Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Missouri to California

In March of 2016, I was in a strange place. My daughter was three months old, I had been single for a year, and the fella I was with before that, I had been dating since 2011.

I was finally moving into my own place again for the first time in a year, and my current roommates were having a couple of their California friends over to visit the midwest. One friend in particular, I took an interest in. We didn't talk much in the days former, but we had this strange connection. I visited my (then) ex-roommates the day the Californians left. This fine fella and I had really hit it off the night before, but I was too afraid to make a real move on him; I was too afraid that a Missouri girl with a newborn, little direction in life, and few interests but her new child had any chance with this fella.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smilingI added him on Facebook. I tried to be sly and gave him my phone number telling him I didn't have data when I wasn't home. We started texting. Then, we starting texting A LOT. We became more and more interested in each other and wanted to see each other again. He booked a flight, he was coming to see me in May. I counted down the days.

Our May trip was fabulous. We went to see Jersey Boys, we went to the zoo, we made key chains for each other. Ten days together, and I felt like I never wanted to leave him again. His presence felt so much like home when I hadn't had that feeling in so long.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, sunglasses, closeup and outdoorHe's a theatre fella, so times were hard. It took us five months so see each other again, but we talked every day. Texts, Facebook, and snapchat. Where would we be without these modern devices? He wasn't free again until October, but he flew me out to see his home town. Everything was strange there. The grass was brown instead of green, the trees were palm instead of maple, and people drove like maniacs. I spent 10 days there and each one was a new adventure. I saw the beach for the first time in my memorable life, I fed a giraffe, and even got to visit Universal Studios. He was trying to lure me in with all the things that California offered. I know it.

Two months later, he found time to make it my way for the Holidays. We celebrated his Jewish origin of Hannukah and my Christmas one all in a matter of two weeks. He stayed for three so we could "test" living together. We laughed, sang, and spent most of our evening at home enjoying each others company. We didn't do many "exciting" things during his trip to the Midwest, but I look upon the memories with nothing but happiness. I enjoyed every moment of just lying in bed together and watching movies.

He was always such a wonderful fella. From the time we decided things might be really real, he always asked about my daughter. Woke up with her during her trips and changed her diapers when he knew I needed nothing more than sleep (even when he needed it too). I knew he was special. We talked about living together, even if the possibility was over a year away.

Image may contain: one or more people and coffee cupWe talked, We planned, we decided on April. Things weren't easy from the time my lease went up in February to the time he arrived mid-April. We stayed with parents and friends. We never really had a cozy bed to sleep on or proper toys in any given place. We made it though.

Danny arrive April 20th. We stayed with my parents to provide him a "good" nights sleep. We left town April 21st for our final destination to start our lives together. I really thought, if anything, spending four days non stop with someone in a confined space would drive me to see the things that drove me insane about them. Alas, that wasn't the case. The trip was long, but it drove me only to see my affections more. We arrived in my new home in California on April 24th.

Since arriving, things have been nothing less than perfect. My daughter and I get to visit the park (nearly) daily. We enjoy smoothies, palm trees, and occasional trips to the beach. At night, I get to enjoy new moving, well-needed cuddles and kisses. It's hard to imagine being this happy, but here I am. I'm with the fella I could see a real future with, I'm in a state I never even believed I'd be able to visit, and I'm starting a life. I really couldn't ask for anything more.
Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling

Friday, November 25, 2016

Things I Learned in My Year as a Single Mother

First of all, I want to tell you about my relationship with my daughter. After almost one whole year, she has quite the personality. She loves music and dances every time it starts during a TV commerical. We don't have a tv at home though, so we spend lots of time hanging out playing with dinosaurs and blocks and stuff. She loves meeting new people and gets a kick out of trying to crawl away during diffiucult diaper changes. This post isn't necessarily about my daughter, but more about my experiences as a single parent for almost a year. So here goes nothing.

