Today's dream is one my oldest daughter had. I found it on a sheet of paper when I was cleaning and since I can't remember what I dreamed about I thought I would take this opportunity to share hers.

The dream started out in a familiar place I had been before. I was there with my sister and some of my extended family. Jane and I went into a different part of the cave. We went through the cave and came out by a display of how a dark fairy had lost her wings. The display also had information about necromancy. As my sister and I advanced through the cave it started looking more like a house in some parts. We had to go up a set of creaky wooden steps and one of the sections we had to go through what looked like an old run down bathroom. The walls had wood paneling on them and the floors had old carpeting. My sister and I finally reached the end of the exhibit. It ended in what looked like an old movie theater entrance. There was faded red carpeting and there was an Asian man standing behind it. On one side of the snack bar was a display case for lemon flavored snacks such as cupcakes, cookies, bars, and cakes.

There was two glass sheets that you could easily push back and forth to open the case. Me and my sister easily opened it. We stole lemon cakes and cookies from the case for a while before the guy caught us. I grabbed her hand and we started running. We ran up a set of creaky wooden stairs. We entered a Hispanic family's house. The dad was overweight and was looking for milk in the fridge. I grabbed Jane's arm and pulled her in further. We found a closet and went inside. The walls were covered with red velvet and the closet ended up heading to another room. As we headed into the room I saw my friends. There was red carpet again and I realized that we were back in the room with the snack bar and the Asian guy who was chasing after my sister and I. He saw us and started to get mad and began to chase after us. Right as he got up my friend pulled us onto this roller coaster thing and we got on it and it started moving (I can't read her writing here) then it looked like we were going to some sort of concert. All of a sudden we go past a stage and on the stage is BTS!


Today I am thinking about love. Yesterday I bought Love As A Way Of Life by Gary Chapman who is also the author of The Five Love Languages which is a book Jill and Jane's dad bought when we were still a couple. When I first met him he had several very expensive books that he thought I would like. I could tell he was proud of them when he showed them to me. I grew up in a house that had more books than room to store them. While I love to read I'm always nervous when there's a lot of visual clutter, all of a sudden I was back at home and my parents were fighting about books and money. My mom would sometimes buy romance novels at the grocery store, my dad railed on her whenever he saw them, he accused her of wasting her mind and money, it was an ongoing theme at home and seeing those books in his hand was not a good feeling for me. Rather than tell him that I told him he could save money by getting books from the library. It took me a long time to buy books, I have my dad's problem of loving them too much, the Japanese have a word for books you own and don't read. This is very much me so it's hard to justify purchases like the one I made yesterday despite it only being a $2 purchase.

I can still remember the first romance novel I read. Generally speaking my parents didn't look too closely at books I brought home from the library. We lived on the same block and people in my family easily completed the summer reading contests within the first week of summer vacation. At first the librarians were astonished by how many books people in my family checked out and read. Gradually they got to know us better and we became regular fixtures in that stately old house that became a home away from home for me and my siblings. Before we moved we had lived in a three story house where each of us had our own rooms. I got some looks from one of the older woman who didn't approve of some of the things I was reading. I went through a horror phase, some of that stuff is still with me today, not because it was great writing, because it was designed to be vivid and make an impression. One day I was bored and picked up a book my mom had left lying next to her coffee. I hate coffee, but the book intrigued me. I'd like to go back and find that book again because it set the stage for some things that would help define me later on in life.

The main character was a woman named Savannah. I've always loved that name, but it didn't fit her. She was a truck driver who got stuck at a vineyard, I can't remember if the weather was bad, I seem to remember it was, but I also remember her truck needing service so maybe that's why she ended up staying with the people who owned the winery and surrounding land. I want to say the guy's name was Blake or something like that, he was upper class, she was blue collar, they had surprising revelations about the other person such as the moment when she correctly identifies bell peppers as a secret ingredient in a glass of wine that he pours for her. She plays the cello and one night he's drawn to the room where the music originates. Her parents were migrant fruit pickers, his parents like her, he's suspicious, but gradually gets to know her better. I had read about sexual encounters in other books, but I hadn't ever been exposed to anything really romantic before. I was used to reading higher quality books, it didn't take me long to finish, when I was done I went back and read it again.

