters and her mom, and was planning on putting those in their stockings. What a great idea! Now if only there was an easy/cheap stocking stuffer for men...maybe that IS their stocking stuffer...

The It's-1am-And-Yes-I'm-Posting-About-My-Dog Post

I just got home from work, yes, it's 1am, I also have to be back at work in five hours, but that's not why I'm on here...

So, I'm making my sandwich for tomorrow, and my dog is sitting next to me watching me intently. I push the fridge door closed, but I notice it doesn't close all the way. I look at Thor out of the corner of my eye and I see his eyes turn from my sandwich ever so slightly to the cracked fridge door. He must have been praising the doggie dogs, "There is a god and he loves me!" I can see him watching me, like he's waiting for me to leave, so that he has the perfect opportunity to push the door open with his nose and peruse through the wonderful world of human goodies (which he's done before by the way, little bastard). I look at him and say, "Sorry pup, Santa's not coming early this year" and close the fridge door. Thor groans and walks away. Sheesh.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hope

As you all know, our house in VA is causing quite a problem for us financially. Today we terminated our contract with the property management group and got an agent to put the house on the market. We're going to attempt a short sale. It is my legal understanding that the bank cannot foreclose on us if the house is on the market. They can however continue to report us for each payment we are late on or miss entirely.

A friend got me in touch with a new agent, and for the first time since Ryan has gotten out of the military I feel like we have hope. Hope that the bank won't foreclose on us, that our credit reports won't be completely mangled by the time all the dust settles, and that we can FINALLY move on with our lives. Hope...it's quite liberating. I unfortunately am one of those people whose attitude lies with her circumstances. If all is super lousy, the stress starts to pile on and I get worried and frantic, especially in terms of finances. I actually deal better with health problems than I do money problems. That's sad isn't it?

This new agent appears to be on the ball, she's already got all the paperwork in, the listing done, and has contacts with our bank, so she'll deal with the bank, not us; which is nice since every time we talk to someone over there we get told something completely different. I feel like she's really going to be able to help us out. Maybe she is and all will be ok. Maybe she isn't and I'm just desperate to put my hope in anyone or anything.

It's so hard being helpless, just watching your finances crumble before you, knowing that there is nothing you can do to change the job or housing market. I'm a control freak as it is, and I hold my own standards much higher than most people. I can't help but think that if I would have saved more money or if I would have planned ahead better or had a different plan B or C, maybe things would be different and we'd be better off than we are now. Maybe we would be able to pay for both places. Tiffany is right, you can rip yourself apart and think of five different ways you could have done something that MIGHT have made a difference, but the fact of the matter is, this is where you are now, and you did the best you could with the circumstances you were given. Irresponsibility didn't bring me here, the lack of jobs and no one looking to purchase homes brought me here. Neither of those are circumstances I could change.

Ya know what's really sad, is that it's easier to talk about this on my blog, instead of to my family's face. I feel so ashamed. Like I'm this loser that's wasting her life away. Screwing up her financial future, and not being able to get a job other than underwear sales girl. I have tried so hard to be a good role model for my sisters, and to make my dad proud of me, and look at me; at 27, I'm such a disappointment, it's embarrassing. I know my family reads my blog, but I can't look at them, in their eyes, and talk about this. I've always been the one who has it together, has a plan, the over-achiever, the goal reacher, always ahead of schedule.

Well I called this post "Hope" because I was intending to write about how hope is an amazing feeling. It can turn someones whole attitude towards life around. I was planning on writing how Christmas is a truly magical time of year, a time of hope and believing that everything will be ok; but after reading this post, that's definitely not how it ended. I guess sometimes it doesn't matter how hopeful you are, you can still be your own worst enemy and you can still disappoint yourself the most.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Maybe The Holidays Just Make People Lonely? Then Again Maybe People Are Just Horny...

With Christmas comes merchandise, and with merchandise and Christmas comes sales. When you blend all three of those together you get a galloping stampede leaving behind empty hangers, knocked over mannequins and a flurry of packaging, ribbons and of course, some toddlers lollipop stuck to the wall. How nice of him to share. Of course, with any kick ass sale you're going to have a mass of people wanting to take advantage of it, and a lot of strange/weird/gross/retarded/annoying people to boot.
No, creepy guy with your friend, I cannot and will not try on that negligee for you, just so you can see what it looks like on a person. Good grief. No, the Christmas decorations in the store are not for sale, and no I will not give your phone number to my cute, blond co-worker. No, I don't want your phone number either.

Maybe with the holidays here, people are just lonely? Don't get me wrong, it's a nice ego boost when the hot 23 year old college student comes in with his girlfriend and I catch him checking me out, but when the older business gentleman comes in shopping for his wife, no matter how George Clooney he looks, it's a tad creepy when they smile, wink and ask you what you would wear on a hot date. I even had one guy ask me what the tattoo on my arm meant, when I responded, "lover", he asked if he could test that out. My response, "You could ask my husband if you could to test his out, he has a matching one on his arm." He decided he just wanted to look around at that point. It makes me appreciate the men who walk in and truly want to get their wives or girlfriends something romantic for Christmas, and have no interest in hitting on any of us underwear sales girls, all the more.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Christmas Movies

So I haven't been in the most festive of moods this year. I have yet to put up any of my three Christmas trees, any of my Christmas swags or garland. I have no idea where my case of Christmas CD's are around here, nor have I baked one batch of homemade Christmas cookies, and we are literally one week from Christmas. I know, my sisters jaws are dropping onto their keyboards as they read this I'm sure. It was all I could muster to hand make my Christmas cards this year and get them sent out on time.

No matter what lack of yuletide decorating, cookie baking or carol singing may encompass my grim attitude, nothing will change the fact that I LOVE Christmas movies. I wait all year to watch them! Ryan's receiving a bit of a break from my holiday hoopla. Right after Thanksgiving, like literally after we put leftovers in the fridge, I get the Christmas stuff out. By December 1st, he's normally wading knee deep in fake snow, garland, Christmas trees and ornaments. We lost one of the cats one year, finally found him hiding in one of the Christmas trees a week or so later.

Ryan was going through our DVR list of saved shows and he mentioned hey are you gonna watch some of these? I glanced up from furiously typing on my keyboard to see a number of holiday specials I had recorded and forgotten about. I exclaimed "YES!" and went back to my keyboard. With only one week left until Christmas I am WAY far behind, and now must narrow my Christmas movie watching down to my top favorites. Drumroll please..













There ya have it. If you've never heard or seen of any of these movies, do yourself a favor and hit the Netflicks button and have them sent on down your way!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In Other News...

