Hair – Part III The Finale

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2012. Shawn’s brain cancer diagnosis. The beginning of a 17 month journey where I was the primary caregiver. This process showed me how stress affects the body, and my hair began falling out in shocking amounts. I literally hated the thought of washing my hair because of how much I would see in the bottom of the shower.

2013. My hair needed some attention. In relocating from CA to TX, I had lost my trusted hairstylist. I had also forgotten about the humidity and heat. I needed it shorter and shaped up. There is nothing wrong with Super Cuts, or Great Clips, but due to a couple bad cuts, I don’t go to those shops. Ulta. Seriously, who can go wrong getting a cut from a stylist at Ulta?

I WENT WRONG.

The stylist cut my hair on a side part, and not the middle part as I had instructed. After the cut, I asked her to fix it, as it was going to cause me to have issues creating the homeless look. She fixed it alright. She just decided to cut it all off. I had taken my glasses off, as I always do during a cut, if I am not wearing contacts. Suffice it to say, that I was experiencing a mixture of shock and horror when I put my glasses on and looked into the mirror. I had wanted shorter, but not this short.

2017. If found myself at a crossroad. I hate Texas weather. The humidity makes me homicidal. The status of my hair again lies in a slight state of flux, thanks to the sign of impending pre-menopause. I had gone from red, to more blonde. I was happy with my hair, but the summer of 2017 found me growing more and more exasperated. If I haven’t already mentioned it, I don’t own a curling iron, flat iron, and prefer a “no maintenance” hair style. The humidity was causing the need to have 5 to 6 anti-frizz products added after shampoo. This task was to keep it from blowing up to the size of a lion’s mane just walking out the door.

After thinking about it for several weeks, and listening to the pros and cons, I made the decision to cut my hair off this past Friday. Also, I had been growing out all color for the past four months, and on Saturday, the day after my drastic cut, I impulsively went red again.

*sigh*

I literally laid in bed Saturday night and asked myself, “What in the hell have you done?!”

As I sit here and write this, my hair is the most comfortable feeling it has been in years. It’s ugly because I have no idea what I am doing with it, and it’s just willy-nilly. No, not in a cute way. Although I am loving it in the privacy in my own home, society deems me to figure something out, and figure it out quickly. Preferably before work on Monday morning.

I am out of my league. I regret the color. I should have stayed true to my “going gray” process. I feel less attractive. I know. I am almost 49 years old, and here I am experiencing a chink in my self-esteem because of my hair. I am going to CA in two months, for the first time in 3 years, and here I am with hair that has me in a current state of regret.

This outpouring of my thoughts isn’t to gain compliments. I am putting it out there, because I can’t be the only woman who feels this way sometimes. I wish hair wasn’t such a big deal. I wish we lived in a world where the outside appearance is more important than the inside. I feel for the girls growing up under such pressure to look perfect.

I think I am going to grow it back out, and and am definitely letting my hair color be as it is. It’s beautiful gray & white. The growing out is going to be a very long, and mind-numbing process.

Also, a very wise friend informed me that I just came off my “grief month” of July, and I should not make any drastic decisions re my hair, (or body) EVER, in July, and possibly for a month before, or after. I looked back at my photos, and guess when was the last time I had my hair cut off short – July 2014. After which I met my current, and amazing hair stylist, Lexie. Lexie, who after reading my status included with Part I, immediately contacted me and asked me what was wrong, and did we need to do something to my hair.

Things are starting to look up.

AGS

Side note: Lexie is now aware of my grief month and will refuse any and all insane requests during the specified time. She also had me in her salon chair Monday morning at 9 am, armed with bleach & toner. I’m not red anymore.

Jamie Lee Curtis, as God as my witness, I will never feel fraudulent again!

 

Hair – Part II

Fast forward to 1991. I am pregnant. My oldest son was born in September, so I was pregnant in Texas during the summer. I was unbelievably miserable. I had gained an enormous amount of weight, and my hair was to my shoulders.

