Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I guess I'm past due for a mid-life crisis

This weekend I successfully took another step towards complete adulthood. I got my own Blockbuster Card.

I realize most people take this significant step much earlier than I did. In fact, I'd like to thank those people who enabled me for so long. I've never had the need to get a blockbuster card. Anytime I've wanted to watch a movie I've been with other people who already had the card marking this rite of passage. The need for me to get my own laminated-pass-to-cinematography-wonders never arose. So Saturday when I found myself in the movie mode, yet alone, I decided it was time to take the plunge.

I found my movie, waited in line, and told the clerk I needed a card. He gave me the paperwork to fill out and started plugging in my information. After he completed typing in my address, phone, and credit card number, he came back and asked, "Yewer burn enseverty nigh?"

"I'm sorry, what?"
"Yewer burn in servity nine?"
"One more time, I'm sorry."
"You were born in '79?!"
"Uh, yeah."
"No way! Dude, she was born in '79!"
"Get out! You don't look that old at all! I never would have guessed you were that old."
"ha, ha, yep. I'm ... that old."

Hmmm...the fact that I apparently have bad hearing and had to ask you to repeat yourself three times didn't give my old age away huh. My graying hair didn't tip you off? I didn't think to ask if it was a good thing that I don't look my age. The last thing I heard as I left was, "I can't believe she was born in '79! Whoa!"

Perhaps my next rental will be a black and white "talkie" from my childhood.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A moving experience

This weekend I had the rare opportunity to go on a date with my sister's boyfriend. Yep, you read that right. While Julia Gulia is out in Idaho getting a degree, her boyfriend Chubs is here in Athens. Someone has to keep him company...might as well stay in the family. Two weeks ago Chubs sent me a text telling me to keep my Saturday open. He had an evening of fun planned that included dinner and "a glimpse into his past". I probed for clues the following week but all I could get out of Chubs, Julia Gulia, or Mama Mia was that I should dress up, come hungry, and bring a camera.

Turns out Chubs' past life includes blue sequined vests. He was in a show choir during high school and was asked to emcee the performance this weekend. I enjoyed several musical numbers. There were songs from Grease, The Producers, Wicked, Chicago, and Les Mes. I really enjoyed the costumes, choreography, and different styles of singing.

I wish my contact would quit sticking to my eye. I'll just rub it real quick.

Chubs did a great job entertaining the crowd. He, along with another former classmate, introduced the songs, handed out door prizes, and kept the program running smoothly. In between announcing acts, Chubs would return to his seat next to me to make sure I was enjoying myself.

Man my eye itches. What is wrong?

The program was nearing the end. Only a few more songs left.

Is that cat hair all over my pants? Oh no. These are the pants I wore over to Kathleen's apartment the other day. Her cat sat in my lap...and I'm allergic to cat hair.

The final song, Letting Go from Jekyll and Hyde, started. The entire group assembled at the front of the room. The members had changed out of their glitzy outfits and were all wearing black dresses or suits. At one point during the song, the members walked from the stage out into the audience. Each member was holding a rose and at a particular point in the song, handed it to their mother before returning to center stage.

I wish my eye would stop itching. It's starting to water. This is ridiculous!

Chubs and I happened to share a table with one of the mothers receiving a rose. The emotions were strong in the room. Many of the mothers were crying as they accepted the roses from their child. Chubs looked at me to see my reaction. Here I am, rubbing one eye as tears fall uncontrollably.

"I'm allergic to my pants!"
(Laughing) Sure Charika. It's can cry if you need to.
"No's my pants."

Chubs was right. I learned a little bit about his past. In fact, I think we both learned something. I learned Chubs used to wear sequins and he learned I'm crazy.

Friday, February 23, 2007

I Wonder what Woman...

I've mentioned my coworkers before as I described our office car and again when they surprised me with a vegetable tray for my birthday but I've never told you what we do. I work for a general contractor as an executive assistant...or in unfluffy terms, I'm a secretary for a construction company. This means I meet lots of guys...not the kind you bring home to momma though.

Let me tell you about Gerald. He's in his 50's, stands about 5'11, has a head of graying, dirty blonde hair, and I've never seen him without a plaid shirt tucked into his jeans or his package of cigarettes. He lives on a ranch and has installed fire sprinkler systems a good portion of his life. Anytime he comes to the office to conduct business, he nods a greeting to me and heads straight for the bathroom. Business...just talking to a man about a horse. Anyway, Gerald loves women. He is married but that doesn't stop him from flirting with any female he meets.

