Saturday, January 15, 2011

There's no place like home. Anywhere else, it's a crapshoot.

I realize I have been doing a lot of reminiscent posts as of late, so I've decided to have a throw back extravaganza! One post every week until I either run out, which is not likely, or tire of them and move onto something bigger and better. I have a few in mind, and the one I think I'll start it off with begins now. I hope you'll get a tickle out of my brush with royalty;)

  Crap. Crap of a town. Hellhole. God forsaken crap of a My mom came up with the hellhole part; the more creative names I've thought up for it, well, I would be embarrassed to write it here. But you get the general concept. The hellhole I am referring to, is the town my family and I moved to. When I tell other people where I currently am residing, they are unable to hide their pitying or disgusted expressions. I don't really blame them. It is a small city, therefore its the small town mentality for most. Something unique though about the culture, is that its as if they are in denial or subconsciously resist settling into stereotypes (only speaking for some, there are plenty of camo-wearing toothless folk to be seen). Again I'm only speaking from what I've seen, but most of the younger generation seems to think they're all trendsetting, musical models that are professionals at being cool. These fashionistas are highlighted, lacquered, and fake baked to perfection which was the exact opposite of my expectations, so needless to say I was shocked. I did my best at settling into the new town, or so I told myself. My first order of business was to find a job, so off I went in search of my new career.

Well that was disappointing. After trudging around the mall and around town in my best Anne Taylor Loft suit jacket, Banana Republic jeans and laboriously straightened hair, handing out resumes left and right and being tiresomely polite and professional. I only got one call back! One call back, are you freakin kidding me?! And Victoria's Secret of all places? I don't even fit in their bras and certainly can't afford the panties there, even with the discount. Stupid. My first meeting at Vickies was kind of overwhelming because there were like 60 people that worked there, and everyone was best friends and then there was I was a little fatter at the time than I really wanted to be (confession: that's all the time, but more so than normal in this particular instance), from a different city and wearing an unflattering orange shirt. Looking back I looked really dumb. When the meeting was finished a couple of girls asked me if I wanted to go to a club with them and a bunch of other people. I will say that's totally not my scene, but anxious to fit in and actually have friends I accepted eagerly. They said my uncomely attire was fine for "going out" so I assumed they were telling me the truth. I didn't know my way around town, so stupidly I decided to ride with them.

WARNING: If you ride with strangers, you're an idiot. Always take your own car or have a back up ride just in case, even if you think you know someone pretty well.

We ended up at Latin Vibe, a gay bar. Hmm. As I previously mentioned I don't really go out much and here I am at this gay club with a bunch of slutty girls from Vickies to see a drag queen show of all things. I just wasn't really prepared for the whole scenario. There were porn pictures on the walls, women hitting on us, and all the girls I knew were completely sloshed. I felt completely out of my element and I knew because I wasn't really interested in anything that was happening, like the mundane topics that they were discussing, the girls I was with thought I was a total boring/prude/freak person. There may be some truth to that but still, no one particularly enjoys being with people that plainly think that about you. When the drag queens came out, lip syncing to Brittany Spears and Liza Minnelli, I was officially over stimulated. I couldn't even enjoy the show because the whole time I was trying to figure out how this guy over there tucked his junk into those tiny shorts, or that guy over there totally has a better woman's body than I do. That's irritating. The worst part was when every one made their way out to the dance floor. I am an absolutely TERRIBLE dancer, and it's painful to watch. I always look obviously self-conscious. The entire time I had gay guys grinding on me and girls of all kinds pushing me to let loose and dance like them, which would be impossible. I couldn't get my ride to leave until 2:30am so by the time I made it home my clothes were beer stained and I was exhausted. Such a disastrous night.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Some call it retail, I call it purgatory.

My New Years resolution, aside from being mistaken for Angelina Jolie (it happened once already, don't be jealous bitches), is to blog every week if I can help it. So here I am, on January 9th, still keeping it. I'd call it a good start to the year. Of course we can't ring in the New Year (my other post was technically written in December just not published then, so I can still say that) without a new post.

I told you I nanny, which is true, but in order to make ends meet, I also work in the fabulous world that is retail. Okay that last statement is false, because it's not fabulous in real life. I love people and customer service, but retail is just stupid. Your manager's act like you are curing cancer instead of selling clothes, if you don't sell credit cards you suck at life, and if you do sell cards then you're the manager's best friend, and your fellow sales associates only look at you as competition to be annihilated. If something isn't on sale, then customers chew you out like YOU are personally trying to ruin their lives AND steal food from their children's hungry stomachs. The guy you saw on America's Most Wanted creeps into the store and undress's you with his eyes, and you still have to help him for an hour. Best of all, some woman demands for your help and you end up being her personal shopper, all the while being patronized and talked down to like she's in a whole 'nother class than you are. All for minimum wage. Goody.

