Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Introducing the New Mrs. Kennedy

My lifelong dream, achieved! Marrying into the Kennedy family! I can hardly believe it myself! *Swoon!*

No, I didn't marry the ghost of JFK Jr., nor did I run off to Vegas this weekend and marry the first Kennedy I came across, but I did call the Evil Safeway and the very not-evil girl on the phone updated my customer information to reflect my new, married name. Ahem.

(Come to think of it, this is the second time this month I've lied to someone about my marital status. The first time went like this:

Me: Get out of car at bank, totally minding my own business, I just want to go to the ATM.
Him: Homeless black man hanging around with several friends at the bank at 7:00 on a Thursday morning.
Me: Trying to avoid eye contact, walking back to car.
Him: Hey, missus!
Me: Look up, but not for too long.
Him: Are you married?
Me: Yeah, I am. Don't notice the complete lack of jewelry, don't notice, don't notice!
Him: Figures.
Me: Unlock car door.
Him: Well, you have a very pleasant way about you.
Me: Thanks. Have a good day.
Him: You too.
Me: Get in car quickly, thinking, Was it the pleasant way in which I haven't showered yet today? The pleasant way in which I'm wearing the first clothes I found in my drawer, have no makeup on and hastily threw my hair in a ponytail? The pleasant way in which I tried to ignore you? The pleasant way in which I got in the car and immediately locked the doors and whyohwhy aren't we home yet? No, sir, I think what you meant to say was, "You have a nice ass.")

So, yes, I lied to the Safeway people. But it is totally justified, since they insist upon thanking me, BY NAME, every time I shop there with my damn Safeway card. And, I don't know about you, but I have issues with them using my last name -- often preceded by "Mrs." -- in public, in front of whoever is in line behind me.

For starters, it's just not safe. I don't want anyone I don't know knowing my name unless I offer it. Haven't we seen enough of those "Stranger, danger!" messages? And identity theft public service announcements? My name is a valuable piece of information, and one of the keys to my personal financial information. And, I really don't want the guy behind me buying a case of Bud Light to overhear my name and catch up with me in the parking lot and offer to show me his newest tattoo. Hell, half the time I'm at a bar I give people a fake name because I don't actually want to talk to them ever again.

[Sidenote: When selecting a fake name, be sure to choose one that's believable. I mean, a name like Anastasia Beaverhausen is a good conversation piece, but if the point is to not converse with someone... Also, it's taken. Keep thinking. If you're not the creative type, try this.]

Also, dearest Safeway people, it is not 1956 and you are not my friendly local grocer. You and I do not have a personal relationship whereby I expect you to greet me by name and know what vegetables are my favorite and inquire as to how my great-aunt Mildred is faring. You, Safeway, are not a quaint little corner store, you are a multi-billion dollar corporation, and I am an anonymous patron. And I like it that way. So, please, STOP PRETENDING TO BE SOMETHING YOU'RE NOT!

I thought up this little "Oh, I got married and am now updating my last name, tee hee hee" scheme several months ago, and it pops into my head every third time I go to the grocery store, but usually by the time I get home I've already moved on to putting away the groceries, cooking, etc and then the next time the cashier calls me by my honest-to-goodness, right-there-on-the-birth-certificate name, I cringe. Today, I finally remembered to take action. Hooray! The not-evil customer service girl warned me that it could take up to 24 hours for the change to go into effect, so if I do any shopping in the next day or so, they still might use my old last name. I think I'll manage.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Breaking Point

I have always been a conscientious user of energy. In part, because it's a limited resource and I'm a hippie, tree-hugging liberal and conservation is generally the right thing to do. But mostly, because I am cheap. And while electricity is inexpensive these days (adjusted for inflation and relative to other consumer goods), I don't relish the thought of paying my local utility more than $40 a month for the privilege of artificial lighting, the ability to re-charge my iPod and more hours with my laptop than I care to admit. As a result, I hold out as long as possible before turning on the air conditioning. But this weekend, I hit my breaking point and finally succumbed to the evil that is electricity-sucking window AC units from the Carter administration.

