Monday, July 30, 2012

Nip Slip

The corporate singles mixer was this evening.  All day at work I had been nervous but excited.  I didn't know what to think.  I guessed there would be a bunch of businessmen and attorneys and accountants.  There would be successful men who weren't cheap and who were full of motivation.

I picked out a nice cocktail dress to wear, a purple dress with spaghetti straps.  It has a bit of a low back so I wasn't able to wear a bra with it but I was able to use those paste on support things they sell in the lingerie departments.  I had my nicest jewelry on and a stylish purse.  The only thing that made me look poor is my car but none of the singles would see that so I was all set.

After work I changed in the bathroom and redid my makeup. 

Off I went.  I was one of the first people there but after a while more and more people streamed in.  They served alcohol and hors d'oeuvres.  I watched what I ate and what I drank because I wanted to make a good impression.  I mingled.  I felt confident.  After a while music started.

I was talking to a guy named Jack who suggested we dance.  He seemed very nice.  He was accountant  --  see, I knew I could meet some accountants -- who has trouble getting out and meeting women.  Perfect.  He was desperate.

After some slow classy songs the music got faster.  I threw my arms up in the arm and got into the music.  I started to notice people were staring at me.  At first I thought it was my imagination but, no, they were staring at me.

Okay, an audience.  I continued to dance.  Finally, I saw Jack waving his hand in front of his chest.  I didn't understand.

"Fran, your dress."

My dress?  What was wrong with my dress?  I glanced down and saw it.  Oh, my God, my nipple had slipped out my dress and everyone saw it.  Everyone!

I pushed my way past Jack and everyone else, grabbed my purse and left as quickly as I could.  I'll never go back there again.  They'd never look me in the eye.

Friday, July 27, 2012

There's A Spud Born Every Minute -- Part 2

I made it Jessica's room.  Her room was full of flowers.  I guess I picked out the wrong gift after all.  I can't win.  I set the flowers down and walked over to the bed.

"You look like hell, Fran.  What happened?"

"It was nothing really.  Remember Elliot?"

"I don't know, Fran.  You've had so many boyfriends.  Is he the one who likes to sit around all day drinking beer and watching Sport Network?"

"Liked.  He's very successful now.  Probably owns a Mercedes."

"Really?"  Jessica sat up, clearly interested.

I had to change the subject.  "Where is Spuds Mackenzie?'

Jessica pointed to the little hospital crib thingy next to her bed.  "Right there.  Why would you call her that?"

"No reason.  Seeing Elliot was a big surprise."

"What you need, Fran, is a successful man who wants to settle down, not a string of losers.  You need to go to where the successful people are."

I walked over to Mackenzie and feigned interest.  I couldn't think of anything other than Elliot and the "wonderful girl" he had met after me.  I can be wonderful and inspiring, too. 

"Well, there is a corporate singles mixer in the city this Friday.  I was thinking of going."

"You definitely need to, Fran.  It will do you some good."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

There's A Spud Born Every Minute -- Part 1

Jessica had her baby, in the wee hours of the night, so after work I decided to go visit her.  I stopped first in the gift shop to buy her something.  I didn't know what to get.

Do I buy something for Jessica or something for the baby?  I had no idea what the protocol is for this sort of thing.  I asked the cashier and between cracks of gum I swear she rolled her eyes at me.  Finally I settled on some overpriced flowers for Jessica.  The baby got enough gifts at the baby shower anyway, I figured.

I asked the women at the front desk how to get to the maternity ward and promptly got lost.  Somehow I got off on the wrong floor or took a wrong turn or something.  All those corridors look alike.

At one point I heard a familiar voice calling my name.  I turned and there was one of my old boyfriends, Elliot, walking up to me.

We exchanged pleasantries.  I told him I was here visiting Jessica.  He made fun of me for being very far from the maternity ward.

"What are you doing here?"

"I work for the hospital now.  Yeah, I went into hospital management."

Hum, that was very interesting.  I rubbed the back of my neck and as I did so noticed a ring on his finger.

"You're married."

"Funny thing," he laughed, "I meet a wonderful girl after we broke up.  She urged me to go to school then we got married.  We have two kids now and one on the way."

"Yes, very funny."

