life

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Reviews and experiences: Orly ‘rainbow flop’ color blast nail polish and Careers that ‘don’t’ fit. –

Published January 14, 2017 by AntiqueMystique1

Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers and followers. 🙂  Yes, I know this blog post is a little crazy but I figured to bundle up all my recent experiences/ reviews into one post on here and since time is limited for me. I don’t have as much time as I once did to post until my heart’s content.  So, here we go…

My review of Orly’s “rainbow flip” or ‘flop’ rather in my case.

I love the shimmery, almost metallic/glittery hues. What I dislike about this nail polish is that it will set a person back about $7.  Orly nail polish does applies extremely unevenly, very thin, and transparent so make sure you have a TON of nail polish remover on hand because this nail polish will be an exercise in frustration and it will drip everywhere in a goopy mess the more you try to apply it. Secondly, I feel they could at least reduced the price for what you get. And as luck would have it K-Mart had only one bottle left. Not that I mind, but…

I tried to apply it and it didn’t work out for me, at least not on my fingernails. It worked okay for my toe nails, but after a while the paint wears off easily.  Would I recommend this nail polish? Possibly if it was better quality, and if it doesn’t contains nasty chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, etc.  I have no idea what the chemical rating is for Orly nail polishes on the Environmental Watch Group website.

 

Bubble wand spiral curl curling iron and Bedhead waving iron reviews:

The Bubble wand curling iron. It actually creates spiral curls on an extremely high heat setting so be warned and don’t fry off your hair. I did try it out today on its lowest setting since it does warm up fast to the touch within 30 seconds.  And me and time management we’re still adjusting. I had plenty of time to get ready and be out the door, and perhaps I didn’t give this bubble curling iron half a chance. However, the curls it created in my hair didn’t look like the tiny, tight gorgeous spirals pictured on the box.

Uh, that’s because in advertising looks are almost deceiving, plain and simple. Oh, yeah, and photoshop adds some luster to those long spiral locks as well. Anyway, I was unimpressed for now with the Revlon’s bubble curling iron.  I feared if I tried it on a high heat setting, I’d be wearing a stocking cap to work for many years. My hair is delicate to say the least and naturally fine, so maybe that’s why it won’t work for different hair types. But what I’d like to see Revlon put out is one identical to it, but design one just like  a standard curling iron where a it will clamp a strip of hair in place so you don’t have to potentially burn any hands or fingers trying to keep a strand wrapped around the bubble shape rod.  And the heat-resistant styling glove will melt to this curling iron. It’s stated in the leaflet stuffed in the glove it’s intended purpose is just to prevent fingers from the occasional burn, but the glove itself is made of plastic. Yikes! Uhm, well, in that case, I will be extremely careful not to get my hand too close to the tip or the wand itself while I’m trying to use it.

As far as the design is concerned, it could be better made. I do like the bubble style of the curling iron though, it’s different. I do miss not having the option to clamp my hair with a standard curling iron though.

 

The bubble wand is made by Revlon and sells for about $27.00 at Wallyworld. I purchased mine when I got off work since there’s no way I could physically do the impossible and be in and out of Wallyworld in less than five minutes, manage to get through all that daytime throng people just milling around aimlessly and/ or most of the time talking and parking their shopping carts in the middle of the aisles taking up space and yet still make it to work on time.  I also did some price-comparison shopping on Amazon and with the internet tax it would have been more including shipping and handling. So, I decided to buy one from Wallyworld.

Another interesting hair-styling gadget that caught my eye is the BedHead weaver iron. This chunky-looking waving iron looks and feels too big for my needs and my naturally fine hair will thank me later that I didn’t purchase this. However, for those that love those ‘beach curls/waves’ I would highly recommend getting a Bedhead Waving iron. But I encourage those to read as many reviews as possible before making any hair styling purchase. Same goes for the aforementioned nail polish brands.

 

Careers that ‘don’t’ fit:

I thought I wanted an additional 3rd job. I sincerely believed I had what it took to get into retail and completed some applications online. Most places I didn’t hear back from. Other places like the one I recently interviewed for had some very strange replies to my job interview status follow-up. In fact, they didn’t want me visiting the store, nor calling to check up on the status of my post-interview process  like what was the standard way of doing things when actively job-searching. And back in my day (and many others) the old way of doing things is you waited one week after being interviewed and then checked back either in person, phone call, etc.

The manager’s eyes shifted away from me instantly and they pretended to focus on something else in the store and quietly, yet quickly told me, “We send out the ‘auto-generated’ response email.”

And AntiqueMystique says a very bad word during the 15 minute interview: the “c” word.

Oh, forgive me, I didn’t know “commission” was politically incorrect. I unintentionally blurted out a major ‘no-no’ for this retail chain when saying that word without knowing.  They refer to commission as “progressively active something-or-other” that sounds like a string of run-on words that can be simply said in one word: Commission. The hourly rate is purely based on how much the right sale’s associate can sell clothing.

I could sense it wouldn’t work out because I can deduct a lot from a person’s mannerisms within the first few minutes I meet them. The shifty glances, unease in posture, and the fast-talking, “seems interested” when they really aren’t tell me volumes of the personality.

 

And when I am sheilded from view so that the “shoppers can shop” so I’m told. I say a very polite, “Excuse me” and pretend not to notice that I’m not what this manager wants or expects from a job applicant. In fact, I don’t come off as high pressured because that’s not me. Secondly, I’m quiet and soft-spoken. I have a physical handicap: my voice that I have no control over. If I try to speak loudly, it comes off sounding mean or angry which I’m not.  Face it, AntiqueMystique, you simply aren’t a “fit” for this retail giant.  In fact, I was relieved that I didn’t have any typical questions come up like can I afford to purchase their clothing? For God’s sake don’t ever say “No”. Say, yes and given time I can build a wardrobe. In reality, I had to put two vests on layaway from this retail store and I didn’t even breathe a word of that during the interview. I did explain that all I had was one ‘night out on the town’ dress (yes, I know, skimpy and it isn’t job interview-ish, but at least it covered me decently).  And I’ve seen their shop girls (I don’t like the PC terminology like sales associates), wore a different store’s clothing.

I’m very reserved and don’t think that showing cami-straps, bra straps, or any type of tank strap garment is fashionable, far from it. See? I wouldn’t make a good ‘fit’ for this company at all. I’m too reserved, too old-fashioned, but do try to keep abreast that this clothing retailer is for young fashion forward men and women.  I’m generally very upbeat, positive and can be out-going, but here again, that won’t always make or break a person. It’s not what you know, but who you know.

Another reason the retail part-time job wouldn’t have worked out is I do have a full-time position that pays the same.  And they promise a better hourly wage which is the old bait and switch routine. And I just don’t have the massively huge bank account nor the endless funds to purchase their over-priced clothes just to work there. The bad drawback is that I wouldn’t have been ahead in achieving my goals and financially, I’d be losing money just to work a part-time job that likely wouldn’t have panned out for me anyway. My future in retail is undecided for the present time. Thanks for liking, re-blogging and commenting, I truly appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

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Beauty and the—yikes, it’s not the beast, but something very close to it.

