It’s my anniversary yo

It’s my anniversary yo

Today I’m celebrating the longest relationship I’ve ever been in. You’re confused aren’t you? You probably should be. I’m not married, and my longest relationship lasted WAY longer than it should have, but still had a 7 year expiration date. I guess technically, I’ve been in a “relationship” with the day job for over 18 years at this point, but I don’t really like that, so I’m not counting it. I’m talking about my relationship with Lil’ Red.

Ten years ago, on 8/8/08, I was on my way to Salt Lake City to attend a wedding. On my way out, I received a phone call from a salesman at my favorite car dealership. He said the car I had been in love with since the mock-up of it as a concept car had been released 2 years prior was just pulled off the truck in the color I wanted. Did I still want the car? Like there was even a question. Of course I wanted the car, but I also wasn’t going to be that asshole who blew off the wedding to buy my midlife crisis car. $500 paid over the phone was enough to hold it until the wedding was over, and make me the envy of every University of Utah professor that also wanted my midlife crisis car, the 2008 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L with the V6 engine in San Marino Red, school colors at the U. Sorry boys, that 28-year-old beat you to the car you wanted….

Lil’ Red and I have had quite the relationship over the past decade. She’s been my therapist through countless miles of fast driving, mountain curves, fast driving on mountain curves, and loud music. She inspired the paint color for 3 different classic car remodels in 2008 alone. She’s the reason a complete stranger followed me for over a year before he asked if he could drive her and then ended up buying her ugly brown step-sister after I refused multiple offers to sell her. (Really though….Tiger Eye Pearl was not the best Honda paint color). She’s been the fancy ride that has been to Homecoming and Prom more times than I ever did (not like that was a hard number to beat!) with the cousins who begged to drive her to impress their dates. She’s taken the kid and I on several nice long road trips. She’s been on the road from Vernal to Salt Lake so often she could probably do it without me, so take that Tesla self driving cars. She survived teaching the 16-year-old how to drive, although, I’m sure she was pretty grateful that I never let him take her himself. She’s happy to oblige when tiny humans ask me to fly balloons out of the sun roof, or go faster because it’s fun, and she was even happier when teenage boys in Challengers tried to race her and lost miserably….three lights in a row.

She’s getting up there in age though, kind of like her owner. I mean…she’s still awesome AF, and appears to have it all together, but she’s a total Monet. Once you get up close, you start seeing all of the imperfections. I suppose she takes after her owner a bit on that one. I’m not looking forward to the day Lil’ Red has to retire, because she can’t really be replaced. (Seriously, they quit making that car in 2017, there was no deeper meaning there.)

So yeah, it’s probably the only 10 year anniversary I’ll ever celebrate. As for the couple from the 8/8/08 wedding, I texted them this morning, like I do every year, telling them Happy Anniversary, and was thanked with the response “You always remember. Thank you!” I never have the heart to tell her that I remember her anniversary, because it’s also the same day I bought Lil’ Red, but I don’t think it would matter. 8/8/08 was a great day for both of us, and while I’m sure she’ll be celebrating with the modern 10 year anniversary gift of diamonds, I may have to go with the traditional gift, crack open an aluminum can of some sort of cold beverage, and celebrate the day I bought the only car I’ve kept for longer than 3 or 4 years. Or maybe I’ll use it as an excuse to go buy myself those diamond earrings I’ve been looking at, because Treat. Yo. Self. (Someone’s got to do it right?)

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You’re like the white Olivia Pope

You’re like the white Olivia Pope

To say I follow politics would be an understatement. I’m completely immersed in and fascinated by politics. I always have been. I hate party politics though. I take the “I side with”  quiz in its entirety, expanding and weighing importance on each question, at least once a year, and definitely during election years, so I can remove the partisan bullshit and just focus on the actual issues. The results are always rather eye-opening, and often end with me realizing I have a fairly different opinion politically than a good portion of my friends and acquaintances.

This political difference isn’t a new thing for me. In 1988, my 3rd grade teacher (Mrs. Moon) held a mock election so we could get in on the fun. I remember her telling us that usually whoever wins in our class election is who wins in our state voting. I remember thinking that was so cool. Of course looking back on it now, I realize “Duh! We are 8 and 9 years old, so our opinion is going to be the same as our voting parent/guardian’s opinion, so obviously the class election and state election will be similar.” While all of my classmates were voting for Bush/Quayle, I was one of few who chose Dukakis/Bensten, not because I had any strong opinions about either candidate, and certainly not because my parents liked Dukakis; I grew up in a Republican household. Why not Bush/Quayle with the rest of the class then? Well, because the week before, while riding my bike to school, some quail ran out of a bush and across the road in front of me, and I didn’t like it, so voting Bush/Quayle wasn’t going to happen. And not that it matters, but that’s where my refusal to “go with the norm” started.

