Friday, October 31, 2008


Pin It My husband keeps telling me that I should write about my own hopeless crush, but the sheer volume of crushes I talked myself into makes that almost impossible. I think I had a crush on someone every year of my life, almost always with semi-tragic results - a tradition that kicked off with Michael in the fifth grade.

I was such a boy crazy freak. I don't know where it came from. Maybe too much Love Boat. (Disturbing fact: back in the day I thought Gopher was "so fine." GOPHER.) (shudder)

When I was twenty I fell madly in love with one of my best friends and spent the next year covertly trying to make him fall in love with me. When that didn't work, I wrote him a long passionate letter explaining how I felt. He wrote me back - a very sweet note, saying that he loved me as a friend, but gently letting me know that it was not happening - now or ever. I read it, cried over it, then decided the note obviously contained hidden meaning. Instead of it meaning that he was not in love with me, which is what it said, it actually could be interpreted to mean that he was TOTALLY in love with me and if I waited around long enough, ALL OF MY DREAMS WOULD COME TRUE. It was all in how you looked at it, really.

I decided that what I really needed to do was step it up to the next level (the level of being completely insane). I repeatedly demanded that he participate in long conversations all about why he couldn't just go ahead and fall in love with me because DUH, it was SUCH A GREAT IDEA. I was pretty sure I could eventually convince him to fall in love with me if I was persistent enough.

Me: But we're so perfect for each other.
Him: I like you a lot, but I don't like you in that way. Please, please stop it.
Me: OK. I get it. I do.
Me: But probably I should ask you again next week, right?
Him: (jams pencil into his brain)

One late night I went to the home of the bishop of my YSA ward (translation: leader of a church congregation for young single people). When he opened his front door I was standing there crying my eyes out. He invited me in, obviously thinking there had either been a) a murder or b) some kind of spiritual crisis I urgently needed to discuss.

I told him I had a terrible, terrible problem that only he could help me with, and that I really needed to talk to him RIGHT that second. He invited me into his family room, where I told him (between sobs) that my life was over, it was OVER, because my crush didn't love me back and never would, and he was seeing someone, and how would I ever get over this, and what oh what oh what should I DO?

You should've seen the look on his face. That poor man. (Being the bishop of a singles ward must totally suck.)

I have to hand it to him - he did give the advice thing the old college try, telling me that the kind of love you have to convince someone to feel for you would never make you happy. This is probably where I should've had an epiphany and recognized the wisdom in what he said, but at the time, I just thought he was nuts. Because OF COURSE it would make me happy. It didn't matter how it happened, it just mattered that it happen.

If I'd been a Harry Potter character I totally would've been Romilda Vane, trying to make Harry mine by spiking his punch with love potion. As far as I was concerned the whole concept of free will was for suckers who weren't trying hard enough.

Man. I was nuts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm Not Sure If I Wrote This or Just DREAMED I Wrote It, ONLY TIME WILL TELL

Pin It Yesterday I went to bed at 5AM and got up for the day at 7 and hallucinated aaaaaall day long.

Last week I was very frustrated with my primary tech writing client. They were having some accounting issues and my invoices weren't getting paid, and as much as I like the people who I was working with, the situation quickly escalated in my mind from 'small accounting glitch' to 'HEAVENS TO MURGATROID you people are RUINING MY LIFE, and if you don't pay me IMMEDIATELY, I will pack up my toys and go home.' And then I kicked them in the shins and ran away.

I was angry enough that I pondered taking a full-time tech writing job at another company, so I spent last Friday night at the bookstore preparing for an interview by reading about network routing and packet switching and Linux implementations and wanting to hit myself over the head with a very large frying pan.

I ended up not taking the new job, partly because it would have been an actual out-of-the-house job, which doesn't really work for me at this stage of my kid's lives, and partly because my client and I made it up over ice cream (yum, chocolate sauce) and a large boost in my hourly rate, but the boredom of those hours at the bookstore, hours of my life that I will never get back, got me thinking about dream jobs I would like to have.

I don't really know how to ice skate, but I just have this feeling that I would be totally awesome at it. Every time I watch the Olympics or the Nationals or whatever, I feel so sorry for the ice skaters because I know if I was an ice skater I would totally kick their trash. I can really feel the music in my soul and I think they would probably say things like, "WOW, she is so expressive and lyrical and dramatic. Look at her go!" Possibly there would be jazz hands involved.

This one I think is kind of do-able. TRUE, technically I never graduated from college, and ok, FINE, I don't know anything about being an agent or about publishing in general, but it sounds like something I could totally do. How hard could it be? Quick everyone, send me your manuscripts - I will reject them just like all of those other agents, but I will do it with FLAIR. I will be like Query Shark, but not quite so grumpy.