Published July 13, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Now after that blog about sandals and high heels comes the bigger picture and it’s not always pretty: the disgusting flirtatious dirty older men that are attracted to a beautiful “too-young-for them” woman. I’m talking about baby boomer aged men that are so desperate for a date, some can’t even carry on a coherent conversation with me.

And it’s not that I’m trying to be patient, because that wears thin after being detained for fifteen minutes, but I really haven’t found a polite way yet to get these kind of men to leave me alone. Listening to these nervous men yammer on while not even allowing me to get a word in edge wise in a normal conversation is a tall-tale sign for me that something’s amiss. And their utter lack of respecting my personal space gets on my nerves, too.

I was wholly unprepared for a checker at a local grocery store to deliver me a message that an older male customer would like to ask me out on a date, yet they were almost too afraid to even introduce themselves to me for the longest time. The checker told the customer that he wasn’t even sure I was the ‘dating type’. This mystery date ‘never-will-be’ finally did introduce himself to me and wound up detaining me until closing time so I never got to get my discounted fresh strawberries. I try to make it a point to have fresh fruit at all times since I eat a majority of that and leafy greens.

This guy was so nervous in my company he couldn’t carry on a simple coherent conversation and they never got my name correct after I had said it six times which doesn’t bother me. But it sent up red warning flags in my mind when a guy can’t seem to hardly speak or even allow me to speak, then I know something’s wrong. It has nothing to do with the guy being socially awkward. It has a lot to do possibly with the man knowing he’s way out of his league but will never admit to it.

And the other encounter was actually from a random stranger on a different day. Again a much older man approached me in public and had the nerve to get right in my face, and told me how sexy that was. I look myself over in the muggy midday heat. My hair is damp with sweat and it doesn’t help I have on a black shirt that absorbs the heat. I just kicked some major bind weed’s ass in the garden and I tilled and mulched it. I was hot, exhausted and all I want are my fresh strawberries and maybe some Broccoli, is that too much to ask for? I put on a pair of no-frills sandals on my feet this day in particular and my Daisy Dukes weren’t showing too much skin so I thought.

I find myself being detained out in the hot summer sun for a good five minutes by some homely old man who thinks he’s Mr. Casanova. He’s got tobacco-stained teeth. And that doesn’t impress me. In fact, it’s a good sign this guy has never been to a dentist or cared about his oral health because he was also missing a few teeth as well.

As this guy continues to flirt with me, he then asked me out for dinner sometime just “as friends”. My jaw dropped in disbelief and snapped shut. I quickly look at my new pair of second hand sandals I wore and at my reflection in the store’s large window. I was damning myself for my wardrobe selection instead of opting for a pair of uncomfortable work jeans that would easily caused me to suffer heat stroke on this day in particular. All the while  he had me detained, I was thinking of what was going into another donation bag when I did get home: my new shorts I wore that day. I felt like donating everything ‘summer attire’ I spent good money on and just forget about trying to look beautiful. But I was strongly encouraged not to make a hasty mistake because a woman has all the right in the world to feel comfortable, stay as cool as possible in the summer, and still look her best.

And there’s one thing these older men I keep encountering like pesky flies all seem to have in common: they’re always so nervous to talk to me it’s almost like a gushing, swooning teenage girl meeting Elvis in person for the first time (when he was young and caused a huge stir on the Ed Sullivan show). But this is how I envision these older, very unattractive types of men that try to hit on me quite often. I do get tired of it. Any woman would. These types of men know they’re out of their league, but they still keep on with the flirtations until it downright hacks me off. Ever polite, I don’t create a scene. I don’t become rude or impatient though maybe I should with these types. And turning them down politely would likely cause them to either cry like a baby or to turn psycho.

And trying to appear beautiful comes with all the unwanted lecherous advances from said unattractive much older men that are in most cases very inept when it comes to speaking with women. And nearly most of these men lack of manners, have no clue about a woman’s personal space even when she hints strongly through her body language and takes a few steps back. The guy will just lean in more and get right in my face and is oblivious by my reaction.

And all these older guys either reek of booze, smell like an ash tray, or their poor hygiene speaks volumes. They really think they stand a chance dating a beautiful woman that’s clearly out of their league and age range? Give me a break. There’s got to be some clean cut, down to earth, sober men out there that don’t smoke, have drug and/ or alcohol addictions, take exceptionally good care of themselves and are snappy dressers. But those types of clean cut men I’ve never seen yet. I get accosted by the dirty clothed, disheveled appearance, pot-bellied, smelly, bald and gray-haired unattractive men.

I’m not talking about a ‘sugar daddy’ type of man with a massive fortune he spends on a young woman. I’m talking about the kind of dirt poor older baby boomer-aged man that isn’t married (and there’s another red warning flag in my mind anyway as to why not to some lady closer to his age in some cases).

I read one article that clearly missed the point about older men dating younger women. And the person who wrote the article stated that young women should be flattered that a man as old as her father and in some cases grandfather would want to date her. He may not be able to satisfy her intimately and he may not have much money, either. But if Hugh Hefner was penniless and living in a nursing home and on state insurance, for example, then all those bleach blonde, young gals wouldn’t shed their clothes for some wrinkly old man. And I’m sure a lot could be said about the aging baby boomer men that try desperately to get dates with much younger attractive women. If she’s high matience, then forget it. She’ll waste no time with a broke man. If she’s a sensible young woman, she’ll look for a guy in her age group. And if the woman is still very attractive at any age, she’ll discover that all the descent men are very hard to find. Instead, she may attract the wrong kind of attention from less desirable, homely men.

Therefore, I suspect this article was written by some twenty-hipster that hasn’t had much life experience dealing with these types of unsavory dirty old men. If they’re not financially okay, what more could he offer a young woman when he complains that he doesn’t want to work or move out of his elderly parents basement? And if nobody has clued these men in about their personal hygiene that’s beyond disgusting. Believe me, no woman would want to wear a clothes pin on her nose for the length of a relationship. And I’m not talking about those ‘big baby’ men that need a mother figure to look after them hand and foot nor am I talking about the mama’s boys, although I’d say most of these encounters with these homely men could fall into the “Mama’s Boy” category.

And if an older man struggles financially for whatever the reason may be and they’re always complaining about how they don’t have any money to even buy one bag of groceries says a lot! That to me sends up a few more red flags up in my mind. Financial instability for a man is a very bad sign. And if he can’t even cover the three fundamentals for survival: food, clothing, and shelter, then something’s very wrong.

I realize these economic times are very dismal and to make ends meet is difficult on everybody. Yet, it’s that little voice of reason telling me some more complex problem(s) lay at the root of it all and most of these older men that have tried to either ask me out on a date or flirt with me to the point of it being a nuisance makes me think, “Good grief! Enough already! I’m clearly NOT interested in the likes of you.”

And they also complain they don’t want to find a job. They’re quite happy trying to re-sell yard sale and thrift store finds through online auctions while living out of their parents basement. That right there doesn’t set well with me at all. You grow up and try to find some part time job. You learn to save your money and while you’re at it, wash up with some soap and water and buy some shampoo and conditioner and a stick of deodorant. And when their elderly parents do try to urge them to find a place of their own and move out, the said older guy argues with his parents about that and storms off mad. Again, a young woman, if she can help it, doesn’t want to get involved with a man like that. And if they don’t have any desire to work, then young woman, beware! These unemployed types are very bad news and nothing to get tangled up with.

