In Brief January 24, 2012Posted by Kimmothy in Home Life, Marriage.
Friday night, after Brian intuitively taped an entire season of a show he had a strong feeling I’d like, we got into an actual argument over who in the household introduced The Walking Dead into the Favorite Show category. After giving him full credit for Breaking Bad, I tried to remind him of the circumstances surrounding the beginning of the zombie show. Just to egg me on (I think), he laughingly disagreed. I got so pissed, I heaved a gigantic, exaggerated sigh, grabbed my lemon water (I’ve heard it boosts metabolism; so far I can’t tell) and went up to read in bed. There’s that moment you know you’ve over-reacted but pride prevents you from conceding you’ve been an idiot and moving past it. By the time he came to bed, I was more than over it and we “made up,” by which I mean we totally did it. Which actually didn’t surprise me in the least since I was wearing my sexy micro-fleece Grinch pajama pants (inside out, no less). After relaying the story to a friend the next day she said, “I’d say your marriage is in pretty good shape if those are the kinds of things you argue about.” I hadn’t thought of that, but she had a point. Good to know.
A Turkey Tale November 23, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Baptists, Fam Damily, Holidays.
How did it get from the first football game to Turkey Eve already? That was a quick minute; damn.
I feel like I’ve been so lucky this past year, I honestly can’t think of any thing I want right now. “Thing,” of course being defined as material item; I’m always going to wish for more time with family and friends, more time to travel, more time to read…so maybe if I can find a good Black Friday deal on a time hoarding machine, I’ll spring for that.
A private jet would work well too, but I hear they’re starting to tax private jet owners a lot so that won’t work for me.
But instead of getting sappy/nostalgic (there’s still a lot of holiday time left for that), I’ll share a Mother-in-law story, because mine is always good fodder for a giggle.
Cooking and Iris go together like [insert cliche’d metaphor here]. She’s always prided herself on it, but when she retired a few years back it became even more front and center in her identity. That’s not news; it’s that way with a lot of women, but around holiday time, she not only goes all out, she goes all out of her damn mind.
In August, friends of theirs asked them to join them on a five-day cruise. Knowing they wouldn’t be getting home until the day before Thanksgiving, she was a little hesitant, but it was months away, she’d never been on a cruise before and she figured she could handle most of the food ahead of time. She asked me at that time if I thought it would be too much trouble for me to go over there and take the turkey out to defrost the Saturday prior to the holiday.
No problem. In fact, I was eager to help with something, because the only contribution from me she wanted for the holiday meal is Brown ‘n Serve rolls, the kind that come in aluminum foil trays that you remove from plastic bags and warm in the oven for a few minutes. Because apparently that’s where she believes my cooking skills begin and end. She happened to ask me that in front of my sister a few weeks ago and Sister was all, “Oooh, burn.”
Yeah, I know.
The day before they left for the cruise, I got the phone call I was fully expecting.
“Hey, Key-im, are you still going to be able to take the turkey out on Saturday? Because if there’s a problem, let me know and I’ll figure something out. We can’t have Thanksgiving without a turkey!”
Me: “Yes, no problem; I’ll be heading over there tomorrow.”
Her: “Do you still have your key to the house? Because I can leave a spare key somewhere if you don’t, or give you the garage door code, or, or…”
Me: “Got the key right here on my keychain; no problem.”
Her: “Well, I was thinking about just taking it out tomorrow morning before we leave, but I’m worried that might be too early…”
Me: “Nope; wouldn’t want to take a chance on that.” (Thinking: No way in hell would she deviate from the timeline that was established in her head since August.)
Her: “I just don’t want to chance it. But only if you’re sure you can make it over!” (Laughs nervously)
Me: “I’m sure.” (Sure that this isn’t the end of this conversation, not by a long shot)
Her: “Okay. Well make sure you take out the right turkey; it’s in the deep freezer and it’s the nineteen pound Butterball, because you know I only use Butterball for Thanksgiving.”
Me: “Got it.” (As opposed to accidentally taking out the small turkey breast or deli sandwich slices?)
I don’t have the energy to transcribe the entire forty-minute conversation that went down, but I have to included that she did call back ten minutes after we’d hung up to give me the garage door code “just in case,” and to remind me to make sure the refrigerator door was shut all the way, because sometimes that old fridge out in the garage, well, the door doesn’t always want to shut by itself.
