"Mauver & Shaker"

I worked my butt off yesterday doing some returns to various stores. Today, I spent exactly what I had gotten back & then some on four bottles of overpriced nail polish. To my credit, three bottles are going to be a gift for my sister; however, I should also admit I bought six bottles less than a week ago. I couldn't stop myself. They were seventy-five percent off. I ended up getting a color I already own, so now that bottle will have to be gifted as well. I was miffed because I just finished making a spreadsheet of all the colors (and brands) I own to combat this problem. Needless to say, that wasn't the first time I ended up buying a color I already own.

Is it possible that any man is willing to overlook my addictions?
Big Sap

Um, the military guy that works with me just brought me 2 metallic pens. He said he found them in his desk, and he knew that I liked to write with pretty pens.

Wasn't that sweet?

See, I'm easily wooed.



"Well, maybe it's time to be clear about who I am. I am someone who is looking for love...Real love. Ridiculous. Incovenient. Consuming. Can't-live-without-each-other love, and I don't think that love is here, in this expensive suite, in this lovely hotel, in Paris."

It's a sad day in HBO history as Sex and the City concluded. I recently posted that I didn't want to see Carrie end up with Mr. Big, but to be honest, I couldn't have been happier with the ending, unless of course, it could have gone on forever.

My weekend lasted far too long in the sense that Sunday night couldn't get here quick enough. By the time 8:00 rolled around, my stomach was almost in knots, and after a few minutes of watching Carrie stroll through Paris and masticate on some hard French bread, I literally thought to myself, "Okay, we have to get to steppin' because there's only 45 minutes. What's going to happen?"

Yes, I had said that I didn't want Carrie to end up with Mr. Big. True. But I stand humbly before you. The romantic in me liked the way Big showed up at the precise moment of Carrie's breakdown. I also enjoy that the writers are usually prudent to pair something heart wrenching with something hilarious. As soon as you start to tear up, something will knock you off of your butt with guffaw. In the end, I was still left wanting more. I could watch those girls every Sunday night for the rest of their lives. They will surely be missed.

P.S. The part between Samantha and Smith Jerrod wasn't too shabby either.

P.S.S. If you go back and watch the first season, particularly the first two to three episodes, the ending is even more perfect.


The Big Commitment

This Sunday is the last episode of Sex and the City. Quite frankly, I think I've been spending too much thought on the end of this show and if Carrie should truly end up with Mr. Big. For some reason, how this show ends really means a lot to me, way more than the endless will-they or won't-they game the writers play with Ross & Rachel on Friends. I watched the foursome on Oprah, and I was ever so impressed with Sarah Jessica Parker. Her vocabulary included the following words: confluence, cavalier, and cacophony. I'm not sure if she's been reading the c section of the dictionary or what, but I was impressed nonetheless.

It was obvious from the show that the audience really wanted Carrie to end up with Big. I'm betting so does every other fan of the Sex and the City, that is, every one but me. There is always so much more in the wanting of things. Why would we truly want her to end up with Big? I wasn't even happy with the penultimate episode. Well, I was when Carrie finally got to express her hurt to Big and scream "You and me nothing!" I thought the scene was acted out superbly, especially when she turned to tell him that he can drive up and down her street all he wanted because she didn't live there anymore. The way she said it, the look on her face, and the cut to Big's reaction was perfect. There was that one tiny moment where she felt powerful and in control of their relationship. She wasn't waiting on him to define it. Her righteous anger and effrontery even let her tell him to never call her again and forget he knew her name. It was a beautifully scripted moment, right down to her running away in her Manolos leaving Big standing there.

What I didn't like about the show was how quickly Big reappeared. I'm accustomed to him popping in and out with somewhat dramatic flair; however, by the end of the show, thanks to Charlotte's amaranthine romantic ideals I'm sure, Big is meeting with the threesome. He admits his love for Carrie a little too easily for my taste, as well as his myriad of "fuck-ups." Asking if there is any chance left for him to make amends, Big leaves the decision up to Carrie's friends. After the camera pans their faces, Miranda, who has never, ever liked Big or thought him good enough for Carrie, speaks for the girls telling him to go after her.