I'm an Aunt! Well, I've been a self proclaimed aunt to a couple best friends babies, but today I'm an official aunt. My sister in law had their baby boy. Everyone's healthy, happy and he's absolutely perfect!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Allow Me To Explain

I fully realize that for the last twoish months I have been the epitome of negativity. I am normally very tight lipped about finances, but I'm thinking/hoping that by unleashing the precarious situation Ryan and I face, some stress may be alleviated. Maybe. We'll see. Way back in November 2008, Ryan and I knew that Ryan's terminal date from the Navy was approaching. We also knew that the job market was less than desirable, and we had a house, four pets, and credit cards to pay for. Ryan did everything he could to stay military, they simply decided that it was Ryan's tenure and that was that, so Ryan was honorably discharged at higher tenure. He entered the job market as soon as his foot hit land in March 2009. Our most obvious choice was for him to find a job in Virginia. My job was in Virginia, our house was in Virginia, makes sense. Apparently not to the job market. Nothing was in Virginia, well, I shouldn't say nothing. Ryan did get an offer for a job in D.C., making less than what he was making in the military. There was no way we would be able to live off his income and we'd still have to move which would leave my job and the house behind. With him making a lesser salary, that was a no go. He had plenty of interviews, but the companies always decided that they either didn't need someone after all, or they would shift people around inside the company to cover the position Ryan interviewed for. Thankfully we had a large base in our savings account, Ryan being without work for almost six months we needed that stash.

In September Ryan got an offer from the company he's at now, his new territory would be the South...as in Louisiana. Money and benefits were good, we didn't dare pass it up. The day Ryan accepted the offer we contacted our realtor and I told my boss. My boss got with her boss and started working to get me remote access so that I could keep my job. The VP declined the proposal at the last minute saying that it was unfair for me to be able to work from home, and everyone else in the department to have to work in a cubicle. My response-not everyone has saved this company 1.4 million dollars, not everyone has led a team of five to restore numerous accounts, not everyone can work with the sales team the way I do, and not everyone can handle the workload. From what I hear the VP regrets his decision but I have yet to receive a phone call, or a package containing a brand new laptop compatible with the company's software.

We met with our realtor, he said that there was no way we would get a buyer to be able to cover the mortgage let alone realtor fees, not in this housing market. He said we should aim for tenants. He gave us the name of the property manager that works with that real estate company, who happens to the be best in the area, and we called her. She came out that next week, went over paperwork, looked at the house, blah blah blah. We have yet to have tenants. We have asked her what the problem is, if the house is getting negative feedback, she just always says it's a bad time of year, that it will pick up after the holidays.

We knew back in September that if we didn't get tenants in the house, or I found a killer job that we would run into trouble come December. There's no way we can afford two places to live, let alone credit cards, regular living expenses and a truck payment on Ryan's salary alone. Ryan called the mortgage company, he explained the situation to the guy on the other end of the line, the mortgage guy told him that we either need to make payments or they'll foreclose. That's it. Ryan explained the situation to him, asked him if we had any options, asked him if there was anything we could do, nope he said keep making payments or they'll foreclose. I called again in November to tell them, hey we don't have tenants yet and we really are serious when we say that December is going to be bad if we truly don't have any other options. The girl I spoke to told me that I should just voluntarily foreclose, that it would save me time. WTF.

Yesterday we got a call from the mortgage company.

"Hi, Stephanie, you know you're mortgage payment is late?"
"Yeah, I know, I knew when we called you in Sept. and Nov., that this would happen, we told you people that then."
"Oh well we don't have any notes on the account that you ever spoke to us."
"Of course you don't. Why would anyone shoot themselves in the foot by typing in the comment section that they told one of their customer to voluntarily foreclose."
"I'm sorry ma'am, so are you saying you want to foreclose? I just want you to know that foreclosure stays on your credit report for 10 years, so you should really think carefully before you make that decision."
"I'm an accountant, I know how foreclosure works. You have our account in front of you, yes?"
"Yes ma'am."
"So you can see that we have never been late or missed a payment until now, yes?"
"Yes ma'am."

I went on to tell her about the calls we made in Sept. and Nov. in an attempt to avoid all of this, she could care less. She gave me a phone number and told me to call back with my financial information. Ryan called back today who was told that our default would be reported to the credit agencies in a week if we didn't make payment. Are you fucking serious? If you people would have been willing to work with us in Sept. or Nov., when we first called you about this situation BEFORE it became a problem none of these conversations would be taking place right now! I called back, and the highest up I could get on the corporate chain was a team leader who proceeded to tell me, well that sucks, but there's nothing I can do, AND while you're loan is being looked at for modification, which could take 60 days, we will continue to report you negatively to the credit bureau's. Again, What. The. Fuck. So because you people are going to take your sweet ass time in going over our loan, you going to report us?

I could understand all this if our account had a history of delinquencies, late payments, and other mishaps, but our account is squeaky clean. I might also understand all of this if we never tried to make this work before all of this came to pass, but we did try. On two separate occasions we tried. Now because of this mortgage company's, either lack of communication or poor customer service, I'm not sure which or if both are to blame, our credit reports will suffer. At this rate they could foreclose on us before they even look at modifying our loan. It will be 30 days next week, two more months until foreclosure begins, and they told us it could take 60 days to go over our loan modification, AND they could decide not to approve us for anything. We have no idea what our options even are because the executives have to go over our financial information and decide what is fair, and again that takes 60 days.

Not to add to the pity party here, but I have yet to find a job. I had a killer interview last week, amazing pay, amazing bennies, but they decided to go with someone else. When the agent asked for feedback on me they said I was amazing, but never told her why they chose the other candidate. At the end of the interview they straight up told me they were blown away, beyond impressed. I don't get it. Not to mention that one of the managers at the store I do currently work for, called me earlier today and said she had to cut some of the hours for the girls this week because they were over their quota. So less work hours for me, which means less money to pay bills with.

Twenty-seven years old and I work retail, could be getting foreclosed on, and have more debt than assets. Awesome. Not to mention that being in accounting, would-be employers check your credit report upon hiring you, a foreclosure equals me never getting a job in accounting again. I promise I'm not being melodramatic here. Ask any accounting professional and they will tell you the same, I promise, I've done my research, So, there ya have it. Minus a few minor health issues, that's about it in a nutshell.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tea Time

I woke up this morning with that horrible tight feeling in your throat, a pounding headache and a stuffy nose. You've got to be F-ing kidding me. I haven't been sick in over two years.

October 2007 I was laying in a hospital bed with a bag of green liquid streaming into my veins while I coughed up blood. Pneumonia, nasty illness. I remember walking into my doctor's office, them taking my temperature and telling me to go to the hospital. I got to the emergency room, waited the typical five days. I swear the dude on the other side of the room had cobwebs on him from being there waiting for so long. Next thing I knew I was being carried into the back by a firefighter. Apparently my then 104 fever rose to about 108ish and I had passed out. Homeslice caught me before my head hit the concrete floor. I started coughing up blood after the x-rays. Doc's came in, told me I had pneumonia, take these meds, yada yada...five days later good as new. Talk about potent meds.

Anyways, getting off the subject here, I woke up feeling lousy. Doubled up on calcium and vitamins and ventured out into the world of referreeing Christmas shoppers fighting over pajamas and panties. Upon leaving my shift, a girl outside one of the mall stores asked me if I would like to try a tea sample. At that point my head and throat were so sore, ice sounded delectable. I stopped, "Yes, yes I would." Holy crap it was AMAZING. I stepped back to read what heavenly store I had just discovered. Teavana. An organic tea store, full of every tea you can possibly imagine, a tea for every ailment, sickness, problem and concus of the boncus you can think of.

