The Bad Example

Showing You A Life Lived Through Bad Examples

Both

For several years I have been journaling my ass off each morning trying to get myself through rough patches with the hubby, two smart assed kids, a terrible job and the wonderful transformation of my body from a svelte 26-year-old head turner to a pudgy 50-year-old head turner (only the other way now).

I told myself that by journaling all of the bad decisions that I make and mistakes that I stumbled through, I could somehow forgive myself and move on with my life. Well, the time has come for me to finally accept something critical: fuck forgiveness. I don’t need it and I don’t want or yearn for it anymore.

It is about time that I, and now you too, stop analyzing every-fucking-thing that we do and dreamily plan for how we can be saved by someone else’s judgment and ultimately, forgiveness. I have slowly realized that by making these mistakes, I have really lived life. Sometimes my bad choices have caused me heartache and pain, but sometimes they have allowed me to laugh my ass off with truly wonderful and psychotic human beings that I call true friends.

If you choose to follow and read this blog, know that I am consciously making the bad choice to use profanity, along with course and sometimes gross descriptions. But that is life, not just my life, but a lot of other people out there in this great big screwed up world. I want to journal every day about how I have screwed up in life; what lessons I have learned and what lessons I am choosing to ignore.

Not sure about you, but I was one of those people who used to follow those bloggers named “Emily” and “Jessica” who blogged about how wonderful their homes looked and their blonde-haired blue-eyed babies seemed only to shit yellow hued daffodils that could then easily be turned into door wreaths.  Not anymore, that isn’t real life. Not my real life. But if it is yours, follow “Emily” and “Jessica” and not me. Or in other words, Fuck off.

For some reason, going to the movies just isn’t the same any more for me. Not being a movie critic here or anything, but the experience just doesn’t seem to hold that special something anymore for me. Not sure why.

Throughout my lifetime, going to the movies has always held such a special place in my heart. I loved the forced stillness and quiet of the theater, sitting there waiting for the lights to dim while you ever-so-slowly chew your popcorn. Being afraid of even the slightest sound of munching will shatter the quiet place has been created.

As I write this, I can’t help but think of all of the special memories I have of going to the movies. Interestingly enough, the movies themselves aren’t that special but it’s other things that immediately come to mind.  Things such as going to Rambo III back in 1982 with my best friend Wilma Jean (I really only just called her Jean but her real name was Wilma Jean and for dramatic purposes I thought it fit nicely here). Needless to say, the sad and heartfelt scene where Mick was passing and Rocky was so distraught didn’t have the effect on us two high school freshmen as it did on the more mature adults in attendance. We laughed and laughed and laughed. Not sure why but it was that full belly laugh that came over the both of us at the exact same time. It was magic. Movie magic.

Back then, going to the movies was an event I looked forward to all through the week. No matter what type of movie was playing. And I can even say that this routine followed me through a big part of my life. I know that when you get older more things can and do often occupy your life but going to the moves was often an escape for me. When I was married to my first husband and he was off at medical school; I saw him probably a total of one night per week. This, coupled with the fact that we had chosen to live in an isolated farm house, going to the movies by myself became even a two or three time a week event for me. Those movies helped get me through the loneliness that the 342 farm cats that lived in the barn couldn’t.

And when I found husband #2 and our children were born, going to the movies by myself was a luxury for me that although didn’t come as often as I would have liked, still allowed that precious alone time that I needed to remain sane. It’s funny. As a young mother, I would need to escape all of the crying and pooping at home for a brief time (that even included dealing with husband #2) only to go to a movie filled with loud car crashes and fart jokes but still come out feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Anyway, those times were precious to me. Going to the movies was special.

Funny story. When our boys were very young, my husband’s high school reunion came around and we made plans to attend. Now, at this point in our life, we were living paycheck to paycheck. Actually, being honest, we were living more like paycheck to paycheck and subsidized by precious spare change located in pants pockets and couch cushions. Anyway, I was nervous going to the reunion but in reality, I had already planned on going to a movie on that Sunday and had been looking forward to it all week and I was afraid the reunion was going to fuck that up for me. It was going to be my down time. Couldn’t tell you what the movie was, hell I probably couldn’t have told you what movie I was going to see then, it was just the fact that I had that 2 hours of down time planned for only me and I didn’t want to lose that opportunity.

