Monday, August 15, 2011

Ctrl, Alt, Delete

Somewhere around nine months ago, I decided that my safe deposit box keys, that for years I had been keeping in a small wooden jewelry box on top of my dresser, were not quite safe enough. So I hid them. I picked a great hiding place, one where no one would ever dream of looking. Unfortunately, I must have selected such a remote and unthinkable location, that now that I need them, I can't find them either. It's not just that I can't find them, I can't even vaguely remember where I put them. All that I do remember is the day I frantically searched for that secret hiding place, and upon finding one, thinking how clever I was.

I stopped in at the bank the other morning, it's a small bank, and they know me quite well. I explained my situation and asked if she could go into the box for me. "No, we don't have a key to the box. You should have two keys. We only keep a key for our side of the box", she told me. "Really?" I inquired, finding it hard to believe that there wasn't a master key lying somewhere around. I mean, everyone and everything has a master key, doesn't it? She went on to inform me that giving the customer the only two keys is what truly makes it a safe deposit box. For the bank to become involved, it would cost me at a minimum, $200, as they would need to have someone drill the box open.

Great. I went home and tore the house apart. Every drawer, inside every shoe, every purse, file cabinets, bathroom cabinets, under the bed, in vases, baskets, inside books. Both keys were kept in a bank supplied little red envelope, you would think they would be reasonably easy to find. But no, I am now caught up in a frustrating and demanding game of hide and seek. Well, I've done all I can do, I've been "seeking" for three days anyway. I was told by my friend to "turn it over to the universe" and then they will show up. Okay, I'll do that for now, but it won't be easy to idly stand by while the universe brings in their search party.

So safety tucked away in my subconscious is the key (literally) to saving myself from having to spend an unnecessary $200. Like a computer, somewhere in my hard drive are many bits of information that could make my life so much easier, simple things, like, "where did I leave my favorite ring, where is that pale pink cashmere sweater from last winter, where could my sunglasses possibly be, when was the last time I had my eyes checked (the doctor asked), when will the Sex and the City girls make another movie? More than anything, as my frustration and annoyance seems to grow, what I seem to be missing most are my rose colored glasses! What I am seeing now is more of a fire engine red!

It is frustrating because we all have this type of information stored somewhere in our brain, here under documents, downloads, shared files, photos, who knows, but my system seems to have crashed, I can't seem to reboot. So before I go completely nuts, or fork out the money necessary to drill open the safe deposit box, I will give the "Universe" a chance to act. But, I do need to request that the the universe perform in a specific amount of time, like, let's say, by the end of the month. I'm just hoping that on a regular basis the universe saves it files and frequently backs up better than I do.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The no-fly "photo" list

I tend to put off doing the things that should be done because I am not quite ready. Not quite ready to get on the scale at the doctor's office so I schedule an appointment a month or two out. Not quite ready to get in a bathing suit so plan on swimming in the summer of 2012. Not quite ready to see an old friend until my bangs grow out so I put her on the "I'll get back to you after I look at my calendar" list, and now, after four attempts at trying to get a decent passport picture, not quite ready to submit myself to years and years of suffering, having to look at a very disturbing image of someone who looks like me, only much older and frankly, a little frightening with her "deer caught in the headlights" glare.

My passport expired a few years ago and I have been meaning to renew it. I went down to the Photo Pro, which they are definitely not pro's in my opinion or they never would have let me walk out of there with such shabby workmanship. They would have wanted to protect their good reputation (if they have one) they would have been kind, and said, "how 'bout we take another shot or two." But no, they just slid it into the passport folder, like this was some kind of acceptable.

I couldn't take it down to the post office with my passport application. I just couldn't. That really can't be me, can it? The jowls, the scowl, the one droopy looking eyelid, the deep "laugh lines" (that don't look so funny) around my mouth, and the creepy crawly neck tissue. OMG. I could be detained at the customs bureau just for looking this scary.

I tried to take a new picture a few months later, and with the same end result. Oh forget it, I am just going to be stuck on US soil for the rest of my life! I will not travel if this is what it comes down to. I didn't even know I was that vain. But I ended up going home and stared at myself in the mirror. How come I look so much better here at home? Or do I? Who am I fooling? Maybe I should wait till fall or winter, wear a turtleneck or a scarf. They would probably make me remove it and then what would I have, just more weathering on my face.

