Saturday, March 22, 2014

Whilst wearing my hat of domesticity, I am my daughter's taxi cab driver today.

I've officially started spring cleaning.  I mean, I'm in the thick of it now.  Yesterday I dipped my toes in.  I've now stripped the windows of their curtains and valances, I've got them laundered and while waiting for the dryer to free up from other laundry, I've washed half of the windows in the house.  If the weather won't say spring, I WILL!

My daughter has a full day today.  For the first weekend in about a month and a half, she has no homework.  It's a good thing.  She started with archery at 9 AM.  She had a break before a birthday at the local bowling alley at 12 noon.  She had a half hour break between and had another birthday party at the very same bowling alley.  We left to get air fresher than that contained within the walls of the bowling alley, tried on a few pair of pants at the Goodwill and looked at the chicks at TSC.

Very soon, I will be due to pick my child up from birthday #2 and head north to meet Hubs.  K won tickets to a Cav's game tonight through their Straight "A" All-Stars program.  She won two tickets, so Hubs is taking her.  She's never been to an arena, much less a professional sports game of any type.  She's excited!  They have nosebleed seats, but they are thankful for the freebies.

What am I doing with my night?  Well, I'm going to have scandalous time with my ironing board and iron!  I'll be ironing said window treatments in order to hang them back up.  Call that living life off the edge.

Now if you'll pardon me, a pile of laundry is begging to be folded, laundry needs flipped in the dryer and more windows need cleaned.

Happy spring!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

If I had a 9 year old son, would I allow him to carry a My Little Pony backpack to public school?

I was just reading this article by the hard hitting news agency, People Magazine.  In sum, the 9 year old boy loves the MLP cartoon and chose to get a MLP backpack to carry to school.  Is that wrong to get him one?  No.  If I had a son, would I allow them to take said bag to public school?  No.

I get it.  There are those out there that will say that I would be stifling creativity and all that.  Whatever you choose for your child is your own business, but I wouldn't send him with the backpack.

Why?  Basically, why on earth would you encourage your child to take something to school that you know that the likelihood of them getting the crap beat out of them is pretty high?  In many ways, it isn't right.  However, I look at it and say, school is tough enough.  Why make it harder?

School was not fun for me.  I was made fun of for everything.  I have curly hair.  I would develop what my friend would refer to as "horns" that my mom would have to trim off.  My bangs would get so long that they would curl on either side.  It may have seemed rude for my friend to tell me this, but I'd rather know.  We were poor, so our wardrobes were definitely not in the higher class stores as my classmates had.  We shopped at Kmart and the Salvage Freight.  Bad clothes and bad hair?  Check and check.  Let's not forget about my teeth!  My teeth were one hot mess and believe me, people noticed and made fun.  Mom would pack my lunch and I remember once having a boy ask me, "Are you going to eat all of that?"  It was a big baked chicken breast wrapped in foil.  I was in 7th grade and wanted to crawl under the desk.  Most of the time, we got the free school lunch and everyone knew it since they didn't issue new lunch tickets for us each week.  Yup.  Got made fun of for that.  I was a studious kid in high school and an art student.  Oh, yes.  That had "hot!" written all over it.

For several years, I have told K, "You will be made fun of.  No matter what you do, you will always be made fun of at school for something stupid.  It is my job to help cut down on those opportunities." What am I talking about?  K starting wearing deodorant in the 1st grade because she needed it.  No need to get the name "stinky" in the 1st grade.  That is the kind of being made fun of I'm talking about.  "Brush your hair and brush your teeth."  If your teeth are caked in funk and your hair looks like a rat's nest, you might be made fun of.  K's has a lot of hair, but it is baby fine.  If a 2 MPH wind comes by, she ends up with a ton of tangles.  Still, we try.

My daughter has speech issues.  She went through a lot of speech therapy and things have gotten a lot better.  She is still plagued by some but she WAS made fun of for her speech-- in Kindergarten.  Those two girls who made fun of her for a few weeks are still not girls that she takes a particular liking to.  Speech was something that she was working on, but to ask her if she was "speaking Chinese" or "speaking Polish" was something that didn't skip past K's attention.  It hurt.  She cried.  You know what?  It didn't kill her and I didn't intervene.  I didn't jump in and save her.  I gave her some coping strategies and things to say.  Finally, it stopped.  Funny thing is that one of the two girls has speech that isn't so perfect herself.

Now on to MLP.  My daughter has a love for Star Wars.  I mean, she named our new cat Leia.  She has dressed as Darth Vader, Princess Leia and Queen Amidala.  She also has a love for GI Joe and other action movies.  I blame her dad.  (Kidding.)  I sit in a spot where I say that she dressed as those things and Storm Shadow.  Grandma was a little put out because K chooses "boy" costumes, but it is Halloween.  Have at it.  You can be anything you want to be.  I've had people question her like of "boy" themed things.  "Are you sure SHE likes Star Wars?"  Yup.  She's pretty well educated about things of Star Wars, The Hulk, GI Joe and Indiana Jones.  Again, her dad.  Sure shooting that knowledge isn't coming from me.  Nah.  I'm the alternative music teacher for her.  She doesn't get into 1D or any crappy girl music like that.  Kiddo loves Pearl Jam (and for true PJ fans, she is a B/R/Y and Gremmie kind of kid), The Cure, Jack White and Ben Folds.  She just can't dig dad's Norwegian Black Metal.  ;)

Just last night, K told me that she had been invited to a birthday party this weekend for one of the boys in her class.  C has been in class with K since 1st grade.  Both have a love for Star Wars.  I texted his mom to say that K was talking about the party, but forgot the invite at school.  She texted me back that C wanted "no girls" but then she mentioned K and he consented.  K will be the only girl at the boy bowling party.  I texted Charla back and said that K will be just fine with all of the boys.  C knows that, too.  You see, C is moderately autistic and K has kind of been a constant for him in class. He'll cry or have particular issues.  Despite this, K is probably one of the very few kids that has NOT made fun of him.  We've talked about how C's brain works a little differently than everyone else's.  She understands.  She has a tender heart and I know that C's mom knows that K has been a quiet supporter of C for quite some time.

