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November 12, 2014 / memoriesofagoldfish

Stores Open on Thanksgiving. Choose a side, choose wisely.

I don’t think for a second that this is news or that it’s news-worthy, but I do want to take time out of my day to bitch about it. The only people who really need to care are the people that actually have to work on the holiday. Everyone else getting their panties in a knot isn’t helpful. I used to want to slap people, open-handed, in the face at Blockbuster when they’d say, “Why are you open on Christmas?” Are you kidding me with this shit? Because you’re here. And you’ve brought your children.   Children you have no hope of controlling and each of them has 3 movies in their hand and you’re asking me why the new release wall is so empty. Newsflash! Some people assumed that we weren’t open on Jesus’s birthday and got their movies yesterday. That’s why you’re stuck watching Universal Soldier 6: Santa’s Hideout. (Is JCvD still a thing?)

Hospitals, police and fire departments have to stay open for the holidays, why aren’t we picketing in the streets for them? OH! Right…because you’re stupid Uncle Doyle doesn’t think about things like displacement or defrosting. When he puts the turkey in the hot oil on the front porch and it spills over and ignites the grease causing everyone in a 10 foot radius to need skin grafts, he’ll need the fire department to put it out police to direct traffic around his residence and superfund site and the hospital staff will need to be there to debride his wounds.  And that’s the Lord’s work.

I hate the holidays because it brings out the worst in people. I used to have to go to Mark’s parents and participate in a festival that I didn’t quite understand, because their customs were far away from the Christmases of my youth that I just sat on the fringe and ate shrimp cocktail until I had chest pain.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved them after the first Thanksgiving and Christmas that I went through. I got it, I picked up what they were putting down and I did my best to Beat the Cleavers at their Christmas shenanigans. It always felt like a race. This year they can enjoy Christmas with Mark’s new husbands. I don’t know how many more versions of his alternate lifestyle they’re gonna be able to take. Truth in reporting: I will miss them.   They were nice people and I don’t really have people like them here. I have people, they’re just…different.

I digress.

…brings out the worst in people…YES! The people who are shopping are filling their empty lives with crap they don’t need (me) and the ones that aren’t are probably stuck at home with a bunch of people they don’t see very often and try really hard to understand.

I loved Black Friday.  I’d get up in my sweat pants and pullover and a hat and hit my 3 favorite stores, Target, Best Buy and sometimes Walmart…but only once and it was scary.  It was like Walmart Bosnia…burned out cars and little kids with their clothes ripped off holding onto a doll head by the pigtail, sobbing uncontrollably for their mom…that they knew they were never going to see again because she is waiting in line for the 60 inch Improvazon TV.

Now the fun is gone and I’m not picking through anyone else’s leftovers.  I’ll just wait until we get our senses back and start letting people have their day.  THEN…I’ll get up at 4 am again, ready to crush some skulls.  But not for leftovers.

Stay home, people.  How do you get so mad about retailers being open on Thanksgiving that you decide to picket? I have a guess…you get so mad because your family is making you crazy and you think that everyone should have to be trapped with their families, too. And since they can’t, by golly, you’re going to rally yours and go picket the mall. Except Starbucks. They have hot coffee and you need that to do the Lord’s work.

What will our next cause be? Oh Sally Struthers, please guide us…please.

April 22, 2014 / memoriesofagoldfish


So…just a quick update about how things are going and how much progress I’ve managed to make since the separation in January. I know you’re all curious and you’re support level has been great. This is really hard to do but I’m rounding a corner.

I have paid off all of my creditors, my job is super easy and low-stress and it looks like I’ll be making enough money in the next year to re-fund my 401k. We really did take a lot out to move. My car is above luxury standards (take THAT, Maybach!) and I couldn’t be happier with my living situation. It’s as if I’ve rediscovered a piece of myself that I didn’t even know existed. Sharing the same brain…always working toward a common goal…finishing each other’s sentences. It’s really what a marriage should be. Not to mention our palatial estate gives us plenty of room to escape each other and have gentlemen callers without ever having to do any shame walking. I have my own wing…she has her own wing…it’s great.

Just kiddin’! Up until last paycheck I was only working part-time and making minimum payments so that I didn’t get myself in trouble with the credit card companies and clutching my meager savings with both hands and a trained guard dog.

It’s going to take me 40 years to re-fund my 401k at this rate. I can’t retire until I’m 127.

The real stuff tho: Vicki has been amazing and I couldn’t do it without her. While we are a like in many ways and she’s been really patient. I’m still fighting bouts of memory loss and I forget to do things like put away lunch meat after making a sandwich, or I leave my clothes in the washer for 7 or so days and have to keep rewashing them so I don’t have to wear funky clothes that give me swamp ass. She’s been very tolerant the last few weeks while she’s been dealing with her own stress. I’d like to personally commend her for not turning to alcohol and Xanas…any more than usual. Atta girl!

