Friday, February 26, 2010

In Case You Can't Tell I'm A Little Pissed

As you know, from several weeks ago, we got an offer on the VA house. For weeks, we've been waiting to hear from the bank, waiting for their appraiser to get his crap together, and handing over every bit of physical evidence stating that we truly cannot afford over $3k in housing payments each month. The offer we received was a low one, but it is way higher than what the bank would get if they foreclosed on us, and it's very easy to see by looking over our finances that foreclosure is in the near future unless either the bank modifies the loan or they accept a short sale. I called last week to make sure everything was ok, and that the appraiser did in fact get his crap together. The clerk on the other end of the line said that our paperwork for the short sale was still being reviewed and that we did not qualify for loan modification at this time. Silence. I responded, "Ok, so you're telling me that by going our financial documents you requested and we sent, after two months you guys have decided that you're not changing, lowering or modifying our mortgage payment in any way?" She responded, "No, not at this time." Super.

On the way home from work I got a call from our realtor. It went something like this...
"Hey, I hope you're calling me with good news!"
"No, Steph I wish I was. I have bad news. The banks appraiser appraised the house at $231k, the bank won't accept anything lower than $227k. They completed refused the offer. I spoke to the buyers agent and she's fed up and said she's not encouraging her client to give a higher offer."
"Ok. Soooo...the banks forcing us to foreclose?"
"That's what it looks like. I've been in contact with the processor over your account, and she basically told me that our only option was to find a buyer who will pay $227k or we're screwed. She said she's closing the file, it's highly unlikely we'll find a buyer wanting to pay that much in this economy."
"Well, if she knows that why doesn't she do something?!?!"
"She's just a clerk, she has no power."
"So, what do I do? There's gotta be someone I can call, or something we can do."
"I was looking at the appraisal, and I have no idea where this guy got his numbers. The comps in your neighborhood aren't that high. Before the economy went south they were, but not now, so I'm going to challenge the appraisal, but I was told that will take months."
"I don't understand. They've seen all our documents, it's so blatantly obvious that we cannot make payments on that house, not unless they lower them. They won't lower the payments, and they won't allow me to make partial payments, I try every time they call, they refuse them. The bank would rather foreclose on us, and make pennies, than take a perfectly good offer? They'll make more off this buyers offer than they would off a foreclosure. This doesn't make any sense."
"I know. I don't understand it either."
"Alright, so what do you need me to do?"
"Nothing, this appraisal challenge is our only card. There's nothing you can do at this point."
"Awesome. So we watch while the bank totally fucks us over."

Guys, I really don't get it. I'm so completely confused right now. The bank is refusing to modify our mortgage, they won't let me make partial payments, they have our pay stubs, all our finance information, bank statements, they see that we just cannot afford two housing payments. They know our background story, it's not our fault Ryan couldn't find work in Virginia. They know we tried to get tenants in the house, with no success, our realtor even built up a history to show that we tried selling the house for more and no one brought an offer to the table. The one offer we get, they turn down, they don't even counter offer, they completely refuse it. It's not rocket science that they won't get more through a foreclosure sale than from a short sale.

There's nothing we can do, but sit and wait. The bank is totally screwing us, and there's nothing we can do. Do they not have organizations that help people being fucked over by financial institutions? We have support groups for people with hitchhikers thumbs, awareness groups for people who feel they have too many freckles, but nothing for the people being fucked over by corporate America? We're so goddamn busy sending money to Haiti to help those people out, that we forget about the people in our own fucking country. Yes, I said it. We have kids who can't read, sleep on the streets, and have dreams of one day being able to live in a safe neighborhood; and yet we send millions of dollars to another country to help them out. We have people like my dad who put their lives on the line being a cop just to pay bills each month, because he couldn't find a job doing anything else, and yet we're funding another country. Look I don't what the answer is. I have no idea who to point the fingers at, and pointing fingers at the White House isn't exactly resolving anything, as you can see by looking at the last 10 years. For all we know, the President may not even hold the cards. He's probably the face of the government. Ya know, like when you have a director of a department who speaks well, dresses nice, looks nice and is likable, but doesn't know jack shit. Come to find out it's the girl with the greasy hair, bad skin, bottleish glasses and 15 facial piercings, who dresses like an 8-year-old that is the brains behind the operation.

