Archive | December, 2012

Panicky Dog

28 Dec

The first time I flew with my dog was a nightmare. I didn’t know how she would react, so I gave her a vet-prescribed sedative and wrapped her in an anxiety-controlling Thunder Shirt. That should do it, right?

Actual Panicky Dog

Actual Panicky Dog

As soon as the plane began to taxi she started scratching at the bag so ferociously that I thought it would rip. When were these sedatives going to kick in?

After an hour of Panicky Dog’s manic scratching I was getting dirty looks from everyone in my row.  Even the mothers with crying babies were giving me judgmental looks. {Oh, excuuuse me! Like your kid is so perfect? Pssshhh.}

I needed a break! Or wine. Or both! So I left her to her scratching and went to the restroom. She wasn’t going anywhere, anyway.

Half way up the aisle I hear, “MISS! YOUR DOG IS OUT OF THE BAG!”

{#@$$%} I ran down the aisle and dove across the seats to grab Panicky Dog just as her last paw broke free of the bag.  She had figured out that if she leaned her full weight (6lbs) on the zipper, that it would slide open. {smart pup}

The ever helpful stewardess pointed out that I am not allowed to have a dog loose in the cabin. Oh reeeeeally? I had no idea. Thank you. {eye roll}

PD CartoonI don’t know if you’ve ever tried to get a dog in the midst of a panic attack back into a carry case after she’s had a taste of freedom, but it’s not easy.

She managed to somehow make her body larger than the opening in the bag.  Head first didn’t work, because she used her paws to block herself.  Butt first only resulted in my face getting bitten.

After a lot of cursing and crying (on both our ends), I eventually finagled her tiny body into the bag, but I couldn’t get her head all the way down. So I did what any woman would do in that situation.  I turned the bag sharply to the side and she fell backwards.

HA! Take that, Panicky Dog!! You will not outsmart your human! {demented laughter, high-five terrified passengers}

A few minutes later, I felt something bite down on my big toe. Panicky Dog had managed to chew her way through the netting  and was now attempting to chew her way through my foot.

She mustn’t escape – again!

I blocked the opening with my foot and for the remaining 20 minutes she scratched, bit and rammed my foot with all her strength.  Once safely on the ground, she fell promptly to sleep and stayed that way for the next 4 hours. Little bitch (literally).

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Cementing A Relationship

22 Dec

Cruise Ship Docked at Ocho Rios

I had been dating my then boyfriend for about 2 months when my            sister and brother-in-law invited us on a weeklong Caribbean cruise.   The boyfriend and I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough.

To outsiders, our relationship seemed to be going at warp speed. But I had not yet taken that one very crucial step to cementing any relationship – pooping at his place.  But now we were about to be thrown into a tiny room for 7 days of 24-hour togetherness.  What could possibly go wrong?

It was now day 5 of our cruise and I had not yet gone. I was so bloated that a fellow passenger actually congratulated us on our soon to be bundle of joy. Right! Something had to be done about this poop baby.

I bought “fast acting” laxatives.  After 4 hours, nothing happened! Would this nightmare never end?? We were queued for excursion tickets to swim with dolphins when it happened.  I felt a twist in my gut and then Armageddon broke out in my lower intestine.

I turned to boyfriend, yelled “it’s happening!” and took off running for the room as fast as my little legs would take me. I made it into the room and opened the bathroom door with only seconds to spare when the boyfriend jumped out!

Boyfriend: BOO!!!!

screaming-womanMe: AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! {fart}

Boyfriend: {hysterical laughter; blocking entrance to bathroom} Man! I didn’t know you could run so fast!

Me: {gripping stomach, break out in cold sweat}

Boyfriend: {continues blocking entrance to bathroom} I was running up the opposite hall and didn’t think I could make it ahead of you in time. You really didn’t see me?

Me: {clenching butt cheeks} GET. OUT!

