Weird Dates

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So in my last post, one of the last things I talked about was how my mom says I need a man who can make me feel like a woman. And it made me think of some truly bizarre dates that I have been on. When my boyfriend of six years and I split back in 2011, it took more than a couple years for me to be ready to move on. When I did though, I had a friend talk me into going to a Match.com mixer. Slightly intrigued but definitely freaking out inside, I went with her. It was an outdoor croquet place, which was actually pretty cool. My friend Julie and I were two of maybe 12 people who came, so we were made to pair off with someone of the opposite gender and play teams with that person. You were also able to talk amongst several other strangers, and I did fairly well for someone who is so socially awkward.

I hit it off pretty well with this guy named Bob* and maintained a fairly steady flow of conversations. The more we talked, the more I liked him. He seemed really nice and genuine, not to mention into nearly everything I was. We talked about our favorite books to read (if I meet a guy who is a reader and enjoys actual books over magazines or comics, I instantly like being around that person), discussed many authors and their writing styles. Talked about different genres, etc. That lead to movies and other interests and hobbies. And then talking about family and what kind of relationship each of us was looking for and qualities. He had told me he realized it was time to settle down when he realized how lonely he was when his little sister got engaged. I could relate to that as my little sister had just gotten engaged a month or so earlier. So by the end of the mixer, pretty much everyone had paired off with someone and was talking to that person exclusively, us being no exception. When my friend was ready to leave, he walked us to our car and asked to exchange numbers.

Oddly pleased with myself for getting my very first number ever, we parted ways and went home. Bob and I ended up texting almost non stop for the next two weeks, both of us becoming more and more interested in each other. He seemed ideal. Most of the same values, had a good job in a technological field where he designed software or something like that, made really good money and had no debt, had a dog and his own place… Finally, we decided it was time for us to go on a date. Wanting to do something not so cliche as dinner and a movie, I thought it would be fun to do a picnic at the lake, which he agreed to. I was planning on making a proper picnic, but he couldn’t make any decisions when it came to what he would like and said we could just go to the store and pick stuff up. Reluctantly, I agreed, and he came over a couple hours later.

We got to the store, and he had NO idea what he wanted and basically shot down every option I gave him. Suddenly, he made a beeline for the deli. He went up to the guy at the counter and said, “Hi, I would like to get just enough roast beef for two good sized sandwiches. I couldn’t believe it! I mean, I’m not picky when it comes to food. I like to eat. But how he just went up and ordered without even asking what I liked? OK, then. And then what if I wanted more than just one sandwich? A girl’s gotta eat. I’m pretty sure the guy behind the counter saw the slightly outraged and somehow bewildered look on my face that my date was oblivious to, and generously cut more than we needed for two measly sandwiches. While I was still processing the complete lack of etiquette displayed by my date, he announces, “We should get something to go with the sandwiches.” At this point, he literally had nothing in his hand but a baggie of freshly sliced roast beef. There were no sandwiches. Just meat, which he seemed for the moment to believe were sandwiches. “Um, ok…but don’t we need to get bread and stuff too?” To which he looks at me in surprise and said, “oh…right. But we need something to go with them too.” To my horror, he looks around and picks up two bananas. Bananas. Was he messing with my head?! This was getting more and more bizarre by the minute.

By this time, I didn’t know what to do.  I had a little guy in a plane pictured in my thoughts screaming, “Mayday, Mayday!” with smoke pluming from the engines and wind roaring in his ears. Hesitantly, I said, “ok. Um, maybe some chips too?” Apples I could have understood. They are picnicy enough for sure. But with bananas as a side, I felt he needed to compensate with something salty and crunchy. Fortunately, he left the chip decision up to me, and agreed jalepeno kettle chips sounded good. So we got the bread, and the mayonnaise I had to suggest (by this point it was so strained because he wasn’t interested in having a conversation, just getting our stuff and leaving) and took our items up to the register. Last minute, he realized he just so happened to be thirsty and invited me to grab something to drink as well.

We drove to the lake in silence, me giving the occasional direction to get there. When we got to our destination, he remembered he had paper towels in his trunk to use as plates, and had some spare plastic silverware to use to spread the mayo. It was sweltering outside, and he was ill dressed for it. He wore a brown t-shirt, brown polyester slacks, brown argyle socks, and brown leather sandles (omg, the socks and sandles….and the dull brown on brown on brown in the height of summer??)

As he started making his sandwich before even offering me anything, he finally decided he was ready to have a conversation. And it was much more revealing of his character that I ever expected it to be. He elaborated on many of our texts. He had told me he was an outdoor guy. It turned out his idea of being outdoors was going outside to let his pug use the bathroom. This meant him being at the lake with me was a pretty big deal, and his pasty white arms suddenly made a great deal of sense. So there was no way he would ever hike, camp, or go on adventures. He had told me he had a  motorcyle. What I didn’t know until then, he refused to ride it because he was scared of riding motorcycles and hasn’t actually been on one. He didn’t even know the first thing about them, yet had spent thousands on the one he bought.

