Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pay No Attention To The Tiny Beads of Blood Popping Out On My Forehead...

I often talk about how crazy my job makes me, but the truth is my job, by itself, is practically a cakewalk--I do paperwork, make deliveries, do some flower arranging, nothing too challenging but not too boring either. What really makes me crazy (beads-of-blood-popping-out-on-my-forehead-frustrated-crazy) is Cranky Boss Lady.

As the observant among you are no doubt able to discern from her name, she's cranky quite a lot of the time, but I've come to expect it and I'm usually able to adjust for it so it's actually less of a problem than the other stuff. Stuff like the "conversation" we had today about potstickers...

For lunch, she brought a bag of frozen potstickers from home and was talking about where potstickers "come from" (you know, other than from her freezer). She said, "Aren't they Korean or something?"

And I said, "I have no idea. I do know they're on the buffet at the Chinese restaurant."

"Yeah, but I don't think they're Chinese. I think they might be Vietnamese or Korean or something."

Again, not being an expert on Asian cuisine, let alone on potstickers specifically, which I've never even tried before today because at the Chinese buffet they're sitting there looking sort of larval and not at all tempting, not something I'd want to put in my mouth or study academically, I said, "I really have no idea--all I know is they're on the buffet. It's entirely possible that more than one country makes potstickers."

"I know, but I just don't think they're Chinese. 'Potstickers' just doesn't sound Chinese."

Duh. How do you have a conversation with someone who thinks the English word "potsticker" sounds more Korean than Chinese?

The saddest part of all--and I would only admit this to you, my Internet friends--is that I came straight in the door from work and Googled "potstickers," about which I'd like to remind you, I don't give one small crap, and what I got was repeated mentions of China (including a column about Chinese-American author Amy Tan's family tradition of making potstickers on the anniversary of her mother's death). In fact, "potstickers" are also called "Chinese dumplings."

A further frightening truth: This entire post is an attempt by me to distract myself from my urgent need to call Cranky Boss Lady at home to tell her that "potstickers" might not sound Chinese but they are, in fact, Chinese. I won't let myself call because calling and saying "I told you so" especially when I didn't actually tell her at all (I repeatedly said I didn't know), is so something she would do.

Which brings me to the real crux of the problem here--I guess it's not really Cranky Boss Lady who's the problem, it's the horrifying things she brings out in my personality that frustrate and, frankly, terrify me.

(Tune in next time when we discuss why (according to the wise and wonderful CBL), salmon is "man fish.")

Sunday, July 29, 2007

It's Like Winning The Lottery...Sort Of, But With Less Money and More Medication

Last week, Daughter-Only woke up with a very sore throat and some stomach, um, disturbances. Worried about strep, I called to see if she could be squeezed into the doctor's office. They said they could fit her in if we came right away, so I dropped everything at work (not that there was much to drop, summer being a slow time in the flower business) and, an hour and a half later, we emerged from the doctor's office with a diagnosis of Coxsackie virus, commonly referred to as "the summer virus," which the doctor helpfully informed us he had just recovered from. He recommended zinc lozenges for the throat pain and Pepto for the other stuff.

So Daughter-Only suffers nobly for several days--her nose is stuffed up and her throat is froggy and mostly all she wants to do is lie around on the couch (which is not all that easy to distinguish from the regular lying on of the couch that goes on from time to time). But Saturday morning, she woke up and her voice was almost completely gone. From her spot on the couch she croak-whispered, "Mom! Mom! I can't talk."

I said, "Okay." and she said it again...and again...and again*, each time a little more urgently. Finally, I said, "I don't know what you expect me to do about it, you know, other than jumping for joy."

For the record, this is not the proper response to your daughter's distress at being unable to speak. But, in my defense, the girl does talk a lot** and for the past few days she's been stuck at home with no viable outlet for all that talking except for me and her other family members. All the other members are male so basically it's been me and me fielding the yammering.

Speaking of the "men" of the house--especially the adolescent ones. A bit of advice? If someone in your house comes down with Coxsackie virus and you happen to also share that house with teenaged boys, don't, whatever you do, let the name of that virus slip. Because while the possible variations on the word Coxsackie aren't exactly endless***, they are endlessly amusing to said boys and tediously annoying to everyone else.

