28 November 2007

I didn't have the cookie.

The seats were in a horseshoe style. We used a handheld microphone. I couldn't follow along in my packet to see which slide my boss was on or else I would count how many were left before I started my part.

My heart did its obligatory dance in my chest before I approached the screen.

I kept refering to the screen when I should have glanced at the laptop.

I felt myself stutter at one point and then spit out my words.

I tried making eye contact and the voice in my head kept overshadowing what I wanted to say next with "You're doing it! You're doing it! You're talking in front of all these execs and they are watching you and that zit on your cheek, all while donning your silky blouse that you think makes you look fun."

And then? Just as I got comfortable with the next slide, there were no more. Of course, my presentation was the quickest with only a handful of slides. I was back at my seat.

The distractions of people's tired faces, busy mouths from the buffet they visited just outside the door, and the way my mind goes blank when I am nervous as if I'm seeing these slides for the first time when I've been reading and reviewing them all during the Thanksgiving break, on the train, and now, defeated me. I felt like I could have nailed it better.

Where were the damn skills I learned in my public speaking class? Why was I so nervous?

I'm sure there will be a next time, but for now, I'm safe in the chair behind my desk far from the stares of strangers who sit safely in another state.

26 November 2007

Presentation Eve

I'm ready.

My outfit is laid out for my 4:30am alarm.

My nails are manicured.

The slides have been finalized.

Wish me luck. Come 2pm, it should be over...

I'll definitely earn a cookie by this time tomorrow...or else!

25 November 2007


The first time I spent a holiday away from my immediate family and instead traveled with Bub to see his family for Christmas I hated it.

I love Bub and did at that time when I thought that it would be great to actually travel somewhere for the holidays since my family is all local. He had already spent a Thanksgiving with my family so it seemed no big deal that I see his on Christmas.

Boy was I wrong.

I felt so out of place. These people that he calls family were not strangers; we had met and spent time with each other a number of times before, but I felt like an observer looking to other people for clarification on how to celebrate a holiday that I had grown up celebrating on my own with my own family and friends.

Presents were opened after mass on Christmas eve. Naps weren't uncommon and the day was very relaxed and perhaps a board game or two were taken out for fun later on in the day. Lots of eating and some drinking. All in all, not a super different take on how my family celebrates the holiday if we aren't trekking to Grandma's house or to a restaurant instead of someone doing most of the cooking.

Yet it was strange. I felt like a person who was plugged into another nuclear family and their traditions and I felt like a little girl and a bratty one at that for feeling so strange.

But time and time again, when visiting Bub's family I can't shake that I don't fit. Bub says I'm crazy and that I'm self conscious. I fit just fine and I'm making a fuss. But I'm drab and dull compared to his younger sister who is older than I. I don't have much in common with his parents who find my fiction reading sub-par to their non-fiction, academic lit, and my hobbies of baking, shopping, and eating out (!) are not in line with their political and historical chats, architecture love, and Costco trips.

When I'm at their home sometimes I wonder if they can see how different I am from them and think that I'm a wrong match for their son. It makes me sad and anxious.

So I tell Bub and I get upset. But after six years of dating I wonder why I still feel this way. We are married and I feel like we know why we're together; why should feeling like I'm part of his family be so seamless? I guess it's because I see how easy it is for him to blend in with mine and to be loved unconditionally.

And then I remember the times when Bub's mom tells me that I'm stuck with them, flaws and all and that they're so happy that their family has grown to include me.

And I'm just in awe because I'm making myself look like one big flaw, by obsessing over who I should be. I wish I didn't care so much and could let go and be that easy-going girl. I think I should be past the insecure stage. I think I'm ready to take it to the next level and act like the sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, and wife that everyone already views me as.

It's like I'm stuck on the first meeting of the parents and sibling. And I don't know how to get unstuck.

19 November 2007

Completely Stressed Out

I just need to ramble and vent and rant.

So work is swallowing me whole. There was a point of dilly-dallying. Checking personal emails. Talking on the phone about houses with Bub. More dilly-dallying, reading gossip about the industry, entertainment, and then local news. More dilly-dallying.

Somewhere half-way through the first dilly-dallying session my job caught up with me and hit me aside the head.

What the fuck are you doing? It said. You know this quarterly stuff is going to creep up on you? Oh, and that to-do list, why don't we triple it and then never let it dwindle down! Ha!

