Because my life is super glamorous, I often have to go out of town for work.  I like to think it’s because my company wants to send the best man (er…woman) for the job, but I’m pretty sure they send me because it’s an excuse to get me out of the office for a day or two.

Apparently some people don’t like my afternoon reggae party and the smell of Indian food makes others nauseous.  Whatever. (If they think the food smells bad, they should come into my office a few hours after I’ve eaten it…)

Today I was in the Windy City of Chicago, which is a far nicer city than the ones I’ve been to lately. (However, I didn’t see a single restaurant offering bags o’ burgers, which made me a bit sad).  I arrived in Chicago the night before my meeting because I’m not a morning person and didn’t want to take a red eye flight in the morning.

I also wanted to partake in room service and the complimentary robes the hotel provides.  (I also secretly wanted a bed to myself without having to share it with 3 dogs and a husband, but don’t repeat that.)

This morning I met a coworker and we headed out on foot to the location of our meeting.  When it comes to Chicago, I only have a slight idea where I am at any given time and even less of an idea where I’m going.  (Come to think of it, that’s typically how I am no matter what city I’m in.)  When it comes to New York, I can get anywhere in no time, which subway line to take, and which homeless men to avoid.  When it comes to Chicago, I can barely hail a cab.

I’m not sure why we decided to walk to the meeting.  It certainly wasn’t my idea, as I have a strict “no exercise” policy.  However, my coworker started walking and I didn’t want to not be a team player, so I joined him.  I think you know where this story ends up…we got lost.

My phone couldn’t figure out where we were or where we were going and the trail of crumbs from my Fiber One bar was long gone, eaten by a combination of pigeons and homeless people.  (Please note the trail of crumbs was inadvertent…but then again, you totally knew that.)  We were screwed.

I was in heels and didn’t want to walk anymore, so I decided to hail a cab.  (Okay, so maybe the fact I was in heels had nothing to do with my desire to sit down, but let’s go with that, as it’s a reasonable excuse.)  I hailed a cab, got in, and cursed Michael Kors for making such uncomfortable shoes.

Before I go any further, I must point out that my coworker had never been to a city like Chicago.  He’d never taken a cab in a big city and had no idea what he was in for.  Okay, calm down, I’m getting back to the story.

We told the cabbie our destination and he sped off down the road, leaving skid marks and a pile of smoke in his wake (which, strangely enough, is the same result I get when eating Indian food, but that’s another story).  As we were just settling in to our wheelchair accessible cab, we were shaken from our thoughts by our cabbie dropping f-bombs at every-single-person on the road.  Seriously.  Every. One.

But then it escalated.  A woman in her twenties was riding her bike IN THE BIKE LANE when he came up on her in his cab, going approximately 100 miles per hour.  She rode right next to his cab, unaffected, although she came dangerously close to hitting him (BECAUSE HE WAS DRIVING IN THE BIKE LANE.)  And then it was on.

“That b&%^$ thinks she can f#$# with me today?” he yelled at the two of us, as if we were supposed to do anything other than shit our pants and text our loved ones a good bye message.

Before we could answer, he pulled around her, barely missing her, and then pulled in front of her to cut her off, all the while calling her mother a whore.  I looked at my coworker, who was petrified and I’m pretty sure I saw him praying the rosary, although I can’t be sure.

When the cabbie nearly struck the biker, he then yelled that he hoped the bi$#@ was struck by another car and seriously hurt because she was being so stupid (IN THE BIKE LANE.  RIDING HER BIKE IN THE BIKE LANE.)

“Who does she think she is?” he asked my coworker, as if he could say anything other than a few dozen Hail Marys.  “If she got hit it would be her fault and then where would she be?  I’m fully insured, Mother F@#$$.”

He then proceeded to cut off another vehicle who he just referred to as “Tennessee,” almost clipped two pedestrians, dropped a few racial slurs, and then dropped us off right in front of our destination.

My coworker gathered the things that spilled out of his bag when it went tumbling upon the first near homicide.  As he did that, I paid the cabbie.  I only had a $10 bill for the $5 fare, but I feared he would pop a cap in my face if I asked him for change.  Instead, I gave him the $10 and told him the extra money was for his troubles.  That actually seemed to make smile, which was good, as I wasn’t entirely sure he wouldn’t run me over when I exited the vehicle.

He sped away as quickly as he arrived, and I looked to my coworker to see how he enjoyed his first big city cab ride.  He said he enjoyed it just fine, and then immediately asked if there was a drug store close by.  He needed to buy Pepto Bismol, although I’m sure it wasn’t related at all to the roller coaster ride of death we just experienced.  Fortunately for us, the cab got us there early, so we had plenty of time to buy medicine to calm our stomachs, and caffeine to calm our nerves.

