The Joy Thief

I have this relation who I secretly refer to as the Joy Thief. Why? Because anytime anything good comes my way, she has to cop an attitude for why it didn’t happen to her.

Example: one day one of my novels hit the USA Today Bestsellers list. I shared the news (this was the last time I shared such news with her) and her response, “Oh, that’s nice. It must be nice to have a job you get paid for even when you don’t work.” She was referencing my receiving royalties after the book is released. Uh, excuse me? I worked my ass off to write said book and to market said book to get that many copies sold. It didn’t just happen.

She isn’t a writer so she really doesn’t understand how much time and even money goes into writing a book. Yet, every chance she gets she remarks how jealous she is of me for not having to have a real job. Again, 25 books didn’t just write, publish and market themselves. If she wants to be a writer and collect royalties, then shut up and write a book…or two dozen.

Another circumstance, I got food poisoning from eating at a restaurant with my ex-mother-in-law (a mere coincidence? I’m not sure….). Anyway, I had to cancel my plans to help her move some lawn furniture because I was camped out in the bathroom, calling Huey on the big white phone. Instead of a “Oh no, I hope you’re okay. Is there anything I can bring you?” She texts: “Lucky you. I wish I could have gone to eat at XXXXXXX.”

Really? She really wants to play that card? She goes out to dinner probably 5-6 times per week and only a week ago, she was bitching to me about it because it was making her fat. She’d moved up two bra sizes in the past three months because her husband had been taking her out to eat every night. I eat all my meals at home except two days a week I’ll eat lunch out because I have to travel two hours from home for some medical stuff that takes a few hours before I have to drive two hours back home. Then this particular night I went to a $9/plate large-chain Mexican restaurant because my ex-mother-in-law was in town for one of her two yearly visits and get deathly sick and she’s bitching that she’s never gotten to eat there?! Next time she can take my spot. I don’t know what was more uncomfortable sitting at the table with all my ex-inlaws (my ex-husband wouldn’t take my kids, so I had to and got roped into staying) OR driving home and feeling like three pounds of crushed glass was working its way through my intestines. I’ve never clenched my cheeks so tight in my entire life. I prayed my asshole wouldn’t fail me on the way home.

Thankfully, it didn’t.

The examples could go on and on:

She came with me once to a craft fair. I paid for everything I purchased with cash, she used her credit card for most of hers. She commented how lucky I was to just have money to blow. I spent $75 total (admission, lunch for both of us and a few nicknacks) because that was all I had in my pocket. She came with only $20 in cash used it at the first booth, then fished out her credit card for 3-4 other shops where she bought so much crap we couldn’t carry it all. I’m not lucky, I came prepared and stopped when I reached my limit.

She got in my car once and saw I had a DQ Blizzard cup in my cup holder. “I wish I could have gone with you to Dairy Queen.” I didn’t even eat the damn Blizzard one of my kids did.

I helped her move stuff all day and when we were done I said I was going home. “You’re so lucky you get to go home. I have to stay up all night and unpack.” Well…I did just use my back and my gas to move you. Not to mention it took longer than it was supposed to because she was running late so I had to ask another friend to pick up my kids from school Now I need to get home to my house full of kids and cook dinner and do homework.

I wore a dress to church that I bought from the clearance rack at Dillards three years ago. “Oh, I love your dress. Where did you find it?”  I inwardly cringed. “Dillards.” “It must be nice to go to the mall so much. I buy all of my dresses at yard sales.” That’s an outright lie and I know it. I’ve seen her plunk down $150 for a dress at a department store and at the fair and at a boutique. She also swears flip flops that are at least $40-50 a pair. Who the hell pays that for flip flops??? I clearly got into the wrong business if that’s what people pay for flip flops. I can string you up a pair for that! I honestly don’t care how much her dresses cost compared to mine. I don’t care where she gets hers or where I get mine. I shouldn’t have to justify wearing a department store dress to anyone. Period.

She gets her feelings hurt if someone buys her a greeting card priced below the $3 mark. It’s a freaking piece of paper. In my family, we do The Nana. Meaning we send the wrong cards for different holidays.  Then we just keep them and re-circulate them. It’s great.

If I’ve had a bad day, hers is worse. If someone compliments me on something I bring to a potluck, she has to tell everyone about when she made that same dish and what she uses so I could improve. When I wear anything she hasn’t seen before, she says it’s cute and asks when I went shopping.

I have come to learn not to say anything other than how the weather is. Otherwise, I cannot enjoy a treat. I can’t talk about writing or she’ll bring up how lucky I am not to have a “real job”. I don’t tell her when I’m going anywhere fun or when I’ve done anything fun because she has to suck the fun and joy and life right out of it! And she wonders why she doesn’t have any friends except me…

I’ve bitched for about a 1,000 words to say this, if you’re a fun-sucker and do this crap, stop! You seriously won’t have any friends left. If you have (or had) a friend like this, advice please!!!