I excused myself and sprinted back to the elevators.  Elliot's a career man now, a father married to a "wonderful girl"?  When I knew him, he had no motivation, no wish for a family and thought school was for snobs.  I guess that proves I'm not so wonderful.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dippy Dorothy

I wish I had Dorothy's job.  Well, not her actual job, the ease of her job.

She comes in every morning and, after logging into her computer, disappears.  She'll return a while later carrying her coffee and laughing with the people she hangs out with out of the office.

When she finally sits down at her desk, I'm the most nervous.  From her office she can stare directly at the back of my neck.  My pretty sure she's sending me subliminal messages to quit.  We don't get along all that well.  I can tell by how she speaks to me.

Not only do I get crapped on at every opportunity but Dorothy doesn't even do her job.  Whenever callers ask to speak to a supervisors, which is often, we can't just forward her the calls.  Oh, no, we have to check first and see if she is free.  Most times we can't find her because she isn't at her desk.  And then even if she is at her desk, she'll say to tell the caller she is unavailable and that we should handle it ourselves.

One day, not long ago, I found out how much supervisor positions make at SAT TV.  It was sickening.  I get paid next to nothing, am highly in debt and am stressed out the wazoo.  But Dorothy, uggg, must be nice.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hurts Rent-A Vehicle

Finally, I'm getting my car back.  I don't know what was wrong with it.   I think it was the ignition or the engine or something.  Brandon took care of everything.

It's all been arranged that I can pick my car up at Frank's Garage after work.  The customer service rep at Hurts Rent-A Vehicle said I can leave my rental at the garage they will take care of everything.  I'm so excited.  I'll write more when I'm home.

Later ....

I arrived to pick up my car.  Frank was very nice, although a bit greasy.  He's letting me pay my bill a little bit at a time.

The Hurts Rent-A-Vehicle person was there, too, with his bill.  He handed it to me with a smile and asked what form of payment I wanted to use.

I glanced over the bill and it was enormous, much more than we discussed.

"When I called you Monday morning, you said it would be $10 a day.  This is three times that."

"It was $10 a day, but only if you rented your vehicle before 5 p.m. when the sale price ended and we reverted back to the regular price.  You rented your car at 5:15."

What?  I stared at him and he must have thought I was an idiot.  Was this a bait and switch?  I wanted to report him to the Better Business Bureau.

"I can't afford that.  I have a repair bill to pay plus I had to put gas in your horribly ugly car."

"If you don't pay, I'll report you to the police."

From behind the register, Frank cleared his throat and began walking away.  He probably thought I was about to cause trouble in his store.

The Hurts Rent-A Vehicle guy and I stared each other down.  But finally he won and I pulled out credit card, which was declined.  So were three other cards.

"See, I told you I couldn't afford it.  My cards are all maxed.  It's the price I pay for having a job that pays next to nothing."

Just as I could envision the cops pulling up to take me away, Frank offered to pay what I could not and I could pay him back.  I am very grateful and very broke.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Normally I love Saturdays.  I get to sleep in and have a leisurely day.  No work, no thoughts of work or how I'm a failure.

Today I was reminded of how I am a failure.  Remember how I said all my friends are married?  Well, some have children.  My friend Jessica is about to have her first.  Saturday was the baby shower.

The baby is going to be named Mackenzie.  Apparently I'm the only one who remembers those Spuds Mackenzie commercials because the name reminds of a dog every time I hear it.  Truly awful.  But Jessica and so many others seem to love it.

The baby shower was excruciating.  I saw all my friends -- all the ones who are happy and satisfied with their lives.  There were so many gifts, so, so many gifts.  And then there was Jessica.  She looked pregnant and fantastic at the same time.  How is that possible?

I looked around at all my friends.  Why do they have all the things they want and I have nothing?  They have good jobs, nice houses, husbands and children.  I want that, yet life has seen fit to not give it to me.  What am I doing wrong?  Why is karma out to get me?  Why, why, why?

Monday, July 16, 2012


Friday morning.  Last day of work.  I get out of bed, begrudgingly, and my light doesn't come on. 

I squinted in the dark.  I figured my light bulb had just burned out.  I made my way to the bathroom and somehow managed to stub both big toes.  When I made it there, I discovered it wasn't my light bulb.  I had no electricity.  I couldn't believe it.  Two mornings in a row this week something has happened.  What next?  Was a meteor going to fall from the sky and squash me flat?

