I made a dumb mistake when Chris and I first got married. Probably the stupidest thing a woman could ever do, but at the time, I thought I was being considerate and practical. You see, Chris would give me flowers for our anniversary…and they were great…but that really made it easy for him…just give me flowers every year, right? Maybe it came through that it wasn’t quite doing the job for me because he asked if I liked flowers, or did I think they were kind of a waste because they just wilted after a few days and then got thrown out. Practical me said “yes, you have a point” and maybe something different would be nice. Well, what ended up happening was a card and dinner (which we mostly did anyway) and no flowers.

He always scoffed at those silly jewelry commercials too…like they were just soooo over the top and who could afford that, and thank goodness I wasn’t like ‘those’ women. (To be honest, I have gotten a nice necklace here and there, but you get the picture) I got chocolates a few times as well, but I probably complained that eating chocolate was bad for my figure, so that soon stopped.

So now, at nearly fifteen years of marriage I don’t get flowers, chocolate, or jewelry. I never thought I wanted or cared about those things, but now? Yes…I do. Mostly, I want flowers. Not the cheap little arrangement either…but the nice kind that brighten up the room and make me feel special. Why did I ever tell him I didn’t need flowers?

I know…I’ll tell him about my seventeenth birthday when the really hot guy I was dating gave me a dozen red roses and how excited and thrilled I was to get them. I’ll tell him that I even took pictures. That should work…right? Or maybe I should just tell him I’ve changed my mind and would like flowers once in a while. Who knows? Maybe he’ll be relieved to finally have something to give me that he knows I want.

What was I thinking???

Posted: February 5, 2014 in Advice
Tags: , , ,

I’ve been going to Aikido for about a month now and I’m loving it! The first few times I went were spent learning how to fall – not too exciting but a necessary skill, believe me. I’m learning what to do when someone grabs my arm, or grabs me from behind, or basically grabs me anywhere, and how to get away…which in my line of work is essential. It’s also given me a feeling of empowerment which I have to say is pretty awesome…only I think I may have overdone it. The other day I made the mistake of telling my friend, Ramos, that I could take him. I know…not very smart of me, but I was looking forward to throwing him over my shoulder like I’d imagined so many times. Naturally, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show me how wrong I was. I didn’t know at the time that he was a martial arts expert. Why didn’t he tell me this before I made a fool of myself? Needless to say, I couldn’t get the drop on him to save my life, and I guess it would have been funny if you think getting thrown to the ground and having your @ kicked is fun. Luckily, we were in his apartment which connects to Thrasher Development, and the carpet was nice and soft or it may have hurt. But the worse part wasn’t getting plastered to the floor in the grip of a 200 pound macho man (who was enjoying it way too much, I might add). Nope, it was the fact that Uncle Joey showed up and snapped a picture of that moment. The flash startled me enough, but the smile on his face…like he’d just won the lottery, still makes my stomach hurt. I think he’s putting it in a file…with my name on it. Yikes!! Why does this always happen to me? He says I can earn the photo back from him. All I have to do is help him win his next poker match. I can do that…but seriously?? What was I thinking???

I am not a ‘new year’s resolution’ type person. Mostly because I usually fail, but this year, I’m going to make a goal I can keep. I hope. Not too long ago I got shot in the arm. Not a shot like you get at the Dr.’s office. I really got shot by a bullet! It went right through my arm! It hurt like hell! If you’ve ever been shot, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I hope that you never do. Although my arm still twinges now and then, it’s mostly better, so I feel pretty lucky. Still, it could have been much worse. So this year, I’m going to make a resolution not to get shot again. I’m also going to start training in a martial art called Aikido. I’m kind of excited about that. My friend, Billie Payne is meeting me at her dojo tonight for my first lesson. I’m eager to learn how to defend myself, and I think it will help me feel more in control of my life. I could turn into one of those cool ninja’s that no one wants to mess with. So now I actually have two new year’s resolutions. One, not to get shot, and the other, learn how to kick ass! This should be fun!

The Lights Went Out

Posted: December 4, 2013 in Experiences, Thoughts
Tags: , ,

Yesterday, I decided I’d better get some Christmas shopping done while things were still on sale. I went to the mall, even though it was snowing pretty hard, and got started. Of course, the first thing that caught my eye was a gorgeous red dress. I’d always wanted a dress in that color and thought, what the heck? It wouldn’t hurt to try it on. Half the time clothes like that didn’t look good on me, so I probably wouldn’t buy it anyway. Even with all my rationalizations, I couldn’t help the twinge of guilt that I was looking at something for myself when I should have been shopping for my family. Before I could change my mind, I found the dress in my size and hurried to the dressing-room. I had just taken my clothes off and was standing there in my undies when the lights went out. I let out a little yelp to find myself undressed and surrounded by total darkness. As my heart raced, my eyes adjusted and I realized a faint light was coming under the door. At least it was enough to see my hand in front of my face. That was when I heard footsteps approaching my door. They stopped right outside and, as the knob turned, I prayed I had actually locked it. “Don’t come in!” I yelled, and rushed to throw on my shirt. The rattling stopped and without a word, the footsteps retreated. What the freak! I quickly threw on my pants, shoes, and coat, then grabbed my purse and high-tailed it out of there. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized my shirt was on inside-out, but at least I was in one piece. And the red dress? After that, it didn’t really matter. Who needs a red dress anyway? So maybe from now on, I’ll try harder to listen to that little voice in my head. The one that’s usually right.

