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Forgetting to Remember

Life gets too busy sometimes. Heck, for most people I know, life is a zoo ALL the time. Meaning, I shouldn’t beat myself up so much when I forget something important.

But I do. I forget things that matter, and I flog myself to death.

MTM and I first saw one another on July 30, 2002 – the pivotal reason for the date of yesterday for the Click the Cootchie Party. We wanted to spend the afternoon with people we like, savoring their company while trying not to boil to death in the heat.

And, just like that, life took over. I got a major project and scrambled to get things done for it in the days leading up to the party. MTM had a big construction team here all week, haggling long hours over building budgets and minuscule architectural details. The eve of the party arrived, and we still didn’t have all the shopping done. The yard was a wreck. The house wasn’t clean.

So, what did we do? We stayed out on Friday until after midnight like we were twenty again. Spectacular idea!

Not.

In the hours leading up to the party, we scurried and hurried to make things presentable, even found time for a quick nap. But, we forgot the most important detail of the day: each other. We forgot to remember the moment of ‘hello’ and ‘hi,’ the whole point of the party for us in the first place. The business of rushing overtook the still peace of memory, those two life-altering words that knitted us together in the first place.

Please forgive me, MTM, for forgetting to say ‘hi’ to you yesterday. I don’t show you how much I love you nearly enough. That you said hello to me is the pivotal moment of my life.

Too Much is Just Enough: Letting People Know We Love Them

The Other Andra

For years, I have heard tell of another Andra, a woman who lived mere miles from my front door. With a name like Andra, it isn’t often that one runs into another, leaving me to be the bright, shining weirdo in the room. Knowing that another one of me lived in close proximity has always been such a tease.

I have never met this elusive other Andra.

But, last night, I had an outing with her brother. Unplanned, we met for drinks, and about three-quarters of the way through, he said, “Have you ever met another Andra?”

“Nope,” I replied. Adult outings render me illiterate.

“Well, my sister is named Andra, and, until very recently, she lived in Mt. Pleasant, just across the river.”

!!!!!

I have heard about this elusive Andra for years and years and years. For more than a decade, I knew she existed, mere blocks from my various front doors.

I never met her. And, now, I have shared drinks and dinner with her brother while she has relocated to Michigan.

*Sigh*

I have always wanted to ask another human being what it is like to be, ahem, blessed with the name Andra. Her brother couldn’t help me with that bit of illumination. Now, I may never know.

Too Much Is Just Enough: Andra

Getting the Business

These days, I’m a lucky small business owner. Occasionally, people mention me for projects, and I somehow manage to get them. In these challenging economic times, where I am competing with at least four of me on every street corner, I am thankful to have things to pitch, jobs to do.

Yesterday morning was a preeminent ‘selling myself’ experience. A major client wanted to meet with me to do an even more major project. I knew they would be corporate, and I knew they would be men. Beyond anything else, I knew there would be certain professional expectations, manners of appearance in which I have become very lax.

You see, Dear Reader, I left public accounting eleven years ago, and I think I burned every suit I had. Demanding that a woman wear a jacket and pantyhose year round in this climate is – I’m sorry, but there’s no other way to put this – HARASSMENT. I always looked like a walking hot flash, and I was only, like, thirty, sweating through said jacket and pantyhose to stain my outer garments, in meetings with important clients, no less.

It had to stop. And, when I started my own consulting firm, it did. No more corseted, restrictive, sauna-like attire for this girl.

So, I had a hard time dressing myself yesterday morning. I settled upon a silk dress, 35 bucks from Target, with a coordinating pair of power shoes. It’s the shoes that always convey what I’m feeling, anyway.

I came downstairs, ready to go chew these people up and have them spit money in my direction. I was confident. Ready. I knew what I could do.

And, MTM looked at me and said, “You look HOT.”

!

(This is NOT what I needed to hear going into a meeting with a bunch of corporate men. NOT. GOOD.)

Of course, I communicated my chagrin to my spouse right away, and he redirected. Without flinching, he said, “You look professional………..I want to jump your bones.”

