Halfway to 50!

Twenty somethings unite!

45 Minutes for a Table? Hell no! April 28, 2012


I’m about to admit my only character flaw to you all…  I’m impatient.  (Pause for gasps.)  Yes, me, the teacher, is impatient.  I’m very patient with my students, patient with my slow computer, and patient waiting for my nails to dry.  But when it comes to food, bitch don’t make me wait 45 minutes.

 

I don’t cook because…. well because… um… I just don’t want to.  You have to like think about what you’re making, check to be sure you have all the ingredients, put them together, heat them up or something, and then comes the worst part- you have to clean it all up.  Ugh.  By then it’s 7 or 7:30 and all the good shows are on (you know, Modern Family, Real Housewives of well, anywhere etc.) and there I am with my hubbie groaning about loading the dishwasher and putting food down the disposal.  Because of this extremely taxing experience, I prefer to eat at restaurants when I get the chance.

 

So then comes Saturday night.  We leave church and get in the car.

“Where should we eat?”  The hubbie asks.

“Oh I don’t care…” I say casually, secretly hoping for my favorite place.

We head to restaurant #1.  We park the car about 3 miles from the entrance and hope it’s not busy.  Um, duh, red flags were waving at us in the face and we ignored them.

“Hi, ” I say to the hostess, “2 people please!”  I always think that a big smile and overly sweet greetings will get us in faster.

“45 minutes!” she says just as sweetly, handing me the buzzer.

I turned my head in such a panic I almost bitch slapped that poor hostess in the face with my hair.  The hubs and I agreed we wouldn’t wait that long, handed the buzzer back, and bolted in search of food from somewhere else.  But not before I slipped out a nasty, “That’s why we don’t come here,” just loud enough for the hostess holding the door open to hear.  I’m not proud of that one, but when I get hungry I turn into a completely different person.

 

Off we went to restaurant #2 (my pick!).  We never have to wait there, this was a sure thing!  We walked in and I did the chipper and overly sweet, “Two people please!”

“45 minutes!” she said through a smile and handed me the buzzer.  This time I did not even confer with the hubs.  I pushed that buzzer right back and we headed out the door.

“Now what?!” I said, as if there were about to be a nuclear attack and we had 5 minutes to find food or we’d starve.

We decided fast food was the way to go and happily walked right up to the register, ordered, and ate our food within 20 minutes (What can I say? We were hungry.)  We hopped in the car and headed home, 3 restaurants later, satisfied.

 

So here’s my question to you: How long is appropriate to wait for a table at a restaurant?  How long are you willing to wait?  Am I the only one who is too impatient to wait more than a half hour for a table?  If I’m psycho please feel free to let me know that as well, everyone needs a reality check once in a while.  But be brief, I don’t have the patience to read through long comments.

 

Never Buy X-Mas Cards that Require Extra Postage December 21, 2011


So the lady at the post office through my credit card at me with the most pissed off look I have ever seen.  I looked from my credit card back to her in disbelief.  “Oh, so we’re doing this?”  I was ready to fly over the counter and show her the true meaning of Christmas.

OK let me back up a bit here.  You see, last Saturday I made a quick trip to the post office.  We live in a small town and I thought I’d just run in real quick and get some stamps.  Shutterfly gave me 10 free Christmas cards in October, so I picked out the most extravagant (and pricey) cards they had.  Hey, they were free!  The catch was that they were those perfectly squared cards that for some reason require extra postage.   Hence my visit to the post office last Saturday.  Ten 64 cent stamps.  That was my mission.

I walked in, bedhead and all.  There were at least 25 people who turned to look at me who were also making a quick trip to the post office the Saturday before Christmas.  I found my spot in line and listened to two older women in front me talk about what was in their packages.  Gifts for their grandkids… “Teenage boys are so hard to buy for!”  I patiently waited 35 minutes for my turn in line.  The lady in front of me paid just under $22 to ship her gift (Are you kidding me??)  and then I approached the counter.

“Hello!  I’m going to be an easy customer today.  I just need ten stamps for these square cards and I’ll be on my way!”  I was so cheerful and pleasant it was almost sickening.  I figured this poor woman could use a break from crankiness.