More often than not these particular types of men seem to lack the motivation to change their circumstances for the better, nor will they ever put forth the effort to change their immature attitudes, grow up, become clean-shaven and descent. They may put on a good act in front of a beautiful woman, but after she gets to know him and his insecurities, he’ll likely wind up controlling her every move and then it escalates from there going from bad to worse.

But what will get me to complain the most is the lack of respect these older men have when they get into my face and seem to think I have no problem with that. On the contrary, I simply hate that and back off. But they don’t get the hint and lean in more which really irritates the heck out of me.

I haven’t mastered to just pretend like I don’t hear and keep right on walking or leave the store immediately and screw it if the poor checker has to re-stock the shelves of the items I had in my cart. If there’s anything that will make my s*** list really fast it’s when a homely old man gets into my face and tells me how sexy that is while eying me up and down. He is so vague and can’t talk right that it comes off sounding really dumb.

And just a side note to the all the young men out there that try to hit on me (whether your intentions are just for kicks or you’re really sincere); I’m honestly flattered by your compliments on my t-shirt and mistaking me for a young woman who could be 21 or 23. That makes me feel great 🙂  but please, don’t ask me point blank how old I am. Some women (not all) feel uncomfortable by this. It’s still considered very rude when a man asks a woman how old she is straight off the bat.

I happily reply that I’m old enough to be your mother (a young one at that) and leave the rest unsaid. But to the young fellow who approached me at the mall today who looked like a bad extra from a Vanilla Ice hip hop rap video: so you liked my high heels, did ya’ since you commented on how you liked them… well, I hate to burst your bubble, but they’re too small to fit you, gosh darn it. 😦

And one other thing: knock it off with the bombardment of repetitious comments “I like your shirt!” and “I still like those shoes!” They’re called high heels, but I won’t dock you any points for not knowing since you told me you turned twenty-one last week and maybe don’t have a girlfriend that’s clued you in on the differences in footwear. If you like my high heels so much then why not pop into rue 21 and find a pair for yourself since you seem to have all the time in the world and chill at the arcade.

And quit trying to peddle magazines for our troops and their families while at the mall. It’s called solicitation and I’m amazed that mall security didn’t kick your young obnoxious butt out of the mall. Young fellow you failed to solicit your material to other mall shoppers and just hung out at the arcade with your friends and kept on with your same comments every time you saw me. Somehow I feel your intentions weren’t genuine and you weren’t really serious about gleaning insight in what it takes to find a job like you told me. It’s called going online and submitting your cover letter and a resume. I just can’t fathom how you made it this far without a ‘stepping stone’ form of employment unless you’re one of those trust fund babies.

And there’s the other type of ‘old’ man that gets on my nerves: the ‘sober for four months’ kind. That’s great that you found a way to quit the booze, but trying to impress a woman by admitting that to her off the bat will let her know you’re definitely not a fella to get tangled up with unless she herself is a raging alcoholic.

All these unattractive type of guys see a pretty woman they know is way out of their league, but still they’ll relentlessly hound them and the minutes drag on forever! If their breath doesn’t reek of garlic, then it smells like an ash tray or booze and their personal hygiene is really off-putting. Whether a woman sports high heels, flats, shoes, flip flops, she just can’t escape the lecherous advances of these particular type of aging baby boomers try as she might especially if she has shapely strong legs. And I’ve even had a man drive by me once, honked and smiled.

They drove by so fast I just slowed down on my stroll, not certain who it was that honked at me or why. The same vehicle appeared again and pulled into a businesses drive way just a few feet in front of me blocking my path. They roll down their window and flashed a gold tooth smile at me. I do the very stupid thing and make run in front of on coming traffic (jay running, not  jay walking in this instance) to evade the creep in the truck. I believe he got the strong message I wasn’t interested, and believe me, that’s a very bad example of how not to pick up a woman (literally).

And then there’s the other type of disgusting man who will practically hang out of the open passenger car window while shouting at the pretty woman walking down the sidewalk while his friend slows the car down. And that’s why it’s good to have a pair of headphones on to ignore these kinds of weirdos. I just thought to myself, “Gee, hope he doesn’t fall out of that car and hit his head on the pavement. That would hurt.”

Immaturity knows no age limit it seems like and neither does being socially awkward. And why do these men all seem to display such immaturity and get all tongue-tied towards beautiful women? Half the time they just make a scene and other times they make themselves look like a jerk and it just embarrasses the woman. And I have never spoken to other women that might have found themselves in similar situations when an unattractive old man tries to hit on them and how they’d handle it. Likely, they wouldn’t give the older man the time of day which is what I need to start doing.

Thanks for liking, tweeting, commenting, re-blogging, sharing. I truly appreciate it as always. 🙂

 

 

Ah, it’s almost summer and that means…

Published February 19, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

It’s almost time to break out the shorts, open-toed sandals, a comfortable top or tank, and sunshine in a bottle.

What? Sunshine in a bottle fruit smoothie, that is. I recently came across a recipe for it and it looks delicious. For this you will need the following:

Glass Mason jars (any size).

Glass straws such as these or others found here as well. I know they’re pricey, but when you’re trying to ween yourself off of plastic entirely and are concerned about unhealthy chemicals being leeched into your drinks and food, then glass straws might be a very healthy lifestyle investment. Sure glass straws can be a pain to clean (some come with a straw brush) and the other draw back is they can shatter and get broken, but making any lifestyle changes come with extra work.

You will also need a juicer or regular kitchen blender. If you opt for a blender, then you might want to strain this through a cheese cloth. I’ve tried the wire mesh strainers and they end up becoming rusty after one use. And if you have a juicer that gets rid of the pulp, then great. 🙂

If you’re going the blender route, be sure to add in enough water to cover the blades first and foremost to reduce wear and tear.

Sunshine in a bottle fruit smoothie:

Take one lemon rinse, peel off the rind and slice it into chunks. You may want to remove the seeds before tossing it into the blender. Depending on what juicer you have, the more expensive models I’ve heard and read about anyway should eliminate the seeds and pulp. Also, about the seeds, some can have small toxic properties, and although its considered a very minuscule amount when ingested by eating certain kinds of fruit like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits, if the seeds do get ground up, then in turn could cause small sharp particles that can then tear the intestines. Believe me, that doesn’t sound like fun. Therefore, I take the extra time to remove the seeds, especially when in doubt.

Next you will need some Fuji and/ or about three red apples. Wash, rinse and slice them into chunks. Discard the core and seeds in the trash. Add the apple slices in with your lemon.

You will also need some oranges, peeled, rinsed, and seeds removed if you want to go to the extra effort. About two Cara Cara oranges or pretty much any type of orange should work. And you need about three. I used one bag of small Halo Cutie oranges, and prepared these in a juicer and frozen them in ice cube trays.