Big's love has always been there. It's in small ways, but you know he absolutely adores Carrie. Part of Big's allure is the fact that he is so unobtainable and noncommittal. If you change that, you in fact, lessen the mystique. And if life teaches you anything, it will definitely show you that we covet much more than we ever need. Many times, when we get what we long for, it ends up changing the elements that we found so alluring in the first place. The luster dulls, and that gem starts looking like a cheap piece of plastic.

Oprah asked Sarah how she wanted the show to end. Did she want Carrie to end up with Big, and she said, "I want her to be content." I thought it was a good answer. The one thing the show has done brilliantly is change and shape the characters. Charlotte learned her idea of a perfect man might be a little different than the Park Avenue doctor; Samantha discovered she might just enjoy having a man around longer than a night, and Miranda realized she indeed needed someone to put her in her place.

I think the writers will follow my lead. There can be a Disney fairy tale, happily-ever after ending--it just doesn't have to entail or insinuate that it includes Big by Carrie's side.


The Secret to My Silence

There is a good chance that what happens in my brain, could never ever be replicated onto paper or possibly with spoken words. The same is true of my feelings.
Shift Damn It! Shift!

I had a long weekend, but somehow, it seemed to pass all too quickly. I tried to capture it and mark things to remember about it, somehow hoping it would make the time go by slower and each moment more memorable. I traveled to see my best friend that moved away about a month ago. It was my first visit to see her, and really, my first visit to the city. The drive was bearable, and I had hoped to make good time and surprise her, but I managed to miss a turn and get myself lost. I called her for help, but she was unfamiliar with the new city. After adding fifteen or so minutes to the drive, we figured out my location, and two U-turns later, I was finally back on track.

I woke up Sunday morning to huge snowflakes raining down. They were so beautiful. I hadn't seen snow fall like that in years. Part of me was wishing that the snow would stick but realizing that I would have to drive home in it was enough to know otherwise.

Most of my weekend was filled with uncontrollable laughter, and part of it was filled with reflection and sadness. My best friend has taught me so much about life and about myself. I have seen things in me that I no longer wish to be there. I once criticized her for showing me such things because I didn't think I would ever be able to conquer them; I considered certain aspects of my personality as staples, and the knowledge of knowing them wouldn't ever change the fact I had them.

Today, I stand corrected. Maybe that was a coward's argument; Maybe, I was just too afraid to fail. In the end, the correction of one thing is simply an improvement. If I fail, I am no worse off, but if I do succeed, then I make steps in the right direction. There is only stagnation and possibility, and if I had a choice, possibility is always a better risk.



I overflow with love.



I grew up with a bunch of evil cheerleaders. For the most part, they were kind of snobby, and somehow, thought themselves better than everyone, especially me. I made the squad the first year I tried out, and I loved it. Even though I was one of the nerdiest girls on the squad, there was a small fraction of girls that was really sweet and made friendships with me despite the fact I probably brought harm to their image. One of those girls was Heather Herring. Heather always kept her dark hair long, which further flattered her brown eyes and those cute little girl freckles perfectly placed on her cheeks and nose. It was obvious her looks were part of her genes. Her mother was a perfume model with the same long, dark hair, and her father was a hunky preacher and coach football coach. So, in short, she was just naturally beautiful, and she never ever boasted it. I'm not sure how much of it was her genes working with her or the fact that she had a younger brother and was raised by a coach, but the girl was also naturally athletic. She could play basketball and football better than most boys, but luckily, she cheered and tumbled with me.

If memory serves me somewhat, Heather moved away twice in the two decades that I have lived here. I might be granting her an extra move, but I don't think I am. My junior year in high school, we ended up in Algebra II together. She was in the very back of the class, and unfortunately, I was up front. I think that was her last year at our school. For some reason, her father transferred to Georgia, and I thought I'd never see her again. It was sad because she had grown up with us, and now her senior year would be an endless amount of new faces.

