Ok, since my last post was a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, it’s time that I get back to work and start writing again before the holidays take hold of me once again. I’ll try to keep this post as light as I can this time.
Let me explain the craziness that happens pretty much every year, or for the last two weeks for that matter. This week was my first couple of days on the job for paid training at The League for People with Disabilities. With my ever growing anxieties getting out of control just a little bit every day, I needed an excuse to get the hell out of the house. (Pardon my French, but I really needed it.)
For the last two weeks, I’ve been frantic with three things: the Thanksgiving “let’s stuff ourselves with turkey” holiday was getting closer, my job coach with The League had told me about this part time temp position that I would start the first week of December, and my best friend had been planning a get together party down in the Montgomery-D.C. area for her birthday- and I needed to get down there, no exceptions, on Friday, December 5th, the day she’s turning 27.
The craziest thing about the last two weeks was this- my job coach pretty much gave me no heads up in advance on how long I’d be working or what my schedule was until the day I actually came in and started the job. All he said was, “Monday the first, 10 a.m., be there at the Orchard Tree Lane office.” I needed to know as soon as possible if I could have the day off on Friday the fifth, or possibly the schedule of when my shift ended so I could catch the three trains to Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Either way, no one told me until that day I started because everyone was too busy.
I don’t blame anyone for this, for people and companies get absurdly frantic right around the holidays. People get themselves into a tizzy on days off, bonuses, insurance enrollment, and many other things they have to take care of. Still, it might have been a little bit easier if somebody told me when and how much time I’d be working each week, so I could have a little more peace of mind and less worry. But right now, I can’t complain because it’s experience and even though the pay is minimum wage (Maryland state law pay is $7.25 per hour until this coming January) and it’s only two hours a day and three days a week, I now have a good excuse to get out of the house.
Then, before the American turkey holiday when dad made the most succulent crispy roast turkey on the planet (and he did it again two nights ago since turkey was on sale- you haven’t lived until you’ve tried my dad’s turkey dinner- he is a master of homemade off-the-bone turkey in the kitchen), I began to panic over the upcoming plans for my best friend’s birthday. As with every year, pretty much everyone I know has a birthday close to a holiday. Mine is exactly three weeks after U.S. Independence Day, dad’s is right around Labor Day (every seven years his birthday actually is Labor Day), and mom’s birthday and my boyfriend’s birthday are always in the week before Halloween. And well, my best friend is no exception, only her birthday is during the busiest shopping time of the year- almost exactly three weeks before Christmas, or sometimes (like this year) the first week after Thanksgiving.
In the words of Bugs Bunny: Yipe.
So today, the day before my best friend’s birthday, I made my home stretch before the final vacation of fun for the year of 2014. I’m not sure when I’ll see her again this year, for I’d like to have some fun with her on New Year’s Eve this holiday, but for her birthday, I’m making it count. She told me weeks in advance that I didn’t have to get her a birthday present and I could send her stuff for Christmas via the post office, but I insisted, “You’re my best friend, and pretty much the only friend I still talk to since college, so if I want to get you presents, I will.”
And I did. I think I may have spent more than I should, especially since I’m paying my own way to get down there and pay for my dinner at Cheesecake Factory (I’m a little scared of what the prices will be like there and I’m tempted to bring something to eat so I can spend as very little as possible without having an empty stomach the whole night). But I think the gifts I’m getting her will suffice for both her birthday and Christmas. I hope they do.
Anyway, this was my day for December 4th: My alarm clock went off at around 8 a.m., but since I had lost some valuable sleep over the past few weeks and I had been awake for 17 hours straight, I stayed in siesta mode until noon. After sleeping away the morning, I finally got the energy to get out of bed for a late breakfast, finding no milk in the house to eat my cereal. So I did what I could with some bread, chocolate peanut butter, cranberry sauce, a Nutri Grain bar, orange juice, and a cup of cinnamon chai to get me to wake up.
Dad came home at around one, probably from using the wifi at McDonald’s, and took out our loveable dachshunds Cinderella (dad calls her his mini Irish Setter because she’s a redhead with some black trim like she was singed in a fire, hence the name Cinder) and D’Artagnon the little rambunctious chocolate colored sausage (I call him my little Musketeer, for he looks like a Three Musketeers bar with his slightly rare dapple fur color). I fed them and cleaned up my eating space before dad went to play one of his computer games.