It was 110 in Sacramento.

Mind you, I still don't use the AC with reckless abandon. I run it as little as possible to keep the house at a manageable temperature. Which means I can comfortably wear shorts and a tank top, so...probably 85 or so. And, a little extra AC overnight to aid with the sleeping. Invariably I wake up with stiff neck and shoulder muscles -- an indication that they're not accustomed to such polar climes.

Today was a hellish day at work. One of those days where by 7 pm I feel like I've been run over by a truck, and I want nothing more than to go home and relax and watch some completely not-taxing-to-the-brain TV. (This, people, is why I have cable. So I can watch strangers buy a house or sell a house or redecorate a house. Any time of day or night.)

This plan worked well for approximately eight minutes. And then the power went out. (Commence with the laughing.)

I conferred with the neighbors, dutifully called my electric utility to report the outage, then devolved into a fit of hysterics.

(Ok, not really, but if hysterics and smelling salts were still in fashion for young women, I probably would have.)

Being the resourceful type (and unable to stand the thought of having to somehow entertain myself in a half-dark, 90 degree house) I ventured out to a local coffee/sandwich/crepe shop with a modicum of air conditioning, but wonderful, glorious wireless internet access with which to pass the time. The easy access to wine helped, too.

And now, I'm getting reports that the power has been restored to the neighborhood, so I'm headed home. Again. *Sigh.* Tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Because I Am Incapable of Making a Decision of This Magnitude on My Own

Darling, lovely Internet People, I come to you with my latest fashion conundrum: which sunglasses to invest in? Normally, this is a fairly easy decision, because Lord knows if I manage not to break or lose or scratch to all hell my $20 Target sunglasses over the course of the summer, I might still pick out a different pair the following year, just because I'm bored with the old ones.


These sunglasses will be outfitted with fancy prescription lenses and will cost a might bit more than $20, so I have to give some actual thought to the question of, do I want to wear these next summer, too? (And the summer after that, and the summer after that, perhaps until I die.)

And, after a long week and far, far too long at the eyeglasses shop today, I find myself incapable of making that final decision. So, I turn to you. Please know that I value your input, even if I eschew your advice. It helps me discern what it is I really want. (Currently that answer is: Sleep!) (Also, the Gucci sunglasses that cost twice what I'm willing to spend. My word but they were pretty!)

Here are the sunglasses in question. Please try to ignore, you know, ME, behind them when making your selection.

(Also know that I used the same method for selecting these pictures as I did the sunglasses -- take 40 or 50 shots, then start eliminating the bad ones. I skipped the whole editing process, so what you get are raw images. I don't have the patience to deal with photo editing tonight. My apologies for the poor cropping, visible bra, etc. Not everything can be a masterpiece.)

(And do not even get me started on the process that is selecting a pair of frames for real glasses. I think I put on half of their inventory this evening -- roughly eleventy billion pairs -- and all we came up with were three "maybes." Eventually the salesgirl would hand me a pair, I'd put them on, she'd say "ew" and put them back without me ever knowing what they looked like. By the time I left, I was ready to poke my eyes out. Which, now that I think about it, would eliminate the need for glasses entirely, so I may keep that option in mind.)

Sunglasses 1
Sunglasses 1

Sunglasses 2
Sunglasses 2

My many thanks. And probably many, many more from the poor salesgirl whose evening I monopolized.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Veni, Vidi, Vici

Well, it's been more than a month and I still haven't written a review of my class reunion. In part it's because I'm alternately lazy, busy, and just plain don't love you enough. And in part it's because I haven't thought of a coherent way in which to describe the event. Probably because there isn't one. Instead, I present to you the following vignettes. And pictures.

(I will have you know I learned how to spell "vignettes" in preparation for the citywide spelling bee in 8th grade, at which I was not asked to spell vignette, but I still totally kicked ass. It remains one of my favorite words ever.) (Pretentious little bitch.) (Alan: I believe that's uppity little bitch. Me: Oh, right. My mistake.)

