In between jobs I’m putting my possessions in boxes as if my next job will be hundreds of miles away. After documenting my life since college I have nearly 20 journals packed up in a box, too heavy to move from the middle of the living room floor. It’s surreal, the notion that the past decade of my life can fit inside a cardboard box. I can tell you what I was wearing on this day five years ago, what I ate for lunch this day one year ago and what adorable thing Ray did four months ago. I wrote down everything. I keep writing it all down.
With so much time on my hands, I’m baking. February was met with chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies and this month sees peanut butter cookies made with homemade peanut butter. If those little girl Scouts would just let in a 32 year old into their little “club” I would be set. Instead, I queue up at the post office after putting such sweet treats in a box and send them up north.
When not in the house packing and baking, I’m outside tending to neglected gutters. Untouched in five years, there’s sediment that could pass for coffee grinds and so many black leaves. What took me so long, you ask. I’m a low functioning adult. Part of me resents the fact that I’m alone and have no one around to lend a helping hand or at the very leas Obviously I thought that my husband, or the very least a live-in boyfriend, wouldn’t be too far behind my house purchase. A single girl’s version of “Field of Dreams”.
Everything in a box.
Yesterday I joined all of the children of Charlotte for free frozen yogurt at Menchie’s in celebration of National Frozen Yogurt Day which is a real thing. Even though it was 50 degrees outside, everyone was desperate for free frozen treats.
I loaded up my cup with flavors like hot chocolate, vanilla snow, and coffee royale. When it came time for decorating my chilly canvas, I was overwhelmed by so many toppings, cookies, fruit, sauces, nuts. As I reached out for the sprinkles spoon I had Progressive Flo’s voice in my head, “sprinkles were for winners.” I didn’t feel like a winner yesterday, mostly because I had snot dripping down my nose from walking two miles in the cold to get to Menchie’s. And I wasn’t proud of myself for even being there in the first place. I meant to break up with sugar this year. But it was free and I needed to get out of the house just to remember what it’s like to interact with human beings.
I ate my sprinkles-less treat on my way back to where I had left my car. At the gym where I have spent a great deal of time in the past week, not for exercise mind you, but to borrow their wifi so I can find a job. So far, no good. Applying for so many jobs and not getting any kind of interest is really depressing. I can’t wait to be able to be a winner at employment so I can adorn my frozen yogurt with sprinkles.
Unemployment feels like a breakup. I have friends calling to check in on me. They bad mouth my former occupation, saying I was too smart for it and remind me that there are other jobs in the sea when they email me job openings. They remind me that I haven’t been happy in years there.
I’m rereading my journal from May 2009 when I was going through an actual breakup. He was such an asshole for breaking up with my on Facebook and when I saw him to collect my belongings he had the nerve to suggest I try match.com.
It feels like a breakup because I have to start over and find a new job. I have to find a new routine to how to fill my days.
I don’t miss the people or the work but I do miss having something to do every day. I’m not good with idle hands. They get me into trouble.
Newly unemployed, I can’t afford to get into trouble.
Scene: 10:30 ish on a Thursday morning inside Charlotte’s Aloft Hotel elevator.
First thought: This is an attractive well dressed dude.
Second thought: It’s a Wayans brother.
Third thought: There are a million of them! Which one am I sharing an elevator ride with?
I didn’t have time for any more thoughts before the doors peeled open and I had to get out.
I hit on him before my mad dash. It’s been a long time that I’ve flirted with celebrities so maybe it was flirting, maybe it wasn’t.
Google told me that I was chatting up brother Marlon who was in town for a show at the comedy zone this weekend. If I had $30 for a ticket, I would go and flirt with him properly.
For someone four days into her tenure of unemployment, it was the most excitement I’ve had in quite some time. Now I’m expecting all of my excursions uptown to include run ins with celebrities.
*I wrote this in September and only now is it seeing the light.
I’m coming down from my high. The prodigal seasonal drink returned to Starbucks today. I ordered it with a shot of espresso. I added a chai tea latte to it to craft a makeshift dirty pumpkin. One sip and I’m outside a hot Biscuit Bitch Cafe enjoying my last breakfast in the Emerald City. Love me in Seattle.