I will never forget walking into a salon in Carrolton, Texas, sitting in the stylist chair, and announcing that I wanted my hair to be chopped off. A neckline cut. The stylist, whose face I forget, but whose response was so wise, “Are you sure you want to make this decision now? Why don’t you wait until after your pregnancy, and your hormones settle down?”

Yeah, I didn’t listen. I was miserable and had tunnel vision.

The only good thing I can say about the photos taken on the day of my C-Section, is that my lipstick looked fabulous.

It’s 2000. Regardless of photographic proof that I have no idea what to do with short hair, I once again had it cut neckline short again.

Nobody was throwing around the words, “biotin”, and “hair supplements” 17 years ago.

The photograph of me standing on the Great Wall of China in 2002, show that I was rocking a “full mushroom” as I grew it back out once again. If you like details, you will note that you have never, ever, seen my photograph of me with my sons on The Great Wall. That is how much I dislike my hair in those photos.

I don’t quite know when I started growing it out to one length, but by 2006, I was divorced, and understanding that hair played a large role in a woman’s sexuality. Men seemed to desire women with long hair.

Personally, I am not a fan of long hair. Try as I will, I cannot understand the big deal surrounding long hair.  My hair has never gotten to far past my shoulders. I hear women bemoan the lack of length, and see extensions as expected wear, constantly. I try to understand the fascination with it, but I never have. I am not jealous of the long-haired woman, so I don’t know from where my disdain of it comes from.  Maybe it’s from society’s adoration of long hair, and the feeling that you are less, because it’s something you do not possess. An attitude which incenses me, as many of societies beauty “rules” tend to do these days.

I can say without any hesitation, that I loved my hair in 2006. It was fabulous. Thankfully, I was confident enough to feel comfortable beginning my “homeless” hair style. Having it all one length made that very simple, and I didn’t own a curling iron, nor a flat iron. (flat irons weren’t a “thing” yet)

In the years leading up to 2012, I had ran the gamut regarding hair color. For the first time in my life, after my divorce, I had my hair highlighted. I was living in CA, and blonde is queen, and red not so popular then.

An overzealous, and partying hair stylist, over processed my hair to the point where it was destroyed. I remember my hair being destroyed, but men would tell me how beautiful I was as a blonde…

*I will note that I found a wonderful hair stylist named, Debbie, in a shop on Yosemite, in Manteca, CA after I took leave of my hot mess stylist.

AGS

*the finale is to come in Part III

Hair – Part I of III

blog on hair

*This blog entry ended up being almost 1700 words long, so I broke it down into three, bite-size pieces.

If you are a woman, and reading this, you know all too well the pressure we feel to have magnificent hair.

“Your hair is your greatest accessory.”

“I make hair contact before I make eye contact.”

“Gorgeous hair is the best revenge.”

“High fashion begins with great hair.” – Vivienne Tam

Those are just a few quotes about hair that I found online. It’s a big deal, this “crowning glory” that we females carry on their heads.

I, for one, have a very complicated relationship with my hair. I have a photograph of myself and my first dog, when I was 5 years old. It’s one of my favorite photographs. I am wearing a 70’s inspired polyester shirt with brown corduroy jeans. My hair is a glorious red, and curly.

Before junior high, my hair became a more strawberry blonde, and had become more wavy than curly.

In high school, my mother, whose own mother owned her own beauty shop, and was a beautician, would give me permanents. I graduated with short hair, bangs, and curls brought on by small rollers and chemicals.

Thankfully, perms went out of style. I spent college growing my hair to just past my shoulders. It was still the decade of the 80’s hair, and I rocked it as much as an unskilled hair owner could.

Let me back up a bit. Somewhere in junior high, I realized that hair was kind of a big deal. This posed a bit of a problem for me. I grew up playing football with my male next door neighbor. I learned to ride a small dirt bike, taught myself to ride a skate board because the same neighbor boy had one, and weekends found me on my Schwinn, exploring the woods and any creeks I could find.

The other next door neighbors were two girls. A few years older than me, but I vividly remember that they were always dressed so “girly”, took gymnastics, and their hair was always immaculate. Stacy & Christy were their names. After all these years, I still remember. I also remember that boys liked them.

