Mary Poppins, You Have No Friends

I just had one heck of a Mary Poppins moment.  I’m sitting on my roof deck, over looking the city, drinking a glass of wine, eating cucumbers (read: cheese) and pondering what my next blog post should be about while my dog lays at my feet torturing an ice cube.  ALL OF THE SUDDEN there is this huge breeze – no, not breeze – it was a vicious gust of blustery wind, that comes through and starts to pull the umbrella out of my patio table.  So I held it down and decided to take it out of the table.  BUT – when I did – another life threatening gust came through and started to pull the umbrella, and me, along with it. And it was just like I was Mary Poppins.  Clearly I have my Long Champ sitting next to me filled with everything unnecessary and imaginable. And then my chimney sweep showed up to dance on my roof.

As I floated in the air, clicking together my ruby slippers and falling back to reality, I got to thinking… I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mary Poppins.  Bits and pieces here and there, but if you haven’t already guessed, I was more of a cartoon movie buff when I was little.  She just seems to be like one of those people who has things too good to be true.

Let’s start with the basics…

Her bag carries everything:  That’s not fair.  Even my precious (and officially pee-free) Long Champ can’t carry all of my unnecessary necessities as well as an extra pair of shoes and my dog.  The average American woman goes into work every day with at least four different bags.  You have your purse – obviously – because that’s what carries your wallet and seven tubes of lip gloss and VIP Panera card.  Then there’s your lunchbag, the adult version of a lunch box – which is just cost efficient and makes you look healthy.  Then you have your computer bag – because it needs it’s own bag and combining all of those bags would just be silly.  And then there is the bag that carries the shoes: The flip flops or Uggs (weather depending) for walking from the car to the office, the heels for your desk, the sneakers for your afternoon stroll at lunch and the flats for the drive home.  Nordstrom does not sell a bag that is insulated, with card slots, that has a protected computer compartment and four spaces for your shoes, and a freaking lamp or whatever else you pull out Mary… Get real!

She flies: Do you know how much of my life has been wasted commuting?  My friend sent me an article about it once and it was something absurd.  Like 40 years or 40 hours or something.  Maybe 1 year.  I can’t remember.  All I know is that the normal person starts their day by getting into a vehicle – whether that is a car or a bus or a train – and sitting in it until it arrives at their destination.  Of course Mary Poppins is going to love her job if she doesn’t have an hour in the morning and an hour and a half every night to sit and think about how much she hates it and wishes she was back in her bed.

She is served the perfect job on a platter:  Those kids were perfect.  No one goes into a job knowing everything – I don’t care how much experience you have.  Not to mention, those children would never have been so well behaved.  I’m pretty sure their parents were too rich to have time for them and in reality the girl would have been dating Aaron Hernandez (too soon?) and the boy would have been dealing heroin.  Unless Mary Poppins had a hell of a therapy background, she was not winning them over with a spoon full of sugar… unless it was the kind you snort.  No one has ever gone into an ideal situation at work – whether it’s because they fired the guy before you and you have a mess to deal with or because the company is in shambles.  No one believes your lies, Mary!!

Cleaning with a snap of her fingers:  This is where I get really worked up.  This doesn’t work.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  When my roommate and I moved into our apartment it was a disaster and we kept saying we wished we could just Mary Poppins the place.  But despite what that bitch wants you to believe, Mary Poppins is not a verb.  Every time I have to pack or clean or organize I think about how much I hate her.  It’s like she never had to bend down and pick something up a day in her life.  The rest of us have standing monthly chiropractor appointments and thank God for deep closets and their doors – and she sits in her spotless living room and whistles with the local pigeons.

SO – what have we learned today?  Mary Poppins was an over pretentious jerk.  Set out to make all normal people look bad.  Am I jealous of her? Yes – slightly.  And you are too!  She was always well dressed, didn’t have car payments and could fit her juicer in her purse.  But she was definitely an overachiever who had no friends.  The wind didn’t pull me away – there’s not a creepy, dirty man dancing on my roof (be honest – Dick van Dyke has let himself get creepy) and my room is decently organized (don’t look in the closets.)  And after my third glass of wine I am going to have just as beautiful a singing voice.