Yeah, so I'm so super busy when, hi, I should be looking forward to the short work week. Instead, I'm wondering how the hell I'm going to get it all done and next week? Well I have that confidence-building activity to do and another remote meeting to prepare for, then it's the calls and the follow-up I STILL have from the Germany gig.

So I'm stressed.

So add to that the house. We're trying to work out which mortgage to go with. Bub is a pro at this, moreso than I am since he is the homeowner now and I? Well I'm the newbie and about as clueless as they come to rates and APR and points and closing costs and pre-paids and monthly payments and escrow and did I mention closing costs? So we're trying to get that settled so that we can, um, afford this new home. To top that off we have a mere two weeks left here or maybe three, but no, I think it's two before we move. Packing? Never heard of it. Boxes? What are those? Tenants for our condo? Who?

And to top that off Bub just told me that his parents and sister will come here for Christmas to spend it with his grandfather. Cue record player needle screeching on a record noise. What? They're coming on December 23rd? Double what??

We're going to see them for Thanksgiving. Last Thanksgiving we were supposed to see them. Instead, Bub's parents said sayonara and went to Spain. So we stayed here and visited with my family and we did Christmas there last year for the second year in a row.

I'm ready for Christmas here. Home. My family. Home.

So Bub tells me how the in-home care workers for his grandfather are going to have to work on the holiday unless someone comes to take care of him. So then I learn that because of a past situation involving Bub's grandfather not really wanting to put up Bub's family since his memory is not in the best shape and he's more uncomfortable than hospitable when it comes to others staying over at his house, Bub's family may stay here. As in the condo. They want to stay in cots that they would bring here. They want to stay in what will be our vacant, ready for tenants, no bath towels or shower curtain, condo.

When did Bub find this out? Today. And I guess my sister-in-law was going to stay in a hotel so of course Bub agreed that they stay here. Who gets to clean and provide hotel accommodations to my in-laws mere days after moving? Yes, you got it.

The last time we moved we got to do the same bloody thing: put up Bub's friends in our apartment as we moved here, to the condo. I'm looking forward to this, again. Stressful? Nah. Fun? Absolutely!

And to further make my blood boil, Bub tells me that he can understand how his mom is pulling the mother-in-law implication. What, I say? Well, they're inviting themselves over for Christmas, will stay at our condo, and well we'll probably see them on Christmas eve. What? And then Bub tells me hey, we'll see your family on Christmas, we don't have to see them both days, right?

Ummm....well, we can go down to see his family for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday of this week, right? And when we're there for Christmas we can do the same, but we're going to hang out with my family for a few hours over the course of two days and we're already building in time to see the in-laws.

This, this is definitely an in-law uh-oh.

I was beginning to think I had the holidays covered since I've begun my shopping, I am no longer irked by the holiday commercials, and I have preset one of my XM stations to the 24/7 Christmas music. But the work hanging over my head? Sucks. And the in-law drama? Well, I know I'm creating some of it here, but I'm not sure how to survive. Someone please tell me it's no big deal. Someone tell me to calm down.

I know, I know, it's terrible I don't want to see my in-laws at Christmas. But that's just it! I do! It's just that hi, can we please have this holiday with my family this year? And I know, it's terrible to think Bub's grandfather is alone for the holidays, but we could easily stop in to check on him (he won't leave the house). And can we move to a residence just once where we don't have to play hotel to others?

I'm super annoyed and totally PMSing. I've slammed the door and my husband thinks I'm a total biatch. I am. I get it. But I am totally annoyed and irritated. Ugh.

15 November 2007

Phone is ringing, ohmygod!

Work this time every quarter blows balls. Literally. And if you're offended by my language, you should hear me talk to Bub after work on these days when I am up to my ears in this quarterly task.

First, it's the emails. "I was wondering if you could tell me our number for this quarter?"

Umm...no, I can't, but yes, you and 303 other partners would like to know that, I know. I'm sorry it's incovenient for you to have to contact me to find this out because your happy little check with the report hasn't arrived on your desk. But I'm the one still stuffing envelopes with an immature intern because this is what I do each quarter. And this quarter? This one has been one of the worst since I started working here.

So then you start calling. "Thanksgiving is around the corner. We need that lift. All those returns."

