Bitch

Is there a magical age you reach in life where the unwarranted advice about how to live your life stops?

I’m almost 27, paid my way through college, moved out at 18, lived in several states and has never been or asked to be bailed out financially by my parents or anyone else for that matter. Thanks, I think I’ve got it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve smashed my face into the wall of life plenty of times but I eventually figure it out–problem solve.

Who else feels like the constant input from inside and outside sources does more damage than good? Not to say advice isn’t given without good intentions, but damn. If it were socially acceptable to scream SHUT IT as an adult, without being labeled as an immature jackass, I think I’d spend most my time screaming it.

When does advice become detrimental to the person receiving it? We all know there’s no such thing as a perfect person, but hotdog do people forget so easily.

I hate being corrected, but there is a time and place when it needs to happen. For example: I’m going into a meeting with a person from a big magazine and two seconds prior to that meeting I mispronounce the big wig’s last name. Yes, correct me.

I’m talking in a casual conversation around people I’m comfortable with and I switch up words, mistakenly, but you know I know what I meant and instead of allowing the conversation to continue, you interrupt to correct me.

Expect a donkey punch to your crack. Or at least know I’m imagining the event of giving you a swift kick in the ass. 

When did it become acceptable for a strong and independent woman to relish in the compliment of being a bitch?  Yes, there are exceptions.

(1) You are called one by a friend(s) you’ve known long enough that it won’t annoy you. I have two friends I wouldn’t immediately want to knock in the nose if they in passing called me a bitch, but I’ve also known them for 5+ years and have been through life moments with them. They are also the only two people I call friends. They’re my exception. 

Call me old fashion, but the word bitch means we’re about to fight.

(2) You call yourself a bitch in front of others and it sparks the conversation. I’m not going to flip my shit when I brought up the adjective myself. 

These are the only exceptions I can fathom allowing the word bitch to be used. Yet, I find myself being described as a bitch by all who come in contact with me.

But why? I couldn’t tell you. My only insight to the matter is because I don’t frolic in a flowerbed, chasing rainbows and walking around with a plastic smile 24/7.

I like football, getting sweaty and have a fondness for the swear word, fuck.

That must be it, I like the word fuck so I can’t be described as sweet. Silly Shannon, fuck is for bitches! 

Know it alls and one uppers. Aren’t you tired of trying to keep up? How do you suck wind in-between always rocking a messy bun as well and explaining the difference between mundane topics nobody asked for you to explain?

Do you just pass out at night exhausted from trying to keep up, or lay in bed thinking of scenarios you can respond to the next day…

How come when good people do asinine events, said asinine event is washed away because they’re a good person and didn’t mean it. But when somebody like me, cough bitch, does something stupid or insensitive, I’m expected to apologize.

Alex, I’ll take life is unfair [no shit] for $500.

How many readers assume I’m bashing my keys into oblivion while I write this? And envisioning my face red with anger while steam comes out of all orifices on my face.

Live your own life people, stop pointing at the human currently feeling like she’s living in a fish bowl.

Currently: [[wanting tamales]] [[watching dateline]]  & [[wondering if this post could be made into a standup routine]]

 

 

 

 

Unemployment Diaries: California Edition Part VII

After one week I landed my first interview. I was excited to have at least one hit on an application and spoke with HR to set up a time and date to interview.

Before I responded to the offer, I looked them up online and did some research. I suggest all future applicants of any kind check out the magic world of Google and Glassdoor. I inspected its website and social media pages as well. It seemed legit. I even dug further to make sure I wasn’t pulling just the top posts that made them look reputable.

All good.

The only issue I found was nowhere did it explain exactly what the company’s function was and what brands it collaborated with. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least go through the interview process to see what came out of it, plus, there’s no harm in practicing your interview skills.

I booked the interview.

A few hours later the pit of my stomach told me to continue searching, because there wouldn’t be any harm in being more informed. And I’m glad I did.

The company has affiliates all over the country, so the reviews I had read and dug through weren’t for the specific location I had landed. When I noticed my error I Glassdoor-ed its specific location in Orange County and realized far more negative reviews than positive.

“They promise you a chance to move up in position, but instead keep you in a low hourly wage position. They have a high turnover rate.”

“I was hired as the marketing coordinator under the impression I would be working on campaigns, but I ended up selling products in Costco at a booth.”

“It’s all a lie.”

