Tag Archives: dogs

I Legitimately Sell A Product Called “Mr. Sticky” At a Store Called “B.J.’s.”

27 Nov

I recently just starting working a second job. This is because I am a 23 year old college graduate, and apparently that’s what we’re supposed to do… like, work multiple jobs until we can afford to, you know… be alive. Basically, I’m a live infomercial girl, but I think the official title is “sales representative.” I like saying that. Before when people asked me “So, what do you do?” I would say “I’m a singer/dancer!” Then, their faces would fade a bit, and to cover up their confusion, they’d all say some rendition of “Ooohh… that must be, fun?” or “How neat! Great! Cool! So, you like… get paid to… do that?” 

Now, when someone asks me “So, what do you do?” I get to say, “I’m a sales representative for a large outsourcing company.” Now people’s faces don’t fade. Absolutely not. Now they just nod in validation. I feel important. I feel like I’m finally a part of “normal” society. I have a “normal” job. I get to wear “business casual” attire and “sensible” shoes. 

But basically what I do is go into big, classy stores like Sears, K-Mart, and… BJ’s. (I am, unfortunately, not joking about this establishment’s name… It’s basically the southern equivalent to a Sam’s Club.) I put on little 20 minute shows selling different products.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that deep down, behind this writing, I’m actually feeling sort of resentful about my please-buy-this-product-so-I-can-afford-the-expensive-kind-of-cheese-at-the-deli job. But you couldn’t be more wrong! This job actually makes me very happy. While I may not be onstage in a theme park singing a blazing rendition of “I’m Walkin’ On Sunshine” to a giant golden toilet and a mob of attention-deficit teenagers (Please see former post: I’m Walking On Gibberish… WOAH) this job still fulfills my need to perform. After all, I’m in front of people. I’m talking to them, telling them how awesome something is, and at the end of my little pitch I get instant gratification. If I did a good job, they buy the product. If they don’t, it’s not like I “don’t get the part.” That’s the beauty of this job: I already have the part. I just have to make an adjustment or something in order for my performance to be more convincing and effective.

Right now, the company has me selling a product called… “Mr. Sticky.” (I am, unfortunately, not joking about this product’s name, either.) You may have seen this on TV, you may have not. Basically, it’s a life time guaranteed lint roller, which means “never ever as long as you own this will you EVER have to buy a refill!!!!” No, but seriously guys, this thing is pretty bad ass. It literally cleans anything- cars, glass, ceiling fans, counter tops, live dogs- and it never stops being sticky. You just rinse it off with water to clean it, dry it off, and BAM- it’s right back to being sticky again. The best part about the job is that I don’t feel like Matilda’s skeezy car salesman father or anything selling this thing. It actually is a great product.

So today was my first day of training. I’m paired up with one other representative, Jenny, who is an absolute angel. She’s one of the top sellers of our area, so I’m learning from the best. The whole day I was able to watch Jenny do her pitches, take notes, and learn by observation. I’m not completely memorized on my script yet (I’m close!) and in between her pitches we’d practice on my performance.

As always, watching human beings proved to be a very insightful experience. The first pitch, I was feeling pretty nervous and out-of-place. Obviously, I was in training, so… was I supposed to act like I wasn’t associated with Jenny at all? Was I supposed to “ooh” and “ahh!” when Mr. Sticky proved to be sticky again after just one rinse? I ended up just kind of standing off to the side, not saying much, and participating only when the entire group was expected to touch Mr. Sticky or something. (Yes, I do get joy from telling people to “go ahead and touch Mr. Sticky. You know you want to.”)

I learned a lot today from watching and listening, but the most valuable thing I learned today is as follows: People. Are. Nuts.

I think that’s the major lesson I’ve learned since graduating college. Going out into the real world where you’re exposed to… everyone… you start to realize that human beings are actually insane to the membrane. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

For example: Our first pitch today. I stood off to the side, quietly watching Jenny go through the live infomercial presentation. I was taking mental notes when I noticed that near the back of the group, a man who quite resembled Clint Eastwood in Grand Torino was standing, arms crossed, looking like he was about to shoot someone in the kneecap with a shotgun. I wondered what on earth could be the matter… didn’t he want the free gift that we offer everyone at the beginning of every sales pitch? Was he dissatisfied with his free gift? If he was so angry, why was he still standing here? He could leave at any time…

Clint continued to look at Jenny like she was his life-long enemy. I was actually pleasantly surprised when he didn’t punch the back of the woman’s head in front of him. Jenny was nearing the end of her pitch, and still, there Clint stood, arms crossed, brow furrowed, lips curved slightly downwards in a dissatisfied grimace. I mean if I’m being honest here, he looked like a rhinoceros concentrating on fighting off a rectal infection. I was expecting Clint to throw his hands up in the air, mutter something about the filthy Japs taking over our economy, and return to browsing the chainsaw section of Sears, when Clint threw his prune-like hand up into the air.

Clint: (sandpaper voice) I’ll take three.
Jenny & I:

Then, later, a large African American woman pushed her way to the front of the counter and took full advantage of Jenny asking her to “get a front-row seat.” Throughout the entire presentation, this woman looked like Jenny was selling the world’s first flying car for 12 bucks. I’m serious. Her eyes were as big as tea saucers. Her mouth could have been an acceptable storing place for a clementine. But the most amazing this about this woman is that she was completely silent. She literally did not make a SOUND. I mean usually, people will “ooh” and “ahh!” and answer the rhetorical questions during the presentation. Oh no. Not this woman. The only thing on her body that reacted to anything Jenny said was her face.

