Tag Archives: My entire life is a string of weirdly handled moments

Untitled post- a free-form poem.

Cat

I told my mother I had a boyfriend over coffee when the sun was rising
She told me to be careful and refilled my coffee cup.
No relationship brought to a sudden end
from the secret I just offered up.

I talked to my mother about my boyfriend in a coffee shop with a teacup in my hands.
I tell her he reminds me of a cat and my father.
She tells me about when she got engaged
and how communication is worth the bother.

I admitted to my brother I have a boyfriend in my truck with the radio on
He said “oh, I remember” and stuck his hand out the window
I found out my mother had told most of my family
and that none were terribly shocked to know.

I tell my boyfriend about my mother in pieces at a time when I think of them
Mentioning the ten children, the cooking
and how she fosters puppies with 3.6 legs
And he doesn’t say much, just listening.

I wait for the world to crumble to pieces because of my boyfriend
Sharing my business and mixing my worlds isn’t comfortable
but these people care about me more than anything
In the end, listening is all I really need.

Nice Costs Nothing

I’m the oldest of 10 children. I have five brothers and four sisters, and this is only slightly above average size in my family. Children are blessings, bundles of joy that are prayed for, begged for, rejoiced over.
So naturally, there’s a lot of them.

From the time I was 2, I have been an older sister. I’m now almost 20 and I still have tiny people as siblings. The youngest are four now, and even though they are definitively the last biological children my parents will have, there are 16 years between my birthday and theirs.
I have been in charge of small children, in control of their survival and health, for probably more years than I should have been. I have a remarkable ability to track wandering toddlers, and juggling wiggling babies is second nature.
The other second nature I have walked away with- slightly related to the first and unavoidable, in my opinion- is a terrifyingly fierce protective instinct. A friend once labelled it a hero complex.
I love an underdog with every fiber of my being. People who cannot protect themselves instantly earn my protection, and I will fight to the hyperbolic death for their cause.

I don’t qualify myself as a nice person to most people. If you’re going to harass me on the street or waste my time with inanities, I’m not a nice person.
If being nice involves lying about my feelings on a matter, then I’m not a nice person. I will not tolerate your nonsense or laziness, and ignorance or cruelties will gain you my harshest words. Continue reading

Perhaps.

Perhaps the world is a place in which we struggle.

Life is not a simple task. It’s something we try at every single day that we breathe, and something we die feeling like we never quite finished completely.
I have days where I feel like I graduated yesterday and I’m just starting on my real life, and there are days- weeks, more like- where I feel like I’ve wasted every productive point in my life.
Because obviously I’ll work fast food forever.
Who else would hire you?
What else is even the point in trying?
You just know you’ll get turned down.
No one wants you.

Perhaps the most difficult thing I do is to put on that pair of jeans that’s a bit darker wash than the others and looks slightly more professional, tug on some shoes that aren’t converse, and try and do my hair to make me look not-seventeen again.
Presenting the best I have over and over again, just to be told it isn’t good enough, is crushing.

And yet, I can honestly sit here and type that I am the happiest I’ve ever been.
Oh, there will always be bad days. Bad days are as inevitable as the last cookie in a package.

But maybe we should live for the days where you go to bed happy, or at least content.
For the days when the tea brews just right, and you can watch the milk swirl around the spoon.
For the breezes that come through your bedroom window and smell of lilacs, as you’re drifting off to sleep.
For the person in some unknowable house, playing a song called What A Wonderful World. Because it is.
For those days when you shake your hair out after stumbling out of bed, and it falls in supermodel waves around your face, clear for once.
For five pound bags of tater tots.
For that “Rocky” feeling after you sprint across the parking lot in the rain, and you’re not even out of breath.
For that weirdly satisfying moment when you finally get to the bathroom and you can finally pee.
For good-butt jeans.
For canned mandarin oranges, because why do they even taste so good?
For that overwhelming feeling of thank you when you look at someone, and you’re just grateful that they spend time with you.
For those people you meet for ten minutes, and they say something in those ten that you think about for years afterwords, and contemplate it while you zone out and fill your mind.
For standing by a window, and feeling the sun warm the backs of your thighs and the inside of your soul.
For standing back and admiring a freshly washed window.
For the two hours you can spend cleaning the house, and then it looks really good.

My life has been, by no means, perfect. I complain a lot, and very articulately. But it’s a good life.
I am happy. And I predict that I will only get happier in the months to come.

Tracks and Childhood

Humans are incredibly nostalgic creatures.
The lengths to which we will go are incredible, when childhood memories or memorabilia are involved.
Why do you think vintage action figures are so valuable? Why else is scrapbooking a massively successful industry? People are terrified of losing themselves, as defined by physical and mental imprints on the world.
If you ask anyone what their first car was, they will be able to respond almost instantly. Most people probably still remember the first big purchase they made with their own money. Almost everyone has their first home address memorized, and home videos are full of “baby’s first things”. Sounds and smells and textures are all physical triggers in accessing memory banks.