Heading upstairs, a song popped into my head. This one:
For a whole year, Disney’s Frozen merchandise has been everywhere, even the Dollar Store. I recently read an article that the highly over-rated Disney Princess flick is going to be yet another Broadway musical, just like Beauty and the Beast and Lion King. I’ve done “Let it Go” at karaoke too many times to count as much as I’ve heard so many little six year old girls perform at Costa’s, so I’ve come to being tiresome and sick of Frozen, even though the only things about it I go for are Queen Elsa, Kristoff, and the fact that the villain doesn’t reveal himself until the climax of the film.
Not to spoil anything, but I LOVE how Prince Hans becomes the bad guy in the end. He’s perceived as the typical ex boyfriend or ex husband material: he acts like he loves you, he acts maybe a little too hasty at times but you can’t help but fall crazy in love because of everything he is and how he’s so hot and handsome, and then he yanks it all from under you when he shows you his true nature and you fall on your ass. That’s exactly what happens to Princess Anna when she finds out Prince Hans was only using her to become king of Arendelle- I called it at the beginning of the movie as soon as he told her he had 12 older brothers (so he never had a chance to rule) and he asked her to marry him after only a few hours.
I just knew it. Hans is just like every single jerk I ever dated and got dumped by!
So other than that, I’m not much of a fan of Frozen, and I preferred Idina Menzel when she played the role of Elphaba (later the Wicked Witch of the West) in the Broadway musical adaptation of Gregory Maguire’s debut novel and Wizard of Oz semi-prequel, Wicked. I know I’ve never seen the musical, but I have a copy of the book that my friend from middle school gave me as a 16th birthday present in 2004 and I’ve already listened to the Broadway cast recording of the songs in the show. “I’m Not That Girl” is probably my favorite song Menzel has ever sang.
So with the song in my head and my ambition to practice it for karaoke, I shut the door in my bedroom and tried the song out for size. I tend to daydream when I sing alone in my room; I daydreamed about performing the song on NBC’s The Voice as a contestant under vocal coach supervision of Adam Levine of Maroon 5. But right around 2:30 in the afternoon, I came back to Earth and realized I was still wearing my nightshirt from my 11 hour siesta, my hair needed a bath, and dad would kill me if he found out I was still in my poor excuse for sleepwear in the late hours of the afternoon.
As I got my shower in, I got a little bit of a headache, and dad turned on his Don Henley and The Eagles music. I’ll admit, Henley has a knack for words of wisdom in his lyrics: “Love Will Keep Us Alive”, “Get Over It”, even his song “All She Wants to Do is Dance” gives words of wisdom through his thoughts on the situation in Nicaragua when he wrote it. So when dad’s not blasting the same Maroon 5 album that I’ve grown tired of and the same ELO stuff over and over, my dad does have some taste in music.
I got dressed and realized that for the first three hours that I’ve been awake, I’ve wasted so much time that I need to get out of the house again. I asked dad to get me to White Marsh, even though it was nearly 3:30, and we put the dogs away as I got my stuff together and made a couple of adjustments to the laundry. (I do kind of enjoy washing clothes. It’s a girl thing.)
In White Marsh, I have found it convenient that The Avenue shopping center is a brisk walking distance from the public library, so I jumped at the chance for last minute birthday shopping and getting some money out of my account for tomorrow’s festivities. I got tempted to buy a Wizard of Oz magnet at the craft store there, but I didn’t have my coupon from A.C. Moore, I was spending enough money this weekend, and I really didn’t have the time.
So right now, I’m back at the library again, realizing that for the entire first week of December, I’ve hardly written a thing. I promised myself I’d write a miniseries about the Baltimore Writers Conference I went to with my best friend last month and post it here, but these past few weeks have gotten me losing a little of my mind. My mother, friends, and therapist would agree. It’s been way too much, and I know I need a hell of a lot more money than 7.25 an hour for two hours a day, three times a week for only four weeks to get myself far away from here.
I’m exasperated. I’m exhausted. If anybody needs to find a way out of this mess, it’s me. Plus, I’m afraid I’ll have to make it on my own with no help at all from anyone, even my boyfriend though he’s wonderful and I know he’d make a great husband someday. Still, I still can’t see my daydreams coming true for me.
I’ve imagined my wedding to a mysterious nameless groom too many times. I’ve dreamed of a surprise 30th birthday party for me thrown by famous writers and nerds and some old friends of mine a lot recently (only three and a half years away until my 30th right now). And I’ve often thought of the day I’d be a celebrated published author, or the stupid impossibility of me becoming a famous rock singer/songwriter who actually has good music on the radio, unlike those pop idiots I’ve been nauseous of for far too long.
But the thing is this. I doubt any of that will be me someday.
Because like Elphaba, I’m not that girl.
On a lighter note, happy birthday to my best friend Kerensa Hayes. See you on the other side, dahhlin…
Oh, and happy 80th post, Fiction blog readers!