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I hate game nights.  Seriously.  I hate them.  And this isn’t like one of those things where someone says “I hate that I can eat whatever I want and don’t gain weight” when what they really mean is “I love that I eat whatever I want and stay skinny while you eat nothing but celery and get fat.”  (You know that person, and you want to punch her in the vagina.)  No, it’s not like that at all.  I genuinely hate game nights.

It’s not that I don’t like an excuse to hang out with friends and eat dip.  Believe me, that’s the only thing that entices me to come to a game night.  Well, that and knowing I can yell expletives at my friends and call their mothers whores and then at the end of the night we can still walk away friends…or at least I hope so.

I’m super competitive.  I will do anything to be first and I’m pretty ruthless about it.  Just ask the seven-year old I pushed out of the way at the grocery store when I jetted to the front of the line.  (But I got there first!  Sucka!)

My friend Downtown Christy Brown (not her real name) hosted a game night Saturday night.  Actually, she called it “not a game night-game night” because she knew I wouldn’t come otherwise.  (I also wouldn’t come if there wasn’t french onion dip.  What am I?  A communist?)  She assured me there would be guacamole, which is the secret key to get me to do pretty much anything, so I decided to come.  (Actually, it’s not a secret.  If you read this blog with any regularity, you would know that guacamole is my kryptonite.)

Because of the promise of amazing dips, Matt and I headed to DTCB’s house for a night of games (or as I like to call them “friendship testers”).   Please recall the last time I went to DTCB’s house, I dropped my iPhone on her driveway, shattering the face of the phone.  (The lawsuit against her and her homeowner’s insurance is still pending.)

I was extremely cautious when I arrived at her house, and I maintained a death grip on my phone until I was safely inside and away from her faulty and dangerous driveway.

When we got inside we all commented about how I managed to make it indoors without breaking something.  We figured the night would be a success.  We didn’t know how wrong we were.  (Insert ominous music here.)

After eating dinner, we all headed downstairs to begin the “not games.”  Pajama Jeans (not her real name), was in rare form, which doesn’t have anything to do with the story, but she was so hilarious with her bottle of wine that I feel obligated to mention it.

I made it clear to the others that I didn’t want to play a game.  To make my point clear, I went upstairs while they decided which torturous Milton Bradley creation would waste the next few hours of our lives.  Leaving the room was my way of taking a stand against “not a game night-game night.”  Well, it was mostly because I had to use the restroom, but also because I was taking a stand.  After all, there was a bathroom in the basement that I didn’t use.  Yeah.  Point made.

I went into their hall restroom on the main floor, not because it was the closest, but because I liked the reading material in there.  (Did you know that in 1979 a woman jumped off the 86th floor of the Empire State Building only to be blown back onto the 85th floor with a broken hip?  Yeah.  Now you see why I use her hall bathroom.)

I used the facilities and stood up to flush the toilet (because I’m an amazingly thoughtful guest).  I pulled down on the lever and the bastard broke off into my hand.  WHAT?!  Did I seriously just break their toilet?  The toilet in their new house they’ve only had for about a month?  Really?  And how was I supposed to flush the toilet now?

I stood there for a moment in panic mode.  I realized my purse and keys were just outside the room in the foyer.  I could grab them and make a run for it.  Sure, I’d abandon my husband, but he’d find his way back home eventually.  He’s got a good sense of direction and his dimples would get him a ride home for sure.

I considered pretending like I didn’t do it.  Maybe I could go downstairs and tell them the handle was broken when I went in there.  No.  I knew better than that.  Although DTCB may believe some lies I tell her (like Diet Dr. Pepper tastes exactly like Dr. Pepper), she would know this one immediately.  I had to fess up.  But first, I had to flush the toilet.

Because I’m a master of home improvement (and because I’ve had my fair share of toilet issues), I knew that if I removed the top of the toilet, I could manually flush it by pulling up on the flusher thing.  (Yes, that’s the technical term for it.)  I located the flusher thing, pulled up on it, and heard the toilet begin to flush.

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As I raised my hands to clap and congratulate myself for being so awesome, I brushed something in the tank.  Apparently the thing I brushed was important…and filled with water.  It came unattached and sprayed water all over my arm, the wall, and the trash can.  (This is the part where I really wish this blog was fiction…or at least that I was smart enough not to relay these stories).

Feeling the cold toilet water on my hand, I vomited a little in my mouth and then focused on reattaching the piece so it would stop spraying water everywhere.  Fortunately, it was a quick fix and I was able to put it back together without any issues.  Well, except for the part about the missing toilet flusher.  That I couldn’t help.

I casually called DTCB upstairs under the guise of needing more Diet Coke.  (I’m so smooth.)  I then proceeded to show her what I did.  As a token of my guilt, I slowly handed her the broken handle.  She accepted it and then we laughed for five minutes before returning downstairs to join our friends.

