Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Too Many Guys

Okay, so we've figured out the problem in my dating /social life. It's not that I'm too picky. It's not that I'm too aloof or shy and appear unapproachable and snooty. It's not that I'm smart in a scary sort of way. It's very simply. I already have too many guys in my life.

My sister and I came to that conclusion yesterday afternoon as my nephew was enjoying his new game ~ knock guys off Nenn-nenn's lap and make them go boom! Yes, my nephew is the source of all the guys. It's what he calls all of his Fisher Price Little People and all of his stuffed animals. There were certain rules to the make guys go boom game that were announced throughout ~ Nenn-nenn NO touch guys!! Nenn-nenn NO play with guys!! (Suddenly my social life is making complete sense....) Of course there also had to be a few ground rules and life lessons that Nenn-nenn added to the game. Such as the fact that while it was fine to knock guys off of Nenn-nenn's lap and make them go boom, the same wasn't true for other things, like say, baby brothers.

But back to my nephew and his guys... He has this crazy sixth sense about them, like knowing where each individual one is at all times. He keeps all the furry and stuffed ones (including my sister's sizable Wee Bear collection which he pilfered at first sight) in his bed, but knows immediately when he enters his room if one of them is downstairs. Many are the evenings my sister and I have run around the living room searching for some "star" "mommy" or "soldier" bear before he will even consider going to bed. He's also taken to putting his Little People guys in time outs in the kitchen. We all struggle to consider what the particular group that was still in the kitchen late last night (having been there since early that morning) could have possibly done to receive such a harsh punishment.

As for the reality of life with my nephew, it really is killing my social life. His favorite thing now is to be naked and will strip any time the opportunity presents itself and run around the house to make it as difficult to dress him again as possible. The truth is, I am really sick of seeing penises and have zero interest in seeing any other ones right now.

Monday, June 26, 2006

But the house keeps moving forward...

At least someone is moving forward!!

I went by to visit the house on Sunday and saw that they had gotten a full crew to work all day on Saturday (in like 98 degree heat and not the Nick Lachey kind). So, if my cynical neighbor was right and someone from the crew stole all the electrical wiring (which I kind of doubt) they got what they deserved!! (Karma's a bitch!!)

The windows are awesome and I wasn't really sure about the whole stone thing, but now I think I really like it. We'll have to see how it looks when all the brushed nickel carriage house style lighting gets put up...

Oh, and all that scrap sheet rack throw in the front yard has a kind of modern "found art" sort of feel to it, don't you think?? Maybe I'll just keep it there!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

There is no secret cow level.

We interrupt the very earnest self reflective blog to provide some less than serious thoughts on others.

Now, this morning I was watching one of the Sunday morning news shows where Hamid Karzai was talking about the current state of his country. Now, far be it me to criticize a man who was forced to leave his home and country by an overzealous power hungry theocracy (wait, that's starting to sound familiar...), but had the integrity and character to return and lead when his country needed him. Or, perhaps he's just a puppet for the Bush administration and the CIA is running the show. Regardless, I'm not going to criticize the guy's profession life. I just want to know what the deal is with his hat!! I mean, seriously, does he have a bunch that all look the same or does he have a really dependable dry cleaner back in Kabul who cleans it overnight and delivers?
And what is underneath the hat? Is it the Afghan version of "the button"? Or perhaps he really has a blue mohawk or a swastika tattoo??? Maybe a GPS device so the CIA can keep track of him? Or maybe it's a teenie tiny Afghan security detail? What better place to put a sniper than right on the President's head? Or maybe the hat is just bullet proof?
And the hat seems to be perfect for ALL occasions. Speaking at the U.N.? Wear the hat! Meeting with a head of state? Definitely the hat!! Some random appearance in the U.S.? Can't go wrong with the hat!!
Is it wrong that I'm so obsessed with the hat? It wouldn't be such a big deal if there were actually photos of Mr. Karzai meeting with his advisors and they ALL had similar hats on. It's just him. Is he trying to make some sort of memorable fashion statement like Michael Jackson's one glove? (Definitely a role model, because that turned out well!) Or maybe he's hoping to start a trend among the up and coming Afghans? He may even have a personal stake in this ~ perhaps a family member is the fashion designer of this delightful accessory?
Or maybe his grandmother made it for him when he was just a lad. She gave it to him and said, Hamid, someday you will be a great man. You will wear this hat, a hat of a great man. So now he wears the hat in reverence to this woman who always had such faith in his potential and his destiny for greatness. Yes, I think I like that reason best of all ~ or maybe he's covering a "jews for jesus" tattoo. That's equally probable.

But, speaking of Afghanistan and being too earnest, if you have not read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, you have missed a remarkable book that, like Reading Lolita in Tehran, gives you a view of a world that Americans just can't comprehend with our comparatively limited life experience. The Kite Runner made me mourn for all the people and places that were destroyed by the Taliban, but also all the human potential that is wasted here in the United States. We bring doctors, engineers, scientists here under political asylum and they spend the rest of their lives selling newspapers or hotdogs, as if we have an excess of skilled engineers and scientists in this country. So much just gets lost to the chaos.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Jessica Simpson doesn't have to put up with this shit!!!


Now I know I have your attention.

I have certain theories about breasts. And now that I live a mere 2-3 hours from the breast implant capital of the world (Houston, TX, for those of you who were thinking Beverly Hills) I've had even more time to consider my hypotheses and continue my "research."

See, I have certain theories about women/girls with large breasts who came by them naturally vs. those who paid to get them. Any girl/woman who wears ridiculously tight shirts over enormous breasts, doing everything possible to draw attention to them obviously did not have to go through puberty with said breasts. Women with naturally large breasts are more likely to de-emphasize them because we enjoyed the experience of every hormonal boy suddenly becoming unable to look us in the eye (or anywhere above the shoulder for that matter) as well as several adult males (a certain gym teacher comes to mind.)

When you get to college you develop defense mechanisms, you learn to crouch down to get your eyes at breast level or you retaliate by talking directly to the guy's crotch. There was a specific guy in my boyfriend's frat who was a total breast talker and when I mentioned it to other girls, they always said that they assumed he was looking at the floor when he talked to them, but I would tell them to follow his line of site the next time. Sure enough, every girl confirmed what I had seen and we started a mass campaign of crotch talking to this particular guy. There was never any proof that he actually figured out what we were doing. He's a corporate attorney now, so I certainly hope he's figured out to look a woman in the face by now.

