Fuck. This. Month.

November 30th, 2017, 10:41 PM by Goddess

I’m guessing my mind weighs 1.6 pounds. Because that’s what the scale at Weight Watchers says I’ve shed since last week.

Normally I stay the same. I do gain a few ounces here and there, or lose an ounce or two. So, for Thanksgiving week — and two vats of Mom’s wonderful stuffing balls — to come and go and still lose weight, dude. I’m pretty overjoyed.

We got to talking at our meeting about planning for the holidays. Not just Thanksgiving or Hanukkah or Christmas or Kwanzaa or whatever holidays those tiki torch Nazis celebrate or condemn. But what about the days leading up to it, and the recovery days afterward?

I do talk at meetings. (I waxed poetic about how I REGRET NOTHING after eating my weight in stuffing balls, while others boo-hooed that they drank too much wine or whatever. DUDE. Suck it up and move the hell on. I promise. You’ll lose those extra pounds when you’re meant to.)

But I was silent on the subject when Leslie asked what events we have to face this season.

Everyone else was yapping about office parties. Meanwhile my head was screaming MUST BE NICE TO HAVE A JOB AT CHRISTMAS. Or a company that hadn’t downsized so freaking much in the past few years that you know NOT to count on any kind of raise, bonus or holiday gift even though YOU BUSTED YOUR BUNNY ALL YEAR.

Ahem.

In any event, you know what events I have this year, other than not stress-eating every time someone else walks out the door for good? Happy hours and going-away lunches. Not company-sponsored of course. But drowning sorrows as another one bites the dust. Self included.

I always wished I were one of those people who lost weight from stress. Hoo boy, not me. Give me ALL THE LENTIL CHIPS. And I have three bags sitting two feet from me right now … and a half-empty one in front of me that I WILL polish off because GODDAMN IT my attention span is short these days and this, at least, I can finish.

If I can make it through this, I can make it through anything. But Jesus Christ, I love my job/field so much and yet EVERYONE ELSE has offers and interviews. Why don’t I? Is the universe just saving the best for last? Or does everyone expect that, because I know everyone and everything in the field, I’ll be fine and don’t need any help?

I know it can be — and has been — worse. I also know that believing in Santa Claus has kept me going this long. I’ve had some pretty good luck along the way too.

I just hope what’s left of my Christmas spirit … and it’s not even December yet … can sustain me for a lot longer. And that it can pay the bills and then some. And that I at least go dead inside if I must, so I can’t eat my feeling because I won’t have any of those anymore.



Politics

November 27th, 2017, 9:09 PM by Goddess

I manage to piss off two people today.

One by saying I don’t talk to my ex-BFF anymore because she voted for Trump. (Which, that was just the final straw. And there was a whole box of straws.) I am guessing the one person who recoiled voted for the asshole.

Another by saying anyone who watches Fox News is a Trump-loving nitwit and that’s the main source of fake news in this world. I know this person is a Trump lover and so is his wife. And one day, I hope she can tell me in very small words someday why women who don’t work hate Hillary so much.

In any event, there may be a third person I hurt somehow and I didn’t mean to if it was in fact my stupid ass fault.

There’s a lot of shit going on right now. Obviously the work is drying up and we’ll all be out panhandling soon enough. But there’s a lot more that I am keeping to myself. Like, my friends who got the boot a lot sooner are dying for the gossip, yet I don’t reach out and touch anyone about it. And I dodge when they do inquire.

I was even telling a friend today, I hear news and retreat to my corner. Then I watch my phone and wait for the texts to roll in. Someone gets fired, give it two hours till an old friend knows and lets ME know. The assets get sold, I guarantee one of my West Coast friends will know before someone down the hall can walk to my desk to fill me in.

There’s another friend I don’t gossip with. At all. But in conversation, I earnestly said hey you might be able to get something useful out of this event, if the stars align. Sit tight and wait.