At this point I was going to apologize for my rant; however, I have decided against it. If you've donated money to Haiti, good for you, I hope you get your $20 tax break; I also hope you come on down to Baton Rouge to visit, I'd be happy to show you the neighborhood next to mine filled with kids who may not even graduate junior high. For all of you who can afford to take regular weekend getaways in your fancy sports cars, I hope you have a fantastic time; and when a cop pulls you over for speeding I also hope you keep in mind as your muttering profanities at him/her under your breath, that they too are people, and you have no idea the horror they deal with everyday. And NO, for some of them, that occupation was NOT something they chose, it was a necessity to be able to feed their family. I hope, as you're calling in sick to your job, not because you really ARE sick or are dying mentally but because you just don't feel like going in to work that day, that you enjoy your day off; I also hope that you run into someone who's lost their job and they kick your ungrateful fucking ass.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our Colorado

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. Career, kids, pets, location, Ryan’s career, you name it, it’s probably crossed my mind. I’m fairly certain that its official, my biological time clock has begun ticking. The original plan from way back when has always been to have our kids, if we wanted more than one, back to back and as close to 30 years old as possible. For us, 2012 was the year, I would be 29, and our finances would look a lot better. That's just always been the plan, never really thought about changing it until recently.

In terms of my career, I’ve been going back and forth on whether I should roll right into my MBA as soon as my bachelor’s is finished. If I do want to continue my MBA right away, I’ll need to start applying to universities in the next several months. Let’s see, do I want to add another $40k of debt onto the student loans I already have? I talk like I’m still deciding, when in reality my mind is already made up, I’m just trying to justify spending that much on myself.

I used to hate the saying “hindsight is always 20/20,” but if you can learn from others mistakes, perhaps YOU can have 20/20 in the present. I have no idea if this is making sense, just bear with me, I have a point I promise. I talked to a few people in my field, some I work with, some I don’t. ALL of which said that they wish they either got their bachelor’s or their master’s. Because they didn’t continue their education as far as they could they are stuck in the position they hold, they can’t go any further. Their opinions were all different in terms of kids. Some had them young and were glad, some had them later and were glad.

On the drive to work this morning, a conversation with one of our friends from the Navy popped in my head. I remember Steve telling us about a family friend who moved out to Colorado with his wife, before they had kids. They lived in Colorado for a couple years, that was their "hooray" before they settled down and had kids. It then dawned on me, this is mine and Ryan’s Colorado. Well, Louisiana doesn’t have gorgeous mountains, snow, world famous ski resorts, outdoor sports, and amazing weather, but we have Mardi Gras, AMAZING food, and...well that’s it, you work with what you have people. This could be mine and Ryan’s last "hooray" before we have kids. Yes, we’re both working, yes I’m in school, at the rate I’m going I’ll be in school until the end of time; but these could be our last years before we settle down, before we have kids, we should enjoy it, yes?

This makes sense to me. Yes, my biological time clock has begun it’s ticking, thankfully I have a brand new nephew, two honorary nieces, and two more honorary niece/nephews on the way, I can spoil the hell out of them, and enjoy our family/friends kids until we have our own. The 2012 Plan, as it is now being called, will be followed. It’s a good plan, it makes sense, and we should follow it. In regards to school…I’m still battling the money in my mind. I more than likely will continue this battle right up until I sign on the dreaded dotted line.

As for right now, New Orleans is mine and Ryan’s Colorado. Let the fun begin, well…as soon as we get paid again.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just When You Think You've Got A Plan, And Everything Is Good To Go, Your Body Tells You Something Different

For the past four years, right around Christmas time, I have had the desire for kids; and for the last three of them this feeling has always gone away after Christmas passes. This past year, however, it has not. We're nearing the end of February and I still want kids. I don't know if it's because I'm the last one of my friends to be childless, I don't know if it's because my biological time clock is actually telling me, "It's time," I have no idea what the crap is going on.

I have two friends who are pregnant at the same time, just a few weeks in between them, so I went to Target to do some baby stuff shopping. Normally, I go into a store get what I need and get out. I don't look around, or window shop. Window shopping leads to buying, and I have no money for extra crap, especially crap from baby stores. What the heck am I gonna do with a breast pump? After I got my goodies I found myself in the toddler clothing, swooning over an Easter dress. I came to, realized where I was, and wheeled my cart to the checkout lane. Christ, now I'm subconsciously shopping for kids clothes. In my head I'm trying to play it off-
I was just looking.
Looking for whom?
Looking...for people, I know people who have toddlers.
No you don't. Everyone you know has newborns, is still creating their baby, or their kids are older.