Boyfriend: Oh, quit making everything such a big deal. I’ll just turn on the TV. {smugly flops onto bed just inches from the bathroom door}

I was in no state to argue. I shakily closed the bathroom door and began to make sounds that I can only describe as something out of an Alien vs. Predator fight scene.  A few minutes later I hear a knock at the bathroom door:

“Babe?”

{Alien vs. Predator sounds}

“I – I think I’m gonna give you some privacy, after all. Maybe go down to the casino for a bit?  I lov—“

{more Alien vs. Predator sounds}

“Yeah… just… ok”

The moral of the story?  Don’t take laxatives when trapped on a cruise ship and in a new relationship, because some things are awkward enough without adding to them.  As for me, some good did come out of all this.  He stopped pulling pranks on me for the remainder of the relationship (and possibly in all future relationships?)

Nothing To Declare, Eh?

20 Dec

customsI’ve always been terrified of getting in trouble. I suppose that’s why whenever I travel; I get nervous going through Customs. I once had a drug-sniffing dog hit my leg with its tail and I let out a squeak of terror. In these situations my Catholic guilt kicks in and I start thinking of all the things I might, maybe, possibly have done wrong. I do this until I convince myself that perhaps I am smuggling cocaine in my rectum. I don’t know? Those eight hours I was asleep are sort of unaccounted for. I should confess just to be sure.

[Note: That was a joke. Do not confess to being a drug mule or they will conduct a full cavity search. Unless you are, in fact, smuggling cocaine in your rectum in which case you should be ashamed of yourself!]

On a recent return trip from Canada my sister and I had to go through customs separately.  As the official looked at my passport and asked the obligatory questions, I grew increasingly nervous and forgot simple details, like my full name. He looked at me over his reading glasses, but eventually returned my passport.

I’m not sure if the customs official gave the agents a signal or if they just have a policy of stopping everyone that looks a bit twitchy and sweaty, but when I walked away from the booth the guards called me over.

“Miss”, they said, “we need to search your bag, eh” (ok, I added the “eh” for effect). It was for a “random” search. Funny, though, how I was the only one being randomly searched.

I needed to signal my sister so that she wouldn’t wonder where I had gone, but she wasn’t looking at me.  In my growing panic, I started walking back to the booth and screamed out her name. The guards must’ve thought I was making a run for it because they grabbed me by the arm.

What was meant to be a head’s up to my sister resulted in her watching her baby sister getting dragged off by two customs agents into a windowless room.  In a foreign country.  No big deal, right?

Once in the windowless room, I saw the best looking Canadian man I had ever seen (with the possible exception of professional hockey player, Claude Giroux). He was in charge of inspecting my suitcase and purse. Canada Customs

As soon as he opened the suitcase I could’ve died.  WHY had I thrown all my used panties on top? Why couldn’t they be tucked, unseen, into a corner? Or better yet, burned?

As I reached for the suitcase to move them out of the way I was again seized upon by the two agents and warned against touching anything during an official search. Don’t worry! I will never touch anything ever again!!!  By the way, I now have a fresh pair of soiled knickers. Do you want to inspect those, as well?

Once the gorgeous agent was done fondling all of my clothes, he closed the bag and told me I was free to go.  He then smiled and said it is customary to stop all sweet and innocent-looking women {wink}.

Oh, you. Go on! {blush}

As for my sister, I eventually found her pacing back and forth near the security line frantically searching for me over the crowd. Nothing brings sisters together like successfully avoiding an international incident, eh?

I’m Too Sexy To Ski

17 Dec

I went skiing once.  Just once. Image

My cousins invited me on their annual ski trip. My mom, excited about getting her moody teenage daughter out of the house for a week, accepted on my behalf, insisting, “It’ll be good for you.” {Unconvinced squinty}

My aunt had given me her old ski outfit. It was a big, red, puffy onesie circa 1984. Not only was it the single most hideous thing I had ever laid my eyes on, but it was also one size too small. Because hurdling down a mountainside isn’t challenging enough; I needed a perpetual wedgie and overall feeling of discomfort to complete the experience.

