Decomposition

This may be a little morbid. But I seriously do think about this. If I die in my house, at what point would someone come and look for me? How stinky would it be by the time my body was discovered? Would my cats eat me?

Just humor me for a moment: Let’s say something happens on a Friday – I fall off a ladder and hit my head, go through my ceiling while doing something in my attic, electrocute myself putting in a ceiling fan, etc. Maybe my friends miss me over the weekend but assume I’m just busy or blowing them off. Then Monday rolls around and I don’t show up for work. I have exactly one close work friend and he’s not the type to worry if I wasn’t there. He would probably assume I was out of the office and then immediately forget to think about it again. Would my boss or assistant call someone? Who would they call? I think my mom is still my emergency contact on file – she’s in a different state and there isn’t much she could do. Perhaps the first day I don’t show no one worries but the second or third someone decides to look into it more. Maybe my friend realizes there’s some sort of problem. Then what. They send the police to my house? At this point it could be Tuesday or Wednesday and my corpse has been rotting since Friday. Not good.

I worry less about this scenario than something like getting hurt while running and not having anyone who knew I was out there. Sometimes after a particularly tough work day or when I need to clear my mind, I head out for a run. I have a three mile route that I do on shorter days but every now and again I go exploring and might go anywhere up to 8 or 10 miles. The worst ever was when I was training for a marathon (which I never did, only half marathons for me) and had a 16 mile course mapped out. It was essentially an 8 mile out and back. Around mile 7 my butt started to hurt. Literally. I found out later from a physical therapist that the issue was related to an inflamed piri formis. The injury ended up taking several months of PT to recover but meanwhile I was far away from home and having a hard time walking let alone running. There wasn’t a great way to shortcut my route but I was able to shave off a mile or two by climbing a fence and trespassing across a private athletic training facility for a certain NCAA Division I school I attended. Luckily it was early on a Sunday so no one was around. I had to take stairs to get up to my apartment at the time and ended up hopping up on one foot I was in so much agony. I couldn’t walk for a week and the PT I was working with was a little ticked that I had overdone it by so much.

There have been other times when I’ve been out and had issues. Once I got seriously lost in the woods and the only reason I found my way out was that I run with a Garmin GPS. Another time I was running through a park near my apartment and the gate at the far end was unexpectedly locked. It was still early in the summer season and while it was normally left open, that day it wasn’t. To get around I would have had to run all the way back through the park and around the fence to get out. This wouldn’t have been a big deal except there was a group of what I can only term menacing looking guys playing basketball. They saw me run through and stopped their game when they saw I wouldn’t be able to get out and would have to run back by them. They started to move towards me and I had the sense that I needed to get out as quick as possible. I ended up scaling the fence (I apparently climb a lot of fences) but there was barbwire at the top. I still have a scar on my right forearm from where it cut me.

I feel bad writing all this as I have visions of my mother breathing into a brown paper sack to mitigate the hyperventilation stemming from the panic attack I just caused. But as a single girl living in not quite the safest city in America I wonder if there is some awesome solution out there to assuage my worries. I’ve thought before about having some sort of website similar to mapmyrun.com where you would report the route you were running, the time you left, your predicted time of return, and instructions on what to do in the event you didn’t check back in. With the technology that exists I’m sure there is some way to do this in an app form and using an automated text system it could alert your emergency contact. Having GPS tracking enabled on my phone helps but I don’t like to run with it in the event it rains and also my general sweatiness. I also don’t think this would need to be limited to just running but anytime you were about to embark on something that could end in disaster such as first dates. Especially with the increase of internet dating, it seems people meeting strangers for the first time might want some sort of safety net in case the person chopped their body into tiny pieces and stored it under the floorboards of their front porch. If no one ever knew you even went on a date let alone who you were with, then you’ll end up with the situation I outlined at the beginning – rotting corpse several days old.

Maybe an app already exists for this and I haven’t found it yet. Let me know if you are a whiz programmer who wants to make this happen and/or if this is the most preposterous idea ever and would never work.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep texting my friends anytime I’m about to do something stupid.

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Imbalance

I’ve been having a hard time coming up with a label for what I more affectionately refer to as me making really ridiculous/bad/reckless decisions that I am sure would be different if I had 1 – a sounding board and 2 – a presence other than cats consistently observing my lifestyle. Short of hiring a life coach though I’m plagued by this imbalance business. I thought that was a good way to sum it up. It’s ironic as the thing that first brought me to WordPress and blog writing was my decision to pursue a liquid diet/detox of sorts. I wanted to create a blog to follow my miraculous outcomes from pursuing a vegan lifestyle. After one too many documentaries, I decided it would be a brilliant idea to clean out my refrigerator so I could stock it full of fruits and veggies. I then proceeded to embark on a 7-day juice fast. I’m sure you can already guess how well that turned out. First I thought I could make juice by just shoving everything into a food processor. For the record that doesn’t work. So I went out and bought a fancy juicer (which I later returned). I made it through 1.25 days of fasting. No wait – if memory serves me I made it through three juices and then went to a party where I loaded up on cake and veggie sandwiches. I still remember how unbelievable the veggie sandwiches tasted. That night I had nightmares about juice and the next day decided to chuck the whole venture. I attempted to create some meals with all the fruits/veggies stashed away but as often happens around my house, I threw out a bunch of food in various stages of decomposition.