“Oh,” she said, “We’re out.”  Scowling.

“Really?  Out?  I know it’s not your fault or anything but… I’ve been here for 35 minutes waiting for these stamps.  Maybe you should put a sign up or something.  Then people will see it and leave if that’s what they came for.”

“Do you want me to make an announcement or something,” she groaned.

“No, just thought a sign might prevent someone from waiting like I did.”

“I can sell you a book of stamps and you can just put 2 on every card,” she suggested.

SIIIIGH “Fine.  I’ve waited this long, might as well get them mailed off.”  I ran my credit card through and she asked to see it.  She tossed it back at me and it landed on the counter.  Wow.  Really?  We’re doing this?  This is happening?  I’m so going to fly over this counter at you cranky post office lady.  I looked up and saw a surveillance camera.  This changed my mind. 

“Sorry,” she said with the same scowl.  I took my stamps, walked over to a different counter and began sticking them on my envelopes.  Suddenly the bright red marker I used to address all of them didn’t seem so cheerful anymore.  As I worked on my cards, the post office lady said in a loud voice to the entire post office….

“IS ANYONE HERE WAITING FOR 64 CENT STAMPS?”  (Crickets…. total silence.)  I glanced around mortified and my face flushed.

“WELL, THIS GAL OVER HERE (points at me) SAYS I SHOULD MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THEM!”

I died a slow death as this woman embarrassed the supreme crap out of me.  Enraged, I turned around.  I waved my arms around and wiggled my hips, “YAH!  BECAUSE THEY’RE OUT!”

I shoved my envelopes into the mailbox, avoided any and all eye contact with the long line of customers and left the post office.  Merry Christmas to you too lady.  Merry Christmas indeed…

I swore that while traipsing across the parking lot I would be ambushed by cameras and people screaming, “You got punked!”  My eyes darted around the lot and saw no cameras.  I got in my car and just started laughing.  The past 40 minutes were something from an SNL skit that could appear on their Christmas special.  I called my mom and together we laughed so hard that I literally cried while describing what had just happened.  It’s times like these, where if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.  And if the story is really good, you’ll do both!

 

I’m Failing at Fall! September 25, 2011


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A midwest summer is something to experience.  It’s hot, humid, and even opressing at times.  The pools are packed, buttcheeks fall out of girls’ shorts, and foreheads are usually dripping with sweat.  Ok, so clearly I’m not a summer girl.  People shouted it throughout all of spring as the students at our school became restless.  “I am so ready for summer!” They’d yell in passing through the hallway.  “Don’t you just love summer?” my friends would ask as we baked on their decks drinking margaritas.  Of course I enjoy a warm summer night, but no.  I don’t LOVE summer.  My response to all of their “I love summer” chatter was often, “Yes, but I’m so ready for fall!” 

Leading up to fall I couldn’t wait to have the windows open to enjoy a cool breeze through the house.  I anxiously awaited the change in weather to bust out my leggings, tall boots, and comfy sweaters.  I wanted to meet my new students and teach them how to read and write for the very first time.  Finally, I wanted to fill our home with the warm smells of pumpkin bread and chocolate chip cookies baked from scratch to impress my hubbie.  “See?” I would say, “Fall even makes me a better wife!” 

Well, here we are.  Exactly 3 days into fabulous fall and 5 weeks away from Halloween.  I’m living it up right?  Not exactly…

The first day our temperatures dipped below 70 degrees I ran (literally sprinted) into our house after work and through open every damn window in the house.  Yes!  The crisp air whipped through every nook and cranny of our house and I was happy… up until the next morning.  I tightened up the blankets around my shoulders, shivering in the dark at 6:00 AM.  I stared at the 29 used tissues I had used and thrown next to the bed throughout the night.  I rubbed my itchy eyes and attempted to itch the back of my throat with my tongue (not easy.)  I made my way to our bathroom and flipped on the light.  Bloodshot eyes, raw nose, and purple bags above my cheeks only meant one thing: my fall allergies had arrived.  After frantically searching for a leftover allergy pill from last year’s stash, I slammed the windows shut and yelled, “Who’s God damned idea was it to open all of these windows anyway?!”  We’ve had them shut ever since.