People love babies and a lot of people will go out of their way to help out. This holds especially true with newborns, When my daughter was a couple of weeks old, I went to wal-mart with her and had to actually carry her and well as a couple of bags of groceries. I had someone get my attention to ask if I needed any help just carrying the groceries into the car. It was a very sweet gesture. People understand kids are not always cooperative or easy to multi-task with. As a single mother, you learn to multi-task carrying baby as well as everything else really quickly. When you are struggling though, you'll often find someone willing to be a helpful hand,

As a single parent, you're far more likely to keep up with your childless friends than a couple with a baby. Couples stay home and gawk over their new baby next for like 6 months over a fireplace drinking hot coacoa or something. My little monster and I went on a hike together when she was like a week old and we've been an adventuring duo every since. Once they get mobile (crawling) it starts getting more difficult to bring them to non-baby proofed places, though.

You learn how to pack only the essentials. Carrying everything downstairs before you grab the baby is no bueno. Don't get my wrong, I stuff my diaper bag full, like...doesn't quite zip up full, but I also like to be prepared because I'm not home for days at a time sometimes, so I have to be prepared. I will manage to shove everything she may need in 2 days into a diaper bag because I live upstairs and I am not hauling her things down there then go back up for her when it's 20° outside. Having two sets of hands definitely makes things easier, but you gotta do what you gotta do, girl.

Every trip is more difficult and takes twice the amount of time it should (at least), I kid you not. I normally spend 30-60 minutes a day trying to get clothes picked out for Monster and I, get us dressed, and pray she doesn't try to eat the cat's food while I straighten my hair, I took a trip up to the city recently and we had no children with us, I was ready to walk out the door in five minutes or less.

No one tells you about trying to figure out when your baby should be moved up from newborn diapers.I felt really awkward asking one of my coworkers when I wasn't sure if I should move my daughter out of newborn size and up to ones. It's one of those things people never quite explain to you, you just know it's a thing that has to be done. For me, it was one of those first freakouts about my ability to parent.

Breastfeeding is hard. Props to you ladies that keep up with it. You go, girl! Some of you may have only been able to do it for a couple days or weeks. Kudos for trying. It's really tough work and timing can be difficult for any mom that has to work full time to bring home that bacon.

In that period when you're weining the kid off formula, getting them more into baby food, the. softer aldult food before that teeth really start coming in is a real struggle for single momma's because on our days off, we're constantly on the move. We've got errands to run, people to see, adventures to have. It's hard to feed little ones that make lots of mess even at a friend that doesn't have a high chair readily available. For us with poor dietary habits (because ramen is about all we can afford), Sharing our food doesn't give much nutritional value and it's a difficult fight when you're squeezing every penny.

You will be the most broke you have been in your entire life. You will work a lot to keep yourself afloat. Taking care of two is difficult. Sometimes you'll feel like the only time you see your kid is when s/he is sleeping. Unfortunately, you just have to keep in mind that everything you're doing is because its best for your little monster. Someday you won't have to work so much. It breaks your heart to miss out on these beginning years, but you're working hard to ensure you can provide better for them in the future so that those years can be exactly as you want them to be,

Keep a stash of Wal-Mart bags in your car. You're going to need them for literally, everything, Dirty diapers when you have to change your kid in the middle of nowhere because they exploded, odds and ends that will inevidibly end up in your backseat from diaper bags spilling onto the floor.

Buy baby wipes in bulk. They are literally the best for everything, Babies make a mess out of everything and they're actually super helpful for household stuff that you're too lazy/cheap to go out and buy the adult clorox version.

People totally lose their shit when you wear matching outfits with your little (in a good way). I really dig tyedying and I have, on multiple occasions, tyedyed shirts for the monster and I. Every time we go to the market at least one person comments on how adorable our matching threads are.

Everyday people are shy, but still ask about the kid's father. "Is he involved?" "Do you have full custody?" "How does he feel about *insert life decision*?" They always say in such a hush voice  because they know it can, in most circumstances, a touchy subject but still feel its necessary information to just casually chat about with the the general public. I don't know. It wigs me out. Doctors never hesistate. I never once went to a single OB/pediatric appointment with a man. I mean I know a lot of questions are medically related, but "Does she look like her dad?" is a question I get often. I mean, she sure as hell doesn't look like me. I'm still not 100% convinced they didn't switch her at the hospital.