Work? Well…Just last week I got gum stuck in my pubic hair. True story, I was on the mug doing my business just before I started the paperwork I decided I didn’t want to chew my gum anymore. I thought it would be a capital idea to spit my gum into my hand and gently drop it into the bowl between my legs before moving to the next portion of my quest. That didn’t work.

What did happen was that as I flipped the gum from my fingers it altered the trajectory from the bowl and into my bush. Horror-stricken I tried to snatch it back out. Funny thing about warm gum and humid nether regions… “Matted” is the best way I can describe what happened. So I decided to move on to the paperwork stage of the show and go to my desk and get scissors.

On the way to my desk my boss stopped me to give me a quick update about something and I told her I had to hurry back to the bathroom to cut a loose string from my pocket that was snagging on something in my pants and causing them to unravel. All I could actually think about was the longer I postponed the “extraction” the worse it would be. It might stick to my underpants and I have no idea what I’d do about that. Flush them?

It has been great for dating because I won’t be tempted to sleep with anyone until it grows back in. For now, you can find me on OK Cupid under the screen name “Patches.” The scissors also did not return to my desk. I won’t say whose desk they’re on but they’re not on mine.

On a serious note, I’d like to thank everyone that’s been supportive or said something supportive or thought positive things in my direction. I appreciate it more than you know. This has been kinda hard and in many ways it feels like a death that I don’t feel like I have the right to grieve, because he’s not really dead. He’s alive and well in Pennsylvania. But it doesn’t help fill the hole he left in my life. Sometimes I feel like I’m spinning my wheels but every day is a step forward and I feel better about everything.

So thank you guys. Sincerely.

February 15, 2014 / memoriesofagoldfish


I’m not sure where to start on this one because it’s been a month and a half and I’m still not sure what I’m doing, where I’m going or what I should be doing or headed to. I also don’t think I should have to know any of that shit. I’ve had a million ideas and thoughts that should lead to something but I’m afraid to bite the bullet or take the plunge or whatever people in my situation do. I’m frozen by the fear of failure or a bad decision. I’m still waiting for the bank to come get my car because I don’t trust that I really got it, that it’s really mine.

Here goes: Mark and I were together for 10 years and we decided to get married. Since we’d been together that long it seemed like a great idea I loved him (still do) and he said he loved me. Plus we could use the tax break because it cost a lot of money to move to PA.

We got married on December 21. Then, ON MY BIRTHDAY, less than 2 weeks after he promised to love me in front of God and a legal representative from the State of Delaware, I picked up his iPad to use while mine charged and found a conversation between him and one of our wedding witnesses where Mark professed his love for him and assured him that he completed him in a way that I never could. Complete with self-nudies.

I don’t think if it had been a normal conversation and it was just him and some guy trading nude selfies I would have been calm. But I was calm. I still am. To have someone you love so completely and to whom you’ve just pledged to continue loving and supporting and taking on the world every day say to someone else that you weren’t good enough for all of him. That this new person he’s know for 4 months was a better match for him than I ever could be. My following him to Colorado, moving to his home state, supporting him mentally and monetarily while he worked on his PhD and continuing to believe in him when other people didn’t. No, I did not see that coming. Not to mention I say to people all the time with complete facetiousness that they complete me. (Jerry MaGuire, anyone?)

My friend Josh was visiting from Ohio and investigating school opportunities in the Philadelphia Metro Area so I walked in to the living room where he was sitting and handed him the iPad and asked him if I was awake. He confirmed and I texted Mark asking him why he married me. Why waste my fucking time? Why have the new love of your life sign his name to my marriage certificate? Why let me believe that we would continue our lives together until we died, in sickness and health…yadda, yadda, yadda if you didn’t mean a word of it? Why make the vow? Why wreck my life for what I can’t imagine will last 6 months.

I could be wrong about that one, but the new boyfriend already has a partner of 15 years. They have 9 dogs together. So Mark is their third and I would have been their fourth. He had planned on giving me an ultimatum when he got home from Denver on my birthday. I could accept this or he would leave. Because he doesn’t do ultimatums. You see the irony, right?

I’m a lot of things. I’m a fool for not seeing it. I’m ashamed in ways I can’t make enough excuses about for staying with him for 10 years. He’s lied and cheated on me before and every time he gets caught. And every time I take him back. I loved him, I really did. Still do. I think that when people think poorly of themselves, they do things like open relationships. I let Mark wander around. I even tried it myself. It never felt good. I never really enjoyed it because it was Mark I was supposed to be with. I know it works for a lot of people, but it doesn’t work for me.

