Tha Jungle, Baybee

Ah… Corporate ‘Merca. It truly is its own ecosystem. Snakes, monkeys, sloths, weirdos, they’re all accounted for in offices all across this great land.  Believe me. I’ve seen it all.

The zoo- I mean, office I currently work in is no exception. In fact, it may be the best example.

The best time of the year for jungle animal observation is during the Christmas holiday party season.

It’s just an odd scenario, really. You’re faced with the dilemma of purchasing a gift or gifts for people you see too often but probably don’t know THAT well and maybe even don’t like. Then you have to hope that you avoid the awkward situation of receiving a gift from someone who will not be receiving a gift from you.

“Your gift is on its way, I promise.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it.”

“NO!  It’s not a thing at all. I already ordered it and everything but it’s from this specialty site and it’s back ordered and stuff, so… It’ll be on your desk asap. No doubt.  I have a meeting now soooo…”

#awkward #rushthatshippingfor$300please

Past companies I’ve worked for have done white elephants or ornament parties where there are guidelines, maybe a theme. Not this one. Nope. And given the history of the past two Christmas seasons, I’m ecstatic to see what surprises next year holds.

One of the animals in our jungle is a dear old woman, we’ll call her The Witch of the North. She’s 72, shakes a lot, never maintains eye contact, when she corners you for a conversation it’s never work related and always takes too long to get to a point that doesn’t exist. She’s a gem.

Last year, she sweetly presented me with a gift bag. I thanked her. And opened it. Aveeno hand lotion. Yes, that. Like what you get from CVS or Target. It’s the thought that counts. Apparently she thinks I have rough hands. Fair enough.

I checked with Abby, one of my cool co-workers (fellow zookeeper).

“Abby, what did tha witch get you?”

Abby pulls out the exact same thing that I got. At least she’s consistent.

This year Abby and I were both super excited to see if we would get more hand lotion. Maybe this year we would get tissues!  Then I could make a gift set and re-gift both to the pre-teen neighbor boy down the street!

“Go easy there, guy.”

No tissues. Just more lotion. But a different brand this time!

Did Abby get the same thing????  I had to know. Oh, good!  Here she comes.

“Abby!  What did you get?”

“I don’t know.  Let’s see.”

Abby pulls out the tissue paper from the gift bag and pulls out more hand lotion. #sopredictable as we eye roll with a patronizing upside down grin on our faces as if to say, “Oh, Witch of the North!  You, rascal!”

Then Abby says, “there’s something else in the bag.”  She pulls out a ham. A ham. You read it correctly. A ham. A cured slab of dead pig. At some point the good witch noticed the package was leaking. Because this ham, which was inside packaging already, was also stuffed inside a ziplock bag.

Merry Christmas, Corporate ‘Merca. That’s what she told Abby and me. Merry Christmas and a moisturized New Year. And, Abby, eat tha ham!

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I do my best to be the best me I can be. Part of that involves working out so that I can have energy to play with my kids without dying. I run, I go to the gym, I do Insanity at home when I forget how much my body hates me afterward. Running, for me, is the easiest- well, most convenient. Especially when the weather is nice. But it still takes some effort.

I do my best to make it seem like I know what I’m doing. For those passing me in a car or bike or other runners I close my mouth, stand up a little straighter, wipe the puke off my chin, smile and wave like “I’ve totally got this. Next stop: winning the Peachtree Road Race.” But don’t let my outwardly calm demeanor fool you. I’m probably about to die.

Before I started running I was terrified of it. I never realized that I had to teach myself how to run. And I was totally intimidated by people who were already good at it. In my mind EVERYONE out there was good at it. It was terrifying for me to even begin running.  I was already defeated before I took my first step. For those of you who are too intimidated to get started, let me give you a little insight to help you understand that some of us are just taking it one stride at a time.

Here’s how it REALLY is:

I need to do something active. I’m having a bloat day. Meh. Ok. I’m up.

Step 1: find running tights. Did I wash them? YES! Found and clean. #winning!

Step 2: put on running tights. Why is this like fighting a battle. Me against the stupid tights. Did I gain weight? Did these shrink? They must have. Certainly the 2 bags of holiday M&Ms I ate haven’t found my waist THAT quickly. I mean I JUST ate them! Oh it’s like a hug! From a python. A hug from an angry Python that wants to eat my legs. But they’re on. Battle won.

Oh no. Are they on inside out? Dam. You won this time, tights. You won this time. Peeling them off is even worse then putting them on!