One of the things the guy doesn't like is Savannah wearing another man's shirt, it turns out it belonged to her brother, I'm kind of a sucker for dress shirts worn well, I've tried explaining this to others and I don't think any of them have really gotten it. My first couple jobs out of college were in finance. Before that I had been the receptionist at a factory that became the inspiration for Brad's second career enterprise. It isn't just the dress shirt, it's the man beneath and how he wears it. There's something about seeing a certain type of guy wearing a dress shirt a certain way that takes me back to the first romance novel I ever read, it was my first seduction scene, and it's still with me more than thirty years later. I love red wine, hot summer nights, dress shirts, the cello and other string instruments, and men who know how to go slow. My sister once said that the benefit of an abusive childhood was being able to tolerate a job that expects way too much out of her much better than others. The benefit of a rotten marriage and unsatisfying sex life is being able to ask myself what it was I really wanted. Once I knew, I started creating a character who would be able to give that to others, only he didn't behave, he went out and did his own thing without me.

Going to the art studio was a very powerful experience. It showed me that I was in charge of my destiny and happiness. Yesterday when I was at work I requested cash back because I had been watching that book sit on the shelf fearing that every time I walked past would be the last. Books represent the potential for change in my life because I have read so many books that have positively influenced my thought patterns. I started crying when I was reading about how love can become a way of life. Memories started unreeling like old film on a reel, I could remember the kindnesses others had shown me as a child, the time my neighbor picked up groceries for me when I was sick, the time she came over and tidied up my living room after I returned from the hospital with seven stitches above my right eye. I had called in that day and my boss called back to ask if I was sure I wasn't coming in, he sucked and I'm glad I no longer work for him. I was lying on the couch crying when my doorbell rang. My neighbor had seen my car in the driveway and came over to ask for a favor. She thought the phone company was overcharging her and sure enough, they were. 

Her children complained about the money she spent and the things she gave to others. She always had a little something for others, my girls would come back with pretty packs of tissues, candy, a container of homemade soup, or canned goods that she had gotten on sale and wanted to share with us. When I went over there she would tell me that she wanted to get organized. We went through her house room by room, she grew up with nothing so she had things piled high and didn't want to get rid of anything, but as her health failed and she and her husband became more reliant on others she was more open to my organizational ideas. She was the woman who had beautiful towels for company to use and denied herself that small luxury. When our well had to be redone she told me we could shower and bathe the girls over at her place. Most of the time we took the girls to the Y, it was 58 in her house when I took a shower over there, later on she scolded me for not turning on the heat. I hadn't used 'the good towels' since I knew she was saving them and the next time I went over the bathroom was a cozy 72 degrees and there was a pile of things on the counter for me.

Before she died she had tried to give me a set of embroidered flour sack dish towels. That's the kind of thing I love, she wanted to give me a set of sheets too, but I told her to put everything she wanted to give to me in a bag and ask if any of her children wanted anything in there. I knew they wouldn't, but I also knew that people in her family thought that I was trouble and sometimes I was because I told her that it was up to her grown children to figure out their lives and not to take advantage of her the way that they were. No matter how mean and nasty her children were, no matter how many times they dropped their kids off so she would entertain and feed them, no matter how much money they took without any intention of ever repaying it, no matter how many times they called her names, told her she was stupid, criticized her knitting and other crafts, told her that the cookies she had made weren't the ones they wanted, no matter how much was missing from collections she had created over the years, she still had love for them. One day I took a meal over for them since they had been so kind to me. They were having a garden party and she was so grateful for the things I had brought on a whim.

