Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Are You Flipping Kidding Me?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

I cannot believe what I’m about to say but here goes: I am so grateful that summer is almost over. I am sick to death of hearing employees offer up unsolicited opinions on the attire of their fellow employees as they walk by.

This is a yearly obsession corporate America falls prey to when Memorial Day rolls around and companies roll out the ‘casual’ dress code for the next 90 days.

While this is supposed to be a perk to ‘relax the dress code’ it tends to turn into a royal bitching session as coworkers debate the difference between sandals and flip flops; Capri and crop pants; sleeveless tops and tank tops.

Most companies policies state, “Flip flops are not allowed.”

What exactly qualifies as a flip flop? I’ve heard so many arguments over the years from team members trying to justify their footwear:

“But I wouldn’t wear these on the beach.”

“They are leather!”

“They have gold spangles and iridescent beads! They aren’t flip flops.”

“I wouldn’t wear these in the water. They have a velvet rose on them!”

“Flip flops are those $2.50 cheap things you wore after gym class in the shower to keep from getting athletes foot.”

“I spent $100 for these sandals! They are Birkenstocks!”

I have looked down my nose at all of these excuses. “Look,” I say. “A thong is a thong is a thong.”

They stare back at me, aghast. They look at me as if I’ve just questioned their choice in undergarments.

Good Heavens! They do think I’m questioning their undergarments!

Am I the only person that knows that a thong was a shoe long before it was dental floss worn by (most) people who should never wear them?? Particularly if said dental floss is dark navy under white pants…..but I digress. I will NOT mention cottage cheese thighs…..

I’m also sick of the “Those aren’t crop pants. Those are Capri’s.” argument.

Some dress codes state that cropped pants must not allow more than 4 inches of leg to show. Why not? Skirts can be knee length. Why can’t pants stop at the knees?

“Because we don’t allow Capri’s.”

Oi vey. Are you kidding me?

I’m suddenly having flashbacks to being twelve years old, knees cracking as they hit blocks of alternating black and tan linoleum tile, knee to knee with my fellow student, rulers placed up against my legs.

Oh wait. I never went to parochial school….must have been a movie! LOL.

Another personal favorite: sleeveless vs tank tops, or taken to an even greater extreme: spaghetti strap tops. Again: are we to get a ruler out here? How much of the shoulder can or cannot be showing?

How could someone mix up ‘sleeveless’ with ’spaghetti strap’? And more importantly why am I the person who has to explain that, “Uhm….just because there are multiple straps covering a very narrow portion of your shoulder, I still should NOT be able to see your lime green bra strap……”

On the other hand, there have been times that I’ve had to coach women about the necessity of wearing a bra. That would be a story for another time….and once again, in case you caught my last post, “Maine-ly Disappointed” this was another chick that had no business not wearing a bra.

But back to my original premise, I’ll be glad when Labor Day is here and we can all go back to wearing clothes that don’t have to be measured, shoes that aren’t mistaken for underwear and tops that also masquerade as food staples.

Frankly, I find the entire ‘summer dress code’ a flop!

Posted in Uncategorized |

The Good Wife

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Now I don’t like to gripe…. Okay. That is a complete lie. I LOVE to gripe. I consider it a contact sport and think it should be added to the Olympics line up.

Allow me to set the stage for my latest tale: we’ve been away from home for 10 days.

We have cats….more cats than we probably should. Let’s just leave it at that.

But the cats have been home the last 10 days: scritchy-scratching the area rugs we have; shedding their winter coats on our chocolate brown corduroy couch and my maroon fabric easy chair; getting into and demolishing the linen cabinet. Generally making the absolute worst mess possible to punish us for leaving them.

Add to that we are in the process of cleaning out Mr. J’s apartment. We stopped there on our way home and both of our cars were packed to the brim with boxes, luggage, dirty laundry, etc.

Bottom line: the house is a disaster area and since I’m on day three of a migraine when I get home from work last night I don’t anticipate the status of the house changing from ‘disaster’ to ‘passable’ anytime soon.

Mr. J comes downstairs from his office greets me and then says, “My boss is in town and we’re going to meet here tomorrow afternoon.”

What did he say?

My eyes sweep the entire downstairs area of our house. Yes: just as bad as I thought.

Dumbfounded I just blink at him.

“Oh, and can I borrow your car since my car is still full of boxes.”

My car?

My car that has been on a 10 day road trip and is filthy from stem to stern? There are bugs embedded in the front of that car that will NEVER come off.

Heavy sigh.

Heavier sigh.

The pain in my head doubles. Someone please wake me up from this nightmare.

Because, unlike some people, cleaning is NOT my thing. I don’t enjoy it under any circumstances. I have friends who love to clean. It relieves stress for them…I always invite them over but so far, no takers.

Me? I’d rather iron my tongue into tiny pin tuck pleats than clean the house!

Three and a half hours later, sweat stinging my eyes, I consider collapsing on the couch but then that would have to be cleaned too!

Just to be clear: Mr. J was helping. He had to move all of the boxes appropriated from my car and the ones he’d moved from his car upstairs. (I made him swear an Unbreakable Vow that he’d let his boss know I have no control over the upstairs of the house.)

