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I have the weirdest dreams ever.  No really, I do.  L’s standard response after I detail to him my strange, twisted, and ridiculous dreams is “you need professional help.”  The stories often start similarly:
So we were at our house, but it wasn’t really our house.  or  I was in college, but it wasn’t [the college I went to] etc., etc., etc.
 
Now, I know I’m not the only one who has dreams like that.  But mine are always so long and involved.  And a lot of times, scary.  I often wake up and my heart is racing or I’m sweating and clutching the blankets.  It takes me quite a while to kind of calm down and realize that whatever it was that I was just dreaming, is not real.  If L is home, I usually try to wake him up and get as close as possible.  Unfortunately, for someone who is used to getting woken up in the middle of the night, when he’s home, he’s not so easy to wake up.
 
In highschool, the teacher that taught my junior year psychology class told us that dreams are how your brain “dumps” information it doesn’t need anymore.  So all those random factoids you pick up or things you see on TV, they get purged through some sort of dream.  Definitely seems to make sense in my life.  As these crazy dreams are something I’ve had my whole life, my mom often says that my mind is full of random crap that just spins round and round and round and every now and then, it spits something out and that’s what I dream about.  I think she’s right.
 
It gets tiring though.  I go through phases where I will have a (or many) whacked out dreams every night for weeks.  And then for weeks I won’t have any (well, I’m sure that I do, I just don’t remember them).  I specifically remember a time when I was at my last job and I kept having these stupid dreams and would wake up in the middle of the night and not want to go back to sleep.  I was so tired, but I felt like my brain was too “busy” when I slept.
 
The other night, I had a kind of dream that I only recall having one other time.  I woke up and I was mad at L.  SO. MAD.  I was mad because in my dream he did something that made me very mad.  And when I woke up, it took me awhile to not be mad at him.  I kept telling myself that it wasn’t true and never happened, but I was still mad.  Have you ever had a dream like that?
 
The first time was probably a couple years ago when I dreamed he had cancelled plans with me bc his best friend’s girlfriend (who is now his best friend’s fiance’) was coming into town and he wanted to go out with her instead.  (that’s the short version.  Trust me, when I told the entire dream to L, it probably took me a good 10 minutes – no joke).
 
This time I had a dream that L and I were laying in bed, each smoking a joint.  It supposedly was the first time for us and I asked him how long it was going to take before I felt high.  He said he didn’t know.  Then through a conversation about the pot, he admitted that this was not the first time that he had done it and that he had done it several times – and many were when we were “together”.  I got so angry at him.  So, so angry.  1. He had lied to me bc he always told me that he had never done that before, 2. because he had done it when we were “together” and didn’t tell me and bc he felt he needed to to make it better and 3. Why the hell would he risk his job by doing that?  He can be drug tested randomly any day.  Is he stupid?!?!  I got out of bed (in my dream) and laid on the floor to go to sleep.  He started poking me telling me it wasn’t a big deal and I should just get over it.  I went on and on about how I couldn’t trust him bc he was a liar and what was I supposed to do because we were already married, etc., etc., etc.
 
I woke up and was slid halfway down the bed, not using any pillows (typical).  I looked to my right and L was laying there, sleeping.  Heat grew in my face bc I was so mad at him for lying to me.  I looked to my left and there is Shep, laying next to me like another person (those dogs are so spoiled).  I tried to get over my anger and crawled up closer to L telling him that I just had a dream that he was smoking pot and I was mad at him.  He mumbled something I couldn’t make out, said he loved me and rolled over.
 
I fell back asleep for a couple hours before my alarm went off and when I got up, I was still a little mad.  It wore off before I left the house.  I guess because it finally sunk in that it was a dream and it wasn’t real.  I told him about the dream later that day and he said he remembered me saying something about pot and then promised me that he has never done it and never will – he’d really like to keep that job of his.
 
What’s even weirder about all of this?  As I’m telling him about the dream again, he says, “Oh yeah, did I tell you I got popped for a test at the vollies yesterday?”  The volunteer FD in our town that we’re both members of randomly selects a group of people each quarter to be drug tested and L’s name popped up this time – but he never mentioned it.  Maybe I’m a prophet! haha.
 
Am I the only one that experiences the wake-up angry dreams?  Or are there others out there (God, I hope so!).

I’m a few days late with this Christmas recap and was absent all of last week – but it’s the holidays and it’s always a crazy time.  Plus, I was busy buying my wedding dress!

I still can’t believe Christmas is over.  Or Thanksgiving either.  Also.  Is tonight really New Year’s Eve?  Wow.  This year has gone by so quickly.  I wasn’t really ready for Christmas this year.  Probably because the whole holiday season snuck up on me so quickly.  I felt like I wasn’t even really in the Christmas spirit.  I did half of my Christmas shopping in July, but left the other half for the week before the holiday.  I knew what I was getting everyone, it was  just the actual act of going to purchase it that I was slow about.  And in the end, everyone seemed to love what we gave them.

And I certainly loved what I got!  L and I exchange our gifts a few days after Christmas since he has worked the last two we’ve been together.  So my lovely gifts started on Christmas eve from my parents.  My mom bought me a Gocco over the summer that was supposed to be for Christmas – we just snatched it when I found one for a good price.  And I was perfectly happy with just getting my usual small stocking stuffers because of that.  But she kepts telling me when we arrived earlier in the week that she only had one gift for me and that was it.  I really had no idea what it was.  Not a clue or a hint or a sneaking suspicion. 

As we sat by the tree on Christmas Eve after dinner with my aunt and cousins, I tore the wrapping paper to reveal a navy blue box.  It wasn’t until I ripped it a little further and saw the logo on the box that I knew what it was.

This was the logo I saw:

And I gasped and looked at my mom because I knew that this box contained two items that I have been coveting since I was about 12 years old.

These:


Source

This picture does them absolutely no justice.  I’ve been drooling over these ever since the first time I saw them in a Swarovski store and exclaimed that I would have those for my wedding one day.  I knew they were expensvie, but seriously, I have wanted these for like 14 years.  After we got engaged, I of course looked them up.  And when I saw the price tag, I knew it was going to take a lot of saving to get them. 

There are a lot of little details I am willing to forgo for our wedding to save money.  But let me tell you.  This was NEVER one of them.  I didn’t know how, but I was going to buy these at some point before our wedding.  I had searched ebay and they were always there.  Not for as cheap as I would hope, but definintely a lot less than full retail price. 

Just before Christmas I saw a pair go up for auction for $.99.  I put it in my ‘watch’ folder on ebay, knowing that these babies would go for much, MUCH more than $1 – and then I forgot about them.  When I got an email reminding me that the auction was ending soon, I saw a price tag of over $300.  I deleted it and moved on with my day, knowing I still had months to figure out this dilema.