My fall wardrobe has been in full force.  It has to be since it’s a balmy 42 degrees in the morning.  Last night I attended Octoberfest with some friends outside and froze my ass off.  It was a lot of fun, but my hands were jammed under my armpits for most of the night in attempt to stay warm.  “You should have worn a hooded sweatshirt,” my husband mused.  Ha!  And deprive myself of these wonderful leggings, tall boots, and beautiful brown and black scarf?  Yeah.  Right.  I froze while drinking my plastic mug full of beer and cringed at the people passing in laderhosen.  So much for the fall wardrobe excitement!

As for the kids who walked through my classroom door in August, they’re wonderful!  However my life is again consumed with tying shoelaces, endless nights creating lesson plans, early morning meetings, and cranky parent emails asking that I prepare materials for their child’s 5 day vacation in which he will be missing school.  Seriously?  I don’t recall going on a tropical vacation at 5!  I’m the one who needs a vacation here!  Me!!  What is happening here?

The yummy chocolate chip cookies did happen though!  Ok, so they were the kind that are already formed into squares.  But I had to put them on a real baking tray and preheat the oven.  Then… then, I had to set the timer and be sure they didn’t burn.  My husband smiled as he bit into the first cookie, so I’d say they were a success!  Today is when I was supposed to create a beautiful aroma of pumpkin bread spilling throughout the house.  I bought the bread pans at the store, checked off my ingredient list… and took a nap.  Damn.  It’s 6:00 and there’s no pumpkin bread.  The pans and recipe are lying on the countertop as if it were a graveyard for unfinished fall fun.  Oh well, there’s always next weekend.

I do LOVE fall!  I’ll just have to enjoy it from inside my sealed up house, while sitting in sweatpants on the couch writing lesson plans.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go throw another blanket on my lap, take my allergy medicine and write some fantastic lesson plans for the week.  Is it summer yet?

 

When did I become that mean neighbor lady? June 29, 2011


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Every neighborhood has one.  That grouchy lady who keeps to herself and scares the children on the block.  Nobody trick or treats at her house because she doesn’t leave her porch light on.  Groups of kids just walk on by her house on Halloween and swap stories about the awful things they’ve seen her do.  At Christmas time her house is the only one that’s not lit up with beautiful twinkling lights.  It looks as cold as the snow covering her yard.  Come summertime, she had better not catch you shooting off any fireworks or she’ll be calling the cops to end your fun.  Every block in America has one of these old bags…. who would have ever thought that at 26, it’d be me?

Ok, Ok, so kids do trick or treat at my house (mostly because I’m a teacher at the school they all attend) and we do put up Christmas lights.  I would never call the cops on kids shooting off fireworks.  But, I did become that bitchy old lady last week when a group of teenagers irritated the crap out of me… and someone had to put an end to it.

My hubbie and I had been eating dinner.  We heard kids yelling and being obnoxious out front but didn’t pay much attention to it.  We noticed out our window that about 5 kids were riding in a convertible down the street while standing up.  The driver would start and stop quickly hoping to make the passengers fall over (I’m sure the teens’ parents would have loved to see their children in what could have been a scene from a public service announcement about new drivers).  An hour later the crowd of about 12 continued to yell and be obnoxious out in the street in front of my house.  You have to understand where the frustration came from.  I was working on a paper that was due that week to complete my graduate program.  40 pages on “Motivation,” ironically enough, and I couldn’t seem to ever find the motivation to do it.  I had finally sat down (away from the TV, because apparently, I don’t do well with that) and those damn kids were distracting me. 

I watched them like a creepy old lady for about 15 minutes from my bedroom window.  2 boys were running around the group with their cell phones held up, trying to take pictures of the one female with them (obviously the object of their affection).  She had her forearms crossed over her chest, gripping her shoulders.  “We got a picture of you!” one boy yelled.  I had had enough.  Hours of this crap happening in my quiet, suburban neighborhood as I desperately tried to finish off my bitch of a paper.