It's not always that bad, but those are the kind of common occurrences that make you hate your job, and in some people's cases, make you bitter. This time of year it's like the plague of every human disease possible to man, being spread around to every person repeatedly. One night, dreading the fact that I would have to work the next morning, a genius idea occurred to me. I would call in sick! Oh my gosh, genius! Why hadn't I thought of it before? I immediately called the store, relating my story about the stomach flu, blah blah, throwing up all evening, blah blah. They seemed to buy it and said they would look for a replacement for my shift and call me back in a bit. I felt kind of jittery, and maybe a little bit guilt ridden, but I tried to shake it off, looking forward to not having to face my dead end job the next day. They didn't call that night, so I assumed they would call me the next morning, before I was actually supposed to be there. I clicked off my bed-side lamp, and turned in for a night of restless sleep and stress dreams.

The next morning, still no call. I had to be in at nine and that time was rapidly approaching. I tried to call, but no one answered and I don't have anyone's person cell numbers. Gosh dammit, what was I going to do?! I couldn't just not go in right? So I went, hoping there had been some misunderstanding, ("Oh my gosh, didn't Frank call you? I totally thought he had! You poor thing, go home and get some rest.") and that I would just be sent home to drink in the freedom. When I did get there the first thing I had found out was that they hadn't planned on me coming in, and the second was that they have zero sympathy for sick workers, so since I had shown up, I was going to have to work. Great. Now I would have to act sick enough that they would believe me, but nice enough that I wouldn't get fired. I did, or at least tried, but acting has never been my strong suit, so the whole day I was paranoid they knew, and miserable with guilt/still hoping I'd get sent home early.

I didn't. I did however, end up having a terrible migraine and some stomach cramps, probably just psychosomatic, but bad all the same. I was blatantly dishonest, said I was sick when I wasn't, and I paid for it by still having to work. My friends got a good laugh out of it, but it had been a terrible day and the bad part was, I totally deserved it. I have since put in my two weeks and am looking forward to the day I walk out and don't look back, knowing I'm rid of the place. I will definitely think twice before trying to lie my way out of a situation. It always comes back to bite you in the rear.


Friday, January 7, 2011

When you neglect kindness to others, sometimes they die.

I'm sorry its been so long since I blogged last, much too long in my opinion. My apologies, but my last month or so has been a constant state of havoc (Future blogging material? I think so.) therefore, I have a) not had the time and b) there were no creative juices flowing. Plus, I've been sleeping a lot so that pretty much takes up my extra time that could and should be spent writing. I'm sorry for being a selfish cow.

My story for you today goes back about a year ago, when I was going to school on a tropical island. That was kind of an amazing sentence, and makes me hate my life all the more as I experience the dreadful time of mourning others refer to as "winter". I'm sorry I'm in such a pissy mood right now, but seeing as I haven't eaten lunch yet...well that is pretty self explanatory. I've been apologizing a lot already in this post and promise to not be such a downer for the remainder. You're welcome.

So anyways, I was walking through the target parking lot holding my friends new humidifier, when this guy almost hit me with his crappy car and it sent me having flashbacks to the story I am about to tell you. My friend said, "Have you blogged about that one yet?" And I couldn't believe I hadn't! So here it is. I was working weekends at this mom-and-pop Italian restaurant, struggling financially as most all college students do. But I loved working there and did so happily, although my homework may have suffered for it. Actually, that's a lie, the real reason it suffered was because I was going to school ON A TROPICAL ISLAND. People don't actually do school in places like that unless they are idiots, because who wants to write a ten page comparison paper on religion when you could be hiking through the rain forest or basking on a beach with hot guys that only come from tropical islands?! I'll admit, I did much less schlepping around mountains being active and crap, and much more of the latter, but a lot of people enjoy that stuff. Anyone would compared to writing a shitty paper, unless they were an idiot.

I bought this white ancient crown vic from my mechanic, suntanned, surfer, body-of-a-god guy that I was...seeing while I was there. I guess I can't really call him my boyfriend, because he never asked me and, well, he wasn't my boyfriend. But we were going on dates and practically dating. The only screwing that happened between us was when he sold me that crappy car that broke down two weeks later, and he couldn't ever seem to repair after that. Everyone wanted to be my friend for those two weeks; girls because they wanted a ride, and guys because they wanted to borrow it to use for a cop car in their amateur film about skateboarding, that needed a cop car for whatever reason. None of them liked me as much two weeks later when it broke down and I needed a ride to work. They wouldn't give me one. Douches.

