Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It started with my slippers

It ended with me crying into my soup at dinner.  I am SUCH a girl.

I am unemployed but I'm still working.  We leave tomorrow afternoon but there are still a ton of things to finish before we go.  Namely, I wanted the house clean from top to bottom.  The last thing I want is to come home from a seven-day vacation to a sink full of dishes, piles of laundry and dust everywhere.  It's enough to make you want to stay gone.  Unfortunately, Drew didn't really get that concept, thinking that vacation means packing a bag and resting.  Bless his heart.  I nagged - I'll say it.  I nagged him to help me clean the house, sweep and mop the floors, empty the trash and the dishwasher while I did the laundry and cleaned the toilets, among other things I'm sure I'm forgetting.  Oh, and we had to do our Christmas shopping, what little we had.  Total recipe for a meltdown.

But back to my slippers.  This morning I was catching up on blog reading and other nonsense on the internet.  This meant that I did not have a close eye on the dog.  She's taken to bringing things in the house that she's not supposed to, like sticks and pieces of our bushes and bringing them to us, inviting us to chase her.  That damn dog thinks it's a game!  You can practically see it on her face - Hey, I've a got a stick in the house and I'm going to chew it to bits and make a mess allll over the house, you wanna do somethin about it?  Huh huh do ya do ya? At first we would chase her, playing right into her manipulative little paws, but then we got smart.  We're all, no big, I don't care if you have a stick in the house.  You don't phase me, punk.  She would see that we weren't going to chase her and her shoulders would kind of slump and she'd just take the stick outside.  Until she found out that there were things we WOULD chase her to get.  Like my beloved slippers.

They were a gift from my mom and I loved them.  That ridiculous dog TOOK my slipper off my nightstand, chewed it up, and had the NERVE to come into the sitting room with the remnants hanging out of her ridiculous mouth!  I could have KILLED her!  I know they say dogs don't have human emotions but I swear she was getting back at me because I wasn't paying attention to her!

My beautiful ballerina slipper - the good one.

I hate that dog.

I needed these slippers to wear at Drew's parent's house - they're my favorites!  For me, my clothes - all of them - are like my security blanket.  I need my outfits, my shoes and my jewelry when I'm going into an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation.  If I'm put together, then I can handle things - it's like my armor.  So it was much more than my slippers - that ridiculous animal tore up a piece of my security blanket.

Then there was my blue sweater.  We're getting family pictures made while we're there and it was my idea for us to wear various shades of blue.  I had a blue sweater that I loved - I knew it looked good on me and I would feel comfortable getting my picture taken in it.  I went to pull it out of the drawer where I thought it was and I couldn't find it.  I started to panic and began pulling out all the drawers but no luck.  I'm sure it's at a drycleaners somewhere.  Another piece of the security blanket gone.

Not to worry - I'll just buy another one right?  Except I'm unemployed and to go shopping when I have no income is irresponsible.  I tried to find something at Target but everything is picked over with the last minute shoppers and I don't do very well with crowds - I couldn't stay long.

I braved the mall, because I needed a blue sweater and some slippers.  I couldn't find either and on the way home I started crying because my nerves finally got the best of me.

I'm really nervous about going tomorrow because I don't do well with crowds and from what I understand the whole TOWN is coming to his parent's house TO SEE US.  The thought alone is enough to get me crying again.  Having to be on my best behavior, feeling like a freak show exhibit, being cold, being unprepared for the cold, being in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people, being paranoid about taking too long in the bathroom - it takes a long time to do my hair - will they get that or will they whisper about the high maintenance city girl?  I could have died when Drew went into this long explanation about how I'm lactose intolerant and I don't eat red meat - it's like I'm some lab specimen and they have to make a special MENU for me!  Of course it's a family tradition to have prime rib on Christmas!  I tried to tell him that it wasn't a big deal, that I'll eat around the cheese and red meat, please don't do anything special just for me - but no, gotta make special food for the freak. 

In the big picture, slippers and a sweater are tiny, nothing of consequence.  I know that, yet I fixate.  I tell myself that it would be easier if I had my slippers, if I had my sweater, if I had a chance to do some RECONNAISSANCE or something.

I got home and it was all I could do to dry it up.  Our neighbor was at the house and I couldn't even be bothered to be polite.  Hey there, nice to see you!  Don't mind me, I'm just having a panic attack - I'll be in the kitchen!

He sensed the weirdness and left, poor thing.  And he's taking us to the airport tomorrow - AWKWARD!  How do you explain that you're freaking out about being stared at by the neighbors, scared of the cold and you don't want to go because you don't have your slippers or your sweater?  Yeah, you can't so you don't and I'm not gonna.