I am absolutely a natural remedy person, I don't even take headache meds unless I can barely hear the voices in my head anymore. The doctor at the hospital looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears when I asked him if there was something more natural I could take for pneumonia. "Miss, you're coughing up blood. You had a fever high enough to cause brain damage. You're taking the meds I give you." That was the one and only time I have ever not argued with a doctor about taking medicine. I am so taking on this organic tea thing. I've always liked tea, but I would drink the lipton stuff out of the box, apparently this organic tea is more potent and has a lot more to offer in terms of health. I guess that makes sense. Organic veggies are better for you than frozen veggies, why would tea be any different?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Why Dear God Why

I have lived down here for two months and a week, and I have found ONE, ONE starbucks. ONE people. This is a crime, and it should be reported. On top of that, the Starbucks isn't even near the house, it's a good 15 minutes away. AND to make matters worse, no Dunkins either. I know right! What the hell kind of a place is this?!?! Christ what is this world coming to?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Christmas List

Ryan and I don't have money for Christmas this year. We're paying for two places (rent and a mortgage), and I'm only working my measly holiday retail job for lack of finding a REAL job in my actual profession. We're beyond broke. Our friends and family understand, they're all pretty much just as broke as we are. I try to avoid stores because it just reminds me that we have NO money, and I think about how good that skirt would look on one of my sisters, or how Ryan really needs a new computer that doesn't shut it self down every three hours, yada yada yada. BUT, lets face it I work at the mall, and unless I clasp blinders to my head, I'm gonna see all the great presents and sales to be had. Due to the fact that we cannot afford Christmas presents this year, I have asked that people not buy us gifts. I'll feel terrible if we get gifts but can't give anything back.

I made a list around Thanksgiving, I wasn't going to show it to anyone, it was just a list I made for fun. I'll never get any of that stuff anyway. Well, one of the things on my list was snow. Snow...in Louisiana. Never gonna happen, it barely snows in Southern Virginia! A week or two ago, I got home from work, hooked Thor's leash to his collar and opened the door...it was snowing. My mouth slowly dropped open, Thor peered outside from behind me, cocking his head to the right staring at the fluffy flakes floating down from the sky. "It's snowing," I whispered. I could hear the college students around me laughing, taking pictures and calling their friends and family. It was beautiful, I had forgotten how beautiful snow was.

As completely unrealistic as my Christmas list is, after those 30 minutes of snow fall, I'm convinced that perhaps, just perhaps I might actually get one or two things on that list. HECK! I already got one thing! People say that Christmas is a magical time of year...

Steph's Christmas List:
1. A shiny new job
2. Non-thrifty tenants
3. A backyard for Thor, OR a muzzle that will prohibit him from whining every 20 minutes
4. A self-cleaning kitchen
5. A library full of rare, classic and out of print books, OR our city library to actually stock books other than the ones on the history of Baton Rouge
6. Snow
7. Those boots from Bakers that keep flirting with me through the store window
8. Our upstairs neighbor to stop rearranging furniture at 2am
9. Pajamas that match
10. Walmart to not have lines 5 days long
11. That we can be with family for Christmas

Numbers Don't Lie

As I'm walking out of the backroom from replacing a malfunctioning earpiece, a customer stops me in the fitting room. As she's peeking out from behind the door, her look of panic and complete confusion beckons me to her. I approach and ask her what she needs. She's been working out really hard the last few months and her bras don't fit anymore, and she can't seem to find one that fits here either. I measure her. 34A. I can see the tears start to well up in her eyes as her mouth drops open.
"A what?", she asks.
"Well let me measure again, I might have read it wrong. Nope, 34A."
"Oh. My. God. I dropped two cup sizes?!?!"
Her bottom lip is starting to quiver now.
"Ok, well don't panic, it's no big deal. We have bras that will give you two cup sizes!"
"Well what do I do when he takes the bra off and sees that I'm not two cup sizes bigger?!?!?"
"Uumm...hope he's a leg man?"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Bitch Session

Apparently my patience for retail ends at three weeks. I have seriously had my fill of boob measurement quotas, managers who talk to me like I am a naive 20 year old with no goals, ambitions, or life outside of the store, and emerging myself in Operation Panty Mayhem every night.

I got into it with one of the managers last week about the bra fitting quota. Seriously, I'm not gonna hold the woman down while I wrap my measuring tape around her, similar to roping cattle. I'll ask, if she says no, I'm leaving it at that.
Later on in the evening the same "special" manager scolds me for not selling the credit card. "Get them to say no three times," she says. Again, I'm not going to chase the customer around the store asking them THREE times if they want to open a charge card. I'd be pissed if someone did that to me. Due to my rebellious ways, I am now the sales girl she calls to do the shit jobs. "Stephanie, there's a pile of bras on the floor, can you clean them up? Stephanie can you help this customer, plus restock all the tables in the front, ring someone up at the cashwrap and don't forget to sell the credit card or do bra fittings. Stephanie I'm gonna need you to climb this 14 story ladder get on the ledge that's 2in. wide and dust the lighting fixtures."

I work with college students all about 20-21. They care about this job about as much as I do; however, unlike me their don't-give-a-damn attitude shows. If they're not closing they don't do anything to keep the store neat. It takes us 2-3 hours to close every night due to panty chaos. We've all seen it, the mountain of drawers (normally called panties, but when in mountainous form are called drawers) on the tables. It doesn't help that we get herds of 12 year olds in the store that literally annihilate the tables looking for the panty that says, "Do-Me". Even when you ask them if you can help them find something they just roll their eyes at you and say no thanks. They finally find the panty that says "Do-Me", giggle and toss it. Many an adult does the same thing. We don't mind if you're looking for a size, or you grab one and the whole pile goes with it, it happens, but it irks me to no end, when you ask people if they need help, they say no and you watch in horror as their hands work in a similar motion as a blender, only for them to walk away empty handed. Why, I ask. Oh dear blog reader, let it be known, that if you partake in the destruction of panty tables, please be at least looking for a size, don't just tear the table apart for absolutely no reason at all. Do I come to your desk, cube, whatever and destroy your area? No, I don't.

Although you may have worked a job in the past, it can be easy to forget how it really is. I have done retail in the past, and I have forgotten how petty it is and how much of a pain in the ass people really are. Especially around the holidays. I am now reminded. So, to recap, I want a shiny new job for Christmas.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Clueless Husband

In my attempt to strike romance into our billion year long relationship, I devised a plan to add a little romantic spontaneity in the marriage. Allow me to explain.

Everyone knows that when a relationship is new, you want to impress the person you're with. Well good lord, did I ever. When Ryan and I became serious, I went to every lingerie store I could find and stocked up. Costumes, sets, gowns, lace, satin, you name it, I have it. Let's face it, after you've been with someone for years, you get comfortable with each other, and I just haven't worn any of that stuff in awhile. I figured that Ryan hasn't seen any of this stuff in awhile, it will look semi-new.