Fortunately, this broken toilet issue hasn’t affected our friendship, and DTCB and I are as good as we’ve ever been.  However, I’m pretty sure her home owner’s insurance is going to ban me from their house permanently.  Honestly, it’s not a bad idea…

Torture at the movie theaterI’m not a huge movie fan.  I realize this creates a bit of a problem, as I’m married to a movie critic.  However, the way I see it is that it creates a problem for him, not me.  He’s the one who has to go to movies alone and look like a creeper.

It’s especially awkward (and hilarious) when he has to go to the morning screenings of animated movies by himself.  He looks like a pedophile.

I’ve often considered going separately and then running in right before the movie starts, pointing at him and yelling “You creep!  You shouldn’t be this close to children!” and then running out.

I have refrained from executing this plan simply because it involves running.

The only thing that entices me to see a movie when it’s not starring Jake Gyllenhaal or Ryan Gosling, is the popcorn.  It’s amazing.  I have no doubt it is approximately 10,000 calories for the bucket of popcorn I purchase, but it’s money well spent to me.

Yes, I purchase a bucket.  Actually, if they would let me bring in my own ten gallon bucket with a handle, I would fill that up with popcorn and liquid butter flavoring and be a happy girl.  But instead, they call the container they use a “bucket,” despite the lack of a handle.

In addition to insulting my intelligence by calling a cardboard container a “bucket,” they charge me $15.00 for the equivalent of two Spart Pop bags of popcorn.  (The clogged arteries are provided free of charge.)  You would think that if you’re paying the price of a steak dinner for popcorn, you’d get more than that.

*I’m referring to the steak dinner special at the Old Country Buffet.  Don’t knock it until you try it.  Tell ’em Lisa sent you.*

What’s most disturbing about all of this is that I gladly pay the ransom they charge because I want them to fork over the popcorn goodness.  Why go to the movie otherwise?

Last week my husband had a screening of a movie that looked like something I would actually enjoy (despite the lack of shirtless men and/or puppies.  Come to think of it, shirtless men holding puppies would be perfection).  Since he’s a movie critic, he gets to see the movies for free before they come out, and he gets to bring one person with him.  (Ladies, don’t be jealous.)  I was the lucky “plus one” for the night.  He gave his guy friends the night off.  (Seriously.  That’s usually who goes with him.)

I recently started a new diet that’s pretty intense.  And when I say “intense,” I mean it’s horrible.  I’m hungry and the diet doesn’t allow me to eat pasta, fast food or pizza.  It’s pretty much a torture diet.  Nonetheless, I started it and didn’t want a jaunt to the movies to throw me off track.  I greatly underestimated the difficulty of the task.

I arrived at the movie and the wonderful aroma of popcorn jumped out and greeted me with an “f-you.”  (Who knew it was so ill-mannered?)  I squirmed but told myself  to stay strong and walk away from the concession counter.  We passed the line of all the people trying to get into the screening.  I felt like such a VIP.

We found our seats in the theater.  Immediately upon sitting down I asked my husband to get me a Diet Coke.  Okay, I demanded it.  When asked how big I wanted it to be I responded “I would like a bucket if possible.”  I wasn’t screwing around and I couldn’t be tempted to go get it myself at the concession stand.  (I was also lazy…hence, the fatness.)

He returned just as the movie started and we settled in to watch.  Then I heard a scuffle and looked over to find two women shuffling in as the movie was starting.  They were obviously people from the general public who didn’t know how to behave at a VIP screening.

They sat down right next to me, despite the one empty seat they could have used as a buffer.  I gave them a dirty look and went back to french kissing my Diet Coke.

As if the invasion of my personal space wasn’t bad enough, the woman next to me pulled out an entire bag of popcorn.  It was in a Ziploc bag and it smelled like Christmas (only without the drunk uncles and liquor induced vomit).  I wanted to punch her for having popcorn so close to me and considered telling her I was on a diet and didn’t appreciate her behavior.

Considering she could barely contain herself in the theater seat, I was pretty sure she didn’t have a concept as to what a diet entailed and wouldn’t be compelled to stop eating.

As the movie went on, she stuffed her face with the bag o popcorn she brought from home…to a free movie.  She wasn’t even subtle or dainty about it.  She shoveled large handfuls into her mouth, losing several kernels as casualties in the process.

How dare she let such a commodity go to waste! I thought about picking them up off the ground and eating them, but since my shoes were stuck to the sticky floor, I figured the popcorn was stuck there permanently too.

She eventually finished the entire bag o popcorn and slipped into a carb-induced coma, which somehow required her to breathe heavily.  Whatever.  At least she wasn’t tempting me with popcorn anymore.

