love this life

Day 97 | Indulging in the Drinkeepoo 1 Night a Week | Down 36 Pounds, 30 to Go

Remember when you were 21 and could pound the beers and cruise through a 25-mile bike ride without really feeling like crap the following day? Could lift, shoot hoops, do step aerobics? Wearing a smile?

50 is not 21. Or 30 or 40.

Let’s migrate. Move. Transition.

If you’re interested in learning my identity as a writer, avid cyclist and dog lover, sign up to follow Nurture is My Nature. You can also follow me on Twitter @love4servicedog. I’ve got to get some serious “social” going as I will be in Santa Barbara in October to promote the launch of the anthology—Unmasked, Women Write About Sex & Intimacy After Fifty—in which my work is featured.

What’s my bit?

The Kickass Formula that Restored My Libido.

Is sex what I usually write about?

Yup.

Along with experiences encountered on the road riding my bike (which can be just as thrilling as sex but twice as dangerous). And my service dog, Sabrina (a case of “who rescued who”). And a gruesome suicide that happened in my family on Thanksgiving morning just as the sun was coming up (can this really be happening?). And dirty martinis (“alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off”). And other things that have been published by lit journals and media outlets, but I don’t share publicly because my family would inflict cruel and unusual punishment upon my person.

Oh, but I got daring, and posted this little free-writing bit (that saved my life) that recently got picked up by a journal in Orange, CA.

The topic?

Why we write.

What’s it got to do with?

The reason behind getting so hammered you trip over the rabbit’s cage and in the process of breaking your leg, you nearly kill your beloved fur ball.

You might say, months post-discovery, that I’m on a journey of healing (and moderation). It took me 33 years to uncover the pain, in these few sentences—it’s true shape and form—and why it exists.

And now what?

It’s time to move on.

The impact of loss scars the heart and you go on living your life ’cause you’re young and have to conform and can’t fall apart and you don’t realize those wounds are still there, throbbing raw, the fibers of tissue meshing over that open gap of mess. You don’t realize you mask that pain with the alcohol thirty fucking years later, that there’s a reason why you drink until the TV and the stand it rests on becomes unhinged.

You write and write and write. For seven years, straight, you do nothing but write and you’re told your writing has no depth or meaning. You keep writing because you’re still madly and blindly driven to it despite having lost all your assets and pockets are filled with nothing but dust and lint. You’re there writing, looking up the definition of a word online, fact checking, and you read, alcoholism is a well-documented pathological reaction to unresolved grief and glance down at the billionth line you just put in black and white and Jesus, the whole goddamn story comes clear.

The whole goddamn story is clear.

If you’re getting hammered every night, there’s a reason why.

Discover the reason.

Dig, ask, feel, rummage, ruminate.

See you on Nurture is My Nature.

she will have her way.

Day -99 | Keep the Martinis Coming | Oh, and Miss? Extra Jalapeños on My Nachos

I walked out of the temp job located in the Center of the Universe.

In a fury, mind you.

I wrote an article depicting the debacle and when I finished it, I fussed with the title:

“Drizella and the Evil One” or “Cambridge Firm Touting Reputation Metrics for Renown Brands Denies Temp Her Service Animal.”

I settled on “The Center of the Universe is Goddamn Cold.”

I approached every Boston media outlet and no editor would pick it up or assign the story to a reporter to corroborate the facts.

I mean, really.

How can it be libel and defamation if what I wrote is the truth?

I want to share the story with you and have taken out some the HR best practices stuff, which I had in there to frame the story.

[BTW, my meter to tolerate bullshit hovers pretty low—I ain’t a kid anymore.]

The third day into my temp-to-perm job at The Quark Group, I send an email to the HR Director. Tricia is feather-thin and blond, dresses like the snotty girls did in high school, and wears sleek pumps that go tap tap tap as she flits about the place with conspicuous purpose. This affable woman is typically found in her office, wearing an expression that reads “unapproachable,” and her person happens to be obscured by two monitors in the same ratio the world ocean occupies the planet.

Sabrina. “Good girl.”

