Unicorns, plungers and hearing loss

My student looked at me after lunch one day and said, “I ate half a unicorn.”  I gave her a funny look and realized she was either being silly or really had eaten half of Scotland’s national animal. 

“You know what? My old lady ears just heard you say you ate half a Unicorn.”

“Yeah Mrs. Quirky,” she said sardonically, “I ate half a Unicorn.”


It didn’t occur to me until recently that with undue stress the last two months of teaching school, working my second job (then in the last two weeks of school as a shift lead) and teaching an art class two hours on a Monday night had made some of my sensory issues go haywire.  Mostly my hearing.

One of the nights I was scheduled to work at my shift lead job, I was helping at the cash registers in the back of pharmacy.  One of my bosses was asking someone, anyone, to show this young couple to plumbing.  I looked right at her with gusto and said, “I can do that!”  Essentially I was all over it, I have worked the front end for almost two years now and know where our household sections reside.

I promptly exited through the pharmacy door, confident, with myself puffed up and greeted the young couple.  As we were walking down the back aisle I said to them, “We have two different sections for plumbing, we have this aisle which is our basic plumbing where the plungers are.”  The woman looked at me with a half smile on her face.  Her boyfriend was kind of looking around and definitely not at me.  What was probably a few seconds seemed like forever.  I couldn’t figure out what I had done or said that was this awkwardly funny or uncomfortable for them.

“This is a joke, right?” she said.

I furrowed my eyebrows, looked at her and gave her an expression fit for a detective trying to solve a mystery. At this point I didn’t know what to say.  What felt like an eternity to arrange my thoughts was a matter of nano seconds before she finally said with a smile, “We’re looking for Plan B.” (Birth Control)

I raised my eyebrows.

“OH!”

Immediately I deflated in confidence, un-puffed myself, hung my head in embarrassment and said, “Right this way!”

We made our way three aisles down. The e-n-t-i-r-e  way I was explaining how my hearing loss had played a roll in this nonsense.  Obviously I wouldn’t be this insensitive with this situation. Luckily they were the kind of couple that could take a joke (even though it was unintended) and they were able to laugh it off.  Myself on the other hand, have never been more embarrassed and will now forever double check what my ears hear.  

What is something embarrassing you thought you have heard? How did you handle the situation?

Do you know where…

The other night at work a woman approached me.  She asked, “Do you know wur the dushes?” Bear in mind, this was the customer who earlier this summer came in, swatted a fly with a bag of potato chips and demanded her daughter get a new bag because those were all crushed.

     I was puzzled. I asked her to repeat herself again.  She again said, “Do you kno wur the dushes?”  With a befuddled look on my face I quickly escorted her to the aisle where we might have dishes.  Making a huge gesture with both hands, I said, “If it is going to be anywhere, it will be right here.” She made a “tsk” sound and said, it wasn’t what she was looking for.

     She then tried to educate me some more on what she was talking about.  “You know, it’s a thing you can fill with water and vinegar and you can squeeze it?” Again, I looked at her trying to figure out what she was talking about.  She acted disappointed in me that I couldn’t figure it out.       

     Then I lead her down another aisle.  We walked down the dish soap aisle where I again made a huge gesture with both hands and said, “If we are going to have it, it will be right here.”  I thought she was talking about those dish scrubbers you can fill with various liquids like vinegar and water and squeeze to clean stuff with a scouring pad at one end.  
     

     Exasperated, she just says, “Well, I guess you don’t have dushes.” Suddenly it hit me. 

     “Are you talking about, like, lady stuff?” I said waving my hands back and forth in front of my pelvis.

     “YEAH! DUSHES!”

     “Okay, follow me.”

     We finally head down the aisle where the “douche” is and she smiles.  She looked at me and gently nudged me with her elbow, “You don’t know what dush is…” She chuckled.


     “I don’t know, maybe I’m lazy.”

Have you ever had a hard time understanding a customer?  What did you think they were trying to say to you?

The Naked Eye

In Mark Twain’s time they must have not had women comparable to the Kardashians.


Bear in mind, I am all for women feeling comfortable in their own skin.  I’ve not felt comfortable in mine since I was a teenager.  Most women can wear yoga pants to the gym without feeling self conscious, I on the other hand wear them with shorts over them.  Sure people might giggle, but I’m at the gym to work out, not to catch someone’s eye.

It is this uncomfortableness with my own body that has led me to this post.  That and the issue of regard for self-respect.  

At my second of three jobs, I generally work the photo equipment.  Invariably there is always a vacation pic of someone pretending to pick someone’s rear at a distance, people who are too tall to climb tiny sculptures, babies, babies, babies and naked pictures.

Unfortunately, if something is an Internet order, we can’t always catch the pictures to censor them. They slip by, with the purchaser hoping it goes unnoticed.  Here’s my thing, if you have to submit it over the internet because you can’t put it on the large screen in the store, then maybe you shouldn’t print it at all.  Our printers are out in the open where anyone can see them; two key groups, children and perverts.

