Monday, June 29, 2009

Sign Here Please

Last week, we had our annual "State of the Union Address" at work. It's really an off campus luncheon with presentations, a meal we don't have to pay for and assigned seating. Not a bad deal as it's only once a year - note the word annual - and the food is good. This year, they even added entertainment. I knew this in advance as I was approached by a co-worker who asked for my participation in having my handwriting analyzed. I thought this could be cool. She gave me a paragraph regarding purple people eaters and monkeys that could read. The only instructions were to copy the paragraph as it was written, in cursive, then to sign my name. Even I can do this.

Now, I have never been one to believe in much outside of a supreme being, God, or what we used to call our Higher Power in recovery. I've never visited a psychic, had my palm read, my future seen in playing cards, or had anyone read my tea leaves, my coffee grinds or my bathtub ring. I met a self proclaimed gypsy once in a 12 step program but that's a topic for another time. I was noncommittal about "Psychic Cindy" and quite honestly didn't know what to expect. As the event broke for lunch, the entertainment began.

Slowly but surely a line of women began to form in front of Psychic Cindy. I was meandering around the event and didn't think much of it, expect to notice the men wanted nothing to do with this experiment, until I saw a co-worker visibly shaken. When asked, she told me that Psychic Cindy mentioned her dear departed brother and reassured her that it was an accident. Hardly the type of thing you expect at a work function. This revelation along with the fact that she accurately guessed about two weddings and one coworkers desire to live in a foreign country made me nervous. What had she seen about me in my handwriting sample? Does my handwriting give link to my idiosyncrasies, my insecurities, my inability to choose paint colors, the fact that at this very moment I could use a glass of wine? I decided to see for myself.

I made it to the front of the line and introduced myself to Psychic Cindy - I really wanted her to guess my name since she's supposed to be "tuned in". Instead, she greeted me and told me she couldn't give me the results of my reading as it was going to be revealed publicly, in front of my co-workers. Holy crap! I swallowed hard, got up and walked away.

Fifteen minutes later she began describing "this person", aka, me to the group. She said I was "indecisive right now and trying to make a major decision but was unable to go forward with it at this time". She also mentioned sneakers, which I had on my feet, that I may visit Florida, I went in May, that I had close family relations and speak to my mother daily, which I do, that I may have new window treatments, I had purchased a new blind six days before this event, that I loved sunny airy spaces and like to have plants around. Have any of you ever seen my backyard? She went on to include that I like music from the 40's, not so much, but that I listen to the radio, which I do, that I may have something new in the bathroom. Does paint count? All in all, she was about 90% accurate, which is pretty darn good from someone who didn't/wouldn't guess my name.

Is there a downside to all of this? Yes. I wanted her to mention that I would soon meet the man of my dreams followed closely by winning the lottery - not necessarily in that order. Much to my dismay, she did not. I hope to remedy this by inviting Cindy to my home where I intend to have a slumber party with my daughters, sisters, mom and few close girlfriends. Maybe if I liquor her up, my future will be brighter!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

How Low Can You Go?

Have you ever had one of those days? I mean a really crappy day? I had one today. Being as it was a Saturday, it was unexpected. Saturdays are meant for meaningful chores that I don't have time to get to during the week like shopping, grilling out, hanging with friends. Not today.

It all started with a wedding. I was supposed to go to a wedding today for a co-worker. However, I had nothing to wear. So, I got up early - my first mistake on Saturday - and went to the mall. It never entered my mind that today was the day before Father's Day. My wonderful dad passed away 3-1/2 years ago and all of the "Dad's Day" displays just depressed me. I already never have a day go by when I don't think of him and seeing all of the goodies for dad just made matters worse. Boy, did that sent the tone for the day.