It's sad, I know.

The plan was to start trying for kids in 2012, we'll need these next two years to get back on our feet financially. Ryan's wanted kids since he popped the question seven years ago. The responsible thing to do would be to wait until our finances are somewhat looking better. Being responsible can be such a pain in the ass.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stephanie Of Yesteryear

What if we could go back in time? Would you tell/warn yourself something? Would you bet on that winning game or play those winning lotto numbers? Would you change things in your past knowing that you could be crushing the proverbial butterfly of time? Would the Stephanie of yesteryear even recognize herself? Obviously the mad scientist who discovers time travel has not yet unleashed this invention, so this is not an option; however, writing is...

I have sat here for about an hour trying to write a letter to 21-year-old Stephanie. It started comical-avoid drinking too much at a certain bachelorette party, don't bother taking that class you'll get a D all three times you take it-then it turned serious-being comfortable in your own skin is a precious gift, being you is ok. All advice to the Stephanie of yesteryear ended up being deleted. It's interesting looking back on your life and thinking how much easier or different your life could be if you would be able to warn yourself of certain things, but the reality is, all my life experiences made me who I am. Well, I mean I could have gone without dating that redneck guy, what a waste of time that was; and if I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have signed the papers to buy the house. All in all, hindsight's 20/20. It's always easy to see what you should have done when everything is over and done with. It's easy to see the pits when the fog clears and the dust settles. Maybe it's because I'm fickle and my attitude on life changes with the wind, maybe it's because I'm so overly analytical, I analyze every life shred detail by detail; but for every factor I had to tell Stephanie of yesteryear, I found a factor on why it made me who I am and why it was crucial that I experience it.

Making mistakes is what makes a person stronger, going through the trenches is what makes a person wiser. Without either one of those experiences who would we be? Dating Jon may have been a total waste of time, but I learned a valuable life lesson from it, you can't learn to love anyone. I am a firm believer that EVERYTHING is mind over matter and you can convince yourself of anything. Anything but love, love can't be forced, it can't be convinced. You either love someone or you don't. It's that simple. There's no, "I can learn to love him," no, you either love him or you don't. Let's face it, the story of the bachelorette party makes for some good storytime. It proves just how important it is that you watch your drink like a hawk and have an aware, reliable DD who doesn't mind putting your clothes back on you in your drugged stupor.

Maybe one day I'll be able to write that letter to Stephanie of yesteryear, but today is not the day.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras and Other Crap

Valentine's Day is today, another special day that Ryan would normally be deployed or on duty for, yet this year we have to ourselves. Almost didn't happen that way. Monday, Ryan flies out to GA for a work project, he'll be gone a week, and gone for Mardi Gras. I'm going anyway, should be interesting.

We had no idea what we wanted to do today, we're still poor as hell, and it seems like everything is costly. We thought about going to the movies, but I might puke if I see another commercial for yet another sappy love story, especially one about a military romance titled Dear John. No clue how the movie ends, or if the chick really does end their romance with a "Dear John letter", but really, the writers couldn't come up with a better title than that? Ryan actually got a Dear John letter while in boot camp (which ended well for both of us, but still...) he has ZERO desire to see this movie, and he's one of those guys that will actually go see a chick flick without complaining, sighing or running out of the theater once the credits start to roll. I shouldn't judge, I haven't seen the movie, perhaps there's a clever reason as to why they would name a mushy military romance after a clique way for loser men and women to break up with their deployed partners. Full House re-runs sound more entertaining.

Ryan and I ended up deciding to go to a few Mardi Gras parades today. Parades have been going on for weeks, but I've been told the Mardi Gras festivities started Friday night and the actual DAY of Mardi Gras is Tuesday. Parades are free, and neither one of us have been to a parade in years. Well, unless you count herding into the subway in DC a parade. Technically you probably could, there was a dude with a tuba, a clown, some weird guy that looked like he was dressed up for St. Patty's day (this was in Oct.), and the color guard of some high school...anyway...