My mom had played the ebay game as well and got them for a much better price.  And the fact that I couldn’t stop staring at them made her feel really good, I think.  I never, in a million years, would have guessed that that was what was inside the box.  I can’t wait to use them on our wedding day.  Would it be inappropriate to drink Crystal Lite out of them until then? haha.  We’re going to have to invest in some sort of hutch so these can be prominently (yet safely) displayed!

My pictures do them no justice, either, but at least you can sort of see the loose crystal filled stems.  And the beautifully cut base.

 

But that wasn’t all.  And there were more wedding-related Christmas gifts to come.  My cousin and his wife bought us a US Airways gift card that we’ll hopefully be able to put toward our honeymoon travel.

And then there was L’s gift.  My mom and I drove back on Sunday and L and I opened gifts Monday morning when he got home from work.  There were two moderately sized boxes under the tree, but I didn’t know what they were.  We had set a $50 limit this year and I couldn’t think of any of the things I asked for that would come in boxes that size.  He did mention to me that he may have exceede the limit though (I couldn’t be totally mad though because my original gift for him was over the limit – another story for that one). 

I told him to open his first.  I got him 4 shirts from Gap that he wanted (all on sale – love it!) and another tshirt from a restaurant in CT that we love (and have several other tshirts from).  Then I got him one of those Nike+ things for his ipod.  The one where the chip goes in your shoe and syncs with your ipod when you run.  He’s been wanting it and it seems pretty cool.  I might need one for myself.

Then it was my turn.  He handed my one box and told me to open if first.  I unwrapped it and saw a Zappos box.  My first thoughts were that he bought me the shoes I wanted for the wedding.  But those were so expensive.  I thought maybe he bought me a similar pair I found after those.

But when I opened the box, I found a pair of pink shoes from my own collection and another shoe that I had broken the heel off of last year.  Umm, what the crap?

He handed me the other box and I ripped the paper tentatively, wondering if it was going to be another bogus present.  Underneath I found a green shoe box.  Green as in Kate Spade green.  Yes, indeed.  He bought me the shoes!!!  I had to be careful not to get droplets of drool on them as I turned them over in my hands, not believing they were mine.  I kept telling him I was so mad at him for breaking our limit, but my mom said it was hard to believe because of the smile plastered on my face.

I pulled off my socks and rolled up my jeans as I went to slip them on.  I was a little nervous though.  I used to wear a 9 1/2 or 10.  But the last few years it’s been more of a 10 or 10 1/2.  The largest size on Zappos was a 10 and I figured that the shoes might run smaller like most designer anything does.  Plus, when I was searching the internet the week before looking for them on ebay or other potentially discounted places, I saw someone say that they would order a half size larger.

I proceeded with caution and you know what happened?  They fit absolutely perfectly!  They just slid right on.  There was no shoving my foot in.  No getting my fingers caugh in the heel trying to stretch the shoe around my foot.  I stood up and walked around and not only did they fit, but they were comfortable! 3.25″ heels were comfortable.  No wonder they’re so expensive.  I put them on every now and then, but each time they go back in the box when I’m done.  I absolutely can’t wait to wear these on my wedding day and I think they will go perfectly with my dress!

This was the best Christmas ever! 🙂

Oh, and you know I’ve taken pictures of these too, right?  These are my own shoe shots and ring shots! 😉

Now if only I could somehow track down 5 pairs of the Nine West Jojus shoes in green for my bridesmaids!  Too bad they’re discontinued. 

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Here’s a recap of my birthday weekend.  We had a great time (even though I am officially closer to 30 than to 20).  I’m slammed this week, so you get semi-bullet points again.

Friday

– Friday morning, my birthday, which I had off from work, I got up at 5:30 am to get ready for my third interview which was at 7:15.  We met at Bruegger’s Bagels and the whole thing lasted 25 minutes.  Ugh.  I got up that early for 25 minutes?  Anyway, it’s between me and one other person.  I think it went really well.  He hopes to let me know either way by tomorrow.  Still no word on salary.  Cross your fingers on both accounts.

-L and I lounged around for a few hours after I got home before we headed out for lunch at Price’s Chicken Coup.  I was so excited.  And you know what?  It was way better than anyone had ever said!  This was some damn good food.  And the best part?  It was cheap! 

store

You came out with a no-frills box for each meal.

february-20-21-2009-002

And when I lifted the top, angels sang as I feasted my eyes on… my feast.

chicken 

What you see there is 2 pieces of chicken, 2 huge hush puppies, some tater tot-type things, a roll and coleslaw.  L had the same thing except he chose to go with the fried perch (gag).  Those two wonderful boxes plus two drinks came to a whopping $13!  Now that’s a deal!  We couldn’t even finish it all.

I told him he should be happy that he’s dating a girl who is happy to go get fried chicken and eat it in the car in the parking lot (take out only and too cold to go to a park or something) on her birthday – and not some pretentious girl who would snub her nose at the idea.

We got home and I opened the package my mom had sent me – money to get my hair done and one of those nifty curling irons that is also a straightener. 

I didn’t get a present from L.  He told me that on Thursday after work he had to run an errand, but then he came home right after work.  When I asked him why he hadn’t gone wherever he said he had to go, he said he wanted to come home and be with me.  He was going to try and fix the problem with my gift.  Apparently, he ordered it like 2 weeks ago, but it hasn’t arrived.  When he called to check, it turns out he entered his credit card number incorrectly and it didn’t go through.

When I got home from my interview that morning, I asked, “I’m not trying to be selfish or greedy, but since you didn’t run that errand last night, does that mean I don’t get a birthday present?”

He started into this whole thing on how he was sorry and how he was sorry he hasn’t done anything right lately.  The only reason I asked was because I knew he wouldn’t say anything about it if I didn’t.

“Do I at least get a card?”

Yes, but he had to go to the fire station to get it.  He left it there yesterday when he was working.  He tells me this is true, but I wonder if when he went to the fire station to get it, he actually went to CVS.  Anyway, it wasn’t until right before we were going to dinner that he even went to go get the card.

He comes back and gives it to me and also tells me he went to the store to see if they had any balloons he could tie to my chair at the bar later that night.  And then asked if I wanted a cake.  I’m not going to tell someone I want a cake.  If you want to get me a cake, then do it, but don’t ask me if I want one.

I’m really not a greedy person at all, but it just kind of hurt my feelings.  I put in a lot of effort to anything that I do for him – whether it’s big or small – and I just felt like he did all of mine on a whim.  I’m not asking for big expensive presents, I’m just asking for some effort.  We have three days in a short period of time (Vday, our anniv and my birthday), so it was all at once.

