Friday, November 21, 2014
This is not my favorite time of year. Too much pressure to get stuff done, buy presents, decorate and "Be happy, dammit." Mix in work crud and other stuff---yikes. With every Christmas tune played way before they ought to, I feel my throat constricting, my heart racing, my blood pressure rising. The snowflakes of life are a-fallin'.
A co-worker that I actually like played a small trick on me the other day, not knowing that I'm a wee bit frazzled. It wasn't a big prank or a particularly mean one, I was just feeling vulnerable when it happened. Poor guy learned his lesson as I turned into a big ball of tears as he admitted to being the prankster. A combination of relief and release--the tears flowed as he stood there apologizing to no end.
He had no idea why the fuss over a silly prank. It went deeper than he knew. An explanation, a few hugs and a couple of kleenex later, I actually felt better. I think the tears helped melt the snow that was heaped on my shoulders.
I almost think that 8 feet of snow might be easier on some folks than the holidays and work stresses. At least you can shovel that stuff far from your door.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Apparently he just received his high school alma mater newsletter and he was very excited to tell me all about what is going on there. As I was...um...sitting there....all I could think of was "who the hell cares?" But he kept going.
He kept going on and on about this or that, who did what and what the latest fundraiser was....and then he slid it under the door for me to see.
He slid his high school alma mater newsletter under the bathroom door for me to read.
I can't make this stuff up.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Um....people....it's Chicago......in November. It's cold. It snows. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn't. But it always melts....by summer.
Either way, we wear heavier coats this time of year and we still have to go to work. Then we gripe about how cold it is outside or how hot the office is inside. And how will traffic be with said cold or snow? Criminy.
Okay, maybe we are all still traumatized by last year's winter. I know it feels like yesterday that it all melted, but can we please talk about something else? And can we NOT name our weather monikers like: "Polar Vortex" or "Blizzard Fringe"? It's all so silly.
My in-laws used to go to Florida every winter. And they'd call and ask us "What's the weather like?" Joe would go into detail telling them the temperatures and if it snowed during the week. If I picked up the phone, I'd answer "It's Winter. In Chicago. It's cold and snowy. If it was anything else, it'd be called 'Florida'." I don't answer the phone much anymore. I think they are secretly happy for that.
So, yes. It will be cold this week. Maybe a little bit of snow. I don't know, I'm not lookin'.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Did you ever have a problem and not really want to talk about it with anyone? You know--it's just too exhausting to explain and you really don't want to deal with it, but you have to? I've got one of those and I'll just refer to it here as "I have gum stuck to my shoe"--because...you know...I don't really want to talk about here either. And you really don't want to read about my problems..........
So, I went to the Fancy Fit to swim my worries away yesterday. I started back swimming only a week ago, after taking off the summer. The Fancy Fit is sorta stinky and balmy in the summer, so I found that as an excuse not to go. I broke the seal last week and returned.
I no sooner walked into the pool area and I spied Lupe, my pool buddy. He was in the walking lane, chattin' it up with some old guy when he spied me too.
"Hi, Lin! Where ya been?!" he yells. And of course everyone has to turn and look at me. Thank you, Lupe.
"Who are you, the Jimminy Cricket of the pool?" I yell back. "You're my conscience now??"
"Yep! You haven't been here in a long time, Lin!" Thank you, again, Lupe.
I wave him off and jump in. I pull on the cap, add a little spit to the inside of my goggles, snap them on, and start swimming.
And I look ahead to see two skinny legs and some baggy swim trunks waiting for me at the end of what was an empty lane. Lupe does not give up.
"Lin, my love! Where have you been? I have....." and he stops. "What is wrong, Lin?" he asks.
Does my face give me away...even with goggles on? How can that be?
"Aw, Lupe. I have gum stuck to my shoe," and I speak of my problem without a moment's hesitation. What I have not spoken to anyone, I have just unloaded on a semi-complete stranger. I don't know how or why it came out...it just did. I guess I needed to say the words and Lupe was there.
"Lin, my love, it will be alright," he says with a big wet hug in the shallow end of the Fancy Fit pool. And he proceeds to tell me of his daughter and how she once had gum stuck to her shoe too and how she got it off. Then he tells me that it's cold and the gum will fall off and everything will be okay. And not to worry.
Suddenly I felt better. A soggy little old Hispanic man made me feel like my problem wasn't so bad. The smell of chlorine, a few laps in the old pool and a wet friend was all I needed. I had the realization that it will be okay and yes, the gum will fall off my shoe...someday.
Lupe moved on to the hot tub and I finished my mile swim. I only stopped when I saw that he was waiting to say goodbye to me. He stood in the doorway to the locker rooms and waved to me.
"Lin! Remember....I love you!" he yelled. And with that, the 5 guys in the pool area turn to look at me.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
For some reason, it's very common that a lot of the buildings along Lake Shore Drive light up messages on their building by turning on lights in certain rooms and leaving them off in others. So you'll see a lot of "Go Bears" and "Go Bulls" and other assorted light-up messages as you drive along.
There was one building with a message that stumped us. Being that we were just sitting there, we had time to decipher the letters.
"P....I dunno what that is.....C.....," I'm reading slowly.
"It looks like 'Pecan', " Joe says, "but why would they write that?"
"I can't figure out what that second letter is"
"Me neither. P.....uh.....that's a C and an N," Joe is struggling like I am.
The traffic starts to move and the trees block our view, but then we move again...giving us a better shot of the building. We were both straining to figure it out.
"Dammit! I can't read that second letter!" Joe's frustrated.
"Me neither. Is it something about the Packers? Are the Bears playing the Packers?" I am asking because I pay no attention to the winter sports in this town.
"No....although they are playing the Packers on Sunday. Good guess, Lin."
We give up as traffic requires us to merge left, past an accident in the two right lanes. Joe admits defeat and zooms ahead. That's when he finally figures it out.
"It's the janitors. They're effin' with us." He says proudly.
Yeah. That's what it is. He is so smart, that Joe.