We got to downtown New Orleans early, parked and walked towards the parade route. Houses in New Orleans are gorgeous. I have never NEVER seen buildings like these anywhere, except in NY, and those types of buildings were either libraries, smaller museums or business offices. In New Orleans people actually live in these gorgeous architectural beauties. Plastic Mardi Gras beads hung from each and every iron fence in each and every front yard. Mardi Gras wreaths hung on the front of every door. Saints banners, beads and garland hung from the second story balconies. Charleston is the most beautiful city I've ever seen, but New Orleans takes a close second.

We hit Napoleon St. and saw nothing but people for miles. NOW, the last time I was at a parade I was six and living in NY. In upstate NY, the parades constitute of a handful of clowns, a girl dressed up like Barbie riding in a convertible, a few cartoon characters and Santa. Clowns usually throw Tootsie Rolls out to the crowd, and...yeah that's about it. In Louisiana, you apparently bring any or all of the following: tents, grills, ladders with chairs at the top, canopies, regular non-ladder chairs, coolers of food, coolers of drinks, buffet tables, pieces of wood (beer dice...duh *shrug*), and blankets. Dude in NY, we stand, we do not sit while the parade is going by. I have never seen one of those wheelie ladder bucket chair things before, but realized that I needed one after the first parade went by, and NO ONE set up their grandma's kitchen in the median; apparently in Louisiana you do. One girl was literally smoking a a smoker...during the parade.

Everyone on the parade floats are masked and in costume. They throw beads, stuffed animals, hats, Frisbees, all kinds of crap. Due to the fact that I was not in the mood to be molested, asked to flash the goods, or see my husband get in a fight, Ryan and I stayed in the family areas. Aka, we avoided Bourbon Street. Most of the parade tosses went to little kids and rightly so, however the beast in both Ryan and I came out just a little during the parade.

I am not materialistic AT ALL, having nice things is nice, but I typically purge my house of needless crap every three months, and I am not one to buy something unless it is a needed item (such as the small cabinet I found for $15 at a consignment shop...*throat clearing*). I thought to myself on the drive down to the Big Easy that I wouldn't be into the bead craze, that I wanted to experience Mardi Gras. Welllll, when I saw the beads being tossed out to the crowd, I went from this...

To this...

I was good and did not steal any beads from children, I even gave a string to a toddler that couldn't reach and her mom was busy with her brother, BUT I was not about to just stand there and not even try as the glistening plastic colors flew through the air. I know, I know, they're plastic Mardi Gras beads, I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. I HAD FUN DON'T JUDGE ME.

Yes, those are US Navy beads. No flashing of any type was performed for any neck garnishment. Ryan found the Navy beads on a fence, we left a string I already had in place of the Navy beads. After the "trade" we walked a little quicker back to the car.

Cups were also being thrown out to the crowd. Plastic cups with the name of the parade on it. Ryan was eyeing the cups like I was eyeing the beads. A red valentine themed cup came flying over the crowd. Ryan and the guy behind him both jumped for it, both of their hands grazed it. Ryan slapped it out of homeskillet's hand just as he got a grip on it. The cup fell to the ground and Ryan looked at him with a smirk on his face. "Sorry, got a little into the whole collecting thing." The guy laughed, picked up the cup from the ground and handed it to Ryan. I turned back around as he put the cup into my backpack, "Geez babe at least I haven't gotten into a brawl over the beads." He replied with, "Hush woman."

Getting out of the city was a tad more difficult than getting in. Lots of road blocks, lots of traffic. Almost 2.5 hours later we were home, we only live 45 minutes from New Orleans. We both had a good time, and we were glad to discover that Mardi Gras wasn't all about boobs, beads and orgies. Thor was even festive!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The New Girl

I apparently have become the entertainment in my new office. All the people I work with have lived in the New Orleans area their entire lives, so when someone like myself, whose lived in a few different places, walks in, they become the entertainment.

I've never lived near Louisiana, and no one I know is from Louisiana or has lived here at any point in their life, so things down here are very new to me. When we moved down here I figured it would be similar to South Carolina but with hotter summers. No, I might as well be in a totally different country.

