Thursday, September 30, 2010


Last night I was watching my niece and nephew. We got out of my car after a rousing trip to McDonald's and the grocery store, and I proceeded to shut the trunk--on my niece's little fingers. I was afraid they were stuck and that I would be caught fumbling for my keys in order to free the poor thing. There was definite relief when I gave her hand a quick tug and pulled, getting her fingers out of there.

Her 2-year-old wails filled the garage as I scooped her up. "I'm so so SORRY!" I told her. I made promises of ice for her hand and ice cream for her tummy... Luckily, the damage was none too severe, because soon the Veggie Tales movie was way more exciting than her pinched hand.

I worry sometimes about the pain I inflict on others. Whether it be emotional, physical, psychological...doesn't matter. I hate to be the cause of the hurt. But hurt and pain are inevitable, it seems.

My niece's pain in her smashed fingers seemed trite compared to what followed: seeing my 8-year-old nephew's face as he was told that his grandma would be dying soon. Watching my brother-in-law trying to be strong for his kids as his only remaining parent battles cancer and pain and hurt I personally cannot fathom. Hearing my sister tell me about how she will be losing not just a mother-in-law, but a friend.

I hate to see the hurt.

I hate hurting.

Monday, September 27, 2010

T minus 54 days...

I'm taking the GRE on November 20th. What am I doing...?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Overheard at the office...

It's no secret that I'm a morning person. I like to take advantage of this flaw--strike that: charming trait-- by getting to work pretty early. Lately, I've gotten here as the janitor makes the rounds vacuuming or emptying garbage. This has led to some fairly awkward conversations.

Conversation #1 (two weeks ago-ish):

Scene - Early in the morning, in the office kitchen, waiting for my morning oatmeal to cook for 80 seconds in the microwave (instant, they say? I don't think so...).

So what do you do here?

Me: Oh, we do research administration, making sure studies are safe for people. (A short, bare bones description of what I do...)

Him: That sounds cool. Do you like it?

Me: Yeah, it's fun. I like the people I work with, which makes it better.


Me: you like it here? (Thinking: "Really, Annie? You couldn't have thought of a better question than that? He's cleaning toilets and mopping floors...")

Him: Well, this is just sort of an inbetween thing...I have a BS degree, but I made some bad mistakes, and now I've just got to work some things off.

Me: Oh, I know how that goes... (In my head: "Do you know how it goes, Annie? DO YOU?!?")

Luckily, at this point, my oatmeal was done, so I bade him good day and speed-walked to my desk. It was harmless enough, as conversations go, but I felt like a bumbling mess, and the whole thing made me a bit uneasy.

Conversation #2 (this morning):

Scene - I am at my desk, starting to pull up work; we've just said pleasant good mornings in the kitchen, per usual. Right after my male co-worker left the room to talk to his wife on the phone for a few minutes, the janitor made his entrance to take out the garbage in our offices.

Him: So, how old are you?

Me: Twenty-seven.

Him: And you're not married? (Keep in mind, we have never before discussed my marital status...)

Me: Nope, it just hasn't happened for me yet.

Him: That biological clock of yours must be ticking...

Me: I'd be ok if it comes down to it and I don't have kids of my own.

Him: Yeah, I'm guessing they're not all they're cracked up to be.

Me: Haha...I'm content to sugar up my nieces and nephews and then send them on home to their parents. I get to sleep through the night and not have to change diapers. Best of both worlds.

Him: So I'm guessing you grew up in an LDS family?

Me: Yep.

Him: I bet you get a lot of pressure from your parents to get married.

Me: (Thinking: "Where is this conversation GOING?!"), yeah, but I tell them to back off when I need to.

Him: Yeah, you've got plenty of time.

Me: Yeah, I was engaged for a bit, and that was a bad situation, so I tell them that I'd rather be alone than in a bad situation like that.

Him: Yeah, definitely. I just noticed you don't have a ring on...

By this point, he was done taking out the garbages and a different one of my co-workers had walked in (mercifully!), so he was on his way out the door.

These are not things I like to discuss with maintenance staff. Maintenance staff with an odd resemblance to James Hetfield from Metallica.

When I told my co-worker the conversation that had just taken place, he chimed in, "I could tell his boss to get him to stop talking to you." Well, I don't want to hurt the guy's feelings, and I wouldn't go so far as to say that I'm "creeped out" by him, but really? Your pleasant conversation skills could certainly use some honing, buddy.