Evidence that I Wasn't Kidding When I Said, "If my reunion were in half an hour, I'd go, as is."
Cocktail hour started at 5:00. Kathy and I made plans to depart around five, so we'd arrive by 5:30. At 4:25 Mom and I got home from shopping. I still needed to do everything involved with getting ready, starting with a shower. Forty-five minutes later, we were out the door. Yes, I spent far longer taking pictures of those dresses for you to choose from than I did actually dressing for the event. Such is life. (And I went with the cream one.)

And, because I know you guys like this sort of thing, the shoes:

IMG_0300 edited

Evidence that Miss Manners Was Not Consulted about This Event
The weather in Wisconsin is nothing, if not fickle. Thursday was beautiful, in the 80s, I felt like I was in California. Sort of. I could pretend. On Friday things cooled down a bit and by Saturday, it was downright cold -- 55 degrees out and hella windy. So, the dress I brought was going to be a bit chilly, but hey I knew that going in, and besides, we'll be in some banquet room somewhere where the temperature will be a perfectly-regulated 68 degrees.

We've got the name and address of the venue, but no instructions like "park in the back" or "go to the third door on the left and use the secret knock." But, this is Janesville, so nothing's that hard to figure out.

Kathy and I walk through the parking lot, to the front door of the clubhouse. I'm thinking, maybe there's a downstairs party room or something. We walk in. To the right is the pro shop; to our left is the bar; directly in front of us are unoccupied chairs and tables that are part of the bar. Oooookay. Where's the reunion?

Spanning the back of the room are windows with a view of the backyard. Through these windows we see a white party tent.

OMG, this thing is OUTSIDE!!!!!!!!!!

Knock, knock? Planning committee? That would have been REALLY GOOD information to include on the invitation. Perhaps I would not have worn an outfit that rendered me PRACTICALLY NAKED.

Best Reminder That We're Not In Kansas Anymore. Or Rather, That We Are.
I go up to the bar to get myself a drink. The bartender looks to be 16, but I know she's got to be at least 18 to serve alcohol.

Me: Do you have red wine back there?
Child Bartender: *looks around for red wine, including checking the refrigerator behind her*
Me: *contemplate telling her that if the wine is in the fridge, I ain't drinkin' it*
Child Bartender: Ummm, no, but we can bring some down from the clubhouse.
Me: Oh that's ok, it's not that big of a deal. Can I have a vodka tonic instead?
Child Bartender: Ummm, *looks around for tonic; locates it in a styrofoam cup* sure! What kind of vodka would you like?
Me: *glance briefly at the bottles nearest me* The Grey Goose is fine.
Child Bartender: *sets about mixing my drink, in a 16 oz plastic cup*
Me: *suddenly realize I've selected The Most Expensive Vodka Available and she's making me a double and I may need several drinks before the night is over and how much is THIS gonna cost?*
Child Bartender: *finishes making the drink* $3.50
Me: What?
Child Bartender: It's $3.50.
Me: *pick jaw up off the floor long enough to pay, tip generously, and marvel at paying a third of what I expect a drink to cost*

IMG_0297 edited
A wristband. Yes, really, a wristband. Because they couldn't do the math and figure out that we're all 28, give or take a few months.

Best Moment of the Night
"Oh my god, I can see your California tan from all the way across the room!!!"

(I ♥ you, Coppertone Endless Summer Sunless Tanning Bronzing Foam.)

Most Common Conversation
Him/Her: So did you move to California right after college?
Me: First I went to grad school, then I moved to DC for three years, and now I'm in California.
Him/Her: *head explodes*
Me: *calmly sip drink*

Like twelve bazillion times.