I had made a batch of brown bread in a bowl I had, she loved dishes and she was always envious of the set of three I had that she didn't. I had used the middle bowl for the bread figuring that would give them leftovers for later. Since they were busy in the yard I told her not to worry about the dishes I had brought, I jokingly told her I knew where she lived and I could get my bowl back anytime. Today I'm still missing that bowl because none of her children would give it back to me after she died. I had helped her sort all sorts of things, from Christmas decorations to consolidating a plastic bin full of her gift tissues. The woman had tissues for each and every occasion; every seasonal change, holiday, birthday, wedding, and funeral, she never used them herself, but she carried them around and would hand them out to others. It made her feel good to give and part of me understands that need. More than physical things because I don't care as much for those were the ways she gave of her time. She picked up day old bakery items for people who wouldn't have anything sweet in their lives otherwise, she knew who liked what and would go out of her way to make sure people felt special and loved.

I didn't go to her funeral, but I drove past the church during the service. I had said goodbye. I didn't want to see the people who hadn't cared, the sons who lived nearby who couldn't bother coming over to start a fire, to stack firewood, to drop off a meal, to visit with their parents. My children grumbled when they were told to pick up small sticks for kindling, she had jars of candy and other treats on the counter, they were allowed to pick out a couple of things for their efforts. She did things well because love was a way of life for her. One day I was at work and I had a free item to give away. My boss had handed it to me and told me to find a home for it. Before I could suggest someone she brought up a woman I didn't really care for, when I said that she wasn't very nice my boss said that's why we should give the freebie to her, because she wouldn't be expecting it and it would have a greater impact as a result. That moment is still very clear in my mind and I've tried to do more of that kind of thing because she's right. It's gotten me into a lot of trouble, people who aren't used to giving typically haven't learned how to receive, they're suspicious and distrustful, it takes time for them to figure out you don't have a hidden agenda, you give beacuse you can.


Because I was so into writing I lost track of time and had to call PT to tell them I was going to be late. This is why I left the house without showering, but I'm having a great day regardless. After PT I stopped at work to check my schedule. I've now been there twice and forgot to check both times. I'm really smart and I'm a total airhead. Sometimes it feels like I need another adult to follow me around so I stop leaving my wallet places and remember to do the things that I'm actually supposed to be doing instead of constantly being distracted by other things that are less important, but more interesting. After I stopped at work I told myself I was going to drive to my mom's work and give her the painting I did yesterday. When I'm driving I try to pay very close attention to the surface, as if someone is going to show me a section of cracks and ask me where this particular pattern is located. The benefit to this is you become a better driver in a very specific way that is hard to explain, the downside is I can get so focused on the cracks, potholes, manhole covers, and other oddities that I'll actually lose track of where I'm going and drive past the place where I wanted to turn which is what happened to me today.

Really what it does is give you something to do that isn't as scary as what you're going to be doing. To that end it was wildly successful even though my brain knew we were on the way to my mom's work as the landmarks became increasingly familiar. Visitors are supposed to wait in the lobby area, but the door was open and I knew I could go through without waiting for an official corporate employee. A man I hadn't met before was sitting in a chair, I had heard my mom's voice, I could tell she was happy to see me because she came over to hug me. It was awkward, but I knew she meant well so I tried to be patient. I handed her the painting and explained that it was an early birthday present, her birthday isn't until the 10th, but I was getting this crossed off my list in advance because I need things like that to run interference between me and her. She said she liked the painting, I don't know if that is really true on a visual level since it isn't colors she likes, I think she probably likes the fact that I was thinking of her and made the effort.

I had a moment when she hung it up the wrong way, then she had it upside down, and then I felt kind of bad because it is abstract and doesn't really matter except it does seem odd to have the base of a volcano clinging to the top of a painting instead of rising up from the base. My mom is making me a pair of socks, I didn't really want to try the one she had for me at her office, but I knew it was best to get it out of the way. The guy I had met earlier chose that moment to enter her office, she's at the back, past her office is storage, some filing cabinets, and a private bathroom that not many people use since it is so out of the way and hasn't been updated like the one in front. Right away my mom introduces me to the guy and I feel obligated to point out that she had already done this in the front room. He's gracious about it, but then asks why my feet are bare. My mom tells him about the socks and this starts a footwear conversation which was actually very interesting.

