The No Good, Very Bad, Terrible, Awful Night, That Turned Out Pretty Okay

Once I finally got out of the house yesterday, things went less than smoothly at first.  I started out in bad shape because the only thing I had to eat all day, up to then, was two pieces of toast with peanut butter and honey at about 11:30 in the morning.  I was pretty hungry by the time I left the house and my head was starting to hurt.  I sent Michelle a text to verify my suspicions, saying, “Would it be safe to assume that there won’t really be food for a while?”  Historically, I show up “on time” for these events and they’re still thinking about preparing to start getting ready to start making food.  It is what it is, and because I wasn’t feeling great I knew I had to take measures to accommodate that.  Michelle never answered my text but I took that as a yes.

I went to the Pet Store to get the cat food with little incident and I went from there to BevMo.  I know Monique, I know what she likes, and I knew that a “small” bottle of Patron tequila would make for a great gift.  The parking lot at the shopping center where the BevMo is located is way too small for the number and types of stores that are in it and people tend to be really selfish and rude there.  I was cut off several times just trying to get into the parking lot and into a space.

I left there and went around the corner to Target.  By that time, I was cranky and my head really hurt, so the first thing I did was go to the snack bar.  Only there were about 12 people in line and there was one employee behind the counter who was in no hurry to get anything done.  I walked away from the snack bar with a different plan.  I would buy a small Lunchable which would tide me over until I got to the party and food was ready.  I grabbed a cart and started rushing down the fist aisle of the store, but there were two individuals who were meandering along.  More than once they made like they were going to turn out from in front of me and as I’d move to go around them they would turn back out into the aisle.  Finally the guy pulled the girl aside and as I rushed past them, I heard him say in a disgruntled tone, “Let’s move so this guy can finally go around us.”  I sped on down the way, and around the corner to cut across the back aisle to the grocery department where I stopped to stock up on Diet Pepsi, both for home and for work (they had a good price on both, cans for home, bottles for work.)

Next I grabbed my Lunchable and headed over to Healthy & Beauty to get mouthwash and some pre-brush, whitening rinse (this stuff must work because every time I go to my dentist he asks me if I bleach my teeth.)  Then I headed over to the appliances for my “semi-significant (to me – and probably only to me) purchase.  I made up my mind that I was going to get a Keurig machine and I went to compare models and prices and determine which one to get.  No sooner did I stop in front of the machines than the two people from the first aisle came around the corner into the coffee maker aisle and the woman was loudly telling the man a story about a work conflict.  She was agitated just telling the story, and she used a number of curse words in the process of the telling.  They just stood in the aisle, about five feet from me as she told her friend her story, and she was so loud I couldn’t even think. So I just stood there, staring at the machines and waiting for them to get what they came for and leave.

Finally, she changed subjects and started talking about a coffee maker.  The guy said something about, “but it only makes one cup!”

She said, “Um, hello.  How many people live in my apartment?”

He said, “OK, so are you gonna get it?”

She answered, “No, I’m not gonna get it! I’m fucking broke!”

And then they walked away empty-handed, but as they did, I heard her say, “That dude is just standing there, staring at the coffee makers.”

Um, yeah!  ‘Cause I couldn’t hear myself think!!!

Finally, I decided which one I wanted and selected a box.  They have labels on the boxes saying when they were packed, which I assumed was relevant because they come with a sample pack of K-Cups so I wanted the freshest one.  I saw a box that said it was packed in January of 2012 so I grabbed that one.

The last thing I did before going to the check stand was look for a gift bag and tissue paper for Monique’s present and a card.

At last I made my way to the check stand.  My head was splitting, I was getting jittery and I was hungry.  Plus it was nearly 6:30 and while I knew the party wouldn’t be in full swing yet, it was supposed to have started at 5:30.  I had two gift cards in my wallet that I intended to use toward the coffee maker and the balance was going on my Target credit card (5% off with the card).  The other items I would purchase with my regular debit card.  The cashier rang up the coffee maker and it came up $15.00 more expensive than the tag on the shelf said.  He started to call for a price check and I glanced at the box again and realized I had put the wrong machine in my cart.  I wanted the one that makes three different size cups and I had the one that makes five different sizes.  I told him my mistake and asked if someone could go and get the right one.  They were maybe 30 feet away.  It shouldn’t have been a big issue.