Last week, I moved out of the apartment I’d been staying in for the past few months. I’d moved in with my best friend at the time, and we had been planning to get a house together when her lease expired at the apartment complex. However, over time, differing schedules and lifestyles created a good number of tensions, and there were several long, tearful conversations, where frustrations and personal affronts were discussed at length.
I don’t know about anyone reading this, but I never enjoy those sorts of conversations.
All in all, stresses were high, and something needed to change.
So change, it did.

In the space of an afternoon, months and years worth of planning, wishing, and dreaming culminated in my moving into a tiny, two-story house.
The roof needs replaced, the doors don’t quite seal all the way, and the floors creak when you walk across them.
The bathroom floor leaks into the kitchen if the bathtub gets a little too excited.
The back yard isn’t fenced.
The floors give you splinters if you drag your feet.
The windows stick, and most of them don’t open, unless they’re the ones that have been replaced.

But there are radiators in every room downstairs, rippling with heat, and providing a toasty seat to chilled bottoms.
The floors are a light, golden-brown hardwood, and when it catches the sunlight, it glows.
There’s a threshold between living room and dining room that to a seven year-old, embodies the glory and power of a thundering river. She will spend many years leaping across it, imagination aglow with the feat.
The stairway has a narrow ledge parallel the top half of it, and a ten year-old girl likes to walk along it and pretend a bottomless chasm drops away below her bare feet. She will stand at the end and curl her toes over the edge while she watches family members trudge up the stairs in a routine they don’t even think about.
The upstairs bathroom is bigger than the master bedroom, there’s a funny, slanted corner to one room, where there wasn’t quite enough room for both the stairs and the bedroom, so they had to share.
The closets are all at least six feet deep, and one of them was big enough to hold the world of a thirteen year-old as she dreamed about boys, wrote about fantasy worlds, and hid from the outside world under her blankets. The evidence is still scribbled on the walls, if you care to decipher the handwriting.

Now, a nineteen year-old lives in the master bedroom, stocking feet folded under her legs to protect them from the drafty cold. Boxes are scattered about the floor, and clothes are on the floor, for want of a better place to go. The rooms are empty and they echo, and the upstairs had to be aired out for two days to get rid of the stenches of cigarettes and pot that were lurking in the corners.
Tatty carpet pieces have been rolled up, explicit DVD’s discovered in closets, and floors scrubbed and refinished.

It’s been half a decade at least, but this blog post is proof that some dreams do come true, if you’re willing to wait.
I now live in my childhood home, and I don’t plan to be going anywhere soon.

When All Else Fades

Here’s the thing.
Many of my posts are to do with how much I don’t like people, or particular persons, or how I wish they would all go away.
If it wasn’t already obvious, I have my walls. I shove people away when they get too friendly too fast, and I’m perfectly content to be by myself.
Mostly.

I recently discovered that someone into which I had been pouring a lot of my time and energy wasn’t all that keen on me. That they didn’t care, would probably be more accurate.
If I’m honest, it wasn’t entirely platonic, at least on my end. But that’s not the part that hurt. Not most of it.
The part I don’t understand- what really gets me- is that they just let me keep trying to win them, let me keep pouring myself into them, when they knew it would never happen. I wanted so badly to be in their inner circle, and they knew it.

I’ve had two or three conversations in my life that have made me want to curl into a ball and just close my eyes. To forget that I had to ever get up and carry on.
This was one of them.

So now, if my pattern holds, I will retreat into my walls of composure and collection. I will pretend to be okay.
Co-workers tease me about being emotionless, or a robot, or that I’m incapable of feeling anything aside from malevolence.
Times like this, that comes in handy.

When you take away everyone and everything else, what I have left is me.
I have my coping mechanisms and my imagination and my incredible ability to think myself away from situations.
What more do I need?

It’s Not A Neck Tattoo, It’s A Life Decision

Alternate titles for today’s post were as follows.

Neck Tattoos and Boyfriends
Please Don’t Flirt With Me (ft. I WILL Hurt You)

Dear the extremely creepy guys in the janky old car in drive through,
When you pull up to the drive through window and immediately lean forwards to stare at me, I see it. I know what you’re doing, and exactly where your eyes are lingering. (Here’s a hint, my face is up here. You know, with the eyes?)
Your cheekbone piercing is not attractive. You leering at me, looking me up and down before you hand me the money, or refusing to let go for just a split second too long, is not appreciated. Yelling at me as the window closes makes me want to ignore you.

