Albuquerque!!!!!

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Gah, this has been a busy summer already! Between finishing up my newest novel and readying for our trip to Romania, I haven’t had the time for the blogsphere! In lieu of Father’s Day this past weekend, though, I had to make the time to stop by and pen a post.

 

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I have the coolest dad. No, really.

He’s a big and muscly Gulf War vet with sharp intelligence, tattoos, armory you’ve never even heard of, and a badass motorcycle—in other words, he’s super intimidating. But on that same coin, he’s ridiculously handsome, charming, and I’ve met very few people in my life who can socialize like he can. No one’s better at hugs when you need them the most—and I mean real hugs, not the quick kind we give out of politeness.  I mean, have you ever met a doomsday prepper who can teach you how to protect yourself from bad guys AND make you feel like the most loved person in the world with his bear hugs at the same time? That’s my pops.

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Look at that handsome guy who would go from skateboarder to my dad one day 😀

He was surrounded by estrogen with four of us daughters and at least three female dogs at a time running round the house. It’s astonishing to me that he still has his sanity, but my dad always seems to take everything with a witty—and albeit extremely patient—grain of salt. He let us dress him up like Jack Sparrow one Halloween—eyeliner and all—sitting there patiently with a tumbler of bourbon in his hand and football on the TV as we dressed him up. The outcome was pretty rad, though:

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He was a stud at my wedding with his dress shirt rolled up to his elbows, a glass of whiskey in his hand, and a stogie in his shirt pocket, and I couldn’t think of a better image representation of my father. He’s the most intelligent man I’ve ever met with the open mind that always has allowed me to come to him with anything and not feel judged. Cheers to you, Dad, for always accepting me for whatever I did or wanted, so long as I put my very best into it.

 

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Oh, and also…

 

My Top Favorite Wisdom-isms from My Dad

 

1.)    “Shitass.” My dad has always had this incredible knack for creating out of the box swearing when he’s in the heat of the moment. I used to giggle at this, but now I find myself doing the same thing. Imagination knows no bounds.

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2.)    “What do you want to drink?” Ah, a man after my own heart. Not only does my father know how to make an IMMACULATE cocktail of perfection, but he always seems to know when to pose this question. On top of that, my dad can expertly gauge what kind of drink his daughter needs in seconds: sad, mad, happy, moody, etc.—no matter what I’m feeling, he’s got a remedy.

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3.)    “You missed that blade of grass.” My dad used to drive me crazy when I was younger with this seemingly unreachable expectation. Whether it was mowing the yard or washing my car, there was always room for improvement or to better what I was doing. Do I even need to explain why this is one of the most important life teachings my dad could have ever given me? If I do, then you definitely missed a spot mowing your lawn.

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4.)    “You have to watch Saving Private Ryan once in your life.” Again, if this doesn’t make sense, then you need to go watch Saving Private Ryan. Now. Go.

5.)    “Albuquerque!” This one still cracks me up to this day. In a house of so many girls, there was a lot of talking, most of the time undirected and chaotic. Anytime anything has ever gotten ultimately crazy and loud with gab, my father will blurt out in his loudest volume “Albuquerque!” We all immediately fall quiet and look at him, burst into laughter and all is calm again. It has worked every time.

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6.)    “I really love him, you did real good. But if he ever messes up, I have a hole dug in a secret spot just for him.” During our father-daughter dance at my wedding. I’ll let you guess who he was talking about. 😉

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Why Life Gets Damn Good from Year 25 and On

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My husband turned 25 this past weekend. Now, I’m a few years older than my hubs and as we celebrated his quarter of a century birthday, it made me reminisce about my own 25th and the few years that have followed since. And you know what realization hit me? Just how absolutely fabulous life becomes on that 25th year and after.