This is but one of the fantastically stupid ideas that I’ve had while sitting around my house unattended. I was initially going to label this danger ‘diet’ as it seems I am particularly irresponsible with food however I make bad decisions in all aspects of my life – why limit myself. To continue on the ‘diet’ theme though, people who know me well can usually guess what I am eating on any particular occasion. If you’re not one of the lucky few in the inner circle, let me break it down for you:

Meals I can make for myself:

  • Spaghetti with tomato sauce, frozen garlic bread
  • Stir-fry…kind of
  • Grilled chicken/salmon in the George Foreman
  • Salad
  • Vegetarian chili in the crockpot with cornbread
  • Corn on the cob

Those are the meals reserved for the nights when I cook. If I’m being honest, that happens about once or twice a week. Otherwise I am too tired/lazy to come up with something so return to one of my defaults:

  • Double stuf oreos with milk
  • Ice cream (Graeter’s Black Raspberry chocolate chip… AMAZING!!!)
  • Ghiradelli dark chocolate sea salt caramels
  • Peppermint or caramel mocha (but caffeine makes my heart race so try to limit at night)
  • Red gatorade

More often than not it’s oreos for dinner. I feel better having the milk too. For those of you already up in arms as I’m technically lactose intolerant, rest assured – it’s lactose free milk.

I realize for a lot of reasons this is not exactly a balanced diet. In case you’re wondering what I eat for lunch and breakfast, that can be summed up in three words: peanut butter sandwiches. So I’m probably missing out on some vital nutrients which is why I’m making an effort to better plan ahead on meals and be a teensy bit less lazy in food preparation. In the past when I was in relationships and/or living with people, I distinctly remember eating a larger variety of food and frankly eating better food. Probably that partially had to do with the fact that these other people knew how to cook. There’s also something to be said for not wanting to face your roommate’s judgy face when you decide to eat oreos and milk in your bed for the fourth day in a row.

Just so you don’t think poor eating is my only vice, I must say that Hulu/Netflix are two of the best/worst things that have happened to me as a single girl, especially Hulu. Problem is when I find a new show that I like, I watch it obsessively ignoring other responsibilities and social obligations. (My lawn hasn’t been mowed since…nope can’t remember. Only reason it got done was I begged my gay husband to do it – more on him later.) Recently I started watching Grimm and could not tear myself away. I’m not a great TV watcher – I can’t sit still but if I have something to work on while I watch I can go ten or twelve hours straight. Which is exactly what I did. I’m all caught up now and am waiting for the next real live episode. Before that it was Downton Abbey…anyone who has watched that can tell you how truly nerdy that obsession is…

Also scratch vegetarian chili off the list of items I can make. That’s what I made for dinner and it’s gross. I screwed something up and all I had to do was dump stuff into a crockpot. Seriously.

I guess the moral of the story is if you drive by my house and see a perfectly manicured lawn paired with smells of a delicious feast, call the cops as I have most certainly been taken hostage. Also that it might be a good idea for me to get out more. And learn how to cook.

“Every pan is a no-stick pan if you no-cook in it” – the birthday card my sister sent me last year

Unwanted Digits

Do you remember the Destiny’s Child song “No Scrubs”? I distinctly remember the lyrics that went something like “No, I don’t want your number. No, I don’t wanna give you mine and no, I don’t wanna meet you nowhere. No, I don’t want none of your time.”

Okay so I could be butchering it a bit as I am too lazy to look up the exact lyrics to verify but you get the gist. I think I should get that song, put it on my phone, and then play it back every time I receive what I term negative male attention. Which brings me to my next danger of singledom… unwanted phone numbers.

I’ll go ahead and countdown the list of recent experience:
5. Man I met in bar who every night would text me something with the word sexy in it. Use a thesaurus.
4. One of my clients.
3. A man twice my age who asked his buddy to ask me if I was dating someone. Just lie and say yes.
2. Someone who wants me to be their girl on the side
And the most undesirable number of all in recent months…
1. A cop who recognized my friend’s car, followed us home, chatted me up and later in the night left a note for me in my windshield with his number and a message that he wasn’t a stalker. Except for the part where he followed me home. And left a note. On my car. Parked in my driveway. And the subsequent times that he drove by my house and shone his police light into my windows just to “check on me”. Oh and also – he’s married.