At the end of the movie, my husband expertly escorted me out of the theater and away from a possible altercation with the woman with the popcorn.  He told me to stay focused and led me out of the theater without any further exposure to food.  I maintained a death grip on my Diet Coke.

When we got home I congratulated myself on my restraint at the theater, which was both the restraint from food and the restraint from assaulting the woman sitting next to me.  Maybe this diet thing wasn’t that bad after all.  I celebrated with macaroons.

Dear Summer,

You are my favorite season of the year, and I’m sad to see you go.  I keep trying to convince you to stay, but apparently I “repulse you in swimwear.”  Whatever.  I still love you because you give me an excuse to wear flowy dresses that hide my stomach fat.

Not only do they hide bulges, the dresses allow me to get away with not wearing Spanx, which makes me more pleasant to others.  I’m far happier when I’m not scratching my crotch every five seconds and whining that my ribs are breaking from the force of nylon.  Thanks for that.

So I guess I will send you off with a farewell letter.  It’s the only thing I can do since you won’t stay in exchange for a sweet coupon book that entitles you to discounts at local restaurants.  Apparently you aren’t a thrifty shopper.  Noted.  Instead, I will send you off with a goodbye letter and count down the days until I see your lovely face again (and then curse myself for not dieting over the winter).

I guess this means I can say “so long” to the poorly behaved kids at the pool (or maybe I can yell this with excitement instead).  Looks like you will have to fend for yourself another year without having me around to give you dirty looks and remind you that you’re not special.  You’re really not.  Your mom might tell you that you’re improving with your swimming lessons, but we both know your dives suck.

Sayonara messy ponytail.  Most people wore you because it was trendy, but I wore you because I’m lazy and was excited that something messy was in style for once.  Unfortunately, other disheveled looks like rumpled dresses and stained t-shirts haven’t hit the fashion circuit…yet.

Goodbye constant stream of sweat going down my back into my pants.  You always seemed to come around at bad times, but your presence made me giggle (mostly because it tickled).  I won’t even hold a grudge against you for all the times you made my ass hospitable to swamp-like creatures.

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See you later ladies at the pool, with bodies of women in their twenties, and faces that haven’t seen sunscreen in years.  I will miss mocking you and trying to figure out if your outfit came from Charlotte Russe or Forever 21.  (P.S.  You are not Forever 21.  You’re not even “Forever 39” despite the fact you’ve had a 39th birthday the last 5 years.  We can count and we’ve been counting both the years of your birthdays and the crows feet around your eyes.)  I think I will miss you most of all.

Until we meet again,
Lisa

My glamorous job takes me to some interesting places.  I get to see all different kinds of people and cultures, and try lots of different foods.  Does this magical job take me to Dubai for camel riding? What about Paris for croissants?

Perhaps the sunny California coast to pay tribute to Tupac? (We will not forget you, Pac!)  Not so much.  But Southeastern Missouri?  Totally.

Yesterday I was in a very southern part of Missouri known as the boot heel.  Honestly, I don’t know if it’s really called the “boot hill” or the “boot heel” because the way the people in that area pronounce it sounds like “boot heel.”

But then again, they call soda “pop” and many of their vehicles sport murals of fly fishing on the back window, so I’m not sure what to believe.  Up is down over there.

Either way, I found myself in rural southern Missouri yesterday right around lunch time.  I was working diligently with one of the local residents when he pointed out that it was time for lunch (as if my rumbling stomach and random comments about burritos weren’t enough to let him know I was ready to eat).  He was obviously very good at picking up social queues (although he has yet to understand that mustaches are not lady magnets).

I’m very familiar with this particular gentleman.  He’s an older professorial type who looks like Mark Twain…if Mark Twain wore Mickey Mouse ties and drove a pick up truck.  (I suspect Mark Twain would have been a Disney fan.  Just a hunch.)  So I will call this person Mark Twain for purposes of this blog.  I’m just not feeling overly creative to think of a better name.  Deal with it.

Mark Twain (not his real name) said it was time for lunch and asked me “How’s about we go grab a bag o burgers for lunch?”

Wait, what?  A bag o burgers?  I was immediately intrigued, not just because this highly educated gentleman seemed to have a tenuous grasp of the English language, but also because he wasn’t suggesting one burger.  He was suggesting we get an entire bag.  Um, game on.

But before I could commit to this endevour (and partially because I wasn’t sure if he would make me ride to the eatery in the back of the truck), I told him I needed more information before deciding if I was interested in the “bag o burgers.”

He seemed shocked that the promise of a bag filled with sub par meat wouldn’t be enough to entice me to lunch.  Quite honestly, I was shocked myself.  Maybe I was maturing and focusing on things other than food….nah.

“Um, Mark Twain, did you say a ‘bag o burgers?'” I asked, thinking perhaps he was mistaken.