Not my problem. Wait. It's only the 15th TODAY. That means I tell you nothing before then unless I'm really, really nice. I was for this person.

I'm also starting to fret because the Tuesday after Thanksgiving I am getting on a train (again, a very early one) with my boss and her boss and another VP...so that we can go to the sales conference of one big to-do partner and present in front of a number of people, all of whom have super duper fancy titles. And though I feel a tiny bit important having the opportunity to attend this, my boss wants me to speak in front of said people.

I may just die.

I took the public speaking class in college. I did swimmingly well. But something about work and presenting in front of my boss's boss, whom I've never presented in front of before, coupled with all these important peeps makes me want to secretly scream and hide under a blanket.

My boss said it will be good "practice"...Silently I thought, for what? Practice for my...job? As in the one I have now?

I told her I'm happy to sit in a chair and listen. That didn't go over too well.

She laughed.

On the good news front, we signed the P&S yesterday (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Some think that is great (I am one of those people), but some feel as though it's also sad. (We just wrote one big honkin' check.)

08 November 2007

To the person who searched for "pregnant by coworker"... wow... um, hope everything is okay.

06 November 2007

I can't believe that we're rapidly approaching Thanksgiving and next will be Christmas. It just seems that this year went by so fast. I say that every year, I'm sure, but yet, the feeling of time slipping by amazes me time and again.

We'll be moving in a little over 5 weeks. That means it's six or so weeks until Christmas! I haven't even had time yet to let Halloween soak in.

Finding this house and moving into it has been a big item on my to-do list. On our to-do list. And to think that only three and a half years ago we were painting and moving into our condo now. Now we will be landlords and homeowners. A scary thing, I think.

But it's helped me to feel more at ease, buying this house. Because this was one of the items on my to-do list. The one I mentally created and then put to paper many times when deciding the path that will lead me to motherhood.

What's stopping me now? My fears? The unknown? People were really right when they said they'll never really be a good time. I'm trying so desperately to have it all figured out. When, in reality, figuring out the unknown with Bub is not such a scary thing.

Does this mean I've made a decision? Ummmm, no.

Am I closer? You bet.

01 November 2007

The Country

So my immediate family and in-laws know about the house. As do some of our friends. And the responses have been great. Some have had a twist where you can tell people don't know much about the town we're moving to so they say what they've heard about it, stereotypes included. That's OK with me because as I learned with planning my wedding, everyone has a frigging opinion about something.

So it's no secret that we're moving to the 'burbs. Yes, yes we are. And right now we are in the city with trains and cars and students and noise and convenience. We can walk or ride the train and don't need a car, but we do and we like having one to take us when the train is packed with obnoxious students or Red Sox fans. I digress.

Now we will move to a suburb. Sure, we'll be farther away from some of our favorite bars and restaurants. We won't have the building maintenance guy around any old time we need him to pick our lock when we get locked out of our condo while doing laundry. In the basement. Oh, and laundry? I won't miss doing that whole coin-operated thing down five flights of stairs and up again.

I grew up in a suburb and it wasn't until my first job when most people lived in Boston and wondered how people could do it. Live in a suburb. Where is everything? What is there to do? And I never considered my upbringing in a suburb because we weren't that far from the city. My hometown has changed, and for the better, but it's still too familiar for me to return to it in a different part of my life: as an adult. I love to visit, and the church I went to growing up is forever in my heart because that's where we got married, but I need something new. But don't get me wrong, I will always cherish my roots there.

And Bub, he didn't grow up in a city either so when we put in our offer for this house and we said to each other: Wow, this could be it, we felt the shock.

This is going to be our new surburban life.

But it wasn't until I started to spread the news about our house when people said that they really liked the idea of living in the country.

The country?

To me country is cows, manure, fields, and farms. It's not a suburb so much as it's like, you know, the country.

There are no cows where we are moving, but wait, we heard that the dairy there has the greatest ice cream....

It has not fields but forests because the town is home to various trails and conservation lands...

But we haven't seen any farms or smelled manure, er, not yet at least. I smelled enough of that in my later years of college because the farms were literally down the road and it really was country there. It smelled the worst during the summer. Open up the windows for fresh...manure scent.

So how do I feel when people say "Oh, I'd love to live in the country"?

Well, I think there must be a new outfit I can buy to fit the part.