But back to Jessica Simpson. It's an ongoing argument between my sister and I whether her breasts are real. I say no. My sister says yes. I base my theory on genetics ~ shouldn't Ashlee have at least somewhat larger than average breasts? I've never met sisters who had such disparate breast sizes without one being seriously obese or nearly anorexic.

But this is why Jessica Simpson really gets me. In the last year or so, I'm lost about 70 lbs. Now, I'm one of those people that most women hate ~ I don't lose weight from my breasts. My weight loss secret? I got sick and stopped eating. Apparently when my body called a meeting and agreed to start burning fat for survival, my breasts claimed some mammary gland exemption or potential for cancer exemption. I don't know, but as the number in my bra size has gone down from the loss of fat around my ribs, the cup size has increased.

Now, I understand that most women would be thrilled to be a DD, but let me give you a little reality check. Clothes are not made for women who actually have breasts. If they were, they wouldn't fit most people. I will never wear anything made by Nicole Miller, for instance, because there's no room for my bust in her clothes. Most often I find myself quoting Ileana Douglas' character in the WE/Oxygen network perennial film Wedding Bell Blues "Hi, I'm Jasmine and these are my breasts!" I can never find "cool" bras in my size ~ I'm not sure if the laws of physics prevent the cool designs from operating under those conditions or if the industry just believe only grandmothers need bras that big. And shirts with built in shelf bras? Forget it! Who are they kidding?? Clothing made to wear without a bra is generally made for people who don't really need to wear a bra anyway!

Why not get breast reduction surgery? Well, first of all, I'm not having back problem and I'm already in my mid-thirties. Second, it's a damn painful and frankly violent procedure, much more so than implants. I'm not that irritated. I've been living with these breasts and have already been under the knife once for a fibroid adenoma. I've since had a needle biopsy on the other breast and I anticipate that I will have more non-selective procedures in the future. Just a feeling I have ~ call it instinct after seeing my grandmother's radical mastectomy my entire life. (It included all the flesh and muscle above her elbow, her shoulder and the upper quadrant of her chest.) Don't get me wrong. She survived, for close to 50 years after the cancer. It was a success. You just don't forget something like that.

But back to why Jessica Simpson, the covergirl for DD, really irks me. Girlfriend never seems to have any issue finding clothing that properly fits her rack. Oh, I'm sure she has an expert team of tailors and designers are more than willing to alter their designs to keep her bust inside. But doesn't she have a duty to advocate for the rest of us? Forget your silly flavored body protects ~ how about some clothing and lingerie that fits the DDs both size and stylewise??

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bad Things Come in Threes

How superstitious am I? Well, I tend to believe the above adage, that bad things tend to happen in threes, it's just the way my life has worked thus far. I don't question it. I merely accept. Yeah, some scientist I am. Please don't let on to the others...

So now, ever since I lost my job and basically the same week, possibly the same day, even, some one stole ALL the electrical wiring from my new house. (Seriously, they came in an tore out all of the wiring in both floors, destroying the insulation where they needed to.) The whole incident has put my house closing back a whole month since they had to rewire the whole place, get it reinspected, and get the insulation people back in to redo the insulation, all before they could start putting up drywall which was supposed to happen last week.

One might wonder who would go through the trouble of stealing all the wiring from a home, considering how labor intensive it is to strip all the plastic insulation off of the copper before you can sell it. My friend, Joanna, suspects it was Crystal Meth addicts, since they have nothing but time and energy on their hands and aren't so much concerned with the efficiency of the money making project. My brother-in-law's joke is that it was obviously someone who was doing some remodeling of their own ~ they'll be back for the drywall later.

Great joke. My house was the only one that was hit. It was also the first house in a community of over 300 homes that got hit. Am I just lucky or what? There's where the three's come in.

I get fired without cause, and the closest thing I get to a reason is completely untrue. My house gets hit by one of the weirdest burglaries, ever? What's next? I'm just waiting for the next shoe to fall. Remember, FATE is a three footed monster.

My brother-in-law called this morning to let my sister know that they had announced major layoffs at his company, but that he was okay. I spent the whole day worrying that he had spoken too soon, that there was a converse high top waiting just above him. But he arrived home with his job in tact.

So what then? I'm afraid that if I think of anything bad it will happen ~ like the end of GhostBusters where they wind up fighting the StayPuft monster because one of the guys merely thought about it.

And, yes, I am perfectly aware of how irrational this all sounds. I know irrational when I see it. It isn't like there haven't been enough bad things to have covered three, four, five and six. Nothing has been easy. My mother said something on the phone the other day about things falling into place. I laughed at her. I asked her whose life she thought she was talking about? Nothing in my life falls into place!!

Or maybe that's just the plan, to leave me skittering around waiting for the next shoe to fall when in reality, there is no other shoe. I'm all in a thing for no reason! Wouldn't that just figure!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Married People

Let me start by saying that I have nothing against married people.

I just tend to suffer from over exposure to them and it can tend to leave one feeling rather lonely, not in the sense that you are alone and have no friends, but in the sense that you have no one in the world who considers you to be the most important person in their life, no one who sees you as that special, extraordinary.

Alright, so there is a certain two year old who believes that everything I do is magical and amazing. He has rejected his mother's peanut butter in favor of mine (a real coup for a little boy) and will only eat carrots cut the way I cut them and peanut butter sandwiches made the way I make them. He barely lets me leave the house without demanding that he give me another good bye kiss ~ and that's just when I'm going to work or run some errands. He loves it when I count the freckles across his cheeks and the bridge of his nose and he can never hear enough stories about all the people in the family that came before us. And, yes, he lights up when he sees me in the room. And if he were thirty years older and not related I would definitely consider marrying him. But as things stand, he's a little too temperamental for my taste. He's inherited my sister's predisposition for crankiness when either hungry or tired, and well, he's two!! And yes, I love him more than anything in the world. It's going to be tough competition when his younger sister or brother is born 5 months from now!!

But, back to being unmarried among the marrieds. It's a strange position to be in. It's not like being the only one without a car, since you could never actually borrow someone else's husband ~ well, maybe for manual labor... But, I think you'd have a hard time convincing someone to let you borrow their spouse for a wedding date or some other function that I get invited to bring a guest along.