“Of course!  You’ve never had ’em before?” he responded.

I told him that although I’ve had my fair share of burgers, many of which have come in a bag of some sort, I’d never used “a bag” to quantify the amount of meat I wanted.  Did one go to this place and order things by the bag?  Could I get a bag of burgers and a satchel of sausage?  What about a purse of pizza or a clutch of cake?

Was this a new form of measurement I needed to be aware of?  I don’t fully understand the metric system, so I had some serious concerns that yet another form of measurement was lingering.

“How many burgers are in a bag?” I asked, trying to get to the bottom of the measurement issue, all the while trying to figure out if I should order a Liter or a gallon of vodka with my bag o burgers.  (Damn you metric system!)

“Well, there are several in a bag,” Mark Twain responded, as if that was the obvious answer.  But I needed more.

“How big are the burgers?” I asked.  “What if I want more than one?”

He went on to tell me the burgers are about the size of a pickle.  A pickle?  Naturally, I asked him if he was referring to a dill spear or the bread and butter pickles.  He said they are the size of an ordinary pickle.  I then asked the next logical question.  Are there pickles on them?

“Of course not,” he answered, as if I had just asked him a completely ridiculous question.  “If there were pickles on them, then everyone would know how small the burgers were.”  he said, as if this was the most logical argument in the world.

I told him I thought the cat was out of the bag on that one, and then immediately wondered if the cat came out of the same bag with the burgers.  I could tell I was getting too involved in the conversation, yet I couldn’t help myself.

“Mark Twain, if we got a bag o burgers, would we each get our own bag, or would we share?” I asked, trying to get to the bottom of the issue (and get closer to eating).

“Well now, that depends on how hungry you are.  I figured we could share but if you want more than one, you can have another.” he responded.  He was so chivalrous.

“But how big are the bags?” I asked, trying to envision what a bag o burgers would look like.  “Are they regular brown bags for lunches or are they plastic grocery bags?” I asked, trying to get an idea of how many pickle-sized burgers were in a bag.

“Now you’re just asking ridiculous questions,” he said.  “Let’s go.”

But I couldn’t go.  There were too many unanswered questions.  Not only did I not know how big the bags were, I had no idea if the meat was even beef.  And we hadn’t even touched upon the issue of side items.  How were they delivered?  Did I order a “tub o tots?”  There were too many unanswered questions.  I had to decline.

I told Mark Twain that I couldn’t join him, and that I was sad to be missing such a delicious lunch.  He turned around, looked me straight in the eye and said “Oh don’t worry.  The burgers are terrible.”

I lied to you guys.  Okay, I didn’t so much lie as I omitted part of the story.  But a lie by omission is just as bad as a flat out lie, or at least that’s what I tell my husband every time I discover he had Taco Bell for lunch and didn’t tell me about it. (Here’s a tip my dear:  Hide the receipt.)

As you faithful readers know, I recently discovered I went all day wearing a necklace with the price tag on it.  I’m obviously awesome.  It was super embarrassing, but considering I do embarrassing things like that all the time, honestly, it wasn’t even much of  a blip on my radar.

Considering my “radar” is comprised of this blog and my poor memory of events that’s clouded by liquor, I would say my radar is probably faulty too.

Either way, I told you about how inadvertently leaving the price tag on my necklace made an amazing impression on a new employee in one of our other offices. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, shame on you.  Catch up on the blog and come back to me.  Seriously.  I will wait.)

Although what I told you was (sadly) true, I didn’t tell you the second part of the story; the part that happened about 20 minutes after the price tag debacle of ’12.  Yes my friends, there is more embarrassment.  You’re welcome.

After removing the price tag from my necklace (and removing “call doctor about mysterious rash on neck” from my to-do list), my coworkers and I realized it was time to cut our happy hour short and head out to the restaurant to meet our clients.  I caressed my beer one last time, telling him I was sorry to see him go.  However, since I recycled him, I hoped to see him soon…preferably filled with more cold beer.

We headed to my car, as I was the designated driver.  (I know, right?  Imagine the group I was with if I was the most responsible one with liquor.)  Because I’m super important, my car is always filled with random things.  From an extra pair of Spanx to Ziploc bags of protein shake powder, there’s always a wide variety of items shoved into my car…typically on the floorboards in the backseat.  That day was no different.

I walked to my car (his name is Deiter), put my purse down, and began rearranging things to ensure my coworkers had a place to sit (and that they didn’t see what size the Spanx on my floor were).  It took a few moments to clean out the backseat, as I have an entire animal rescue kit in my car.  No joke.  I do.  If I see an injured or lost animal, Deiter and I are fully equipped to rescue him.  Tell your friends.

