Things About Forgiving

How much grace is too much grace? When is it ok to stop turning the other proverbial cheek, or should one ever start?

Can you forgive a lie told to "protect" you, but not a foolish, whimsical teenage blunder?

Can you forgive a betrayal from a friend, but not a lie told to avoid confrontation?

How many times can the truth be mocked before it's too many? How many times do you go back for manipulation and mistreatment from friends and family before it's too much? When are lies actually justifiable, for any reason? I have certainly found ways to justify them. I can't imagine someone who hasn't. As a young child I remember being shocked when I heard my mother tell a manager at ToysRUs that the box to a toy she was returning had been destroyed, knowing full well it was out in the car. I tried to correct her and remember being swept aside quickly. It shattered some lofty ideal I had in my head and probably led to the downfall of my absolute faith in fairies. Mom, you a responsible for the death of a thousand pixies (just kidding). Years later when I shared this memory with my mom she was absolutely mortified, and no surprise, couldn't even remember the incident. To this day my mother would rather be chained to the rack and forced to eat a thousand spiders than tell the smallest white lie, knowing the impact that made. It's really inconvenient when I try to pretend it's my birthday for a free coffee in front of her. But it's a good way to get her to pay for my coffee, reminding her where I learned my dishonesty skills...

I believe in grace. Without it, I would be friendless, loveless, homeless, childless, and most likely dead. I am the chiefest of all sinners and have not a stone to cast toward a lesser sinner than I. There are people that I have chosen to distance myself from because the heartache and the dishonesty that go hand in hand have become too heavy a tax on the life I have chosen. And yet how many people have I taxed to exhaustion that still love me? I believe intensely that for every spotless person you introduce me to, you will find a closet of filth and shame that they simply can not acknowledge. Some people say this is cynical of me, and if this truth made me avoid people, I would agree. I believe in the depravity of man. How can I not, when I live it? I am depraved. We are all animals with instincts of self-preservation and self-indulgence and curiosity and driving needs. The thing that sets us apart from many other animals is our ability, our privilege to chose to forgo our comfort for that of others. We see this act of will in other animals too - dogs are the great protectors who will shiver in the cold to keep a lost child warm, or bark until they lose their voice to alert us to danger (imagined or otherwise). This is selflessness. This is a response to a duty that they have adopted. Much like we adopt the duty to care for one another. For our children. For our lovers. For our friends. I have been guilty of the worst imaginable violations of this duty. To my children. To my lovers. To my friends. Every day I examine myself and am no longer surprised to find the messy remains of selfishness that are spilling over into my relationships. But every day I try to chose to be right to the people I love, at the expense of my ego, my reputation, my sterling innocence. I still mess up. I still have things that I hold so tightly protected inside that I can't imagine sharing them with anyone. And maybe some of these "secrets" are ok. But where is the line. How many secrets can a person have before he becomes nothing more than a liar? One? Two? Sixteen?

It is apparent to most people who know me that I have some issues relating to trust. These issues would probably be easier to deal with if people would stop lying to me. Certain people would love to remind me about the deliberate dishonesty I have issued them. Which is true. I have and probably will again. Where is the line between a white and a black lie? Does telling my mom I love the sweater she knitted equate grossly under exaggerating the amount of money I've spent to my husband? Does omitting the fact that I hate lima beans to my friend who served them for dinner cause the same damage that omitting information to my husband about someone who propositioned me at the bar? Why do we hang on to information that should or could be shared? Is it fear or kindness. I have almost as many honesties as lies in my life that I regret. Maybe because the consequences simply weren't worth it, but is that because in the same breath that we issue forth lies we deny grace for admissions of guilt? What is wrong with us people. Why can't be honest like dogs and children. Your shoes are ugly. I crapped on your bed. I am sorry. Please love me again. I didn't do it to hurt you. Only very, very troubled people enjoy inflicting pain. Like body piercers and tattoo artists. Right, Ariel? But by and large, as humans, we tell lies to avoid accountability, to spare pain, to cover our asses. How much is too much? Is it ok to tell my husband that I cleaned the house spotlessly and hope he never finds the bill to MerryMaids? What he doesn't know can't hurt him right? Why would I withhold information about a guy flirting with me online, unless I enjoyed the flirting, or somehow thought the inappropriate contact made him a good candidate for a family friend and wanted my husband to not hate him?

