Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nothing to Wear

What am I to wear on this date with Bill tonight?

I called Jessica who suggested clothing.

I called Lilly who suggested I pick out the nicest dress I have and wear the sexiest heels I have but try not to look like a tramp at the same time.

Somehow I think Jessica's advice was not as valuable as Lilly's.  I went into my closet and, after several hours, picked out a black cocktail dress and red heels.  But I feel self conscious in it and plan on wearing a shawl.

I didn't know what to do with my hair either so I decided to leave it the way I normally wear it and maybe just pin it behind my ears so it doesn't fall into my food.

So what do I do with my makeup?  I love a dramatic eye.  I love dramatic eyelashes.  I once tried to wear fake eyelashes but I ended up gluing my eyelids together.  I haven't tried since.

Tonight I was using a brand new mascara.   It has a different shaped brush than what I am used to it.  I'm so nervous for my date tonight.  My hand was shaking.  As I was doing my left eye I hit the eyeball with the brush.

I am in so much pain.  My eye hurts.  For a while I couldn't even open my eye.  The makeup on that side of my face is ruined and needs redone.  What am I going to do?  What if it's like this forever?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hidee Ho, Bill

I often see Bill at lunch.  Sometimes we even share a table and we chat.

Even though Bill works at a company that employs graphic artists, I've never told him I signed up for graphic design classes and that they start in a few weeks.  I'm afraid what he might think.  Well, I mean, I think he would be okay with me going back to school, especially considering the program I'm in.  It's what I've decided to study that makes me nervous.  I don't want him to think I'm doing this because of him or that, worse, that I have some sort of adolescent crush on him.

We're adults here.  We're not supposed to have crushes on people, right?  You're just kinda supposed to know, aren't you?  Just know.

I've never really had that.  I've always just gone out with anyone mildly attractive who found me attractive.  Maybe that's my problem.  I never knew.

But today's lunch threw me for a loop.  We were having a quiet lunch when Bill said, "We've been having lunch most work days for a while.  What do you think that means?"

"It means we're too cheap to go out and buy our lunch."

Bill laughed so hard he knocked over an entire bag of pretzels that went spewing all over the table.  "I like you, Fran."

"You do?"  I cleared my throat.  "I mean, of course you do."

"So I was wondering if you'd share another meal with me.  Do you like seafood?"

I looked up at him, dumbfounded.  "You mean like fish and stuff?"

"Yeah, fish and stuff.  I know you haven't lived in the city for too long so I wanted to take you to this little place I know that has excellent lobster."

Lobster?  I finally got it.  Bill was asking me out?  Yes, he was asking me out.  Don't say anything stupid, Fran.  Don't say anything stupid.

"Sure I would love to."

"Wonderful,"  Bill said, "it's a date then."

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Straw

The talk with Dorothy was the straw that broke the camel's back, so I finally did it.  Yes, the thing I've been talking about for a while now.  I finally went and signed up for college classes.

I told the admissions person that I was super nervous about being a student again and that I was ultra super nervous about being the oldest student there.  She told me there is a fast track program available for working professionals.  I can get my degree in 18 months taking a combo of classroom and online courses.  The only catch is there is no summer semester off and the classroom stuff is for several hours on a Saturday morning.  Financial aid is available, too.

I'm okay with that.  At least the other students will be older, too.  I would die if I were stuck in a roomful of 18 year olds.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I did finally decide on graphic design.  I just hope I actually have design skills.  Hum, this could be disastrous.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Working Holiday

"Fran, come in my office.  Now!  Please."

The mere sound of Dorothy's voice fills me with chills.  I wonder if this is how a pig feels being lead to slaughter.

I finished the call I was on and went into her office.  She waved her hand, indicating to me that I should shut the door behind me.  Now I was really nervous.  Nothing good ever comes from Dorothy wanting the door closed behind me.

"You wanted to see me?"

She squinted her eyes as if she couldn't see me otherwise.  "Yes It has been determined that since you are the only one in your department who is single and has no kids -- "

"I doubt if I'm the only one."

"You're the only one.  As I was saying, it has been determined that since you are the only one in your department who is single and has no kids that you should work Thanksgiving and Christmas this year and, well, every year."

"Every year?"

"Oh, you'll be compensated with holiday pay at a rate of $10 dollars."

"Ten dollars an hour?"

Dorothy laughed.  "No, ten dollars a day extra."

"Oh, but -- "

"You can leave my office now.  You have customers waiting."

Dorothy waved her hand again, and I left her office feeling humiliated and angry all at once.  Who had determined I should work holidays?  Was it really HR like she implied or was it her?  I think it was her.  No, I know it was her. 

