Can’t take it with you. Especially in an evacuation zone

September 12th, 2017, 6:05 AM by Goddess

In the mad dash to prepare for Hurricane #Irmagerd, I had the realization early and often …

I have too much stuff.

Not “good” stuff. Mostly lots of clothes and decorations from (C)Ross Dress for Less.

Mom especially has a veritable shitload of decorations from there and every store in Florida that has “Dollar” (Tree, General, Family) in its name.

And a part of me — the one that knew my “hurricane glass” windows would leak (and they did) — was sort of/kind of hoping most of that shit would wash away to sea.

I’m sure that’s what happened to my overpriced storage unit. (I have two — I pay for mine and mom’s down here, and hers up in Pittsburgh. That one is full of … decorations. Ten years’ worth of payments, for decorations. When I’ve bought her everything she’s wanted since then and SO MUCH MORE. She doesn’t understand my resentment.)

In any event, I’m sure my storage unit (here) is a mess. It’s in a low-lying area, and our area got pretty thrashed with rains and uprooted trees and shit. So that’s gonna be a big wet fucking surprise when I get back there.

I found two dresses I hadn’t worn, while I was there. I was so excited about them when I bought them. But they were too small then. So, into the bin they went.

Took them home this weekend and tried them on. They fit fine. Maybe a little loose. But … they looked kind of atrocious on me.

Didn’t find the dress I really wanted. An expensive one. If I’m lucky, the thing is waterlogged. If I’m not lucky, I’ll hate it as much as the other two.

Here’s the thing. I buy things in hopes of wearing or using them SOMEDAY.

Well, guess what. If this hurricane has taught me anything …

It’s that someday is TODAY. Rather, we should treat it that way.

So all my cute Paris stuff … sugar skulls stuff … DRESSES UPON DRESSES that I am saving for outings that haven’t happened yet …

Well, make ’em happen.

When it came down to it, the only things I wanted to save … if I absolutely HAD TO … were things that still had the tags on them.

You know, this shit …

Well, that and six hot-pink storage tubs of hot-pink sugar skull shirts, cookware, rugs, towels, candles and purses.

Know of any hurricane shelters that take pets and a Noah’s Ark of unused shit for your “someday” home?

And it’s not just that. it’s the good Zum Wash patchouli soap from Whole Foods. It’s the Moroccan lotion from fucking Suave of all things that I am absolutely in love with. It’s the “good” Dove Advanced Care deodorant that I save for when my skin is really in need of some TLC. It’s the Lodi wine that I keep holding onto because the place in Ft. Lauderdale that sells it is an absolute pain in the ass to go to.

It’s all the “luxury” shit I save for when I’m feeling worthy of using it … for when I buy a “backup” (Mom makes me buy two of everything. Including towels, rugs, dresses, shirts, and goddamn DECORATIONS. You ALWAYS need a backup, she says. And don’t use “just the one” if that’s all you have). Etc.

So during this hurricane, I wore some of my new T-shirts with tags on them. Drank the wine that I didn’t have “backup” bottles of. Ate the candy from Disney World that I would normally have saved, on the promise to myself that I will get back sooner rather than later to get more.

I know I need to apply this same attitude to many more things. (Career, car, apartment, etc.) But at least I know I need to let go of the shit that isn’t working … or fix what could be working better … to feel much lighter of spirit and, I hope, indebtedness to what’s mostly only holding me back at this point.

And the fact that I’d rather die than do most of it is a sign that I won’t miss it if only I can find something better to replace it with.



Goodbye, cruel world? (Hurricane Irma edition)

September 6th, 2017, 9:07 AM by Goddess

I don’t normally like to write that I’m traveling when I’m actually traveling.

That said, I am not at home … and Hurricane Irma is barreling up the spine of Florida, ready to bowl a perfect strike in the next couple of days.

St. Martin is wiped out. The Keys have been evacuated. I’m in the center of the state on a long (long) awaited vacation that I cannot even enjoy.

Mom is convinced this is it … we aren’t going to live through this one.

I know my apartment building couldn’t withstand a gust of dog flatulence. But even if this Category-5 mess does manage to get downgraded to a Cat-3 by the time it hits the happiest place on earth, we’ll still be foo-kay-ayed.

So do I spend my last days on the planet preparing for this shit, or do I just enjoy my vacation and go into the great beyond without worrying about my money and jewelry?

