Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I suck at life

Exhibit A: I had some people over Friday night. I was a little stressed out, because I left work late and I still had to vacuum and wipe down the kitchen counters and get out the cups/plates/etc and light some candles to make it all cute and smell-goody and blah blah blah. It was the first time I'd had a bunch of people over since I moved, so I wanted it to be OK.

Note to self: Next time you have people over, spend less time on the vacuuming and candle-lighting and more time on the knife selection.

One woman brought some bread and asked if I had a knife she could use to cut it. So I gave her the sharpest knife I have, a knife that works perfectly well for me when I'm chopping potatoes or cutting steak or whatever. It's not the greatest knife in the world, but it's a knife. It cuts.

She looks at me. "This is the only knife you have?"
Me: "Well, no, but it's the sharpest one."

She cuts a slice and then tosses the knife to the side: "I might as well just rip the bread instead." She starts ripping the bread and goes, "If you're not going to get married, we should just have a shower for you now so you can have the stuff you need."

Implication: I'm a horrible hostess.
Implication: I live like a Neanderthal.
Implication: I'm going to die alone.

I KNOW she didn't mean to make me feel bad, I really do know that, but ohhh, did it make me feel bad. Really, really bad. I spent the rest of the time mentally critiquing my apartment, from the old orange juice in the fridge I should have tossed to the empty spot on the wall over my bed (I've looked and looked for the perfect thing to put there, but I can't find it!) to the low lighting in the living room, which I thought I liked but probably everyone else thought was too dark. I'm like the anti-Martha Stewart. I'm not even 30-minute-meal Rachael Ray. I'm a total domestic loser.

Exhibit B: After waking up in a funk the next day, I pull myself together and decide to be really productive. I'm going to run some errands and then do this one thing I've been putting off but really want to do. But first I have to get gas. So I go to the closest gas station, fill up my tank, put the key back in the ignition and ... nothing. Try again. Nothing. And again, and again, and again, and again. Nada. Having spent $287.43 on my car a scant five days earlier, I am not thrilled.

I call my friend, who knows less about cars than I do. I quickly come to my senses and hang up.

I call my dad. His helpful words of advice? "See? I told you to buy a new car." Thanks, Dad. That'll TOTALLY get the car running. And in the meantime, if you happen to know of any available sugar daddies who'd love to buy a girl with dull knives a new car, let me know.

Next call: the shop I usually go to, which conveniently closes in 15 minutes. He tells me a couple of things to try, none of which works. He tells me to get the car towed and he'll look at it in the morning.

Like I'm going to give up that easily. I decide to pop the hood and take a look. Which would have been a great plan if I KNEW HOW TO OPEN THE HOOD. I seriously stood there for five minutes trying to find the little latch to open it. I finally got it open, looked inside ... yup, there's my engine. That's about the only thing I recognize.

I slam the hood shut. Time for Plan B. There's a Jiffy Lube across the street, and I decide to try my luck there. I wait to cross the very, very busy street ... and wait ... and wait. Finally, a nice older man stops and waves me across. I run past his car ... and the woman in the car behind him goes BALLISTIC. She lays on her horn and leans out her window and starts screaming at this poor man, who was JUST TRYING TO BE A DECENT HUMAN BEING. He gets all flustered and drives away, and she continues to honk and scream her way down the block.

The guys at Jiffy Lube are very nice, and one comes back across the street with me to check out the car. He thinks he knows what the problem is, but he can't get under my car to fix it, so I'm SOL. Time to call the tow truck.

Which I did ... and then my cell phone dies.

This is where the story gets very boring, because all I did for the next two hours was sit at the gas station and wait for the tow truck.

The end of the story: Just as the tow truck FINALLY arrives, one of the Jiffy Lube guys shows up with his car and some jumper cables. (He actually went and bought them, which I thought was, like, the nicest thing ever.) In about two seconds, he's got the car running again, and I send the tow truck man off to find the next poor stranded girl.

