Fargo, ND was recently awarded the title America’s Worst Weather City by the Weather Channel.  This dubious honor is something I voted for three times, told my friends to vote for and filled me with pride when I found out that the place I spent eight years of my life is now considered the hardest to live in.  I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with being tough, but there it is.

Only problem, one of the custodians at work, independent of this contest, has picked up on the fact that Fargo, and North Dakota in general, has very miserable weather, and won’t stop talking to me about it.

At first it was funny, “Fargo is so cold!” “Yeah it is!”  har har har.  But now it’s getting really old.

I’ll be sitting at my desk working or on break, and he’ll come up to me and say something like:

“My dad was stationed at Minot Airforce Base.  He used to do the trick where he’d throw a glass of water outside and it would be frozen before it hit the ground… he was just miserable, after that he wanted to go to Vietnam.”

“Man, I can see why you left–48 days of below zero temperatures!  Who can live like that?  What’s wrong with people that they stay there?”

“Do your parents still live there?  Do you ever have to go visit them or do they just come here?  If I was them, I’d come here.”

This is officially out of bounds.  As the old saying goes, you can’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile  in his shoes.  Or my versions: You can’t make fun of my parents because you haven’t had to live with them, and you certainly can’t make fun of North Dakota unless you’ve been there.  You haven’t earned it.  This is a rule that is very important to me.  This is a rule that has lead me to read many, many lousy books so that I can hate on them with authority.  Although I know his good-natured ribbing is intended to be good-natured, it has gone too far.

Let me dispel a couple myths about Fargo:

  1. Yeah, it’s cold, but it doesn’t feel that cold.  I lived in Fargo for eight years, and during that time, I barely wore gloves.  This wasn’t because I was a moron or wanted frostbite, I just didn’t really need them.  In talking to another North Dakotan who now lives in Providence, both of us have increased the amount of weather “gear” we own since moving east.  There is a constant blanket of snow in Fargo from November-April, and that makes it feel warmer, plus, it’s very dry.  I feel colder in New England than  I ever did in Fargo because here the air here is damp and it gets into your bones.  Also, New Englanders don’t seem to know how to heat their houses properly.
  2. It’s kind of an adventure.  My brother put it very succinctly recently when we were talking about the impending flood.  “It’s that ‘we’re all in this together’ bit. You put out sandbags, you work with your neighbors, and you know that everyone is putting up with the same thing as you so no one whines about it.”  Stoicism in action.  Whenever I try to make plans with baby-having best friend, she usually says something like, “well, I won’t be able to go then, we’ll probably be under water.”  But she never says it in a ‘woe is me’ way, it’s just a fact of life.  Every winter, there will be blizzards and every spring there will be a flood.  There might be a couple days of anxiety and a “Floodwatch!” graphic on the local news, but life goes on.  In Rhode Island, you get a few snowflakes every year, and everyone flies into a panic.

I may be romanticizing my time in Fargo, and I certainly don’t want to move back there, but I’m also sick of people who don’t know anything about it calling it Frozen Hell on Earth just based on looking at some numbers.  If you are a person who is terribly interested in slamming Fargo to everyone within earshot, please, go visit it first.  After you’ve been, I will join you in mocking the overabundance of strip malls, and that desolate stretch of road between 32nd ave and 45th street where you seem to run out of city and then meet up with civilization again, or the ridiculous Multiband Tower, which looks more like a blue wart on the Prairie than a tower of any kind.  But making fun of the weather?  It’s just unimaginative.

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We have a very special patron in my library. One who is handled with kid gloves, given above-and-beyond service consistently and who, for reasons no one seems to understand, requests and receives a packet of scratch paper every time there is a holiday–federal, religious, secular, makes no difference.

She is a crazy person, and I cannot understand why we go to such great lengths to win her favor as she has treated most of us appalling poorly at one time or another.  But it’s not up to me.  This was the situation I rolled into, and I deal with it even going so far as to find her three red velvet cake recipes once just to make sure she had at least one that she liked (I never got any feedback on that).

Now something strange has happened.  This previously self-centered, “woe is me, the world is out to get me” woman has decided that my circumstances are worse than hers.  This is something no one could have anticipated as she once lectured one of my co-workers about how tragic her circumstances are after that co-worker’s father had just died.

One day, I was letting this sad sack into a typing room, and she asked me about my job situation.  Admittedly, when you think about it, my job situation is a bit pathetic–two masters degrees, no health or dental insurance, two days off a month, almost exclusively night shifts–but I don’t let it get me down!  Except when quizzed incessantly by someone who thinks the glass is less than half full, I guess I come off a bit pitiful.

“We single girls,” she told me knowingly, “No one takes care of us.”