The first time I met him was a few months before our company moved to a bigger office. The suite we were crammed into was so small that my desk literally was 2 feet from the door. Anytime someone came in, I had to lean back a few inches to maintain my personal bubble. Gerald was the worst of them all. He would come in, nod, and make a comment on how pretty the office had become since I'd been hired. Then he'd go tend to business. I'd usually give the half smile before returning to whatever work I was doing. One day, on his way out, he nodded, opened the door, then turned around. He asked me to take off my glasses. Confused, I slowly removed them as he said, "I'll be. Ain't you just the spitting image of Wonder Woman."

Then he left. I sat there totally speechless. Did a 50 year old just hit on me?! Ewww, Gross! It didn't help when one of the office guys said, "Don't worry about it. He hits on anyone that's female." Oh, okay. So now I feel gross AND cheap. Thanks.

When I told some friends about the experience, my BYU friend, Zach Morris, sent me a picture of the 70's star. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Nickname Nightmare

I have a crush on someone.

Don’t worry, I’ll get over it soon enough. Ask any of my college roommates. It got to the point where I had more crushes on guys than weeks in the year. Fall of my sophomore year, I sat down and listed all the boys I had crushed on during my two freshman semesters, the summer, and up to the current school month. The list included 85 guys! Seriously – that’s 1.63 guys per week! My roommates determined I should use a different term. We decided I was intrigued by lots of different boys. A crush is what would develop if the intrigue lasted longer than a week. I liked a boy if we went on a date and I was still intrigued. Dating a boy only happened after there was some hand-holding or lip-locking action. When I moved south to Georgia, someone asked me if I had a cow. Now, just because I grew up in Texas doesn’t mean I own livestock! But that’s not what she meant. A “COW” stands for Crush Of the Week. Ah…yes, I have a COW. Which one are you referring to?

It’s not easy being intrigued with so many boys at once. I guess it’s one of my many talents. Again, me and my humility. Anyway, I was talking to my friend Scottiethehottie and mentioned I liked a boy. He is one of my lucky friends that gets to listen to my rambling stories or occasional blonde moments. As soon as I said “I have a crush on this guy,” I knew he was going to ask for details. I didn’t want to jinx the situation by divulging info so I said that all crushes will remain nameless until boyfriend status is achieved. He said that was fine but that he would just make up his own names for the guys so he wouldn’t get confused.

Oh dear. This could get a little tricky though. I can just see a future conversation with Scottiethehottie:

So I finally kissed Ben last night.
Oh, so you and “Stephen” are dating now.
I thought you called Ben “David”.
Well, “David” is the guy you met at the dance.
Then Ben isn’t “David”. I met Ben at the concert.
Oh, then you are dating “James”.

So intriguing boy, if I slip up and call you my “$6 burger”, don’t worry, it’s just cause you’re just my COW.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Someone's lucky I'm so Healthy

I work in an office with less than 10 in-house personnel and we all love a reason to relax and eat cake. Anytime someone has a birthday, we have a “surprise” party for them. The birthday individual knows it’s coming but pretends to be shocked anyway. Usually it’s easy to get the cake in the conference room, gather everyone together, and somehow need the birthday person to join the group; however, I make it a little harder since I sit directly to the left of the conference room. Any traffic through the glass front door passes by me. I knew my “office” birthday would be on Friday since a true celebration would require coming to work on Saturday. I got the biggest kick out of pretending to not know what was going on as I watched my coworkers try hard to get everything past me.

It started when I got back from lunch and Michele tells me that Jordan is “out running an errand.” Translation: he’s the lucky one that gets to pick out the cake and card. Jordan calls; Michele answers and I hear this side of the conversation. “Hmmm really? Then don’t go that route. … Yeah, just get two tubs. … Yes, that is what we need to do.” Tubs? Tubs of butter? Cakes don’t come in tubs. Maybe tubs of ice cream? Hmmm… About five minutes later Michele has to “go out to her car to get something she forgot”. She comes back in but goes across the foyer to our neighbor’s suite with a big brown box. So she put the cake in a box to get it inside. Now she has to get it over here. Jordan walked in – empty handed – 2 or 3 minutes later.

