Thursday, February 28, 2013

Driver's Ed

This morning was a typically quiet morning for me filled my the usual errands such as my almost daily trip to the post office (happy eBayer here!) and buying some 'important' item that one of my children requested before heading off to school.  Sounds easy enough, no?  It would have been had I not been a magnet for the world's most annoying drivers.  There must have been a contest that I was not aware of because the bad drivers were out in force today and everyone of them seemed to track me down on my little less than four mile jaunt into town.  There was the person who rode the brakes for a mile plus long stretch causing me to travel at the break neck speed of 5 mph in a 40 mph zone.  Then there was my friend the tailgater who clearly wanted to try out the dimensions of my trunk and, had I not been paying close attention, probably would have since he rode so close to my bumper.  I thought I might have have been finished with annoying drivers once I lost 'up my bumper' until I practically ran into my friend "Mrs. Stop at the Green Light."  I will admit that I have made mistakes while driving, accidents would be non-existent if people did not make mistakes after all, but at least I react to blaring car horns.  This woman had zero response to my horn--none--which causes me great concern.  Was she sick, merely did not realize the light was already green, was she stoned?  I don't mean to make light of this as this driver may have been having some sort of problem today but how scary to think that she was non-reactive to a car horn.  I am terrified to think of the accident she could have caused had I been too close to her or if the driver behind me had not been paying close attention to the road.

I now have a new driver in our family so I worry all the time, and not only about his driving, but I am concerned  about the types of drivers I met today and how my son will react to them being so new behind the wheel.  I was thinking that perhaps we could all benefit from a driving refresher course every few years or so that might remind drivers that signaling a turn is a good thing and that cutting someone off and then proceeding to drive well below the speed limit is not.  A little common courtesy when driving goes a long way and so does remembering that red means STOP and green means GO.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oh, The Irony!

This morning my husband mentioned to me that he needed to leave for work earlier than usual.  Being so thrilled that he has a job to leave the house for I was not even going to ask why but he volunteered the information anyway.  I wish he had not.  Apparently, he was off to have a networking meeting with someone he had met along his journey to employment because this person wanted to know how...wait for it...he landed his current position with this particular company so quickly.  "Quickly?," I said or perhaps shouted.  This was quickly?  Let's review and you make the call.  Three years ago he started applying to this company and over the course of those years he applied for 20+ positions and asked quite a few of the company's employees whom he knew for assistance.  Apparently, it is next to impossible to get into this company without help from the inside.  Your resume needs to be accompanied by solid recommendations from current employees to move forward, for the most part, so if you don't know anyone who works there, your resume had better be freaking amazing or you need not waste your time.  After multiple interviews, we then waited a grueling few weeks for a response which to some may seem like a short period of time. However, for those who have waited countless weeks only to find out that you were the front runner who lost out to an internal candidate or that the scope of the job had changed and you were no longer being considered, these weeks were inescapably long and anxiety-filled.  So, I think 3 years of applications, putting yourself on the line with friends, multiple interviews and the killer wait to the decision do not 'quickly' make, do you?

My daughter always mocked the fact that her older MS brother consistently forgot to bring home his gym clothes and would always need to take a fresh pair from home.  She could not understand how something so seemingly simple could present such a problem for him...until she got to MS herself this year.  Apparently, she suffers from the same ill as her brother and cannot remember to go get those gym clothes.  When I asked her about this she told me that she had not realized how hard it could be to remember to go back to the gym before leaving school and that she had been wrong to laugh at her brother. It seemed like an easy thing until she had to do it herself. She also went on to tell me that she was only 11 years old and that she had plenty of time to remember the lesson about not judging a person without walking a mile in his shoes.  I hope she does.  Quickly, huh?  I think not.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Big Fat Liar

 Remember when I mentioned just a few blogs back--go ahead, I will give you a few minutes to either read it for the first time or refresh your memory by re-reading the blog in question...ready?--about taking the book of our life from the past three years and putting it high up on a shelf so that we never have to read it again?  Well, this morning it 'fell' off the shelf and hit me square in the head. I told you that I was going to move forward, but I lied as I am still mired in the past.  You see today is an emotion-filled day for two reasons.  First, my son was born fourteen years ago today.  He was born a week past his due date which foreshadowed his personality though I was not aware of that at the time. He is wildly passionate about everything, both negative and positive, which makes for an interesting if stressful life with him. He believes that all thinking must be 'outside the box' which adds not only to his incredible personality but also ramps up the stress level as I could not be anymore linear in my thinking if I tried.  Stress aside, he never fails to make me laugh with his incomparable voices, imitations, facial expressions and dance moves.  I love him to pieces.

On a different note, one year ago today we waved good-bye to my husband as he began his drive to Boston to start his new job.  I had everything that I wanted at that moment; we were going home.  Five weeks later, we crashed and burned and something inside me snapped. I am definitely not the same person I was a year ago and despite trying to move forward and not dwell in the past, dwell in the past is all that I seem capable of doing these days.  Talk about a life-altering event.  Losing that job changed everything from my attitude to my son's college choices.  It has made me leery of feeling that happy as I now spend my time waiting for the other shoe to drop and even if it does not, just like Pavlov's dogs, I am conditioned to be wary.  The worst part is it seems that the shoe does drop thereby further reinforcing my concerns and worries time and time again.  A vicious cycle that I have been unable to break as yet.

The new job is good but it is 'here' and not 'there' and while I always thought where we lived would not matter, I am finding as I grow older that it really does matter to me.  My post-Boston debacle self has also come to realize that for the 'new me' good enough is not really good enough at all.

(author's note:  for those concerned that I am going to be a real party pooper for my son tonight, fear not, I am a master at leaving my feelings on paper where my children are concerned.  Pancakes (his birthday dinner of choice) and cake (what's a birthday without cake?) and presents this evening...with a double shot of Rolaids to follow.  Party on!)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bid On This

Want to know a dirty little secret?  I have become an eBay reseller.  Interestingly, if you query 'what is eBay' as I just did you get quite a euphemism ('an American multi-national internet consumer-to-consumer corporation.' Thank you, Wikipedia) for its real-life function which is a online garage sale on steroids.  My son had been after me for the longest time to sell on eBay but I always dismissed the idea as ridiculous because of how time consuming posting an item seemed to be.  First, you had to take pictures, then download the pictures, then upload the pictures to the site, then price the item, write a description and the worst step of all...figuring out the postage.  Of course, the bottom line was always was too much effort for far too little return.  Then I got an iPad and I got the eBay app and a whole new perspective took hold.  What had been complicated was now akin to 'one stop shopping' and my new 'job' took shape.

I cannot believe the incredibly weird things that people sell on the site from Bentleys to used Victoria's Secret bras.  Now I don't know about you but I am unsettled at the thought of other people even trying on clothes before I buy them even though I wash the items before I wear them. But a used bra?  No way! The amazing this is that they are hot sellers with bids in the double digits for each one. I also love the stories, either factual or an effort in creative writing, that sellers put in their copy especially in the engagement ring section.  One of my favorites was written by a man who said that he had gone out of his way to upgrade his wife's engagement ring but that she wanted a Louis Vuitton bag instead and she 'made' him put the ring on eBay so that she could get the bag.  I love it, fact or fiction, it makes a great read.

While I don't know how long I will continue to enjoy this vehicle for spring cleaning and making room for new things, with all the hours of research I have been doing and all the crazy items I have seen up for sale, 'caveat emptor' should be emblazoned under the masthead of eBay site.  Happy bidding!