Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rampant Consumerism

So there we were in Target to pick up a few last school supplies from Jeff's list, and a birthday present for my nephew Cale. Oh, and while we were there a few other things such as this shower cleaner spray that is scented like ylang ylang. The last time I bought a bottle of shower cleaner spray I had it in my hand and then put it back since I wasn't working and bought the cheaper stuff that smells like a cleaner but now since I'm going to work I can get the fancy kind.

Anyways, we made our way through the store with the boys doing their usual requesting of candy and unneeded items (unlike that shower spray which has a USE) and me saying NO and stop asking me for stuff! We got in line and as the checkout lady beeped each of our things I fished out a coupon from my wallet and handed it to her: "Can I use this?" She looked at it and read that it was for $5 off a $75 purchase. She then hit the total key and announced that we had only spent $28.54 how could that be all? Oh, but then I held up the bag with the video game we'd gotten for Cale, we paid for it at the electronics counter, "Can I count this?" The checkout lady, who was very cooperative, said she could ring it up as a return and then we could add it together. OK! I agreed as the line behind us started to build. But the game was $40 so we weren't quite up to the $75. And the coupon will expire before the next time I go to a Target.

"Boys! Buy some stuff!" I gazed around at what we could snatch up without getting out of line. Candy! Gum! Beef Jerky! Soap Opera Digest! Jeffrey hollered out a complaint in his little voice: "First you tell us NOT to buy anything and NOW!"

We ended up getting out of line and picking out some makeup that I knew I would need and was on sale. Then we got back in the line and she rang it up with the $5.00 off, and then handed me an extra receipt paper: FREE 6 to 8 pk Reese Crispy Crunchy snack.....I hesitated.....and then we just got out of there.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A sugar by any other name...

We took a road trip to an amusement park and at a rest stop let the boys pick a beverage from the vending machine. From the backseat:

"Mine has less than 1 percent real fruit juice!"

"Well mine has phosphoric acid!"

"So! Mine has corn syrup!"

"Yeah, well mine has HIGH FRUCTOSE corn syrup!"

So there.

Jeffrey also enjoys his sugar as a fluffed up solid.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Back to...Something New

This time of year is all about "Back to School." Our state recently passed a law that mandates schools to start after labor day, so the summer seems really long now. The beginning of September has always symbolized a new beginning, in fact it has always seemed to me more like the start of a new year than the one in January. I can remember as a kid we would ride our bikes over to the school every day at the end of August waiting to see if they posted the class lists on the doors. It was then that you would find out who your teacher was, and who your classmates would be, and in what room it would all happen. They don't do it that way nowadays, we just get a letter in the mail with the teacher's name and room number. But the effect is the same, it's just before a whole new year where everything would be different than it had been before, and everything is a possibility. And we would have fresh new clothes, and a set of mint condition school supplies, and even a new lunchbox. I know that sometimes I would imagine myself with a whole new personality to go with it all such as "Now I will be elegant and sophisticated!" or "Now I will be very organized and always write in blue pen."

It wasn't until a few years into my career when I noticed that this wasn't happening anymore; that September was just like any other month. I missed all of that newness. And there have been times when I might have liked to turn in my project, boss, and coworkers and spin the wheel for a whole new set, better or worse at least they'd be different. Not that there was ever a shortage of things changing, it's just that it was never quite as total and predictable as the start of a new school year.

So I am very pleased with the timing of my going back to work. My first day is going to be September 5, and it feels a lot like Back to School. I'll have a boss, and colleagues, and a project, but at this moment they are the unknown, chock full of possibility, and it's exciting not to know anything about them yet. It's like getting a magazine in the mail, unwrinkled and unread.

I was amused to learn that I will be getting my old passes, pager, and computer back. For whatever reason my old boss still had them, and the new department has picked them up. It was a little hard to part with these items when I left, they were so familiar they felt like appendages to my body, and I look forward to being reunited with them, weird as that is.

