Wrong Jessica

I get a lot of wrong email for other Jessicas at one of my Gmail accounts.

Sometimes, especially from professional work places, I reply and let them know they reached the wrong Jessica.

Sometimes I just delete.  I’ve found with personal emails, it’s almost impossible to get someone to delete a contact.  My address auto-fills or someone hits reply-all and no matter how many times I request omission, I know about Aunt Mary’s hospital stay and the 8th grade hockey trip fundraising.

Starting last night, I have been receiving emails from a lover of another Jessica.  She is maybe cheating on her husband with whom she also works?  The lover wanted to visit her at work and asked if “dumb ass” was there.  The lover also has some sort of love interest/female companion besides Jessica.

I have neither replied nor deleted.  I am too intrigued to delete and the only replies I’ve constructed in my mind make digs at his grammar.

I have received 3 emails in less than 24-hours.  This is like a cross between electronic Burma shave advertising and a soap opera subscription.  Each time I learn a little more and get drawn in further.

So far I know he’s aware she did not receive his morning email but he doesn’t know why.  He doesn’t want her (the other one), he wants her (Jessica) and only her.  He calls her baby doll and he got a car tag so he can drive legally until the 14th when his insurance will lapse.

I don’t want to reply to him.  I want to reply to HER.

Dear Other Jessica,

You can do better.

Love, Jessica

What’s your take on this?  Am I going to hell for not giving this guy a heads up he can’t type an email address correctly?  Or am I within my rights to just ignore it?  I mean, as long as I don’t enjoy the drama TOO much of course…

Two Birds, One Stone

It is still snowing here and driving me a tad insane.  I went on a run two weeks ago and a nice long walk a few days later.  Since then?  We’ve gotten almost two feet of snow.

Since it is Throw Back Thursday, I will relate a story from Tom’s and my first date which has been sitting as a draft for far too long.  If I can’t go play outside, at least I can obsessively clean out my files.

On our first date, Tom asked me what I thought was the solution to the world’s overpopulation.

I gotta say it was a first in the get-to-know-you-as-a-romantic-partner conversations.  I was a little impressed.  And a lot annoyed.  I didn’t have an answer.  I was thrown for a loop and that will set a control freak’s lasers from stun to kill.

I think I asked him to repeat the question.  Then I gave him my first gut answer.

“Soilent Green.”

“Soilent Green?”

“Yes.  We euthanize and eat many other kinds of animals.  Why are we so special to be excluded?”

Needless to say, he was in love.

Down The Rabbit Hole

I’ve been very tired yet having a hard time sleeping the past few days.  We’ve reached a stage with the shop where there are so many balls up in the air.  Orders we’ve placed, but haven’t received.  Orders we’ve received, but aren’t in inventory.  Inventory that hasn’t been processed in our point of sale system.  Point of sale items that aren’t in our accounting software.

It’s a lot and it feels like we’re never getting enough done.

I have started writing up a more concrete, less whiny, description of the store.  But my mind just isn’t there tonight.

Instead I went digging in my old files.  Oh my.  Sometimes I can barely remember what my life was like a year ago.  And I certainly don’t remember writing this.  But it was something I needed to read today.

From December, 2004

“The future should not dictate the past.  I shouldn’t look at where we are now and cast shadows back.

I’m trying to leave each where they lay.  Hard for such an organized girl like myself.  Hard to not pick up the pieces and try to make a pretty picture.  But I know there are completely different puzzle boxes mixed up together – a snapshot of the cabin, a black and white of hugging at the airport, a split shot of us on the phone.  And us at breakfast.  I need to not try and mix them together.  Let the past be what it was, the future what it will be, and enjoy right now for what it is.”

Will You

When Tom and I met I was positive I was not going marry again.  Serial dating fit my lifestyle, my independence, and my romantic maturity level (one teeeeeeny step above, “If you like it, throw a rock at it”).

In fact, when we met I had been “dating” TG for over a year while continuing to meet and date other people for various smaller amounts of time.  It was my admitting that perhaps my desired commitment level to someone else included, “Don’t Date Other People” and TG deciding he did not want to level up (so to speak) that sparked my re-interest in pursuing online matches.