I got a phone call recently from someone I thought was out of my life for good. It really threw me to hear Kate’s voice saying hello and asking me how I was doing. I have to admit I wasn’t very friendly. That’s when she told me she was in town on business, and wanted to know if I’d go out to lunch with her. Seriously?? She thought I’d do that? To set the record straight, Kate is one of my least favorite people, and that is putting it mildly. At one time, she was after my husband, and nearly got me killed. Why she thought I’d like to go out to lunch with her boggled my mind. Until she mentioned we wouldn’t be alone. Then it kind of clicked. She had a new associate, and was hoping to get my opinion on his trustworthiness. As in, she wanted me to read his mind.

“Sure,” I said. “But just so you know, my going rate is five hundred dollars an hour.”

Without hesitation, she quickly agreed, and now I was committed to spending a whole hour with my former nemesis. I didn’t know if I’d done the right thing, but I had to admit, I was certainly curious to find out what kind of trouble she was in, and the money didn’t hurt either. I arrived at the restaurant to find her seated with a tall, gorgeous, blond guy, who loaded on the charm, and greeted me as Kate’s old college buddy. Since she was about six years younger than me, I took that as a complement. I picked up enough from her thoughts to answer his questions about our college days together, and then started asking questions of my own. By the time lunch was over, I knew lots more about their relationship than I wished. After lunch, he had an appointment and had to leave, which suited Kate’s plans perfectly, giving her a chance to ask me what I’d found out. It was tempting not to tell her everything, but since she was paying me, I had to give it to her straight.

“You’re right,” I began. “He’s hiding something from you.” Her face paled, but she motioned for me to continue. “First of all, he works for your rival… Wayne?… and the plan was to make you fall for him, because of his considerable amount of charm and good looks, and then undermine your organization so that Wayne can take a big cut of your profits. But now he’s having second thoughts because… he’s fallen in love with you. He doesn’t want to go through with the plan, but now he’s worried that his boss will kill him. He’d tell you, but he thinks once you find out he was going to double-cross you that you’ll kill him too. So basically, he’s decided he’s pretty much toast.”

“Thank you Shelby.” She handed me five one hundred dollar bills and stood. She was thinking that was the best news she’d heard in weeks and it was worth every penny.

We said our goodbyes, and I smiled at this turn of events. Kate was in love, and I’d helped her. She was going to do everything she could to save her man. Who would have thought? And what a mess! Phew! It made me realize that even with all the trouble I get into, I’m still glad I don’t have her life.

I recently learned how to play poker, and I have to admit, I really enjoyed it. When I was growing up, I was taught that face cards and the resulting gambling that came from using them was bad for you. Naturally, I wanted to learn all about it. The closest I got to poker as a kid was a game called Tripoli and we played it all the time with poker chips. It wasn’t until recently that I learned how to play Texas Hold’em and found out what poker was all about. All the things I’d learned playing Tripoli certainly helped, but I still had to master the whole two pair, flush, straight, three of a kind, full house, royal flush, etc. And I still have trouble remembering which is better, a flush or a straight? The book Poker for Dummies helped me out a lot. So did a friend of mine. I had to play for a lot of money recently (a million dollars) and went from not knowing anything to playing the game in less than two days. It turned out to be kind of stressful. Now when I play the stakes aren’t quite as high, but I always win. How can I not… when I know what everyone’s cards are? This is a great advantage to me, but it also makes everyone think I’m a cheater. They can’t figure out how I do it, but when I always win, that’s the only explanation they can come up with. So…should I quit winning so much, so people will keep playing with me? Or should I just beat the pants off of them? Of course, the second option is the most fun, but I guess I could always lose a few hands so they feel better about it.

What to do when…

Posted: July 2, 2013 in Advice
Tags: , , ,

What to do when another woman is after your man. As I’ve recently had some experience with this, I thought I’d pass along some information I hope you find helpful. First of all, don’t freak out! Don’t accuse your husband of anything, as this will only make him defend the woman in question. Don’t assume the worst, but don’t let it go without a fight. Your husband may not realize what the other woman is up to and be flattered by her attention. He might also be uncomfortable by the attention. So … give him an out. Show up to work when she is there and meet her. Be sure you look your absolute best. If possible, try to befriend her, perhaps even go out to lunch. Find out all you can about her. Is she married? Is she in a relationship? Anything you can use as leverage (leverage is any strategic or tactical advantage, and as a verb, means to exploit such an advantage, just as the use of a physical lever gives one an advantage in the physical sense) will be helpful. Also, make sure she knows about you and your family life. How much your husband adores you and you adore him. Go to lunch as often as possible with your husband. Let her see that you are a couple and she has no chance of breaking you up. Now – for the husband part. Re-kindle the flame that brought you together. If possible, surprise him with a night out at a bed and breakfast (no kids!). Buy sexy lingerie. (He will love it). Above all, don’t give up! Your marriage and your husband are worth it. Plus, it just might bring you closer together and that is always a good thing!