I got the roses and a card on Vday – which was perfect.  But my present hasn’t come.  He said he ordered that 2 weeks ago too.  His next comment about it (which was on my bday) was that it was back ordered and he told me what it was.  For him I got a subscription to a magazine he wanted.  But I printed out a picture of the magazine and wrote that he was getting a year’s subscription and then glued it to a piece of card stock so it was wrapable. 

For our anniversary, he told me he’s taking me to Savannah.  Which I’m absolutely extactic about.  But, instead of printing something out (like he’s done before) or having something small related to it for me to open, he just pulled up the tourism web site on the laptop.  And although he says he has two weekends picked out that we could go – nothing is actually set.  No date.  No hotel.  No plans.

I had gotten him the braves tickets.  Which I wrapped up in individual packages, and a note about what hotel we’re staying at and that I had taken care of boarding the puppies.  And I made him a card.  Not a fancy card, but a card.

His, although it’s clear that he’s known I’ve always wanted to go there, just seemed like it was a last minute thought.  And even if it weren’t, there wasn’t all that much effort put into the thing.  Oh.  And I didn’t even get a card.

He knows that our anniversary is a big deal to me (not that what he gets me has to be big, but just the recognition of it), but it just didn’t seem that way.  I’m sorry that until I met him I never dated any one seriously.  And I’m sorry that maybe the anniv. seems boring or mundane to him because he dated the same person for more than 6 years, therefore having 6 anniversaries.  But it’s still a big deal to me.

So, all that coupled with no birthday gift, no card until I mentioned it and the fact that I thought he was always going to buy  me pink roses for my birthday and didn’t just made me sad.

He told me that he’s had so much on his plate lately that he is overwhelmed.  Between work, his partime job, this new captain’s position at his part time job and school – he was just overwhelmed.  Then he told me how he’s having to drop his math class because he didn’t do well enough on the quizzes.  But that he didn’t ask me for help because that meant he was a failure (even though I offered to help him one million times).

I felt bad.  I know how it feels to be overwhelmed.  But it didn’t help the fact that I felt forgotten or unimportant.  Especially after some of my best friends were blowing off my birthday.

He told me that Saturday he would pick the day for our trip, which he didn’t, but in all honesty, we didn’t really have time.  So I thought he would do it Sunday.  But he didn’t.  If I mention it or he reads this, I can guarantee that he’ll say he didn’t have time and he spent the whole weekend with me.  Which is true.  But there was also a lot of time spent reading fire blogs and looking at other fire depts’ web sites.  He could have taken a few minutes of that time to finish my present.

So, he tells me I have a present coming,  but I have no idea when I’ll actually get it.

But, we marched on.  He took me to the Melting Pot for dinner (my suggestion though) and it was delicious.  I normally only go for cheese and chocolate because a plate full of uncooked meat doesn’t appeal to me, but he talked me into it and it was much better than the only other time I’ve had the meat there.

dinner-us
I love how their tables are so private.  And we were in this tiny room that only had one other.  It was perfect!

food

dessert
For our chocolate. 

Between the cheese, main course and chocolate – we were stuffed.  But it was so incredibly yummy!  I wish it weren’t so expensive so we could go more often.

After, we headed to a bar to meet some friends.  I was pissed they were charging a cover at 8:30, but was happy when it was only $5 and it was because they had $1 beers!! Heck yeah.  Although really?  The bouncer could have let me in for free when I told him it was my birthday.  We had a good time, nothing too crazy, but fun nonetheless.

Saturday

– We hung out around the house and took the puppies to the dog park for awhile.  They really love that place.  Except one dog kept trying to hump Dixie non stop for like 20 minutes and the owner was a royal bitch when L pulled her dog off.  A couple times is fine – they’re dogs.  But as soon as you pulled this thing off, it went right back after her.  And the woman did nothing.

-We dropped them off then headed out to meet up with some of L’s friends from the volunteer station to go to a minor league hockey game.  We started off with dinner and drinks, followed by the game and then to a bar afterward.  It was actually really fun.  I had never been to any kind of hockey game before, but had a great time.

We took the light rail into town and I must admit, that although I turned 26 the day before, I did something Ihaven’t done since my younger college days.  I peed in the parking garage.  There was no way I was going to make it home and there were no bathrooms around.  A lot of people got off the train with us and the three level parking deck really had no corner or post that was out of the way.  After I literally almost peed in my pants, I took my chances on the middle level in a corner.  But it was a really small corner and my pee was quickly heading toward my feet.  So what did I do?  I put my feet up against the wall, with my back against the other side and peed.  Suspended in the air.  Haha.

Sunday

-Sunday was quite boring.  I was really tired from the night before and we just relaxed.  Took the dogs to the dog park again and later that night we rented Nights in Rodanthe.  See, even with his lack of efforts in the present arena, the boy really does love me.  It was good, but not quite as good as I was hoping.

And here we are.  Overall, it was a really great weekend and Ihad a good time.  I’m excited for this week to be over because we’re going to the beach friday night.  Too bad it will only be about 50 while we’re there, but I’m excited nonetheless.

*PS- I have  more pictures to add, but wordpress isn’t cooperating right now.

Once my phone interview was underway the other day, it went well.  But it sure didn’t start off that way.

It was scheduled for 4:30.  So I left work a little early and was going to find a parking lot to sit it while I had the interview.  L called me as I was about to walk out of the office and I told him I’d call him right back.  When I got outside and dialed his number it did not ring.  I got a recording, but it wasn’t the usual “Please wait while we attempt to locate the Nextel subscriber you are trying to reach” (which, by the way, I really hate that damn recording).

Instead, I got, “Your call could not be completed.  DO NOT HANG UP.  Your call has been intentionally redirected to the Verizon Wireless Account Deparment.  Please enter you account pin code.”

Fuck.

I have no idea what the account pin code is.  I tried my voicemail number.  Nope.  I tried the only other four digit number I could think it might be.  Wrong again.

I hung up and tried again.  Same thing.  I called L from my blackberry and told him to try calling me on my cell phone to see if he could get through.  It never dawned on me to just try and call it myself from my blackberry.  I waited a few minutes and didn’t hear back from him.  I called him back and he said he got a message saying my number was disconnected and then for some reason couldn’t get through to my bb.

Fuck.

I figured my mom had forgotten to pay the bill (don’t judge me that I don’t pay for my phone).  But she was on her way home from work, so she couldn’t pay it, and even so, how quickly can they turn it back on?  As I’m freaking out, the clock is inching to 4:15 already.  I’m talking to L on my bb, as he’s trying to look up the number of the guy who would be calling me.  I wanted to call them and give them my bb number to call.  But, since it has such shitty service, L could barely hear me.  I was trying to drive around to find a better spot and at the same time was getting frustrated that he couldn’t hear me.  And pissed that this was happeneing.

Why is this happening now??

I finally get to a spot where he says he can hear me.  I get the number of the assistant of the guy, call her and leave her a voicemail saying I’m so sorry I’m calling so late, but my phone died and I didn’t realize it, please call my bb, here is the number.