I finally made a space for my coworkers, got in, and revved up Deiter for the drive.  I pulled out of the parking space and decided to drive to the back of the hotel to exit to the highway.  Part of me knew it would be easier to get to the road from there, and part of me wanted one last glimpse at my iced cold beer in the recycling bin.

As I drove through the parking lot, two women in a vehicle going the opposite way began waving at me furiously.  I recently had a run in with a misinterpretation of hand gestures while driving, so I wasn’t about to jump to any conclusions about the meaning of the waves.  Naturally, I assumed they recognized me as a celebrity blog writer.

I nodded my head in acknowledgment but they continued to wave and yell.  What was wrong with these women?  They obviously were an obsessed group of fans. Suddenly I knew what Rhianna felt like (only without all the domestic abuse).  I was glad I was safe with Dieter.

Then I heard yelling from the other side of the car.  My coworkers and I looked over and saw an extremely attractive man walking towards us, pointing and saying something.  Did I really have that big of a following?  How did all these people know I was the voice behind the blog?

Naturally, I ignored the women and brought my attention to the dream boat who was trying to catch my eye.  Just as I was getting a pen to give my autograph, I heard what he was yelling.  No, it wasn’t that I looked amazing, although my outfit looked much better without the price-tagged necklace.  Rather, he pointed to the top of my car.

I brought Deiter to a halt and got out to make sure I could understand what he was saying (and to check out his butt in his form-fitting khakis).

Your purse is on top of your car,” he said, pointing.

Seriously?!  Did I really just drive away with my purse on top of my car?  Surely not.  I looked and sure enough, there was my Nine West purse, holding steady on top of Deiter.  (Yeah, you read that right.  It’s a Nine West purse.  Be jealous.  I’m a high roller when it comes to purses.)

I sheepishly grabbed my purse and got back inside quickly.  Of course, there was no way to disguise yet another embarrassing occurrence from my coworkers, who were still calling me “Blue Light Special” from the price tag incident from fifteen minutes prior to the purse crisis.  So instead of being embarrassed about it, I embraced it and laughed about it.

I’m pretty sure the new guy thinks I’m a total idiot, and he’s probably not wrong.  But at least I set the bar low for myself, so when I do or say something brilliant, he will be mesmerized even more.

Such a happy ending to yet another embarrassing moment.

LASTINGFor my job, I’m supposed to appear somewhat put together.  I do my best to comply, but for those of you who know me, you realize this is nothing but a facade.  If you look at the man behind the curtain, you will find me in Pajama Jeans without a bra eating Chipotle and ordering random items from QVC

Even though I try to keep up appearances at work, I’m basically just a bunch of smoke and mirrors in an attempt to keep people from knowing the real me.  (P.S.  I think they know…)  Come to think of it, if I glanced in the mirror every so often, I probably would do a better job of keeping the lies going.

We recently hired a new employee in another city and last week I met with him and a few other employees from out of town.  We had a client dinner that night and wanted to meet before dinner to have a few beers.  The beers were partly to recover from a long day at work, and partly to numb my feet from the pain my shoes would cause from a night attempting to look professional.  (It didn’t work…the numbing of the feet or my looking professional.)

We met at the executive suite at a ritzy hotel where my coworkers were staying.  (We’re a pretty big deal….and they found a great bargain on Orbitz.)  I felt fancy because I had to be buzzed into the special suite even though I had a mysterious stain on the right boob of my dress.

This remains an unsolved mystery but I will continue to wear the dress and pretend like it just happened and I didn’t know about it.

When I say I had to be buzzed in, I don’t mean I had to be buzzed to get in, although my regular readers wouldn’t be wrong to make that assumption.  Rather, I had to prove I was important enough to be in the executive suite (the hotel staff clearly didn’t read my blog and didn’t know what a big deal I am).

I met my coworkers and we immediately began chatting and drinking our beers.  I tried to come off to the new employee as put together and professional.  He didn’t need to find out about me…at least not yet.  As we talked, I felt something poking me in the back of my neck.  Since I was sitting on a couch that probably cost a year of my mortgage payments, I knew it wasn’t the sofa.  I felt my neck and realized there was something large poking me.  What kind of irritant was it?

I grabbed the object and pulled it around to further investigate.  Because I can’t do anything quietly, my coworkers (and a couple other lucky suite-goers) watched in anticipation as I pulled the phantom item out from behind my neck.  And there it was…the large price tag to my necklace…the necklace I’d been wearing all day.

Seriously?!  I wore the necklace all day with the price tag on it?  And it wasn’t just a small tag with only the price and bar code.  Of course not.  It was one of those large tags that has a hangy thing to hang the necklace from a rack.  (That’s the technical term…”hangy thing.”)