At lunch I went and bought a mirror with a stand.  I have it facing the door to Dorothy's office so just like she can watch me at all times now I can watch her.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Joy Book Club

I thought I would try something new so I joined a book club at the local library branch.  I called and signed up over the phone.  They told me which book to read and I read it.  I had never met any of the other group members until tonight.

"I'd like to introduce to you our newest member, Fran Fletcher," the group leader told everyone else.

They turned and looked at me as if examining me for some sort of intellect between my ears.  I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. 

The leader continued, "Well, Fran, why don't we start off with you telling us your thoughts on the symbolism on page 25."

Page 25?  I didn't even remember what was on page 25.  I started to panic.  I needed to say something, anything.

"I really liked it," I said.

I saw one of the others roll their eyes.  But at least someone else offered their opinion.

One of the men said, "I thought it was very skillful how the author was able to talk about the hypocrisy of the age under the veiled constructs of social conventions."

"Yes, I agree," another said. "Parts of the novel were very existential."

I sat there dumbfounded.  Had they read the same novel I did?  I didn't even know what existential meant yet alone how it related to what I had read.  It seemed like just an old romance story written 200 years ago to me. 

These people were very intellectual.  It was obvious they read not just to read but to evaluate.  I read just to read.  This was nothing like I expected.  I'm never going back.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Shadow

It took some time to settle into my new home.  I won't lie.  I thought by simply making the change I would feel better, but that wasn't the case.  It took me three weeks before I could sleep through the night without waking up.

Mama is still convinced I'm going to come running home.  Either way, she says, I'm screwed.  I'll either be paying a mortgage for nothing or I'll be breaking a lease.  Little does she know I found a short-term renter for my old house.  It's some guy who is moving to the county and is looking for a place to stay while he decides where to live.  I made him sign a three-month lease.  If the house doesn't sell before that, I'll auction it off.

Anyway, I did something today that is pretty ambitious.  I went up to Net Tech on my lunch hour and asked all kinds of questions.  I found out all about what a typical life is like.  I also found out graphic artists make a lot more money than I do without all the hassles.

I was very careful not to let Bill see me.  I don't think I would know what to say if I came across him.  That I'm researching careers because I loath where I work?  That I was too stupid to go to college at age 18 like everyone else?  That I really, really want to work where he does so I can see him everyday?

I found out a lot of information.  Still don't think I'm ready to sign up for classes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

First Night

I can't sleep.  I just looked at myself in the bathroom mirror.  My eyes are bloodshot and I look terrible.  Good thing I don't have work tomorrow.  Otherwise I would have to call off.

So Mama said I was meant to stay in our hometown.  I don't want to admit that she's right, but there is too much noise here.

Let me tell you all the things that are annoying me right now.

  1. Traffic
  2. Pedestrians
  3. The furnace
  4. Owls
  5. The beating of my heart
  6. The clock in the kitchen
  7. Raccoons

Monday, October 15, 2012

Moving Day

Today was moving day.  My furniture looks so horrible in this new, nicer home but so long as I never invite anyone here no one will be any the wiser that my furniture is crap.  Well, they might be if they say Brandon delivering it in his business truck.

If anyone was home and watching, they would know.  The Fletcher's Junk truck gave it away.

Of course the day was not perfect.  If it wasn't the truck making me die of embarrassment, it was Brandon looking like a slob.  Really, the new neighbors probably think some hillbilly has moved next door.  How am I going to fit in with these people?

Even the day started out horribly.  Before we even left town, the truck got a flat tire.  Mama came over while Brandon was fixing it and told me it was a clear sign I wasn't meant to leave.

"How could you say that?"

"You shouldn't leave, Fran.  You're meant to be here."

I swallowed hard.  I hoped it was all her being dramatic.  If I'm meant to be stuck in our small town, then that means I'm meant to be stuck in the life I don't like  -- forever.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rearview Window

I'm so glad I am moving.  And not just for the reasons I've been talking about either.  My creepy neighbor, Hoss, has made me loose sleep.  Something is going on next door, I'm telling you.

I was looking outside earlier, just looking outside, not looking for anything in particular when I saw it.  Hoss was dragging something across his backyard.  I don't know what it was, but I have seen people drag bags of leaves or yard debris.  I've seen gardeners working.  This was not like that.

Whatever it was he was dragging it from his garage to his shed.  I can't see his garage from my back window.  I just know where it is located.  I could somewhat see in the shed but the lighting was very dim.  It looked like he had a vat of something sitting in there.  No, not a vat, exactly, but a large barrel, like the bobbing for apples barrel only larger.

I was tempted to call the cops, but wasn't sure they would do anything.  If nothing is there, then Hoss will know I was the nosy neighbor who snitched on him.  I'll just be happy when I'm out of here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm Moving

"What is it, Fran, that you had to have all us over here?"