It was 4:25 when I left this voicemail. 

What is this man going to think if he doesn’t get the message and calls my phone and gets a disconnected message?  Wow, that’s going to make me look AWESOME.

I call L back so he can get the man’s email address out of my email and send him a note for me telling him about the new number.  As he’s logging in, my cell phone rings.

WHAT?!

It’s my mom.  “Oh my God, it worked! I didn’t know what happened.  I didn’t know it was late.  I called to tell you something quick and got the disconnected message and sped home and begged the woman to let me pay the bill even though I didn’t know the account pass code (we really need to figure that one out).  I’ve been calling for 5 minutes to see if it worked again yet.”

I hung up with her and L.  Moments later my bb rings.  It was the guy.  He HAD gotten the message.  Except the only thing was, now I had a crappy connection (even though I had been parked in one spot since L told me he could hear me fine) and the man couldn’t hear me.  He said he would hang up and call back.

NO!!!!

“I’ll call you back if it’s alright,” I said. 

And so I did.  From my cell phone.  With perfect service.

The interview went well.  It lasted about 30 minutes.  It’s more than just an ‘assistant’ position.  You actually need to do research for him and come up with opinions and propositions and coordinate events.  Everything that I do now and have done in the past.  At one point I just wanted to say, look, I’m perfect for this job.  Please hire me.

He says that once he’s done with phone interviews he’ll be bringing people in for an on-campus interview.

I knew we were at the end of the call, and then he says, “I see a lot of great things,  but there’s something in your cover letter I’d like to ask you about.”

What the hell could be in there that concerns him.

“I see your salary history and requirements (they asked you to include them), and I want to know if that’s a dealbreaker for you.  Because, being an institution of higher education, we don’t pay as much as corporate companies.  We do have a great benefits package though.”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I told him that it would really depend and I would love the opportunity to come in and talk with him about it further.  That perhaps the benefits would be great and even though my gross pay may be less, my take home might be more if they cover more health insurance, for example.  This is a lie.  My company pays 100% of my health insurance.  And I’m pretty sure this new job wouldn’t.

But, I also fudged my salary history a little.  So perhaps it’s closer to what I actually make.  He told me he expected to let second round candidates know by early next week.  I was pretty sure he wouldn’t have brought that up if he wasn’t at least thinking about bringing me in for round two.

I got an email from him this morning asking me to come in for a second interview!!!

He anticipates it will take four hours.  Yes, I said FOUR. HOURS.

Holy shit.  That’s a half day of work!

I’m thinking maybe he wants to do a run through with his current assistant or something to make sure I can do all the things I say I can do.  Also, on the phone he told me if I was brought in for a second interview, I would have the opportunity to speak with HR to go over benefits in detail, so perhaps that’s included in the four hours.

So, fingers crossed that 1- I get it and 2-it pays enough for me to accept it.

Because really.  They are closed the entire week of Christmas.  And that compressed work week from Memorial Day to August 1 when you only work Monday through Thursday is really appealing.

In other news… there were three layoffs at my office yesterday (and there are only about 20 employees to start with).  The president says they are temporary and hopes to bring those people back (doubt it).  But also, that there is no “hidden hatchet” (his words, not mine) and everyone in the room was safe.

I expected one, but not three.

Also, Shep has to go to the doggy opthamologist today (because apparently such a person exists).  I’ll recap the visit tomorrow and elaborate on why (not that it’s exciting).  L is taking him at 1:30.  Cross your fingers for him.

You all know that I love our puppies more than anything in this world, but there was another love before them. 

I’ve grown up with animals my entire life.  After my parents got married, they got a cat, Swifty, and a Britney Spaniel, Clancy.  They were around until I was in second grade when they were both old and sick and had to be put to sleep.

A year later, we got another cat, Snowflake.  She was the meanest cat I ever met in my entire life.  Seriously.  For quite some time, we called her Bazoozoo, the name of the devil-like person in one of the Exorcist movies.  She especially did not like when my friend and I played dress up with her or when I put her in a basket to pretend like she was Toto from the Wizard of Oz (Swifty, who was gray and kind of reminded me of Toto, always obliged to this game).

When I was in 6th grade, after much convincing, my mom and I talked my dad into (Oh Lord, L, don’t tell your mom about us talking him into it, she’ll think it’s a genetic thing and our kids are going to be evil like me) us getting another dog.  We wanted a Black Lab.  It would be my birthday present.

My mom and I thought about going to the shelter,  but my dad insisted that it be a pure bred (no idea why).

I started thinking of names from the beginning.  If we got a boy, we would name him Jake.  If we got a girl, we would name her Jazz or Arizona.  And if I decided on Jazz, I was going to get her a black collar with rhinestones on it.  I made a picture in some new Microsoft clip art program that was a beach scene with a black dog in the middle of it.  It said, “My New Dog Jake, Jazz or Arizona”  I had it hung up in my room for weeks.

We scoured the paper for weeks and finally found a listing.  The couple lived in a nearby town and their dog just had purebred black labs.  We decided to go visit.  We, along with my best friend (who helped me dress up Snowflake) went to go look at the puppies.  My friend didn’t really like dogs and said she wanted to meet the puppy from the beginning so it would like her. 🙂

They were absolutely adorable and we picked one out.  They weren’t old enough to leave their mother yet, so we would go back a few weeks later.

It was a cold Monday night in January.  My parents picked me up from CCD (religion class) and we headed off to pick up the puppy.  We had a yellow and white striped beach towel in the back seat with me incase she went to the bathroom on the ride home and a hot pink collar to put on her.

We decided on Arizona. 

(We got the idea from a neighbor of ours a few doors down.  They had a miniature poodle named California.  Before we even started trying to convince my dad about a dog, my  mom said she liked the idea of a state name)

We brought her home and I loved her with all my heart from then on.  Snowflake, however, did not like her AT ALL.  And thus began many years of hissing and swating.

We took Arizona to obedience class and practiced with her as much as we could.  She wasn’t the best behaved dog in the world, but she was very good.  Like many Labs, she rarely listened when new people arrived or found something interesting in the yard.  However, she hardly ever left our yard and we never needed a fence of any kind.

She was your typical puppy, though.  And I got mad at her when she chewed up my favorite pair of shoes or stole my blueberry muffin off the kitchen table before school one day or helped herself to a plateful of roasted pecans at Christmas one year.

But I still loved her.  And so did my parents.  Unlike our puppies now (and my parent’s new dog), she was never allowed on the furniture and if she somehow made her way onto the couch in a fit of excitement, she just sort of froze and had this look on her face like “oh my God, what did I do?”.

 

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She was always there to let me hug her when I was scared or nervous about something or I was mad at my parents.

