THIS LOOKS NOTHING LIKE WHEN MARILYN MONROE DID IT!

When I was in the 9th grade, during confirmation class, our youth minister told us to anonymously write down the last time we expressed our sexuality. He didn’t give examples. So it was, that, after he had begun to read them aloud, I realized I had completely misunderstood the assignment.

“Brushed my hair.”
“Put on cologne.”
“Did my make-up.”
“Discussed it and all it contains, with my best friend.”

Ugh. It has been twelve years and I’m presently thinking “Zetus lapetus, Belle. You may as well have told them you discussed pubic hair length with Gail… and name five 15-year-olds who talk like that!

In truth, it may not have been that bad, but I’m remembering it through the eyes of my mortified 15-year-old self, who knew just how obvious it was who gave the weirdly suggestive answer, as quiet descended and everyone glanced her way.

Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to just accept frequent embarrassment as a part of my existence on this planet. I mean really, you’ve got to develop a thicker skin when you regularly have moments like the time I blurted the following words to a group of new coworkers…

“I adore Woody Harrelson. I can just never decide if I’d want him to be my lover or my dad.”

Unsay it! Unsay it!

I have accidentally referred to the book Fifty Shades Darker as Fifty Shades Deeper multiple times, while speaking to customers. In fact, making that topic as awkward as possible has become a unique skill of mine.

Me: “Have you read Bared to You? If you’re looking for something in the same genre as Fifty Shades, that’s what I would recommend. It still has a lot of the same themes and focus, but it has more… dep-… I don’t want to say depth… it just has more meat to- NO!”

Yes. Bared to You has more meat to it. I bring the poise.

It’s not so bad, though, being me. Sure, there was that time I got tangled up in my own purse and seat belt, accidentally hit the panic button on my car before dropping my keys underneath it, and everyone stared as I tried to disentangle myself…

… and that’s why I don’t sport, folks. I’ll add that Gail just stared at me with a raised brow and called me Jessica Day, from The New Girl, offering nothing in the way of actual assistance.

The main perk to such desensitization to humiliation, though, is that it really just makes everything funnier… which was a godsend when I found myself having a Dreaded Girl Moment on Wednesday.

Oh, yeah… I went there… in a public restroom… while substituting at the high school.

There I was, pulling my dress over my head in a bathroom stall, hoping for no visible signs of the gunshot wound between my legs and, because this crap is routine for me, my only thought was that I just did not have time for this. You see, while I have enjoyed the single life, its main source of stress is that, literally, everything is my responsibility. That means I work two jobs to pay the bills and feed myself, the latter of which only happens if I can find a time to go grocery shopping. Wednesday was one of those exhausting days in which I substitute teach from 8:30 to 3:35, only to have 45 minutes remaining before I head to the library. Fortunately, I’d been granted with a combination lunch break and planning period, meaning I had an entire hour and a half off, in the middle of the day. I could’ve gone home, put my pj’s back on and watched Big Bang Theory on the DVR, as I regularly do, but I desperately needed food, y’all. There just was not enough time in the day for a damned Judy Blume moment.

So, I said a quiet prayer thanking Jesus for the fact that my dress remained presentable, because he totally concerns himself with these things, and weighed the options. I considered texting Gail, because I can’t make decisions by myself…

… and finally admitted that there was just no alternative. I had to go commando… in a dress that was not designed for such style choices… in freezing weather. Fortunately, I did not have to continue teaching while risking some kind of bizarre entry on the sex offenders website, because my hour and a half had begun. One dilemma remained, though: did I go home to get underwear, only to realize I didn’t have time to run my errands… or did I prance around town hoping for a windless day?

Hmmm….

Oh, come now. We all know that I chose productivity over sensibility and I’ve got to tell you, commando grocery shopping is pretty low on my list of recommended activities. Outside of a first date, I am not an exceptionally self-conscious gal. I’d like to lose a few pounds, but overall, I’m comfortable with myself… until I’m wearing a clingy dress and no panties in an Aldi. This is, in part, because I tend to wear pretty unflattering briefs.

Me: “Ugh. If I get into a serious relationship, I’m going to have to buy so much underwear.”
Gail: “Why?”
Me: “Because I don’t wear cute stuff, since no one sees it. I mean, can you imagine? We’re making out, he starts to slide his hand up my dress, pulls away and asks ‘Are you wearing a… one-piece bathing suit?

At least I thought they were unflattering, until I realized what I looked like without them.

I look like a sack of oranges. Are all women this lumpy? Oh, em jingles, I’m going to have to be naked in front of a man one day. Actually, I’m pretty sure I look more attractive naked. I am so not buying candy.

There is no way people can’t tell I’m not wearing underwear. I mean, where’s the pantiline? Wait. People try to hide the pantiline, don’t they? 

Why is that man staring at me? How clearly can he see the outline of my individual ass cheeks? 

I never realized how breezy dresses are. This is going to be the worst frostbite ever. 

WIND! NOOOO! THIS LOOKS NOTHING LIKE WHEN MARILYN MONROE DID IT!

I think I’m pretty unique in my ability to get myself into these situations, y’all. I mean, at that moment, how many people were accidentally grocery shopping with a breeze on their lady bits? I feel like the answer was just the one. It’s like every now and then I have some sort of Freaky Friday moment with a quirky sitcom character, only that woman’s life is controlled by censors and there is no genuine danger of flashing her babymaker to a group of elderly women picking up their prescriptions. Ideally, I’d just make the one quick trip, grab what I needed and run home to my cheap cotton sanctuary, but Walmart was right next door. If I was going to go through the discomfort of grocery shopping with trembling lips (you’re welcome for that), I was damned well going to finish.

