Tiny Bit of Crazy

A chronical of the laughter, revelations and transformations that are possible when you embrace the crazy

The Top 10 Reasons Why Mer Would Make a Spectacularly Awful Super Hero August 11, 2011

Remember a few weeks ago when I was all “I’m a guest blogger!” ? over at Do These Kids Make Me Look Crazy? (Btw, the answer is, “li’l bit”)

So now its Tara’s turn to be a guest blogger on my page.  And she’s not holding back.

But before you read it, I’d just like to say that while I know its hilarious, and hilarious always equals “totally true”, there are a few things I would just like to comment on before you start reading why I’d make a terrible super hero.

First of all, I did not watch every episode of 90210. I totally missed like at least half of the final season because I was in college with my own “for real” drama, which it turns out is way more interesting than TV drama. (But only because they didn’t have reality TV back then, cause that shit beats real life every time.) However, Luke Perry is probably at least 70% to blame for me failing 9th grade math.

Second, yes my boyfriend is super cute, isn’t he? (But um, pssst, Tara? Even though I love you like a sister and I’d do anything for you, get too friendly with him and I’ll cut you and not feel bad.  Just sayin’).

Third, I would argue that points 4 and 9 actually are super powers, not anti-super powers, as Tara believes.

Here’s why: #4 keeps people off-balance and often leads to great spontaneous comedic moments. Especially when small children repeat me. And funny is always good.

Always.

And worth corrupting minors and offending grandmothers and priests for.

As for #9 – this pretty much means I get whatever I want. In high school I had a TV and VCR,  in my room, along with a phone and a double bed that was perfect for sleep overs. Tara was always jealous of my sweet set up (made more sweet, I like to believe, by the gray and pink early 90’s inspired design elements), but did she ever think to wonder how I got all that? And all the traffic tickets I’ve gotten out of, the jobs I’ve kept despite gross incompetence? You’d be surprised what a few tears can do…they even led to Eunice Kennedy Shriver being nice to me for 5 whole minutes.  If that’s not a super power, I don’t know what is…

Anyway…I’ll let you all read her post and see what you think, because now that she’s reminded me about the squirrels, I have to figure out where the bathroom is in my office building (again), so I cry in private.

————

Remember a few weeks ago, when Mer was a guest contributor on my blog?  She was all, “Tara almost starved her children because she’d rather see their cold, dead, emaciated bodies lying on the floor than crack an egg or risk getting burned on the stove top.  So I had to drive down there just to make those sweet babies some pancakes and rice krispie treats.”

Um, that was an exaggeration.  They’re not that sweet.  And they’re no longer babies who can be fed via my breastmilk, fully saturated with chocolate and caffeine, which is why they are in a constant state of near malnutrition.  Finally, they certainly weren’t near death, as several friends had dropped off some treats in the last month or so and we hadn’t even resorted to picking the last of the strawberries out of my neighbor’s garden.

So don’t go thinking Mer’s some sort of superhero or anything.

Truly, she’d make the worst superhero ever.   I mean, sure, she could rock a pair of thigh-high boots and her cleavage would look majestic in a sequined spandex top.  But that’s where the likeness ends, folks.

And because she was so focused on bragging about how she can melt butter and marshmallows together in a single pot, she didn’t stop to think about how I know approximately 134,577 secrets about her.  I’ve known her since we were twelve years old and we’re now, like, 100. I know that she once owned a Thighmaster.  I know that if a clown even looks at her, she’ll cry. I know that she’s watched every single episode of Beverly Hills 90210 and lusted after Dylan McKay and his scarred eyebrow so hard that she almost failed ninth grade math.  I even know how and with whom she lost her virginity.  The first, second, and third time, mind you.

(Dry spells that last longer than 1 year = renewed virginity, y’all.)

See, she forgot about my extraordinary knowledge base in her quest to showcase her ability to hypnotize my hungry children with her fancy pancake shaper-thingies and a liberal use of sprinkles.  She also failed to consider that I have an underdeveloped conscience, a verbal filter that crapped out on me the day my husband ran for the hills, and an active aversion to the delete key on my laptop.

As an additional factor, she’s got this really cute boyfriend whom she’s still trying to impress.

(Hiiiiiii, Chris.)

Anyway, let’s talk about the Top 10 Reasons Why Mer Would Make a Spectacularly Awful Superhero:

1)      She has absolutely no sense of direction.  None.  I’m not just talking about east vs. west.  No, I mean left/right and up/down, too.

2)      She has no pain tolerance.  Like, she can barely handle a hang nail without excessive whining, an unveiling of her wound as though she’s displaying a newborn baby, and at least three phone calls to her mom, who studied homeopathic medicine for this very reason.

