Fleeting Memories

Making out with Michael Horner on the diving board; fireworks; ice skating on the frozen ditch water; flashlight-hide-and-go-seek; circus in the backyard; mixing up quick sand; catching tadpoles; the clubhouse made from skids of sod; endless walks with Wes Ward; the trampoline at Jeremy's house; running away from home...to the ditch at the end of the street; Bonkers candy; trading stickers; falling over on my bike with my shoelaces caught in the pedals; pecan pie from John Eason's house; walking through the cow pastures; picnics at the pond; Bandit; bike ramps; the smell of fresh-cut grass; catching rides to school; barbed wire fences; muddin' in the Cherokee; volleyball; surgery on my knee with my Mom & Mrs. Ward; scrubbing hoses (don't ask); the weeping willow tree; Jolly Rancher sticks; swimming at the Presley's; the funeral for Rusty; picking up horse apples; the smell of Mrs. Ward's perfume; winding Brunswick; Jeremy breaking my new bike; getting shot with a bee bee gun.

"Dear oldster, do you ever think of your past?"
Good Tidings

It turns out that the people I work with are big gift givers. And I kind of like to think of myself as a good gift giver, but these people are making me look and feel like a major chump. My love has always been cheap, and usually, easily purchased by the most unlikely tiny trinket. We all exchanged our under-$10 gifts the other day, and I absolutely loved seeing what everyone bought. It was hilarious to see what people would trade for. I, myself, was robbed TWICE. I tried not to remain bitter because it made me rob two others. One associate commented that I said more that day than any other time, and all I said was "Damn!" and "Damn it!" when my gifts were STOLEN right out from under me. I started out with fountain, and man was it cool. (I think someone had to spend more than ten dollars on it.) Anyway, after all was said & done, I ended up with a candle that smells a lot like Jolly Rancher's candy.

The past two days more gifts have appeared on my desk and from people that I don't even necessarily work for, so they were really unexpected. I have a home grown (?) stack of pecans, hot chocolate in something that looks like it came from Martha Stewart, an ornament, chocolate candy, and a new mug that also happens to be filled with candy. I'm extra appreciative of these gifts because I am the new girl here. Many of these people have known and worked with each other for quite some time.

I wish Christmas could last forever sometimes. There is no greater anticipation that I can think of. In fact, I'm always a little sad Christmas Day because I know it's really marking the end of something. The presents will be opened; the food will be cooked, and the decorations will be torn down & tucked away.

I say it's all about the Eve. There is no greater apex.


Merry Friggin' Christmas

So, I ordered this gift for a good friend that just moved to Texas. I had it all planned out quite some time ago. I had even carefully narrowed down when his family would be with him so that this gift would arrive, and they could all delight in its goodness. I ordered the gift via the internet, and quickly realized I somehow managed to not only ship the item too early, but I ended up shipping it to myself. The only good news was that the items are not shipped for three days. Therefore, I called the next morning to cancel the order. Since the Lazy English Speaker [LEP] didn't seem enthusiastic about the cancel, I offered to amend the order instead. I told LEP the address and the date I needed the item to arrive. She had to put me on extended holds to speak with her supervisor. Two days later, I received one of those e-mails saying my order had shipped...five days early. And my mister was now a "Ms" with a vital part of his address missing and a six-digit zip code. So, I called back. LEP transferred me to Half-Wit-No-Personalty-Customer Service Representative [HWNPCSR], who answered the phone with no idea what had already transpired. Even though I had an email saying my order was shipped, she said it hadn't. (I didn't believe her.) She made the corrections to the address & confirmed my order wasn't going to ship until specified date. Last night I got another e-mail saying my order was shipped (the appropriate date)...to MYSELF. I called HWNPCSR back. "Yes, it was shipped to you." Apparently, HWNPCSR did not remember conversation or me from four days ago. She offered to catch the package in transit to re-route it back to Texas. (Ya huh. That's gonna work.) She called the delivery service, and in order to do that, the package would arrive after Christmas. She makes no suggestion of sending out another order since it was THEIR MISTAKE. So, I come up with the brainy idea of sending out another package. She says, "Oh, okay. Yeah, I can do that and I'll send it 2-day. Let me put the order in and call you right back." Six hours later, I call back HWNPCSR. She doesn't remember our conversation or me. She repeats that the package can't make it before Christmas and asks me if I recall our conversation. "Yes," I say, "but you were going to send out another package and send it 2-day or something like that. Remember?" She replies, "Oh. Um, okay. Yeah, my phone is ringing. It's busy here. Uh, yeah, I can do that." I wait on the phone. "Um, it will get there on Christmas Eve if I send it 2-day." I tell her that, that isn't good enough, and that the package has to be there Monday or Tuesday by the absolute latest. She says, "Oh, well then I'll send it 1-day. It will get there Tuesday. Is that okay?" At this point, I wanted to pull that, "You are an idiot and have frustrated me to the point where I must bang the receiver on my desk extremely hard to keep from coming through this phone and wrapping my hands around your neck and expressing your ass on a one-way delivery to HELL!" So, instead, I said, "Okay, but remember that this is the FOURTH attempt to get this order done correctly. Please be sure that it is handled." She says, "Okay, Yes ma'am, I will." which totally means it's probably going to arrive at my house on Valentine's Day.