Jenny: And the best part about Mr. Sticky is that it comes with a lifetime guarantee, which means never ever as long as you have this will you ever have to buy a refill!
Woman: (Makes a face as if someone just told her she won a million dollars in a library.)
Jenny: Look! All you do to clean it is put it in a little hot water- see that?- and all of that hair and dust and debris just falls right off, literally falls off
Woman: (Makes a face as if someone just showed offered her a ride on a real-life unicorn during the most somber moment of New York Ballet’s  production of “Swan Lake.”)
Jenny: So! You get Mr. Sticky, the Jr. Sticky, AND the GIANT STICKY all for just 29.99 today!
Woman: (Head explodes.)

I was completely positive this woman was not only going to buy a Mr. Sticky for herself, I thought she was going to buy one for everyone who she had ever been introduced to in her entire life. By the way this woman was looking at the presentation, you would have thought her day, her year, her entire LIFE had changed, all because of Mr. Sticky.

Jenny: Okay! So, I need you guys to tell me right now who wants one- you want one? You want one over there?- okay? Who else? You want one?
Woman: (COMPLETELY DEADPAN)

I AM NOT JOKING. It’s like this woman FROZE up when Jenny asked her if she wanted a Mr. Sticky. You would have thought Jenny asked, “Would you like to tickle my thighs near the employee entrance when I get off work?” with the reaction that this woman gave her. Absolutely appalled, absolutely offended, almost disgusted in a way. But I think the most interesting thing about this woman is that she didn’t leave. She was LITERALLY the last one to walk away from the booth. I mean just… just so awkward. It wasn’t even like she was standing around, debating if she wanted to spend 30 dollars on a lint roller. It was like she was sticking around (ha ha… see what I did there? Sticking around??? …sorry.)  just to give us the stink eye, after being COMPLETELY CHANGED by this lint roller’s existence.

And so, I reiterate: People. Are. Nuts.

I have to wake up early tomorrow to drive to another location that’s an hour away for day 2 of my training. I should probably go to bed. I mean, when I really think about it, my parents paid 40,000 dollars a year for me to sell a product called “Mr. Sticky” at a store called “B.J’s.” I should probably be well-rested for it.

 

 

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The Fastest Way To Turn Me Off

22 Oct

Day 41 of the 90 in 90 blog challenge.

The fastest way to turn me off is to have a piece of your lunch stuck in the space between your big tooth and the next one over. You HAVE to know it’s there. It’s just…so big. And it’s just… staring at me. You’re talking and making jokes and trying to make me laugh, and I’m smiling and nodding because I feel like I have to, when I’m really trying to figure out if you ate a hamburger or a brownie. I actually feel guilty, because you, my good sir, have poor dental hygiene. Do you understand that? YOU are making me feel guilty for YOUR oral shortcomings. (…That’s what she said….) No but really… it is.

The fastest way to turn me off is to not open the door for me. Why wouldn’t you do that? Like, why not? That’s like, How To Be A Gentleman, Chapter One. No, screw that, that’s not even IN the book because it’s just expected. Did some crazy woman in your past smack you across the face after you opened the door for her, screaming “I CAN OPEN MY OWN DOOR!” and abandon you in the doorway of Applebee’s? Because I’m pretty sure no one ever did that to you. I’m a fast walker, and I’m not going to do the whole “I’m going to walk slowly to time this out correctly so that you get to the door before I do, or at least we arrive at the same time…” thing. You are five inches taller than me. Your legs are at least three inches longer than mine. Keep up, and open the door. Please.

Maybe the fastest way to turn me off is to burp and blow it in my face and laugh and think that that’s flirting. It’s not flirting. That’s disgusting. Especially after you’ve eaten three hotdogs. With relish.

Or, you can turn me off when you scratch your sweaty armpit and then scratch your nose absentmindedly two minutes later.

When you don’t tell me I look nice after I’ve spent TWO HOURS of my LIFE getting ready, well- that kind of makes me want to scream, “DONT YOU EVEN CARE THAT I HAVE SOMEHOW MANAGED TO WEAR EYELINER AND HEELS IN THE SAME DAY?!?”

I get turned off when you brush my leg and say “Ooo! Babe! …That’s prickly!” Okay look… I can’t just have my legs feeling silky smooth at every moment that I’m in your masculine presence. I am a human being, and I have hair, and I get goosebumps sometimes…just like you. I shaved last night. What more do you want from me?!

Also, I get turned off when you call me “babe.” It makes me feel like you call everyone that, and I don’t want to be your “everyone.”

I get turned off when you ruffle my hair. Yeah, sure, it’s cute but… I spent at least seven minutes meticulously placing every hair to hide my split ends and frizz. I’m going to need you to find a different way to flirtatiously tease me.

I get turned off when you haven’t read Harry Potter. And I’m not even going to apologize for that. Those were the books of our generation. If you haven’t read them, I judge you. And! If you did read them and you just “didn’t like them,” well… then we’re not going to be going on a second date, now are we? Nooo.

I get turned off when you don’t like fishing. I blame my father for this. But I won’t apologize for it, either.

I get turned off when you don’t like dragons. Dragons are probably the most bad ass mythical creature of any mythical creature… except for maybe griffins. And even still, a dragon could kill a griffin in like, one second.  If you don’t like mythical creatures, I question you. I question your manhood when you are indifferent towards dragons.

I get turned off when you quote every funny line of every funny movie you’ve ever seen in a ten minute period. I get it- you like funny movies. But they’re not as funny when you’re saying the lines. Keep the funny stick in your pants, Boso.

I’m turned off when you don’t say “bless you” when I sneeze. I know that’s ridiculous, but what am I supposed to do if you don’t say “bless you?” Just sneeze all over myself and proclaim “Bless me?!” That feels very strange. And yes, saying “bless you” after sneezing is an ancient social habit, originating from early peoples thinking that sneezing was the devil coming out of you. I know it’s stupid. But the only thing that’s more stupid than this ancient human habit is me being forced to bless myself. Just… don’t make me do it.