On our way to the reunion, I kept harping on my hubby that I needed only $10.00 to go to the show the next day so I was begging him not to spend all of our surplus cash. I kept envisioning him either spending all our money except $10.00 and then I would be the one to have to decide to leave us entirely wiped out for the week so that I could still go, or I would not be able to go at all. It consumed me. All through the reunion I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. And yes, there he was, standing up at the bar with all of his friends that he hadn’t seen in 10 years, buying them drinks. Laughing and having the type of fun he was supposed to be having at his reunion. At one point he was even dancing on the tables acting as if he was a stripper. I couldn’t do anything but sit miserably on my own in the corner. Looking back now I can only imagine the impression that his classmates got of me that night. All alone, in the corner, looking as if I wanted to kill my husband and being ridiculously selfish. Great impression. At the end of the night, hubby was so drunk, the hotel staff had to help me get him into our back seat carrying a large salad bowl under his chin so that he wouldn’t ruin their carpet. When we arrived home, and I pulled into the garage, he was snoring loudly sprawled out so I just left him there in disgust. No, I didn’t leave the motor running. I thought about it but …. well, the main thing is that I didn’t.

The next morning, after getting the boys fed and started on the day and finally having a chance to sit down, here comes the hubs from the garage looking like hammered shit. Hair in ten different directions, shirt untucked, pants dirty. He stopped in the doorway and just looked at me. All he could offer was that he was so sorry and that he would make it up to me and take care of the boys all day so that I could hole up in our bedroom and read if I wanted to. Really? I remember asking how that usually works out for me when I close the bathroom door just to poop. He had no response. I told him to go take a shower, he stunk. Wasn’t I a bitch!!??!!?

Anyway, it wasn’t five minutes later that he comes running out of the back bedroom flashing all kinds of money at me, babbling like an idiot. I couldn’t believe it. There were tens and twenties all fanned out waving majestically back and forth. What in the ass?! Well, apparently, when Magic Mike was up on the tables, drunken classmates had been stuffing his pants with moolah!!!! The movie gods had intervened. Sitting there in the movies that afternoon, and by the way I think I splurged and got Milk Duds too that day, it was just heaven.

But movie experiences just don’t happen like that anymore to me. Is it because I can afford the ticket now without breaking the bank, or sending my hubby out to stand on the corner and offer his body for cash?  Is it the quality of the movies? Is it that I have matured and can find other ways to relax? Whatever the reason, it makes me a little sad.

They say that movie theaters are a dying breed. Hmmm …….

One of the common frustrations that we all have shared in our lives is the one that involves sitting through some type of math class, ANY type of math class, and asking ourselves “Are we really going to use this in our adult lives?” And then, living those adult lives and finally coming to that realization that no, we don’t ever need to determine how much that guy weighed as he sat on a moving train traveling 90 miles an hour and eating 3 of the 5 apples that he had brought for a snack.  You know what I am talking about.

But the other day, another realization hit me; I actually have been paying attention and learning from some things in my life. They haven’t always been bad examples of living. And this is one I think I am most proud of.

I have been lucky enough in life that I haven’t had to hold too many different jobs and/or employers. I say lucky because I have always enjoyed the work I was doing; but with those feel-good jobs came the absolute most horrible bosses ever. Not to knock not-for-profits as a whole but interestingly enough, both of my positions with horrible bosses were in that tax exempt status. And in both of those cases, the main people in charge were clearly not in those positions to do good in life. Maybe this is normal because in being a not-for-profit you have to fight for scarce dollars, so maybe it’s true that boards and committees look for ruthless people that have that mindset of leave-no-prisoners so that success for the cause can be had.  It still sucks for the actual workers of NFP’s because they truly are there for the good of the cause and go into the work knowing their pay will be low and their hours high and their reward is helping someone who is less fortunate.

Anyway, jumping off of that little soapbox, one the main lessons I did pay attention to in those environments was the awful treatment I, and so many others in the office, were subjected to. How those days made me feel. How desperate I was when I tried to find another position and then finally how dejected I felt when I was turned down. When I didn’t get a position that would supposedly save me, I berated myself something horrible bringing up possible reasons that I wasn’t good enough and asking myself if I ever would be. Looking back now, I realize that I wasn’t wanting those other positions because of any passion I felt for the job but for the plain reason to escape and in truth, I shouldn’t have gotten them anyway. I will admit it took me awhile to catch on, but I finally did learn to put my big girl panties on, stop whining and to pursue a job that I wanted, not a pathway.