Him/Her: So what do you do there?
Me: Ummmmmmm *frantically sip drink while trying to think of a way to succinctly explain my job*

Moment Most Reminiscent of High School
There's a girl (woman?) that I've known since sixth grade. We'll call her Girl A. Girl A and I have never been particularly close, but cordial when we needed to, which, during high school was almost never. We hadn't talked all night, but there was no reason to avoid talking to her, so I thought I'd say hi. (Plus I was running out of things to say to the people I was sitting with and needed a change of scenery.) Unfortunately, Girl A was standing next to Girl B -- the only person from high school who falls into the "I really never need to see this person again" category. It's not that we hate each other (hate would be far too much effort, at least on my part. Maybe she hates me; I don’t know.), just that we have a mutual "my life would be perfectly dandy if I didn't know you exist" feeling going. I decided to be a grown up and go say hello, despite Girl B's presence. Because, frankly, I AM a grown up.

I stepped up between Girl A and Girl B, put on a happy face and said something totally inoffensive like, "I just thought I'd come say hello!" (Meanwhile thinking, I really don't need Girl B to know a single iota about my life, but I guess I don't have that luxury). Girl A greeted me in return; Girl B acknowledged that I was standing in proximity to her personal space, but said nothing and then turned away. Inside, I was laughing.

Most Mind-Boggling Conversation
Sitting across from someone I'd had several classes with, looking like she stuffed a basketball under her dress.
Me: So, is this your first kid?
Her: *holds up four fingers*
Me: *nearly fall off chair*

The Denouement
By 9:00, half of the attendees had left. A bunch of us moved the party over to the bar closest to our high school, where we sat around talking and drinking beer out of bottles. But at least it was good beer.

IMG_0299 edited
God, I love Wisconsin.

On the whole, the reunion was...passable -- I give it a C -- but I am definitely glad I went. As in so much of life, people make the difference. The main disappointment of the evening (other than the complete lack of hospitality) was in who wasn't there. Most of the guys I had classes with. Half of our Gang of Six. All my friends who didn't graduate with me. The neighbor boy. However, I was surprised and delighted to see some of my former classmates -- some of whom I hadn't talked to since graduation, others I lost touch with during/after college. The amazing thing was to see how all of these people became who they were supposed to be. And comparing who they were in high school to who they are now, I think they, like me, have become more themselves.

IMG_0298 edited

To Sarah and Kathy (half of our little gang) and the entire Class of 1996, Cheers! May the next decade be as exciting and prosperous as the last. I'll see you back at "Cow Pie High."

Monday, July 10, 2006

Variation on a Theme

I'm really enjoying the theme we've got going here...people who claim to be omniscient but appear not to know the first thing about my life.

In keeping with that theme, I offer you this, my fortune from dinner this evening:

A secret admirer will soon send you a sign of affection.



My apologies for the shoddy post tonight. I have plenty of thoughts running around my head, but my gosh, those deep thoughts take a long time to make sense of and write down! And my writing time was taken over by last-minute dinner plans with a colleague in town from DC. We spent the evening catching up on each other's lives, mutual friends' lives, talking shop, etc. It was a wonderful reminder that there are some people in this world that I hope to never lose track of.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Numerology, Volume 2

OK, so I know all of you were duly impressed by the accuracy of that last description. I suggest you keep it on hand to analyze whatever puzzling wack-job totally natural behavior I may display in the future. (Feel free to apply the info retroactively, as well, such as to analyze last week's foray into The Land of the Crazy.)

Mr. Numerology goes on to discuss, based on the spelling of my complete name, as stated on my birth certificate, my "expression" and my "soul urge." (Expression is computed based on one's full name; soul urge is calculated using only the vowels.)

Upon reading these descriptions, I've come up with the following hypotheses: (1) The guy is nuts. (2) I'm completely ignoring my natural talents and abilities, not at all following my soul's urge, and should remedy that soon. (3) My parents gave me the wrong name.

You decide.

Also, because I enjoy making things interactive, please select your favorite sentence from the descriptions below and leave it in the comments, along with an analysis as to why it does or does not suit me. And by "favorite sentence" I of course mean "most presposterous/actually made me spit out the coffee I'm drinking sentence."

