January 30, 2015

Hurt Feelings

When my friends and I get together we like to play this game where we ask each other probing questions. We’ve appropriately named the game “Candace Questions” Very catchy. I enjoy this game as it allows us to learn previously unknown things about each other. Some of the questions are easy, like what is your favorite drink, and some are funny like telling each other about the first time we drank alcohol and some go deeper. I was lying in bed thinking about what my next “Candace Question” would be and I came up with “What event in my life profoundly hurt my feelings?”. This is my answer.

In 2003 or 2004 my company decided to join a summer softball league. It was supposed to be a casual league with participants who had a variety of skill levels. I took this to mean that most of the teams would be formed with people who had no or little skills and I decided to join the team. It was a mixed gender team and I think that the rules stated that there needed to be an equal amount of men and women on the field during game play. We had a hard time finding enough women in the company that wanted to join the team so we opened up the team to friends and family members. However, there was a rule that if there were enough women from my company outsiders couldn’t participate.

The league began and I quickly realized that softball wasn’t my game. They usually put me in the catcher position but I was scared shitless of the ball and I wouldn’t catch it. When it would fly towards me I would step to the side and let it drop to the ground. I knew that wasn’t the right thing but I couldn’t help myself. Sometimes it would be necessary for me to throw the ball to first base or to the pitcher and that didn’t go well either. It was difficult for me to throw the ball hard enough for it to get all the way to the pitcher. Yep, I had zero athletic ability for softball and basically I sucked. But, I was having fun and creating relationships with my co-workers which was important to me. Especially since the coach was my direct boss.

Fast forward several weeks into the season and I was still having fun despite my inability to play softball at all. We had our weekly game at 7:30pm and I showed up early to warm up and practice. That night one of our team members brought a few friends to help us in case we ran short of women. Luckily, we had just enough women from my company so I didn’t expect the extra women to play.

It came time for the game and our coach called out the team positions and as she finished up I realized that she didn’t call my name. I was a little taken aback and I tried to look at the bright side. I thought she would put me in later in the game. I took a seat on the bench and I cheered for my colleagues.
The game progressed and my boss pretended she didn’t see me. Innings came and went and the extra women were always put in the game. The longer things went the worse I began to feel. I realized they were not putting me in the game because I sucked. I knew I sucked but blatantly ignoring me made me feel bad about myself. As the final innings were called I looked at my boss hopefully but she looked through me and acted as if I was invisible. I could feel the tears begin to sting behind my eyes and I was overcome with emotions.
By the time the game was completed I was sitting silently on the bench and I was working hard to keep the tears on the inside. I hurriedly said bye to my coworkers and the moment I entered the car tears began to stream down my face. I drove out of the parking lot like a bat out of hell because I didn’t want anyone to see me so upset. I thought it was my fault and I deserved to be treated badly. The entire ride home I sobbed and sobbed. I remember going to bed with red sore eyes feeling deeply depressed, angry and hurt.

My old bosses simple act of ignoring me made me feel inadequate about myself for a very long time. I never had any athletic confidence in myself and her response to my inability to play softball just reinforced the fact that I wasn’t good enough to play games with people or participate in any athletic events.

The entire time I worked at that job I always held this action against her. It shook my confidence for a long time and I hated how she made me feel about myself. I am an emotional human and while sticks and stones can break one’s bones actions can cause a deep wound. I don’t think she ever understood how much I was affected by the situation. I also wish I had stuck up for myself. Why didn’t I ask to be put in? Why didn’t I acknowledge her actions and make her feel like the asshole rather than letting her make me feel bad about myself.

 Part of me very slightly understands her motives. I have known people who were competitive about sports and winning was very important to them. However, I never thought our league would attract the super competitive types. I was wrong.

My regret over this situation was that I never talked to her and shared how much her actions hurt me. I wish I had the balls to talk to her about it. I think it would have gone a long way in helping me establish my athletic confidence. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that I had some athletic talent. Softball wasn’t my thing but biking sure was. I was good at it and it was good for me. It also gave me a tremendous amount of personal confidence and a sense of achievement. I knew I sucked at softball but treating colleagues, friends and strangers with respect is much more important than winning a rec league softball tournament. If you’re interested our team came in third out of six teams.

September 26, 2014

Two Policemen and a Pink Nightie

When I was in my early 20’s I still lived at home with my mom. We lived in a shitty trailer in my small hometown and my life was stagnant. One of the many problems with our abode was that our front door wouldn't stay shut. It would pop open at any moment. Our idea of fixing the faulty door was to wedge a long piece of wood under the door handle at night once everyone was home. Classy right?