And I took Heather's advice and went shopping for new work clothes. I ordered a black pantsuit from Eddie Bauer, because it bothered me that I didn't have one to wear to my interview. Larry pointed out that I already got the job and therefore don't need an interview suit, but I am thinking of an email that was forwarded all around on the subject of "Every Woman Should Have" and it said interview suit, and if I'm not going to get my life advice from email forwards then where? I also got some of these sweaters that look like there is a shirt underneath but it is attached. Hard to describe but they looked kind of backtoschooly which I liked. And I got some shoes that I thought looked like what a grown-up professional woman should be wearing, instead of the ones I had reverted to in the last couple of years because they didn't hurt my feet but were once likened to the shoes of Mickey Mouse. And since it was B1G1 1/2 off, I got a second pair simply because they are cute and they have little fish on the sides. So I am READY.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Carjacker in a pink T-shirt

Ok so I think now I am over it enough to tell you about the other Thing That Happened when I was at the car dealership on Wednesday. It was just after I had turned in my car for the condenser repair, and I was looking up at that mission statement sign, and the guy said that Peggy was ready to give me a ride back home, and he gestured towards an older woman I saw hovering nearby. "She'll just pull around to the front here and pick you up."
So I contemplated the sign for a moment more and then walked a few steps out of the service garage while I dug out my cell phone so I could take that nice blurry picture of my car in there. I saw a sedan driven by an older woman pull up so I went around to the passenger side and opened the door. I leaned in and she looked up at me, surprised. I wondered if I should be getting into the back seat? And she had a purse on the seat, so I reached in and started to nudge it over so I could swing my butt in. And that's when her expression turned from shock to horror, and I figured out what was happening here. I did this silent mouthing of an explanation and apology, and gesturing with a brand new sign language I just made up. Then I saw another sedan pull around with Peggy in it and I just ran over and got in.
Note to self: PAY MORE ATTENTION!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Kickin' up a fuss

It is hard to know when it is appropriate to "kick up a fuss" in order to get what you want or need. I was confronted with this twice today.

In the morning I took Tim to 7th grade registration. I was a little peeved when the paperwork came in the mail for this and there was a letter informing parents that an incoming 6th grade student has a peanut allergy and outlining the precautions that were being taken. A similar letter had come out at the end of last year, and I promptly called the principal and asked him why different actions were being taken for that child when there was ALREADY a child in the outgoing 6th grade class. (Tim) He didn't have a lot to say about it which indicated to me that the difference was that the parent of the younger child can "kick up a fuss" better than me. Also, the day after school let out I went to pick up the EpiPen, and when I requested it at the office the lady started rummaging through a drawer muttering "Now where is that?" and then turned to me and said "it's not here, I guess." I guess my dagger-shooting stare prompted her to go and ask someone else and then rummage through a different drawer from which she finally produced the EMERGENCY LIFE SAVING MEDICATION. God help them if the stuff had been needed for an actual urgent reaction.

I had recently complained about this to my friend Sharon, who is the mother of one of Tim's buddies. Sharon is the very definition of assertiveness, she always gets her way.

We were getting ready to leave the registration and I heard someone hissing "Mindeeeee" and it was Sharon. She said "Go and talk to the new vice principal, she's over there. I told her you'd be coming by to discuss your issues with the allergy!" So I went over to her and introduced Tim and expressed how I thought that the school should have a consistent policy. "Oh I agree! I'll make SURE that this is discussed during our meetings next week!" I'm kinda hoping that she'll kick up a fuss about it!

Then in the afternoon we had an appointment at the Saturn dealership to have my car looked at AGAIN. I had it in for the A/C in June, and they said they could not find a leak. Well now it's running warm again and there was a puddle of green goonk in the garage so I took it back. The service guy said it would take about an hour, so we agreed to wait since the dealership is far away and we were armed with DS Game Boys for entertainment. Well after about that long the service guy came up to me and said that they had found a hairline crack in the condenser and that's a big job. He said I should bring it back tomorrow and that they'd just have it run through the car wash and we'd be on our way. So we waited a couple of minutes and then gathered up our things and went to the check-out girl to get the keys. She looked at me with her dopey eyes and shrugged "I don't have it yet." So we hung around waiting for the service guy to show up with the keys but he didn't. I asked her again, "Are you sure you don't have that?" Negative. So we wandered back over the waiting area. My soap opera was starting up on the TV but then they kept showing scenes inappropriate for little boys. I sat there and thought about how much do I NEED air conditioning. I kept going back to check with her. Nothing. Little Jeffrey started to complain and then, knowing that his mother is queen of the wimps, he decided to go into the service area to see if our car was there and check with the service guy himself. No car, no service guy. A couple more checks with the girl, and the Jeffrey decided we should go looking for our car, and so we did and found it it the done car area, clean and DRY. So we went back to the girl and I told her that I knew my car was done and it had now been an HOUR since the guy talked to me. An HOUR that I could have been doing...well anything else but THIS. At that moment the service guy materialized. He looked at the girl. "What's going on? Why didn't you give her the keys? She's coming back, there's no paperwork." And then she blinked her dopey eyes and reached under the counter that I was leaning on and produced...MY KEYS!!!! The service guy apologized, he said he had been in a meeting. He said that he would take a little more off of my bill. I just shot the checkout girl my dagger eyes look and got the heck out of there so we could go and sit in the rush hour traffic that was starting to form. Tomorrow I find out exactly how much $$ one hour of my time is worth. I'll let you know what it is.