Although my mother was the daughter of a hairdresser, and cut her own “Farrah Fawcett” hair for a few decades, she never taught me the ways of hair styling. Most likely because I showed zero interest in learning.

I never learned to braid hair, or fix my hair in various styles. Unless my mom rolled it, and I slept on plastic rollers, my hair pretty much styled itself until a little past puberty. I will note that my mom did make sure my hair was very presentable on Picture Day. (reading that back, I sound like I looked like a hot mess growing up, but I didn’t.)

My grandmother’s hair legacy to me was giving me this nugget of advice: “Never bleach your hair.”

Thankfully, things like “hair combs”, the “Banana Clip”, and “Scrunchies” were invented. Personally, the Banana Clip was my accouterment of choice for a couple of years. In college, I rocked a Banana Clip, 80’s bangs, and glasses with lenses so large that I looked like I had magnified eyes.

Continued in Part II

AGS

 

July. It’s “That” Month

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July.

Everybody has a month. A month that brings memories bubbling to the surface. Time when your brain overthinks and messes around with your emotions.

It’s July for me. I didn’t have a month before. I didn’t get all messed up at night, and lay in bed unable to shut my brain off before July 2013.

Night after night. I know it will continue until August 1. That is how it has been for almost four years now.

If you know me well, you know why. Shawn died on July 31, 2013. If I let my mind wander during this month, I can see that entire day in my mind. I don’t really want my mind to wander, but I get caught off guard, and the emotions start tumbling around. Usually it’s when I am still, and quiet.

This year, I was experiencing my usual July restlessness, when I received a text yesterday, “Ginger died last night at 9:30 pm.”

July. You had to give us another thing in common. Us? Yes, I have a wonderful male best friend named Thomas. He was actually my first boyfriend after my divorce. I was a total whack job at that point, and decided wisely that we were better as friends. Over the years, we have rolled in and out of each other’s lives, with an ease reserved only for those who trust each other 100% with their entire being.

Shawn was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2012. I shared the news with Thomas and he listened to me when I needed to talk. Ginger was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, and then, we both were living the life of caregiver to our spouses.

My caregiver journey ended after 17 months. Thomas continued down his road, and I listened, I offered support that I knew from my own experience was a pittance. As the months turned into years, his journey grew very challenging, and he was growing wearier.

We talked on the phone on July 4, and as I listened to him, I wondered if I could have been as strong as he was being.

So many commonalities in our lives, and now, we share the month of July as the month we lost our spouses. I hate that.

I have tossed and turned for hours as sleep has eluded me the past two nights. I for one, am looking forward to August. Blogging and actually putting into the universe how I am feeling is new to me. I am hoping that it has a bit of a cleansing affect, and I can sleep tonight.

My heart hurts for my friend. If I am being honest, my heart hurts for me as well. I just have to get through 18 days. I am good. I will be just fine.

July 2017 did offer a wonderful bright spot, as I met one of my closest brain cancer friends in person. I also have a “Girls Weekend” at the end of the month. If I think about, it, I have 18 days left in which there are many opportunities to experience beautiful things.

For those of you whose heart hurt in silence, I get it. I come across as the happy taco girl 24/7, but I am like everyone else. You are not alone. One day at a time. For 18 more days. July, we got this.

AGS

Why I Cried Today ~ Elsie

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“A dog is the only thing on earth who loves you more than he loves himself.”

Dogs. If you have known me for a hot minute, you know I have a soft spot for dogs. It goes back to when I was 5 years old, and was given a rescue dog named Laddie.

Laddie was a short haired, male collie. He looked like Lassie, but with a short nose. If he couldn’t be Lassie, Laddie was the closest thing.

He was the best behaved dog. We could leave the back gate open, and he never left the yard. The funniest thing he did was try to bite my mom the one day she attempted to spank me in the backyard.

Laddie died when he was 13 years old, and we buried him beside an azalea bush in the backyard. I wept, and I remember my father softly crying as he dug the hole in the earth.

My first dealing with loss was losing my first dog.

Today, I lost another dog.

7 days ago, I rescued a 13 year old Lab mix named Elsie. Life had not been good to her as of late, and she looked so sad in her photo, that tears came to my eyes.