My first day at the office one of the purchasing guys asked me if I wanted a piece of king cake. "Um sure, I've never had king cake, is it just a really BIG cake, or maybe a really good tasting cake?" All 12 people turned and looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears. I looked around the room at the 12 sets of eyes staring at me, mouths partially open from pausing in the middle of shoveling dessert into their face. "Ya know, because it's a KING cake, so it could be really big or really yummy...Oh, is it not cake at all? Is it one of those ironic desserts that is named after something that has nothing to do with it?" At this point they all started looking at each other as if they were silently trying to decipher what language I was speaking. One of the purchasing guys blurted out, "YOU'VE NEVER HAD KING CAKE?" I responded, "I'm not from here?" They all sighed with relief. Apparently king cake is just a fancy danish, a yummy fancy danish that shows up in bakeries every year around Mardi Gras time. The same purchasing guy went on to explain that if you find a plastic baby in your piece of cake you're supposed to buy the next king cake. This is all very strange to me, and when I don't understand things, I ask questions-
"Why is there a plastic baby in the cake?"
"Cuz the bakers put it there."
"But why?"
"Cuz it's tradition."
"But why a baby?"
"Will you just eat the cake?"

A few days later, the office manager brought me a list of Mardi Gras parades in the area. I then asked why all the parades were named after Greek and Roman mythology, again more looking at me as if I was an alien. (I've come to the conclusion that all Mardi Gras traditions are not linked together whatsoever, make absolutely no sense, no one really knows WHY they do certain traditions down here, and all Louisianians are just looking for a reason to have a party.) I proceeded to mis-pronounce about three city names holding the parades, which led to several people coming by my office for the next couple hours asking me how to say those same names I mis-pronounced, then walking away chuckling. Eh, it's fine, at least they were amused right...right?

The other accountant there is awesome, she's super sweet. She was telling me her dad made jambalaya the other day. I piped up, "I've never had jambalaya." Her jaw dropped and she said, "Oh girl, I'ma bring you some." And she did. Jambalaya is AMAZING. She has brought me some new Creole/Cajun food to try everyday. It's awesome, I love her! Yesterday she asked me if I liked crawfish. I of course responded with, "Don't know, never tried it." From the groans, rubbing of bellies, and eyes rolling in the back of heads, I assume I'm missing out. I said, "Well I'm a little concerned, you guys eat your shrimp with the prawns and heads on and unpeeled. Do you guys eat your crawfish whole, like on TV? I wouldn't know how to disassemble it." Cue crickets chirping now. Again, looking at me as if I had sprouted 10 heads. My fellow accountant then erupted into out of control laughter, followed by everyone else in the room. She put her hand on mine and said, "Girl don't worry we gunna get you broken in."

Today, more king cake. They eat A LOT of king cake around here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dreams Change

Have you ever woke up one morning and thought to yourself...this seriously CANNOT be my life? I have. When Thor woke me up at 2am to go outside, I'm fairly certain I said those exact words. In all this what you thought your life would be like when you were in high school or college? OF COURSE NOT!

I'm reminded of when I was a senior in high school. I went to a very small private school, my graduating class was six people, we were like brothers and sisters. We shared our hopes and dreams with each other, our plans for the future, who we wanted to be, the kind of people we wanted to marry, where we wanted to live, all that crap. I look back at what we said then and each of our lives now, (yes, we still keep in touch, maybe not as good as we should, but we still keep in touch) the majority of us are living very different lives. For example, I was going to be a reporter, Lindsey was going to be a detective, neither one of us were going to get married. Turns out, I'm an accountant, she's a masseuse, and we both got married when we were 21.

Dreams change, dreams change as life changes. Some dreams adapt as we grow, some dreams go away completely, and some dreams are entirely new. Several of the blogs I follow have been talking about dreams lately and how they've either forgotten about their dreams, let dreams fall through the cracks, or how they aren't living their dream. I know I don't have the same dreams I did when I was in high school, or my first two years of college. I was going to NYC after my first two years of college. I was going to go to NYU to study creative writing. I met Ryan, and my dreams changed. Would I still like to go to NYU for creative writing, sure; but my priorities are different now. If I never go to NYU, it's no big deal. Do I feel like my dream has fallen through the cracks? No. Is this a dream that I would be willing to quit my job for and leave my husband for? No. My dreams have changed.

