Monthly Archives: August 2010

Ashland, I think.

I went to Ashland yesterday morning to visit with some friends I went to college with.  Sounds like a fun time, right?

I got there early, stopped at the Goasis just to stop there, and I was thrilled, excited, home, when in the process of walking in and out, four men opened the door and stepped out of the way.  One man even was halfway through the door, and stepped back out again.  And crawling all over Goasis, farmers, men in Wranglers with torn sleeves and long, lean farm muscles.  There were more pick-up trucks than Mercedes, and right away, I saw a Yoder Furniture truck.  There were three Amish horses and buggies just off I-71, the smell of manure and cut grass in the air, and excitement all around us.  The freshmen were there for their first weekend.

There are so many places I used to go in Ashland, and as I drove down Main Street where the bars were too far to walk.  Center Street, where all the houses are beautiful, hidden by bushes, set far back from the road.  I looked for the poor homeless man who used to live in a gazebo by the movie theater, and for my old coffee house, which had been turned into a party supply store.

I went to see friends, though.  One moved to Indianapolis after college, one to Canton, Ohio, and one remained in Ashland.  I, of course, have been bouncing between North Carolina and Franklin, Pennsylvania.  So we met up, drank some beers on the Ashland friend’s porch, hung out with her husband and her tenant.  And it was peaceful, but it felt so adult.

We ate dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, the closest bar to campus, the one we stumbled home from on countless star-filled nights with our ears ringing from karaoke and our throats sore from cigarettes.  And then we wandered campus.

Our dorm was called Myers, and it used to be all girls.  Now two floors are boys, and everything is different.  The picnic table where I smoked cigarettes with a long-haired boy in college is now a babbling brook.  The diamond-plated stairs that I used to slide down in the snow are now concrete and safe.  The umbrella trees where we used to hide are now open mulch.  But my tree on the Quad is there.  It’s still strong and standing.

But it’s not the same.  I cannot expect it to stay the same, although it wouldn’t hurt if it did.  I learned so much about who I was at Ashland because of the places I went, frequented, lived.  I’m not sure that matters as much now, though, as I am a completely different person.  I know this only because my friends and I were not connecting…or maybe we were, the way we used to.  But I felt like a cool Autumn breeze, blowing through the Summer of my life, where my friends still live.  Am I jaded to already be the one in the Autumn of my life?

Ashland at Night

In front of the fountain. Me, Rachel, Kay, Barbs.

Me, in a tree I used to climb.

Rachel came, too.

In front of our old dorm.

Old roomies.

Just a few pictures from the weekend.

And now, some of Mike and me, for good measure.


Before the wedding.

If I'm lucky, he'll keep me.


Posted by on August 29, 2010 in Daily Happenings


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o.0 What in the Sam Hell?

What does that even mean, anyway?  What in the Sam Hell?  Who is Sam Hell?

Praise Google.

Apparently it’s Sam Hill.  Maybe it was the dialect of Ohio that made me think it was Hell.  Regardless.

And now Praise Wikipedia:

Sam Hill (euphemism)

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Sam Hill is an American English slang phrase, a euphemism or minced oath for “the devil” or “hell” personified (as in, “What in the Sam Hill is that?”). Etymologist Michael Quinion and others date the expression back to the late 1830s;[1][2] they and others[3] consider the expression to have been a simple bowdlerization, with, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, an unknown origin.

So I’m apparently not too far off.

What is the reason for my Sam Hill?  Well, Sam Hill doesn’t know what it is to work at Bath and Body Works.  Now, I’m not saying it’s bad.  It’s actually rather fun.  And it’s a relaxed environment.  But the pay sucks.  And the hours suck.  And it’s a whole lot of Suck Sam Hill…  That sounds HORRIBLE.  A whole lot of Sam Hill Suck?  I’m not going to get anywhere with Suck, am I?


The reason I’m not liking this is that I am being paid not enough for what they’re expecting me to do.  Manager?  $9?  What?  It’s a tad ridiculous.  And overwhelming.  It’s like a bottle of lotion an hour.  Before taxes.  What in the Sam Hill am I going to do with that?  Sucky thing 2:  the hours.  It’s all evening.  SUCK.  Which means that Sam Hill and I are at Bath and Body Works together while Mike is at home…after work…without me or Sam Hill.  And it’s part-time.  So I’m working between 20-30 hours a week.  Okay, fine.  JUST MAKE THEM DAYTIME.  Ugh.

I think Sam Hill is going to be my new imaginary friend who I can bitch to while I’m training.


Housegirlfriendry not so fun as there are no babies or puppies to care for.

Retail is not fun because I am not being paid the amount I expect, and I never see Mike, and I am having an affair with Sam Hill.

And I do believe housewifery is far off…because I do not have a job that I am completely happy with.  And it has nothing to do with my degrees.  And Mike won’t marry an unhappy housegirlfriend who is gallivanting about with Sam Hill.


Posted by on August 26, 2010 in Daily Happenings


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I’m still here, all.  Do not worry.  And no, it wasn’t the housework that was keeping me away all that time.  But instead of boring you with a picture of my calendar…wait.  Can I do that?  No no, it would be so pathetic.  To make a long story short, I’ve been creating fiction with myself about this housegirlfriend thing.  Have no fear;  Mike still loves me, and I him.  We are in love.  There is love flowing from the apartment above the antique shop.  No fears.