To Die or Not to Die

Work just called me, again, begging for my help. And when I say, "work called," I, of course, I just mean my part-time job that I only keep for its hefty discount. I'm not one of those money-hungry workers who wants to suck up every available shift. In fact, I will gladly hand over a shift to such individuals any time they ask. I typically work one shift a week, and it's usually five hours. The five hours isn't such a big deal. I would prefer an eight-hour shift actually because five is hardly worth your time, and it still manages to suck up most of your day somehow, but that is just how shifts are scheduled. I do mind working both weekend days simply because I treasure a day off. Closing sucks because it leaves me wound up most of the night, and then exhausted the next day. So, that's my complaint on how I like to work or not work. Because I don't work more than five hours a week, I also feel incredibly guilty for that. So when someone else calls me & asks me to take a shift, I always accept it. My only condition is that they do not call me the day of the shift; I will most likely turn it down. (I'm a planner by nature.) With the holiday season, I'm not afforded my comfortable once-a-week shift. I'm automatically upgraded to two shifts. However, this season my two shifts are quickly becoming three and four shifts due to associates trying to cover their shifts for one reason or another. Managers are also calling because so many associates have been sick. So, I'm not sure if I have just made myself too accessible or what, but I am about to die. I am so tired of covering for people that it is making me absolutely dread work. I was in such a bad mood on Sunday that Vitamin C couldn't lift my spirits; every ounce of help that I gave was insincere. My sales suffered, and I felt helpless against it. By the time I got home, I just wanted to be left alone. I didn't want to see another human being, much less talk to one. And of course, an associate called me. It happened to be one of the associates that I definitely owe a favor. He is someone that always works for every one. I honestly don't know how he does it. He can easily pull another twenty to thirty hours on top of his forty hours. He's like a machine or something. His apartment is also immaculate, which really leaves me puzzled. He wanted me to work for him tonight, and I quickly said I couldn't. I didn't try to come up with a reason why, only that I knew I would absolutely hate myself if I committed to more. I told him I'd be willing to take something later in the week, and he said that might actually work. We ended the conversation with him doing some more checking and me being on call for later in the week. Less than ten hours later, management is calling begging for me to come in for truck (or freight) tonight. We have a visit later this week, which means that on top of holiday traffic & later store hours, our store will have to have extra attention to appease people who matter in the company. In all my years in retail, I have never understood the announced walk-through visits where the store spends an absurd amount of hours making it look like it's picture perfect, when, in fact, it never looks like that. How hard is it to look at payroll and realize that you're not getting an accurate picture of what the store looks like on a daily basis? Where's the point in all of it? I'm mad, and I hate feeling like that. I don't feel like calling my manager back and telling her that I can't come in tonight. It will only make me feel worse. I won't even enjoy the free time that I will have tonight because I'll feel like I let the store, management, and my fellow associates down. And if I cave in and join them, I will be angry that I'm there. I just want to disappear from everyone right now.