 

 

Oh, sure, at first, there’s a huge shock value that runs through your mind when you blow out those 25 candles. You have this momentary panic about being so close to 30. But then, you stop yourself: imagining becoming 30 isn’t actually so bad as it was the year before. In fact, you have to admit to yourself that it’s a little exhilarating even. A whole new chapter of life—of new goals, new wisdom, and new uncharted territories open up in front of you, ripe for the taking. It also helps that with 25 brings that beautiful drop in the yearly dues of your car insurance AND you can actually rent a car everywhere you go now. Liberating!

 

You’re at that place in life that no matter what your situation, for the first time ever, you actually have gotten to know who YOU are. Maybe you’re married, maybe you’re single, maybe you’ve got five kids, maybe you’re the CEO of your own company, maybe you’re working at Starbucks while you embark on a master’s degree, maybe you’re a tour guide at Yellowstone…no matter what your life looks like, as you start rolling through your late twenties, you’ve finally made that official introduction of “Hi, this is me.” Even if you’re unsatisfied with where you are in your life, your perspective is completely different than ever before because now that you know who you are, you have a whole new empowerment within you that allows you to change your circumstances if they don’t mesh well with your soul.

 

You also really take a long look around yourself as your twenties are rounding off and it’s kind of amazing just how much your outlook on a few pretty big things in life has changed. Like,

 

Family: Your parents become something entirely different because you realize they are not just “Mom and Dad”—they are human beings: just like you. You’re not only meeting yourself completely for the first time in your life, but you are also meeting your parents as “Kent” and “Samantha” instead of “Dad” and “Mom”. They have so many stories (many not unlike some of yours) and life lessons to share that you will need more than ever before, and now, sitting around the table playing cards and drinking good beer with your new best friends known as your folks is one of the best ways to spend your weekend.

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Friends: Whether you’ve grown apart or had an unfortunate falling out, your circle of friends becomes indefinitely smaller as you get older–especially as the quarter of a century dot on your timeline rolls around. It’s inevitable. People change and there is nothing wrong with taking separate paths in life. Memories are a great keepsake as you do amicably grow apart from the majority of people you called friends from childhood, teenage years, and sometimes even college. You’ll find yourself now meeting people and forming different types of friendships: deep, meaningful, and incredibly substantial. You’ve raised the bar on the standards that define what a friendship means to you and though probably not many, the people you meet now who mesh with those standards will become faster and closer friends than even some people that you have known for years. This same thing goes along with older friendships, too. The friendships you do keep as you get older change as the both of you do, and you both come to mean even more to each other as these years go by.

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Career: As human beings, we are on a constant journey for change and conquering new things, and this characteristic jumpstarts at this point in life. You’re finally past that “intern” status in your career and free to move up, or maybe make a complete change. We start to realize now what our passions are, how to tap into them, or maybe even how to make way for them to evolve. Maybe you’re completely content with what you do for a living or maybe you’ve discovered you want to do something completely different than what you went to school for. Maybe you’ve discovered you can’t work for other people and want to be an entrepreneur. Maybe you’ve had a new epiphany that you love a 9-5 schedule or maybe you thrive on a graveyard shift. No matter where you are or what your stance is on your career, the point is: in your late twenties, you are finally brave and independent enough to start the process of figuring it out. Your job is 85% plus of your life and now you start to realize that what you do needs to make you happy.

 

Priorities: Life is short. Work and day-to-day often is exhausting, so when we get those precious bits of free time, the whole concept of mortality is clearer than ever. The people you love the most—family & the few close friends you have—they become priority in how you spend that little bit of free time. And those free moments you do get have now become more special than ever because you’ve finally made room only for what makes your heart the happiest.

 

 

Firming Creams: Gravity is a bitch.

 

 

Quality over Quantity: This suddenly applies to EVERYTHING. A plastic handle of Mr. Boston was completely logical when you were 20 and poor, but now, you work hard for your money and you deserve that tumbler of Grey Goose that isn’t going to make you throw up for two days after you drink it. Forever 21 clothes that fall apart after one wash don’t quite seem as appealing as that cute dress from the Loft that will last 10 years and NOT make your butt hang out because it falls to a modest knee-length. Also, you are now sort of embarrassed of those plastic folding chairs serving as furniture.