So back to the lesson learned. As I have said, I am the boss lady now. So it is my job to ensure that I have enough employees, and the right employees, to do the everyday tasks we need to do. Our “client” needs this. (Yes, I switched to “for profit” and I don’t have a regret in the world.  In looking at our financials, we make such a “profit” we can pay our bills month to month. We don’t have a multi-million dollar CEO, just one that knows that to be able to improve the building and benefits, a small profit needs to be made.) So lately, I have been sitting in on interviews for some of our lower level acquisitions and that is where I have actually used what I have learned in life!

Yesterday a young woman came in to interview for a position. I had another employee in the room with me that had once been in the position that the young lady was applying for and she had worked her way up to an office position. I am so proud of her and more importantly, she is so proud of herself. Anyway, the young lady before us was small in frame and young. So young. And she looked terrrified. But after talking with both of us and hearing about the philosophy that we have in our building and how my goal is to make this truly a home for not only our “clients” but the employees and how although this position was on a lower level, we encouraged employees to utilize our scholarship programs and move up to higher positions; she surprised us by bursting out in tears. She looked at me and told me that she was a single mother who was barely into her twenties and she had never had an interview like this. She went on to say that she was on her own with her baby and that she thought her life would never amount to anything. She said she thought she would never have a chance. Just giving this young lady a chance made me feel more not-for-profit than I ever did in the 23 years I had worked in that sector.

And yes, one could say that talk is cheap and that as soon as she put on that uniform I could and/or would go back to the bland treatment that one gets on that level in so many other workplaces. But here, I am going to toot my own horn. I can honestly say, “Not in my place”.  I thought about it long and hard last night and I could easily come up with many employee situations that I go out of my way to have patience with; I forgive for human errors that they make on the job and make sure they have more training or coaching prior to coming to the conclusion they aren’t a good fit for that position. I have learned how defeating it can feel to be judged but not assisted. And I encourage my employees to see their own strengths. I may not be able to pay in money but I certainly can make sure they leave everyday feeling good about themselves. And somehow when I do these things each day, it makes those horrible days I lived through worth it.

And I guess if I did learn and carry out only one lesson in my lifetime I am glad it is this one.

One of the reasons my hubby and I purchased the specific condo that we did was because of the beautiful view we have of the streets below. Our building is situated on the square of our little mid-sized city and right across from the original county courthouse. Just beautiful. Even our dogs will lay in bed at night and just stare out at the lighted wonder that fills our view everyday.

So, naturally I got a pair of binoluars.

Over these last few years I have pulled them out and put them to good use in looking to see what kind of petition people are trying to have signed and they came in handy in trying to read all of the protest signs that showed up last year at the Women’s Rights Rally. But it wasn’t until the other night that I got caught. Eek!

Across the way there is a corner building that houses a bar on the bottom floor and the remaining upper five floors have apartments. All brick and windows, my husband had toured one of the apartments previously and he said they were amazing. So the other night, I happen to see one of the floor apartments had all of their window shades up and all of the lights on. Hmmm ….. it was like they were inviting me to have a look see! And I guess you are guessing how this little story bit ends – I got caught. Yikes!

But this started me thinking, in this day and age of people putting everything out there on social media from what they had for breakfast to what mood they were constantly in; what is the new definition of spying? Intimate details do not seem to be so intimate anymore. And if there isn’t a new definition, why not? Full disclosure here – I originally had asked about the definition of voyeurism but apparently voyeurism is all and only about gaining sexual pleasure from the spying. I had no idea. Now I am trying to recount the number of times, and to whom, I had called myself a voyeur because of me and my binocular activity. They must think I am such a perve!!

Everytime I look over now, even without my binny’s, and see all of my cross-the-way neighbor’s shades shut, and now shut all of the time, I feel guilty. But people wear glasses all of time don’t they to see things better? Aren’t my binoculars just a higher power of glasses? I wasn’t trying to read the prescriptions that were sitting on their dresser, or what their hind quarters looked like. I was just trying to look at the living quarters.

Am I just trying to justify my actions here? Do I even need to? This one will keep me up at night.

And yes, I will spend that time, under the cover of night, spying more. 🙂

 

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