I got home from work before Ryan did, put on some lacy, satiny lingerie and waited. I haven't worn anything lacy or satiny for him in like three years. I'm not very sexy, or romantic. It just isn't one of those things that I can just do, and when I do attempt, it normally back fires on me. Such as the sexy pictures trial, not once, but twice did I end up with half naked pictures of myself looking constipated and a husband who's laughing so hard he can barely even see the pictures between the tears of laughter streaming down his face. Or the time I made a "romantic" dinner. Ryan came home to find me chasing our roommates cats around the house for the chicken breast I had left on the counter to thaw. Nothing says, honey I love you, like running through the house waving a meat mallet and screaming, "You little shit, get back here with that breast!" Or the time I lit the candles in the bathroom, and the cat knocked one of the towels onto the candle which set it on fire. Ryan came in to find me completely drenched covered in bubbles, clutching one of the cats to my chest, beating the towel with a pair of underwear. In a nutshell, I'm more glasses, hair pinned up, wearing flannel vs. bombshell, hair that looks like a cloud of silk cascading down my perfectly posed body, wrapped in candy apple red lace. Don't get me wrong, I, like any other girl out there like to get all cute every now and then; but seriously, after an irritating day of measuring boobs and straightening panty tables the last thing I want to do is put on the dreaded lace that I straighten on the hangers all day. Give me my fluffy slippers, a hoodie and a pair of boxers or pants and I'm as happy as hampster in a wheel.

After rummaging through the box of garters, ruffles and props, most of which ended up splayed out on the bed, flung across the room, or on Thor's head, I decided on a set. Put it on, smoothed it out, checked myself in the mirror and waited for Ryan to walk through the door. Surely he would notice and say something. He walks through the door sees me in my full length robe and doesn't say anything for about a half hour. I keep my mouth shut, don't say a word. Smile and nod, play along. Listen to how his day was. Blah, blah, blah. At one point I bent over to pet the dog and Ryan grabbed my robe, said, "What in the world?" and flung it open. I stood there in all my pride and glory, the satin gleaming in the lamplight. Surely, NOW he will say something. Nope, not a thing. Being a normal female with body issues, I start to panic. Ryan goes back to doing paperwork, I walk out of the room, and RUN down the hall to the mirror in the bedroom. I look fine, no fat rolls, my legs are shaved, no stains on the precious white material. WTF? Later we head to bed. SURELY, he'll say something, try something, SOMETHING. Nope, not a thing. He just rolls over and tries to go to sleep. I even tried snuggling up to him in an attempt to give a more obvious hint, he just did not get it. At that point I was confused, and mad as hell, so I kneed him in the back and asked him what the hell his problem was. He responded with, "What?". Apparently he thought my lacy gettup was new "jammies." Again, WTF? When have I ever, EVER wore something like this to SLEEP in? He made it up to me, but seriously, what's a girl gotta do? Maybe I should just knee him in the back to let him know, HEY, give me some loooovvveeee. Or I could put a post-it on my forehead that says, "do-able" on it, just to make sure he gets the hint.

In an effort to push my body conscious thoughts from my mind, I thought perhaps it's because he's used to me being forward and just telling him when I need him. I'm the chick that straight up tells her man, "get your ass to the bedroom so I can do you." I'm not shy, trust me. I was simply trying to create a romantic air, a feeling of spontaneity that I feel we have lost. I guess I just threw him off-guard with all my round about hinting. BUT regardless, how lousy is it that when you wear something SEE THROUGH your husband doesn't even comment? He just goes back to doing his paperwork. WTF people...WTF?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Think I'm In Love...

What can I say, tall, dark and gorgeous...gets me every time.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Where For Art Thou?

I thoroughly enjoy the blogging world. We have the opportunity to take a peak into someone's life, someone's thoughts, a random stranger we've never met, never will meet. How cool is that? I have been on the hunt for a thought provoking blog, one that's deep, one that will hold my attention. Why is it I have yet to find that blog? Don't get me wrong, I have several blogs I follow on a regular basis. Who doesn't want to hear about a 20-something-year-old's crazy night life? That's totally entertaining, you bet your buttons I'll read that blog. There's a few "fashion" blogs I follow, because I suck at fashion and their blogs are the way I keep up with what's trendy. There's a couple blogs that make me laugh until my sides hurt, which as far as I'm concerned are the best blogs out there. Then there's my blog crush...

Where's the thought provoking blogs, where's the deep intellectual, artsy blogs? Am I just looking in the wrong spot? I started following a couple blogs with catchy titles thinking, "Surely this blog will be the one! The one that stumps me and makes me really THINK. The one that causes mental turmoil, and makes me question what's right or wrong, black or white! The one that puts a new spin on things and helps me see things from a totally different perspective!" Nope, turns out it was just some lame dude or gal wanting someone to tell them how awesome they are. I fully realize that my blog is not the most brainstorm worthy blog. Most of my posts are down right boring. Every author has meh moments. I'm not looking for a blog that gets the thinking juices going every minute of the day, just a blog that makes you stop and say, "Huh, well that's interesting, I never thought about that."

Blog diversity is a beautiful thing. A blog for any mood I'm in, or any predicament I'm having, depending on what choas I got myself involved in. WELL, if blog diversity is a beautiful thing tell me, why oh why, can I not find a deep brain crunching blog? Maybe I did find it and didn't get it, so I brushed it off as boring...that would be typical.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Things I Realized Today

I had many realizations today...
Whenever the holidays come around I really want to have kids, and as soon as the holidays are over, I go back to not really thinking about kids very much. I miss snow. We have five containers of cream cheese, all of which are 1/2 full. No matter how many times Ryan explains football to me, I can never seem to remember or grasp the rules very well; I should write the rules down next time. Stress has a larger affect on me than I thought. My dog is annoying as hell. Although I love animals, I think I'm more of a cat person than a dog person...less neediness. I want to read Alice In Wonderland. Dust baffles me, where the hell does it come from?!?! WhatABurger has become my house of worship...it is THAT yummy.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Life Is What You Make It

Lately, I've been in the "my life is crap" mode. I'm really quite perterbed by my career fiasco. The fact that I have all this accounting experience and I'm in school to assist my accounting career and I'm not actually using any of that experience, it's rather frustrating. We're still paying for the house in VA, since we don't have tenants as of yet, as you can imagine this puts an obscene amount of financial stress on one's shoulders. Add that on top of some other random crap that I won't get into, and you have a moody pain in the butt aka me.

Before I got married I made a life list of crap I wanted to do, to accomplish, to see (I'm fairly certain that everyone has had one of these at some point in time). I was going through my computer files the other day, cleaning and such, and found my life list. As I was reading through it, I realized that I have actually accomplished more than I thought. Needless to say, this was a pretty big booster for my down in the dumps attitude. It made me realize that I spend so much time planning my life out, that I forget that THIS is my life. Someone once told me that life is what happens while you're planning everything out. What I really need is a constant reminder of that phrase; but I don't know, I think the multi-colored sticky's with this phrase covering my clothes, purse, front door and steering wheel might be noticed by others.

Anyways...I updated my life list, added a few things, and took a few things out and have put it in a spot where it will be a constant reminder that I've actually accomplished more than I thought I had. Instead of focusing on what I haven't done, I really need to learn how to focus on the things that I HAVE accomplished, seen and done. This will be quite a challenge for me. It's who I am to constantly look, not at what I have done, but what I should have done, or what I could have done. My sisters have the same perfectionist complex, our parents always pushed us to do and be better, never be satisfied, never settle, there's always something more you could do. Growing up with this being shoved down your throat, it's hard to look at something and see the glass 1/2 full, you've been programmed to see the glass as 1/2 empty...ALL THE TIME. This holiday season I'm going to do my best to look at the bright side of things. I'm not going to look at my lack of accounting job, I'm going to look at the job I have and be thankful. I'm not going to look at our lack of money, I'm going to look at the fact that we were able to pay the majority of our bills this month. AND I suppose I'll be thankful that I already have the umpteen packets of sticky notes that I'll be using over the next month.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh How I Wonder How The Mind Works

Today is the biggest shopping day of the year. Today I was not a shopper, I was an employee, yay me. In all honesty, it wasn't that bad, I stayed busy and the eight hours blew by. People are very interesting. How they think, what they think, what they say. Here's a few interesting things I heard today, some directed to me, some not:

Well, what size pajama top would you wear? You're about my girlfriends size, except her bust isn't as big...which is a bummer.