The customer service manager came over and after telling her what I wanted she started calling into the radio for someone to bring up the right coffee maker, only she didn’t know what I was talking about, and whoever was on the other end of her radio didn’t know what I was talking about and I was getting flustered because I could feel that my blood sugar was getting low AND the cashier was doing a ridiculous job of bagging my items.  He rang up the birthday card and put it on the counter in front of me and then put the gift bag and tissue in a bag before lying the mouthwash and whitening rinse on top of them.  He wasn’t going to bag my six packs of bottles of Diet Pepsi until I asked him to do so,  but then he put the Lunchable into one of those bags while putting the two cold bottles of Diet Pepsi I bought, on the counter in front of me.  (I always show up at Michelle’s families house with my own beverages because I never know what they’re going to have.)

Finally, I told them to forget the coffee maker, there was just too much going on, and I proceeded to stand there and rebag my items as he was ringing them up.  After I paid for the stuff, I was heading away from the check-stand, very agitated over the experience and the Customer Service Manager, who was between there and the door, stopped me and she apologized for the confusion.  I pulled her aside and I said,”Actually I wanted to talk to you. I have to tell you, I’m a fan of Target.  I shop at Target all the time, and at a number of different stores depending on where I happen to be at the time.  This is the only store I’ve ever been to that consistently has a ridiculous line, in the snack bar, and one lone worker behind the counter taking their jolly sweet time.”  I then told her about the way the cashier was bagging my items and I told her, “I know he was disabled, I saw his crutch.  I’m not complaining that he didn’t move.  I’m not complaining that he was slow.  I get that, and it’s fine.  I’m complaining because he clearly doesn’t know how to bag stuff.  I was a cashier in high school and I was taught how to do this properly.”

She nodded her head and acknowledged what I was saying all along, and at that point she said, “I was too, and you’re right, he clearly needs some training.  I’ll talk to him.”

And it was at that point that I suddenly saw myself from the outside and realized what was happening.  I told her, “I’m sorry.  I don’t mean to be yelling at you,” (I wasn’t actually yelling) “I’m just running late, my blood sugar is low, which is why I bought the Lunchable in the first place.  I’m not normally like this, and I apologize.”  Then I said, “I actually do want the coffee maker.  Is it OK if I just leave my cart up here, I’ll go get the right one and just go through the express line?”

She said, “I understand.  I’ve had these crashes before, too.  Go sit down and eat your snack.  I’ll go get the coffee maker and bring it up to Guest Services for you.”

I must say that once I ate the Lunchable, I started to feel a little better, but what I really appreciated out of this exchange was, when I got to Guest Services to buy the coffee maker, she had told the cashier to give me 10% off.  I don’t particularly feel like I deserved the discount, but I was grateful none the less.

Finally, I got to Monique’s house for the party and the place was packed.  Music was blaring, people were shouting to be heard over the sound of the music and over the sound of other people shouting to be heard.  My head was still hurting a lot.  I was the grouch at the party.  I was torn.  I wanted to celebrate with my friends, but I also wanted to leave, but I also didn’t want to be the party-pooper who left.  Every where I stood, I was in someone’s way.  Finally, I sat on a stool and made up my mind not to move.  But then I took some Ibuprofen.  And then I ate some food.  And I had a drink.  And a friend stood there and talked to me.  And I started to feel better.

Not long after the cake was cut 2/3 of the people cleared out and it was just the core group.  I don’t know when it happened, but my headache was gone, my blood sugar had stabilized, my mood had improved…and I was having fun.

And then the most ordinary, amazing thing happened.  I had a lovely, involved, heart to heart conversation with one of the people there.  One of the extended family members, Amanda, who is eight years younger than I, (which means nothing now, but meant everything 14 years ago when I met her), has been in a relationship with her girlfriend for more than six years.   Amanda and I, talked about her relationship and her family and her experience of coming out to them.  We talked about their nebulous plans to go to New York, when the spirit moves them and the opportunity presents itself, so that they can get married.  We talked about the ludicrousness of the fact that same-sex marriage isn’t legal on a national level and the status of the Prop 8 case in the legal system.  And we talked about my family, and my experience and what things are like now.