I’ll skip the suspenseful part and just say I managed to get the job done.
Ch-ch-ch-changes October 24, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Home Life.
I think the reason they include moving as one of the top five life stressors isn’t because it’s something that momentous (unless we’re talking about a really long-distance move, cross country or a different part of the world), but all the little things. The adjustments and changes in routine are suddenly a daily occurrence and it’s enough to throw you off kilter for a little while. And by “off kilter” I mean I’m lucky I’m managing to wear clean clothes to work every day.
We moved one county away, about forty miles from our old house. His mom actually uttered the words, “It’s like y’all are moving back to Florida!” and unfortunately I’d never have the balls to answer with something like, “When we lived in Florida we saw you once or twice a year as opposed to every week – would you like to go back to seeing what that’s like?” But I get it; we’re now almost double the distance away from them and it’s just long enough to have to put some thought into scheduling visits.
But honestly, that’s the least of my concerns right now. The following items aren’t exactly traumatic, but will definitely take some getting used to.
I went from a 15 – 20 minute commute to one that is forty, minimum. And that’s only if all the stars align to prevent accidents, anything but clear sunny weather, beating the school buses, and hoping a train doesn’t decide to stop and sit on the track for a leisurely twenty minutes, holding up miles of traffic on either side. All of these I’ve experienced in just the first week. As a bonus, the lovely late-Fall sun I otherwise love shines directly into my eyes both to and from work. I’ve gone without that for almost five years now; I guess the time had to come again eventually.
As rural as we now are, we’ll no longer enjoy the luxury of trash pick-up. Oh, surly trash men who liked to pick and choose what items they took arbitrarily, sometimes left lids open on rainy days and occasionally left garbage scattered in the yard, I’ll miss you so. This has already forced a big change in our trash tossing policies and procedures. With no garbage disposal either, any food waste is now being tied up in a plastic grocery bag, stuck in the fridge, and when a significant amount accumulates, I carry it along with me to work and dispose of it in a dumpster near my office. I’ve turned into a trash ninja. Luckily we have the redneck equivalent of an outdoor fireplace, the burn barrel, in which non-toxic but flammable things can go into, starting off with the roughly ten thousand boxes we’ve broken down the last few days.
Instead of City water, we’re now dealing with a well and sewage tank. Years ago when we would visit his dad, I have vivid memories of the showers’ crappy water pressure (if you have thick hair, the majority of your shower time becomes attempting to rinse all the shampoo out). I didn’t, however, remember the tap water smelling so farty. Yesterday at Lowe’s I learned there’s a very wide spectrum of price points for water purifying and I’m really hoping the fifty bucks I invested will be enough to help alleviate at least some of those issues, because ew.
As excited as I was to go from a 1950’s firetrap that had almost no working outlets and cloth-covered wiring (!) to a place where his dad put in outlets approximately every five feet, he must not have been a fan of overhead lighting. Because the house gets such great natural light during the day, I didn’t notice until nightfall how damn dark the place was; thank God K-mart was running a clearance sale on floor and table lamps (yeah, I classed the joint right up with some Big K décor) so I no longer feel like we’re watching TV and reading in a cave every night.
Then there’s the stair situation. I’ve wanted one for awhile, but I now have no reason to ever get a stair climbing machine. The house is split level and the stairs are everywhere and never ending. This was especially amusing during the move all the belongings into the place phase, but even now I spend most of my free time going up and down from the bottom floor where the TV is, to the top where the kitchen and bathrooms are. Granted, that’s part of what makes the place unique, but damn. I’ve already started making sure if I get up to do something I multi-purpose as much as possible. Half the time we’re all, “Where are you? Up here! Where are you? Down here!” but that’s not necessarily bad.
All of this is true, but it’s mostly just bitching in jest. I’m still pretty amazed every morning when I wake up and we’re there. The crappiest part of the move is finally, finally behind us (well, except for getting the old house fixed up) and now I get to finally do the fun stuff; i.e. pick out and rearrange where all our stuff will go, put the pictures on the wall, put the boxes with Brian’s stupid dude stuff into his man cave. Watch a bunch of HGTV.