In the email, I go for political correctness and “ask” if Sabrina, my certified service animal, can accompany me on the job. My digestive track had been re-plumbed following a nasty car wreck and I wrestle with Crohn’s-type symptoms. Sabrina, adept at picking up the episodes, leans against my thigh, mitigating the wallops of intestinal cramping I endure.

She is, without a doubt, my “medical assist.”

Why hadn’t I brought Sabrina when I interviewed for the role, as I did when I interviewed at Sun Life Financial in Wellesley and TJ Maxx in Framingham, where Sabrina’s presence was fully welcomed?

Because Quark is headquartered in Kendall Square. How could I appear compromised in Cambridge—despite my Winthrop MBA—the so-called Center of the Universe?

I send the email and copy my two supervisors—Darren the CMO and the Tony the Creative Director. Darren never sees the note, he resigned the day before, adding to the considerable personnel the firm is hemorrhaging. Odd for a consultancy that’s engaged by renown brands to run metrics depicting trends in customer satisfaction.

Just after 4:00, Tony receives a response to my inquiry. It’s elaborate. “Tricia says no about your dog.”

My jaw gapes. I didn’t tell it to gape, it did it on its own. I assimilate her intention, her inflicted power, her mean-spiritedness. I want to bust into her office, thrust my arm through the two monitors and stick a fork in her eye. “She can’t say no,” I tell him. “ADA.”

He shrugs sorry.

A week creeps by. The monotony of populating a lean list of Canadian contacts in Salesforce, entailing the tedium of copying and pasting an endless array of l’accent aigu and l’accent grave, is eroding my brain like the elements that beat on the dunes along the Lower Cape. My harried commute, one hour and forty-five-minutes each way, and trips to the restroom, are unaccompanied by my dog. In my head, the screech of the Red Line sounds. It’s not deafening, but it’s not subtle either.

One morning my mouse is not where I left it, it’s out of my personal comfort zone; someone’s signed onto my laptop, the password is there written on a post-it. My temp coworker, Laura, who is doing a similar task as the one assigned to me and after a perm position, asks Tony if she can divert for a bit—set up email campaigns, support the one-and-only sales guy—anything but the list building. We’re informed there’s several iterations to the list building.

Laura is pleased to leave for a doctor appointment at 12:45.

At 2:30, “Tank” the CEO, who resembles the playground bully and whose nasty reputation appears in volumes on Glassdoor, talks to Tony and asks if “she” can run a contacts report in Salesforce for him. The exchange between the two persists. I keep hearing him say “she” and my pride refuses to belief “The Evil One” is talking about me as if I’m not there. Why not ask me my name? Aren’t we professionals, working in the Center of the Universe? Ginny, could you run such-in-such report for me?

Mais bien sûr, monsieur!

An hour previously, Tricia, despite my email expressing a firm interest and ideal qualifications for one out of five roles in Marketing (she has to recruit entire teams due to the profuse bleeding), had not responded and appears before Tony giddy as a schoolgirl about a candidate, waving a printout of her LinkedIn profile as if she is cheering on runners of the Boston Marathon. She remarks, she doesn’t fit any one of the roles specifically, gushes but I LOVE HER! and exclaims, you must interview her before she commits to a job elsewhere!

“Tank” the CEO. He walks away and my pride wins. I tell Tony I won’t tolerate the guy’s unprofessionalism; Tricia’s discrimination. I bid him goodbye, a meek guy who was promoted to VP the day after Darren vanished, an obvious tactic at retention, and vacate the premises with my personal peripherals that I needed to do the job. I hop the Red Line to Harvard Square and my husband and I drive out of the Center of the Universe to our humble home in Metrowest.

What does it say about an organization whose management doesn’t embrace what’s important to its employees? Walk the talk? Pays the enormous cost of attrition?

Laura called me this morning.

She told me an analyst and a consultant newly resigned. That makes five people who have quit in two weeks. By the end of the day, Tricia will be waving a printout of me and Laura’s email exchanges about The Evil One and “Tricia is a bitch” in Laura’s face and although Tricia claims she was going to offer Laura a permanent role that very day, she’ll be dismissed and leave the place in a tantrum of tears.