I must have missed the Transfer-of-the-Cake-from-Suite-to-Suite bit when I went to either send a fax, get some water, or go to the bathroom. At some point Michele goes to the conference room and I hear the crinkle-crinkle of the cake lid as Michele tries to quietly pop it apart.

The crinkling continued.

Even longer.

What was she doing? It sounded like a layer of plastic was carefully being cut off. I pretended to not hear. I went back to burning cds for some of our clients. Michele came to my desk and said I needed to hold all the calls for the guys since they were in a “meeting” in the conference room. Riiiiiight. Of course, of course. That just left me, Michele, and Claudia still in the office. Michele cracked the conference room open and said, “Oh, you need Charlotte in there too?” I was biting my lip to not smile and laugh. Michele turned to me and said, “Charlotte, they want you in there to take notes.”

I smiled and said, "You know it's getting harder and harder to make it a surprise."
“I know. Just get in there.”
Does Claudia need to “take notes” too?”
“Oh yes. Claudia, we need you in the conference room.”

I walked in as my coworkers sang an off-key rendition of Happy Birthday and then started laughing. In the middle of the table there were not only two tubs of fruit but also a vegetable tray complete with candles in the broccoli and cauliflower! Tubs of FRUIT. Ahhhh…it made sense now. And the crinkle noise was the plastic seal being cut off. Of course! What did surprise me was the fruits and veggies though. I know I try to eat healthy but never anticipated those habits rubbing off into my office birthday surprise treat. I think my coworkers are glad they only have to celebrate birthdays with carrots once a year. There was considerably more left-overs than when we have cake.

On Fridays we get out at 4pm so I try to go to the gym during the last hour of work and walk/run for 40 minutes. I decided I would rather stop by work after the gym and pick up the left over rabbit snacks than risk car-steamed veggies after my run. So I went; I ran; I glistened.

I returned to work to find FLOWERS! I had missed the delivery while I was at the gym. I quickly opened the note to see who had sent them.

("Happy Birthday One Day Early. This Way It Is More Of A Surprise. Someone")

Someone’s lucky I had to come back and pick up my veggies.
Someone made my day.
Thanks Someone!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Going somewhere…F A S T!

I recently attended a religious forum where the speaker emphasized obedience in all aspects. I wasn’t too worried until he said this meant driving the posted Speed Limits. My friend TR² kicked me in my shin as a friendly reminder that speeding is one of my only flaws. That and humility. It is common knowledge that I tend to get places quicker than the time allotted on MapQuest. I think it must be a gene passed down through generations. If so, my dad passed one gene to me and gave my brother, The Dean Inc, a double dose.

It’s not that I’m speeding, but more so that I’m driving the speed limit that should have been posted. Really I’m doing the cops a favor. We have all seen those little black ropes they tie down on the road to measure the amount of traffic and average speed. Instead of putting those down all around town, the city could just hire me to drive different routes at a comfortable speed to see what the true speed limit should be. I could be hired for cheap since I don’t have a master’s degree in city-road-planning. Since I would be out on the roads, I could even monitor suspicious activity and communicate this back to the police. I’ll even hire out my car for advertisements as I drive around. Seriously, the benefits are endless.

Someone should nominate me for citizen of the year or something.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!

I love this holiday! I suppose it’s for several reasons. First, I am a hopeless romantic and I can’t think of a better holiday than February 14th. Second, it marks 3 more days until my birthday. In food terms, that makes Valentines Day the appetizer to a great meal.

Lots of my friends prefer to call today “Single Awareness Day”. Of the +2 dozen Valentines I’ve celebrated, only 3 were with whatever boyfriend I had at the time. Despite being single the majority of years, I love this holiday because of one person: Mama Mia.

I don’t remember a Valentines Day where she didn’t give us cards or some sort of treat growing up. When I was really little, she would use red food coloring in the dinner. This meant we might have pink pancakes or pink mashed potatoes or pink lemonade. A few years later she started making red Koolaid ice cubes to float in Sprite. Makes a great red fizzy for a special dinner drink. She has even made pink scrambled eggs. Mama Mia really makes this holiday fun for everyone.