Finally, though, after my naked dash through Narnia, I made it home just in time to put away the groceries and veil the goods. I will say, however, that after running around town with a Donald Duck style naked bottom half, I have a new appreciation for the warmth of Hanes. It was a transformation, the likes of fucking Cinderella, y’all. I, of course, told Gail my story and got little in the way of a response at the time. No worries. She was apparently just busy and waiting for the perfect moment.

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She thinks she’s the sweet one.

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Textersation Tuesday

08-21-14

This one requires a disclaimer. Gail and I are both extremely pro-breastfeeding. That’s their friggin’ purpose. I don’t even care if I catch a glimpse of your nipple in public, as long as it’s because you’re feeding your baby and not using him as a prop to make a point, which seems to be a prevalent attitude these days. Gail knows this, so I didn’t have to qualify my whopping exaggeration of “most women” to her.

fight

08-25-14

08-27-14

Textersation Tuesday

Gail has discovered that she still has the phone numbers for all of the douche bags she’s dated…

textersation Tuesday 6-24-14

I love her to death, but that girl will argue about the silliest things.

During our Netflix binge…

Me: “I still say that, in that town, the sex trafficking cop wasn’t all bad.”
Gail: “I think you’re speaking in word salad.”
I actually thought she didn’t realize what I meant.
Me: “The whole town is corrupt. He’s just your average Joe at this point… only he’s hot and he has power.”
Gail: “I really don’t think you’re saying the words you mean to say.”
Me: “So it’s a wee bit of sex trafficking. There were worse options. Everyone has flaws. I think I could overlook it.”
Gail: No really… you’re not saying the words you mean to say.”

You try and think out of the box for one villain…

Me: “I know you’re not caught up on The Walking Dead yet, but when you get there, just consider this. The Governor? He got shit done.

Textersation Tuesdays

Gail and I are hilarious. I know I’m biased, but judging from the response I get when I post a screenshot of one of our text message conversations on Facebook, I’m also correct.  Like this one, with the caption “All a girl needs is one friend who truly believes in her.”

June 10, 2014

Gail: My parents know I suggested you prostitute yourself. Could you please check with me before posting stuff about me online?

Me: I’m sorry. It was just a silly funny text. You suggested that was the way to get into the mob, not just like a good life decision. I’ll take it down, though.
Me: It’s no longer up, but it’s not like I said “What’s should I have for dinner?” and you said “Dick… but charge for it.”
Me: Bee tea double ewe, that was a popular post. People think you’re funny. Preen.
Me: Don’t be mad at me?
Me: That time I sent your dad a picture of my nipple was waaaaaay worse, Gail. Have some perspective.
* I forgot that he was reading her text messages during our inappropriate photo war.
Me: Not to mention the time I accidentally told his boss to fuck off.
* I made a sarcastic remark about how his Facebook post was cheesy, thinking I was teasing him, and only later realized it was his boss’s post and she was really offended.
Me: Or when I “accidentally” kept calling you Megan in front of your mom.
* The Musician once called Gail “Megan”, during sex. 

Gail: Oh, I’m not angry, just would rather it not be up and have an idea of what IS before I hear about it from my fam. Lol. Sorry. I didn’t see your texts.

Me: Well, I took it down, but it really didn’t strike me as bad. It was your suggestion for how to join the mob, not how to spend a Tuesday. But I’ll let you know in the future and not post anything you don’t want.

So, since Gaily’s taken to censoring me on Facebook, I will now be posting my favorite textersation screenshots on Tuesdays… possibly sporadically. They may not always be from Gail, though that’s likeliest, since we coined the phrase “textersation”, simply because we can send each other any random message at any time, without the forced awkwardness of opening a conversation.

So begins, Textersation Tuesdays.

Why I would make a better mobster than Tony Soprano.

Me: I want to buy a motorcycle and shoot my guns from it!
Gail: Turn off Sons of Anarchy. 

Me: I just found a Shake and Bake Meth Recipe on Google! All I need are the batteries.
Gail: Ugh. You’re going to blow yourself up. How many episodes have you watched?
Me: Like one. Breaking Bad isn’t really doing it for me.
Gail: Your search history is going to get you on some kind of list. 

You know, good friends support each other, GAIL. Just this last week, you were appallingly negative about my attending a simple party.

Gail: “Well, for one, judging by how often you leave your drink unattended, I would say you definitely should not go to a frat party. Two, while I’m sure you could pass for 21, no one’s going to talk to you when you excitedly open with ‘Hi! I’m Belle and I’m 21!'”

Ugh. What am I going to do with you?

Recently, I’ve decided to break up my Gossip Girl marathon with The Sopranos. I had actually planned to watch the latter first, but I couldn’t find it to rent and I’m too cheap to purchase anything I haven’t seen. Because libraries are the coolest, I was able to get it from work, through Interlibrary Loan. After two episodes, Gail, once again, decided to crush my dreams.

Gail: Surely you’re not the first person to think ‘I’m a librarian.That’s practically Al Capone.’
Me: Was Al Capone technically the mob? Hmm… I’ll need to catch up on my trivia.

I can’t wait until you have kids, Gaily. They’ll run in and joyfully share their desire to be an explorer…

“Oh, honey, that’s not practical. Everything’s been discovered already and you’d probably just be bitten by some kind of exotic bug and die. Also, keep the desire to leave the country under wraps. The president can hear you right now.” 

conspiracy theory

So, despite obvious Mean Girl Sabotage, I plead my case for exactly why I would not only make a good mobster, but in fact, a better mobster than Tony Soprano.

I could carry out a vendetta, without getting caught, at a very young age.
When I was in the second grade, I got a cool new kind of glue, with a sponge applicator. Everyone thought it was the neatest… until it went missing. A few days later, as I was walking by Sammy’s desk, I noticed a suspiciously similar brand of glue. Of course, I promptly declared that she stole it and told the teacher. Ultimately, Sammy confessed, Mrs. Green  made her apologize and return the glue, and likely issued a reasonable punishment… as I seethed. An apology and some missed recess, when the little bitch wronged me?!?!?