It was my birthday a few weeks ago. My first with my recently acquired mind-reading abilities. It was a little frustrating, because even though I tried to block everyone’s thoughts, I still managed to ‘hear’ what everyone was getting me for my birthday. It was so exhausting to keep my shields up all the time and I just couldn’t do it. The worst part was acting surprised when I opened them, mostly for my kids. Though I have to admit, even though I knew what I was getting, I was still excited with my gifts. I got a kindle fire from Chris that I’d wanted and only had to hint a couple of times to get the biggest one with HD, so that worked out great. And I knew that my parents were giving me a certain amount of money, so I already bought the clothes and sandals I wanted, and was able to wear them on my birthday – so that worked out good too. I was surprised about the gift that my aunt gave me, mostly because she couldn’t remember what she got me, and it turned out to be a surprise for both of us! The only other gift I was surprised about came from Uncle Joey and Ramos. It was heartwarming to get a big bouquet of roses with a nice little happy birthday note from Thrasher Development, which everyone signed. But the biggest surprise was what came with it. A toy alligator was attached to the bow. It had a note stuck in it’s mouth. Once I got the note out, a big grin spread over my face to read the message. It said, “Remembering Orlando” with the initials “A. R.” underneath. I stuffed the note way down inside where it wouldn’t get out before my family saw it, since I didn’t really want to explain what it meant. The alligator now rests in my jewelry box, next to all the small momentos that I’ve saved over the years. Someday when I’m old and gray, I’ll take it out and read the note again. I’m sure it will make me smile.

Not too long ago I was with a group of people and we were doing a “Getting To Know You” activity – where we were asked to tell our names and our most embarrassing moment. I wracked my brain to think of what I could say, but seriously – my most embarrassing moments are the ones I wanted to forget, so there was no way I was going to share any of them! I guessed the point of sharing something embarrassing was to break the ice, so in a way, it made sense, but on the other hand telling a group of strangers my most embarrassing moment was not something I really wanted to do. So what happened? I did what any self-respecting person would do – I told a story about when I was a teenager. (Just being a teenager is an excuse for anything). I told about how I got in my friend’s mom’s car to wait for her and some strange lady came and opened the door and began yelling at me, asking what I was doing in her car. It was perfect because it happened A LONG TIME AGO, and as embarrassing moments go – it didn’t reflect too much on my stupidity, which is important in front of a group of strangers with whom you might want to leave a good impression. Although, I have to admit that to this day, I still don’t know much about makes and models of cars. Thank goodness for car keys. With a push of a button, my car will let me know exactly where it is, and I no longer have to worry about getting into the wrong one.

Truth Serum?

Posted: April 10, 2013 in Experiences

Last week I had to have a ganglion cyst removed from the ball of my foot. It was hindering my walking experience and I’d just bought a new pair of sandals that I couldn’t walk in without pain. I found a great podiatrist and signed up to have it done. The only problem came when I got to the hospital and found out they weren’t putting me out all the way – just sort of out. Which is good because recovery is lots faster. But then he said something that made me nervous. He said the first stuff they would give me is like a truth serum. It works great for relaxing and calming you, he said, but it is also what they use to get people to tell the truth. He went on to say that if I had any secrets, I might just start blabbing them. He was smiling when he said that, but he was thinking about how many things he’d heard that he wished he didn’t know.  YIKES!! I glanced at my husband, and he just smiled, but he was thinking that this sure put me in a bad spot. What if I started blabbing about Uncle Joey? Or worse, told people I could read their minds? I wanted to tell him to tape my mouth shut or something, but seriously, how would that look? Then I thought about the time I’d spent with Ramos in Orlando. Though nothing serious had happened between us, I was still glad Chris was not coming into surgery with me. He might get it into his mind to ask me some questions that I’d rather not answer. As the anesthesiologist walked me down to surgery, I realized that I wasn’t even worried about how the doctor was going to cut my foot open, or the pain it would cause. Nope, now I had to worry about keeping my mouth shut. Right before the anesthesiologist gave me the truth serum, I clamped my lips tight. As the stuff surged through my veins, a sense of euphoria and peace saturated my body, making me feel languid and calm. I hadn’t felt that relaxed in a long time, and it felt really good. Just then, the nurse asked me what I did besides coming to the hospital for surgery. Without hesitation, I told her all about my consulting agency. I don’t remember anything else after that. The doctor came to recovery after it was all done with a big grin on his face. He said I did great, but he was thinking I was a hoot, and he’d never laughed so hard in surgery before. That was it, and soon I was home, putting ice on my foot and taking it easy. I still don’t know what I said to make him laugh so hard, but it couldn’t be too bad, right? I mean, even if it was the truth, he’d never believe it. At least I sure hope not.