And we connected, with no awkwardness, no discomfort, no nervousness, just open, honest, loving communication between two friends who really understood where the other was coming from.  And it was nice.

And I’m so glad I stayed.

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Zombie Power

K:  According to the Internet Bertha is Dead.

Me:  Awesome!  Let’s have a party!

K:  Because there is no one else in the world with her name… Apparently.

[I glance at Bertha’s computer screen and see she is on Ancestry.com]

Me:  And what does that have to do with her job exactly?

[The irony of that statement is not lost on me.]

K:  I’m not sure, but if she is dead then it would be hard for her to do her job.

Me:  She makes an awful lot of noise for a dead person.

K:  Zombies don’t have a really good attention span.  Hmmmm, maybe she is dead.

Me:  What are you talking about?  Zombies are hightly focused… On brains.

K:  Yes, but they are easily distracted.

Me:  Do you read The Bloggess‘s Blog?

K:  Sometimes.

Me:  I didn’t watch the video, but apparently she gave an entire presentation/drill about the Zombie Apocalypse…  to a bunch of mormons.

WITH THEIR BLESSING!

K:  Oh I saw that when Wil Wheaton tweeted about it.  It was awesome.

Me:  So apparently two things that are worth their endorsement:

  1. Crazy woman who thinks Zombie Apocalypse is something that will happen.
  2. And prevent gay people from getting married.

K:  Well, they are related you know.

Me:  Well, that would certainly explain…  nothing.

K:  If gay marriage is allowed there will be a Zombie Apocalypse.

Me:  I see.  🙂

K:  Yes, everything is gay marriage fault.

Me:  It’s good to be powerful.

Bundle of Joy

UPDATED: Now with 100% more historical accuracy (and fewer words.)

Everybody is abuzz this afternoon; excitement over Judge Vaughn Walker overturning Proposition 8.  When the news came down I thought, “I should probably blog about this.  But what would I say that would be original and interesting?”  The fact is, lots of people are going to have blogged about it.  I’m not really sure I have anything to say.

Here are my thoughts on the subject, in a nut shell:

  • I’m genuinely surprised.  It only makes sense, but I really didn’t think it would happen, not at this stage.
  • I don’t really understand what this means.  Could I run right out, this afternoon and get married if I had someone to marry?  Is there a date when it will become legal?
  • What’s the point?  Everyone knows that the Prop 8 folks are just going to appeal to the next level of courts.  AND, they asked for an injunction to prevent same-sex couples from getting married before the next round of trial is completed, “so they wouldn’t have to invalidate any marriages that take place in the interim.”  (Aren’t they sweet to think of our feelings.)  It’s not like this thing is even sort of settled.  I just can’t get excited about it; not yet.
  • Still doesn’t have a direct impact on my life.  I know, I’m a “bad gay” but I’m just not that invested in the outcome.  I have an opinion and I want to see same-sex marriage legalized for the sake of justice and equality, but it doesn’t affect me, today.

And that’s it.  That’s all I have to say on the matter, so I decided to write about something else instead.  I warn you, it’s long!

~~~~~

I was sort of saving this little tidbit for later but, in the next couple of weeks my sister, Erin, will give birth to her third baby and first boy; the first male grandchild in the clan.  What follows is either going to be as funny to you as it is to me, or you’ll find it really uninteresting.  If it’s the latter, I apologize.  Check back tomorrow for better stuff!

Erin was last pregnant six years ago when her second daughter, Regan, was about to be born.  Before she knew what she was having she chose a boy name and a girl name for the baby she was carrying.  I really liked the boy name she picked out and assumed that she was still going to use it now that she is having a boy baby.  At the end of an e-mail on an unrelated topic I asked her.

From:      Riggledo

To:            Erin

Speaking of the baby…  Is his name Rory Alec, or have you guys picked something else since you were pregnant with Regan?

From:      Erin

To:            Riggledo

Yes, the name is still the same, but after a little more intense research, the spelling has changed.  The proper spelling is Rauiri Alec.

From:      Riggledo

To:            Erin

You’ve become one of those mother’s who hates her child!  🙂  Why Rauiri?  That looks middle eastern to me.

From:      Erin

To:            Riggledo

That’s because it virtually is middle english.  We have been trying to keep it authentic.  I hate the way that everybody changes the spelling and/or meanings of words to fit their personal desires.  We have put effort into finding the authentic Irish or Celtic spellings.

Kind of like Ailis is Regan’s middle name.  You don’t see the “H” in there anywhere, but it is there in the pronunciation.