Naturally, in a lawless society, I took matters into my own hands and meted out justice like Batman. I waited two weeks, to throw off suspicion, and graffiti’d the bathroom stall with Sammy’s name during recess… first and last, so no one would be mistaken. Mrs. Green was livid and all Sammy’s friends thought she was lying when she said she didn’t do it. Not only did she have to scrub the wall clean, but she missed a lot more recess, as well. I actually managed to earn her a greater punishment, and also completely discredit her as a person, exactly as the little thief deserved. 


Lord help me when I have children, because that was just plain awful.

I can cuss better.
No, really. Isn’t the seventh “fuck”, in a sentence, a little superfluous, Tony? I mean, there are a lot of things I could suffer from while being held at gunpoint: rape, robbery, blackmail, torture. Do we really need to add redundancy to the list? I’m not offended by your usage of the word “fuck”, but it’s a little tired, what with the 13-year-old in the corner using it. The key to swearing with impact is to mix it up a little. Not everything has to be HBO-worthy. “Mountain of dicks” is totally prime time appropriate and still gets the point across. It doesn’t even have to be that adult. You throw in a “zetus lapetus” or an “oh em jingles” and those f-bombs really pop.

tony soprano strangling
“I’m gonna drape your intestines over the trees like Christmas garland!” See. I win.

I know where feelings belong.
Say it with me now: “With the last fucking Horcrux.” Now, I’m not too far into this show, but I feel it’s in poor judgement for Tony to see a therapist. So some ducks flew away? Bee eff dee. You don’t talk about your feelings. This is an HBO crime drama, not a sitcom about a recently widowed father raising his three young girls. Get your fucking genre right, dude. I mean, were I a therapist treating the mob boss of Jersey, I’d shut my cakehole and all, sure. The thing is, all it takes is one time for this chick to talk. Yeah, you’ll cut off her arm and rape her with it, or whatever mob bosses do, but the FBI will still have proof that you’re the guy laundering money, selling coke, moving stolen DVD players, and cutting off people’s arms and raping them with them. The therapist will be dead. It will have hurt. It will still be all Tony’s fault for being such a vagina. Need to vent, but find you’re a crime lord? DON’T. That’s part of the fucking gig. Just hide in fiction until the problems go away. 

jennifer melfi

Overall, I would be a lot more discreet. 
Okay, seriously dude, I know you’re like a household name in this world, but maybe, just maybe, you wouldn’t be if you didn’t wear that mobster costume every day. You’re a chubby Italian man with a thick accent, obvious anger problems, and an income level that’s completely incongruent with your claimed profession? Wow. Your Etsy store must be doing great! I, however, have pink guns, denim dresses, pearls I actually wear, and country music blaring from my car. The only indicator I might give of my mob involvement, would be that I’m Catholic. Granted, this is a bit more brow-raising in the Midwest than it is in Jersey, but I assure you, the flowered dress, peep-toes, and usage of the word “y’all” will more than conceal my secret station and crime ring.

southern belle
“Hello, there, Sir. I’m here for my gats.”

Dysfunctional relationship cards: #What is wrong with us?

During the winter, Gail and I have limited time to spend together. It’s not that we don’t consider each other a priority, by any means. She’s just got the worst job in the whole world and she’s been brainwashed to think she loves it.

No, really. I want you think about this movie, before reading the following. It’ll make us seem far more normal in comparison.

Gail’s ecstatic about her job as a mailman. She loves it nearly as much as I love being a librarian, but it means she works around the clock during the Christmas season. So, unless I get up at 4:30 in the morning to meet her at IHOP, our face time is limited. Instead, we keep in touch through our textersation. I text her when I’m able and she responds when she’s able. There is no context or “where did that come from?” I can send her anything from:


I’m going to die alone!

to…

I hate the question “What are you reading?”
“Well, you see, it’s about the Four Horsemen, but they’re SEXY.”

Similarly, she regularly sends me appallingly offensive quotes from Christian radio and quizzes me on Catholicism. We’ve got a sweet deal going. So, it was hardly out of the ordinary when I started the following discussion last night while marathoning Supernatural, like the closeted fangirl I am.

Dysfunctional relationship cards:
“Some days, you’re as good as your brother.”
Your turn.

—– “You know, sometimes you’re pretty.” Your turn.
My Gramma actually said this to my mother once, when I was 15, because she’d dressed up. Gail was referencing that.

“I wouldn’t marry you a second time, but sometimes I don’t regret the first.”

—– “You’re just like your father.”

“If I enjoyed sex, you’d be in my top five.”

—– “I think I’m gay, but you’re close enough.”

“Thank you for helping me recapture the asexual nature of my childhood.”

—– “I thought you might professionally overcompensate for your sexual issues by choosing defense law.”

“That wasn’t my gynecologist.”

—– “Happy Valentine’s Day, Meagan.”
Gail’s musician once called her Meagan during foreplay. She went ahead and had sex with him.

“Don’t be mad at your sister. It wasn’t consensual.”

—– “Happy Birthday! I framed your ‘Missing’ poster!”

“Happy VD! It doesn’t stand for Valentine’s Day.”

—– “That wasn’t really the last of my student loans… or the other loans. Surprise!”

Bahahaha. You would compare financial problems to sister rape.

—– I thought we were just doing any unhealthy relationship issues? Lying about thousands of dollars is a real relationship issue!

“I didn’t flush the cocaine, but we have more in common now!”

—– “Your dog didn’t really run away.”

“Your daughter didn’t really run away.”