“If you want to work in grocery stores at a booth all over Orange County and never get reimbursed for gas, this is the job for you.”

Needless to say my heart sank well into my stomach.

I had already agreed to come in for an interview and kept in mind, if anything this would be for practice.

I spoke to family, explained the situation and how it angered me a company thought it was ethical to imply it was a marketing job, when actually it seemed like a sales position. I went over questions I would ask to see if the reviews had been true, and told the Hubs numerous times I wouldn’t be suckered in, I wouldn’t take another waitressing job with a different title.

My mother-in-law scouted the Internet for additional job listings and emailed links to apply. I spent the next two-isn hours applying to as many jobs my fingers would allow before cramping. I will find an honest job.

***

I got to the offices an hour early. I wasn’t too nervous, but more anxious to see what would be said about the company. When I walked into the lobby it was filled with older men wearing suits, all filling out an application on a standard clipboard. This could be a good sign, right? 

I figured I would be waiting for quite some time because of the number of people ahead of me in the waiting area, and was surprised to hear my name called 10 minutes later.

A lady escorted me to her office and closed the door, and with any conversation it started out with regular chitchat. I explained what type of position I was looking for, why I was interested in communication and how I ended up in California. I mentioned I wasn’t too sure what the company provided for its clients and if she could elaborate both the position I was interviewing for, and the company’s mission.

This is where it went wonky.

She explained because of weird California laws she wasn’t permitted to discuss the business aspect of the company on its website. I think because she knew I was new to the area, this would make sense to me, because what would I know about California? 

They worked for small brands trying to make an impact in the consumer world and promoted products at different events. She continued the conversation about what her job description was and her daily roles. That she needed help managing the 40+ events she manages daily.

I was taught to listen and observe while attending journalism school, and I noticed she never actually answered my question. So I asked again, using different terminology. And again, she circled back to what is expected of her in the business, this time including “big marketing words” to sell the company’s mission. She was trying to sell me the job. 

After she finished, I asked again what exactly my daily function would be in this office. And again, she circled back to her job description and the company’s mission.

By this point I was almost certain I would end up at a booth in Costco selling vegan corn chips to busy shoppers who didn’t want to be bothered.*

 I finally asked, “Would you be putting me in a Costco to sell these products on a regular basis. I have read some reviews about this company and would like to know if these are true, because that isn’t something I would be interested in.”

She didn’t appreciate my question.

“Well, I can’t just hire you into an executive role without proper training. We can discuss your role further at another time.”

And with that she stood up, extended her hand, thanked me for coming in and showed me the door. I held in my fits of giggle until I had left the lobby doors. I wasn’t even upset; I was liberated.

I almost wet myself replaying the interview in my head and especially enjoyed the executive position remark. I mean, when did I imply I wanted to be hired as a top dog? I asked multiple times what my daily duties were, and she couldn’t give me an answer without patting herself on the back, or speaking about how wonderful of a service they do for their brands and business partners.

I was polite, I let her finish her rambles, I smiled and asked questions (which heads-up, you’re allowed to do!). She realized she wasn’t the smartest person in the room, and I wasn’t falling for her sale’s pitch, so she dismissed me. I cried laughing the entire drive home.

***

After I got home, I called immediate family and relived the bazaar interview over and over again. I was pleased I hadn’t allowed her to distract or circle talk me away from my original, perfectly understandable, questions. And I felt validated everyone agreed.

I didn’t barge in to the interview demanding high wages. I didn’t feel I acted like I was above any job because I had my bachelors. And most importantly, I didn’t imply I was desperate for employment. Plus, I learned a little something to watch out for in future interviews.

It took about two hours to inform my family before I sat down at the computer to check out more job listings. I wanted to check my emails first, not that I was expecting a second interview. Sitting at the top of my inbox was an offer from a nonprofit to schedule an interview.

I responded quickly and crossed my fingers it wold be better than the last.

Blast From The Past

Music can act as a lyrical scrapbook. A few beginning notes from an oldie but goodie can snap your subconscious right from the present and into the past.

I can’t be the only one this happen to, right? I’ve been listening more and more to my old mix CD’s because the crap on the radio kills my buzz, usually. So, my movie flashbacks have been happening frequently. One second I’m on the way to Target and in the next beat, I have time traveled to 15-year-old Shannon or 10-year-old Shannon jamming in her mother’s car or bedroom.

I realized I’ve got quite a history with music.

