Wishes for 2015

What I want for the new year is really quite simple. For years and years on this eve I would toast to lowering my standards, and I plan on toasting to this again in just a few more hours. It’s the perfect resolution, one that never disappoints. With no notion to measure, I don’t feel I have come up short with any and all of my life events. It’s kind of like the mental botox for my psychological well being. Additionally, I have a few more wants for the new year and have compiled a short list: I wish to tuck my shirt directly into my underwear less this year. I wish to others when you do notice I have tucked my shirt directly into my underwear, is to pretend you did not see such event. I wish to stand in front of my house and click my car key fob (hoping that this will in some way open up my front door) less. I wish to push the limits of my caffeine consumption to a new high, because the research says that when you are under the influence of caffeine it makes you more agreeable. Hell, I might just see if my doctor will install a caffeine port somewhere on my body, I don’t care where. I also commit to bringing caffeine to any and all of my work events.  If my work partners are more agreeable, then life will be much easier. I also wish to know when to stop drinking coffee before I reach my caffeine induced bitchiness, I do understand that this will be a fine line to walk in 2015.

My wish to all my friends and family is to stress less, laugh more. Take mental notes of the times this year when you experience those amazing moments of just pure joy and simple contentment. And when you are not enjoying what the year is bringing you, lower your standards and pour your self another cup of coffee. Happy New Year:)

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The Lazy Whore at 35th and Sellwood

I see my neighbor across the street now and then. I wave and smile most of the time. I’m not the most chatty neighbor. I really don’t like meaningless  on the surface conversations. I might be a little private and like to keep most people, especially those who have the ability to look into my windows, at an arms length. I do understand that sometimes small talk is necessary in order to build rapport. I am forced to do the weather- elevator talk to fill the uncomfortable silences at work with many different folks. I get it. But when I a get home from work, I don’t do this. I would rather just point and grunt when I am off the clock. So, when I see my neighbor across the way, I do my best.
On a particular day in the not so distant past. My neighbor decided to cross the street to chat. He walked up and said, “Did you lose your job?” I replied, “No”. He noticed that I’m home more often. I didn’t bother to explain that I have a flexible work schedule and I didn’t fill him in about  my office being noisy and working from home, sometimes, is a more productive choice. Stephen then abruptly changed the subject and  then reported that I had 3 men over at my house this the past weekend. I just smiled and nodded trying to stay true to my internal no speaking rule that I like to stick to on most days when I am not working. However, in my mind, I did start replaying the past weekend, trying to recollect. Well, Stephen was right. I did. My ex- husband came by to help fix my fence. Then later a friend, that happened to be male, stopped by with some lunch and we had a pretty nice visit. And then on the following day, the guy I was actually dating did come over for a bit. Again, I did not explain any of this to Stephen. I stood, listened, smiled and nodded in agreement that Stephen observed correctly. He finished his mainly one-sided conversation by saying, “I don’t care what they say Amy, you’re doing just fine.” What? Wait…. They?
Then Stephen casually walked across the street back to his yard. And it occurred to me that in a matter of 5 minutes during super casual laid back conversation, he just called me a lazy whore. Well done Stephen.

I Heart Walgreens

When I am feeling down I shop at Walgreens. As I feel the looming sense of the blues washing over me. I, in a trance state, pick up my car keys and shuffle to the car like a woman who is under mind control. Must.go.to.Walgreens. It’s really only a couple hundred feet from my house, so even when I am flooding by a-motivation I still can get there. The open 24 hour sign warms my cold, dark soul much like Campbell’s soup. Walgreens is a self contained little tiny universe that gives me what I need, even when I don’t know what I want. I can paint my finger nails, toes, or color my hair if I want. I often start in the anti-aging section and work my way through the store from there. Sometimes my visit to Walgreens begins and ends in the skincare section. This area of the store is for the aging, tired, haggard, female trying to regenerate their skin to the collagen levels of a 25 year old. Of course, the products CAN do this, I just haven’t selected the right one yet. Walgreens might just be the fountain of youth attached to a convenient store. Heaven.
When I become bored with anti-aging, I tend to move toward the hair dyes. I have been searching for my natural hair color since 2002. It’s out there, I know it. Unfortunately, I have what I call “emotional hair” and the colors that I choose never behave the same from dose to dose. I have had countless conversations with my strands about this, but I think my hair is a bit rigid and stubborn. My pleas to my hair to stop curling up in a pubic fashion never work. Instead it dryly taunts me in the mirror, stretching out towards to tub and shower, and maybe the toilet bowl in search of any moisture. When it’s really quiet I can hear it weakly whispering in a dry, parched voice something I can’t quite make out.
When I am looking for socialization I can choose from an array of people in the selected zones. I can talk to the photo guy, the cashier, and the cosmetic ladies! And with the drive through pharmacy, I can even do a drive by before even deciding to get out of the car and go into the store. If I have an embarrassing question about bodily functions, uncomfortable illnesses, or just want to talk poop and helpful products to make me poop, I will head directly to the pharmacist. I have been in the pharmacy section far too often, I hate to admit. I am beginning to believe that the store clerks tend to move the products I need to different isles of the store on a bi-monthly basis. When I sneak in to do a quick grab and buy, and am always forced to ask a staff member. And they never tell me where it is. It’s always, “‘I’ll show you”. I am not sure why, perhaps they sense my lack of ability to determine or understand directions pertaining to my right or left, or to count when they tell me the number of the isle. Or perhaps, they have also experienced the same medical conundrum and take pity on me in some weird way. The walk of shame with the clerk is always a welcomed part of my Walgreens socialization.
When I have enough of browsing, interacting, or exploring the educational zones of Walgreens. I take my wares and head to the cosmetic lady for check out, regardless of what I am buying. I do this, because the cosmetic ladies are always wildly supportive of any and all of my purchases. They compliment my selection, the brand, and my awesome taste in nail polish colors. I can’t tell if it’s their loveliness alone, or the rush of serotonin that is starting to course through my body that makes me feel that everything is just fine and the only thing I need to worry about is how my emotional hair is going to get along with it’s new natural color.

