Sometimes I feel as though I'm surrounded by stupid. It's not exactly fun, but it is always funny...just be glad it's happening to me, not you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jeepers Creepers

A Creep's greatest ally is the cell phone. Not just his, but a girl's, too, as we found out by O'Creep's sneaky way of getting poor Caitlin's number. Caitlin is smart enough to not hand out her number, whereas me? I'm not. And here for your reading pleasure is the story of text-obsessed Creep 13.

I met Creep 13 in a parking garage. He was running across the garage to get to work on time and I, being the nice person I am (ha!), recognized that look of panic on his face and stood aside to let him get to the stairs first. As it turns out, he works at a restaurant I go to often. There had been nothing more than a wave or a quick hello between us since then, so I thought I was safe...until one night when he wrote down his number on a scrap of paper and handed it to a bartender to give to me. What is this, 5th grade?
Do you like me?
[ ] Yes
[ ] No
[ ] Maybe?

Well, ok, he seems like a nice enough guy...and I am there all the time, so why be mean? I sent him a text. I let him know immediately that I do not date. In fact, I made it painfully clear that I do not date. Still, he wants a drink. When I decline he steps it up, "I think ur gorgeous, can we go to dinner sometime?" When hit with another no, he seems to accept defeat. "Oh ok cool. Nvm then." I didn't reply, but that didn't deter Creep 13.

I felt like I was talking to a teenager trying to look sexy and grown up but just looks like a slut. Oh, honey, no. Just no. But I was informed that Creep 13 has NO trouble getting girls, there's plenty of us and it's no skin off his back if I say no. So uhh...why are you being so persistent, Creep 13? No worries, I'll just ignore you. That'll work, right?

Wait wait wait. I look like a "good girl?" What does that even mean? The best part of this one-sided text conversation is that during it I am actually AT the restaurant where he works and his texts are being read by my buddy who is actually one of the restaurant's managers. With a great big smile on his face, Dirk the Manager starts to reply to Creep 13 for me.

That teeny pic? That's Dirk, waving and doing his best impression of what a good girl looks like. We were dying laughing...especially since Creep 13 still didn't give up. When a Creep knows his superiors are reading his messages and still tells you "I'm a bad boy for sure," you know you have a Grade A Creep on your hands. Apparently when romancing me with offers of dinner didn't work he thought he'd try being a bad boy. All girls like bad boys, right? A few more messages asking for a drink he thinks he is owed brings us to this...

Now, my eagle-eyed readers, do you see that there are two full days where Creep 13 didn't contact me? Silly me, I thought I had gotten through Creep 13's thick skull that I wasn't interested. I was so very wrong. Caitlin (remember Caitlin?) and I were at the restaurant on the night of April 1st having a cocktail and chatting with Dirk about my plans to go home to Boston for Easter. And there goes Creep 13...and there he goes again. He made sure to hang around a lot, walk by a lot, try to talk to us a lot--and we made sure we didn't give him the time of day.
Somehow he thought he deserved a hug when we left...of course Dirk got hugs from us, but Creep 13? Not so much. We were barely out the door when my phone beeped. "We going to have that drink before u leave?"

Really, Creep 13? REALLY? I just spent an evening giving you a frigidly cold shoulder and you still want a drink? Where is your self-respect, Creep 13?

Now, I was a bit tipsy at this point. I replied. Caitlin and I found this hilarious, of course.

Clearly, begging has worked for Creep 13 in the past. I wrote back a ridiculously lengthy and bitchy reply that is actually too long to screenshot:
I don't think you understood me from day one. I don't want a great guy. I don't want any guy. You "won" a drink for not being obnoxious and persistent and then you immediately became both AND I learned you have a gf who lives with you. I'm not a "good girl," but I'm also not attracted to "bad boys," or idiots. I'm not going to hang out with or hook up with you and I certainly don't need or want to be won over. Learn to accept defeat.

He then wrote back an equally wordy message.
I don't live with any gf or anything like that, ur welcome to come over if u don't believe me.

Yeah, sure, and I was born yesterday. He goes on to tell me he understands that I don't want to date, but that doesn't stop him from begging for sex. And remember how modest he is?


The Creeps

Caitlin was looking fantastic in a little black dress, stilettos, and a perfectly done smoky eye. She was holding a glass of champagne, chatting with friends, having a wonderful time...and then it happened. The Creep approached.

Creeps are a specific breed of man. They're usually easy to spot:
That guy who casually mentions all the money he made working overtime this week, then tells you he has the best weed in the area? Creep.

The winner who loudly announces to his friends that he's "gonna go hit up Red over there," (which is actually kind of nice because it gives you fair warning) doesn't take the hint that you're not interested, and hangs around you all night anyways? Creep.

The friend of a friend who you go on one quasi-date with who insists on holding your hand and then doesn't let go despite the many attempts to escape his grip? Creeeep.