~~~~~

In the meantime, I tried to look up the meaning of this name my sister planned to saddle her child with for a lifetime.  Google, in its infinate, helpful wisdom, proposed a different spelling than my sister had listed.

It is important to understand, at this point, that my sister was diagnosed in elementary school with a learning disability with regard to spelling.  She’s very smart and excelled in all other areas of school, but she’s always been a bad speller which added to my confusion and disbelief that she’d choose such a strange way to spell such a simple name.

~~~~~

From:      Riggledo

To:            Erin

Wait!  Based on this, have YOU misspelled the name?  I can’t find results for your spelling.

From:      Erin

To:            Riggledo

You may be right.  I need to look back at my papers.

She never did get back to me on the spelling.

~~~~~

It’s difficult maintaining “Favorite Uncle” status when you live on the opposite side of the country.  This past Christmas, I put a lot of thought and time into selecting great gifts for my nieces, things I think they would really enjoy.  This past Christmas.  These gifts are currently sitting in a box on the floor in my living room, waiting to be wrapped, packaged up and shipped.  To be fair the item I bought for my older niece is oddly shaped and larger than every box I found for a very long time so packaging and shipping was proving difficult.  I found an appropriately sized box a month or so ago, and now I really have no excuse for not having shipped their stuff.

~~~~~

When I was a kid my mother taught me how to crochet.  I had an enormous ball of scrap yarn that I used to “make stuff” out of.  I’d crochet till the yarn was all used and then I’d rip it out and start something new.  One day, I decided that I was tired of making nothing and ripping it apart again and I bought a pattern book and some yarn and since then I’ve been crocheting blankets.  I’m not sure what else, truly useful, I could make by crocheting and I don’t know how to knit so I’m limited to blankets.

I’ve made blankets for my mother, several friends, my grandfather and of course myself.  I’ve also made blankets for every baby in my life and a few that aren’t (except my brother’s baby – but that’s another story.)  Both of my sister’s daughters got their baby blankets after their first birthdays.  I thought it might be nice if my nephew had his when he was born (we shall see if that happens,) so I needed to know if her due date had changed since last we discussed it.

~~~~~

From:          Riggledo

To:                Erin

Hey, Just wondering if you’re still due on 8/23?  I have a baby blanket finished (sort of) for your son whose name I don’t know how to spell.  I’m hoping to get it (and all the stuff I have for the girls) packaged up and sent off next week.  Just thought it’d be nice if the blanket actually arrived before he did as opposed to a year or so later like with the girls.  🙂

From:          Erin

To:                Riggledo

That would be nice.  Yes, the due date is still 8/23 although I think everybody is hoping for the week before that.  And really what is so hard about Ruari or Rauiri?

From:          Riggledo

To:                Erin

Well, for starters, which one is it?  I’ll get it eventually (after a few instances of seeing – and using – ONLY the correct spelling).

You need to realize though, that you, and he, are looking at a lifetime of confusion about how his name is supposed to be pronounced/spelled.  If you lived in Ireland it wouldn’t be so big a deal ’cause some people still spell it that way. But here, nobody knows that spelling and it will be an ongoing issue.

Despite how it might sound, I’m not telling you what to do… Or maybe I am… 🙂 But if it were me, I’d reconsider spelling it the more common way.