Naturally, Drew wanted to know what the deal was and I lasted about two seconds before I burst into tears all over again, telling him that I didn't want to go and couldn't they just come down here?  I wanted to be on MY turf, where I KNEW the weather, where I was the hostess, where I was in control and I didn't have to worry about things.  I have no idea what to expect when we get there and the sheer NUMBER of unknowns is freaking me out. 

I know that he was upset, that I'm not as excited as he is about going to his hometown.  I want to be, and that's precisely what's making me want to cry even now.  I want to make a good impression, I want everyone to congratulate Drew on marrying such a wonderful girl.  Unfortunately, all I can see are my negatives.  My hair, my diet, my aversion to the cold, the fact that I'm not outdoorsy, meeting new people makes me panic so I don't do it, I'm afraid of being picked on, I'm afraid of having to make small talk with strangers because Drew has run off with some neighborhood friends and I suck at small talk and they'll be all, Drew's wife sucks, she can't even make small talk.

If these were just random people that I would never see again, I wouldn't care.  If I had my slippers or my sweater or they had come down here things would be better.    It's not rational and I'm well aware of that, yet I fixate.  

You'd think the need for a security blanket would go away in adulthood.  Ha.  My only consolation is that I know I'm not alone - people have certain items that they freak out if they lose and they behave just like I am right now.  For most people it's their phone, their planner, their watch.  For me, it's wearing just the right outfit, including my house slippers.

So see, I'm not THAT crazy.  Right?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm so glad I went to college

The night I got laid off, I decided I would drink.  Drew and I poured ourselves some cocktails and started playing Gin Rummy, which he totally took advantage of my innocence and cheated and beat my ass.  A few drinks in, I called Kesha and invited her over.  After all, she is the new receptionist, and that kind of news calls for some cocktails.  She came over, we had more cocktails and we all played Gin Rummy, where Drew cheated some more and beat me again. 

Anyone who beats me at anything is obviously cheating. 
I took a picture of his cheating face for proof.
I don't care if he doesn't agree.

We proceeded to get, how do you say, shit-faced? 

What happens to Drew when he's around more than one Black person at a time.

Actually, Kesha told him to put his sunglasses on and then he did. 
Then I had to do my sexy pose.

Then I had to take a picture of myself, which is really hard to do when you're on your eighth White Russian.

I haven't had a hangover that painful in a very, very, very long time.  This one HURT.  We were up till three in the morning talking until we passed out - Kesha and me, that is.  Drew pussed out early.  We woke up and ate breakfast, but I couldn't shake it till about five that evening.  Ugh.

However, I found myself being very thankful that we could do that.  It was nice to hang out with my friend and my husband and a deck of cards.  That was a cool night.  I'm also thankful that we had nowhere to go and nothing to do the whole next day.  We just laid around, holding our heads and laughing.


As I come to the second-to-last day at my job, I found myself thinking, hoping really, that I'd be able to coast through.  No irate callers, no tasks, just me and the blogosphere.  HA!!

We're having a Christmas lunch tomorrow and guess who had to roll the silverware in the napkins?!  All 150 of them!

Photos courtesy of Kesha - because we're that bored, and neither of us gives a fuck anymore.
Oh, this is what happens to your fingers after rolling 150 red napkins.

Gotta get it juuuust right.

The bow must be perfect or the lunch will be ruined!  RUINED!

I'd like to stick this up only two people's noses.  Haha, you thought I was going to say asses.  Well, I didn't.  I'm not that vulgar.  Always.

There were green ones too.

Three and a half years at the Ivy League of the South, $18,000 in student loans, countless hours studying 18th century French literature, analyzing business trends in Brazil, deconstructing Spanish short stories, papers, presentations, reading and studying in THREE languages..........

To roll napkins.  Awesome.

Note to 2010 Desiree:  Let this be THE LAST TIME IN LIFE that you take a job where you have to roll napkins.  Under any circumstance.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Meltdown avoidance

I'm at the halfway point - it's Hump Day - two more days and I'm out of here.  There has been one more layoff that I know of and I've heard that there will be another round on or before Friday.  They want to make sure everything is done by the New Year, so that payroll won't be on their budget for 2010.  That right there is why I could never be upper-level management.  How do you lay people off right before Christmas?  How do you sleep after doing that?

The word has gotten out about my layoff and a couple people have come by to see how I'm holding up.  I've given my "blessing in disguise" speech a few times now.  I'm really grateful that I can see things this way - I'm grateful that I'm not the sole provider with a couple of kids looking at a bare Christmas.  I'm so thankful that we have a nice warm house, that Drew's job is okay, and that we have each other.  It could be much much worse.

Nope, not helping.

