Wedding Weekend

I’m headed down to southern Ohio for the wedding of a co-worker.  The Boy has been gracious enough to go with.

On the way back north, we’ll probably stop and see Dear Friends in Columbus.

I’ll bring back pictures.

Napsalot

I’m on a new medication for a condition I’ve had most of my young adult life.  I’ve been through the gamut of everything you can use, including stuff so high-powered that I had to get monthly blood tests to check my liver function and sign an affidavit saying that I would do everything in my power to not get knocked up.

Lately, my condition has been getting worse, brought on by either the immense stress I’ve been under or just the sheer aggression of it.  So, about a month ago, the doctor put me on a new medication that other patients have seen great success with, especially after going through a course of the high-octane stuff.

As far as results are concerned, I’m kind of non-plussed.  But I knew I would be: I don’t really have very good success on most medications.  But, since beginning this treatment, I’ve experienced one of the worst side effects from any of the drugs I’ve ever been on.

I want to sleep all the time.

All day long I fight the almost-insatiable urge to go back to bed.  I’ve been sleepy before, this this is absolutely crazy.  I sleep during lunch.  I nap when I come home.  I nap before I go to bed.  I sleep for eight hours at a time.  I hit the snooze button three times before I get up.  All I can think about is when I get to go to sleep next.  The drive to get horizontal is all-encompassing.

Right now, even, I’m fighting the yawns.

I’m going to have to go back and either get this dosage tweaked or switch meds.  I’d gladly go back to all of the worst side effects of the high-powered drug I was on in college.  At least then I was awake enough to hate them.

Objects of my Affection

(Please note: this post has been edited from its original posting.)

For two years (summers and Christmas breaks) in college, I worked as a cashier for an independently-owned chain of grocery stores here in Cleveland.  It was one of two jobs that I said I wanted to do before I died: grocery store cashier, and retail.  Neither were the most glamorous job in the world, but I am grateful that I worked them; they taught me quite a bit about myself (and taught me to appreciate the job I have now).

This story is about the most important lesson I learned about myself while working at the grocery store.

The location that I worked at catered to the wealthiest of all of the stores’ clientele.  The wealth of this particular neighborhood is not the wealth of Orange County, or even the Hills; but for a rust-belt city that has been known as one of the poorest cities in the nation, the $10 million net worth mark is considered extremely wealthy.  In the two years I worked there, I had two American Express Black cards pulled to pay for groceries, local TV celebrities shopped at my store, and even a few Cavaliers and Browns players would come through on a Thursday night to avoid a crowd.

The biggest (and perhaps worst) impact that this time in my life had was that I began to see the not-so-subtle cues about being wealthy.  I saw large and many diamonds in jewelry, designer handbags like Chanel, Coach, and most-prevalent, Louis Vuitton.  I saw women who would have Chanel sunglasses with Tiffany diamonds while “popping in” to the grocery store in their (Bebe Sport) workout togs.  I saw Lexus keys on key chains, BMWs parked in the lot, and Mercedes in line to wait for the packers to load their cars.  I saw women well into their 50s looking as tan as Tahitian ladies in a Paul Gauguin painting, with $500 haircuts, wearing clothing that cost more than my entire wardrobe.

(As an aside: I remember the woman who really epitomized this whole look. She was absolutely stunning. She had to be about 45-50; had beautiful, tan, tight skin, and had the most gorgeous glossy-black long hair. She always wore 2-carat diamond earrings and Chanel sunglasses, drove an Accura, and usually dressed impeccably. I don’t think I ever talked to her directly, but apparently, she was pretty friendly with a lot of our bag boys and male managers (go figure). She would flit about the store, laughing and smiling the whole way through, a trail of men behind her – but she always seemed just a little cold.)

I was jealous of the money, jealous of the status, jealous that these women didn’t have to worry about wether they would be able to pay for gas and a night out with friends.  I was jealous that these women’s most agonizing decision with their money was which boutique they shopped at made them more important than their other wealthy friends.

Several of these wealthy women used to take great delight in making us cashiers completely miserable.  From the most complicated bagging orders, to tearing down a fellow cashier in front of you, to grabbing a manager and tearing you down to him while you were standing right there.  These women were not happy people: and there was not a time in my life where I was made to feel more small.

Despite myself, I began to covet the objects that I perceived to be signs of wealth, which has followed me past my tenure at the grocery store and into my current life.  My first purchase of the signs of opulence was a Louis Vuitton wallet. I’ve bought an authentic Coach bag as a sign that I had “made it” when I became employed where I am currently.  My “upgrade” engagement ring took me from a 1/2 simple diamond on a plain band to a 1-carat diamond on a band with 20 pave-set diamonds.  I did all of this to be seen as wealthy, to be a part of that exclusive club of women.

While I enjoy my nice accouterments, I’m equally repulsed that I hope that people who see them think I’m as wealthy as I want to project. I think that I will always be plagued with this ardent desire to look rich, while the more composed part of myself knows that things aren’t always as they appear.

To be fair, not all of these wealthy women were complete witches.  I met a lot of very pleasant wealthy women as I rang them through my line: they are women that I have stopped and had a conversation with if I run into them now.

But I recognize now that most of the women who had all of these “nice” things that I came to covet, were the same women who loved to take two hours out of their week and make everyone they came in contact with miserable.  Though I like having my nice things and hope that I get noticed for them, I am so grateful that I don’t have to drag people down and make them as miserable and empty as I am.  Perhaps that is the saving grace of that period in my life: I know that I am quintessentially more than my stuff.

L-O-L-A, Lola

Taken on Friday, August 8, at Lola’s Bistro.

I’m tasting my friend’s drink, a “Spiced Pear”.  This drink was not even the nightcap to our dinner.  Over the course of three hours, I’d eaten shrimp, beef cheek Peirogie prime rib, polenta, french toast brioche with maple sugar ice cream (with salty, fatty bacon bits), and a fantastic Belgian beer I have to find.

I was a little tipsy at this point, and what you don’t see in this picture is me spilling part of this drink on me.

The other thing you don’t see is my wallet crying on the bar-top because I pretty much  had to take out a loan to pay for my dinner.  That said, it was completely worth it.

The bartender was adorable and gave us menus signed by Michael Symon: my understanding is that those things tend to get snatched up, so we were pretty lucky.  I got to play “token minority” as the only white girl in the group.

I actually like this picture because I don’t look like a moron; I’ve decided I take better candid shots and might insist on only candids from now on.  I’m also  a little weirded out by my Old Lady, Tendony hands.