It’s hard for me to put into words how much I loved her and how much she meant to me.  I consider pets a true part of the family and I will never hide that.

I won’t forget how we would make her lay down in the living room while we ate dinner and slowly she would inch her way closer and closer.  By the time we were done with our meal, she would be laying next to the kitchen table – in the perfect spot to lick the plates we would put on the floor for her.  And while she was waiting for that food, she would recreate the Great Lakes with all of her drool.

She loved the snow too.  That winter that we got her, it snowed at least 3 times a week.  I remember because for some reason we kept getting snow days on Mondays and Wednesday (I remember really random crap).  The pile of snow on the side of our driveway was so high from the plows that we had to litterally toss her over it so she could go to the bathroom. 

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Playing in a winter snow many years later

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She would run through the snow with her nose down in it and every now and then stop and sneeze.

When it was time for me to go away to college, I always missed her.  As the years went by, she was getting older and started to get sick.  She developed diabetes and had to get two shots every day.  And she started to get really skinny.  My parents didn’t notice it, but whenever I would come home on school breaks, it was painfully obvious to me.  She was no longer the 85 pound solid dog that we once had.  She was thinner and you could start to feel her spine when you pet her.  She wasn’t allowed to get as many table scraps any more, which is one of the reasons this started happening.

One time I came home and we noticed there was a large puffy spot on her elbow.  I took her to the vet for my parents while they were at work.  The spot was some sort of bruise, but while we were there, they determined that she was developing catarachts (sp?) because of the diabetes.   My poor doggy.

Every time I left to go back to school, I gave her a big long hug and lots of kisses and always told her how much I loved her and what a good dog she was.

I don’t remember if it was this trip home when I took her to the vet or another shortly after that, but it would be the last time I saw her.  Now that I think of it, I think that it was Easter weekend.

Sometime after that, my mom was telling me that she was doing worse.  They didn’t know what it was, but she wasn’t eating at all and whatever she did eat, she couldn’t keep down.  She was going to the bathroom in the house and it looked like she never wanted to move.  After several trips to the vet and many treatments, they thought that she would be ok.  Obviously, her time was going to come eventually, but for now, they thought she was ok.

Two days later my mom called me.  She asked me what I was doing and when I told her I was at the mall with E and A, she just sort of stopped.  She didn’t want to talk to me while I was at the mall, but I convinced her to. 

And that’s when she told me.  She told me that we had to put Arizona to sleep.  

The night before she started to do really bad again.  The cancer that she had was taking over her whole body and she was in an incredible amount of pain.

I started sobbing and practically fell to the floor until E and A pulled me to a nearby bench.  They had no idea what was going on.  I sat on the phone for several minutes talking to my mom.  Sobbing uncontrollably.  My mom was crying too.

This was in the middle of the day and my mom was on her lunch break.  Arizona was still at the vet from when my mom brought her that morning and she was going after work to say good bye.  I remember it was a Friday.  I was going to Relay for Life that night with my sorority, but I wanted so bad to go home.  I asked my  mom if they could wait till the next day and I would drive through the night so I could say good bye too.

I knew it wasn’t a good idea and Arizona was in soo much pain.  My mom promised to call me when she got to the vet.

E and A spent some time with me and then I had to go to one class that afternoon.  I spent the remaining hours before class sobbing on my bed, and when I finally got to class, I was useless. 

My mom called me that evening when she got to the vet.  She said Arizona was jumping all around and so excited to see her (which she hadn’t acted like in many weeks).  The doctors said it was partly because they had her on a lot of medicine to try and make her comfortable.  But regardless, it made my parent’s decision that much harder. 

She put the phone up to Arizona’s ear and I told her how much I loved her and missed her and how much I would miss her and that we were only doing this because she would go to a better place where she wouldn’t hurt and feel sick and she could run and play and eat as much as she wanted.

I wanted so bad to give her a hug and hated it so much that I was not able to be there.

My mom said that her tail was wagging really fast when she heard my voice and that she licked the phone (she was not a kissing-type dog at all).

I cried so hard.

The next time I came home was for the summer after graduation.  It was weird to be in the house without her walking around.  I got my job in NYC and on the eve of my first day, I was so nervous.  It was then, and the next morning before I left for the train station, that I missed her the most.  That was one of those times when she would have sat with me and let me hug her and I would have felt better.

Overtime, I tried to talk my mom into getting another dog, so that she would have someone (besides my dad) to keep her company when I eventually moved out.  I wasn’t trying to replace Arizona at all though.  She was resistant, but about a year and a half later, after I moved out, she got the dog they have now.

I started crying the other night when L and I went to bed.  I told him that I get sad because sometimes I have trouble remembering Arizona.  I have trouble being able to recreate her mannerisms and expressions in my head.  I know they existed and that she truly was one of a kind and had a great personality, but I can’t see them in my memory anymore.  He tried to tell me that it was ok and that I wouldn’t forget her.  That we have two adorable, lovable puppies now. 

That’s not what I wanted to hear at all.  I love those two to death.  I’m pretty sure that that is obvious, but they will never, ever replace Arizona.  And just the thought of that made me cry harder. 

I don’t have many pictures of Arizona here in NC with me.  I think when I go home for Christmas I will try to get some so I will always have her with me.  She really was a best friend of mine.

Tomorrow is her birthday.  She would be 13.  And I love her as much now, as I did then.

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The long awaited Thanksgiving holiday break has come and gone and now it’s back to work.  I headed up to CT Wednesday afternoon and the whole trip started off on a good foot. 

I left work a few minutes earlier than I needed to so I could stop and see L at work for a couple minutes before I left.  He and the rest of his colleagues were just sitting down at a chinese restaurant in their area, so I was just going to pop in.  When he came to meet me me outside, so did his Captain who told him to take me to the airport so I didn’t have to leave my car there.  His captain can be a real ass sometimes, but it was very nice of him to let L leave during a shift in the middle of the day… and it also saved me about $30 in parking fees.  L dropped me off and then returned to the station and left my car there for the remainder of the weekend.

The airport was only mildly crowded and things seemed to be going smoothly.  Then, 10 minutes before we were scheduled to board they said the incoming flight was late.  Ugh.  I thought this was the beginning of the end.  Sure, it starts out with a 20 minute delay which would spiral into hours.

But.  I was wrong.  The 20 minute delay only ended up being 10 minutes.  We go on the plane and were off without a hitch.  It was a small plane, only two seats on each side of the aisle.  And I got an exit row all to myself.  Score!

We stopped in Norfolk, VA, but were continuing on the same plane.  I didn’t even have to get off the plane for the 30 minute layover.

I landed in NYC 15 minutes early and my parents were there and off we were to CT.

Unfortunately, my dad was being annoying and difficult before I ever got in the car and my mom was being overbearing.  I pretty much only go home for holidays.  And she misses me.  But it’s just too much sometimes.