Maybe I just don't understand, maybe it's because I've never had a dream that I've felt so passionate about that I'm willing to drop everything, take risks and just do it. Sure, there are things I'd like to do, places I'd like to visit, a life list I like to check things off of, but if I don't get to visit Europe, be a magazine editor, or parachute out of a hot air balloon into Ryan Reynolds back yard, it's not the end of the world. Maybe it has something to do with my state of mind. Right now my biggest dream is being able to pay all of our bills each month. Or for Ryan (my husband, not Reynolds) to put his dirty laundry in the basket. (I mean seriously. A marriage is a partnership, yes? So what do you call it when one person works a full time job, goes to school full time, does all the laundry, cleaning, cooking, dishes, and grocery shopping? House slave maybe?)

What are some of your dreams? Do you feel as though you've missed out on something great by not following a certain dream you had? Do you feel as I feel, that dreams change, they change as you change?

(The fairy in the window reminds me of the good fairy from Pinocchio. Ya know, when you wish upon a star...makes no difference who you are...oh whatever, just roll with it.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Confessions of an Underwear Sales Girl-The Finale

I fully realize that accounting is not interesting, hilarious, or entertaining in any way. Since I am now returning to that field, I will more than likely not have any ridiculous stories to share with you guys. So, here it is, the last of the underwear shop stories, the ones I have not yet told...

An older woman walked up to me and said she needed help finding a bra. I went through the whole, what size, style, colors, ect. She said she had no idea what size, she needs to be fitted, and she preferred in the fitting room. I thought, alright, she's older and more conservative. I let her in a room, she then proceeded to usher me out and said she'd need a minute. Unless you come in wearing a coat and five sweaters, we'll measure you with your clothes on, trust me, WE prefer it that way. I casually thought, maybe she has a ton of layers on and she didn't want to take them off in front of people. She then let out a, "I'M READY!" I walked over, she opened the door and there she was completely naked. I blinked a few times, measured her and ran out. WTF? Why in God's name did she think I would need her completely naked, including from the waist down?

I was helping one of the girls clear out the dressing rooms when a woman peeked out from behind her door and said she needed help. I stepped in the room to find her completely topless. She then proceeded to ask me if her boobs were lopsided. I responded, "Not really", and left. Seriously, just because we sell underwear that doesn't mean we want to see the goods, especially if they look like hers did. Yes I lied, so sue me. I was not about to stand in that room with her explaining why, how and where they were lopsided.

Our store was moving to a temporary location while our original store was being remodeled. A team of about seven of us had been working practically around the clock trying to get the store up and running again. We were at the new location, our gate was down and we had a curtain in front of the windows and gate. One of the guys working with us asked, "Who's that lady?" I turned around to see a random woman moving boxes out of the way, stepping over dollies and opening bins. Our manager asked the woman if he could help her, she replied, "Oh, I'm just looking." He responded, "But we're closed." She snapped up from her crouched position and said, "OH! I had no idea." Really? REALLY? The closed gate that you had to lift up to get in, the curtain you had to walk through and the random shit all over the place didn't give it away?

They have lingerie parties here in New Orleans. Like Playboy Mansion parties, where everyone dresses up in lingerie. A woman came up to me and asked me if I could help her pick out an outfit that her husband would approve of. I showed her what we had. As she was getting ready to go into the dressing room she told me that her husband wouldn't mind if she brought a friend. I looked at her and said, "Ok, well I can help you pick out another outfit if you'd like." She looked at me and said, "Well, pick out something you'll like." I raised an eyebrow at her and said, "Ya know I think I have to work that night." She responded with, "That's a shame."

A woman and her friend walked into the store and up to me. They asked if we carried bras to fit them. These two ladies were LARGE. There's no way we carried bras to fit them. How the heck do you tell women that they're too big for our clothes? I responded with, "Hm, we only go up to a DD in the store, and DDD online." The biggest of the two ladies said, "Well can you measure me?" I already knew that my 60" tape measure wasn't going to go around her. I took the tape from around my neck, smiled and said, "Sure." She was a good 72" around, and her boobs were even bigger than that. There was no way I could get an accurate measure. I told them Lane Bryant had sizes that we didn't. The whole time I was waiting for one of them to cuss me out like all the bigger women do, about how we discriminate, and we don't care about real voluptuous women. These two ladies were joking and laughing with me, they made an uncomfortable situation for both parties, comfortable. Why can't all people be like them?