Before I get into that I want to go back to the woman that my mom has told me about in the past. She hears my mom tell her about the socks, my mom explains that I have very small feet as if this isn't obvious to the woman standing near her table, my mom has a good sized table behind her desk that is usually covered with reports and checks that need to be signed. This woman tells me that she hates me and I immediately know why many others have trouble with her. She's cold, she's insecure, and she's a bitch. I don't say anything and I can tell she's annoyed with me because I'm not threatened, nervous, or trying to laugh off her little hate speech. My ankles are covered in K-tape from therapy, they hurt, and I'm already not in the best mood, my mom is completely oblivious to the undercurrents and keeps chatting about the socks as if this woman somehow gives a damn. The woman half laughs and tries to tell me that she doesn't actually hate me. I don't smile back and I don't say anything to her either. Game over bitch - you lose. 

When the guy comes in and looks at my feet I can tell there's something between us. I felt it earlier in the front room, I would say that he's sexually available and the superficial conversation is about footwear, he tells me about his days at Dillard's and I learn about a cool bootmaker down in Texas that came over from Italy (I forgot the time period, but want to say it was after the Civil War), and has displays of celebrities showcasing his works, but this is really just a reason to talk to me. This is the kind of thing I wish I could explain better because I get challenged on this type of thing fairly routinely. Other people, usually women, want to try and tell me that maybe this guy is just nice and is trying to make conversation. Perfectly plausible, possible, and probable, but why is he in my mom's office in the first place when he has no reason to be there? He never goes past the far door so he doesn't use the bathroom and doesn't need anything from the storage area unless he forgot to grab it, but then why didn't he return? He enters, talks mostly to me, and leaves when the conversation dies off.

This is the kind of thing that I wish more people would believe when I tell them that I think he was interested in me, wanted to get to know me better, observed a way to talk about an area where he had expertise that was relevant to the situation at hand, and proceeded to demonstrate that he was articulate, intelligent, interesting, polite, sensitive, knew how to give women like me space, and respected the fact that my mom is his superior in terms of corporate rank and longevity. I don't know much about him obviously, but I would put money on him being intuitive, perceptive, and I bet he's a thinker rather than a feeler based on our conversation which was factual, logical, topical, and avoided emotions. This is how I wish more men would approach women although to each his own. He's probably older than I am, but maybe not. I would go out on a date with him because I can already tell that he knows that I have unwritten rules and is willing to follow them. I bet he's a great flirt and probably would have been edgier had my mom and her assistant not been there.

A lot of the time women tell me that I'm misinterpreting the vibes certain men are transmitting. According to them I can't know these things and if I transcribed the conversation word for word I doubt anyone would be able to point to a particular phrase and say that's why I think he liked me. It was in the tone of his voice, the nuances, his body language, a lot of the time men's voices will change when they're talking to me, it's subtle so either others can't or don't hear it, while I could be wrong about this, I don't think that I am and I really don't care what others think. It's almost like these women think it's inconceivable that a man without a wedding ring who meets a woman for the first time can only be nice and want to talk to her for friendly reasons that have nothing to do with sex. I personally think their ideas are more far fetched than mine, I'm not saying every man I meet is attracted to me, I actually don't think that at all, I'm saying I think I can sense when a certain type of man likes me or at the very least is intrigued by me.

Once the intellectual connection is made, the rest of the conversation flows very naturally as we get to know each other better. This kind of talking is almost effortless even though quite a bit of work goes into thinking about what to say next and how to respond to a certain comment, question, or statement. This guy was smart, he could have kept talking, but when there was a break in the conversation he took that as his cue to leave. Well done on his part, quite the contrast between him and the woman who was in earlier. This is a way to build mystery and keep someone on your mind. Leave people wanting more rather than overstaying your welcome, this is a lesson I'm still trying to learn, now that I've seen someone model this behavior I'm going to be better about incorporating it into my personal life. Another thing I really like about other intuitives is once you get past the initial encounter, they really don't seem to care what you're wearing, although they're still observing it and drawing conclusions from it. Mental connections are cool, I'm glad I met him.