In two weeks we’ll get our first house guests (Sister! Niece!) and two weeks after that we’ll have more (Grace! Elizabeth!). Soon what is now new and weird will be old hat and I’ll still be living in the house I love, so I’d have to say it’s all more than worth it.
Adieu Arbor Drive September 28, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Home Life.
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With not having an actual deadline date we have to be out of the current house, I had a funny feeling (knowing us like I do) this was going to be a long, arduous process. And hey, I was right! I can’t remember the actual day we started packing boxes, but it feels like we’ve been living in a crowded cubist’s nightmare for months now. But there is an end in sight: we’re aiming to be all into the new place by mid-October. That still sounds pretty non-committal but it’s something.
I regularly talk about the new place and what’s going to go where and how I can’t wait to be drinking coffee on the deck, etc., until Brian the other night accused me of not having liked our current house (to be fair, he was sweaty and dusty and packing boxes at the time). It was a moment of assholishness on his part that quickly passed, but I started thinking I hope his mom and George don’t think that, having generously let us live there for four years while paying a 1980’s rent price.
I loved this house. Four years is the longest we’ve ever lived in a place and even with all the things wrong with it, I mostly always concentrated on (and verbalized) the things I liked about it. It’s small and old and quirky, but there are definitely things I’ll be sad to leave behind and it hit me yesterday when we saw the weather forecast.
Apparently we’re about to get our first significant “cold front,” so I asked if we could have one last fireplace night. The fireplace is numero uno on the list of things I’ll miss. The new place has a fireplace, but it’s gas and I’m sorry, but those barely count. People in Florida have gas fireplaces so they don’t have to be depressed when it’s 80 degrees on Christmas day and they can flip it on to pretend they don’t live somewhere lame. You can only feel acutal heat if you’re sitting on the hearth, and then it kind of smells like you’re in a grill. They do give that nice cozy look, but ours happens to be in a room we’ll never hang out in, as for some strange reason his dad figured why not put one in where no one ever sits but merely passes through. I know I’ll want a fire once in awhile, but it won’t be close to the same thing. Wow, all those years living in Florida have turned me into someone who can write a 300-word essay on Fireplaces: My Deepest Thoughts and Feelings.
The front porch swing. Many a good (and some bad) books have been read on it; I’ll miss that too.
The dogwood tree.
Okay, so I’m not going to miss that many things. But four years of our life were spent there, happily, and the house served us well. I can’t say I’m sad, exactly, to leave it but I have some form of nostalgia for every place we’ve lived and this one is no different. I hope whoever lives there next is as content as we were.
And doesn’t mind the three mean pit bulls who just moved in next door with their loud family. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.
Badiversary September 12, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Marriage.
Ten years ago nowish, at approximately 5:30pm EST, I learned the very upsetting news my husband was having an affair. The subject has been extensively written about and examined, both here and everywhere else, but with all the fanfare surrounding the ten year anniversary of 911, this has been on my mind a lot more than usual over the past week or so. A decade is one of those substantial markers, where you say It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years already.
Ten years ago tonight I sat in frozen horror, not by what was going on in the background on TV, but what was happening in my living room. To find out your spouse is having sex with someone else is one thing; to find out he’s sad, embarrassed, ashamed but not ready to stop is an entirely different thing altogether. That forces you to think things like the life you’d planned for is over and it’s time to form a new plan. To think about being *that* couple; the one who lived happily together for years, got married and didn’t make it past their second anniversary. Breaking it to parents and friends. Who would get custody of the way-too-loved dog. All those thoughts went through my head that night but I remember the one that upset me the most was how the national tragedy was causing loved ones to draw closer together but how all of a sudden I felt utterly alone. Also how I felt like an asshole for having such a trite, assinine problem in the face of what so many other people were dealing with that day. Guilt never leaves me for very long.
It’s not productive to dwell too much on things like that, or healthy. But I wish I could let my 31-year-old self know that night what would be happening on the night ten years from then. How the still-too-much-loved dog and I would greet the husband on the front porch with kisses as he arrived home from work with candy and a flower for me (it’s sort of a twisted joke he brings me a present every September 12th), how we stood in the yard while he threw the dog’s tennis ball talking about how our days went. The boxes in every room that we’re packing every day to move soon into the house I’ve always dreamed of living in. Together. Happy.