Seriously, this bra is nothing but padding! So what happens when you take the bra off and the guy realizes he's been jipped?!?!

Excuse me, what bra do you wear to make your girls look so perky?
Oh, it's not the bra, it's the boob job.

Can you measure me, I think I'm wearing the wrong size bra?
Ok, I measure you at a 36C.
Well, you obviously don't know what you're doing because I wear a 32DD.
Well, ma'am you did say that your bra didn't fit right, you might be wearing the wrong size.
No, I never said that. My size is and always has been 32DD.

Why doesn't Victoria Secret carry bigger sizes? It's like they discriminate against bigger girls. Ya know, it's really not right.

Do you guys carry that flowery fragrance that Victoria Secret canceled seven years ago?

Why are you out of my size?

Do you guys carry...props?

Can you help me? I need to get a bra for my girlfriend, but I have no idea what size she wears, or what style she likes.

Mommy, can I get a lacy bra?
Sweetie, you're seven you don't need a bra.
Ok well then can I get that book at the bookstore then?
Yes, sweetie as long as it's not about bras or boys.

Can you help me? I need to purchase a gift...it's not for ME, it's for my wife.

Can you show me where the underwear is?


Seriously, I really wonder about people sometimes! Have a happy shopping weekend, and be kind to your sales clerks, they're probably just as exhausted as you!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Title

Today I decided that it was time for a new blog. No longer are Ryan and I attached to the Navy and the longer I'm a civilian the less military topics I have to talk about. This is a new chapter in our lives and I felt that this blog served it's purpose and it was time to move on. Well, I apparently have forgotten just how much work goes into creating a new blog. Settings, backgrounds, layouts, pictures, profiles-UGH. I have gone through about three sites now, partially creating a blog on each, only to realize that I really like the blog I already have. Figures. So, to avoid lots of work that I really have no desire to partake in, I just changed my title. Yeah yeah, I'm lazy. I'm ok with that.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Traditions

This Thanksgiving is the first one where Ryan and I will be all by our lonesome. Usually we swap holidays between his family and mine, since they live in separate states. This year would be my family's turn, but not only do we not have the traveling money, I'm working retail and you don't get the day after Thanksgiving off...EVER.

The tradition we partake in depends on which family's house we're going to. My family is very traditional, dinner at 3, dessert at 6, dad carves the turkey and I set the table. After grace we each take a turn saying what we're thankful for, although I think every family does that. The last Thanksgiving I was at my family's house, I said I was thankful for liquor. One sister nearly choked on her sweet potatoes, my other sister said, "YEAH!" and raised her wine glass. Fun times.

Ryan's family is like opening a fortune cookie. The fortune is always positive, but sometimes a little confusing. My first Thanksgiving with Ryan's family was very interesting. As explained above I came from a household where everything is orderly, and timed. Ryan's family is...not very orderly, or timed. I think we ate at 10pm. It was one of my favorite Thanksgiving's ever. It was so different than what I was used to, I loved it. Another thing I thought was really cool was that they have friends over for dinner, it's not just a day for family. Ryan has three siblings and at least two of them had friends eating dinner with us. That was never allowed at my house. Thanksgiving was a family holiday and that was that. That finally came to an end when my sister brought home her boyfriend, her boyfriends brother, the brother's girlfriend and her son. Hehe, wish I could have seen the look on my mom's face then. Talk about priceless. Ryan's family doesn't really have a given tradition, other than grandma makes certain dishes and mom makes certain dishes.

When Ryan was deployed or had duty near Thanksgiving and we couldn't travel, we did a potluck with our other military friends who were also staying in the area. So, Ryan and I have never had Thanksgiving just the two of us. I told him we should come up with our own family tradition for Thanksgiving. His suggestion, "We could eat naked. I know I would be VERY thankful for that." Good lord.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Crap Bouncing Around In My Husbands Head

On the way home from making a beer/coke run to Walmart, the husband turned to me and said, "Like Scrooge McDuck from Duck Tales who swam through his vault of coins, I would like to swim through a vault of boobies."

Welcome to my world.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Today I Decided I Was Bipolar

I walked into work today, and was greeted by one of the managers.

"Oh, good you're here. Listen we need you to stay in the front. The energy up here needs a serious boost. We need your bubbly, humorous self to bring some life back in here."

I'm pretty sure I looked at him like he had lobsters crawling out of his ears. I then looked behind me, looked back at him and said, "ME?". He laughed and said, "YAH, who else."

I got home after my shift and told my husband about my greeting, he in turn burst into hysterical laughter, "YOU? What do you do babe, summon your second personality?" I shrugged, "Apparently".

Anyone who truly knows me, knows that I am ANYTHING but bubbly. Sarcastic, yes. Perky, no. I do however have this talent of being able to make people laugh while being completely sarcastic and insulting. What can I say, it's a gift. Management has commented on how I make customers laugh, I've been told it's my animated facial expressions. Well, it allows me to get away with much more than I probably should, so I'm happy with that.

Looking back, people used to say the same thing when I worked at Diablo Enterprises. So, in reality I'm not sure if it's a, I'm being myself and people just don't get me so they just laugh because they aren't sure what else to do, thing. Or if it's a I'm happiest when I'm at work, and I come across extremely witty and clever in my work environment, thing...nah, I'm probably just bipolar.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So, I Helped An Old Lady Pick Out A Naughty Nurse Costume Today

I have decided that I have wallowed in my own self pity about taking five gajillion steps back in my career, long enough. I shouldn't be embarrassed, it's not like I got fired, or laid off (which technically wouldn't be my fault), I moved out of state due to my husbands job and there's no jobs in Louisiana. So, what is my job now you ask? I work at Victoria Secret, that's right I dress like a secret agent and sell underwear. When I'm not bored out of my mind, I actually like it, and I'm good at it! I sold over $400 worth of merchandise in the first two hours this morning. Who knew I'd be so good at pushing panties on people. Of course, I can't take much credit, Victoria Secret pretty much sells itself.

The best part of the job is helping people find just the right item. Men go in the store and they look like lost puppies in a cookie store. They have no idea what they want, but they want to buy it all. I get super excited when they walk up to me, or I see them scratching their head in the corner. They're usually there to surprise their wife with some new lacy panty, to cheer their wife up after a rough day, or some other super sweet thing like that. I love those guys! Today I had a different kind of customer come into the store. A little old lady. Little old ladies come in the store all the time, but they always go to the back and look for the plain white high cut brief's and neutral hose. This little old lady was different. The conversation went like this:

Little old lady: Miss could you help me?
Me: Sure, what are you looking for?
Little old lady: Well, you're young, what are the younger more risque people wearing for undergarments these days?
Me: Oh are you getting a gift for someone?
Little old lady: Well, no, not exactly. I was going to surprise my husband with a little naughty treat. We haven't done anything like this in ages, and I thought it would be fun to surprise him.
Me: OH! How fun! Well, we have some lacy nighties, or teddy's over here.
Little old lady: No, I want something...naughtier.
Me: Ooohhhh! You want me to show you the back room full of the raunchy stuff huh?
Little old lady: Oh you have one of those?!?!
Me: *Laughing* No, unfortunately we don't. We do have costumes though. Santa, a candy stripper and a nurse.
Little old lady: *Reaching out to touch the nurse costume* Oh, I like this one.
Me: Well there ya go.

