Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Awkward Woman

Unlike my other stories, this is not fiction...
I am sitting, at this very moment in a chair, a very comfortable brown leather one in fact, and I am content. Well, I was. I am now completely perturbed that my happiness has been compromised by a woman of around 38 years old who decided to take a seat next to me. At this very moment, she's staring at me, looking me over, obviously stupid to the fact that I can see her with my peripheral vision. She needs to stop. She's making me sweat and now I feel some nausea coming on.
If people know in advance that they will be sitting and doing nothing for a long period of time, most will bring something to do, perhaps a book or a homework assignment, or even a cell phone to talk on.
This woman has discovered the fine art of boredom and she is quite content with practicing it. This is one of those times when I wish I had a book to hand to her and say, "Here. Page 37 is really a life-changer." Maybe at least that way she would know something about the world instead of memorize the pattern on my socks and how many ounces are left in my water bottle.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Quarter-life Crisis

Mali wasn't ready to grow up. She was living a world of free gas, expensive clothes, and her mom's credit card. Her freshman year in college had greeted her surprisingly quickly after high school and the transition to college was an easy one filled with boys, a new SUV, and all of the fashionable clothes that the magical credit card could hold. The years of late night runs to Taco Bell and hours spent gossiping with girls was going to end in a few months at college graduation, and life would be great, wouldn't it? For the first time in her life, Mali wasn't sure. Was she really expected to just grow up? 
Her mother had asked her about jobs that she'd applied for, but she just hadn't had the time between shopping, cramming for tests, and attending school parties. What was a job anyway? She'd never even had one. Just over two months to graduation and no plan in sight, her mother had begun to tell Mali that she would need to be responsible for her own life after that summer. She had known it, but she hadn't prepared. 
All of a sudden, she felt a lump in her gut and began to feel sick. Was the money going to stop? How would she ever live? What about her nice car? Where would she get money to go shopping and go out with friends. She hadn't thought about applying for jobs, but she didn't like the idea of dressing up. Maybe she could charge enough on her mother's credit car in July to last her until December when Christmas would bring more clothes and money. Maybe her parents would let her move back in and crash until she could find a real job. They wouldn't kick out their own daughter would they?
The day after graduation, Mali moved back home. Now it is October and her life looks something like this:

2pm-wake up
3pm-eat some leftovers from the fridge
4pm-watch TV
5pm-surf the internet
6pm-go shopping and covet everything in the store windows
7pm-call mom and beg for money to buy everything she coveted all afternoon
9pm-party with friends, watch a movie, or sleep some more

Mali's mom calls it depression, and gives Mali whatever she needs, including attention and zero accountability. In the mean time, Mali learns to be lazy, selfish, and is allowed to be a loser. When does this vicious cycle end? What would happen if she moved out? 
Culture shock.
However, this may be the best thing for her. It wouldn't take her long to realize how to hold a job would it? How to work and sleep and cook. How to have some responsibility. All she needs is a nudge some might say, but what happens when our culture has so trained people like this with spoiled habits that their lifestyles are irreversible, causing only more debt and emptiness?

Friday, January 25, 2008


This woman, you must understand, looked absolutely ridiculous. She was 5'2" and was around the age of 60 as you could tell from her entirely full head of gray hair. To make it even better, she was wearing a clear "helmet" as I call them, that guards little old women's perms from the elements. Hers was no different. Heaven forbid her crown of glory become drenched in the pouring rain since white-haired princesses usually have their hair done only once a week. So what is so special about this woman?
Road rage.
She got a slight case of it when she was bumped by an careless car beside her. She got out of the car she was driving, not by the pull-over-and-come-to-a-complete-stop method, but the swerving-off-the-highway-almost-causing-a-ten-car-pileup method. She screeched her tires loudly, halting just shy of the traffic barrier.
She opened the door and out popped her two little slippered feet followed by the appearance of her short body in a pink fringed house robe--lovely attire for a cold winter's day.
My mind wandered immediately and I wondered where in the world she was going to go in that gown! She got out of the car and turned her back to open the back door of her four-door-piece of some unrecognizable car junk and grabbed two objects, but, from the angle of her bent over and extremely wide derriere, my view was blocked. As she began walking I noticed where the woman was headed as her eyes focused in on the black civic that had bumped her. Her jaw clenched as she made her way slowly up the median to where the car was parked.
I squinted to see if I could make out the objects, but as she neared I noticed what they were--an umbrella and a bible. She shuffled her feet trying to keep her white, well now brown, slippers on as she raised the umbrella above her plastic helmet and shouted a foul obscenity. Her presence was now captivating every driver on the roadway and traffic came to almost a complete halt as granny approached her annoying fellow citizen driver that had so provoked her rage. She crossed the white solid line on the roadway and shuffled herself to his driver-side door. The man was still inside the car, talking on his cell phone since the hit, but seeing this precious old woman, he gladly ended the conversation, opened his door and I assume, was intending to apologize for his bad driving, that was until...HIT!
"Ouch!" he yelped.
She whacked him over the head with her bible.
Whack! Hit!
"Ouch! Stop!" he said firmly.
She changed weapons and put her umbrella a few feet above her head for leverage and brought it down all the harder directly on the man's head at what appeared to be around 80mph.
"Take that you no good driver!"
She hit him again and again, and with each pop she seemed to gain strength and he cowered a bit more. The people on the side of the road began snapping pictures as the man cried for help. Unfortunately, no one could hear his cries for mercy above the roaring laughter. One gentlemen even hung up his phone with the police because he could no longer pronunciate his words or get enough oxygen to speak because of the uncontrollable laughter overtaking his gut. 
"Your momma would do da ezact same thang son. You jus need a good woopin'! It'd do ya some good to read this book!" She handed him the bible and he gladly accepted, realizing that the unnecessary torture would relent if he'd just comply with her request. 
The granny began to walk back to her car, denting his a few more times with her large umbrella on the way.
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