The Way Things Are






Non-stop mutual appeasement.
2006-03-16, 12:59 p.m.

How’s your day going? Happy? Are ya having a good, happy Thursday? Because I sure am. I’m getting my lank, drab hairs cut at 1:30*, but I’m going to also illustrate how much of a good day I’m having by giving you a sample of some of the email exchanges I have participated in today.

First, there’s this one from our management guru (yeeeessss, the guy who gave a go at sexually harassing me for a while) (but he quit doing that), relating to one of our properties, and its industrial-strength hairdryer (AND I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT!) (name that reference for a special prize**) trash compactor:

“The trash compactor is broken – the cylinder that does the compacting is dead and the service company cannot locate a replacement. The service company wants $5,762 to rebuild the cylinder. I am checking process on a the [sic] cost of a new compactor vice [sic] an expensive repair. We will go to the reserves to pay for it.”

Here’s what I had to say about that:

“I think I would tell them to work a little harder at finding a replacement. Just to be contrary.”

Ha! See? Non-stop irreverent fun. That’s what makes affordable housing so much fun. Actually, that’s the ONLY thing that makes affordable housing fun.

Hey! Do I invite sexual harassment by sending out emails like that? Am I so sexy and flirty that I don’t even realize it? Am I blind to my own allure? Am I blinded by the light? Wrapped up like a douche?

Be that as it may, here’s some more for you. It’s an email I sent out to all my peeps this morning:

“In case you are signed up for insurance through the Aetna plan, please disregard any notice you receive from Aetna telling you that you have been dropped from coverage due to termination of your employment. I called (our employee leasing human resources outsourcers) after getting a notice in the mail myself, and have been assured that:

1. Aetna had a glitch in their system.
2. Nobody has been dropped.
3. Nobody has been terminated from employment.
4. It will get fixed.
5. No need to worry.

Sorry if anybody got that in the mail. I was a little outraged that I had been fired and nobody bothered to tell me, but instead allowed me to keep showing up for work each day. False alarm!”

How much would it suck to get a letter in the mail from your health insurance morons, telling you first, that you have been dropped, and second, it’s because you’ve been terminated? Especially if it’s Spring Break, and you are maybe taking some time off, or work on a site that’s away from the main office…so you haven’t had any one-on-one intimate time (professional intimacy, people! Oh wait, that doesn’t sound right) with Laura lately, and you get this nice letter.

I hope nobody panics. I sent that out to three people, and only one of them – Peaches – has responded, by hollering out a loud “HAH!” from her office, which is next to mine. The other two are not around here today. Maybe they are honoring their termination notices from Aetna.


Today, March 16th, is the 5th anniversary of DW’s and my first date. In case you haven’t memorized the archives, or you just love to hear a good story over and over again, here’s the condensed version of our first date, much like cream of mushroom soup, but with a lot less fungus:

1. Blind internet date at Alamo Café.

2. Ate dinner, enjoyed ourselves, even though DW TO THIS DAY still gripes a little that I didn’t leave anything on my plate for him to scavenge.

3. His wingman called, and since we were having so much fun, I got invited along to DW’s “out”, playing pool with his wingman. Yep, he had an out. THAT BASTARD!

4. His wingman had had a casual one-nighter with a girl who has the same first and last names as I, and part of my being invited on the out was to allow the wingman to either confirm or deny that I was the same Laura. Denied: I was not her. Whew!

5. We played darts, then pool, and proceeded to drink several pitchers of Shiner Bock. I did not get drunk because I was with strange men whom I had never met before, but I knew they were good eggs because some of my people already knew them and their people.

6. DW got pretty drunk because he’s 15 at heart.

7. After copious snogging in the parking lot, we stand at my car saying our good-byes when, apropos of nothing…

8. DW swipes my crotch. Not a grab, just a friendly swipe. I jump back in alarm and horror. He did NOT just do that, I think. Oh yes he did, and that’s not all.

9. DW slurs the now-famous line: I got a hard-on a cat couldn’t scratch.

The End. Thank you! Thank you!

And as our story continues, he called me a few hours later after he sobered up a bit in the Whataburger parking lot, having consumed a Breakfast on a Bun (ranchero - with jalapenos and hot sauce), and apologized profusely. I decided to give him a second chance (I thought things were going pretty well until The Swipe), we went to a hockey game the next night, he had shaved off his meth lab operator facial hair, behaved himself, and the rest is history.

Well, he behaved himself by my standards, which are not very high, for myself or my dates.

Also, it’s not really history, per se, in that I certainly hope small children will not learn about this in school, but we do celebrate The Swipe, a day that has real meaning for us, rather than Valentine’s Day.

OK, OK. I make him celebrate The Swipe with me. Do you believe that a little better? Because honestly, the Aggies are playing tonight - for the first time since the 80s, they are part of that whole basketball tournament thing that’s going on - and DW would rather watch the game than appease me by going out to eat, but appease me he will. And I found a local barbecue place that will have the game on the TV. So appease him I will.

See? That’s how you run a successful relationship. Non-stop mutual appeasement. Sycophantic eggshell treading. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

*If my phone and email will play nicely with each other, I’ll edit later with a picture of my newly-cut hairs.

**”Special” doesn’t necessarily mean “good”.

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