One summer night my mom was out with her pseudo boyfriend, Dingy Denny. He drove a semi-truck and she would hang out with him while he worked. I knew my mom would be home super late so I couldn’t wedge the wood under the door before I went to bed. Even though I slept alone, and had no hopes for a boyfriend, I liked to sleep in a short pink silky nightie. I put it on and quickly fell asleep.

Several hours later I was rudely awakened to the sounds of yelling and the feeling of my door falling on me. I should mention at this point that the door to my bedroom never worked. It was supposed to slide back and forth but it would never stay on the tracks. Therefore, if I wanted privacy, which was all the time, I leaned it up against the door hole and hoped it would stay in place. In case you were wondering, this wasn’t the first time I had been woken up by my door falling on me. You would have thought I would have had the sense to move my bed away from the path of the door but I wasn’t that swift.
Anyway, I awoke to the door falling on my body and two men yelling something at me. I can’t remember exactly what they said but when I opened my eyes I saw that they were police officers and they had their guns out and aimed at me. I mumbled something like, “Umm...what..l...where..why?”

I hopped out of bed and cleared my brain and immediately felt embarrassed at my attire. My pink silky nighty was short and skimpy and not something I wore for everyone, my second thought was confusion and then fear. The policemen asked me if I was okay, I said yes, and they lowered their guns slightly but not all the way. They told me my front door was hanging wide open and a neighbor called them to check it out.

The two men left my room to search the house. They started in the living room and then went through the hallway to the bathroom and the other bedrooms. While they were checking out the house I rapidly searched around for my robe and remembered that I left it on the washer that was at the other end of the trailer. I hurried to get it and was embarrassed when my panties peaked out several times as I walked to the washer.

The police finished their scan of our house and found it clear of intruders by the time I grabbed my robe and put it on. I showed them out, shut the door and when back to bed. And yes, I didn’t put the board back under the door because my mom wasn’t home yet. Apparently, this event didn’t impact my psyche and I quickly enjoyed the peaceful sleep of the young, invincible and innocent.

September 19, 2014


I took my three nieces and nephew to The Sky Zone last Sunday afternoon. We all had a great time and enjoyed acting silly. I even jumped with them. I had originally decided to watch the children but at the last minute I purchased my pass and joined in the fun.

After we finished our hour of intense cardio, I had the children accompany me to the grocery store. I told them I would buy them a snack since we were all ravenous. After much discussion I decided to get them a package of peperoni and cheese sticks. After putting the groceries in the trunk of the car I opened the package and counting the contents. Shit, I realized that I didn’t have enough for everyone. There were 4 peperoni sticks and 4 cheese sticks. I looked at the package, gave a small sigh and

handed a pep and cheese stick to each of the children.

The car ride home was only ten minutes so I know I wouldn’t starve and I could wait for a snack till I got there. Then the miracle happened. Sweet Sarah realized that I didn’t have a snack and she shared hers with me.

I was super impressed with her generosity and I hadn’t anticipated that she would realize that I didn’t get a snack. This was the first time I’ve noticed that one of the children wasn’t always thinking of themselves. She got a big hug that day and I was pleased in her growth to becoming a fantastic adult.

Even though this little story wasn’t really about my adventure at The Sky Zone I’ve posted some photos for your enjoyment.

September 12, 2014

Dance 10, Looks 3

Just a few days ago a friend and I were talking about the rating system. You know the number you assign another person based upon their hotness or a combination of their hotness and other factors. He asked me what number I would assign myself. It was a surprising and shocking question that I had never considered before this conversation. Honestly, I’m not a person who usually judges other based upon their looks and people often laugh at me when I fail to make an observation of a person that was so obvious to them. For example, I seem to never notice when men are bald. However, just like many other human beings I do enjoy a beautiful man although I never rate them or give them a number. It is usually just a comment in my head that he is cute or very appealing.

As soon as this friend asked me this question I immediately knew my answer. But I was a little nervous about telling him. Primarily, because when I said the number to myself in my head it didn’t sound good but it was my honest opinion of myself. As we discussed this topic we brainstormed on the different ways people can rate others.  The first and obvious was looks. When I think of the number rating system this is the only way I had ever thought it was based. However, my friend informed me that he has had several conversations with others and everyone seems to have different ideas on what goes into their final number.
Some of these people included intelligence, personality, having a car, job, house, garage or sense or humor. All of these things were included into the ultimate number they would rate a person. Personally, I don’t believe that. In all my experience I’ve felt that most folks rate other people on their appearance and rarely look for something else.

That is how I came to the conclusion on how I would rate myself. I wanted to give myself a higher number but I don’t think that I deserved it.  I have really wondered about this ever since I’ve said the number to myself. Do I have really low self-esteem? Offhandedly, I would say no. However, this low number may indicate it. Or, am I just realistic. Am I self-aware enough to know what I look like and judge myself on the same scale I would think my peers would judge me?