Where are my sports bras? No clean ones. Oh well. I’ll just grab this one. It doesn’t smell. That bad… I’m taking a shower after anyway. If I have time. I’m sure I will. I’m a mom. I ALWAYS have time.

What’s next… Music! Oh! I get to use my new phone holder arm band thingie. What is this? It’s like I have a desktop computer from 1995 strapped to my freakin’ bicep. Guess the 6+ wasn’t the best option for this purpose. Seriously, this is ridiculous.

Ok. Appropriate clothes: check, shoes: check, music: check, now for my running mate. Come here, Georgia. The harness, where is it? Ah. Got it. Please be still, G. Dam. It’s on upside down. Be still G. Ok- quit jumping please.

I already feel like I’ve worked out. I could sit down on the couch and call it a night. But it’s only 2 pm. Plus, the kids don’t acknowledge mommy break time. Might as well keep going.

Where’s my trainer app? Ugh.  Of course the Yummly app is on the first page but the 10k trainer is the very last one.

54 MINUTES??? Wow. The app has more confidence in my athletic abilities than I do.  I can do this. And start. Wait, I forgot to open Pandora. I’ll choose Muse for my running muse. Lol. I made myself chuckle. If only G could speak English she’d know how clever that was. I wonder if dogs can speak English and just choose not to let us know. That would be a bigger sham than Santa Claus. Hmm.

Ok. Let’s do this. Good thing G’s pulling me. It helps. The first mile is the hardest. Oh! I can sing that to the tune of “The First Cut is the Deepest”. It totally fits.

Wait, what am I listening to? Why is THIS crappy song on my awesome Muse station? Stupid crappy song. I need to give this piece a thumbs down. But then I’d have to stop running so I can see my phone. Which is ironic because my phone is ginormous. If I stop running it’s over. Oh well. It can’t last THAT long. WHEN WILL IT END???

Why does exercising have to be so painful!? Wait, what muscles are these? I had no idea I had muscles there. I think my uterus is a- yep. I’m 99% sure my uterus just fell out. Let me check. I hope no one saw me do that. Nope. Good. All in tact. Gosh. I think I’m gonna puke. Why do my toes hurt? Gawd, even my eyelashes hurts. Is this normal? What if I die out here???

Oh look at that cute squirrel! I love squirrels. I hope I don’t see a snake. I’ll crap myself. Then that would be bad. What if I crap my pants and I’m 4 miles from home??? I know people in this neighborhood. That can’t happen. Dogs hate snakes, right? With my luck G would try to play with it and get bitten.

How much time is left on my workout? I bet I’m almost finished! HOW HAS IT ONLY BEEN 15 MINUTES???? Stop looking at the timer.

Oh! It’s another squirrel! Or maybe it’s the same one! How cool would it be if I had a squirrel stalker. I’d have to give him a name. Glen. Or Gary. That’s it. Gary. But what if it’s a girl. How would I know? Oh! That’s a Whitney Houston song!

Who’s that guy? He looks creepy. I bet he’s a murderer. If he tries to steal me what would I do??? Bite him. Gross. I bet I could take him, though. I feel so empowered right now. Asshole. Try it. I dare y- oh he was just waiting for his wife. That’s cool. Now I feel bad for thinking he was Ted Bundy. Kind of.

I think I’ll sign myself up for Krav Maga classes. Then NO ONE would mess with me. Who am I kidding. I’m 5’2” and weight 11- that’s not important. FINE I’m 5’1”. I’m helpless. Why am I even running? Does this constitute running? It feels more like a jog. Ha, Ron Burgundy. I’m “Yogging”.

Get down, G! Ugh. Why does she always jump on me. She’s taller than I am. I should jump on her. And ride her home like a horse. How much- WHAT??? I’m finished!!!! Dam. Now I have to walk home. Didn’t plan well. I feel like I’m on the 5k episode of The Office when Kelly made the race course a straight line instead of a circle. Finding a cure for Rabies… That Michael Scott. I miss him.

I feel so alive now! So accomplished! 54 minutes of running. Except that one time. At band cam- “Hello? (I just sounded like Adele) Hey, Mom. I’m running but I’ll be home in a minute. Yep, I’ll see you there. Oh, yeah, 30 minutes. Totally. I’ll be there and have the kids ready.” Hmm… So much for that shower. Gross. I wonder if Roman has anymore baby wipes. If so I can take a whore bath. Stay classy, E. I knew I’d have time to pretty myself up. I’m a mom. I always have time.

No. No I don’t.

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