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2006-12-19 - 11:58 p.m.

I have to do the last of my Christmas shopping. My old fashioned Dad still uses handkerchiefs. I had the notion that maybe he would apprechiate a few that are not fifty years old and worn.

I am not a shopper, so I guess going to one department store doesn't really qualify as hunting for them, or make it a fair statement to say "they are hard to find." Kohl's however did not have them.

Likewise, I guess it's not fair to say that nail polish remover is hard to find either, after looking in the supermarkets I happened to be in. It would be more fair to say it was hard for me to remember to purchase nail polish remover, and I was actually tempted to head to the basement to look for the big can of acetone which I know we have on the shelf there. It's used for larger jobs like cleaning up oil spills, and perhaps cleaning farm machinery.

But it really is the same thing as nail polish remover, without the added perfume. Since Westely sold most of our farm machinery I don't think the acetone would be needed for much around here...

But I did indeed remember I wanted nail polish remover and finally found it at Target.

I really just never got either the shopping thing or the cosmetics thing. Although I love to sew clothing, and in fact have more fun designing and creating outfits and love to dance and wore only skirts for years, so can't claim to not be at all feminine, I just never was really into those girly girl things like women's magazines, cosmetics and shopping.

I was the dancer who showing up to class remembering at the last minute to pull my hair up. I learned to french braid in about a minute as the dance teacher was yelling at me in Spanish (which she did with passion when mad....)

I'm not one to be overly concerned with hair and makeup (although I love cutting other peoples hair and had fun doing so in college.)

But about a month ago I deceided that perhaps it would help in my job hunt to look like someone who cares about such things. I thought about the things I had looked at when I interviewed and hired people. And I realized (hypocritically) that I had this belief that if someone was meticulous in their appearance that they perhaps were more careful in job preformance areas.

I recalled the best developmental specialist I worked with had beautifully manicured nails, hair never out of place, and she never wore even one wrinkle. We joked she iorned her T shirts. (And I swear it was true!) She later became the site manager after I was in law school and likely was even better than me at that job!

So with thought of emulating her for job interview purposes (the career driven SINGLE CHILDLESS persona I wanted to impersonate), I went and did the unthinkable.

I had my nails done. For $30 some asian guy put some combination of chemicals and plastic on my hands.

But FIRST, HE FILED and ruined my natural nails. Those which were healthy and strong and fine... without even one mark indicating lack of calcium, or any nail biting etc. I am not a nail biter and eat a healthy diet.

I should have realized that in interviewing that was REALLY the only reason I looked at people's nails. I would take note if they looked like a nail biter as that would indicate a nervous habit.

I admit that it was something I considered when hiring for a group home. I didn't want to hire anyone NERVOUS for a position that required being a calming presence. The one time I did hire someone with that trait in fact turned out to be a disaster.

Despite my intentions of getting "coiffed" to look my best for a job hunt, just two days after having my nails done I was again digging in the dirt.

What can I say.
I am not a single driven childless woman.
I am a mom who lives on a family farm and loves to dig in the dirt.

With this beautiful weather I just couldn't help myself.

So those beautiful nails were quickly popping off, and I didn't really care.

I was left with stubbly scary looking things, with the only option WITHOUT nail polish remover to use the nail polish as a temporary patch.

I should have realized there was NO WAY I could bring myself to pay to maintain nails. I mean really... I just find the whole concept of spending money on chemical exposure to create something fake that someone sold the notion of distateful. I tried though! I tried to have respect for the cosmetics industry as one of the few industrys in which WOMEN actually earn income! I tried to think of the first Black American women owned business (Walters, Wilsons... Whatever that begins with a "W"), and the fact that one of the few viable means of personal income for women in Afganistan today remains the underground salons and beauty industry.

I tried to convince myself that MAYBE comsmetics use is not popular due to women's low self esteem, but rather because WE ARE WORTH SPENDING MONEY ON OURSELVES, and moreso, as we deserve to earn money and it has facilitated that.Avon was the saving grace for many a woman. I worked with a woman who was able to leave her abusive husband and buy her own home due to her avon sales.


I admit I did relax and enjoyed the time there as I read the Economist cover to cover which I haven't taken the money to buy or the time to read in years.

But why fushia?

OK- so I seem to have gone over the edge there.

Anyone who has ever gone to Florida knows the old FL Fogies penchant for hideous colors.

They just love LOUD BRIGHT obnoxious colors. The louder and more hideous the better in some "Sweet Bird of Youth" fashion. I love those old Florida ladies who use cosmetics and get coiffed as if they are going to a royal ball in a starched linen parrot embroidered shirt emblazed with color.

My parents have retired to Florida.

Sometime last year my mom showed up with the parrot shirt. Or something close. I know there was fushia in it somewhere. I assumed she hit that cusp and was heading over the edge into old folk Fl retiree...

but I guess I was a bit premature in that assumption.

I had worked REALLY hard for what money I earned last year on that night shift at TARGET. I scoped out the Clearance racks for last years Christmas gifts. So when I found this beautiful fushia purse I THOUGHT my mom would love it.

She thanked me.

When she visited this Fall, she brought along the purse as it's not quite her style.