That’s the thing. Do I stay here and hope my house isn’t a pile of rubble … and hope that there are still roads to DRIVE HOME ON because this cunt Irma is set to roll straight up the Turnpike …

Or do I go home and be inside the not-boarded-up building because my landlord doesn’t care and I can’t do it my damn self … and die in the apartment I hate most?

And I can’t believe I’m going to say this … but I wish I hadn’t gotten promoted. I have a department to go back and run on Monday. This shit is going to hit anywhere from Saturday to Monday.

I’d really rather not be in charge right now. The guys we let go (the body count keeps rising, too) are probably like “Deuces, bitch.” They are probably in the Carolinas by now. Not FIGHTING TO GO BACK into the heart of the storm like I have to in a couple days.

Seems a fitting end for me, though. The job will kill you one way or another. Who would have ever predicted this particular “another,” though?

I know I need to be positive. But there are two other named storms forming — Katia to the left of us and Jose to the right. (And I’m stuck in the middle with Irma. Sing along!) And Jose looks like a mean motherfucker, too.

I mean at least it isn’t the wildfires in California, right? Combine all this shit with Harvey in Texas, all the terrorist attacks in Europe, and that North Korean nutcake playing chicken with OUR pussy-grabbing Kim Jong Un, and maybe this is the apocalypse. And we’re all gonna die one way or another anyway and mine is just a watery, electric-less end.

Hard to be hopeful today. And it’s mom’s 60th birthday, too, and I am so thrilled she made it. So thrilled. And Kadie is here too. I don’t think she’s long of this world, either, and I just want to be happy for one goddamned minute with my family still safe, dry and intact.

Fuck it. I’m gonna take momma to feed some swans and we’re going to eat a big fat fucking steak for dinner. Why count Weight Watchers points when you’re instead counting your days?



My why, 2017 edition

September 3rd, 2017, 4:02 PM by Goddess

On this latest round of re(re)joining Weight Watchers, when they asked me about “my why,” I struggled.

I mean, I’ve had enough “whys” than China has rice. I just had to look up my last round. Which is kind of cool, really. Because I can cross a lot of those things off the list.

Problem was, I needed that list a couple weeks ago. Because I was totally caught on the spot.

The very first time I joined WW in 2008, it was after a photo shoot at my company. They wanted my face on the website that I had spent a year building.

I felt cute that day. Couldn’t wait to see my face listed as an expert on a website I loved.

Holy shit. I could not believe how fat I was.

I can’t even find that photo online anymore. And thank God for that. I know I have a similar photo from Las Vegas at my storage unit that is equally hideous. But either way, it was a wake-up call.

Here we are nine years later, and my company sent me to our studio to take a photo for our website. This after my last boss didn’t want me to have an online presence at all. Or the title he kept promising me for five years. But whatever. I got the title … now for the bio.

And … holy shit. No I am not putting THAT new pic up either.

I mean, the good news is that I was about 252 pounds in the first instance, and around 165 in the second. So I am OVERJOYED to be the “me” of today.

But at 5-foot-3 (and shrinking, it seems. I was 5-foot-4 just two years ago), I have a tiny frame, it seems.

I have a brand-new office now. The second-best one in the building, it seems.

And even though I miss my office that I was forced to abandon in May (I just went there today. My heart still breaks and nothing is going to keep that from happening every time I think about the place I loved), there’s one wonderful perk.

That is, people keep coming in and saying, “OMG you’re such a tiny person for this big office!”

Heck, I even fit under my desk. With plenty of room to spare.

And no one can see me over my monitors, either. Which has its perks. (That is, it gives me time to DIVE UNDER THAT DESK.)

I like being called tiny. (That’s not “my why.” But it’s a good one!) I like FEELING tiny. Comparatively speaking, of course. I know I ain’t *actually* tiny.

But when I looked up the “my why” post of last year, it feels familiar.

A thousand years ago, I just wanted to open a laptop on a plane. (Seats have gotten so much smaller, it’s a goal AGAIN.)

I want to zip up my calf boots without blowing out the zipper or having calf-sized muffin top.

Etcetera.

I still want to live longer/healthier than my family.

But this year, I have another “why.”

I’ve spent the last 10 years taking care of mom. Whether or not the fact that my social life is in flames is correlation or causation isn’t important here.

