Did You Just Call Me Dear?

Ever since a parking garage attendant called me “babe,” I’ve been more aware of the way I’m treated by perfect strangers. My conversation with Mr. Golf Cart was not the first time I’ve been on the receiving end of such foolishness, but that day, it really got to me. I just think I’ve had enough. I’m no longer in the mood to tolerate the absence of common courtesy in our daily interactions.

This attitude resurfaced during a conversation with an auto mechanic. My license plates were set to expire, and as usual, I waited until the last minute to get an inspection. My go-to auto shop was booked Friday morning, so I placed a call to an alternative.

“Yes, dear?” The man who answered sounded tired and annoyed. He followed his greeting with a slight sigh.

“Um, hello?” I checked the number on my phone, thinking I perhaps had misdialed.

“Yeah, this is Joe at XYZ mechanic. There’s something else?”

I was totally baffled. “We’ve never talked before, and did you just call me ‘dear’?”

Joe cleared his throat.

“Oh, ma’am, I’m sorry. I saw your number on the ID, and it was from the same company as the person I just talked to. Lisa something? Weird to get two calls from the same place, huh?” He chuckled nervously.

Hilarious.

I don’t know Lisa Something, and I don’t know what’s wrong with her car. What I do know is the call she had with Joe about it was not significant enough to move her status from customer to buddy. They are not on a nickname basis.

He would have been better off saying he thought I was his wife calling back.

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Who the $%^&* You Calling Babe?

Note: I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago and forgot to hit publish. Enjoy!

 

Tuesday was painful for a number of reasons. First of all, it was Tuesday, and I wished it were Friday. Second, it was rainy and humid. My new hairstyle doesn’t do well in that atmosphere. Third, I’d been covering for a coworker who was on vacation, and every project he’d ever touched since he started working for the company needed attention.

My evening perked up for a brief moment when I attended a networking event. I ran into some old friends and potentially made some new ones.

But the exit ruined it. The receptionist handed me a validation ticket for the parking garage.

Her instructions were simple. “Make sure you give this and your original ticket to the parking attendant.” Unfortunately, there was no attendant in the booth when I got there. I had to use a payment machine. It requested my parking ticket, which was unreadable.

After about 10 failed attempts, complete with flashing red error messages, I looked in my rearview mirror. There were at least 20 cars behind me. I put my car in reverse. Tired and embarrased, I moved too quickly. That’s when I heard the scraping of my side bumper against a concrete rail.

“Fantastic,” I muttered through gritted teeth as I waved appreciation to the driver who let me make a U-turn back to the parking area. The security guard for the building led me to a neighboring parking area, where an attendant made a call and assured me that someone would be waiting at my exit to raise the gate.

By the time I got back to my car, heat and humidity had taken their toll. I was tried and sticky. My feet hurt. My hair was half frizzy and half straight, which amounted to a whole mess.

There was a man reclining in a golf cart near the exit by the time I got there. I took a deep breath, set aside my bad mood, and rolled down the window.

‘Excuse me, sir, are you the person who is going to let me out?” I think I even managed a smile.

“Naw babe, I’m not here to let you out. You’re supposed to use the machine.” He pointed to the dreaded payment box.

Babe? WTF? For a second, I questioned if the heat caused me to hallucinate, but I knew it didn’t. I dropped my pleasant demeanor immediately.

After a long, tense dialogue that included a scowl, a nose flair, and a neck roll (all by me, of course), Mr. Golf Cart got on his walkie talkie to ask for assistance. The voice on the other end told him to raise the gate.

“Ma’am, I’m really sorry,” he said as he pulled an access card from his pocket and waved it in front of the gate.

I wanted to run him over.

By that point, I was no longer mad about the parking cards, my fuzzy hair, or even the scape on my car, which I’m sure only can be removed for the equivalent of two house notes. These things happen.

I was mad about the babe. Why did this dude think it was ok to call me that?
We’d never met. And, last time I checked, babe was not part of my legal name.

Sadly, this was not the first time this happened, and it probably won’t be the last.

Perfect strangers have called me baby, honey, sweetie, and shorty. Two guys once addressed me as “sexy lady” until they saw my pregnant belly. They then quickly apologized and told me to have a blessed day.

What’s worse is when women who stand up for themselves become the villains. When I was in college, a man waiting with me at a bus stop started asking me a zillion questions. I asked him to leave me alone. He got angry, and said that a pretty girl like me shouldn’t be so mean. Onlookers nodded in agreement.

Am I supposed to be flattered? I’m not. I’m annoyed. For some random person to call me anything other than ma’am or miss is totally unacceptable. I shouldn’t have to worry about how to respectfully exit these situations when I’m the one being disrespected.

