Little by Little…we all grow up

Every so often, I am reminded that I am growing up.  Isn’t it funny that I am in the downward slope of my twenties, quickly approaching 30 and I still consider myself to be ‘growing up’.  Does everyone feel this way?

Anywho, back to the reminders.  The other day, I bought my first giant container of salt.  I already had salt and pepper shakers, but I noticed that the salt was running dangerously low.  I’m pretty sure when I moved into my first apartment my mom gave me my salt and pepper shakers … salt and pepper included! Somehow, I’ve managed to go through most of my adult life without refilling said salt shaker.  (In truth I had a few sets of salt and pepper shakers, however, I never refilled any of them.) Maybe this is gross, or maybe now you have an accurate picture of how much I actually cook.

So just now, as I was refilling my salt shaker… (How many times can I say salt shaker in one post?)… I thought:

“Hm.  I guess this is like being a grown up.  You have to notice things the little things, like when the salt is running low….Otherwise there won’t be any salt.”

https://leavingthelandofcotton.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/saltshaker.jpg?w=300

That was deep, I know.  But, I decided to think of other small things that make me realize I’m becoming a grown up.

  • Voluntarily sweeping or dusting:  So, I might be a little bit of slob.  But when the grossness becomes too much for me, I go on adult-like cleaning binges.  I use sprays and sponges and everything.
  • Turning all the lights off:  I used to leave lights on all the time.  I guess part of it was not remembering and part of it was a fear of the dark.  Now, I don’t want to pay for that electricity!  Lights off, all the time.
  • Using words like ‘confirm’: I blame this one on my colleagues.  It isn’t enough to schedule something, you have to later ‘confirm’ the meeting.  “Could you please confirm that Janet is coming in for her meeting at noon?”  Only grown ups speak like that.
  • Knowing the weather forecast: I rarely know much about the weather, let alone days ahead of time.  But when I know the forecast three days ahead of time, I’m reminded of my mother.  I also feel the need to chat about the upcoming weather with every person I meet.  “Supposed to get cold this weekend.  I’ll be staying inside, thank you!”  (Phrases like this also make me feel like a grown up…..a super nerd-tastic grown up.)
  • https://i0.wp.com/krisinternal.cordillera.tv/wsi1/7_DAY.jpg
  • Making a doctor’s appointment/dealing with health insurance: This is pretty self explanatory, don’t you think?  Only grown folks go to the doctor.
  • Folding my underwear:  I never used to fold my underwear as a teenager.  Shirts and pants were folded and put away, but underwear was just shoved in a drawer.  I don’t know when I started folding them…but now I can’t imagine just shoving underwear in a drawer.  How uncivilized!

And just to make this post a little more well rounded, here’s a list of things that make me feel like I never left middle school:

  • Realizing my socks don’t match.
  • Dipping my Oreos in milk for exactly three seconds in order to achieve the perfect milk-soggy cookie.https://leavingthelandofcotton.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/inquisitrcom.jpg?w=300
  • Tripping over my own two feet.
  • Having a crush on a boy and thinking the best solution is to just tell all my friends how cute he is. 

What makes you feel grown up?

Ode to a Smartphone

It happened. I lost my phone. Not only did I leave my poor phone in the street to be picked up by any Joe Shmo who came along (poor baby!), but I was without a phone for close to 48 hours. It was agony!! I did not realize how addicted I was to my tiny, technological miracle. What did people do before smartphones? I’m amazed that mankind survived without the smartphone for as long as we did.

Eu não vivo sem celular!

Here are all the reasons I love my phone:

  • My phone is a map! If I don’t know how to get somewhere (which is still most of the time I go anywhere), I look up directions. Directions for when I drive my car, directions for when I take the bus or the train, directions for all occasions! And I never look lost or have to ask anybody. Ok, sometimes I do look lost. There are moments when I notice my blue dot is moving the wrong direction on my map. In these moments you stop, pretend to send a text message, and then turn around to go the opposite direction and pray that no one noticed your awkward 180.
  • My phone can find anything. No matter what I need be it grocery store or gas station or Taco Bell, the phone will always tell me. And sometimes a girl really needs some Taco Bell (there aren’t enough in this city if you ask me).
  • My phone plays music! I have never been big on the whole listening-to-my-earphones-while-walking-down-the-street-because-I’m-so-awesome kind of thing. But, when you are on the bus for 40 minutes and the person behind you is a mouth breather, my earphones are awesome. What’s also fun: leaving your earphones in but not playing any songs. Just listen to the conversations around you…..sometimes better than reality t.v.
  • My phone entertains me. If the music playing in your headphones isn’t enough to distract you from the people you are pretending to ignore on your commute, the smartphone offers infinite possibilities. I can check facebook, read the news, or play a game. There is no such thing as boredom when your phone is with you. Even when I’m not on my commute, I sometimes use my phone to distract me from the fact that I don’t have cable. I totally forgot what a television was the first two days I had Angry Birds – Star Wars.
  • My phone saves me. If you are ever alone and need to look busy, just pull out the cell phone! It doesn’t matter what you are doing, just make sure to furrow your brow and no one will bother you. This trick is especially handy when you are waiting for a bus and homeless gentleman sees this as an opportunity to chat.

It was a rough 48 hours, but I have a new phone now. But nothing will ever replace the old phone. We will miss you old buddy. I hope whoever picked you up off the street will love and care for you as I did….or I at least hope they got a really good price for you.

Didn’t your mama teach you manners?

I always smile at cashiers.  I ask people how their day is going.  I try not to talk on my cell phone if I’m checking out at a gas station or grocery store.  I’m always nice to waiters, and I apologize if I have to send something back.  I say thank you.  And I say yes ma’am.  They’re called manners, people.  Didn’t your mama teach you any?

My mom certainly taught me to always be friendly to everyone.  Strangers, acquaintances, everyone!  I don’t think this is solely a Southern thing, some people are just nicer than others.  But there are certainly differences from region to region.  People in Chicago certainly don’t smile at each other on the street like people do in my hometown.  (I’ve learned this is because if you smile at a homeless person this can be interpreted as an invitation to ask for money or start a conversation.)

Recently, I’ve become more aware of my ‘extreme friendliness’.  To make extra money, I work in the box office at the theater where I’m interning.  This isn’t my first job in the customer service field, but I’ve never gotten so many compliments before.  I’ve had tons of people telling me how friendly, helpful, nice, etc. I am.  Isn’t that my job?  Why is friendliness  deemed unusual?

However, niceness does not always encourage niceness from others.  I recently had a patron on the phone who wanted nothing more than to release all of his frustrations with our theater.

“I’m sorry sir, but I don’t make any decisions regarding the theater, I was simply returning your phone call because I thought you wanted to reschedule your tickets.  No, I don’t have the authority to give your account a  credit.  No, I did not make the decision to postpone the opening of the show.  I’m sorry for the rescheduling issues.”  This went on for exactly 9 minutes and 48 seconds.  And I just allowed this man to release his verbal abuse even though I had nothing to do with any of it.  But I was nice.  I apologized.  I promised to follow up.  In my mind, I wanted to tell this man to go to hell and if he wanted to stop coming to see our shows that was perfectly fine with me.  But I didn’t.  I was nice.

I would never in  a million years be so rude and outwardly angry with a person who was simply doing their job.  Being truthful is one thing, but this man was simply hateful.  But in true Southern gal fashion, I just put up with it and smiled.  However, after I had this conversation, I told my friends about the giant prick who called in at work today.  Just like if a waiter is terrible, I will discuss all of their shortcomings after leaving the restaurant.  Or if a cashier isn’t very friendly, I will wait until I’m safely inside my car and mumble ‘Rude!’ to myself.  And that’s what you call manners!

Blog Award!!!

I’ve been reading a lot of One Awkward Year’s blog, and apparently she has been reading mine as well!  This is kind of a big deal because Liz (the blogger) and I aren’t related.  We aren’t even facebook friends, which means she doesn’t see the updates about every single blog post I write.  Not only does Liz read my blog, she has nominated me for an award.  Thanks for the support, Liz.

Here’s how she explains the award:

“… the Liebster Blog Award – for bloggers by bloggers. How rad is that? I’m still not 100% sure of the rules or who this Liebster character is, but from what I gather, this is a way that bloggers can shout out to their fave bloggy friends and share them with their readers. I dig it.”

Basically, I need to list 11 random facts about myself and then answer 11 questions posed by Liz.  So, it’s really mostly an interview/chain letter type thing-a-ma-do.  BUT I don’t care, cause Liz is saying she likes what I’m doing.  And I love talking about myself, so here we go!!!!