That kid you had one class with in high school and never really spoke to who finds you years later on Facebook and messages you with the opening line, "you single?" Creeper!

That geek trying to hit on you and failing so hard that even his wingman friend has given up on him? Weirdy McCreeper.

Caitlin's Creep at the holiday ball was no exception. He came up to introduce himself, said he just HAD to meet Caitlin. Claimed he's from Southie, which my fellow Bostonians will know instantly to be a lie, but we'll call him O'Creep anyways.Well let me tell you, Caitlin looked absolutely stunning, so how can I blame O'Creep for trying? It's always flattering when a guy comes up to you to say hello. It's just so unfortunate that they often ruin that fleeting moment of happiness with Creepdom. O'Creep came on too strong, but Caitlin is a really nice girl who has trouble being mean to anyone, even Creeps (That's usually a gal's downfall, though Creeps are known to be persistent even while looking big fat NOs directly in the face). So Caitlin was chatting with O'Creep and showing him pictures on her phone. O'Creep took the phone, in what seemed to be an attempt to get a better look...but then he didn't give it back. He actually called his own number from her phone. Smooth move, O'Creep. You've just proven that you never get a girl's digits and have resorted to devising ways to get them without permission. He even managed to get a picture with us.

The blurryness of this photo makes it almost look like we wanted to be in this shot. We didn't.

O'Creep spent the night chatting up several other ladies in-between trying to grope Caitlin and stick his tongue down her throat. We successfully avoided him after he tried to get her to go home with him, but the next day an ominous beep signaled a text message had arrived from O'Creep.
"Black dress, right?"
Oh geeze.
Excuse me?
"Send me a pic of yourself."
Number. Blocked.

For a long time I didn't know how to block a number, so I had to come up with a way to remember who to not take a call from. I now have thirteen contacts in my phone with the same name. First name: Don't, last name: Answer. Problem solved!! As a matter of fact, I just added lucky 13 last night. But you'll have to wait until my next post to read about him...he needs a post all his own.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hurry Up and Wait!

Waiting is something one does often when dealing with the military world. I'm not the healthiest person on the planet and have lost a good chunk of my life as a Navy wife to waiting in Naval hospitals. It's the norm to leave a 3-hour block of time for a simple check-up or follow-up appointment. You can imagine how much waiting I have had to do lately, since I have spent the last several months being sick. I've had a kidney infection, pneumonia, mono, and a cancer scare, among other things. My Facebook friends must think I am a hypochondriac.

I'm "waiting" very "patiently."

In November I had two procedures done to see if some questionable cells were cancerous. I was told I'd have results in 2 weeks.
"We'll call you if it's serious, otherwise you'll get a letter in the mail if you're ok."
Well, that seemed kind of silly to me, but ok. I'll wait, and hope for a letter.

Two weeks went by.

Three weeks, no letter, and then four weeks...I called the office, left a message on the machine.

Five weeks have gone by...And I have pneumonia but don't know it and am kind of loopy. I leave another message on the machine. I get sicker and sicker and the importance of the biopsy results are pushed back while I deal with the idiots in the ER who sent me home with a 104+ degree fever and Tylenol. A few days later I am back and I snagged a hard-to-get appointment with my doctor, Dr. D. She orders tests (something the ER did not think was necessary) and discovers there's weird stuff going on in my blood and that I have pneumonia. I'm put on bed rest until a week later when I come back feeling worse, a few more tests from Dr. D and we figure out I have mono, too. Oh, and a sinus infection! Just because, you know, pneumonia and mono weren't enough. I'm taking so many pills that I rattle when I move (which isn't too often) and I have alarms on my phone going off constantly to remind me what to take and when.

My kitchen counter was my own personal pharmacy.

By now I have completely forgotten about cancerous cells. Thankfully, Mother Dearest hasn't, and neither has Auntie LJ. They both get on me to call, and so I do...I start calling every single day. I made 17 calls to two different office numbers between January 1st and 10th, never getting an answer, just a machine...and you know me, of course I have to leave a message every single time.
On January 10th (over 2 months after the procedures were done) I called Dr. D and asked if she could help me find my results. I am promised a call back within 24 hours.

It was on January 11th that I ended my first message to Stupid Central's office with "Talk to you later, answering machine!" and ended my second message of the day with "Well, answering machine, we need to It's not me, it's you. I'm seeing someone else. It's Tony at Patient Advocacy...and Maj. Gen. Caron, who's in charge of most of the stuff at this hospital. Look, we've had a great run! But I just need to move on." *click*

Fifteen minutes later I got a call back.