Find another mom friend a kid that is close to the age of yours, preferably single. Find a mom friend with multiple children. These two will be very important to you. The mom with the kid close in age will be able to talk about their kids and how they're developing differently. Plus there's always "playdate" options where mama's get to drink wine while the kids fight over the same toy, but no one is getting their eye gouged out, so it's fine. Mom of multiples has a bit more experience under her belt. She's already been through this twice. She's got tips and tricks and she probably really loves babies if she has multiple, so she'll be ecstatic about a new baby and getting to watch your kids grow up together,

I could probably think of more, and I might add some later, but this is my list for now.
I never thought I'd have a child, but my litte monster has been the best thing to ever happen to me. Sometimes she's difficult and 2016 has just been kind of wild to us.

 I recently totalled my car and I've been struggling to keep afloat before all of this. I have a lot of legal fees I'm looking at paying as well as purchasing a new car whilst still paying on my old one. I've set up a gofundme account in hopes that anyone that can understand that life is difficult and we can't always be prepared could donate if you have any extra cash. Even $5 is so much help right now. I'm really reaching out trying to do the best I can for my little monster and me.

Here is the link to my GoFundMe. Any and any donation is deeply appreciated.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I'm putting this on my blog, because....well, because it's my blog and I'll do what I want to. :)

All about your first born!

1. Was your first pregnancy planned? Definitely not.
2. Were you married? Was not, am not.
3. What was your reaction to finding out? Terrified. Absolutely terrified.
4. Were you induced? I was not.
5. How old were you? 22 when I found out, 23 when I had her.
6. Who did you first tell? My BAD friends.
7. How did you find out? I bought at a test from the market, then came home and peed on it.
8. Did you want to find out the sex? Lord, I couldn't find out soon enough.
9. Due Date? December 15.
10. Did you deliver early or late? She was born 10 days early.
11. Did you have morning sickness? Nope, my pregnancy was pretty much a breeze.
12. What did you crave? Bread, soda, and skittles. Oh, and ice. I needed all the ice ever.
13. How many pounds did you gain from your pregnancy? I was 135 pre-pregnancy. I was 170 a couple days before I had her, 140 a couple of weeks after, and now I'm 123 on a good day. This baby did wonders for my metabolism or something.
14. What was the sex of the baby? She has little lady bits.
15. Did you have any complications during labor? I was puzzled by why women chose to do this again after remembering how painful the first one was.
16. Where did you give birth? At a hospital
17. How many hours were you in labor? I was in the hospital for a little over 13 hours before I had her.
18. How much did your baby weigh? 5 lbs 11oz, she looked had a squishy alien face.
19. What did you name him/her? Guinevere (She's our little Pen-Gwen!)
20. How old is your first born today? She's just over 4 months and she's a doll.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 going on 2016, Baby It's Time to Think

At this point, it's sort of tradition for me to write an end of the year blog post. I've been slacking at writing this, well, entire year, but it's been a fairly busy one.

I received a letter from year ago me (via Future Me) a few days ago, and it let me really see how different things were a year ago. Honestly, it was pretty bleak. It mentioned that I had no idea where my relationship was going, that I hated the idea of marriage (as opposed to a year earlier when I was just getting engaged), and ended on the very sour note of "Life sucks and I have absolutely nothing positive to send to you, future Bee. Fucking cheers. Time to drink the next year of my life away and be bitched out for it." Obviously I was struggling deeply at this time last year.

I had no idea that this year would bring me so many unexpected surprises and that I would feel like a whole new person by now. It really is crazy how much things can change in a year.

The first three months of the year, I continued on my self-destructive path until I found out I was pregnant. I stopped drinking and suddenly the world became a little clearer. Since it would be months before I found out the sex, I started calling this thing growing inside of me my little moon child since she was conceived when I worked overnights and lived in the dark morning (the time after an overnighter's shift when they do normal night time things like drinking with friends). I called her my personal savior for stopping my drinking and helping me veer from the road of destruction I was becoming so comfortable with. On December 5, I gave birth to a beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed little girl name Guinevere Luna Mae Hinkle. She couldn't do wrong by her name and showed up at 12:45 a.m. and now I couldn't imagine a life without her.

I had a summer full of catching up with old friends and making new ones. I went swimming, walked every day, got really tan from being outside so much, and managed to find my new home with two of the most wonderful people I've ever met. Brian and Vanessa took me in early during the summer and have always made me feel as though this is where I always belonged. Vanessa is pretty much a pregnancy pro and was such a wonderful support system during this whole new experience of my life. She walked me through my worries, she was there during my gender reveal ultrasound, she was the first to feel baby Gwen kick and she was the one the one that walked me through my entire labor from timing my contractions to losing her shit with me when the doctor's told me it was officially time to push to get Gwen into this world. I couldn't imagine having had anyone better there.

