Hello readers! I have done a guest post for the talented and charming Debbie at More than Sweet Potatoes. You definitely want to read this. Check it out here. You won’t regret it and it totally isn’t a link to some kind of government tracking database.
A few years ago I worked out of a different office at my company. I worked in the field with mostly men. There were quite a few women that worked at my office, but we didn’t really get along.
The women there were older. Serious. Kind of uptight and in my view, not very interesting. They would never talk about their vaginas in the workplace or split their pants and flash everyone their underwear or any of the other things I haven’t even shared with you guys yet.
I mostly avoided them and they mostly avoided me. It was a fine arrangement.
And then one day, there was a new employee, E. She was close to my age and exactly the kind of person I like. She was sarcastic and loud mouthed. She was funny and cool and witty and she laughed a loud infectious laugh that was irresistible. We immediately liked each other.
Every morning I would stop by her desk to talk and crack jokes. She was great.
One day that first week of meeting her, I went to lunch with a group of the guys and I met another new employee, C. He was so cool and funny too. He was a big, burly, biker type, but laid back and sarcastic.
He and I really hit it off and in my head I was totally shipping C and E. By the end of our conversation I was convinced they were soul mates. So I asked him if he had noticed her. He had noticed her. It turned out E was his wife. I secretly take a bit of credit for their marriage, even though they were married before I knew them, because I would have made it happen if they weren’t already married.
Have you ever had a crush on a couple? I had a major one on them. I’d talk to E every morning and have lunch at least once a week with C. They were from New York city and had recently moved down to Florida.
I heard the story of how they met and got engaged (which are my two favorite stories to hear in case anyone wants to share). I heard about how they were trying to have children. We grew fairly close over the period of about six months.
One day I was talking to E and she brushed a strand of hair back off her face. Normally I am hesitant to compliment women. They almost always take it as a come on. Maybe I don’t know how to do it in a way that seems platonic. But I had to tell her.
“Your hair is gorgeous!” She had the kind of hair I always dreamed of having. It was milk chocolate brown. Silky smooth without a hint of frizz. It was was shoulder length with perfect body and shine like something in a hair commercial. If she hadn’t been so cool I would have hated her for her perfect hair alone.
She gave me sort of a bemused at my compliment and I worried I had overstepped my bounds. Or come across as flirting.
She reached up, grabbed a fistful of hair, and yanked the whole thing off her head. She was completely bald underneath.
I have no idea what kind of look I had on my face. It took about 45 seconds for my brain to catch up to what my eyes had seen. I was beyond dumbfounded. I was completely confused and speechless.
My expression must have been good because E laughed for about 5 minutes until her face was red and tears were running down her face. She was gasping for air when she she finally replied.
“For $200, you could have a gorgeous head of hair too!”
I managed to say something totally smooth like “Why…what… It’s a wig?”
She laughed again and told me all about her alopecia. And then she asked, “Haven’t you noticed the days I wear other wigs? Or the days I don’t wear one at all and just do a bandana?”
And do you guys know what? I hadn’t. I don’t know if she had never worn anything other than that wig around me or if I am just the most unobservant human being on earth. But I’d had no fucking clue.
It was a complete mindfuck. E immediately called C and told him all about it. And they never let me live it down.
I am sure all of you guys enjoy these stories. But, you may say, these stories are from years ago. What have you done to humiliate yourself lately? How can you say you are an idiot if you have learned your lesson? Well, number one: You are very presumptuous. Two: I am definitely still an idiot. And three: This story happened Friday night.
Being that it was a Friday night, I was out with my brother. (Where else would I be? A date? Ha!) We decided to go out to eat at the restaurant where I fell down a flight of stairs. This restaurant is so fancy. It is the kind of place people go to dress up and celebrate milestones.
Except my brother and I usually show up in shorts, flip flops, and dumpster t-shirts. Dumpster t-shirts are shirts my brother and I dig out of a dumpster near his house. It is almost solely the only thing I wear when I am not at work. And they are amazing.
But this restaurant does not treat us like the hobos we generally look like. And we always ask to sit outside. My brother, T, is loud as fuck and we generally discuss things that are inappropriate for polite society.
Friday night we were sitting out on the balcony. He doesn’t follow my blog so I was talking about my vagina post. Right before I said the word “vagina” our waiter walked up and I immediately stopped talking. He was new and I didn’t want to offend him.
But he seemed offended that I had stopped my conversation. So he dared me to continue my story. I started talking about vaginas again. The waiter stopped smiling and whipped his head around him, paranoid that someone else would hear. That’ll teach him to dare me to talk.
I ordered a steak and they brought me out a very fancy and sharp steak knife. It was a JA Henckels, which is the same brand I use at home. I can’t believe anyone trusts me with knives. Even myself, sometimes.