May your day be merry and your friends treat you right,

Imma B.

STOP texting and talk to ME!!!

I think we’ve all been there. We invite someone over for dinner or coffee–just some girl time between friends–and they spend the whole time on their phones texting someone else. Why bother to come over? Just sit at home and text ME from there. This irritates me so much, but you know what I do? Probably the same thing you’ve done: grab my phone and start texting someone else, too. At least it kills the awkward moment.

The most annoying though is when I’m in the car and someone does this to me. I have this friend who is notorious for not wanting to drive. Why? She claims its because I’ve lived here longer and know the area better; but the real reason is because she spends the whole time texting her boyfriend while I’m driving. Then, when he isn’t texting her back quickly enough, she calls him, lets the phone ring once and hangs up so he’ll call her back and she can pretend it was an accidental dial…but since she has him on the phone, blah, blah, blah. At least when she does this I can at least hear the conversation and don’t feel quite as annoyed. Weird how that works, I know.

I think people who do this crap should pay a “being rude” fee. Buy my gas. Or pay for my presence–$100 an hour should be good enough. 😀

If you’re a serial texter when someone else is in the room STOP. It’s just downright rude!

Just some thoughts from…

Imma B.

Open Letter to the Pharm Tech at Wal-Mart

Dear Sir,

Upon visiting your spot at the pharmacy counter twice within the last six days, I have come to the conclusion that you have a long, gnarly, sharp stick lodged in your posterior.

I am so sorry you suffer from such an affliction and if I were able to, I’d add you to my very costly health insurance policy so you could have it removed, post haste. However, since that isn’t a possibility, I’d like to offer a few suggestions for how to cope with such a condition in a manner that would be most pleasing to your customers:

A. Grin and bear it. As my kindergarten teacher used to say, “Turn that frown upside down!”
B. Quit your job and go to work at McDonald’s. If dealing with customers isn’t your cuppa tea, perhaps you could be a cook?
C. Suck it up, Buttercup.

Yes, sir, I understand options A and C are not that different. So really you have two options: learn a little about customer service and do the job you’re being paid to do (filling prescriptions and selling them to people, keyword, SELLING, not telling me that I need to take it to the front and go stand in the one of two checkout lines open) OR go to work somewhere else.

I do hope you found this letter as useful in career guidance as I did therapeutic to write. May the next time I go pick up an antibiotic I either see your smiling face as you ring me up or learn you’ve moved onto a rewarding career as the janitor at the movie theater.

Sincerely,

Imma B.

Garage Sale from HELL!

In my lowly opinion I think every blog needs to have a regular column. Since every other day I blog about random crap, I think that Fridays should officially be dubbed “From Hell Friday!” in which we have a guest share about a hellish ordeal they’ve suffered. This week I will go first with the day I entered into…

GarageSale HELL
Artem Stepanov | Dreamstime.com image purchased, modified and used with permission

First, let me get this out of the way so when you later see this in my post you don’t feel the need to crucify…er…correct me in the comment section. I don’t call them yard sales, rummage sales, moving sales or even garage sales. No matter what kind of sale it is, I call it a…

Garbage Sale.

No, I know how you read that, but stop and go with me for a minute. In this circumstance, I don’t pronounce garbage like garbage. I make it rhyme with garage. So pronounced more like “gar-bajh”

Yes, I’m weird, however, this term “fits”.

How?

  1. What is 99% of what you find at a garbage sale?
    Unwanted items.
  2.  Where do unwanted items typically go?
    The garbage.

Simple logic. Plus, garbage pronounced gar-bajh actually sounds kind of class, don’t ya think?

Okay, so my advice on hosting a garbage sale:

Don’t. 

That’s very plain and simple. Just don’t.

About two months ago I got a flyer in the mail from the president of my HOA saying that our neighborhood’s annual garage sale weekend was in two weeks.

My first reaction was to cringe. My second was, “Hmm, well, maybe I can offload some of my crap onto someone else and make a little money while making my crap their crap.”

I should have stuck with my initial reaction because before I knew it, I had fallen into the depths of Garage Sale Hell

For two weeks I stayed up late to do research. During the day, I neglected my cleaning to comb through my entire house and attic for things that would hold a value for someone else. Then peeled and created so many price stickers I was starting to see them in my sleep.

I was so super excited. I had done a purge on my house and I was hopeful to have a nice chunk of change at the end of the day.

Then came the “Big Day”.

At 5am, I started dragging all my crap outside. No easy feat considering how much I had gathered in my crap cleanse.

As I was putting stuff out, people started walking up. I was so excited. Not because I’m a natural born salesperson, because I’m not. I couldn’t sell a parka to an eskimo. Never even dream of selling one snow.

First couple came and snapped up 3 of the six children’s life jackets, paying $3 each for them for a total of $9. And THAT was the biggest sale of the day. I’m not even kidding.

