Monday, January 26, 2015

Dating in the Sticks (or Harassment is NEVER OK!)

 You’ve all heard of Sex and the City - the show that followed the trials and tribulations of dating in the Big Apple? Well, this ain’t about that. As a matter of fact, this is about as far removed from Carrie Bradshaw and her buddies as you can get. This is Dating in the Sticks.

 Dating in the Sticks follows the adventures of young Prudence Block, an attractive and confident young woman living in a small(ish) town in America’s Bible Belt. And Prudence isn’t looking for a good time, she’s just looking for a good man. (Which is starting to look more and more like one of the most endangered species on the planet!)

 In today’s episode (Harassment is NEVER OK!), Prudence has met a young man she finds cute, polite, and more than a little shy. We’ll call him Mr. Regular (since he’s a regular at Pru’s place of employment).

 So there was this one night when Mr. Regular had come in, blushing and stumbling over his words more than usual. All I can say is, his shyness added a touch of vulnerability that made him even cuter.

 We spent some time talking, exchanged numbers, and made plans to see a movie together the next week. That was the last time I saw Mr. Regular before he became Mr. Regular Weirdo.

 Seriously, what guy texts a girl he just met 30+ times a day? I mean, a 14 year old girl, yeah. But a 29 year old man?

 Then the phone calls and voicemails started, wanting to know why I wasn’t responding to every text. Which would have been bad enough if he hadn’t also started hanging around where I work, harassing my co-workers about why I wasn’t texting or calling him back.

 So, my big plans to see a movie with a genuinely nice guy were put on hold until I could actually find a genuinely nice guy.

 I told Mr. Regular that he was coming on way too strong and that we needed to just call it a day and move on with our lives. Thanks, but no thanks.

 That was when Mr. Regular morphed again, becoming Mr. Regular Nightmare.

 The trips to my place of employment didn’t stop. Instead, I guess he figured if he couldn’t win my heart with charm, he’d do it with a belligerent, shitty attitude.

 And can someone please tell me when a romantic gesture went from flowers and chocolate to spending half the night sitting in the parking lot and watching a girl through the window? Because I failed to get that email and I’d seriously like to protest!

 But that’s exactly what Mr. Regular decided was his next best move, until he was asked by Management to move his ass off the property and never come back.

 One would have thought that would be an end to his dreams of a relationship. If one were a normal person, one might be right. Instead, (according to the co-worker who viewed the security tapes) he decided drawing a Swastika on one of the outside decorations at my place of employment somehow seemed a great way to get my attention. (In case I failed to mention it, I’m openly converting to the Jewish faith.)

 Whatever happened to just spray painting a girl’s name on a water tower or overpass?

 The sad thing is, I’ve been feeling a tiny bit responsible to Mr. Regular’s bad behavior. You know, kind of like I encouraged him by giving him my number and agreeing to go out with him?

 My friends keep telling me that making plans to see a movie was in no way saying, “It’s OK to make my life an anxiety ridden hell.” And they’re absolutely right. So why do I still feel like I’m the one who’s done something wrong?

 The only thing I DO know right now, is that the whole “crazy hermit in a cave” lifestyle is starting to look better and better…

 Tune in next week when…

 Sadly, this isn’t a made-up scenario for an After-school Special or Lifetime Movie of the Week. This is what my daughter has been dealing with for the last two weeks and it’s not in any way, shape or form fun or funny. It’s plain and simple harassment.

 Besides the fear factor, the worst part is she really does feel partially responsible for Mr. Regular’s bad behavior. As if agreeing to go on a date equated giving permission for this kind of stupidity?

 I don’t need to tell you that the level of Motherly Fury in this house is currently through the roof! Not to mention concern (and more than a little guilt) about things I’ve written and pictures I’ve posted here.

Even though I’ve never used real names, The Girl has shared links on her personal pages, proudly proclaiming I’m her Mom. Since we really do live in a small community, it certainly wouldn’t be hard to find us. (That sound you’re hearing? Is me grinding my teeth.)

 I can say that steps are being taken to end this before it escalates any further. I can tell you, in the mean time, she’s being escorted home from work by family members, so she’s never alone. I can also say that it’s a monumentally huge pain in everyone’s ass, all because one person is refusing to understand the concept of boundaries.

 So here’s today’s moral - If you’re a fellow parent, blogger or otherwise, these are some of the things to keep in mind when you’re posting. You may not name names, but pictures are worth a thousand words and some of mine definitely talk too much.

 Stalking Awareness Month

If you or someone you know is being stalked or harassed, you can find information about what you can do to stop it and a list of resources HERE.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Terror That Lurks Below The Seat

Good morning! Yesterday I spent some time playing around in the files I’ve lovingly named “Stuff I Forgot About.” When I found this one, I just knew it’d be perfect for today, what with Flu Season still in full swing.

