Thursday, August 14, 2003

I hate when people are late. I hate it even more when I am.

I was late to Secret Agent Jo's party tonight. It was my fault. I forgot to download directions, and then my computer froze up. I tried calling, but the phone rang into voice mail, so I had to rely on my memory of the last time I went to her house. I left the house all stressed and frazzled, angry at myself for not being more prepared, and speeding toward her house. I almost got it right, just one street off. After running up and down the block, I realized my mistake and finally made it to her house. Of course the party was in mid-swing, and while Jo didn't seem to mind, I felt bad.

I've always been one to be on time. My mom and dad have always been ones to arrive early. And while they sometimes rely too much on schedules (whenever my mom comes to visit, she's always saying, "So what are we doing tomorrow? What time are we leaving? When will we be home? What time is dinner? What time should I get ready?" I think sometimes the best days are planned at the last minute without a time schedule.), the value of timeliness is one that I think is important.

I feel that if you give someone a time to be somewhere, you should stick to that time. It really bugs me when people are late. My best friend in Florida is reknowned for being late. I remember once she arrived at my house 45 minutes late, and carrying three different outfits because she couldn't decide what to wear. So we spent another 15-20 minutes while she tried on each outfit to see what I thought. But I grew to live with it and started giving her earlier times to be there so we'd maybe get there 15 minutes late.

My mother-in-law is always late. I think she just doesn't realize how long things are going to take, or she gets distracted, but it's not unlike her to be an hour and a half late for an event. Luckily she was right on time for our wedding. It's just come to the point where we start arriving later as well, which of course gnaws at every fiber of my being!

I just feel like people who are late are disrespectful of other people's time. Why is their time more important than mine? Like today, I did my sister-in-law a favor by waiting at her house for some people to come install plantation shutters. They were supposed to be there at 3 p.m. I got there at 2:45 in case they showed up early. At 3:30, they called and said they were going to be late (going to be late? Aren't you already late?) I had an appointment at 4, so my husband had to interrupt his studying to come over. They showed up at 4:30. The bad part is it was a family deal with a big discount, but should that really interfere with other people's time? Some might say yes. I say no. If you're not going to be somewhere until 4:30, tell me. Call me before the scheduled time to tell me how long you'll be. That way I can do other things instead of waiting on the couch, wondering when you'll actually show up.

That's why I love Jo. She's just like me. She's never kept me waiting on the couch, checking my watch, and feeling my blood boil. And I feel like I let her down tonight. Sorry, Jo.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I just got back from Sam's Club, the perfect place to browse for the non-essential things of life. Where else can you get a gallon of mayonnaise, a weight bench and a Mr. Potato Head, all in one place? (I didn't buy any of those, but I really wanted this make-up case, that included all these different eye shadows and lipsticks and nail polish. The make-up case was this little faux-leather pill-box type carrying case, and it was only $13. But then I realized I rarely wear lipstick, I only wear one color of eye shadow, and I never travel anymore, so why spend the money?)

But I digress. I did a lot of people watching at Sam's. It started when I got run over by an old man in one of those motorized carts. I don't think he even knew he ran into me, because he was wearing those thick, black wraparound sunglasses that are mandatory for old people. I know Sam's has a lot of lights, but is it really that bright in there? Anyway, he just kept backing up, going down an aisle, then backing up, turning around and heading back the way he came. I think he was looking for his wife, who was also in one of those motorized carts, sans the glasses.

Then my eye was diverted by the man with the clogs. I'm not talking about the Birkenstock-type clogs that some men wear. These were very femine beige clogs with a wood heel. Maybe he was from Holland, but I don't think so. My eye rose from the clogs to the white crew-length sport socks. I would have picked black trouser socks myself. From there, my eye saw his blue pleated twill shorts, pulled up very high on his waist, much like a girl would wear. His shirt was just a normal button-down short sleeve shirt, and while his hair was a little on the greasy side, it was pretty non-discriminate. But the whole look together was a little out of place.

