May 7th, 2005

wank me a river, Enki

Out of the Closet...

The visit to our friends as planned last night did not go off as planned. Figment had unforeseen delays getting here -- the street was blocked off by my apartment again, so he wound up finding a long way around and a place to park.

This wound up having us arrive late at dustraven and trystan_laryssa's, and the porch light's inactive state indicated that they'd probably crashed out for the night. So we grabbed dinner and went over to Figment's to watch The Sixth Sense. (I swear, the man's getting me up to speed on current culture.) After that, I changed into the nightgown I'd brought and crashed out on the couch; we had vague plans involving Saturday morning cartoons for when we woke up. He'd gotten chocolate milk just in case I wound up over there. (He's so very sweet...)

I woke up around nine to Figment urgently shaking me by the ankle. "My parents are here!" he hissed.

Now, for background, Figment is a good 12.5 years older than I am, but he is also the baby of the family, and a member of a conservative religion that would generally frown on having a scantily-clad pagan girl sleeping on the couch, just in case something steamy might potentially go on, or even if it wouldn't, just because it looks bad. He has never had to sneak around with girls with his parents before.

He has recently been having your standard assortment of homeowner headaches, mostly involving plumbing, and the tearing-apart of walls in order to fix same plumbing. His parents have been helping him out.

I grabbed my clothes and scattered for the guest bathroom, which was perhaps not the best of choices. I dressed there, then judged that the coast was clear and came out and sat in the den quietly, figuring that this would work with whichever way Figment wanted to play it -- either I'd be dressed and presentable to introduce to the parents, or I'd be out of sight so he could maintain plausible deniability by finding somewhere for me to hide.

Figment opted to have me hide somewhere.
"This is one of those things that's going to get worse, rather than better, the longer it goes," I cautioned, thinking that what would be worse than Figment's parents walking in and seeing a strange woman sleeping on the couch would be for Figment's parents to unexpectedly discover a strange woman who Figment had been hiding from them, long enough after they got there that there would be no doubt that we'd been trying to conceal my presence, leading to uncomfortable questions like, "Just how well do you know my son, anyway?" and those other ones about religion.

Figment ran me down the hall and into the closet in the master bedroom. He settled me on the floor, slid the door closed, flipped on the light, and zoomed off to interact with his parents. I curled up on a convenient blanket and attempted to take a nap.

Figment eventually came to check on me, and at my hissed instructions, turned off the light. The closet was large, for a closet, but cluttered and crowded, without any room to stretch. I was getting very thirsty, and I needed to use the bathroom. A nap sounded like my best option. I tried to shift position silently.

There were intermittent brief conferences with Figment, mostly involving how to get me out in time to go home in a timely fashion, and how to convince his parents to leave. He'd never been in a situation where he'd wanted or needed to boss them around before.

Shouldn't I have been through with this in high school? I wondered, and diverted myself by trying to think back and remember if I'd done any hiding in closets during my high school era, or if I'd had anyone hiding in a closet. (I hadn't in high school, but there had been a guy hiding in a closet in my dorm during my first attempt at college for G-rated reasons, and then there were a few comedies of panic involving BJ's mother and her not seeing me in BJ's room.) In any case, the situation struck me as far too juvenile to be the sort of thing that a woman my age, let alone a man his age, should be engaging in, and that struck me as hilariously funny. I kept myself from laughing.

Figment eventually managed to imply that he had stuff to be getting done that he wanted to get done without tripping over parents. "You have about two minutes if you want to sneak out now," he whispered to me, and left the closet door open.

I looked around me. He'd moved my bag with my keys to a convenient location nearby, but I didn't know where my shoes were. I slid the door back mostly closed again, caught Figment's eye, and shook my head vigorously. No! Your cunning plan has failed! He acknowledged my signal, and I ducked out of sight just as his father came into view (ahead of schedule according to Figment's two minute estimate).

His parents left, then, and I was able to come out of the closet. Figment apologized profusely for the entire situation; I cracked up laughing at long last.