*For someone who couldn't talk, she was certainly able to talk a lot about not being able to talk.

**Yes, before you volunteer to help me figure out where that chattering might originate, I do know exactly where she gets it from. Thanks.

***In fact, they seem to be limited to Coxsuckie, Coxsucker, and Coxsucking and one or two unsuccessful attempts to work the "sack" angle.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Scheduling Conflict

Three or four days ago, Son-Two says to me, "Mr. C (the volleyball coach) wants me to play in a tournament on Saturday. Do you think I should?"

Confused, I said, "Sure, why not?"

In a voice saturated with duh, he said, "Mom, the last Harry Potter book comes out Saturday!"

*PS--Do you have any idea how much I love the fact that my 6'2" seventeen-year-old badass of a son is so excited about the release of a book?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

One Of Those Women

There's a guy who comes into the shop every few weeks--he's one of our advertising representatives so, technically, he has a legitimate business reason for being there, but he always ends up staying longer than is strictly necessary and often stops when there's no real business to be done. He will sit on the futon in our office and pour his heart out, mostly completely unprovoked. I consider him one of the Shop Groupies, even though he would no doubt be appalled by that designation.

He's been married for seven years and been with his wife even longer than that--double digits, I think. They have a daughter who will soon be turning four. For the longest time, his wife's main complaint about him has been that he doesn't do enough around the house and his main complaint about her has been that whatever he does do, she criticizes him for.

Especially when their daughter was an infant, his wife was hypercritical--she would literally count the stack of diapers before she left him alone with the baby and then count them when she got home to be sure he'd changed the baby "often enough." (The fact that the kid didn't develop a rash and/or wasn't sitting in a soggy diaper when Mom got home was apparently not proof enough.) She objected to the way he burped the baby, to how he wrapped a blanket around her, to which direction he wiped her butt in. It was completely insane and made this guy even less motivated to help. I mean, let's see, I can help and have every move I make criticized or I can save the energy, not help, and be criticized anyway. Pretty soon, not helping is just the only logical choice: it conserves energy.

Anyway, I listened sympathetically to this guy's plight (and, living in a small town, I also heard (through a mutual friend) his wife's side of the story, "He never does anything to help out...") and the whole time thought to myself, maybe a little smugly, "Jeez, at least I'm not one of those women, who complain about every little thing when their husbands are only trying to help."

And I wasn't. Until I was.

Hubby makes tuna salad without draining the tuna. Hubby browns ground beef in the microwave. Hubby doubles the butter in the packaged rice recipe (his response when I asked him if he'd followed the package directions? "No, I doubled the butter, but I decreased the water to make up for it."). Hubby repeatedly purchases the exact opposite type of toilet paper that I buy. Hubby was just trying to help...does that make these errors any easier to overlook?

I now understand completely how those women end up that way. They marry men who lack the domestic common sense gene.*

*Hall of Fame lack of common sense: I've got a friend who was so proud and grateful for the way her husband helped out with their infant son until...she realized he was wiping the baby's face not with the sensitive skin baby wipes but with the bleach wipes she kept for wiping down the counter.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Perfect Post For June: My Own Worst Enemy

Working as I do with the woman who is destined to win the gold if cutting off your nose to spite your own face ever becomes an Olympic sport, I've given a lot of thought to the expression, "She's her own worst enemy." And, mostly, what I've thought is that we're all pretty much our own worst enemy. For myself and so very many of the people I know, self-sabotage is written in pen on our daily agendas--looking when we should be leaping, leaping when we should be looking and a thousand variations on that theme. What holds most of us back, it sometimes seems to me is our own damn selves. If I do have an enemy in my life worse than myself, please don't ever let me meet him, her or it in a dark alley or even on a brightly lit street.

Somehow, after reading "Probably some people would just say stubborn..." I know that Lori over at Superfantastic knows how I feel. Not only did I laugh out loud several times while reading the post, I walked away with a new motto: "Present Me loves nothing better than screwing over Future Me."

So for your knack for being your own worst enemy (not to mention the ability to tell funny stories about it), here's my button:

June 2007 Perfect Post Awards

And, Lori, it's all yours!

Check out other winners at Suburban Turmoil and Petroville.