Recently last week a woman apparently went to a professional studio to have naked pictures done of herself.  In terms of nudity, the pictures didn’t make sense. She was waist deep in a creek, wearing a blue jean shirt which she purposely pulled behind her so you could see her chest.  A fully made up older woman, with perfect make up and hair, waist deep in a creek. The last time I was in a creek or around any body of water I face planted and had snail shells stuck in my crack; definitely not sensual.

Last night was a doozie.  We had printed off a booklet of boudoir pictures.  No big deal. We usually print these off at Valentine’s for women sending them to their boyfriends who are in the service.  Usually the women are covered sensibly.  Last night, the woman was covered, but then by the time the 4th page printed out, it looked like maybe her butt was starving and ate her underwear.

I couldn’t take it.  I immediately posted my frustrations on Facebook saying, “Please, no more…”

Then as if to taunt me the machine then printed out two 8×10 pics of a woman who looked like a real estate agent in a company van flipping off the viewer.  I was definitely not happy.

In the past someone has been sneaky and printed pictures of him and his girlfriend doing inappropriate things, men have told me I can take off the inappropriate pictures on their order if I want (when they are trying to save all of the pictures on their phone), and women printing off pics and using the big screen then saying, “Oops” and looking at me.  

By all means I am not a prude, I have drawn many naked people.  There is a huge difference between art and pornography.  If you go to my Etsy page you will see tons of naked drawings, but none of them are nefarious. 


 If you are going to take pictures for your significant other, send it to them via text or e-mail, then quickly erase it from your phone so you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing it who shouldn’t. If anything think of the photo booth ladies, spare our eyes.

What is something you have had to do in the name of public service that bothered you?

Worst Fear: Things my cat ate

Everyone has their worst fears.  I have several. If you went through our pantry you might find a lack of carb related foods.  This is because my cat ate them all. Before we talk about how she likes to carb load before a healthy run around the house after a successful bowel movement (who wouldn’t?) let’s talk about some enviable attributes.

First off, she has guts.  This isn’t referencing her literal tater tot filled innards.  She takes and asks forgiveness later.  Often times I’m too careful and have a tendency to wait and see if things pan out.  My cat’s approach is something like this, “Life is short, learn how to open Tupperware” or “Spare their meat and steal the bun.”

As a kitten I swore she was part raccoon, she was always attracted to shiny things and I would wake up to find my jewelry I was too lazy to put up the night before, hidden.  She was a literal cat burglar. Since then, she has grown up some, and has progressed from shiny things to Bobby pins.  She would rush to find them (even if they were out of sight) and point at them like an Irish Setter who has found a hunter’s duck.

The weirdest thing though, is her love of carbs.  Almost everyone has seen the viral video of cat’s afraid of cucumbers.  She has no fear of cucumbers.  She will however, chase a potato.  After realizing one had fallen out of the bag in the pantry we heard a noise and suddenly we see her wrestling the spud, kicking it with her hind legs and biting it.  We experimented and rolled one down the hallway, she barreled after it, attacked it and sat on it as if she were in a match for the ages.  

She is a master manipulator.  Several times, she has crawled into mine or my husband’s lap only to feign affection to peep her head between our hands and take bites of our cereal…or take the bread from our sandwiches.  She waits until we aren’t looking before she hops up on the counter to eat our left over tater tots.  She’s usually very quiet, and often times she takes more than she can fit and takes off running licking her chops.   

Here is why I’m jealous.  She already knows she will be forgiven, so she takes the momentary “shooing” for a moment of palatable starchy goodness.  She is spontaneous.  I like to make plans weeks in advance.  She sees opportunities and takes them.  She sees an opportunity for a piggy back ride and she takes it.  It doesn’t matter if you’re naked and fresh out of the shower, sitting on the toilet or at the computer.  Sometimes I feel like I’ve missed opportunities and I wish I had the eyes to see them.  She does not lack in this area.  If it isn’t apparent from the drawing, she lives a full life, literally and metaphorically.

What is your worst fear involving your pet?  Do you envy them?

Snapchat Hypocrite

A few months ago you may recall a piece I wrote titled, “Obligatory Selfie” where I poked fun at people taking selfies as a part of an everyday mundane practice that has currently become socially acceptable.

I recant this piece.  Although I compare the obligatory selfie to yoga pants being accepted as full fledged pants, I have seen the worthiness of an appropriately timed selfie.

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Steven Tyler eat your heart out!

Sure, at first I was smug.  Why would a 36-ish something like myself want to have a phone full of pictures of myself?  Who would want them?

Then came an evening spent with my in-laws and niece.  When my sister-in-law and husband stepped outside for a moment, my niece came back into the room with a blanket, we snuggled up together on a bench and she showed me this “new” thing called “Snapchat”.  She snapped a picture and showed me how you can transform yourself into a dog.  Once finding out she and my other nieces were using this app, I immediately signed up to stay in touch with them.

