Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shortly after the girls and I moved in with Big V, the Jellybean experienced an intruder trying to break in to the house. She was home alone while the rest of us drove to the bank on this random, beautiful, sunshiney, couldn't-be-more-perfect afternoon. She's 13 and sulky and wasn't about to go anywhere with her hair looking like THAT! And so she stayed home alone.

Dotter and I were waiting patiently in the parking lot singing along to Hannah Montana for the umpteenth time while the all-important deposit transaction was happening inside. Who knew that in the next second I'd feel extreme helplessness and panic, something I never want to experience again.

On the other end of my cell phone, in a hushed but screaming voice was Bean... "they're trying to get in the house! oh my god! oh my god! MOM! they're opening the window - they're trying to open the WINDOW!"

What the hell was she saying? I couldn't focus. I couldn't hear. I couldn't see. I couldn't comprehend.

In a strong, assured voice I told her to calm down. I asked where she was - in her bedroom. The doorbell had rang. She had peeked out the side window and saw two men she didn't know. She didn't go to the door. She thought they would go away. But they didn't. They went through the garage and tried the door from the garage to the house. They went to the other door and tried that. When that didn't work they went about trying to open a window.

I told her to go down the hall to our bedroom and lock the door. From there she was to crawl under the bed and stay there. And not make a sound. But the whole time she's completely freaked out - "oh my god! HELP ME! HELP ME! i can hear them - THEY'RE AT THE WINDOW - THEY'RE OPENING THE WINDOW! oh my god! oh my GOD!"

and she hangs up.

Big V was walking back to the car at that point and I screamed at him to hurry. I tried calling the Bean back - no answer. And this is where my guilt and regret lie: I never called 911. I never contacted the police. I never told my sweet, precious Jellybean to call 911. I couldn't help her where I was, and I didn't make sure she was safe.

What I didn't know was that the Bean had called Big V's sister, who lives just a few streets away. Within seconds she had thrown three kids and her pregnant body into the car with her husband and was traveling as fast as their car could possibly go, staying on the phone the entire time.

As soon as they pulled into the driveway they new the situation:

Big V's idiot (and more than likely drunken) friends had been out for a motorcycle ride, enjoying the pleasant weather. Deciding to stop by Big V's house they found no response to their incessant bell ringing and door pounding, however, they were quickwitted enough to see Big V's truck sitting in place, so surely he was home. How funny would it be if they could get in and then scare him if he was in the shower or sleeping.

Big V's sister read them the riot act. Mama Bear describes her to a tee and she was not about to let these two losers off the hook until they realized the emotional damage they inflicted on this little girl.

That was a year ago. To date neither one of those two guys has bothered to apologize to me and that makes me angry. Big V has chosen to distance himself from them (this was actually just the tip in the so-called socially inept iceburg they hailed from) and I have never spoken to either of them directly. So imagine my surprise when today I signed onto Facebook and saw a friend request from one of them. Is he truly that stupid?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cletus the Fetus

So, I surprised the hell out of myself (again) by finding out I was pregnant. I say "again" because I have two children already and neither one was exactly planned for. This one wasn't planned for either, thus the surprise.

I found out months ago, so at this point (20 weeks into said unplanned event) I find myself resolved to the fact that I shall hatch a little changeling somewhere around September 20th of this year. (Yes, I am well aware of the fact that I must endure the E-N-T-I-R-E summer. No need to mention that to me every time you see me.)

It seems our little Cletus the Fetus is a genius. Told Big V won't be able to feel the flipping fetus until probably week 25, Cletus the Fetus has set out to proove the good doctor wrong. The past two weeks have been spent hosting Boxing Rounds of the Extreme Embryos and Gymnastic Championships of the Gamete Gurus. (gamete: look it up.) Big V is in awe beyond words, wrapping his calloused hands around my bulging belly any chance he gets, which, although cute in its own rite, is annoying when one is attempting to empty the washing machine.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'd gladly pay you 20% today for quality service you might not ever provide me...

Last night I posed a simple question on my Facebook: How much do you tip your hairdresser?

I seemed to have unwittingly opened a can of exploding opinions. 36 comments later I learned that the average tip was 20% - a little more if the service was stellar, a little less if it was so deserved.

However, a few comments shocked me - and these tended to be from the hairdressers themselves, like this one:

"As a HAIRDRESSER i feel 20% is norm anything above is awesome. And if you are giving a service, a tip IS expected! It's also called common courtsey."

Really? A tip is EXPECTED by you? How about the customer expecting good service FROM you? The last time I went to get my hair done I was left alone waiting several times. Now, I've been getting my hair cut, colored and styled since I was seventeen. I think I know the drill by now, so trust me when I say I can tell the difference between waiting for my color to set and waiting for you to answer the phone (once it was your mother!), assist walk-ins that wanted to use the tanning beds, and, oh yes, agree to cut the man's hair that will only take ten minutes. I didn't feel like I was getting the best service in the area, I felt like I was in your way and being a complete inconvenience to you. But, wait - didn't I execute common courtesy and call ahead to schedule this appointment so that you could set aside enough time to provide me such excellent service? I felt like I gave you ample time to plan out your stellar customer service plan, yet executed it was not.

What ever happened to "proove your worth?" You know, the idea that you bust your butt prooving you are an awesome employee and then you receieve a pay raise as recognition that you've done a great job and deserve more than what was previously given to you.

My Jellybean is notorious for asking for money BEFORE she does a job. It hasn't gotten her anywhere with me, but Big V fell for it once. The Bean wanted to borrow ten dollars. Of course she agreed to chores to complete in exchange... help give the dog a bath, clean out the car, and help shovel the driveway the next time it snowed. It took weeks to get her to 'pay up' and when she did, it was a most pathetic attempt. Whiney, miserable, "my hands are cold" -- she didn't follow her end of the bargain. This is what she agreed to - do it. She definately didn't do $10 worth of work, yet she expected that ten dollars when she wanted it.

Tell me, oh wise Hairdresser, when did it become a requirement for me to not only pay the cost meant to cover the expense of treatment on my hair, but also to pay you an additional 20% just because you want it? How about we compromise. You calculate a cost you'd like to charge because you expect it. This should cover your hair chemicals, taxes, time, etc. That will be what I pay you.... but if I don't like your service, then I won't go to you anymore.

And If I do like your service, I might pay you extra - a tip, if you will, to show my gratitude, to encourage you to do it again. Though by definition a tip is never legally required, and its amount is at the discretion of the person being served, I'll still throw in some extra if I feel you worked hard to show me that you can provide excellent service; something that shows you are above and beyond the rest.