One pineapple. Rind removed and discarded. Next, you’ll want to cut up the pineapple. Its all a personal preference if you discard the core or use it when juicing. I’ve heard both pros and cons of eating the core of a pineapple. The pros is it contains a high concentration of natural vitamin C and other healthy benefits. The cons of the pineapple core is that it can cause fiber balls to build up in the digestive system that can be difficult for your body to break down. Also, some seeds in fruit aren’t meant to be ingested because they can contain cyanide.  So, for myself personally until I can do more research on eating the whole pineapple I would toss out the core. Yeah, I might be depleting the vitamin properties and not getting the full ‘juicing’ experience, but rather be safe than sorry.

Two Kale leaves washed/rinsed off. I would say optional on this if you don’t like mixing veggies with fruits.

Okay now that you’ve washed, sliced, diced, peeled, chopped and cored your fruit you’re ready to add it into the blender and/ or juicer and whip these ingredients together. Last night I tried making this smoothie with most of the ingredients but lacked the most vital one; the pineapple.

So my “half” sunshine in a bottle smoothie is sitting in the fridge. Today I was determined to  walk to town to get  said fruit. And did the usual errands. I also stopped in a local upscale women’s clothing boutique that sells boho (Bohemian/ Hippie-ish) inspired clothing, jewelry, Vera Bradley hand bags, wallets, small back packs, makeup bags, Hanky Panky thong underwear, and even more Chinese-produced, massively over-priced jewelry, necklaces, bracelets, earrings… eh, I’ll just blog about all that in another post.

Tonight I plan to finish my fruit smoothie, crank out at least two other blog posts on here, do my Yoga for the night, etc. Then tomorrow I plan to get the garden cleared  and get it ready for summer. I already have most of my seeds bought and saved back as many as I could from all the fresh produce I bought at the store (roughly a year’s worth of “almost” free food if it grows and produces, that is).

Oh, and if you tried making this sunshine in a bottle fruit smoothie or anything similar, I’d be interested in knowing how it turned out. And should I find the video again of this smoothie I seen on youtube, I will post it in this blog. It looks great, but if you try to make it without the pineapple you’ll have a strong lemon smoothie instead.

Stay tuned for more. As always, thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting, tweeting. I always appreciate it a lot! 🙂

The eight-legged residents that just won’t leave.

Published June 27, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

I’m writing out my frustrations. I’m not mad at the economy. I’m not upset about anything I read about in the news. I’m nearly at my wit’s end even though I’ve heard that living with spiders isn’t something to go off on a b**** fest crying fit over.

Actually, they aren’t just your average ‘spider’. They are the somewhat misunderstood, yet potentially dangerous brown recluse. Oh, and it doesn’t help that the basement is only 50 % finished, either.

And another thing, the former tenants from what I was later told about (long after I moved in) were heavily into drugs and didn’t take care of the place, if at all.

Well, gosh darn it! I loathe drug users, too. I especially dislike tinkers taking home repair/remodels into their own hands and doing things on the cheap… actually, I’ve never seen handy work like the kind I had to re-fix correctly to the best of my abilities. And no, I didn’t come across any brown recluses in the minor upgrades I had help getting done on my tiny money pit.

The house was just in a nice neighborhood and property taxes are well below reasonable.

And like any older structure that hasn’t been lived in in quite some time, it will attract all different sorts of residents. They hang out in the bedroom, living room, kitchenette, open basement/ crawl space (gross!), the utility area, bathroom (they love the shower walls and scaring yours truly half to death).

The ancestor brown recluses had to be eradicated. And I had never in my natural born days seen spiders get quite as large up to the size of a half dollar. Oh, man, take my word on it, I was driven beyond insane and ended up moving elsewhere for a period of time and put the tiny money pit on the market and write it off as a major loss. And most of my personal possessions went to the trash the first time around since I couldn’t deal with it anymore or the potential that a few hangers-on moved with me in the process. The most sentimental stuff remained in a garage and sealed. I sorted through it all later.

Spiders shouldn’t dictate how a person should live their lives. In fact, it should be the person settling fine into their new home. Instead, I didn’t have one spider to deal with, but up to many different kinds in my first year alone. I had venomous Hobo spiders, St. Anthony spiders, daddy long legs, brown recluse, grass spiders, funnel spiders (mostly in the yard) and wolf spiders that pack a nasty bite, but not lethal to the others mentioned.

“Kill ‘em if you see ‘em.” That’s my motto when referring to the spiders.

I’ve had two different pest control companies to my tiny money pit so many times over I lost count. At first, I was considering what chemicals they sprayed with and if they were safe to be inhaling when the AC or heat had to be used. I was assured what they use is safe around pets and humans. However, a person has to stay gone for a few hours for the fogging because it can be highly irritating. In my case (and I must have an industrial strength eight-legged freaks) that can live through an atomic blast. Moving can be an option, but at the present time unfeasible until I’m more financially stable.

I am wiser now than I was about what to look for when figuring out where to live. Don’t buy the darn place if the price is cheap. It’s priced to sell for a reason even though the realtor may not have any clue what’s been inhabiting the open basement/crawl space or attic longer than man has been on God’s green earth.

Everything was normal during the two walk-throughs I did with the realtor. The only thing I saw were two dead daddy long legs in the bathtub and several dead elm bugs in the window sill of the utility space. The open basement (although spooky and very small), didn’t give off any indication of the nasty surprises that did await me once my heart was set on this place.

I might be in love with the era the house was built in, but wasn’t thrilled that I found myself stuck in a living nightmare few ever find themselves in. I’m not going to get into the specifics as to why I was in such a rush to move from my previous place.

Oh, I guess coming out of a nine-year controlling relationship and failing at loving a Mama’s boy will make a woman go crazy eventually. But I won’t use that excuse in my current situation.

I think what plays a significant role in all of this is that a.) the house sat vacant with no takers or renters for at least three years or better.

And b.) the ancestor brown recluse spiders had been in the house for more than seventy years (no joke). Brown recluse spiders can survive without food and water for many long years and adapt to all harsh conditions.

The first go around made me haul out my personal belongings without even sorting through the contents. I think I wouldn’t call this down-sizing so much as it was more of a lost cause effort to combat this infestation that was reaching epidemic proportions. I couldn’t sleep, eat or even have furniture in the house. What I did have would go curbside after one month. Long curtains, oh yes, spiders LOVE to nest in fabrics, towels and clothes, shoes, etc. So I went with mini-blinds and I plan to wash and return the curtains I do have.

Sad that I can’t even leave stuff out. No books, magazines—nothing stays out. All of that was placed in a storage tub and hauled off elsewhere to be stored off sight. My life feels really boring since I can’t enrich my literary diet. But some day I pray this will change for me and I can have my books and magazines again and leave them discarded wherever I please without worry.

If money was no object… I could go the circus tent route—(yeah, right, if I was made of money I wouldn’t be living in this tiny money pit). The circus tent route is where a pest control company places a fogging tent all around the outside of the house and then fog the hell out of it. Sometimes it works, other times it won’t have any effect on brown recluses. And it’s extremely costly…. Not to mention a waste of resources, money and time if it fails.

