Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lie Maestro

This is my mother. 

I call her Woman. 
I am the Woman's favorite child.

Sometimes she says she doesn’t pick favorites, sometimes she says she loves us all the same – but I know what she really means
I am her favorite and she loves me most of all. 
This story is dedicated to her – and me – but mostly her.

A few months ago we were visiting my family in Utah and reminiscing about our childhood.

It was remembered that there was a time, between the ages of 12 and 18, when I was not my mother’s favorite.... 

Yup, I was a sassy pants. Or rather, a sassy lack of pants. 

This spurred a discussion of all the hilarious and terrible things we did as children.

*Cory filling the Logan Landing hot tub with bubbles....

and then playing in them until the cops arrived. 

*Jaron attacking mom's physique as retaliation for sending him to his room

*Rylan locking the neighborhood bully in the trailer and tormenting him with a hose,

*Brooklyn being sent to time out once in her entire life -

....which was apparently a false sentence since Rylan recently admitted to biting himself to get her in trouble.

The stories went on and on, each one funnier than the last, each one more shocking to my poor mother. 

As my mom listened to us crack up about our naughtiness, and having had enough surprises for one night, she decided to drive the conversation to a more positive place - she wanted to remember the sweet things we had done as children.

The first story she mentioned was about me. 

May 2001

I had the perfect plan for Mother's day.

I decided to surprise her with the thing mothers love most – flowers. I had recently been granted permission to ride my bike alone - as in no parental guidance. Were this not the case, I would have simply asked my father for a ride to the store, bought flowers, and had an ordinary mothers day - but that would be boring and obviously not blog worthy. 

I rode my bike. 

I rode the three miles downhill to Lee's marketplace in record time – a ten speed had never sped so speedily as mine. 

I then set out to find the perfect flower. 

As I perused the flowers I found an entire display of Mums! These aptly named flowers must have been specially grown for mothers or “mums”. At $6 a pot it was the perfect price for a budding babysitter and I had found my secret mother’s day present. 

Side note – I later learned that mum is just a shortened version of chrysanthemum, which is the #1 choice for grave flowers – Mums are NOT a flower designed for mothers by the British. 

All I needed to do was get home and hide the flowers until the next morning and I would have the perfect mothers day gift - flowers I had purchased and procured all on my own. 

Here's where it got tricky.... 

As I was awkwardly peddling back up the uphill grade to my house, the flaw in my plan became apparent. - Biking with a pot of mums in your arms is surprisingly difficult. 

As I struggled along to keep myself and the flowers balanced, I noticed a large scary man running the same path I was laboring along, a path which happened to be a precariously thin dirt patch between a major roadway and a canal surging with fresh spring run off. 

As it turns out, I was right to fear the Nefarious looking jogger behind me. 

My slow biking on the narrow trail was impeding his workout, something he did not tolerate well.

As he ran past me he purposefully knocked me off balance, sending me, my bike and my recently purchased mums straight into the canal. 

Soaked from the waist down, my plan was ruined. 

My perfect mother's day plan was ruined. 
Defeated, I walked my bike to the back side of an office complex just across the street from the scene of the crime. 

My flowers, and my will to ride on, were broken and sad. 

Someone found me and let me use their cell phone to call my mother. She was coming to get me and would see her bent mothers day flowers before mothers day. 

Worst day ever. 

When my mother arrived I recounted my tragic tale. 

I had not yet dried from the awful endeavor and my sopping state, along with the damaged and pitiful flowers in arms, made for a distressing scene.

Naturally, she was outraged.

How could anyone - much less a full grown and balding adult- knock a child into the water and continue on as if nothing had happened? 
Surely this "man" was a monster.  
I, on the other hand, was an angel and these sad little flowers were the most precious of all mothers' day presents. This was a story of self sacrifice to remember - my mother had successfully taught me the addage "tis better to give than to receive" and I had employed it in my young life. 

... as in last month while on our trip down memory lane....

The TRUE Story: 
Before leaving Lees, I had the slight notion that I needed to use a bathroom. In my excitement to get on with my adventure and eager to hide my gift - I forgot about that notion and mounted my bike in pursuit of home - without the use of the facilities. 

As I rode, the need to tinkle became less of an inkling and more of an urge. 

 The urge grew stronger and I willed myself to carry on. 
I was 12 after all, and 12 is old enough to be in charge of one's bladder. 

....or so I thought. 

My body, confused from multitasking kegels and awkward bike riding, betrayed me.
 I was no longer dry while riding the bike. 
There was no canal in sight. 

That Happened. 