When the steak came, the waiter decided to wait to make sure my steak was cooked properly. I hate having an audience when I am eating. I wish they would just walk away and come back or something.
In fact, I hate it even more when the manager comes over and asks how my meal was. You know what? If it was bad, you would already know. Let me eat in peace!
I cut a piece of meat, took a bite, and set my knife down on the side of my plate. What happened next was a series of events I could not possibly have predicted would happen. Despite my ability to destroy everything.
I guess I put the knife too close to the edge of the table. It slipped off the table and clattered onto the balcony floor. Before I could even begin to reach for it, it slid between the wrought iron fence railings and onto the awning below us.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Sure, it was out of my reach. But at least it was on the awning and hadn’t hurt anyone. In fact, it was probably for the best that it was out of my reach.
And then, in slow motion, I watched in helpless horror as it slid off the awning and down into the busy parking lot below. Where we were seated over the entrance to this fancy and popular restaurant. On a Friday night.
I didn’t even think to call out to warn the people below. I just sat there, struck dumb at the improbability of the whole thing.
Thankfully, it landed harmlessly on the asphalt. As soon as I saw I wasn’t going to inadvertently murder someone I began to laugh. I still had a piece of steak in my mouth, I had forgotten it was there in my moment of suspense. Now I was laughing so hard, I couldn’t chew it.
I could not stop laughing through the rest of our meal.
As we were leaving, I approached the manager. “Hello.” I said innocently.
He looked at me and squinted. “Why do I know you?”
“I fell down your stairs last year.” I explained.
“Oh, that’s right. How are you?” He eyed me up and down, looking for signs of my ailing back.
“Well, I feel fine but I just dropped a steak knife off your balcony so I am pretty sure I am going to be banned from here at some point.”
He laughed. “But nobody was hurt. So it’s okay.”
I walked out to the parking lot and looked up at where I had been sitting. I learned an important lesson. I should not be trusted near ledges. And I should never sit over the entrance of that building ever again.
NPR did a piece this morning on Paul Cezanne’s fruit paintings and it made me think about my relationship with fruit. In this post, I alluded to how much I love strawberries. What I didn’t mention was that I am kind of freakishly into fruit in general. I think fruit is delicious, beautiful, and kind of sexy.
There is nothing like biting into a white apricot and tasting that floral sweetness, feeling the soft flesh of it in your mouth, smelling the almost overwhelming scent. Or the creamy smoothness of a banana. Or the crisp pop of a ripe grape.
So, I get why painters used fruit. It is a total sensory experience. The smell, the juiciness, the flavor, the mouthfeel…
But, I am also insanely picky. And never so much as I was a child. I basically lived on peanut butter sandwiches (not peanut butter and jelly because I hated jelly).
I didn’t have a strawberry until I was 8 years old.
We had moved to a tiny town just outside of Plant City, which is also a tiny town. Plant City is mostly strawberry fields. Every year there is a strawberry festival, which is sort of a county fair with a strawberry theme.
Even to this day I love strawberry themed, well, basically, everything. I think they are adorable.
This was one of the poorest times of our lives growing up. So going to fairs and such was a rare treat. And the price of admission usually meant we couldn’t even buy anything once we got in.
One thing we could afford was going to U-Pick-It farms. We would spend the whole morning in a beautiful field, everything shimmering like jewels with morning dew. Sometimes there would be a thick fog and I would pretend we were the last people on Earth (which is something I still do).
In Florida there are plenty of fruit farms. We had done oranges many times (great for making fresh squeezed orange juice) and one time we picked 20 lbs of blueberries for $20. We had so many blueberries that I was sick to death of them long before we had made it through even half the frozen bags of them.
But this was our first time picking strawberries. We spent the whole morning pulling these bright red jewels off the tiny plants. I had already determined I didn’t like strawberries. I didn’t need to eat one to make sure. They looked gross to me.
It was back breaking work and by the time we had finished, I wanted even less to do with strawberries. In fact, it was fine with me if I never saw one again.
On the drive home from the field that day, everyone had plastic bags of their fresh picked spoils in their laps. They were taking huge bites and throwing the stems out the open windows. To hear them tell it, these strawberries were like heaven on Earth.
My siblings started taunting me. Telling me what a weirdo I was for not liking strawberries. It was so unbearable that I moved into the way back seat to get away from their ridicule.
And that’s when I decided to try one of these magic berries. I pulled a giant red one out of my plastic bag. I had to admit, it smelled good.
I looked around. Nobody was watching. I went to take a bite when I noticed something. It was completely covered in seeds.
Now, I was no dummy. I knew you couldn’t eat fruit seeds. Most of them were poisonous and all of them were inedible. So I dutifully started removing all the seeds.