That, friends, was the beginning of the end. In order to stay with Mark and have him love me I had to devalue everything that was important to me. A relationship built on partnership. I allowed other people to be with him so that he’d stay happy. Just to keep him coming home to me. How long can I keep that up and not lose part of me. Silly.

I fell in love with his family, too. I love his parents. His brother and sister in law and cousins Dave and Joelle. Even his sister liked me at first. Everyone on the East Coast is AWESOME. People came out of the woodwork to wish us well and welcome me to the family. It was nice. So nice.

They were always glad to see me and I always felt welcome. Now I’m supposed to say goodbye to them? No.

Mark was supposed to get home late on my birthday eve, he chose to go see his new boyfriend first and only spent a few hours with me on Saturday to discuss what was going to happen. How much input he’d get and what was my timeframe for leaving. Got a watch? Time me. Fast and as soon as there’s a break in the weather. He continued to say that I was the one that was doing the leaving, not him. This wasn’t his doing. It was mine. I chose to leave so I would have to bear the brunt of the consequences.
Um…do you have a head injury? On what planet are people so devoid of morals that what you just did to me would be okay? Who will be on your side? Who is supporting you? The new guy? Well, I think you can probably get some bad advice from him. Probably not the best life coach for you right now.

I don’t think he thought I’d really do it, but here I am. Slap in the middle of Indiana and I have no fucking idea what I’m supposed to be doing or how long survival mode will last. My only plan is to go back to PA to get the rest of my stuff and my cat and disappear from his life until we can get divorced. Which is going to be a while.

Maybe someday we can be friends, but I’m not really ready to play nice. What he did was sociopathic and cruel. I’ve had people be mean to me, but not from my life partner, my best friend, my lover…my husband. And who knows, I may not like the person he is after I rediscover the person I am. Honestly, who would let someone do that to them without a trip to jail? I don’t know that I’ll like the person he is when I remember who I am without him.

June 6, 2013 / memoriesofagoldfish

Selectric Blog Post

Selectric Blog Post

I typed this!

April 25, 2013 / memoriesofagoldfish

The latest job hunt…

I’ve been applying to jobs that I’m overqualified for because I want something that’s easy while I go back to school for a couple of classes and then possibly an MBA.  We’ll see.  I’m back in the same boat where you have to fill out a zillion questions and forms and places and spots and attach your cover letter and be a circus poodle.   Today’s was the worst.

Shit you not here is the body of the email:

Thank you for applying to the HR Assistant Position.  Below you will find a list of questions along with a link to our skills assessment.  In order to be considered for this position both must be completed.  The skills assessment will take approximately 55 minutes.

1.  Why are you looking for a position?

2.  What is your salary expectation for this role?  (Negotiable is not an acceptable response)

3.  Do you meet the minimum qualifications for this position?  If so, please provide specifics dates, examples.

4.  Is there anything that would hinder your ability to be shift flexible?  Working variable shifts, weekends, nights and holidays is a requirement of this role.

5.  What interested you in this position?

6.  Give 2 examples of how you have partnered with internal and external customers.

Initially I thought all 6 questions were for the interview, and should only be asked at the interview.  However, we’re poor so I decided that I’d go ahead and jump through the skills assessment.  It’s an HR position so I assumed it would be benefits and policy questions, labor laws, FMLA…shit like that.  WRONG.  It was a personality analysis (I don’t have one.)  A math test (what I’m going back to school for.) And that took over 30 minutes THEN I got to some shape-matching bullshit that caused me to lose my mind.  I kinda feel like it was a joke.  Like someone’s thesis was based on how far they could get you to go with that before you started crying or closed out.

I’m 40.  I’m applying for a reception position where I don’t have to think much and I just look pretty because I’m fairly certain that this math class I have to take is going to test my sanity and my “marriage.”  I shan’t be coming back from it!

I’m going to paste the link here and I hope that someone else tries it because I really think it’s bullshit.  Judges?  Feel free to make up a name and email.  Fifty-five minutes, my ass.

September 29, 2011 / memoriesofagoldfish

I Am Not Special

Realizations usually hit you in the dark of night going 80 on the freeway, right?  No?  Just me?  K.

I have given the, “You are not special,” speech so many times over the years, but no one has ever given it to me.  It goes something like this:  You are not special.  You have to have a job, you have to work and you have to contribute every day if you expect to reap any benefits of being a responsible adult in society.  Get off your ass and ditch the entitlement complex.

So now I’m givin’ it to myself.

I am not special.  I do not deserve to sit around on my ass at home eating bon-bons while someone else tends to my needs.  I am free, able and willing.  I need to do it for me.  I am not mentally unstable (much) and I don’t have any disability aside from hateful bitchiness.  Yes, it seems debilitating, but I manage with it just fine, thankyouverymuch.