One crisp island evening, I walked back to school from work, alone. I had worked the late shift at the restaurant and my so called loser friends that had cars wouldn't come help me out. It was maybe a seven minute drive, but it took anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the weather, shoes you were wearing, etc. but always took longer on the way back because it was mostly up hill, and those hills were not playing around. Those hills gave birth to the hills from "The Sound of Music",  if that helps you get a feel for how big they were. That's what he said.

I closed out my cash drawer, went to the ladies room to change into clothes more appropriate for the journey I was about to embark on, and saying my goodbyes to co-workers (all hung-over), stepped out into the night. It was a typical evening, desperately warm and humid, frizzing out my curly hair around my face and at the base of my neck and my face perspiring profusely, but there was delightful ocean breeze coming from the west, tugging at my clothes and bringing occasional gentle relief from the aching heat. I didn't feel relieved however, because the anxiety I had been ignoring until then had come back with a vengeance, and standing on the cracked side walk I was faced with the darkness.

So what did I do? I put my head phones in and put on a chipper song by Colbie Caillat to distract me from the fact that I was walking, alone,  through the ghetto of the town...did I mention I was alone and it was really really dark outside?! La La La, happy thoughts.

I was skipping along, trying to focus on my music about rainbows and ponies, all the while keeping to the most populated and well lit streets. I was in the middle of "Fallin' for You", when I stopped at a cross walk to check that it was safe to go. There was a little white car there, stopped because there was a huge onslaught of traffic coming and the car couldn't turn yet. With it obviously being my turn to go, I started to cross. About halfway through the cross walk, I shifted my backpack to the other shoulder and turned the volume up on my ipod. La La La, happy thoughts. With the other side within my reach, my thoughts came to a screeching halt as the little white innocent car bumped me! Dazed and afraid and having absolutely no idea what was happening, I turned to face the car (that was still accelerating toward me) and screamed, "Stop! Stoppppp!!!!!!" with both of my hands on the front of the grimy hood of the car, trying with all my might to stop the vehicle that was slowly but surely pushing me into the oncoming traffic. Just as I was about to meet the traffic the car stopped, with me partially on top of it, breathing fast and close to dying prematurely of a heart attack. I looked up to face my attacker for the first time. Middle aged, snaggle toothed, and (not to fuel stereotypes, it's just the truth in this particular situation) Asian. And laughing hysterically. BASTARD!!!!!! I was even more shocked at the site of the man laughing then the fact that two seconds earlier I had been hit by a car. My paralysis suddenly vanished and half jumping, half falling off the car full of crazy, I bolted down out of the street and onto the sidewalk, still being affronted by the sound of flowers being thrown up in my ears. 

I took a brief break from running to look back (I hadn't gotten very far), and the little white car was still idling there, a small dark form rocking back and forth from laughter. I started running again, at the speed of light. La La La, happy thoughts, happ-oh eff it! Not happy thoughts, Not happy thoughts!!! I'm going to die! 
When the dog bites, when the bee stings. What about when the frickin car hits you in the frickin middle of nowhere and your frickin going to die at the hands of a baneful Asian?! What do you have to say to that Julie Andrews?! Simply remember my favorite things? How predictable of you. 

I ran for what felt like an eternity, and when I couldn't run anymore because I was grossly out of shape, I walked brusquely, panting and looking around accusingly. The long dark walk home was terrifying, with shady miscreants milling about the streets in the darkest corners just to further provoke my fear and impending doom. I made it home alright, although I was in a terrible mental state. The next day, although still stirred up, I kept the story to myself humbly and tried to go about my day. That is, until I saw a little white car parked on campus and the perpetrator tried to stab me!

Gotcha suckers! There was no more grief after the first incident thankfully. And I didn't keep the story to myself the next day; you'd better believe I gave my most theatrical retelling of the story to everyone, but specifically those that refused me a ride home and left me to my fate. They felt horrible and promised if I ever needed a ride again to let them know. They weren't nearly as repentant as I wanted, but it had the effect I was looking for. My title about dieing may have been a tad bit strong, but the moral behind the story is this: don't be a bunch of skanks and refuse others in times of need. Instead, lend a helping hand when you're able. And also, don't walk alone at night without some mace and reflectors on your clothes. Cheers to you all!