I walked outside and fluffed the rug on the porch, pretending to have a purpose for being out front.  The kids, unphased, continued to fight to photograph the girl, while she chased them and kicked them.  A few got back into what I later found out was the girl’s car and would drive at the group until they all jumped out of the way or they jumped on top of the car (again, their parents would be happy to know that the money they spend on her cute blue convertible was so well appreciated).  I walked over to the driveway, planted my feet, crossed my arms, and gave the almighty teacher death stare that I have perfected over the past 3 years.  I frantically searched my brain for something to yell that would get them away from my house, but wouldn’t sound bitchy.  After all, I am half way to 50, not 50.  Nothing came to mind.  I just stared and seethed while I watched their shenanigans go on. 

Then, about 30 seconds into the stare, it happened.  One by one, the boys noticed me watching.  Could it have been my heavy breathing?  No, it was probably my red face.  Then again, it could have been the smoke coming out of my ears…. Whatever it was, it worked.  The first boy jabbed the boy to his right.  That boy poked the kid in front of him.  And suddenly.  Like magic.  They all stared right back at me.  It was a showdown.  One boy said, “Hey guys, let’s go inside or something.”  Yah, they all agreed, let’s go inside.  They scattered like a police bust at a college party.  I just stood there and watched them run into the house in fear.  No movement.  Just stood there.  Once every one of those little buggers had gone inside, I ran to the backyard to celebrate my victory with hubbie who was mowing the lawn.  I walked – no skipped, to him and couldn’t stop giggling.  “Oh my gosh!  You’ll never guess what just happened!  I just scared about a dozen teenagers away from our house without saying a word!”  Not as pleased with my victory, he continued mowing.  I ran into the house to call friends and share my story of becoming the neighborhood hag.  At least they shared my feelings of triumph! 

It was during one of those phone calls when my friend said it best, “You’re like Mabel!  I’m going to call you Mabel!”  So Mabel it is.  I’m that person on the street who’s not to be messed with.   Yes, I lost a little sleep that night, worried we’d be egged or TP’d.  But damn, it feels good to be a gangster.

 

Feeling Guilty About My Guilty Pleasure June 10, 2011


I was in a crazy rage the other night.  Literally, sweaty palms, shaking, flushed face, the works.  So what happened?  Someone cut me off on the road?  No.  The hubbie shrunk my favorite jeans?  No. Worse.  Much worse.   The TV.  Went.  Out.

Ok, ok, so most of you are now raising your eyebrows thinking I’m some gross slob who sits around and watches hours of TV with no life outside of the couch and the remote.  Not true.  But I do have this, what I now consider an obsession, with reality TV.  So imagine my surprise when mid-Real Housewives of New York, my TV screen goes blue (as if they purposely chose this depressing color to solidify the sadness of the news) delivers me a message on the screen: “Hello.  We’re restarting the hard drive.  Do not power down or restart.”  Ugh!  Seriously?!  This is a new episode!  What am I going to do with myself if I don’t know how the Ramona vs. Jill fight ends? 

It all started because of this crazy rain we were experiencing.  It had been pouring off and on all evening.  If there is ice, snow, or severely cold temperatures, DirecTV stands strong.  But if there is even a hint of rain, our satellite goes out.  It seems to shut down about 10 seconds before a heavy rainfall starts.  It is a nice little weather forecaster, but annoying as hell when you’re watching something as wonderful as The Real Housewives.  So there I was, typing up a paper that was due last week on my laptop, sipping a Diet Coke and 30 minutes into a special 75 minute episode of The Real Housewives of New York.  Then it happened.  The blue screen and that damn message.  I swallowed the Diet Coke that I had just poured into my mouth, slowly set the can down, closed my laptop, and stared at the TV.  I didn’t know what to do.  I paced back and forth in my living room trying to think of a solution.  The more I paced, the more angry I became.  I was sweating, nervous, and confused.  I started talking to myself, “How can we put a man on the moon, bring Internet through cell phones, and have a video conversation with someone on the other side of the world, but THE SATELLITE GOES OUT IF IT RAINS?!?!”  Seriously, our TV satellite people need to do some serious research on how to get the signal to go through, no matter the weather.  How does this happen? 