Exhibit C: The ONLY errand I ended up getting done was picking up a book I had on hold at the library. I walk in and promptly get yelled at for being on my phone (which I'd managed by then to get juiced with about 10 minutes of airtime). There were four screaming kids right next to me (really, literally screaming) and she wasn't kicking THEM out. She wants to kick ME out for being on the phone? What if I had been talking to someone standing right next to me? Would that have gotten me kicked out too?

Whatever. I refuse to be kicked out of a public library, so I snap my phone shut and shoot her the Swishy death glare (which, really, is much more passive-aggressive than it sounds).

After a minute or two of waiting, it's my turn. I have a late fine, which I always have when I go to the library, so I've got my money ready. I hand her a twenty. She goes over to the cash drawer. And then she starts acting weird. Really, really weird. This goes on for several minutes, until she calls another librarian over for a whispered consultation.

OK. Just guess what the holdup was. Just GUESS.

Never mind. You'll never guess, not in a thousand years, so I'll just tell you. SHE THOUGHT MY TWENTY WAS COUNTERFEIT. I'm serious. I couldn't make that up if I tried. Like, who pays library fines with COUNTERFEIT TWENTIES??? If I had a fistful of fake money, I'd be at Best Buy looking at the flat screens, not at the library paying a $4.40 late fee.

The other woman assured her it was fine, sparing me of a citizen's arrest by a librarian.

Those are just three examples. Just three. I could go on, but really, what's the point. Suffice it say, I am the cooler of LIFE.


At 3:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You so dont suck most of us married people have shitty knives who was that chick Martha?? Like who has the perfect knive for things?? And how rude to say so...

And I'm sorry I'd have to agree with your dad your car sure sounds like a lemon this is a couple of times now it's died.. time for a new car....

hope you cheer up soon


At 8:16 AM, Blogger Karitown said...

I have been married for almost 18 years and I still don't have sharp knives or half the gadgets that I should. I host parties when I have to and I get comments all the time that it's about time I bought something more than the things I got from my shower. I can't cook very well, and my house is clean....sort of. But my kids are happy, my husbands happy (well, he's happy in one way, anyway) and I've written two books. Those are my priorities, and if others don't like it, they can lump it.

As far as finding someone, sometimes I think if you're looking too hard for it, then it will never happen. I saw the picture manic posted and you are very pretty. And your blog tells me you're a riot. So don't think about it and one day it will just happen.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Two Roads said...

It took me two years to select paint color for my walls. And after 6 years I have hung exactly one picture and still can't decide on window treatments for my living area. As for knives - at Thanksgiving my dad comes over and sharpens all of them. So at least once a year I've got sharpe knives. You are totally normal! I'm the anal one since I set the table the night before my guests arrive (at least it's not 3 days before like my Mom does!).

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Us marrieds don't fare much better either and there is a lot of expectation that we DO have it all together.

And that house guest was just plain RUDE. I would have been in a funk the rest of the evening too.

{{{{cyberhugs and chocolate}}}}

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Trish Ryan said...

When it comes to skills that will see you through life, I'd rank the ability to inspire the Jiffy Lube guy to buy new jumper cables and cross a busy highway to save your car WAY, WAY higher than having sharp knives to appease your weird friend and her bread...But that's just me :)

I'm off to pay my library fines...can you send me one of those $20's???

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Bina said...

Oh Swishy. I am really sorry (giggling) for you terrible (giggling) weekend. No really, I would have been upset as well, not mad, but upset if someone made that comment to me about knives and crap. I mean really. The ONLY reason most people have a "bread" knife, is because it comes in a set of knives. Why purposely go buy one? Weird.

And the car thing. At least now you know that next time your car won't start, the FIRST thing you try is jumping it. Your dad should have told you that. Hmmm, how 'bout loosening his cables next time you are there, and when his car doesn't start ... oh wait, do you know what those are??? LOL KIDDING

The library thing is hilarious! I bet it was a new $20, and the librarian had never seen one before. Was she older than dirt?

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Scribe LA said...