This year I did something I've wanted to do since I was 14 and got my lip pierced (although it closed up when I had to take all my piercings out in case they had to rush me into surgery during labor), became more educated on worldly news (Thanks You, National Public Radio), and made some killer new friends.

I've done a ton of hiking, attempted to be a bit more impulsive, and I'm still working on becoming a better, happier person. I have such wonderful people in my life now and I have to consider that I want to be someone my daughter can look up to. I have high hopes for 2016.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I'm Thankful for my Struggle

I'm thankful for my struggle, because without it I wouldn't have stumbled across my strength.

It's time for my annual post about the things I'm grateful for in life  Every year, around Thanksgiving, I enjoy sitting and just writing these things down because the truth is that it's easy to lose sight of the little things that bring happiness when things get hard.

I want to start by giving a huge Thank you to Brian and Vanessa. Six months ago, these two took me in and have shown me endless love and support. They have helped me through every step of my pregnancy and turning my life in a new direction. They let me move into their home, made me nice home cooked meals, and have let me be a part of their beautiful children's lives. I'm not sure how I got so lucky to stumble upon them, but they have been my rock. You two are amazing and I hope you never doubt how much I appreciate you and everything you have done for me.

I'm pretty thankful for my apartment bros too. They're one of my few links to who I was just a year ago. These boys have gone out to the bar with me, played games, watched movies, and continued to remind me that becoming a mother doesn't mean I can't still be a bro.  I can't wait to drink with you boys, again.

I'm thankful for my laptop, because bringing my stone age desktop to the apartment would not have been an option. I'm grateful for my kitty because he gives me all the cuddles (although not usually when I want them) and keeps my legs warm when I sleep at night. Despite the fact that sometimes it makes me want to pull my hair out, I'm thankful for my job because, you know, money is important. I'm thankful for the girl who taught me to crochet, because endless scarves and baby blankets. I'm thankful for all the new friends I've made this year.

I'm thankful for all the support from friends and family I've gotten since becoming pregnant. I appreciate all the loving words and especially the baby gifts. Babies are expensive little creatures and every little bit helps. Of course, I have to give a shout-out to my BAD friends for being three for me for the last decade. I love you guys.

Last, but definitely not least, I'm thankful for this little bundle growing in my belly. She made me fat again and she's going to make my hair turn gray, but I'm thrilled to meet her. This little one saved me from going into a very dark place and although I never saw myself having children in the past, I couldn't be more excited for baby Gwen to get here and for all the adventures we'll have together.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Some Random Things.

Facebook recently created a "time hop"-like app and since I've never had a phone new enough to be able to download the actual application, this is pretty exciting for me.

Our roommates recently moved out, which means we no longer have a functioning scale. I really want to get back to eating healthy and exercising. "On This Day" showed me a picture from exactly one year ago and I seriously forgot I used to be this thin.

I think that 2015 will definitely be a year of finding myself. 2013 was perfect. 2014 was chaotic. 2015 will be growth. I feel like there's going to be a lot of life-changing things happening this year. It's just a gut feeling. Besides, by January of next year, I'll be 23 and everyone knows "nobody likes you when you're 23."

My cat is looking at me like I just made a joke that was so overly cheesy that anybody lactose intolerant better back the fuck up. He's just mad because the light box is on my lap so he can't sit up here.

I always said that I had a thing about making friends with my local gas station crew. Between Rip its and smokes, they see me enough. When I got hired on at Rhodes, I had no idea that I could have the relationship I do with them now. I'm lucky to have the crew I do there. Sometimes, it does make me sad that I only work overnights there and rarely actually get to work with these folks. I'm definitely grateful for the job and all the wonderful people I've met there.

Also, I want to give a shout out to my BAD friends. A decade later and they're still the best friends I could ever ask for and I want to thank them for talking me through so much in this last year especially. I love you guys so much.


I recently found a channel on youtube called College Humor. They're pretty fantastic.