Then there's the ugly traditional bullshit that every single person hates. Kissing at midnight on New Years Eve. Whoever came up with that idea should really be shot. I've made a point of not being awake at midnight on New Years Eve for the last few years just to avoid any confusion or disappointment. Come to think of it, that same person was probably responsible for Valentine's Day too. Shoot them twice, in that case. What are single people expected to do on Valentine's Day anyway? I believe I babysat and I may have gotten a card from my mother. Does it get more depressing than that? I suppose I should be congratulated for getting past my days of wearing all black on Valentine's Day. It was fun despite the fact that most people didn't even notice.

No, society is not created for single people, despite all the ready made meals for one available at Central Market, that's just a mirage. They really exist for married couples who can't agree on a prefab meal, truth be told. This is not to say that Whole Foods Cafe is a not a complete meet market after work ~ they also have a very lovely meat market at the butcher's department. But, I'm still trying to figure out how I got to be so much older than most of the players there. I could swear I was in my twenties just last week.....

Maybe that's the real truth. My twenties are a blur of higher education and my early thirties a period of career and resume building. I know I meant to get married and have kids at some point, but it was always a little further down the priority list. Oops! And here's the worst part ~ I'm really tired of meeting new people, I mean just exhausted. Sharing all your details and such is just draining. I've met enough people in my life anyway, haven't I? Maybe I could cross paths with the geologist I met on the Amtrak from Washington to Richmond a few years back? Or how about that great statistician from the Idaho tobacco program that I met at that CDC meeting? Or maybe someone from college or grad school? Even high school? I can be really cool about these things. Just keep it in mind for future reference, fate, karma, or whoever controls these things! I mean, I know I don't get to interfere, but I thought if you were in need of suggestions, since you're probably very busy.... Just take it under advisement. 'kay?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Call me anytime.

Three simple words. Maybe you've even said them yourself. Maybe people have said them to you. I know exactly how many people have said them to me. Three.

The first person to tell me to call anytime was my grandmother. She actually told me I could call collect too. (I'm the only one in the family that ever got that half of the offer.) She told me she was up late every night, at least until nine. That part stills makes me smile. She died fifteen years ago this summer. She was my confidence. She was the one who reminded me not to be intimidated by other people with fancier backgrounds, that didn't mean that anything they had to say was worth listening to anymore than anything I had to say. I still have a letter she wrote me when I was at a summer prep school program the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. It's a total pep talk. I kept it close, on my desk, through college after she died. Whenever I need a little hit of Grandma C, there it was. She was a very wise woman, a very tough woman. She got a scholarship to attend college, but couldn't use it because she was the only one in her family with a job. It was still a pretty big accomplishment for the oldest child of two Irish immigrants with nothing more than primary school educations themselves. She was a cop, walked a beat third shift during WWII, while my grandfather was in the South Pacific. She taught all of us, especially my sister and me, that nothing in the world is as important as your family, that if you're bored you can always take a walk, reading is the most basic way to learn and you never get too old to take advantage of it and if you can't sleep, there's nothing wrong with saying a rosary or two. All of my best qualities I attribute to her.

My college boyfriend was the second person to tell me I could call him anytime. I believe he lived to regret it. There's one night, or early morning, in particular that comes to mind, but first, I should explain something about myself. I hoard. I can't explain why, as I've never gone hungry, but I hoard food. Most often it's candy, cookies or junk food that I hoard. In most cases I never eat it. Sometimes, one of my family members will come to visit and find my stash and eat it, most likely it goes bad and gets thrown out. But it's not like I hide it either ~ they'll find the stash of Easter candy in the cabinet or the months old ice cream in the freezer. My family can't understand this habit. I'm apparently the only person in the family who can have this kind of stuff around without eating it this minute. I believe that's why they find my hoarding so strange. But back to the story. I had a Christmas stocking that someone had given me full of miniature Reeses and Hershey's Kisses and such, so, of course, instead of eating the candy, I just stuffed the whole thing in my bottom desk drawer. Now, I lived in an apartment in a converted row house in Baltimore, which meant shared walls and critters visiting once in a while no matter how clean you kept things. Apparently on one of these visits, some mouse found my Christmas stash and one Spring night I was awoken by the sound of mice feasting on candy wrapped in foil. (Trust me, if you've ever heard this, you wouldn't forget the sound.) So, I was a little freaked out by the noise that was obviously IN my bedroom and we didn't live in the safest neighborhood (there is no such place in Baltimore City or at least there wasn't in the early 90s), so I called my boyfriend. By that time I had identified the noise, remembered the Christmas Stocking, turned on the light etc, and just couldn't get back to sleep. He wasn't exactly thrilled to have been woken up and asked what was probably a rather sensible question ~ what do you want me to do about it? Actually nothing. I didn't want him to do anything, except keep me company until the feasting ended and I could go back to sleep. So I probably kept him awake 90 minutes in the middle of the night, while I tried different methods of persuading the mice to leave the desk (they would not) and passed the time until they quieted down and I could go back to sleep. Consider this a public apology, 13 or 14 years late. I'm embarrassed to admit that I was ever (clinches teeth) that high maintenance and that I abused your affection. I'm sorry.

Funny to admit in an entry that was supposed to go in an entirely different direction, but it really means little to publicly apologize to a person who is about as likely to read this blog as, say, Jon Stewart. (And I would know JS had the blog because he would be trying to get in touch with me to write for his show, duh!!)

Now, it's just assumed that you can call your parents at any time, but only for certain reasons. I could never have pulled off the mice feast fiasco on my parents. Although, I think my father would have played along for a good fifteen minutes or so. You also really can't drunk dial your parents ~ if you do drunk dial your parents, you have a pathology far more serious that my hoarding tendencies... And, you should refer back to the "Dirty Little Secrets" post, because I really think "I drunk dial my parents" belongs there. But what I'm saying, is in case of emergency, you can always call your parents. I'm not saying you'll always get through. It took me half an hour of busy signals to get my mother on the phone when I called from the ER after getting in a car accident on the way to a friend's wedding. And,no, they still wouldn't get call waiting!!! I think the "call me anytime" with parents is more of a mutual understanding. There are certain situations where you are expected to call them, regardless of the hour, they would be upset if you didn't.