I brought her home while recuperating from being spayed. She slept a lot the first 48 hours.

I let her walk around the apartment like Sophie does, and it soon became obvious that she has been an indoor dog for a long period in her life.

The funniest thing was that she had Sophie’s graying face, and brown eyes, but a slightly longer face. From my peripheral vision, I didn’t know which dog was standing next to me!

Elsie started feeling better on Day 3. Her tail began wagging a lot more, and she began to show signs of jealousy. She loved her humans with her entire being, and she was incredibly jealous when it came to sharing them with Sophie. Life quickly became a constant source of growling, snarls, and finally, fights.

Obviously, Sophie bore the brunt of this jealousy. She began showing the signs of a not so happy dog. It didn’t help matters when Elsie commandeered her chair. (Sophie’s chair sits in front of a window, and she watches for me to come home from said chair. It’s a bit like her “headquarters” where she can rule the world.)

Sophie could just walk in front of Elsie, going from the kitchen to the living room, and Elsie would go for her face, teeth bared and growling.  This morning, I woke up at 4:25 a.m. to growling. I quickly turned on my bedside lamp, and Sophie was laying on the floor, as close as she could be to the bed and my nightstand, and Elsie was in the doorway, growling at her in the darkness.

Now, it sounds like Elsie was a bad dog, but she wasn’t. It seems as though Elsie, once upon a time, had been the queen of the castle in her own home. She was house-trained,  leash trained, and loved her humans with her whole heart. I can’t fault her for that. She greeted me with a furiously wagging tail every time I walked in the door. She almost knocked me over when I walked her because she pushed so hard against my leg. She loved being close to me.

I might have thought that a few things could go wrong, but I never anticipated in a hundred years that my girls disliking each other would have been one of them.

Today, I couldn’t stop the tears as I stood at the desk, and the clerk told another employee, “She is returning Elsie.” I felt like the lowest piece of shit on earth. I know it had to be done, but I can’t help what I felt.

I left a list of all the good things Elsie has going for her. The only negative thing was that she probably needed to be the only dog in the home. She was able to keep her bed. I hope she draws comfort from the softness and smells.

The tears are falling as I write this. I hope Elsie finds a good home. She deserves it.

AGS

Carrie Fisher & Me

CARRIE

I watched the HBO documentary, “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds”, this weekend. To be honest, I wanted to cry the entire 1 hour & 35 minutes of its running time.

Let me offer up some background. Before I fell in love with Princess Leia, I had fallen in love with her mother. I am actually an old soul in many aspects. Growing up, I was a voracious reader, and biographical books were my crack. I absorbed books about prominent figures in history, and, about the stars of old Hollywood. I read up on Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor. Wait. Elizabeth Taylor? Yep, and that story dovetailed into reading about Debbie Reynolds.

Debbie Reynolds, the mother of two small children, who handled the affair between her husband and Elizabeth Taylor with incredible grace. She never said a negative word about them. She was always gracious and stunningly poised. She was beautiful & funny. I admired her.

Fast forward to 1977. Star Wars was released. My parents thought it was too “worldly” for me to watch, so I had to wait for it to be bought up by HBO in 1983. We were getting free HBO due to some cable screw-up, and I snuck around and watched Star Wars every opportunity I got.

To say this sassy and feisty girl fascinated me, was an understatement. I wanted to be her. (I also wanted to climb Han Solo like a damn redwood tree because my 15 year old hormones were running rampant but that is an entirely different blog.)

The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980, and I can’t remember exactly when I watched all 3 original movies, but Leia was amazing. Oddly enough, the gold bikini didn’t do much for me.

Not only did I see Carrie in the movies, but I saw her life play out on the tabloids and in magazines. I always admired her ability to not give a crap what other people thought. We know now that she was a manic depressive, but regardless, I liked her style.

After Carrie’s novel, Postcards from the Edge, was released, I got my hands on a copy of it. I devoured it from cover to cover. (I don’t think a lot of people realize that Carrie has 14 published books as part of her legacy) In 1990, the movie adaptation came out, and I went to see it. I loved it.