I know you are all wondering what number I gave myself and I will keep you in the dark no longer. It was a T-h-r-e-e. 3. 3! There I’ve said it. Now the cat is out of the bag. My friend asked me if I was taking everything into consideration when I assigned myself the number but I didn’t. I believe the entire social structure of the rating system is all based upon the physical appearance of the person being judged.
After my decision to give myself a three I wondered what it would take to think of myself of as an eight. Would I have to dramatically change the way I look or would I have to change the way I looked at myself? I know that many of the things in my life happened because I believed that I could do them. Could I do this with the rating system? If I believed I’m an eight am I an eight? I don’t think I’m there yet but it is something I’ll mull over in the next year. For now, I’m a three and I’m living with that.

November 22, 2013

Huntington Bank

I recently opened up a second bank account at Huntington Bank so I could begin to separate my bill money from my fun money. I saw this as a step to being more controlled about my spending and knowing once the fun money was gone, it was gone and fun had to end until my next payday.

A few weeks ago, I managed to get two random checks and I decided that I would treat myself and deposit them into my new fun account. I put the checks in my wallet and I kept my eyes peeled for a bank branch. Unfortunately, that’s when I discovered the problem. There was no Huntington Bank branch on my daily route anywhere. In the back of my head I knew where to find the closest location, but I couldn’t bring myself to go there. I realized I had a bad emotional connection to that particular bank.
Nine years ago, my mother died of lung cancer. She was diagnosed in April and she passed away in June 2004. One of the tasks I had to do for her while she was very sick was take her to the bank and add my name to her account. I did this so I could take care of her financial matters for her. I remember the experience like it was yesterday. My mom was very frail and could hardly walk because the chemo was quickly killing her. I drove her to the Huntington Bank location in downtown Noblesville and I parked in the handicapped spot. I had to hold her arm and support her as she walked so she wouldn’t fall. It took us forever to get inside the building because her pace was so slow and her lung capacity was shitty.

As she walked, she carried a nasty towel because every few steps she took, she would vomit up yellow stomach fluid. This experience was very near the end of her life, and it was very difficult to be around her because you could see how much she was suffering. When we got inside the building, she looked like she was going to pass out and she had a difficult time talking to the clerk who helped us. By the end of the visit, she wasn’t very coherent and she practically passed out in the car as I drove her home. I had been avoided taking her to the bank because she was declining so quickly. Unfortunately, this particular experience required her presence.

That visit to the bank was when I really let myself realize how sick my mom was. I had known it intellectually, but I didn’t let myself feel it or understand it till then. It has been nine years, and I still haven’t gone to that particular bank location and I don’t intend to.

I find it odd that I had such an intense reaction to the bank so long after her death. I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately, and my dreams have been filled with her. I never had a good relationship with her and I had a hard time dealing with her various mental illnesses, but she was still my mom and part of me wishes she was still here and well.

November 15, 2013

It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to

It was my birthday last month and I decided to celebrate it by throwing myself a party. As I began to plan the party I realized that this was the first birthday party I’ve had as an adult. I’ve had casual get-togethers with friends and family but nothing as formal as a pre-planned party. Plus, I only remember having one friend party as a child. It was a combo party with my brother and it was held at the local skating rink. I was in the fourth grade and my brother was in the second grade. Our mom somehow managed to get our class lists and she prepared us invitations. We were supposed to take them to school and hand them out to our classmates. However, I distinctly remember being too embarrassed to hand them out to the boys at school. I ended up hiding the boy’s invitations in my book bag and I only invited the girls from my class. Apparently, fourth grade was an awkward age for me. My memory tells me that only three or four classmates showed up for me but my little brother had a roomful of friends. As an adult I still fall back on that memory whenever I’ve planned any gathering at my house and I always worry that no one will show up.

A few years ago I was on a girls trip to Florida with three friends, and it happened to be over my birthday weekend. They tried to surprise me while we were there by getting me a cake and singing happy birthday to me. I was mortified. I felt on the verge of tears and I made them stop singing to me. Seriously, I made them stop. It was a ridiculous thing for me to do and I own that, but at the time I wasn't willing to deal with my negative emotions about my birthday.

Ever since I turned 35 I have felt very depressed as my birthday month rolled around. A new birthday would come along and I would realize that I was still stagnant in my life and I haven’t fulfilled my two important life goals. So, I've avoided my birthdays. I haven’t wanted to celebrate them and I don’t remind my friends of the date. I even took the date off of facebook and I've asked the HR people at work to not advertise the date on our employee board or on our website. I keep wishing my birthday wouldn't happen and for time to stand still but it never does.

