Here I am again having my sleep disturbed at 5:49 AM by my dog sitting in my face, whimpering, breathing his rotten garbage breath directly into my nostrils, begging me to go out. As soon as my eyelids flutter out of my REM cycle, there’s Boo, in my arm pit or on my chest, looking at me intently and squirming as if he is about to implode. I reach out and coax him, trying to get him to quiet down because I can see it’s still dark outside and I don’t feel like getting up yet. Then, seeing my hand stir, here comes the other one.
What sort of heartless person could ignore these faces? Boo is on the left, Kitty is on the right. They are the best version of prozac for me.
She couldn’t care less about going out, she wants me to hurry and wake up because she knows it’s Saturday and she wants me to stop being a jerk by insisting on sleeping, get my lazy carcass up and play fetch with her. Have you ever seen Dr. Doolittle, the one with Eddie Murphy? Remember the Jack Russell with the serious ball fetching addiction? My dog, Kitty, is a Pomeranian, not a JR, but I assure you, she’d give that short haired punk a run for his money in the toy obsession department. Even right NOW, while I am sitting in my husband’s recliner typing this, she is standing on my knees, gazing at me from over the top of my laptop screen. Good Lord, if I ever have a child, I hope the kid is quazimodo’s look alike or the spitten image of Hitler, because if it’s anywhere near as cute as my dog is, I’m in trouble.
The reason I am still awake, drinking my sugared up red 40 drink at 6:24 AM, with 2 black fuzzballs dying of attention deficit and warming the outer part of my left leg, is that I had a conversation this week with a man, and it puzzled me. In view of the fact that I have written two boring movie reviews this week for lack of anything more pressing to write about, I thought if I explored this idea, it might take me somewhere interesting enough to make you want to read it. SO here goes.
Let me start off by saying this, I am not a physically attractive woman. I mean, I probably could be, if I tried harder, made efforts with hair and make up, dressed even remotely feminine on a regular basis, did a nightly face cleansing ritual, and lost about 50 pounds. The problem is, I don’t do any of those things and what with my being a desk jockey, sitting in my office 8 hours a day, very rarely taking walks, no matter how little I eat, I certainly haven’t had any luck losing weight.
I blame red 40 and MSG. With the recent addition of a teenager to our household, I have been making a lot more koolaid and sweetening it with Stevia in the Raw just so she will quit drinking other crap that is loaded with sugar, calories and draining an obese-person sized hole in my bank account. That’s right, juice, milk and soda aren’t just bad for you, they’re expensive! Today’s koolaid just happens to have red 40 in it. I tried to get the “invisible” kool aid, but there was only one flavor of that. Seriously koolaid? Make more flavors of invisibles without red 40. Because poor people need healthy nervous systems too!
Oh good grief, my own attention deficit is carrying me away again. Let me get to the point. So, I have residents, male and female alike, that come in to my office and end up talking to me FOREVER! I normally don’t have a problem with this because I get bored and so lonely in my office. If a person that is even a little interesting comes in, I will jump up and down, wagging my tail and wiggling, just like my little Kitty dog, excited to have the company to free me from my monotony. I am fully aware that some of them probably think I talk too much. If they only knew how much I hold back…
This one guy that just moved in to one of my complexes, mid forties age, was a previous resident when I worked for the mega-overlord management corp. He’s a good guy, and even though the last 5 years have been rough for him due to separation/divorce, he’s always in good spirits. I like that quality about him, he’s always seeking to better himself and let me tell you, I had a long while to get to know his wife at my last property, she was in deed, a bit hard to deal with. I spoke to the woman approximately 3 times over the course of a year and the sheer exhaustion from those conversations made me go into ninja mode when I saw her, ducking around buildings and freezing in place when I saw her, hoping that not unlike the T-Rex, her primal need to complain was triggered by motion and as long as I didn’t move, she wouldn’t see me. Dude, that was close she almost caught me!
I’ve had several good conversations with this guy since his original residency at my old complex, and we’ve discussed a great many things in depth. What happens is, he comes in to my office or I see him out on property, looking all dejected, then immediately he sees me and smiles and we talk. I ask him how he’s doing. He says OK and fails to convince me and then starts talking about what’s ailing him. I make him laugh a bunch and I think he feels better. This is what I do with my residents. I’m like Yoda with a twist of Chris Rock thrown in, only less abrasive and no swearing.
A few weeks back we got to talking about the bible, which I do like to talk about with others who share that interest. I live in the bible belt so those people are about a dime a dozen. We don’t argue though, we simply talk about various ideas and concepts. No lost tempers, no banging fists on wooden surfaces, no sales pitch. I don’t care if he believes what I do. We have a good conversation and he leaves. I enjoy getting to know the unique ideas of different people, variety is the spice of life, after all. New conversation keeps me fresh and free of stagnation.