Rusted Root – Send Me On My Way

I suppose this would be considered my first “break up” song. I was 15 and driving with my mom in the family’s blue Nissan Quest. Call it mother’s intuition or the unusual deafening silence in the car from her usual chatty teenager; she leaned over to me and said, “want to know what cheers me up?” She took out a cassette tape and popped it into the stereo.

After it was over I asked if we could listen to it again. And we probably listened to that song once a day for two straight weeks. Ironically when I hear it during reruns of Matilda or on the radio I smile. It reminds me of my mom cheering me up, not the asshole I had dated ;).

Beck – Loser

When I was younger I had no control over the radio, understandably. Us kids already controlled the TV with the infinitive reruns of Greese or favorite cartoons. The radio was off limits.

My mom had Beck’s new album on tape and would CONSTANTLY play this song, as pay back for how many times she had to listen to Greese in the background I’m sure. Nonetheless I couldn’t stand the song and begged for her to change it.

In those days there wasn’t a “next” button, you had to push and hold the fast forward button to “skip” through tracks. It wasn’t worth hassle so I never got my wish. When it comes on the radio I blast it, laughing to myself while I sing because I remember all the lyrics. But how could I not?

Eminem – The Real Slim Shady / The Way I Am

Let’s back up to the year 2000. I was 10-years-old and watching the MTV Music Awards. This was back when it actually was all about the music. Ahh Carson Daly and Sway. 

I remember sitting in front of the TV in awe of this dude and thinking his bleached hair was so cool, haha. The hundreds of lookalikes, the entrance, the beat, everything. It’s the first time I remember hearing rap and I have been hooked ever since. I’m also pretty sure I’d have his love child, already pre-approved by the Hubs, lol.

Jimmy Buffet – Margaritaville

My Dad and I would sit together in the living room and sing this song as a duet. It was guaranteed each time the glorious karaoke machine came out from its hiding place. I happily sang the backup vocals part. This is more significant if you know who my father is. Hint: he enjoyed eating potential boyfriends for breakfast and most of my friends don’t even know what he sounds like.

O.A.R. – Crazy Game Of Poker 

First, love this song and all their others. When I hear this jam I’m instantly in the crowd at St. Augustine Amphitheater, with my pals, doing my happy jig watching them in concert.

I had just met Matt, my then friend now husband. Matt’s roommate at the barracks begged to put in the O.A.R. CD every time we hopped in Matt’s Explorer and this was the pairs favorite jam song off the CD. When I went to the concert I called Matt on my FLIP PHONE and left it open so he could hear it live.

I was singing, he was singing, we all were singing. Good times.

Beyonce – Baby Boy

I would like everyone to keep in mind I was a freshman in high school when this next blurb happened.

Beyonce had newly released Dangerously In Love and I had put the new album on my MP3 player. I’m pretty sure I ripped the album from BearShare. Napster had been put on the fritz and LimeWire wasn’t a thing yet.

I’m stalling.

I was on a bus with the marching band on the way to a football game. It came on and I sang it to my bus buddy (the person you share a seat with, so scandalous back then!). Who also happened to be the guy I was crushing on. I SANG IT OUT LOUD WITH EYE CONTACT. I can’t hear the song today without cringing.

During my blast from the past music reminiscing, I still wouldn’t let YouTube load long enough to play the first few notes. I JUST CAN’T DO IT CAPTAIN, I JUST CAN’T DO IT!

The Fray – How To Save A Life

I had a really good friend in high school that I would do anything for, and more often than not I ended up it shotty situations trying to save his butt.

There’s a painful moment when I was out on the front lawn, crouched down bawling, watching the paramedics and firetrucks rush to his house. He had overdosed on pain pills and they were trying to save his life.

He was a good dude that made a lot of crappy decisions. It took me a long time to realize I couldn’t help him because I didn’t understand he had to want the help, I couldn’t force it. I kept this song close for a long time.

Journey – Faithfully 

Sigh, another heartbreaker. Long story short I broke up with my boyfriend (now husband) because I didn’t think we had known each other long enough to handle a deployment. I secretly sang this song while driving to work, to class and between running errands.

I couldn’t admit to anyone I had regretted my decision, so I could only express my regret through obsessively singing this tune. Now, I happily belt it out when ever it pops up during shuffle.

