Archive | July, 2012

The Delusional Male

25 Jul

I am in the process of training for a half-marathon in September.  Of course, I am nowhere near in shape to complete this race, but that’s beside the point.  There will be firemen at the finish line placing medallions around the necks of those who conquer the race.  Men in uniform…always a good thing.  So, as I am running/walking around a lake the other morning, I’m wondering why some men aren’t getting the message in the dressing department?

For example, the “shirtless who should never be shirtless” male.  Yes, it was hot and humid the other morning, but did you really think it was a good idea to walk around the lake without a shirt on and your gut hanging out and over your shorts?  I know you think you’re a prime hunk of beefcake but trust me, the look is not appealing.  All it makes me want to do is run faster and avoid eye contact at all costs.  On top of that, what’s up with the “puntable dog” you were dragging along the trail?  Women want a man who has a real dog like a lab.  It does not make you look like a macho stud to be walking an ankle-biter wearing booties.

As I continue around the lake, I see another clearly fashion-challenged male.  This person thought he’d be really attractive to the opposite sex by sporting not only a neon headband but black socks pulled up to his knees with white tennis shoes.  Ooh, baby…I could barely restrain myself from attacking him.  Between the glow in the dark headband and the chrome dome he was sporting, the reflection temporarily blinded me, causing me to nearly run off the trail.

Do these guys even bother to check a mirror before they leave home?  Or is their thinking so warped they can’t see reality?  As much as I complain about my husband, if this is what’s out there to date, I’ll put up with my pain in the butt.  At least he knows to keep it covered in public.

Why do I Watch the News?

19 Jul

Do you ever feel like you should never watch the news because all you hear is everything that’s bad in the world?  I keep telling myself I need to watch the news for the weather and to be informed about what’s happening in my community but the truth is, I can’t tear myself away from the doom and gloom.  It’s not like I can’t check my smart phone app to see what the weather is going to be.  Heck, I can just look out the window.  There’s something about the news that’s like a train wreck…you want to look away but no matter how hard you try you have to check it out.

Once in a while there is a feel-good story:  a little boy found his lost puppy, sisters reunited after being apart for 80 years, girl wins first place in local macaroni art contest.  However, the majority of the news is bad:  the economy is the worst since The Great Depression, family is murdered by intruder, food tampering injures travelers.  It never ends.

I want to be informed, yet the more I know, the more anxious I get.  The economy is horrible so I better start cutting back and not buy anything.  I guess the family will have to live off water and dandelion greens pulled from the yard.  Families are getting murdered in their own homes so I can’t open the windows anymore and there’s no way I’m opening my front door when someone rings the bell.  From now on, no more ordering food when away from home.  I must prepare and package my food to make sure no one has messed with it.

See how it can get out of control?  A couple bad headlines and I’m ready to become a hermit.  I am all for being “in the know” but there gets to be a point where too much information almost becomes a hindrance.  If I listened to all the anxious thoughts in my head I would never go anywhere and live my life.  I would be paralyzed by fear and then what’s the point of living?

I now force myself to take a step back when those “what-if” thoughts enter my head and take a deep breath.   That usually does the trick…until I turn on the TV, listen to the radio, check my smart phone, turn on the computer, talk to my co-worker…Ack!!!  It’s happening again!!!!

Are Manners Dead?

18 Jul

Is it just me, or has pretty much everyone become a completely self-absorbed jerk?  I just about fall over when I hear a “please” or “excuse me” because it’s so rare nowadays.  People are so into their own little world they don’t give a crap about anyone else.  Rudeness seems to be a way of life.  What has happened to manners and civility?

For example, at work, I sit at the front desk of our office.  Across the hall is a classroom that is used by departments from across the university.  During the academic year, the room is used for classes and is fairly quiet.  However, one department decided it would use the classroom as a nightclub/play room for their students.

The kids were in Youth Studies classes.  What Youth Studies is, I have no clue.  All I know is if my college-bound daughter told me she wanted to major in it, I would tell her to pay for it herself.  She would probably make more money and be in less debt delivering newspapers.

At first, there were the loud chants.  Next, was the acoustic guitar.  The last straw was the boombox and stomping feet.  Is this a class or a rave?  I was waiting for the bouncer to appear and start collecting cover charges.

At first, I politely complained to no avail.  I was told these “exercises” were a necessary part of the classes and I basically needed to buck up and take it.  Nice.

I thought summer would be better.  Oh, no…I was so wrong.  The first class was for young kids.  A summer camp.  Sounds innocent enough until I found out it’s a rocketry class.  Fabulous.  Nothing makes me think of peace and quiet more than rockets launching.

