Hello everyone (like all two of you who read this).

 I am exhausted. 

There, I said it.  I’m exhausted. 

I’m also hungry, angry, frustrated, and want to sob my eyes out.  Oh, that and I have heartburn – shocker. 

 The last two days have been about the crappiest two days I’ve been through in a VERY long time.  I’m just hoping it ends at the sh***y haircut and the lack of sleep tonight.  I will preface this so you’re not freaking out: the baby is fine and located in my belly where he belongs. 

I really, really, really need to vent, and since you’re reading this anyway and can’t make me shut up unless you quit reading (which I doubt any of you will), I shall open the vent now, and I may or may not forget to leave out some of the stars to mute the four letter expletives running through my head.

I was so excited last week on my vacation to make sure that I requested that the apartment management/maintenance take care of a few things in the apartment before the baby comes.  We scheduled a day for the guy to come by (Thursday), and he did.   He tore up the wall between my bedroom and bathroom (there was a crappy sliding doorway between the two, that had been relegated to a makeshift curtain – the solution posed by he management was to wall the damn thing up).  In order to facilitate this, I made sure that my bathroom was empty (counters, towel rack furniture thingy where we store everything), and that our dresser on the other side of the wall was moved so the maintenance guy could get in to the work space.  As a result, my bathroom furniture and my bedroom furniture is all scattered in my bedroom, making it nearly impossible to get to my freaking closet, but it’s the only way it could fit and still have any access to any of them.  There’s also bedroom furniture in the living room to make room for the displaced furniture in the other two rooms.  In short, the apartment I spent an entire week gutting and cleaning is in chaos.  All this wall maintenance was supposed to be done with by Friday evening, Saturday at the latest, and furniture back where it goes by Sunday. 

 <<Short rant break for your sanity and in payment for your patience:  Happily, my rebate check for one of my Black Friday purchases showed up in the mail today!>>

I got up a little later than I normally do (11:30am), and promptly at 11:40 (I’d not even had the opportunity to put a bra on yet, and the phone had been ringing off-the-hook: dang telemarketers) there’s a knock at the door.  Whoever is it but the maintenance guy and the apartment manager.  They came to check to see if the putty was dry from the drywall work he’d done Thursday.  As he checks and confirms that, no, it isn’t quite dry, the manager goes, “What is THAT?” – gesturing toward our rat cage where our two sweet geriatric pet rats were sleeping soundly in their garbage bag box.  Surprised and nearly offended, I said, “Those are our pet rats, we’ve had them since before we moved in.”  A look of horror crosses the managers face and she says, “You can’t have those, NO EXOTIC PETS!  No ferrets, not even birds!”  So naturally, braless (it’s not easy to manage a pair of 42F’s without a bra under a white t-shirt an not feel totally humiliated and naked)  and on the defensive, I responded with, “We discussed them at the signing of our lease, you said they were ok!  We showed you pictures, they stay in their cage,  they’re less stinky and obtrusive than any of the neighbor kids’ hamsters, they’re NO different.  We’d pay a pet fee if you want, but we were told it wasn’t necessary when we moved in.”  Her only response was, “Well, why wasn’t it written down in any of the paperwork?”  And I just sort of looked at her, thinking in my head, “How the hell am I supposed to know, YOU’RE the manager, it’s YOUR paperwork! – Oh, and I know there’s at least one family in this f***ing complex with a cursed snake!  Like that’s not exotic!”  Then I overheard them talk about coming back tomorrow (Saturday) while I was at work to finish things up in the bathroom. 

Needless to say, I was a wreck at work on Friday, my schedule all thrown off, my mind reeling with anger and frustration…  I come home that night, my husband is exhausted and snippy… so we went to the music bar where his coworker was playing (Matt had obligated us) for an hour, then went to bed early (11:30ish).  I had to be at work by 7am Saturday morning. 

<<Another short rant break in payment for your patience: I had an awesome Secret Santa at work which made moments go a bit better Saturday when I worked with him.>>