In watching the documentary, I felt a bit of kindred spirit-ness with her. Growing up Carrie was called “The Bookworm” and I to, would read entire series of books, back to back. She smoked pot. I have smoked pot, but that is where she went through the “gateway”, and I stopped at weed. She cursed, and spoke her mind. She has a wildly eclectic decorating style which I relate to. Coke a Cola Classic is like crack to her, and I think we actually mind melded together on that addiction. She loved her daughter, but gave her to room to breathe and grow. I have hoped to have done, and do, that with my sons. Carrie worshiped her dog, Gary, much like I work to pay rent so Sophie can live in the lap of luxury.

I have seldom cried for fallen secular figures, but I wept when I learned that Princess Diana was dead. 19 years later, I could not stop the tears when I heard that Carrie Fisher no longer walked in our galaxy. My heart broke when news came the following day that Debbie had passed away also.

It seemed fitting. I don’t think Debbie wanted to go on without her best friend.

I get teary eyed just thinking about Carrie. She was such a force of life. She lived life “balls to the wall”, and seemingly had no regrets. I imagine that she had said everything she needed to say before she took her final breath. She didn’t seem the type to let things linger.

I hope at 60 years old, I am rocking the gray hair and trendy glasses the way she did. I hope I am still cursing, drinking Coke, and loving my tribe like Carrie did.

Carrie, thank you for being authentic in a world where that isn’t popular. For keeping it real. For giving me countless hours of being pretending to be Princess Leia in my front yard. For your literature. For sharing your sense of humor with us.

Thank you for being you.

An adoring fan –

AGS

My Friend

friendship

This blog isn’t my usual bitch sesh about something that annoys me. (I am actually having a difficult time finding enough blog material for regular bitch sessions) (which you can see by the inconsistency of blog posts)

I want to talk about a friend of mine. I had the amazing good fortune of meeting her in the late 80’s. We clicked. We had the same vibe. We both have the loudest laugh when we are really enjoying ourselves.

We broke rules together.

As we grew older, she married and got pregnant. I got pregnant and then married. We were pregnant at the same time with our oldest sons.

We both experienced challenges in our first marriages and dealt with divorce.

We both found love for a 2nd time, and married again. Albeit in 2017, we find ourselves single, and fiercely independent.

I am so comfortable with her, that she is the only friend I was honest with, about my feelings of abandonment, while my husband was dying.

She has never once judged me. Even though the entire year of 2006 has caused me to never be able to run for public office, she always had my back.

On March 21, she will be a published author. I am so unbelievably proud of her. Over the years, we seemed like the two girls who had life obstacles that our other friends avoided. I always felt closer to her because of our common struggles. She has clawed her way out of circumstances that would have broken a normal person.

She loves me, my sons, and my black child. I love her, and her children. (I am allergic to her cats)

*She raised 2 daughters who adore me, so there is the proof of her spectacular taste

I learned from a counselor during my divorce, that the people in your life are divided into sections:

Core

Best Friends

Friends

Acquaintances

She is part of my core. She is one of my first calls when I have a body to hide.

Her name is A.  Yes, the person who kicked my ass until I blogged.

A, I love and adore you. May we never stop weaving in and out of each other’s life chapters.

AGS

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Back to Life

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Usually I bitch about something using my blog. This time, it’s not a rant session.

The title of this blog is “Back to Life”. Soul II Soul wrote a song:

”Back to life, back to reality,

back to life, back to reality…

back to life, back to reality,

back to the here and now yeah…”

Back to life, back to the present time,

back from a fantasy.”

Last Sunday, on the 5th, a male friend and I embarked from Galveston, Texas on a 7 day Caribbean cruise.

You snort laughed. I know. The entire cruise everyone thought we were a couple because we sat next to each other, or, stood with each other in line. In reality, J and I met because both of our spouses died from GBM brain cancer. That is an entirely different blog.

For 7 days, I didn’t have to lift a finger to do anything. I simply existed. I ate. I won’t deny that. The plain rolls on a cruise are my kryptonite. Yes, there is a serve-yourself ice cream machine on the pool deck, and I literally ate salmon and steak every, single, night, for dinner. After 11 pm each night, I ate 2 pieces of pepperoni pizza and drank a Coke. I ramble, but suffice it to say, if you have never been on a cruise, GO ON ONE.

