Sunday, October 19, 2014

Life In The Fast Lane

I may not be rolling Phat in the fast lane yet but at least am finally moving in the right direction.

I'm beginning to really enjoy my new job and all the benefits. It took me a second to figure out the commute to and from work but with trial and error have it down to a science.

So first it was MARTA that threw me for a loop. Then it took another second to figure out the way to use the Sardine Shuttle effectively.

The bigger problem was learning how to find my way around the huge city called Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. I'm okay in and around the International terminal where I work. Put me off at another concourse and I'm as lost as all the other wandering suitcases. I can find the way to my favorite places to eat free and know where the yummy cupcake stand is but still have to keep a map of where everything else is located in my nifty clear pocketbook for reference.

The biggest problem was learning the menu and wine list at the place I work.

Talk about a fish out of water! They served grilled octopus, beef tongue, duck confit and even had fava beans. Until I worked there the only person I knew of to eat fava beans was Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs. To make it even harder, it's a seasonal restaurant and changes menus four times a year. I guess an old dog can learn new tricks!

This next week will start the fall menu, featuring a Pigs Foot Ragout, a Chorizo, roasted pear and Bleu cheese pizza, Choucroute Garni with duck sausage, and confit duck leg and a Fall Baby Jewel salad with fresh sliced apples, shaved celery root crisped in the fryer, pickled red onion and a buttermilk-sage dressing with olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

I tried the Ragout last week and was more than pleasantly surprised! The new salad is off the chain and can't wait for Tuesday when we get to taste eveything.

I still stumble with pronunciations but  sound like a Hick to all the international travelers anyway with my deep southern accent. I still have a hard time saying the freakin' German beer , "Weihenstephaner" and pronounce it differently almost every time I say it. I simply try to say it with confidence and if the peeps aren't German can usual get away with it.

Then there are the wines...


I sound like Granny Clampett trying to sell Cremant de Bourgogne, Rosso di Montalcino, Chapoutier or Viognier.

I'm not a nervous wreck every day anymore and have actually caught on better than I thought I would.

We were at the host stand talking today before we opened and my co worker asked me why I had driven my sister's car the day before? I told her Tim's car bit the dust, blew a head gasket or something detrimental and was toast so had borrowed my little Ford Ranger for him to drive to work yesterday.

My manager was standing there with us and started laughing. He said he liked the way I always just rolled with the punches. Good thing he doesn't know how often we've been punched  the last few years.

Then again, maybe that's what has made me this way.

He continued and said "You're always the same, whether we are slow or getting beat to death with people.  It doesn't bother you. Your car's toast but you act the same and just shrug it off...I mean what can you do about it anyway? I like that about you."

Here's the thing. Yeah I'm pretty disgusted over all our car issues but they're just cars. In the big picture, what's a  car really matter? I mean it helps get you to and from places but that's about it.

It doesn't love you, in fact most of our cars seem to care less about their performance or even cranking at all.

What matters are the people you love, and also love you.

I have been tremendously blessed and surrounded my entire life by people (and dogs) who genuinely love and care about me. I have three kids healthy & happy and a husband with the patience of Job. I have a brother and sister anyone should be jealous of; they are both terrific people and excellent sibs. I have family and friends who have morally and literally helped support us these past few years and even managed to keep our house out of foreclosure and kept the utilities running most all the time.

Laughing about it is what has kept me  somewhat, kinda mostly sane. Sometimes I felt like crying and occasionally did . Crying did nothing but make my nose snot up and eyes red and puffy.

That doesn't help a bit, especially when you're my age. When I'm sad, I look even older.

Certainly not helping! See what I mean?

Not only have I landed the best job I have ever had, my husband had finally landed a job with a reputable company and although starting from scratch, can definitely grow into a great position.

Tim has really aged these past years , not that being married to me helps. For seventeen years he was the bread winner and we lived an extremely decent life by my standards.

The last few have been quite a struggle.

I kind of sort of had a major meltdown last week.

I was cleaning out the refrigerator and pulled a small bowl off the top shelf. Tim had put Italian dressing in a bowl to dip carrots in and left it uncovered on the top shelf, above my head and sloshed out all down the front of my brand new, freshly ironed and ready for at least one more shift work shirt, down the leg of my recently washed, good for another four shift's blue jeans and all over my Dansko shoes.

It was the straw that broke Granny's back.

I went OFF!

For Pete's sake, put it in some Tupperware or at least cover it with plastic wrap, or here's an idea...dump it out.

I made the biggest, no let's make that hugest deal out of it.

What really ticked me off was he thought it wasn't.

The last seven years of built up frustration came out and was no stopping it.

I didn't like having to be the bread winner, especially when it fell right on top of everything else I do. Working like a demon I can do day after day, week after week, lately year after year with no problem.

Throw in the laundry, yard work (front of subdivision too) house work taking care of the pups, not only buying but cooking most of the groceries and often cleaning up after they hadn't done it to my satisfaction (which really isn't that high of a standard) and scrubbing commodes in a house full of balls with seemingly no sense of direction compounded with the fact this wasn't really the life I meant to sign up for had all come to a head over a stupid bowl of carelessly left out salad dressing.

I'll spare you the details but it got ugly.