I have given to others almost as much grace as I have been given in my life. Some would argue that it was too much in both directions. For my part I cannot imagine withholding grace because I deserve so much for it to be withheld from me. Of all of the depraved human beings, who am I to judge another? I have enough to sort out in the hereafter with the Big Guy without needing to tattle tale on a bunch of other losers. Unfortunately sometimes too much damage is done to a relationship to salvage it. I understand this. It doesn't really mean there's no grace, but luckily as human beings we get to choose how we live our lives and who we surround ourselves with. Not like dogs or kids who are stuck with whatever fateful lot they are assigned. It's a crap shoot for sure. I know that I got damn lucky as a kid. And I know my dogs got damn lucky too. It only makes sense that my kids get to be damn lucky and I give a little bit of the thankfulness I have for the life I was given back to some other people. It isn't that mom and dad did everything perfectly - I have yet to meet parents who have. But they were surely selfless, and responded to the duty that they were assigned. This is as much as a child can ask for. Or a dog. Or a friend. "Freedom's not your right to choose. It's answering what's asked of you."

I have no control over the honesty, integrity, motivation or response to duty over any one but me. I have come to believe that dishonesty hurts the person carrying the lie exponentially more than the one being lied to. For all I am worth I hope to be the one who can own my mistakes, uncover my lies and be the person that the people around me need. And full of grace.

"and I would give up everything, if you were to come up clean, to see you shine so bright in this world of woe." 

Things That Make Me Cringe

I had a little run in with the teenage wasteland this weekend, in the sense that Kizzie came home from a Sadie Hawkins dance with a Hickey on her neck and Josh wanted to waste both her and her "boyfriend". Not quite certain how to deal with the scandal of the child, or the scandalized father, I reached out to the world of Facebook for answers, and I got some great ones.

I remember being 15 and so completely swept away by the emotions that I identified surely as love and devotion that ran as deep as my core and a boy a year younger than I was. It's like karmic de-ja-vu to watch my very-much-like-me daughter go through the same death throes of childhood and make decisions that are really embarrassing. Like when I was ignorantly wearing my ugliest full support sports bra the first time I got felt up, and he had to open his eyes to make sure his grandmother hadn't traded places with me. Or the time I showed up in church as a newlywed with so many hickeys that the resident holy-loud-mouth commented vigorously on the type of bed mate I must have been. Or the time I wrote that note to a boy that made me swoon with every one of his manly chuckles and I was riveted upon, yet so grossly spurned my affection. It's hard for me to freak out about One Little Hickey when I am torn with understanding WHEN exactly WHAT level of physical involvement is permissible? Advisable? Safe? OK? I mean clearly none of my daughters will ever be old enough for sex. Neither was I. Kissing? Is it harmless when you're 5? How bout 10? 15 it becomes deadly? 20 it returns to safe? Holding hands? That benign little gesture of affection. Oh Lord, I remember the sweaty palms and trembling excitement. I still get it sometimes when he grabs my hand unexpectedly and squeezes it to remind me that I am the One Thing That Consumes Him. I have difficulty throwing stones from my glass tower of do-what-I-say-not-what-I-do. A certain dad-in-the-picture has no such issue casting iron clad judgements from his throne of righteousness and never-faltering will of integrity soaked steel. Maybe he remembers too well what a boy of 14 is thinking. It's hard to swallow though, considering he paints a picture of himself as an innocent, shy and sincere 14 year old boy. I really can't decide whether the rebellious, hormonal, emotional teenager or the panic-driven, emotional,  losing the chokehold of childhood disciplinary control man is harder to deal with. I have no question that the motives of each of them is so pure that they can taste the pristinity. I have no doubt that he fears, agonizes, heart wrenchingly about her safety: mentally, emotionally, physically. And she longs for him, for me, for ANYONE to understand the depth of her swollen heart (for the record, I've already addressed this: Things That Don't Get Enough Attention). It's a story that is thousands of years old and the common theme to any story involving despair, insanity and death, trying to reconcile the compulsion of love with the consequences of physical involvement. The old adage of waiting for marriage sounds ideal, but I have yet to meet a couple that has both waited until their nuptials to consummate their passions, AND remains happily married with a solid sex life. I am sure they are out there, I just haven't met them yet. Conversely, some of the most solid couples I know are still not married. But what is marriage? A certificate from the state? A covenant before God? A nod of approval from the father? And how does any cultural understanding of marriage suddenly make physical intimacy safe and good and whole? I would contest that sex is dangerous at any age and with any person and should be handled as tenderly as fine china. Obviously this advice springs from lessons learned painfully. All of my china got broke. Bad. If anyone has answers to these questions and at least 16 examples of the good fruit, please email me. Seriously.
I should have seen the signs back then I guess. When will they make an anti-grow up drug?

