Archives for posts with tag: Frustration

Today I came home to a neat little, squirrel sized hole where I had just planted an array of tulip bulbs. The first bulbs I’ve ever planted. Onion skin husks sat six inches beneath the surface. Mocking me.

The squirrels in my neighborhood have been trying to drive me out since the first wisp of spring. They crawl into my potted flowers and aerate my lawn without my consent. With canine-audible tittering they tease the dog from the front window. Hell, they won’t even leave my green tomatoes alone. This is as big as my little ones have gotten:


Damn you, little fuckers. Next year I’ll be prepared.


My job is about 50% customer service. More often than not this is the 50% of my job that I like best. It’s different every day. I see new people. Sometimes they are funny. Today, one man was not funny. Not at all.

The whole incident began because he says I disrespected him last week. I didn’t. As simple as that, I have never been anything but patient and respectful to this difficult man. It’s a long story but I give you my word on that. Are you on my side, dear reader? I hope so.

On that note, he said these things to me today:

“Don’t you know who I am?”
“I would slap you if you were a man.”
“Who do you think you are?”
“Do you see me in your bed at night?” (I’m assuming that one meant that I’m not his wife so I cannot tell him what to do. I am not even going to venture a guess at where else this might have been headed.)
“You are white trash.”
“I will slap you next time I see you.”

Through the repetition of these phrases (yes, all were repeated time and again) I still do not know what he wanted. I remained composed and asked him to not speak to me in that manner and apologized if anything I said seemed disrespectful. Two coworkers stood by as we let the man rant and they walked him out when he escalated his threat.

I left the area and went for a walkabout. (A cry-about, truthfully, and I hate that he made me cry)

By the time I returned to the officer – calmer if a little red in the face and about the eyes – word had gotten around. The event of the season. The boys in my office were concerned but not over bearing, the girls said I should have slapped him. My manager swore repercussions for such action.

Today I am grateful for that mean man. He reminded me that whatever else is going on, these people are on my side. It doesn’t matter who didn’t clean the coffee pot or didn’t answer the phone fast enough. They give a shit, at least a little. At least when there is some drama.

That’s my New Year’s resolution, my life resolution, my philosophy, my dream, my unicorn, my goddamn rainbow in the stormy sky.

Last night, at Crossfit, I tried harder at dear “Kelly”:

5 Rounds

400m Row

30 Box Jumps  20”

30 Wall Balls 12lbs

I tried harder but I did not do better.  Kelly kicked my ass. Box jumps and wall-balls always do. They are the kind of exercise where five reps feel pretty good. Fun even. Then my heart rate starts to increase. And my legs get wobbly. And my arms don’t want to act like normal human arms. By the 140th box jump, my legs didn’t want to play at all. I jump, I pause, I jump again and BAM not high enough. Now I’ve got an ugly scrape and a knot the size of a golf ball just above by ankle. Poor me.

And to do I get some pity? A little atta girl? No.  The coach says, “Not bad, but it’s not as good as Mark’s,” and she pulls out a picture of a bloody shin to giggle at.

Oh Crossfit, you silly game of torture.

The girlfriend and I went to test drive a car today.

My stepfather left me a “guy’s car” when he passed away last year. I call it a guy’s car because it looks like a normal sedan to me but once a week a guy stops to ask me what year it is and if it’s fun to drive. Meh, I say, it’s horrible in the snow.

So, I’m thinking about buying new for the first time or trying to, at least.

Bright and early, we drove to the Subaru dealer in the suburbs. The one google recommended. I’m still not sure why we chose that location. All those shinny cars lined up. We walked around a bit then decided to go inside where a middle aged man reluctantly helped us. Very reluctantly. He didn’t seem to believe I was serious. Maybe I don’t look like the kind of person who really buys a car. What do you think that person looks like? Then, after the test drive, after all the appropriate mpg and road worthy questions, I asked about the trade in value for my car. He offered me a third less than the other dealers I’d talked to.

“Those chips on the bumper you see,” he said, with that smile car sales men have, “They’d have to repaint the whole car. This is the best deal I could possibly give you.”

Fuck you, buddy, I wanted to say. I know I’m just a girl who doesn’t know anything about cars. I know I probably asked all the wrong questions. But look, I want to give you my business. I want to buy the product you’re selling. Doesn’t that deserve at least a little respect. But I didn’t.

I smiled, thanked him, and threw away his business card as soon as I got home.

My landlord just finished mowing our little lawn with a weed-wacker. It took half an hour (I guess it’s not that little). Then, he moved the still full garbage can back behind the house because he can’t remember that garbage day is tomorrow. Patience, I said to myself, he must be here to fix the security light. He must. But, no. No security light for us. Maybe he figures if the bike thieves have already hit this location it’s like a vaccine. No more ill will can befall us. I don’t think he gives us that much thought though.

Giving this man my money becomes harder every month.

I’m not quite ready to buy a house – financially or emotionally. Soon I hope. I’m itching to settle into a place of my own. Plant a garden. Let the dog run on more two feet of grass. Paint the walls. The upkeep will be hard, I know, but from where I’m sitting the grass is a hell of a lot greener in home-owner’s world.

Today we found a skull near the park:

I grew up in a town about one tenth the size of Minneapolis. Not small by Iowa standards but small enough. Even there I didn’t see this many animal bones.


This is our neighbor-dog Chevy:

Chevy screams like a child. Maybe you’d call it a moan or a wail but you wouldn’t describe it in dog terms. I’ve never owned or lived near a pitbull so maybe this is normal. He’s a good boy, he gets plenty of attention and walks, but he does NOT like the tie-out.

It’s easier to focus on things like this because instead of feeling stronger lately, I’ve been feeling weak. Yesterday, I almost threw up at crossfit – I’m not one of those people who thinks that’s a good thing – and my run was just as bad today as it was when it was 100 degrees out. I know these things go in cycles but it’s still frustrating.

I decided to write something new today – not a blog post, not a chapter for my book, nothing about the Army – something brand-fucking-new. That’s what writers do, right? And I at least claim I want to be a writer. The concept for the essay is something about being a teacher and student at the same time. Intrigued? Me neither. But that was the bubble of an idea floating around my brain so, like a nonfiction acrobat, I tried all the clichéd moves: write a scene, write an outline, write a goddamn thesis statement. Junk, all junk. Then I tried to do everything against the grain. I summarized and used adverbs and did all the things I told my students never to do. I couldn’t get into it. I’ve forgotten how to construct an essay.

Or I’m just out of practice. (I hope. Maybe. Please.) I’ll try again tomorrow because, really, I love a good essay.

For now, the poodle and I are going to think about this rainbow:

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