From what I hear though the bad news is that even if I were dating someone or married, guys would still be…themselves. So just need to come up with some really good lines in the meantime. Here’s my list thus far:
You’ll be the first guy I’ve gone out with since that recent herpes flair up
I breed cats for a living
I don’t believe in shaving
I’m getting to be that age – would you like to be a daddy
I just lost 100 pounds, I’m sure I won’t gain it all back
I am a rules girl
My mom screens all the men I go out with, when are you available to Skype

I’ll let you know my success. So far this seems my best ammunition against yet another danger. Also for the record only some of those are true.

Cats

I only have two at this point but sometimes when I meet people for the first time I see their expressions change when I jest about being a cat lady. Two is a good number – not too much poop to scoop and they play together. I can also leave them on their own for days at a time and they don’t die. They both make me laugh and I talk to them. I do not however dress them in outfits or post videos of them on YouTube. Pictures on Facebook but no videos. Yet. It’s just nice to have someone to chat with. And they always agree with me. And love me more than anyone else. Which is only because I feed them but whatever – I’ll take what I can get.

The cat thing was a slippery slope for sure. It is a clear and present danger of the single lady lifestyle. At first I got this older needy cat who just wanted to cuddle all the time…and I do mean all the time. There were no boundaries. I had to do some business in the bathroom – cat sat on my lap. It was when he started urinating on everything that he had to go. Before he really went to town tinkling on all my belongings, I got him a kitten to play with because I thought he was lonely. The kitten was super fun and is even better now that he’s mellowed into a fat, lazy adult. I’m not going to tell you how I got rid of the first cat because I think it’s probably one of the worst things I’ve ever done. That being said you now probably think I did something illegal which is not the case however I’m still not proud and don’t want to write about it. So now I had the kitten plus my boyfriend at the time had a cat. My boyfriend being irresponsible and an idiot (which is why he subsequently became my ex-boyfriend) didn’t have housing he could move to that allowed pets. So his cat came to live with me and my kitty. In the meantime though there was this little stray that someone had dumped and he was really sweet and manipulative. So I took him home as well. Three cats was the real low point. Luckily loser ex finally got a place which allowed animals and took his back. I felt bad as that cat really enjoyed playing with the other two and I thought the four of us had a nice rhythm going. I do think it infringed on my dating life though when I opened my mouth about three cats. Zero is best, one is to be expected with women of a certain age, two might make sense for socialization purposes but three is just…unacceptable.

Just get a dog – at least then you’ll have to get out of the house and walk it. The exercise will prevent you from experiencing other dangers such as I weigh as much as an eighteen wheeler and I may be an agoraphobe. No one ever gets called a dog lady.

Dresses with zippers

People tell me I’m a good writer. My mom has told me for awhile I should start a blog. I didn’t until today though have a platform I felt was blog-worthy. Then I got stuck in my dress.

I have this collection of Target dresses that fit me perfectly and are fabulous for the days when I didn’t quite get out of bed early enough to put together an outfit. Throw on dress – grab cardigan – shoes – done. Today I grabbed a red dress and black wrappy thing with strings. (As an aside, this black wrappy thing has gotten me into trouble before when I went to the bathroom and didn’t mind the strings… but I digress) I got the dress mostly zipped as per the usual and then made one of my coworkers finish the job once I got to work. I had to work late and then go buy eggs. My running group is having an end of season celebration tomorrow night and I promised to make brownies. Then I discovered my eggs had been bad for several weeks. (Which in itself is another danger of singledom – food going rotten all the time because there are simply not enough people to eat it) Anywho – so after work went to store in my work finery and came home for baking magic. Turned on oven and rushed upstairs anxious to put on stripey PJ pants and t-shirt. This is the moment when everything nearly collapsed in on itself. While I typically can’t wiggle around enough to zip up my clothing, I can usually get it off. Not so tonight. I’m not sitting here typing still wearing that dress but lets just say it took considerably more effort than normal to get out of that thing.

So I started thinking. This whole single, independent thing has its pros but certainly there are downsides. Such as getting stuck in your work dress. Also it’s a little awkward asking random colleagues to finish dressing you – a task you should have been able to accomplish solo after all those lessons about tying and buttoning on Sesame Street. And always having stinky food in your refrigerator because you never eat it because eating alone is depressing. Being the maid, gardener, trash person, cook, plumber, handyman, and nanny (well, for the two cats) all in one. It’s exhausting.

I feel there must be more of my kind out there. I’m twenty-nine, have a good job, own my home, live with two cats and rarely vacuum. (Singledom presents many dangers, but one bonus is not having to do certain chores just because other people are bothered by the tumbleweed-esque balls of cat fur skating across the floors.) While I jest about the trivial inconveniences of living alone, I’ve had some truly not so safe encounters that will make any parent’s stomach turn (impaling my elbow with a nail, climbing into my attic unattended, dropping an air conditioner out a second story window…just to name a few). The real reason though for writing is I get lonely. As busy as I keep myself, at the end of the night there’s just something to be said for having someone to talk to before you go to sleep. So in the absence of a human and to satisfy my friend who insists it is inappropriate and weird to have conversations with my cats, I’m blogging. Get excited.