Now, the last person who told me to call anytime, and the only person I currently have a standing offer with, lives about 6 time zones away or so. He's probably getting ready to go to work now, while I'm considering getting to sleep. We've had the agreement, which was reciprocal, until I moved into my sister's, for over a year now. We both happened to be going through some really bad stuff at the same time, completely different stuff, but bad none the less. I guess it helps to know that someone else feels like crap, that someone else feels alone and scared of what's next, scared to stay in the same place, but even more afraid to step forward. I can't completely understand what he's going through or gone through, having never been there myself and the same goes for him and my life, but we've known each other forever and even if we don't have faith in ourselves, we have faith in each other. When he found out I got fired, he reiterated the offer. I hold that offer in my pocket like a tiny piece of a childhood security blanket. I know he will cheer me up, make me laugh, convince me that I'll be fine, make fun of the entire incident with me, provide suggestions of how karma may act out in this instance. He won't offer platitudes about how this is for the best or offer pity for my horrible luck. He'll remind me of who I am, that I land on my feet, that I'll be just fine, stronger, even. Have I taken him up on the offer? Of course not. Will I? I don't know. Maybe just having the option is enough right now.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Just What I Needed


It's convenient living in Texas. There is no shortage of roads. Long, long roads.

There are things you forget about growing up. Simple things. Like the fact that a car and a driver's license equal freedom. Coincidentally, I got my official driver's license in the mail yesterday and today everyone else was headed to Houston, so I had the day to myself. I could do anything, go anywhere, with no explanations, no estimations of when I'd be back.

I started out headed to Sam's Club to get dishwasher detergent and paper towels and then got side tracked away from that access road to go to Kohl's to get new mascara but then decided to get on 290 instead to go to the big nursery on Congress and then Interstate 35 caught my eye. I'm a sucker for a good interstate.

I've been meaning to drive to San Marcos. There's the hugest (seriously, Texas huge) outlet center there with Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel outlets that I've been planning to scope out for my new house. So, off I went.

Somehow, in the 6 months since I drove down here, I had forgotten that the speed limit on TX highways is 70mph. Most people drive 80mph or more. The road traveled through small pieces of civilization like Buda and Kyle where Home Depot and Cabela's dominated the land speckled with new housing developments. In between stretched open land and cattle grazing, but only for a few miles at a time. It was suburban sprawl at its best. You were never more than 5 miles away from a Whataburger and there were dozens of billboards to remind you of that fact.

I wandered through the Prime Outlets (never actually set foot in the Tangiers mall) in the 95 degree heat. Crate & Barrel is re-opening in a few days and Pottery Barn Outlet is enormous, actually including not only Pottery Barn, but PB Kids, PB Teen, William Sonoma, Hold Everything, and West Elm. Overwhelming would be an understatement. I spent exactly $1.25, on a cold bottle of water. That was it, although I did consider some shortalls and summer pajamas for my nephew.

When I returned back in town, I stopped by my house to check out the current state. They had emailed me a few days ago to let me know that someone had stolen some of the wiring ~ basically all the electrical wire for the kitchen, garage and laundry room, tearing out the insulation where they needed to in order to get to the copper wiring. Nice, huh? It's not like the house hasn't been completely wired for over a month without the insulation in the way and they could have been a lot less destructive. The wiring has been replaced already, but I'm not sure how long this has put the building process back. Drywall was supposed to have gone up last week and now they still need to replace the insulation in the garage where it was torn out.

My mother has taken on the why-does-this-always-happen-to-you attitude. I'm guessing getting fired and having your wiring stolen in one week falls into the category of exceptionally bad luck. I have no idea.

I only know that sitting behind the wheel of my car with Blankest Year blaring on my stereo as I flew down I35, everything felt just fine.

Turn up the volume...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Dirty Little Secrets

There's a song by the All American Rejects called "Dirty Little Secret" and it has the best video.

There are all these people who appear to be people off the street (but are probably actors) who are holding up little cards with their own dirty little secrets. Some are gross "I pee in the sink", some are sad "she cheated", some are disturbing "I'm only dating her to get closer to her sister" and some are just heartbreaking "I wish I was the other twin."

As someone who loves to study the human experience in all forms, I'm mesmerized by these confessions. The song, of course, is about having a secret lover that you're ashamed to introduce to your friends, but the video is much more. Many of the confessions seem far too personal and unique to have been written by writers and not real people ~ you know, the truth is stranger than fiction. "Sometimes I fake empathy so people will like me;" "People think I've stopped lying.... but I've just gotten better at it;" "I'm afraid no one will ever love me.. as much as my dog does;" "I want to go blind so I don't have to see them together;" "I fear I have an undiagnosed mental illness;" "I hate people who remind me of myself."

So it all makes me wonder, what would my confession be? "11 inches (ouch!!) is not worth the ego that came with it"?? That's hardly a secret, at least not to anyone else who knows the person I'm talking about. "I'm not always sure whether I want to live or die.." That would be honest and disturbing, but maybe a little too honest and disturbing. "My sister thinks I'm completely spoiled, but I would trade lives with her in a nano-second." That would be a real secret, something that I've never admitted out loud, not even in some sniping match where she accuses me of never allowing her to have any real problems in comparison to mine. My sister is a professional with the cutting remark. She can say things that slap harder than any open hand. It's all part of the roles we play in the family. She's the responsible one who manages to get by on nearly nothing. I'm the mentally ill one who cannot be trusted to take care of myself regardless of how financially stable I am. I'm just unreliable, unstable, un-everything. I was cast into the role whether I choose to play the part or not. Neat, huh?

So, how's this for a dirty little secret? I'm not the person my family expects me to be.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Self Pity

So here I am, less than two months away from the closing of my new home, having all my annual leave, (which can't be used during your first six months of employment), accruing and planning to use it when I move into my house and when my new niece or nephew is born in November and when my oldest and dearest friend in the world comes to visit in early November (we've been friends for 33 years) and boom. I get freakin' fired. I don't even have final approval the mortgage!!! I finally saved up my nest egg again after obliterating my savings during my rainy YEAR in VA and now. I get freakin' fired.

But here's the thing. As hard as I am trying to mope around and feel sorry for myself ~ and trust me, I have natural talent for this ~ I just can't.