(I’m sure I still would have worked myself to death and found other excuses about my single-ness and aversion to “friends.”) Because everything is expensive, money-wise. And no price is greater than wasted time.

In any event, I need to stay youngish and healthy-ish because I lost 10 years. I mean, they’ve been great and fun and all. But I lost out on big vacations. Never got to Europe. Never got out of Florida this last near-decade, really.

Which is fine because people die to come HERE. So we explore it as best we can. But to be fair, we explore it as best SHE can.

And right now I’m feeling like if I don’t get to do the things I want now, what if I won’t GET to … just like when she finally could live her life, her health went to shit?

I am sure I’m not saying it correctly. It’s not that I haven’t been happy. I just know that a day is going to come when I can do whatever the fuck I want, whenever the fuck I want to.

And I want to be healthy enough to enjoy every last second of it.

I’d also like to say hello to a hot guy when I’m walking on the beach and not have him reel in abject horror that I am talking to him.

That was never really a “why” that I consciously recognized. But, you know, I do feel like I deserve someone great. I just need them to LOOK BACK AT ME when I see them.

So I don’t have a number I’m working toward unless it’s a phone number, a wedding date and a move-in date to a beach house with a boat parked outside that comes with a hot man attached. One who wants me to be around for a long, long time so we can see the world together.

And I want to grant that wish.



Have I finally suffered enough?

August 27th, 2017, 9:36 AM by Goddess

Caught my immediate ex-boss looking at my ProfeshunalSite profile on Friday.

I purposely did not update my profile with my new title (his old one) yet.

I wanted him to change his first. (He did on Friday.) Nothing worse than leaving a place NOT on your own terms. Well, other than having your replacement break the news that it happened at all.

I mentioned it to Mom and she reminded me how we never told anyone when we lived at the ocean for seven years. Like we didn’t want anyone to be jealous of how lucky we were.

I thought about that for a good, long time. She’s right. I never said that I lived a block away from Pumpkinfuhrer.

I mean, his gaudy beach house cost bajillions and I was in a rented condo with a series of six Evil Landladies and a maintenance guy who was in jail for stealing people’s shit (and a Mercedes, in the end).

But still, now when I say to people “Oh yeah, Nazi-sympathizing Dipshit and I were neighbors,” they don’t actually believe me. Which is fine. Honestly, I didn’t want them to come visit or want to stay with me anyway.

But I see what she means. I told my old friend W. that I got a promotion. And my BFF knew. But no one else outside the company (other than Mom, natch) knows about it.

It’s an interesting experiment, to see how long it takes for the news to spread. But I trust the three in-the-know to NOT spread it.

And it’s weird to see the dynamic within the company. Other than the people who made it a point to congratulate me, it’s been eerily silent.

I moved into my new office Friday afternoon. Maybe that will make it official. (It’s a pretty sweet office, too.)

But now I’m starting to wonder whether I’m worthy. I mean, they told me specifically to not work my 70-hour weeks that got me here. “Don’t burn out on us,” I was told. But … now that I finally have the title and pay I was striving for … I don’t want to check out like all my predecessors. (Yes, ALL of them.)

I actually WANT to work and do good things, better things … to BE better.

BUT … I gots a sick mom and kitty and I really DON’T want to burn the hell out again. I was crispy before my department imploded over Easter weekend. And I can tell you right now, all the bonus steps and personalities and authorities have sandpaper potential on my psyche.

Note I said potential. I can handle it. I can handle anything. But I worry. And maybe that’s why I haven’t told too many folks about how things are actually going in my favor.

I do honestly believe the universe wants me to be happy. But I do always have my eye out for that meteor coming my way. Like, what’s it gonna take away since it just gave me something?

In any event, I really don’t think I have to work too much harder — it sounded like the promotion was to catch me up to where I’ve been functioning anyway. I mean, I came in and took over … and the previous guy faded away. But you know me. I want to be better.

Lord, please help me be better, without sacrificing the free time I’ve worked so very hard to earn. Because that’s been better than any bump in pay. (Especially since I still can’t afford to move, and that’s what I want more than anything in this world.)

Can I really have it all? Does it really just take believing it to make it so?

Have I actually, honestly, really and truly suffered enough?



Promotion, all I ever wanted …

August 19th, 2017, 6:14 AM by Goddess

I’ve been sitting on a secret for a few days. That I was going to get a promotion.

Well, the news is out. My first official day doing the same ridiculous sum of work for a slightly higher salary sum was yesterday.