So I’m standing at the front of the house after sweeping off the porch wondering if I have time to go purchase a pressure washer when, with a critical eye, I ponder what our would look like to Mr. J’s boss? I mean, our house is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a nice townhouse. But there is nothing extravagant about it either: no excessive amounts of square footage. No travertine marble imported from Italy. No hand-painted murals on the walls.

On the other hand: we did just update the kitchen. Unfortunately during the process the faceplate on the microwave was broken off and frankly it looks pretty darn ghetto.

Hmmmm…maybe Mr. Bossman will give Mr. J a raise since we obviously can’t afford a new microwave, let alone a maid!

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Checking In

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Hi. Just a quick note to say that for Mr. J’s birthday in mid-December I have promised that the sh!tty first draft (industry term, I promise) of my novel will be completed. Therefore all of my creative juices are flowing in that direction!

I’ve been working on the novel since 2006. It is very exciting that the first draft is almost completeled. But make no mistake: it is in NO WAY ready for prime time. That is what the 2nd and 3rd drafts are there to accomplish!

Once I make the mid-December deadline, I’ll be back.

Please hang in there with me.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Quoting Britney

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

I never thought I’d ever quote a dysfunctional drama-queen diva but here goes:

“It’s been a while. I know I shouldn’t have kept you waiting. But I’m here now.”

Where have I been? It’s a good question. I’ve heard it a lot.

Via email from England.

Face to face in my hometown.

On the telephone in one of my two homes.

Things have been chaotic and after a few challenging months I have my head screwed on straight and I’m busting the dust off of this blog!

Doing some navel gazing gave me the opportunity to review the blog entries I’ve shared out and reinforced the fact that the blog has basically become a Lara-rant-terrific blog instead of a blog about coping with being in a long distance relationship.

In my defense, however, I think the day to day frustrations that trigger my over the top annoyance does so because I’m living alone and have no safe outlet at the end of the day.

I realize my logic could be touching a nerve in those of you who do live alone. Like, “Hey! WTH? I live alone and cope just fine, thank you very much!”

Yep. I get it.

When I lived alone, without being in a relationship, I had no expectation of assistance from anyone. Being married and living apart makes me have a slightly different perspective. I feel frustrated and angry that we’re apart when things are tough or when I need to vent. Because sometimes the phone or Skype just don’t cut it.

My hope is that my readers will forgive the long hiatus and come back to me.

Just so you know: I have a LOT of material from the summer’s shenanigans, all just as over the top exasperating as ever.

But most importantly, as Mr. J and I worked through some things this summer I am glad to report that going forward, not only will I be able to spend a week with him per month, he can now spend a week with me too. We are very excited to get to live together half the time, as opposed to one-quarter of the time.

Even better, by the end of next summer, we are hopeful that he will have completely transitioned his position and will be working back here in the city with me!

Hang onto your hats: I’m sure hilarity (and a tiny bit of frustration) will ensue as we remerge our lives. Because for good or ill: I’m used to living alone now. It’s been three years after all!!

The first thing I said to him when he broke the news to me was, “Uh – where the heck are we going to put all your junk?”

Yep. It is going to be an interesting ride!

Posted in Uncategorized |

25 Years Later

Friday, June 11th, 2010

I wasn’t the most popular kid in high school. Being overweight, wearing glasses and coming from the poor side of town didn’t do much to put me on the “A” list of cool kids. And I didn’t have a hard enough shell to pretend that being unpopular didn’t matter.

When I graduated from high school I never wanted to see any of those people again. Ever. Ever.

As our 20th year class reunion rolled around (before the advent of MySpace or Facebook) I gave in and provided my contact details to the reunion organizer. I recall a few days into January 2006 an email arrived from one of the classmates: “This is the year we turn 40. Who’s first?”

I stared at that email for a long time. Who is the “we” in this statement?

Then it hit me: the people on this email distribution list, for good or bad were my peers. We had a history together. Suddenly I was curious about them. Even those who made my life a living hell I wondered about. What were they doing now? Had they gotten what they wanted out of life? Were they successful? Bums? Rock stars? Drug dealers? Delivery men for Domino’s pizza?

I wasn’t an early adopter of social networking but in 2008 a high school friend emailed me and recommended I sign up on one of the sites. “We’re all there,” she said.

There is that “we” word again.


I was curious.

It turned out I love social networking. There is a little thrill about getting a friendship request from long lost friends and acquaintances. One of the nicest things I’ve ever heard is, “I’ve been looking for you for years!”

Last week when I realized I was going to be in my hometown for a family funeral and then staying on for a week, I threw out a post that said I was in town. If anyone wanted to get together to let me know.

Even today, 25 years later, that was still nerve-wracking. What if NO ONE responds? Jeez, it’ll be just like high school all over again. I imagine everyone in a private chat room laughing at me, “Who does she think she is?? No one wants to drop everything and go have drinks with her. She was such a loser!”

But luckily someone responded. A girl I had known since I was eight years old. And then she roped in other chicks for an evening of “catch up.”