My mother ran into Heather's mom a few months ago. She said Heather had married a football coach and lived about two hours away. I was so excited to hear that they had all moved back to Tennessee. On my lunch break today, as I rounded the corner of an outlet store, I saw Heather's mom. I looked around, and there was Heather. For some stupid, stupid reason, I weighed my options, and then bolted out the door. I didn't want Heather to see me, but I wanted to go talk to her. It's been about eight years since I've seen her, and she crosses my mind every now and again. In the brief seconds that I saw her, I could tell she was still as cute as she had always been. I walked next door and realized that I couldn't stop smiling. It was comforting to know she was on the other side of the wall. It made me happy. I had missed her. I thought about walking back, but I felt really ugly. She isn't the type to put much stock into how a person looks, so I'm not sure why I let that stop me from talking to her.

I drove back to work thinking of her. I remembered watching that girl tumble, and god was she good. All her power came from her legs. She would tumble down the mat with one pass, land it, and bounce back into the air from the motion. She looked like she had springs on her feet. She had somewhat boyish charm and ease about her, too. I can even remember her asking questions in class. I don't think Heather was an honor student; she was probably about average, maybe a bit higher. But I definitely remember her in class. She often made the coaches laugh with her confusion on whatever the topic was at hand. By no means do I mean to imply that was she dumb or ditzy--quite the contrary. I guess there was just nothing contrite about her. She seemed natural, and that is something unique in girls, especially in high school.

Yeah, I miss her...a lot.


Bring on the 80s

Yes, I've covered the topic of my hair at length here, yet, it keeps coming up. I wore my hair with all of its natural spiral curls today, and everyone keeps telling me they like it, which makes me think the other 330 days I spend straightening it, I'm actually making it worse. It could also be that it is such a drastic change, people feel obligated to notice it. Like if I came in here with bleached hair, more than likely, someone would lie through their teeth to pay me a compliment only because it would be one of those situations where they know that I know that they know I have done something "new" to my locks.

One coworker just complimented my hair in front of my boss, and my boss goes, "She looks great. It looks wild!" I told my boss earlier that this is my "porn star hair," and she died laughing but assured me it was more rock star than porn star.
Gluttony & Greed

It's no secret that I can't cook. I can but to a very, very limited degree. I can, however, "bake," but then again, it's not Martha Stewart variety either. I made some chewy oatmeal raisin cookies from scratch a few days ago. I tend to mix the ingredients and just make a few each day. Last night, I made the rest of the batch.

On my way out this morning, I couldn't seem to find any of the cookies. I just got off the phone with my mother.

Me: "I'm hungry."

Mom: "I'm not. I just ate a bunch of oatmeal cookies. They were so good!"

Me: "I was looking for those this morning! Did you hide them?"

Mom: "Yeah, I did!" (Gut busting laughter.) "I knew you'd take them if I didn't!"

Me: "Okay, that's so mean! I only wanted one or two. I cannot believe you mothered me. You are pure evil."

Mom: "I'm sorry."

Me: "No, you're not. I can tell."

Mom: "I thought about sleeping with them." (More laughter)



I return tonight much too late to catch a good night's sleep. We did inventory at work, and my muscles are already tightening up in revolt against their earlier duties. I started the evening in a very good mood laughing with my co-workers, but somehow, time got away from us, and suddenly my mood shifted. I ended up having to scan some extremely difficult and tedious items, which my manager asked that I take my time on in order to be thorough. But as the clock pressed against midnight, I had another coworker asking me why I wasn't busy. I was angry at the accusation, and I wanted to be hateful. I had another associate nearly pushing me off of my ladder trying to do an audit count even though the shelves above hadn't been counted at all. Maneuvering was difficult, so I had to wait a minute. He was asking me all sorts of questions about items left out of their packaging. After a few strained answers, I realized I never counted that shelf and all of my answers weren't enough to rely on. I thought about explaining this to the inquiring associate, but he wasn't anyone I needed to answer. I decided that any energy I did have left should be focused on the task at hand. I'm not sure if he was kidding or just trying to give me a hard time, but either way, I could have killed him.