Yes, I got fucked over once again. Someone probably should have warned Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum who just sent me packing that the last person who even considered firing me wound up basically getting publicly humiliated, blamed for the biggest public health fiasco in recent history (think Tuskegee with bears) and got run out of town. Watch your backs, gentlemen. Karma's a bitch.

Still not feeling bad for myself. Why? If I knew I would be bottling it and selling it, now wouldn't I?

Could it be I've turned into a closet optimist? (Perish the thought!!!) Could it be that I spent the morning at the greatest public pool ever (Deep Eddy) with my pregnant sister and toddler nephew and experienced the lowest body temperature I've had since moving to Texas? Quite possibly.

I have another theory. Resilience. Once you build up enough scare tissue, the new cuts cant' cut too deep because the surface of your skin is much tougher than it used to be. Have I been through a lot in my life, possibly too much? Well, yeah, of course. And somewhere along the way, without even realizing it, I learned to roll with the punches.

My aunt used to have this horrible job. She worked with displaced workers. She would frequently be brought on site to a manufacturing plant for the day that mass layoffs were announced. There would be people who had worked at these plants for twenty, thirty years. They had no education, no skills, and no clue that the end was near. Sometimes there would be armed plain clothes security on site as well. Imagine hundreds of people being told exactly what I was told ~ gather up your personal items and hand in your i.d., you no longer have a job. My aunt would be there to talk to them about applying for unemployment and programs for job retraining and other things that the state and federal government had to offer. She also did seminars on resume writing and job interviews. That job basically sucked the life out of her. But she had some of the best words of wisdom.

My favorite was about change. She told me that change was like a huge ocean wave hitting the shore. You could ride it, you could fight it, or you could just walk away. People seem to forget that the third option even exists. But, the third option is always my favorite. If you don't believe in the change, there's no reason to waste your strength and energy fighting it when you can simply walk away.

I think back to those poor souls ~ poor-God-help-us's, as my family would refer to them, it follows the there but for the grace of God walk I theory of life ~ anyway, I am so much better off. I have an education, an excellent one. I have experience, tons of it, in a very particular field that is rather short of people with my experience as diverse as mine.

And I have a family (there but for the grace...), one that will never let me fall or let me fail. For now, unless the bank asks directly if I have lost my job, I won't be telling them. My parents have agreed to co-sign on the mortgage if I need that. And my sister has said that I can stay at her house as long as I need to.

Did I mention that I've already applied for two jobs and one has already contacted me for an interview? I'm a hot commodity. Seriously.

For now, I'll just catch up on my knitting and my reading. I'll continue my plans for my new house and for my nephew's "big boy" room. I'm going to come through this just fine. I land on my feet.

I still would really like to spend a little time wallowing in self pity. Maybe I'll find a way to fit it in next week.....

Monday, June 12, 2006

S is for SUCK

I got fired today. I actually got fired. I think if I keep saying it over and over again it might actually seem real. Fired. They fired me. They gave me a letter and told me how they agonized over the decision. They told me I could go back to my office and get my personal belongings, turn in my badge, not touch my computer and leave the building. I was still within my 6 month probationary period, so I could be fired without cause. They said my skill set just didn't match the job.

Am I supposed to feel better that they agonized over the decision? Do they want me to feel bad for them?? WTF?? Do I get to admit how furious I am that I moved halfway across the country (covering my own moving expenses)for this job only to get fired five and a half months later?! Can I be pissed off that they scheduled the meeting to fire me for 3:30pm at 11am ~ why not give me the freakin' afternoon off?? Why was I working those four and a half hours anyway???? Had I known what was coming, I would have been deleting and shredding all my lit review and analysis toward the journal articles that the two guys who fired me are so damn hot to get done. Why should anyone else benefit from the work that I did?

And then, given the last few years of my life I just have to ask, when does the good stuff start happening? When do things "fall into place?" When do I get to stop trying so damn hard and fighting up hill? When do things get easy? I keep thinking that once I get through this "rough patch" good things will just start happening. But the patch seems to be extending through my thirties. How the hell did that happen, anyway?

Anytime anyone wants to throw some good will my way, feel free. It's becoming exhausting to have to make all the good things happen all by myself.

How I'm really feeling -- stone cold sober

Stand Still, Look Pretty by The Wreckers

I wanna paint my face
and pretend that I am someone else.
Sometimes I get so fed up
I don’t even wanna look at myself.
But people have problems that are worse than mine
I don’t want you to think I’m complainin’ all the time.
And I hate the way you look at me
I have to say
I wish I could start over

I am slowly falling apart
I wish you’d take a walk in my shoes for a start.
And you’ll might think it’s easy being me
You just stand still, look pretty.

Sometimes I find myself shakin in the middle of the night.
And then it hits me and I can’t even believe this is my life.
But people have problems that are worse than mine.
I don’t want you to think I’m complainin’ all the time
And I wish that everyone would shut their mouth
I’m not strong enough to deal with this.

I am slowly falling apart
I wish you’d take a walk in my shoes for a start.
And you’ll might think it’s easy being me
You just stand still, look pretty.

I am slowly falling apart
I wish you’d take a walk in my shoes for a start.
And you’ll might think it’s easy being me
You just stand still, look pretty.

I Found a Reason by Cat Power

Oh I do believe
In all the things you say
What comes is better than what came before

And youd better come come, come come to me
Better come come, come come to me
Better run, run run, run run to me
Better come

Oh I do believe
In all the things you say
What comes is better that what came before

And youd better run run, run run to me
Better run, run run, run run to me
Better come, come come, come come to me
Youd better run

Saturday, June 10, 2006

My current iPod playlist -- prayer for Billy

prayer for Billy

1. How to Save a Life ~ The Fray

2. Stand Still, Look Pretty ~ The Wreckers

3. I Found a Reason ~ Cat Power

4. Beautiful Disaster ~ Kelly Clarkson
5. Under the Waves ~ Peter Droge
6. How to be Dead ~ Snow Patrol

7. Time Flies Tomorrow ~ Paul Westerberg
8. Half a World Away ~ R.E.M.
9. All At Once ~ The Fray

10. The Blankest Year ~ Nada Surf

11. Leave the Pieces ~ The Wreckers

12. Wisemen ~ James Blunt

13. Over My Head (Cable Car)~ The Fray

14. World Spins Madly On ~ The Weepies

15. These Arms ~ Matt Costa
16. Chasing Cars ~ Snow Patrol

17. All Will Be Well ~ Gabe Dixon
18. Sway ~ The Perishers

19. Somewhere a Clock is Ticking ~ Snow Patrol

20. Lost & Found ~ Adrienne Pierce
21. Brighter than Sunshine ~ Aqualung

Friday, June 09, 2006

My sister's right....