3)      She loses stuff.  Aside from obvious stuff, like her virginity and self-control around M&Ms, she has also lost tickets to an awesome concert, at least 50 dollars in cash, all her tax records from 2008 and 2009, and the left shoe from a pair of kick-ass heels that she once wore to an event attended by the Kennedy family.

4)      She really enjoys using the word “f*ck”.  In front of children, preferably.  And it’s done in a sneaky, non-angry way, so you don’t even have any warning.

5)      She absolutely falls apart when she’s around someone who is in a crisis situation.  Like, if you are ever in a life-threatening situation, please understand that you will die.  And as you are taking your final breath, there’s a decent chance she might reach out to you for comfort, as watching you die is obviously very traumatizing and will linger in her mind long after your wretched death.

6)      She doesn’t like being too hot.  Or too cold.  Or wet.  Basically, she really can’t handle the elements.  Like, if she could fly, instead of being all, “Omg, I can fly”, she’d just get super pissed if a bug flew in her mouth or she got sunburn.   Oh, and “camping” is not a term that she’s ever going to look favorably upon, no matter what she tells her ex-military boyfriend.

7)      She’s not brave.  At all.  Once she became nearly catatonic for several hours after watching a momma squirrel eat her baby squirrels on her back porch.  We were all super worried about her and ended up having to stop making little baby-squirrel-screaming noises every time she walked into the room.

8)      I can’t even bear to discuss the concept of “Mer” and “weapons” in the same sentence.

9)      She’s a crier.  Big time.  She tries to normalize it by saying that my ability to hold my shit together when I watch the final scene in romantic comedies means I’m “dead inside”, but my extensive experience as her friend tells me that this girl is a crier who can be tipped into hysterics about as quickly as it takes a momma squirrel to eat her first baby.

10)   She’s a little bit racist, so she’d probably only be willing to save white people or Asian babies. Okay, that’s a lie.  She’s not racist at all and she has no particular affinity toward Asian babies.  But when she read this, she was probably like, “What the f*ck?  If I could stop crying long enough to find my left shoe and figure out which way was south, I’d totally kick her ass.”

There.  You see?

I’m super confident that this list has thoroughly convinced you that Mer should never, ever, EVER be considered a superhero.  Well, not for the general public anyway.

The thing is . . . she’s kind of my superhero.  Sure, she might not be brave, or organized, or particularly good at problem-solving in a crisis, but she is stellar at feeding my little ones, driving seven hours in order to spend New Year’s Eve making me margaritas and watching Redbox movies, reading all the drivel I write on the internet, listening to me whine about my failed marriage, lending me her Thighmaster, letting me making fun of her guest post on her blog, and agreeing that I’m smarter and prettier.

Okay, I may have made that last part up.

Regardless, she’s mine.  So, hands off.

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Lack of Information Desk June 1, 2011

My desk sits in front of two glass doors that face out into the lobby of my office building. My office is the first office you come to when you come in the building entrance from the parking garage.

As a result, I’m often mistaken for an information desk. Despite the gigantic sign behind me announcing the name of my company. A name that in no way looks or sounds like, “Information Desk”.

I constantly struggle with how accommodating to be to these wayward souls who wander in here. I’m a little more tolerant (though rarely helpful) of the ones who are in the right building but wrong floor. The ones who really vex me though, are the ones who know they are in the  wrong building and want me to give them directions to another address of a building that may, or may not, be in the general vicinity of my building.

I HATE giving directions. I suck at it because I have no natural sense of direction, I can’t read a map, and I’m not all that familiar with the area surrounding my office. For me, giving directions to someone is an opportunity for me to feel stupid.  

I don’t need strangers coming into my office and making me feel stupid.

That’s what my co-workers are for.

Pretty soon after I started working here, I learned to respond to these requests for help with a stone faced “sorry, I don’t know,” before turning back to my computer and pretending to type something of great importance until they give up and find someone in the lobby with a ‘Droid phone or an iPad who can help them.

I do struggle with this approach though because I know it’s not very nice.

But at the same time, this IS a place of business, and I have a job to do, and it doesn’t involve giving directions to stupid lost people.

On the other hand, I do worry about karma. I myself sort of suck at life, and it’s not impossible that I could at some point find myself in desperate need for a stranger to go outside their comfort zone and help me out, not because they have to, but because it’s the decent thing to do…

But at the end of the day, my generally inhospitable nature wins out and I basically tell people to F*off. With my face, not my words.  That would just be crude.

But sometimes it doesn’t work.

Like today.

90% of the lost people are elderly or non-english speaking, which sometimes makes me slightly less hostile. But I estimate this guy to be in his mid twenties, and English was definitely his first language.

He opens the door and says “Hey, I’m a little bit lost, can you tell me where Legato Road is?”