As he is eating, he is chain smoking. First, I loathe being around cigarette smoke when I am eating despite being a smoker myself. Second, when I say chain smoking, I mean he didn’t have an unlit cigarette once in the hour and a half we were sitting there awkwardly making conversation. It got more and more awkward. The silence was like rapidly cooling jello. Finally, in a blind fit of desperation, I suggested we go to the Jamboree the next town over. He agreed and FINALLY put out his upteenth cigarette. I would say he probably went through nearly a pack of cigarettes in that hour.

There was more silence on the way with just me talking only long enough to give directions. When we got there, I looked in shock and a great deal of despair at the fact the Jamboree was over and people were packing and loading up. My terror was mounting at this point because I had no idea what to do. So, seeing as how my best friend only lived a street away, I said we should go there. I could not bear the thought of suffering another moment alone with him. Thank God she was home. When I walked in with Bob in tow, my friend’s husband who is a true American redneck and manly to the core saw the twig of my date (and basically dressed like one), his mouth dropped open. His gaze shot to me, then to Bob again in disbelief and then finally on me, body quivering with supressed mirth. “Don’t,” I mouthed silently to him. “Don’t even.”

Fortunately for me, my friends had company, but they were “the more the merrier” type of people and didn’t mind unannouced guests when they already have people over. I had a very welcome distraction in playing with their guests’ baby. And then it got worse. If he had been short spoken before, he could have passed for a clam now. He didn’t interact with ANYBODY there, especially the children. They tried to play with him, and he blatantly ignored them and didn’t respond by so much as looking at them. He watched everything like a hawk, but despite all the jokes and funny stories, not one smile.

Finally, we made our goodbyes. I knew I would be ok now going home because it was finally almost over. We talked fairly amiably on the way, mostly because I was secretly happy this hellish nightmare was 5 minutes away. He said he had a really good time and that we should do it again. I said, “sure” in a faint and slightly unenthusiastic voice and finally walked through the blessed door.

Safe to say, he never contacted me again, and I promptly deleted his number.

I called my mom later and conveyed the whole disastrous event (which lasted all of maybe 2 1/2 hours. She was laughing hysterically. I told my mom I needed a real man. And she told me, “No, Autumn. You WANT a man. You don’t need one.” To which I responded, “No…I NEED a real man. One who will protect ME! Not one I have to…to protect from a SNOWBALL!” At this point, my mom completely lost it and was laughing so hard she was keening, and I could hear her hand slapping her knee while she could barely breathe.

When she finally was able to catch her breath, she said to me, “Autumn, you almost never say anything funny. But when you do, you’re an absolute riot!” Thanks, Mom. Thank you ever so kindly. This is still one of her favorite stories as it was just so bizarre. But it definitely makes a good one.

Tangled Barbed Wire

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I have been looking forward to this moment all day, to where I can sit with my laptop and write. I have been imagining all day what it is that I will write about. And now that it’s time? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

It’s not that I can’t write or am not thinking. It is simply that I am thinking my thoughts so rapidly there is no way to keep pace with them. One thing leads to another, to another, to another. There was once a guy who compared a woman’s thought process to tangled barbed wire. Never have I found a better example. I can be thinking about work which causes me to think about the co-worker I dread seeing. Thinking of that co-worker can lead to imagining driving away from work. And then, oh yeah! The thoughts switch to needing to get the car in the shop for an oil change. The oil reminds me of how it poured rain today and made rainbow patterns on the pavement. Then I think about cracks in the pavement and wondering WHAT the heck brought me to thinking of this. Then some weird random thought about taking a shower, even though I don’t need one. But the thought of a shower fills me with dread as I hate the evil necessity of the bathing process.

First you have to take off your clothes after starting the shower. While waiting for it to heat up, it’s an toss up  choosing where to place my glasses in a place I’ll remember to find them, or remembering I need a towel and digging through my ever growing pile of dirty laundry on the floor in hopes of finding a cleanish one before remembering there is a clean one in the linen closet. By this time, the shower water is generally warm enough to sneak my way in through the end of the shower furthest from the water. Then, in final resignation, stepping fully in the water and completing the showering process. Wash hair, rinse, condition, shave arm pits, wash face, shave other necessary bits, wash body, rinse out loofa, rinse hair, wring out hair. Turn off the water, open the door and grab the towel off the sink. Then comes the tricky bit. The bath tub/shower is pretty tall and has sliding doors. I generally have to cling desperately to one of the sliding doors while I gingerly step out and thank the Good Lord that I have a shower mat and don’t have to worry about two slippery surfaces to contend with. So then I have to try and dry myself off and it ends up being an annoying process as I have to repeatedly dry off the same body parts 2 or 3 times before I give up and just wrap my hair in the towel and saunter out of the bathroom in my birthday suit. Try to, anyway. Inevitably, like every time before, I slip on the way out of the bathroom and almost carreen headfirst in a sidelike fashion into the doorframe before catching myself. Every. Single. Time. I can’t remember the last time I HAVEN’T slipped after a shower.

