Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Deck The Halls

The great debate- colored or white Christmas lights? Or do you prefer the blue ones? I'm torn as well. So I would choose the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Solves my problem.

And what about your house?  I haven't owned a house I could decorate yet, but I know that my mom doesn't do the outside, just the inside.  I love lights on houses, but personally, I just wouldn't have the time or patience to staple up THAT many lights.  I'd probably just do a few bushes out front.

This isn't the exact copy of what I have.  I don't own the "Little Drummer Boy", nor "Frosty the Snowman", but either way, you can bet my DVD player is decked with these classics from Thanksgiving until New Year's.  And sometimes inbetween, if I'm feeling a little weird.  Which I do a lot of the time.

I was going to insert a picture of a male stripper dressed in Santa attire, but none of the pictures I found seemed appropriate.  So instead, I'm moving onto my Greatest Wish List.

The Samsung Memoir.  Doesn't it look BEAUTIFUL???  I think this is my greatest wish, because it takes care of the digital camera AND phone part of my needs.  Score!

A scrapbooking kit of some sort.  I had to leave most of my supplies in Michigan back in '07, and still haven't built up my collection like I had back there.  All of my tools and papers and neat stickers were left behind.  I don't want to spend money on a whole new set, but at the same time- I MISS SCRAPBOOKING! 

I don't know if this is going to happen anytime soon, but I thought it would be cute to post.  :)  Cooper and Beauty have been asking for a little brother or sister...

Don't laugh.  You may think this is funny, but it isn't.  I'm serious.  I want some NICE silverware.  I have cheap stuff right now and I hate how it feels in my mouth.  Ugh.  I don't know why, it just does.  Some new dishes would be great to go along with it.

There are about a million other things I could put on my Greatest Wish List right now, as well.  I'm sure everyone feels the same way.  But what I really, really want, more than ANYTHING-

Is to have a good holiday season with no fighting, great food, and have it end up being relatively stress-free.  Oh, and of course- a Christmas tree.  :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nanny Diaries

Back in the day (I was 13, I believe), I thought I was so cool because I was able to watch kids and make money.  Kids like me, for some reason I don't understand.  I've never wanted to have kids of my own, and most of the time, I am highly annoyed by crying and whining.  When I was younger though, I found it fabulous that my weekends were spent babysitting.

And then it all changed.  The town I lived in was having a severe economic crisis to the point where bussing had actually been taken out of the picture.  No longer were we riding buses to school.  Families were moving away from town just so the kids would have a ride to school.  This didn't apply to me, because my mom didn't work and was able to drive us.  The rest of the town, however, was in a sticky situation.  Parents were having to take on weekend jobs, but didn't have the money to pay for babysitters.  That is when with a friend and her mother, the Baby-Sitters Club was formed.  (This isn't a joke, so don't laugh.)

The 4-H Committee of our county granted us the opportunity to present them with our idea.  We had to create poster boards and outlines and speeches to portray how we would help the community by being babysitters and nannies- for free.  All we asked is that they help us go to camp every summer we completed more than so many hours of service.  4-H Camp was the coolest thing back then, because we got to go to a college campus four hours away (Michigan State University) and hang out with new people and flirt with all the guys on campus.  Forget that we were 13 and most guys were not interested in girls then.  So, we formed our plan, and it was approved.  We were given enough funds to create several Fun Totes (filled with dolls, blocks, paper, crayons, markers, etc.), and told that at the end of the school year, if we had accumulated so many hours, they would help send us to camp.  And it began.

Every weekend, we met up at the 4-H offices and used their phone to call parents in desperate need of help.  Sometimes we had to even work after school, walking in several feet of snow in below 0 weather to get to the houses (that is not an exaggeration like your parents might tell, this is TRUE).  We watched angels and devils alike.  I remember one kid in particular that was obsessed with Tele Tubbies.  He was crazy, I swear.  His parents claimed he was potty-trained and that he only wore Pull-Ups to bed.  Lies.  We watched him for 6 hours during on a snow day, and that kid did not use the bathroom once.  Instead, he chose to go in his pants, and then hide them somewhere.  I found several pairs of filled underwear in pants that day. 

