What’s this? A new post?

Oh, my dear blog. It has been a while.

Here are a few things:

- I have realized that I am half old lady, half child. I can’t stand the majority of YOUTHS I encounter, even so far as thinking, “Damn kids had better not step on my lawn.” But then, I eat food marketed to toddlers and have little singalongs to myself.

Maybe it’s both an old lady (senile) and child (carefree) thing that I talk to myself. A LOT. I mean, working from home lends a certain amount of solitude to my life, but, by God, I have started having conversations with myself IN PUBLIC. “Hmm. They don’t have the candles I want. Those are cute. But, oh no, I’m not paying that much.” Out loud.

- There is nothing that makes me clean up and clean out more than having people over. I’ve planned a party for Saturday night and let me tell you: I have thrown away more crap in the past three days than I have in the past two years. That old birthday card from four years ago? TOSS IT. Thank you card from a girl with whom I am no longer friends? EIGHTY-SIX THAT MOTHER. Expired coupons for Sally Beauty Supply? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING KEEPING THOSE?

*ahem*

- I had an ingrown eyelash. Oh yes, an eyelash that literally had a layer of skin growing over it. What the what? My eye doctor tried to fish it out to no avail. A month later his wife tried to get it out with the same results (note: she is also an eye doctor and they run a practice together, I didn’t just stop by their house and have her go at my eye).  So, they sent me to an oculoplastic surgeon. He looked at it and told me he’d try to get it out, for me to not try to be a hero, and to let him know if it hurt.

Well, it did. But I wasn’t about to pussy out. He said, “Man, this sucker is THICK. Usually they are little and wispy.” He also kept asking if I was okay and, with tears streaming out of only that eye, I said yes. I mean, it definitely wasn’t the WORST pain ever. He couldn’t get it out at the first go ’round. He patted my arm and told me, “You are tough as nails! Most people would jump out of their seat.”

I know.

So they shot my eyelid with lidocaine (for which the tech held my embarassingly sweaty hand). No biggie. He dug and dug and got that sucker out. I am ashamed that I didn’t ask to see it. Okay, actually I wish I could have KEPT it. In a little locket.

I’m a loner, Dottie.

For years, I have had an inkling, in the back of my mind, that I might be a loner.

When I truly, TRULY think back, I’ve displayed “party of one” tendencies for most of my life.  In Kindergarten, my teacher remarked to my mother that I often sat on the carpet* alone, playing happily by myself.  Not to say I didn’t have friends, but I also didn’t wail and moan if I wasn’t constantly surrounded by them.

Then, second grade and the bullies hit. One, in particular, was named Ashley Butler. Ohhhhhhhh how I loathe that name, even all these years later. Actually, Miss BUTTler was the only real bully, but she made it feel like the world was against me.

I started to realize that people can and will hurt you, whether you’ve done anything to them or not.

For the next ten years of my life, I had a fairly typical childhood that one has when occasionally being harassed by bullies, but not being the class reject, either.  Having friends, but not  being voted class president (though I was almost always elected representative.)

In high school, I never could quite fit in with people. I had friends, sure, but I also had the Redneck Princesses of the school (rough redneck girls who didn’t realize they were rednecks, but who were also quite popular) who loathed the fact that i really didn’t care about them.   I didn’t think at night “I wonder what Brie or Amy will think of this outfit if I wear it tomorrow?”  I had a friend who wondered things like that, but I thought she was foolish.

My thoughts ran more to, “How can I avoid making eye contact with Angie if she passes me in the hallway?”

I began to develop strategies to cross over to the adjacent hallway if I were ever walking around between classes and encountered someone who made me uncomfortable.

I didn’t really care if I seemed like a standoffish bitch, I was just trying to survive high school.

In college, I thought the world would be different and I would make friends that would last a lifetime.

Wrong.

I joined a Christian group (maybe that word should be in quotations) and, my freshman year, I encountered a few people who were “like” me.  The punk listening, plaid pants wearing, funny and outrageous kids of the mid-nineties.

That year, I also encountered horrible acne and a prescription for large doses of Accutane.

Anyone in the know will tell you that using Accutane will quite possibly fuck up your emotions and your life.