When I open the window, before you grin, before asking if I have a boyfriend, I would like you to stop and think for just a moment, no matter how foreign this concept is to you.
I have been taking orders, making drinks, checking bags, paying out, and handing out food to customers like you for almost 2 hours now. As you speak to me, I have another order in my ear, and this person wants their order taken right exactly now and exactly right. I made at least four drinks while you stared at me, and have not stopped moving since I’ve been in your field of vision. And yet I have stopped all of my other tasks to focus on you. I hope you feel special.
Do I have a boyfriend, you ask?

The answer is no. But you don’t get to know that. If I answer you truthfully, you will take it as an invitation to press your advances on me. You will take it as a personal challenge to get me a boyfriend- probably you or your creepy friend. You will never leave my drive through, and I have times to make.
So yes. If you’re asking, I have a boyfriend.

I can see the frustration on your face.

“Are you just saying that?”

Now, isn’t that interesting. How many other girls have you interrogated?
How many have made the mistake of answering you truthfully?
Do you now expect women to lie to you as a default response?
I feel sorry for your previous interests. I wish you knew how to take ‘no’ for an answer.
Here’s your food! Have a great night, sir.

Pride and Prejudice

Here’s the honest, harsh truth.

Working fast food is humble, degrading work. You have no personality, no individuality, and very little value, if you can get someone to be honest with you.
You’re not part of a specialized team, in which each member serves a specific and vital purpose. You are a worker drone. Fast food kitchens have stations and assigned duties, for which they need the most compatible option. All you are is a place holder.
Of course, no one thinks about that. They come in and they make friends and they pour their heart and soul into this job, making 8 and something an hour.
People invest in this job and you can tell who does and who doesn’t.
People get good and they make impressions.
Some customers appreciate that, and will smile reassuringly when you can’t fight a yawn anymore, or they’ll slip you three bucks because they’ve been there and know that three dollars means you eat tonight.
Some people will even write in on the ridiculous internet survey and tell the entire store how cool they think you are.

But not everyone is like that.
There are people who are fortunate enough to never had to have worked fast food.
There are people who just don’t care.
These are the customers we dread and can do nothing about, because if we act on our frustrations, these people will complain and we will be forced to give them more of what they want and they still wont be gone.

With this to think about, I present to you five rules of fast food restaurants.

Continue reading

When It Hit the Fan. . .

Hey look, Laura’s blogging! That must mean a person did a thing at work!

Ahem.

So around ten tonight (tonight being a relative term) a coworker of mine got off work. As is often the habit of people here, he decided to get food and eat it here before leaving. A few minutes after the end of his shift, he walked back in from outside and gathered an audience to tell a story.

He’d gone outside to get his wallet from his car, and had seen an older woman full-out running towards the door. Not thinking too much of it, he came in the front door to see the door to the women’s bathroom (directly adjacent to the front door) closing with a small child already hauling their britches down, door still open.

Innocent giggles were had at the idea of bared cheeks, and we went on about our work. About 20 minutes later, the manager running the floor turned up and picked me to clean bathrooms.
While gathering the supplies, the person who’d just relieved me from the front cash register approached.

“Hey,” he said. “Why is my cleaning bucket on the counter?”

“I think you’ll find that’s my bucket,” I replied.

“I’m sorry, but it’s mine. Right now this whole area is mine. See those cups? Mine. See this drawer? Are your initials on it? No? Mine.”

The whole exchange was light-hearted enough, but not really liking someone can do wonders to kill a mood.

I retreated, letting him win.

The men’s bathroom was cleaned with no remarkable happenings, and then I went to the women’s.
Up till then, I’d completely forgotten the recently-told story.
I walked into the bathroom to be hit with a wall of stench with which I am all too familiar.

Fecal matter was spattered on the floor. It was on the front of the bowl. It had sprayed across the back and over the seat. I stood and stared at it briefly, sprayed it down with my cleaning solution, and beat a strategic retreat.

Walking back into the kitchen, all I was hoping for was that Jeremy, the storytelling-coworker, was still here.
I found him in the break room.

“So, Jeremy,” I said, setting my cleaning supplies on the table. “You know that story you were telling about that kid?”

“Yeah.”

“And how they were rushing to get their pants down?”

“Yeah.”

“I was just in the women’s.”

*choking noise* “Oh no.” *starts laughing*

“Do you want to guess what color it was?”

At this point, he had stopped eating and was nearly out of his chair laughing.
Another coworker walked up at this point and asked about the laughter, so I retold the story. I got to the point where I posed the question: “Guess what I found in there?” and someone passing the break table eagerly shouted the fitting expletive.
“Actually,” I said. “Yes. Also on the floor.”

When I walked back up towards the front register and the door leading to the toxic bathroom, I found the coworker I didn’t particularly like doing not very much.