OK- so she hasn't gone over that edge yet, even though she did give me a shirt embroidered with a flower on it (but it was red linen and I actually WORE it to TARGET and actually got a compliment from a manager on it)

Now even though that purse cost me all of $4.50, and even though I also got a purse last Christmas from my mother in law that replaced the ten year old worn one I had been using, I can't just let something functional go to waste. So I just had to use the fushia purse.

When I got my nails done I therefore deceided I may as well have them match the purse as I sure as hell have nothing else that ever will match it.

Giant does not carry nail polish remover, but they did have a two pack of Revlon nail polish which included the color "Fushia Girl" and a sparkly silver dotted thing I guess for the holidays.

It was useful in motivating my kindergartener to get her butt in gear as she loves all girly princess type things and was thrilled when she saw the sparkly silver polish. It was technically a top coat.

So the end result was even more garrish.

One morn I promised if the kindergardener moved her butt in gear super fast and actually had time to ENJOY her oatmeal and sit with me LEISURELY without me nagging her to stop playing with toys to get to the bus on time I would polish my nails with the sparkles.In a strange irony that reinforcer worked for her, but the older gal found it a distraction and SHE missed the bus! (Then the intended negative reinforcer of the consequence of having to help me with my housework of doing breakfast dishes and cleaning up before leaving was no deterrant to her as she LOVED having that time home with Mommy!)

As I met with my attorney yesterday who ACTED like I am a nervous nelly I was keenly aware of her looking at my hideous stubby nails with the awful remnants of fushia on them. I understood why her assumptions were made and why she kept saying ridiculous things to me like "just relax"

Relax? Me?

And she's say things like "I want you to be able to enjoy Christmas and not worry about this"

More of an issue for me is to REMEMBER to worry about responsibilities and stop relaxing to take care of the business of life. Its all too easy to get caught up in the moments of fun each day with the girls, or the enjoyment of planting, or writing and reading and studying (yes I really do enjoy studying even if I don't remember all I study). The more challenging thing for me to do it to actually REMEMBER to check my calender and keep legal appointments on my radar.

To me they are just annoyances interrupting life.

I have in fact attempted to outsource and DELEGATE some of the more irriating things I would rather not invest my time on so I can study. The problem is that there is this assumption that I really DON'T WANT to pay for her paralegal's time to do those things.

BUT I DO ! If I pass the BAR my time will be worth more per hour than his... so to me it is really a wise investment and not a crazy ranting out of anxiety when I have faxed requests to outsource a few things that have been ignored. I also figure he likely can get some of this little crap done FASTER than I can since
a. Westely shut off my long distance on the home line and
b. The cell service I set up SUCKS from home and drops calls.

I think it a BETTER USE OF MY TIME TO STUDY and do as little of the BUSY WORK that is thrown my way as I call it. To me its like the stupid homework one used to get at school... you know the kind: the worthless ditto sheets of easy math problems you get. Those stupid boring exercises... but when I try to outsource this there is an assumption I am some anxious "Nervous Nelly."

The reality is that my computer at home is still hosed after paying for it to be fixed. But its functional enough for e-mail and this therapy for me so I am going to get by for now. The printer software is not effectively being installed however, so I can't write a letter and print it. Its a pain to save and go to the library to do it. I can't FAX long distance since the land line had long distance cut off...
so the technology war that was in my mind intentionally waged at me was won in a way.

If I don't focus on studying then I get to look at a job paying $18 to $24. If I am free of distractions and study I then get to look at having the bar and starting at considerably more than that per hour.

Me nervous? Because I have faxed frequently with what she things are innane requests?

To me they are fiscally sensible.

She said things like "focus"

And I swear it is a MISTAKE to ever mention ADHD to some people. They just don't get it... I have focus. Its called HYPERFOCUS at times.

Thus the faxes to her... they are not our of anxiety, but to communicate in the FASTEST and I thought most EFFECIENT MANNER.

But I think I write too much, too quickly, and my handwriting is too sloppy and because my computer is not attached to a printer it is too messy.

And those hideous stubby nails make this awful impression.

So I went to TARGET right after meeting with her and did my grocery shopping, and thankfully then remembered to pick up nail polish remover. (I almost forgot again!)

I had picked up a book on child rearing that had such a great title I had to read it called HOW TO TAME YOUR FAMILY ZOO.
When my brothers came to visit they were having a blast reading it and trying some of the advised techniques with the kids.

IN particular they loved the advice of one word short simple commands. They tried it and at bedtime went around going "Kids- Pajamas"

It was funny how it really works. Get their attention and keep the message clear and simple.

My brother reiterated that advice to me.

HE said "Forget long e-mails or faxes.


He totally cracked me up with his sage advice that was right on for me.

I actually am thrilled with the attorneys I have. Despite what I think are some mistaken assumptions at times, they are serving me very well. I think they are a good team for me. One doesn't waste any time in discussion and follows requests simply. I get letters and motions done very quickly. The other offers the empathy and sensitivity required to make me feel like my concerns are heard and cared about and most importantly, tells me to shut up and listen when required!

Heres the summary of the best parts of our meeting: Attorney's line to me: "Shut up and Listen."

and my line "Attorney Motion"


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