Metro

The day that our social worker called us and told us that Mea would be coming home to us, I dropped by Mack’s old sitter Lois’ house to see if she would take Mea in her daycare once she was home. 

At that time, Lois had quit taking babies.  Two to three years old was the youngest she would take them. 

She said she couldn’t promise anything but she would try it.  She was concerned, she kind of didn’t think it would work with a “little” baby and the rest of her big kids.  She said that if it didn’t work out she would let me know, and give me time to find someone else to watch her.

After the first week, they were two peas in a pod.  Lois loved Mea, and Mea loved Lolo.  It was an instant bond.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time saved up to take when she came home, and my Aunt was sick, so I had lots of “being away for work” guilt, so Mea started with Lois the second week she was home.

Lolo and her husband have been like a second set of grandparents to both of my kids.  First Mack, and now Mea, they are forever bonded to this couple. 

On November 20, Lois pulled me aside and said that she needed the week of Thanksgiving off.  She told me that her husband had cancer, but they didn’t know where or how bad yet.  The week of Thanksgiving was when they were doing the majority of the testing.  The evening before Thanksgiving, I had a call from one of the other mother’s to tell me that Lois was done. Her husband was pretty bad, and she couldn’t do daycare anymore starting immediately.

I was a little hurt that she didn’t call me herself.  (This is a post for a different day.  We have visited and called since and it is yet another heartbreaking story to go down for 2013.)

In addition to her being Mea’s babysitter, she is my friend.  I have cried all over her and her husband so many times over the years it is ridiculous.  I gave them a little space, knowing just how much they were going through at that time, I just left them be for a few days.

Then the search was on.

No one can replace a Lolo, but I was determined to try.

Mea was adamant from the beginning that she did not want to go to Metrokids, the school’s before and after care program.  I didn’t know why at the time she didn’t want to go, but she was so upset whenever I even mentioned it, I was going to try hard to find somewhere else.

I called all the centers all around us, and none of them had an opening for Mea’s school.  It is a big school.  One of the largest elementary schools in our city.  Not one of them had room on their bus for before and after, or after school only.

I posted a few things on Facebook, looking for opinions or suggestions of friends.

I looked online.

We found a website for state approved daycare providers within our area, and called a few that were close.  I set up appointments to go over to these homes, and interview the babysitters.

At the first house, it was clean.  The girl seemed nice enough, a little young, but nice.  Then she told me that she forgot that her own child had early out from school that day.  She goes to a private Catholic school, that only does early outs every now and then instead of every week like Mea’s school. 

But, you guys, she FORGOT HER OWN CHILD!!!!

While we were there someone from her child’s school brought her daughter home and another daycare child!

WTF.

As I am talking to her she tells me that she picks up from another school that gets out at the same time as Mea, but what she will do is pick up from the other school first, and Mea could cross the street with the crossing guard and wait on a street opposite from the school until she gets there.  It should only take her ten minutes.

ONLY TEN MINUTES????!!!  My kid is not standing in the cold, on a street corner, away from her school while she waits for you to get there.

Next.

The next house.  This house was across the street from the school.  It looked okay from the street.

It looked less okay up close and personal.

It was awful.  Mea goes tearing off playing with the kids.  The babysitter asks me if I want to see the rest of the house, I agreed only because I don’t know if I knew what to say.  It was filthy.  If you knew someone was going to be coming to your house, wouldn’t you run the vacuum?  Wipe down the counters in your kitchen? 

But then again, from the looks of things, this probably was “clean” to them.  She asked me if I wanted to sit down in the living room and I declined because the couch was so filthy I was afraid to sit on it.  There were no legs on the couch or love seat.  There were visible stains on both couches, that were almost “crunchy” looking. 

Of course, Mea saw nothing wrong with this place.  At all.  She was so mad when I said that she was absolutely not going to go to either of these places.  After the last one, I quit calling any in-home daycare providers.

We basically had no choice.  It had been two weeks, I needed someplace for her to go.  I told her that she had to go to Metrokids at the school, and if she hated it, I would do my best to find somewhere else.

The night before the first day, we had read some of her latest chapter book and were snuggling in bed.  She says in her whining tiny little voice that she does not want to go to Metro.  I asked her what was bothering her so bad about it.

She said, “Metro is in the cafeteria, and during lunch we have to sit and be quiet and not talk, or they turn the lights out.  I don’t want to sit in the dark from after school until you get there Momma.”

Oh, my heart. 

“Mea, just because Metro is in the cafeteria doesn’t mean that it is just like when you are in the cafeteria for lunch.  At Metro they play games, they play with some toys and do crafts.  They play outside when it is nice enough outside, and it’s supposed to be fun.”