As my cousins all took the lift up to the black diamond slope, I slid and wobbled over to the bunny slopes for my lesson. And there he was: my instructor. My hunky, Australian, 20-something ski instructor.

And I was wearing a Santa suit. Perfect.

About this time, I also discovered that when exposed to cold temperatures my nose turns into a leaky faucet. Not only is blowing one’s nose while wearing ski gloves next to impossible, I could barely get the tissues out of my too-tight pocket in time!

As we approached the ski lift, I was flooded with conflicting emotions ranging from joy to dread at the thought of having to talk to this beautiful man in close proximity. It was our turn; here comes the seat. Get ready…OUCH! Damnit! It hit me in the back of the thigh and I lost balance so that one butt cheek was on the seat, while the other hung in limbo. The instructor had to grab me and pull me up the rest of the way.

Ok… ok… ok… don’t freak out. I bet that happens a lot.  Just look at him and smile.

Me: {Trying to smile resulting in a grimace because my goggles and cheeks are in a fight}

Hunky Instructor: Are you alright?

Me: {NO!} Yeah! Totally. {cough}. Sorry, i’m  just nervous. My family is crazy good at all this and i’m…well…my goal is to just stay upright.

Hunky Instructor: {Chuckling} No worries, there’s a first time for — um. {Pointing to my face}

Me: What? {Looking over my shoulder to see what he might be pointing to. A tree, maybe?}

Hunky Instructor: You have… I think you need a tissue?

Me: Oh!!! {KILL ME NOW!}

I frantically tried to pull a tissue out of my pocket, but the gloves couldn’t manage their way into my sausage casing of a ski suit, so I took the glove off and accidentally dropped it down onto the mountainside.

This was not happening to me.

Ugh, I just wanted to get this skiing thing over with.  My first few turns went pretty well, but then I remembered the snotsicle incident. Before I knew what was happening I was barreling down the mountain in a straight line.

I heard people shouting “Turn!” and “Stop!”  Yes, yes. I would like to do all of those things, but I can’t.

I managed to stop by slamming into a fellow skier.  Luckily, no harm came to either of us because my puffy suit absorbed the impact.

The hunky instructor helped me up and guided me the rest of the way down the mountain.  In the end, I scored his digits!! Granted, it was from his business card — but it still counts!

I spent the rest of the trip at the lodge, wearing normal clothes and sipping on hot cocoa. {Bliss}

Dance Like A Boss

15 Dec

My former boss was… well… terrifying.  At least he was terrifying to me.  Everyone else seemed to like him.  Physically he was a very imposing man.  He stood easily a head taller than most men and as a former Army helicopter pilot he knew how to command the attention of the room just by clearing his throat.  And to me, he was at his most terrifying when he didn’t say a word.  His silence spoke volumes particularly of the I-can-kill-you-with-my-pinky variety.

When you are awkward by nature adding fear to the mix only exacerbates things, which is why I mostly stood clear of my boss.  If I needed clarification on a project or a concern that needed attention, I would tell my coworker.  You see, she had a tendency to be sort of a tattletale and I knew that whatever I told her my boss would eventually hear about.  Once I knew that, “communicating” without actually speaking to him became a whole lot easier.

If my coworker was the tattletale, then I was the squeaky wheel. If there was a complaint to be made, I voiced it (to her). Unfortunately, my gossipy coworker quit and I found myself in something of a pickle.

For various unpleasant reasons that I cannot get into right now, morale amongst my team was low.  On the whole, there was a feeling that all of our hard work was going unnoticed.  This led to a decline in cheerfulness and a lot of deep, philosophical questions being thrown around, such as “why am I here?”, “who am I?”, “what is the meaning of life?”

After one particularly depressing conversation with my coworker, Oliver, I couldn’t take it anymore. Something had to be done! First, I tried to convince Oliver to go tell the boss what I told him to say. When that didn’t work I decided to take the bull by the horns, as it were, and talk to my boss.  Knowing that I tend to break out into a flop sweat when I’m nervous, I knew that I’d have to really prepare what I was going to say.  I practiced it in front of my mirror at least 1 ½ times the night before. At least.