I thought that by talking about THIS big situation right now, it would distract me from the OTHER big situation.  But it's not working and I'm trying not to melt down. 

Something ELSE is supposed to happen on Friday (fitting, right?) and I'm really trying hard not to think about it.  I'm trying not to think about how I'll react if it DOES happen, as well as how I'll react if it DOESN'T happen.  I'm trying to pray, and me and my good buddy GOD are talking, and He's telling me to please just be patient, and I'm trying really really hard.  I wish I could turn off my brain, but there are a kabillion oh-so-lovely bloggers out there going through the same thing and I know where to find aaaaallllll of them.  

Relaxing won't necessarily make things happen, but neither will worrying.  I'm saying that to myself over and over again.  The calm could kick in any time and I would be cool with that.  The obsessing over every bodily twinge is beginning to grate, but I can't stop.  Boo!

*must.change.subject.*  OH!  Here's something!

We leave to go to Drew's parent's house on Wednesday.  Drew's parents live in Upstate New York.  And by Upstate, I mean fifteen minutes from Canada Upstate.  As in freeze-your-fracking-ASS-off Upstate.  I don't do cold weather - at all.  I can't be a good sport about it and I can't tolerate it 'just for a quick second'.  Cold weather puts me in a bad mood.  It's been 29 degrees the past couple of mornings here in Dallas and I HATE getting in my car first thing in the morning.  The scowl on my face melts away as my car warms up, but not a second sooner.

But here's the thing.  Drew and his brother have not been home for Christmas in eight years.  Understandably, his mom is over the moon about it and is going all out.  She's planning meals and activities and apparently Christmas dinner with the WHOLE family is at their house.  Okay, so I have some concerns.  

One:  Does the family know about me?  I mean, do they KNOW about me?  We're talking a teeny tiny town in Upstate New York.  There's not a lot of, shall we say, diversity in places like that.  Usually.  I asked Drew if his WHOLE family knew I was ahem, not blonde.  The last thing I want is to walk in the room and everybody is stunned into uncomfortable silence and they nervously look away because I'm not blonde.  He says they all know, but I was like, "Do they ALL know?  Don't play with me Drew.  I'm serious.  I don't need there to be an INCIDENT."  He says they all know, but I'm nervous.  Apparently, one of his cousins married a man who is not blonde and they have a couple of kids, so I'm hoping that will grease the wheel so to speak.  But I'm a not blonde WOMAN - are the rules different for me?  *sigh*  I don't know.  I am so uncomfortable in situations like this.  Geez.

Two:  I've never met his brother.  Or his brother's new fiancee.  I know nothing about him and I'm nervous about that.  Just because he's my brother-in-law, it doesn't make us automatic friends.  What if I don't like him?  What if he doesn't like me?  Drew told me that he hasn't liked any of the girls he's ever dated because he (the brother) thought they were all crazy.  I mean, he is right about that part, but what concerns me the most is if he picks on me.  I don't take that shit from my OWN brother and if he starts with some nonsense, there WILL be an INCIDENT.  Drew knows this and I hope he's got my back.  I just think there are too many preconceived expectations about family as it relates to marriage.  That just because I married one member of the family I should automatically get along with the other members of the family.  Brother-in-law or not, he is a stranger to me.  On a good day, I'm polite to strangers.  Most others, I avoid them because HELLO!  They're strangers!

Actually, maybe y'all can help me?  All my married peeps, how did/do you navigate the minefield that is the in-laws?  And I'm not talking about his parents - they're awesome and I really like them.  I'm talking about the aunts, uncles, cousins and all THEM folk.

Three:  The cold!  I'm talking single-digit with wind chills!  'Member how I said cold weather puts me in a bad mood?  It's involuntary and I'm just imagining being around all these people I don't know, looking/acting like a raging bitch when I'm really just freezing my arse off!  That's not cool!  I'd like to be cordial and pleasant - I want them all to marvel over Drew's fabulous wife (talking about me, if you're confused all of a sudden), not whisper about the trembling anti-social goblin, hovering at the fireplace with her back to everyone.  I plan to wear long johns under EVERYTHING, several pairs of socks, turtlenecks WITH a scarf and earmuffs and two pairs of gloves and a hat so hopefully I can be somewhat pleasant but you know what that leaves open?  MY NOSE!  My nose RUNS when it's cold.  I HATE it when my nose runs.  I'm so screwed.  They're all going to hate me.

None of this would be a problem if we all met at some tropical resort somewhere - or if they came to Dallas in the summer.  I would showcase my mad hostess skillz, catering to their every desire and they would marvel.  Oh yes, they would marvel.