I'm not really moving out.

She keeps saying this every time I talk about the progress on my new house and any of my plans with my new house. You're not really moving out.

My nephew is fine with this idea. He says, Me and Mama and Dada and Tennyson-cat and Nenn-nenn, that's a family. My sister thinks it's hysterical that I come after the cat, but I continue to point out that the cat moved in first and (more importantly) is always home.

Apparently they're behind on the construction. They've moved the closing date back into August. My poor brother-in-law. I'm sure when he offered to let me stay with them he never imagined I'd be there for close to a year. Good thing I'm the only sibling, because I've definitely ruined it for any other siblings if we had them.

I don't even want to think about the babysitting debt I've run up....

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


It's funny the way you think you know what's important in your life. You get wrapped up so easily in these minute details that seem huge. Like my job. We have this grant due in to the Feds and at the same time we're reviewing grant proposals and renewals for small grants to localities that we provide with moneys from this large federal grant. The stress level is unreal. I have multiple deadlines and these seriously twisted statistics that I need to produce and have all the appropriate documentation for ~ apparently the auditors for this grant make the IRS look like the girl scouts. And OMG! It's $40 million!! Get your mind around that!!! I've actually developed a gag or at least nausea response to everything involving this grant. Seriously. And I'm not one to have physiological reactions to work, or at least not gastrointestinal ones. I'm more of a tight neck, tension head ache type of person.

In the midst of all this tightly scheduled reviewing and grant writing there are of course a whole bunch of out of state meetings and conferences that people have to attend. I've begun to believe that HHS and CDC do this on purpose, the scheduling, just to see us squirm a little bit more. It's their sadistic side showing. Maybe they came from state programs and they feel the need to continue in the hazing tradition or maybe they just like having that kind of control over us. (JUMP!! How high?)

But back to perspective. My mother called about half an hour ago. My uncle Billy is having a heart attack. He's all alone out in upstate New York ~ we don't even have the names and phone numbers of any of his friends. He called my mom and my aunt while he was waiting for the ambulance to come and take him to the hospital. We don't even know which hospital. He lives 6 hours away from my parents and they are the closest relatives to him.

So we got on the computer and got the phone numbers for the hospitals in his city and the fire department where his ambulance came from and the bar he hangs out at and the rectory of the church he attends mass at religiously ~ my mom is working the phone. But we're all just waiting. He should be okay. He's turning 60 in a few weeks and he's been pretty healthy thus far, no diabetes or hypertension. He should be fine.

Right now, I'm just realizing how ridiculous my stress over this grant is/was. It's not like it's life or death for anyone. It's a funny thing, perspective.

She shoots! She scores!

Woo Hoo!! I am now the proud owner of the most bogus looking excuse for a driver's license anyone on earth has ever seen.

And it only took me 90 minutes of waiting and 3 separate trips!!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

You've got to be freakin' kidding me!! again

So, there I am at the Department of Public Safety, armed with my current VA driver's license, U.S. passport, raised seal numbered NH birth certificate, TX auto registration, proof of insurance AND original social security card.

And get this. Their computer's are down. No TX license for me. AGAIN.

Anyway, this just hit me today. Every time I mention to anyone from Texas about all the ridiculous hoops I've had to jump through to get a TX license, they give me the same smug response. Welcome to a border state! Well, try this one on for size, I spent the first 18 years of my life in New Hampshire, also a border state, just without the attitude problem.

Protect New York, but Don't Blame Omaha

I am so out of the loop on homeland security funding, it's laughable.

For three years of my life I nearly lived and breathed it. I knew all about drug stockpiling and carried an emergency "go kit" in the trunk of my car. I knew the protocols for the SNS (strategic national stockpile), formerly know as the NPS (national pharmaceutical stockpile). I knew the wind speed at which the bridges were closed and the city was split in two and which hospital on the far side of the river was staffed up to become a second level 1 trauma center for that half. I could message all the emergency rooms at once and keep track of ambulance diversions. I knew ICS, HEICS, NIMS and a dozen other acronyms. I worked hurricanes, local, regional, state and national drills and planned/staffed local drills. I nearly lived and breathed it.

Here in Texas, they find the whole "secure building" thing laughable. I still take it all very seriously. I guess you have a completely different perspective coming from a state that got both anthrax and a 9/11 plane. That's what got me thinking about Bob Kerrey's comments about New York and Nebraska. I'm wondering how Virginia fared in the homeland security funding.

Yes, Washington is a target, we can all agree on that. But, it seems that in those quaint little brainwashing schools where they teach little Muslim boys that there is more glory in killing oneself along with a sizable number of infidels, instead of, say, reaching the old age of 25, they really don't spend a whole lot of time on U.S. geography. At least 9 out of 10 times, when they mean to hit Washington, they hit Virginia. (Why never Maryland, which is within equal proximity??? You tell me!!)

But seriously, let's be honest. When it comes to good national targets, you're looking at Virginia anyway. Pentagon? VA. Quantico/FBI? VA. Langley/CIA? VA. North Atlantic Fleet/Norfolk? VA. Super secret Presidential Bunker? VA. (I could tell you where, but then I'd have to kill you.) Defense Intelligence Agency? VA. Any mail going to any federal office? VA. The oldest permanent U.S. settlement? VA. (okay, so that one was just a joke and really a rather lousy target since at this point it's nothing more than an archaeological site with two people living there ~ permanent settlement, my butt.) Mile long outlet mall? VA. (Scary part of that one? It's apparently one of the biggest tourist attractions in Washington. Sad commentary on our country. "Honey, do you want to go to the Smithsonian?" "Only if we have time after we go to the IKEA at Potomac Mills!") Headquarters of Gannett and USA Today? VA. Reagan (gag) National Airport? VA. 'nuff said.

Monday, June 05, 2006

How bogus does my social security card look??

Alright, so I'm willing to admit when I'm wrong. Now that I have my actual official, original Social Security card in hand, I need to admit that it could not be recreated using photoshop. You'd actually need to dig up one of those old non-electric typewriters to get the right effect!!