I wonder if Mr. Golf Cart would have been more helpful if I had called him shorty?

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Happy Fathers Day: Five Reasons I Love This Guy

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The Organized Me has been trying to keep an editorial calendar. The Creative Me has been ignoring it as inspiration pushes other directions. Both Organized and Creative forgot that Fathers Day is this Sunday.

It would be a huge miss on my part not to salute my other half. (I won’t say better half, because he’d never let me live it down.) We’ve been together for 12 years, and for nine of those, we’ve been parents. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy, but I will say I can’t imagine taking this journey with anyone else. Here’s why:

1. He puts God first. Need I say more?

2. Family is a close second. Hubby will do whatever it takes to provide for us. It’s the main reason he took a job that sends him out of town so much.

3. He wants to be my partner. For real. We make decisions, both big and small, together. He supports my efforts to reach personal and career goals, even when it means he has to take on more responsibility at home. All I have to do is ask him. (This is the hard part for me, but I’m working on it.)

4. He actively participates in tea parties, conversations about Hello Kitty, and car-ride renditions of Let it Go. We have two girls. These things are a must.

5. He tells us he loves us. Every day. Multiple times a day. It’s awesome!

This year, Fathers Day includes helping a friend move and sitting through two sets of the same dance recital, so it’s doubtful we’ll get to celebrate. I owe you one, Honey!

 

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Dance Mom Blues

I was miserable.

The windowless changing room at the local community theatre was crowded and hot, and my hair’s twist out was quickly becoming a thing of the past. The air was thick with humidity and excitement. Fifty girls scurried about, changing into multicolored sequins leotards and tutus. Stray green feathers and purple fringe littered the linoleum. Tap shoes clacked to various beats at a painful decibel. A group of ballerinas sang “Little Sally Walker” repeatedly for 10 minutes straight.

Whenever recital season comes around, I feel like Danny Glover’s character from Lethal Weapon – too old for this. The other moms in the room looked shell shocked. Maybe it was the heat, or maybe they felt just like I did.

Being a dance parent is a J-O-B, and it takes a level of commitment and God-given patience that I do not possess. There are five good reasons the Dance Mom Life is not for me.

1. I already have a job. Making it to a 4:30 p.m. dress rehearsal is no easy feat when I work until 5:30. Mini Me expressed an interest in competition dance, and there was no way we could swing it. Travel, extra classes, and additional performances don’t fit into our current schedule.

2. I have a toddler. Lil Ma is too young for dance class and too impatient to sit through a three-hour rehearsal, two-hour recital, or even a 15-minute parents’ meeting. I have to arrange for her to be elsewhere, and that adds more complexity and stress to dance events.

3. Hubby travels. A lot. We divide and conquer when we can, but Hubby’s job sends him out of town frequently.

4. Chaos makes me nervous. No matter how organized the dance school, there is bound to be chaos when you combine girls, glitter, sequins, and songs from the Frozen soundtrack. I can’t deal.

5. Recitals are long. Too long. This year’s recital has 52 dance numbers. I wish I were kidding. Mini Me’s in three performances, and the last one is about halfway through. When the recital is over, I’ll be running for the nearest bottle of Merlot.

But it’s not about me.

 

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I accept the title of Dance Mom because of Mini Me. She loves dance. And as much as I grumble about how much dance parenting stinks, I wouldn’t change it. (Well, that’s not totally true. I would shorten the recitals by about 35 dance numbers.)

 

 

Changing my world, five minutes at a time

Happy Thursday! Today, I’m revisiting a post from a few years back. I was overwhelmed, buried under a demanding job, family needs, and undone chores. This was my pledge to take control. It helped. A lot. I think I’ll be revisiting this idea during the summer. Shifting camp schedules, vacations, and a promotion (heck yeah!) could be a recipe for overload.

DivaScript

Life is becoming more complicated by the minute. More often than not, life gets in the way of living life, if that makes sense at all. I have a full-time job, a part-time job, a family, and a long-ago abandoned list of hobbies. Sometimes I feel as if I’m running in circles. There are mornings that I’m lucky to leave the house with my hair combed.

I’ve got a list of things that I want to do, but I can’t get to them for one reason or another. Cleaning my oven, reorganizing my closet, finishing my daughter’s baby book. So I’ve decided to tackle these things, one project at a time, five minutes at a time.

Five minutes? I know, it might sound crazy, but sometimes five minutes is all I’ve got. Plus, I’m a little like a crocodile (or is it an alligator?). I have short bursts of focused…

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