I helped the little old lady find her size and walked her to the register. Some little old man in Louisiana is having the time of his life right now. Or is getting the shock of his life, either way I hope they stocked up on Viagra. I guess there's an "Angel" in all of us. Ya know, I hope when I'm old, I still want to surprise my husband like that...

Monday, November 16, 2009

The People Downstairs

It's no secret that my neighbors in Virginia thought I was a total lunatic. Between the bird fits, the miniture zoo in my backyard, and other random mishaps, how could any normal person not wonder about my sanity? One good thing about moving to a new place is having new neighbors. You get a chance to start over! Yay, how exciting!

We live in a condo-plex, we're on the first floor, so there's people above us. I have no idea how much they can actually hear, but I can hear this girl moving her furniture around every Wednesday at midnight. I have no idea, maybe midnight is a good time for that sort of thing. I'm fairly certain that my attempt at making my neighbors believe I'm sane, has failed. Ryan and I argue one minute and laugh at each other the next, our dog howls at the college students that come home at 3am. He's on doggie patrol, we're working on it. He's attacked one of the people that lives in the building, and if anything comes remotely close to HIS door he starts his menacing snarling and barking.
I can only imagine what the girl upstairs hears.
Thor: Snarling
Me: "Thor knock it off!"
Thor: Barking
Me: "What the hell is wrong with you! Cut it out, damn mutt."
Thor: Howling
Me: "Ryan get your goddamn mutt!"
Ryan: "What do you expect me to do? He's guarding the house!"
Thor: More barking
Me: "From what?!?! The leaf that just blew across the welcome mat?!?!"
Ryan: "Thor, go lay down! Leave it!"

The girl upstairs is probably thinking, "Those crazy people downstairs."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My New Muse

One of my dreams is to have a book published. It doesn't have to be a New York Times Bestseller, or win any awards, it doesn't even have to sell thousands of copies; although all of those things would be pretty cool. I have had poetry published, but I'm trying to branch away from the poetry and dive into fiction. Much easier said than done, as soon as you tell the editor that you've been published all they want to see is what's been published and that's all they want you to write. At least that's what I've experienced. They aren't interested in book reviews, or articles, they just want poetry. GAH! About a year ago I stopped trying to contact editors, I stopped looking for freelance jobs, I just wrote on my blog, and in my personal journal. I played around with a couple book ideas and showed them to some friends looking for suggestions and opinions, but did not pursue my writing career that I so badly desire. I just needed a break.

I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday. My eye caught this book full of photographs of decaying homes in America. I became fascinated with the pictures. Photo after photo showed old homes from across the country, some decaying and falling apart, some showed just the concrete ruins of what was once someones home. From beautiful Victorian homes in Virginia, to colonial homes in Georgia. The chipping paint, broken windows and overgrown fields spoke to me. If the book wasn't $80.00 I would have bought it right then and there. If walls could talk, what stories would they share? These homes were once brand new. They had a family living in them, children's laughter filled the empty space. The pitter patter of little feet running down the stairs and hallways bounced across the walls at one point in time. The smell of a fresh baked pie, or a home made meal once filled that house with love. Now here the home sits on concrete blocks, in that overgrown field, siding pulled off from bad weather, and lack of maintenance. Ryan calling my cell phone to find out where I was in the store finally broke my fascination in the photos of the decaying past of America. I think I've found my new muse.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Little Spice For My Sweet?

Sometimes you gotta do something to spice up the marriage. After years and years of being together, the newness wears off and you get comfortable with each other. Not that that's a bad thing, but the romance, the excitement, and the spontanaity can wear off. When we first got married I used to greet Ryan at the door holding a beer for him and wearing the sexiest lingerie or costume I had. Now, I greet Ryan at the door with his dog that needs to be walked, the trash that needs to go out, and I'm typically wearing workout clothes or jeans. Ryan's been a good sport, he's never complained but I fully realize that the romance has fizzled a bit. (Do not confuse romance for sex. They are quite different my friend. One may lead to the other, but they are NOT the same; and I am thankful to report that sex is not a problem area for us. Thank God.)

Ryan got a new phone for his job, and he forgot to transfer all his pictures from his old phone to his new phone. He texted me and asked for a picture of me and picture of Thor. I sent him a picture of each and decided to send him a smoldering temptress picture, complete with pouty lips and "come hither" eyes. Yeah...right.
I used to watch America's Top Model and say, "Oh please, cuz it's SOOOOO hard to pose for the camera." I of course, make these presumptions not based on experience, but because I've perfected the art of drawing the quickest judgement possible on people. Cue eye rolling now.

I don't know the first thing about looking sexy, or posing for pictures. I'm a nerd, I know nothing of these things. SO, there I was practicing my "sexy look" in the mirror. Just when I think I'd have the PERFECT picture I'd snap the shot, look at it and it looked like I was constipated. I have a SLEW of pictures of me looking angry as hell, constipated, aloof, confused, and mentally handicapped. When Ryan got home I showed him the pictures, he nearly fell over laughing.

This has happened once before, when Ryan was deployed. I attempted to send him "sexy" photos, only to spend a half hour, half naked on a bed trying to contort myself into strange postions so that I could take pictures of myself. I did however, get one good photo from that session. This session, not so much luck. The best one I got is this one:



I labeled it, "Do I make you horny baby?" So maybe you can't bring back all the romance you once had when you were a new relationship, but that doesn't mean you can't still play!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What They Never Tell You

Marriage is what happens when two people decide to commit their lives to each other. For better or worse, sickness and in health, richer or poorer. It's all very romantic and crap, but no one seems to tell you the reality of the whole marriage situation. At least no one told me. Perhaps I was just really young and naive, maybe my parents did try to tell me and I just didn't listen, who the hell knows. NOW, before I continue with this post let me make something very clear-I love my husband, I do not plan on leaving him in any way, and I'm psychologically sound of mind. This is just an honest post of what it's really like being married. Each marriage is different because each individual making up the marriage is different. I don't pretend to know about yours, so I would hope that you don't pretend to know about mine.

Ryan and I were engaged for over a year, I wanted to go through a deployment just to make sure I could handle the Navy lifestyle, and make sure Ryan was the one for me. We made sure that we were on the same page with important matters, such as money, children, our future career goals, family, ect. We have our differences, we have different tastes in music, he likes gaming, I could take it or leave it. We have our own separate groups of friends, our own separate hobbies, yet we have things we do together. We both like trying different restaurants, we watch the same TV shows, we like the same kind of movies. So, it's not like we met and eloped to Vegas after a week. We spent A LOT of time talking, getting to know one another, seeing where each stood on morals, values, beliefs, individual goals, and plans for the future.