Now, knowing my terribly anal retentive parents, they probably started filling out the paperwork for my social security number sometime early in the third trimester and were able to pick up my card on their way home from the hospital (or something like that.) They're so much more organized than I am. And they love pointing that out. It's one of the few things they enjoy doing together, I believe.

My card was actually issued by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. (Kind of makes you think that the Cabinet had to have been a whole lot smaller then...) The card is actually "Form OA-702.1 Rev. (11-61)" Yes, as in 1961.


Oh, little naive ones, as if we wouldn't....

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Thoughts for the Perfect Man

All At Once by The Fray

There are certain people you just keep coming back to
She is right in front of you
You begin to wonder could you find a better one
Compared to her now she's in question

And all at once the crowd begins to sing
Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same

Maybe you want her maybe you need her
Maybe you started to compare to someone not there

Looking for the right one you line up the world to find
Where no questions cross your mind
But she won't keep on waiting for you without a doubt
Much longer for you to sort it out

And all at once the crowd begins to sing
Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same

Maybe you want her maybe you need her
Maybe you started to compare to someone not there
Maybe you want it maybe you need it,
Maybe it's all you're running from,
Perfection will not come

And all at once the crowd begins to sing
We'd never know what's wrong without the pain
Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same

Maybe you want her maybe you need her
Maybe you've started to compare to someone not there
Maybe you want it maybe you need it
Maybe it's all you're running from
Perfection will not come

Maybe you want her maybe you need her
Maybe you had her maybe you lost her to another
To another

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Perfect Man

So I should start by admitting that this entry started out being titled "The Perfect Guy," but my own internal semantic argument convinced me that anyone who would described merely as a guy could not be perfect. So here we are with the perfect man.

Apologies first to anyone who was hoping to read about the Hillary Duff, Heather Locklear, Chris Noth movie that is currently playing on HBO around the clock. This is not to say that Chris Noth is not the perfect man. I honestly don't know him well enough to say for sure. I've been a fan of his since his first seasons of Law & Order and actually saw him on Broadway in the revival of a Gore Vidal play. The tickets were a birthday present and we couldn't have been ten rows from the stage. What did I take away from being so close to Mr. Noth? The man has enormous feet! I mean, like seriously huge!! Granted, in the first 10 or so rows of the theater, that's the part of the cast of which you have the best view. Perhaps from the balcony they appeared to be more in proportion with him and with the feet of the rest of the cast, but I doubt it. But enough about big foot.

I am tempted to, and in the past have, believed that the perfect man exists only in the reality where Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, honest politicians, compassionate conservatives and a skin cream that gets rid of cellulite also reside. That would be the reality where I have an extremely high metabolism and am physically capable of tanning, instead of being a melanoma waiting to happen. We were brought up to believe we would meet that perfect person and (wham!) we would know it. And even though the realities of married life and marital discord were all around us, we still believed that someday we would find that magical perfect man and even more importantly, we would recognize him for what he was ~ our future. But as you grow older and wiser, you realize how much time and place come into play. You not only have to meet the right person, but at the right time and place in your life, otherwise it's all missed opportunities. The scariest thought is that you met your perfect man years and years ago ~ like he was the little boy that you were best friends with in kindegarten, who had both Mr.& Mrs. Potato Head and loved the soundtrack from The Music Man, a little boy you adored so much that you wet your snowsuit to stay outside playing with him waiting for his mother to pick him up, rather than go inside and take the time to get out of the snowgear and use the bathroom. (hypothetically) How can you possibly recognize perfect when you don't even know who you are going to be??

In my later years, however, I have become more philosophical and perhaps more generous to the realities of the world. Perfect isn't an exact measurement; it's a generalization or comparison to what else is out there. I think I've also admitted to myself that in general I don't know what I'm doing and half the time I don't know what I want.

I have watched my friends and family members get married and remained the last woman standing (alone.) I've sabotaged myself on a regular basis. I announced when I started graduate school that I was not going to get involved with anyone I met at the university ~ it had a very bad track record: it was where my parents met and where my uncle met his first wife and I'm sure there are more horror tales, but I didn't want to risk an apparent family curse. I was initially joking about it, but it turned into a self fulfilling prophecy.

I have an aunt who is only about 20 years older than me, the product of a large Irish family and the fact that my mother came before the postwar baby boom and the rest of her siblings came after. My mom had a little generation unto herself in her family. But back to my aunt. She's been dating on and off most of my life. When I was in junior high or so, she had a whole set of standards ~ the weight requirement (he had to weigh more the she did); the height requirement (he had to be at least as tall as she was, preferably taller); the hair requirement (he couldn't spend more time or money on his hair than she did) ~ and that's all I can remember. But there was constant criticism of different men who didn't meet the weight requirement or didn't meet the hair requirement.

I've never had "requirements" like my aunt's. But I can be rather difficult. Friends, hairdressers, complete strangers have criticized me for being too picky. But why should I settle? Yes, I can be a little quick to judge. There was the guy who didn't wear his seatbelt, which was bad enough (we were in graduate program for Public Health for god's sake!!!), but then he mentioned that he graduated from college with one of my best friends' little sisters. In a family where the eldest sibling was a close friend of my sister's, the middle child was a friend of mine and the youngest always seemed to be, well, really young, someone who was her classmate was just WAY too young. Then there was the guy who flirted with the teenager who served us ice cream while we were out on our first date. If it had been a male teenager, it would make for a really funny story, but since it was a 16 or 17 year old girl, it was just grotesque. Then there was the guy who talked at me for nearly 3 hours and didn't even seem to notice when I stopped listening. Or the guy who some really good friends tried to set me up with ~ whenever friends try to set you up, it really makes you wonder how they really see you. He had this killer West Virginia backhills accent and this kind of scrub brush mustache and just didn't get my jokes. He just wasn't that quick on the uptake.

So I guess you're supposed to keep plugging along and meeting new people and waiting for that right person. Just keep kissing frogs, so to speak.

Here's the thing. What do you do when you realize that the innate imperfections of everyone are not so much related to their faults, but to the fact that they don't measure up to someone else? That you have subconsciously had an ideal that you've been using and that you're unwilling to accept anyone who doesn't measure up to that person?

