Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Watch For Cars!

Question:  What happens when you combine an angry walker with an inattentive driver?  Read on, dear friend...

When I used to leave the house as a teenager, my darling dad would always say, "Watch for cars!"  Consequently, this advice has become a reflex.

This morning, as I was coming to the end of my daily walk, I found myself in the middle of a crosswalk with a white four door sedan baring down on me at 35 mph.  The git driving it was fiddling with something and missed the large, bright red light that signals for all gits to stop so pedestrians can haul their husks safely across the street.

Now, here's a little known fact about me--unless you do actually know me in person:  I can have one of the LOUDEST voices known to mankind.  It's a genetic trait from my Mediterranean roots.  The upside is:  I never need a microphone.  Rarely do I use my full vocal volume expanse...but when I do--tape the windows and break out the earplugs, honey, you're gonna need 'em.  

The following is a transcript of my flirting, and ultimate triumph over the fates. What I said, I said for all people, everywhere who walk, who may walk, who have thought about walking, or who may have seen people who have walked:

Me:  HEY! HEY! HEY! (Hitting the hood of her car as she grazed me--in fact, I don't have to shave my legs today because she got that close.)

She: (Stopping mid intersection, finally pulling her attention away from her phone/gum/scab she was picking..)

Me:  WHAT THE PLANET ARE YOU FROM?  HERE, THAT LIGHT MEANS "STOP" YOU GIT!!!  YOU'RE DRIVING A 2 TON CAR AND I'M A PEDESTRIAN WALKING IN A CROSSWALK THAT YOU JUST DROVE THROUGH ILLEGALLY!!!

She:  Rolling her eyes and looking exasperated, "Like, I'm sorry."

Me:  NO YOU'RE NOT!  YOU JUST SAID THE WORD "LIKE"...Is that because it's 'like' you're sorry, but you're really not?  YOU JUST BROKE THE LAW AND ALMOST KILLED ME AND THIS OTHER WOMAN WHO WERE APPARENTLY TAKING OUR LIVES IN OUR HANDS BY ATTEMPTING TO CROSS THE STREET IN RELATIVE SAFETY!  IS THE SAFETY OF PEOPLE MORE IMPORTANT THAN UPDATING YOUR  FACEBOOK STATUS WHILE DRIVING???


The gathering crowd:  "Yeah, you tell her!!"

Me:  (Spurred on by the audience)  HOW DO YOU THINK YOU'LL LOOK ON FACEBOOK WHEN YOU KILL SOMEONE WITH YOUR INATTENTIVE DRIVING AND YOUR STATUS READS, "Jail sucks.  I don't look good in orange.  Big Bertha next door just claimed me as her girlfriend. "  WOULD YOU BE SORRY THEN?  OR JUST 'LIKE' SORRY???


What can I say? It was not my most graceful hour.

Poor woman was just motoring along and I went all postal on her.  She was probably just driving to work, or heading to volunteer at a homeless shelter, or going to visit her boyfriend at the penitentiary.  

Whatever the reason, our paths crossed this morning, and I have to say, as I ended my diatribe, I could hear my darling dad in my head laughing and saying, "Watch for cars!"

Will do, Dad.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Darth Vader, May the phone be with you

There's a heavy breather calling me.

I have no idea who it is.  Apparently, heavy-breather can't follow the simplest of instructions to, "LEAVE A MESSAGE" and finds that exhaling into my phone a superior course of action.

They've been calling me over the last two days incessantly, and my machine (I know, I'm one of the last answering machine owners out there--and shocker, I don't have caller I.D. either) is filled with breathing the likes of which would make Darth Vader applaud, bionic hands and all.

I have a few theories:

*  I have an actual stalker--not The Glider, who I know for a fact, is busy law-ing things as we speak, and therefore not calling me, besides, we usually communicate through carrier pigeon.

*  The caller has amnesia.  He has no idea he keeps repeatedly calling, thinking that this is the first time.  How did he get my number, you may ask?  It was written on a bathroom wall at the laundromat, of course.

*  Breather may be worried that their own phone line might be dead.  So they keep calling just to make sure they can get through, and that the world is still spinning.

*  It's MI-5.  One of their operatives is trying to send me a coded message.  If I could just find a stop watch I could time the rings and decipher it.

*  It really is Darth Vader.