Florence And The Machine – Dog Days Are Over 

I was gearing up to welcome the mentioned-above-boyfriend home from his deployment. I was living roommate-less, hallelujah, in a tiny one bedroom apartment with my pup, Bella.

The song was fitting and I spent the better part of many nights jumping around the house dancing with my pup.

Journey – Don’t Stop Believing 

I don’t think this song can play and I not pretend I’m on a stage singing in front of a crowd.

I was 18 and it was summer. I had just moved out of my parents house and this was the summer’s anthem within my tribe of friends. We’d go to the same bar/pool joint and pay to hear this song on the jukebox. And then proceed to sing it to each other, loudly.

I don’t know. I think it’s a safe assumption every group of friends has a jam song they belt out to each other – sober or not.

And Finally:

Aladdin – A Whole New World

At my first apartments I made friends with my neighbors. The patio on the second floor was huge and connected four apartments. The guys that were caddy-corner to my house became additional roomies. Me and my roomie were either at their place or vise versa.

They would have frequent parties and when Wilma (Will) and I got to feelin’ good we’d do a duet for the rest of the crew. Always pretty hilarious, people thought we were ridiculous and it added to our drunken slumber. Good times.

I could go on and on but I won’t.

As I go through the constant-applying-for-jobs-hopeful-post-graduate-expierence with a mix of binging Netflix, the music has helped me deal with the inevitable and frequent rejections emails.

I couldn’t imagine a life without music.

Aww-Jammit

Per a sporadic conversation last night with my husband about a documentary we watched on Netflix. The conversation was about controversial topics and what our own personal opinions were. I brought up the Kellogg’s PB&J Aww Jammit commercial that was aired before Superbowl Sunday in February.

My husband didn’t believe me when I told him it had caused such a hubbub online. I brought up Kellogg’s Facebook page and found the commercial post that can be found here. I began to read the comments out loud and I must say, if you ever want a good laugh, head on over and make sure to read them OUT LOUD.

The number one complaint I found from consumers through comments was the notion the nurse had eaten a baby. Second, that it promoted cannibalism and thirdly, it was wrong to craft such an advertisement that is geared toward children.

I find it hard to connect an animated poptart that is drawn on paper and jump to Kellogg’s murdered a baby. That is a huge leap and frankly a bit dramatic. You can’t murder something that isn’t real nor living.

Second, cannibalism is defined by merrian-webster as a ritualistic eating of human flesh by another human, or the eating of flesh of an animal by the same animal. So by definition the human nurse who is assumed to have eaten the baby poptart cannot be used as an example of cannibalism, humans are supposed to eat poptarts.

Thirdly, yes the poptart is a baby and the commercial is geared toward children, so why is it acceptable to promote such behavior to a child? Easy, kids thoughts are very singular and wouldn’t see the problem unless an adult prompts them to think otherwise. Children know that poptarts are supposed to be eaten for breakfast as a tasty treat.

The first thing my husband said after I read through some of the nasty baby murdering comments, was that this is what Kellogg’s wanted. The company wants people to talk about their brand and as said before in a previous post what is really deemed bad PR?

Is there a line brands shouldn’t cross? Well, personally I hardly think an animated poptart being eaten (the way it should be) should cause so much of a stir. Then again, people were up in arms about the bi-racial couple in the Cheerio’s commercial and their daughter. So who knows what people are thinking.

In conclusion I don’t think you can make a line between good and bad PR, because everybody is different and have different triggers. So though this commercial doesn’t upset some, but it obviously upsets others.

I guess the only thing you can do is not intentionally cross any true controversial or disturbing line.

Coming Home

Vacation is officially over, I was back on the road again and how depressing it was. I didn’t want to leave, man oh man I didn’t want to leave, but as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end, one way or another.

Hotel Livin'
Hotel Livin’
Hanging out in our big bed not wanting to leave
Hanging out in our big bed not wanting to leave
She's a person, I swear
She’s a person, I swear

So we packed up our belongings, sadly crammed them into the car, fed the puppies and let them wander around one last time in the patch of grass behind the hotel. We got our complementary breakfast one last time, omelets from the omelet man, and headed off to tackle the 11 hour drive we had ahead of us.

I took a few last gasps of Colorado mountain air and snapped a few desperate photos of the mountains, merely to symbolize our last morning with the mountains on our side.