A mother’s embrace is what I need. Any mother’s arms will do. I just need that embrace of warmth and comfort and feeling like everything is going to be alright. I haven’t seen my mother since January so I spent $215 to borrow my best friend’s mom when I accompany him to a family wedding.
It seems as if everyone makes a point to remind me of how painfully single I am. A colleague and I share the same commute from our respective parking lots to work and sometimes I’m forced to make small talk before my caffeine consumption. This morning, in an effort to get to know me better, he asked if my family was nearby. When I said no, he then asked if I was married or had a boyfriend. I was obliged to tell him that the only man in my life peed on three legs. He had a bag of peanut M&M’s his wife sent him to work with to share. He handed me two, quipping that Red and Yellow would keep me company.
He’s not the sharpest splinter in the water board, an insult to your intelligence when making fun of someone else.
My fear that I will start communicating in barks like my dog does as my interactions with humans is borderline non-existent.
A lot of time devoted to really bad reality tv shows.
My mom first asked if Ray had enough food in the house before she asked if I had enough food. I’ll start to worry about my finances once we have to start sharing kibble.
A lot of time to reread my journals. I wrote that my ex bf once told me I was 70% nice. In retrospect, he was 100% asshole for saying such a thing.
A lot of lunch invitations with former colleagues as if I want to hang out with them once I am no longer getting paid to put up with their shit.
At dinner at my college friend’s church the other night, her father, whom I hadn’t seen since the middle of December remarked that I was looking slim. I quipped that I was on a new diet called Unemployment.
You would think that I would be reading like the bibliophile I claim to be. I haven’t cracked the spine of anything this week.
When I watch the news forecast, I translate the week as percentages of boredom based on the plans I have made. 80% chance of rain means 100% boredom.
Happy New Year! Can I still say that on January 27? I feel it only appropriate as the first post of 2015.
Almost a month in and 2015 is already full of big changes. After serving a seven year sentence, my time at a dead end job a poop-slinging primate could do is coming to an end at the end of the week. I’ll be a free woman come 5:00 on Friday. When I’m not volleying worry and excitement over the fence that is unemployment, I’m packing up my office and firing up the Internet in search of a new job. I’m looking for jobs close to a boy I’m in love with. His 6’4 frame is the coat rack of hope I want to hang my hat upon. The little feminist in me thinks that it’s fucking crazy to uproot my life for anyone. The little hopeless romantic in me thinks that such a bold move isn’t fucking crazy enough. Who will come out on top? Stay tuned!
What a difference five years can make. The day after I moved into my house, I drove to Atlanta to see Ray LaMontagne, because isn’t that what all first time home buyers do? From the second row of the Fox Theatre I enjoyed his acoustic performance, just a bearded fella with his guitar. Bare bones soul bearing. I waited outside after his show for him to come out. A handful of fans were also braving the chill in the hopes of meeting him. One of his handlers said that he had left already, slid out of unadorned exit. Disappointed, I hailed a taxi back to my hotel.
For the first time, Charlotte was a stop during his fall tour this year. And I couldn’t have been more excited. After the show, I waited again in chilly temperatures between the Ovens exit and his two glossy black tour buses. There were a handful of us fans, diehards shoulder to shoulder with new followers. We shared stories of how many of his concerts we’ve been to. At 11:00 pm on November 1, 2014, my dream of meeting Ray LaMontagne was actualized.
I was gushing when it was my turn to speak to him.
Me: I love you so much…
Ray: Thank you.
Me:…that I named my dog after you.
I showed him a pic of Ray on my phone.
I gave him my ticket to sign.
Me: I’m so excited to meet you that I’m about to pee my pants.
Ray: Don’t do that.
Me: What did they feed you? (I am always interested in what Charlotte delicacies touring bands are introduced to.)
Ray: Lots of good stuff.
Me: Thank you for coming to Charlotte. I’ve waited ten years for you to come here.
Ray asked one of his handlers about Charlotte, thinking that he’s played here before.
Me: I’ve had to drive to Atlanta and Asheville to see you.
Ray: It was nice meeting you.
I shook his hand and walked to my car, a puddle of excitement and exhilaration, an autographed ticket in my hand to be framed and hung next to the framed set list from his show on June 12, 2011 in Cincinnati,Ohio, my hometown; the best birthday present ever.