I turned on the sink and discovered to my horror that I had absolutely no hot water.  None.  How was I going to shower?  It's too cold outside to shower in cold water.  Even in the middle of summer I wouldn't shower in cold water.  It's insane.  I didn't know what to do.

I panicked as I made my way through the house.  I went rummaging through my kitchen drawers.  I needed candles and matches, a flashlight and batteries.  Why am I so disorganized?

Finally, I found what I needed and my bathroom became a small disaster area.  I had to take a sponge bath in freezing cold water.  I put on a ton of deodorant and perfume then tried doing my makeup.  I did the best I could.

When I was in the car, I looked at myself.  I was a clown.  My lipstick was too thick.  My eyeshadow too wide and dark.  I put my head down on the steering wheel and cried.  Then I called off sick.

Friday, July 13, 2012


I love my Granny Fletcher.  I try to visit her whenever I can.

When I was a little girl, Granny and I always have the best times.   We would talk and share secrets and she made me feel special.  Sometimes I wish I was still a little girl.

"So, Fran, I heard Lilly is engaged.  I imagine you are happy for her."

"Yes, very happy."

I told Granny I was happy but I'm not really.  I feel sad and alone and sooooo old.

"When was your last date, dear?"

"The other day."

Oh, please, don't remind me of Brian.  I was hoping Granny wouldn't ask me how it went and luckily it didn't.  Instead she brought up something much worse.

"You'll be turning 30 soon and I don't want you to die an old maid.  I think it's about time I gave you some pointers."

Pointers?  What sort of pointers could an 80 year old give when it comes to dating in the 21st century?  Last time Granny had a date Eisenhower was in office.  A lot has changed since then.

"Maybe you're boring in the bedroom, dear.  Have you tried -- "


"I'm only trying to help.  But sometimes I feel like you don't know what to give a man."

I, I, I don't know what to give a man?  I couldn't even answer.  I couldn't even open my mouth.  What was Granny saying?  That I was a horrible lover.  No, grandmothers don't think about such things.  No, she couldn't mean that.  She watches too much TV.

"You're 30th birthday is coming, Fran.  It's all downhill from here."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I can't say that I have a lot of friends.  I did once, but a lot of them moved away and we lost contact.  Of the ones I still have left, all but Lilly are married, some have kids and rarely have time for me.

Lilly has a boyfriend, but she still makes time for me and I appreciate that.  I don't know what I would do if I was the last one to get married.  It would be devastating.

It was late when my phone rang.  It scared me.  I thought for sure it had to be an emergency because no one calls me that late unless it's an emergency.  I saw it was Lilly's number coming up on my caller ID. 

Lilly sounded out of breath on the phone.  Now, I was really worried.  She was talking so quickly I couldn't understand her.  Finally I told her to slow down and repeat what she had been saying.

"Jerry asked me to marry him," she said.  "And I said yes.  Oh, Fran, you'll have to help me plan the wedding.  It will be so much fun.  You will help me, won't you?"

I was caught off guard.  Of course, I told her, anything she wanted.

And with that the phone call was over.  Lilly was getting married.  And that make me the last single friend standing. 

I feel sick.

Monday, July 9, 2012


My boss at SAT TV is named Dorothy.  Her office sits behind my cubicle making me feel like I'm on pins and needles all the time.  Dorothy doesn't work, at least not as much as the rest of the department.  I've caught her filing her nails at her desk a time or two.

Around ten, Dorothy called me into her desk.  I figured it was because I had been late the day before.  I tried to explain to her that I did make the time I missed but she cut me off.

"It's not about that.  How many accounts do you currently have?"

"Um, well, I have the entire state of Florida and the Dakotas and when someone is on vacation, I fill in." 

Dorothy leaned forward and somehow managed to say with a straight face, "Don't you think you should be doing more?"

More?  I swallowed and felt my hands start to shake.  I just knew she was going to fire me.  How would I pay for my car repairs?

"Yes, more," Dorothy said.  "You'll be doing California."

"All of it?"

Dorothy rolled her eyes as if I were a silly child.  "Yes, all of it.  Crystal quit so we need someone to fill in."

"So it's only temporary?" 

It wasn't so bad if it was only temporary.

"No, it's permenant.  We won't be replacing her.  Oh and, Fran, there is no pay raise either so don't even ask?"