I trust said person will behave. But I’m not sure if they did here. Because everyone stopped bailing water out of the boat and started rearranging their deck chairs about this particular topic. Because, of all the information spreading around the continent like wildfire, THIS is what concerns them.

The problem is someone got in trouble over it. I don’t *think* it’s my “fault,” as if something so dumb should be assigned any fault. But either way, no matter whose flap was yapping, folks really need to find their zen.

In any event, politics was the theme of the day. If I had the choice to eliminate the kind that runs our country or the kind that ruins our workplace first, I honestly don’t know which I’d pick. I hate me some Trump (obvs) but damn. This stupid shit is less pervasive but so much more personal.

Anyway. Tomorrow I’m not speaking to anyone. I feel like I regret it every single time. I only try to help all parties (and it would in fact help all parties), and it only ends up in a flaming ball of poo.



When I grow up

November 27th, 2017, 6:41 AM by Goddess

Now that the unemployment line is staring me in the face, everyone either responds with:

A) OMG what are you going to do?!!?!?!?! #panic

B) Great. You were too smart for that place / it was killing you anyway. Now you can do what you really want to do. Dream big!

I’m not sure which reaction bugs me more. Probably the first one, as it forces ME into a role of trying to comfort THEM and assure them no, I’m not going to drive Stewie into the Intracoastal and meet a watery end. Don’t make me reassure you when I’m the one who’s spinning out. Give ME some hope that the job market really isn’t abysmal, eh?

A friend who used to work with me a lonnnngggg time ago reached out on one of the social media thingies and said she always wondered why I stayed. Too smart for all that, she said. I laughed. I said I stayed because we had amazing people like you hidden in the ranks. It was easy to be a leader when you had people who actually cared about your, and the company’s, success.

I can’t find a job like mine anywhere on the planet. The company that’s supposed to be hiring all of us, well, isn’t. And that was my best bet.

I don’t want to be unemployed. But I don’t want to lose my title or pay, either. That’s why I stayed. Seniority, yo. You get really good at your craft in a niche industry. What happens when you have such specialized skills that they just don’t translate directly anywhere else?

Basically I achieved my dream. So when folks tell me to dream big, well. I set that bar and I met it already.

Look, I’ve been worried about losing this job for six years. I figured it would be my longest-running boss to toss me. He never seemed to “take” to me. And I wasn’t planning to stay anyway. Just wanted to leave for the right thing.

God knows I’ve had offers. Just didn’t hear the right one over the years. Now I’m left to wonder do I go crawling back … or do I dream something up that is completely different — and could completely suck in its own special way?

How do you dream when that’s your mindset? (A little help here, please …)



‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’

November 26th, 2017, 7:59 AM by Goddess

One of my best friends from college got married yesterday.

I hope she doesn’t still read this page.

Two years ago, I was winding down an affair I should have never let get started. It’s not that I was weak — it was either that or nothing. At the point it was impossible to tell the difference between that and nothing, I was done.

At the same time, I was typing with my old college friend. She was so despondent. So ready for marriage. So sad that our time for having kids was just about over. So at wits’ end.

I identified with her in a way. I mean, we always thought we’d be married by now.

She did everything “right” though. Got a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Got a job at a great school district. Bought a car, bought a house … and waited.

I assured her that this is a good time in our lives to meet someone. Everyone I knew was getting a divorce, or thinking about it. Sure we missed Round 1. But there’s still hope. Don’t settle — you waited too long to accept anything less than freaking awesomesauce, k?

Last year, she started posting photos with a guy. I’m not going to judge him (although I am pissed he didn’t wear a tux). Or the ready-made family he brought to the table. But I thought, no, my beautiful beautiful beautiful friend, inside and out, can’t/won’t settle for all this.

I’m pretty sure he proposed within the first month. They got married within maybe nine months total of dating (at least in Facebook time — who knows the IRL situation).

I love her so freaking much — we were ride-or-die sisters back in the day. But I’ve had a hard time “liking” things she posted. Not because I don’t want her to have all the love and joy and moon and stars and everything she prayed for — I do. I just don’t know how much of this is “He’s the one” vs. “Well, he’s standing right here.”

