Monday, March 30, 2009

Comedians, Panera, Awful Movies, Bad Dreams = Interesting Weekend

You know when you vow to have a low-key weekend, it always turns out to be the exact opposite?

Yeah, that’s basically what happened to me this weekend.

Friday night I ended up going to a comedy club with The Hoff to see Harland Williams. You may recognize him from such comedic greatness as Half Baked, There’s Something About Mary, and Dumb and Dumber. He’s probably the most random guy ever, and I’m pretty sure he was under the influence of a few substances, but he was hysterical nonetheless.

Anyway, I told The Hoff that I’d be over to his place around 8:15-8:30 so we could grab dinner before the show. In typical Miss Procras. fashion, I didn’t show up until 9:30, meaning there was no time for dinner before the show.

The Hoff was not pleased. He told me he dislikes my habitual tendency to be late even more than Yankees fans...he's from Boston. Major burn.

I politely reminded him that if he’s going to date me, tardiness is part of the package. I don't think that made things any better.

Saturday, after working my last shift ever at the mall (halle-freakin-lujah!), GlitzGal arrived for a night of debauchery. (I know in my last post I said I wasn’t drinking for 7-14 days, but this was a momentous occasion, so I decided to forego my meds for the night.)

Highlights of her visit:
-Had beer thrown on us by a girl who got miffed our guy friend stopped dancing with her to shake it with us. (Ladies, why must we always place blame on the other girl instead of the guy?!) -Yelled at a really drunk dude who smacked GlitzGal in the head with his beer bottle and then proceeded to knock my drink out of my hands. (Side note: Asshole didn't even offer to buy me a new one.)
-Woke up still drunk and decided a trip to Panera was a brilliant idea.
-Took one bite of my sandwich at Panera and had to sprint to the bathroom to vom. (FYI: The one-stall bathroom in Panera was occupied, so I had to take the escalator to the bottom level for the nearest toilet, hand over mouth, in attempt to suppress my gag reflexes. That's not the first time alcohol consumption has forced me to puke in that bathroom. I'm classy, I know.)
-Passed out in the booth with GlitzGal and The Hoff. The toddlers at the tables next to us now have something to aspire to.

The rest of Sunday was spent detoxing and lounging around with The Hoff. After much consideration, we decided to rent a light-hearted, comedy: The Heartbreak Kid, instead of a critically-acclaimed, suspenseful drama: Michael Clayton.

…The alcohol must have killed a good portion of our brain cells this weekend.

In case any of you are tempted to watch that piece of crap, let me forewarn you: It is not funny or entertaining. AT ALL. I want two hours of my life back.

To top off the weekend, I had a dream last night (or I guess nightmare would be the more accurate term) that my managers went to my parents’ house and started telling them what an awful employee I am and how I never get anything done on time. My parents then attempted to bribe them so I wouldn’t get fired.

Dream analysis: I’m getting fired because of my procrastinating nature but at least the 'rents have my back.

Or maybe I'm overlooking some sort of deeper, symbolic meaning, like I'm really getting a promotion because my managers feel I'm not being challenged a la Peter in Office Space and my parents want to buy me new presents to celebrate.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Grandma is in Better Shape Than Me...


I really hate that I’ve been so lackadaisical in posting this week. Blogging is one of the only things I like to be consistent with. It would probably help if I actually owned a working computer…

Anyway, the main reason you haven’t been graced with a post before today is that I’ve been a little under the weather. Not with strep throat, a cold or the flu—oh no, those ailments are way too common to affect my body; only the weird and crazy things happen to me. The latest installment? Costochondritus.

Anyone know what that is? Bueller? Bueller?

I hadn’t heard of this little treat, either (before being diagnosed). I’ll skip all the medical jargon and just put it in layman’s terms. It’s an inflammation of the muscles and joints in my chest. Basically, it feels like an elephant is standing on my chest. I have random, sharp pains surrounding the area of my heart and my ribs feel like they’ve been pummeled with a 2x4. For a while, I seriously thought I was having a heart attack.