OK so I got there this morning and they had to search all around for my paperwork and then a service lady hands it to me and asks me to sign it. But it said $557 on it and I wasn't signing THAT. So as I questioned the paperwork (my Dad taught me to do that) yesterday's service guy came up and said that they weren't charging me for the part, just the labor, which is $225, and then he wrote down $200 on the paper. So that's it, $25 for my hour of waiting. Then they had some other lady drive me home (was I supposed to tip her?) It's funny that they have a sign up with their mission statement, something about exceeding expectations. And now since I expect them to mess up...mission accomplished?

OK so now I've got my car back blowing out nice cold air. When I went to pay the bill it was $198 which is LESS than the $200 he had said. AND I got this nifty coupon book with discounts for car services from them and things like donuts and dry cleaning at local businesses. I just might have to give them a good grade on the customer satisfaction survey after all.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Five First Friends

"But I don't even know these kids!" Tim complained as we drove to a restaurant yesterday to meet for dinner with 4 other families.

"Yes you do, even if you don't remember them very well. So you'd better be friendly." I instructed.

I had arranged a reunion with a group of people we have come to know as our "Parenting Group." It started out just after Timmy was born, and someone in the hospital came by and asked whether we would be interested in participating in an experimental program they were involved with through MSU. It was to give support to new parents. I remembered that a co-worker named Laurie who'd had a baby at this same hospital had told me that she had done this and become great friends with the families in her group, so I said yes. For the first four months a person came to visit me at home, and after that we were set up with a group of people with babies of the same age, where we would meet twice a month for lectures on topics such as "Feeding solid foods," "Sleeping through the Night Strategies," or "Developmental Milestones." The families all lived within a few miles and the babies were born within a couple of months of each other. After their first birthdays we were on our own to continue the group and we decided to do so, but we just moved on to more social activities such as going to parks, beaches, farms and each other's homes.

And so for the first few years these people became an important part of our lives, even though at first glance we might not appear to have much in common except for that One Big Thing of going from being a couple to a family. I think we were bonded in much the same way as other types of support groups: Hello my name is Mindy and I am a new parent.

And we would watch our babies grow and talk about them and notice how they were each unique. I remember having a conversation about how someday when they were older which personality traits they would probably still have.

And now here we were, 12 years later, with these 5 kids (and their siblings). We had continued to stay in touch and get together but for over the years it has been tapering off from seeing each other a couple of times a month, to a couple of times a year, and now a couple of years had gone by. And sure enough, they had changed into these pre-adolescents who had turned out much as we would have predicted they would. Brittany is lovely and accomplished, Nicholas is friendly and sincere, Aaron is eager and funny, Timmy is shy and thoughtful , and Jonathon is strong and active and still a magnet for crazy mishaps.

I had reserved a long table for 20 and the adults sat on one and and we just mixed all the kids together at the other. At first they sat there acting all weird and awkward but by the end of the meal they were all talking and laughing just as if they were old friends who had known each other, well, their whole lives.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How to bee a Good Mother

There is a commercial running right now that makes me want to spit my gum at the T.V. It is for some disinfectant and it features a scene with a little girl closing the lid on a shining white garbage can to a voice of a woman saying "It makes me feel like a good mother..." Such powerful words! Currently our kitchen garbage can is sporting a dried-on wad of chewed up gum and I'm certain that it is not a reflection of my parenting skills. But those advertising people are on to something when they put those two words together, and I have been noticing what context they are used in ever since I first heard them when directed at me when Timmy was 3 years old and I sewed him his bumble-bee Halloween costume. I had taken him to his preschool Halloween Party and all the moms whose kids were dressed in very nice store-bought costumes kept repeating "Oh you sewed that yourself? You are a good mother!" I was agog. THAT is what makes a good mother? What about all of the sacrifice, love, anguish, care and effort that got me no attention at all? It was this costume sewing that did it. And I really hadn't set out to sew a costume. We had gone into the fabric store because I knew they also sold pre-made costumes but Timmy figured out what the place was all about and found a bolt of yellow and black striped fabric and begged me to make him a bumble bee. So we found a pattern and got all of the materials. It wasn't until much later that I noticed the pattern package was marked "for the advanced sewer." So as I sat hunched over my Junior High sewing machine trying to put together the many complicated pieces that required stitching through this puffy batting that kept getting jammed into a wad around the needle I was swearing up a storm in a most un-goodmotherly way, probably fueled by the sleepless delirium that came after a full day caring for a newborn and a toddler and then having to stay up late sewing. It eventually came out ok but I hadn't expected it to define me as a parent.