11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:

  • I will often leave a drawer or cabinet door open after I’ve retrieved whatever I need.  This drives my mother crazy.
  • I will not allow my fingernails to grow very long. Not because I bite them – I just like them short.
  • My car is named Shirley because my best friend’s car is named Laverne.  Normally I don’t like naming things like cars.
  • Once in the 5th grade, I cut my own bangs.  They were SUPER short and looked horrendous.   I told everyone at school that my little sister had cut them.  (Cause 5th grade is WAY too old to be making that mistake!)
  • My first year of teaching, I said shit to my worst class.  (the word shit, not like ‘I was talking mad shit’)  Because they were a bunch of troublemakers, I’m pretty sure using that word helped me gain more respect from the students.
  • I love scarves.  I have a lot of them and wear them often.
  • Wesley from The Princess Bride was my first love.  He was cute, devoted, and saved Buttercup after being mostly dead all day!  Plus- As You Wish – I swoon.  Even at the age of 5, I knew I would never find a man as perfect as him.
  • A contestant on this year’s American Idol went to my summer camp.  I guess I was technically one of his counselors.  (Papa Peachez anyone?)
  • I don’t like coffee.  I like coffee flavored things usually, so I think I mostly don’t like hot beverages.  (I also don’t like tea)
  • Even though I’m from the South, I do not like sweet tea, cornbread, fried okra, or grits.

QUESTIONS FOR NOMINEES:
1. What is your favorite vegetable?  Aspargus.  My mom says I loved it as a toddler, but around the age of 4 I rebelled against everything green.  But now, I like it again!

2. If you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?  Capture it!  Actually, with my recent move, I would like to think I’m already trying to make that happen.

3. Breasts or thighs? Of a CHICKEN, ya perv.  I love legs….but if I have to choose: a breast.  P.S. The chicken MUST be fried!  (Duh, I’m from Mississippi)

4. Would you rather have an extra nose in the middle of your forehead OR an ear dangling from the bottom of your chin?  This is a strange question, but I”m going with extra nose.  The idea of a something dangling from my face is weird.

5. Who was your hero when you were a child?  Rainbow Brite.  She had an awesome horse that could run on a RAINBOW!!  It doesn’t get more awesome than that.

6. Floss: waxed or unwaxed? Mint or unflavored?  Favorite floss?  Sure, I floss every day….I swear, I swear!!!  (Um, not really.  Am I a bad person?)

7. What is your favorite holiday and why?  Easter because of Cadberry Eggs!!

8. What is your standard daily breakfast?  A bagel eaten in my car while I drive to work and pray I’m not late.  Unless I decide to treat myself and get a breakfast sandwich from Dunkin Donuts.  Said breakfast sandwich is also eaten in my car.

9. Who is your favorite political dictator and please give a 700 word, 5 paragraph essay detailing why.   This question makes me nervous because I’m not good with current events…or historical events.  My expertise lies more in the pop culture realm.

10. What is your favorite boy band and who is your favorite member? (I’m judging this answer.)  Ok, I was totally into both BSB and N’Sync back in the day, and I still know almost all the choreography to Bye, Bye, Bye!  HOWEVER, the answer to this question is HANSON!!!  That’s right.  Although not your typical boy band, Hanson might be my favorite band of all time.  I’m not even lying – I still listen to their music (old and new).  I didn’t see them in concert until last year, and the experience was everything I could’ve hoped for as a 12 year old.  Taylor Hanson 4 eva!

11. If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?  Enthusiastic, Creative, and Judgemental

I hope you enjoyed this look into my soul.  Did I surprise you?  Probably not.  I’m pretty predictable.

The second part of this whole Liebster Blog Award is I am supposed to nominate 11 blogs that I follow to continue.  (see the chain letter part now?)  But, I don’t follow many blogs  so I’m going to nominate two people who I really like.

1. Genie In a Blog

2. Leave it to Beesus

Here are your 11 questions:

  1. Who is your favorite famous lady?
  2. Who was your first t.v./film crush?
  3. Do you sing in the shower?
  4. What is your favorite fruit?
  5. If you could only drink one thing for the rest of your life (not water), what would it be?
  6. Explain your feelings about the Mullet?
  7. What was the last book that you COULD NOT put down?
  8. If you could have a theme song play when you entered a room, what would it be?
  9. What is the one place you are dying to visit?
  10. Socks: plain colors or fancy patterns?
  11. Why do you like to write?