"We sent out your letter! It says here in the computer it was sent. It must have gotten lost in the mail! And I never heard a voicemail from you until today! Have you already called the PA office? You might want to cancel the appointment, since it was just a mail mix-up..." Stupid Central Lady says.
"Sure, sure. Can you just tell me the results now?" I'm a little more than exasperated.
"Oh, well I can't, but I can have a doctor call you ba--"
"TELL. ME. THE. RESULTS. NOW." I have turned into a large green dinosauresque monster.
"Non-cancerous!!" Her voice is tiny and squeaky. Feel my wrath, Stupid Central!

Another half hour goes by and I get another call from a hospital number. It's Dr. D, calling to tell me she's found out my test results. I told her about the messages I left and my conversation with Stupid Central.
"Ooh, you're cutthroat! I like it!"
Damn right.

A few days later I get this envelope in the mail that I myself. No return address. Confused, I open it and find my test results inside. Check out the postmark date.

Surrounded by stupid.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Other Mothers

Let me be perfectly clear on something: I am not a parent. I am a nanny. All I come home to at night is my really weird dog and a mountain of shoes.

But since I am a nanny I am a substitute parent. I don't mean that with any disrespect, nor with a sense of superiority. Parents need to work so they can take care of their children, and sometimes need a caregiver. It's not a glamourous job, but it' a job I love. It puts the milk in my fridge (and drawings on it) and the kibble in my really weird dog's bowl. I'm not complaining. You know who complains? Other Mothers.

From the Refrigerator Gallery.
Myself, Dex, and Miss K walking my really weird dog.

Now the Other Mothers aren't every other mother. They're a special group of moms that have their noses in the air, think they're superior to every other parent on the planet (and each other), yet have zero parenting skills themselves. I am often the subject of their loud and easily overheard whispers. Whether I'm waiting at the bus stop for the kids or bringing them to their Karate lessons or basketball practices I get looks from disapproving OMs. How dare my employers hire a nanny?! Those kids need a mother's love, not a teenage best friend! Then those proud Other Mothers promptly scream at their own kids for interrupting their gossip sessions, throw them a candy bar, and expect them to sit quietly for an hour with nothing to do.

Eventually the questions start. I know what's coming if an Other Mother says more than hello to me. I am constantly asked the following:
Are you with the kids every day?
Where are their parents?
How much do you make?
How old are you? (I like watching their eyebrows go up when I tell them I'm almost ten years older than they think)

For some reason it's perfectly acceptable to ask me these things, though it's nobody's business but mine and the family I work for.
"Oh, I know Mrs. M, you can tell me!"
If you know her so well, feel free to give her a call! The OMs go back to discussing me again, whether they believe how old I am and how those kids I watch must be so maladjusted. Poor things.

The Really Weird Dog gets a really awesome handcrafted necklace courtesy of Miss K.

After a few weeks the Other Mothers start to realize how well-behaved the kids I tote with me are. Their own kids are screaming, crying, jumping on chairs, and breaking things like smartphones and nearby eardrums. It's allllmost time for us to finally leave the tiny Karate class waiting room...and I can't wait to get away. Junior has been crying for twenty minutes straight because Other Mother 1 won't let him play with her iPhone.
"I have a headache!" She tells him, and continues to text Other Mother 2, who has gone to the grocery store next door. Junior screams louder, confused as to why he is allowed to play with this fun toy sometimes and not others. The kid has nothing else to toys, no books, no video game or tv or he just cries. The one time I offered to loan him a children's book I got a sneer and a curt "we're fine, thanks." I haven't offered again, but I do bring crayons and a coloring book, just in case.
Finally, the kids are dismissed from Karate.
"Drea, can we go to Subway for dinner?" My eight-year-old charge is putting on her sneakers, while Other Mother 2's son is throwing his socks at his sister.
"Nope." I reply. A sock whizzes by my left ear.
"OK," she says with a shrug and walks out the door with me. Behind us the Other Mothers have their jaws hanging open.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Househunting Hell

So what did you guys do this weekend? I spent mine moving from my house on Andrews Air Force Base to a house in Woodbridge, VA. I spent weeks searching out the perfect rental home...and then I gave up on perfect and settled on "livable." I found a pretty liveable place, but the road there was bumpy...and funny. And at times really, really gross.

I started my search,, really didn't find much. The few places that looked promising were quickly rented out before I could even get a call in to the landlord. I went on a several walk-throughs, but most ended in disappointment and a strong smell of old lady and cat. One, however, ended with meeting the greatest person on the planet, Morgan. She is the best freakin' realtor out there, and not only because she put up with my crazy schedule, bank issues (see last post), and taking me to see a gazillion homes.

We saw a house full of dead flies. We saw a house with a nightclub-esque basement, complete with mirrored shelves and strange lights and trendy exposed plywood. We saw toilets sitting in the middle of living rooms, questionable paint colors, mirrored walls, teal wall-to-wall carpet, a window cling sticker of the Pope (who surprised us when we opened the blinds to check out a backyard) , mint green bathroom tile, and--my personal favorite--a life-sized mural of The Last Supper painted directly onto a dining room wall.