Little Boogie seemed to love the woman with the floppy cream-colored hat that must have been stolen from Mrs. Howell. Why do some older women seem to love that bubble-gum pink lipstick, blue eyeshadow and mascara so thick they can barely blink their eyes? But she seemed very nice, so I shouldn't make fun of her.

The final person we saw on the way out was the woman who checked our receipt. I know she was an older woman, but her make-up was so heavy that I couldn't tell. In an odd sort of way, she reminded me of Bette Davis in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" Very scary. And she wasn't nice. Just stared stonily at me and Boogie. Maybe she was afraid she would crack her make-up if she made an attempt to smile.

Just another interesting day in the life of an unemployed mom! I'm sure somewhere, someone's making fun of my khaki shorts, my flip flops, my white T-shirt, my hair pulled back in a ponytail and my neutral make-up. Maybe I should have bought that make-up case after all!

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Since I missed last week's Friday Five, I thought I'd do it today. That way I can cheat and not have to be creative so early in the morning!

1. What's the last place you traveled to, outside your own home state/country?
About five months ago, we went to Vegas for my sister-in-laws birthday. But since that's only four hours away, I'm not sure if it really counts as traveling outside our state. In April, our little family took a cross-country trip to Nashville, stopping at the Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, and Hot Springs, Ark., on the way. It was a long trip with a little baby in the back (definitely different than traveling with adults where you can drive as long as you want), but it was a great adventure.

2. What's the most bizarre/unusual thing that's ever happened to you while traveling?
Probably crushing a vertebrate in my back while on our honeymoon in Hawaii. Those waves are dangerous!

3. If you could take off to anywhere, money and time being no object, where would you go?
I'd love to go to Australia/New Zealand and just travel the countryside. But a secret part of me has always wanted to go on a Safari. Of course, I'd want to pet every animal I saw, but it would just be a chance in a lifetime. We get National Geographic, which sends out a National Geographic Expeditions catalog of all of their trips. Safaris are so expensive!

4. Do you prefer traveling by plane, train or car?
I like them all. I like planes and trains if I just want to relax and read a good book or magazine. I love driving if I'm feeling adventurous, discovering new places, listening to my favorite music and just enjoying the scenery.

5. What's the next place on your list to visit?
We don't really have any vacations planned right now. My sister-in-law and I want to go to a spa in Palm Springs soon. When I was working, I racked up a lot of Marriott points because I traveled so much, so we'd use those points for free weekends in Palm Springs every year. Now we'd have to pay for it, and I don't have a lot of expendable cash right now. We used to go to Bass Lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains every August, but since we had Boogie and then lost our jobs, it's not really doable right now. My husband and I also want to take off for Vegas once I get a full-time job. But, the psychic at the fair said we'd be going on a trip across the ocean this year, so maybe we'll splurge and revisit our honeymoon in Hawaii!

Sunday, August 10, 2003

It is so hot.

I'm not stranger to heat ... I've lived in Arizona and Florida, two places with very different types of heat (one very dry, the other very damp), but hot nonetheless. But the difference is that in those places, I had the luxury of air-conditioning.

We don't have air-conditioning in our house. Usually it's not a big deal. We're only about four miles from the beach, so the temperatures are usually pretty mild. But this year, it's really been hot. And these past few days have been scorchers. Of course, we don't have the heat that homes further inland have, but most of those have air-conditioning.

And it's not only that it's hot. It's humid, too. The other day, I came home from my job and saw my husband and little Boogie hanging out in the garage, their faces all shiny from the sticky heat. Even with all of our fans on and all the windows open, the muggy heat permeates the house. It's the kind of heat that makes me want to lay in front of the fan, with a large glass of ice-water, moving as little as possible to stay cool.

This kind of weather makes me grouchy. I don't mind sweating if I'm working out or doing heavy lifting. But when I sweat getting out of the shower or putting Boogie in the car, it bothers me. I don't feel like being sociable or even leaving the relative comfort of the couch. I just feel sluggish, like I could nap all day on cool clean sheets.

I think it's supposed to cool down by Tuesday. Until then, I'll just have to wear my lightest clothes, keep the ceiling fans on high, and try not to be so snappy. I think I'm going to go get some ice cream now.