Thursday, May 17, 2012

I've Got Good News and I've Got Bad News...

The bad news is that people out here don't care about what you do for a living.  The good news is that people out here don't care about what you do for a living.

If you can't escape the heat, find some water.  The fact that it happened to be at the car wash, and the water wasn't used for me particularly, didn't really matter.  I was in search of liquid even if it was just to watch all the cars get their relief through the always anxiety provoking automated car wash tunnel. I follow along the glass windows inside the building as each car, eh, who am I kidding, each TRUCK got their turn at the robotic bath.  Car washes always cause me anxiety. (Get to know me and you will quickly see pretty much everything causes me anxiety. I'm like Bethenny Frankel on Red Bull...on a good day.) I don't know but I think it was all of those trips with my mom to the corner car wash that started this apprehension.  Raise your hand if your parents used to treat the car washes like haunted houses?  "Woo, watch out for the big monster!" Flap, flap, went the big scary rubber tentacles that did more traumatizing of little children then actual cleaning of the automobile. My big sister would squeal with giggles, my mom would do her best horror film damsel in distress acting, and I? Well, I think I was curled up next to that weird hump in the bottom of the back seat, in a fetal position until it was over. Good thing we didn't have 5 point harness restrictions back in those days.  Can you imagine being trapped in your seat for this? No? I'm the only one. (Shout out Ralphie May, shout out.)  Not that the old fashioned do it yourself stalls conjured up any sweet fuzzies for me either.  My sister and I went to one of those good old fashioned crank your own squeegee bucket stalls with our dad.  He gets out of his Starsky and Hutch red Ford Torino, points to the sadistic contraption and gives us one rule. "Keep your fingers away from this thing."  Exactly one minute later, there I was, age of about six, finger pointing in a place it shouldn't be, but it was if memory serves, at the encouragement of my older sister and partner in crime.  Somehow the crank turned.  (I can't throw my sister under the bus for this one, the memory is too hazy, but let's just say it would have been hard to crank my own middle finger through to the STUCK position.  Hard, but not impossible.)  The only thing I remember next was Dad's voice, "I told you to leave that thing alone.  Don't you dare cry."  The ride back from the emergency room was silent and tense.  Dad was not happy that we didn't listen to him, but I think he was most pissed off that his car didn't get to finish getting washed.  After what seemed like an eternity but was most likely ten minutes in the car, Dad finally turned to the back seat where two pouty faced and scared little girls sat like dolls without a working pull string in their backs, he spoke. "Do you wanna cry now?"  I could feel the burning behind my still little at this point nose and whimpered out "Yes."  Permission to cry granted.  Then the floodgates opened, probably with a bit more hysteria than required just to make all parties involved feel a smidge guilty about the whole thing. 

Anyways, back at the local car wash, 2011. This particular trip to the car wash was one of those trigger days for me.  (Hee, Trigger was a horse. 1 point for the cowboy reference.)  Having safely escaped the tunnel of fear, I plop down in the fancy wicker settee and wait a bit while the guys did the drying off of my car outside.  This car wash isn't so bad.  There's cute little gifty things to buy, a soda dispenser, beef jerky, wind chimes, and even an autographed picture or two of Willie Nelson, who's said to be a frequent customer here. They even have a barber shop in the corner nook.   I noticed there was a woman who was running the place who seemed to be very busy.  She had been running to the stock closet, answering phones, ringing up customers and dealing with the crew outside.  I smiled at her as she scurried around.  She made a few more rounds around me and that's when it happened. "Miss, you seem like a nice gal. You got a kiddo in school during the day?" Yes, I tell her, a kindergartner.  "Well, how about you work here during the day? I need some damn help and you seem nice. I'm serious. You looking for a job?"

I smiled (and maybe shat my pants a bit but no one needs to know about that part.)  "Oh, no ma'am, I work from home, but thank you for the offer!"

As I head home, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.  So I choose cry.  "I am an entrepreneur! I am a business woman! An award winner! An inspirational mentor and speaker!  I work in fashion! I do television interviews! I have fabulous and famous friends! "  I call my husband in between laughs and cries.  He loves me no matter what.  He's used to our lives being nutty and exciting.  He affectionately refers to me as Lucy Ricardo because  he never knew what kind of trouble I was getting us into while he was at the club, I mean, his high tech computer job.  He talks me off of the ledge by saying, "You should be flattered! She took one look at you and could tell you were capable and likable and you got offered a job on the spot! Do you know how many people need jobs right now? You should be proud that you give off that vibe!"  He's right, as usual.  I tell him I love him, even if he gets all the way to the 3rd chorus of  (working at the) Car Wash by Rose Royce, before I hang up. 

And therein lies the issue.  We're not in Kansas (or California) anymore.  No one gives a crap about the glamorous at times life I have left behind.  Sometimes I just want acknowledgement of that.  Other times I realize I need to get over it. Maybe, just maybe it's OK to just "be".  Be a creative and driven person, yes, but also just BE a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend.   

P.S. Bonus Texas Lesson: No matter how clean your car is when you drive off the lot, you will have exactly 18 bug guts splattered on it by the time your tires make a few rotations.

Enough with the ranting, where's the positive you promised in every blog post?
*Willie Nelson goes to my car wash.  Willie F'in NELSON.

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