I’m always a cautious happy, because that’s me. But on that night when I wondered if I’d ever be able to be in any way happy again, it makes me really thankful to be where we are tonight, doing nothing special but doing it together.
What Probably Gets Left Behind August 27, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Baby-Making, Home Life, Marriage.
There’s no turning back now: yesterday Brian paid a significant chunk of cash to get the key to the new house and today we’re bringing the first of the boxes over. (An aside: we’ve packed around fifteen boxes comprised of only books and that’s barely made a dent – what the hell? It’s like they mutate.) We were talking about the plans for today last night and while he was listing all the crap that has to happen over the next few weeks, I interrupted him to say, “This is literally a dream of mine that’s coming true.” He replied with what I considered to be one of the sweetest things he’s ever said to me: “I know; that’s why we’re doing this.”
It’s not as though he doesn’t want to move, but honestly he would’ve been okay not to. Between a slightly more expensive rent and the family politics that will generate some fallout, he’s been a little more stressed than I have over this whole thing. He suffers a little more from inertia than I do at times. This current house is the longest we’ve stayed in any one place, coming in right at four years and while he made it clear he never wanted to buy this place or settle here long-term, he would’ve been fine staying awhile longer. My stubborn stance of this new situation literally falling into our laps won him over, but I also was adamant he be on board with the move or it wouldn’t happen. No house is worth him being unhappy to me.
What this also feels like, a little, is a trade-off. We haven’t talked about the kid thing for awhile but the more time passes where nothing is done about it, the closer I get to accepting it not ever happening. Does any material thing make up for that – a new car a few months ago, a new house now? Obviously not. But with every significant financial decision we make, in my mind it nags me that this takes us further away from any kind of Let’s Try to Get Us a Kid plan. And I’ve been trying really hard to figure out if I can finally put the idea to rest. Mental lists of friends who are leading happy lives sans children. How traveling, both by myself and with him takes no more planning than making time in our schedules. And soon, waking up every morning to have coffee on a deck that’s right off of the kitchen that overlooks the yard I got married on next to my favorite lake.
I wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t that nagging voice whispering to me, but I’m trying really hard to silence the bitch for good.
A Dream, Realized August 16, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Fam Damily, Home Life.
I’m pretty sure everyone who blogs regularly (maybe except for the Famous Bloggers or hell, maybe them too) has experienced a dry spell where they feel like, Okay maybe I’m done. I don’t know that I’ve reached that point as much as I literally have felt all summer that I’ve had nothing much to say. To friends, family, my written jounral, the internet. The 140-character limit of Twitter has been just about right lately, and even Facebook is feeling more like a chore/morbid curiosity than anything resembling fun.
This wouldn’t be the first summer I’ve turned hiding inside from the shitty heat into an actual life crisis; as much as I bitch about it, I don’t think people really realize how adversely it affects me. Like Seasonal Opposite Affective Disorder. To compound the malaise, I didn’t get my annual week-long trek to Florida this year due to losing my leave when I took my three-week hiatus from employment in the Spring. I thought I was dealing with it like a reasonable adult until I realized it was seriously bumming me out. It may only be a week, but it’s my reconnection back with the people who mean the most to me (besides that guy I live with, obvs) and something I look forward to to help bridge the gap between my Hate Season and Fall.
I’ve been a big pissy stagnant armpit and I hate it when that happens.
Until a couple of days ago and as it usually is, timing is everything.
Brian’s dad lives in Florida now, but he’s held onto the house he built and lived in here. For a lot of reasons: he designed and pretty much built it himself. It was his home for a lot of years, a quirky split-level that largely resembles one of those ski chalet places you rent for a week on the side of a mountain. Instead of a mountain, this one sits on the shores of a lake; Lake Murray, in this case. It’s a lake I’m very fond of and have some history with, as my first adult house was also located in one of its coves and I also got married a few feet away from its edge. Right in his dad’s back yard in fact, which is now very soon going to be OUR back yard.