 The morning had arrived. Time to talk to my boss.  My extremely intimidating boss.

Me: {Standing in doorway; clearing throat}

Boss: {Continues to read the document in his hand}

Me: {Louder clearing of throat}

Boss: {Continues to read the document in his hand}

Me: BOSS!

Boss: {Slowly raises his gaze} Yes?

Me: {Full flop sweat} Um… I have… Well it’s just that… I… I’m not happy! I mean, WE. We are not happy.  “We” being the team, obviously.  Not me and you.  Or is it you and I? You know, I always forget how that goes… hahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha {stop laughing you sound like an idiot!}

Boss: {Continues to give a steely gaze}

Me: Um… well, it’s just that…um… sir… morale seems really low.  I think folks would be a lot happier if we could get a bit more recognition for our work, because we all work really hard…and stuff.

Boss: In the Army you are given a mission.  You complete the mission.  You move on to the next mission.

Me: {Blink} But I’m not in the Army. I just think that you can maybe do something to lift the morale.  You know? {he doesn’t seem to be getting the concept of good morale}.  You know, like, MORALE?

* I begin to involuntarily do a bouncy-armed, side-to-side dance similar to the dancing Santa Claus decoration*

Boss: {Smirks} I suppose I can make more of an effort.

 Me: {WHY did you DANCE???!!!} Th-thank you, sir.

20 minutes later, Oliver comes into my office:

Oliver: Did you REALLY dance in Boss’ office?

Me: WHO TOLD?!

Oliver: Boss walked into my office cracking up because he said you did this sort of weird bouncy dance. He even tried to imitate you. If his dance was anything like what you did, then you are hilarious!

 Me: H-h-he imitated me? This is awful! All I wanted was to make things around here a little less tense.

Oliver: Well it worked; we haven’t laughed this hard in months!

 

 

 

Hug It Out

14 Dec

As is typical within any company, there are often major reorganizations of programs. The company I worked for was no different. What was different; however, was that the new Vice President of Operations now sat across from my office.

In an uncharacteristic move, I decided to go over and introduce myself to him. After all, he was kind of a big shot. A man like that can make or break your career.

Now, for normal people that would mean walking up to someone, extending your hand and introducing yourself as you welcome them to the office.  But this is me we’re talking about.  Instead, I recruited an office mate to come with me in hopes that she would do all the talking and just introduce me along with herself.

It worked! Success!!

The next day he came to my office and thanked me for taking the time out of my busy schedule to introduce myself and make him feel welcomed. He commented that being new to a company was made harder by the fact that no one ever wants to talk to the big boss.  I hadn’t actually said a word to him that day, but I wasn’t about to say that I had just stood next to my friend smiling and nodding my head. Instead of pointing that out, I smiled warmly and said “you’re welcome”.

There. I spoke to him in a calm and collected manner. That wasn’t so bad. I actually pulled it off rather nicely {patting self on back}.

A week later, a very good friend of mine was in town for a visit. I had discovered a restaurant near me that mixed excellent mojitos. They included an actual sugar cane in the drink and everything – lovely. We had decided to sit at the bar and get drinks in lieu of dinner, because drinking on an empty stomach is always a good idea.

As I was starting in on mojito #3, I saw the VP walking by me out of the corner of my eye. Naturally, I jumped off my stool and flung my tiny body at him in a bear hug.

At this point, you’re probably wondering to yourself, “WHAT was she thinking???” Well, I’ll tell you.  This is the exact sequence of thoughts that went through my mind:

Do I know that guy?

I KNOW THAT GUY!!!

What do I usually do when I see someone I know?

I HUG!

{Hugging}

I immediately regret this decision

WHY are you hugging the Vice President?

You’re definitely getting fired.

Let go of him!

But if I pull away so abruptly it’s going to seem more like an attack then a hug.

Should I commit to the hug or let go?

Hug or let go?

This hug has gone on entirely too long.

I’m lingering.