I'll never forget the time when I was little and my mother attempted to sew a princess costume for me. Except that instead of the golden material that was on the package picture she ended up buying stuff that tended more towards orange. And then she made me wear it over my puffy winter coat so that at every door I got comments on my PUMPKIN costume. If you'd asked me then I would NOT have used that as an example of what made my mother a good one.

One time at a scrapbooking workshop we were having a conversation along these lines and my friend Betty was making a point about how hard she tried to "do it all" while she worked, and she summed it up with: "And I'll tell you one thing for sure, I NEVER put one of those pre-made frozen pizzas on the table for my family's dinner." So now that I've been going to grocery stores I glide past the whole section that they have of these pre-made frozen pizzas, seeing through the corner of my eye that they sure do look tasty and convenient. And there I am with all the separate pizza ingredients in my cart, just waiting for someone to take note of my Good Motherliness. They wouldn't know that the reason I'm not buying those frozen pizzas is because of our food allergies.

I even had some neighbors shout across the street at me "You are a Good Mother!" as I walked Jeffrey to school past their kids getting on the bus. But I was doing it because I had the time and I like walking outside with my son. So maybe what compels other moms to make that statement is a sudden feeling of "oh, look what she's doing...maybe I should be doing that...but I'm not..." Ah, guilt!

As I've said before I think every mother out there is probably trying to do the very best she can and the closest anyone can get to "good" parenting is trying to figure out what a child needs in any situation and then attempt to address that need. Which is not always easy. And is definitely not discernible to the casual observer. But if it's compliments you're after, I do have the answer to that: sew something!

Monday, August 13, 2007

A wedding in New York

This past weekend we traveled to Rochester, NY for my niece Erica's wedding. Getting there from here is always kind of an aggravation, there always seems to be a delay of some kind. At least there aren't any complaints from the backseat about having to spend even more time eating junk food, playing game boys, and watching DVDs. And I like having some travel news to talk about with the in-laws. Over the years I have learned that when we go over there for family functions (about once a year) everyone will come up to me and ask about our journey. At first I used to think they were all civil engineering enthusiasts and commented to Larry about his family's fascination with road conditions. Then eventually I came to understand that there I am among people who don't know much of anything about me except that I came there from another state, so they ask me how the trip went. So now I pay attention to what route we took and any unusual happenings so I am prepared to converse!

The wedding was lovely. I have known Erica since she was a preschooler. I can remember meeting her for the first time when she was just a toddler, whooping and shrieking as she leaped across the furniture in front of her tired and overwhelmed parents. I liked it that she was (and still is) so spunky, and her groom is a sweetheart; he was at a reunion picnic once and happily spent the whole time entertaining the gaggle of little children, reminding me of my brother-in-law Hal.

I was looking forward to attending the wedding also because I have a dress that I like that I got last year for my cousin's cousin Andrea's wedding at the DYC. Since I didn't have to buy a new dress I justified new accessories and got a shimmery shawl and this very cute beaded purse. But I actually felt sort of overdone compared to the other guests at this one. While everyone looked very nice they just don't seem to put on the glam quite so much, so it was more towards sundress than sparkle for them. It's a little hard to pinpoint the right amount of glitz when attending weddings from different cultures and parts of the country. I was just talking to my mother who also attended a wedding this weekend on my father's extended side of the family, where there is no such thing as too much sparkle. They even hired a stylist to coordinate the theme which was "golden treasure." Sometimes I get invited to those and then I feel like I'm wearing one of Edith Bunker's housedresses to the Oscars, no matter how fancy I think I am going in.

So now it's all over and we made it back ok. And....I know you're going to ask! The trip was fine except there was a 2 1/2 hour delay at the bridge!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Mindy Learns to Cook

It is hard to believe that I made it through my life up until this year without ever learning how to cook. Of course I earned my baking badge in Girl Scouts, and can follow a recipe, and can set a lovely table and arrange food in a pleasing way on a platter, but I have never been responsible for feeding myself or my family.