She was still terribly nervous.  I promised her we would go early and I would stay with her for a little while so that she could meet some friends.  The lady who met us at the door was a little gruff, but nice enough, the other ladies inside were sweet and talked to Mea about some things.  She saw a friend playing “restaurant” with some other little girls, so I took her over to say hello.  They immediately asked her if she wanted to be a “worker or a customer” and brought her into their game.  I stood back for a little while and watched. 

I walked over to her after a few minutes and asked if it was okay for me to leave. She nodded her head and kissed me goodbye.

When I picked her up after I got off from work, she asked me why I came to get her so early.

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Fat Guy, Fatter Suit

I have worked with many different people over the years.

There are some, that for better or for worse stick with you.

“Jeff” is one that will always annoy the hell out of me, even eight years later when I should be over it.  He was supposed to be a professional.  He was supposed to be out drumming up business for me.  I could never take this guy seriously.

For the longest time I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Then I realized.

All of his suits were too big.

But at the same time, they also seemed too small.

He was a biggish guy, not overly built, but kind of chubby, so I think that many of us thought that he had lost a lot of weight before he came to work for us, and that was why his suits didn’t fit, and you know he didn’t have enough money to get them all altered.

But then there was that part where some of them looked too small.

Not too small in the waist line.  Too small in the length.  The waist line was so big that often his belt would be doubled over the fabric, and make the waistband all bunchy.  Like when we would wear my Dad’s pants and pretend to be hobos when we were little.

His pants were also always a little bit too short.  Some suits were worse than others, but there was always quite a bit of sock showing. It probably didn’t help that he occasionally wore black sweat socks with his suits.

So then the day came and he was gone.

I was not sad, as I said there was always something about him that just seemed a little bit not quite right.

Years later, I was talking to an ex-co-worker about him and this is the story that came out.

It turns out that “Jeff” was in panic mode when he got hired on with the old company, and only owned one suit.

He had this friend, who sold him all the suits that didn’t fit him anymore.

His friend was as wide as he was tall apparently. 

Which explains why Jeff’s pants were always too short, and too big around in the middle, and why his jackets looked like he was hauling an extra body around with him.

 


The Bag Lady

I first noticed her a little over ten years ago.  She would come into my office, dragging two large heavy plastic reusable grocery bags, from a discount grocery store.  They were packed to the limit. 

Where I worked, it was common for us to serve clients who were quite well off, and also serve clients who could barely rub two nickels together.  I could never quite figure out The Bag Lady’s circumstances.  She looked clean, she looked kept, but she had those bags, and seemingly, nowhere to go.

I saw her everywhere.

On every single side of town. 

She rode the bus, so I did see her frequently while I was at work.  At least several times per week.

Always with those two stuffed bags.

She was older, definitely should have been retired.  Frail enough that watching her carry those bags always concerned me, they looked so heavy.

I often wondered what she had in there.  I would find myself thinking about it at odd times.  If she were homeless, she might have all of her earthly possessions in those bags.  What if someone stole them from her?  What if she lost one?  What if one of them ripped and she started losing things?

She went missing for a while.  I didn’t see her.  This was over winter, so then I really began wondering if she was one of the homeless as so many of them head south for winter.

Then when the weather started warming up I began to see her again. 

Back with her bags.

Only this time they had multiplied. 

The first time I saw her she had four bags.

Then at least six.

Then she was walking around with at least ten or more of these bags filled to the brim, so heavy she could barely carry them herself.  She would walk two to four bags about twenty feet or so, then go back and get more bags, over and over and over again.

I couldn’t imagine how long it was taking her to get to wherever it was that she needed to be while carrying all of those bags.

Then one day, I realized she was gone.  I hadn’t seen her for months. More than a few seasons had passed.

She was gone.

So were her bags.

 

I am still here.  I will be back in this place.  I have been dragging around a bunch of baggage.  My brain has been so heavy it’s been hard to put all of my stuff away, and walk away without any of my bags, but please know this…..

I miss you.  I miss this space and the cheap therapy it gives me.  I miss making people laugh,  I miss reading your stories.   

I don’t know what happened to the bag lady.  I hope that some family member intervened and either got her some mental help that she may have needed, or helped her into an assisted living facility of some sort who could also help her. 

 


Bloggling Twenty-two

I am calling this in from my phone. Ignore typos and deliriousness. Also, no bullets points.

My husband and I planned with her mother to discuss the drinking problem with step-daughter number 2. We were supposed to do it all together, bit her mom couldn’t wait, and it blew up into a horrible texting thing vs. an in person serious thing. I have been so angry I haven’t been thinking straightly.

I may come back and revisit this again, but that is the very, very short version.