But this housegirlfriend thing just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  If you’ll remember, I talked a little about the panic attacks I’ve been having.  I’ve realized something.  It’s because I spend TOO MUCH TIME with myself.  I feel bad for my college roommate, Kay, as she spent this much time with me, too.  Mike gets an 8-hour a day break.  I’m obnoxious!  I drive myself crazy (tell me you didn’t think of N’Sync, teenyboppers), and it got to the point where I was able to talk myself out of it.  So no more sweaty runs, except for the sake of sweating.  Oh, and losing pudge.  🙂

I am obnoxious, though.  I mean, I overthink everything.  Irrationally.  Like…okay.  I got a scratch on my leg, probably from rummaging about on the bike trail chasing that adorable chipmunk, or hunting down that cardinal I heard.  I honestly do not know.  But I was so sure an axe murderer was in my room at night, running his hooked hand up my leg and giving me these scratches.  And did you know I like to eat frozen semi-sweet chocolate chips out of the freezer at night?  Well, I do.  And I went through about twelve bottles of wine in a month.  Maybe that’s not so bad?  Glass a night?  On average?  Alcoholic?  Whatever.  Don’t judge me.

So Mike looks at me one night, frazzled, in ratty sweatpants and a glass of wine in hand (me, not him) and says, “Why don’t we go to the mall and see if you can at least get a part time job, you know, just to keep you from losing your mind here all day?”  A novel idea!  So we drove to the Cranberry Township mall, and I grabbed an application from every store.  Remember, this is a small town, so I drove away with maybe ten applications.

Aaaaand…are you ready for this?  I got a job.  I HAVE A JOB!  Now mind you, this is not something I want to do for the rest of my life by any means, and this is not something I think will turn into anything more.  It is a job simply to give me something to do.  It’s the type of job that this housegirlfriend would get once she was a housewife, and her children were in school at least all day, and the charm of bonbons, soap operas, and sleeping late wore off.  I wear an orange apron.  I smell pretty.  And I work at Bath and Body Works!  I’ve never worked retail and they’re letting me come in as a manager, so that’s pretty exciting.  And after one face-to-face interview, and two over the phone while I was bustling around Ohio from Mansfield to Fremont to Columbus, back to Fremont, I got a job.  So woot!  And that’s pretty good, because they didn’t call me till yesterday, and I spent all weekend buying clothes that fit the uniform…sooo.  🙂  SHOPPING!

And so this is what I’ve realized from this:  Being a housegirlfriend is fun, and I love having Mike’s lunch ready for him when he comes home, and I love working out when I want to, and pajamas all day, and frozen freaking chocolate chips, but one begins to feel useless.  Herein lies the problem of the ’50s housewife.  There’s no point of a housewife, if there are not housechildren.  I mean, kids.  And seeing as I am traditional (pfff) and don’t want children until after I’m married, those children aren’t coming until I am a housewife.  So housegirlfriend…well, does housegirlfriend really exist?  I took care of myself and inanimate objects…and Mike sometimes.  But for the most part, and I hate to say this, there is no point in being a housegirlfriend.

I felt guilty, really.  Because Mike pretty much funded everything.  And I didn’t get to take care of anything.  Now, if I had to have one kid to soccer and one to ballet and had to get them ready from school and buy Almond Milk for the lactose intolerant one, that would be a different story.  But I don’t.  I have to wake up, work out, and make sure my day goes quick enough that I don’t drive myself insane between periods of Mike.  So I got a job.

Job.  That word is frustrating in itself, and that’s part of why I was in Ohio for a week doing interviews over the phone.  I’m damn lucky enough to have made friends with my professors from Ashland and from UNCW.  My professor Mike, not to be confused with live-in boyfriend Mike, now works at OSU-Mansfield, and introduced me to an incredibly helpful resource named Norman, who assured me my life and my decisions weren’t a complete waste of time, and that I had potential beyond a housegirlfriend, even if it meant working at Bath and Body Works until I can find a job in higher education, which is truly my dream.  That last sentence is in past tense, simply because today is one of those days that feels like I’ll never make it out of housegirlfriend.

And on Friday, I drove to Columbus, more specifically Pickerington, Ohio, to meet with a woman with whom my mother’s boss recommended I meet with.  She is an incredible grant writer, and someone to surely look up to.  Problem is…I’m not competitive enough to write grants full time.  I’m just not into tiny deadlines and playing bad cop.  I’d love to be on a team sometime…just not heading it up.  I feel more schooled in grant writing, and that’s exciting because who doesn’t want someone who can write a grant?  And thanks for this woman for her innumerable helpful documents and immeasurable expertise.

So this is what I learned:  right now, with this economy, and with an English degree, it’s all about networking.  So I intend to network.  And I intend to send out pieces to be published, and to continue to apply to jobs in higher education.

Because let’s be honest:  until I have a bun in the oven, there is no point in being a housegirlfriend.  Speaking of which, my homemade pizza is done.

Bath and Body tomorrow.  🙂  I GET TO TALK TO PEOPLE!


Posted by on August 24, 2010 in Daily Happenings


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