From 6:30/7-ish to a little before 10 there was a steady stream of people. From 10-noon, it was dead. There was a minor uptick between 2-3 and not another soul after 3:45. It was miserable and embarrassing. At the end of the day I counted up how much money had been made…$72. Not counting all the hours I worked leading up to the day of the sale, on sale day alone, 12 hours were spent setting up, selling and cleaning up. That equates to $6 per hour which is less than minimum wage. Did I mention this was a miserable and embarrassing experience? Actually humiliating is probably a more accurate adjective.

Was it my location that drove people away? 

Heck no! I was the first house in the subdivision!

Was it that I didn’t have anything worth buying?

I guess it’s possible…I had what a lot of the blogs and sites considered hot sellers: super cheap Christmas decorations, kitchen stuff, kids things, clothes, etc, etc. I even had unopened, new in the package, high-end cosmetics. And I credit one particular sale of said products as the reason I didn’t make $80 instead of $72 😀

This lady who had on more makeup than a clown came up and found my box of makeup. She dinked around in the box for a few minutes, then brought a handful up to me wanting to buy it. Oddly enough ALL, not just some, but ALL of the price stickers from all the makeup in her hand were gone. Had I been smart, I’d have just said, “I’m sorry, that’s not for sale, I need to go fix the prices.” But I’m an idiot, so I told her what I had it all marked as. “Oh, that unused powder isn’t worth $3. It’s been opened. I’ll give you one for it,” she says.

I ground my teeth. That powder had not only been sealed, it had been in a sealed box not five minutes earlier. “Fine,” I said through clenched teeth. “I had these lipsticks,” which I see aren’t sealed any longer, either, “for $1 each.”

The lady sighs, counts the six lipstick tubes, the four things of eyeshadow, four makeup bags, a handful of bottles of nail polish and the powder and says, “I’ll give you six for all of it.”

Just wanting her to go as far away from me as possible since most of that was now unsellable I said, “Fine.”

The lady opens her purse where there is money overflowing from every nook and cranny, throws down a five and says, “I think that’s fair.”

I was livid…and numb. I just said fine as calmly as I could and walked away. There were other people in my driveway, it wouldn’t do to cause a scene and argue with her. But I’ll never forget that and never again will I ever host another garbage sale. I don’t care what people say about making hundreds or even $1,000 from a strategically planned sale. This lady ain’t doing it again. EVER.

What about you? Have you visited the depths of Hell and have a story to tell? If so, we’d love to hear it. It doesn’t have to be this long. 🙂 Just go to my Files from Hell page up at the top and fill out the comment form. It’s that simple. Then look for your story to be featured. 

*Please note: submission does not automatically mean you’ll be featured. To increase your odds of being featured, please read beneath the contact form.*

 

I suck…at life!

I suck at life. But that’s okay I’m NOT suicidal, so no need to panic. I have everything under control. 🙂

I’ve come to learn in my 31 years on this planet, there are two types of people. The first are more like cats than people in that no matter what, they always land on their feet. They could be headed straight toward a disaster of colossal proportions, often times of their own creation, and just when everything is about to combust in their face, BAM!! they manage to escape unscathed. These people make me want to wretch. While the first group of people have this ability that everything they touch turns to pure gold. The second group, which is where I belong, everything they touch (or even merely think about) turns to crap. That’s me! Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap!

I guess that isn’t completely true. I have had one teeny, tiny success. And no, I’m not talking about my kids. Those are two HUGE successes, but I can’t count them toward my successes. I just conceived, carried, birthed, rocked, fed, played with, taught and loved them. There successes aren’t really mine to claim. That should be true of all parents, please, for the love and mental wellbeing of your children, STOP trying to live vicariously through them!!! You have your life, live it and let them live theirs.

I digress.

I do have one success under my belt. Believe it or not by my crazy nonsense above, at one time I was a very common name in the Amazon bestselling romance books charts. I’ve hit national lists on more than one occasion and I’ve even swept up a few awards. But then my marriage crumbled to dust and once again, everything I touched turned to crap. 😀

So here I am, creating a new identity for myself. Except, I don’t want to write romance anymore. Gag. I want to write about the nitty-gritty day-to-day life stuff where I don’t have to please people with what I write or I won’t sell as many books. Nope. I’m done with that crap. I’m done crying over bad reviews or tanking sales. I’m done smiling politely when a reader walks up to me at a convention and insults my book…or my common sense for having a heroine dare to say anything unkind to the perfect hero. For the love of hair people, IT’S A BOOK.

So please, sign up to follow my blog if you want to read about the crazy day-to-day crapola I encounter (and believe me, I am a heavy duty magnet for the weird), to get the inside scoop on what authors face, for product reviews and recommendations, for interviews of whoever is crazy enough to want to come on here and chit-chat with me and whatever other life-enriching content I can come up with!

Imma B.