"I might as well just rip the bread instead." She starts ripping the bread and goes, "If you're not going to get married, we should just have a shower for you now so you can have the stuff you need."
Oh Swishy, that's when you should have used the Swishy Death Glare:-) Although I'm opposed to "Full House"in just about every way, I feel the need to utter the immortal words of Stephanie Tanner: "How Rude!"
Sorry to hear of your car - mine's having issues too and is in the shop today - and of the Library. I know, do those trolls who work/volunteer in libraries know that they are not the addition to society that they think they are, like the meter maids?
Cheer up, my dear "Cooler" friend, this too shall pass and pretty soon they'll be hiring your for your good luck charms.

At 1:52 PM, Blogger mama kay said...

Swishy, my friend, I adore you! I am so sorry that you had such a rough day .. but your day reads just like one of mine and I am shamefully happy not to be alone.
I can not believe that you INVITED someone to YOUR house and they said such a heartless thing to you .. I wonder what people say about my knives when they walk away? Because I am telling you - I have them in abundance - but they ain't sharp ..
Anyway, my sweet friend, I am certian you are going to be just fine and that Cruella is going to h-e-doublehockeysticks!

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Beth said...

First I have to start with the library thing....I ALWAYS have late fines on my books, always. And yours was $4.40? that is too funny!

And girl, always try to jump your car before you do anything else. Go, right now, to Walmart or Target and buy you some jumper cables and keep 'em in your trunk.

Now bread knife?? Uh...what is that anyway? I have about 4 knives total and NONE of them are sharp. When we have steak, we all share a knife..."Hey, you done with that? Pass that knife down here!" I happen to like my bread torn...it's rustic and homey, so there. Martha Stewart should be so lucky to have torn bread on her table.

God, do you ever have a simple day?

At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

eeek sorry you had a rough one! I don't have a proper bread knife either, I think bread is supposed to be ripped apart anyway, isn't that how Jesus did it? I'm just joking.
Hope you have a rockin' week!

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Jen-t said...

If you suck, then suck worst, or did you miss the lawn mower going through the suburban windows twice, the sailboard once and most recently me hitting the garage with my new car. Of course there is the time (about 20 years ago) when I used furniture polish on my new hardwood floors and um, well slipped and fell on my ass and couldn't figure out why the floor was so damn slippery. Oh, and one year for Christmas my brother in law bought me 50 rolls of toilet paper because I'd always run out. yeah, I think I suck more.

No stress over finding someone - when they find you, they don't go away no matter what dumb move you pull, trust me.

At 4:25 PM, Blogger Manic Mom said...

I hate that knife woman. And I don't even know her.

I knew you were gonna say she thought the $20 was fake.

At least you're not being called a drunk all over the internet! LOL
; )

Okay gross, my word verification is a cross between licorice and clit.

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Andie said...

all I can offer is lots of (((HUGS)))

I hope today is a better day for you!

At 5:00 PM, Blogger TTQ said...

A) I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
B) I'm not allowed to play with the sharpest knife in the drawer.
C) There's a 50/50 chance I might end up in jail for having a sharp knife.

Say any or all of the above with the sweetest smile you have..works wonders...

At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

swishy, I hope my comment wasnt rude I do sen cyber hugs!!! And if your looking for a man come to australia there are plenty of outback men here!!


At 9:39 PM, Blogger Swishy said...

Oh my gosh, you guys have me laughing and smiling all over the place right now. Thank you! There are certain things I'm really good at, some things I'm not ... knives and cars are just not in that first group, I guess :) And believe me, certain other people are far more concerned with me being single than I am. I've never been one of those people who can't be on their own. I figure I'll start worrying when guys stop showing interest! :) But when someone says something like that to me, it does make me go, "Wait ... does that mean everyone else is sitting around talking about what a loser I am?!"

RR, not rude at all! My car's an OK car, it's just getting old is all. And I bought it the first year that particular model came out, which I've since learned is a good way to help the car company test out all the kinks. Won't do that again :)

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Lara said...

I think I'd be more embarassed to be the rude woman who not only insulted someone in her own house but then put her grodey hands all over the bread she was about to serve to your guests. yick.

And it could be worse... you could be me. I keep getting suckered into buying those ginsu-type knives by the scary presenters, so I have knives coming out the wazoo... Oddly enough when you use them to cut stuff they're not really supposed to cut (like, uh, paint rollers... don't ask :) ) they actually get sharper. Go figure.


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