I know I’ve passed a sign for that road at some point, and as I’m trying to decide if I want to/am able to figure it out, he says “Can you just google map it for me?”

I was so stunned by the audacity of the request and the confidence with which he asked it…that I did it.

Then two seconds later wondered what the fuck I was doing, so decided I’d just bring up the map and print it out and send him on his way.

I type in the address he gives me, the address of my office, and hit print.

He says “Can you turn your monitor so I can see the map?”

I said “I’m printing it for you,” in my flattest voice and I got up from my desk and went into the copy room to get it off the printer.

But one of my co-workers was printing a gigantic .PDF file and I realized it would be several minutes before the map would print.

That’s when I lost my patience. One of my co-workers, who knows how much I hate playing Information Desk, was in the copy room and commented on “my friend at my desk.”

“That stupid ass. Where does he get off asking me do to errands for him like its my job?” I fiercely whispered before taking a deep breath and returning to my desk, where he was still waiting, draped over my desk like he was posing for a weird magazine about ugly office furniture.

“It’s not going to print,” I said in a voice that made clear I’d lost all patience with this exercise. He looked at me expectantly, either ignoring or not seeing my irritation.

After a seconds debate I grabbed my monitor and turned it toward him, thinking this was the easiest path to ending this. I stood there with my arms crossed, sighing loudly as he studied the map.

He said “can you zoom out?”

I said “What?!” Not because I hadn’t heard him, but because I was shocked he was asking for more.

He said, more slowly this time “Can you take the mouse and zoom out?” What is it about sitting at a receptionist desk that automatically makes people think I’m slow-witted?

Figuring it was better that I put my hand on the mouse instead of his throat, I zoomed out, but not without giving a very loud, very obviously highly irritated sigh.

As he continued to study the zoomed out map for several minutes, I suddenly realized that if my boss were to walk by, he’d destroy this guy.

I thought about warning him. Then immediately started trying to summon my boss telepathically.

Unfortunately, as another full minute passed with this guy leaning over my desk, studying my monitor, my boss did not appear.

Then he said “Ok….I think I’ve got it….” Then he glanced at me with a smile and said “Thanks,” before walking out the door. Like this was a totally normal thing for him to have done.

In my shock I didn’t react.

After I recovered I was flooded with irritation and judgement for this guy.

And then I remembered about karma and started to wonder if I should have been nicer. But all I could think was:

How is it possible that a well dressed, 20-something man doesn’t have a GPS, a smart phone, OR at the very least the ability to call someone on his pre-historic non-smart cell phone who gives a shit about him who could look up the directions for him.

But lets say he left his iPhone at home. Why does he think its appropriate to walk into an office building and into a random office and demand to be attended to?

That’s what gas stations are for. Aside from providing gas and over priced junk food, that’s why they exist – to give directions to people who forget their phones and can’t work their GPS’s.

Trust me, I know.

 

The Devil Is In The Details March 10, 2011

 Last night I had a date with the new guy, who we’re gonna call “C”. It was, in fact, a perfect example of the kind of date I described in my last post, except I was organizing it. We sort of take turns planning the dates, but not in a cutesy “Oh, honey, let ME plan this one! (giggle)” sort of way. Its more of  an “Ok, you plan this one because I planned the last one” sort of way. 

So last night was my turn. And I had a plan. I had bought a Groupon for movie tickets, so I proposed we go to the movies – an activity I love (mostly because of the popcorn) and rarely do. C agreed and then told me to surprise him with what movie because he said “I like surprises!”

Well, I aim to please.

The tickets were through Fandango. You had to go on the Fandango site, click on the tab for theaters that accept Fandango, then enter your zip code. No problem.

A list of theaters came up and the first was the Regal Cinema in Fairfax and it had a few movies I wanted to see at convenient times. I was about to order the tickets when I thought to double check with him regarding exactly what time he could pick me up.

Because I’m all about the details.

With the pick up time confirmed, I selected the movie and purchased the tickets. I very carefully read through all of the instructions regarding redeeming the tickets because I’ve never used Fandango before. I had the option to write down a confirmation code and redeem the tickets at the theater, OR print out the tickets and just walk in with them. I decided to print them out because that seemed the more reliable option, and I didn’t want to take any chances on my date night.

I double checked that I had the tickets twice before I left work.

About 10 minutes before he was supposed to pick me up, I decided to switch purses, and very carefully made sure I transferred the tickets into the new purse. Because forgetting to do that is totally something I would do. But not this time. This was my night, and I. was. on it.

He picks me up exactly on time (actually a few minutes early) because that’s how he rolls. For the first time, I was ready to walk out the door as soon as he knocked. Because we had a schedule tonight, and I was not going to make us late for the movie.

We park with 15 minutes to spare before the movie starts, plenty of time to load up on the popcorn and candy we’d already discussed purchasing.

