proving ground. october 1st.


at the wedding sleepy town a little early.

feeling alright, despite a rocky day.

woke up at around 6 but tossed and turned until about 8. got up, packed. took my sweet ass time. checked my work email, for no good reason. nothing ever comes in overnight.

but something did come in. cat telling me she couldn't work today. because her car broke down.

panic, into the shower to get ready as fast as i could. but because i was taking my time, then i had to double check the packing to make sure i didn't forget anything. ran out and raced to crappy store. opened two hours late, closed three hours early to make it to the wedding in time.

now i'm here an hour before i needed to be. but traffic was gruesome as it was, so it would only have gotten worse, leaving later and being in friday rush hour in dc.

it always takes an hour, at least, to get from one side of dc to the other. i was stuck in four separate traffic jams. i'm just glad i made it safely.

my anxiety triples when i cross the maryland state border. people with maryland tags must be made to drive like assholes just to display the tag. and dc drivers are somehow worse than that. lots of weaving and cutting off. so i was on high alert for about two hours.

coming down off of that, and being grateful for my spring and summer mixes, once i was through dc, it was only another 20 or so miles to the exit for the wedding. which will make the drive to kit's sister's house better than the hour i thought it would take to get there.

on my way, i passed aberdeen and fallston, the names that i used in my novel. forgot that they were at the part in the drive where they were. and a sign i passed said 'aberdeen proving ground'. which made me want to look up what that means, exactly. i feel like it will be defined as the place where two sides meet, to wage war on one another. i could be way off, but if i'm right, it couldn't be more accurate a name.

aside from that, i am also coming down off the stress of work this week. what i didn't want to waste my time writing out yesterday was all the bullshit dan and crystal put me through this week. and kit said it best. dan is toxic. crystal didn't pull the stunts she's pulling now until she started working over there with him.

every day, something is wrong with her. this is nothing new. it's her back, her hip, her elbow. she has a headache or a toothache or her 'cycle'. which is a phrase i hate.

it's something every single day. she's tired. she's starving. working with her is a royal pain.

but on monday, dan had to leave early because he had a lunch date.

and on tuesday, crystal had to leave early because she had a lunch date.

who schedules lunch dates during their shifts? apparently, these two.

wednesday, she had to leave early because she had a headache.

keep in mind, monday, i had my root canal after work, and went in tuesday with a sore mouth. kim worked all week with a hurt back. and all three of us had headaches at least two days this week. like normal people, we pop some motrin and carry on.

the funny thing with crystal is that, when i cut her hours and schedule her to be off early, she is broke, has no money, and doesn't have enough hours. yet every day, when i go to the store between 1 and 2, she's gone already.

on wednesday, quinn caught dan changing their hours on the timeclock on the register. so she told me.

i sent him a super bitchy text saying that it defeats the purpose of clocking in if he's just going to change the times to whatever he wants. and that it will not happen again.

posted a schedule at the store, because they'd been pulling leaving early stunts all week. cut crystal's hours drastically, and gave them to the new girl who wants more. because i know she'll show up and do the right thing every day.

so yesterday was end of month. i had quinn come in early so i could show her inventory. my store was pretty busy and i had extra work to do until noon, so i planned my day knowing that dan was there until 1230 and crystal was there until 3.

at about 11, i get 6 text messages. three from him, three from her. he has a dentist appointment and is leaving early. she has a dentist appointment and is also leaving early.

i lost it.

big time snap.

so i yelled at them. i walked in and said, 'oh good. you're all here.'

and went on to tell them that they are not to leave early unless it is so dead that there is nothing for them to do at all. and they both started to say 'but-' and i cut them both off.

'i don't want to hear it. if you are working until 1230, then you don't schedule lunch dates and appointments during your shift. you guys are out of control and i'm not going to put up with it anymore. pull it together!'

and crystal says, 'so you want me to stay even if it's dead?'

and i said, 'you can't know if it's dead or not, because you leave early regardless. you can't stay if it's busy for your shift if you're going on lunch dates and making appointments. i've had it!'

and they both looked at me with big shocked eyes.

i had to walk away to calm down. i was shaking i was so super pissed off.

quinn will probably fire both of them. it's just a matter of time. and they need to be fired. i worry for what will happen when they're gone, because for the most part, they're on time every morning at 545, which is next to impossible for me to do. and because they rarely call out.

but all the bullshit and attitudes and problems will be solved.

i hope.

so. that was my week with them. so pissy with me, for doing my job. because they both think they can do it better. but they've both had more than one chance. and they're both retarded.

so today with cat was frustrating. it was totally my fault. i mean, she told me via text that she wouldn't be in at 745 last night. i just didn't check my phones before i went to bed like i normally do, or i could have avoided issues this morning.

but when i got there, there was no milk, no keys, so i had to break into the money cabinet. no change, so i was giving dimes and nickels to everyone.

it was just silly.

if i didn't care, i would have done what i planned to do today, and not worried about it. but i do. so i did the best i could, put my easy day on the shelf, and added extra stress to my life.

it's what happens. it's what i do. and it's why i get paid the big bucks. or something like that.

so now. i'm here. and i don't know house wedding etiquette. or wedding etiquette in general for that matter. so i don't know if i should go to the house before 630, if the thing starts at 7. i'm here with my last $85, so there is no card. no check. i'll mail it to them on tuesday. i won't point that out, obviously.

and i already had to message her today, because in my panic rush out the door, i forgot the invite with the address on it. silly girl. the last thing poor ash needs on her wedding day is to be bothered by some forgetful stresscase.

anyway, i don't know what to expect. how many people will be here. if i'm supposed to offer to do anything to help. or if i just show up at the last possible minute and see what happens.

hopefully there are familiar friendly faces. hopefully i don't get all awkward and say something stupid.

it's already embarrassing enough to go to a wedding alone. do people do that? i don't know. i didn't think to bring a sweater or a jacket, so if this thing is outside, which i'm sure it is, i'm going to freeze to death, because i am not dressed for the weather.

here's to the happy couple. i wish them all the best, in their last hour as single people. i'm sure they'll be happy and together forever.

this town is funny. so tiny. i went to mcdonald's (gasp!) for food and to kill a little time. changed in the bathroom. put on makeup in the parking lot. and everyone there knew each other. and i'm parked now in the public library parking lot and some random guy just walked past my car and waved at me.

cute. i love small towns. small towns in virginia with mountains as backdrops.

hopefully i'll love dc a little, too. and i'm sure i'll cry at the wedding, i do even when i'm watching one on tv. and i'll do my best to have one glass of wine and not stay too long, in an effort to get to kit's sister's at a reasonable hour, and driving sober.

hopefully i'm dressed alright, too.

kit and i were talking at the bar yesterday, and i said, 'i wonder if there will be a point in my life where i realize that everytime i worry and panic and freak out, nothing happens. it's not as big a deal as i thought it would be, ever, and that i should just stop worrying about shit i can't control.'

but i doubt that i will. that's the bitch of anxiety disorders and panic attacks. and now that i have them for no reason at all, it seems logical that i'll have them for good reasons, that have been overblown.

time will tell, i suppose.

and now... to the wedding. fingers are crossed.

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