These “Christian” friends I’d made, the ones who were more “normal” than I, were some of the meanest people I’ve ever met. Mostly the girls.  They would pick on me behind my back for having a crush on handsome boy in our group, then claim to be my best friends.

They would practically yell at me about piddly things and one in particular (who honest-to-God had hair on her chest) told me to “stop being so emotional” when the medication got the better of me and I ended up in tears.

These were people who were clearly not following the “love one another” rule.

The “friends” in my dorm were just as bad.  None of them realized I was saddled with crippling depression, made that much worse by my medication (I was naive to the side effects before being prescribed this horrid drug, because I blindly believed my dermatologist knew best. FALSE.)

My sophomore year of college, I lived with a true-to-life cokehead, whom I had actually met through the “Christian” group.  She decided that wasn’t the life for her, and I wasn’t about to judge her for it. I did, however, move out after she kept losing job after job, dropped out of school, and invited all her cokehead friends to dirty up our apartment.

During this time, my affinity for solo activities deepened.  Jaunts to go running on campus, for walks around town, etc became more common place. I sort of wished I had someone to share them with, but I was okay.

Then, I actually had a best friend after a while. We had a solid five year rollercoaster of a friendship that abruptly ended on my 25th birthday.  She’d begun dating a boy who was a previous patient in the rehab facility where she worked (recipe for disaster) and basically ditched me for this lowlife (who screamed at her, left bruises on her, etc).

I think it was at this point that I realized I didn’t need to devote that much of my life to any one person, because it ended up biting me in the ass.  This girl was quite unbalanced, and I didn’t take note of it before, even though people told me things like. “She’s insane,” and “You really need to break up with your best friend.”

I have always been the one people go to when they need advice, or someone to be seen out at a restaurant with, or an ear that will endure hours of venting and a mouth that will offer empathy.

This is most often not reciprocated (earlier this year, someone whinily lamented to me, “Why does nothing ever go right?” about some minor issues she was having, but when I later expressed my frustration at something in my life, I was met with dead air), but I have learned to deal with it.  After all, this is the same person who wanted someone to sell them a house at their offering price saying, “Why can’t they just be nice and accept the offer?”

It took all I had to explain to them the concept of  “not giving it away for free or to be nice but actually earning a profit” when you sell a home.

I am now at the point in my life where I can go for weeks without talking to certain people, because I know if I attempt to make plans and the plans aren’t exactly what they want to be doing right at that second, I will most likely be turned down.

Unless they need me.

So now, I wait for others to reach out to me.

Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t.

I have people who claim that I am their “favorite person” or “such a dear friend” that I haven’t heard from in over a month (unless, of course, they needed a piece of information that they knew I could obtain).

So what do I do with this?

I’ll tell you what I’m doing: I’m embracing my lone wolf status.  I am going where I want, when I want, and if where I want happens to be just sitting in my house, so be it.  If I want to take a drive out to the cemetery and walk around, even better.  Going to get tattooed? You’d better bet I’m not asking anyone to come with me.

Because now, these are my adventures, my experiences, and no one else’s.  No one will be there to slow me down, or make me hurry, or give their unwanted input.

I won’t have to listen to someone drone on about their work day, assuming I want to hear it, assuming I have nothing to say because I enjoy my job.  I won’t have to listen to someone talk harshly about their friends, only to have them sing the praises of the same people a week later.

I have started taking time to do more things for myself.  Yesterday, a facial, next weekend, another facial treatment AND a massage.

I mean, I’ve been single for a long time and it’s going quite well.  REALLY well.  I think I might be the one.

*It seems all throughout grades K through 3, each room had a large carpet and we spent a large amount of time on it. In 4th grade, though, no carpet, just desks.  Then, a resurgence in carpet-bearing classrooms in high school as a part of “learning styles.”

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Braggarts

I am tempted to delete my facebook profile simply because the amount of people who brag about being good people is getting ridiculous.

This morning, someone posted, “I started my day off by paying it forward. What did you do?”

I wanted to write back, “Stumbled out of bed and went straight to work. Doesn’t make me any less of a person simply because I didn’t buy coffee for the person in the car behind me, etc etc,”

Or simply, “Braggart.”

Isn’t the point of paying it forward to NOT talk about it? If you go and tell the world what a wonderful thing you did, it seems to me the only reason you did that wonderful thing was for self-validation and to make people think more of you.