Then I met Tom.

He took down his dating profile a full one day after our first date.  On his own.  And it freaked me the fuck out.

But I stuck with him through that particular hyperventilation.  And a month or two down the road, I decided I was ready to do the same.  And become some sort of…couple-ish?…thing?…with him.  And since we were just waiting on ME, I had to be the one to say something.

I made him watch this video today and asked if it seemed familiar.

“Yup.”

Grace Helbig is amazingly funny.  You should subscribe to her channel and be prepared to laugh and perhaps ask her to be the person who forgets your birthday.

A Soupçon of Decongestant

My employer is extremely generous with my schedule.  Not so generous that I am paid for time I do not actually work, but that’s a tall order in the part-time world.  I worked the past two days but yesterday the guys were in the office a lot more and noticed plague-like sounds coming from my desk.

I had already been given the option that I could work or not work on Friday as I saw fit.  Since I plan to go in at least an hour or so to keep on top of the mail and not cry over this payday, I figured I could go ahead and mention the idea of my not coming in Wednesday (today).

They were quite fine with not having someone hacking up lung all over the copier.  Nicer still, I was given the go ahead to bill a few hours if I wanted to work from home on some design stuff.

I brought home printouts and forwarded a few things but in the light of today…not so much.  Cold medicine turns me a bit fuzzy and unimaginative.  I’ve spent the day mostly watching old YouTube videos.

That’s not true.  This morning after I decided three cups of tea did NOT equal a cup of coffee and brewed my fix, I had a spurt of productivity where I wrote a bit about Thanksgiving meals (not done yet…see: cold medicine vs. coffee), roasted some butternut squash to go in a salad tomorrow (SPOILER:  my Thanksgiving includes butternut squash.  And kale.) (I just took out and put back in that period SIX TIMES.  THERE IS A COMMA HERE BUT ONCE THERE IS ONE PERIOD IN A PARENTHETICAL I THINK IT LOOKS WEIRD WITHOUT.  PERIOD.), and then I sorted the six million pounds of laundry that have piled up.

We got off our laundry schedule because my Mom was nice enough to do some laundry for us but it was right after we’d done a bunch a laundry so we sort of tried to ride the wave of her niceness and fabric softener a little too long.

But I still wouldn’t let Tom do laundry today.  Partly because I know there are some work clothes I hung up that technically should be washed but I’m too fuzzy to figure out that particular closet conundrum.

Partly because Tom said he wanted to do some black Friday shopping (??) and I said OK then afterwards you could do laundry at the laundromat by my work while I catch up on the mail and he said OK.

And this type of conversation and miscommunication is extremely typical of us.  We have a conversation about how a particular day or timeline or procession of tasks might be achieved.  I walk away from it thinking that it is set in stone.  He walks away from it remembering that tasks need to get done.  And quite often he will offer to do said tasks in a manner other than discussed that are 1) accomplished sooner than planned and 2) require less input/commitment from myself.  And yet I refuse his suggestions because I have now worked out a thousand other tasks in my mind around the original discussion and cannot fathom how the world will work different.

Even if his new way is actually more convenient and would mean I had clean Penguin Pants.

(And if Tom read my blog, he could gloat at how in my medicine haze I just admitted sometimes I am an idiot and stubborn and quite possibly not the easiest of lifetime companions.  But he doesn’t.  So at least I still have that.)

Happy 10th Blogging Birthday To Me

I remember nothing about being 10 years-old.  That’s…5th grade?  Oh lord, if that is fifth grade then hold onto your hats people.  This blog is about to need a brassiere (no training necessary) and gain a bunch of weight despite subsisting on nothing but string cheese and CapriSun.  Might get a little drama queen-ish up in here.*

10 years ago I was in a failing marriage.  It was hard not feel like a failure because of that.**

I had taken his last name and all of my email addresses, correspondence, and ID felt like lies.  I was a fraud by paper, plastic, and IP.