So yes, I'll probably be flogged with a wet noodle over this post.  It's okay.  I'm good with constructive criticism.  Not everyone parents the same and not every text book is the way we need to raise our kids.  It is a case by case basis, but even such-- I wouldn't send my son with a backpack full well knowing that he's gonna get the snot kicked out of him.  That's the kind of bullying that you can prevent.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In my advanced age, I'm now beginning to attract seniors.

I was hit on by a 65 year old man yesterday.  I'm not 65.  I'm not close.  Since I'm 40, he could be my father.

The gentleman came in, was a bit talkative and I was kind.  Toni, my coworker, was working in a case and he was reaching in all over the place and wrecking it by knocking everything down.  "Sir!"  Toni was irritated.  We worked together, found what he needed and he was cashing out.  Policy is for us to ask for a phone number when writing up the sales slip.  Being disobedient, I only take it for checks and credit cards.  He gave me a credit card, since it was unsigned, I asked for identification, then a phone number.

He looks at me, gets a weird smirk then points at his naked ring finger.

(I always wear my engagement ring and wedding band, so my marital status wasn't in question.)

"Oh, no!  That's not why I was asking!  We only ask in case you leave something behind and since you only have 2 items, I trust that you'll have them with you."

It was at this time that he tried to give his phone number to me.

"I'm good.  I know that you have your things."

Really?  I turn 40 and while I know that I don't look like I've walked off of the Prom Court, I'm now beginning to attract folks that qualify for Medicare?

I texted my mom about it.  Her response, "Sorry."

I could hear her laughing in that text.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Getting paid to spend money.

I was out this weekend with work on a buying trip.  To go buying with someone else's money for three days straight sounds like a dream to some but y'all, it is exhausting.

I left at 5:45 AM to pick up my boss's daughter and off we were.  We got to our destination in a 2 hour time block and I admit that the time flew.  If you think that I can talk, L talks me under the table.    The time spent with her was truly wonderful because though I knew her, I never spent time with her.  There is 5 years that separate us and when shopping with her mom and the other coworker, we found that we tended to gravitate towards the same items and decline at the same time.

We go as a group of 4.  We were shopping for Christmas and for general merchandise.  They have me come along because I'm display staff for the one building and I tend to look at things differently.  They like to pick out what they like and it is my job to try to wrangle things together into themes.  We struggled this year.  It isn't a lack of agreeing, but a lack of merchandise that knocked our socks off.  Because I was feeling desperate about the lack of themes chosen, I decided to pitch a wild idea.  L and K agreed that they liked it.  I pitched it to my boss and she said to go for it.

Color me shocked.

The sales reps either loved me or were frustrated by me.  They would be pushing hard for crappy stuff and L (the boss) would ask, "So what do you think?"  Not all of the time, but plenty of times I told her, "It is lovely, but . . . It just doesn't make me dance . . . I'm not feeling it . . . [or], no."  :insert shakes of the head:  The last sales rep tries and tries to push and though we've told her no, she'll keep going.  L (the boss) just looked at me.  "L, it doesn't sell."  I'm not a yes woman and that particular sales rep was not having it.

Here's the thing, they get paid to sell things.  They also get paid to be good at what they do.  To strong arm someone into buying something is just not cool.  Occasionally, I heard L (the boss) tell them that the economy was just not what it had been.  I can't tell you how many times I heard about how they haven't found that . . . Bull.

When we went, there are usually items or themes that we can adapt and they dazzle us.  We were not dazzled.  It is going to take a lot more work to make Christmas happen.  It's okay.  We're happy to do it.  Still, we're just not used to the lack of inspiration.  Wow.

L (the daughter) and I were off and on our way home on Sunday night.  I was so stupid.  We stopped in for dinner at an Irish tavern in an Irish town and what did I get?  I got a black bean burger.  Why is that so wrong?  Basically I ordered the fish in a chicken joint.  It wasn't all that good and they forgot a condiment.  I should have gotten the corned beef and been done with it.  We had a nice time talking and again, the time flew on the way back home.  I usually get tired, requiring large amounts of caffeine and unrolled windows, but L kept me good and awake.  I arrived home at 10 PM and landed back at work 12 hours later.  Last night, I fell asleep at 9 PM.  Whew.  I'm on my way back, but I never sleep well in a hotel room, I wasn't eating as I usually do and I was powering out real Coca Cola to keep focused and moving.

It's exhausting to do nothing but shop.  It isn't like Super Market Sweep where you just grab everything you can.  You have a lot of things to consider and you certainly don't want to be saddled with merchandise that won't sell.  We're there to make the store money and I feel that it is a big responsibility.  It's an exhausting responsibility, I'm glad to have it but, I'm glad that I'm back home in my own bed.  Word has it that my people missed me, too.

Have a great day!