After the camp ended, I thought there would finally be a more relaxing work environment.  That was before the construction started outside for a new plaza and an economics course across the hall.  Between the jack hammers outside and the running relays in the hallway, I was on the verge of insanity.

I can understand the noise from the construction but do the instructors across the hall really need adults racing down the hall screaming?  In an economics course?  Of course, I complained and again nothing was done.  So, I would have to close the office door and crank my music to drown them out.  I was shocked at how rude they were, totally ignoring the fact that myself and others were trying to concentrate and get something done.  They had zero consideration for others, which is really sad.

What’s happened that no one really seems to care anymore about anyone but themselves?  Is it due to computers and cell phones?  Nowadays, we really don’t need to have face-to-face interactions so we don’t have to be nice?

Personally, I’d like to go back to my childhood when there were no computers, cell phones, and drive-thru everything.  We actually knew our neighbors and hung out with them.  It was safe for us to ride our bikes and play at the park without our parents fearing we’d be abducted.  I’ll take the ’80s hairdos and neon any day over someone texting behind the wheel or blasting their dance tunes across the hall from my office!

Shattered Fairytale

18 Jul

I am writing this with a heavy heart today.  We are in the midst of selling our home and the reality of leaving and having to move somewhere else has hit me hard.  The thought of packing up and moving to a smaller townhouse that’s not in our neighborhood is making me very sad.  What’s worse, the people who are looking at our home don’t want the house, they want the land.  The house is just a nuisance they will bulldoze to make way for their million dollar McMansion.  Depressing, indeed.

I met my husband when he had just purchased this home.  At the time, his two children were living with him and we were expecting our child in a few months.  It was great to have so much space inside and out.  The yard was huge, fenced in, heavily wooded, and had a pool for the kids to enjoy.  The neighborhood was wonderful…family-friendly, with several parks and a lake within walking distance.  There was convenient access to freeways and shopping, yet quiet enough to hear the frogs croaking in the nearby pond while we slept.

After a few years, the older kids graduated high school and moved out.  My daughter was getting big enough where she could go in the backyard and run around, but I always worried about the pool.  Besides, the pool was a lot of work and no one used it except for the dogs when they needed to cool off.

Soon, the pool was filled in.  The paint on the house started to peel.  The roof started to leak.  The economy tanked.  My husband decided to abandon his recruiting career and pursue his passion of music.  The house needed to be sold.  The perfect storm of negatives and circumstances brought us to this situation.

I was in denial at first, thinking we could weather the worst economy since The Great Depression and stay in the only home my daughter has ever known.  I had pictured her growing up here, having many joyous memories and enjoying the beautiful surroundings.  I dreamed of remodeling, adding a fireplace here, a master bath there, taking advantage of the privacy and the view our large lot and trees afforded us.

But in the end, it’s not meant to be.  Since April, I’ve had to endure agent after agent traipsing strangers through our home, violating our privacy.  We have read negative review after negative review of our house.  It’s not worth anything, basically implying it’s a pile of garbage.  Well, it may be garbage to them, but it’s my home and their comments hurt.

I don’t know when this will all be over and we can move on.  What I do know is that my fairytale is gone and I have to create a new story.  Will it be as good as the fairytale?  Who knows.  Only time will tell what will happen.  In the meantime, all I can do is trudge on and know that this too shall pass.  Eventually, everything will be okay and maybe someday I can look back on this and be grateful for the experience.  I may not ever have a big, shiny castle or the glass slippers but as long as I have my health and loved ones close by life will be good.

One Person’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure?

10 Jul

My husband and I had a garage sale this past holiday weekend since we’re selling our home and have a ton of crap to get rid of.  Granted, there were some nice items for sale, but for some reason most of the people went for what I viewed as my crap.  Of course, I would never tell them that, but it was amazing to see what they were going after.

I was shocked time and again how women with small children would pass right by the baby stroller, toys, books and clothes and make a beeline right for some old flower pot or outdated cookbook I had.  Wouldn’t you rather have your children nicely clothed and pleasantly distracted or be able to make Great Aunt Tootie’s tater tot casserole?

That is why I purposely do not go to other people’s garage sales.  I figure they’re doing the same thing I am…getting rid of crap.  Why would I want the junk they don’t want anymore?  Plus, I don’t have the patience to sift through all the garbage to look for the treasures.  Hence, why you will never find me going through the racks at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx.  Too many choices, too many brain cells killed in sheer frustration.

So, if you ever have a garage sale remember this:  don’t ever put out items you think will sell.  Search for everything you were going to throw away and put it out…guaranteed it will sell!