God said no.

What the hell, April?

I have a specific goal in mind for 2014, and I am trying to do five things each day targeted at this one goal. A lot of it involves money. So, when a part-time evening job fell from the sky, I took it as a sign (as I tend to do about things) and signed up. It only took 7 days to get fired. I was assigned to score standardized tests for 4th grade math students. Apparently, there were wizards in other rooms monitoring activity and scoring the scorers, because every night we had to check our “report cards” on the work we did the night before. Three nights below a 90% accuracy rate and you were ousted. So, on my third fail, something had to be done about me.

Swarmy (I never got a full handle on his name) the Supervisor and I had a thing, so he got permission for me to move to Science. Lucky me. The training guide was 81 pages, there were four parts to every answer, endless “rubrics” (whatevah), and coyotes and wolves and pygmy rabbits and grass and pollen and most likely to eat and less likely to die and no way in hell.

Me: Listen, I appreciate this, I really do, but there’s just no way. Is there any other option?

Swarmy: Let me talk to my manager and see if I can get special permission to keep you in Math. I just worry about that new question we start scoring tonight – the one you saw at the end of last night’s shift - because I heard you asking the people around you about left angles*. Do you think you can do it?

Me: No, Swarmy, in fact I have little to no confidence in anything anymore. 4th grade math wins. I hereby bequeath you my badge.

*There is no such thing?!??

During those 7 days, however, I talked with a gal my age who sat next to me a lot (see accuracy issue above) and we got along swimmingly. What’s this? A new friend!?!??! That’s better than left angles any day. New friend also got fired on Day 7, so we exchanged contact info. Two days later, we met for dinner at which she:

  1. Texted three people,
  2. Talked on the phone to one,
  3. Was rude to the waitress,
  4. Talked VERY loudly about an ex-boyfriend’s body parts (there were children all around – this really doesn’t need to be said – there are gaggles of children in every restaurant on every street at any time of any day in this city),
  5. Poured out an Oreo milkshake that she ordered before dinner (think salad or appetizer) on a plate and slurped it with a spoon and straw, and
  6. Asked me one question and insulted my answer enough to make me ask for the check and walk out.

I spent that weekend vowing not to let Crazy kill my spirit and formulating a Plan B. How could I work smarter, not harder? Maybe I could move to a much less expensive and very temporary situation and save money rather than attempt to earn it at 11 o’clock at night.

I threw this new intention to the Universe and the very next day, an acquaintance of an acquaintance who was left with a big house payment after a divorce announced that she was looking for a “roommate” of sorts. We met and compared lifestyles. But thing was that she was a walking contradiction.

Example 1:

Her: I don’t go out much. I just like to read and work in my yard. 

Me: I have to fight hermit tendencies.

Her: Oh, I have hundreds of friends I could introduce you to. We’ll get you out there!!!

Me: Hmmm. Yes, well…

Example 2:

She doesn’t date but it took her all of about 8 minutes to talk about men. (If you know me at all, you know how much I do so dearly love to talk about men. Ugh and UGH.) She is extremely attractive. 58, looks 38. A runner. Blond. Peppy. And just a tinge of gullible that men of a certain age seem to really appreciate.

Her: I don’t date. I just turned a man down yesterday, told him that we’d see this summer when I’m off from teaching, but I really doubt that I will go out with him. Someone else emailed me from eHarmony this morning, but I just don’t know…

Me: Hmmm. Yes, well…

Her: I just broke up with a man who turned out to be a player. We’d sit out on the deck, he liked to grill, and we’d watch a movie or just talk, but when he wasn’t here, he was completely inaccessible and I found out he was a bar-hopper.

Me: Hmmm. Yes, well…

Example 3:

She has three grandchildren under the age of four. There were kid toys in the living room and a kid’s name on choo choo train parts on the door of a 3rd bedroom. There was a baby potty in the guest bathroom.

Me: How often do your grandkids come over?

Her: Oh, hardly ever. They live in Zionsville. Maybe once every few months?

Me: Hmmm. Yes, well…

I guess I was so into Plan B that these things didn’t toss around enough red flags, because I told her I’d sleep on it, and I did. I woke up the next morning still undecided.

Before leaving my house for work, I had an impulse to see if she has a Facebook page. And does she ever! Not a single privacy setting on that thing. Chock full of gal pal get-togethers, kid sleepover weekends (one for every weekend in March), backyard fire-pit/deck gatherings, and overall barrels of monkeys.

And yet I kept scrolling. That is, until God said no.

There it was. A possum. One possum picture after another. She and the possum were sitting on the couch watching TV, it resting its head on her leg. She and the possum were lying in her bed (its head was actually on a pillow). She posted something about fixing it a salad for dinner. It apparently needed the strength for the next photo opp: playing video games with the kids.

Yes, God said no. This is not for you, Karen. I am giving you blog fodder as a consolation prize, but this is not for you. Plan C, girl, Plan C.