It's not a completely new idea. After my college boyfriend and I broke up, I actively sought out guys who were different from him, lacking his habits that drove me nuts, even if it meant sacrificing some of the better qualities that I really wanted.

But back to this ideal ~ assessing the qualities of new people and dismissing them because they don't measure up. He doesn't seem loyal enough; he doesn't get my sense of humor; he's completely full of himself; I could never imagine showing weakness in front of him; he's never very upfront about things and I don't think he's all that honest; he has no idea of where I'm coming from; his smile doesn't automatically make me smile; I think I might frighten him; he just doesn't get me; he will never understand me..... It keeps coming back to one person. And I didn't even realize I was doing it. Maybe I'll eventually find someone who is his equal. Maybe he's doing the exact same thing with me and may or may not realize it. Maybe he's never even thought about me in that way. Maybe if he ever reads this and realizes what it means he will be completely freaked out and never speak to me again.

I have no idea. All I know is that we both want the same things. We have a great deal of affection for one another on at least one level. I could just call him and tell him, but the dead silence on the other end of the phone is not something I want to experience. You really can't drop this on someone and expect some coherent conversation. And what would I say? I'm having trouble meeting the right guy, because they just don't meet my standards and apparently, my standard is you. So, you could say that I've already met the right guy. It just took me a really long time to figure that out?

Yeah, I don't think I can make that phone call. And I'm terrified of actually posting this. But the only constant in life is change. So I guess I toss the big rock into the pond and wait for the ripples to either make their way back to me or just die out.

Friday, June 02, 2006


We all have anniversaries. There are those we celebrate: weddings; births; the day we met someone special; the year we graduated ~ all happy occasion.

But that are also anniversaries that we don't celebrate: deaths; sickness; major accidents; the end of relationships. We generally just suffer through those alone.

Now never having been married and never having had a child, I can't speak to whether these good anniversaries cause you to relive all of the wonderful emotions that you felt with the actual event. I do, however, have more than my share of the bad type and it seems that no matter how far you get from them, the emotion and the pain still return on the date, just like clockwork.

There's a day in October that my mother refers to as the worst day of her life. It was the beginning of 12 horrible days in my life and my family basically holds their breath around me, willing me to be strong and not feel sucked back to that time. It will be 14 years this October. I was surprised last year when my mother told me it was the worst day of her life ~ it wasn't the worst day of mine, I've had much worse. But I suppose they're right to tread lightly. We measure this distance as linear, year by year, that we traveled away from something. On the 9 year anniversary, I was overcome by a horrible anxiety. What if it's really cyclical and not linear and instead of being 9 years away, I'm coming back to being in the year before? Now that's a frightening thought ~ being doomed to relive some of the worst experiences of your life because time never truly moves you away from them anymore than it brings you back.

Today is a bad anniversary. A year ago today, I had been out of work on disability for 4 weeks. My doctors felt that the reduction in stress and the removal from the truly toxic work environment where my supervisor was seriously out to get me (among other people ~ I had just been of special interest lately) would be enough to stem the symptoms of my illness. They had convinced me that removing myself from that situation would end the freefall that I was experiencing. It was June 2nd that I took stock of my condition and myself and realized that not only was I not getting better, but I was getting worse.

If you have never experienced major depression, let me assure you. There is nothing more terrifying than a freefall. You never actually hit bottom, because there is no bottom. That's the ugly lesson that depression will teach you. And the further you fall, the less of you remains. William Styron once wrote (and I'm paraphrasing) that the mind becomes so overwhelmed calculating its own pain that it does nothing else. You basically have a ringside seat to watching your personality, the things in your life that defined you and everything disappear. In the end, your body is taken over by some shadow of your former self that haunts your former life.

So a year ago today, in complete panic, I spent the day on the phone, trying to get a hold of my psychiatrist, telling the receptionist in his office that explaining the etiquette of scheduling follow up appointments while I was in the office was going to do neither of us any good at this point, trying to explain that being suicidal did not necessarily mean I needed to go to the ER, I just needed to adjust my medication, if they could just put me in touch with my doctor. At 4 o'clock, when I still hadn't heard from my doctor, my sister provided the only thing that put a smile on my face the whole day. When I told her that he still hadn't returned my calls, she responded, completely deadpan, Maybe he's just not that into you..

Finally, at 6pm, a phone call from my doctor. 24 hours later we had altered one drug in my cocktail and I had gained optimism.

One year later and I'm still taking that same cocktail. I need to find a new doctor since I moved halfway across the country and it's not an easy task or one I look forward to. The optimism, not so much there anymore. It's hard to feel clear of something in such a short period of time, even though I know I'm doing much, much better. The anniversary just knocks me a little off kilter.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

My current iPod playlist -- Saint Simon, et al

Saint Simon, et al

1. Saint Simon ~ The Shins
2. Welcome to My Life (acoustic) ~ Simple Plan
3. Sway ~ The Perishers
4. Chasing Cars ~ Snow Patrol
5. All at Once ~ The Fray
6. Chocolate ~ Snow Patrol
7. In the Rough ~ Anna Nalick
8. Not Ready to Make Nice ~ Dixie Chicks
9. Unsaid ~ The Fray
10. The Brilliant Dance ~ Dashboard Confessional
11. Over My Head (Cable Car) ~ The Fray
12. Wisemen ~ James Blunt
13. World Spins Madly On ~ The Weepies
14. The Fear You Won't Fall ~ Joshua Radin
15. Dark Blue ~ Jack's Mannequin
16. Always Love ~ Nada Surf
17. Soundtrack to Your Life ~ Ashley Parker Angel
18. How to Be Dead ~ Snow Patrol
20. I Found a Reason ~ Cat Power

My Secret Pal ROCKS!!!!

I got my first hank of yarn from my secret pal today. I just LOVE it!!! Of course, she knew I would ~ it's variegated, it's wool, it's hand dyed, it's green, blue and purple, it's chunky and so very cool!! I'm just thrilled!! This is the yarn itself..

Still not quite sure what I'm going to make with it. I'm considering the button clutch in the One Skein book, but the yarn seems a bit too nice to felt. (That just might break my heart!!) I'll keep you informed. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Secret Pal!! I only hope I can make my pal as happy as you've made me!!

Unfortunately, although I do love bath bombs, I'm seriously allergic to basically all tropical fruits. My sister, however, was very happy to receive the treat!!!