We got take out from one of my favorite local restaurants and I went to bed pretty early.

Every year for the last 10 years or so, my mom has done Thanksgiving dinner.  And before that, for as long as I could remember it was my grandma.  Well, this year.  This year was different.  My cousin and his wife (who I am not particularly fond of) were hosting dinner.  The thing that gets me is that they didn’t even ask my mom if she minded or even offer to do it.  The wife just matter of factly stated she was doing it.

We got there around 1:30 as requested and didn’t eat until 3.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Hands down.  But there was a problem.  As I began to eat, nothing was right.  It wasn’t just because they weren’t my mom’s recipes.  But nothing had any flavor.  And the stuffing.  Oh, the stuffing.  It was a gummy mess that was stuck together. 

It turns out that the entire meal was

Trans fat free.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Seriously.  This is Thanksgiving people.  It’s not supposed to be good for you.  I like butter.  And salt – because there was a lack of that too.

The pies for dessert were good, I’ll give her that.  But otherwise, it was a huge disappointment.  We didn’t head home till 8:30 that night – which was entirely too long if you ask me.

Thankfully, my mom had bought a small turkey and made a mini Thanksgiving dinner – complete with butter, fat and flavor – on Friday.

Her and I headed out for breakfast at a diner around 9am on Friday and then hit the mall and a few other stores.  I didn’t really have a whole lot left to  buy, nor did I have much money to spend.  We did get a few deals and my mom got some big items knocked off her list, so all in all, it was a productive day.  We went home and ate the delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Then two of my Flavas and some other friends headed out to a mexican place for drinks to catch up.  Unfortunately, they started kareoke about 15 minutes after we got there and it was so incredibly loud that my throat hurt the next day from talking so loud in order to be heard.  It was a good time, but we could have done without the kareoke since it’s not often we are able to get together.

Saturday, my mom and I went to one more store and then left for the airport at 12:30.  After stopping to get a coffee for the road, my mom noticed that the battery light in her car came on.  Since the airport is more than an hour from our house, we decided it wasn’t a good idea to drive that far.  So we waited for my dad to come meet us and take us.  He is so. slow.  By the time he got there, we had cut into the cushion of time I allowed for traffic or lines.  And traffic we hit.

I really didn’t think I was going to make my flight.  But somehow, I did.  The airport was absolutely empty and I made it through security (with my container of gravy that was more than 3.4 oz) and to the gate with 10 minutes to spare.  The flights were good and before I knew it, L was picking me up. 

I was so happy to see him.  I missed him so much.  And I missed our puppies too.  We spend Sunday running errands and cuddling on the couch – and it was exactly where I wanted to be.  I used to hate leaving home after the holidays, but this time I couldn’t wait.

And now we’re back at work.  Only 3 more weeks till Christmas – and I have that whole week off.  Heck yeah!

WARNING:  L, if you are reading this, STOP NOW!  I’m not even sure if you read this ever.  But if you are.  STOP.  I don’t want it to ruin the surprise. 

 

Seriously.

 

Stop.

Reading.

Now.

 

Are you gone?

OK…

 

I often have a terrible time selecting gifts for people.  Some times I don’t, but a lot of times I do.  After L and I had been dating for a little bit, I started to take note of things he said he wanted.  And then I wrote them down.  You know for birthday gift ideas.  Christmas.  Anniversary.  The usual.

When his birthday rolled around last year, I selected an item from the list.  A fire tool.  Then my mom wanted to get him something, so I gave her an idea from the list.

When we he had gone to a wedding that year, his truck was broken into and his Ipod was stolen.  He asked his parents for a new one for his birthday, but they got him something else.  So that’s what I got him for Christmas – though I was sure he had figured it out.  He told me his parents asked him for a list of things he wanted, so he gave them one and the Ipod, naturally, was on it.  Along with some other really big ticket items.  I casually kept mentioning that he should put the Ipod lower on the list.  Maybe his parents would buy him that $1000 truck bed cover he wanted and he could save some extra cash and buy the Ipod for himself.

Phew.  Luckily he didn’t catch on.  Also, luckily his parents didn’t get him the Ipod.  Or the truck bed cover.  But they did get him two other things that I had on my list.  Which now had dwindled down to a few small items – stocking stuffer type things.

As I created my financial spreadsheet a few months back, detailing everything I needed to save money for between now and Christmas, I, of course, added in money to buy him a birthday and Christmas gift.  But oh God, what was I gonna get???

There was one other fire tool he wanted.  Ok, I could get him that.  I hate to get him the same type of stuff all the time, but if that’s what he wants…  So I go to the web site and look it up – just to check the cost so I know how much to save, his birthday isn’t until October.  I’m confident that I found the right one.  But damnit, there is more than one size!  Does he want the 3′, 4′, 5′ or 6′ model?????

I pick up the phone.

Me: Hey, someone at my office is buying a roof hook for their friend that is a firefighter.
L: Oh, are they?  [He’s totally on to me which isn’t a surprise since I was being ridiculously obvious.  But this was in June, his birthday is in October, surely he would forget!]
Me: Yeah, but they don’t know what size to get.  What would you reccomend?
L: Well does this person ride an engine or a ladder?
Me: Um, pretty sure they ride and engine.
L: Well, this person probably originally wanted the 3′, but after talking thinking about it and doing some reading, they probably recently decided that they wanted a 4′. 
K: Gotcha, well, I’ll let my friend know that that’s what they should get their friend.

But now he keeps talking about it!  “Is your work friend buying that hook for someone’s birthday or Christmas?”  “How’s your work friend coming along on their purchase, do they need more advice?” etc.  So then I told him I wasn’t going to buy it because he knew that’s what I was getting and I wanted it to be a surprise.  “Well, your friend should probably decide if they’re going to buy it or if the recipient should modify something else they have to work similarly.”  Arrrghhhh!

Even though I told him I wasn’t going to get it, I still was.  It was my effort to throw him off again.  But I thought about waiting until Christmas.  In the mean time, what about his birthday???

Well, just a nice thought of mine turned into a great gift find yesterday!

L LOVES trains.  (see how my life is easy?  Trains or firetrucks.  Need a little stocking stuffer gift?  Go to the kids section – you’re bound to find trains and/or firetrucks!)  He always has.  Since I have lived in NC, I have never lived anywhere where I couldn’t hear the train go by.  And we live super close.  His parents live about 20 feet from the train tracks (luckily only about 2-3 trains go by a day, so it’s not bad).  When I was there the first time, we were sitting in the living room watching TV.  His mom was in the kitchen reading the paper… (he would kill me if he knew I was writing this).  Then all of a sudden, his mom yells “train” without even lifting her eyes from the article.  Like she had done it for so many years.  And when she yelled “train,” L jumped up, hopped over my legs that were resting on the coffee table and to the window to watch it go by.  “It’s a XX engine pulling a XX.”  Some might think it’s dorky, but I think it’s adorable.