I’m turned off when you engage in conversation with my breasts, instead of my face. My lips are the ones speaking. If you’re not going to look in my eyes, at least look at my lips. They’re moving. And forming words. My boobs can’t form words. They’re pretty cool, I know, I live with them every day. But when it comes to doing tricks, they can’t do that. I promise.

I get turned off when you laugh too loudly at a quiet restaurant, like you’ve got to prove to us, and to the people around us, that we’re having a good time. If we’re having a good time, I think we’ll both know. Heck, and if you’re not sure, I’ll let you know! I’ll brush your ankle with my foot or something, I promise. Just… stop scream-laughing at the family of four behind us. Please.

I get turned off when you haven’t played Skyrim. (Again, this goes back to the dragon thing.) I get even MORE turned off if you’re playing and you don’t offer to let ME play. I like watching better, I promise. But I like when you at least offer me a chance to show my village slaughtering skills with an axe blade, okay? That’s romance right there.

I don’t like it when you don’t like animals. I actually question if you have a soul when you avoid cats and dogs. If you can’t see yourself owning pets, I can’t see myself saying, “I do.” That’s just the way it is.

There are plenty of other turn offs. But these are probably the biggest ones.

 

 

 

There’s A Special Place In Hell For People Who “Like” Sad Statuses

14 Oct

Day 34 of the 90 in 90 blog challenge.

As a writer, I like writing humorous things. I like writing funny anecdotes about my life and the people in it, in hopes of retaining my generally positive and not-so-serious outlook on life, while perhaps also hopefully brightening someone else’s day. I am not one to write about the upcoming election, human trafficking, or the shortcomings of our school systems. Those things are not funny, and honestly, they make me feel uncomfortable, at least. However, sometimes I am faced with a social issue that really affects me, deep down to the core. And I can’t help it, I have to address it in the written word. It is the only way I know how to try to make sense of these things, to me. And so, I’m going to use this blog post to really address a serious social issue, one that’s been really making me feel uncomfortable with the human population as a whole.

What is up with people “liking” terribly depressing statuses? No. Seriously. I cannot TELL you how many times I’ve gone online to find the most tear-jerking status ever recorded, and then sure enough BAM there are three jerk jockeys who “like” it. For example:

Everybody please pray for my father. He has just been diagnosed with *insert absolutely horrible disease here*, and it’s just been a really hard time for my family.
6 people like this.

Okay. Let me first, just…take this in…. (Ten second pause.)

Alright. Now that I’ve let that soak in… I just have to know who these six world class douche bags are. So, if you’re one of these people, just know that I am judging the CRAP out of you when my mouse scrolls over the “6 people like this” and your name pops up. Because… Are you serious? You LIKE this status? Oh you do? Oh really? You actually get enjoyment out of the fact that this person’s father is currently suffering, while you are currently scratching your upper thigh, drinking a beer, and “liking” statuses on Facebook? Okay. Cool. You know what? I DO hope they serve beer in hell. For your sake.

Hey facebook friends. I’m really struggling as far as my future/career direction is concerned. I could really use your prayers. Thanks.
12 people like this.

So let me get this straight… There are 12 people out there who get pleasure knowing that this person is questioning their future so deeply that they have now resorted to asking for prayers? You… like this?

But maybe I’m being too hard on people. Maybe they “like” this because they, too, are questioning their own future/career paths, and this status makes them not feel so alone. In that case, I would have to say stop being such a lazy piece of worthless lard, and type all of that into the comment box, instead of “liking” the fact that this person is struggle bussing it through their early 20’s.

This also works for changed relationship statuses. For example:

So-And-So went from “in a relationship” to “single.”
9 people like this.

Here’s the thing. I don’t even care if the newly single person “likes” it themselves. It’s still a broken relationship, and unless their ex was abusing them to the point of bodily or emotional harm, they’re probably not celebrating this. And heck! Even if they were in an abusive relationship, I bet you they’re still going to go through a time where they are sort of sad about it. PLEASE NOTE: I am in no way saying that we shouldn’t be happy about abusive relationships ending. I’m all for people being healthy and making healthy choices, and weeding out the disgustingly toxic people in their lives. I’m just saying that ALL relationships are messy, no matter how “good” or “bad” they are as a whole. And when any relationship comes to an end, there is usually a semi-depressing aftermath. The person whose changed relationship status this is, well… They’re probably going to feel a little sad at some point. They’re going to have lonely nights, sad times where they look back on the good and feel like they made the wrong choice, or that they could have been better, or done better by the other person. Let’s be honest: They probably aren’t going to go leaping through the streets, setting off confetti cannons and passing out “It’s Over” cookies, screaming “I AM COMPLETELY ALONE IN THIS WORLD!!!! WOOOO!!!!” So, in conclusion: To the 9 of you who whole-heartedly approve of this depressing grieving process, I’d like to take a moment and wish you a nice big “I hope you nine die alone in a cold, wet place.”

Rest in peace Patches. You were the best first dog a boy could ever hope for. I will miss you and love forever.
24 people like this.

WOAH!!! I didn’t realize I was living in a society that is so full of first-pet-ever haters!!! BUUUuuuuT, now that I’ve seen that 24 people are against, you know… dogs, I get it now. But hey! Maybe those 24 people were “liking” the fact that this person will “love and miss” Patches… forever. And to that I would have to say… do you scum heads realize how long forever is? This person is essentially stating that for every day that they live on this earth, a part of their heart will pine and yearn for their dead dog. Every day. And you like this fact? Okay. Cool. I hope someone drops a shovel on your bare foot… forever.