 

Health: UGH! You have to start taking care of yourself now. Like really taking care of yourself. It’s not about being skinny anymore. It’s about all the organs and other really important stuff about your body that you’ve been ignoring for the past 25 years—liver, heart, brain, skin, teeth, blood pressure, cholesterol…stuff that you never even knew about: “What does my pancreas do?” You gradually become your mother when every morning you mentally begin to remind yourself to take your vitamins. Slowing metabolism, mandatory doctor’s appointments, and investing in fruit over hot pockets really sucks—but you realize a short, low quality of life sucks way more.

 

 

The History Channel: Or the Discovery channel, or a ridiculous amount of documentaries on Netflix. Maybe all three. Whichever it is, you begin to realize just how much you didn’t know about World War II or how to survive in an apocalyptic wilderness. Your brain is beginning to get hungry from all those years out of school and now you kind of feel dumb for always giving your dad a hard time about staying glued to the History Channel’s black and white, 8-hour shows when you were growing up.

 

YOU: As I mentioned before, you are finally meeting YOU! And while some insecurities do inevitably linger, most are fading away and you have at last come to that point where you are pretty okay with who you are. You are fully aware that not everyone is going to like you, but you are honestly fine with that. Being comfortable in your own skin is the most incredible feeling in the world and you’re finally on your way there. You are ultimately the one who has to wake up with yourself every single morning, and that is how you find your happiness. For the first time in your life, you truly begin to understand and believe the age-old wise words of Dr. Seuss: “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

 

**Cheers to the Quarter Life Crisis! :D**

High School Reunion? No.

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My ten-year high school reunion is now. Initially, it’s a shock to think it has been a decade since I graduated high school. Makes you really sit back and flip through your memory catalog: am I where I thought I would be by now? Did my dreams and goals stay the same? Did the people in my life stick around? Did I really ever use all that algebra I was told I would? Why don’t smartphones have the Snake game on them? Oh my God, I like beer now!

 

Then I hear from one of the very few people I still am actually friends with from high school. (Like, the real definition of “friends”—she was a bridesmaid in my wedding friend)

“Hey, Tab, did you get the invite on Facebook for the ten year reunion?”

I vaguely remember getting it maybe…ignoring it like I do those God awful Farmville and Bubble Candy Cocaine Crash or whatever the hell it is requests. (Seriously, stop.) In the ten years I’ve been out of high school, not once have I ever even considered attending a reunion when the time rolled around.

 

**Now, I want to put a disclaimer on this before I go any further. I know I have a lot of people I went to high school with that read my blogs and the following thoughts I’m about to go into are not meant to be offensive or geared towards anyone specific. Nor is this meant to be the generic thoughts on reunions/high school. Lots of people love the reunions, loved high school, and that is awesome. The following is only my personal opinion on these things, so please take it all with a light heart. 🙂 **

 

 

The Top 10 Reasons I Will Not Ever Go to a High School Reunion:

 1.)    I think this one totally speaks for itself and sums up this entire blog post.

 

2.)    I was voted Class Clown on the long list of superlatives that never even made it into the yearbook. Now, the people in my life adore the clown aspect of me. Back then, it was a surefire way to never get asked to prom. And to always be the comic sidekick to the pretty girls that all the guys wanted to date. I’d rather stick with my current peeps who will genuinely laugh at my jokes than be reminded of a time when I second-guessed the value of humor.

 

3.)    I didn’t go to prom. I wasn’t asked and I didn’t want to spend my hard-earned money from working at the grocery store 40 hours a week to buy everything necessary to attend, only to end up having a complete Carrie experience. Can’t bring myself to do it now either in the grown-up version of Prom: “The High School Reunion”.