Another little girl cried if you tried to talk to her.  Her parents said she was a little shy, but it seemed like every time my friend or I tried to ask her a question she'd bust out in tears and cry for mommy and daddy.  We were at a loss for words, and ended up calling the parents several times during a three hour night.  They were having dinner at a friend's house, and I know they were upset.  However, there was nothing we could do.  The poor girl could not stop crying.  It was to the point where she was actually choking.  Mind you, my friend and I are only 13 years old and only have so much experience with kids.  My youngest brother was only three at the time, so I had some experience, but I had no idea what to do in that crisis.

Unlike in the movie The Nanny Diaries, most of the parents were glad just to have someone to watch the kids.  They didn't care what we did, as long as their kids were alive when they got home.  I will admit that during naptimes, I was bound to be on the phone with my friends.  What else was I supposed to do?  This was back in the times when hardly anyone had cable and satellite was a real luxury for most.  I could only watch Toy Story and Pocahontas so many times because I was pulling my hair out.  This was also when Barney was still around, for the most part, so I learned a lot from him (when you hug blue and red it makes purple...go figure). 

I haven't babysat much since those days.  We finished out our first year of duty, went to our first summer at camp, and it was terrible.  It was the year of tornadoes in Michigan, and go figure, three dropped down right in the middle of campus while we were there.  We were forced to spend hours outside in the sun, which isn't all that pleasant in Michigan, believe me.  One girl actually died from heat stroke, which scared us all.  The last three days were spent in different buildings around campus.  To say the least, babysitting was the most fun of the two experiences.

Because of my current situation, though, I've decided to try to take it up again.  I've posted a couple of ads for nanny/housekeeping jobs, and I got my first reply this morning in an email.  I feel terrible that I don't have a phone for people to call, but I don't have a choice right now.  So, a lady emailed me and asked me to call her for details, so I'm forced to gather change to run down the street to use a payphone.  How fun!  She is actually on maternity leave right now, and isn't due until February.  She needs help around the house, though, and with running errands, so it'll actually be a good thing.  At least I'll have time to adjust to her before I actually have to help with a baby.  Some people are weird about strangers handling their newborns and infants.  I'm a little nervous, but, I figure if I could do it when I was 13, I can do it now. 

Let's all cross our fingers that she's not as nuts as the mom in The Nanny Diaries, though.


I just received an email from the lady I had the interview with, and she lives in Surprise, which is way too far for me to travel.  Plus the bus doesn't go out there.  So, back to square one.  See what I get for having my hopes up?  Sigh.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh, My Life Is So Tragic!

I have a friend.  (Boy, a lot of my posts start out like that, huh?)  My friend S is 27, and she thinks her life is awful.  I know I'm not very far into this blog, but already I feel like I have to insert something bad that happened today. 

I was watching Gossip Girl (Lord, forgive me), and I heard this consistent drip, drip, drip for about five minutes, and couldn't figure out where it was coming from.  Then it dawned on me: it's raining outside, and we have a leak.  Found the leak- right over top of a couple computer monitors we have acquired (Chris is an electronic hoarder, I swear).  I was so mad.  I couldn't believe it.  We live on the bottom floor of our building, so where a leak is coming from, Lord only knows, but yes, we have a leak.  Go figure maintenance can only fix it once it's dry, and for the first time since before summer, Phoenix has a week of rain ahead of us.  NICE!

So, I have this friend, and she constantly says how crappy her life is.  This all started because her boyfriend of ten years broke up with her earlier this year in April, and they have agreed it is over for good this time.  He is addicted to meth and heroin, and she made the decision that he is not worth the pain and suffering he caused her for five of the years they were together.

This is a terrible thing to happen to someone.  I can't imagine being with someone that long, only to have to leave him because he has a drug problem, and not because I don't love him anymore.  It has to be hard on her.  In fact, I know it is hard on her, because she never fails to let me know that every time we hang out, which has sadly not been often for a while now, because I just don't have the patience to sit through another two hour conversation about how shitty her life is.  I feel like I'm being a bad friend when I discuss these things, but tonight was a revelation of sorts, and I no longer feel bad.

S's best friend is D.  They have been best friends since they were in middle school.  That's a pretty long stretch to be friends for, especially for women.  They have shared a lot of memories, good and bad.  D has hung out with us a few times, this past weekend being the most recent.  Chris and I joined S and D for drinks at our friend Scott's house, and usually we have a lot of fun.  I was just not up for it.  You see, S was in a wedding on Saturday, so she had a lot to say.  I basically kept my mouth shut the entire time, just because I knew there would be no point in trying to speak. 