But nooooo!  Cold weather turns off all hostess skillz in order to redirect energy to SURVIVAL skillz.  I'm too busy ensuring my fingers and toes don't fall off to get you another scone, thankyouverymuch.  Do you see this?

The high temperature wasn't even AVAILABLE today! 
What the hell kind of temperature is -1???  I'm probably going to freeze to death.

Now would ya look at that!  I'm not even thinking about what may or may not happen on Friday!  Meltdown avoided!  Mission accomplished!

Now I'm simply obsessing about freezing to death at my in-laws' house and whether or not my brother-in-law will like me... 

I'll take it!

PS - How awesome is this!  From here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

And so it goes

The big bosses had been in the office all last week and the week prior to go over the 2010 budget.  My boss had called us into her office to tell us that they were making cuts and to look busy, as if somehow that would make us immune to the cuts.  They had already spoken to her, saying that they didn't think she needed three people on her team, that maybe two people would be sufficient.  She fought for us, telling them that she didn't see how it would be possible to function with two, but apparently they thought differently.

Last Friday afternoon, she called me into her office.  At first, I thought I had gotten in trouble, and I went into defense mode.  But it wasn't that.

She started by saying "I'm sure you're aware that we've been making company-wide cuts."  Indeed I had.  As the receptionist, I had tried to transfer calls that morning to people that were no longer there - then I would call Kesha, who receives all the parking badges to confirm that these people are indeed gone.  Heads have been rolling in every department for the past month.  Yes, I was aware.  I just didn't think it would be me - Kesha and I had already had discussions where she was afraid it would be her.  After all, she was the secretary's secretary.  They'd HAVE to keep the receptionist at the corporate office.  I just forgot that she had more seniority than me.

"I thought our department would be spared and I lobbied for us.  Unfortunately, we have to eliminate a position."
"It's me, isn't it."
"I'm so sorry."

My boss is really great and I wasn't upset.  Actually, I think she was more upset than I was!  I actually found myself comforting her!  I even hugged her at the end.

It was not performance related at all (despite the blogging and the Bejeweled - shhh!) and I knew that.  Because otherwise, I might have handled things a little differently, you hear me?  Anyway, they're moving Kesha to the front desk and transitioning some of her duties away from her and they will distribute things to the current admins, although Kesha heard that the cuts aren't done and some of the admins won't make it.

My last day here is Friday.  I was given the option to leave last Friday but that would have made me ineligible for severance and all that.  And since I don't hate them and am not trying to burn bridges, I'm staying.  I was going on vacation from the 23-30th anyway so I'm just getting a couple of extra days.  With the severance and the vacation days I'll receive two more full paychecks and I'm eligible for unemployment.  So there's that.

So here's my take on what my good buddy GOD is doing here:

I've been at my company for a year.  To sum up the drama I've been through, see all my blog posts.  Haha, just kidding - like I'd make you go through all that nonsense.  I'll sum it up for you:
March 2008 - Meet Drew.  Everything starts awesome.
July 2008 - Stop talking to my dad.  Drama ensues.  Constant fighting with my brother.  Stress on my new relationship.
August 2008 - get fired for the very first time.  More stress on my relationship because getting fired hurts my ego.
December 2008 - start at my company after being unemployed for three months.  A mere eyeblink for some, but three months sitting on your boyfriend's sofa is not cool.
Stress about not talking to my dad is a constant nagging reminder in the back of my mind.
April 2009 - Fighting fighting fighting with Drew about getting a house.  Go to Paris.  Cry the whole way home (and I do mean the whole way - 10 hours off and on) because he said we should probably go our separate ways when we land.
May 2009 - We make up, but we get a house.  GET A DOG.  There are NO WORDS for the stress and strain that brought.  NONE.  I don't want to relive that.  Ever.  Almost split up - AGAIN.
August 2009 - Get pregnant.  We're not married.  We're not ready.  Fight about having to sell the house to afford the baby.  Realize it's nerves.  But still.
September 2009 - Fight about getting married.  Lots.
October 2009 - Get married.  The dust begins to settle.
October 21, 2009 - Have D&C to remove my dead baby.  Life sucks.
November 2009 - pick up the pieces and for real this time, the dust truly begins to settle.

Do you see all the stress and drama that I was going through in my personal life?  OF COURSE I needed a nothing job, something where I could just be a warm body.  And now that things are getting better - the dog is out of the puppy phase thank the Baby Jesus, I'm emotionally healing from the miscarriage (with lots of help), Drew and I are growing closer as a married couple, and my family situation has righted itself.

Well, my good buddy GOD has decided that I'm okay personally so it's time for me to do something about that professional life.  He knows that I would need the shove to get something done so He went on and helped me.  He is taking this job away so that I can focus on the next step with no distractions.  God's cool like that.