I woke up at 3:45am Saturday morning, dreaming my argument and what I REALLY wanted to say to the apt. manager.  Wide awake with no hope of another moment of rest, I finally just got up, dinked around online and watched some tv.  Saturday’s work days, while they’re longer hours than I’m used to, generally move pretty fast and are done by 2:15 anyway – plenty of afternoon left to nap.  By noon, I crashed.  I wasn’t sure whether to just fall over into a roaring snore, or cry.  I finally get home, notice there’s no smell of fresh paint, and check the bed/bath.  Nope, guy never showed.  Now that it’s basically the Christmas holiday, I don’t know when the flip he’ll be back.  No note was left, no message on the answering machine.  Nothing.  So, now, here I am two days before Christmas, with my apartment in total disarray despite my very best efforts.  I was so angry, and those of you who have known me forever know that it takes something really frustrating to make me genuinely angry.  I wanted to kick in that f-ing wall.  I just want my apartment back, I want to feel home and safe again, is that so much to ask?!  As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I was too exhausted to sleep, so I called my dad to talk about something other than my trashed apartment (I can turn on the Christmas tree lights and fake it, right?).  We’ve been debating whether or not to rent a car to go to Seattle and see my folks on Christmas Day, and using reason, my dad talked me out of it, though deep down, an excuse to get out of this f-ing apartment and try to enjoy Christmas would be really nice.  And it’s not like I’m gonna go to the cursed mall the Saturday before Christmas.  So, to try and make myself feel better I decide to go get the haircut I’ve been meaning to get – I want to look great for Niko and Stella’s engagement party next Saturday.  I call up the salon, they have one opening left, and I’m there.   But, oh, it doesn’t stop there: here I thought trained stylists (I know this is Hairmasters, but they generally have well trained folks) would know what the term “stacked bob” meant.  Apparently not.  This chick just starts whacking away at my very fine, very straight hair until it’s horribly mishapen and odd looking mess.  (I tremble and try not to cry as I see her reach for the razor and say – I’m just gonna cut this here so it has more volume.  What the f***?  How the hell does that make sense??!  She finally gives in and asks for help from one of her coworkers.  Her coworker comes over and shows her another picture of the haircut I want, tells her how to do it, and by now, she’s hacked the whole thing up so badly the only way she can fix it is by going even shorter.  By the end of it, I look like a large, round woman with a Q-tip for a head.  Yup, ear-length flipping pixie cut.  Fighting tears with every last bit of adrenaline I’ve got left (the actual energy was gone long ago), I pay (I don’t even remotely have the energy to debate the price for crappy cut) and leave after trying not to look at my hair.  I’ll be calling them when they open to talk to a manager.  I don’t want to get the woman fired at Christmas, but you know, some flipping training would be good.  I’m sure they’ll offer to fix it, but I can’t see what they could do to fix it beyond shaving my head and giving me a wig. 

<<A final short rant break:  I have survived as well as I have emotionally this week on the near constant stream of Christmas cards in the mail.  We’ve gotten many more Christmas cards this year than any other year.  Plus, I love it when folks write more than “Merry Christmas” and sign the card, and most of our cards have that bonus.>>

After leaving Hairmasters, I hide my shame under my scarf and hood and head for Macy’s Furniture Gallery to pick up Matt from work.  I drag his beaten and bloody carcass out to the car where he says he wants to go bum around the mall for a few minutes (he generally does this when he’s had an emotionally trying day – helps him walk-off the stresses of the day).   So, I give in and oblige him - though not without warning:  I tell him about my day, the apartment, and my Q-tip head, all (naturally) in free flowing tears now.  I get my hug, and off we go to the mall for two doses of comfort food and a little non-trashed-apartment/other-peoples-chaos-and-not-ours time.   Mercifully (if not miraculously), I got a decent parking spot near the entrance of Target, and in we went.  We go straight for the candy section, hit toys to see the carnage, and then work our way to the front.  On the way, we bump into two people we know: one a former coworker of mine who’s had a worse year than I did last year, and while I’m talking to her a friend from Church walks up who looks about as emotionally spent as I do.  I work my way through a sad attempt at generally polite conversation, pass a few hugs, and try not to turn into a puddle on the floor.  Seeing the friend from Church helped a little though – a fellow comrade in the muddy, stinky, disease-ridden trenches.  Knowing that there was no way I was coming back to the mall before Christmas, I dragged Matt quickly down to Motherhood Maternity to end my quest for a cheap pair of charcoal gray slacks to temporarily replace my non-maternity ones that I’ve been wearing totally unzipped with only the very longest of maternity tops.  I get in, get out, and we collapse on a bench, diving for our Chewy Sweettarts and Haribo Bears accordingly and leaning into one another.  After a few minutes,  we get up, make our way to the car and head for home.  Once home, Matt is in the bedroom reading a comic, and I’m firmly planted in my recliner.  I was asleep in said recliner by 8, and Matt crashed in bed with the lights on at about the same time.  I woke up at 11, flipped off the lights, and flopped into bed. 

When did she write this?  you may ask.  Well, right now it’s 2:42 Sunday morning.  Yup, you know what that means!  Someone jumped on my bladder at 1:15am and I haven’t been back to sleep since.  I’m trying, and I’m SO tired.  Someone, please, just help me get one decent night’s sleep.  Just one, that’s all I ask.  Oh, that and for people who should be competent to not end up being totally inept at the one thing they’re paid to be good at (Maintenance guy, apt. manager, hair stylist, Canadian drivers…).  Please? 

In conclusion, pray for me, folks.  I’m dyin’ here and I don’t have the energy to do more than hope that God is one of the two people who reads this blog.  Merry Christmas.  And I mean that in every possible way.