So, what causes this cocktail of goodness? Heavy lifting, stress, anxiety, etc. Culprit in my case? Working retail. Pulling 20-25 hours per week on top of the 40 with my full time job really started to take its toll. And I recently learned that, due to corporate mandates, I would have to work Saturday and Sunday through prom season. That means no days off for me til June.

No. Bueno.

So, I put in my notice this past Saturday. Though I love the extra spending money, it just isn’t worth not having any sort of life outside of work. I need time to do important things—like watch WE, knit sweaters and save kittens from trees. (Okay, so I don’t really do the last two. I’ll probably end up spending most of this newfound freedom on my couch or downing apple martinis, but those are both important facets of life.)

In all honesty though, I’m convinced that my body is getting back at me for the torture I put it through last weekend. Along with this ailment means no drinking for the next 1-2 weeks.

Body: 1,000

Miss Procras: 0

Damn you, body, for always winning!!

This means I’ll be watching re-runs of Bridezilla and Platinum Weddings for the next 7-14 days. Unless anyone else has any other suggestions for sober fun?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hang in there Liver, We've Got Lots to do!


So, by 12 p.m. yesterday, I finally felt like I had recovered from St. Patrick’s Day. After calling in late to work on Wednesday, eating Wendy’s twice (my arteries and heart hate me) and drinking a glass of Chianti before bed, I started to feel halfway human again.

Most people would see this as a sign to give their liver a break for the night and enjoy their hangover-free self. Not me. I decided pounding 40s with The Hoff and his roommates would be a great way to celebrate the absence of a headache, upset stomach and cotton mouth.

Let’s just say that my body and I are frenemies today. I’ve been giving it little pep talks throughout the day like “suck it up” and “get over it,” but it refuses to listen. Stubborn bitch.

Whatever, I'll show it who's boss tonight. I have plans that have been set for over a month that I refuse to let some measly little hangover stand in the way of.

Tonight, I’m going with Just Jack to an all-Britney night at a fantabulous gay bar in D.C. That’s right, kids, all-Britney. Britney music videos, Britney karaoke, Britney trivia…my life will be complete after tonight. And I just found out there’s no cover charge if you’re dressed like Brit Brit. I’m thinking I may just have to partake in this. When else (besides Halloween) can you dress like the pop princess herself?! Love it, love it, love it!

Just Jack is picking me up at 9:15 and I’ve already been forewarned that my ass better be ready on time.

Just Jack: I can swing by and pick you up on my way in. But since I’m the organizer of this shindig and I have a few co-workers coming, it’s important to me that I get there on time.
Me: Haha-understood.
Just Jack: Love you, mean it.
Me: I know. These little pep talks of yours are not only essential for me to make an extra effort to be on time, but for you to keep your sanity.

Let’s hope for Just Jack’s sake that I’m all-Britnied out and ready to go by 9:15.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha, Stay the Eff Away From Me...


So, I returned to work today from my Seattle conference/vacay only to learn that a cockroach has been on the loose in my office for the past few days.

Um…excuse me? A cockroach?! I’ll be taking a leave of absence until said cockroach (and all his little friends for that matter) has been properly disposed of.

Ants=tolerable. Mosquitoes=annoying, but not scary. Spiders=not my favorite but can somewhat deal with since they help control the insect population. But giant, hissing, no-purpose-on-this-earth cockroaches=major panic attack.

My palms are sweating, my heart rate has elevated higher than it has in more than 3 months (that’s how long it’s been since I exercised) and I have to take long, deep breaths to keep from completely loosing it.

A co-worker just trapped it, but I’m convinced that thing is going to escape, maneuver its way into my cubical and start doing the Mexican hat dance while hissing at me.

Gross, gross, gross.

Speaking of gross, here are some other things I deem vile and unacceptable that I experienced during my trip:

-Seattle weather.
Cold. Rainy. Windy. Miserable. I have to say that it wasn’t like that the entire time I was there. The first two days were mild and sunny, but the other three were absolutely awful. It’s really hard to enjoy a city when you’re dressed in three layers, trying to avoid getting completely drenched and holding on to your significant other for dear life so you won’t be blown away by 60 mph wind gusts.