He makes a point of telling me that he enjoys talking to me but doesn’t want to seem like he’s hitting on me because he knows that I am married and would never be slimy enough to do something like that. He just enjoys talking to me, and talking about the bible, as do I. Of course, I laugh, because the idea of seeing any one of my male residents in a romantic way is an absurd concept to me. I just don’t think of anyone but my husband like that, and I’m not just saying that to stay out of the doghouse, it’s true. My life is interwoven with his, we’ve been together nearly 10 years. Not to mention the fact that he’s probably the hottest, most intelligent man I know. Intelligence is sexy to me, along with goodness, mildness, self control and confidence. All qualities he exemplifies far more often than not. In short, a better, more rounded man, does not exist. Not for me anyway. He’s my lobster.
Here’s my lobster holding Kitty, getting ready to go on a car trip. 🙂
So when my resident called later to talk to me about a maintenance issue and then called me some kind of pet name like hun or sugar or something like that, I jokingly said “Don’t call me Hun in that patronizing tone! I’m on to you!” He stumbles and says it’s just a term of endearment. So I laugh and say ok, we hang up, then he calls me back 30 seconds later.
He just wants to clarify AGAIN that he wasn’t hitting on me. I laugh and say “Look, I really do know you’re not hitting on me. I have nasty dudes come in here and hit on me all the time, so believe me when I tell you I know the difference. And seriously, why in the world would any one want to hit on me? I mean, I wear my hair up in this old lady bun or a pony tail every single day, I wear hippie sandals or converse sneakers and the same two frumpy, baggy hoodies every day. I don’t wear make up at all. Why on earth any man would want to come in here and hit on me is beyond my comprehension.”
So he hesitated a moment and then said “Well, it’s not really the way you look that makes you so attractive. It’s your personality, the way you are with people, you have an effervescent quality about you. It’s very rare and makes you a joy to talk to.”
This picture is an excellent example of my attractiveness factor, My little sister is the one on the right.
Of course I was flattered. What a nice thing to say, anyone would like to hear things like that said about them. I’m effervescent. I’ve never been called that before. Of course I, being the indefatigable boob that I am, immediately picture myself being taken out of a blue and white pouch and tossed into a glass of water where I fizz and make bubbles and eventually dissolve completely. Then the giant hand picks the glass up and swallows me in liquid form, feeling instantly refreshed. They even make that “Ahhhhhhh” sound that follows only the most refreshing of drinks. Effervescent. That’s me.
ef·fer·ves·cent : Adjective
1. (of a liquid) Giving off bubbles; fizzy.
2. (of a person or their behavior) Vivacious and enthusiastic.
I am of course, a woman, so I immediately push away any form of a compliment and assume he’s just trying to flatter me with lies. After all, no one at my house thinks I’m effer-bloody-vescent! But when I think about it, I have to admit that it may actually be true. After all, I am like a good bartender slash psychiatrist for many of my residents. I think all personable landlords wear this hat more frequently than they dare to admit and I think it is this aspect of the job that endears our residents to our properties and not just the properties themselves.
It happens in my life every single day. Residents come in and talk or complain about their problems and I try to make them laugh and give them my thoughts on their situation. They usually feel better when they leave my office. I’m not just flattering myself, I can see it in their countenance. They seem lighter, more confident, maybe even downright chipper in some instances. I think positive people can do that to people that are in a negative state. You notice I didn’t say negative people, because I don’t believe a completely negative person exists. People who appear to be negative are merely positive people in a funk. And you can quote me on that. And take it to the bank. And stuff it in your pipe and smoke it.
I do this to my dad, who I lovingly refer to as the Grim Reaper, all the time. I did it yesterday, in fact. He comes to have lunch with me, bogged down by his problems and ailments, complaining about everything under the sun, then I subtly change the subject about 67 times and once he gets the point, that I refuse to have my vital energy drained out of me by his soul sucking negativity, he just sighs, smiles and gives in to my madness. I win again. We have a nice father daughter lunch. Share an ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie and laugh at each others jokes.
This picture is proof of my effervescent effect on grumps. Case in point: My Dad. This accomplishment alone should get me a job working for Tony Robbins or writing Hallmark greeting cards.
Anyway, I would like to thank that resident, the one who called me effervescent, because he made my day that day, and again today when I thought about the conversation further. Thanks buddy. I owe you one. How bout free rent next month? J Ha ha, just kidding. See, you were right, that did make me laugh. I’m even effervescent to myself. (Insert Jack Black Saving Silverman reference here….) HUMINUH-YAY-HAAAA!!!