Which makes me think less of you.

Do it because you WANT to, not because you can go tell everyone.

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And then there was the time…

I went to a business meeting in Winston-Salem with my boss and she asked me, “Do you need to go potty?”

I WAS TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS OLD.

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I hope I won’t owe anyone a Coke

I am accident prone. I am sometimes known as “bad-luck Laurie,” and I have claimed to have the best bad luck of anyone out there.

I hope I defy my nature after this entry is complete, so I will bravely soldier forth in writing it.

I. Love. My. Job. and. My. Boss.

Last November, I was going on several months of “having had it” with my job.  I had a friend, however, who was so far beyond “having had it” and was basically the victim of a dickhead boss who lit into her for no reason, mounds of unwarranted stress, and the constant fear that she’d be fired.

So I considered myself a bit luckier than she.

In my quest to help her find a new and better job (which, thank the Good Lord, she has done), I stumbled upon a job with my own company that metaphorically had my name written all over it.

I didn’t even know this type of job actually existed at my company, yet it was the exact thing I’d been looking for.

Lemme ‘splain: in my old department, anytime someone needed a document formatted, proofread, hell, WRITTEN, they came to me.

One day, I mused to myself, “If this was my job all the time, that’d be rad!”

This job, oh, this job was pretty much it!

So, I thought, “They want two years of experience and being an English major helps.  I have 5.5 years of experience and am a proud English alumna. Check and mate.”

So I applied.

And I crossed my fingers and hoped to die (figuratively) and all that jazz (maybe with literal jazz hands).

And I got it.

And I love it.

And I have awesome coworkers who are smart, take turns backing everyone up, and are just good people.

Even when I work until 2am and get hives on my lips from being nervous about deadlines, I still love it.

My boss is cool and is not a micromanager in the least (did I mention I can work from home when I want?)  Just today, she has written me TWO nice emails that made me very happy and feel more secure about my abilities.

So, I hope I don’t jinx it and have something happen.

Because, you know, Bad Luck Laurie and all.

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When you’re down… and troubled….

If I ever doubt that I can do at least a half-decent job of writing and/or entertaining people, I should remember that, in 2007, I wrote this entry and it is still getting comments because other members of the “Oh shit, I hate Zelda” club have found it.

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Workin’ girl blues

Here we have another Sunday where I am working. Second weekend in a row that I’m essentially glued to my computer.  Last weekend, it was the flaming shitball from hell document that I was working on.  This weekend? A not-so-flaming-but-equally-annoying document.  

Mainly because the sponsor is being assy and not providing the writer with essential tools.  The poor writer is over it and, in the midst of all this, forgot to provide me with the password to unlock the document.

Poor guy. I really do feel for him. I know he’s not being lazy because I’ve worked with him in the past and he’s already provided me with several resources this go ’round.

Did I mention I STILL love my job, though?

Because I do.

My last job (same company, different department/business unit) was all chicks. And all drama.  My current core group is mainly chicks as far as our job titles/functions go, but they are all damn cool ladies.  There is lots of encouragement and people jumping in to help one another.  On top of that, there is a lot of appreciation expressed.

I count myself one lucky, lucky girl.

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Somebody has a birthday today!

Somebody has a birthday today!

Baby girl is 4 years old! <3!

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Oh my….

nothing like waiting all week to get some billable work, then finding out you won’t get it until Friday morning.

Then finding out it isn’t the draft you thought it was and it’s incomplete.

Then finding out the sponsor is being assy.

Then finding out the document is not the usual 60 – 150 pages you’re used to, but rather 281 pages of death.

Oy.

But, let’s look on the bright side: the writer is nice and very smart, my scheduling chick knows I’m working hard, and I STILL love my job.

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Words and stuff

I just told my friend that I’m proud of her. 

And it got me thinking of where the origins of that phrase lie, and how weird it actually sounds. Do people for whom English isn’t a first language think it’s weird? 

I am proud of you. I am proud of you. I am proud of you.

It keeps sounding weirder.

It’s like that time I kept repeating the word “cup” to myself until it sounded utterly alien and I was like “WTF?”

Can you tell I’m not busy today?

*sigh*

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