—– “I don’t actually mind your porn addiction. I’m just worried that you’ll find out I’m not really using my accounting degree at the office.”

“I don’t actually mind your porn addiction. I’m just worried that you’ll find out the kids aren’t really at daycare.”

—– “I hoard a hundred dollars every time we have sex.”

“The casket was empty.”

—– “Thanks for ignoring the basement screams.”

“I’m not really a mortician… or at least not a licensed one.”

—– “Open your legs like it’s optional.”

“She’s not my mistress. She’s my daughter. Well… I suppose she’s both.”

What do you mean I “think too much”?!?!?

Every now and then, I Facebook stalk myself. It’s not that I just think I’m brilliant and must have had something hilarious to say over the past few weeks or anything. No, no. I re-read my own blog for that. You see, though I keep my Facebook private, I’m still pretty conscious of the things I post, because I work in a very public field. I can’t risk an influential person seeing something inappropriate. There’s a reason this blog is anonymous and there’s a reason I say nothing but glorious things about my jobs, regardless. So, just in case, every few weeks, I read back over my old Facebook posts and delete anything that could be misunderstood or maybe had some kind of political tone to it, as the library is a very liberal place and my head is not. It is during this chore I made a discovery: a good 80% of my posts are media critiques and humorous self-analysis. I’m not exaggerating. I am either a delightful and entertaining Facebook friend, or those who felt obligated to keep me on their feeds hid my exhausting updates months ago. I’d wondered why I’ve gotten the comment “you think too much” more than once. Perhaps it’s because of the following status updates I’ve made in just the last few months.

gaston

“NO ONE says no to Gaston!” Sounds a little rapey, Disney.

You know, Rapunzel really could’ve fashioned a rope out of that much hair, all by herself. Prince not necessary.

I was always sad when Binx turned into a stupid boy, instead of an immortal talking cat.

When you watch American Beauty, pretend it’s the sequel to Hocus Pocus.

thora birch

Daisy, you suck. If you didn’t want to be with Gatsby, maybe you should’ve kept your dress down.

I never finished A Child Called It, so I’m pretending Harry Potter was the ending.

Rereading Harry Potter has me seriously doubting the child protection system of the U.K.

“Only a person who wanted to find the stone… find it, but not use it, would be able to get it.”
So, what you’re saying Dumbledore, is that Harry isn’t a hero at all, because the Sorcerer’s Stone was never in danger. Amiright?

You see that, J.K. Rowling? That thing between Ron and Hermione? That’s called “build-up.” It’s what you completely skipped with the convenience of Harry and Ginny.

I don’t care if Snape WAS “protecting” Harry. He broke a cardinal rule of teaching by mistreating an abused child, based solely on misdemeanors committed by his parents twenty years prior. What are the requirements for a degree in wizard education, anyway?!?!?

Sometimes, I feel like artists today KNOW that they’re releasing an offensive and morally objectionable product and must be making a statement about the values of society today. Wouldn’t it be cool to find out that Miley Cyrus is just involved in a complex case study?!?!?

I’ve gotta admire the killer from You’re Next. The man knows his contractions. That’s really more than I can say for MOST Americans.

you're next

L’oreal uses “my skin looks airbrushed” as a positive testimonial. I do not consider this a plus.

I agree with Buddy the Elf’s dad. The nun DID miss the payments. She shouldn’t have bought the books if she couldn’t pay. That’s akin to stealing. That’s why the Church isn’t in favor of buying on credit. I resent the implication that Santa was a socialist, who would’ve expected a business to give non-essential items free of charge, just because he chooses to do so.

nun from elf

I’m not buying it, American Horror Story. I totally would’ve mentioned my elderly maid’s age to my husband, if only in concern for her health. How self-absorbed ARE these people?!?!? I call BS.

Sometimes, I realize what a good cover it could be to be a librarian. Like, WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND blames the librarian for all that vigilantism that’s cropped up in the city?

I probably come off less threatening when I yell at traffic with a sucker in my mouth.
“The light is GREEN! GO! I’m not even running late. You’re just annoying! Cinnamon is DELICIOUS!”

Wait. How is dancing to blame for a car wreck? 80’s movies are so stupid. Five minutes. That’s how far I made it into Footloose.

Who are these snobs in the commercial who’ve never eaten a Wal-Mart steak?!?! I’m pretty sure that 80% of the steak I’ve eaten IN MY LIFE came from Wal-Mart, Princess.

“Ladies: buying a new vehicle isn’t just for men.” Well, I didn’t think you were being sexist until you said that, Car Salesman.

Game of Thrones: There are seven kingdoms. Why can’t there be seven thrones and they just SHARE the world? I’d prefer a ruby throne to an iron one ANYWAY.

throne

So I’m in this abandoned cabin in the woods, right? Then I find this chained-up book in a room full of dead animals. I figure, I’ll totally open this sucker and read aloud from it. It’s gotta be good if it’s banned, right? No. No, I do not, because that’s STUPID.

You don’t have to stay with an angry, abusive man, just for his library, Belle. I can recommend several good Master of Library and Information Studies schools that are accredited by the American Library Association.

If you watch 7th Heaven after a Sons of Anarchy marathon, you will become convinced that all of those girls Matt dated disappeared into a pit of fire and that’s why you never saw them again.

If Barbie is making your daughter insecure, you’re not spending enough time with your daughter.

The true villain in Hansel in Gretel was not the witch, who was just an innocent victim of vandalism and had a right to protect her home. The true villain was the totally whipped dad who’s all “Yeah, honey. I’ll just go abandon the kids in the woods, right quick.” How has everyone missed this?!?!

Every time I watch the movie Twister, I think ‘What former storm chaser has liability only?!?’

twister

I would not even care about the zombies in The Walking Dead. Those people have no electricity. EVER.