 

4.)    I really, really, reallllllyyyy don’t want to relive the daily cafeteria panic attack that was: “Oh my God, where am I going to sit????!!!”

You know I had to use this gif. HAD TO.

 

5.)    I’m horrible with names and I would feel absolutely terrible when I most certainly don’t remember about 99% of people’s monikers.

 

6.)    Part of me is strongly suspicious of the whole reason behind a high school reunion. “To see everyone and reminisce!” No, that doesn’t make any sense. If we really ever cared about each other in any aspect, wouldn’t we have kept in touch on more than a facebook or linkedin level? I even stay connected with my old teachers via social media. If you haven’t made a meet-up happen with these people in the last ten years, then why would you want to party with them? Granted, there are people I do have casual and pleasant contact with from high school online and if I ran into them somewhere, I would be more than excited to chat—but I am pretty sure the feeling is mutual that in busy life, things are okay staying just that arm’s-length way. Regardless, I have more excruciatingly bad times than good from high school and the LAST thing I want to do is cross THAT troll bridge of “nostalgia”.

 

7.)    The torture of small talk—ten years later. “Oh, you live in Ohio now? It does snow a lot.”  No.

 

 

8.)    Traveling is expensive. Whether you live out of the country, out of the state, or even out of town, when you spend the money and precious, hard to find time to travel back home, family and good friends should get the 100% dibs on your company. Life’s too short.

 

9.)    Oh, hey it’s YOU. The person who pulled my chair out from under me in freshman homeroom, cheated off my tests thinking I didn’t know it, always picked me last in gym Battleball, and nicknamed me Camaro Hair. Oh wait, you are an utter loser now!!! I value my character and don’t want to throw in your face so hard how karma is awesome. But see, I won’t be able to do that when reunion and vodka is put together. (And by the way, Joe Dirt is DAMN cool)

 

10.)    There’s not going to be enough booze there to survive it. There’s just not. It’s a fact.

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Actually, now that I think about it, there is ONE reason I would go. ONE. This:

Summer is NEVER Coming

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I’ve got to go a little Southern-ness on you today, folks.

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My mind is all messed up. It’s May 2nd and it’s 50 degrees outside. Just to remind you, I grew up in Georgia where there are basically three seasons: Winter, Rain, and Mercury. Winter lasts about two months normally and we don’t dance with the whole negative degree thing. Rain is pretty much all of March, April, September, and October. And Mercury is sunshine and temperatures of Hell for the rest of the time. By this time of year, I’m used to Mercury.

 

In the Great White North where I currently reside….I guess I will name this season…The Matrix. Because it’s technically spring and this has all got to be something unreal and that I only 1/3 understand while looking around with a “what’s that smell” face. (Much like what happens when I attempt to watch the Matrix movies) I keep telling myself NO NO NO, it’s not real, I’m going to wake up anytime now and be laying out in the sweltering sun in my backyard after packing away every coat, every long-sleeved item, and every pair of pants I own! But in reality, the Oracle (a.k.a. Mother Nature) is saying, “Joke’s on you, girl. Enjoy the snow I’m giving you as a 4th of July present.”

 

When the sun actually does come out, it’s all a mind game. Oh sure, it looks like it’s a pleasant 70 degrees outside, but when you walk out there in shorts and a tanktop—refusing to believe what weather channel claims is 38 degree weather presently—your skin pretty much turns blue and you run back inside with a fun little onset of hypothermia.

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I’ve become desperate. I’ll actually go to the tanning bed salon and lay for way over the time I need to, just to purposely burn myself so that when I go outside, I feel warm and toasty regardless of the temperature. This is my rain dance, dammit! Give me my summer already! What do I need to do? Sacrifice a sheep? Maybe the blood of a virgin or the rights to my firstborn? When is this going to end?!!!