It's those little bonding experiences...
  • Current Mood
    amused amused
phone, cordless phone

Staff Meeting

In retrospect, while hiding in the closet of a freaked-out Figment from his Very Mormon Mother was certainly amusing, I could have probably had a far calmer day if I'd not said "fuck it", and gone to work as previously planned.

The staff meeting was fun, though. There was pizza all around. We were split up into a number of teams, as there were four separate presentations, and a limited amount of space and time. It would have been a zoo if the entire staff meeting were to have taken place in one room with all the presenters. Therefore, we all rotated between the four different presenters in the four different rooms.

My group got the fun presentation first -- it was one of those team-building exercises, where our group of eight-ish was split into two teams, and we played a visual/verbal/visual game.

There was a picture on a flip chart in a nearby meeting room, and there were two flip charts and two sets of markers in our meeting room. One person from each team was selected to go, view the picture in the other room, and then verbally describe the picture so that the rest of the team could reproduce it. We did not get to point or gesture, though we could coach the drawers as they were drawing.

I was selected to be our group's person to go and look at the picture, then give instructions. I was decent at it. Trendy Chick Super and one of the Office Ladies were drawing. The rules said that more than one person could go and look and give instructions, but only one person could give instructions at once, and once you'd looked at the picture, you couldn't go back to drawing. Comic Pirate Super was in my group too, and since he wasn't drawing, he went and looked at the picture and started giving instructions too.

Meanwhile, Rev. Nice Super, Short Chick Super, and the Fulfillment Supervisor Who We Never See Up Front were the other team, and there was serious contention. They also had two people looking at the picture and instructing on it, but things over there turned out to not be going so well. In contrast, Comic Pirate Super and I started working together very smoothly, and when it was all over, our group's picture wound up looking closer to the original.

From the experience, we learned that while working solo is better than working in a team with poor communications, working in a team with good communications is better than working solo. Everything must be explained clearly. Break things down into general areas. Always keep written instructions so that you can be consistent.

The rest of the meetings were not half so exciting, though they were interesting and informative.

At the end of the night, we re-convened in the break room to hear closing arguments the wrap-up speech and entertain any questions. There was a little awards ceremony for the visual/verbal/visual exercise as well. All eight different versions of the picture got held up by a representative from the group. It was too difficult to pick out the best right off, so the worst were eliminated. It finally came down to our group and another group. That group had missed the large red blob completely, and hadn't put any detailing on the kite. With the exception of Rev. Nice Super and one other hold-out (Rev. Nice Super was cheating by raising both his hands) the meeting in general proclaimed my group's picture the best.

As a prize, we each got a little bag with a $WORKPLACE_NAME insulated protected-topped beverage cup, five vending machine coupons, and a keychain wave generator with the blue oil/water mixture. Yay, us! Since I picked a coffee mug like that for my replacement incentive for high production in lieu of the parking place, I think I shall give this mug to the Figment. *grin* Gooood Figment.

We also each got an attendance buyback for attending the meeting, which means I'm very happy with myself. I should check my attendance score again, just to keep current on it.

It was a good staff meeting to have as my first one, I think. Since staff meetings generally start at 6:30 pm and run until 10:30pm, I was lucky that this one started early, at 4:30.
  • Current Mood
Little Fayoumis, Nephew

Happy Mother's Day!

Lots of mothers on LJ, so I'm not sure if I even want to attempt to list 'em all. But special Mother's Day greetings to Mama (if you're reading this), Darkside's mom (even less likely, but ditto), Figment's mom (who probably WON'T read this, plzkthxbi), nilo, iroshi, amberfox, pharminatrix, shadesong, ariedana, bekijane, mamajoan, cissa, easalle, grifyn, janezero, melcocha (Pontiff counts!), fiddle_dragon, nalidoll, smmc, sorcha007, stormraven23, thette (whenever your body gets around to it), trystan_laryssa (so he's not yours, but he's your bondmate's, so...), tyrantmouth (Again, the little squirrel counts!), olliesmama, and teenagewitch. Um. And someone who likely knows who she is, but may not care to be so greeted in public; may you meet strong and healthy in Timeheart, and a pox on those insensitive clods who performed religious rites without your permission and pressed their incompatible mourning customs upon you in your time of extremity.