Since I have no answers, and the ones from Facebook were all over the place, many excellent in totally opposing ways, I decided to just have a chat with the boy who inflicted the scarlet mark on my daughter. Publicly, via Facebook. Which was cheating a little since he and I are not FB friends (yet). I was fairly confident that he would see it, especially since I posted it on his "girlfriends" wall. I was concerned with the reaction Josh was going to (and did) have about the hickey, ahem, "curling iron burn" and decided to beat him to the punch by denouncing it publicly and slightly tongue-in-cheek to try to temper the temper. It didn't really work, because I got a very throaty lecture about having no standards and not having control of my kids, blah blah blah blah.

Anyway, here is the Facebook appeal to said boyfriend to pretty please, back the frack up off my kid:

Dear Boyfriend of my 15 Year Old Daughter:
Last night Kizzie came home from the Sadie Hawkins dance with something on her neck that appears to be, for all the world, a hickey. Of course Kizzie is insistent that it is a Curling Iron Burn, which is fascinating since the only curling irons in the house are purely decorative as they haven't worked in at least three years, and we just keep them to jazz up the back of the bathroom door. Assuming it is NOT, as Kizzie insists, a hickey, and believing it to be a Curling Iron Burn, my only thought is that you must have inflicted the injury on her neck with YOUR curling iron. Clearly one does not come by such perfectly flowing locks without a little mechanical aid. That being said, I am going to have to ask you to be more careful with your curling iron in the future, at least until Mackenzie learns to treat such wounds with ample amounts of cover up. Don't get me wrong, I really like you a lot. Which is why I stopped Kizzie's dad when he emerged from the basement in his stealth tactical medic suit, complete with drug kit and several tubes of superglue, for which I can only IMAGINE his intended use, to head to your house for a friendly chat. The last person that I saw him outfitted in this manner for ended up with his hand glued to his mouth for a few weeks. Josh was nice enough to leave a hole for a straw so he could still get liquid nourishment, so at least you wouldn't have starved. The after effects from his knock out drugs are nasty, though. I managed to talk him down and convince him that every body has curling iron accidents now and then, and it won't happen in the future, I AM SURE. I am really glad that you like our daughter so much and take such good care of her, so we can certainly forgive ONE little slip up. Take care and have tons of fun at the next dance. In 2017. 
yours truly, 
Kizzie's mom

It probably won't help, but it's worth a shot, right? I am beginning to think that I really suck at this mom/wife thing, since I currently have 3.5 people ticked off at me. Some for being too strict, some for not being strict enough and some just for fun. Maybe I should really devote myself to the peddling of designer jeans. I could probably be good at that. All I really know is that the sun is out, my random playlist of crazy music is fun, and I am ready for some warmer weather and potato salad. 

