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Dear FedEx and Bright Cellars:

Thank you for working together to offer me new challenges to overcome. I feel so empowered now that I’ve successfully passed numerous levels of gameplay and defeated the final boss in an epic showdown.

Level One: The Cancellation

To pass this level, I finally had to cancel my Bright Cellars subscription FOR REAL THIS TIME. I live one mile from a Total Wine & More. I resisted your offers of free bottles and credits. I accepted ONE LAST SHIPMENT to use my various credits.

Level Two: Shipment Attempt 1

This one was tricky. My package was returned to Bright Cellars because the FedEx driver said no one was home Sunday. I was home. No one even rang the doorbell. I realize now that the cheat code to win this level was that I needed to sit on the stairs outside my front door all day. Still, somehow I forged on to the next level.

Level Three: Shipment Attempt 2

This was a tough level because I had three villains to defeat.

  1. Bright Cellars had to change the address to the leasing office.
  2. FedEx had to make sure to put “leasing office” on the shipping info.
  3. The (nasty) manager of the leasing office had to be notified that a package was on the way.

Level Four: Shipment Attempt 3

Another difficult level. FedEx, you were wily, and required numerous maneuvers.

  1. I had to call and convince you to hold the package at the FedEx facility in Norcross so I could pick it up. You told me to call the facility after 5.
  2. I called the facility after 5. I was put on hold three times. Finally, an unpleasant woman said she could not hold the package for pickup unless FedEx customer service (yes, her same company) told her to hold it. That I needed to call customer service, and have them call her.
  3. I called FedEx customer service again. I made Geordie write a note in the shipment file, and call the facility witch.

CUT SCENE:
Late evening phone call from the FedEx facility in Norcross to explain that the reason my package wasn’t delivered was because the leasing office hag wouldn’t sign for it.

Level Five: The Pickup

“If no one answer keep trying until they do.”

This level required me to call all the extensions. Twice.

Level Six: The Final Showdown

The final boss was a lovely man who — at first glance — just seemed like a beleaguered employee. But this level required an ID and signature on a digital pad that would not accept signatures. Still, I persevered.

I will now treat myself to what’s in the box.

It had better be THE BEST WINE I’ve ever tasted to be worth this difficult adulting game.

In sum: I never want to play this game again.

I hate you both,
Beth

 

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Dear DeKalb County:

I’m intrigued and impressed by your jury processing. I guess with a population of 752,088, you need to have your act together.

On Monday, I arrived at the courthouse as Juror 401 of 1,001 called. That’s a shocking number. In my experience in Chatham County, I had to call every night to see if my number was up the next day.

Not y’all.

You call everyone in.

Judges and attorneys get one day to make a decision to field a jury. And that’s genius because it puts pressure on people to settle.

While I waited to see if I was chosen (and by the way, I am NEVER chosen), I had the pleasure <sarcasm alert> of sitting between two of the kinds of people I hate: A guy watching videos with no headphones and a woman talking loudly on her phone.

Why, Sir? Why must you torture me?

The other people in the room were sitting quietly. But I was sandwiched between these two.

And the guy sat RIGHT NEXT TO ME, even though there were dozens of empty spaces all over the room. He was so close, I could smell his chicken-biscuit breath. I had to move down one chair.

It happens all the time. I can be in an empty movie theater, and the only other person will sit one seat over.

Why don’t people understand personal space?

[Insert deep cleansing breath.]

I’m not sure this is common practice, but it was surprising to me that one of the judges emerged to test out what he thought was a rousing stand-up routine.

It was, predictably, about civic duty and, unpredictably, the importance of driving under the speed limit.

At least my seat neighbors silenced themselves for the occasion.

A little while later, I was dismissed. My case was settled while I was seething.

But that part was not your fault, DeKalb County. You made the process as painless as possible.

See you in two years!
Beth

 

 

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Dear DJ Pauly D,

Thanks for a great night! The only thing that would have made it better is if you had brought your boyfriend and mine: Vinny.

As everyone who knows me and/or reads this blog is painfully aware, I love “Jersey Shore” and all the permutations. Your bromance with Vinny gives me life.

Knowing my jones for Jerzday, it should be no surprise that I HAD to go see you when you came to Atlanta.

I would have loved to take Gideon. We’re couch chooches. But it was a 21+ show, and he’s 13. Eddie was my lucky Plus One.

As I walked out the door, Gideon demanded photos and videos. Of course I obliged.

If only he had written, “Yeah, Buddy!”

Contrast that with my other son, aka Captain Crankypants.

He’s also punctuation challenged.

There was a lady in the loo who was challenged too — challenged by the soap dispenser. She kept banging on it and hollering, “I need soap! I need soap and Jesus!”

I’m not sure if she got either. I left to see the rest of your set.

It was everything I hoped it would be and more.

You spun for hours. I was impressed.

And even sported a Braves jersey!

Your other buddy was represented well too.

Thanks for putting on a fantastic show!

Love and fist pumps,
Beth

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Dear Dudes,

When you hear “girls’ night out” or “ladies weekend,” what do you think goes on?

One of my friends said, “Hair braiding and pillow fights in lingerie.” He’s been watching too much … of a certain … uh … genre.

Another said, “Drinking and dragging guys. And dancing too.”

In my experience, the latter is more accurate. But perhaps I don’t get out enough. Or it’s that I have fairly tame friends.

Here’s a peek into what happened at a recent get-together with some female friends of mine. We’ve been friends since we bonded in some work trenches more than 15 years ago.