So, to wrap up this post all about me and the love I have for myself, here is a picture of me making a fish face.

fish face

fish face

Fancy Night In Chicago

Although I occasionally spend my weekends locked away in my apartment, I also have a social life.  Well, I try to have a social life.

My latest attempt was last weekend.  I texted a Mississippi friend about going out for drinks (yay for Southerners in the city).  When I asked to hang out, she already had plans, but because of Southern hospitality, she invited me to tag along.

We planned to meet at bar described on Yelp! as a speak-easy, 1920s themed place.  Plus, my friend told me they were dressing kind of  ‘fancy’.  Sounds fun!  I put on my best ‘going out’ attire and got ready for a night on the town.  However, I’m still working on how to properly estimate my time of travel when using the CTA.  So, I was about 20 minutes late arriving….and I see a few velvet ropes and a line.  Say what?  I have never, ever had to stand in line to wait for a bar in Mississippi (concert, maybe but bar – no!).  I texted my friend to make sure I was in the right place.  I was and she was already inside.

No biggie.  Clearly, this is what people in Chicago do: you wait in line to go to a bar.  So, I got in line.  On this particular evening, I noticed two kinds of people: the kind who wait in line and the kind who form a condescending clump of people near the door because they are too important to stand in line.  Supposedly, some of them had reservations, but I’m pretty sure most of them were just sweet talking their way in (successfully I might add!).

Here are a few other characters I encountered in line:

1.  The Birthday Diva:  This chick was wearing some sort of birthday crown and must have already had reservations.  She and a few friends were let in just moments after I arrived.  However, she came outside at least two more times to find her late arriving friends.  She clearly enjoyed having the ‘power’ of choosing people to come in….smug bitch.

2.  The Quitters:  As I stood in line, people in front of me would leave.  The larger the condescending clump became, more responsible, in-line waiters left. I felt so bad for these guys….but not too bad because as they left I inched closer to the door.

3.  The Fake Celeb:  Even though the temperature was steadily dropping, I noticed many ladies around me who were wearing not enough clothing.  Short skirts, no tights, stripper heels, and some with no clothes at all.  One in particular (with the stripperest heels of them all) was very vocal about entering the bar.  We have all seen this girl; she knows she’s pretty and therefore thinks she’s entitled to whatever she wants.  She asked the bouncer to let her in.  When he asked if she was on the list, she told him that she was a Kardashian.  I dramatically rolled my eyes, but there was no need because the bouncer wasn’t giving in.  After that, she left.  I guess she was too good for the line AND for the condescending clump.

4.  The Four Douschebags of the Apocalypse:  These four dudes standing directly behind me in line were maybe the most annoying of all.  I had no choice but to listen to their bro-ism filled commentary from the hotness of every passing girl to the declining temperatures to the stupidity of waiting in this line.  They complained every time someone got in the bar and cheered when the Quitters left the line.  I hated them.

5.  The Nice Lesbian Couple:  I don’t know for sure if they were lesbians, but I like to think they were.  Both women were dressed up (one even had a roaring 20s inspired hairstyle), and I gathered (because I was eavesdropping) that this particular evening was a special occasion.  Because of the Quitters, I was now directly behind them in line.  I liked these ladies – mostly because after they witnessed the Fake Celeb chick claim to be a Kardashian, the 20s hairstyle turned to the short hair style and said, “She’s going to hell.”  After that comment, I didn’t care about myself anymore…..but by golly, I wanted the lesbians to get in!

I’m not sure if they were let in or not, because just then I got a text that my friend was leaving.   So after 45 minutes of waiting in the cold, I got out of the line and waited by the door.  Don’t worry, I distanced myself so that I wouldn’t be confused with those who were a part of the condescending clump.   It was at this point that I discovered one final type:

6. Asshole Bouncer:  He wasn’t the main guy with ‘the list’.  This guy was clearly lower on the food chain because he was in charge of the Exit door.  However, while waiting for my friends, I saw him let in a whole passel of girls who were giving up and leaving the club.  He did not invite me in with them.  I’m sure he could tell that I was above the whole scene.

So, my friend and I ended up at a dive bar where I drank PBR in my ‘fancy dress’.  That’s when she told me about having met the owner of the elite club and being let in to the VIP area.  I tried to convince myself that although I stood outside the whole time, my story was way better than hers.  When that didn’t work, I just drank more beer.