I felt like I weighed seventy pounds after I unloaded.

We didn't speak for a couple of days...we didn't need to , we had both said a lot that night.

From the job debacles to the car debacles to the finance debacles, I hit all the nails on the head...several times and then some.

I got over my hissy fit about forty eight hours later.

Yesterday I borrowed (yet again) my sister's car to go to work. Tim was driving my little Ford Ranger to his job and I was worried about a radiator leak. I got off early and took my sister's car back to her house so she could in turn take me to my house.

I gave up wondering when the car I bought over two years ago would be ready to drive and thanks to my new job was able to buy the Ford Ranger I had borrowed for five months from my next door husband and was pretty picky about it.

I got home after my sister graciously took my sorry butt back to my house and got all crazy with a huge garbage bag, Murphy's Oil Soap, Mr. Clean and my buddy, Hoover.

I stopped around eight to send Tim  a text, telling him to check the fluids in the truck before leaving work, forty five minutes away.

Around ten he called back to say he got my text and would be sure to check under the hood. He said he was currently in Jackson, Ga. and had to go back to the Fayetteville store for two more deliveries and then would be through for the night.

He left the house that morning forty five minutes before me and I had left a little after seven.

He's fifty two years old delivering and putting together furniture with co workers... some of who are younger than his oldest son.

Not to mention I've never known him to be able to put together anything other than an occasional sentence or remark.

He's a good man, he's just not a HANDY man.

Guess he is now!

I told him thanks for calling and got back to my Cleaning Pa Looza.

I should have said, "Dang, Tim I'm sorry you're working so late I know you must be tired, be careful on the way home."

I didn't.

Instead I called my sister and told her.

(It's a female thing)

Just like the awesome sister she is, she listened.

I shouldn't have blown up at Tim but I did.

The thing is, she's my sister before she's his brother in law.

She also knows (like I do deep down) that Tim is a good man and hard worker who has also been put through the economic, emotional and egotistical wringer. She made some valid points.

Tim got home really late as I got through scrubbing the last penis funnel also known as a toilet.

I found things under the sinks in the kid's bathroom from when they were six. I threw away old Polly Pocket dolls Massey used to play with in the bath tub, Legos from when Zach was young and bottles and bottles of old and out dated lotions, creams and even a little Suzy Homemaker blender of Massey's from around the year 2000.

I cleaned all three bathrooms so well they didn't even need their Glade or Febreeze Plug In.

Yes I over stepped and over verbalized my pent up feelings the other night, but as Tim often says and after seven years dread hearing (mental eye roll to hear him quote)

"You can't go back."

I moved forward showing him all I had done around the house and then simply left him alone.

He acted like he really appreciated all I had done and appreciated even more being left to watch college football with no interruptions.

I've been with Tim since 1988. We have three great kids and are three years away from our mortgage pay off with three pups in tow. Nobody has a terminal or serious disease and  know of no impending court dates or deadlines. I couldn't say that a couple of years ago but can now. That's definite progress.

"Why give up now?"

Through this last stage of our financial debacle, a guy who used to come into Johnny's Pizza when I was a manager there in the eighties had a sudden and rapid health scare.

He went from being a really cool guy with a great sense of humor and good job to being in a re hab / nursing facility in five month's time.

I'll be honest, following his sister's updates for weeks thought it might be time to drag out a black dress again.

Whad'ya  know?

My fellow ole fart has survived and just days away from coming home.

I took my breakfast break at work yesterday and saw this post from him on Facebook:

"Bingo at 10:30. I will once again take to ther battlefield in an effort to win a 7.5 oz coke. I need a 7.5 oz coke. I want a 7.5 oz coke. I am a 7.5 oz coke. Feel the 7.5 oz coke. Taste the 7.5 oz coke. Be the 7.5 oz coke."

I cracked up.

If this guy can laugh and still be witty after all he's gone through, who am I to complain?

What's a car? What's a job?

They are nothing compared to waking up, being loved and having another day to try your best to beat old people at Bingo for a Coke.

Lucky for him he had an angel. He had a sister.

They are a tiny family but fierce with love, dedication and compassion.

I commented back to him, smiled as I posted  and stopped again to think how really lucky I was.

May sound crazy (because I'm most probs over halfway there) but wake up every day now realizing how truly blessed I am.

So my buddy, Jack is back.

Here's a guy who beat the odds.

He's beaten all the ole farts at Bingo this past week and bet he's done maybe a couple of exquisite glued macaroni on  paper plate creations for his sister at Christmas.

I bet it will be the greatest present she'll treasure.

Thank you and shout out to Jack and Nita for smacking me in the face.

It's just a car.
It was just Italian dressing.
It was just something we were destined to go through.

I work at the world's busiest airport, in the international terminal. Ebola is all the rage. Peeps complaining because they're bring patients home to Atlanta for treatment at an excellent hospital in the city where the CDC is located.

Ebola is horrible and needs to be squelched but is in a third world country location.

Well over four thousand people have died from it and is a tragedy but almost 500,000 people die from the Flu each year world wide.

Gee whiz...just wash your hands. Didn't they teach you that in "Kinnny Garten"?

Til Next Time... COTTON

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