Things About A Paid Vacation

Every year, for a week in April, the federal government pays for my time and food and lodging to get 40 hours of the exact same training that I got the year before. It's great repetitive information, which facilitates napping and the accomplishment of many overdue tasks. I have spent most of this week setting up a Hydroflask fundraiser for Aspen's Irish Dance competition and catching up on the Facebook world that has been sorely missing me. I've also been reading the news a lot, which has been a terrible thing this week. I told Josh that if we hear news of one more catastrophic explosion, we are moving back to a remote corner of Steven's County - maybe we will join the Love  Israel family this time. They have more wine and a croquet league. There have been moments this week when I have been tempted to imagine the end of the world taking place one fiery blast at a time, creeping quickly across the nation. It only makes sense to go and live in a place that most people would rather not visit, much less waste valuable explosives on. Northport is the logical choice. Josh has not been sold on this idea, so we are once again looking at the Wenatchee area. We can't go for a year, so I just hope that Bend isn't sighted in for any attacks between now and then. I figure we are probably safe until next ski season - which is theoretically Bend's biggest tourist season. Truthfully I think that beer drinking is the regional sport of choice for central Oregon, and given the burgeoning industry of beer garden/fire pit outdoor seating at the brew pubs, maybe summer is going to be a threat as well.. a random explosion near Ten Barrel's patio would be devastating on a massive level, as I have seen what appears to be several thousand people congregated there on a regular basis.

In spite of the national tragedies, our week "off" in Hood River has been a much needed recuperation, involving too much wine, not enough hot tub, and food that I will be cursing next week in my daily bathroom scale entanglements. but it's sooooo good! I have been trying to make sure that I have Josh finish off at least the last 10th of most of my meals so that I can convince myself that I didn't eat The Whole Thing. And I am also pretending that my calorie counter app (hateful thing) doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work, if I don't ever turn it on.

You'd think that this week being a week "off" and having few to no physical requirements put upon me, and considering that I have been as close to pain free for the last couple weeks, that I would be enjoying a reprieve from the nagging pain that constantly reminds me I still own a uterus. Instead, thanks to that "little too much wine", a hefty sampling of local beers and some imaginative tequila mixers that The Adorable Bartender/Husband concocted, in true Liv form I felt the need to express myself in a wild assortment of dance moves, cartwheels, underwater acrobatics and other bizarre antics that I have left me in a newly re-invigorated level of pain that makes me shake my fist at the God of Eve who decided that women should be perpetually punished for her stupid mistake. One apple, girl. Let it go.

Other than all of that - I am  so entirely thankful to have a week off, with my boy, that is making us more money than it's costing us (this is rare in my employment situations). Apparently I am so relieved that it completely escaped my mind to tell Susanna, who is riding herd on the girls this week, that Aspen had Irish Dance practice Tuesday night. This would be pretty bad all on it's own except that I was doing absolutely nothing on Sunday and forgot to take her to dance practice myself. Pretty sure her teacher decided we had died or skipped town because the stress of three practices a week was too much, but I was trying to make amends with the hydroflask fundraiser. Needless to say I have already told Susanna about tonight's practice, so if she forgets to take her, I can disavow all responsiblity.

All of that being said, go here: hydroflask 21 oz standard mouth, choose your color,for $24 or just get a PINKADELIC flask engraved for $26. All profits go to helping Aspen's Irish Dance team to Anaheim for the Irish Dance National Competitions in July. You can order through me, I take checks and/or Paypal. I can ship to you, or deliver if you live in Bend, Olympia, Spokane, Colville, Northport, or plan on seeing me anytime this summer. If you do not already own a Hydroflask, they truly are the BEST of all of the stainless water bottles that I have tried. They really do keep cold cold and hot hot for 20+ hours. They're amazing. I have even dropped mine on the ground, out of the truck repeatedly, and broken the lid - Hydroflask has replaced it without question twice. I can't speak highly enough of these flasks. And not only are we selling them slightly below retail, they are benefitting the cutest Irish Dancer ever! Win/Win! Buy one, or ten. They make AWESOME gifts. They also make awesome transportable hot tub drinks. We've tested it thoroughly.