Case in point: The Hoff and I were crossing the street. He got about halfway across, realized I wasn’t beside him and turned around to find I had been shoved a good twenty feet behind him by the wind. After laughing hysterically, he came to my rescue.

…I have a boyfriend who takes pleasure in my misery-what a lucky girl I am.

-Sketchy middle-aged men.
So, I don’t really mind being hit on (as long as it’s not vulgar) and I obviously won’t turn down a free drink. Which is why I gladly accepted when a 45-year-old guy asked if he could buy my glass of wine the first night in Seattle. (The Hoff wasn’t there yet, so I hit a wine bar solo.) Problem is, I have an extremely guilty conscience, so I can’t just let a guy buy me a drink and then run off. I continue talking to him.

It wasn’t like I had anywhere better to be or anyone else to talk to, so I started chatting with the guy. He seemed harmless enough, but three glasses of wine in, he leaned across the chair separating us, right into my personal space and sayed, “So, where are we heading after this? You wanna walk around the city? Go to another bar?”

AND the crazy, stalker side rears its ugly head.

Instinctively, I leaned away from him, desperately trying to get the attention of the three bartenders running around to jump in and save me. Unfortunately, they were all male (read: dense) and therefore don’t recognize a woman in need of rescuing when they see one.

What I wanted to say was: WE aren’t heading anywhere. I am going back to my hotel room. Alone. Solo.

That’s what Lo would have said. I wish I could be more like her in these situations.

Instead, I took the passive-aggressive approach and reached for my phone. I texted The Hoff and GlitzGal, a good friend from high school who I knew would get a kick out of the situation…and give me an excuse to hightail it outta there.

In my present sober state, I could have easily gotten myself out of this situation. But between the three glasses of wine, three hour time difference and lack of sleep (I had been up since 4 a.m. EST), I felt helpless. Thankfully The Hoff walked me through leaving the bar sans Sketchy McSketchface.

-American cheese.
Not the deli counter kind-the one that comes individually wrapped in plastic. Every time I see it, smell it or God forbid-touch it, I want to projectile vomit. It looks like the bottom of feet and it doesn’t even feel like cheese. An older lady sitting next to me at my boarding gate had a bag full of goodies to tie her over during the flight. She could have easily opened a grocery store with the amount of food she was carrying around. It was all I could do not to gag when she pulled out her American cheese squares and started scarfing them down with her crackers.

-Diet soda.
I don’t care what kind it is, it’s foul. To me, diet soda is the equivalent of drinking a non-alcoholic beer-if you’re gonna do it, go all out! At the conference, my co-worker brought me one to be nice. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I’d rather drink Syrup of Ipecac than that shizz. So I hid the can in my purse until the end of the day and immediately chucked it when I got back to my hotel room.

But Seattle wasn’t all bad. It’s actually a very cool city…but let’s be honest, the above things make a much better post than recounting my visit to the Space Needle, the fish market, way too many bars, etc.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Reflection on Friendships


I have a hard time letting go of friends, which could be considered a good and bad thing. Good because I’m still close with people from elementary school, middle school and high school. (I guess I’m lucky that after my sixth birthday, my family never moved.) Bad because I sometimes let people walk all over me and never stand up for myself. I forgive them, because I don’t think people I consider my friends would ever intentionally do anything out of malice or spite.

But how do you really know? When is it acceptable to completely cut ties with someone?

I’ve never really cut ties with a friend before. I had someone do that to me in high school. And it sucked. She was my best friend through eighth and ninth grade. Our sophomore year of high school, she got a boyfriend, and we started drifting apart. I missed her. And I tried to tell her that, but I went about it the wrong way. We never talked again after that. I e-mailed her, called her, but she was done. We went to different high schools so it’s not like I saw her everyday. The friendship was over.

I still think about that and what I could have done differently. I guess if anything, it served as a learning experience from me. But it’s still hard to not blame myself.