Back to reason I was shopping. For those of you that know me, I have an interesting figure. My top is at least two sizes larger than my bottom so I NEVER venture into the dress department. With that said, I'm a "separates" type of girl. Right now, my ass is as fat as ever, but it still means shopping in two different departments. My shirts/blouses are from the women's department and my pants/shorts are from the ladies department. To make a very long and discouraging story short, after making 15 rounds from one department to the other, I came home with nothing. The wedding was off. However, I got a really great deal on pillows.

Next came the guilt about RSVP'ing to an event that 1) you didn't attend and 2) all of your co-workers will be raving about on Monday. I consider calling in dead. And for those of you that are curious, for not being Jewish, I do the "guilt" thing really well.

Next came the guilt about the size of my body, followed by how many diets I've tried and failed at over the past 10 years. This was closely followed by the thought that the last time I was at a wedding, I was three years into a relationship I thought would last forever (it didn't, see Mr. Former). Up next was the fact that I haven't been on a date in almost a year. On the heels of that was all of the things I hoped to accomplish when I moved here almost seven years ago. Instead of focusing on the things I have done, I ending up focusing on my failures and shortcomings.

To rid myself of my demons, I headed to the grocery store with #1 and I ended up leaving, in tears. # 1 was patient and blessfully silent on the ride home. She put away the few paltry groceries I managed to buy and I went to bed for the balance of the afternoon. When I awoke, I decided to give myself the balance of the day and evening for my pity party.

Tomorrow, I promise, will be better. I will start yet another diet and put on makeup strictly because it makes me feel better. I will allow a few tears when I wish my dad a happy Father's Day. I will watch the birds land on the feeders spread throughout my back yard and listen to the sound of my grandson laugh. I will call my best friend and be kind to my mom. I will find creative ways to avoid the almost 100 degree heat we are having and I will focus on what's right with me instead of what's wrong. More than anything else, I will promise myself to say "no thank you" the next time I receive an invitation to a wedding.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Painted into a Corner

So, it's that time again. Every time I begin to get restless, I work on my house. So far this year I have painted my kitchen cabinets (I couldn't afford new ones), had laminate flooring installed in some common areas, and planted what feels like one thousand bulbs - most of which have been eaten by squirrels. I've decided my next project will be painting the downstairs powder room, along with my bedroom. My heart is already beginning to race.

You see, it's not the mechanics of painting that stresses me out. It's choosing the color. My dad was a 30+ year employee of Benjamin Moore Paint, my brother has his own custom interior painting business and I even worked at a paint store in my youth. All of this life experience means nothing when it comes to picking out a color. In fact, it is so much more than that.

Case in point, my powder room is a half bath located just off the dining room. The color scheme in the dining room is blue and white. Do I continue the scheme? Do I go in an opposite direction? If I paint it a light color, does it give you the feeling of being in an area twice it's real size? If I paint it a dark color, does it give you the feeling of being in the lavatory on an airplane? What about art work? Will my current bathroom art complete the look or will I be forced, once again, to find something pleasing to look at while attending to business? I'm beginning to sweat.

When I bought my house in 2002, the master bathroom was a masculine gray. Within a month, it was painted a screaming yellow canary color. Can you say "I'm awake"? The bedroom itself was a non-discript off white. I elected to go with a soft pink, as if to add an exclamation point that my years with Sparky were officially over. It was the first girlie bedroom I had it 20 years. Now, I'm over the pink and looking for something else. So, I stopped by the paint store.

Now, I'm surrounded by color samples with names such as the following: "Ray of Hope" - if I don't choose this color, am I hopeless? "Minty Green" - makes me think of mouthwash. "Summer Dragonfly" - I can hear the buzzing already. "Lemon Whip" - I'll whip your ass. "Captured Moment" - I'm stuck in here. "Vintage Merlot" - did someone mention wine? Last but not least, there's "Rivers Edge" - screw it, I'm jumping in.

I'm not sure why choosing a color is as difficult as choosing a spouse, but it is, at least for me. The good news is if I make a mistake, it can be fixed with $100 and a weekend.