Anyway, back to the fabulous gift idea.  There is a museum half way between our house and his parent’s.  The NC Transportation Museum.  It’s an old railroad machine shop where they fixed train cars, etc.  We were going to stop on the way back from his parent’s house one day, but didn’t.  I thought he had been before, but a couple weeks ago we were talking about it and he mentioned he had never been.

I made a note in my head that one day I should just randomly take him there.  Just to go.  So yesterday, I looked up the web site to see what the place was about and sort of plan something.  And what do I find while I’m there?

There is a menu about special programs, one of them said Tracks of an Engineer, so I clicked to see what it was about.  I thought it would be a lecture or something, but it’s actually an opportunity to learn how to run the train and actually drive it!  Holy crap!  That is an awesome idea.  It’s within the price that I had budgeted for his gift and I think he would like it.  He’s driven a train before, but when he was young.

I was so excited.  Then I found something else.  A day trip.  Leaving from the museum, you take a train ride through Greensboro, NC and up along the mountains to Charlottesville, VA.  He’s mentioned before that sometimes he thinks about taking the train home just to ride it, and thought well, then maybe he would like this.  Plus, I’ve heard how cute Charlottesville is and would like to visit myself.  You can choose coach, or two types of first class.  One of which is sitting in a car with a glass dome ceiling so you can really take in the view.  That one falls into my price range, but only for one ticket, not two.  And it is only happening two days.  One of which he is working and the other day he is working the day before.  I’d have to find out if he could get someone to come in and relieve him early.

Anyway, at least there are options now.  And it’s something I don’t think he would expect and somethign a little different.  I was telling my mom about all of this and she’s like, well how much is the fire tool, so I told her.  She said, why don’t you get the train things and I’ll get him the fire tool – that way he still gets it.  I feel a lot better.  I only wish his birthday was sooner!!

On another note, my mom went ahead and bought the tool today.  And shipped it to my office since he would know what it was if it went to the house.  Now, I’ll have to keep it under my desk until October or bring it home and hide it in the garage attic or something until then. ha.

I’m tired of it all lately.  I’m tired physically.  I’m tired of hating my job.  I’m tired of being ridiculously broke, and I do mean ridiculously broke.  I’m tired of not being able to get an interview at a job in a related field that I think I would really love.  I’m tired of not being entirely sure of what I want to be when I grow up (because I’m convinced I’m not there yet).  I’m just tired.

When I woke up yesterday, I was exhausted.  I slept, but not well, and felt like I hadn’t slept at all.  I should have been at work at 7:30 so I could take summer hours on Friday, but that just wasn’t happening.  When I got to work, I did what I needed to to get by for the day and little else.  Surprisingly, the day went by pretty quickly.

I went home to L and made dinner and we ate together.  Shep sat nicely, longing for one of us to drop something.  Dixie, well, Dixie is bad when we eat.  Although she didn’t bark non-stop at us like usual, she was very pushy and kept trying to take food off of L’s plate.  In the end, she was held in place while Shep got to lick the plates for being good.  I know that she probably doesn’t understand why he got it and she didn’t, but oh well.

We lounged and watched TV.  I was so content just sitting there with L, but he kept asking me what was wrong.  I told him nothing, because as far as he and I are concerned, it is nothing.  But in reality, part of my life is falling to shambles and there’s not much I can do about it.

My parents don’t have a lot of money.  We never have.  I grew up in a nice town.  In a small, but nice house.  I went to good schools growing up and I danced for 16 years.  They provided me with everything that I needed and tried their best to give me a lot of the things I wanted (within reason).  I’m the only one.  I have no brothers or sisters.  Some say I’m spoiled.  And I’ll admit that I am.  But not with material things.   

My mom always made my bed for me.  Did my laundry – even when I brought it home from college.  Cooked all of our meals.  Brought me to and from school when I didn’t want to take the bus.   To and from dance, and play practice and cheerleading practice.

Then it was time for me to go to college.  We drove all over CT, RI, MA, NY, NJ, DE and even DC and NC looking at schools.  There was no question that I was going to go to college, but cost was an issue.  I only looked at a few schools that were over $20,000 a year.  In the end, I went to a state school in NC.  It was less expensive than going to UCONN and I had no interest in going to any of the other CT state schools.  Mostly because I wanted to get out of CT.

My mom took care of researching and applying for financial aid.  Each semester, I signed the green forms accepting my student loans.  They weren’t much (in the grand scheme of things) – $5000 for the entire year.  But what I didn’t know at the time, were the other loans that were taken out.  Student loans, but not the government funded kind.  All of these covered the remainder of my tuition for the year, books and housing.  These too are in my name.  Co-signed by my grandmother, who no longer has any assets and lives in a nursing home on Title 19 aid.  My mom wasn’t able to get them in her name because of her and my father’s financial history, but somehow, she was able to get them in my Grandma’s name.  My grandma, of course, knew about this and agreed.

When I graduated college, my parents agreed to pay for all of the loans.  And even if I wanted to, I can’t pay them.  I just don’t have enough money.  At all.  I am so broke these days, I’m not even sure how I get by.  I don’t spend my money friviously anymore.  I check the grocery sales.  Often decline invitations to go out on the weekends.  And all of these trips and weddings and everything else I talk about?  I save for those.  For months and months and months.  We’re going to the beach next weekend.  I’ve allotted spending, eating and gas money.  I can’t even tell you how long it has taken me to save that.  Each month I put a grand total of $300 in savings.  All for allotted things.  Christmas presents, car tax, etc.  My general “just in case” savings has dwindled to zero.  I’m not able to participate in my company’s Simple IRA program – which I know is the absolute worst thing I can do.  Trust me, I know – because I can’t afford to lose another penny from my paycheck.

Last Wednesday my cell phone rang while I was at work.  The number came up as restricted and I figured it was L’s mom (her phone comes up like that for some reason).  When I answered, it was not.  The gentleman on the line asked to speak with [Kris DanceintheRain].  I confirmed that’s who I was.  I knew it was serious when he said is this [Kris DanceintheRain] whose Social Security Number ends in [1234].  Yes, I said.

Ms. [DanceintheRain], I’m calling from Company X to let you know that your student loans are 60 days past due and have been turned over to us, a collection agency. 

Fuck.

After making some unnecessary comments about how he had to do “research” to find me because I had moved out of state, but hadn’t changed my mailing address (you know, since my parents take care of them), I told him I would have to call him back.  I was not able to put the $1000-plus payment on a credit or debit card like he was requesting.  I told him my parents took care of this and I would have to talk to them.