How do you “catch up” on 25 years of history in one evening?

It is kind of like speed dating: one person gets 5 minutes to tell their story since high school and then you continue around the colorfully tiled table top in the chi-chi Mexican restaurant where Margaritas start at $9.

$10 for a drink? Where am I? Vegas??

On my drive over to an area of town that didn’t even exist when I lived here I thought: what on earth could you guys possibly have in common?

Uhm….let’s see: We all went to high school together. We all wore blue eye shadow together. We all turned 40 together. Surely there must be some common ground somewhere, right?

There was:
Two of us couldn’t have children for medical reasons. Two of us were on at least our second marriage. Three of us had children. Two of us considered ourselves mildly funny: one having actually done standup comedy.

We laughed about make out sessions in our high school auditorium, about cutting class to go sit in our cars waiting for the next class where we actually liked our teacher. We remembered eating French fries and chocolate ice cream from Braum’s for lunch and how 25 years ago we couldn’t wait to grow up. Now, at 44 and counting we didn’t really feel that much older. But sadly, no one ID’d us as we ordered and then downed top shelf margaritas.

It wasn’t all light hearted banter. One of the chicks brought our senior yearbook and as we looked over our classmates we talked about who from the class we’d already lost to death, who was the first to go barely out of high school and the most recent loss just this year.

As we talked about what it was like to have adult children one of the “girls” was telling us how she’d taken her son to Vegas for his 21st birthday. “I’ve always been the cool mom.” (I’m sure she was. She was the first friend I had to give me alcohol. Strawberry daiquiris! Gotta love her!) “But that was all over when I saw a prostitute proposition my son in a casino. I was done being cool! I almost decked her!”

“Well you can mark ‘seeing son w/prostitute’ off your bucket list,” I quipped back. (Okay. So clearly I wasn’t the one who had done standup comedy.)

The evening wound down and we detailed our various infirmities and decided: yes we must be 40+ year old women because we were sitting around talking about all the things that ailed us. Cancer. Odd female maladies that made us grow hair where we didn’t want it while cruelly losing hair where we did want it. Can anyone say “male pattern baldness”? We waxed eloquently about painful skin conditions, killer migraines, and the hormonal hell known as peri – or just straight up full blown – menopause.

Of course no regaling of life would be complete without sex. Yes, women always talk about sex. Always. Just deal with it. Giggling through another drink we discussed the good, the bad, and the kinky.

BTW: Mom – if you’re reading this: none of this was me. I was there trying to have a prayer meeting and drinking tap water….but these other chicks? They were wild!

Standing up to leave, we all groaned various knee, ankle and back issues uniting us even further. “This was so much fun!” we all said as we hugged and said our good-byes.

And it was fun. Life isn’t for the faint of heart. And after we’d all had a turn sharing our own personal stories, it was good to be united by this thing called “life.”

These women are all so beautiful not in spite of, but because of the curves life has thrown at them. They’ve gotten back up…even if it was on creaking knees. They are strong. Vibrant. Women I’m proud to call my friends.

I can’t wait to come back to town!

Posted in LJ's Story, Uncategorized |

Sometimes You Just Can’t Make this Sh!t up!

Saturday, May 15th, 2010


Posted in Uncategorized |

Hold the Presses

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Thanks to everyone who has emailed me to find out if I’m still breathing!

Sorry for the delay in updating. Real Life has me by the throat at the moment. The good news is it is giving me lots of fodder for this blog. I’ll be back on-line with our guest blogger, Amy in the next few days. She is going to tell her wonderful LDR story about how she and her husband met on-line.

Thanks for your support!

Posted in Uncategorized |

Why a Blog?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Why a blog?

That is a great question.

I’ve learned in my 40+ years that there is seldom a simple answer to any question. Things are rarely black and white. And I find that my reasons for wanting to start a blog aren’t easily distilled into a one or two word answer.

I had a couple of fairly strong reasons to start a blog about being part of a commuter couple. Part of my reason was actually altruistic. When I first became ½ of a commuter couple, I really couldn’t find too much support for people in my particular situation.

There seemed to be more resources or literature for couples who were either in a long distance relationship due to the military or who had met on line and began their relationships states apart.

Neither of those descriptions fit me. When I said “I do,” I had no idea that one day we’d be living apart. And when the decision to live in different states was made (more about that later) I didn’t know we’d still be apart two years later.

Now with 2+ years under my belt as a commuter couple I think I’ve gained some insight into what some of the challenges (and joys) of being in a commuter relationship are. I hope you’ll join me as I wax eloquently (hopefully) about the day to day things that can become a big deal when you and your partner/spouse/life mate/significant other (I’ll use all of these interchangeably) live apart.

My more selfish reason to start a blog was because I want to develop a regular writing routine. So no guarantee that I won’t take off on a tangent about whatever is driving me crazy that day, but hopefully the majority of the posts will be written through the lens of the commuter couple camera.

I have no idea where this blog will go, no more than I have any idea when my husband I will be reunited.

But you know what – life is too short to worry about the things we cannot control. Let’s just sit back and enjoy the ride!

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