“You know how we were talking about how front cash is your responsibility?” I said, in my most charismatic voice.

“Yeah,” he said, giving me a suspicious look.

“Well, you know bathrooms is part of that, right?” I proffered the cleaning spray and paper towels. “I’ll watch your drawer.”

With a sigh, he took the supplies, smirked at me, and turned and set them down behind him.

“I’ll get to them,” he said.

“Like, soon?” I asked. Pranks aside, the bathroom really did need to be cleaned before someone went in there and came to complain.

“Yeah, I gotcha.”

“…so, before another person goes to the bathrooms, right?”

“Yeah, yeah.”

I was determined not to surrender this one, so I leaned on the counter, folded my arms, and stared him down.

“…you’re just gonna wait there until I go, aren’t you?”

I nodded.

*sigh* “Alright. Fine.”

He grabbed the supplies and left. Immediately, I turned and hurried back to the break room.
Jeremy doesn’t trust me when he sees me smile like that, and immediately frowned at me when I returned to the break room.

“I made Hank do it,” was all I said, and Jeremy choked on his food again.
“Does he know what happened in there?” was his first question.
“He was standing right here listening to the story,” I replied.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone heading back towards the break room. Turning, I saw Hank, a full forty seconds after heading to the bathroom. He set the cleaning supplies on the table, exhaled loudly, and frowned at me.

“No,” he said. “That’s disgusting.”

I’m not going to pretend I’m not peeved by the woman letting her kid bomb our bathroom so completely and then leave without cleaning it up OR ordering a single item, let alone telling us about it. I obviously didn’t enjoy having to clean up the poop.
But, all in all, there are few pranks that have happened so beautifully and paid off so well.

Open Letters

Dear the sir that came through the drive-through just after we closed and turned all the lights off,

I have some very specific and violent feelings of, we’ll call it, gratitude, towards you, for sitting in my drive through for a solid ten minutes, during which time you made complicated requests, frequently changed your order, and sat in silence for a good period before finally deciding that you had ordered enough food.

Two of the items you ordered, if you recall, usually require nacho cheese in their construction. It is unfortunate, I must agree, that we had just run out of nacho cheese.
When we told you this, your most gracious of reactions was to tell us that you would ‘accept’ it with shredded cheese. How kind of you.
You then went on to order three more items that usually require nacho cheese.

Again, your tolerance for our shredded cheese is most appreciated.

It is because of you, good sir, that I got fried potato bites thrown at me in frustration. My night would not have been complete without this experience.

With (obviously) the most sincere and non-sarcastic gratitude,
Your drive-through worker.

Dear the sir that came through our drive through 51 minutes after we had closed,
I understand you had only the purest of motivations in telling us that indeed, we should have been open until two AM. I’m sure you were correct, and that all of our computers, the six employees there, and the past however many Thursdays this establishment has seen have all been incorrect. We are indeed, open until 2 AM.
How could we have been so foolish?

What’s that?
You wanted food? Well, I must apologize. Due to our oversight of closing an hour before we should have, all of our food has been put away or thrown out. It simply wouldn’t do to prepare a whole new batch of all the ingredients, now would it?

What’s that? You’re gone?

What a shame.

Sincerely, your drive-through worker, who is no longer in uniform, with aid from the other three workers who aren’t in uniform either, as well as all the lights in the building, which were off, with special mention going to the internet for listing our hours for anyone to see.

Dear the sirs that came through the drive-through 14 seconds before we closed,

You showed the fruits of your college education well tonight.
“You guys close at two, right?”
Alas, though you meant well, you were incorrect.
“Oh. Well, can we get the menu lights on?”
No.

So sophisticated!!

Is it just me, or do we love to masquerade as extremely professional and dignified people? Grownups nowadays all seem to be making up adulthood as they go along, be it with pantsuits or less dramatic hair colors in an attempt to project a more ‘professional’ or ‘mature’ image. Any way you slice it, almost no one has any idea what they’re doing.

Except for that one friend whose life looks like a walking pinterest board.

We all have that friend.

My favorite way of feeling ‘adult-ish’ is by drinking coffee beverages that aren’t laden with whipped cream and sugary syrups.
I mean, I still love me some white-chocolate raspberry mocha. But if you ever see me order a caramel macchiato and then stand sedately by the pickup counter, my inner monologue is probably self-congratulation on my very mature and grownup choice.

You go, self! You drink that slightly bland coffee! Remind yourself why you tend to go for other drinks, and that you don’t really enjoy this too much! We all know you secretly like this drink, right?

Meh.

Of course, I’ll be doing all this while wearing a fandom t-shirt and with a stuffed toy on my keychain.
So, I don’t know how that balances out.