Casual Nights

I definitely wanted to blog this last night; however, time escaped me too quickly. My mother and I went out last night in a hurry to get some serious shopping done. Afterwards, we went out to eat, and at nine o'clock, we were about the only people in the restaurant. Our waiter seemed like he was on his sixteenth hour and slap happy. He was kind of cute, and I thought he was flirting with me just a little bit, but I dismissed it to his high of working on his only day off. Later on, when my mother paid the bill, he came back and sat next to her. He asked to see her ID, which always makes her happy. Then she got the familiar, "Any relation to Janet Reno?" question, and shot back the even more familiar, "No, but I do have a sister named Janet." The whole time, I just kind of hung my head in slight embarrassment. He then looked at me and said, "What's your name?" I stammered, "Je--Jeni" with slight fear. He asked my mother if I was her daughter, and she got all gooey and said, "Yeeees." They then both looked over at me, and he said, "Mom, she's kind of cute." My mother beamed, and I shot out, "Okay, no I'm not!--" "And modest," he said. He mentioned that he had just moved to Memphis about 3 months ago, and that he didn't know much about the city. I told him I'd lived here more than twenty years, and I still didn't know jack about the city. My mother interrupted, "But if want to get around in Atlanta, she can help you." Ironically, he graduated from University of Georgia. There was also a point in our conversation where he mentioned he carried a pillow in his car, which brought me great excitement. (So, I immediately started planning our wedding. ::severe sarcasm::) He told me that I was cute a few more times, which kind of helped me believe it. My mother was trying desperately to write my phone number on the receipt, so I literally had to drag her out of the restaurant. All she could say was, "You need to go out with him," which is also ironic because she noticed that he smoked (or at least smelled of it), and both my parents abhor smoke. In fact, they have embarrassed the CRAP out of me complaining about it in restaurants. All this to say, he was really cute & funny, and I would have totally gone out with him...I just don't know how to conduct myself anymore. I almost feel like I should come with a caution tee shirt listing all my shortcomings, which, now that I think about it, would probably have to be the length of a dress. I did admire him for having the chutzpah to tell me that I was cute, especially with my mother on the other side of the table. I should learn from him.


Through Tears of Laughter...

I post this post. I just sent a friend this link: here, to which she screamed, "Oh, that's sooooo good lookin'!"


"It's times like these you learn to love again."

Tonight, I had dinner with a friend who just moved to Texas. Part of me felt like he had never left, and the other part of me was just saddened to see him living life somewhere other than here. To know that he wasn't just on the other side of town, and now he was on the other side of Texas, was enough to make me want to cry. I'm not sure if it was because he's gone or just because of how much I love him. I'm always impressed with everything he does. He represents all the good you want to see in humans but so rarely find.

Sometimes, I feel my heart ache.



I just ended a phone call with a girl I used to work with. She moved to Los Angeles maybe two months ago. Come to think of it, she was leaving Memphis the next morning when I returned from Seattle. I had a string of desperate messages on my machine from her trying to find me before she left. I called her immediately, and we talked for a bit, mainly laughing at lot of stupid things I did way back when.

Well, I hadn't heard from her since that night, so I left her a message on her cell phone. She called me back and said she had just finished filming her first movie, where she has a speaking part. (I looked it up, and it's due for release in 2004.) She hangs out with and even possesses Jessica Biel's phone number, which made me giddy with celebrity excitement. She's already met Jennifer Aniston and had her nails done with Christina Applegate.

I think she just name dropped more people in five minutes than I will ever get to drop in an entire lifetime. I would furrow, but I am too excited for her. She is the sweetest thing, and I do love her.

Here's to you P. Cannon!



I'm busting out my cat tonight.

Every time I go to clean his litter box, before I can even get the top off of it, he comes bounding into the room and jumps into the litter box. In the midst of my scooping, he will start to dig feverishly, with both paws scratching in unison. He then quickly assumes his "potty stance," where his eyes glaze over and he transforms into a statue. What's funny about this routine--or compulsion rather--is that even after he is finished doing his duty, and I scoop it out, vacuuming up all the litter that he flips everywhere just to see me furrow, and leave the room, HE RETURNS TO GO AGAIN. One of two things are going on here: either he's trying to rattle my own cleanliness compulsions, or he has one of his own, and it means there must be something in that damn litter box at all times.

Obviously, one of us is going to have to give in here, and I have a feeling it will be me.


Tiny Confession

I just got off the phone with a friend's mom, and she asked if I got her crazy message on my mobile phone. Is there any polite way to tell people that you don't ever listen to your voicemail? Most of my close friends know this, but they are still apt to leave messages for me, and then they faithfully ask if I received their message every time.

Guys, I don't listen to voicemail. In fact, I listen to it maybe once a month and only to erase all the messages. Even then, I barely listen to the "Hey--" and I delete it. Voicemail is a waste of your breath and my time. Please don't start thinking that there might be hope for your message to make it to my ear. It won't.