I would like to say I was mortified, but I wasn’t.  I was actually pretty impressed that I went an entire work day without noticing my Minnie Pearl fashion statement, or the fact that something was digging into my neck all day.  I ripped off the tag and put it on the table for all the executive suiters to see.

I couldn’t have been prouder…because I bought the necklace at Kohl’s and the price tag suggested the necklace was expensive.  (They didn’t need to know I bought it with coupons and Kohl’s cash.)

As I stared at the price tag that had become part of my outfit for the day, I thought about what my new coworker must think of me.  Did he think I was an idiot?  Did he think I was crazy?  And then I realized something: of course he didn’t.  He thought I was a high roller because I bought a sassy necklace at Kohl’s.  Win!

Party like it's 1999For some reason, my husband and I have amazingly fun friends.  I have no idea how we got so lucky to have so many fun people in our lives.  I like to tell myself it’s this blog that makes me so popular, but I’m pretty sure it’s only popular in retirement homes and prisons (or at least so says my Google Analytics statistics).

So when we were invited to a pre-rehab party at our friends’ new house, we immediately said yes.  Our friends purchased a house and are going to rehab it before moving in.  The party was a christening of sorts, and I couldn’t have been more excited.  A pre-rehab house party is my kind of party.  I could spill wherever and whenever I wanted to.  Perfect.

Because they hadn’t yet moved into the house, we knew it would be a bare bones party.  Don’t worry.  I checked beforehand to make sure food would be served.  Otherwise, our RSVP would have been quite different.  This wasn’t only a BYOB kind of party, but also BYOC (bring your own chair).

Yeah, that kind of party.  I considered bringing bean bag chairs but figured they would be hard to transport and I knew if I sat in one of those after a few drinks I would never get back out again. (They seriously suck you in…like a cult, or True Blood.)

My husband and I packed our cooler full of libations, grabbed our portable chairs, and headed to the party.  We pulled up to the new house and had to check the address more than once.  Was this really the house they bought?  It was huge and glorious.

Before we even got out of the car we deemed our friends “assholes” for buying such an amazing house.  Part of me wanted to go back home in protest of their new mansion, but I already knew what appetizers were being served and I’m a girl who can be persuaded by french onion dip.  (Always. I can always be persuaded by french onion dip.)

When we walked in the door the house’s awesomeness pretty much punched us in the face. It was a home built in the early 1900s and was enormous.  It had a glorious staircase and a beautiful sitting room with an old time stove.

There were massive windows that were open and bare, without curtains cluttering the view.  The only things missing were Mammy and Miss Scarlett.  (Since there were no curtains, I assumed this home was Tara after the war.)

We took a tour of the house, cursing our friends with each new room we saw.  Almost every entrance to a new room started with one of us emphatically shouting “God dammit!”  It was especially painful when we discovered their master bathroom was larger than both of the rooms in our 2 bedroom house.  Ouch.

After realizing we aren’t doing anything with our lives, we headed back to the main floor to drown our sorrows in alcohol.  By that time, the music had started and my friend Trainwreck (not his real name) was on the mic (and by “mic” I mean he plugged his iPod into the speakers).  Trainwreck has music ADD.

I’m not sure if that’s a medical diagnosis, or something we made up after a few cocktails.  Either way, the bottom line is that he can’t listen to an entire song without changing it. I’m sure on a long road trip this type of characteristic would be annoying, but for a house party, it was awesome.

He knew how to jam and soon there was a circle of people in a room hanging out and screaming the lyrics to “Gangsta Paradise.”  Of course, we weren’t in a circle dancing, we were in a circle sitting in our comfortable chairs.  After all, we aren’t kids anymore.  We have back issues.  (Okay, maybe not everyone has back issues, but this girl’s sciatica can be a real bitch).

dancingIt felt like it was the 90s and we were back in high school and someone’s parents were out of town.  We rocked out to Snoop Dogg and sipped our gin and juice, checking bedrooms occasionally to make sure two couples hadn’t snuck off to get frisky.  Considering nearly everyone at this party was married, we realized it was a slim possibility but we wanted to live like high schoolers again so we pretended.

The dance party raged on, and although Kid n Play didn’t make an appearance, we had a great time anyway.  My husband and I  left the party with mixed emotions.  We were happy to have lived like high schoolers for a night, but we were also bummed to leave the mansion and head back to our 2 bedroom home.  We got in the car and blasted TuPac.  It took away most of the sting.

woman runningThat photo isn’t me. I’d never wear blue pants.

I’m not a runner.  I’m not even a walker.  I’m not an exerciser of any kind, although I used to be.  Years ago I was addicted to working out, but then I discovered Oreos, and brownies, and Hardee’s, and pretty much all the things that make life worth living.