And there are likely some who I missed -- sorry about that! (After my memory was exhausted, I copied and pasted from my userinfo, and only kept the people I knew were mothers, or near-mothers, or mothers-to-be.)

We'll have coffee at work (yay coffee!) and muffins. Yay muffins!

chorus_of_chaos, when was that Non-Parenthood Celebration day you were talking about getting together? Wasn't it back in February or March? The informed decision to not have children when it would be wrong to do so is as worthy of celebration as the raising of healthy and happy children.
bleeding, Ryoko

There but for the grace of God go I...

In March 2000, I fell madly in love, and was planning for my wedding. By December of that same year, I had fallen madly out of love, and had been out of love for a good long time already, though it would take me until January 2001 to recognize it.

If things had gone differently for me, I could have been tempted to skip out without a concrete trace, take what money I had accessible to me, and run. I probably would have reassured my parents once I'd gotten to somewhere that I considered safe, true. Unless I'd been driven into a state of complete paranoia. Then I might not have re-surfaced for a good long time.

I don't think that I would choose, in a panicked, tripped-out state of mind, to claim that I'd been kidnapped. But, I don't know. I have no way of knowing, either, what was going through the mind of Jennifer Wilbanks when she skipped out and re-emerged halfway across the country. According to what she says, everything is fine with her fiancé, and the problems were mostly her vs. herself. I hope, for her sake, that it's as she says, and I hope that if getting married to this person now is not for her, that she has the strength to make sure that it does not happen.

Making a false claim of a crime is surely wrong, and it's fairly clear that it would most likely be just to charge her with doing just that. There's been a reasonably strong public outcry that she should also be made to pay back either some or all of the expenses associated with the (ultimately unnecessary) search for her. But I don't think that it would be just to stick her with the bill.

A commenter over at mamajoan's journal was able to articulate it better than I was. I thought that having Ms. Wilbanks serve community service to help make up for the expense and wasted time would be far more just than billing her for the monetary expenses. victoriacatlady agreed with me because a) if the woman does not have the money, then billing her would probably not get anything, and only serve to make her situation worse, or b) if the woman does have the money to pay up, then the fine may not have the desired impact, and instead might serve to strengthen a misconception that throwing money at any given problem can make things all better again. (Applying money to some situations does improve them beyond measure, but throwing cash at a wrongdoing does not make a right.) Having to pay in quality time spent improving the community in some fashion will help the community, will likely help her, and will stand a chance of being something she can do if she's not in a position to make financial amends, and will stand a chance of being something that will make an impact if paying the bill would not be a financial problem. (I am sure there is a distinct economic segment of the country that would be impressed by but could reasonably pay a $60 thousand debt on top of other financial obligations such as car, house, college, kids, even if it took a while. I'd guess it would be a pretty narrow segment.)

In general, I tend to approve of the idea of community service.

...and I still know, vividly, that if Sis and Darkside hadn't been at college with me to help me experience love and trust and know that my would-be marriage had neither, I, too, could have decided to take a long walk and not look back for a long time.
  • Current Music
    R.E.M.'s "Daysleeper" in my head -- bedtime!
grin & duck -- friends, grin & duck

Fun Moments in Parenting...

Tried calling Darkside. He wasn't in, but I got his mom.

She and I have been chatting more often. The attempted call on Friday night that got cut off was her vs. the phone; Darkside hadn't picked up yet, and she didn't put it on hold properly. Alas, I was too busy working then to call right back.

She heard the story of the unfortunate closet incident, and proceeded to laugh appropriately (that is to say, a lot). She and I have been getting along, which is a good thing. By voice, she reminds me of Figment's mother, which is scary. I want to avoid confusing the two with each other. Darkside's mom agrees that I am not a good candidate for conversion to LDS, and she further pointed out that I am not the sort to want to be overshadowed or overly bossed around by any man. (Not that Figment would do that, but that wasn't the point.)

I should, when the opportunity strikes, write up the Punk Kid in the Closet Incident, the River's Mom and River's Shower and Me incident, and see if I can remember any of the Screwing In BJ's Room With The Door Open And Then His Mom Came Downstairs incident.
  • Current Music
    late-night traffic