Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Or so I thought. Today I came home from work to find 2 separate yak-splats with suspicious yellow and green debris that could only be my birthday flowers in a semi-solid state.
Now that the oversized bouquet has proven to be a close relative of ipecac, maybe it'll be saved from the gnawing death that many other plants have suffered in this apartment.
Monday, August 25, 2008
And that's usually where it ends. Very rarely does anyone verbalize their inner debate or disagreement, with the exception of small to medium sized children who haven't learned the social grace of waiting until you get out of ear shot. Today was a rare day.
The sauce and I were in line at the grocery store, and as the register dinged through our items, I could feel the man behind us staring at me. I tried to get a bead on just how much he was staring by casually turning back towards the magazine rack. We're not talking about a sideways glance here. I'm talking about shoulders facing forward, full on gawking. I made very brief eye contact with the man (white male, early 70s) as I turned back towards the clerk. This apparently made him feel like we'd bonded because a second later he said, "You know your thing there looks a little infected." At first I thought he was genuinely concerned or possibly making a joke. I've had older men take paltry stabs at piercing humor that involved fishing lines jokes and "did you know there's something on your chin?" So I muttered something about how it was fine, but thanks, and turned away from him, but he wasn't finished.
"My son's a doctor and he's had to remove half of someone's face before! You could lose your face!" and he made a dramatic swipe of his right cheek. (The exclamation points are because he was on the verge of yelling) Now more people are staring, although I was comforted by the fact that half of them were staring at the old coot raising his voice.
"You know, you feel good about yourself by earning things. You work hard and you earn things. THAT's what makes you feel good." He may have leaned in for emphasis at this point, but I lost all ability to see anything except the canned goods directly in front of me, so I can't say for sure.
"Oh look, she has some too [looking at charrow as she bagged our groceries]. Oh and there's one in her nose. What about your tongue? You got one in your tongue too??" He may have been gesticulating at this point, but all I could focus on was punching in my PIN and waiting for the "Approved" to show up so I could get my receipt and run.
"You need to ask yourself where you're going in life!"
To which Charrow replied "You need to ask yourself if this is any of your business!" And then we left, seething and wobbly from the overdose of ignorance. We got home and went to our respective corners, her to the kitchen to make gazpacho, and me to the couch to finish my writing assignment. Thirty minutes later, Charrow said, "I'm still really angry." (even as she's proofreading this, there's no laughter)
After today, I may have to add elderly white males to the list of populations that hasn't advanced past the "You think it, you say it" mentality. I know it would be more fair (and valid) of me to wait for further evidence, but it's not the kind of research I care to conduct. I'll stick with the cold hard stares of 12 year old girls in the pool locker room. At least they're easy to forget.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I also finally got my hands on a copy of Your Money or Your Life. It's a book that comes highly recommended by several personal finance bloggers. I've been interested in reading it for quite awhile now, but the Fulton County Library search engine made the book impossible to find. I persevered one day and found it on page 13 of my search. I usually pride myself on my google skills (a co-worker and I used to have races to see who could find something faster), but the library system bamboozled me multiple times. So beware, my recommendation could be biased by the amount of effort it took to get the book.
A major theme of the book is "enoughness." Basically, you don't need to have everything to be happy and studies show that the people who do "have it all" are far from happy. The American Dream of richness and material wealth mutates faster than the flu virus. People think their happiness depends on that flat screen tv or their next big vacation, but as soon as they get the behemoth mounted on the wall or they finish their poolside daiquiris, they realize the high they were expecting has fizzled out and a shiny new want mirage has popped up on the horizon.
I was expecting Your Money or Your Life to be a finance laden book, and it does have some concrete money-saving advice (much more concrete than good ole Mr. Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover), but it also explores the idea of happiness and economizing your "life energy" (a hokey term, but I've gotten past the wombiness of it).
Brave your library catalogue and give it a shot. As for me, I'm moving on to an unpublished novel by my number one friend crush.