So there, Mary!

The Queen of Mediocrity

One of the beauties of not having a job is being available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to tune into breaking news stories and the announcements of jury verdicts.  Ten minutes ago, Ex-Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of 1st-degree murder and unlawful possession of firearms for shooting up a guy he was mad at, execution style, outside of a nightclub in 2013.  Such a verdict results in an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.  My facts may be slightly skewed, but just before the murder happened, 23 year old Aaron Hernandez signed a 7 year, almost $40 million dollar contract to become the future face of the New England Patriots.  You have to be extremely talented to be offered a contract as such from such a prestigious organization.  Extremely talented at a skill that many others do not have.

Pondering the way Aaron Hernandez has thrown his future of success and fame away because it was more important to be a thug got me thinking about my talents.  Or lack there of for that matter.  I am not good at anything.  I always wanted to be the best at something or stand out in some way – but I’m pretty much the mold of average.  So I thought I’d make a list of all the ways in which I am the Queen of Mediocrity…

Darcy: When I was looking to adopt a dog, I searched solely among the handicapped ones.  I wanted to help someone and I wanted a dog that no one else wanted.  Darcy had been thrown away in a dumpster as a baby due to a birth defect which left her without back paws.   She was the ideal candidate – she was small, precious and I was afraid a dog in a wheel chair would struggle with the stairs in my apartment.  I adopted Darcy when she was 7 months old and was prepared to teach her how to walk and live and survive the elements.  I thought it would be us against the rest of man-kind, conquering her handicap as we conquered the world.  And I was wrong.  My foot-less dog is just like every other dog.  She runs and plays and jumps and sits.  No one is going to follow her Instagram to see her acting normal.  She has trouble sometimes and doesn’t really use one leg – but it’s there!  I debate getting it amputated sometimes but I don’t think the conversation with the vet would go over well.  “Will you please remove my dog’s half leg?  I don’t think she needs it and I want to get her more followers on Instagram.” Only the Queen of Mediocrity would adopt a dog who wasn’t handicapped enough…

Academia: I was never bad at school.  I was also never good at school. I was just smack dab in the middle.  This meant that no one was impressed by you but they weren’t worried about you either.  So you just kind of fall into the mode.  In high school you do all the normal classes and get out.  Then they suggest you go to the mediocre colleges in the general area.  So you do.  And while you’re there you have a mediocre college experience – I loved college, don’t get me wrong, but we never had a football team win the SEC Championship, people didn’t envy my relationship with the most amazing co-ed on campus, teachers didn’t pull me out of class to say I think you would be great for this internship or say you’re failing – let’s have an affair and get you back up to a C.  I graduated like everyone else – no extra tassels but on time.  Every so often I think about going back but considering I can’t figure out what I would excel in I don’t see the point.  This even follows me now.  I can read – but not that well.  Math – I can’t really count past ten, but I’m a wizard on a calculator. I can’t really remember things that I did learn.  Science is a blur, history is hard to keep straight, grammar – you can decide for yourself.  Only the Queen of Mediocrity would start a blog but forget the rules of comma placement…

Career: I feel like the people who were straight A students and the people who seem like they were born with half a brain are the ones who are the most successful.  Companies scramble to sign the best students before they’ve finished their junior year.  People who couldn’t pass a class end up as inspirational speakers or the founder of Apple.  All of my post college full time jobs have been mediocre.  I’ve never loved any of them and only moved on when I was too miserable to move.  But now that I’m back in the job hunt I can tell you that no matter what job is posted, you are either over or under qualified for all of them.  Either I have too much experience, not enough experience, too much or too little education.  I want to know how Bill Gates became employed, let alone wealthier than a small continent, without a college degree.  I’m not mad, but I graduated – I did mediocre – and I don’t have a job… Maybe it comes down to what you want to do.  I performed fine at my last job but was bored as hell.  I worked for a boring company with boring people doing boring things making a boring amount of money.  Only the Queen of Mediocrity would choose being bored at home than bored being paid…