A very sad morning indeed, not just because the trip was over, but because I would no longer be able to wake up next to my husband and share a cup coffee with breakfast including him. Since the day we met our schedules have been opposite, so the few times in our relationship where we can start and finish the day together are important.

I’m not sure why I thought this drive was only 9 hours, maybe because that’s how long it took to get to Florida from Virginia, but this trip was definitely almost 11 hours, my poor puppies and numb rump.

The first 5 hours of the trip were easy, we passed the time with two favorite car games, one being The Animal game – my personal favorite and the other, The Alphabet game – Matt’s personal favorite.

The Animal Game is easy, and can be played in line at theme parks or 11 hour car drives. You start with ‘A’ and name as many animals starting with the letter ‘A’ and you continue throughout the alphabet all the way to ‘Z.’ When somebody is out of animals (usually if only two people are playing) the other person has to name one more animal with that letter to win the letter, the loser has to start off the next letter. If you have more people in the group, the harder it is and instead of having to win the round the loser is out, until a winner is left.

The Alphabet Game is eerily best played with two people. One person starts at the beginning of the Alphabet and the other at the end. Using each letter to find a word, outside of the car beginning with their letter, whoever gets to the other end first wins, and as beginners luck has it, I won.

We finally hit Texas a bit after our games ended, and I was surprised to find myself excited to see this flat dry and dead hunk of lump state. A little more than 5 hours to go until home, hallelujah.

Hello, Texas ...
Hello, Texas …
They're so cute sometimes :] but obviously, over the trip
They’re so cute sometimes :] but obviously, over the trip

As we got closer, about 10 minutes from the house, we encountered the insufferable road blockage due to construction,. This lead us on a detour in the opposite direction we were trying to head towards and cut us through the little town of Krum, adding an extra 15 minutes to our arrival, woof.

Coming home is always a nice breathe of fresh air, especially when the house is already clean. Home safe and sound and already planning our next adventure. Until next time, stay weird Texas.

Truckin’ Up To Buffalo

Is it safe to say that we, as human beings, have an overwhelming urge to fit in or feel like we belong to something? Set aside the notion of it being corny and think about it. What defines you as a person? Is it your culture, religion and family? Are you apart of a team or nostalgic about where you were raised? What is it?

78a48737096afc9efe56b310147da5b3I was born and semi-raised in Buffalo, New York. My memories of winter being my fondest, building igloos in the feet of snow we were destined to get each year and never knowing what you were for Halloween, because it was too cold to matter, everyone was double layered by the end of October anyways. My husband actually tells people I’m Canadian and that he suspects I married him for the green card.

I always felt like I belonged in Buffalo, maybe it’s because I was still young and didn’t know what it felt like to be the new girl yet again. It was my only home and I didn’t know what it meant to be anywhere else.

When I was in the fourth grade my family moved me closer to New York City. We lived in a small town called Walden. We had a town square, that mostly consisted of a library and elementary school. There were no Walmarts, but instead local grocery stores like ShopRite and Thruway.

I had made my best friends again, learned what it meant to have best friends and got my cootie shots here. I was still an outsider though. I wasn’t born in this small town and my family wasn’t tied to the local hairdresser, mechanic or family doctor. I said pop instead of soda and talked with an accent.

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When I was in eighth grade we moved again. This time, a lot farther and a little hotter. I started high school in Jacksonville, Florida and thankfully, finished it there too.

Who even knows who they are in high school, or what it means to find yourself. We all thought we knew what was up, swore we had a clue, and couldn’t be told any different. It was never the case and high school was weird.

I moved again when I was 22, with my new husband to Virginia Beach, Virginia. The first time a huge move would be made without my family. I had a new one now that consisted of only one dog at that time and a husband. I was nervous and excited at the same time.

I met two of the greatest people in Virginia, and unfortunately, true to fashion, I had to say goodbye to them a little over a year later. The Hubs wasn’t going to re-enlist and we wanted a change. Virginia smelled of sea water and he had been stuck on a boat long enough.

Ever since that move, a little piece of me never truly recovered, my husband included. He misses the ocean and being on a coast. I miss my friends and feeling like I belonged. I had people I could confide in, ladies need ladies night with plenty of wine. I can’t always lean on the hubby, Zeus knows he needs a break.

We landed in Denton, Texas in 2013. I am currently finishing up my under-grad degree and planning my escape of this flat-tornado filled-hotter than hades- state the sooner the better.