Let me explain. My mother is a good cook, she owns somewhere around 200 cookbooks and as I was growing up she would pick a different recipe, usually a casserole, and try to make it for dinner. A lot of times she would substitute ingredients called for with what was on hand, and our meals began not with saying grace but with an explanation of what was in there compared to what was supposed to be. I learned to like a variety of foods and eat whatever I was served, but somehow this process never allowed for mother-daughter cooking instruction which is how I assume other people come about their early culinary knowledge. Then I was off to college where food was served up in the dormitory cafeteria and in the sorority house we had Roxanne the cook. By the time I finally lived alone in my first little apartment, I took up eating sandwiches and then going out a lot. I remember my friends laughing at my refrigerator which was classic bachelor: a bottle of ketchup, some beer and a pizza box. Around that time Larry was full into his attempts to woo me into marriage, and so he'd show up after work with a bag of groceries and even the pans to cook it up in. Well a girl has to eat so I became Mrs. Larry on the understanding that he would take care of the food part, and so he continued to cook for us until I left work last March and decided it was time I give it a try.

My first dinner was from the Gang Gai recipe that Darrin sent me, and I told you how that went, it was a start. I have been trying different things since then and learning as I go. I can't say that I really like standing up in the kitchen (it hurts my feet) and trying to make it go all together at the right time in the right way. But I have learned that there is more to this than just following a recipe. It is the planning of the meals for the week, and the shopping to make sure that we are stocked up with what we need, and for us the extra complication of food allergies that adds up to an enormous challenge.

I am amazed that I made it this far in my life without really contemplating the basic function of feeding. It goes all the way back to the cavemen. Every living thing really. But in my princess-y world my perspective has gotten twisted by always having my food provided and thinking more about watching my figure and NOT eating everything I wanted to so I could fit into my skinny jeans. Suddenly I am tuned in to the fact that there is hunger in this world, and it's different than the hunger that I felt when I was on a fad diet. It's that people need to keep eating every day, (Our Daily Bread! Now I get it!) and that has to come from somewhere, and someone has to fix it. And now I can think back on all the conversations about food and recipes that I patiently waited through, glazed over, all the way back to my grandmothers, and why food has always been so important to everybody. Wow! And now I'm in on it!

So today I decided to make pancakes for dinner since Timmy had picked out breakfast sausage at the store, and I wanted to avoid turning on the oven since it's hot outside. I got out a recipe but decided to use whole wheat flour since it's healthier. And since Tim's allergic to eggs I put in some baking soda for a little lift. And blueberries, they're antioxidants. But I should have measured the salt, I might have put too much. OK so they came out really BAD. The table conversation turned to what will happen now that I'll going to be going back to work, and Larry is thinking that maybe he will be the cook again.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Missing out on what they wouldn't have done

Well it's August now and the boys are starting to get a little bored. Well, really they're not, what they're doing is spending what I think might be too much time in front of the TV and computer. So every so often I have to holler at them to go and read a book or something. I don't really have a good feel for how much is too much, since I recall spending enormous quantities of time consuming junk television as a child. Such as Beverly Hillbilly repeats, game shows, old "B" movies on Bill Kennedy, basically whatever was showing on Channel 50. And I can remember my mother hollering at me to go read a book or something, which I also did, but I know I watched a LOT of TV. What seems to be nagging at me is why are we not constantly engaged in enriching activities? Because it always seemed like when I was at work I was bemoaning all of the opportunities my children were missing out on because of our schedule. Hey...maybe this is the same thing as the going out of town phenomenon.

A couple of years ago this phenomenon was revealed to me by my friend Insun. We were at the nearby fake village outdoor mall, and she had just finished telling me all about a fabulous trip to California that they would be taking in two weeks. We were standing near a sign for entertainment that would be coming to the little gazebo on the fake main street. She pointed to one of them and said "Oh that would be nice to go to...but darn it we'll be out of town that day!" I then pointed out to her that whatever she would be doing in California would be far better than the free musician playing at the mall. Then she admitted "I know, but have you ever noticed that when you are going out of town you start to notice everything that will be happening on those days and feel like you are going to miss it?" That conversation stuck with me because I noticed myself doing the same thing whenever we had some trip or commitment planned for a weekend. I would see something else going on and feel like I might be missing out, and then stop myself, and think about whether I really would have done that if we were available. And often the answer was no.