Some houses were still occupied. We saw scarily-dirty ones that we didn't even look through...though some we checked out just to see how bad they were. One house looked nicely set up until we tried to open the closets...only to find they were jammed so full of junk that the doors couldn't slide open. At more than one house we saw the outside and we split. House-hunting can be downright scary!

For example, we had the crap scared out of us at a townhouse in Woodbridge. Morgan got the key from the lockbox and was unlocking the door when it suddenly opened from the inside, Morgan's hand still outstretched as the knob was taken right out of it. We both jumped about a mile and needed a few deep breaths before we noticed a very nice man stood in the doorway smiling at us. Apparently this place was still occupied...the listing lied! Luckily the tenant had had this happen before and let us in to look around and even answered some questions for us. But Morgan knocked on most doors after that one, just in case...

I did finally settle on a nice little townhouse in Woodbridge. The moving-in is a story for another day that's still just Tuesday (or maybe a Thursday, if my internet gets hooked up!).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Is it still Thursday?

"Hi, I'd like to close my accounts."
"Oh, we'll be sad to see you go! Are you sure you want to close? If there's a problem we could fix it for you!"

My problem is that I opened an account at Dumb & Dumber Bank. I recently moved to the DC area and figured using a local bank was a good idea, since the two other banks I used were kind of inconvenient (one being in Massachusetts and the other about to be closed due to my upcoming divorce). I figured wrong.

My first clue that this was trouble was watching the banker struggle to figure out how to put me in the computer because I'm a Massachusetts resident living in Maryland. It took two other bankers to help him enter my information into their system. I have lived in 5 states in the 5 years since leaving Massachusetts to pursue a life of Navy Wifedom and not one person has ever had trouble with that concept. Apparently that 20 minute chat about residency and the military lifestyle went in Mr. Banker's left ear and straight out the right one, because my debit card was mailed to Massachusetts...maybe. I waited a card.

Well, I gave Dumb & Dumber a call and found out what was up, changed my address, and got a new card sent out to me pronto. And what did that card say?

That's not exactly right. It's Carbone-Kubacki. This did clear up some confusion I had over why a teller couldn't find my account one day when I went to deposit a check...she had been spelling my name correctly in her search. Silly her!

So another phone call and another card later and I get this:

Really, guys? My name is so long it doesn't fit on most cards, which is why other businesses are smart enough to just use my middle initial. One bank has actually shortened it to "A M Carbone-Kubacki," which was pretty smart.

Name troubles aside, this bank is still incompetent. Last week I spent half an hour explaining to two tellers that I needed cashier's checks for a house I was planning to rent. I transferred money from Haverhill Bank to Dumb & Dumber Bank and was assured it would clear by midnight, and I could have my checks the next morning. I showed up the next morning, filled out the paperwork, signed some things, and then had a manager come out and tell me (in front of several other customers, embarrassingly enough) that I didn't have the funds to complete that transaction. Excuse me? I checked online before I left my house, the funds were cleared.
"They're pending, ma'am." She said.
"Why doesn't it say 'pending,' then?" I asked.
"The funds are available for your use, but they're not really there yet. If you want to write a personal check or use your debit card, you can."
Lady, if I could write a personal check do you think I would have come down here first thing in the morning asking for cashier's checks two days in a row? OK, OK, I'll be nice...
"Thanks,but I need certified funds, so when will my money be really and truly cleared?"
"In 3-5 days."

Three days later I emailed Dumb & Dumber Bank, asking if my funds were really, officially, truly cleared. Here's the reply I got:

Dear Ms. Carbone-Kubacki:

Thank you for using our Online Banking Message center, and regards to your question , as soon you realized a ATM deposit you can have a hold on your funds up to 24hrs or 2 business days , but in this particular case your funds are available for you to use.

Please let me know if you have any questions it will be my pleasure to help you.
Sincerely yours,
Bob the Banker

What does that even mean?

I gave up. I closed my accounts this morning. I tried really hard to be nice. The third time they asked me why I was closing my accounts I told them I didn't want to discuss it in front of the other customers. The fourth time I was asked what the problem was I rolled my eyes, took a deep breath, and...
"Grab a mirror! As soon as I walk in those doors," I cried, pointing for dramatic emphasis! "I feel surrounded by stupid. I am on my third debit card in two months and would need a fourth if I were to keep my account. I lost out on a house I wanted to rent, I've been unable to deposit checks because my name has been spelled wrong and not changed despite being told it was changed...Oh, and it's easier to use a bank 470 miles away that I can't even go to in-person. So, if you don't mind, I'd like to close those accounts now."

From there it only took about 5 minutes to close up and cash out; it's the one transaction that went smoothly.