In the warmth of my car, I updated my Facebook status to read: $77 on ticket to a Ray LaMontagne show at Ovens. $10 to park at said concert venue. $30 on a t-shirt. Meeting Ray after the show and telling him you were so excited to meet him you were near peeing your pants. Priceless.
Days later, I’m still in disbelief about meeting Ray LaMontagne.
Dear Baby K,
I wanted to take this time to tell you about how amazingly wonderful your mother is. I have had the privilege and honor of knowing her for the past fourteen years, although I’m going to start lying about how long we’ve known each other because it makes me feel old. Our friendship was formed a year before we met. How?, you may ask. I shared a P.R.O (peer resource for orientation) with your mom’s high school classmate, Briana. This just means having a pen pal and fostering a relationship with someone who could dispense advice before the start of your college career. You won’t understand until much later, but this would really mean what bars to go to that don’t ask to see IDs. Anyway, oftentimes I’d be hanging out with Briana and your mom in their dorm, mostly to share grievances about our respective roommates. When not in class, we got involved with religious life. This would mean weekend field trips to the mountains and thinking it would be fun to carjack the church van. We watched “The Gilmore Girls” religiously every Tuesday night. Forgoing the dining hall, we’d share Chinese takeout and laughs on the roof of the parking deck. We baked together. Chapel chip cookies, anyone? Our thirst for adventure would lead us to stalking the short, Jewish history professor. Why?, you may ask. Boredom mostly. It was boredom that led me to translating your mom’s dorm room extension 3675 into DORK. (You’re looking at your phone now, aren’t you?) Naturally, your mom is a lot of fun to be around. You won’t appreciate this until much later in your life but I’ve been close to ruining more than one pair of undergarments while heartily laughing with your mom. There are a lot of inside jokes and a lot of “you had to be there”s when retelling jokes. But your mom isn’t all fun and games, she is a very smart lady. Undoubtedly, you will have her voracious appetite for reading and learning. She’s a wonderful storyteller and I hope you have the patience to listen. She has that innate gift to talk to anybody about anything so strangers soon transform into friends. We’ve been through a lot together, even when no longer living in the same city or even state. She moved to Connecticut and fell in love and I got to witness her become a bride when she married your father, who is pretty cool too by the way. And I’m excited to watch her in her new role as mother. You will be so loved, baby girl. I’m happy and blessed to call your mom my best friend and I’m more than excited to meet you and when the time is right, teach you all the bad words I know, most of them I learned from your mother.
Wishing you all the best,
ps~ Please do her a favor and don’t become a cheerleader.
I just finished “Girl Walks into a Bar…” and I feel like if I were to ever meet Rachel Dratch, we would become insta-friends. For starters, she’s fucking hilarious and she really didn’t deserve the shaft from “3o Rock”. She’s not so lucky in the love department, unfortunately, going five years between a serious relationship and meeting her baby daddy at 43. She is best friends with SNL alums Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and a host of charming gay best friends.
“In general, our relationship can best be summed up in the following exchange:
The time: eight A.M. My phone rings. ‘Hello?’ I say in a groggy voice.
‘What’s going on?’
‘I got the best blow job last night.’
‘IT’S TOO EARLY FOR THIS!’ I snap, and hang up on him.”
In the chapter With all due respect to Edgar Allan Poe, she explains the saga of having to dispose of a bedside vibrator before one of Oprah’s favorite things, interior designer Nate Berkus, came over to redecorate her one bedroom NY apartment. Currently, I have a strap on that needs disposing because I’m not a lesbian and have no use for any birthday gag gifts that would only serve as a device to confuse my parents should they have to come to my house to clear out my belongings after my untimely death, which I hope doesn’t happen before I see a real penis again. And I don’t want to throw it away because I’m certain the landfill has enough banished sex toys in it and no one at Goodwill is getting paid enough to have to sort out the personal back massagers from the vibrators. I have thought about dropping it off at an Indigo Girls concert like an abandoned baby on the doorstep of a church with a note attached, Free to a Good Homo. I suppose I’ll just have to wait for one of my lesbian friends to get engaged so I can bestow upon her the fruitcake of sex toys.