Things To Do

For some unexplicable reason, the words to the Mt. View NJROTC chant have been stuck in my head for the last few days. Really only two phrases: highly motivated, truly dedicated - and I am not even sure if that's exactly how it goes, but it won't go away. I really only heard it once or twice last year, when the NJROTC was still a thing. I don't think the cadet corp even uses it... I will have to ask. I think that the refrain is haunting me because I am lacking motivation, and dedication toward my duty, and my subconcious will not allow it.

Today is almost like a day off. I only work five hours and not until tonight at 4. And on this almost day off, I am leaning  heavily towards replacing my slightly overwhelming to-do chore list with a to-do play list. I wonder what the long term consequences of trading house cleaning for a pedicure, or eBay listing for a nap. Or laundry for a shopping spree... ok, that one is probably ill advised, both because I need clean clothes and don't have money for shopping. Or a pedicure for that matter. But I do have all of next week to sit in a hot tub and aren't pretty toes a prerequisite for public hot tubs? I am pretty sure that I read that somewhere. I had planned on sleeping in today, until 6:50 when Natalee reminded me that her cello needed a ride to school. It was a smart play on her part, since all of my grumbling was thereby directed toward her cello during the 7 minute drive and 8 minute wait in stupid school morning traffic. In fact, the cello was informed that it was no longer welcome to go to school but would be kept at home, reserved for practice, if it continued to drag me out of bed at such ungodly hours. I feel like it wasn't listening. But I am hoping that Nattie can relay the message more poignantly. So now since I have an extra couple of morning hours to waste, I can totally justify a nap, right?

Rarrr. Ok. Highly motivated. My eBay piles are calling. As is my un-boss for a lunch date. Which means frivolous time later and busy work now. Truly dedicated. I hardly recognize my own house, it's been so long since I cleaned a single counter. I did  try to do some laundry last week, but the ultimate result of my thoroughness was a complete lack of towels in our bathroom which meant that Josh was forced to drip dry in the cold mornings. My bad. That whole follow-through thing eludes me some days. I got them washed, even into the dryer, and then - SQUIRREL! Oh wait, that was work. It wasn't until I stumbled out of the shower yesterday morning onto the cold tile and immediately saw angry red at my irresponsible husband for taking ALL of the towels to some unimagineable location and leaving me to shiver nakedly.  As I hollered for Aspen to come down and locate me a towel, I realized that the vortex that had actually swallowed all of my towels was my own laundering fail, but I still had to talk myself out of blaming Josh. What good is having a husband anyway if you can't blame them for stuff?  Poor, poor, slightly hypothermic man. 

Highly motivated. Getting off my rear end. Gonna put on a bra and get after this day. If I work really hard for awhile maybe I will forget that I don't get paid to do my own chores and I will feel like I can afford a pedicure. Truly Dedicated. I'm just not prepared to get out of my sweatpants yet - so it's a good time to crank out some productivity at home, right? Watch me go and kick the booty of both my work and play lists. And maybe just a little shopping...

Things That Are Contradictory

It's almost like I don't have a life. Or I have too much of a life. It really depends on how you define life. I guess I have come to a point where to me, "having a life" means having as much time as you want to drink wine and gossip with friends, as opposed to having a successful career with a 6 digit income and other forms of financial status symbols, like owning my own house or having college funds for all four of my kids, or being the chairwoman for a global charity or something. Maybe my priorities are skewed. Maybe I just don't get what "life" is all about. I saw a quote by somebody smart that I can't remember earlier today that said the purpose of life was to create and share. I would like to assume that means creating AWESOME stories and sharing wine with my favorite people. So, all of that being said, it is almost like I don't have a life. Two jobs, even part time, and a bunch of other commitments leave me lacking the leisure time that I have come to crave. And to top it all off, my faithful husband is putting in longer days at work and I feel like I never see him. Or my kids. Or my dogs, which may be the Very Worst Of All, especially when I walk in the door and Dagny is sitting at the top of the stairs with her eyes big and her ears back disapprovingly, as if she knows I am not going to be home for enough time to cuddle properly, or even to help find her squeaky pig, which has been missing for at least two and a half days. And poor Josh. I see him so rarely that he has been extra nice to me, but that might be because I haven't had enough time to shop nearly as much as usual.