Now, when I was in high school, I didn’t always appreciate her style of fun. I was already embarrassed that my family couldn’t afford the cafeteria food and I had to bring a sack lunch everyday. Something about having more than one child in school makes it impossible to afford the $1.25 lunch…or allowance for that matter. I typically grabbed a few items on my way out but one particular Valentines Mama Mia surprised me by packing my lunch. Imagine my horror when I opened the sack to find my tuna sandwich on pink bread. P I N K bread! Was this some sort of sick joke to ensure I never made more than 3 friends? I couldn’t believe it. I was so insulted I didn’t even take the sandwich out of the bag. Instead I broke off small pieces and quickly shoved them in my mouth so no one would see the weird food I'd been subjected to. When I got home, I was so upset. I told Mama Mia how embarrassed I’d been. She said, “You didn’t take the sandwich out? That means you didn’t even notice I cut the bread into a heart shape."

HEART-SHAPED?! Am I 5?! I vowed never to be cheesy like her when I grew up. However, anyone who knows me now realizes I’m even sillier than Mama Mia. And I guarantee that my kids will get pink, heart shaped sandwiches.

Happy Valentines Day Mama Mia. I Love You!

Friday, February 9, 2007

How $1.49 can ruin your day

So I think I am allergic to my body wash. I just got a new scent last week and ever since my entire body itches like I have poison ivy. At first I just thought my skin was dry so I put lotion on. Still itchy. I shaved my legs. Still itchy. I washed all my clothes and sheets. Still itchy. The thing is, I’ve been using Suave as my body wash for years and this is the first time I've suffered the side effect of itchiness. So I don’t know if it’s just “coconut crème” or if Suave started using a new chemical I can't use. The problem gets worse: I’ve itched so much, I’m starting to get tender in certain spots on my arms and legs so now it feels like I’m itching a bruise.

Which is worse: itching or aching?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Nice to meet you…don’t worry about my name.

Twice this morning I have been asked to spell my name over the phone. Our copier broke so I called to schedule a repair.

What is your name?
Is that with a C or a S?
With a C. Like Charlotte, North Carolina.
Can you spell that for me?
Uh sure. C – H – A – R – L – O – T – T – E.
(Laughing) Boy I’m glad you spelled that out. I royally messed that one up.

How hard is it my name to spell? I admit, when I was in 1st grade I wanted a phonetically correct name so I turned in all my papers with “Sharlet” written at the top. The teacher took me aside and said she wouldn’t accept any work unless my given name was on the top. After that, I have always gone by Charlotte. I am amazed at some of the attempted spellings though. Charolotte, Charolet, Charlet, Charolette.

Now, my family nickname is Charika.

I’ll understand if you misspell that!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

In the mouth of Old Babes

I got a perm in January. I walked into the salon and asked for a wave, something to add curl and body when I wanted to actually do my hair, but came out looking like a poodle. I did NOT like it. I washed it that night, brushed it, tried to straighten it, and washed it again the next day. Still curly. So I had to come to grips with the concept that for a few months, I will have curlier hair than I anticipated. I’ve learned how to style it better and people are even complimenting me. I assumed this meant my hair finally was starting to look okay.
This morning I had some extra time and decided to straighten my hair. It’s been about a week since I last took the time so it was fun seeing my hair straight. I’m sitting at my desk when my boss came in. Instead of the typical “Good morning” he flat out said, “What happened to the frizz?”

Hmmm…tell me how you really feel.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Super Bored

Today is one of those days where I am not having a bad day but I’m just having “a day”. A numb day. I can’t really explain how I’m feeling so I’ll explain what I don’t feel. At lunch I went and got my food but realized I wasn’t hungry. I ate a little anyway but didn’t really want any. I’ve had some water at my desk all day. I haven’t been thirsty for it though. I’m drinking just to stay hydrated but typically I drink tons more. On my lunch break I also went grocery shopping. I just stared at all the produce. Nothing was jumping out at me. I went to the cookie isle. Nothing. Meat – same thing. I ended up getting some staple items that I hope I will start to crave soon. When I got back to work, we had a birthday party for a coworker. I wasn’t excited but I wasn’t bored. Just there. With some cake. Cake that I ate but didn’t really even want.
My friend Rexbasior has a theory that when one person has a bad day, there is someone out there having a great day. So…someone is having the most stimulating day ever!