I walked out of Dorothy's office feeling numb.  More work for the same pay at a job I hate.  Am I being punished for something?

Friday, July 6, 2012


I got myself up for work on Monday and felt horrible.  In case I haven't mentioned it yet, I hate my job.  I work in the city.  It's a 40 minute drive.  That's actually the best part of it.  I love the city and I don't mind the drive.  It gets me out of here.

But I hate my job.  I work customer service for a satellite-television provider.  They're called SAT TV.  Maybe you've heard of them.  They're a national company.  I'm on the phone all day long listening to unhappy people.

Anyway, I was thinking about all of this as I got into my car, put the key in the ignition, turned the key and then ---- nothing.  I tried several times but each time, nothing. 

I dropped my head down on the steering wheel and would have burst into tears if it weren't for the fact my makeup was fresh.  After several minutes of not knowing what to do, I called my boss and told her I would be late.  She told me I would have to work through my lunch to make up my time.  Fine.

I called Brandon and asked him if he would drive me.  I knew he would be the only one available.  Everyone else was on their way to work or lived too far away.  Brandon lives right here in town, but he owns his own junk business so he can come and go as he pleases.

Brandon showed up with his dog, Rocky.  Rocky is a Mastiff, larger than a house and he slobbers.  A lot.  And, of course, Brandon decided to show up in his work truck, the one that says "Fletcher Junk" on the sides and back. 

I opened the door and grudgingly got in beside Rocky.  Brandon chain smokes so my whole ride to work could be summed up by saying I rode in a cloud of smoke with dog saliva on my arm.

"Do you want me to pick you up, too," Brandon asked.

"No, I can handle it.  I'll just take a cab to the airport and rent a car."

"That's a big waste of time," he said flicking cigarette ashes on my shoes.

"No, it's fine."

"Well, then I'll take your car to mechanic for you."

Finally, we made it to work.  That must have been the longest ride of my life.  I thanked Brandon and gave him my car keys.  I would have given him a hug, I really would have, but it was bad enough I was going to smell like a combination of chimney and dog kibble all day.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Like I said this is the worst week ever.  It started on Sunday with my date with Brian Leeds.  Yes, you read that right, a Sunday date.

I met Brian at Bud's Hardware Store a couple of weeks ago.  He said he remembered us going to high school together, although he was in my brother Brandon's class.  I didn't remember him at all.  So maybe he was giving me a line, I don't know, but if he was, I bought it.  I agreed to go out with him.

So why a Sunday date?  He claimed it was because he works a lot and also because he believed first dates should be casual, so we planned to have lunch.  I was thinking we would have lunch at MaryLou's Diner or maybe take a drive into the city and eat at one of those chain restaurants.

Brian is religious so I thought nothing of it when he asked me to attend church with him.  We attended services and afterward I fully expected that we would leave for lunch.

Instead Brian turned to me and said, "Let's go check out the social hall.  My mom is serving coffee today."

Okay, I think he's sweet.  He wants to say hello to his mother.  But when we got downstairs, it wasn't just coffee and donuts.  It was a full blown lunch.  We weren't going anywhere.  We were having lunch right there.

I looked around as realization hit me.  He was too cheap to buy me lunch so he brought me somewhere where the lunch is free.  I felt my cheeks growing hot.  I couldn't believe it.  Why wasn't he honest with me to begin with?  If he told me we were having lunch here, it might not have been so bad?  Had I misunderstood?  Was I supposed to know this was where we were going when he suggested I come to services with him?

Just as I wondered "why me?" something happened.  The curtain on the far wall pulled back and a Sunday-school play started.

I leaned over and whispered in Brian's ear, "Do you know any of those kids?"

He shook his head no.  Really, Brian, free lunch and entertainment.  No wonder you're still single.

I've heard it said all the good ones are either taken or gay.  But really, it's not that all the good ones are taken.  It's that all the single ones are single for a reason.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Introducing Fran to the World

Hello, world, it's Fran Fletcher.  I've been feeling stressed out lately.  I thought I would start writing in a dairy  --  you know, like I did when I was 12 to vent my frustrations  -- but apparently written diaries are passe nowadays so I'm starting a blog.

This past week has been the worst week ever.  All seven days were horrible, just horrible.  Ugh, where do I begin?

I guess I begin at the beginning. 
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