All that aside, I guess I am enjoying my non-life. I like my new job and the challenge it provides me on many levels. Working for commissions gives me the chance that I have been missing to determine my own reward for the hours I put in. It requires me to be proactive and assertive about my place in the store, and with my teammates. I think it's a little funny that we are called teammates in a competitive setting where assisting another player to a win results in lost commissions for ones self... Even so, the people I work with seem to have a good handle on personal  proactivity and relationship preservation. It will be interesting to see things unfold at this job. I am enjoying it now, and will ride that wave as long as it will carry me. For a minute, having two little teeny weeny paychecks almost makes up for having no life, until I calculate that the paychecks combined equal less than my phone bill or my car payment or the last outfit I bought at work... dang it.

I definitely am feeling the lack of depth to my existence these days. Feeling out of touch with the facebook world, which, for better or worse, might be the best representation of a social life that I have. I don't have time to sit and drink coffee and think of profound things to blather about, which makes me feel like I am missing out on something important in my life. As if anything I have to say is really vital to the race of mankind. Isn't it strange in our world how the things that "matter" can also be the things that really tear you away from the things that actually mean something. My whole life I have rebelled against the wife-and-mother death sentence that was pressed upon me from my most formative years. Now I find myself in a quandary between fulfilling (and somewhat happily) this long-rejected role, and kicking and screaming my way to pseudo-independence with my pitiful jobs and stubborn need to convince myself, if no-one else, that I am self-sufficient. It's really quite funny when I step back and look at the fact that my employment has never accomplished any more than justifying my shopping habits, and without the financial support of my Devoted Husband, my children would be starving and homeless. God knows their own father doesn't chip in enough to cover the toilet paper and maxi pads they go through. All of my prideful pretenses about being self-sufficient are nothing more than a cover for the hours I work to make just enough to cover my own expenditures on non-necessities. To admit this is painfully humbling. God forbid Josh ever read this. I want to help, really I do. But I also want to buy things. I want to justify my buying with my hard work, but when my hard work barely produces enough hourly to cover the non-necessities that I seem to think I need, one has to question whether I really have a clue about what is important in life. Granted, the non-necessities that I am transfixed on this week can be easily translated into realistic needs - like jeans for Josh, since he has only 1.5 pairs now that are not completely missing their crotches, and a pair of boots to wear at work that have air cushioned soles (yes. ok. they are doc martens.) and would REALLY help my back. I actually have an entire wardrobe picked out for Josh, including hybrid shorts (in case you didn't know, Nike bought out Hurley and makes Dryfit hybrid shorts that are AWESOME for golf/beach/date night... whatever) Sanuks, jeans and a couple of t-shirts that he will look um - YUMMY in. This is hard, because my paycheck tomorrow is already slated to cover a Scentsy order that will pay back within the next couple of weeks, meals in Hood River next week (which will be reimbursed eventually) and a small pile of treasures back at Pendleton that are quietly, pervasively calling my name... Oh yeah, and an overdue phone bill. Blast. Priorities really suck. Priorities like food and gas and a working telephone for children who are stranded at track meets to call you on. And wine. There is always the basal need of wine. Luckily, I found Rex Goliath Free Range Red at Food-4-Less tonight for $3.98 a bottle. It helps settle the necessity vs. luxury issue when necessities like wine are so reasonably acquired. Now to get ultra bulk discounts on tampax, ibuprofen and peanut butter.