I was never meant to be a receptionist - this wasn't it.  The purpose for this job is done - I met Kesha, we became friends, I got some health insurance (I'm on Drew's now, thank God!  See how that works out!), I paid some bills, I had gainful employment while going through all that life stuff, and now it's done. 

I don't know what the next chapter holds, but y'all get a front row seat no matter what!  Since the computer we use is Drew's work computer I'll have to blog and look for jobs from my school's library.  But that's cool - it'll be nice to be back on campus.  I may even look for a job there!

A friend of mine works at a really nice restaurant on the weekends and will make an introduction for me if the unemployment doesn't end up covering things.  A friend of her's is a hostess at Nick and Sam's, so there's a possible opportunity there as well.  Working nights will keep me free to interview in the daytime, even though I'm not terribly jazzed about having an opposite schedule from my husband.

However, I'm thinking my good buddy GOD is going to handle things.  I just know it.  But just the same, if y'all could say a little prayer for me, I sure would appreciate it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Say what you mean to say

Sorry, this isn't a post about how much I like John Mayer.  I mean, he's not bad.  We totally have a John Mayer station on Pandora.

No, this is a post about direct speech.  In other words, saying what you mean.  You see how I did that?  With the song?  And the topic of the post?  It's called wit, y'all. 

Anyway, when I was a waitress, I was witness to the most INDIRECT speech all the time and it drove me NUTS.  My favorite was the classic "Can I have a refill/a napkin/another plate/a punch in the face WHEN YOU GET A CHANCE?" (Capital letters mine.  No one ever yelled at me when I waited tables.  Otherwise, they WOULD have gotten a punch in the face.)

We all know that 'when you get a chance' does not actually mean that.  They want what they want NOW and they think they're being nice by phrasing it that way (Sidebar:  A simple 'please' conveys politeness AND that you would like your request attended to at that moment.  See how that works?)  Now, I always knew what they really meant, and I usually got what they wanted right then.  Unless I was feeling ornery.  Then I would wait until they would stop me and be all "UM Miss.  I'm still waiting on my refill."  To which I would sweetly answer "You said when I got a chance.  I haven't had a chance yet", and then I would leave and sometimes get a shitty tip, but sometimes get a good one because everyone likes a waitress with SASS.

Incidentally, do you know how a waitress says fuck you?  "I'll be right back."  Yes, I know it's old but it's still funny to me and that's all that counts.

HOWEVER, that is all set up for my real story.  But I have to censor so bear with me.

A few days ago, or a few years ago, or a few hours ago, this happened.  You see how I'm throwing you off?  That's censorship - so you don't know WHEN I'm talking about.

A person, male or female, did something to another person, who I may or may not know.  Now you're all confused.  And this second person may or may not be a friend.  I ain't tellin.

Well, Person One went to Person Two and said "Where's the posterboard?"  To which person Two said "In the supply closet."  Simple question, simple answer, right?  HA!  It wouldn't be a story if it were simple!

Person One then went BACK to Person Two and said, to the effect "You're such an idiot.  The posterboard in the supply closet is too big for this *very important project* I'm working on!  I need 8x10 posterboard so I can make a get well card for the CEO's kitten!  GAH!  Why do you SUCK?"

Naturally, Person Two was pee-ossed!  (sound it out)  No one would like to be yelled at for giving the correct answer to a simple question.  If Person One had said what they meant to say, this could have been avoided.  Then it got fun.

Person One then sent an email (or smoke signal, or messenger pigeon) to Person THREE who had nothing to do with it but that's how Person One is, talking about Person Two and how much they suck.  Person Three then sent said messenger pigeon to the parties in question, including me.  Person One then made the hee-yooooge mistake of coming to ME and saying how much Person Two (a possible friend of mine.  For censorship purposes.) sucks and how they don't know anything.  Big mistake.  Big.  HUGE.

Never, and I do mean, NEV-AH come to me talking about my friends.  I'm not the one.  It's grounds for a punch.

So I had to set my *friend* straight. "I got your email and the posterboard in the supply closet is used only for major presentations.  If you wanted something small, you should have gone to the craft room, where all the smaller cardstock is kept.  I knew that and Person Two told me that the day I started here.  It just sounded like you were the only one who didn't know."

Since I too was censored that was all I could say, but I sure did say it with a very pointed tone and a nasty look on my face.  Or maybe I didn't.  This could all be a lie.  But what is NOT a lie is that you should think twice, maybe FOUR times about talking smack about my friends within my earshot.  Or email-shot.  Or whatever.  Don't talk about my friends. 