The news was bittersweet because two people were let go in the same two-sentence announcement.

“X and Y are out — Goddess is your new Queen.”

Not that I plan to give up the Goddess title. I mean, really. It’s who I’ve been my whole life.

But after five years of hollow promises from my former supervisor to correct the record and anoint me queen, it only took three months in the new gig to get my royal robe.

It was the surprise of a lifetime, though.

I figured they didn’t worship me as much as I deserved. And, to be fair, I wasn’t exactly in love either. All my friends had been fired and my BFF and I were waiting our turn.

So when I got a call a month ago to apply for the perfect role (title-wise and money-wise) … and I got that job OFFERED within a day’s time … I was ready to say yes.

But I didn’t. In fact, I said no.

Then they came back with more money. That was a hard one to say no to. I agonized. Literally lost sleep for days.

And when I envisioned accepting it, the only thing that made me happy was that I could deliver the exit-interview soliloquy I’ve been working on since Easter.

My BFF got an offer to leave too … and didn’t exactly have the same gut-punch feeling at the thought of leaving. She’s thrilled with her new salary and job. As my friend upstairs said, her only question was “What day do I start?” My debate was, “Will I be giving up a career I actually love?”

The second no was harder to arrive at. Yet, easier to say. Because, I knew. The job wasn’t for me. Not yet. Maybe not ever.

In the promotion process where I’m at, I mentioned the other offer. (That kind of mention comes with great risk. They don’t play with folks who have their eye on the door.)

But I wanted them to know about it. That I’d said no twice. That the position is still available, and that I’d told the interviewer to go about their business and maybe we can circle back in a month to see where they are and where my head is at.

Who knew that, in that month, I’d have the job I REALLY wanted?

Mom knew. Psychic.

I was badgering her for weeks with “what if” scenarios. Mostly what if I take this new gig and it’s even more of a flaming dumpster fire than my May and June were?

Eventually she said, “What if … you got the job you want at the company you’re at?”

That’s all I needed to call the would-be employer and said so long and thanks for all the fish.

And it’s not that July was any less of a dumpster fire. I just knew I had a ticket out. And I could get one at any time.

Once I had that, I got the perspective I so desperately needed.

That, and I had finally stood up to my new (super-nice but super-micro-managey) boss and told him to pipe down on the micro-management.

He did, for the most part. And life was better in Goddess-land.

Today, I have his job. Which, to be fair, I took over three months ago anyway and was frustrated that he was living on Easy Street while I was (voluntarily) busting my butt.

But the overlords were watching. They don’t miss a trick. And they tell me they had this plan for me since Day One.

Which may explain why they all tortured me so much. Man, getting sent home for my dress shorts, being talked about within earshot, having things I said half-ass repeated/twisted (I mean, talk about me all you want. Just quote me accurately), etc.

They just wanted me to be better, to be ready for what was in store.

Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Anyway, I’m happy with the outcome. Terrorized a bit by the process. But as they say, if you aren’t at the table, you’re on the menu. It was nice to be where I was this time, instead of the one guessing.

Congratulations have been quick and hearty. But everybody’s suddenly a two-handed economist:

“Oh that’s great. We love you. We know how hard you work. So deserved …

“But damn, why did (collateral damage) have to be let go?”

Not my boss, who I have to state again was truly the nicest boss I’ve ever had. But one of his friends got let go too. And everyone LOVES the friend. (No one really saw the boss. Least of all me.)

So the victory, as it were, has been hollow.

I was texting with my friend upstairs while all this was going on. She said fuck them. You busted your ass for how many years and didn’t get a drop of recognition before today? Did your superiors’ work and got none of the credit before now? Fuck them, you earned this. You deserve YOUR moment.

I did celebrate, by the way. I walked out and right over to the nearest Weight Watchers center. I hadn’t been to a meeting in YEARS. But that was the night I had planned to return. And damn it, I returned.

My new leader is fantastic. I’ve hated almost all the meetings I’ve attended in South Florida. But I am so happy I picked the leader and the night I did.

She asked what brought me back. I said I was always planning to return. And that I got promoted and I really wanted to go home and stuff myself full of wine and cake. But that my ultimate mental challenge was to stick to my original plan. And this proves I can do it.

She said “Honey, you celebrated in the best way possible. I have no doubt you’re going to ace this, too.”

It’s good to be queen.