Like, I am actually convinced that if I were to write really depressing statuses, no matter if they’re true or not, there would be at LEAST three people who would “like” it. Seriously. I’m gonna try it:

I hate myself too much to go outside today.
11 people like this.

I went to college to be an artist for four years, and now I feel completely lost and ultimately confused about what I want out of my life, as a whole.
7 people like this.

I’m really self conscious of my fat arms always.
15 people like this.

Today I found out that my pet cat who “ran away” didn’t really run away. My dad found her dead in my neighbor’s bushes, and then proceeded to throw her in the woods to decompose in peace.
25 people like this.

No. No, you know what? Let’s just ALL try it. Why not!? Everyone just post something REALLY depressing, true or completely fictional (your choice), and then sit back and enjoy seeing who the sick, scum-licking joy suckers of your lives are. Then, I think you can take it from there.

But I, for one? I will be doing some SERIOUS de-friending.

Helga and Olga’s Moving Service

8 Oct

My Mom and I decided to rent a U-Haul truck in order to pick up all of the furniture that we agreed to purchase from Craigslist humans. I had always thought, somewhere in my little juvenile mind, that U-Haul trucks were always driven by experienced, trained truck driver mover people. I guess I never formulated the thought “U-Hauls are rented by every day people to help them move their every day items from one every day place to another.”

First, though, we have to find it. So, we pile into Dory and attempt to locate the U-Haul renting place.

Mom: Plug in Chester and see where he wants us to go.
Me: (Loving the ever-changing name of my GPS) Okay. Benny says to drive 3.2 miles and then make a left.
Jedediah: Drive, 3.2 miles. THEN- turn left.

We drive along, enjoying the sunny Florida weather and each other’s company. But the closer we get to our “final destination” the darker the skies start to get. The buildings go from tightly positioned business buildings, Paneras, and Wells Fargo banks to creepy, dirty abandoned garages with signs on the sides of them that say things like “Brakes R Us” and “Tires 4 Less.” We are actually entering a ghetto.

Mom: Are you sure Jack is taking us the right way?
Me: Yeah… he says this is the right way…

We finally see a big U-Haul sign and turn in.

Michelangelo: You have reached, your destination.
Mom:
Me:

We lock up Dory, and as we walk away, I can’t help but feel like this is the last time I’ll ever see her with perfectly in-tact windows. The guy inside helps us with our reservations, then leads us outside. I’m expecting a small truck, something sensible that will hold some bedroom furniture and a bookcase…. The U-Haul truck is the size of a small house. Like, a family of four could actually reside in it for a few days and not feel completely miserable. Mom and I exchange a look that says, “Are we seriously going to drive this beast right now?” So we get in. The dude checks our gas and everything and then closes the door.

Dude: (hitting the side of the door twice) Enjoy!

There is a moment of stunned silence. We look at each other. And then, Mom does this:

So we’re on the road again. Just, you know, driving along. It’s a little nuts because we have to swing WIDE on every turn.

Me: Oh, crap, Jason wants us to turn right up here. Swing it WIDE, Mom.
Mom: OH, I’ll swing it wide!
(The Beast starts to turn)
Me: WIDE! WIDE! WIDER!
Mom: I’M TURNING IT! I’M TURNING IT WIDE!!!!
(We complete the turn. There is a moment of silence. Then we both laugh hysterically, thoroughly pleased with ourselves.)

We follow Victor’s instructions (“Turn left! Then, stay on the right lane.”) and soon we find ourselves face to face with a toll booth. There are two lanes for this particular toll booth: E-Z pass, and EXACT CHANGE. There is no other option.

Mom: (forcefully calm) Um, Carolyn? I’m going to need you to get into my purse and see if I have any change.
Me: (slight panic) I don’t think we do! We used a lot yesterday on the toll roads-
Mom: CAROLYN. Look in my purse now. There is someone coming up behind us and I need to pay this toll.
Me: (rummaging through everything, trying to find her wallet) Are we going to be arrested in a U-Haul?!
Mom: How do the windows open!?
Me: (pulling out a dime) What?
Mom: HOW DO THE WINDOWS OPEN!?
The Car Behind Us: BEEEEEEP BEEEEEP!!!
Me: I don’t know!
Mom: I NEED CHANGE!
Me: I’M TRYING!!!
The Car Behind Us: BEEEEEPPPP!!!!
Me: (handing her some silver coins and praying it’s enough) HERE!
(I notice a sign that says “STAY IN VEHICLE” just as Mom opens the door of The Beast. She then decides to hitch half of her body out of the door. She chucks the coins into the toll slot, then looks back to the car beeping behind us and waves.)
Mom: SARRY!!!

We arrive at the first Craigslist house, which actually turns out to be an apartment. But remember how the skies were darkening earlier as we drove into the ghetto? Yeah, well, there was basically a monsoon that managed to hit and run, so now the path leading up to the first apartment is a lake. Seriously, the deepest, longest, dirtiest puddle I have ever seen.

Me: Great. This’ll be great.

We try to avoid Lake Puddlegan by avoiding the sidewalk all together and just walking through the grass, but this is like trying to avoid eating meat by going to a Hibachi steakhouse. It’s just… a stupid idea. I have on my brand new gold flats and I am not pleased that I now have to lug 10 ton wooden bedroom furniture through a marshland to get to the ramp-less four foot high U-Haul. We get to the apartment. We knock on the door. We wait. We knock again. We wait. No one answers. Then-

Distant Foreign Voice: I’M CAH-MING! I’M CAH-MING!

We turn all the way around away from the door and see a sweaty, jiggly Latina woman hurrying towards us across the marshy courtyard. She has her hair pulled back in a pony tail, and she’s obviously been moving things all day. She looks exhausted.