Back to the purpose of this blog.  After driving back from Galveston, J dropped me off at my apartment at 6:30 p.m. My son had apartment-sat for me while I was gone, and he doesn’t exactly have my OCD sense of cleanliness. I picked up all Sophie’s toys, wiped down the TV tray & coffee table, vacuumed up a weeks worth of dirt, dog hair, and crumbs.

I unpacked my 2 bags. Put everything back into its place. (I did have to invent a place for the leftover sunscreen. This has never been a problem for me before, but I didn’t sunburn this trip! First time for everything.)

Started 2 loads of laundry.

Unloaded the dishwasher.

Worked up an appetite by 8:30, and who can get back to clean eating on a Sunday?! Out to the Escape to forage for food. Dang! Did all the pollen in the free world find its way to my SUV while I was gone?

To the carwash I go. Wash the Escape.

Hit a drive-thru for a chicken breast and mashed potatoes. It was no salmon & steak, but those are the breaks.

As I waited to turn into the street to head home, I had a momentary thought of what all I had done since I got home, and for a millisecond, I had the urge to complain. Then, it hit me: I have a great life.

I have a great life. No kidding. I love my life. I didn’t go on vacation because I hated my life. I went on vacation to replenish my soul, not because I was trying to escape my present day life.

We need to create lives for ourselves that don’t need an escape from. Yeah, life gets monotonous and hard, and there is the 8 – 5 grind, 52 weeks a year, dealing with family, kids, activities, pets, etc. The list goes on and on.

Yes, we should be living a life where we love the insanity.

On August 1, 2013, I woke up a widow, who was living with her brother, unemployed, and with $1300 to my name. Life pretty much sucked as much ass as it could suck that day. At 45 years old, and for the second time in my life, I was starting over from scratch.

Today, it’s February 12, 2017, and as I think about all the good things that have come into my life since that day in August, I can honestly say that I love my life. It’s nowhere near perfect, and Lord knows it has its share of bumps & potholes, but overall, right now, I wouldn’t change much.

Hey you. Yeah, the person reading this. I sincerely hope you love your life. If you don’t, I hope you can move some things around so you can. It really does the soul good.

Namaste.

AGS

Offspring of A.

CALEB

This blog is posting on the 1 week anniversary of Caleb’s surprise visit. One week ago today, there was a knock on my door, and there stood Caleb with the cheesiest smile on his face.

Tip of the Day: Do not make the comment, “My door is always open to children of _________.”  unless you really mean it.

Who is Caleb? Ah, Caleb. Caleb is one of 5 children birthed by a dear college friend of mine. His mom and I were pregnant at the same time – she was carrying Caleb and I was carrying Colin.  NOTE: I have also featured one of Caleb’s sisters, Hannah, in an earlier blog.

One word sums up Caleb: Effervescent. (Alka-Seltzer on crack, if he knows & loves you)

In an attempt to get away from playing games on his computer, Caleb decided that a 2.5 hour drive to surprise me would be just the distraction! Can you imagine a 24 year old driving 2.5 hours one way just to get away from a gaming addiction?!

In all seriousness, I had a great time visiting with him. He brought his ARC (advanced reader copy) of his mom’s book, and had me autograph my chapter. #iamchapter31 In the reminiscing, we had to call his mom, and consult with her on some details. We were still on speaker phone with A when he got a Snap Chat message. It was his sister Kristina saying she had just gotten engaged.

Caleb reads it aloud to A and me.

A begins squealing.

Caleb and A simultaneously phone Kristina.

She picks up Caleb’s call.

Imagine if you will, A talking to Kristina, via my phone on speaker, and Kristina was talking to all three of us, via Caleb’s phone on speaker.

Quite an unforgettable evening all the way around.  (I didn’t even mention how I taught A to talk like we were using walkie-talkies. Where you have to speak and then say, “Over.” when you were finished speaking. This is an essential skill if you are overly excited and using a speaker phone.) It is always refreshing to talk to a young person who is making their way in the world without a sense of entitlement, and has a huge heart for others.