On the way home I was researching how to work snapchat, how to use filters and how in general to “Snapchat”.  Do I take 5 seconds in public by myself to pucker my lips and pose for the camera?  No.  However I do wait till’ I’m on lunch break at work or at home and snap a few selfies to catch up with my nieces, cousins, sister-in-laws and friends.  Only once has anyone been in the break room with me when this was going on, but he was completely aware of what was happening.  I didn’t leave my behaviors an unknown mystery to him like our customers have done in the past.

There is no joy greater than being able to send the ugliest selfie possible to those you love to receive one equally as horrible back.  In fact, there was a fun competition my niece and I had one night.  If you are ever down or feeling blue, this is the best thing ever.  Try to make the goofiest face possible and just hit send.  It is the greatest feeling not caring what you look like because the worse, the better.

Here is an example of one I sent, it’s like Steve Martin meets Frankenstein’s monster.

 

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Or the selfie aptly titled, “I woke up like this…”

 

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However, you want your family and friends to remember you in a good light.  Not to get too dark but one of my worst fears is something bad will happen and they will have to submit a photo to the news for a story. Ensuring it won’t be driver’s license photo, or worse an outdated glamour shot you occasionally have to send them one of you as a butterfly queen. This way the recipients remember you are a real person and won’t be shocked (or disappointed) you don’t have 3 mouths in your face the next time they see you.

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What is your favorite “Snapchat” lens or filter?  Why do you gravitate toward that one?

Minty not so fresh

Do you ever have those days where you feel like the mint rolling around at the bottom of your Grandma’s purse?

You know, the rogue mint last in the pack with a tiny piece of foil still wrapped around it.  The mint that hides under Nana’s wallet when someone with bad breath was desperate enough to need it.

The other day I was that mint.

When my anxiety acts up, I hide from social media.  Even though violent events are far away, I still feel sorrow for those going through such horrendous acts.  Within a few days apart Alton Sterling was in the news, the Dallas police shootings, and Nice; France.  So much violence and feeling helpless I turned inward.  This last month has made me wish superheroes were real and maybe injustice wouldn’t happen.

As soon as news about Alton Sterling hit, my friends were having to explain what it is like to be black in America to those who didn’t understand.  Because of this heinous act they were having to defend themselves, their point of view and they shouldn’t have to.

Then came the Dallas police shootings, waking up to this news before work made me fear for my friends across the nation.  Then came the horrible news from Nice.  Waking up knowing that someone is killing because of warped ideals is frightening to me.  Prior to all of this we had to deal with the Orlando shootings and bombings in Bangladesh.

Each time something happened I would post on Facebook how I was sending prayers and thoughts out to all of the families and people suffering.  Each day it seemed as if I was posting prayers for more victims.  Eventually I stopped watching the news, and turned off Facebook for a while.

Shortly before logging off of Facebook, a friend posted something vague and it seemed as if he was going through something similar.  He was also grieving the loss of a loved one in addition to feeling helpless with everything going on in the world.  Just to let him know I understood I clicked the sad button.

I quickly shut off my Facebook during my 15 minute break and went back to work.  He had sent me a private message saying thank you for the thoughts.  On my 30 minute lunch break we chatted back and forth, I asked him questions about what was going on and in private he was able to get it all off of his chest.  In a way, helping him with his problems, helped ease my anxiety too.  We were both rogue mints waiting for someone with a bad day to help them out.

Thank you friend for indulging this mint.

 

Re-tales

Dear Sir,

Last summer you rolled into my store to purchase a prophylactic. You drove your wheelchair behind me as I walked you to them. You were surprised they weren’t under bulletproof glass, under lock and key. You were impressed that I didn’t bat an eye at what you were purchasing.

Unfortunately you got too comfortable with me. You came in this summer, rolled past me as I was adjusting snacks when you said, “I see you’re playing with your nuts!”

How dare you use your advantage of being in a motorized chair. How dare you speed away before I could come up with a witty reply; or spray you with water like I do my cat when she is innapropriate.

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Please refrain from getting familiar with me as I already know more about you than I care to know.

Sincerely,

Quirky Girl

Dear Madame,

You and your soon to be husband came into our store to collect money from a loved one. Unfortunately my gum was getting stale, so politely, I covered my mouth and spit the gum into the trashcan and apologized if you saw anything.

You then used this as a segue into telling me my behavior was acceptable because your betrothed “shoots” boogers out of his nose while in the woods.

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In 5 minutes we went from platitudes to getting personal. You probably ran into the previous customer who at this point had probably blown up his prophylactic, attached it to his wheelchair flag as a windsock while he rolled down the sidewalk. (A clever ruse to get people to leave him alone.) He probably told you it was ok to tell me of your beloved’s dashing ability to weaponize snot. He’s wrong. Don’t listen to him.

Sincerely,

Quirky Girl

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