I looked around my living room.   I had called my parents and Brandon over to tell them about the townhouse.  I didn't have the heart to tell Granny.  I figured she would hear it from someone and then tell me I'm insane again.  This was hard enough as is without putting myself in that position.

"Well, Dad, I've decided to move."

"Oh, well, you're being so dramatic about it.  What's the big deal?  You probably need something with a little lower maintenance.  There are some newer homes across town you might want to take a look at once you find a realtor."

"Next week.  I'm moving next week.  I already signed a lease on a townhouse in the city."

Mama rolled her eyes.  "Fran, you still own this house.  Don't you think you should have sold it first?"

"I'll sell it.  I'll auction it if I have to, but I'm moving."

"You're going to be paying mortgage and rent at the same time.  This won't be doing your credit or bank account any favors."

"Properties move fast in the city.  If I didn't sign the lease, it would be gone."

"Then you find another one, Fran.  Really, do you have no common sense?"

Dad sat there with his arms folded across his chest while Mama, next to him, seemed very angry at me. Only Brandon said nothing.

We sat there in silence for several minutes.  It was exactly responses like that from Mama that proved why I need to leave here and find my own way.

"Okay," Brandon said, "if you're going to put yourself in financial jeopardy, the least I can do is help you move."

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Rental

After work today, I did something very unexpected.  Well, unexpected to anyone who knows me because I haven't expressed to anyone my desire to move away from my hometown.  Everyone thinks I love it here, but I hate it.  It's too small, too boring and, maybe most important, the older I get the less I can stand the commute.

So I made an appointment to see a townhouse in the city.  I thought I would just take a look at it to see what is available and what it looks like and what I can afford.  Little did I know I would absolutely love it.

It has white siding on the front and, even though it's located in the city, the street is quiet.  Not as quiet as the roads here, of course, but still quieter than downtown.  The inside was updated recently.  It looks so much nicer than my house.  Soooo much nicer.  It's bright and open and the appliances aren't about to die.  I really liked the paint colors and the view from the windows.  And my commute would be cut quite a bit.

I was so completely unprepared for loving it that the thought of loosing it put a pit in the bottom of my stomach.  I signed a one-year lease.

Now to tell everyone I'm moving.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I Need a Change

I've thought really long and hard since my birthday and the laundry list of apologies I was forced to make as a consequence of it.  I've come to the conclusion that I need a change, a major change not just a new nail polish color.

And I need a change in numerous aspects of my life.  So I've decided to do something about it.  I just don't know what yet.

Here is my list:

  • I need a new job.  Hate the current one.
  • I'd love to be a graphic designer.  Need to go back to school.
  • This town is too damn small.
  • I date losers and I what that says about me.  I so want to date someone who isn't a loser but has goals, dreams and ambitions.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm Sorry, I Guess

I've been looking back over the past few days, specifically my birthday party.  I suppose I owe a number of people an apology.  Mama, especially, I'll need to do something nice for but I have plenty of other apologies to make.

I also suppose I really did overreact at the party just like Mama was trying to tell me.  I just didn't want to listen.  I felt hurt she had gone behind my back and planned something even though she knew I was dreading, fearing, this birthday.  I never even saw Dad.  He's probably embarrassed by me.

But Granny's comment really did hurt and it hurt in a much different way than the planning of the party.  Does she really think I need to see a shrink?  Honestly?  Am I that mess up that I need professional help?

So, anyway, I have all these apologies I have to make and no idea where to start.  I guess I'll call Mama and ask to see her.

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's a Party -- Part 2

When I awoke I was laying on the couch with a wet washcloth on my forehead.  Everyone was standing around staring at me.  At first, I thought I was dreaming but then I remembered where I was.  It was my 30th birthday party.

Almost immediately, I sat bolt upright and screamed at the top of my lungs.

Mama tried to calm me down, but I had to let my frustration out and nothing anyone did was going to stop it.  When I could finally breath, I looked around the room.  I was so livid, I couldn't even remember who some of the people were.

"Why did you do this to me?  You knew I didn't want a party.  You knew I didn't want to be reminded of my birthday."

Mama said, "Why would I want to forget my youngest child's birthday?"

I climbed up on the back of the couch.  "You've ruined my life.  I'll never be able to show my face around this town again."

"I think you're overreacting."

"Overreacting?  How am I suppose to react when my own mother makes a fool of me?"

"Fran, it took a lot of hard work planning this party."

Granny took Mama's arm and said, "Susanne, leave her alone.  Some people can't be helped."

To me, she said, "You need a shrink."

That was it.  I couldn't take it anymore.  I took my things and I left.  So much for the people who love me.
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