During the conversation with my mom we got to talking about the personality types. My sister had said that my mom's fits her perfectly. She's an ESTJ and I think she's prototypical, but she's hung up on the phrase that says something about position in society being meaningful to this type. I think this is true of her to an eerie extent, we discussed that for a while and she tried to give me examples of why I was wrong and she was right. At one point she held up her crossed arms and said that I was attacking her, she likes to win battles and I could tell that she was getting annoyed with my supporting evidence so I tried telling her that I thought we were both saying something similar, but we were going about it in different ways. She views society as the well to do and I pointed out that society actually encompasses a much larger group of people and she thinks she has a very strong obligation to do what she can to improve society. She agreed with my points there, the conversation was frustrating, but I think I weathered it well.

When we got to the point where we were discussing splits that made more sense to her. According to one test (16 Personalities) I am an INTJ - A (the A stands for Assertive as opposed to T which is Turbulent).

I am:

  1. 47%/53% Extraverted vs Introverted
  2. 78%/22% Intuitive vs Observant
  3. 69%/31% Thinking vs Feeling 
  4. 64%/36% Judging vs Prospecting
  5. 72%/28% Assertive vs Turbulent

The functional stack of the INTJ is: Ni, Te, Fi, Se (Introverted Intuition, Extroverted Thinking, Introverted Feeling, Extroverted Sensing). A lot of people think I am intelligent (hey, who am I to argue?) but the truth is I'm actually far more intuitive than strictly smart. The INTP types are supposed to be the kingpins of the intellectual kingdom and based on my interactions with them, I agree. I have to laugh when I hear people say things about this type because I can tell they have no idea how flipping amazing the INTP brains can be, the problem is they don't often share the inner workings of their minds with others so they can come off as not very bright or on the slower side which couldn't be further from the truth. Also, you can be smart and unkind, I can't stand that even though I can be a bit that way myself, not one of my better qualities for sure. I try hard to dish it out only when I think it's merited, cross someone in front of me and you'll find yourself on my list. I wish the functional stack was labeled Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, and Quaternary instead of whatever the labels are now, superior, inferior, primary and secondary, I forget exactly what, but it doesn't make sense to me so I have trouble remembering it. I think this site does a nice job.

While I may not love all of these things about myself, wishing them away is probably foolish since it is focusing on my weaknesses instead of what I do well. While I have very little idea how this stacks up when compared to the rest of the population, supposedly women in this category are rare and I would agree with that. I think this type of person is rare in general and that's not really a good or a bad thing, it's just the way that it is. My mom said that the first time she took the test her splits were much larger than they are now. I've found that to be true as well. The first time I took it I remember scoring very high in the extroversion category and I think there is a very good reason for that. When I was younger home was not a safe place and I didn't want to be there. I also think that as people mature there is some degree of mutability, we are not concrete beings set in stone, we change, we become more or less of a certain thing, once I learned I was intuitive I started to pay more attention to that gut feeling, I've learned valuable lessons from ignoring it.

My mom said that sometimes she thought that tests weren't accurate and I agree with that as well. I think sometimes people don't know themselves as well as they think that they do, and sometimes the test is completely off, but this is where the splits come into play. Sometimes answering a single question differently would be enough to tip you one way or another. On another day I may very well get the ENTJ label. The first time I came up as an introvert I was very surprised and concluded (wrongly) that I had scored that way because I had been writing about a woman who was very introverted. Now I know that either I have changed, I'm more in tune with who I really am, or perhaps it's a combination of multiple factors that have come into play over the years. Today at work we were discussing this, it was really interesting and I'm glad I had a chance to get to know some of the people I work with a bit better.

I didn't get to most of what I wanted to write about, but I guess it will keep. I felt really bad for my boss when I went into work. The woman who was scheduled to work in the morning didn't do her job so my boss ended up doing that work for her which put her behind in many other areas. I thanked her for helping me with my relationships, it was very hard to walk into my mom's work with that painting, thankfully it went well, stopping at work had been smart of me. I had something to eat so I wasn't traveling on an empty stomach, I saw my unicorn friend and that was a positive energy boost. Even though I didn't tell her about the upcoming visit to my mom, just seeing her made me feel better, like I could handle the situation, and actually go through with it rather than backing out which was my first and most urgent inclination. I rode that out and now I'm glad I did even though I'm completely drained and exhausted from it.