Your Expression -- Your Potential Natural Talents and Abilities

You are a secret rebel and a loner preferring the company of your brilliant thoughts and fantastic daydreams to the company of other people. You are incredibly spiritually sophisticated and this creates an odd air of detachment to your personality.

You tend to express yourself in a very blunt manner to others simply because you are not a big believer in wasting time with niceties. You tend to not express yourself well through your facial expressions or body language although you can be quite eloquent with words. You do not say much but when you do say something it is usually acutely observant or very enlightening.

To you the ultimate expression of your higher self lies within the mysteries of science, nature and the occult. Most number 7s tend to be interested in all three topics. Many are mathematicians, naturalists, anthropologists, historians or priests.

The virtues of solitude appeal to you most as it allows you the peace and acres of time that you need to investigate your favorite subjects. Even if you have never gone to school you probably have the equivalent of a Ph.D in some kind of esoteric or scientific subject. An important part of your self-expression is the ability to be able to pass this knowledge onto a willing enthusiast or student one day.

You are also likely to choose a romantic partner that shares your intellectual passions. As you are so quirky it takes a very special person indeed to understand your complex body language and need for a lot of personal space. Usually when you do find a partner that understands you, you are so grateful, that you become loyal for life.

Although you make a great teacher, you do not necessarily make a good parent. This is because a child's curiosity often competes with your own child-like need to be inquisitive and live in a fantasy world.

You are very logical and in terms of your personal tastes, believe that beauty is a matter of form following function. You are also a perfectionist so much of what you own will probably be the very best or state of the art. You should be well able to afford this as your deeply analytical and logical mind also often lends you a talent for investing money. Although you like owning the best on the market you are not the type to show off. You tend to hide your wealth from others as well as you hide your other secrets. This is partly an attempt on your part to see if an individual likes you for you.

You are very uncomfortable with expressions of emotion and often avoid "feeling your feelings." Many of you may equate relationships with the idea of pain or as an element that could potentially throw you off your balance or defocus you from your "real work." Sometimes your emotions are manifested through illness as you have a tendency to stash all of your feelings, especially the painful ones such as resentment, to the back of your subconcious where they fester for years.

You are also prone to obsession if you let your feelings somehow become the focus of your life. The challenge of some number sevens is to distinguish the difference between how they feel about a situation and the reality of it.

Your reverence for the mysteries of the universe makes you an adamant seeker of truth. Your search for an ideal society or a spiritual epiphany makes you more vulnerable than other numbers to the influences of cults or religious leaders.

Your Soul Urge -- What You Desire To Be, To Have, and To Do In Your Life

The highest expression of your soul's urge is to connect in a mystical way with others. Although your aspirations are lofty, you are also a humanitarian who is often gifted with a sharp intuition and keen analytical skills. Often you give up opportunities that should be yours, simply to help another. This is because your faith in yourself, god and the future is so strong that you live by your conviction that the universe is always unfolding as it should.

Others simply do not possess your spiritual sophistication and may be amused or repelled by what they see as your irrational talk or beliefs. You may be accused of being stupid or foolish simply because you won't take the bait (of a job or money) at the expense of your ethics. Compared to the other numbers, you excel at letting go of lovers or opportunities simply because you know you can't take emotions and material goods with you when you die.

As you are driven more by compassion than common sense, you are the first to fall on your sword for a worthy cause. You may often be broke because you see money only as a tool of change. You would much rather spend money on art, charity or a trip. In fact, ostentatious displays of wealth anger and disgust you because your ideal is a world where all humans are equal.

You might appear very eccentric to others who don't quite understand your fascination with the spiritual world or your insistence on being a seeker of truth. Furthermore nines tend to get carried away when it comes to trying to heal or connect to others. The biggest mistake you could make is to try and be an "agent of karma" by meddling or interfering in other people's affairs.