The funny thing is, I know I could put a stop to it if I would simply answer the phone, but now I'm just mad.  Darth Vader isn't the boss of me!
No one can make me answer my own phone!
I will not be bullied!!!
(Cue fist shaking at heavens.)

Vader, if you're out there, don't call me, I'll call you.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Glider

A few days ago, I wrote a post about my adventures at the laundromat.  I received a couple of comments, one from someone called "The Glider."  The Glider was one of my very first followers, and comments on posts from time to time.

To be honest, The Glider's comments were always kind of logical and therefore translated to this erratic and emotional drama queen as strange.  My coping mechanism was to just ignore them.  It seemed to work.

Until yesterday.

The Glider waxed informational about various facilities (bathrooms) in various laundromats he/she'd known.  Then, The Glider totally creeped me out.
He/she said, "You just happen to be extremely fortunate in your choice, because the grocery store across the parking lot from your laundromat has an excellently maintained public restroom right near the office supplies!"

My first thought:  WHAT??

My next thought:  WHO IS THIS FREAK SHOW?

My third thought:  I'VE GOT A STALKER!

At which point I considered (in no particular order) having a panic attack, locking all the doors, shutting the blinds or calling the local police department.

If The Glider was stalking me, complacently ignoring the weirdo was no longer an option.  So I decided to face he/she head on.  I went to his/her's blog and left this message:

Glider, 
You left some really disturbing comments on my blog.  If I know you, then no problem.  If I don't know you, then you are freakin' me out!  Name please??


As I wandered around The Glider's site, it occurred to me that I might know this person as a casual acquaintance.  Maybe it was someone from church or the community.

Ok, I thought.  If they know me, then they can laugh my frankness off, and if it is a stalker, then at least I've given them the heads up that I'm on to them. They can't scare me with their brand of crazy.

All afternoon I festered.  I took my son to his swimming lesson.  I sat there and worried, what if there was a dead rabbit on the stove when I got home?

*        *        *
My phone beeped it's text message noise.
The text read:
Lisa, I'm The Glider, I thought you knew.

It was my lawyer.

Now, of course, his comments are hilarious and friendly.
I can't wait for him to stop by again.
*        *        *

Post Script:
Before you think, "Why does your lawyer know where you'd do your laundry in case of a broken washer?" He and his family are dear friends of the Mountain Man/Square Toothed clan.


Post Post Script:
Everyone should have a lawyer bff.  It totally rocks.  And a  doctor bff too (for obvious reasons)--oh, and a policeman bff to get you out of tickets and a good mechanic.  But it's better to have a mechanic as a family member, then you can just guilt them into fixing your dumb car for free instead of actually paying them for their honest day's labor...sorry Uncle Fred.  


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Code word: Gookie Gookie

My daughter, Brace Face, is 12 going on 35.

No really.
She is more composed and mature than most adults I know, including me.

Everyone in our life has realized this except for Mountain Man.  Two nights ago we found ourselves at one of those irritating back-to-school night events where our son, Diastema, would meet his new teacher.  Brace Face saw her BFF (also 35)  and the two wanted to hang out in the foyer and compare investment portfolios.

Mountain Man was five steps behind me and missed the subtle, yet firm plans we'd made that we'd meet her back down here when we were done meeting Diastema's new teacher.  Mountain Man began a litany of questions to prepare our daughter for the separation anxiety that would ultimately comsume her while we walked away 20 feet.

Brace Face leveled a look at Mountain Man that could stop a grown man's heart beating.
Then she looked at me.
With absolute kindness, she placed her hands on either side of Mountain Man's face and said in a small voice, "Gookie gookie, Daddy."

The poor man was stunned.  "Oh, got it.  You're old enough..."

He turned, and with shoulders slumped, he shuffled up the stairs.  As he walked toward me, the look on his face was resolute, and it was then that I decided...

It's gonna be hard watching Mountain Man grow up.




    

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lessons of the Laundromat

My washer broke yesterday, right in the middle of doing the mountain of laundry left over from the lake.  It wasn't pretty, but thank goodness there's a laundromat nearby. To be honest, it's been a while since I've been to the laundromat, and I learned a few (more) things this morning:

1.  Laundromats, for the most part, smell good.  Like clean clothes, but not when the little man next to you has 6ft halitosis.  Yes, that's an actual medical term '6ft halitosis'--as in you can smell his bad breath from six feet away.