Athletics: My brothers are star baseball players.  So much of my childhood revolved around watching my brothers play, going to pitching clinics, tossing baseballs in the driveway.  So obviously I must be athletic, right?  Wrong.  Once, when I played softball in elementary school, they added me as a 10th position in the outfield because they needed me to help with backup (I think it was the other way around) and they told me that they needed me to bat 9th because they needed a strong hitter at the end of the line up.  I can remember standing up there and thinking “four pitches – if she throws four bad pitches I can get on base…”  I also remember I hated running the bases because if someone was behind me I felt like they were chasing me.  I tried field hockey in high school but hated running and didn’t understand the concept of positions.  I actually loved the game itself  but I was terrible.  Wherever the ball went, I went – I would cut off people on my own team to get to the ball.  Did I ever score a goal?  Of course not – but I took the ball away from the girls who could have until I ran out of breath!  Once I went to basketball tryouts and when they asked me to shoot a layup I asked what that meant.  I have the lowest average on my bowling team.  I like to run 5Ks now.  Mainly because they’re for charity so I feel like I’m doing a good thing.  I always finish just under 40 minutes – pretty much right in the middle of all of the other runners.  Only the Queen of Mediocrity would pay for a race she had no intention of winning…

Relationships: I’ve had three boyfriends.  All relationships were pretty normal.  Of course at the time they were the be all end all of my world whether it was a good or bad day.  My high school boyfriend was pretty standard.  Proms, making out in cars, jealous fights, graduation parties, breaking up for college.  There’s a strong chance he’s gay now but that’s another story.  My college boyfriend was really nice.  My family loved him.  I thought he was boring.  We broke up for real life.  My after college boyfriend was awful but he was attractive and fun.  He was the always striving for perfection only to be let down type.  Maybe we didn’t work out because I was mediocre.  I always thought it was his anger/cheating issues, but what do I know.  He has a blog right now too – apparently it’s about walking the Appalachian trail.  We both left our jobs on the same day and started blogs – maybe his is inspirational, but I got to go to Phillies Opening Day and am not writing from a squirrel infested tent and suffering from malaria.  At least that’s what I like to think he’s doing.  Anyway – back on point.  I am attracted to normal guys and then we get into normal relationships and something about the timing has always broken us up.  Only the Queen of Mediocrity would still be single because the nice one who everyone liked was “too boring”…

Sports:  I love baseball and football.  When I couldn’t play anything, I watched.  I’ve been in fantasy football leagues for five years, adding a league on each year.  My calculator says that means I’ve had 15 fantasy football teams.  I have never won.  I’ve gone to the championship a couple of times, but never won.  I am a die hard New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Phillies fan.  I’m fortunate to have seen both of them win championships, but sad to say that they have both embarked upon steady organizational declines ever since.  In fact, the Phillies won the 2008 World Series and the Saints won the 2009 Superbowl.  There is a really good chance that Who Dat and Phillies Nation and I have already peaked. Regardless, I still want to be in the know about current events in the sports world and how they relate to previous seasons, etc… It is something I would say I am passionate about, but even when I think I know more than everyone around me, I’m either confused or some dude knows more.   Only the Queen of Mediocrity would constantly mix up Joe Montana and Dan Marino…

I could continue to list for a long time but it’s starting to sound self deprecating.  Which isn’t the intention at all – I like myself, I’m not bad at everything, but I’m not good at anything either.  I’ve always wanted a tattoo, but am too afraid of the commitment so always go with piercings.  But I don’t want to pierce anything too wild so all said piercings are in my ears.  I’m attractive enough but there are more attractive people.  I’m not fat, but I’m not skinny.  My apartment is big but not nice.  My car is efficient but not luxury.

This takes me back to Aaron Hernandez.  At 23 he was being gainfully rewarded for his abilities.  And then he made some awful decisions.  And thought he was invincible and in fact was just a bad person.  At 25, Aaron Hernandez has been sentenced to life in prison, to be followed by a year for each unlawful firearms charge.  I think it’s sad that he didn’t realize how precious his life was and chose the road he did.  But it also makes me think, maybe being average is the key.  Maybe I don’t have it so bad.  I don’t have $40 million dollars, but I’m not going to spend the rest of my life in prison and I’m happy knowing I am who I am.  Sorry to all of those out there who are good at something or looking for a designation, Queen of Mediocrity has been taken.