There are days I want to run home and scream, but I don’t know where home is. I listen to people talk about childhood friends, how the neighborhood has changed since they were kids, the gossip that ensues with people who have known each other for entirely too long, and I don’t have that. Will I ever? 

I’ve had an overwhelming feeling that I wouldn’t feel complete unless I moved back to Buffalo and gave it another try. Easier said than done, my husband is from Southern California, that adjust might kill him, Virginia almost did.

How do you deal with emotions that never really get resolved, even after long nights of brainstorming it? Do you push them aside and bottle them up, or rant and rave to yourself late at night, when everyone is asleep? Is it the curse of overthinking or does it mean something deeper? Tell me.

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Farewell Joni

There’s a scary reality that all living things face – death and its finality.

At night, when you nestle your head into that pillow or each morning when you pull out of the driveway, it never feels like it may be the last time you do it. You expect to see your home again, wake up from your slumber and return to doing the same routine things you do every day, the same way you have for years.

It’s never intended to be the very last time you grab your keys, slip underneath the covers or check the rearview mirror while leaving.

I got a frantic phone call this morning, in the wee hours before the sun was up. I usually go into work at 7 a.m. so I was shocked to see “Worrrrrrrrkkkkkkk” popping up on my phone. My immediate thought is “Sheet, I’m late!”

“Hey – it’s Wayne, there’s an emergency. I don’t have any openers and I’ve tried calling the other 7o’clock servers but have gotten no answer. I need you to come in early, I’ll explain then, please, I’m sorry for waking you up, but I need you.”

While I was still not sure if I was dreaming or not, I mumbled “of course.” I rolled out of bed and stumbled through the dark halls trying to find the back door. My dogs knew I was up and expected me to let them out and then feed them. I cursed whoever it was that caused me to be woken early.

My shoes were the last thing I needed to find and as I searched I began to register the voice of my frantic, breathless and somewhat desperate tone of voice my manager had so early in the morning. I tend to go straight to worse case scenario, a trait I swore I wouldn’t receive from my mother, and I hardly will say them out-loud.

Although I wouldn’t say it or let myself to think it, I had a horrible feeling and knew something bad had happened. The thought sat in the back of my mind, hiding somewhere behind my eyes, holding its breath waiting for someone to confirm its truth.

Finally, I made it to the front door of my workplace. As I stumbled into into the building, I realized I looked like I had indeed just rolled out of bed. My apron was untied and hanging from my neck, my shirt was buttoned but I missed one, in one hand my belt and the other a grapefruit.

My fear got the best of me as I headed towards the back of the restaurant and into the kitchen. Who wasn’t here? What’s going on?

“Oh, thank God,” I said. ” I thought something happened to you. Where’s Joni?”

“She called in, she went out last night with some friends to celebrate it being Friday. I think she had a little too much fun.”

Well, damn. I got a breathless manager calling me in early to cover, sounding frantic and encouraging my worrisome-self to imagine the worst. I had began to thought they had gotten into an accident that morning. They drive together some mornings and in Texas the highways aren’t lit through the long patches between cities, anything can jump out and derail you.

As I knocked on the office door to get my manager to swipe me in for duty, I looked into his eyes to see if they would deceive his calm demeanor. “Help me set up the store,” he said. “I’ll tell you later, just please help me.”

I stumbled down the server isle, into the refrigerator walk-in and around and back through dry storage. I gathered containers for ice and lemons, sugar to sweeten the tea and labels for the perishable items. All awhile imagining the conversation I would have with Joni the next day at work.

“Joni bologna, you know you got me in here two hours early because of your old partying bee-hind.”

I imagined what she would say also.

“I know that’s not you talkin’ to me like that! I know you know you can kiss my A double S!”

We’d laugh and she’d probably reach out to smack my butt. I’d respond with my usual, “harder” and the normal banter between us would ensue the rest of the day.

Before I knew it, my fellow opener, friend and co-worker was being called into the office. “I’ll speak to you next.”

I made myself busy for a few minutes, pouring myself a cup of coffee and stirring the right amount of sugars so It would make the color a nice caramel shade. I starred at the office window wondering if I should peek in, knowing I would know what was occurring the second I saw her face.

I peered into the window and saw tears streaming down her face and still I didn’t believe it.