2.  Cherchez les nudistes!  Yes, that says what you think it says.  Nudists are everywhere at the laundromat.  You'd think they wouldn't be, with law prohibiting nudity in public places, but I know that the college student in the back of the laundromat was sitting naked behind his paper.  Remind me not to sit on that seat next time I go there.

3.  Don't look at other people's laundry, it's creepy.  If there's one common international rule at a laundromat, or any place where people gather to wash clothes, it's: don't look at other people's laundry.  6 ft halitosis man was enchanted with mine and spent the entire drying cycle watching the underwear tumble around and around.  Dude, that's creepy.

4.  Laundromat bathrooms are a throw back to elementary school.  Of course, I'd drank an appropriate amount of Diet Coke this morning to start the day off right.  Inevitably, this led to a bathroom break.  In comes the elementary school part:  Remember that toilet paper that came in individual folded sheets?  You know, the little ones that look like paper towel, but are smaller, just like the ones from school.  Anyway, care to take a guess how many it takes to cover a toilet seat?  Like a million...and that's only if you don't  breathe on one and make the 4cm x 4cm sheet blow off accidentally.

5.  I'm more OCD than I realized.  While the laundromat may smell good (if you can flee from halitosis man) there is something vaguely disturbing about washing my clothes where someone else has washed theirs.  It's like using someone else's hairbrush, or hand towel.  I can't let myself think too long about how gross it is to create a soapy petri dish, then toss my own clothes in...of course, I don't think it bothers me too much, last week I licked my daughter's eye, just because she dared me to.  Apparently germs don't really bother me that much.

6. Television news hasn't improved.  There was a huge screen t.v. on the wall this morning at the mat.  Mountain Man begged me to stop watching the evening news because I'm not much of a sleeper and this just seemed to exacerbate the problem.  It's been a long time since I've watched CNN, or whatever's out there, and it hasn't improved much.
First, there's that news music that goes, "DUM DUM DUM!" This signals that the next words out of the anchors mouth is impending doom.  After the appropriate amount of 'fact sharing', there is a shot of the live witness, specialist, screaming person running for their life, or angry teenager with a pitchfork in hand, driving home how perilous the situation is.  This bit is followed up by more scary music of which all subtext is that this will soon happen in the city/town/lonely goatherd where you live.  Cue Xanax.

Even though I was accosted by OCD, school memories, halitosis man, news man, and naked man, it was a productive morning.  I got all my laundry done in under 2 hours, folded and in the car ready to be put away.  Who knows, maybe I'll skip fixing my washer and come back soon.

It seems like there's a lot to learn at the laundromat.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One Last Hurrah

I won't apologize for my neglect.  If I neglected my children, yes, but not the ole' blarg. And no, I haven't been in Ireland or even speaking with an Irish accent, (although that would be so cool) I've been enjoying the last dog days of summer.

As I write this, I am bundled up against the freezing circulating air at my mother's house. Mama Magnolia likes to hermetically seal herself (and all her kin) inside during the hot summer days, thus encouraging the simultaneous use of wool socks and a hot shower--yes, simultaneous--just to protect oneself from frostbite in August.

But this one chilly night is just a pit stop.  We are on our way to paradise.  Nestled in the nearby mountains is a lake.  The lake.  The lake of my childhood, the lake of my youth, and incidentally, the lake near which I was a part of stealing my first car--wait, did I say first?  A-hem, I meant only.  Anyway...

Here, young dreams were built in sand.  Treasure was hunted (and bought), and young crushes bloomed with handsome and heart crushing boys. This is the place I return to each summer.  Under the warmth of sun, with water lapping against the beach, my friends await.

What a tribe we women, and the children we've born, make.

There is:
The wise one.
The sage.
The dark haired beauty.
The genius.
The joker.
The sweetheart.
The cuddler.
And the drama queen.

Sand will work its way into every nook and cranny. (Yes, every nook and cranny...)
We, vowing to stick to our 'lifestyle changes' will say it with conviction, "Today is the day!"...while eating handfuls of M&M's.
We will drink too much Diet Coke.
The children won't bathe.

This is the eve of our last hurrah of summer.

So I sit here, the electric blanket turned on high, waiting for tomorrow to begin.

See you next week..and um, don't bother calling, Mountain Man erases messages and he never answers the phone...:)