His dad’s offer came completely unexpectedly and unsolicited by us – we would never presume to ask for such a thing. In fact, nothing against him, but we never dreamed he’d even offer it to us. But he’s had bad luck with renters and he’s sick of dealing with a property management company that can’t seem to get people in there who have any lasting power beyond a few months. He’s thought of selling it but luckily the real estate market sucks way too much for that to have been a viable option. He’s had Brian do some fixer upper things to it over the past few years and knows he cares about the place a lot. Me, well I’ve loved the house since the moment I first stepped inside of it, some fifteen years ago. Mentally decorating it, ruefully shaking my head over his spartan man-decor that was 90% function and 10% late mid-90’s Hunting Lodge. My favorite spot – on the deck I threw my bridal bouquet from, the deck that’s high up in the air, practically in the trees that overlook a wide green lawn that leads down to the water – I always visualize a “Serenity Now” thought balloon over my head when I’m out there.
It took a few days of intense discussion over the move, what it means in terms of commutes, budget, responsibility and logistics. The pros trumped the cons like a bitch and the final decision was made today.
Sometime on or around the first of October I will literally be living in the house of my dreams. I don’t even think it’s really hit me yet, but all of a sudden lists are being made, the first boxes came home with me today, and the forward momentum has blasted us out of the real and/or imagined rut and damn does it feel good to be out.
Malaisey June 24, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Life.
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This morning shortly after we woke up, I told Brian my dream: “I dreamt we had sex last night.” His eyes got wide then he said, “So did I.” I performed a quick inspection of my region to make sure we hadn’t actually banged unconsciously (wouldn’t be the first time) and found we hadn’t. A perfect example of the level of lethargy we’ve reached: dreaming about sex instead of putting forth the effort to actually do it. We had a good laugh about it – faithful to each other even in our dreams! Awww….puke. But still, that’s some weird Inception shit right there.
Summer set in a few weeks before it officially started and long stretches of triple digit temperatures have me in my annual Seasonal Affective Disorder, Hot Weather Edition. I haven’t been motivated to do anything beyond what is absolutely necessary to function and it’s beginning to get on my nerves. Nothing is particularly wrong, per se, but nothing is cause for cartwheels either. And I’ve set a very low bar for what could be considered exciting, so I’m basically a big ball of blah. I haven’t written here or anywhere else beyond a quick Tweet or Facebook status in a month, because I can barely stand myself, let alone subject anyone else to me.
This isn’t good. The only remedy I can think of to this (barring drugs, which sadly is no longer an option) is altering my perceptions and appreciating whatever miniscule good thing that may occur throughout a day. That bubbly sound and beautiful smell when the coffee finishes brewing, the actual coffee itself. Watching the fireflies (Brian calls them that; I call them lightning bugs – is that a north/south thing?) and spiders catching and spinning up their prey when it’s finally cool enough to be outside after the ball of fire sets for the day. My evening walks and/or bike rides that I’ve started back doing, albeit sporadically. Being into the long stretch of good books I’ve been on lately. Lunch the other day with my three new co-workers, all of whom I’m beginning to get to know and really like. The new vehichle, which I still can’t believe is mine every time I climb into it. The occasional thunderstorm respites that make everything greener and cooler and alive again, however temporarily.
Considering all the insanity occuring in the world right now and always, my piddly shit is nothing. I know this, which is why I never allow a pity party go on for too long. Being appreciative feels a whole lot better than whining like a little bitch – thank you, El Capitan Obvious, but always good to acknowledge. I feel better already, just writing it.
Hell, who knows – maybe we’ll even have actual waking sex this weekend.
Bitches Be Crazy May 17, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Life.
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A tri-lingual, highly regarded in the community law professor in our department regularly comes to me for technical advice. Some of his issues have included not being able to print a document (then expressing amazement when I showed him how to Ctrl P – “Does the ‘P’ stand for PRINT!?!”), not receiving emails (he accidentally changed his email option to receive them alphabetically instead of by date) and how to weigh an envelope on the postage scale. He and his wife will soon be Summering in the South of France. I’ll be Summering in my front yard, but I’m glad I’m able to be of service for him.
One of Brian’s cousins, a guy who gives new meaning to black sheep, told Brian last night on the phone his son burned down part of their trailer, his girlfriend has some life-threatening disease and they’re currently holed up in some hotel, supplementing her disability money by “flying signs” (Brian guesses that’s street slang for begging on the side of the road). He told him he’d already spent most of the $160 he’d made that day on beer and crack and in the background Brian heard the girlfriend chide him to “Stop braggin’.”