The other day, I was having a political discussion with someone. Our opinions were vastly differing, but it was an actual discussion, not the name calling toddler style garbage that is prevalent in most partisan political discussions. Then the conversation ended like this:
Them: You’re like the white Olivia Pope.
Me: Thank you.
Them: That wasn’t a compliment.
Me: There is no world where that isn’t a compliment.
Them: Well it wasn’t.
Me: Ok.
Them: I mean, you’re like Command Olivia, not OPA Olivia.
Me: STILL not an insult.
Them: Whatever. I don’t even like Scandal.
Me: Yet you know there’s a difference between Command Olivia Pope and OPA Olivia Pope?
Them: Whatever. It just wasn’t a compliment.
Me: Ok, well if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go home, have a glass of wine, and start binge watching all 7 seasons of Scandal again.

To quote the writers that created the powerful gladiator herself, “I am many things, stupid is not one of them,” so I will never not be anything less than 100% ok with someone telling me I remind them of Olivia Pope, because Olivia Pope is a total bad ass.

 

 

Things that give life a purpose

Things that give life a purpose

I don’t know where in the actual hell summer went this year. I’m sitting in my office at this exact moment wearing a beanie and a sleeveless shirt, refusing to believe it’s over. Not that I REALLY need the beanie…but I haven’t remedied the eyebrow issue I’ve been avoiding since last week, and I’m having a bad hair day anyway, so it’s the beanie to the rescue! I mean, I know exactly what happened to summer this year for me. Basically it was this Rihanna song….work, work, work, work, work, and you can’t really understand the rest of it.

So, I was sitting around feeling a little sorry for myself when I decided to take a peek at my Facebook memories for the day. That’s when I came across the memory that changed my entire day. The memory that reminded me, that maybe it feels like all I do is work, because between 2 jobs and some volunteer work, it literally is all I do. But holy crap is the volunteer work worth it or what?! wp-1507847392924..jpg

Two years ago, I was at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Salt Lake City. We were talking to thousands of people about health care legislation that would affect the lives of people with cancer. It was great, but I remember really just wanting the walk to be over, and the thousands of people attending it to leave, so I could take a private tour of the Hope Lodge before it opened a few days later. You see, during the 2 years prior to that, I had been anxiously awaiting the opening of the Hope Lodge in Salt Lake City. It’s dormitory style, short-term housing for people who don’t live in Salt Lake City, but are being treated for cancer in Salt Lake City hospitals. It’s free, and it serves people from all over the country! It’s one of my favorite programs offered by the American Cancer Society, and it’s something a whole lot of us had been a part of fundraising like crazy for.

As we were wrapping up at Strides, we met a woman who was talking to us about her journey with breast cancer. In talking to her, we found out she was in Salt Lake City being treated, but she lived in North Dakota. We also found out she was living in her car, because she couldn’t afford treatment AND housing.

And… queue the tears, from all of us.

This woman was receiving chemotherapy and radiation while living in a freaking car…in Northern Utah…heading in to the freaking winter. I don’t know about you, but I am THE biggest damn baby when I don’t feel well. I want someone to rub my back, make me lemon tea, and just hold me so I can go to sleep. Then I remember I’m a “strong, independent woman” and the only person doing that crap for me is me. The point is, I at least get to go home to a comfy bed, and it doesn’t last forever. This woman was dealing with that and more EVERY day, while living in her mf’n car. Unacceptable!

We talked to this woman for close to an hour about the help available to her through the American Cancer Society. We gave her the number to call to access services (1-800-ACS-2345) so she could get some assistance with a hotel for a couple of days, and then get in to the Hope Lodge when it opened.

Seeing this picture in my memories today brought that memory in its entirety back. The feelings, the sounds, the tiredness, the emotions….all of it flooding back. Maybe in the sense of missing vacations because I worked every single day from Memorial Day to half way through July, and then only had a day or 2 free in the next 2 months, summer was a failure. But if even one more person didn’t have to sleep in a car while being treated for cancer, or have to wonder how they were going to pay for their next treatment, or wonder why some suit in Washington DC thinks they shouldn’t have health insurance, or worry how they’ll afford it if their insurance gets taken away, if even 1 more person didn’t have to worry about things like that, it was worth it.