After a few minutes, I began to doubt that strawberries could possibly be worth all this fucking work! How did people even eat them? It took forever.
In the middle of my endeavor, my older sister, W, looked back at me. I was so quietly absorbed in my task I had gone completely silent. I was focused. I would get every damn seed off that fruit if it took the whole drive home.
When she saw what I was doing, she shrieked with laughter. In a few seconds, the entire car was dying, laughing at my ignorance and idiocy. Of course you could eat strawberry seeds! Who had ever heard of picking all the seeds off? That would takes ages.
For a moment, I wanted to shrink away into invisibility. This wasn’t something anyone would soon let me live down. And they didn’t.
But you know what? That first strawberry; freshly picked, sun ripened, and seedless, was the best damn strawberry I have ever had.
This is a gem of a story. I actually had completely and utterly forgotten about this event. I don’t know how. My brother reminded me of this story yesterday and I laughed so hard I almost puked. Again.
My family is not an affectionate or loving family. We did not hug, or touch each other in any way. Like, ever. Not even when I was a child. Which is one thing that makes this story so strange.
Once when my brother and I were both in high school, we were hanging out int the kitchen together. I suspect we had just finished eating an after school snack and were cleaning the kitchen. You didn’t leave messes in my house.
For some unknown reason, my brother picked me up off the ground and started shaking me. Like, shaking me up and down, the way you would shake up a soda to be a dick.
I don’t know what possessed him to shake me. And he didn’t know when I asked him why yesterday, either.
We laughed and I said, “Stop shaking me or I am going to puke!”
But I was laughing and after putting me down for a second, he picked me back up and shook me again. Still laughing, I again threatened to puke on him.
And instead of stopping, he shook me again.
I puked all over him. All over the kitchen. All over myself.
Right then, we heard my father pull up. We surveyed the mess and looked at each other.
We started cracking up laughing. In fact, we were laughing so hard, I was crying. We knew we had to get the mess cleaned up before my father got in the door.
My brother yanked off his vomit soaked shirt and I grabbed the kitchen towel. We mopped up the pile of vomit with a speed never seen before.
We got the kitchen cleaned in record time. We threw the vomit-y clothes and towels in the washer and started the load. And my brother and I were upstairs laughing in our rooms before my father ever made it in the front door.
You guys probably have realized at this point that I have super short hair. I feel like my default mode is short hair. I think it looks better on me. It has mostly been short for my entire adult life.
Lately I have been growing it out and donating it. It’s kind of a never ending cycle of that awkward growing out phase. Which is fine by me, because I am never pleased with my hair. If I am looking in a mirror, know that I am spending 99% of that time hating on my hair.
At the same time, I can only imagine my shitty hair is better than being bald. And since I am not doing anything useful with it, I donate it. It takes about two years to grow out and then I chop it all off and start all over again.
I used to cut my own hair for many years. I really don’t like people touching me. And I am incredibly awkward at banal chit chat. And I really don’t like having someone massaging my scalp with their cleavage in my face unless we are dating. Plus, I am pretty cheap and don’t really care if I give myself a shitty haircut.
Which I did. Many, many times. But let me tell you about this one time…
It was about 5 years ago. I was 25 and in the worst relationship of my entire life. I had shoulder length hair and was so bored with it. I was unhappy with a lot of things, but I stupidly thought a new hairdo would resolve the issues I was having.
He was off at the gym when I took a pair of scissors to my head. Now, keep in mind, I had been cutting my own hair for YEARS. I was self taught. A few YouTube videos and a hand mirror were all you really needed. And the courage to not give a shit if you looked awful.
I didn’t have special hair cutting scissors, which I do now. These were just normal craft scissors. Growing up in a crafting family with a mother that made clothing, I respected scissors. I knew that there were rules. Scissor rules.
Only buy Fiskars. They are the best.
Pinking shears are not to be touched ever. Don’t even fucking think about touching them!
Scissors can only cut one thing. There are yarn scissors, paper scissors, fabric scissors. Crossing materials will seriously jack up your scissors, so don’t do it.
I still live by the scissor rules. I have a pair of pinking shears and I don’t even let myself touch them.
So, I was standing in the bathroom with a hand mirror and my Fiskars. And I started cutting. The secret to giving yourself a cute haircut is patience. You can always cut off more, but you can’t add what you cut off.
As you all know by now, I have very little patience. I started out in the front going slow. I wanted some adorable short pixie cut. And I think short hair suits me.
But the longer it took the less patient I got. I started grabbing chunks and cutting. I knew what I was doing. I had done it a dozen times.
When I was finished I was really impressed with myself. I looked fucking adorable. And I don’t say that about myself often.
T came home and I ran out to show him my mad hair cutting skills. I had put a cute headband on and I just felt adorable. I twirled for him.