What I wanted to say was, "FIRST OF ALL, PLEASE don't tell you're that dumb that you gon' come to ME and talk about MY friend (oh yes, I get ghetto.  You can't be surprised.)  If you had SAID what you wanted in the FIRST PLACE you would have fount it the FIRST time, BEOTCH."

Indirect speech:  It brings out the ghetto in me.  This has been your Public Service Announcement from the Just Say What The Hell It Is You Really Want, Damn Foundation.  Thank you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fun with lipstick

Last night I pulled out all my makeup with the intent to organize it.  I used to model - I told y'all that right? - and the sheer amount of makeup I have is startling.  It's deceiving because I have about ten small makeup bags scattered between the two bathrooms but put all together on the bed, it was kind of silly.

Who has this much crap? That bag on the left is STUFFED with lipstick!

I'm not a packrat - I'm really not.  I mean, I don't have stuff piled to the ceilings but I sure will buy a storage box (or makeup bag), very neatly put stuff in it, and give it a home on a closet shelf and forget about it.  Only when I'm looking for shelf space will I go digging around to see what I've got - it's like treasure hunting!  Only with your own stuff.  Which is old and useless by the time you get to it.  So it's not treasure you're finding, it's sticky, waxy lipstick in Day-Glo colors.  Okay, so it's not treasure hunting at all.  Allow me to illustrate.

Cover Girl, Cinnamon Sugar, circa early 90s.  I'm serious.

That big gash?  The one that looks like orange-y red clown makeup?  Cinnamon Sugar.

What in the Orange-y Red Hell would have possessed me to make this purchase?  Who told me that I could pull off a color like that and NOT look like a clown?  Did I not have friends in the early 90s?  How did this and about ten other variations on this reddish orange MADNESS make it into my makeup stash?  Look!

Remember Rouge Pulp?  From the mid-90s I think?  Yeah, there it is SCREAMING next to the Cinnamon Sugar.  Who AM I?

What IS this?  This one was too waxy to even smear on my hand and it was practically untouched.  That makes me feel a tiny bit better - like it got here by ACCIDENT.

My mom introduced me to Lancome when I was 12 years old.  I remember going with her to Saks on the Plaza and her buying me the Ablutia. 

I just did a search and I'm SHOCKED they still have it. 

Every time my mom bought stuff, you'd get the gift with purchase, which was usually a makeup bag (hence my collection of them), a tote bag (I have a collection of those too), trial size eyeshadows, and always a full-size lipstick.  I'm thinking that's why I have so many ridiculous shades that don't flatter my skin tone AT ALL.  Then I came across this one.

My Rouge Amethyste.  This was my very first big-girl lipstick.  The case was heavy - you could TELL this was an expensive lipstick.  I wore the HELL out of my Rouge Amethyste in high school, every chance I got.  I don't remember my mom forbidding me to wear makeup - if anything I can hear her voice in my head saying, "Why don't you make your eyes more DRAMATIC Desiree!  Put some lipstick on Desiree, you look pale.  You need some blush."  Isn't that funny?  We've always loved makeup, my mommy and me.  Even now, I'll totally go "OOoooh, I LOVE your eyes like that!"  My mom knows how to put on some makeup.  Her collection is more extensive than mine!

Between her and the modeling, I've amassed quite a collection - some free gifts from Lancome, some hand-me-downs from my mom, and some purchases from makeup artist recommendations on various photoshoots.  The thing is though, photoshoot makeup rarely translates to, you know, being able to wear it outside the studio.

Dark and moody lipliner for those SERIOUS and BROODING photoshoots, to glittery white eyeshadow for that snowqueen look.  Yeah.

Given that these looks would only be acceptable for a Halloween costume at this point in my life, I went ahead and tossed them all.  Some of it was straight-up NASTY.  It smelled funny, the consistency had gone all wonky and the colors were horrid.  Some of the other stuff was fine, it was just the shocking colors I couldn't manage. 

Now that I'm married, I hardly wear lipstick at all.  Drew's not too keen on having to wipe off his lips or cheeks all the time and he's not a fan of the Untouchable Beauty type.  You know, the one who's all, "Don't touch my hair, I just did it!  Don't kiss me, I just did my lips!  I can't pick that up, I just did my nails!  I can't do that, my makeup might run!"  The only one I do at this point is the hair, but I think that's pretty standard - NEVER mess up a Black woman's hair.  EVER.  But even I get a little free after Day Two hair, sometimes Day Three.  It's already starting to get fuzzy by then so I'm like, have fun!

When I do put something on, I stick to my own shade with a bit of pink or shimmer.  I don't have super-full lips but I don't need to slick them up with Bozo/hooker Red/Plum/Orange/any other color that I can't pull off.