Latina: Sorry, I’ve just gatta few men movingha my new furniture in while you take the old stuff out! Cahm een! Cahm een!

We walk in, and we take a look at everything we have to move… A positively massive dresser with six drawers, a queen sized mattress, a box spring, a bed frame, an 8 ton headboard, and a 4 ton mirror for the dresser. Oh, and a sensible 2 ton side table with two drawers. Keep in mind this is all solid dark wood, okay? This shit is HEAVY. I immediately try to stifle a laugh because there is no way my middle-aged mom and I are going to be able to move all of this outside, through the lake, and UP and into that huge Beast.

But then, the movers who were helping move Latina’s new furniture into her apartment actually morphed into human gifts from God. They just started taking all of our furniture out to the Beast for us. I couldn’t believe our luck. I mean, sure, I still helped by taking the drawers outside, trudging through the marshlands, and lifting them up and into the truck. But before I knew what was happening, everything was in The Beast and we were pulling out, waving goodbye, and saying “Thank you!!!” so much they probably wanted to kill us. Maybe this day was going to turn out alright.

(Driving to the next house to pick up a couch and a loveseat.)
Me: Mom?
Mom: Yes dear?
Me: I’m going to start calling you Helga and you should call me Olga.
Mom: Haha! Helga and Olga’s moving service!
Me: Haha! Yeah!
Mom: Forget ze men! Ve wheel move eet ourselves!
Me: Hahaha! Exactly! I’m so impressed with our strength!
Mom: I’m fifty three years old. I’m too old for this.
Me: Ha ha… hey, um, Mom?
Mom: Yes Olga?
Me: There is literally no way that an entire couch and a loveseat are going to fit in this truck.
Mom: You underestimate me.
Me: AND a bookcase! We still have to get that huge bookcase!
Mom: It’ll fit.
Me: But HOW? Like, do you understand what I’m saying? There is no more-
Me: IT’LL FIT.

We arrive at Craigslist house #2. The Couch Apartment. We drive around this apartment complex for ten minutes, trying to find apartment 15. (Keep in mind we’re in a giant U-Haul, and the apartment complex’s turns are very sharp. “TURN IT WIDE! TURN IT WIIIIDDEEE!!!!”) The numbers go from 12… straight to 17. Oh. Okay. That’s just great. It makes zero sense, and it’s getting darker, and I’m pretty annoyed that at one point in time, someone actually thought it would be a good idea to have apartment 12 positioned next to apartment 17. I feel like I’m searching for platform 9 and 3/4. Finally, we go around to the back of the apartment building. As we go, I notice little mounds of dirt along the path. Oh. You know. Just some fire ant colonies, chillin.’ And then… we see it. We see a flight of stairs. It’s a narrow flight of stairs, very narrow, and very tall, with rails on each side.

Me: Um… Mom?
Mom: Just… just go.

Yep. It’s apartment 15. Of COURSE it is. So, we trudge up the stairs. An image of my mother and I attempting to carry a couch down this flight of death flashes through my mind. I knock on the door.

Dog: RAURAURAURAURAU!
Woman: DOWN! BACK!
Dog: RRRRAAAUUUUURAURAURAURAU!
Woman: BACK!!!
(The door opens, revealing yet another Latina woman, sweaty and tired from a day of moving.)
Woman: HELLOO!!!! Come een, come een, sorry! Everytheeng’s a mess-!
(Meanwhile, she is holding back the killer dog who is barring his teeth and barking and growling at us.)
Woman: Oh, don’ mind him! E’s harmless- DOWN! BACK! Hold onna minute, lemme jus put him away.
(She pulls the snarling dog into a bedroom, shoves him in, and slams the door before he can escape. The barking stops immediately. It’s kind of eerie in a way… I wonder what she keeps in there to keep the dog occupied…)

We look at the couches… How do I put this? They are actually the size of kayaks. Like, the length of kayaks, the width of refrigerators. And they weight about as much as a washer and dryer. A full washer and dryer… And ironing board. And a car. I tell myself that we are about to move these pieces of furniture down the flight of death, across a windy trail full of fire ants, and UP and into The Beast… which is already basically full of furniture. Okay, I think. We can do this.

Woman: So! Where are the movers?
Mom:
Me:
Mom: Well…You’re looking at them.
Woman: (Bursts out laughing)
Mom:
Me:
Woman: … Oh. Uh.. Okee then.

We decide that the couches are going to be too wide to move out of the front door, so we unscrew the feet. Mom positions herself in the front, and I bring up the rear.

Woman: Are you sure you’re gonna be-
Mom: Yep! We’ve got it.
Me: (Thinking) Do we, Mom? Do we really?
Woman: (skeptical) Okayee…

We shove the couch through the door, and immediately brace ourselves for the flight of death.

Mom: (forcefully calm and collected) Okay! Carolyn?
Me: (really struggling with the weight of the couch) Mrerrrugh Yeah??
Mom: Okay, when I tell you to push, push a little bit, okay?
Woman: (Muttered to me) Is she gonna be okee down there all by herself?
Mom: READY?
Me: Yeah.
Mom: One…
Me: She’ll be fine.
Mom: Twooo….
Woman: (actually praying) Dear Jesus…
Mom: THREE! PUSH!

Using all of my strength I push! I push as hard as I physically can! I keep pushing!!! But nothing happens.

Mom: Are you pushing?
Me: Uhggg yeah…
Mom: Well push harder!
Woman: Oh Jesus…
Me: I’m- ugh!- Trying!
Woman: Oh Jesus, oh guh-ness, lemme juss try to help you, okay?

Woman than proceeds to get with me on the back of the couch, and suddenly, the couch lurches forward.