I decided to take a different route this year because it was a milestone birthday. The big 4-0. I had two choices. The first one was to act like an asshole like I've have for the last several years (ie..not letting my friends sing happy birthday to me) or I could try to embrace my birthday. I chose the later and decided to throw myself a party. Unfortunately, I still had some anxiety that no one would show up or they wouldn't stay for long.Therefore, I called my brother at least eight times to make sure that he, his wife and two of his children would show up so I could be assured that someone would be at my house.

I worked super hard on the day of the party to make tons of food to make sure everyone would have a good time at my house. I made three pans of lasagna from scratch, two meat and one veggie for my vegetarian friends. I made cookies, crab dip and a caramel pretzel dessert. I made carrots with cream cheese and hot apple cider. Basically, I went overboard. I worked for six full hours before the party to get everything ready. I was even in such a panic that I wouldn't be done in time that my brother brought his 13-year-old daughter over to help me, and she was fantastic. She did everything I asked of her and was happy to do it. I was super appreciative of her help.

When my guests started to arrive I finally relaxed and let myself enjoy the gathering and my guests. Everyone seemed to enjoy my food and the party. I think I had between 20 and 25 people show up and most people stayed for the duration of the party. I felt loved. Many people gave me a hug when they arrived and when they departed. I also received some unexpected gifts. Lots of wine and beer but I also received a gold pair of earrings, some flowers, a Starbucks gift card, and a cool candle holder and a mirror for my bike. The presents were very unexpected but appreciated.

I was also surprised with a special Star Trek birthday cake and I LOVED it. I think I even jumped up and down in joy. It was such a surprising and thoughtful gift. Virginia remembered me saying that I’ve always wanted one and she kept that in her memory banks for eight months while she waited for my birthday to arrive. It was tasty as well as being beautiful. I had another friend bring me a three layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate ganache. I was in chocolate heaven and I loved it. I felt so lucky to have two birthday cakes.

In the party invite I gave the guests an option to wear costumes. I don’t like wearing costumes but many of my friends are avid cosplayers and I knew they would enjoy celebrating the holiday by dressing up. Kristine was Lt. Uhura from Star Trek and she had on the classic short red dress and black boots. As a side note she even had to twerk in the short skirt during our game. Someone else had a ‘20’s themed outfit and someone had a long blond wig. I’m sure there were others but I don’t remember that now.

I’m very glad I was able to overcome my past fears. I also know that I have an incredible group of friends. I’ve worked very hard on finding quality caring people to have in my life. Specifically, I’ve found people I can truly be myself around and who are appreciative of my personality traits and like me. The bottom line was that my party was a success and everyone made me feel loved and appreciated.

November 8, 2013

Overpriced Books

I have a friend who was recovering from a serious surgery and I planned on visiting her Tuesday after work. I wanted to bring her a small gift and after a few minutes of thinking I decided to bring her a couple books unfortunately, that decision meant that I had to visit an actual book store and pay full retail price. I wanted to make this gesture for my friend but it hurt the cheap bastard that lurks within me.

I made it to the bookstore and I picked out two books. As I was making my choices I tried not to look at the prices because I knew it would piss me off. I also wanted to get a third book but I couldn't find the title I wanted and there was no one posted at the help desk so I gave up. So I wondered up to the check out counter to pay for the books.

As the clerk was ringing me up she asked me if I wanted a Barnes and Nobel store discount card. I didn't know anything about the card but I reflexively said no because I rarely frequent a physical book stores. The clerk asked me why and I responded in an honest manner. I told her 95% of my book purchases are made through Amazon and I dislike paying retail price for something I can get cheaper in the mail in two days.
This made the book clerk very mad and we ended up having a ten minute debate on how she needs her job and people should support their local bookstores. I understood her aggravation but I was not interested in supporting a retailer that cannot be competitive. However, we did have an interesting conversation. Plus, she tried to get me to visit the B&N website and use them to make purchases because they match Amazon prices. Her argument didn't sway me and I will continue to give my business to Amazon. They treat me well and I always find it easy to resolve problems with them.

Due to my nerdy accounting nature I couldn't help but do a price comparison of what I paid for my two books at B&N and what I would have paid with Amazon. I don't have my itemized receipt but I spent $22 for "Ender's Game" and "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail". If I had purchased the books on Amazon and utilized free two day shipping my price would have been $11.88. B&N charged me double that price.  For a person like me who consumes thirty to forty books a year and doesn't bother using the library paying double for books isn't an option.

I felt good that I could get the gift for my friend on a short notice and I didn't mind spending $22 on her. I know that every event and action in my life cannot be preplanned out, but I seriously hate being ripped off and that is how I felt after leaving the book store.

On a side note she was very excited to get Wild and it was in her current reading list but I think that her dad will be the reader of "Ender's Game" and not my friend.

RSS Subscribe