That being said, you still haven’t told me what the correct spelling is.  (Kinda proving my point.)  In the end, though, I will get behind whatever you decide. 🙂

From:          Erin

To:                Riggledo

We were settled on a spelling, but when I looked it up yesterday I found one that I think I like better because it seems more pure.  So now we are discussing it again.  I think ultimately it will end up being Ruari.  Primary point is that the proper way to pronounce it is with an “ahr” sound, not an “or” sound and we want to emphasize that.  People are lazy and pronounce Aaron as Erin all the time, but at least the spelling is there.  I understand what you are saying, but I am more interested in making it say what it is supposed to mean rather than just be comfortable for everybody else.  The name means Red King or Great King and rua is the Irish word for Red or Great.   (Given the reaction from both you and mom, I guess it’s a good thing we are not having a girl named Eibhlin (pronounced eve+linn or ave+linn) meaning pleasant, beautiful, radiant or in other places identified as a bringer of light. – We think it is a beautiful name, but sounds like you guys would have had a cow or maybe a heard of them.)

At any rate, you would think that people can’t mess up something as simple as David, but you wouldn’t believe how often we have to correct people and tell them his name is David, not Dave.  So I don’t see that there is ever an easy answer to spelling or naming convention and so I don’t really care.  I have dealt with being Lee my whole life, I am constantly telling people how to properly spell Caitlin, I already described the problems we are having with Dave vs. David, and most of the world wants to make Regan into Reagan, so what’s one more?  At least I am not making up names like some of the individuals we have known in our lifetime.

I know you will ultimately get on board with it, cause that is the kind of person you are.  Mom is irritating me about it a little bit.  But then what is new.

~~~~~

Now it’s important that I explain two things about the next one.  A)  My sister’s first name is Lee.  She was named, at my Paternal Grandmother’s adamant insistence, after a brother of hers that was killed in “the war”.  Erin has always hated being named Lee, because it’s the masculine spelling, and has, therefore, always gone by her middle name.

2)  My sister and her husband (primarily her learning disabled – in a lot more than just spelling – husband) home school my nieces.  I’m not sure that it’s going particularly well and I pray that they give up the idea and send the kids to school.  Erin, who I have already described as being very smart is a product of the public school system, but some how, suddenly public school is not acceptable for her children and they can’t afford to send a brood to private school.  Home School was supposed to be their solution, but I don’t think its a good one.

Anyway, we carry on.

~~~~~

From:          Riggledo

To:                Erin

Ouch.  My cheek hurts.  🙂  (From your smack down).

Actually, Ruari is not so bad.  I have seen Ruairi and Rauiri and maybe a few other things and those one’s concerned me.  Ruari is still likely to be mispronounced by people, like, say, school teachers (if he ever goes to a school.)  Ru-air-ee.  That’s what people will likely guess his name to be.  I have never heard it pronounced with the “ahr” sound (There was a character named Rory on this most recent season of Doctor Who and it was pronounced with the “or” sound) but if that’s what you’ve learned is “correct” and want to emphasize then I can understand why you’d go with Ruari.  (By the way, now that I’ve typed Ruari several times, it’s ingrained so you can’t change it now.)  🙂

I have to say that while you make the point that you went through life named Lee, you also hated it for at least half of your life.  For that reason alone, I would think you’d want to give your children something a little more “mainstream”.  Dave is a nickname for David and people have a bad habit of assuming it’s OK to use nicknames (I get called Kev sometimes.  I don’t like it but I’ve gotten over being mad about it), but that’s not the same as “bastardizing” the proper name.  I find it interesting that you have to correct people about spelling Caitlin’s name, because I would never have thought of spelling it any other way.  Granted the first time I was aware of her name was on the Ultrasound picture mom sent me that had her name written on it (and I was surprised you were giving her Leigh for a middle name – I know what you hated was having the masculine spelling, but still.)  Maybe it’s just my Irish genes that made Caitlin my assumption, but I would have to be corrected if people spelled it any other way.