Woman: OH JESUS!
Me: MOM!? Mom, are you okay down there??
Woman: I’m so sarry!
Mom: …Yep! Just… keep pushing!
Woman: Are you ALRIGHT!?
Mom: Yes, I’m fine! Just… Keep pushing!
Woman: Oh Dear Lord, oh Jesus… how old is she? Jesus…
Me: Ugh!- shes’s- UGH- fifty-three?

We keep pushing. I literally don’t know how my mom is accomplishing this. She is fifty three years old. She is in the front, literally holding the couch ABOVE her head by HERSELF… while Woman and I are struggling together with the back. I mean, I know my mom has been working out. She’s been doing these workout tapes at home, and she’s even been drinking this protein vitamin stuff… but in the words of Woman, dear LORD what are they putting in that crap!? She is actually the Hulk.

We finally get down the stairs and start along the winding path back towards the Beast. We’ve swiveled around, so now Woman and I are walking backwards towards the parking lot, leading the way. I trip over my own feet (“Oh JESUS, are you alright!?”) and my bare foot lands- you guessed it- in a mound of fire ants. Keep in mind I am still holding my third of this boat-couch. I try not to scream and wake up the entire apartment community, so I quickly say “Mm hmm!” and brush my foot against my bare leg to try to rid myself of the sand. I don’t bother to look if there are ants on me. I figure if I start to feel burning, I’ll deal with it then.

We get to The Beast. I can’t really describe what happens next because it’s too difficult to put into the written word. But basically it consists of me climbing up over the already positioned items, reorganizing everything, guiding the couch UP and over and INTO The Beast, shoving it through a tiny opening, it getting stuck, changing positions with my mother, climbing over the already precariously balanced couch, helping Woman lift the couch UP and into The Beast, screaming directions at each other, watching two strapping young men walk by who say “Hey need help?” and then when we say sure, they look at the couch and the tiny space we are trying to fit it in and say, “Oh, uh.. actually we have somewhere to be…” and keep walking.

We FINALLY get the couch into The Beast. Only… now that it’s in the truck, my Mom is pinned behind it in the back.

Me: Uh…Mom? Can you get out?
Mom: Um, yeah… just. Hold on.
Me: Do you need us to move anything?
Woman: (glares at me)
Mom: No! I’ve got it. Hold on.

She then proceeds to CLIMB her way out of the truck. Like, literally morphs into a lemur and maneuvers her fifty three year old body in positions that I am not even sure I could get my twenty three year old body to do. Literally, we’re talking heel stretches and toe touches…. She then jumps down from the platform onto the cement.

Mom: Okay! Let’s go get that loveseat!!!
Me: (thinking) Are you on crack?

With Woman’s disgruntled help, and probably the help of annoyed Jesus (“OKAY already! ME! I’ll help you with the couches, just stop saying My name!!!”), we manage to get the loveseat out of the apartment, down the flight of death, through the fire ant wastelands, and UP and into The Beast. There is literally not a single square inch available in the truck. We wave goodbye to Woman’s back. She’s already running back into her apartment and slamming the door behind her. She didn’t sign up for this today, and I don’t blame her for running. We are, once again, back in The Beast.

Me: Mom?
Mom: Yeah honey?
Me: Are you… okay?
Mom: Yeah! Why?
Me: I think I just saw your body do things it hasn’t done in years. You were literally carrying that couch by yourself. Are your arms okay?
Mom: Yep! That’s what working out will do for you! Come on! Let’s go get that bookcase!
Me: Mom, I really, really don’t think there’s enough room for-
Mom: Honey? I have moved SO many times in my life. And believe me- we WILL get that bookcase to fit.
Me: (In a fake German accent) Okay, Helga! I veel trust yew!
Mom: ONWARD!!!

By this time, it’s like 9:45 and completely dark outside. We arrive at our “final destination.” We’re in a little development on a cul de sac. The house that holds my bookcase is completely dark.

Me: Um… is anyone home? D’you think?

As soon as I mutter those words, a buff little man bursts out of the door and shuffles his way down the driveway towards us.

Buff Man: ‘Ello ‘Ello! Welcome! Come een come een! Ve mahst be very very quiet though becahse ze babies are sleeping! Okih? OOOOkih!

He is as German as they come. I look at Mom, and she looks at me, and it takes every ounce of strength in me not to laugh.

Fredrick leads us into his house and shows us the bookcase. We agree that it is gorgeous, just what we’ve been looking for, yes yes we want it, yes really, oh yes we can tell that it’s German, it’s a GREAT piece, yes… And so, Fredrick leaves the room to get some change, and Mom positions herself on one side of the giant heavy bookcase.

Mom: Ready!?
Me:

We pick it up and carry it through the house, passing pictures of toddlers and happy smiling faces, careful not to bump it on anything because we don’t want to “wake ze babies!”

Fredrick: (trailing along behind us, whisper-screamed) Wait! Wait! No, no, I wheel help! I wheel help yew!
Mom: (whispered) No, no, it’s fine, we’ve got it…
Fredrick: I help! I help!

He continues to trot along behind us, shouting out that HE WHEEL HELP. We finally get to the back of The Beast. I open the sliding door, and reveal the leaning tower that is my new bedroom furniture and couches. We all stare at it for a second. It’s almost like we’re stunned into a wordless respect for the mountain of items. Then-
Fredrick: Yeeeew… wheel probably not feet this een there. Okey?
Mom: Oh yes we will, there’s plenty of room!
Me: Mom, he may be right…
Mom: (Climbing up onto The Beast) Come on! Lift that up here. There’s some room at the top. Thaat’s right…
Fredrick: Oh no, no no no yew wheel not be able to get theese bookcase een that leetle hole.
Mom: I promise, it will fit. Just lift it up here.
Fredrick: I do not vant to offend yew, baht I reeeelly don’ theenk- I mean, ve cahn try, but…
Mom: (hanging like Spiderman on the side of the mountain of furniture) Yep! Just lift it on up here!
Fredrick: (looking at me) Are yew sure yew can do theese?
Me: Just lift.