I wasn’t ready to go back to my maiden name.  In part because, well, you can’t just decide to do that.  I was still married and my name was still his.  I didn’t want to perpetuate the lying further.

And so I came up with the online persona of Jessica In Progress.

In celebration of 10 years, I have made public my first post ever.  You may read it if you wish.

And I dug around on this laptop for something old yet new; borrowed yet blue.

“OK Fine.  I’ll admit it.  I’ve been thinking about NotTom***.  Have a bit of an urge to email him, actually.  And maybe I could.  But I’ve got a chalkboard with a line down the middle and the tally is definitely in his favor.

I instigated the last round of emails (point NotTom), he did the breaking off of whatever the hell we were (point NotTom), and while I gave him a Christmas present (I bought it before the break up.  Perhaps I should have just thrown it away?) all I received was my stuff back (point NotTom – although perhaps I deserve half a point in that he didn’t get his stuff back).

He’s the one who suggested our breakfast (point Moi).  That’s all I’ve got.  You may think me immature and snotty for this tit-for-tat mentality (although if it were literally tit-for-tat, I’d have a lot more marks on the board!).  But the truth is, I am always the one to bridge the gap, send the overdue email, make the unexpected call.  If I don’t keep score, it will be bottom of the ninth, 239 to 0, and I’ll keep making desperate fouls.

And the truth is, he does have the upper hand.  You don’t need the chalkboard to sum it up; you just have to read through my blog to know that I’d fall for him again in a minute.”

*For those unaware the entire quote is, “I hate being a drama queen but I seem Unable to Relinquish the Crown.”  I said it in route to a movie with friends just after canceling a long-distance weekend trip to see a boy.  That was supposed to occur in six hours.

**I no longer feel like a failure at marriage.  Even that one.  I do regret not loving him and myself enough to admit when things were wrong and trying to fix them sooner.  Or bailing sooner.

***When I originally wrote this, I did not call him NotTom.  Obviously.  But the point is (now) not about a specific person.  In many ways, it never was.  It was about a specific feeling and writing well enough to share that feeling with you.  After 10 years, have I succeeded?  Let’s give it another ten and see…

Yes or No

We’re pretty busy around these here parts. Tom’s working like mad to get the crawl space enclosed and I’m helping when I’m not work-working, cooking, canning, or prepping for guests.

(We had an awesome time last weekend with some friends we know from my Mom. Without them, we would have not canoed at all this year. And Cathy is coming this Wednesday!! I can’t wait!)

My point is, I have little time or energy to write. This weekend was spent digging trenches and feeling like an old woman who dug trenches.

But still. I feel I simply must give you something. And so…

Me: Is it time for bed yet?
Tom: It’s twenty to seven.
Me: Why can’t you ever just answer a question?! “am I digging deep enough?” ” is it bedtime?” These are Yes or No questions! Why can’t you say yes or no???

Me: Are you happy you married me?
Tom: It’s warm in here with the fire.
Me: Good answer. I also would have accepted, “it’s twenty to seven”.

Loving The Law

I usually speak of my in-laws as a huge southern mob and that’s not very fair.

My MIL, FIL, and BIL (Bubba, who’s a doctor lest you get all prejudice with his nickname) are awesome. I am comfortable and included in many outings and conversations where Tom is not involved. Sadly, FIL and I share the bond of recently deceased parental units.

Yes, I did freak out that I was expected to slumber under taxidermy the first time he brought me home. And me, FIL, and Bubba walk a fine line knowing one dip in the political/animal rights pool will be catastrophic. And yes, sometimes it feels like Tom is related to all of Cobb, GA while I barely hold on to relations with my sole uncle.

Except that, they are starting to feel like family too.

After his grandmother’s service, everyone was invited back to the house for lunch. I drove with MIL, while Tom got it in his head he absolutely had to meet a co-worker driving back to FL to give him pecans.