When I was little, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory really freaked me out, because I thought all the kids died in the end. I’m still not sure.

I like to pretend Sin City is a spin-off of Gilmore Girls.

Lorelei Gilmore does not budget AT ALL.

In all these suspense novels someone asks “license plate number, make, and model?” I would be so screwed, because my only answer would be “blue… or black… maybe green.”

The night I watched the latest Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie:

That girl was not 38. She’d have to be since the original was filmed in 1976 and they had iPhones. I suppose I could’ve missed the futuristic element of the first one.

What brand of chainsaw does this guy use?!?! Does it have a uranium core or run on magic? I haven’t seen him put gas in it even once and it cuts through like EVERYTHING.

Puh-leez. That guy has neither the dexterity nor the medical know-how to cleanly cut off a person’s face.

texas chainsaw massacre

“It’s just like that episode of My Little Pony!”

As a teen, I could talk until I was blue in the face about my favorite book series, Fearless. Gaia was born without the ability to feel fear, so her CIA agent father trained her to kick ass since she wouldn’t have the common sense to not confront the super villains of the streets of NYC.

fearless

I was so much worse about Roswell, watching the same episode every morning before school all week. Max, the brooding teenage alien saves the life of small town girl, Liz, and all hell breaks loose in the form of FBI car chases and alien teen pregnancies.

roswell

At 20, there was no better way to escape that toxic marriage (shhhh… don’t say divorce) than by immersing myself in a world of sparkly vampire teens who hadn’t made the biggest mistake of their lives by marrying sociopaths before they were legally able to buy alcohol. For realz, I read those books like eight times.

twilight
Gaily bought an NRA membership for me in support of gun rights. They sent me a smushed hat in the mail. I have more sexual chemistry with that hat than these two had.

These titles sound so much worse when described, but didn’t write them. No, my fiction always got me one-on-ones with the creative writing teacher. It’s not like I actually made a preacher kill his daughter with a shot-gun for engaging in premarital sex. Jeez. Calm down.

If you think I’ve forgotten talking your ear off about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gail, you’re wrong. Five foot nothing Sarah Michelle Gellar saves the world from power hungry high school geeks and giant snakes, flanked by her outcast sidekicks and badass Librarian mentor. That’s right. Librarians: We get shit done. No, I didn’t forget. It’s just still awesome. 

wwbd shirt
Don’t think I won’t.

So, you’re seeing a trend here, right? I’m an obsessive person. I never grew out of that phase, because it wasn’t a phase. I’d like to say I control it better, but I’d be lying. Honestly, I credit this personality trait with having my master’s degree at 25 and losing 100 pounds in a year. I get something in my head and I won’t quit, be it a graduate degree or deciding to make all of my Christmas presents by hand. A couple of months ago, I decided I’d make custom photo albums for all of the pictures I’ve been taking since my life really started after my divorce in 2010. I am very much of the Mellenial generation, y’all. I sleep with my phone next to me. I carry my Kindle in my purse at all times. I bought my Gramma a Nook and taught her to download library books from home. Translation: I take a shit ton of pictures. Some are frame-worthy, some were taken to embarrass Gaily the day you could totally see her two granny bras under her spaghetti strap dress, some are screen caps of Facebook posts that I send to Gail so we can be catty. There’s a lot to sift through, but I finished two whole years worth of albums in one week.

This is me on a project:

elf eating spaghett
“Great. I got a full forty minutes… and I had time to build that rocking horse. “

Additionally, when I get on these tangents, failure is not an option. I’m pretty sure I can blame my daddy for that one, after he sternly asked the ten-year-old

“Now, why is that A so low? You need to get that 93 up, before it drops down to a B.”

On the one hand, thanks for the 4.0, Dad. On the other, Gaily would like to punch you in the head for the time I called her crying because I got a 98.5% on that project…. less than a year ago.

For this reason, when I set a new goal, instead of sharing my enthusiasm, Gail’s response usually goes something like this…

Me: “So, now that I’m a Librarian, after I get full time and do that whole boy thing, I’d like to publish a book one day.”
Gail: “Motherfucking damn it! You’re gonna call me at 28 crying hysterically” ::begins hyperbolic impression of me freaking out:: “‘… and I’m not even published! My life is over, because I’m too stupid to get published and now I have to join the Air Force!!!!'”
Me: “Okay. One: I can’t join the Air Force after my 27th birthday and I was only talking about it if I failed my graduate portfolio, because I couldn’t do anything else…”
Gail: “You have a bachelor’s degree in education! You could teach!”
Me: “AHEM! Two: This is a long-term goal. It’s after I get full time and maybe even get married again. I don’t even have an age attached to this. It’s just one day in the possibly distant future.”
Gail: “Uh huh. I’m sure.”

Gaily’s impression of 28-year-old Belle:

Soooooo, it is with this… determination… that I took on a new project this week: genealogy.

As a Librarian, my job is research. People call and ask questions like “Did James Dean have one wife or two? Who was the mother of his children? What was his highest grossing film?” or “My neighbor is selling his condo, but the price he’s given me is really high. Can you tell me how much it’s worth?” I’m not kidding. Obscure research is my gig, yo. Soooo, between customers, we’re encouraged to surf the Internet, as long is we stay off Facebook. Since the library has free access to Ancestry.com and two of my coworkers are really into genealogy, I figured “why not?” When I told my dad about some things I found, he was really excited… like oddly so for a conversation that didn’t include the words “ammo” or “holster.”