As we approach the theater, I start to wonder exactly how the ticket thing works. What I printed out looks a lot like an actual ticket and I’m assuming we just give that to the high school kid who rips the tickets… I start to get a little anxious at this unknown element in my date plan, but since there hadn’t been time for a dry run, I have no choice but to assume it will be fine.

The theater is basically empty, and we head for the little opening in the ropes that separate the lobby from the concession and the theaters and…there’s no one there. We stand there for a minute and look around, printed out tickets in my hand ready to present, and no one comes over. So we walk through and go to the concession stand and order our large popcorn with butter and Goobers (which I’ve never actually ordered at a movie before, but completely agree with C that “it’s just fun to say”.)

As we stand at the concession stand I look at the lists of movies playing down each hallway, looking for our theater…and I don’t see our movie listed. I think this is the real benefit of the kid who rips the tickets – directing us toward the appropriate theater. We get our popcorn and soda and Goobers, and C starts to walk in the direction I’m looking. I’m feeling a vague sense of anxiety starting to build, although I’m ignoring it.

“I don’t see the movie listed…” I say to C as we start to walk down one hallway.

“OK,” he says “Maybe its just not listed.” And he keeps walking. I start scanning based on movie times, thinking maybe they are displaying an abbreviated version of the title that I don’t recognize. But nothing lines up.

We get to the end of the hallway and C, still totally unconcerned because he still has a basic and reasonable level of trust in me, says “huh. Well, maybe its in the other hallway.” But I’m suddenly overcome with a panic, because I know me, and I do not have a basic or reasonable level of trust in me. My brain starts spitting out every detail related to this event, highlighting the ones I didn’t double check. They all lay in a jumble on the floor of my brain like tiles spilled from a Yahtzee cup.

C starts to walk back down the hallway, idly munching popcorn as I sift through the pieces and suddenly hit on the glowing neon yellow piece…

The name and address of the theater.

“Hang on!” I say to C as I stop dead in my tracks. “Hold this” I shove the popcorn at him as I reach into my purse. I pull the tickets out of my purse and start to look at them, and he says “it’s not going to say the theater”, meaning the actual theater within the building. Because he can’t contemplate the very real possibility that…

Wait, it’s not just a possibility.

“I think we’re in the wrong theater” I say finally, staring at the name and address of the theater, still not sure of the exact name/address of the building in which we are standing, and yet fairly positive it is not what is on the paper.

Because this is my life.

C says something like “well, we’ll just go to the other hallway – ” because he still doesn’t get it.

“NO.” I say, showing him the paper. “We’re like, AT the wrong theater.”

He looks down, and reads off the address, looks up at me with a confused look on his face, as he clearly tries to work out which theater we are in, and which theater the tickets might be for.

Suddenly I know. “Is this,” I say pointing to the paper “the theater down the road? Over where TJ Max is?”

Realization dawns on his face. I want the floor to swallow me up.

“We’re in the wrong theater?!” He says with a loud laugh, half question, half statement.

I look at our large bucket of popcorn, soda, and Goobers, and I know without looking at the clock that we don’t have time to go to the other theater.

“We’re staying here. We’re just going to see another movie,” I announce, and as I do when I’m embarrassed, I start moving fast in an attempt to get past this moment in my life and perhaps convince myself it never happened.

C is laughing as he walks beside me, but I can tell he’s laughing with me, not at me. Even though he’d have every right to laugh at me.  Loudly. I giggle a little bit at the ridiculousness that is my life, as I try to focus on the names of the other movies starting soon.

“How about this one?” He says, and I look at the title unable to recall what it’s about. He starts to summarize the plot and I immediately agree realizing there was no chance on earth I’d challenge any suggestion he made at that moment.

As we walk into the theater C is still chuckling and says “OK, note to self, always verify all details.”  There is a part of me that wants to protest that this is not the norm… but who am I kidding? This is absolutely the norm.  I tell myself it’s better that he sees this now while it’s still early, because even though he’s heard most of my stories, and read this blog in its entirety, nothing could really prepare him for the reality of my inability to properly navigating the world. He starts to laugh again, shakes his head and says “And you even planned this in advance!”

“I know!” I say, laughing despite myself, because its pretty much the only thing to do at this point.

As we settle into our seats, he starts to laugh again and says almost to himself “The wrong theater! Oh my god,” and I look over to see if this is an indication that, as the reality sinks in, he’s becoming less amused, perhaps envisioning a future filled with wrong theaters, wrong restaurants, missed planes, and driving miles in the wrong direction because I said I had it under control.

All very realistic scenarios.

But he’s looking back at me with a wide grin and he says “You are so cute,” and leans in to drop a quick kiss on me.

.

So, at least I’ve got that going for me.

 

 
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