Oh Shelia

I have this bike that was gifted to me about 5 years ago. Her name is Shelia and she came with that name. I have always been perplexed that she was named. I thought that only Cabbage Patch dolls and American Girl dolls came with names. Since I did not pick Shelia out as my own, I was always a bit skeptical of her. I took her for a few rides and she was good enough. I even took her on a long weekend getaway. I had big plans about getting lost in Central Oregon with her, but didn’t. We went on a few rides and I spent most of that weekend wishing she was something she wasn’t, and that’s no way to be in a relationship. We all know when you start doing this, resentment soon follows. I took her home and put her in the garage, and that is when things went south for us. When I walk by her she will say, “Amy, are you going to ride me today, lazy whore? I know what your thinking, she has a foul mouth for a Canadian. I just ignore her and all her drama. However, she might have “suck it” written on her seat…

 She presently has spiders feasting on the insects caught in the webs between her spokes. I believe our relationship is similar to an arranged marriage, and I need to just accept that she is in my life and I.MUST.RIDE.HER. This perhaps could be a first world problem and it is plausible to consider that there are larger societal issues at stake, I’m watching the news right now and it’s terrifying to be honest. So, on my last day of my stay-catiion, I will venture out to my garage. I will wipe the “suck it” message gently off the seat and take that surly bitch named Shelia for a ride on the last sunny day in Portland.

Plenty of Fish

As I am sitting in a coffee shop sipping my addiction while viewing my latest impulsive notion, which is to look at a dating site. I’m pondering some important questions. I mean the most important one, is why am I doing this? And secondly, why are so many single men holding up fish in their pictures? I mean hundreds of men holding up various types of fish? Is this suppose to be appealing to the female gender? I am not able to see what other women might be posting, but I can’t imagine they are holding up shopping bags. Oh, look perfect stranger! My new shoes! No, I can’t imagine that women are doing this at all. So, why fish? Is it just a throw back to the earlier days when a hunting and gathering man would be appealing to a woman, as a provider. Or is it the new version of “look how big my fish is”…hint, hint?
I have no intention on following though with any of this. I think for me it’s just a way to view what is potentially out there and make me feel better about my decision to just sit here in a coffee shop alone drinking coffee until I reach a healthy caffeine induced agitation. I passed the hypomanic phase that my morning cup of joe often causes about 25 minutes ago. My mood went from thinking the world is fantastic, I’m going to run for office in 2015, to pondering my lack of ability to put together a list for the grocery store. So, for now I will sit, sip and let my mind simmer with many unanswered questions. And the most pressing one at the present is why am I now hungry for fish?