I called my mom and let her know.  And immediately she had this irritated tone in her voice.  I was short and to the point, only because I was about to start crying.  For me.  For my mom.  For this whole thing.  She told me she would call them the next day when she wasn’t at work and take care of it.

And she did.  She made a payment to bring the amount due to a certain amount and then I got a verbal forebearance (sp?) that basically is supposed to make this all OK for a brief minute so my mom can get caught up and back on track with it.

Please do not get me wrong, I am so so SOOO grateful that my parents are doing this.  Especially when they don’t have the money.

But at the same time, it is ruining my credit.  I have been turned over to a collection agency.  I can’t even get a credit card to transfer and consolodate two other cards on to in an effort to pay them off.  I haven’t used them in months and even though I make more than the minimum payment each month, it’s like I get no where.

I’m 25 years old and I can’t make any kind of major or semi-major investments like so many of my peers.  There is no buying a house or condo or anything like that.  And I know that this will take some time to clear from my name.

L and I talk about getting married more and more.  What seems like a bajillion times a day sometimes.  He’s even said that based on when he thinks he might ask me, maybe it will be 2010 when we actually get marrried.  Now, I know it’s about the act of marriage and not the big party, but how are we supposed to  have a wedding if neither one of us has any money and neither do my parents.  He knows that I don’t come from a family that is very well off, but I don’t think that he really gets it when I tell him that. 

All of my bills are paid on time and in excess of what they need to be.  All in an effort so that someday we will be better off than my parents, but as they try to help me, it’s hurting me as well.  

And I can’t do anything about it.  Because I just don’t have it.  And if I did, I would contribute in a heartbeat.

It’s just so depressing.  And frustrating.  And makes me want to cry.  And most of all it stresses me out, which is probably why I’m not sleeping well and why I am so tired.

Ugh.  Sorry for the tangent.  I wouldn’t even share somethign so personal, but I just have to get it out.

It was pretty cold this morning – only about 28 degrees when I left the house.  Now, I know that would feel like the tropics to some of the people who have been experiencing sub-zero temperatures and wind chills recently, but it’s cold for here.  Also, I’ve done the sub-zero temperatures and wind chills.  Walking 10 blocks with your eyes tearing from the viscious wind that cuts through your clothes and makes your skin ice-like to the touch even if you did wear your favorite fleece-lined leggings from your dancing days under your dress pants.  I’ve done it, and it sucks.  And that’s why I moved back to North Carolina.

So 28 is cold.

All of my pants are dirty, a wrinkled mess that will take more than the 5 minutes I have allotted myself to iron them or they don’t really fit anymore.  So I wore a skirt.  No big deal.  I wear skirts all the time in the winter.

Except when I go to the drawer to pull out a pair of “tights,” I can’t find any.  The pair I wore yesterday got snags and a hole in them by the end of the day, and I didn’t have any others in my stash. 

That’s OK, I thought to myself, I’ll just stop at Super Target on my way to the office and pick up another pair.

Then I left 10  minutes late.  And I was late to work yesterday, so I couldn’t be late again.

So, here I am.  In the middle of February.  With a skirt on and no tights.  I know they don’t provide a great deal of protection from the elements, but there is also what I like to call the Casper Factor.

Again.  It’s the middle of February.  My legs are white.  White like Casper the Ghost.  I would really like something covering them.

I have always had an issue with tights, stockings, pantyhose, or let’s just say, leg coverings.

When I was little, it was a fight for my mom to get me into them.  Extra time had to be allotted before dance class or when she was dressing me up.  She says she would have to shake me into them, because that was the only way I would cooperate.

Then, when I was still a child, but a little older, I wouldn’t want to put them on because the itched my legs.  Lotion and powder would often be used to prevent this.  Or, at least that’s what my  mom told me it did.

Don’t even get me started on what would happen if they got wet.  Wearing leg coverings when it rains = a very unhappy, slightly freaking out Kris.  I don’t like it.  To this day, I refrain from wearing them when there is the chance that they might get wet.

I have made great strides though.  Up until about a year or two ago, I would not touch the ground with my feet if they were not in shoes.  This meant that I would get the shoes I was going to wear, put them on the floor by the bed or chair I was going to sit in. Put one foot in the tights, immediately place it in the shoe,  put the other foot in the tights, immediately put it in the other shoe, stand up and pull them the rest of the way on.  Then I would put on the skirt, dress, winter capris, etc. that I would be wearing that day.

Now, tights are also disposable to me.  It is a rarity that I am able to wear them more than once because I usually get a run, hole or unsightly snag in them by the end of the first wearing.  Because of this, I have bare legs today in the middle of winter.  It was so much easier when I worked in Manhattan and could run down to the Duane Reade in my office building and just get a new pair.

L says I am high  maintenance when it comes to this.  Actually he says I’m high maintenance all the time, but he’s really just confusing that with my OCD tendencies (I can’t help it if the bed HAS to be made before I leave the house). 

My mom agrees.  And she also finds it aggrevating that I call everything “tights.” 

“They’re not tights,” she’ll say.  “They are pantyhose!”

Now, I know that tights are thicker, and are usually more cotton-y.  Or, you buy them by asking for Capezio Hold ‘n Stretch in Suntan… oh they days of dance competitions.

But I just call them tights.  I don’t know why.  I just do.  And that’s probably how it’s going to be for the rest of my life.  And if I have a daughter, she’ll probably call everything tights too.  And I won’t fault her.

So, to all those girls out there, who dislike the leg coverings, but realize that sometimes you just have to wear them – I sympathize.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!  For once, I’m not bitter. 🙂

There are evil doers in my office.  I don’t think they know it, but they are.  Today, like every other day, I walked in.  Turned my computer on.  Walked to the kitchen.  Now, normally I get a cup, fill it with ice and water then a bowl and a spoon for the cereal I keep at my desk.  But today.  Today was a different story.

I was faced with, not one box of donuts to taunt me – but seven boxes of donuts to taunt me.  So now, I can’t just say “oh, I don’t really like that kind, I won’t have one” because each box is a different kind.  Surely in one of those seven boxes there is going to be a kind of Dunkin Donuts donut that I like – because, let’s be realistic.  There aren’t many that I don’t like.

Sure enough.  I open up box number two.  Mmm, glazed donuts.  And sooo fresh!  It really is rare that you get a good, fresh donut from one of those places lately. 

Did I take it?

Yup, never even reached for the bowl and the spoon.  Sigh.  I have no willpower.

What’s worse.  My mom and I are in competition.  The first one to lose 10 pounds has to give the other $100 – cash.  That’s a lot of money!  And I know that if she wins, she’s going to actually want the money.  It’s not going to be “oh, it’s OK Kris, you don’t have to give it to me.”  Nope, she’s serious about this.

Oh gosh.  Here’s to starting over tomorrow!