 

The freaky winter that won’t end seems to be this way all over the country, so it has me thinking: is this global warming? Wait, what exactly is global warming? Should I stop using hairspray? Well, that’s silly, I can’t stop using hairspray, I need my 5 inch bump for my livelihood…

Then I drop into these really “realistic” musings: Is Game of Thrones really our reality now? Is Winter really always going to be coming? Are the White Walkers on their way? Maybe this is Narnia. Maybe the whole world just fell through a wardrobe one Saturday night while we were enjoying a live band and a few rounds of drinks at the Buffalo Wild Wings and now we are stuck in the White Witch’s neverending icebox of a retreat…

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I want to take a second and remind you that I am a fiction author, so I assure you that this chaotic and slightly weird train of thought is totally healthy. Totally. Totes McGotes healthy. Really. No, really.

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The point is, it sucks. And there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. So how do we cope?

Well, lots of Netflix, whiskey, and fuzzy Christmas socks, that’s how.

 

Remember, when life gives you lemons (or freezing temps in May), make lemonade (or a Long Island Ice Tea).

Healthy Lifestyle? Oh, do you mean, HELL?

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I’m 28 years old.

I’m not here to complain that I’m old, but I am here to complain about the natural, unpreventable truth that with age comes some serious physical change.

I was a chunky kid with a mullet who turned into a woman about 20 years into life that didn’t have to worry about physical anything. I could eat like a man, never work out, and still wear a size 2. I never needed more than 5 hours of sleep a night, could do a keg stand with the best of them, and if I ever felt bloated, I’d just skip a meal one day and be back to normal.

And then comes this cruel joke known as “The Late Twenties”.

Over the last year, my metabolism has decided to take a vacation—maybe even indefinitely. I moved up north with my hubs, so the year-long arctic winters don’t help with the whole scope of changes, either. Now, I’m ten pounds heavier, I’m wasted after one Yuengling Light, and I have to use grown up Olay brand firming cream for more than just my occasional pesky cellulite pop ups. And forget spray-tans to appear svelte—that stuff just makes acne and weird ailments materialize on the skin now… “What the hell—is that a pimple on my kneecap?”

Ten pounds doesn’t sound like a lot to you? I’m 5’2”—on a GOOD day. Even three pounds feels like twenty on me. Yes, I’m aware there are other people that have it way worse, but I’m complaining about my own woes today. #shortpeopleprobs

So after I watch 90’s teen movies and eat the last block of cheese and pack of popcorn in the house, I decide I have to change my lifestyle habits. This is tough. I’m prideful…I want to be able to say that I can do whatever I want and embrace myself as I am.

We all know that’s a lie. It’s not happening. I don’t hate myself, but my vanity is still important to me, so if that means I have to chug down poop green drinks and barely survive a Jillian Michaels workout video, I WILL DO IT!

 

We try to be positive about the idea of a healthy lifestyle, but for now, I’m gonna say out loud what we all secretly feel about it: HEALTHY SHIT SUCKS! Oh yeah, I would totally rather have this spinach smoothie than that slice of extra cheese pizza. Oh sure, I would absolutely love to go to the gym for an hour instead of taking a nap. LIES! You know it, just admit it to yourself, and then we can go back to pretending like we really enjoy gnawing on this acai berry root.

 

I try to start eating healthy and even that screws me. More fruit equals less teeth enamel so now I gotta start using the infomercial elderly people toothpaste. I try to start working out like a beast and that’s a total mindf*** because not only can I not walk for three days after, but the scale doesn’t go down—it goes up as the semblance of muscle that I’ve never had in my life begins to appear.

 

And man, the whole health kick really turns you into a crazy person, doesn’t it? Suddenly, you’re screaming at the tv, “NO, Jillian Michaels, I CAN’T do just one more set—I CAN’T FEEL MY LEGS ANYMORE!” and then, the juicer gets it, “THIS FISH OIL AND RHUBARB SMELLS LIKE ASS!”

*Jillian doesn’t play*

Sacrifice is a hard thing.

However, I’ll admit, it is working.

 

But I do—and always will—draw the line at sacrificing coffee, vodka, and pizza.