I tried again last week, Photo Pro, I'm giving you another chance. The very same result. I even asked the "photographer" after he snapped the camera and I could feel I wasn't quite ready, "Is it horrendous?" His monotone reply; "They want the mug shot." "Oh great, then it is horrendous." I thought he might feel just a sting of sympathy for me, offer to re-do it, but no, he just shrugged his little whimpy shoulders. I didn't even look at it until I got to the car. No, no, no! Not again. I wasn't sure if I should cry or run to the nearest plastic surgeon, which truthfully, I have preached against my entire life, but at that moment, it was looking like it might be my only option.

So after several attempts and a waste of $12.50 per awful photo, I tried Rite-Aid. I was told they were cheaper and quick. The photo the clerk took made my old Photo Pro photo look like the cover of Glamour Magazine. This time I was only out $7.50 and one more additional hit to my sagging self-esteem.

I guess if I ever want to travel outside the country I am going to have to bite the bullet and submit one of these photos. Hopefully when I go through customs the agent will look at the passport and then me, back at the passport, then at me, "Is this really you? You look so much younger and vibrant in person!" Thank you, I tell him, and as I tuck the passport back in my bag, give him a big American "Crest White Strip" smile.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kimberly Joans' Diary

It seems that in the movies, especially romantic comedies, which tend to be my favorite, there are always misunderstandings, missed opportunities, someone running after the other, the other always out of breath, it is usually raining or there is a light snowfall, and they end up falling into each others arms. Even if she yells "get away from me" a time or two, they seem to realize that fate has brought them together, love is all around, happy ending, lights go on, theater gets empty. Ah, romance. We leave the theater uplifted, holding on to hope that these happy endings are real, they exist, even outside of the movies.

I was just told in an email that, "You can't make people love you. This is not a film script or a ludicrous song title." But wait, I've believed in those film scripts and music has been my life, my comfort, my belief system, my religion. When I hear a love song (which love translates to a broken heart the majority of the time) I just know that whomever the singer is singing to will have a change of heart, come running back. How could they not? When Phil Collins sang "Against all Odds" you just knew she would come back to him.

They say that communication is the most important thing in a relationship. But how can we communicate with one another when all we have learned to do is talk, say words out loud, but still not understand what the other is saying, what they are feeling, the true message they are trying to get across? It is mind boggling to me how much misunderstanding surrounds so many of my own conversations. Or statements. It is hard enough when you are in a room together, speaking words, observing body language, noting facial expressions, but now, throw emails, text messages, and Facebook remarks into the mix, and you really have one hell of a recipe for a mystifying word jumble. And the worst of it is, after a misunderstanding or two, (or two hundred) people just quit talking, they don't even try anymore. Silence can say more than a whole boat load of words and at times be even more painful.

I always thought that getting older, though tougher on the physical self, would become easier in many other ways. We've always heard how you gain all this wisdom with aging, and that in itself was enough to sell us on the idea of trading in our youth. Not that we had the option. Once again, it is one of those "things" we say just to make the trip down "I forgot my memory lane" a tad easier. In Don Henley's song, "Forgiveness" one of the lines is, "the more I know, the less I understand" and that is how it feels to me. Maybe we never understand. Life itself is such a mystery why should relationships be any clearer?

As little girls we focus on the wedding, but not so much the marriage itself. And little boys, they learn to talk, and shoot me If I'm wrong here, but have a hard time communicating. At least when the communication involves their romantic partner. They are great in a boardroom or when they do their Tim Allen manly grunts and fist pounds on their chest among other verbally uncommunicative males, they understand one another. It is apparently effective communication, says all they need to say. But I'm having difficulty with it. I use my words. And I need someone who uses theirs too, who takes the time to explain if I didn't quite understand, or backs up a bit if I need to hear it one more time. If they say communication is the key to a good relationship, well then it is obvious why there are so many bad one's out there. That is at least one thing that I do understand.

No country for old men (or women)