Monday, April 20, 2009

The Danger of Being a 30-Something Single Daughter

Do all mothers believe their daughters must be banded, i.e., married, in order to achieve happiness in life? Or is that just mine?

Do all mothers lose consciousness as they get older of the potentially flushed-face embarrassment their actions can inspire in attempting to orchestrate such happiness for their daughters? Or is that just mine?

I cringe as I write this. Still. It happened this weekend and I still cringe.

I visited my Mom this past weekend. Mom is the perpetual newlywed these days. To say she's happily married seems somehow lacking. Brainwashed seems more appropriate. But, you know, in a good way. Suffice it to say my Mom is the happiest I've ever seen her.

The set up for this brief glimpse of my horror is a phone conversation I had with Mom sometime during the past couple weeks. She mentioned that she ran into an old high school friend of my older sister. This friend has a younger brother John who had been in my grade in school and who, the last I had heard, had entered into the military with the intention of becoming a pilot. I remember this classmate - from elementary school in fact - as the annoying little brother of my sister's friend who tripped me as I ran up the stairs at his house and with whom I got in trouble in Mrs. Troyer's 4th grade class because our impromptu contest of who could spell "Mississippi" the fastest got a little on the, um, loud side. So, just smack me for my stupidity, I made the ultimate error in this exchange: I asked Mom if the friend had said how her brother John was doing.


The answer was ... oh she had forgotten about him. No, no, she didn't think to ask. Mistake #2: I forgot about the conversation after that.


Back to this past weekend. I was inside the door for roughly five minutes before Mom got all excited and said, "Oh, before I forget." The woman then produced a scrap of paper with two phone numbers on it - the friend's home and cell phone number.

I looked at her blankly as she explained that she got those for me so I could call the friend.

My look turned a bit more pale and incredulous as, at my blank look, Mom further explained that I could ask the friend about John.


I tried to explain how odd it would be for me to call this woman up - this woman who had been my SISTER'S friend, not mine - and ask about her brother out of the blue.

My mother's response to this sensible concern? Oh, well, she could call for me.


Now my look turned the shade of mortified that keeps creeping up on me each and EVERY time I think of this conversation.

"NOOOOOOOO! Mom ... Mom ... no. Seriously, if you see her again, then sure, asking about him is fine but for God's sake do NOT go out of the way to ... just no. Please ... no."


Uh oh ... wait a second ...


"Um ... where did you get those numbers?"

"Oh, from a woman that works with her."


The woman hunted down contact information like a detective!! It feels as if she turned an offhand question about a childhood friend into a mother's quest for a man for her child. Now, I realize that Mom just wants me to be happy ... but encouragement for me to be happy with my life as it is now is what I need, not the Mom attempt at matchmaking.

In short, I made the rookie mistake of mentioning any male in my mother's presence. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Oh ... and ...

What did my Mom say to secure the friend's home and cell phone numbers from a coworker? I didn't ask. I couldn't ask. I can only hope that the imagined conversation in my head is much worse than reality. But, really, I'm incapable right now of thinking of a version of that conversation that doesn't make me cringe.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Power of a High-Pitched Yelp

[Disclaimer: Remember, I work downtown in a building that houses not only the Prosecutor's Office but also the Probation Department, which means it is filled with not just those mentally and emotionally unstable prosecutors, but also angry defendants and probationers meeting with agents as well as taking drug tests, etc. Apparently, there are reasons we must go through a metal detector to get inside the building during the week and must therefore wait until the weekend to bring in our large knives.]

Yesterday was a bright, sunny, happy Thursday in Grand Rapids. I am lucky enough to have assigned parking downtown in a lot right next to the building in which I work. In order to enter, I park in the lot then use a walkway down to Ionia Avenue, where the front entrance to the building is guarded by deputies and a large metal detector.

I was strolling down the walkway yesterday alone when I noticed a large man sporting a doo rag walking towards me. I thought nothing of it until he started to pass me and I heard the following words mumbled in a low, guttural, "I don't even realize I'm talking out loud" kind of way:

"This is bad .... this is bad .... this is bad ...."

The man continued on his way and I, evil as I am, had a moment of chuckle wondering what he did and what part of his probation was causing him angst. About ten seconds later, my adrenaline jumped when I heard the pounding of someone running behind me. I turned to see the same man who had just passed me, running back toward me.

I had two thoughts flash through my mind: 1) No one is going to assault me in broad daylight right outside the Prosecutor's Office; 2) well, except perhaps some wigged out man talking to himself about things being bad ... oh no.

Now, did my years of karate training (my brown belt is in a closet somewhere) leap to the forefront and aid me in my time of panic?

Yeeeah. Instinct took over and I let out a high-pitched squeal and jump. Now, if you know me, you know that had this been a friend or family member (Jenny) trying to scare me, what followed would have entailed many many bad words and possibly violence.

There was no need this time.

The man jumped nearly as high as me and immediately began a litany of "Oh no no no, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry" and I dissolved into an embarrassed "No problem" pool. He continued on his way ... and I have no idea what he'd forgotten or why else he needed to hurry in the other direction but it had nothing to do with attacking the short APA in his way.

I continued weakly into my office building, laughing at myself, and wondering if Sanchin Ryu still has classes in the area. Apparently, I need a refresher.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oh, Guilt, Shame, Lamentations

I know, I know ... apparently the aftermath lasts a good month.

Bad BAD Justa!

If it helps, I've spent over half of the past month in an almost tizzy of stress over multiple cases being submitted to the Court of Appeals all in April. I have visions of a clerk somewhere taking glee in wreaking havoc on my mundane life. [Oh yes, I am that vain. Please, I write a blog of me.] To that clerk ... know that a tiny bit of the flames licking at my soul are thanks to you "Oh Reason That I Spent 17 hours at Work on Easter Sunday." Do I earn halo points for doing my part to keep killers behind bars? Let's see, today it was two killers and one nasty husband of 19 years who took advantage of a mentally disabled woman in a sick sad way. Prolonged periods of time with my face stuck inches away from a trial transcript throws logs on the Manns sisters' mantra, "Have I Told You Lately How Much I Hate People?"

Not all people. Just evil people. And annoying people. An occasional stranger.

Just some short notes to jog my brain after this quiet blog time:
  1. Evil little sisters dominate you.
  2. Life can quickly become one giant technological mind-suck.
  3. Tweetdeck could be addictive and I've had it for less than an hour.
  4. People spit ... a lot. Don't look down the next time you stroll in downtown GR.
  5. Owain ... mmmmmmm.
  6. A Blackberry might be a necessity.
  7. It bothers me that I can usually make a better argument for defendants than their attorneys ... but not a lot.
  8. I don't appreciate the length of time it is taking for the mythical unicorn maker to find me.
  9. Most of you won't understand #8 and for that I am glad.