My boss had asked me to support my friend so I went back to work to see what was going on with her. More guy drama, but I could tell that she was having a bad day so I'm really glad I took the time to listen to her although it infuriated me when she told me I wasn't listening because not only was that untrue, she's expecting something from someone else that she rarely delivers herself. We've known each other for years, I started working there last July, and she claims that this is the first time I've ever told her I'm allergic to bananas. While I don't think this is common knowledge, I think it's come up before, but possibly not. She does have a good memory, I wouldn't say she's a good listener, mainly because she's usually the one doing the majority of the talking. We walked around the store, we have this customer who bullies people, not me since I cut her off after I saw that she was going to try the same crap she pulls with others, you can't worry about coming across as rude to those people. It's assertive to enforce a boundary.

I heard the story from the guy in produce who shared it with us. He went in back after an incident where this woman was pointing out mold on a product to another customer, we try to keep things stocked and rotated, but hey, it's food and it's not always easy to spot when something is bad. While he was in back, he told the front end manager that he was going to handle the situation, went back onto the sales floor, and shut her down. While I don't love the way that he went about it, I'm glad something was said and I admire how willing he is to be accountable for his actions. Ideally he would have said or done something before it got to the point where he was unprofessional, but at least he called her out on her bullshit and thankfully it doesn't sound as if anyone in management is going to come down on him despite her threats to email the owners and have him fired. The people who try to justify her behavior because she's wealthy annoy me. This type of behavior is unacceptable, use her as a training example and teach people how to provide service without becoming doormats for steamrollers.

Speaking of training I want to vent for a moment. We rolled out this new app at work. I think this is a fine idea, but when you do something like this you need to tell your employees about it, and ideally you want to try it out on a test group to see what sort of glitches there are in the system before it goes live. Had I been in charge of this I would have called a store meeting, explained how the app works, fielded questions, and posted some sort of FAQ sheet for us. Apparently nobody thought this was necessary, and what really angers me is that the front end manager is taking the heat for a program management didn't think through or provide adequate training for before rolling it out. I also think this is bad timing. People are already dealing with resolutions they made, parents with children are trying to get them back to school, a lot of people are sick, and nobody wants to spend even more time standing in line at a grocery store because we didn't get our proverbial ducks in a row first.

This leads me to my next point. I want to point out something I like that has been very impressive. I love ReQuest 2018 and would like to recognize the collective efforts of both the coordinators and the participants. Well done, kudos, I hope that you feel as if your efforts have been noticed and you are pleased with the success so far. Initially I resisted because I wasn't sure I had anything to contribute, then I decided, to heck with it, and threw my hat in the ring. I'm looking forward to hearing from the reQuesters, and you're probably hoping to get a break from numeric poetry and rambling monologues, hey, I can't help it if nothing that exciting or interesting happens in my life, but I feel the need to analyze and try to interpret each waking moment, nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to read things that I've written. If you're annoyed, you have the choice to stop reading, or compulsively downvote which will be a waste since I don't really care what sort of repuation my works have. I write, therefore I am, or I am, therefore, I write.

I can't wait to go home and collapse. I got most of the things done that I wanted to, but due to the detour my day took I didn't get the oil changed in my vehicle and that's bugging me. Hopefully I can get that done after I get off work tomorrow. My mom had a conversation about the bunk beds I don't want with me. That was awkward because the woman who gave them to me was there, I was honest about my end, I had thought they would work and have found that we're just not using them. I feel bad, I want to be able to use them, but I'm way past the point where I think I can change anyone other than myself. My mom tried to tell me I could put my clothes in the dresser and that annoyed me since I felt like I was a naughty five year old again, I got rid of all of my bedroom furniture since I didn't like it and wasn't using it. I'm visual and I like being able to see my clothes even if I'm always wearing pretty much the same thing. Sorry, not sorry. She doesn't get it since she's not visual, it was hard on both of us I think. 