So, I decided to look further into things that night at work. I figured, if I could get enough information on Grandma Kay’s family, then I might be able to form a Christmas present out of it. My daddy may be a blue collar guy, but he’s a hard working one and when it comes to gifts, if he wants it, he can pretty much buy it himself. If he can’t, I sure as hell can’t. It was beyond sweet the day he wore his college dad shirt, just for me, when it had clearly not be been worn in the year since I’d given it to him. Even better, he pretended he didn’t even realize he was wearing it. Still, I’m always trying to find something I can give him that he’d actually like.

Me: “Well, I can show you how to look this stuff up.”
Dad: “Now, why would I wanna do that, when you can do it for me?”

So, with nothing to go on but my great grandpa’s name, I spent my shift tracing my ancestry, with the help of another Librarian. I found a lot, too. Despite wanting my Christmas present to be a surprise, I decided I’d call my Grandma Kay and ask for some names to assist me. She’s a night owl, so I knew she’d be up. That was when she told me that my great great grandfather’s name was indeed Clayton, as I’d thought, but his middle name was Harold… not Preston. I’d traced the wrong family back to the 1700’s and had nothing on my own. I’d also already told my grandma that I found a lot for her and felt terrible about the prospect of disappointing her after she’d been so excited, not to mention, idiotic for making the mistake in the first place. Even the small piece of information that my dad had been so thrilled about was false. So, after I hung up with my grandma, at around 11:00, I signed up for the ancestry.com free international trial. I figured I could match at least what I thought I had found.

black man white child
Look! I found a picture of great great great grandpa!

Um….

Though the names my grandma had given me were misspelled and she wasn’t even sure of the relations, I found a wealth of information, this time verifiable with U.S. Census documents. I was even able to trace one branch back to the year 1660 in France. It was probably about 1:00 in the morning by this point, but I decided to keep going with another branch, so I could say I’d actually found more.

elf eating spaghett

That was when the last name Barron showed up and the leads kept coming, all verifiable with Census documents. You see, the way family trees work is that you trace back until the information runs out, because the common folk had no reason to record their families. Apparently, however, the last name Barron was used, because my great X 8 grandfather was an Irish baron, or the lowest class of British royalty, so they did keep records. At this point, it was just names and dates, but I kept recording them until about 4:30 a.m. I was in the 10th century when I finally went to bed, still not finished, exclaiming to the dog “Whatev. They’ll still be dead in the morning.” I woke the next morning and sent my dad the following text.

Clayton is the descendant of a baron, or the lowest class of British royalty and the names and dates go back to the year 10,000. Do you have any idea what a pain in the ass that was to research and record?!?!?!

Having had about 5 hours of sleep, I got up and continued to research while drinking coffee… and was not paying attention to the amount.

It was about the time I started roaring at the dog and praising God that my downstairs neighbor moved and could not hear my stomping, that I realized I probably could’ve done without the second pot of coffee.

It was also at this point when I sent Gail the following text…

Me: I’m a descendant of low British royalty. It’s just like that episode of My Little Pony!
Gail: …? I didn’t watch My Little Pony, your highness.
Me: Capitalize that, peasant.

This also led to a text argument with Jane over whether or not it was fair to claim she and Gaily had no childhood for not having seen My Little Pony, including the following:

Jane: I never had any interest in ponies. I wanted a whole horse.
Me: Ponies are not HALF a horse. Geez, I’m glad you aren’t a vet.
Jane: Ponies aren’t horses. They’re ponies. They have a different name for a reason. I wanted a horse. They kinda are half of a horse. They’re bitchy too.
Me: No. They’re colorful and they have special powers. You’d know this if you weren’t raised in a Nazi boot camp. 

So, not only has my tunnel vision focused my genealogy efforts for one thousand years, it’s also stimulated intellectual conversation and quality pet time.

Win. Win.

fist bump dog

Looking at T*ts with My Dad

For the last few years, my dad and I have been having semi-weekly daddy/daughter lunches at a local restaurant of his choosing, since he pays. The man has this great cackling laugh that you can hear a mile away. If you are in the building, you know he’s present by this laugh and I get to hear it at these lunches a lot. My dad is surprisingly supportive of my marital status for a Southern father of a single 25-year-old girl. I think part of it is that he got married and had children young himself and he’s glad I’m enjoying my youth and building a career. Mostly, I think it was hard enough for him to watch his baby girl struggle through a hellish marriage once and he’d prefer she choose more carefully the next time, so he doesn’t end up in prison.

dad with gun

Still, my brother Bo has made it clear that my uterus is going to start to smell if I don’t use it soon, so I feel the need to reassure my dad of my dating efforts. I love my daddy, but I’ll admit we have a peculiar relationship, a fact to which the waitresses who’ve served us will attest.

Dad: “Baby, you don’t need to worry about that right now. You’ve got plenty of time.”
Me: “Well, I know, but I do date. I just date douche bags.”
Dad: ::cackling::
I realize the waitress is standing next to us, with a surprised and amused expression as she refills our drinks.
Me: “One guy asked me to come over and watch Arrow with him. He didn’t own a TV. The day I find a guy who’s not a bag of dicks, I’ll call you up and tell you there’s someone I want you to meet.”
Dad: “Well that’s the way to do it. Don’t listen to your brother. He’s been married since he was fuckin’ twelve years old. You enjoy it while it lasts.”

So, yesterday, when I woke up, I sent my dad the following text:

Lunch?

When I didn’t get a response, I sent:

Lunch!

He told me he wasn’t sure and he’d call in a bit. Soon, the song Cowgirls Don’t Cry filled the room…

Dad: “Watcha doin?”
Me: “Commenting on my blog.”
Dad: “What do you say we do something different today?”
Me: “Okay. Where do you wanna go?”
Dad: “How ’bout you meet me over at Twin Peaks at 11:00?”
Me: “Sure. Works for me.”