I recently found out that Motion City Soundtrack is going to be at Warped Tour again this year so I'm really excited about that. New Years Day, NeverShoutNever, and Silverstein are all supposed to be there, too. In Conclusion, Warped Tour 2015 is going to kick ass.

My hair has been growing for over two months and it looks just horrid, so I'm giving in and shaving the sides again. Warm weather is just around the corner and I'm not wearing a hat all summer long, so I will have to try again when fall comes around.

Well, that's all folks!
I'll catch you on the flip side.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

This February Darkness Has Me Hating Everyone

It's been nearly four months since I last wrote and I can't seem to recall where all the time has gone.

This evening, a song popped into my head. It's the same song that I have found myself quietly singing to myself every time I feel lonely in February for the last nearly decade now. Silverstein's "Call It Karma" always brings me a strange sort of peace. Maybe it's because it's been one of the few songs I've still held on to from the time before even high school problems became a thing. I feel as though the lyrics are hitting me harder than ever this year, though.

So what have I been doing these last four months?

I got roommates. Lance's brother, his fiance, and their (almost) two year old daughter moved in with us early November. As a person that swore she'd never live with someone she wasn't dating, it's definitely been an interesting experience. At this point, I think I have very few remarks on the matter as it's been one emotional roller coaster that I'm not entirely sure I've processed yet. The one thing that I have definitely gathered from this experience is that children of my own are not something I want in my future.

I've been listening to a lot of Z107.7 and Ghost; It's a strange combination, I know. I've really been digging Coheed and Cambria's Ascension and Descension dual album again, too.

I started working overnights on the weekends at Rhodes. That's been a real trip. When you work the same shift on the same days every week, regulars become a lot more recognizable and they like to get to know you. Also, I get a lot of drunken assholes and I've decided when I get the pick-up line "Where have you been all of my life?" I'm going to respond with "probably in high school." I look young enough to pull it off for now.

I've been struggling with the typical 22-year old questions. Where will I be in five years? Will what I'm doing now even matter then? How on Earth am I going to get back to college working forty hours a week? Should I be concerned about how much money I spend on booze? How can I make this weekend epic? Yo, where my friends at?

I finally went to the tattoo shop to get my first tattoo in over three years: a moon.

Why? It's a reminder of this very point in my life with overnights and the chaos that has been everything that I am as of late. It's a reminder that life is constantly changing from day to day, even if the progression is slight, but alas things don't tend to change as much as you think and life tends to keep going in one vicious cycle.

I bought a laptop, too. It's much nicer than trying to do all of my online activities on a desktop from the stone age.

I've had a lot of time for self discovery and with that I feel as though I only have 100 more questions to ask than I did before. So, in short, I've been just kind of living. I'll be back as a frequent blogger soon enough once I figure out the answers to at least a few more of life's questions.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Turned 21

10. You're going to feel the need to make a major change over the course of the next year. Don't do something crazy like break off your relationship (unless you're legitimately unhappy) or pick up shoplifting. Instead, cut/dye your hair or pick up a hobby like collecting something or something artsy.

9. You will drink far too much alcohol in the year you are 21. In fact, you will drink so much you're legitimately terrified to check what percent of your monthly finances goes to booze.

8. Invest in a camera. There will be a lot of nights you won't remember and you'll want photographic evidence to the stories your friends tell you the next day about the things you did. While You're at it, invest in either a scrapbook or photo album. Most of the photos you'll take should never be introduced to the internet, but you'll want to keep them for yourself.

7. Your friends will more than likely seperate into three groups. You'll have the Occasionally Partiers who will throw a lot of summer bonfires and have big shindigs where they invite like 20 people. These friends will only call you up 3-4 times during the colder months for smaller shindigs inside. You'll have a set of friends that are always down to drink. You will share a lot of good memories with these friends just getting drunk, playing games, and having conversations about life and the world. Sometimes you will get sloppy drunk with these people and sometimes you will just have a few beers and just bullshit, but there is always alcohol involved. Finally, you'll have two or three friends who you actually do normal human things with not under the influence of alcohol. If these are people who don't drink, you'll likely hardly ever see them. If they do drink, you'll have sober times and drunk times together and you'll see them pretty fucking often. These are more than likely the friends you've had for at least 5+ years.