“Wait a minute. Turn around again.” His voice sounded strange. Serious.
I felt a sense of foreboding in the pit of my stomach. I turned.
“Did you use a mirror?” He asked.
“Um, I think you cut it too short. Here.” He touched my head. He was literally touching my head.
I had cut my hair too short in one spot. There was a quarter sized bald spot right in the back of my head. I ran into the bathroom and got up on the counter and looked again. Yep. There it was.
I don’t know how I had missed it. But now it was all I could see. That giant glaring mistake ruining my adorable haircut and my cuteness.
The next day at work I wore a baseball hat. There was only a skeleton crew and one of the people working, M, was a new guy I had befriended. I sat down next to him and tried to play it cool. I asked him how he was doing.
He burst into tears and told me that he and his wife had decided to get a divorce. You’d think I’d be better at handling emotional outbursts based on the number of times I have them. But I’m not.
I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Should I hug him? Pat his hand? Tell him that his wife was a total skanky bitch? I really didn’t know.
I was an awkward deer caught in the headlights of human emotional interaction.
I panicked and yanked my hat off. “I gave myself a haircut last night and fucked it up so bad that I look mentally challenged or deranged!”
He looked at me silently for about 10 seconds and then started laughing his ass off.
We had a few more serious talks about his divorce after that, but any time he seemed like he was going to cry I would just point out my weird patchy bald spot that was trying to fill in. And we would both crack up all over again.
I make a lot of jokes on here about the ways I am likely to die. I am not in any particular rush to die, but I am also not afraid of it either. I am a little concerned with how I die however. So I thought I would tell you all the top ways I am convinced I am going to die. (J, if you are reading this, you may want to just stop here, it’s all death jokes after this).
I hope this doesn’t turn into some self-fulfilling prophecy where I get famous for some reason and then some crazy fan decides to murder me. But if it happens, it happens.
I have long expected to be stabbed to death in a laundromat. I have mentioned it here and here. I had a death dream about it once. Did you guys see that episode of Adventure Time with the cosmic owl in Jake’s death dream? Like that but in a laundromat instead of space. Also, anyone that has spent time in a laundromat can sympathize with that fear.
In all honesty, the way I am truly most likely to die is of a stroke. I’ve already had somewhere between 5-10 of them at this point. I’m starting to feel like my continued existence is taunting life. Like I am daring it to give me more health issues. “Is that all you’ve got, universe?!”
I definitely have liver failure to look forward to. Between the heart medications, the migraine medication and now the back pain medication, my liver has aged about 80 years. In case the government is reading this, some medical marijuana would go a long way to reducing my risk of liver failure (nudge, nudge). I’d probably already be dead if I drank on top of my prescription drug usage.
My most recent ex has inspired many friends, co-workers, and courtroom sheriffs to suggest I buy a gun for home self defense. While I can see the appeal of owning a gun, I have literally never touched a real gun. In fact, I have barely touched a fake gun. My parents didn’t allow us to have fake guns growing up. And you’d best believe that I am an insufferable asshole when I get my hands on one. But I am 100% convinced that if I have a gun in my house, someone is going to break in and shoot me with it. If someone wants to kill me, they need to bring their own gun.
After this post, where I mentioned my proclivity for roadside peddlers I began to realize my bizarre preferences and idiotic curiosity will possibly lead to my death. I’ll pull over to see the history of the sanitary napkin museum (which I know is a real thing and yes I am dying to go), and be murdered by the curator (no offense to the curator, who I am sure is quite lovely). Because I am a moron and will stop to look at anything I find interesting, which is almost everything.
Also, while I’m on the subject, I’m going to tell you a few ways I am worried I am going to die that don’t actually make sense:
Zombie apocalypse. There is no way I am living through that shit.
Traveling back in time and dying from a disease that there is a cure for now, but that didn’t have one then. Apparently, it has a name: Chronohypochondia.
Tripping and accidentally falling off a building/down a flight of stairs or escalator/into a woodchipper/through a piece of glass/out a window.
Monsters. Even though I don’t believe in them.
Cutting myself on some craft supply, like a crystal or animal tooth and dying of some as yet undiscovered disease (though it would hopefully be named after me which would be pretty sweet).
Choking to death on something alone in my apartment. Actually, if you guys saw the way I eat, that isn’t so far-fetched.
And then, finally, the way I hope to die. In my 90s, peacefully weeding my herb garden. I’ll be wearing a big straw hat and some god awful pants because I will be a bad ass old lady that does not give a fuck. I hope I just lie down to take a rest and never wake up.
UPDATE: I just remembered two other ways I want to die. Spontaneous combustion or in the middle of sex. You cant get too mad at either of those amazing choices.