I now understand that this same phenomenon was happening when I was at work, and I'd see a notice for 1/2 day vacation bible school or art camp or something at the library and feel all regretful that my kids couldn't do that. Now that I'm home we aren't doing all those things. The boys are playing together, or on the computer, or watching junk TV a lot of the time. I'm trying to keep a good balance of vegging out and doing constructive activities, but in the future when I'm at work I'll have a new perspective on what they really would do with their time given all possible choices, and not feeling like I'm depriving them of things they probably wouldn't have wanted to do anyways.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

What about the kids?

So I had to tell the kids about me going back to work. I explained it to Timmy. He said he wished that I wouldn't go, he likes me being home. And what about after school? I asked him if he thought he could be alone for a while. He said no. So we thought up some other possibilities, and I have a month to figure it out.

I was more worried about Jeff. He has always, since he was little, made it clear to me that NO arrangement other than 100% mommy all day long, is ok with him. I remember when he was just a toddler, 3 years old, and I had him in the Perky Penguin Preschool. A friend at work had tried to give me helpful parenting advice. "Always ask about the child's worst and best parts of their day, that way you get them comfortable talking about school with you."

So I tried it on my little Jeffrey.

"What was the worst part of your day?"

"When you dropped me off, Mommy. When you left me!"

"Uh, ok, baby, then tell me about the best part of your day."

"That was when you came to get me Mommy, when you came back."

That wasn't how the conversation was supposed to go.

So now I had to tell my sweet boy that I would be going back to work. He was playing a balloon popping game on the computer when I told him that I had been offered the job, and what did he think about that.

Of course, as I expected, he said he didn't like it. Then he continued looking at the screen, shooting the balloons, and I could see his big brown eyes start to turn red at the edges, and then begin to fill up. I would do ANYTHING to keep my baby from being this sad.

"Oh Jeffrey look at me!" And he did, and then blinked, and two gigantic tears made their way down his sweet cheeks, and his eyelashes turned into a spiky wet fan.

"Why do they have to make you go back? How can they force you to? I thought you quit. How come those bad people can do this?"

"Jeffrey, I want to go do this job. This job is different, with different people."

"You want to go?" And then we stared at each other, both realizing something about each other at that moment. I noticed that Jeffrey wasn't complaining about what would happen to him, but he was thinking about what going to work was like for me. And he was considering that this wasn't something that was happening to me, but that I was doing willingly. I was afraid that he would see that as an even worse abandonment, but although he was sad, that didn't seem to be it.

Then I knew that the worst thing for my kids wasn't the hours that I had to spend away from them. And that although of course they would prefer to have me standing on the porch with a plate of fresh baked cookies when they got off of the bus, the thing about my working that really caused a problem was how stressed the many conflicts of it all made me. They just like the happy and relaxed mommy better than the frazzled and worn out one.

So that's what I have to do, find a way to make it so that I can go to work and come home and be the mother that they need me to be. And this transition has allowed me to figure out who that is, and a brand new start at trying to do it right this time.

Melinda 2 Mindy...2 Melinda?

I have been reading a series of paperback books that Mary Beth passed on to me, they are the Shopaholic series. It's chick lit, but very good chick lit, and since I've already finished this month's book club selection (The Kite Runner) I was in the mood for something light. So I was thoroughly enjoying the 2nd book but feeling a little skeptical about how everything just all works out so nicely in the end. The cynic in me was thinking that in real life perfect opportunities just don't come up and present themselves to the heroine at just the right moment...and then the phone rang.
It was the man I'd interviewed with at GM. He let me know that they were going to be offering me the job. Start date in September.
Up until then I'd been doing my Scarlett O Hara routine and trying not to think about it, but after a week had passed without word, I started to become concerned that I wasn't going to get it, and that's when I began to understand that I really did want it.
I have a feeling, in my gut, that this is the right thing for me to do at this time. Possibly because it's all been coming about so easily, but I think there's more than that. I like that at this job I get to use knowledge from my engineering past, and the thing that really excites me is that I will be learning NEW skills. During the interview I said that I didn't have a background in technical education other than taking classes, but my interviewer said "Oh, but I know you can learn that part." And that, right there, is what makes this 100% different from the situation that I left. I was a whole new person to him, a blank piece of paper, with a history of experience that has shaped who I am now, but does not limit what I am capable of doing in the future. That is what I so want, a fresh new start, a chance. I don't have to overcome someone's perceptions based on what they've been told by others. It's up to me.
So I told him that I would like to accept. I don't feel like I'm going to go back to being Melinda, I feel like I'm getting to be a new Melinda. Possibly new and improved. AND I've still got a month to enjoy my lovely summer at home. And of course, to keep on blogging about it.

NEXT: What about the kids?