The second time I had another pest control place come out they fogged the attic in the dead middle of winter. And guess what? I at first thought it worked completely. I had just gotten hired on a factory and moved back in. Everything for a brief period of time was looking up for me, but it didn’t stay that way. I still took precautions and kept nothing left out not even food or opened containers. Everything food-wise (except canned goods) stays in the fridge.

And I switched to storage containers and trash bags. All my clothes went into bags and containers. This I knew would have to cut down on the spider population since I wouldn’t give them a breeding ground. Well, my hopes were again dashed, and dashed some more.

The second infestation of brown recluses began cropping up in the spring of 2013. This time they ranged in dark brown, light-sandy brown and tan (almost impossible to see on laminated oak flooring). Arrg! I HATE SPIDERS! There, I shouted it in all caps.

I didn’t have quite so many mental melt downs whenever I saw a few spiders running around (and no, I’m no a messy person). I keep a strict, tidy place.

This house, its age and the fact it wasn’t remodeled right (or built eons ago) correctly says a lot about the architecture of its time which I was informed started out as a slave home (which may or may not explain why it was cobbled together without insulation in the utility area where the washer and dryer hook up). So when it gets hot, it cooks. In the winter the pipes freeze and doing a load of laundry is out of the question.

I feel like palm-smacking my head for being a nitwit when it came to first-time home-ownership. But I was young, really looking forward to getting back on my feet and simply couldn’t remain patient until the right house came a long and one had that might have been a lot better in quality. The spiders gave me an education, but seriously, I want them gone so I can live a somewhat peaceful life until I can save up enough or meet a rich Mr. Right and be out of here.

Brown recluses can bite. And although sometimes their bite can lead to a flesh-rotting wound (this is caused by necrosis, skin lesions). Thankfully the brown recluse’s fangs can’t penetrate through fabric and I haven’t been bitten as of yet. However, I take extreme precautions to shake out my clothes and shoes before I dress. I always check my bed and never let the covers touch the floor.

But I still don’t sleep well even after all the preventive measures and countless sprayings and foggings. This seems to just aggravate the spiders. So I did extensive reading on natural methods to make this place as unpleasant as possible for them. I invested in double-sided sticky tape and it became my best friend.

But—the grass spiders and one new spider that now lives inside of my bathtub faucet that juts out from the fake paneled shower wall (it’s not even shower surround material, that’s how shoddy the landlord and/ or previous druggie renters were), creates a new web every morning and night. I go in knock it down, spider hides inside faucet and doesn’t emerge until the next day.

When does the madness end? Likely it never will. With a house as old as mine (and it’s a crying shame and not remotely laughable), it makes me wonder, “What was I thinking?” when I laid eyes on this tiny money pit.

And then I had all that enormous life-time accumulation of stuff that moved in with me. If wondering, no, none of my personal possessions had any spiders in or contained in any of the moving containers. In fact, I was baffled as to where these brown recluses were just ‘showing up’ in the blink of an eye.

In the beginning they would repel from the ceiling, crawl out of the floors, floor vents (another do-it-yourself job that was s***** constructed long before the house was even on the market). The spiders loved to crawl out from under the fake tile in the bathroom and scurry back in once I spotted them on the edge of the tub.

I wept tears of anger and complained about my living conditions that made me feel like white trash even though I’m a far cry from that. I did everything in my power to combat this spider infestation and became more angry in the process. I downsized some more. Threw out memories, pictures— anything I could get my hands on. I pitched all of my books even some valuable antique ones that were scarce to find in print.

I then began trashing everyday dishes, cups and limited myself to one cup, plate, bowl and silverware. Next, I threw out my extra pairs of shoes, clothing, and towels. I simply couldn’t stand living in a brown recluse house and couldn’t escape the fact that at any given time I might have a nasty scar from a brown recluse bite or be bitten at any given time.

I don’t care what the pest control companies tried to console me with. They see this stuff all the time. Heck, there was an article in the local paper published in 2013 about an alarming influx of brown recluses leaving pest control companies working overtime that particular summer. My place was no different, but the unusual number of them was making my living conditions impractical and impossible. I soon heard that brown recluses were invading the rich homes in the city. So I wasn’t the only one having nightmares keeping them awake at night and it still didn’t bring me any peace of mind.

And I’ve read and picked through every self-help article on battling brown recluse spiders and came upon one disturbing relation: they are EXTREMELY difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate once they reside inside a house. I’ve heard of clearing away grass and brush from the foundation. I do that weekly. And the lawn gets mowed regularly. There’s so may cracks that several tubes of caulking won’t fix. And the foundation is so old some of the cement overlay has gaps where some previous renter or landlord shoved rocks into just to cover it up. I can clearly see daylight behind the installed hot water tank. And damn-blasted to the wanna-be never-will-be home un-improvement renters before me never sealed up the cinder block window. They just crammed a cinder block and built a wooden porch over it. That’s another reason why the spiders keep getting in.

And the other un-improvements I won’t bother mentioning because they don’t relate to this blog post. I will, however, offer some tips on keeping one step ahead of this brown recluse:

1. Storage tubs and trash bags. If you have anything of value, place it inside a trash bag, seal it good and store it in the plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.

2. Double sided sticky tape. Place this around all inside perimeters of the house, around bed posts on the floor and thresholds. For the longest time I did this around the edge of the bath tub, but the water ruins the stickiness of the tape.

3. Peppermint oil and water in a spray bottle. I heard brown recluses hate the scent of peppermint. I did this tonight around the house, hoping on a prayer this helps combat the issue until the pest control man stops by next week.

4. Vinegar and water. Seriously does this really work? You have to directly spray the spider and most of the ones I did this to did nothing. It doesn’t faze them.

5. Hair spray will freeze them long enough to get the fly swatter to them.
Nobody should have to live like this. But I won’t ever know the freedom for quite some time to just lay my stuff down and not feel the overwhelming compulsion to micro-manage it every second.

One good thing about this, living with brown recluses will be a motivator to save as much dough as possible to get the heck out. I’ve come to realize that this problem existed and went largely ignored for quite some time. Perhaps the former druggie renters worried more about getting their next high than ridding the house of the spiders.

And secondly, knowing very well who the landlord was didn’t help. Living here has taught me A LOT about living. I became a minimalist overnight even though I didn’t intend to live without some creature comforts. I made sacrifices just to tolerate my living conditions and I’m the crabbiest person because of it.

Then I learned from May to July are the active months for brown recluse spiders. And I have one more month to endure and then a grueling long a** winter ahead of me as well to get through. I pray by this time next year or sooner if I can make it happen I can move out of here.

I’m sick of not having my life the way I want it. I’m sad because I can’t relax. I’m frustrated because this tiny money pit will never be a ‘home’ except if you’re a contractor with a lot of money to sink into this place and don’t mind sharing it with brown recluses. Also, investing in the really expensive bug dirt would be nice, but financially out of reach for now. And besides I have my sights set on someplace else hopefully in the near future anyway.

Enough with my b**** fest crying fit. I now return you to your blog. As always, thanks for reading, re-posting, sharing, twittering, etc. I sincerely appreciate it. And if you have any helpful suggestions or tips I’d be happy to hear them too. 🙂

When signing up for the Y is a hardship:

Published June 8, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

Whenever I find something that might interest me I first and foremost do my extensive research, contemplating and do a lot of procrastinating about it, then finally decide to take that plunge. And…

All doesn’t go smoothly, at first which is my first introduction into the crappier side that is known as life.