Fredrick and I then proceed to lift the heavy, dark, German bookcase ABOVE our heads.

Mom: Thhaaaat’s right, just lift it up here! There’s room!!!

And low and behold, there is. There is room. I don’t know why I ever doubted it. Helga always knows. She always knows. We close the door and thank Fredrick again and again. We start to pull out when suddenly-

Fredrick: Wait! Wait!!!!

I look in the rear view mirror and see him running after us. He has two coronas in his hands.

Fredrick: Here! Take zees weeth yew! Becuss I deedn’t haff change! Two beers, yah?

Don’t have to tell me twice. I grab the beers, thank him again, and then we’re off. Driving home. Finally. After a day of lifting and moving and lugging and grunting and tripping and shoving… we are going home! We have all of the furniture! And yet…

Me: Hey. Um, Helga?
Mom: Yes Olga?
Me:We… still have to move this stuff into the apartment tonight… don’t we?
Mom: YES! Ve sure do!!! But Taylor will be there to help us.

Taylor, my sister’s boyfriend, who has just gotten home from a long day of work, has agreed to help us move the items from the truck up a flight of stairs and into my new apartment. By this point, my arms and body are so exhausted I can’t even feel my fingers when I curl them. I literally have no idea how this is going to happen.

To make a LONG story short, we got the furniture into my apartment. Obviously. But I’m going to leave you with a few pictures, in hopes of illustrating the process.

Taylor The Great

Helga.

…Olga.

No pain, no gain.Helga and Olga’s Moving Service.

5 Things That Will Automatically Make You Feel Better About Your Life In General

30 Sep

Day 20 of the 90 in 90 blog challenge.

1.) Listen to 90’s pop Pandora radio. Whether you happen upon Spice Girls, your favorite boy band, or that song about the girl who cried a river and drowned the whole world, you’re going to be reminded of a different time. A time when the internet wasn’t such a part of everyone’s every day lives. A time when people still ordered pizza by calling another human being on the phone, instead of watching a creepy time tracker loading bar fill up with ever-changing creepy stalker-ish messages like “T.J. is making your pizza/ T.J. is putting the pizza in the oven/ T.J. has hiccups but is still making your pizza with a smile/ T.J. is putting your pizza in the box/ T.J. is getting in the car/ T.J. is driving right now/ T.J. will be there any moment so get your money ready/ T.J. is there and your money isn’t ready/ T.J. is in your house/ T.J. is pissed off because your tip was less than 3 percent you cheap jerk.” (Sorry… I recently discovered online pizza ordering and it, obviously, blew my mind and simultaneously creeped me out.) But ANYWAY. You’ll be reminded of sleepovers, Pokemon trading cards, spelling tests, Nickelodeon, and playing Spyro on Saturday mornings. Boy Meets World, being on a mediocre sports team, and stretch pants with stirrups. You’ll be reminded of how it felt to just be a kid. A time when you sat in the backseat, screamed out your order, and someone always paid for your McDonald’s.

2.) Wash your hands and brush your teeth. I’m serious. This is like, the best thing to do in the middle of the day. Sure, people say they wash their hands all of the time, but do they really? One of my favorite things to do is to go into an abandoned public restroom and just wash my hands for as long as I want. It’s like a mini shower, and I always leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Brushing your teeth in the middle of the day is also like, the best thing ever, especially if your breath isn’t even bad. It’s a mouth shower at a time when you’re not used to getting one.

3.) Look at everyone in the room and give them a mental compliment. Have you ever done this? I like to do this on days when I’m losing faith in humanity. Sometimes, it’s good to take a minute and stop judging everyone and everything, including yourself. Put your mind on everyone BUT yourself, and tell yourself something nice about the other people around you. How is this going to make you feel better about YOUR life, you ask? Just do it. Trust me. The best part is, you don’t have to audibly tell them what you like about them, so you can skip something I like to call The Awkward Compliment Exchange…

Me: Hey, Suzie Soandso, I really like your hair.
Suzie Soandso: Really? Oh gosh it looks terrible today, it’s so dirty and messy. But YOUR hair looks great! And I love your shoes!
Me: (What I say) Aw well thanks!
Me: (What I WANT to say) B*tch please! I didn’t ask you for a compliment! Just take mine and move on! I LIKE YOUR HAIR OKAY!? I DON’T CARE IF IT HASN’T BEEN WASHED IN TWO DAYS, IT’S DOING THIS REALLY NICE WAVY THING AND I LIKE IT!!!

4.) Google pictures of Shiba Inu puppies.

The best part about this ^ ? They grow up into this:

Shyeah… I know.

5.) Buy something you’ve wanted for a long time. Whether that be a crispy chicken sandwich from Wendy’s or a new iPhone 5. Every once in a while, it’s nice to do something awesome for yourself.  It’s one thing to accept a gift… by accepting a gift from someone else, you’re kind of signing an invisible and silent agreement: Yes, I love it. Every time I have anything to do with it I will probably be reminded of you. This is even harder when a significant other buys you the gift you’ve wanted forever. It’s like, Yeah, thanks. I’m really happy that this is now in my possession, but… what happens when I hate your guts? Will I still be happy I have this? That’s why it is SO important to do things for yourself sometimes. That way, when you go to wear that necklace, or hoodie, or sharpen your really expensive beard trimmer or something, you’re not slitting your wrists in a moment of nostalgic depression. You’re just pampering yourself, out of the love you had (and still have!) for yourself.