Three years into our marriage, we both started to change. No one tells you that your partner or you could change! I guess that would be common sense, anyone can change with life circumstances. I just never thought about it. It was like slow motion, I could see us both changing. I went from an extremely religious way of life, to being much more liberal. Ryan changed with his service in the Navy. The more time he put in, the bitter he became. It's not uncommon for military personnel to become bitter about their time in service, I don't know why I'm so bummed about it. Maybe because I'm really proud of Ryan's service to our country, and if I had a chance I would join the Air Force in a heartbeat; but that's easy for me to say, I'm not the one that served or did deployments. When you change, so does your perception on life, your opinions, beliefs, ect. Ryan and I were opposites before, now we are very opposite! If it's not balancing us out, it's driving us insane.

It's been challenging, at times. My parents have been married for 37 years, that's rare nowadays. I asked my mom if she and dad changed a lot during their marriage, she said absolutely, that they continue to change as life throws them curve balls. Some you hit, some you don't, but they made a commitment to each other for better or worse, richer or poorer.

I'm reading this guys blog about how he's scared that he'll marry the wrong woman one day. I can't help but think, "Ok so even if you do marry the right woman today, what happens if you change or she changes, will she be the wrong woman later?" Of course I don't think you should stay in a dysfunctional relationship, and one with stealing, cheating and/or beating calls for use of a get-out-of-jail-free card, but maybe we're all too quick to throw in the towel.

Ok, so you are opposites, big deal. Ok, so you don't see eye to eye on everything, big deal. Yes, he likes the house temperature to be slightly above arctic tundra mode and you prefer it to be closer to amazon haze mode, that's trivial. Both Ryan and I could pull the whole, "You're not the person I married" card, but we don't. The important part is that you work through your differences. Chances are the person you originally fell in love with is somewhere in there, they're just buried under life stress and crap that's been dumped on them.

I'll be the first to say that I don't believe in the whole, "All you need is love" motto. I believe in how you live day to day. I believe that you need more than just love to make a marriage work. Understanding, trust, commitment. Lots of compromise, and lots of sacrifice. Some say that this is all part of love, but just because you love someone doesn't mean you're super understanding, or you automatically compromise. Everyone is wired differently and show love differently. All you need is love, what kind of love? The way Ryan shows love isn't the way I show love.

Marriage is a wonderful thing. It works well for many people, but I think it is true that you don't really know how things work for you or how you'll react to something until you're right smack dab in the middle of it. So how do you make sure that everything works out ok? I don't think there is any way to ensure that your marriage will be peaches and cream, I think you just have to be committed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The House Of Mirrors Concept

Everyone of us has something about ourselves that we don't really like. Something that we would like to change. Something that makes us feel less than our best. Tell me why is it that the one thing you hate is the one thing that other people say is sexy, or great, or they just don't see what you see at all? What I usually tell people is, my height, I wish I was taller. The truth is, I don't really want to tell people that for me, it's really my boobs. I'm 5'2", I weigh 117 pounds and I'm a 36 D. I look in the mirror and I see top heavy, un-proportionate. I can't wear what I want to wear because when I try to look classy and flirty I look slutty. Slutty is only ok if it's Halloween, at least in my book. People stare, it's embarrassing. I'm a size 4, but I feel like I look heavy because my boobs are larger. During my whole clean eating/kick-ass killer workout thing, I dropped 10% body fat. I was hoping and praying that that would help me go from my DD to a C. Much to my dismay and my husband's delight, I only lost one cup size even with dropping that 10% body fat.

I cover the girls up as much as I can. I wear black a lot, not a whole lot of V-necks, and if I do wear V-necks I'm self conscious the entire time I'm wearing it. At the beach, I wear a T-shirt or a tank top over my bikini top. For bras, if I'm leaving the house it's a demi bra, no padding, no push-ups, no nothing, I don't want to draw any attention to them.

I look at some women who love everything about themselves, they aren't self conscious at all! I wish I could have their confidence! My friend Alison was at my house one day, she grabbed one of my bras and put it on over her top. She jumped off the bed and exclaimed, "This is how you feel all the time!?!? This is amazing!" She proceeded to strut around the bedroom taking pictures of herself and her new "cup size". I responded in between applying my lipstick and mascara, "Yeah you try being six inches shorter carrying those things around and people staring at you all the time. I'm pretty sure you'll be ready to trade them in." Her response, as she pulled a tight t-shirt over my bra, "Can you take a picture so I can send it to my husband???" Sheesh. She was so non-chalant, like having these huge monstrosities was actually desirable for her. It was so strange for me, I just didn't get it at all.

I know that my husband and friends wouldn't lie to me. If I really did look as ridiculous as I thought, they would be honest and tell me. What some people see in the mirror is completely different than what other people see. I have absolutely no concept of size, and I know that what I see is different than what others see, but this is not something that you can just tell yourself, "Ok self, you see something obscene in the mirror but it's not what others see." You can tell yourself that as many times as you want, it truly is something that needs to be overcome within you.

This is a huge issue, not just in young teen girls but adult women too. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is when a person lets slight or non-existent flaws on their body become HUGE issues in their lives. It's crazy to think that this is a diagnosable disorder, people seeing non-existent flaws about their appearance. Most people think it's a way to get attention. Perhaps for some it is, I think for many it's not. It usually starts with someone telling the person, when they're young and impressionable, that their nose is too long, or they're getting chunky. The young person takes that and runs with it. Poor body image, depression, sometimes eating disorders can all stem from this. I think some cases are worse than others. I definitely am not depressed, or have an eating disorder. Am I self conscious about my wardrobe, absolutely, and this has been a huge thing for me.

For the last two years I've struggled with body image. My boobs were too big, or my skin would fold weird at my armpit, or my knees were too knobby. I would always find something that would be wrong, and being the perfectionist I am, being flawless was a necessity. Looking back, I was being completely ridiculous, but that's not what you see at the time. You see something completely different in the mirror than everyone else. Some people have a really hard time grasping this concept. If you had parents or adults in your life that encouraged you a lot as a kid and didn't criticize you often, then you may not have this problem. Consider yourself lucky. My husband's parents were very encouraging and supportive. Ryan doesn't get this at all, he knows that body image is something I struggle with, although I don't talk about it as much as I did years ago, and he's supportive when he needs to be. He also tells me when I'm being ridiculous, which is also necessary at times.

I think the media and people speaking out about body image disorders in the last few years has helped a lot. It's ok not to be a size 2, size 14 is actually the average size in America and that's ok! Thankfully, I've improved a lot over the last few years, but it's still something that looms in the back of my head while I'm in that fitting room, or trying to find just the right top to wear. I'm a big believer of everything coming down to your mindset. You run your life. You make your decisions. You choose to be happy in your situations, it's your life, if you don't like something, YOU need to change it. Yet, sometimes it's just not as easy as telling yourself you're not going to feel this certain way anymore, it takes work.

They say that the first thing you need to do is see the bright side, the better aspect of what you don't like. At least my chest doesn't resemble a 10 year old boys. That would suck. Years ago, I knew a girl from California who had breast augmentation done. She paid several thousand dollars to go from a B to a C. We were getting ready for a party one night and she saw me layering my clothes to cover up the girls and said, "What are you doing?!?! I paid a lot of money to have what you have naturally." She has a point. Lots and lots of people pay thousands of dollars every year to have "enhancements" done, while there are plenty of people out there who have those same things naturally and don't even realize what they have, or don't like what they have.