I threw out about twenty tubes of lipstick and I didn't even make a dent.  And I haven't even gotten to the eyeshadows and blushes!  I found a PURPLE blush!  I mean, seventies drag-queen purple.  In my defense it was part of a set but still!  Why I didn't throw it out before is beyond me.

That reminds me, I have a box of nail polish somewhere... 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Putting up the tree

This is the second year that Drew and I have had a Christmas tree.  Waaaay back when I first started this blog I think it was one of the first pictures I posted.  Let me go check - yup, it was!  Gollee, that was a million years ago!

This year's tree was bigger, over six feet this time.  It's a Noble Fir - I have no idea what that means and how that makes it different from other trees.  The only other kind that comes to mind is the Douglas Fir - beyond that, I'm lost.  Big, green, smell good - those are my criteria for a Christmas tree.

Saturday he came home with the tree, but we didn't decorate it till Sunday night.  We wanted to make sure the dog wouldn't attack it - I had visions of our ornaments shattering in a million pieces on the living room floor.

First, we set up the tree, securing it in the base and trimming off the lowest branches.  Then we set up the gate around it and brought the dog in to see what she would do.  In retrospect, I realize I should have taken pictures of all these steps, but sometimes ya get busy living and you forget to blog about it, knowwhatImean?

Luckily, the dog didn't seem all that interested once she gave it a good once-over smell.  We felt confident enough to take down the gate and start decorating.

Drew's mom got us the most bee-yoo-ti-ful ornaments and I couldn't wait to put them on the tree.  At the same time, I was terrified because I would surely die of a broken heart if that dog ruined any of them - they're that pretty!  But you can't live in fear so I fearlessly opened the box!

Aren't they bee-yoo-ti-ful?

Each ornament signified a blessing for the newleywed couple.  There was a teapot for hospitalitiy, an angel for God's blessing over our home, a heart with two rings on it for true love, a rabbit for faith, and I can't remember the others off the top of my heart.  Oh but wait!  My personal favorite was the pinecone for motherhood and fruitfulness.  I hung that one myself.

That pinecone looks like a penis.

I'm serious, the pinecone is my favorite!  The ornaments are meant to be heirlooms to be passed down to future generations, but I'm thinking the pinecone is staying with me. 

Drew hung the lights - last year, we very quickly figured out that stringing the lights would be his job, hanging the ornaments would be mine.  His OCD dedication to precision makes him much more suited to optimum light placement.  On the other hand, hanging ornaments is much more about feeling and random-ness, so that's all me.  We hung the lights with minimal snipping at each other - it's about the big picture y'all!

Once the lights were hung, he sat on the sofa with the dog and a glass of wine while I hung the ornaments.  We hung his mom's ornaments near the top and I say a little prayer every day that the dog doesn't go nuts and just decided to pull the tree down.  So far, so good.

The finished product!

Then I started playing around with my camera.  I don't know much about the settings, and I'd really like to do more with it.  By accident, I found some interesting settings that I'm looking forward to using.

Non-blurry ornament close-up.

I can't remember what the fish stands for, but I like how clear the pine needles are. 
I mean fir needles.

We got this ornament last year and finally we had a good picture to put in it!

Another tree picture taken at a different ISO.  What is ISO you ask?  I haven't the slightest, but my camera has different ones.

My baby, keepin it classy.

Then I took a picture of the dog - no glowy Satan eyes!  Holla!

Different ISO, which made the flash go off.  I think.

I know this one is blurry, I just thought it was cute.

There's even a black and white setting!  On the camera!  It came out a little blurry though. 

Taken with the sport setting - her looks so shiny!

I like the color and warmth on this one.

I'm going to play around some more with my camera and see what I learn.  I've already been googling random stuff.  I still don't know what ISO means - something to do with light speed?  Lens opening?  I don't know.  Between the picture stuff and computer stuff - I'm playing around with my layout - I'm learning all kinds of technical stuff! 

I'm an emotional cutter

Or maybe I'm courageous.  I'm not sure - the only thing I know is that it was too much too soon.
My girlfriend Diana had her baby shower on Sunday.  She's kind of my hero, as she's been through two miscarriages before getting successfully pregnant this time.  She called when I had my miscarriage and offered her support and her kind words and I was so grateful for that.  If she can get back on the horse, so can I.

However, we're not identical.  Diana is the kind of woman I would like to be.  She's even more direct and take charge than I am.  She's the type of woman who gets things done.  She's very no-nonsense and I really like her straight-forward, look-you-in-the-eye way of interacting with people.  Straight shooter is another thing that comes to mind.  And she's gorgeous - so she's pretty much awesome.

