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.