THE GOOD

1. Pedicures. No ladies weekend is complete without a trip to the nail salon.

2. Exercise. All of us got in a little exercise by walking and talking on the beach.

Goat Yoga Lisa went a little further (naturally): Pushups at 10 p.m. Aimee provided resistance. I provided Eddie via FaceTime so he could critique her form.

THE BAD

1. Junk food. This was not a time to be healthy.

 

Just look at the food and beverages visible in this photo. Note that Becky has thoughts on Oyster Bay: “It’s no Sutter Home.”

2. Adult beverages. Some people come prepared.

THE UGLY

1. Celebrity behavior. If the trashy magazines we purchased with the wine and junk food are any indication, you are not allowed to pull your bathing suit out of your butt. For shame, Britney! (Just kidding. That’s normal behavior for all of us.)

2. Everyone but us. This is the real story of ladies weekend: It’s a time to vent and commiserate. Stop, collaborate and listen.

Becky regaled us with stories of the Top Tier Type A moms at her children’s school who are wound up about pee on the seat in the bathrooms. Apparently Decatur and East Lake are filled with choice personalities who are EXTREMELY involved in a variety of aspects of community life. One of her friends is consumed with a street sign.

Aimee: Does she have a lot of time on her hands?
Becky: Well, she’s single and has no kids.
Lisa: That means yes.

And speaking of kids, yes, we tell those tales too. We’re trying hard not to scar them like we were scarred.

Aimee: When I was 12, my stepfather gave me a shirt from Hooters that said “More than a mouthful.”
The rest of us: <Loud groans of dismay>

The bottom line?

Yes, there was some drinking and dragging.

A couple of us did a few steps of “Single Ladies,” but I’m not sure I’d classify that little bit as dancing.

I did toss a throw pillow at Lisa, but we didn’t braid each other’s hair.

The sleepwear of choice was the T-shirt/pajama pants combo, not lingerie.

So, there you have it: A peek behind the ladies weekend curtain.

Probably not all that you thought it would be.

Sorry, not sorry.

They don’t exist to please you. In fact, you guys are more often than not the reason they exist.

🙂

Love you anyway,
Beth

 

 

* Thanks, Kool & The Gang!

 

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Dear Aggressive Fellow in Office Depot:

I’m not sure I adequately displayed my shock at your approach in the printer ink aisle.

I thought maybe you thought I worked there.

But then when you got very close and asked me if I had a husband or boyfriend, I knew I was wrong.

It was flattering, for sure. Especially as I had my hair piled on top of my head, didn’t have makeup on, and was wearing a Fishbone shirt and raggedy shorts.

But when I said, “Yes,” you were skeptical.

“Are you sure?”

I held up my left hand.

“Yes, I’m sure.”

“But I like you. Are you sure you don’t want to come home with me?”

“I’m sure. Thanks anyway.”

Then you dropped this line:

“I’m Guatemalan.”

OH! Well in THAT case!

But seriously, “a new man” was not on my shopping list.

And I don’t think the lady you were with would have appreciated your activity 10 feet away.

But you did give me a great story to tell, so thanks.

And you do have moxie.

Impressed,
Beth

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Dear Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood:

I had never visited you before last night, but I’m old enough to remember when you were just the Lakewood Amphitheater — much less fancy, and inexplicably easier to get to via public transportation.

(Side note: What is Cellairis? A constellation? Anxiety drug? Wiener go-go juice?)

Anyway, a $20 ticket special for Nelly, TLC and Flo Rida was enough to get me off my couch and onto your lawn — with the kids even.

However, when the first cloud of weed smoke wafted over, I began to question my parenting choices.

I’m not the only one who should question choices.

Take, for example, this scene:

Let’s break this down.

In blue, a gaggle of girls in Uniform 1.

In red, a gaggle in Uniform 2.

In green, the one dork they brought along to be their Snap photographer.

They didn’t even talk to each other. Or listen to the music. They just took photos for 30 minutes.

And let’s talk about the booze. Everything seemed sold out in the concession area, but you could buy plenty on the lawn.

Anyway, Nelly was great, and helped me redeem myself with Dominic, who thought I was dragging him to a country concert. (He’s lazy, I’ve told you. Too lazy to Google, apparently.)

But my main interest was TLC. T-Boz and Chilli have still got it, from what I could tell. (Your acoustics made them sound like they were singing out of a portable speaker at a pool party.)

Once we heard “Waterfalls,” we bounced — along with hundreds of other ’90s music lovers who had to work the next day.

So thanks for an entertaining night. It’s unlikely I’ll be back. I guess I just prefer smaller, more intimate venues.

It’s not you; it’s me.

😉

Your friend,
Beth

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Dear Kaiser Permanente:

I’m going to have to ask you to GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER.

It does not appear to me that you are doing what you need to do to ensure all records are accurate and in one place.

I submit as evidence Exhibit A:

That letter is not the problem (except that you did say you would CALL me, not send a letter).

The problem is this: I received that missive on the same day I received Exhibit B:

So how did I get the results of a mammogram that you think I didn’t schedule?

I also submit Exhibit C, a voicemail from one of your people:

Great customer service, no? No. This was a message for Eddie — one of four messages, two in one day — about his knee surgery. It was left on my phone, despite the fact that I have given you Eddie’s number at least a dozen times.

So, I’m left thinking you have filled your offices with ineptitude.

Please reevaluate your procedures and paper trail.

Thanks,
Beth

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