When I was younger I used to find answers to life’s questions in the simplest things like movies, songs and books or from just observing someone else’s life.  If I was looking for the answer to something it would materialize.  Best.  Gift.  EVER!  There was no wandering around the country for 3 years or magical wish that switched my body with my mom’s on Friday or some shit like that.  I lost it somewhere along the way, but maybe I’m not listening hard enough.  That’s the thing about being a know-it-all… heavy burden.  Must carry.

This job thing keeps coming back to haunt me.  Because I believe we’re all here to learn something I think mine revolves around being able to work a job and do what I’m told without all the drama.  I just don’t know how to do it, hence the lesson.  Maybe the lesson is that it’s just not that big of a deal.  I keep thinking, “Don’t I deserve a good boss?  Don’t I deserve to have a job that I like that I can do that I like and I’m good at?”  Probably.  But have I earned it?

I keep coming home looking for an answer that I’m not getting.  When I was a kid Mom set me straight and told me to get my head out of my butt all the time.  I will tell you that I may not pretend to hear your advice or I may not seem like I am listening, but I always do.  If it doesn’t sink in right now, it will register eventually.  Probably while I’m telling you to kiss the fattest part of my ass and throwing gravel as I drive away from you.  I have always understood the adage, “…cut your nose off to spite your face.”  I have no idea how I have a nose left.

I don’t know why I think that the answer is here, that if I just keep coming back eventually it will be the right time and I’ll get the answer that I’m looking for.  Is it because it’s home?  I always say the only things to do here are get high, get pregnant or get out.  I chose the latter.  Let me just state for the record…the answer is NOT here.  Also?  I’m not sure what the question is.

I left here for a reason.  Dur.  Places change, people change…or they don’t.  Which brings me to my next point and feel free to call me on my bullshit here.  I think that if your life is so crooked you have to screw your socks on in the morning, you might want to change something.  It takes work, consistency and commitment.  Everyone is allowed to be lazy now and then, but you don’t deserve it all the time.  I struggle with this daily, but I just realized tonight that you can’t hide from yourself, anywhere with anyone.  You will eventually find you.  (Do the math.)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m pretty self-aware.  I am the strong one most of the time and I keep moving in a forwardly direction…usually.  Even when I’m feeling weak, I still try to pretend that I’m made of steel and that I don’t have feelings that can be hurt and I’m ready for any eventuality.  That takes it toll, people.  I have crow’s feet and they’re not pretty.  However, I like…no I LOVE to be counted on.  I love to rescue anyone, all the time.  It’s a curse.  I don’t know where it comes from and generosity also takes its toll, make a note.

This feels more like a rant than a realization, but it’s mine.  I’ve been in some foggy stupor since I got off the plane in Indianapolis.  I haven’t felt like myself and I haven’t been easy to live with or be around.  I don’t like that, but when you’re working on you, you’re sometimes selfish.  I’m apologizing for that right now to the universe and anyone I’ve ticked off.  Snarky is not always pretty but it goes with my shoes.

Lastly, I have no idea how Mark does it every day.  I couldn’t live with me.  I’d smother me in my sleep and make it look like the C-PAP machine had a malfunction.  He’s not always an angel, but he puts up with crazy a lot.  I am thankful for everyone in my life and that you all entertain the notion that I’m sane.  After all, I am not special.

June 24, 2011 / memoriesofagoldfish

Emailing Jen Lancaster…

I’m sure that while high on Ambien I thought we had some sort of kinship because she also takes Ambien and does silly things like buy Barbie heads on the internet and has no recollection of it until it shows up at her door…Ahhh, Ambienesia…how I know you.  The following is my email to her that I do not remember sending, but did apparently send.  I have removed my name to hide my shame.

To Jen Lancaster  06/06/11

From Me

First off I want to say thank you for introducing me to Chick Lit and most of all memoirs.  I had no idea how enlightening the story of a gal gone wrong could be!  I would never have paid it any attention.  I don’t even know what the other gays read these days?  My current pool of friends in Colorado don’t read anything and can’t share and have book swaps.  It’s sad.  Here I sit, 12:30 in the morning, 2 beers and an Ambien on board eating peanut butter out of a jar with a banana and thinking…”I should think her profusely for her summer reading lists that I follow and love.”

I am unemployed and I have a Kindle.  Bring. It. ON!


Sidebar:  Chelsea Handler is a lunatic and I have cut off my pretend celebrity friendship with her for fear that she would fuck with me, too.


To Me
From Jen Lancaster    06/23/11
I’m so glad my choices didn’t disappoint!

I’m pretty sure she waited so long because she was afraid that I was typing from her bushes and trying to send her messages in the form of dog poo sculpture.  Thoughts?