(Have I ever mentioned my FIL is a pecan farmer? Well, he is. It is pretty awesome and means Tom relishes harvesting season when he can get a stash and hand them out exclaiming, “eat my daddy’s nuts!”. You know how I always say I’m a 12-year-old boy maturity-wise? We are well-matched.)

So Tom never made it to lunch. This made for two great bonding experiences-the second being after lunch when I mentioned he got it in his head it had to happen NOW and FIL chuckled and responded, “Can’t imagine where he gets that from…”

The first happened at lunch itself.

I ate with a rotating cast of in-laws and shared my favorite Grandma story ad-naseum since I had so few to begin with.

I ended up at the table at one point with a cousin who knows me pretty well, DM, his brother (who has embraced the dark (aka Yankee) side), and their father, my uncle-in-law.

DM: Where’s Tom?
Me: blah, blah, blah. Pecans.
DM’s Father: What did you say?
Me:… Pee-cans?
DM’s father: And you’re from where?
Me:…Chicago?
DM’s father: You’d better not let them hear you say that! It’s Pa-cauns up there!
Me: oh, you guys have done taught me well.
DM: NO! We done LEARNT you well. With a T!

Indeed. I may not fit to a you-know-what, but it certainly is not quite the round-peg-square-hole I make it out to be.

True Love In The Air

Both to and from New Mexico, Tom and I had to change planes in Atlanta.  This is annoying because 1) changing planes is annoying and 2) ATL is annoying.  I believe their gate algorithms require you may never land at the same terminal you depart from.  If it’s gonna happen, they make the airplane circle until another inconvenient gate opens up.

But all and all, it wasn’t that bad.  We’re pros at ATL by now, and pros at traveling together.  The short flight from Tampa to Atlanta actually breaks up unbearable long travel into one easy-peasy-over-before-your-beverage-service flight and one just-long-enough-to-actually-watch-a-movie-or-do-work flight.

On the way to New Mexico, we used a headphone splitter to watch Batman Rises (meh) on Tom’s iPad.  On the way back, the flight is shorter due to tail winds so we both just read (I am over half done with Three Cups of Tea and loving it).

We already knew the Atlanta to Tampa flight was going to be full since we were offered to get bumped for credit during check-in.  And since we were flying Delta, we weren’t surprised they announced they had changed planes on us – we assume to allow for more passengers.

On all of the flights, Tom boarded in zones ahead of me.  Which is fine since he’s the one antsy to get on the plane and I’m the one who finds it a rousing success in time management if I arrive at the gate to be the last one down the gangplank.

What was a little annoying is that when I did board, they had changed my seat.

Tom and I were not booked as traveling together since we were using individual flight credits.  So they obviously were trying to re-arrange the passengers to accommodation more companion travelers.  (Except that they ended up putting a non-solo stand-by passenger in my old seat.  A  little old lady confused that she was being separated from her husband.  And they put some non-English speaking tourists (Scandinavians?) in an exit row.  Kindergarteners with a known cootie outbreak can pick seats easier than this flight.)

I thought I’d flag Tom down and point as I sat, but the plane was being boarded from the middle doors after first class.  My new seat was one row from the door.  So I slipped in amidst stand-by Scandinavian chaos, sent Tom a quick a text, and started reading my book like a good little anti-social traveler.

I was doing fine until an elderly black fiercely gay flight attendant came sashaying up the aisle (when a stereotype fits…) yelling, “Is there a Jessica In Progress here?”

I raised my hand without looking up from my book.

Hands on his hips, he hollered, “Here she is!  Honey, ” looking at me, “tell your husband you are on this plane!  I do not have time for this.”

“I…sent him a text?” I answered looking feebly back down the aisle.

Later I found out that Tom had already turned off his phone and had been engrossed in his own book so he didn’t pay close attention to the boarding process until he was sure I had been kidnapped from the zone 2 line up.

“I told him I needed to find out what happened to you and all he wanted to know was if I was gonna still take the flight if you weren’t on it.”

“And?”

“No I was not going to take that flight!”

I know some people refuse to call it love unless there’s a whole lot more to it than that.  But people have also settled for a whole lot less.