So I fell off the work-out wagon.  Actually, I don’t think the work-out wagon would actually be a wagon at all.  Sitting on that wagon wouldn’t be working out…but pulling the wagon would be.  So I guess I hopped aboard some sort of wagon and then didn’t do shit.

Either way, I stopped doing my daily cardio, unless you count for my mad dash to the fridge for the last pudding cup.  I used to run every day, and had a love/hate relationship with it, as I think everyone does.  No one likes to run, just like no one likes Pauly Shore.  If they tell you differently, they are a liar (or in the case of liking Pauly Shore, they’re just a douchebag).

This weekend I ran some errands with my friend Pajama Jeans (not her real name).  It was nice to have some girl time, even though we didn’t talk about our lady parts once.  That’s not the point of girl time, despite what all men think.  Rather, it was nice to get away from work and shelter stuff and all the other things that seem to comprise my time.

At the end of the day, she said she had one more stop, and asked if I minded going with her to Fleet Feet to get a new pair of insoles for her running shoes.  Whatever.  There was a McDonald’s close by and I was blinded by the thought of a Diet Coke, so I agreed.

For those of you who don’t know what Fleet Feet is, it’s a store that focuses on running and working out.  It’s obviously stupid and annoying, but since I’m a good friend, I went anyway.

We walked into the store and it was packed with people.  Did these people actually enjoy running?  Didn’t they know there was an option of not running?  These people were clearly overachievers and no one I wanted to be associated with.  I walked around to keep myself busy and to keep myself from telling the sales lady she needed to eat a ham sandwich…and an entire bag of chips.

I walked around and found an area of bumper stickers for sale.  They mostly had “13.1” and “26.2” stickers.  See what I mean?  Overachievers.  And what a way to brag about it…you ran 26.2 miles…whoopty freaking doo.  I ate an entire sheet cake, yet I don’t have a bumper sticker denoting that accomplishment.

I looked around for a sticker that said “0.3” as I’m pretty sure that’s the most I could run without passing out or punching someone in the face due to sheer misery.  They didn’t have the sticker, so I moved on to another part of the store.

As I walked around the store, I realized I was the only one in there who was in double digit clothing.  Everyone else was a perfect size 4, and was presumably starving. I immediately felt guilty (not because I downed a wrap at Red Robin just prior to the errands.  I felt great about that).

I felt guilty because I realized I was actually screwing over the store.  By being fat in the store, I was suggesting to the other patrons that I was a runner too, and I was a believer in their products…which would be great if my stomach wasn’t hanging over my pants.

I felt like I should have worn a sign around my neck stating “I’m not a runner.  I’m just here for the brownies.”  At least that way people would know I didn’t use any of the store’s products, and my flabby arms shouldn’t be an endorsement for the store.  I couldn’t believe I wasn’t asked to leave immediately.

I decided to walk to the back of the store to hide myself from the crowd (and also to look for brownies).  I walked around the back of the store and hit the motherload.  No, it wasn’t a table of baked goods, although what I found was almost as exciting.  There was an entire section dedicated to foot problems and solutions.  What?!

As you know, I have foot issues and have to wear sweet orthopedic shoes that make me look like I pass out meds at a nursing home.  It sucks, but it’s the only way I can walk and not be completely miserable.  The foot area in Fleet Feet was complete with different remedies and relief options for foot pain.  Granted, my foot pain isn’t because I follow a strenuous running schedule, but more because I follow a strenuous eat/sleep schedule.  It’s rigorous.

shoes

As I looked at the various options, I realized I wasn’t alone.  Other patrons had discovered this section of the store (probably because I’m such a trend setter).  I looked up and saw I was the only woman under the age of 60 who was drooling at the foot products.  Seriously.  I was immediately reminded that I didn’t have an AARP card nor did I eat my dinner at 4:00 at Country Buffet (although this girl always appreciates a good buffet spread).

I slowly backed away from the orthopedic area, careful not to knock anything over.  I didn’t want to throw any of these old bettys backs out if they tried to pick up a fallen orthodic.  Amazingly, I escaped without incident, which was a triumph in itself.

I found Pajama Jeans who was working with an employee to find the perfect insert.  I sat down next to her, as all that walking around the store was exhausting, and I still hadn’t located a brownie.  The woman was talking to PJ about running and walking and the effect it has on her feet.  When I sat down, she didn’t seem to notice me, and kept talking to PJ as if I wasn’t there at all.  At first, I wanted to be offended, but then I realized the woman wasn’t wrong to ignore me.  I clearly wasn’t there to get into shape.  Whatevs.

We finally got the proper insoles for PJ and left the store.  It was a successful day of running errands (which consequently, was the only “running” I did that day…or ever).  PJ will probably break in those insoles in no time with her regular sprints and exercise.  Meanwhile, I will go back to what I do best, eating and writing a blog about eating.  I say you stick with what you know.