A Christmas Miracle

Since the birth of my daughter I have been an innocent bystander on watching her grow. I have been there for her first smile, rolling over, crawling and finally walking. I have been there cheering her through this aging process. I have to admit I was not fan of the infancy phase. I was a nervous wreck for most of it. I can’t say I loved the teetering toddler phase and the terrible twos and threes, I will never forget the power struggles that ensued. Ella also had a hair trigger vomit reflex that I have never experienced in my life before and hope to never again. As soon as she would get upset about ANYTHING, she would go into a dry heave to full on explosive vomiting, really in a matter of seconds. Emotion=Vomit. I spent most of her younger years, approaching her with towels, talking softly and giving her ample choices regarding whatever it was I wanted her to do. I walked on egg shells especially when I was in public, because sometime I forgot my towel. Oh, and those folks that were stuck in our row on airplanes during this phase, you poor souls.
I have to say that her most recent milestone is my favorite. I have waited years and years for this. And it has finally arrived and I could not be more proud of her. When it came time this year to decorate for the holiday, for the second year in a row, I just could not bring myself to go through the steps of getting a Christmas tree. Of course, Ella wanted one and I was on the fence. We did decorate the outside with lights, which was enough for me. We had a bunch of lights left over to put on a tree, but still I could not make myself go pick out a tree. So, Ella and I decided to make a “tree” out of the lights on one of our windows. It took two strands of multi-colored lights to make our Christmas tree. I could tell during this process that Ella was just going along with it and was not super excited about this at all. We finished and stood together to get a look at our creation. I put my arm around her shoulder and asked, “Well, what do you think?” She stated, ” It’s breathtaking” in the most sarcastic tone. I almost cried, she finally gets sarcasm! It truly is a Christmas miracle.

Holiday Disaster

Dear Target Customer Relations Department,

I have to start off by telling you that I’m a holiday disaster. I, typically, wait until the last minute to Christmas shop. I have shopped on a number of Christmas Eves in the past. In fact, I was at your store today to finish my holiday shopping. Yes, I do understand that it is the 26th of December. No judgement needed from you, please. I tend to start my anxiety roller coster the day after Thanksgiving and white knuckle those 4 weeks leading up to Christmas. I thought this year would be different, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Oh, I had high hopes, don’t get me wrong. I got online early to do a bit of my shopping. From your store, I ordered a super expensive coffee maker to be shipped to my house. I was amazed just how easy this was. Just a few clicks and poof the ordered merchandise was on it’s way. What a relief I thought… only a half dozen more to shop for. I even patted myself on the back so to speak. I did fret, anxiously so on the inside, that your order would be delivered and someone might steal if off my porch. Thankfully, it didn’t happen, that would have been horrible. My order from your store arrived in a box much bigger than I anticipated, but I was super excited anyway. I took the package and put it in my garage to wait till Christmas Eve. I tend to also wait to the last minute to wrap my gifts, but I’m sure this is no surprise to you.
On Christmas Eve, I took your box from my garage to wrap. I did note, again, that the size of the box was a bit large, and it seemed, maybe, a bit lighter than I imagined it should be. This sparked my curiosity to actually open the box to take a peek. Yes, I do realize that I should have done this earlier. No judgment from you please, I’m just merely recounting my experience. And I already have been mentally torturing myself for the past 48 hours about the should of, could of, would of(s). When I looked inside I found a wicker basket organizer instead of the Keurig coffee maker that I ordered. Well, I probably don’t have to tell you, but this was a huge disappointment. And I don’t like to admit it, but I did start to cry while immediately dialing your guest services number. This posed a bit of a problem because my inability to multi-task with forming understandable sentences while sobbing was another obstacle that poor Phil( from your call center located in India, I surmise) and I had to work around. Phil patiently waited for me to collect myself and I was finally able to recount for him the events that lead up our unfortunate conversation. Phil stated that there MIGHT be a problem at your warehouse. I immediately disagreed with this statement, unless of course, this wicker basket organizer could produce a cup of coffee, but Phil could not agree. No, he just couldn’t. Phil also told me that in order to get a refund or to rectify this situation I would have to take this wicker basket to the nearest Target store to return it. This didn’t sound right to me at all. Again, Phil patiently waited for me to collect myself. And then I asked him a bunch of questions. I have to admit that several of my questions might have been rhetorical in nature, but Phil did the best he could and we ended our conversation. Phil ended up refunding my purchase anyway.
Today, the day after Christmas on my day off, I went to your nearest store in Clackamas with my lovely wicker “coffee maker”. All three of the your customer service employees were super apologetic about the “mix up” One of them called to some other Target location to explain the situation. She was transferred to two other people, before she was disconnected, those darn landlines! She diligently called back and asked to speak to a supervisor and she got one on the line. Your delightful supervisor on the phone told your costumer relations girl that I would have to take my wicker basket to the nearest post office and ship it back to your warehouse. Well, again this didn’t sound right to me. And In spite of her advice, I decided to leave it in the hands of your customer services department, anyway. I am holding out hope that the wicker organizer will find it’s forever home after all of this. If I told you this ruined my holiday, I think it would be a bit overly dramatic of me. I mean, there are much more important things other than making a really good cup of coffee, right? However, I have learned a very important lesson in all of this and this will most likely be the last time I will ever put all my eggs in your wicker basket, because I think your warehouse workers MIGHT need some glasses. Jeeze Louise, please give them a visit to check in on their health, I am super concerned about them! Please tell them that 2015 has got to be a better year!

Your Holiday Disaster,

Amy Solt