Caleb, thank you so much for coming to visit! Since you have managed the sneak attack, next time, you can give me a heads up. Remember my OCD thing about Monday – Thursday evenings.

And in case you were wondering, my door is always open to the offspring of A.  Monday – Thursdays even.

Maybe I should address some of my OCD particulars in a blog sometime…

AGS

The Upstairs Neighbor Part III

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10:35 p.m. January 1, 2017

If you have read blog “Neighbor Part II” you are up to speed as to where this story is going to pick up. I don’t write like George Lucas and give you Part IV, V, VI, and then dovetail back around to I, II, and III. (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Star Wars.)

Note the usage of the p.m. Yes, I am speaking of night time. Time when you are quiet. Time when I should not be listening to the sounds of anything coming from upstairs.

Monday, January 2 is a holiday for me, so I am taking advantage of the opportunity to stay up late. Sitting at my desktop surfing the internet, while watching/listening to a British documentary on Netflix about swingers, (another blog entirely) and I hear what sounds like drops of water falling.

I listen for a moment, and the sound continues.

My investigation leads me to my bathroom, where water is dripping from my ceiling, above my wall mounted cabinets. Yes, Deanna does have her water running in the tub, and come to think of it, it has been on for a while.

I grab a bowl and place it under the worst drip. Suddenly, water begins pouring from my ceiling vent. Off I go to get the largest, empty container a non-hoarder can have.

That container goes on the floor. As it collects the steady stream of water, I phone the After Hours office number. Is it an emergency? Hmm, water pouring into my bathroom from the upstairs apartment constitutes an emergency. Push 2. Leave message.

10:55 p.m. Water has been turned off upstairs and has stopped draining into my bathroom. My floor is wet, and the containers have water in them.

11:00 p.m. knocking at my door. It’s the maintenance man. I walk him to the bathroom and he immediately sees the problem. He informs me that he is going upstairs to find out what is going on.

Upstairs he goes.

Loud knocking. No response.

More knocking. No response.

Very LOUD knocking. No response.

Maintenance man comes back downstairs. Neighbors with large cardboard box are in parking lot looking around, and wondering what in the hell is going on. Looking up, they all see Deanna sitting on her patio, head down, and headphones on.

Maintenance man: Hello?

Maintenance man: Louder. Hello? Hello? Ma’am!

Neighbors literally begin throwing cardboard box up at her railing. Repeatedly. I can hear it hitting the railing.

Maintenance man: VERY LOUDLY. HELLO?! HELLO LADY! (I know, I hear Jerry Lewis in my head too)

I kid you not, the male neighbor has a flashlight on his person, and begins shining it up at her.

Ah, finally, she notices the crowd of 3 trying to get her attention. (I will note here that I am observing all this from my front window)

Maintenance man: I need to come up and look in your apartment. There is a water leak and I need to check it out.

Again, he goes upstairs.

A few minutes pass.  I hear him coming back down the stairs.

Knocking on my door.

Maintenance man: “Well, she said she didn’t overflow the toilet, and she didn’t fill the tub. There is a counter full of empty beer bottles, and she seemed more than a bit incoherent. Her bathroom floor is wet, and towels draped over the side of the tub are soaking wet. I think she overfilled her tub. She is a mess, so I didn’t feel comfortable staying up there. Leave your containers out tonight to catch any drainage, and I will talk to the apartment manager tomorrow about this situation.”

Lovely. This could explain her multiple declarations of love for me…

About an hour later, it sounded as if Bigfoot, and 8, overweight & drunk toddlers, collapsed above my living room. I haven’t heard much from her since then, but the little bit I have heard, leads me to believe she didn’t kill herself in the fall. Ironically, the former neighbor across from me did indeed die after a fall in his kitchen, so my thought process isn’t as far fetched as you might think.

This tenant is proving to be fodder for much blogging. And anger. Frustration. Annoyance. Etc., etc.

I am considering putting 1-800-CHOKE-DAT-HOE on speed dial.

Praying for tolerance –

AGS