My Mom has a fracture in her hip. (Holly, Mom may not have mentioned this to L yet it is breaking (not funny) news.) She sees an ortho tomorrow. She is freaking out. There home would not be condusive to rehab. Way too many steps, she is panicking that she will have to go to a home for rehab. Please pray that this does not happen. I do not think any of us could deal with this at all.

I set my oldest step-daughter up with a guy that I work with and they really like each other. Like REALLY like each other. They ate on date number five this weekend. I am super thrilled. He is a nice guy and has his shit together.

Also speaking of my OSD, I went over to her house on Saturday afternoon while she filed a police report against her son’s father. While our grandson was with us Friday night, he called E1 33 times and sent her over 50 text messages. Calling her every name in the book and demanding to know where his son was. It was her weekend. WE asked for him, as it was boys sleepover night and we had baby L too. He has gotten wind of her dating this nice guy and wants to try to fuck it up. He is a douche bag. I just pray that he doesn’t scare this new guy away. He is a keeper.

Yesterday, I restricted and hid from view my husband’s ex-wife on FB. I don’t know what I was thinking adding her, because she irritates the hell out of me. Anytime I comment on something the girl’s have posted it seems like she has to try to “one-up” my comment. I know this is dumb, but I hate that loon boon so much that everything she does annoys the shit out of me.

I had a call from one of the companies that I had multiple interviews with while un-employed. They want me to come in for yet another interview. Although I am not super in love with my job, I just don’t think I can go back for a fifth interview with this company. It is ridiculous. If they wanted me they should have hired me in March when I first spoke with them.

This is it for now. My thumbs are getting tired and my battery is running low.


A Diamond in the Rough, or Something Like That

Mea has now broken her special “Nana necklace” twice. The first time it was in my car, and I found all but one piece.  This time, we kept all the pieces, until I went to put them on the new chain I ordered, and dropped her “birthday jewel.”

I am sure it will turn up.  I have swept all around where I dropped it, have gone through my purse (and discovered a bottle of lotion with the lid off inside of a pocket) because my purse was on the floor right around the same place that I dropped it.  Glad I found the lotion before stuff got ruined.

As I was looking, I thought about this time when I was at work soon after I started working in jewelry.

My boss was kind of a weasel.  He sort of looked like a weasel, and he just had that kind of smarmy sleazy salesman vibe about him.  Some of our customers just hated him, specifically for this reason.  He did a lot of “creative” sales.  You could never quite figure out if he was ripping off the company or the customer, but it seemed like he was ripping off someone.

We would often order in loose diamonds.  The ones that were sent to us for engagement rings back then tended to be super ugly. Cloudy, full of inclusions, ugly.  We would special order stones in to have on hand.  Often we would have several large, high quality stones in the store at a time.  Most stores would special order stones specifically for a client.  We kept stones there so we were ready if someone wanted to buy one.

My sleazy manager had ordered several larger diamonds in for a client.  When they would come in we would unpack them and often just ooh and aah all over them.  There is nothing quite like a two carat, colorless, flawless diamond.

So freaking beautiful.

We had unpacked these diamonds.  We were taking a look at them behind the counter. He held one up, locked in a pair of tweezers, and was holding it up to his ear like an earring, then the tweezers snapped shut, and the diamond went flying.

No one saw where it went.

These were not our inventory.

They were brought into the store on memo.

There was much frantic cleaning out of the cupboard, and checking in boxes and files furiously looking all over the store where this diamond could have possibly gone.

We came up dry.

We let it go for a little bit, and decided to look again later.

Fresh staff came in to work, and we asked them to look, thinking a fresh set of eyes would just see it.

Didn’t happen.

The diamond went flying shortly after 10 AM.

We still hadn’t found it at 8:30 that night.

Our sleaze ball boss was in full panic mode.  He started talking about how he could pay for it.  Actually calling his credit card company to see if he could get his credit limit raised on his card.  The other choice was that he would likely get fired.

The diamond retailed for twenty thousand dollars.

American money.

In 1994.

As we were getting ready to go, Sleazy Manager was about to call his manager and tell her what had happened.  He sat down at the back desk with the phone, crossed one leg up on the knee of the other leg, and out of the cuff of his pants the diamond falls out onto the floor.

This twenty thousand dollar diamond had been hanging out in the cuff of his pants.

All.

Day.

Long.

For eleven hours.

To the bank, on his lunch hour, to pick up his dry cleaning, to go tan, all over the store, and most likely the mall.

 

Mea’s little “birthday stone” is not in the cuff of my pants.

It was the first place I looked after the floor.

 


Parking Rage

This morning, I read a blog post on Polly’s blog about parking issues at her townhouse.

I hate parking lots.  Parking ramps, lots, street parking, and sometimes even parking in your very own driveway.

People are idiots.  They cannot drive.  Think they own the road.