I peed my pants, blamed it on an imaginary man, and lied about it for 15 years.

Sorry mom :) 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Jobless near Seattle

We recently moved to Spokane, WA.
I realize this is not actually that "near" Seattle but the Meg Ryan allusion was working for me.  

Because we relocated 13 hours away from my previous job, I have been without a paycheck for over two months. (it makes me cringe just to type that)
I have joined the unflattering class of Americans labelled "unemployed". 

It has not been pleasant. 

It would be better if I could at least blame my unemployment on something or someone but I've yet to find a responsible party. 

I've considered blaming my useless degree - for some reason nobody with the means to employ me cares that I studied four years of bio-medical anthropology. 

Identifying random bones and knowing what Margaret Mead learned about Samoa in the 80's does nothing for me.

N  O  T  H  I  N  G

Surprise Surprise.

So here's a word to the wise - when your parents tell you not to get a degree in something obscure like underwater basketweaving - trust them. They, unlike you, know what they're talking about. 

I've thought of blaming it on poor people skills - but let's face it - my people skills are awesome. 
If I get an interview, a real one not a phone one, I'm a winner. 

Which just leaves me. I am the reason I am unemployed. 

I applied to be a copy editor for the Spokesman Review.
Writing skills? check.
Excellent grammar? check.
Communications degree? minor check.

I went in for an interview, the first of many here in Spokane, and nailed it.
At the end of the interview I was asked to take a test to prove my grammar expertise. 
No problem.

They sat me down in a tiny desk across from a peeping secretary who confiscated my phone so I couldn't use technology to bolster my score. 

I started the test and flew through the first three pages.


I was beyond confident. I cockily flipped through the pages circling appropriately spelled words, correcting poor conjugation usage and crafting grammatically pristine re-writes. 

I was a winner... until I reached page 4. 

An entire page of athletes to identify. 

I panicked. 

Why on earth would a copy editor need to know who's who in the world of sports? 

I legitimately knew two of the names on the list: 

Tiger Woods the famously seductive pro golf player 

Smarty Jones, a racehorse I happened to watch a documentary on at some point in my perusal of Netflix. 

I put an exclamation mark next to Smarty's name to emphasize just how proud of this random knowledge I was. The rest of the page was marginally white.

I was unaware of just how lacking my sports knowledge was until this point, which is apparently a colossal deficiency. 
The empty page mocked me. 

Rather than leave the page blank I decided to showcase a little creativity and inventive personality. 
I filled in my page as follows. 


Believing the worst to be over and the fact deficiency mitigated with wittiness I turned the page.

It got worse. 

Not only was the test requesting athlete names known by most Americans, but now the test wanted area specifics. 

Here are some questions asked about sports in the Spokane area. 

1. Name as many Spokane High Schools and their mascots as possible. 
2. What year did the Washington State Cougars go to the ________ championship? 
3. Fill in the championship blank in #2
4. Who coaches the Chiefs? 
5. The bulldogs are mascots for which Spokane collegiate team? 

I had lived in Spokane for a total of 1 week at this point. 

... So I made up answers here too, and put my anthropology degree to work. 

In short, I made up or gave up on most answers pages 3 through 6. 

And I found out, after the test of course, why the quiz was so sporting centric. 

I wrote an addendum to my exam explaining that I'd only lived in the state of Washington for a grand total of 7 days and promised to brush up my sporting jargon but I'm pretty sure my excuse fell on deaf ears. 
Shockingly, they didn't call. 

Sad face.  

Since then, I've interviewed at over 20 places. 
that's an average of 3 per week. 

Here are some highlights from my interviewing repository. 

Bums should not be discussed during interviews. 

You should always remember your interviewers name. 

Meeting the CEO right off the bat, in a closed meeting, is not always a good thing on day 1. 

Despite my numerous interview blunders, these experiences have not been entirely unfruitful - I have had a few job offers.

In fact, I even took a job. 

I was going to be a Property Manager at Eagle Point, a large and lavish apartment complex in a neighboring city. 

That lasted for a grand total of 3 hours. 
I quit more quickly than expected. 

After those three hours I realized I hated property management, I wanted to do something entirely different and I didn't NEED to settle for a sub par position. 
At least not yet anyway. 

That was about a month ago. 

Three job offers and no paychecks later, I think my husband is about done with my job search, and I'm right there with him. 

My new approach to career hunting is to actually read the job postings (shocking advice I know) and only apply to positions I'd actually enjoy doing. 

So... if you live in the Spokane area, you should hire me to do awesome things. 

If you don't live in Spokane, I probably miss you. 

Wish me luck :) 

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