I got the job.

Both of them.

Too Much is Just Enough: Spouses That Rock

Reminder: Click the Cootchie Blog Party. Tomorrow. 4PM until. Our house. Be there.

Who Is Cootie Brown, and Why Is He Always Drunk?

I grew up in Florence, South Carolina, a tiny speck on the world map. MTM likes to tell people we’re going to Florence for the weekend. He leaves off the “South Carolina” part. More exotic if people think we’re shooting over to Italy to admire architecture and sculptures of naked men.

Florence has a unique expression, though. “Drunk as Cootie Brown.” Believe me, going to Francis Marion University, this was a saying I heard every day. Someone in one of my classes was always, ALWAYS as drunk (or high) as Cootie Brown. There was very little else to do to entertain oneself in Florence, South Carolina in college, unless you were me and amused yourself by watching said drunken Cootie Browns without participating in their mayhem.

When I was on my trip with Alison a couple of weeks ago, she bastardized the Cootie Brown expression by introducing his kissing cousin Cooter. Drunk as Cooter Brown. She said this more than once on our trip. NOT that she was applying it to anyone in particular.

Really.

Especially not to me.

Alison and I both grew up in Florence. We didn’t know each other when we lived there. Still, I find it funny that girls who grew up two or three neighborhoods apart have varying descriptions for gauging drunkenness. Cootie versus Cooter. Which dude was drunker? Why are these Browns the poster family for inebriation in Florence, South Carolina? Why couldn’t people in Florence get ‘drunk as skunks’ just like everyone else in the world? Have you ever heard this expression or one like it, Dear Reader?

Too Much is Just Enough: Unique Gauges of Drunk

Living in the Land of No

One of my urban neighbors has chickens in the backyard. I know these illicit chickens exist because – by accident – one of the chicks grew up to be a rooster. A rooster that doesn’t just cock-a-doodle-do in the early morning hours; he enjoys the sound of his exuberant cackling all day long.

Mr. Rooster is likely illegal, by the way. He’s not supposed to be living in downtown Charleston.

I live in a city, not a big city, mind you, but one that does contain a few blocks of mixed-up commercial and dense residential development. It’s been that way for hundreds of years: people moving in and out; going to war; making stuff and selling stuff. All sorts of unmentionable things went on in people’s back yards.

Charleston wears me out. It is the ultimate Land of No, where people become hysterical over businesses locating within blocks of their third mansion. Where historically the train couldn’t enter the city because, well, it was a train, and trains contain, well, YOU KNOW. Where the last City Council meeting – a preposterous swath of it, anyway – was taken up with a discussion about the rectal temperatures of the horses that pull the tourists around in carriages, not because anyone really cares about the horses, but because they really just don’t like the carriages riding around their historic neighborhoods. (As an aside, I live in an historic neighborhood, and I don’t give a crap how many carriages parade through it.)

I know Charleston isn’t unique. Every place has its issues. But dang, people. I am so tired of hearing about the unredeeming qualities of cruise ships. I’ve been one of ‘those people’ on a cruise ship. I spent more money in Seattle, the port city for the ship, than I did on the freaking boat. The City of Seattle should’ve sent me a thank you note, an invitation to come back soon with wallet in tow. Several restaurants should’ve thrown parties for me.

I’m sick of getting mail from fear-mongering non-profits who want to manufacture causes to raise money and promote personalities. Any big issue is too complex to have one meager ‘right’ answer. I can see your point of view; I can also see many others. I don’t care if you disagree with me, but give me back my outings and social events without getting into a snit because I may not agree with you.

Today, I’m celebrating that my neighbor has possibly illegal chickens in downtown Charleston. I don’t care. I’m not going to march over there and tell them NO. I’m not going to suggest that we construct chicken-proof gates or wring my hands over the unseemly impact of chicken poop. Heck, there’s enough arsenic in our downtown soil to make people crazy, even today.

Hmmmmmm. Maybe THAT’S what’s wrong with people. Arsenic.

Yeah.

Too Much is Too Much: The Word NO

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