 OK, to be honest, I’m not sure if I actually forgot about the morning memorialized here in words, or was purposefully trying to block it from my memory. Either way, since today is Throwback Thursday and all, I figured I’d pull it out, toss some bleach on it, and share.

 This one’s dedicated to all the women who share a house with one or more teenage males. May the Tidy Bowl Man watch over you and protect you from this kind of horror.

The Terror That Lurks Below The Seat

The Terror That Lurks Below The Seat

There are few things worse in this world, than waking up sick. Unless you wake up sick and barely making it to the porcelain throne before your royal cookies get tossed, only to realize that what may appear 75% fit for a human ass to perch on, becomes a Level 3 biohazard once the lid is lifted and your face is, shall we say, in position to begin evacuation.

 Last week, I did indeedy wake up with the Queen Mother of all technicolor yawns brewing and played out the above scenario. I briefly considered the garbage can beside the sink (or the tub) but at the time, there really wasn’t enough wiggle room for forming an alternate plan.

 To be honest, I was pretty darned surprised that anything besides aiming and, “Oh gawd, just kill me now!” was going through my head. Which pretty much clues you in on how bad the scene of the crime truly was.

 And yes, whichever male person residing under my roof did THAT, committed at least three separate crimes in my book. I only know that it had to have been a male, since no sensible female tushy could have been responsible for that level of devastation.

 I was sick, but not sick enough to ignore the underside of the seat. (Has the English language even invented a word for underside skiddies and how does that even work? Never mind, don’t answer that.)

 I thought about it all morning, trying to figure out how, in the name of all that’s good in this world, I was gonna remedy the situation. I managed to narrow my options down to the following:

1) don a full biohazard suit and simply remove the offending item and replace it with a new, virgin white model.
2) super glue the seat in the “down” position so I never have to see the horror of it all again
3) build a secret outhouse that the males know nothing about
4) remove all light bulbs in the bathroom, so you can’t make out the nasty
5) pay a blind housekeeper to come in and clean it for me (No sane woman who could see what she was touching would do it, for love OR money.)

 I keep hoping that it was all some fevered dream and by the time I’m recovered enough to do any actual cleaning, the terrifying vision will have gone the way of the the stomach bug and moved on to haunt the next woman on my street.

 The only question left is, how many more days can I drag out a 24 hour stomach bug before I’m forced to do something about that seat. Maybe by then my family will have read this and cleaned it for me? Or maybe I’ll use this time wisely and start googling zoning laws for outhouses.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ex-cell-stential Conundrum you hear that? It’s the sound of me NOT using my phone every five minutes. Which means the sound you’re lucky enough not to be hearing is basically a steady stream of very inventive profanity, laced with the occasional scream to the heavens.

Oh, the whole phoneless thing isn’t because I’ve decided to live in the moment or break my dependency on technology. (Are you kiddin’ me!?!) It’s because our local network has been down since last Wednesday. That’s right, no cell reception at my house since LAST WEDNESDAY!!!!

Ex-cell-stential Conundrum

 My vacation from a steady stream of connectivity has had an interesting effect. First, there were a couple days of panic. “HOW will I know what the hell’s going on in the world if I can’t get on Facebook!?!” Then there was concern about the really important things. “I’m losing Twitter followers by the MINUTE!!!”

 After a couple more days, about the time the shaking in my hands subsided, I began to question other things. Deeper things. Things that affect how I view myself and my place in the Universe. Things like:

  • If I don’t post a picture of an event, did it really happen?

  • If I don’t tweet my deep thoughts, do they cease to exist?

  • If I fail to update my Facebook, will my friends assume I’m dead, mourn briefly, then move on without me?

  • HOW can I prove Hubby’s wrong if I can’t use my phone to google the answer and prove it?

 Without my ability to be online every waking minute, I’ve been forced into some life altering activities. I’m kinda embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve actually resorted to talking to the other people in the house, instead of just texting them from across the room.

 My world is falling to pieces around me!

 OK, maybe not that dramatic, but there’s still a moment of panic every time I reach for my phone, only to see the “no connection” error.

Ex-cell-stential Conundrum

 I’m worried that if the problem isn’t fixed and fixed soon, I’ll revert to some sort of Stone Age existence where I can only check online stuff while sitting in front of an actual computer. I’ll end up known as the girl technology left behind.

 I’ll just have to cross my fingers and hope this morning’s 45 minutes on the phone with my cell guys alerted them to the severity of the problem and, by this time tomorrow, I’m back to my normal state of perpetual onlineness.

 Because I may have discovered I can exist without my cell phone, but how am I supposed to prove I can, if I can’t tweet and Facebook about it?