But now, since I have polished off my first bottle of Free Range Red and I am not even in sweatpants, I need to remedy this plight and get on with living my life tonight - which involves another bottle of wine, a million Dagny kisses, relocating a squeaky pig and maybe slide tackling my neglectful husband who has replaced me with a new MacBook and a paint sprayer. For the record I already had a prolonged conversation with a hyper-emotional 15 year old, put curlers in a (finally showered) 9 year old's hair, forgave the 13 year old for using salt instead of sugar in her latest chocolate chip cookie attempt and thereby wasting the last of the chocolate chips, and allowed the 16 year old to escape to a high school talent show without doing her chores. I also made pork fried rice and cheater egg rolls (costco freezer style) for dinner which won me accolades near and far, even if it was at 7 o'clock, since I had to race to Irish Dance class directly after work. Tonight feels like Friday night, partially because I have had a whole bottle of wine and partially because I don't have to work until 4 pm tomorrow. I almost have guilt about this. The work part, not the wine. It's only $3.98 a bottle. I think I will have another. And get on with this living thing...

Dear Jesus: Things That Are Awesome

I have a new job. To be clear for my entire audience (which consists of three obligated relatives) my boss at my old job, who doubles as a buddy of mine, will undoubtedly be reading this at some point, which casts a necessary bias on my storytelling.  Whether my new boss would ever read this is a point of some imaginative contention, since I have eavesdropped enough to discover that he is on Facebook and is at least networked with employees from other locations of the business, but I have yet to determine if he has any social life beyond the store that he has poured his life into. I am absolutely undecided about whether this new venture into the retail world is my dream job or my ultimate nemesis. 1.5 days in, I was ready to throw the towel in and concede the victory to the 18 year olds vying for top teammate.  now I am at day 4, and  I almost enjoyed my shift.

Most of you know that I worked at Costco. Most of you have seen Employee of The Month.  Other than the bad ass forklift-accessed forts, if any current or former Costco Employee tells you that this movie is not almost dead-on accurate - they are lying. Probably because they never made employee of the month and/or were never Jessica Simpson and/or got to take Jessica Simpson out. Every male in the warehouse will protest that he is the Dane Cook of his warehouse, and 98% of them are realistically the Dax Shepard of the warehouse. Obviously, in my three seasons at two different warehouses, I was the resident Jessica Simpson - new employee transfer with the looks (substitute personality?) and cashiering skills to score me a good flirt with any guy in the store, but with one little flaw: What J.Simpson did for that movie in her jumbo ears, I quadruplicated in offspring for real life. I was entirely dateable and desirable - with A LOT of kids. Anyway, all of  that rabbit trail was mainly to point out that the retail (wholesale) world is largely in real life what it is in Hollywood - ridiculous and full of drama.

I wasn't sure how this job was going to work out until I realized that I just needed to imagine a big invisible teleprompter in the sky to cue all of the speeches and pitches and "Power Statements" that I needed to deliver through the course of a day. It took about 3.5 days for me to figure it out. Then suddenly the lines  started flowing freely off my tongue as if I was born selling jeans. Part way
through my last shift I felt like I was one of the chorus performers in High School Musical, and was expecting to burst into song and perfectly choreographed dance routines around the tables of jeans. This job is scripted. If the 6 hours of training videos didn't clue me in, I must have been dense. This corporation has it figured out, in recruitment, in training - they are a highly organized program, that must be fairly successful... the high turnover rate at this store has me a bit curious, but both past and current employees proclaim the greatness of working there. So we shall see. Maybe the first week is like hell week, and once the actual performances start it gets way easier?

Heaven or hell, the cumulative total of work hours has pretty much put the kibosh on any fantasies I had of a life of leisure. Due to a scheduling conflict I had yesterday, I ended up with a miraculous day off, which I used to let a few people know that I was, indeed, alive, list a million pairs of panties on eBay, and cook some amazing appetizers for the first of four combined Scentsy/Thirty-One/Paparazzi parties which I had volunteered to host. What the hell is the matter with me? As we get closer to summer and claw our way out of the financial hole I have created, I plan to phase out Scentsy, eBay and any other superfluous actvities in my agenda so that I can get back to important things like floating the river and riding my bike to Cuppa-Yo. But for now - I have a job to get to. And then another.

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