As you are so talented psychically, you often become a liability in business simply because people in authority resent your ability to perceive their secrets. You rarely rise very high on the corporate ladder simply because others see you as a threat to their cloak of political intrigue.

You have a soul that must be continually assured and fed with new sources of spiritual information. To stay healthy, your psyche may require that you make special trips to holy or mystical places. You may have to seek out special teaching to help you understand and cultivate your talents so that you are in control, as opposed to terrorized by them. Being able to foresee the future or see through other people is often painful, so some therapy might be required in your life to help you detach from your own sensitivity.

One of the sins you are most vulnerable to is spiritual pride. This can bring you situations that cause your faith to be seriously tested or where your pride can take a big fall. Many nines often find themselves subject to a lesson in becoming humble by the cosmos simply because they were too boastful of their talents. Making money off of your psychic talents may also cause you some problems, as part of your path is to heal without the expectation of reward. If you are working professionally as a psychic and are a nine, then remember to tithe at least one tenth of your earnings towards a worthy cause. However the highest calling of your soul urge is to share your intuitive talents for free.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Numerology, Volume 1

Against my better judgment, I clicked on a link, put in a bunch of personal info and was given the following glimpse at my life. (Of course, there's much, much more to be discovered, if I just sign up here with my credit card...) All this, just from knowing the date of my birth!

I laughed. I cried. I wondered how, exactly, does one become a numerologist and how good's the pay?

Your Life Path of 4 ...

You are a trustworthy, practical and down to earth individual who places ethics above materialism and greed. You are a humanist at heart, and your life path focus is usually related to manifesting the greater philosophical ideals into practical reality. For this reason your expectations of yourself and others are unusually high.

You are a doer, more than a talker and nothing annoys you more than an individual that does not follow through on what he or she says he is going to do. You don't suffer fools gladly and have no problem swiftly eliminating people who you consider being a liability from your life. You especially have no tolerance for silly, neurotic or shallow people.

One of the problems of being a four is that you expect others to be of demanding of themselves as you are of yourself. It is painful for you to realize that others simply don't have the same perseverance, dedication and devotion to improving the world that you do. Many 4's are also extremists, tending to be very right wing or very left wing in their thinking.

Your incredible stamina, perseverance and will power allow you to accomplish ten times the amount of work that anyone else can in one day. Others often realize this about 4 and take advantage of your almost superhuman qualities. Your organization and planning skills are exemplary and for that reason you are a fantastic strategist, administrator, project manager. You are a perfect example of how "slow and steady wins the race."

However, it is part of your life path to learn how to delegate responsibility and let others take care of themselves every now and then! Many 4's are unhappy campers by the end of their lives simply because they chose the path of the hard-working martyrs while others reaped the benefits of all of their pioneering work. To avoid this you should always spare yourself the trouble of always making things right and let others be accountable for their own mistakes.

Often your tenacity and strong will is perceived as stubbornness. Fours often don't make good leaders as others see them as too autocratic and demanding. Of all of the numbers, you are most prone to such disorders as obsessive compulsive disorder and being addicted to perfection. The plus side of this is that many of you own dream homes that are spic and span from top to bottom. You are also an excellent landscaper and interior decorator.

You choose your friends and business partners wisely and function best in a team of two. You may have few close friends during your lifetime but the ones that you do have are loyal for life. You are dependable and trustworthy and more willing than most people to sacrifice what you have for greater good of all. Those who witness this are often touched by your kindness.

You are enraged by any type of social injustice and can be quite outspoken about politics, religion or ethics. Although your intentions are good, it is also one of your life challenges to learn to be tolerant of other's beliefs and opinions.

As the number 4 is associated with the earth element and the four elements you are the most grounded of all of the numbers. This makes you an excellent parent and provider. You usually marry early in life and because of your conscientiousness about money are quite wealthy by the end of your days. You also love animals and will probably enjoy the company of many pets during your lifetime.

Monday, July 03, 2006

July, Already?!?!?

I flipped the page on my calendar this week and made a shocking discovery: It's July.