About 15 minutes later the signal came back, I watched the rest of the show, and was fine.  But I came to an important realization: I may be addicted to TV.  I work out regularly, eat right, and work hard 8-5, and am thisclose to getting my Master’s Degree.  Don’t I deserve some down time at night with Teen Mom, Millionaire Matchmaker, and Real Housewives?  Should I feel guilty about my guilty pleasure?

 

Wanted: Childless Couple Friends May 22, 2011


I feel like a liar.  I feel deceitful.  I had a birthday last week that makes my blog title no longer true.  However, I don’ t think calling my blog, “Halfway to 50… and then some,” sounds as catchy.  On Tuesday I entered Club 26 (ooo now that has a ring to it!)  I rang it in with my hubbie, a bottle of wine, a vodka shot, and a few unexpected surprises…. let me explain.

The weekend before my birthday the hubbie and I went to dinner downtown.  You know, one of those places with dim lights, long narrow menus, and tiny tables.  The waiter came over and poured my husband a small glass of wine.  I raised an eyebrow at the smidge of wine standing in his glass and anxiously waited for him to fill up my glass when I noticed something great happen.  My husband picked up his wine glass, swirled it around, smelled it, and took a sip.  He nodded to the waiter who proceeded to pour him a full glass and then fill up mine as well.  Oooo classy!  I smirked at my husband who so gracefully handled a situation that made me giggle.  Turns out his fancy job puts him in situations like this all the time so he knew exactly how to handle it.  That’s my oh so grown up man!  We wrapped up dinner and walked, well my husband walked and I stumbled, back to the car.  We hit 2 Redbox machines up on the way home (both were out of order) so we gave up. 

Tuesday night we went out to dinner again with another couple because, well, I’m not about to cook on my birthday.  We ordered a round of shots, which my girlfriend declined.  The waitress came back with a regular glass, not a shot glass, full of vodka for each of us.  “Sorry,” she said with a shrug, “we don’t have shot glasses.”  Gulp by gulp I took about the equivalent of 3 shots and continued with my dinner.  Hey, like 50 Cent says, party like it’s your birthday!  That’s when my girlfriend dropped the news on me.  “We’re expecting,” she said.  Surprisingly my eyes began to well up with tears.  I’m not a super emotional girl so this was big.  I pushed my husband out of the booth, forced her husband out as well, and hugged her.  On the way home I tried to picture her with a baby.  “Well, another one bites the dust,” I said to hubbie.  “One more couple we can’t call to meet at the bar on a Saturday night.”  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m so excited for them!  I love kids (I am a teacher after all; it’s not for the money) and I hope to have my own someday, but it’s getting tough to maintain couple friends without kids.  We’re holding tight to the ones we’ve got.  When the topic of babies comes up with them, I often try to make it sound like we’re discussing purchasing a snake. 

Childless couple friend:  When are you two thinking about having kids?

Me: Psh… (gulping a drink) Not for a while.

Childless couple friend: Really?

Me: Yes (taking another drink) I still have so many things I want to do.

Childless couple friend: Like what?

Me: Oh you know, travel, finish school… drink in a bar without paying $50 for a sitter.

Childless couple friend: Yeah… me too.

Haha!  Someday I’m going to laugh at my obnoxious self-centered thinking.  But until then, I’m going to sleep in, write papers until the wee hours of the night, change my plans at the last minute, and plan elaborate vacations.  Please don’t judge me.  Recognize that I just celebrated another birthday, receive news about friends being pregnant almost daily (thanks Facebook), and simply put, am just not ready.  Here’s to all the childless couples out there who are sitting around reading blogs on a Sunday night because there’s nothing else to do!

 

How Aunt Flo Almost Ruined My Graduation May 14, 2011


It has been awhile since my last post and all of my fans are demanding that I put out another hysterical post ASAP.  Well…. that may not be exactly true.  But my growing readership of 4 subscribers is probably going to abandon my fan club if I don’t deliver soon.

Tonight I’d like to explain how I learned one very important lesson a couple of weeks ago: Always, always, carry a purse.