And it didn’t help that my morning was rudely interrupted by a survey caller at 11 am on a Sunday. So, arg! I forced myself to go back to sleep since it’ll be one of those rare days I will have during an upcoming hectic week to get caught up on sleep. And when I get sleep-deprived it does strange things to me. I especially get grumpy whenever I can’t get my regular hours of sleep… any who, so my morning didn’t start off as planned. I guess if sleeping in on the weekends can be planned.

I finally decided that I might want to join my local Y. Before I even show up, I have the first step completed. I brought my paperwork stating my income. But that’s not all, there’s more—much more. If you think you can easily walk in and sign up to be a member of a gym, show proof of I.D. and pay the necessary fees upfront, think again.

What am I attempting to do again? Apply for a first-time home buyer’s loan or join the Y so I can get some real swimming in and maybe the occasional treadmill/ lap track walking exercises in the comfort of the great indoors? See, I don’t do the sunbathing and all those times I did go swimming back when every summer, I really disliked the fact there was no shade to relax under.

So much red tape to get through and I’m not even half-finished. In the meantime while everything processes (the old-fashioned snail mail way), I can enjoy two free passes for myself to see what I think of the Y. I’ve got one opinion of it formed in the back of my little mind, “It’s a pain to join.” I can see it already.

I’m leery at best of any results and since I’m really not a morning person (like 5 am is for the early birds) and I don’t drink coffee, either. So what else would there be for a thirty something like me to do? Probably have nothing in common socially if its a senor citizen crowd that shows up early or go try my hand at racket ball to pass the time.

I tried doing what the Y suggested to start the financial assistance process and that was to go to the IRS website and click on their many confusing links to fill out an electronic version of the paper copy I had in my hand. The person I spoke with at the Y said it would be, “…much faster to do it online and you’ll have results in two days, in some cases through email, print it out and return here with it.”

Hardship #1. Nothing in life is THAT simple! And certainly not when dealing with a government website.

Hardship # 2: And guess what? The IRS electronic form filing for that specific tax form I need to show proof of… “Isn’t available at this time. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

INCONVENIENCE, my foot! Holy Mackerel… [palm smack on forehead].

Being it’s a Sunday, the post office is closed. In fact, the cut off time to make it to my grocery store’s service desk has long since came and went to buy individual stamps. Then again, what do I know? I don’t keep track of these things since I never have to go to the store on Sunday to buy stamps.

With the ten dollars loaned to me to fill up the gas tank, I in turn did a very stupid thing today—I bought one book of stamps. The checker rang me up for $19.80 and I said, “Whoa, wait a minute– $19 for two stamps? No, I don’t think so. Put ‘em back.”

“Oh, sorry, it’s after a certain time. I can’t sell you any individual stamps. You’ll have to come back tomorrow. And since we didn’t do our stamp count yet—”

Okay, now there is no sign that states when they can’t sell books of stamps even after a. they either do their ‘stamp count’ for the day and/ or b. the service desk is closed after a certain amount of time.

This whole day has already cost me frustration, stress, loss of sleep, driving around in a van with no working AC. It’s extremely hot, muggy and you can’t imagine how irritated this is makes me feel because my trip takes me all over town just to complete this final step. I’m not just a hop, skip, jump away from the nearest store. So, in my stress I politely, yet sternly said: “Fine, ONE book of stamps, please.”

And guess what I find when I do return from mailing that letter to the IRS? My tax returns that *might* be the right ones for me to finish the form to get a membership. Which means, if this is turns out to be true then I could have saved back my ten dollars and the trouble, time and expense.

Who knew joining the Y is full of red tape and when its all said and done, whew! I don’t know if I’ll feel like renewing ALL of this again after a twelve month period. If its this hard to get a foot in the door to get out there and be socially engaged, I may opt for something else. It just means I won’t be able to go swimming because I HATE water parks.

First, I don’t want to pay the outrageous daily fees to get in a little swimming under the blistering fireball that is the sun. Secondly, I absolutely don’t agree with a ‘bare all’ swimsuit regulation the water park has instated. And third,  I also dislike that they restrict the use of appropriate swim trunks over a bathing suit and t-shirts worn in their man made rivers, wave pools, etc. Plus if you need to lock up your personal effects, the water park charges you an additional $7 fee to rent a locker. To swim there daily is $5.50 for an adult. That may not sound like much, but take in the fact that people do and will steal your personal belongings and if you can’t afford a locker fee, you are pretty much asking for getting your identity/ debt/ credit cards stolen while you’re out swimming. Its difficult to keep an eye on stuff and not pleasant to try and enjoy yourself at the same time.

Thanks for reading, liking, and sharing. I may continue to update this blog post when I know more.

Poverty and obesity, Part One: dispeling erronous accusations:

Published June 3, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

It’s been all over the news lately and a hotly debated topic that poverty and obesity go hand n’ hand and specifically targets only these individuals.

But does it really? I doubt it. I’ve been reading a ton articles regarding this issue and wanted to help dispel some of the truths and a lot of over-exaggerated myths:

First, the truths:

Truth #1: Most individuals receiving food stamps can’t afford to buy the more expensive healthier foods or keep themselves healthy. This is called “inflation” and it’s hurting EVERYBODY of all incomes.

Truth #2: Junk foods/ frozen foods/ pre-processed ‘unhealthy’ foods are priced so they’ll be easily accessible. Truth is, junk foods, etc. are pitched to everybody of ALL incomes, not just those using food stamps.

Truth #3: In some states they’re now making it illegal to purchase steaks and lobster and certain types of sea food with a food stamp/ SNAP/ EBT card. That should nip your ‘protein’ intake and getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids right in the bud.

#Truth 4: You can’t purchase ‘hot’ pre-made foods with an EBT card from a deli in a grocery store. If it’s cold, then you can buy it from a cooler and it will have a sticker: “Food stamp eligible”.  Oh, we’re you planning on hosting a block party tonight? You’ll have to put back the hot fried chicken, fried mushrooms and okra and just have your guests bring their own food and table service (silverware), then.

Back in the day before they issued Food Stamp cards, there was once a form of “food stamp” paper bills and before that, a small book of “stamps” (thus is where ‘food stamps’ derives and was born out of the first great depression of the Thirties and then president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “the new deal”). Food ‘stamps’ allowed a family or a single person to buy a certain amount from the four basic food groups: bread, dairy, fruits, and vegetables.

Truth #5: You can’t buy alcohol, tobacco products, lottery tickets, toilet paper, deodorant, soap, laundry soap, and other non-food items. In California (home of the ‘birth defects, reproductive harm, and carcinogen warning labels’), an individual can’t purchase candy or soda pop when using food stamps.

I sort of laughed when I read a ‘top ten list’ of what can/can’t be bought with food stamps that some contributing reporter/author at the Huffington Post, I believe, compiled. The article seemed largely thrown together to meet a deadline more than likely.