An Easy Choice. Kind Of.

23 Sep

Day 13 of the 90 in 90 blog challenge.

(Close up of WOMAN’s anguished face.)
WOMAN: Are you feeling… tired? Worthless? Do you feel like there is no reason to live? No reason to breathe? No reason to… do your laundry?
(Shot of a housewife picking up a pair of pants out of the washer. Suddenly, she drops them mid-transfer to the dryer. She covers her face in shame.)
WOMAN: Studies show that 23 out of 36.4 Americans have trouble figuring out what to do with their lives at some point in time during their lives. Life is confusing and hard, and everyone is suffering.
(Shots of various people dropping laundry, cleaning supplies, and briefcases. They all cover their faces in shame.)
WOMAN: But now! You don’t have to suffer anymore. Now? There is Lunatylemidonolozoft.
(The various people uncover their faces and look up towards a growing, warm
light.)

WOMAN: Lunatylemidonolozoft is a drug. It has been clinically proven to treat some problems of some people, some of the time.
(A business man bends down and picks up his briefcase.)
WOMAN: It has been clinically approved by a group of men who wear perfectly ironed shirts and have name plates on their desks in their offices. They also sometimes floss after brushing.
(A father helps his daughter ride a 2 wheeled bike for the first time.)
WOMAN: Lunatylemidonolozoft is not for everyone. (A college student places a notebook in their backpack at the conclusion of a lecture.) People who fall asleep easily or enjoy eating at Subway should not take Lunatylemidonolozoft. (An Australian Shepperd catches a frisbee.) Side effects include, but are not limited to, headaches, dizziness, nausea, substantial weight gain, arm pit irritation, explosive acne, arthritis, unfortunately timed flatulence, constipation, complete nervous system failure, and a sudden unexplained fear of elevators. These side effects have only affected people who have taken Lunatylemidonolozoft for three consecutive days or more. (A mother watches proudly while her daughter brings a casserole dish to the table.) In rare cases, people have reported vomiting blood, losing their voice, and growing skin tags under their tongues in the shapes of European countries. These claims have yet to be proven. (A man opens a jar of mayonnaise for his wife.)  Do not take Lunatylemidonolozoft if you are pregnant, nursing, hoping to become pregnant, have been kind of pregnant once or maybe twice, planning on becoming pregnant next Wednesday, or are currently holding a baby. (Close up of a hand signing “Happy 1st Birthday! Love, Grandpa.”) Sexual problems including a lowered sex drive, erectile dysfunction, left breast loss, or just the complete inability to have an orgasm, ever, are common but reversible, maybe. (A construction worker stops his jack hammer, wipes his brow, and smiles at the sun.)
WOMAN: Just listen to these testimonies!

REBEL TEENAGER: (Blank stare.) I used to feel like nothing mattered and I felt worthless. Now, with Lunatylemidonolozoft, I don’t feel anything…. (Beat.)  It’s awesome.

DENTIST: I was having trouble getting out of bed. I was letting my patients down, my wife down, but worst of all, I was letting myself down. Now, with Lunatylemidonolozoft, I feel like a computer. And I still let my wife down.

HOUSEWIFE: (Tongue swollen with skin tags) Thewfs uh gud chanths I won geh bettah.

PREGNANT WOMAN: (Popping a pill while absentmindedly rubbing her belly. Then, she notices the camera. Wide, guilty pupils.) … Oops.

WOMAN: (strolling through a field of wildflowers, letting a chiffon scarf billow behind her.) So talk to your doctor to see if Lunatylemidonolozoft is right for you. You don’t have to be sad and confused about your life! You don’t have to feel worthless! You can start to get your normal life back. It starts… with Lunatylemidonolozoft.
(Close up of the Lunatylemidonolozoft bottle)
WOMAN: (Voice Over) Lunatylemidonolozoft;
An easy choice. Kind of.

The Thing About Pets Is

26 Aug

The thing about pets is-
They don’t care if you look like shit.
They don’t care if you just showered and picked your face and you look all blotchy and red.
They jump in bed with you, more eager than ever.
They don’t resent you for not calling enough.
They don’t neglect you by not calling enough.
They’re just happy, and feel fortunate when they see you.
Pets don’t get jealous.
Pets make you a priority.
Pets listen when you need them to, no matter what hour.
They don’t interrupt you to tell you about their problems,
about how they feel,
about how they think you neglected them all week.
They just love you.
The thing about pets is-
they don’t go back on promises.
They won’t tell you one thing and then do another.
If they’re looking at you, you know they’re really looking,
and not just positioning their eyes towards you to make you think that they are listening.
Pets never lie.
They never cheat on you,
abandon you,
or forsake you.
A pet will sleep next to you while your whole body shakes from tears,
and they’ll get very still,
and quiet,
and lay there until you stop.
Because the thing about pets is-
they aren’t people.
They don’t understand holding grudges,
living in the past, or even
worrying about the future.
They simply live.
They won’t ignore you for something you did three weeks ago.
They won’t stand you up
or leave you out
or make you feel like you’re not enough.
Because the thing about pets is-
They can only see the best parts of you.
Even when you’ve done something unforgivabe,
And you feel like the worst human being
who has ever lived.
Even when you’re bitter and angry
and cold and fat
and lonely and pathetic
and dishonest and cowardly
and smell funny.
They don’t care, because you are enough.
You always make them proud.
They are always rooting for you,
cheering you on,
there to celebrate your happiest days
with the same wide eyes and eager tail
as every other single day,
and are still there to lay along side you
in the dark and privacy of your room
while you cry and heave
from a pain you can no longer ignore.
They make you feel important
and strong
when they curl into you during a thunderstorm.
And when you walk through the door,
it will always be the best part of their day.

That’s the thing about pets.