My mom says that friends come in waves. Some friends you have in high school will fizzle out and in ten years you may not even talk to that college soulmate anymore. How sad to think that a person that was once so important to you is now obsolete?

I can already see it happening, though. There’s people I was close to in college that I haven’t talked to since graduation and know that I’ll never see again. Then again, I still talk to my closest friends on regular basis. Will they be in my bridge group when we're 75? Or will they just become a name on my Christmas card list, only worthy of annual correspondence?

I guess that’s the harsh reality of growing up. Everyone is forging their own path, which may or may not be in the same directions as yours. I don’t think it will get any easier as friends fade in and out of my life, whether it be a gradual or abrupt dissolve. And I’ll probably always place some of the blame on myself. But I’d like to think that there are some friendships that can stand the test of time. Some friends that will be with me through marriage, children and retirement.

Sorry for such a downer post. I promise to return to our regular scheduled blog programming next week. I’m off to Seattle for a few days for work, so catch ya on St. Patty’s Day! (And be sure to start celebrating this festive holiday over the weekend…don’t pull a me when drinking is involved!)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mother Knows Best...

Actual conversation with my mom this weekend:

Mom: Are you and The Hoff still together?
Me: Yes.
Mom: Okay, just checking. Your love life is like a revolving door-I have a hard time keeping up with you.

Um…did my mom just call me a whore? I’m not quite sure how else I’m supposed to interpret that statement.

I think she’s still upset that Pete and I broke up. She was banking on us tying the knot…something she likes to remind me of every time I come home to visit.

This is probably why I prefer to hang out with my dad while I’m at home. (See this post for further clarification.)

Dads never nag you about being single or try to force you down the aisle. In fact, they’d be perfectly content if their little girls stayed single and virginal forever. (Which I’m sure if you’re not married, they convince themselves is the case.)

On the flip side, moms equate their daughter’s success with her marital status. By the time our 25th birthday rolls around, if there’s no diamond on our finger, the nagging begins. It’s like they think we’re automatically doomed to be husband-less, cat-owning, old maids if we aren’t in some crazy rush to say “I do.”

Unfortunately for my mom, I take my sweet time in everything I do, so why should marriage be any different? Unfortunately for me, this means I’ll have to put up with incessant nagging for God knows how long.

Oy vey.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Shopper's Commandments


I’ve worked retail jobs on and off since the tender age of 17, so needless to say, I’ve seen my fair share of tranny behavior. (Yes, Just Jack, I’m stealing your word. But I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to describe these people.)

So, with the help of Lo, who also works a part-time retail job, I’ve composed The Shopper’s Commandments. Read them. Live them. Love them. Together, we can make the retail world a more pleasant place.

1) Thou shalt not assume that everything is on sale.
I’m acutely aware of the schemes and gimmicks stores use to get you to walk into their boutique. They’ll plaster huge SALE signs in the windows with 10 point font on the bottom spouting stipulations such as: 'Select Styles Only' or 'With the Purchase of Two Pairs of Jeans.' Marketing departments are sneaky bastards. However, if there is no SALE sign in sight, don’t think that you’re the lucky person to get a hidden bargain. This isn’t the black market or Let’s Make a Deal! If you want something cheap, go to Goodwill or Chinatown.

2) Thou shalt not treat salespeople like slaves.
Most two-year-olds can say “please” and “thank-you.” It’s not a hard concept. So, when you ask a salesperson to run to the back and grab you another size, color, style, etc., make sure you add a “please” to the end of your request and a “thank-you” when said item is brought out. You wouldn’t appreciate being ordered around at your thankless job anymore than we like being talked to like an ill-educated reject of society.