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a beet-kale smoothie and Hip-Hop Abs.

The Night St. Paddy’s Day was Over by 10:56 p.m.

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First of all, let’s go ahead and praise Jesus that I’m still alive and not yet the victim of my mailman.

Moving on…

Today is St. Patrick’s Day—a Monday. Which means those of us that have stupid jobs that won’t count St. Paddy’s as a national “Let’s-Be-Off-Work-Today-and-Tomorrow-to-Nurse-the-Green-Beer-and/or-Whiskey-Hangover” holiday, we had to celebrate this past weekend.

My hubs and I celebrated on Saturday night with some of our dearest friends and I think we all had a reality check when we realized just how different the celebration of our favorite saint becomes when we have to play grown-up. We were home before 11 p.m.

Which, while a tad bit embarrassing to admit, you still get a fun list!

12 Ways St. Patrick’s Day Shenanigans Change When Adulthood Takes Over

1.)    If St. Paddy’s is on a weekday, shenanigans no longer consist of boozing it up in your green glitter face paint until 4 a.m., taking an hour nap, and managing to get to (and easily survive off 2 red bulls) your 6-hour workday at Pac Sun. Now, Boondock Saints on Netflix, Longjohn Silvers, two Bud Lights full of green food coloring, and a 10:00 bedtime is what jigs your inner Irishman.

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2.)    You are so exhausted after work, that you jump on ancestory.com just to see if you have any Irish in you that warrants you to have to surpass an early bedtime in order to have at least one green beer.

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3.)    Wearing green eyeshadow or green socks is enough to make you feel like you satisfactorily celebrated this year…unless you’re a ginger, which means you win at St. Paddy’s Day with absolutely NO effort.

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4.)    Irish car bombs are traded in for Irish coffee or Bailey’s on ice. Or maybe a Shamrock Shake from McDonalds.

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5.)    There is no way in hell you are paying $40 for a full leprechaun get up. Suck it, Party City. I’m on a grown-up, bill-paying budget now.

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No. Just….no.

6.)    Unless you live in Florida, the entire “Let’s Dress Like A Slutty Irish Bar Maid” has lost all appeal. It’s winter time which means you’re wearing pants to avoid pneumonia.

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Now THIS is more like it.

7.)    You order at least a couple drinks that involve a “wake-me-up” mixture (i.e. red bull and vodka, coffee and whiskey…) Why? Because frankly, you can’t remember the last time you weren’t tired, and St. Paddy’s Day is no exception.

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8.)    You have an excuse to eat the shit out of those green-frosted sugar cookies that are excluded from your “My metabolism stopped working once I got a mortgage” diet…

9.)    …which leads us into #9—you give up Lent for St. Patrick’s Day. Nice.

10.)  You skip the tanning bed/spray tan just for today. How honorable.

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11.)  You retire your old “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” college t-shirt, knowing that your health insurance won’t cover the medical bills you’ll rack up after that drunk guy with herpes plants one on you at the pub.

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12.) Drinking starts early, which means you’ll be in bed before midnight and that 8 hour sleep time makes you the winner of no hangover for two days this year. BOOM!

Yay, SLEEP!!!!!

Happy St. Paddy’s everyone! I envy those who can still do the 24-hour pub crawls in their green body paint without the promise of back pain and migraines later!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to plop a spoonful of green food coloring into my glass of Pinot Grig and do some laundry while listening to Mumford and Sons. Oy oy!

I’m Pretty Sure the Mailman is Trying to Kill Me….

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Listen, it’s not that I’m a paranoid person.

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I’m just a cautious, realistic, and very careful person.

I watch a lot of Investigation Discovery and I read a lot of True Crime books. I’m also a writer, so my imagination is a little more tweaked out than the average person.

In short, I don’t have the desire to be friends with my neighbors. It heightens the chances that I’ll end up on “Swamp Murders”, and that’s just not in my life plan.