What I disagree with was that the reporter/author of the article states right off, “I didn’t pay attention to Home-Ec (home economics class) and I really should have,”

Excuse me, my dear, but Home-Ec (from my recollection when I took the required class back in Jr. High School eons ago), didn’t breathe a word about food stamp assistance or what you could/ couldn’t buy with them. I don’t know where this reporter/author went to school, but I suppose it’s a geographical thing and what school you attended way back whenever.

What did make me furrow my eyebrows in curiosity is when I read an article recently last month in May in Yahoo news that food stamp recipients and those receiving EBT cash assistance and other government assistance are blowing tax payer’s money on $800 tattoos, trips to Vegas, flat screen TVs, computers, X-boxes, Play Stations. And who does it hurt? The tax payer, first and foremost. Secondly, it has a trickle down effect to the truly impoverished that need the government assistance to help supplement and allow them to simply exist like the rest of society and it hurts everybody in the end. In all my life I never knew it was even “legal” to waste food stamp allotments and EBT cash assistance in such stupid and frivolous ways.

The percentage of the ‘honest’ impoverished folks likely make up a 1 per cent, if even at that. I think the article I read grossly overlooked (or excluded entirely) the individuals who sit at home, have nine, or xxx amount of babies by several different ‘fathers’ just to collect the assistance and mooch off of society. And the comment section lights up with such snide remarks like: “They need to get sterilized… it’s called ‘birth control’.” “They need to get a job,” “They need to execute these types,” etc.

Uhm, this won’t solve the issue of poverty. It’s been around and will continue to be around long after our time. It’s called society and what, we as a nation, sweep under the rug. It’s still a huge nasty stigma and its coming to the forefront thanks to inflation and wages that can’t allow individuals to provide basic necessities of life. And secondly, government assistance like food stamps is there to supplement. It was never intended to live on solely. However, some individuals do find miraculous ways to make ends meet: it’s called living frugal. And this is where I’d like to dispel some myths about poverty and this sudden of interest with obesity being linked:

Myth #1: All individuals living below poverty level and/ or receiving food stamps/ EBT cash / SNAP, disability are morbidly obese. This just isn’t so, and here again, the facts and figures aren’t accurately projected in the article I read, either.

Sure, you might be restricted on what you can/can’t purchase with food stamps, but your eating choices don’t have to be limited to Ramen Noodles or Mac n’ Cheese 24/7, either. Eating choices start with the individual and what they want to put into their bodies.

Myth #2: All individuals living below poverty level and/ or receiving government assistance don’t take care of their oral health, brush their teeth or even see a dentist for regular checkups.

Not all low-income or below poverty level individuals have terrible teeth (or no teeth, for that matter). I can kind of see where this assumption derives from because poverty is directly identified with rotten teeth, poor oral and overall health.

It all depends on how the individual was

a.) raised

and b.) had someone to show them early on in childhood how to properly care for their teeth and show them the importance of staying healthy and active, taking vitamins and eating right. Key to good overall health starts with your teeth, diet, nutrition and exercise.

Myth #3: All individuals receiving government assistance/ EBT/ Food stamps, etc. are all lazy and do nothing all day long and don’t contribute to society in any meaningful way.

Myth #4: All individuals receiving government assistance don’t know how to look after themselves. E.g. (shopping for groceries, buying ‘non-food’ items like toiletries, picking up after themselves and keeping a clean tidy house/ yard, etc).

The answer glares right in my face when these myths are presented in numerous articles and never added into the equation: are these articles presenting ‘generational’ poverty (handed down from family to the next), working class poor, low-income individuals, disability recipients, etc.? Nope. The articles ‘gloss over’ the statistics and sometimes leave a lot unsaid resulting in misinformation and lack thereof.

Stayed tuned for my “Part Two” in this interesting series where I will list some healthy eating habits on a shoestring budget. Oh, and if you’d like to read up on the arsenic in rice, here’s the link. For some odd reason wordpress keeps directing me back to here when I highlight a word and try to insert the link in that… very frustrating, anywho– here it is:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/01/how-much-arsenic-is-in-your-rice/index.htm

This comes from Consumer’s reports.

Thanks for reading, sharing, and liking as always. 🙂

“Pardon me, but you’re too old to be wearing that eye shadow…”

Published May 29, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

And that was the deciding factor on my first [and last] trip to a hair academy. I was told that the more vibrant, colorful, shimmer and glitter-like eye shadows are for the younger generation and it looks too juvenile on me and inappropriate for a woman of thirty-something. The hair stylist’s comment really hurt me. I could feel it devouring more of my already low self-esteem on this day. At least I can’t say I didn’t put forth an effort to appear professional, ‘career woman’ like.

And the comment came from a twenty-year-old hair stylist that did my hair and makeover one cold, sunny pre-spring day. I was experiencing an incredible low point in my life during the beginning of this year when I was pre-selected to enter a pilot career program that had disaster written all over it (not literally, but it was poorly implemented) and terribly flawed from the start. It was one of those ‘free’ things to do with no strings attached, so it seemed at first glance and instead, turned out being quite the opposite.

The severe penalty for quitting was making the student that dropped out the responsible party for the entire program failing and it was a heavy burden to carry five days a week for two months. And this warped mental conditioning was just the start of it. The berating I had to take everyday in this pilot program made this all expense paid trip to the hair academy seem like a joke.

I didn’t say much to the young hair dresser who thought Lynyrd Skynyrd was heavy metal music. And I won’t verbally cut loose on anybody for not knowing any different. The right categories do get confusing nowadays because there’s classic rock, classical music, funk, disco, rap, techo, nu-metal, heavy metal, etc. So me and this young hair dresser really didn’t converse much. The music was cranked up so loud in this building that she couldn’t hear a word of my soft-spoken conversation and I couldn’t make sense of what she was most certain was ‘heavy metal’ without a doubt. I don’t want to break your heart, but Lynyrd Skynyrd is a Southern hard rock band, not heavy metal. When I think of heavy metal, Judas Priest pops into my head. I so love this band as far back as 1986 although they’ve been around a lot longer than that going far back as the 1970s. And if you must listen to Judas Priest get one of their early Lp’s or ‘vinyl’ for the young crowds. Don’t buy it on cd. CD’s just compress the true sound and make music sound flat and lifeless in my opinion. On this day in particular perhaps a part of me just wasn’t ready for a change. I’m extremely possessive of my hair and only let a select few in my family trim the split ends when needed. And it had been years since I last let a hair stylist touch my hair.

I decided to go for a spiral perm like I once had when younger. And the end result? Well, it didn’t make me feel glamorous or pampered. I was riveted to the edge of that barbershop chair, fingers clawed the armrests for dear life. I couldn’t even allow myself to relax for one minute I was so nervous. I looked at myself in the large mirror before they gave me a makeover and faked like I was happy with the perm but it looked nothing like what I once had years before, not even close. Since I wasn’t paying for this (the pilot program was), I was really at the mercy of just keeping my mouth shut. The program’s budget only allowed one hair style and a makeover, that was it. There was no room to make it right for the customer.