Last week, after pulling into a parking space at gymnastics, I had pulled in crooked, backed myself up and straightened my car out.  I hate parking crooked, and I don’t want my car to get door-dinged.

After I had actually parked the car, and started to get out of my own vehicle, a guy in a large truck pulls into the spot next to the driver’s side of my car, and nearly blocked us in.  He was so crooked, that I was able to open my door completely, but had to get Mea out from the other side of the car.  Her door wouldn’t open far enough for her to get out.

There was about five inches separating the back of my car and his.  The back-end of his truck was IN my parking spot.

As he was getting out, I said, “Are you really leaving your truck like this?”

He looked at me like I was stupid and walked away.

We got to the door and realized that we forgot Mea’s water.  Ran back to the car, and watched another guy in a bigger truck double park crookedly on the other side of my car.

I got Mea settled into class, and went out and moved my car.

Every Father’s Day, the church that is across the street from our home hosts a car show.  They have it every year.  In the eleven years that we have lived in our home, it has grown by leaps and bounds.  It makes the neighborhood a bit crazy.

Usually, the car show is over around 4 or 4:30.  We planned Father’s Day dinner with all of our kids and grandkids this year at 5:30 this year, so that we could avoid the craziness.

This year the car show wasn’t over at 4:30.  It was wrapping up right when the girls and kids were all supposed to be here.

Mea, Mack, her boyfriend, E2 and the baby and I were all sitting outside in the driveway, waiting for the other girls/kids to show up when a big truck pulled into our driveway.

The guy parks his truck, gets out, and goes across the street.

He didn’t say anything to any of us!

Just pulled into our driveway, parks and leaves.

He came back ten minutes later with his wife and their baby.  At that point I was about to call the police to have the truck towed.

When I approached him he said that he was “just picking them up.”

THIS IS OUR HOUSE!

IT IS NOT A PUBLIC PARKING LOT!

WE HAD GUESTS ON THEIR WAY TO OUR HOME WHO WERE TRYING TO PARK IN OUR DRIVEWAY!

Who in their right mind does this?

Seriously?


Bloggling Eighteen Patience Addition

Just going to get right into it.  Here we go.

  • I accepted a job offer on Wednesday morning.
  • There is a lot of room for advancement, however it may be a pretty significant cut in pay.
  • If the monthly bonuses pan out the way the managers said they would, but not for four months, it could be about the same as what I was making.
  • They also mentioned that people move up quickly in this department.
  • During my second interview, the Senior Manager asked me many questions about my management style.
  • I had a first and second interview this week for a job doing basically the same thing that I was doing before.
  • This one should pay the same, if not more, than what I was making at the old place.
  • The hiring manager is making a decision today.
  • I am on pins and needles, and I don’t really know what I would do if I were offered this second job.
  • Hard to decide if the cut in pay would be worth it in the long run, or if I should just go on and do what I have always been doing.
  • The other thing with the potential job, is that I would be co-workers again with someone who I not only do not like, but cannot stand.
  • She is a liar.
  • When she was my boss for six months, ten years ago, and she was/is a total nut job.
  • The saving grace is that she would not be my boss.  I know how to deal with her.  I know not to trust her with any information, or believe a single thing she says.
  • She is that bad.
  • I found out about the job because my Uncle is one of her clients.
  • I applied and interviewed without mentioning her name at all.
  • She is the type that if I had, she would say that she got me the job, and hold it over my head.
  • I would rather do this on my own merit.
  • I feel like this is going to be a hard decision.
  • I am not a patient person.
  • It has taken over a month for the first company to interview me twice and make me an actual offer.
  • Second company said they would call today, and I want them to call right this minute.
  • I have been staring at my phone since I woke up at 5:30.
  • I cannot will it to ring.
  • This pisses me off.
  • Either way, I am happy to get back to work, and to get out of this house.
  • Now, I can do a few things with some of our savings that I have been hoarding.
  • Like buy a new sofa.  (Ours is shot.)
  • Because of new sofa, we also need to buy a new kitchen table that is more user-friendly.
  • No more eating in the living room.
  • Ever.
  • As a “Yay, you finally got a job” present to myself, I bought myself a new Coach tote (for my planner, water and lunch) and a Coach ID badge holder.
  • I have thought about changing to an iPhone just so that I can have a Coach phone case.
  • I won’t because I like my phone, but it is a bit tempting.
  • I am a dork.
  • I really didn’t spend too much.
  • Coach Factory is just way too tempting.
  • My obsession with shoes has turned into a handbag obsession.
  • Mea has a sleepover tonight, and we are going out for a nice dinner to celebrate my employment.
  • It has been a long fourteen weeks.
  • I am so glad that it is over.

That’s it kids.  I’ll let you know when I hear about potential job number two.