Okay, time to stop writing because I've been away from home all day and going to see my mom took a lot out of me. I could really use a warm bath, a hot meal, a glass of wine, a hug, and the kind of cozy cuddle session that ends up with the sheets shoved to the side. I haven't been on my phone much today which is progress of a certain type. I found a picture frame at Goodwill that I'm going to try putting over my desk to see if I can put puzzles together on that. If not, I'm out $5.26 which is probably an acceptable sum of money for this type of an experiment. I know someone I know has a card table they aren't using, or another table that would work, but I want a solution now which is very typical of me. I know what I want, I know what I don't, and I've spent a lot of time mentally troubleshooting various ideas which is not to say that I've exhausted every possibility out there. I know that this is a temporary solution, and I'm okay with that for now. When something better arrives, I'll recognize it for what it is, until then, I'm at peace with what I've done.

Much love, I feel much better and calmer than I did...


P.S. If I do nothing else in 2018, I'll consider it a success because of that painting I gave to my mom. When I asked her if she wanted more pieces to go with it she didn't know, when I asked her to think about it she said she couldn't. She honestly can't visualize it and I can easily see how two others could stack on the one she has. This is progress and I for one, am pleased.



Him (looking down at me when I'm typing): "Sunglasses inside the building?"

Me (focused on my computer screen): "I'm ugly. It's a public service I provide." I used to occasionally tell people I either sold or did drugs, maybe next time I'll mention that I'm a sociopath. Another library patron came up to me and asked about my sunglasses and hat so I told him the truth, that I have a condition where I don't produce enough tears and the lights bother and irritate my already very dry eyes. What I say depends on who is asking and my current mood. I get that it bothers people, but it isn't any of their business and considering some of the things others are wearing and doing, I'm surprised that a pair of sunglasses and a baseball hat raises this many questions. My eyes are very light and photosensitive. It often hurts to look up and I try to avoid it when I can, sorry tall people, it's not you, your head is closer to the lights than mine is and trying to meet your gaze hurts unless I'm far enough away that I can keep my head level when I'm looking at you. Or maybe I hate you. Just kidding. Or am I? (This is a joke and I hope you laughed, I'm pretty lazy and hate is a lot of work).


My mom: "This is my oldest daughter, have you met her before?"

Woman: "No. I don't think so." This is a lie. We have met before and from her body language I think she knows that I remember meeting her and when.

Me (polite, but cool): "Hi, I'm Jess."

My mom: "Oh, are you going by Jess now?" This is the kind of thing that pushes my buttons and I know it's my issue. I want this woman out of my mom's office and now I feel drawn into a conversation I don't want to be having about my name.

Me (still chilly, but slightly warmer since I'm now talking to my mom instead of this reptile in a peach cable knit sweater): "I just got back from PT, the guys there call me Jess." I turn to look at the woman. "I prefer Jessica, but I'll answer to pretty much anything." This is my way of saying, I dare you to try and call me anything other than Jessica. 

My mom: "I'm making her a pair of socks, she has really small feet so it's hard for her to find socks that fit well." This is logical and explains why my feet are bare. It also advances the conversation and I feel like it supports me. Nice job mom.

Woman (cold laser beams are now coming out of her snakelike eyes): "I hate you."

I sit on my chair and hold her gaze. My mom jumps in and says something else about the socks. I say nothing and watch this cold blooded predator flush and squirm. I think she may have rocked back on her heels, but it was hard for me to see her feet and how she was standing through my mom's table. The power struggle is on and I'm not intimidated or threatened by her. She does this half laugh thing before she speaks. "I don't really hate you, I was just joking."

I continue to sit there in silence. I'm not mad, I'm not amused, I'm just sitting there, watching, and waiting. She turns to leave and I know I've won when I sense her fuming. Later on we're in her office and she tries to offer my mom old calendars as if that's going to somehow win either of us over, it was pretty funny although it wasn't at all grin inducing at the time. I'm going to have a conversation with my mom about her, but not right now. My mom is completely oblivious to this kind of thing, she could fire this woman and they both know it, I'm really surprised that woman was bold enough to go after me when my mom was right there. She clearly has issues and I hope the company gets rid of her. She's not worth it if this is the way she's treating the family member of a senior member of the company. If this is how she's treating me, I can only imagine what she's doing to people who have even less power and authority. She's evil, she's trouble, and I hope she gets some help soon.


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