I would really like to be a life coach. I would teach women how to be awesome and the name of my company would be "YOU CAN BE AWESOME LIKE ME, INC." Lessons would include things like how to start a blog (people who blog are just generally more awesome than people who do not blog - this is a true fact), how to quickly eat a lot of various food products (TOTAL TIMESAVER), and how to become generally oblivious (oblivious people are WAY HAPPIER).

I did this for a while back in high school and trust me when I say it was awesome. My friend Michelle and I worked at Suzie's Frozen Yogurt. I ate that place into the GROUND, I'm not even kidding. Whenever I go to Golden Spoon now, I totally scorn the people who are working there, because what do they know about making a waffle cone? In my day we had to fry our own freaking waffle cones. AMATEURS.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oh Good Grief

Pin It I forgot to pick up my daughter from school today.

Wait, let me say that again.


On Mondays they get out half an hour early, and I completely spaced it.

Luckily my friend Michelle saw Abby lurking around near the kindergarten playground, called me, and stayed with her 'till I got there (feeling like an IDIOT).

I thanked Michelle profusely, then started hugging Abby and apologizing to her. She really could not have cared less. She was off in her own little world, busy thinking about ponies or rainbows or something. (I was really lucky it was Abby - if it had been Sarah, she would've been on the ground sobbing in terror. "YOU FORGOT ME, YOU FORGOT ME." It probably would have been the defining moment of her childhood, something she brought up in therapy ten years later.) (I'm really, really glad it wasn't Sarah.)

I kept apologizing to Abby and she finally looked at me and said, "Mom, relax."

Well alrighty then.

Why is it that the things I'm pretty sure will traumatize them have no effect, and the things I'm pretty sure will be no big deal are completely traumatizing?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Operations Manual I'm Writing Is Slowly Sucking The Creative Life Force Out of My Brain - Somebody Heeeeeeeeelp Meeeeeeeeeee

Pin It ACK. I'm never gonna be done with it either. ACK.

I’ve been kind of annoyed with my work lately, because the engineers I’m working with right now – they’re not all that convinced that I’m actually smart. I’m a contractor, so I work with a wide variety of clients, and this is my first time completing a large project for this particular team. I'm not in the office a lot (I mostly work from home) so they aren’t quite sure what my deal is yet. I think they all just assume I’m some kind of lumpy little team mascot.

I’ll say something like, “I’m working to complete the operations manual for the system,” and they’ll all look at me like, “Aw, how cute. She thinks she understands what our machine does.”

Or I’ll put together a diagram and they’ll be like, “Oh look – she made us a little picture! Good job Sue!” as though I’m five and I just broke out the crayolas.

To be fair, they’re all really nice guys, and the environment is professional and respectful. It’s not blatant. They don’t mean to do it. It’s just the attitude of engineers in general.

Every single place I’ve worked, the engineers tend to think they’re a lot smarter than most of the other people in the room – usually because they ARE. They’re just used to it. And they’re used to people not really understanding what they do.

But that’s my whole JOB. It’s my job to speak engineer and translate it into normal person talk. I may not be as smart as they are, but I'm still smarter than the average bear. It takes them a while to get that though.

The most gratifying part for me is usually the day after they’ve read whatever I’ve put together, when they start looking at me with something akin to respect.

(No, that's a lie. The most gratifying part is totally the paycheck. If I could get a paycheck for just lying around doing nothing, it would still be completely gratifying.)

Still, condescension or no condescension, they are definitely my people. When I DO have to go into the office, it’s cool to be in an environment where they have NO IDEA if I’m fashionable or not. (I’m not.)

Here is ACTUAL SMALL-TALK from a meeting I attended a few weeks ago:

Marketing guy: Dude, you have a hole in your shirt.
Engineer: I know.
Marketing guy: You’re wearing a shirt with holes in it.
Engineer: So what? They’re just little holes.
Marketing guy: It’s time to get a new shirt.
Engineer: I love this shirt. It’s my favorite shirt. I’ve had it since college.
Marketing guy: You got out of school 12 years ago.
Engineer: So? It’s a really good shirt.
Me: It’s like an old friend, right?
Engineer: EXACTLY. See, she totally gets it.
Marketing guy (looking at my t-shirt and jeans): Yeah, I can see that.


(Marketing people are NOT my people.)

You know, I think I’d rather be negatively judged for my smarts than negatively judged for my appearance. I’m not sure what that says about me. Probably something dumb.