Now, I had never actually been to Twin Peaks before yesterday. I’d heard mixed reviews, some comparing it to Hooters, but others comparing it to Buffalo Wild Wings. I just pictured conveniently tight t-shirts. I had told my dad 11:10, thinking it would take me longer to get there, but arrived at 10:50. I knew he hadn’t yet, as his work truck wasn’t in the parking lot. I immediately realized that I was not, in fact, at what was basically Buffalo Wild Wings. I also realized that, as the apparent only female customer in the place, I was both over dressed and under dressed in my ruffled pink flip flops, jean shorts, and pink “I ❤ Springfield XDM” t-shirt. You see, at Twin Peaks, the female dress code is apparently…

twin peaks

The counter was crowded with girls wearing plaid bras, khaki panties, and mountain boots as I entered… alone… thinking:

Seriously, Dad? Seriously?!?!

I don’t think less of people who work for their money. Food service is one of the few jobs I skipped while I worked my way through college, because it’s hardI may have been surprised and felt out of place, but I had no intention of being disrespectful to girls who had friendly smiles on their faces, so I just gave them one in return as I stumbled through asking for a table.

Me: “Hi. I’m waiting for my dad…” Motherfucker, how creepy does that sound? “He should be here soon and he’ll probably be wearing an electric company shirt…” Look at their faces. Look at their faces. “… so if I could just get a booth, that would be great.”

I was soooo glad they had booths, because I was concentrating so hard on looking at their faces, I hadn’t even noticed the layout. Honestly, this wouldn’t have been so bad during the dinner hour, as there would’ve been at least a few other female customers. This was lunch, though, and the only people who eat lunch at Twin Peaks on a Tuesday are these guys.

Image converted using ifftoany

I quickly realized that I was literally the only woman in the place not wearing a push-up bra and flannel and it was beginning to get crowded. I looked over the menu, briefly, and realized one of the choices was a sandwich called The Mile High Club.

Seriously, Dad? Seriously?!?!

As I sat alone, each man who passed my table seemed to give me a subtle (or not so subtle) second glance.


“No, no. I’m just waiting for my da–. Wait. I mean…”

I think my server realized I felt a little awkward, so she sat down across from me and asked…

Server: “So, Belle. Do you think it’s gonna rain all day?”
Look at her face, look at her face.
Me: “I’m not sure. I didn’t even realize it was raining until I checked Facebook this morning. Fortunately I take the Turnpike to work, so I won’t have to deal with any flooded streets or anything. Honestly, I’m loving the rain. I’m so sick of all this sunshine and so over summer and ready for fall. I saw a spider the size of a baby squirrel the other day and I. Am. Done. It wasn’t really the size of a baby squirrel. I did kill it, though. It didn’t like just go missing, which would’ve been terrible. I don’t even know how it got in, since I live upstairs.”
Fuck, Belle. You have been talking since THE BEGINNING OF TIME. Shut up!
Server: “Yeah, I know what you mean. I’m ready for some colder weather, too”

She didn’t stay much longer, since she had tables. It was super sweet of her to sit and chat with me, though. While I had been babbling like a lunatic eating her own hair, I saw my dad’s truck pull in and gave an internal sigh of relief, figuring he’d be in any minute. I’m pretty sure he rescued a baby badger and raised it to adulthood in the parking lot, though, because it was at least another two and half years before he walked through that door.*

I was so relieved to end this awkwardness, that I immediately hugged him and said

“Hey, daddy!”
Oh… weird. Don’t say ‘daddy’ in a Twin Peaks.

He sat down and we started chatting. He seemed to think nothing of sitting across from his daughter while a very sweet girl in flannel pasties took our order, so I brought up the sexy plaid elephant in the room on my own.

sexy elephant costuem
Oh em jingles. Guess who just found her Halloween costume!!!

Me: “Just so you know, it is super awkward to be having lunch with my dad in a strip club.”
Dad: ::cackles:: “Hey, I come here for the food.”
Me: “Clearly. Let me guess, The Mile High Club?”
Dad: “Hey, that’s a great sandwich and it’s huge. You could eat off of that thing for days. Lena’s always askin’ ‘Where’d you go for lunch today?’ and when I tell her Twin Peaks, she never believes me when I say it’s for the food. Hooters may have good scenery, but their food sucks. At least when I come here, they’ve got the scenery and they have great food.”
Me: “Classy, dad.”
Dad: “Classy! That’s it! It’s a classy restaurant.”

I did not bother to clarify my sarcasm that it was his comment I was calling classy, not…

class twin peaksMe: “Yeah, yeah. I get it. They’re bringing you food, not lap dances.”
Dad: “Hey, I’ve known women who’ve put themselves through school doing this kinda thing.”
Me: “Well, duh. Hell, if I didn’t like gummy worms so much, I’d be working here.”
Dad: ::cackles::

Honestly, the food was just meh, but the company was still great. My daddy gave me life advice and we caught up on family gossip. I bragged to him about my blog being Freshly Pressed and doubling my followers in a day, since he’s the one who always tells me I need to be a writer. He’s super supportive of my writing efforts and makes it clear the pride he has in me for both these and my Master’s degree. Despite that, we sort of have this unspoken agreement that he’s not going to actually follow my blog, because no matter how nontraditional our relationship, he doesn’t need to read all of those jokes about my vibrators. It’s a very unspoken agreement. Since he doesn’t know how the whole blogging process works, I’m pretty sure he just nods along at this topic like when I start rambling about how awesome it is to be a librarian. In fact, I’m almost certain that every time I start talking about these things, in his head I’m telling him all about the unicorn story I wrote at school today and I look like this…

fairy princess

Regardless, he’s as supportive of these updates as one might expect from a member of the Duck Dynasty family.