6. You will quickly learn what time the bars and local liquor stores. You will also learn what time Wal-Mart Stops selling. You'll also have a rude awakening when you realize that they stop selling alcohol earlier on Sundays (and some states don't sell at all on Sundays).

5. It will take you awhile to figure out what alcohols affect you in what ways and this will determine what your general drink of choice is. I learned wine makes me honest and angry and beer makes me want to make new friends when I drink enough of it. I also learned that Mad Dog is so easy to drink, but you'll be drunk in no time at all. I learned that Steele Reserve and Earthquake will make me black out after a beer or two and then I'll more than likely pass out on the floor. You'll play a lot of fun drinking games while trying to figure all of this out.

4. Being intoxicated removes your filter. You will curse a lot more, you will say things that would never come out of your mouth sober, and you will be 100% honest with not even the slightest regard for someone's feelings. I feel like I've helped this a bit for setting up drunk rules for myself while still sober. Generally these include: 1. Don't talk to girls you don't know. You will compliment them, then have 20 minute conversations with them and if they're not as drunk as you, they will probably think (know) you're hitting on them and will label you a total creep. 2. Don't say anything negative about anyone. Your filter is gone and more than likely you will run into this person in public and you're just creating bad vibes. 3. Avoid giving dirty looks when someone you don't like says anything or someone you aren't insanely fond of says something you don't like. You're drunk and you don't notice when people are giving dirty looks, but others are sober and will see them clear as day. Just don't give dirty looks, period.

3. You'll probably make some (or a lot) of poor decisions under the influence of alcohol. You will say mean things. You will do things you know you shouldn't. You'll cry for silly reasons in public. You'll try to relate to people on situations you cannot relate to at all. You'll tell your life story and get into details you really should just not. You'll try to hit on people that will not be interested. You'll test bounderies. You'll get in a lot of trouble...and you should never just blame it on being drunk. Bad idea. Just try to avoid all of this if at all possible.

2. If you drink where it is publicly allowed, you will talk to a lot of strangers. You'll find yourself approaching strangers to let them know they have nice hair, they make a nice couple, or just because they seem like they may be cool. Some of these people will become your best friends for the night. Some of them will think you're a complete creep and do anything and everything to avoid you from here on out. A lot of times, you will not remember these folks and will wake up to friend requests on facebook thinking "Who the fuck is this?!" or these people will see you in another public setting weeks from now and call you by name. You will not remember their face, their name, or what conversations you may have had with them in your intoxicated state.

1. You will stumble into 22 feeling like the only similarity you share with your 20 year old self is the skin you live in.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On My Year of Being a 21-Year-Old

In 19 short days, the official age will have come to an end and I'll be turning 22. I always knew being 21 would be kind of nuts, but I hadn't quite prepared for everything this year would bring for me.

On my 21st birthday, I went out for my first legal drink and in the past 346 days, I've probably consumed hundreds of gallons of booze.

It's been the craziest of years. On my 21st birthday, I got my mom drunk and we got to have the heart to heart we probably needed. I got everyone I ran into at the bar to sign my "Here for the Beer" shirt and man did I get a lot of free beer.

Since then, life has been an intense roller coaster. I've made a lot of new friends and I've fallen from a lot of people who I thought I would be close to forever because we just became different or they found a reason not to like me through my adventures of being 21.

I got back in touch with a few old ones though, at least for a short time period.

I've made a lot of poor decisions as a result of drinking, but I've made leaps and done things I would have never done sober that led me to meet new people and have some fun experiences. On the other side of things, It's also given me a lot of nights I don't properly remember. Good thing I usually keep my camera on hand to remind me what the hell happened.

I got engaged two months after I turned 21 to the love of my life. We celebrated our three year anniversary just about a month ago.

I managed to aquire two more cats within this last year. I mostly quit smoking and started vaping instead. I cut off all my hair and learned to convince people I'm a lesbian to avoid men hitting on me at the bar.

Lance and I finally got out of Accent after him being there for four terrible years and having two years under my belt. He started a great job with Charter (where I've gotten to drive to IL and stay in a hotel with him for multiple days) and I am officially employed with my favorite gas station right around the corner from my house.

It's been one hell of a year. I'm sure it won't be nearly as crazy, but I'm excited to see what 22 will bring for me.