I have been taking graduate level courses for the past 2 years to increase my teaching ability, benefit my students’ learning, and let’s be honest… beef up the paycheck.  I attended my graduation recently and quickly found out how necessary my purse truly is.  Because we had a rather high-profile commencement speaker, we were told through several frantic emails not to bring a bag to the ceremony.  With airport like security (minus the awkward pat down), bringing a bag would cause us extra time in line and frustration.  Knowing my own patience level, I decide that a purse wouldn’t be a good choice for myself, the security workers, or anyone standing next to me that day.  I bravely followed their guidance and left it at home.  The catch?  Like clockwork, whenever I have some sort of important event planned, I also had my period.

“It’s going to be fine,” I told myself.  My mom can carry some lady items (this is what I call tampons and pads, see previous post, “Tampons, Pads, and Condoms Oh My” for further explanation) in her purse and we can trade-off my supplies at some point during the day.  Done.  Little did I know that my family would be enclosed in a different building for most of the day prior to the ceremony due to security purposes.  I was left high and dry… well not exactly dry but I won’t go there.

Once I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to meet up with my mom, I went into straight up panic mode.  I gathered the support of my 2 friends to go in search of a lady item.  We had 2 hours to complete our mission… plenty of time, right?

At first I was reluctant to approach perfect strangers for help.  “Um, excuse me.  Do you have a lady item? ”  I felt stupid and embarrassed.  But after politely asking the only 5 girls in the building who broke the rules and brought a purse with them, we created a new plan.  Let’s get a quarter and I can just buy one.  “Hi, sorry to bother you but I need a quarter.”  This was usually followed with a shrug and cringe from me.  After asking about 15 people, one fabulous female reached into her clutch and handed me what I’d been looking for.  As she revealed the quarter and handed it to me I almost saw it happening in slow motion.  I even think that it glistened in the florescent lights of the arena.  I hugged her like she had just returned from serving in Iraq for a year and ran to the bathroom- wait, I think I skipped- no, I frolicked.  I proudly set the quarter into the slot, cranked the handle around (by the way, why do they make those damn machines so fricken loud?) and peered into the dispenser as if it were a Christmas stocking on December 25th.  My beaming smile quickly faded when I saw nothing.  I started cranking the wheel right, left, and then right again.  Nothing.  Shit.  Now what?  Half of the people in the arena are now aware that I need a lady item, yet none can help me.

I did what any 25-year-old girl would do.  I grabbed my friend’s smart phone and called mom.  Close to tears and with a shaky voice I said, “Mom, I don’t know what to do.  I need a lady item and the machines don’t work, nobody has a purse so they can’ t offer me one, and we have to line up pretty soon to walk into the ceremony.  I’ll never last 3 hours with what I’ve got.  HELP!”  We arranged to meet at a side door and perform a hand off.  I found out about this secret door after speaking with someone in charge.  It went something like this:

Me: “Hi, how do I meet up with my mom who is in the other building?”

Lady in charge: “You can’t.”

Me: “Welllll, what if it’s an emergency?”

Lady in charge: Sigh… “What’s the problem.”

Me: (At this point I had lost all pride and came out with it as if I were talking about a TV show I saw last night) “I need a lady item, desperately, and will NOT last for the 3 hour ceremony without it.  Machines are broken.”

Lady in charge: “You see that long hallway?  Go down there.  There are doors in either side of the garage door at the end of the tunnel.  They open into the next building.  But hurry, we’re starting soon.”

My mission was clear.  Get to the end of the tunnel, find the door, meet mom without being jumped by security, and perform a handoff.

I grabbed my friend by the arm and began pulling her down the tunnel explaining the plan.  The whole while I kept thinking a security guard would be throwing me against a wall at any given moment.  I carefully opened the door praying that an alarm wouldn’t go off, got the goods from my mom, ran to the restroom, and sprinted to my seat just in time for our final directions.  Now I know what it’s like to experience a drug deal.

Although this whole ordeal made me miserable for the first part of graduation day, things quickly turned around and I was able eo enjoy the ceremony.  We took pictures of my family and I with my diploma and had a lovely dinner that night.  Everything turned out fine.  My lesson in all this is simple.  Always carry a purse with you, no matter how harsh the warnings are against it.  Any security line would have been worth waiting in if it meant being better prepared for my bitchy Aunt Flo.