JULY. JU.LY. You know, that month that signals the beginning of the third quarter.


Halfway through the year, and there's so much I haven't accomplished! Namely:
  1. Filing my taxes.
  2. Sculpting a body to rival Rebecca Romijn's.
  3. Figuring out how to be reimbursed by my insurance company for the last six months' worth of prescriptions.
  4. Becoming a generally happier and less-stressed person. (#3 isn't helping the endeavor any.)
  5. Reading the seventy thousand books on my bookshelf just waiting for me to have some "free time."
  6. Finalizing plans for world domination.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Next Thing You Know, I'll Be Wearing a Plastic Rain Bonnet

I had a busy weekend here, filled with exciting things like cleaning the bathroom! and doing laundry! and itemizing exactly what clothing I will drop off at Goodwill so I can accurately deduct its fair market value on next year's tax return! (Apparently I have previously been assigning "garage sale value" to my donations, as I think a shopping bag full of clothes is worth about $2 and Turbo Tax thinks that one shirt is worth more than $2. I decided I like Turbo Tax's math better, so I'm actually documenting this year's closet-cleaning endeavors, lest the IRS think I'm trying to cheat them out of $100 worth of taxable income.)

But the most exciting moment of the weekend -- more exciting than discovering that my mop, which I haven't used in weeks because the mop head is tearing into pieces, thus rendering it rather ineffective as a cleaning tool, doesn't have a replaceable mop head, so the replacement mop head I bought is utterly useless until I buy a new mop, and why is it that I've purchased at least one new mop for every rental property I have lived in since the dawn of time? Am I really that hard on my mops? Is it asking too much to expect a mop to come with a replaceable mop head? And for the replacement mop head to be easily procured at one's local discount retailer a few months later? Do mop heads go out of fashion that quickly??? -- was when I put an end to the make-out session taking place in the middle of Banana Republic.

The two lovebirds in question were approximately 16 and did not at all appear to be your typical Banana Republic shopper. That is to say, neither of them was a married woman in her early 30s, accompanied by children under the age of six. (Admittedly, many of these women are probably not yet 30, but in my little world no one under the age of 30 has children; therefore, I get to make these women older than they are. I'm sure they love me for it.) Romeo and Juliet apparently thought they were in the back of a very dark movie theatre, not standing in the middle of a well-lit store next to a table full of v-neck sweaters on sale for $24.99. Ahem. Customers were visibly distracted by this not-at-all-discreet public display of affection, and I do believe that if someone had been forward enough to yell "Get a room!" in their general direction, several customers would have applauded.

As Romeo and Juliet had not yet noticed the incredulous stares from customers and BR staff alike, and thus were not shamed into putting an end to their grope-fest, SOMEONE had to act. (These two had parts touching that I didn't even know existed until um, well, certainly not during high school, that's for sure.) By virtue of the fact that I was the closest and, let's face it, most appalled staff member, that someone was me.

I put on my best Mom Voice (I don't mean "the voice I will use as a mother," I mean, I channeled MY MOTHER'S calm, patient, I work with ten-year olds all day, I'm not yelling at you so much as explaining why your actions are inappropriate at this given moment and maybe we could find some other way to express our love for one another, hmm? voice) and reminded them that they were in a public place, with, you know, small children around, and that this really wasn't appropriate. Perhaps you should go next door, to Forever 21? (All right, so I didn't say that last part.)

Much to my surprise, they looked mildly embarrassed. And didn't give me any crap about the interruption or what's the big deal or why you up in my face, bitch? (Oh yes, you should come to the mall. It's FUN. It's also a weekly reminder that my children will not be allowed to leave the house before they are 35, unless it's to go to church or the library. School? Um, no. We’ll have someone brought in for that.)

My disgust at this kind of behavior is nothing new. But calling strangers out on it and being taken seriously? That is novel. Which led me to wonder...When, exactly, did I become an old lady??? (Answer: 1978. Shut up.)