Another one of my coworkers, actually managers, worked beside me tonight. I didn't like her at first, but I always try to reserve my judgments of people. They are, invariably, way off course. I learned a few months ago that her boyfriend was in the army and stationed in Iraq. I asked her questions about him and her face revealed so much excitement and despair. My heart ached for her. I knew her combination of happiness and sadness so well, but I didn't want to lend too much from my own experience. I would ask her for a countdown from time to time. All she knew was that he would be home some time at the end of January or the beginning of February. So, now, finally, he is home. I was happy for her, probably more so because I knew exactly what she was feeling. I wondered how she was able to concentrate on inventory much less show up for work, if he were here, but he is already back at his post.

I have strange opinions on guys in the military. I grew up with a father in the Marine Corps, and so my first taste of it came from a man who controlled so much that I never thought I would truly love him. My life seemed like an endless stream of rules, many of which, no one had ever heard of before. To learn the value of electricity, I was a charged a dollar for leaving a room with a light on. If my anger got the best of me, and I decided to slam a door to indicate that, I was charged fifty dollars. On the weekends, when most teenagers just wanted to sleep in, I had to be dressed and showered before ten in the morning. I stayed up late at nights working on homework and developed a bad routine. I would have to take naps in the evening, but my father wouldn't let me. If he caught me sleeping, he would immediately wake me, and usually not in a gentle manner. Any grade below a B resulted in me being grounded for a semester. My first year in high school? That was spent grounded. Rooms were cleaned on Friday nights before I could go out. It was overwhelming and physically exhausting at times. I seriously didn't think I would make it out of high school alive.

I still wrestle with issues of control and authority. Anytime someone even remotely reminds me of that time period, sometimes just a simple phrase, my anger can boil over. Looking back, I can understand the upbringing and forgive most of it. One of the downsides to it, though, is that most people don't or can't understand it.

My second taste came from the first guy I fell in love with. I was a freshman in college, and he left to join the army. Unable to beg him not to go, I stood by and watched my heart leave on a jet with no concept of what this decision would ultimately do to me. For the first week, I don't think I stopped crying. He ended up being stationed in Colorado, where he slowly began to distance himself. My memory tells me that he asked me to come live with him or get married in the early months of his service, but I don't remember the conversation. I'm sure I told him that he was crazy. I knew that I had the freedom to do nothing unless my schooling was finished, and I am too pragmatic to make such a decision.

Three months seemed to be the longest we could make it without seeing one another, but after a year of distance, we broke up. Part of me blamed the army. He was surrounded by idiots—guys that had no choices in life because they had ruined every opportunity until they viewed the military as their last chance in life. They were all irresponsible and immature. The things they valued were the things I despised. Deep down, they all wanted to be something more—to be respected and loved, but none of them did anything worthy to earn it. I thought my boyfriend had fallen prey to their way of life, and I needed a scapegoat.

I think deep down, I just wanted to save him. It's a common misconception I have. I thought I could get him on his feet and possibly keep him there, but I'm not sure that's what he ever wanted. Just because he admired me for it, doesn't mean he ever desired it for himself. In the end, we are probably better people for the experience, yet it's hard for me to believe he ever puts the experience to good use. I know that he thinks I probably never respected his decision to join the military, and in part, he's right. I didn't think he decided to join for the right reasons, but I quickly realized that it was something he excelled at. He was proud of himself for it, and that secretly made me happy. I think the military has outstanding principals, but somehow, most of the men in the service don't seem to apply it to their lives outside of their job.

I'm not sure where I was going with this post tonight. My intention was to write about work and maybe about my manager, but, I guess somehow, I let some of myself show despite my intentions. I just have to remember that with each step I take, my past is that much farther behind. I needn't let it haunt me so.