Regan’s name I guess I can understand.  Now that she’s (gasp) six years old, I guess I’m used to her name.  When I read your e-mail this morning at home on my BlackBerry, I read “Reagan” and thought Reh-gan as in the president’s name and thought, “That’s a totally different name”, but just now as I was going to type “That’s a totally different name” I realized that Ronny’s name was spelled Regan, so I guess I understand that confusion.  To be honest, I didn’t like that name at all when I first heard it and I secretly hoped you’d change your mind before she was born.  But it’s grown on me and now that I know her and she’s had that name for (gasp) six years I like it and can’t imagine her with any other.

[Ronald Reagan was not spelled like my nieces name and my original argument stands (though it won’t be presented to my sister.]

I didn’t have any idea there was any other way to spell Rory so I was surprised when you told me that it had changed, and like I said, I saw the spelling with the extra i and didn’t care for that.  Rauri is just fine with me.  You have my seal of approval.  I know how important that is to you.  🙂

I’d like to tell you that you’re wrong about “Eihblin”, but…  Yeah, that would be a tough one.  (Keep that in mind when you get pregnant again.)  🙂

Mom?  Irritating?  What on earth do you mean?  What did she say?

~~~~~

Erin sent me the following e-mail conversation:

From:          Mom

To:                Erin

Kevin just told me you’re planning some “off-the-wall” (That’s a quote!) spelling of Rory.  Says he can’t even remember what it is, it’s so far off the mark.  What in the world is he talking about?

I’d like to put my oar in, though, and remind you that it can really be a drag to be saddled with a name you have to explain to everyone for the rest of your life.  Why not just Rory, plain and simple?  Just wondering. . . . .

From:          Erin

To:                Mom

I am still somewhat undecided.  (David likes the name and is not terribly concerned about the spelling.)  Every time I look it up I find different spellings.  According to the sources I am most comfortable with, the proper spelling is either Rauiri or Ruari – meaning Red King or Great King.  (Kevin came up with a different one from some source he searched – Ruairi.)  It is in keeping with our spelling of Caitlin being the original Irish/Gaelic spelling.  Besides, he is home schooled, so who will he have to explain it to until college?  And yes, I remember what a drag it is to have to tell people about your name when you meet someone new, or on the first day of school, or when you go to the dr/dentist, etc.  Been there done that all my life.  😎

And of course Alec, actually English, means Defender of the People.  If I wanted to be truly Irish I believe the equivalent is Alastair.  But we like Alec.

From:         Mom

To:               Erin

Or Rory Alec. “Caitlin” is in keeping with standardized American usage.  Ruari or Ruairi isn’t.  Home schooled or not, he’ll have to spell it out (for those who think to ask) all his life.  Most people won’t ask.  They’ll just spell it wrong.  I say simplify his life by not going there.  That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it! Too late for you, but not for your son!

Yes, I know you’ve dealt with it all your life.  That’s what I meant when I said I was “reminding” you – not “telling” you!

~~~~~

From:       Riggledo

To:             Erin

Date:         Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Subject:   Fw:  Re:  Re:  Baby Name

Wow!  Hung me out to dry, didn’t she!  🙂

From:          Erin

To:                Riggledo

At least you can count on her for something.

From:          Riggledo

To:                Erin

Looking forward to this visit are you?  🙂

For what it’s worth, I apologize.  I’m realizing that at the end of the day, this is entirely your thing and I can imagine it must be frustrating feeling like you everybody else thinks they’re entitled to an opinion or input.  This is not, after all, a committee decision.

Also, I suppose I MIGHT have said, “off the wall” (although that conversation took place a couple of weeks ago – not “just” on 8/2 – so she might be misremembering) but I definitely didn’t say “off the mark.”  🙂

Maybe that’s splitting hairs, but to me “off the mark” is much worse and more offensive  Just sayin’!

From:          Erin

To:                Riggledo

you are right, the only committee that counts here is David & Erin.  But I understand the concern and I don’t mind it being expressed, just harped on.  Furthermore, the slap on your cheek would probably not have been as rough had Mom not been there first.

And while I would have preferred Original to Off the wall, I agree that off the mark is worse.  However, I was a sufficiently aggravated by that point in the email and I didn’t even notice the change until you just pointed it out.  Thanks!!! (just kidding)

So in the end you are forgiven.