The Young and the Retired

I am too young to be retired. Let’s start there.  And I don’t mean retired in some fancy Paris Hilton or Christian Grey capacity where I was born into more money than I could ever spend or I was so successful out of college that I now have garages full of cars and sexual fetishes that are justifiable.  I am retired because I have no idea what to do with my life.  I am extremely envious of those individuals who know in the first grade that they are going to be a teacher or realize in college their calling is to be a surgeon.  At this point, I’m even jealous of those who are expected to follow into the family business.  I just don’t know what I want to do.

For a long time, I thought life was designed into a list of steps that were to be followed in some form of the following:

1- Be born

2- Go to school

3- Get a job

4- Get married

5- Have kids

6- Retire

7- Live the dream

8- Die

However, in the last month, I’ve realized it seems to skew a little:

1 – Be born

2 – Master your motor skills

3 – Go to pre-school.  Learn the ABCs, count to 10, be nice to people and to the best of your ability, learn to share

4 – Elementary school

5 – Think you’re excited for middle school.  Get there.  Suffer bullying.  Fail for the first time.  Think you know what love feels like.  Make it out alive.

6 – Journey to high school.  Think you’re ready for it.  Figure out what subjects you love.  Figure out what subjects you hate.  Suffer bullying.  Make your best friends.  Fall in love.  Break someone’s heart.  Learn to drive.  Pick a college and think you know what you’re doing.

7 – Go to college.  Move out.  Miss your mom.  Make your actual best friends.  Fall in love with a baseball player.  Go abroad.  Focus in subjects you think will benefit your future.  Binge drink on the weekends.  Fall in love with a basketball player.  Work part time.  Stress about your future.  Fall in love with a soccer player.  Relish the day when graduation becomes a reality.  Assume things will fall into place.

8 – Get a job.

9 – Start said job.

10 – Wonder why other people like their jobs.

11 – Realize you hated your major

12 – Start a countdown to retirement

13 – Realize how many years that is and instead keep your eyes open for rich eligible bachelors

14 – Date someone awful

15 – Have your heart broken

16 – Move out for real

17 – Learn to share an apartment and bills and pots and pans

18 – Decide you’re adult enough to live alone

19 – Learn how much bills suck.  And buying things.  Because everything costs money. Seriously, everything.

20 – Find a great roommate and a great apartment.

21 – Eventually find a job you like

22 – Start to think breaks come easy

23 – Get bored with the job.  Wonder why your apartment is always leaking. Realize mercury must have been in retrograde during #22

24 – Get medicated.  Thank yourself and wonder why you fought it for so long.

25 – Learn that rejection isn’t the end of the world. It’s not even that bad after a while.  Kelly Clarkson was right – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

26 – Get a job you think you like more.  Maybe so much that this could be what those adults call “a career.”

27 – Realize you aren’t getting any younger – maybe you should fill the children void with a dog, just to buy some time with your foot-tapping mother

28 – Have the brutal realization that even at work, there is still bullying.  Especially with women. Learn never to work with only jealous, miserable, insecure and nasty women.

29 – Know who you are.  Maybe not what you want to do.  But that you believe in yourself and would rather be bullied by losers than hand it out to anyone.

30 – Take control of your own life.  Leave said prospective career.

31 – Realize who the people are that you really need – and that it’s about quality over quantity.

32 – Go on a really long vacation in the shining light of the United States – the deep south.

33 – Force yourself to get on your return flight.  Get home and spend a lot of quality time with your dog

34 – Try to figure out what you were meant to do

35 – Kill the time by starting a blog

Unfortunately I’m not sure what the next steps are.  Those seem to be the most significant thus far.  I missed a few really important ones like make out with a celebrity, join a book club, buy your first car and run a 5K.  But isn’t it interesting the way it skews from the original plan?  The plan that it seems everyone else is following.  Maybe they aren’t.  Maybe I’m not the only one who has no idea how to get her life together.  But this seems like a good outlet into figuring it out.  I’ll keep tabs on my attempts towards success and clarity and deep thriving life long love and keep the internet posted.  It can’t possibly be that hard, right?