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Our mailman lives fourteen houses down from us. How do I know this? Because he told me. I’m not kidding. Are you already beginning to see the sketchiness?

Maybe his behavior is weird because my husband accidentally drew a Crocodile Dundee knife on him at our annual Christmas party last year. The mailman rang the doorbell—I’m pretty sure he only did this because he saw strange cars in our driveway, as he only had junk Walmart ads to deliver. My hubs thought it was a couple of our friends, so he threw open the door with a wildman yell and the blade reared in his hand. (Yes, we have this kind of relationship with our friends, is that not normal??)

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My hubs and his getup when he accidentally greeted the mailman. (Christmas party theme was “Camo-Reindeer”. I guess I’m not the only one with the heightened imagination….

We moved into our rental house five months ago and the Mailman’s (I really have no idea what his name is) behavior started out only sort of weird. Our mailbox is a little metal flip box to the right of our front door, attached to the house. So Mailman has to come up to the front step to deliver the mail in that little box. But Mailman would come to the door and knock, even when he didn’t have mail. I figured this was just to get to know us maybe, since we were new to the neighborhood, but here’s the thing—Mailman is not really friendly or conversational. He just stands there and stares at me with his fat Hitler mustache and thick Jeffrey Dahmer glasses, waiting for me to continue friendly chatter. Which I happen to be good at, but hey, I don’t want to make it a daily routine. I am a dirty writer who lives in sweatpants, no bra, and unbrushed hair for three days at a time. I don’t want to see you, man.

 

So, after about three months of this, I turned into a crazy person, dropping to the floor and army-crawling out of site every time Mailman would knock on the door. And it worked! Eventually, he stopped knocking. Instead, he reverted to coming up to the box and just standing there for a good thirty seconds. Just. Standing. There.

But then, Mailman got smart. I have packages delivered to our house on average about two days a week, and I have to usually sign for them. I’d open the door and get my packages and two seconds after I’d shut the door, there would be a loud knock. Guess who?!

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Mailman is standing there with this look on his face that says “GOTCHA!” and he’s got my stamped bills to be sent out in his hand. He begins to thumb through these envelopes and looks back at me.

“The owner doesn’t pay these bills?” Mailman asks me.

“Wh-what?” I’m completely taken off guard by his nosey-ass question.

“He’s making you pay these bills?”  Mailman continues to intrude. My defensive invisible laser wall shoots up in front of me and my inner Robocop quickly scans the front porch for a stick or rock.

“Uh, of course,” is all I can think to say because I’m distracted by the thought of wondering if the attached-to-the-house-mailbox will rip off easily in case I need to use it as a makeshift weapon. Mailman just looks at me with this weird gaze like he knows something I don’t, or that he wants this to turn into a conversation that speaks ill of the owner of the house.

“HAVE A GOOD DAY!” I suddenly blurt out with a too-loud, obvious nervous giggle and shut the door. I can see Mailman’s silhouette (Our front door is frosted glass) and he just stands there for another moment before slowly retreating.

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I’m freaking out, but Mailman steers clear of being visibly creepy for the next couple of weeks. Regardless, I resort to what I do when delivery men come to the house—keep my boots on with a hunting knife hidden in the side of them. You know, just in case. I don’t want to rip the mailbox off the house if I don’t have to, right?

I think I’m in the clear—but then! There is a coat closet right beside the front door. The other day, I walk over to the coat closet and I gasp when I notice movement outside the frosted glass of the front door. It’s Mailman—and he is again just standing there. Like we’re at a face off without actually being able to see each other’s faces. This lasts for about twenty seconds. A looooong time. He finally and abruptly leaves. I wait five minutes. I open the door and lift the mailbox lid.

There is no mail.

Clearly, a Post Office box is in order…and a terrifying book about a mass murdering mailman.

Yes. This is a real movie. Oh. Mah. Gah.

Yes. This is a real movie. Oh. Mah. Gah.