She constantly interrupts everyone.  For every bad thing that has happened to someone, she has two even more terrible stories that happened to her.  Even though I have no food in the fridge and am basically living like a hermit because I am so poor and refuse to get out of PJs unless I have to, only to save on laundry detergent, her life is way worse.  S lives with her parents.  She doesn't pay rent, and never has.  She pays for her car and that is it.  She spends money like it's growing on trees.  Usually when she comes over she has a bag of leftovers from whatever restaurant she ate at.  She is rarely home.  When Scott and S started dating, her mom became worried because S seemed to be getting overly attached quickly.

S, her mom, and Scott all work together in the same office.  Her mom got a little too involved out of worry and told Scott he better not break her heart.  We all knew that S was becoming attached and falling for him, but he made it clear that he is moving to Seattle in spring, and he is going alone.  He is a really nice guy, but he knows S is in no state to be getting in a relationship.  I guess he finally had had enough with her mom badgering him at work, and he called off their casual dating completely.  S was devastated.  She came over to hang out (after nearly two months of seing her twice), and immediately started crying.  Not over Scott- but over the ex-boyfriend. 

Her other complaint has been about her friend Courtney getting married, and involving a girl that had cheated with her ex, or something, like six years ago.  I guess S hates this girl, and Courtney knows this, yet still invited her to her wedding.  Courtney is still friends with her, but S can't understand why she would want to be friends with someone that hurt her so badly.  She doesn't get it.  I've had this happen to me before, so I understand where she is coming from.  But it was six years ago, and eventually, you have to move on.  It seemed unreasonable for her to try to make her friend's wedding all about herself.  She is constantly repeating herself about how good of a friend she is to everyone, but everyone treats her like shit and takes advantage of her.  ...Notice how I mentioned above she always interrupts people and disappears off the radar for months at a time.

Other than her heartbreak, she seems to have a pretty good life.  She makes good money at work, she drives a nice car, she has a supportive and loving family (I used to spend every Saturday with them all because Chris playing softball on a league with them), and she has really great friends, D being one of them.  Except, D doesn't feel that way anymore, even after 15 years of friendship.  She opened up to me tonight via Facebook.  She asked what I was up to, and I told her, "Nada, just at home alone.  Chris went with S over to Scott's house."  I guess it was the wrong thing to say.  S apparently told D that she didn't feel like doing anything so she was just going home- then picked Chris up from work and then went to Scott's.  D was pissed.  I didn't know I wasn't supposed to say anything, so of course I didn't feel bad.  But then I got to hear D's side of how S has been acting, and I just felt like calling up S and giving her a piece of my mind right then and there.  D is really hurt, and told me how she feels like she is only friends with S when it is convenient for S.  And that is exactly how it is.  S started hanging out with Scott again right after I got back from Colorado, and she has been over once.  She hasn't been in our new apartment at all, and actually used the excuse that she didn't know where it was- it is, honestly, right across from our old apartment, in the same complex, no joke.  So, I know exactly what D means, and I feel terrible for her. 

How can a person rant and rave repeatedly about how shitty their life is, how crappy their friends are, yet, feel no grief about lying to a friend?  S is a nice person.  She is very giving when she wants to be.  She isn't a good listener at all, though.  I know her whole life story.  I could tell it right now.  But I bet she doesn't even remember my last name, no joke.  She was actually complaining about how she didn't want to spend Thanksgiving in Snowflake (which is up north, I guess) because her mom was going there.  I wanted to strangle her, because I would kill to spend Thanksgiving with my mom, even though she is nuts.  Probably moreso than hers.  How can she constantly complain about how awful she has it, yet act so ungrateful for what she does have?  At 27, I figure it's normal nowadays to have a fall back and crash with the parents.  I figure everyone has it hard, once in a while, and needs a little help.  But apparently, this has been an ongoing thing her whole life, and she expects thing to be handed to her, or at least come easily.  It sort of makes me nauseous.

'Tis the season.  I may end all of my posts like that until after New Year's.  I must say, though- I have enjoyed my Christmas classics movies, my Christmas music, and the Christmas lights and decorations on the houses down the street.  The few simple things I love about the holidays are mine, at least.  Now if only I could teach a lesson to the ungrateful people I know.