Me: “I love you daddy. Thanks for lunch.”
Dad: “Love you too, baby. Sorry it was at a strip club.”
Me: “Oh, that’s okay. I’ll just write a blog about it called ‘Looking at Tits with My Dad.”
Dad: ::cackles::

*Fun fact: I actually looked up the age of maturity for a badger. You can’t say I’m not thorough.
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/badger.htm

Yeah… sucking on pesticides will do that.

I start my Librarian job on Monday. I bought cute new dresses for said job. I get my car back soon and can stop driving my dad’s monster truck. I got to hang out with Gail, Niki, and Malik this week. Things have been pretty great in many ways. In another way, though, it’s been a rough couple of weeks…

I keep a very clean living space and live in a fairly nice apartment complex, in the sense that they’re well-kept and the management stays on top of things. Both of those facts are important to remember when I mention the roach problem that sprouted up and has been aggressively treated over the last 30 days. Essentially, the lady downstairs and to the left shouldn’t be living alone and her home care stopped coming, because she told them to fuck off. Management is on top of it and now she has an aide coming several times a week, along with a housekeeper. She should still be evicted in my opinion, because it’s not safe for her, but no one wants to make that call. Whatev, so long as the bugs are eradicated. They’ve been spraying weekly, along with laying poisons and baits.

Another important thing to remember, however, is that I am an obsessive person, often to an unhealthy extent. I saw maybe 5-10 bugs in a week long period, if not longer… and freaked the fuck out.

After spraying a cabinet of clean dishes with Raid, I texted Niki in a panic. We’d actually just had one of our crochet days. I collect people with weird jobs, you see, and Niki used to be an Orkin man. I asked if she’d come spray and she made some suggestions for purchases and promised to be over the next day. I spent twenty dollars on bug supplies for my two bedroom apartment. I half-ass nothing. The next morning, I saw and immediately killed a bug in the bathroom, burst into tears, and refused to open any more cabinets without being poised to attack.

crazy woman with gunClearing and cleaning the cabinets was a stressful venture. I’m pretty sure I threw out at least $10 worth of food that was absolutely fine, convinced it was contaminated, because it had once been opened, even though it was now sealed. I didn’t see any more bugs before Niki showed. She spent about 45 minutes going through my apartment and spraying everything and strategically placing baits and traps.

Me: “I know I already asked, but how long until they’re completely gone? A month tops?”

Me: “So… um… I know I’m being a pussy, but could you maybe go through my dresser and see if you find any bugs?”

I have awesome friends, because she not only answered my repeated questions about how long it would take, but went through my unfolded laundry as well while I refused to be in the same room, because the thought of bugs was severely stressing me out. I had even spent the morning hiding in my bedroom looking at new apartments on Craigslist.

I cannot afford to move! Any place I can afford is going to have a much bigger roach problem!!! 

Even the best of friends come with a catch, though. With Gaily, it’s the government paranoia and demands that I stop singing about killing the president to freak her out because they might be listening.

conspiracy lady
Gail.

With Malik, it’s the on-the-wagon/off-the-wagon wavering. One month “it’s just a little meth” and the next he’s clean and “not gay anymore.”

malik 1 malik 2
Malik

With Niki, it’s that she was a friggin’ Orkin man. Do you know what kind of stomach it takes to be the Orkin man? Answer: the kind of stomach that doesn’t think twice about sharing horror stories about being the Orkin man. So, after Niki would assure me that the bugs would be gone in a month, she’d say things like…

Niki: “They eat everything. I once knew a woman who’d had her eyebrows eaten.”
Me: ::in horror:: “How is that even possible?!?!”
Niki: “There were so many roaches in her house that she had to just have been crawled on all night long.”
Me: “So, they’ll be gone in a month, right?”

Niki: “Now, if you ever get bed bugs, then move immediately.”
Me: “Wait. Do I have bed bugs?!?!”
Niki: “I doubt it, but I can check.”

Niki: “…then the trailer next door caught fire and they all ran over to hers.”

niki
Niki

So, while my wonderful crochet-buddy-bug-warrior worked to eradicate the problem, she’s also the one who gave me the suggestion to Google image search “roach infestation.” Yeah. Don’t do that. I don’t feel so bad about asking over and over and over again about the bugs, since these stories were told as Niki shook out my clean clothes.

Fortunately, Niki’s efforts and the fact that my downstairs neighbor has stopped stirring things up during her move, have helped immensely. The only bugs I’ve really seen are dead ones and I’m hoping one of these nights I can even sleep again. Perhaps, some day soon, I’ll take all of the raw pasta out of my fridge and cook in my kitchen again. The apartment management is still spraying in addition to Niki’s much more impressive efforts. There’s so much poison in this place, I’m surprised I’m still living. On that note…

While the problem has improved exponentially, I did see one bug last night before I went to bed. I’m pretty sure it was an ant, but I promptly sprayed a quarter can of Raid in the room and exhaustedly went back to bed. Today, I got to have the best chat with Poison Control.

Me: “Hi. Um… I have a weird question. It’s not really an emergency or anything, but last night I was spraying Raid in my bedroom and was half asleep, so I didn’t think about washing my hands before I went to bed.”
PC: “Yes?”
Me: “Well, um… I suck my thumb and didn’t realize I still had Raid on my hands until my mouth started to burn and then go numb. I got up and washed my hands and rinsed my mouth, but now there are sores in it.”

This was followed with a beat of silence, in which I can only assume the Poison Control specialist thought…

Yeah… sucking on pesticides will do that. 

annoyed guy on phoneWhen he spoke, he was perfectly polite and basically told me that it wasn’t surprising that my mouth is shredded, but I’m not gonna die. He told me gargling with salt water couldn’t hurt. In the meantime, I suppose I should look on the bright side: the bugs I’m seeing are dead and I’m not… yet.