For her I would brave a baby shower.  For her I would try.  When I got the invitation, I was originally going to just send something along - I had no desire to go and be around all that big-belly contentment.  I was really not going to go when she told me that the hostess of the shower was also pregnant and due within two days of her.  But she's my friend and she'd been through it twice so really, how could I not go.  So I bought a baby thing and RSVP'd two days before the shower.

I got to the girl's house and freaked when I couldn't remember her name.  I was already flustered because I stopped at Target to get a gift bag for the present, but it turned out to be too small for the gift, so I had to return it and get the giant gift bag which was far too big but what was I gonna do.  Then I didn't know where I was going, which I can't stand because I was already late.  I definitely didn't want to be the first person at the party but I sure as hell didn't want to be the last.  I finally arrived, after driving past the house and cursing up a storm.  I knew it was a baby shower but I was desperately hoping there would be alcohol.

I wasn't the last one to arrive thank God and the hostess, Jennifer, had sangria - thank GAWD.  My glass stayed full.  I arrived before Diana, which was all that mattered.  She arrived shortly after I did, with her husband!  If I had known boys were allowed I totally would have brought Drew for moral support.

Thankfully, we didn't play a bunch of silly baby shower games.  We only did one - where you taste the food and have to guess what kind it is.  The macaroni and cheese one was straight up NASTY.  Note to self:  don't make your kid eat any food you haven't first tried.  It's only fair.  Then I broke out my camera and it got rough.
She was on her tiptoes and I was scrunching down.  In real life she probably comes to my shoulder - she's one of those SUPER CUTE pregnant girls.

This is where I emotionally started cutting myself.
Why?  Why did I do that?  Why did I take a picture of the cute pregnant ladies with cute daddies-to-be in front of the cute Christmas tree?  Why?  Because I'm an emotional cutter, that's why.  It's the same reason I looked at the video of the sonogram fifty thousand times, the same reason I looked at my non-belly pictures over and over again.  Because if I bombard my senses I'll heal faster, I'll get numb sooner.  That's what I told myself.

More cutting.

It didn't work.  The jealousy, the JEALOUSY washed over me, unbidden, unwanted.  I wanted to just be happy for them both, be happy for Diana, that she was finally getting to be a mommy after two losses.  And I was - I just wanted to be where they were too, I wanted to already be on the other side, not still in the muck.  I wanted to be out already, and I thought that by going to the shower I could speed along this healing process, so I could be all better again. 

Now, I didn't ruin the shower by any means.  I smiled and cooed over the one baby that was there.  I'm not posting his picture because he's not my kid and that feels kinda weird.  But he was a cute kid and I snapped some pictures of him interacting with Diana and she was all glowy, the kid was all glowy and I wanted that.  I didn't want to take anything away from them, I just wanted to join them.  I wanted to share in the big-belly contentment.

I almost got out scot-free until one of the other ladies turned to me and said, "Now how many kids do you have?"  I said "none" way too quickly.  Thankfully, Diana didn't overhear the exchange - I really didn't want to mess up her day and she's such a sweet person she would have picked up on the uncomfortable-ness and tried to do something.  And that was not the time for that - it was her time to open her presents, put the outfits on her belly and just be happy.

I hung in there till the end, thankful that it was only a couple hours long.  I tried not to look to obvious as I ran to my car, glad that I had done my duty.  I just wanted to go home.  We were supposed to decorate our tree that night and I was looking forward to it.

Drew couldn't have known everything that went on in my head at the shower.  He was the one who suggested that I go, but he couldn't have known how difficult it turned out to be.  That's the only reason why he gets a pass - because when I called him to let him know I was coming home, he told me that he invited our neighbor over to help decorate OUR tree!  I lost. my. shit.  I started yelling at him about how it was OUR tree, in OUR house, that WE were supposed to decorate it, as a FAMILY, you don't bring your freakin NEIGHBORS over to decorate YOUR tree!  Who does that?! 

Yeah yeah, it was displaced emotion over the baby shower.  Yeah yeah, I get that - but still, decorating the Christmas tree is a FAMILY thing.  Drew knows that now.  So no harm done.

I got home and was still in a funk so I just sat on the sofa and read for a while.  I know jealousy in this situation is normal, I just hate jealousy as an emotion in general.  It's so pointless and weak.  You want something someone else has, go get it and don't begrudge them what they have.  That's why I got so mad when the car got broken into.  But that's the rub!  I can't just go get a baby - I can't just say poof! successful pregnancy, no memories of the past!  That so truly sucks.

*sigh*  It was a nice shower and I'm glad I got to see my friend.  She's almost done cooking and I will go see the baby after she's born. 

It will be better by then - it has to.


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