It’s my turn now and as I walk into the office I crack a joke about how hot it is. “Yes Wayne, it’s hotter than Hades in here, can’t you just enjoy the cooler winter months temperatures?” With his back to me, he replies with a smart mouth joke. In the same second, he turns and looks at me with a look that can only described as regret. What ever he had to tell me, he didn’t want to.

“Joni’s sister called me this morning, there was an accident last night-early this morning and we’re not entirely sure what happened.”  He paused for a bit and then said, “she didn’t make it.”

I sat there bewildered with the truth finally showing its ugly face. I picked at the laminated calendar on the desk and fidgeted in the wheeled chair for what seemed like forever before I could simply say, “okay.”

I got up, headed towards the door and said I’d watch out for my fellow co-worker. They were close friends. I opened the door and went straight for my friend, gave her a hug and told her it wasn’t her fault and she couldn’t of prevented it.

I was a shoulder for each co-worker today, for anybody who wanted it. My shoulder was soaked with tears as they shuddered in my arms while bellowing out their sorrow and sadness. All I could do was stand there, they needed a shoulder and I wanted to be that rock for them.

I can’t remember a time in the long 8-years of serving that the back of house was silent. There was no obscenities being thrown around, or jokes being told. The grill cooks weren’t screaming for servers or vise versa. Nobody knew what to say to each other. They came into work that morning to do a job, and there were plenty of guests that needed our attention.

I came home and went to my rock, my husband. While I laid on the couch voiceless, he let me. After a substantial amount of time, he reached for my hand and asked if I would go outside with him. When I couldn’t find the words, he just nodded and said, “I know.”

Life is such a beautiful thing and it’s a shame when somebody has to die to remind you. There won’t be anymore tomorrows for my friend Joni, so make the best out of yours while you still can. Life is beautiful and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

I will miss your cackles every weekend that accompanied your crude banter. You always talked about how much you missed your mom, at least we can all find comfort in knowing you’re finally with her again. Rest in peace.

It’s In A List; Must Be Right

You know what really grinds my gears? Yes, that is a Family Guy pun.

List articles.

Especially the ones giving people relationship “advice.”

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I was perusing my newsfeeds on different social media platforms, when I saw the same article type being re-shared, over and over. The first couple of times you see something that’s being re-shared, you don’t always click to find out what the hubbub is all about – at least I don’t.

But then, it’s like you can’t take it anymore. You have to find out why everybody is re-sharing the same crap. So ya click and find out. Well that’s what happened with me and some relationship advice article. I know you’ve seen them. They usually have a title like, “How to know your relationship is doomed,” or ” Ten signs it is OVER.”

Woof.

I guess I should note that the same chick kept re-sharing the same type of articles over and over again. Kind of wanted to tell her to cool it, that we get it, and we’re sorry you’re going through this hard time. I just wish people wouldn’t air so much dirty laundry on their social media accounts. So I find it hard to be sympathetic.

Anyways, I read the article that was titled something like the latter and almost laughed myself silly. Sent the link to my husband and said, “I guess this means we’re doomed.”

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 We had a good laugh.

Have you ever Googled “How to tell your relationship is over” before? If not, you should, there are plenty of people there to tell you how your relationship should be. If that’s not a red flag than you were doomed before you read the articles.

My favorite one was from Cosmopolitan. “What your sleep position says about your relationship.” Great, now I have to worry about the way I sleep.

Another list article said if we don’t hold each other while we sleep it means there is tension is the relationship. Wait what? Does the weather account for any of this? How about the fact I’m always hot and need the house freezing to go to bed, otherwise I wake up sweating. What about it’s just not comfortable to have an arm behind my neck, my hair shoved in his face and his arm dead from the pressure? Do any of those matter?

Nah, probably not.

Another one said, “If you don’t like to listen while they talk.” Pfft. you think my husband listens to everything I say or vise versa? No. Does that mean were doomed? Hardly.

Relationships go up and down. You have rough times, times where you want to kill them, imagine what life would be like without them, and you might even play the what if game, who knows. Who cares. It’s your business. Especially if you are married, having a boyfriend may be different, and how you handle those water, maybe not. It depends on you.

I got married young, I question my decision sometimes, who wouldn’t? Thats a huge decision.

The point is, how about we stop allowing others what to dictate in our personal lives? Nobody has the same path, potion, equation or algorithm to get themselves through life. So why listen to people who want to create click bait?

Wake up people, life knows no boundaries!

Have you debunked a list article? Let me see it. It’s fun to use sarcasm, isn’t it?