3) Thou shalt not enter businesses thirty seconds before closing time.
When your shift is over, you get to turn off your computer screen, grab your bag and coat, and head home. When a sales associate’s shift is over, we still have to straighten the store, sweep/vacuum the floor, windex the glass and mirrors, count the cash register, fill out the appropriate paperwork and run to the bank. This takes at least thirty minutes. So, when you enter the store right at closing time, take your sweet time perusing and inevitably not buying anything (which is the case a good 95% of the time), you cause us to stay even longer. We’ve already been on our feet for eight hours-we’re exhausted. All we want to do is go home, prop up our legs and down a few cold ones before we have to wake up and do it all over again the next day.

4) Do unto the merchandise as you would do unto your own.
When you try on merchandise, PLEASE, do not leave it thrown all over the floor of the fitting room. Not only does this force us to clean up YOUR mess-we are not your maid or your mother and shouldn’t have to act like it-but it damages the merchandise, which in turn, causes the prices to increase, which in turn, means you’ll be paying more and bitching to us about it. Instead, either hand it to us when you're done, or hang it up yourself. (PS-I know some people don’t take care of their things. These people are either filthy rich and can afford to continuously buy new clothing or are just plain lazy. If you’re filthy rich, you probably don’t shop in the stores I’ve worked at, and if you’re a lazy idiot, well, I’ve got no time for you.)

5) Thou shalt not rush employees when purchasing merchandise.
There are certain procedures the corporate office requires us to follow when ringing up customers. Please do not get exasperated, rude or impatient when we are simply following procedure. If we don’t do these things, we get reprimanded. In the time it takes you to express your disgust, you could have been out the door with your purchase. So take a deep breath, relax and let us do our job. If you’re in that big of a hurry, it’s probably your own fault. So if you want to be pissed off at someone, be pissed off at yourself. (Note: this commandment is null and void if Bubba is behind the counter and is slow in speed and intelligence.)

6) Thou shalt not allow thy children to treat stores like their own personal playground.
Just like we are not mothers and maids, we are also not babysitters. You made the decision to pop out these bundles of joy, so take accountability for them. If you can’t shop and keep your kids under control, hire a babysitter, hound your husband or bribe an unsuspecting friend/family member. Don’t let your little angels run around the store, slobber all over mirrors, throw merchandise all over the place…and worst of all, play dress-up and ruin countless items of clothing.

7) Thou shalt not treat dressing rooms as a garbage can (or for baby making).
This may be a hard concept to grasp, but dressing rooms are not black holes that swallow anything you throw on the ground. Someone has to pick up the gum, tissues, tampons and miscellaneous trash you decide to throw on the ground and that someone is us sales associates. (Shockingly enough, we don’t have janitors working at each of our stores.) So next time you think the two-second walk to the nearest trashcan is just too strenuous for you, consider how you’d feel cleaning up someone else's bodily fluids after a long day’s work. Same goes for bumping uglies. We don’t want to see it, hear it or clean it up. Save it for the parking lot. I’m sure Junior would love to learn he was conceived in Macy’s Lot 5.

8) Thou shalt not steal.
Given this is an actual commandment, this should be a no-brainer. Stolen merchandise means higher prices for the rest of us. So don’t be a selfish prick and either save up until you have enough money to pay for it or wait until your birthday when someone else can buy it for you.

9) Thou shalt not attempt to return worn merchandise.
Listen, folks. If you’ve worn something you just bought, it can’t be returned. End of story. No one wants the sweat-stained, beer-soaked, covered-in-dog-hair top you are now claiming “doesn’t fit” or “wasn’t what you were looking for.” If you liked it enough to wear out to show off to your girlfriends and impress your man, then it was clearly the right size and style for you. Don’t whine, don’t bitch. It’s not our fault that the purchase caused you to overdraft your account and now you don’t have enough rent money. We cannot, and will not, make exceptions for you.

10) Love thy salesperson as thy self.
While this coincides with commandment #2, it goes so much deeper than not acting like a demanding diva. When you enter a store and we say hello, say hi back. Let us know if we can help you. That’s our job, after all. Don’t be rude, don’t be condescending and most importantly, don’t act like you're better than us. We are people too and deserve to be treated with R-E-S-P-E-C-T. (Sing it, Aretha.) Who knows? You may just get that sale you're so desperately seeking…

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