A light blog today, just because.
Last night, we had a laugh as a family. It hasn’t happened in a while but, damn, it felt good! Not saying we aren’t a family that laughs, it’s just so easy to get caught up in the more serious day-to-day routines. Sometimes we forget to laugh, to cherish these little moments that bring us a chuckle when times become challenging.
As most of you know by now, we recently moved from the city and became country bumpkins this past summer. To find a supermarket, bowling alley, restaurant, movie theater or just about any other place after five o’clock in the evening means driving down the pitch-black back roads for about fifteen to twenty minutes and bringing ourselves to the busier part of the town, where there is everything.
Everything, except for an Applebee’s.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s a popular US chain American restaurant. They’re everywhere. It’s J’s favorite place to get a Caesar Salad and my son’s and daughter’s favorite restaurant, overall. I personally prefer Texas Roadhouse (which we DO have locally) but I do rather enjoy the Wonton Tacos that Applebee’s serves. The closest Applebee’s is about 30 miles away. So it was arranged last week that yesterday, when J got home from work, we were going to get into the car and go treat ourselves to our favorite Applebee’s meal or appetizer.
Let me just insert a little story-supporting factoid here - when we first moved here, J began working for Amazon. Yes, that Amazon, the one everyone shops at online. We thought it would be pretty damn amazing, plus the 15% discount she’d get on her own Amazon purchases were a perk we would have loved to enjoy come holiday shopping time. However, J found that the bar was set way too high and the level of training was too strenuous and strict, they not only were inadequate in their methods of teaching and left very little margin for error. Let it be known that J is an exceptional, thorough worker and she is the type to do well in just about any job she takes on. Amazon, though, aside from being far too physically demanding, was too fast paced and simply didn’t want to take the time to properly train their new people…let’s call them one big-ass mindfuck, because at times, she would try to maintain accuracy and her job performance was better, although slower. They apparently rate your quality of work and her quality was not matching up to the quantity…so they basically because of that criticism, she sped things up to try and appease them and I believe the problem wasn’t in the work she was putting in, but actually the presence of technical, computer errors with her scanning device she was using. It was entering into the system incorrectly, resulting in the “too many errors” reason they gave her when she was terminated. She worked there for three weeks before they fired her. Normally, she’d have argued that the termination was unfair and unjust, but at that point, after constantly feeling overworked and underappreciated by them, she’d dosed herself with a healthy amount of ‘fuckitall’ and found a different job with better hours, benefits and pay. And a note to Amazon before I continue, in the event one of you should happen upon this post - your company SUCKS. I will still shop on Amazon simply because you do have the best deals at times, but the way you operate is absolutely ridiculous. You put my wife through the wringer, worked her to the point of collapse, you didn’t step up and help her make any necessary corrections when you saw she was struggling…instead, to show your appreciation for her hard work and efforts, you fired her. Y’all ought to be ashamed of yourself and your company.
So, anyway…back to my tale for today…on our way to Applebee’s, we passed the Amazon Warehouse. You can see this huge, white building from the highway. J and I both flipped off the building as we sped past it, for they are a distant, but still unpleasant memory.
We found the Applebee’s, went in, sat down, ordered and ate. Everyone got their favorite meals. The bill came to just over $100 including a tip, but everyone was happy and so it was worth it. The kids even suggested we do this every couple of months.
On the way home, we were soon to pass the Amazon Warehouse again, coming from the other direction. J was being funny and in her tour-guide voice, says, “And over to our left, we will soon see the Amazon Warehouse that fired me. Let us all show them our middle finger in appreciation.”
All our middle fingers went up and toward the driver’s side of the car.
Yes, even my 11-year-old’s little middle went up; while I’m sure I’m not in the running for any parent-of-the-year awards, I still allowed for it because I feel she’s old enough to learn to express herself if the situation presents. Plus, she’s seen and heard f-bombs come out of my and J’s and her father’s mouths on MANY occasions. If she can successfully watch her mouth more often than letting a word slip, then I feel she’s earned the right to use a swear word when she feels the need to. Because to me, swearing is simply your way of not sugar-coating anything and letting someone know how she REALLY feels about something. If you ask me, swearing is healthy, but should still be done responsibly and she should be sure not to use such language around someone who could be offended by it (an older relative, grandparents, etc) or otherwise influenced by it, for example a younger sibling. I know that personally, I feel better if I let out a string of well-placed swears rather when I say “oh, poo.” I normally don’t condone unwarranted displays of vulgarity, but in this case, we were sticking up (our fingers) for one of our own.
What we DIDN’T count on, though was the car that had pulled up next to us on the left lane. We were in the right lane and between the Amazon Building and our car, there was now another car full of unsuspecting people who, I’m thinking, probably thought we were flipping THEM off. And they’d rather conveniently pulled up, JUST in time to see all of our middle fingers go up at the same time. Add to this whole funny situation, the overhead light in the car is usually on when it’s dark outside so that lip reading is made easier…which means that not only were the cars next to us able to see our raised middle fingers, anyone driving along that highway at that particular moment could also see quite clearly our little family display of expression.
When we realized this, we all quickly put our fingers away, there were a few “oh, my GODs” and “whoopses” and then, we erupted in an uncontrollable fit of laughter. I’m sure my and J’s faces were red with embarrassment, but as soon as the car had passed us and was already a half dozen or so car lengths’ ahead of us, we joined the kids in hysterics. We giggled at the pure timing of it all. At what the occupants of the other car could possibly be thinking they did to piss us off. At what the sight of a sweet, baby-faced, frizzy haired, 11-year-old with her middle finger up must have looked like, especially with her two moms and brother’s fingers up right next to hers, all pointing in the same direction. At least, we’d given someone else something to ponder for the evening.
We laughed for several minutes. We laughed until the tears rolled. We laughed until it hurt.
Then we just smiled at one another, for a memory has been made and tucked away for one of those times where we feel we need to pluck them from the reserves for one of those instant-smiles, because there ARE times we scramble for one of these 'remember when?' moments.
And, no one got hurt or arrested, so in my book, that’s a win.
Live, love and laugh a whole lot.