There will always be that one thing we could hone in on and only focus on that, and we don't see the other things about us physically that make us unique or beautiful. Once you get in that rut or start focusing on the "poor" trait, it's hard not to see it every time you look in the mirror. The funny thing is, chances are the trait you find repulsive, no one even notices, or it's a trait that someone really likes about you. Go figure.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Birthday Blues

I decided a year ago that I was no longer celebrating birthdays. One year ago I hit 26 and upon realizing that I was closer to 30 than 20, I decided I was no longer celebrating the day of my birth. Father Time, that sadistic bastard, did not listen and brought me yet another birthday that has made me now 27. After 26, birthday's became more like New Years, for me. I despise New Years. Who wants a yearly reminder that you haven't accomplished as much as you wanted to over the year, that you're in more debt than you started out, and you still can't figure out why everyone else has their crap together but you? When you're young and you realize that you haven't accomplished as much as you wanted, you can just chalk it up and say, "Hey I'm young, I have all the time in the world!" After 25 you look at the fine lines forming at your eyes and extra pounds on the scale and say, "I suppose time has gotten away from me and I DON'T have all the time in the world." Birthday's have now become another yearly reminder that I have yet to accomplish certain things in my life. Not that all our friends having babies and buying houses isn't a constant reminder that we're getting older. Apparently, I'm in denial with visions of sugar plumbs dancing in my head. I can't help it if trips to Europe, and Harley Davidson's are more interesting to me than having kids and BBQ's with the neighbors for the rest of my life.

So, I see it as I have five years to get these things out of my head before I'll need to think about kids, before every spare dime we make goes to children's college, braces and daycare, and before we get to where either our finances or health doesn't allow for travel. Five years to get as much traveling in as I can, five years to finish my education (I swear to God if it takes me five years to finish I'll cry), and five years to pay off credit cards and student loans (which is highly unlikely but nice to think about). The rest of the things I want-my Harley, to go skydiving, getting my diver's license can all be done when I'm older with kids. In 30 years, the old lady skydiving with the Harley will be me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

All Talk No Game

I'm really quite irritated with myself. After promising myself I would let it all hang out on my blog, I have shied away from brutal honesty. If you ask anyone that knows me, they'll tell you that I truly am brutally honest. Yet, I have come to realize that I'm only brutally honest about certain things. My reputation and certain people's feelings take a precedence over the desire to be bold and brash. I suppose that's a good thing.

There are really two posts that I have been dying to hit the publish button on, but I know that I'll never be able to do that. All my family, my friends, Ryan's friends, people I used to work with, people married to my friends, people married to Ryan's friends, read my blog. (Which is very flattering, I was fairly certain my ranting about the job market and our current living situation was getting boring.) Due to who my readers are and the content of those two posts I will never be able to "un-leash", which sucks because if you can't be yourself on your blog who can you be. A guarded version of yourself I suppose.

As soon as I hit "publish post" not only will Ryan's phone start ringing, but so will mine. I really don't want to explain myself or have a deep psychological session with anyone on why I feel the way I do about those two topics. I know that it's just concern that these people show for me, but seriously I'm not into hearing about it. If they know me, they know that I try to see all situations, circumstances, and opinions from all angles. I try to be very open-minded, so those two topics aren't something I conjured my thoughts together on in an hour. Yes, I realize I'm all talk and no action. I had every intention to let loose but I saw the aftermath to be worse than the gratification of getting the thoughts off my chest. Sometimes it's better to just keep your mouth shut. Smile and nod, smile and nod.

Hotel Life

For about a week, I've been in SC with Ryan. His company paid for a room at an extended stay; he's in SC for some training. My family lives here, I'm bored out of my mind, and there's nothing worse than spending your birthday (which is tomorrow FYI) by yourself. Ryan asked me to come up and stay with him, so I packed a bag and the dog and drove the 12 hours.

I love traveling. One of my regrets is not taking that road trip out to California with my BFF after high school graduation. The idea of living like a vagabond appeals to me. The only belongings you own are what fits in your car, you can go anywhere or do anything. Freedom at it's finest. Of course I realize that this is not practical or responsible at all. How I would earn money to buy food and car gas, I have no idea. I'm not saying that it wouldn't be inconvenient or un-healthy at times, I'm just saying that it would be a blast. I should have picked a career that allows for a lot of travel. Unfortunately, we accountants don't get out often, we're typically locked to a cubicle with spreadsheets and budget analysis pouring out of our ears.

My friend E has a career that allows him to travel, A LOT. The lucky bastard has been around the world at least three times that I can count. He would text me when he got back into town, we'd meet up for lunch or a drink, and he would tell me about all the crazy, exotic things, places and people he'd run into. Occasionally he would end up with a souvenir, a couple times that souvenir was a girl. He ended up marrying his last souvenir, a model from Canada. I would sit there sipping my beer with jealousy as I listened to him tell me how beautiful Germany is and how Paris really wasn't as awesome as he thought it would be. As much as I hope and dream that one day I'll visit Europe, Asia, Australia, ect., the most traveling I'll more than likely be doing is in the US of A. That's fine, already Louisiana has been like another country. I'm getting off topic here...

So I've been living in a hotel for about a week now. I don't have to clean, make beds, or cook. Ryan's company pays for meals. How in the world can people complain about this, this is awesome! E used to say that as much fun as it is to be flown all over the place and not pay a dime for anything, hotel life can get really old, and really lonely. He's right, I already miss my bed. Hence the reason I'm up at 4am writing this. Between the snoring husband and not being able to get comfortable, sleep is far from right around the corner. Perhaps if I had a job to do everyday, and I was in a new area that I wanted to explore it would be different, but to do this as much as E did, I would get annoyed with it really fast. I guess sometimes the things you think you want may not always be as awesome as you thought.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Ramblings

I have a job. It is nothing to write home about, nothing to be super proud of, hence why I am not disclosing any details whatsoever of what my job actually is or where it is. No, it's not illegal, and all my clothing stays on; however, it is rather embarrassing to go from being a top auditor of a multi-million dollar marketing company down to a...well, NOT an auditor of a multi-million dollar marketing company. I have, in fact, taken so many steps back in my career I might as well be walking backwards, BUT it's the only thing I could find quickly and it wasn't my choice to leave my job in VA. I tried to let them give me remote access, but NOOOOOO. Although, I have heard from several people that I am greatly missed and certain aspects of the department has fallen apart a few times since I've left. Fuckers. Serves them right.

Hopefully this "job" will buy me some time until I find something in my field. Or we'll get tenants in the VA house, or we'll sell Ryan's Cobra. So many "if's". I don't do well with "if's", I like facts, and certainity. I'm too controlling for this crap.

Speaking of controlling, in a conversation with "Bob" he told me that I would more than likely be a lot calmer/happier if I learned how to not sweat the small stuff. I completely agree with him, but how do you do that? I can't just wake up one morning and say, "I don't care about certain crap. No longer are certain things important." Usually the stuff that's not important ends up being important later on. Or there's so many unimportant matters that they add up to be one big important matter.

I think we can all agree that we all have things we want to work on about ourselves, but it's just not that easy to completely change your personality. Sometimes it's easier to just accept who you are and make changes as you go.