Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Will you still need me, will you still feed me?

Tomorrow marks the 7th day in a row I've had to work.

It started last Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. - unloading a truck by candlelight - and has continued through an entire fragrance counter reset, decorating for Halloween, assisting disaster-weary customers, and setting up an early Christmas gift set display (all of which has required lots of heavy lifting, standing, walking, climbing, squatting, problem-solving, and intense concentration.)

I've seen a thousand faces over the past week. Stunned parents and kids getting out of the house for the first time after endless days of not having water or electricity, cocky young electricians on their first trip to Texas and their older co-workers who obviously don't find the adventure so thrilling, retired people on fixed incomes with no idea how they're going to get their roofs repaired or their yards cleared, and prescription junkies scared they're going to run out of "medicine."

An 80-something year old man came to my counter today to buy toenail clippers. He leaned heavily on a walking cane and had mild tremors in his hands. He bought some heavy-duty clippers and told me how, a few years ago, he'd gotten to the point where he couldn't bend down to clip his own toenails; he said his doctor used to do it but he couldn't get an appointment for him to do it anymore. Then he looked at his bag and looked at me like he just didn't know what he was going to do. For a second I could see the young man behind the old man's eyes wondering where the hell all the years had gone and what was he going to do now? Then he walked away.

It made me wonder who would clip my toenails when I get old.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

And that's all I have to say about that

Ike has come and gone. The bastard. I'll give him no more glory. But I will say this - as soon as I heard his name, I knew it was going to be bad. Big wheel keep on turning, proud Mary keep on burning, but ain't nothing rollin' around here but the sound of the generator outside my bedroom window. Thank you, Tina Turner.

Now we can say we survived Ike, too.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Thank you, Groucho Marx

I actually liked my job yesterday. Not too bad for one day out of ninety. I got to organize our displays - finally - in the cosmetics department. Have I ever mentioned that I work there? Yes, I am a beauty adviser. Stifle your laughter, please.

So, today, I'm sitting on the couch with a dachsund by my side (my new stepdog), waiting for 1:30 to get here 'cause I have to be at work at 2. Maybe I'll like it again today.

It's been a while since I've played on the computer for hours. I joined Facebook (thank you, E.), played on MySpace (happy birthday T'Noya; hope you enjoyed the view, Paul), and contemplated looking at wedding rings - again - but never did.

Which leads me to the the whole surreal wedding planning thing.

I haven't mentioned my honey much, previously. He is a teacher and an assistant chief for the local volunteer fire department. He loves to read and talk and cook and eat good food and all the things I love. I like him a whole real lot. We were originally going to elope to Las Vegas, but have since decided to stay home so we can include the kids and friends and family. So, now we have to plan a wedding.

First of all, I have an aversion to traditional anything. And I would rather spend money on the honeymoon than the wedding. So, I think we're going to make it a potluck. And, to my mother's great consternation, we are going to get married on a weeknight - November 12th at 6 pm. (You are all invited.)

It will have to be in our backyard, because the house is too small. And it will definitely be BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair) for those who wish to sit through the ceremony. But the main point of the whole event will be the two of us making a lifelong commitment to each other.

And really, there's no one I'd rather be committed with -

in the institution -

of marriage.

Friday, September 05, 2008

What a difference two months makes

It's been nearly two months since my last post. Why? A lot of reasons. The main one being that between moving into a new house unexpectedly, getting kids ready for school (new schools at that since we moved into a different district), and working 40 hours a week, I haven't even had time to check e-mails lately.

However, I was told by an avid fan of mine yesterday that I should write something, anything. Even if it's just my grocery list. I'll spare you the details of my culinary ineptitude, but the dust has settled enough for me to get back in the swing of things.

Now for the update: After looking for a house most of the summer and not finding a suitable one, my honey and I decided we would have to wait until next summer to unite our lives and our families (he has a 16 year-old son, Natthan, ironically enough, and I have my three still at home, Katie - 13, Joseph - 10, and Savannah - 8). I didn't want the kids to have to switch schools in the middle of the school year, so I was resigned to wait. Well, at the end of July, Dalt found a 4-bedroom house, we looked at it together, and before you could say 'change of plans', we were packing up two houses and moving. Now we'll be getting married in November.

The kids are adjusting well, with the exception of Katie. She had to switch schools right before 8th grade and is very, very upset about it. She feels that everything has been taken away from her. Her brother, her father, her house with a pool. And now her friends and her 8th grade year, which she felt was going to be her "best year ever." Now she's the new girl who doesn't know anybody. And there's not a damn thing I can do about any of it.

Joseph and Natthan share a bedroom, quite happily since Joseph is so relieved to finally not have to share a room with a sister. Savannah has her own room, and Katie has her own room. The house is brick and only four years old. It's small but cozy.

My honey never ceases to amaze me with his thoughtfulness, compassion and support. He sings to me, holds me when I cry, listens when I scream, and makes me laugh - a lot. He is my heart.

Walgreens is still there. I work every weekend. I don't want to talk about it. My nightmare is to wake up in 20 years and still be there.

So, basically, you're caught up. Now I'm going to go soak in my ridiculously large bathtub, give Katie to God - again, and count my blessings.