It makes me glad I don’t flat iron my hair very frequently, because it doesn’t matter HOW CAREFULLY you spray your head with a carpeted or toweled area beneath you, that spray ALWAYS manages to find its way onto the tile or wood.

So, as I have said, my mind is like tangled barbed wire. One thought leads to many, and it’s rare I can actually remember how I got to said current point. Even as I write this, I lit up a cigarette, and forwhatever reason, it made me think of Batman. Christian Bale’s Batman to be specific. And then how I love the way the masks make the chin look so rugged and manly.

So then with thinking about rugged, manly chins…it makes me think about my dream guy. Tall, defined, big rough hands, square jaw, blond with green eyes…and eyebrows. The bigger and bushier, the more attracted I am. It’s the weirdest thing, really. My mom likens my taste to the neanderthalic type of guy, purely because she says I am so manly myself. She doesn’t mean it in a bad way at all, but she said I need a man who makes me feel like a woman, and it IS true.

And then again, I’m off on a completely different tangent. So I think it is time for THIS post to end and create a new one for a new story of my crazy life.

A Bed for Dreaming Part 2

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It’s hard to say what really got me going on this project. I don’t really know if it was the lack of having a real bed frame or have something nice in my life or have the sense of self satisfaction of doing something amazing.

All I know is that tonight has been horrible night in every sense of the word. My chiseling isn’t coming out right (thank God for my practice post), and I am un motivated to say the least. All I want to do righ now is curl up in a ball and cry myself to sleep.

Granted, today has not been the worst day 0f my life, but it doesn’t seem like anything is going the way it should either. Tonight is not the night to be dealing with all of this. It was a horrible day at work, and that is projecting into the wood. My chiseling is the sloppiest it’s been since I began. Even my intitial strokes were better than they were tonight.

I can’t even begin to type it all out tonight. Tonight I will admit defeat and sound my retreat. Better luck tomorrow.

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A Bed for Dreaming…

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I know I am not the only one who has dreamed of having a beautiful, hand crafted four poster canopy bed. Most young girls do, especially if they have parents who have exposed them to classics, anywhere from Jane Austin books to Elizabethan period piece movies. It is something most of us girls dream about.

Seeing as how miraculous beds like these don’t fall into the average American girls’ laps, I decided it was high time I started planning one of my own. I have drawn pictures as a young girl of canopied beds and have compared my life to that of the rich aristocracy of my wildest imaginations. While I am sure my loving mother would have loved to have supplied me with such a coveted bed, it wasn’t exactly within my family’s budget, especially with me being the oldest of five and living below the poverty level.

As an adult, I have started projects and not finished them. Everything was always a flight of fancy. It has always made me incredibly irate that I have never exercised the self discipline to complete a well thought out and dreamed of fantasy. This time, I have decided it was time to turn over a new leaf.

I am thirty years old, I am single, and I have no children. I have a promising career that demands much of my time, and when I am at home, I sit on the couch like a vegetable and obsess over how freaked out I get by watching “Supernatural.” I can’t even walk past my descending staircase anymore in the dark without freaking out.

Rather than waste my life away watching someone else live their dream, I began dreaming my own dreams again. The beauty of being a single woman of my age without children is that I have no limits (other than monetary limits). I don’t define myself in one class or another except for the fact that I am…well…bored, to be honest. I am tired of being bored. While I may be making something of myself in a professional manner and know who I am while I am at work, I have no idea who I am as an individual woman.

So…I decided on a pet project. I have been vastly intrigued by this whole “pallet” fad. When I worked at Home Depot as a barely non-legal adult (I was eighteen), I found pallets super cool and dreamed of the kinds of things I could do with them if I was able to break them down. Now…12 years later, I am finally realizing that dream. I have bought pallets. Currently, I have CHIP pallets (those super, heavy duty blue or red ones), and I have stone pallets (still extremely tough but much more forgiving for newbies like myself).

Seeing as how the chip pallets are so…resilient, I have decided to go with the stone pallets for the base of my bed frame. Not only are they more pliant, they also have three openings on each end which will be ideal for drawers (and maybe some hidden cubby holes). Combine that with some amazing posts, I can have an incredible four poster bed with a limited income and many, MANY hours of painstaking labor on my end.