And again, I have zero basis for any judgment. I don’t know. I didn’t ask. I am not going to ask. I just wanted to see her happy.

So today it’s wedding photo a palooza on the ol’ social network thingy. I don’t think she looks happy. I think she sold her house and used the money to support her ready-made family. I think this grown-up shit that we dreamed of back in the day ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Maybe the stress of the situation/event got to her. Or maybe it all just flew so fast that she didn’t enjoy it. Maybe the good stuff starts now.

I would die a thousand deaths if she thought I was anything but overjoyed that she got her wish.

But I can see why it wasn’t MY wish.

I mean, a man — with a job — would be really useful right now, given my life situation. But I’m still the best date I ever had. I buy me nice things. We live pretty meagerly but we splurge on fun dinners and cute dresses. (I bought three yesterday. Not that I have a JOB to wear them to. But here’s to hoping for productive interviews where the pay isn’t at poverty level, like the last bunch I had.)

So obviously I wasn’t invited. Not what I thought would happen, but then again, people grow apart. I was shocked at how many people commented on the posts who weren’t there. So many of us were so inseparable when we all graduated between ’95 and ’98. (I delayed mine till ’97. Finances, of course.) What happened to us?

In any event, I am sending her love and luck and warm Florida wishes. In my mind. On the Faceypages thing, a like here and a love there — especially on pics of her with her sister. That’s when she looks most-radiant, when she’s with her lifetime BFF.

I sure hope that if/when I ever get married, people look at the man and say dayum he’s hot.

Then they look at me and say, she’s never looked better in her whole entire life.

And they look at photos from the Maldives or Ambergris Caye or even Disney World, for all I know, and they say now THAT was worth the wait.

I just hope I’m even happier than I look.

And that is my real prayer for my friend.



Grateful for … silence

November 23rd, 2017, 7:52 AM by Goddess

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. … Matthew 6:1-34

I had a friend who threw a couple of ugly-looking plates of food at the homeless on Thanksgiving. Plates made by his wife who couldn’t cook anything pretty to save her life. A wife he complained about every minute of every day. One he had no problem cheating on.

We aren’t friends anymore. I suspect a lot of those stories about her were lies anyway. In any event, I’m not concerned about them. But I am so glad I do not have to hear about the fucking four plates of ugly-looking food that he bravely walks outside and delivers to the first four people he sees on the streets.

The first time he told me he liked to give out Thanksgiving meals to the homeless, I was charmed.

Wasn’t sure why he told me, though. As I don’t really tell anyone when the spirit moves me to do a good deed. Although I did tell him about a good deed I did around that time. You know, to bond over being raised right.

But this one, man. He wrote blog posts about it. Odes to himself. Not a word about the wife slaving away in the kitchen to make that ugly-looking stuffing and dry turkey and canned cranberry. But reams of poetry and social media posts and photos of the ugly meals.

I mean, yeah, it’s noble. Like I said, I was charmed. Mom makes me pretty meals but we only cook enough for the two of us and the cat. And the cat ends up eating off OUR plates, so there are no leftovers. I mean, you can only make a half-pound tray of ham and a half-pound tray of turkey from Honeybaked only go so far.

And most of the homeless in my town are junkies fresh off a heroin high because they probably live in one of those fake recovery houses that only wants their insurance money. But still. Even if I did do something nice for a human (I prefer ducks, squirrels, cats and turtles, and pretty much anything with a beak), have you heard about it here? Nope. And you never will.

In any event, I used to try to say to this person, hey, I like to keep my charitable whims private. (Hint.) Or, gee, that’s really special and something that can make you feel good inside about because it’s your little secret. (HINT.) Or if you want to go all biblical and shit, the giving it reward enough.

Yeah. Whatever.

In any event, today I am thankful for not hearing that annual pat on the back for something he probably hasn’t even done in a couple of years.