It’s getting creepy now.

LET GO!

{paralyzed with discomfort}

My arms aren’t working!

Someone help me!

HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Oh good he pulled away from the hug first.

When I got back to my seat at the bar, my friend gave me the what-the-{bleep}-were-you-thinking-hugging-that-old-dude-you-total-and-utter-spazz look. I knew it well since she had given me a variation of that look many, many times before. I shrugged and explained that in my mojito daze, I had recognized a face and assumed it was a friend.  Before I could stop myself, I hugged him. It was only AFTER initiating the hug that the full realization of who he was hit me.

Most people who drunkenly hurdle themselves at their senior leadership may suffer some consequences, such as getting fired or suddenly getting all the worst shifts at work.  But it had the opposite effect for me.  Not only did he not punish me for my untoward behavior but he came by to comment on what a wonderful and compassionate person I am. Mmmm. Yes. I am, aren’t I?

And that’s how you win someone over with awkwardness.

Awkward Swagger

13 Dec

You must understand that I am the baby of my family by over a decade.  My sisters are 13 and 14 years older than me. I adored them beyond reason and followed them around everywhere, like most little sisters are prone to do.  I had no idea that I wasn’t “cool” or even “liked”.   I was completely and totally oblivious to the fact that they did not want me to hang around them and their friends. They were in high school, after all, and I hadn’t even started kindergarten yet.  But no matter how much they attempted to shoo me away, I never got the hint.

You see? I was awkward from birth!

Of course it didn’t help matters that despite the fact that I was only 4 years old I was hopelessly in love with their friend, Parker [not his real name, but a cool name nonetheless. Just go with it]. I would fawn over Parker with unabashed adoration.

Have you ever seen a girl throw herself at a guy and thought, “Oh my gosh! This is so uncomfortable. I wish she’d get the hint that he just doesn’t like her!”  Well now imagine that same scenario but with the girl as a 4 year old and the guy as an 18 year old. I know… {shamefully looks down} I know.

One particularly cringe-worthy memory sticks out in my mind. I was only 4 at the time, but if I think about it, I can still recall it with such painful detail that it makes even ME uncomfortable!

There was an end-of-year party at our apartment with my sisters and their friends. Parker was there, of course. I was desperate to hang out with “my friends” and my mom thought, quite brilliantly, that having a 4 year old in the mix would dampen any ideas of the party goers to get too wild.  I, on the other hand, saw this as an opportunity to spend time with my beloved Parker.

Parker was sitting on the couch and I was sitting on the floor, hugging his right leg.  Yes, you read that correctly. I was hugging his right leg. In my mind, I was the most alluring thing in the room. In his mind, I was the creepy kid hugging his leg. He tried to ignore me, but I wasn’t having it. His attention belonged to me and only me!

I wasn’t allowed to watch R-rated movies, but when your babysitter is a 17 year old, they don’t really enforce the rules too strictly. As in, if my sisters wanted to watch an R-rated movie then I watched an R-rated movie.  And in one such movie I had seen a woman seductively offer food to a man. Brilliant! So that’s what I’ll do then.

I took a potato chip off the coffee table and as I hugged his leg with my left arm, I extended my right arm up, offering the chip and asked “would you like a chip, my love?”.

{crickets} The room went silent.

I saw the look of complete panic and horror on Parker’s face just before my sister yelled out “MOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!! SHE’S BEING WEIRD AGAIN!”

{What? I’m not weird. Parker, tell them!  Parker? Oh… I think I did something wrong here…?}

It’s been 27 years since the incident with Parker, and I still get made fun of for it. I also still blush at the sound of his name [his real name]. But despite how uncomfortable I made him feel every time he came to our apartment to hang out with my sisters, he was always very nice to me.  He treated me like a little kid, and rightly so, but he wasn’t cruel or harsh.  He just accepted it for what it was: a little kid’s crush.

It was then that I discovered I have a knack for making someone extremely uncomfortable, yet they love me for it. Therefore, I refer to myself as being awkwardly charming.