The store was closed and six of us were furiously trying to pull the pantie bar back together so we could get the heck out of dodge. One of girls asked me what I was doing that night, I responded with some comment about my husband and I having dinner. All five girls looked up at me like I'm insane. One girl responded "Giiirrlll, what the hell you doin' with a husband? You're way too young!" I laughed and said, "How old do you guys think I am?" The girl on the floor under the pile of thongs said, "You're like us, 19, 21...right?" I laughed and said, "No. Guys I'm 27." All five mouths dropped open and it was silent. The girl who told me I was too young to be married said, "DAMN! We thought you were one of us!" The little blonde in the corner looked at her, hand on hip, "She IS one of us, OK." I burst out laughing. The next day one of the other girls came up to me and said, "Are you really 27? I mean you act older, but we all just thought you were really mature and quiet. You don't look 27." Apparently I look 21. I'm ok with that.

The girl that claimed I was too young for a husband was helping me clean up yet another mess left by someones out of control child. A customer walked up to us. She asked, "How do the sizes run? What's a medium considered." I answered, "Pant size 8-10." As she held up the size medium pantie to her hips, she responded with "Oh yeah, I'll definitely need a small then, maybe an extra small." She walked away and the other sales girl leaned into me and said, "If she wears a small, I wear toddler size." Seriously this woman needed at least a medium. Not that there's anything wrong with a medium, in some styles I have to wear a medium, if that's the size you need, that's the size you need. I almost felt bad for her ass, squeezing into an extra small...she takes them off and it's gonna be like when you break open the can of Pillsbury biscuits. POW!

There ya have it, the last of the underwear stories. It's been fun, but not that fun; however, I did thoroughly enjoy my discount...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Love Of Job

Back to working regular hours, back to having my evenings home, back to having a desk and a space of my own. It's amazing and I love it. I am beyond content with my coffee cup, calculator and stack of bills to pay. It's true, you don't realize what you have until you don't have it anymore. Being able to pee without asking permission to leave your assigned area is quite liberating. No more waiting for the boss to tell me it's ok to leave, no more itchy headset or dressing like a goth rocker for work everyday.

I totally have my own office at this job, I couldn't believe it. There's only one other girl that does accounting and we both have offices. I nearly wept when they showed me where my home away from home would be. I take my lunch when I see fit, no more, "Steph take your 15 now cuz you can't later." Ginger, the other accounting girl, came around the corner to see me sitting at my desk with a dopey grin on my face. She smiled and said, "Hey you ok?" I smiled at her and said, "I love this." She laughed and said, "I'm glad you're happy girl. It is the month of loooove."

I realize that Valentine's Day is supposed to be about a person with whom you share a connection, but right now I'm really feelin' the connection to my career field. Maybe because I'm finally back in it, maybe because of this new job, who cares! I really love being in my field. Yes it's boring, no it's not exciting or thrilling at all; but ya know what, it's dependable, straight forward and doesn't change. With the curve balls that life has been throwing at us for the last four months, predictability is kinda least for those work hours. Or, at least until our realtor calls us about more VA house drama, or the bank calls wanting to know where their money is, or we get ANOTHER letter from the DMV about the stars and planets not aligning in our favor. (Every week there's some hairbrained issue. Yesterday I got a call from the temp agency I'm going through, telling me my background check red flagged me for some violation in South Carolina in 1988. In 1988 I was 6 years old and living in NY. I'm fairly certain that my biggest violation back then was not eating all my vegetables.)

Accounting was never my dream job, but it truly turned into something I enjoy. How many dream jobs have you had where you tried it out and realized it wasn't for you? Uh, personal training (raising my hand). Thought that was what I wanted, took the classes, took the test, got the job and ended up HATING it. Worst three weeks of my life. Thank goodness I didn't waste more time on that dream gone bad. Of course there will always be those dream jobs that you more than likely won't get to experience; like being a magazine editor *SWOON*, or a Vegas showgirl, or a fruit roll-up taste tester.

I am truly happy where I am right now. Sometimes you need to experience things to understand, sometimes you need a hiatus from your career to actually appreciate it. I will never question my career choice...well, unless a fruit roll-up company has an opening for a new taste tester.