A part of me wanted to die on this particular day at the hair academy. I didn’t feel beautiful. I didn’t see myself as pretty or jaw-dropping gorgeous, either. I felt like an old hag. Then came off my makeup that took me two hours to apply that very same morning. It’s very outdated, but I really don’t want to be shoved into this newer makeup trend that just made me appear much older than I am and it was, like, totally disgusting. There’s a part of me that will never let go of my youthful days gone by. And there will always be that part of me that will stay young inside. And I always heard many times over, “Don’t lose sight of your youth!” I haven’t and certainly appear younger than my age.I’m very thankful for that, too.

More and more my fragile feelings, combined with the stress of this pilot program that left me gone from 7 am until shortly after 6pm every day for the last two months, was beginning to erode my self-confidence. And you weren’t getting paid for your time either. You could receive 9 credit hours that transferred over to your college education, but the sponsors strongly discouraged opting for this route rather than accepting one of their chosen careers that not everybody was physically or mentally cut out for.

I was also faced with two choices: steel toe boots and/ or scrubs. I don’t have the patients to work in a healthcare related field nor the emotional stamina, either. Factory work, been there and done that. It is extremely difficult work, trust me on this. It is not as easy as the sponsors make it sound with their come on lines;

Can you read a tape measure?

Are you good with basic math?

Can you lift more than fifty pounds?

Can you understand blueprints?

If you say yes to all the above, then you’re the person we’ve been looking for… blah, blah, blah. But it won’t get you ‘hired’ and you find this out with two weeks left to complete the rigorous and tedious program.

I was desperate to get back into the workforce but really distanced myself from the others who had checkered pasts, criminal backgrounds, and were unable to keep and/ or apply for certain other jobs due to the wrong choices they made in their lives.

And here’s what made me so very grateful about my life choices: I didn’t break the law. I never went to jail or been arrested. And I stayed out of trouble.

So why’d they select me?

I was still racking my brain over this for quite some time. I’m so very blessed to have parents that kept me on the straight and narrow path. I’m also grateful for the diverse religions I had over the years growing up which helped to structure my family life as well.

And there I was ready to be bombarded with expensive cosmetics at the hair academy. Before I know it I hear from my hair stylist, “I’ll get you signed up for this shampoo and conditioner, those will be forty-four dollars, and two eye shadow pods (colors), and powder will bring your total to $180. Oh, and when you stop in just ask for (____), and you can pay with your debt card anytime.”

Money doesn’t grow on trees in my neck of the woods and am sure it doesn’t sprout leaves of fifties, one-hundred, or even a thousand dollar bills in third world countries, either. If it did, I wouldn’t trust my hair or skin to some random student that needed not only a passing grade, but also a *guinea pig*… err, I mean, client.

At the makeup table I see these astronomical high dollar cosmetics, some primer setting spray and was told by my stylist that my shimmer eye shadow was too juvenile for a lady of my age to be wearing. Well, slap me on the back and call me stupid. Is this set in stone somewhere?

I have never had anybody tell me to my face my makeup was too young for me to be wearing. It didn’t help matters much that I was seeing everything through hormone-colored glasses on this day, either. You know ladies, it’s that time of the month were everybody wants to run, hide and duck for cover because you could weep at the drop of a hat. And that’s what I felt like doing, crying a river.

Sure, I internalized what that hair stylist told me and took it the wrong way, but never the less…

Apparently there isn’t a ‘matte’ eye shadow for sale anywhere in my city. I ended up wasting my time going to many discount and retail stores in search of finding some eye shadow that was

a.) affordable and b.) was something I liked and was happy with.

I had no idea the shimmer, glitter, and shiny colors were for teens and Twenty-year-olds. I believe anybody at any age should be able to wear whatever makes them happy. My new makeover was slapped on half-assed. I really don’t like it when somebody is breathing into my face, but we all have to put up with irritations just so we can be on our way.

I reviewed the stunning new– oh, crap!

Did they really just give me the smoky cat eye treatment?! I looked like a raccoon with a perm! This was not what I wanted at all! It was horrible—just— oh, the humanity of it all!

I bit my lower lip and faked a pleased expression. I was awed by the fact of how terrible and old this hair stylist made me appear before my very eyes.

Oh, yeah, baby… Mr. Right (if I had one) would be horrified! There’d be no roses or candlelit dinner waiting for me when I got home. Had I met Mr. Right with a job eons ago, I wouldn’t be getting a makeover from heck. He’d probably pamper me the whole nine yards the right way and take me to a real beauty salon, or at the very least, pamper me himself. And that’s wishful thinking.

I washed off the makeup once I got home because it made my skin break out. I then took a comb to my perm just to murder the last spiral curl that reminded me of an old hag. I was not kind on myself, verbally speaking, that is. I was upset.

And the students right down the teacher scolded me the next day for brushing out my perm. Like… hello, it’s my hair, why get your big girl panties all in a twisted bunch over something as insignificant as me brushing out a hair style because I hated it. It’s my life, my hair– so there. :/

I was always cranky, hungry, and tired on any given week day and that’s never good. Feed me some fruit or raw veggies and I’m happy as a clam. But the vending machines where the program was being taught contained only junk food and soda, yuck! The typical feelings you will experience when you’re dead on your feet all day from working.

I don’t get to broaden my college education like the sponsors promised and damned myself for not entering college sooner (like straight out of high school sooner) and planned my life better. Then again, I didn’t plan that the economy and the workforce take a nose dive. I didn’t foresee there would come a day when the unemployment rate would outweigh available jobs in my lifetime.

I quit the pilot program with two weeks left to go until graduation and made sure to have all my things at home. If there was one thing I did plan right that was my resignation.

I turned in my letter of resignation over the weekend via email and received a reply, “Thank you, we’ll pass it along.” I never heard back after and was glad.

I found out much later that I’m quite capable of finding a job on my own terms without somebody else finding one for me from the bottom of the barrel and then the sponsors took their cut of a commission out of all the students paychecks on top of that for helping them get hired. Oh, and lets not forget taxes, social security, and other cuts that take flea bites out of a paycheck.

What do you have by the end of the pay day? Maybe just enough to pay the rent and little else.

I think the smartest decision I ever made was giving up during this pilot program. It not only brought me down emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically, but I hated the mean person it made me be those months I stuck with it. And I really felt bad for jumping on those around me after it was all said and done.

The sponsors would tell you up front if you have a support system in case this doesn’t work out for you. They don’t go into specifics and you soon figure out why they remain vague. The requirements and demands are ridiculous! As the program neared completion, the student was required to submit nine job applications per day and submit different cover letters and resumes on top of that. Talk about confusing as hell! Most of the companies I applied at I was denied by one due to lack of managerial experience. The other fast food places never replied to my online applications and one store in the mall that wasn’t hiring ended up phoning me months after I quit the program.

I, of course, was dealing with my grandma’s death and politely turned down the phone interview. I know they’ll tell you that using a death in the family is a very poor excuse that new employers DON’T like hearing, but it wasn’t. My grandma’s death was legitimate. My grief was through the roof and I didn’t feel ready to collect myself and move on.

I do pray Mr. Right will sweep me off my feet somewhere, somehow, someday, treat me with kindness, shower me with love and thoughtfulness, have a big heart and treat me far better than some poorly implemented pilot program ever did.

Thanks for reading, commenting, and liking. 🙂