I decided I wanted to go the painfully slow route and HAND CHISEL/CARVE each post with a cool geometric design. The last few nights I have spent HOURS on these posts and thought, “OMG, I am living my dream. I am creating a masterpiece work of art and making so much progress.” Wrong. Wrong on so many levels. While my chiseling isn’t COMPLETELY abysmal, my idea of time was way off. I have now (in the time frame of almost 8 hours), completed 1 foot’s worth of chiseling and carving. One foot out of seven feet. On ONE of FOUR sides. To make matters worse? I have four posts. So in doing the math (keeping to my current under-amateur chiseling speed), I am looking at another 888 hours of labor. If I become proficient, I may be able to shave off (no pun intended) a couple hundred hours. This is just for the chiseling. Then, I am going to have to sand, stain, and lacquer each post.

I almost feel like I bit off more than I can chew. But you know what? It’s going to be worth it in the end. My bed will be far from perfect. But it will be my own masterpiece and something completely unique to me.

 

 

Real Life Spider War Part II

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Story time – Update on my spider wars

After a long hard battle, I reign supreme after the slaughter of the spiders’ general Gulliver 11.

While they may have sounded their own retreat, they have sent in reinforcements in the form of kamikaze June Bugs. I had one assasination attempt tonight as I was unlocking my door. Quick as lightening I nearly kamikaze-d my OWN self into the outside wall as my arm came swooping down to rip my fingers through my hair to disentangle the vile villain from my aqua ponytail.

As I crunched the beast underfoot, I stared into the darkness through foggy lenses and grimly stated, “Winter is coming, assholes.”

I know they were listening. They are always listening.

Real Life Spider War Part I

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Story time, everyone…

As you all know I have spent the majority of the last two weeks battling and ever so slowly winning the war on this spider bite.   It should come as no surprise that I am now exremely leery of any aracnid, particularly ones that resemble the devilish fiend which bit me.

Words can’t even BEGIN to express (but I’ll try) the horror of getting ready for bed and seeing an almost quarter sized (body and legs) brown recluse sitting next to my pillow. That monster was FAST to escape my futile attempts in its destruction. Needless to say, I tore my bedroom and the bed apart looking for it to annihilate such a dastardly villian.

Phone flashlight in hand, ever so carefully, I stripped each sheet and shook it out before dumping it unceremoniously on the floor. Every shadow in every wrinkle caused me to see a spider moving in for the attack. Each step felt like stepping on the giant fangs of suddenly not so imaginary spiders. Unable to bear the thought of stepping on the spider, I slipped my sneakers on, after gingerly inspecting and tapping them out.

In true spidery fashion, it was finally found hiding between the box springs and mattress. I stared at it a moment in contemplation. Lacking the ability to think rationally by this point, I raised my phone aloft, flashlight still engaged. With an unhuman shriek and a heart filled with vengeance, I smashed my phone upon the spider. I took a moment to catch my breath. I knew it was dead, or very near so before I even lifted my phone. Six legs had flown off the hell spawn, each leg quivering in its own macabre dance. With grim satisfaction, I stood over my enemy and whispered fiercly, “I’ve got you now, you bastard.”

Tonight, I won this battle. But there will be more to come. This is only the beginning.

A Discussion on Special Needs – Keeping it Real

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So tonight I watched a 3 minute clip of people with Downs Syndrome. It touched on many stereotypes and thought processes we “NORMAL” people abide by.

I find it disconcerting how people say “embrace individuality” or “be different,” yet when it comes to ANYONE with any type of medical or mental “handicap,” it suddenly qualifies said person as being less of a human being than you or me. It is hypocrisy at its finest.

And honestly, I wish that we had employees at my work place with special needs who work as BHTs. I believe it would be a HUGE eye opener to the entire establishment, that it would provide a more wholesome and equal working ground for our kids. Our kids need to see that just because they have special needs, it doesn’t mean they are “retarded” or stupid or worthless or unwanted. They need to see they truly can integrate themselves into “normal” society, that they can dream without limit and that they can succeed. Having someone with special needs working WITH our kids would have a HUGE benefit.

I’ve had kiddos from work tell me what they want to be when they grow up, what their plans for the future are. I have kids that want to be a hair dresser, fashion designer, artist, writer, singer, doctor, join the Army, tattoo artist, theatrical make up artist, engineer, farmer, mother, day care provider. They dream of having families of their own. Heck… Some have even said they want to work at the particular PRTF they are currently clients of.

Do you know what’s stopping them? Us. Us as a society because we have placed SO MANY restrictions on what they can and can’t do. It is time for that to stop. Rather than impede them, our fellow human beings, let’s learn to celebrate what makes them unique as human beings. Learn to treat kids and adults with special needs like you would your family and best friends.