I really want to give a special thanks to Lancelot (who has been there and a total sweetheart despite all the poor decisions I've made), Dani (because we've been friends for 8 years and we've finally just gotten ridiculously close), Adam (for having drunken girl talk nights I so desperately needed), and Mike and Ricky (my Autumn Creek apartment Bros who are always down for a drinking night). You guys all kick ass. Thanks for making this year 100x better.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

10 Things I've Learned from Working at a Gas Station

I've been working at Rhodes 101 for almost four weeks now and there are a lot of things I've learned and realized working at a gas station. I'm here to give you just a few. Some will happen to everyone, others will only happen to some of you.

1. People want good customer service, but they don't want you to be too happy.
I used to work overnights at a gas station (for a very short period of time) and people actually complained to my boss that I was "too peppy" in the mornings. I'm a happy person and see no reason to be negative with people who haven't been a complete ass to me.  Plus, 4 a.m. meant my shift was almost over. I thought this was just an overnight thing, but it turns out people still get pissy in the afternoon. I've been at Rhodes for less than a month and I've already had three or four people tell me "You are way to happy" to my face.

2. Men give no fucks who is in the bathroom with them as long as they're sure their dick is covered.
At Rhodes, we do not close the bathrooms when they are being cleaned which means that when I go to clean the men's bathroom it's a complete pain in the ass because for every dude that comes in there while I'm cleaning, I just need to get the fuck out until they are done. In the (less than) month that I have been there, I cannot even count how many times I've heard someone walk in while I was cleaning and said "Give me two seconds and I'll be out of here." and while I'm gathering my cleaning supplies, they say "okay," and then continue to walk into the stall or up to the urinal and start pissing anyway while I'm still in there. It's just incredibly awkward and I am not fan.

3. Young women don't want anyone to hear them pee.
When anyone under the age of 30 comes into the bathroom when I'm cleaning the women's bathroom, they immediately say "I'm sorry" and walk right back out. Even if I catch them in time to say "It's fine, just use the one I'm not cleaning," they always just say they'll wait.

4. Older women have no shame GIANT dump while you're trying to clean the other stall.
They walk in, don't even acknowledge that I'm there, and proceed to walk in to the nearest stall and let a big one rip followed by intense shit hitting water. My God, I always have to go spray after they do this.

5. Some people actually tip gas station workers.
It's usually people that are coming through drive through, but I didn't even realize this was a thing. The other day, I had someone buy a soda for $1.25, give me $2, and told me to keep the change. Usually people don't worry about the pennies, but when it comes to nickels, dimes, and quarters, people still give that shit up. It's kind of awesome.

6. People are extremely surprised if you have tattoos and they see them outside of your job.
We aren't allowed to have any tattoos showing at the gas station. I had a once a day customer come in the other day after I got off work and stop me to talk to me. He told me that he had seen me at Wal-Mart with all my tattoos showing and almost didn't recognize me. He was very kind and complimented them and told me about how he couldn't get them and why. It was an interesting experience.

7. People ask for directions at gas stations A LOT.
Considering we have very few men working at Rhodes, this one kind of makes me laugh a lot. Everyone someone asks me where something is, I always have the urge to say "You're asking a woman for directions. What are you thinking?" Instead I usually grab one of my coworkers and see if they might know where it is. 

8. If you have a non-conservative look to you, the drugees will try to connect with you.
You all have seen my hair. It's shaved extremely short on one side and completely on the back and I only have bangs. Meth heads tend to compliment my hair, talk about their own hair/piercings, and then get pissed off that we don't take food stamps. Ugh.

9. People hate breaking $100 bills at gas stations.
They worry so much about whether we can break it or not. Before I worked at Rhodes, I hated breaking $100 at gas stations too. Unless you have caught us right after we cashed out the drawer, we probably have change for it. If we don't have the 20's, you might just have a few more ten dollar bills than expected. Hey, at least you feel less bad about breaking 10's than 20's, right?

10. A good amount of people will hit on you. Some of them will be attractive, most will not.
In my four weeks working there, I have not had a single attractive person hit on me, but I got invited to a labor day party where they bought enough beer to get an army drunk. So that was cool. Otherwise, It's usually just super old creepy guys that haven't gotten laid in ages.

So folks, this is what I have learned in my month of working for a gas station. I'm sure I'll have some more crazy stuff for you later, so keep updated.