Another cousin, I may have written about her here before, spent almost a year publicly shit-talking her cheating husband who was deployed in Iraq. He returned a couple weeks ago and according to Facebook, they’re happily un-separated and anyone who has anything to say about it can kiss her ass. While I’ve actually been in that position, I’m very thankful I didn’t spend the entirety of our separation saying how much I hated Brian because that makes you look kind of like an asshole when it all goes back to “normal.”
I’ve had to speak to my mother on the phone a lot more than usual lately. See: title of this post.
Brian had a co-worker get fired today. Guy is twenty-one, the grandson of the owner of the company and a new father. Since his girlfriend had the baby a few weeks ago, he’s started coming in late to work, not calling when he did, or just not showing up at all. Today he got there on time, but after filling the truck with gas at a convenience store, came back to the truck, got in and opened a tall can of Bud Light. It was 8:30 a.m.
I know I’m neurotic and weird and have just as many quirks as the next person. The fact that any two people can manage to live together in relative peace over a long period of time still amazes me. But lately? The crazy seems to be coming in at an unnatural pace. There’s a full moon tonight and I’m about to drive an hour to pick up Becky, a girl who has been an honorary daughter to me for many years. I’m very excited to see her; I’m just hoping for a respite from weirdness.
The Good, The Bad & The Borderline Psychotic May 6, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Work.
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I really like my new job. Like, really-really. It’s almost as though the last 3 1/2 years at my old office was sort of a barometer to see how much bullshit I am willing to put up with in order to work at this university. And if I had to live through that in order to get here, well fine. It’s only one street down and four blocks away, but the old place may as well be on another planet.
So far I really like just about everyone. There is, however, a resident office Crazy. I’m guessing, based on my twenty-plus years of work experience, the odds dictate that every office must have at least one. In the past, that person has been my immediate supervisor three times that I can think of; a certifiable whack-job I was required to report to. This time the heavens were smiling upon me because a few months before I arrived, this psycho was demoted out of her supervisory position. I cannot emphasize enough how grateful I am for this prior development, and maybe that’s the lesson here. I dealt with enough assholery so I’m due for a more pleasant work environment? I don’t know; I don’t care. Life is good when the control freak has no discernable power. Though I’m not naive enough to think she won’t try to stir shit up like it’s her job. I will remain viligently closed off to her.
This person is roughly my age. She started working here when she was twenty-six and has basically no other work experience. As she likes to remind anyone within earshot, FIFTEEN YEARS she has been here. Fif. Teen. Years. In one place. On one hand that is impressive to me, as my record tenure anywhere is four years and my average is probably closer to two per office. But the lack of outside influences and little bubble world she exists in is astounding. She may have been demoted but the reality is she has the power of longevity (and some crusty old professors) on her side and she is not afraid to wield it. No, strike that – she LIVES to wield it.
She was on vacation my first and second days here (another gift that had a card with it that said To Kim, Love Jesus). People hesitantly and in whispered tones gave me dire warnings. They thought they were scaring me until I assured them I may look like a wimpy wallflower but I’m a decorated veteran in office foolishness with a specialty in the arts of schmucky co-workers. Some of her stunts I heard about:
– She disregarded the university’s policies & procedures and decided to write her own and make people sign it. Some people actually signed it.
– She banned cell phones and personal calls from the office. She relented this a little for the people who have kids, but only after people complained.
– She discouraged inter-office socializing to the point people mainly communicated via email even though they worked in the same room.
– She’s told HER boss off several times, enough so that they went outside the department to the university’s main HR office to see what could be done about subordination. This is what finally got her demoted, as I understand it.
This goes a long way in upholding the universal joke that is government work. How would someone like this make almost $60K a year and not only not be fired, but get promoted in a private sector job? Unless you have dirt on someone, which maybe she has, it wouldn’t happen.
Either way. Thank the good Lord above she is not my boss but merely fodder for my amazement, my diary and maybe someday my therapist. In the meantime, I’m just happy to be here and collecting a paycheck from the same office Steve Spurrier gets his from.