At that moment, the already small, glassed-in typing room started to feel stifling and a bit like a jar bugs go into to die, but I fought her negativity using words like stepping stone and resume-builder.  I don’t think it made a difference.

I finally managed to extricate myself, but since that bonding session, I get the impression that the two of us are kindred spirits, and I don’t know how to stop it.  She understands me now, and even though what she understands is a projection of her own craziness, her understanding, like the inexplicable packet of scratch paper, is just another part of my life.

Given my snarky nature and disdain for New Year’s resolutions, I have waited until January 2 to tell the world my plans for 2011.  Mostly, I just panicked and realized that I may actually forget what I’ve been mulling over accomplishing, so here it is, written down, unforgettable.

I like to set goals with a number, that way it’s easier to  know when I’ve achieved that goal.  In the past, I’ve set goals like “get better at Spanish” and marveled over my creativity.  See, I could get better at Spanish very easily.  I just learn a couple new words and presto–better!  I will always trick myself in an effort to let laziness reign supreme, hence the numbers.

For 2011 I plan to:

Run 750 miles. Last year I ran 700–702 technically, but the goal was 700.  This was done partially as a response to my dad running 1000 miles, which is his annual goal… I think, at least he did it once.  1000 was far too much, so I focused on the more reasonable 700, which still sounds impressive.  This was also done partially, though I hate to admit it, as a response to the nurse who called me fat and sedentary.  Next time I see her, if I ever do, I plan to bring in a printout of my spreadsheet that details all the miles I’ve covered and say something just scathing that lets her know that just because a girl weighs a lot doesn’t mean she’s fat!  Some people are heavy because their legs are like tree trunks and they have a running habit.

Read 100 books.  This is kind of always my goal, but this year, I’m actually going to keep track.  I ran into a situation recently where a friend and fellow librarian asked me for one of the best books I’ve read in the last year.  The only books I can remember reading are those I read for the Rhode Island Teen Book Award, mostly because I had to write mini-review of them and give them a score.  I do read grownup books!  I just can’t ever remember them under pressure.  So that will have a spreadsheet now where I will dutifully record title and author, unless I get bored doing this by March, which is very likely to happen.

I also have some personal finance goals that I’ve detailed on my personal finance blog.  I think I had another idea, but I’ve forgotten it already…

I was wandering around my neighborhood today after meeting a friend for coffee, and I found the greatest sign in the world.  This masterwork is a mere four blocks from my house!  And it works on two levels!

Thank you, Providence for being full of hipster artists who are sometimes amazingly clever.  This is the greatest discovery I’ve ever made.  I feel like Magellan.

Since I’m a librarian, I spend a lot of time each day pondering the death of the public library and how necessary librarians will be once everything in the world is available online, etc.  My former boss was a techie nerd despite his advanced years and he once described to me “being able to have every book you could think of delivered instantaneously to your computer screen and you’d never have to go anywhere!”  His eyes were lit up in a way that was both alarming and unexpected and I knew that it was best to just smile and nod rather than say what I was actually thinking.

Which was, exactly why the hell would I want every book delivered instantaneously to my computer screen?  I hate reading on the computer, and having to do it for more than a couple hours at a time, makes me go all buggy-eyed.  Sure that’s an awfully convenient idea, but it’s far from desirable.

When I got my first desktop computer that I didn’t have to share with anyone else, it was the age of dial-up and the age of Napster.  I spent four full days in my apartment, alone, “sharing” music.  I spoke to no one, because none of my friends (or I) had any kind of chat capabilities; my cell phone was for emergency use only, weighed about a pound and was in my car 1/2 a block away; and since I had dial-up, no one could contact me without coming over to my house.  Frankly, looking back, I kind of wonder why no one came over to check on me.

My apartment was garden-level with very little natural light, so the passing of time meant nothing to me, and I didn’t even realize how long I had been holed up in my hovel until I noticed a new episode of Friends was on, which tipped me off that it was Thursday.

Once I finally emerged, I had a harddrive full of crappy music that I never listened to, and a desire to never sink to those depths again.  Yes, on a winter’s day, I often don’t want to leave the house, but I never want to not have to leave the house at some point.  Why would anyone want that?

I’m still recovering.

I also spend a lot of time thinking about manners and social graces.  Perhaps this is a result of working in customer service for most of my life, perhaps this is a desire to move in social circles higher than those I was born into, or perhaps this is just further manifestation of Minnesota Nice (which I think is a myth because my dad treats waitstaff appallingly bad, though others have pointed out that a side-effect of Minnesota Nice is a tendency to be passive-aggressive).  The point is, since this is something I think about frequently, I also really notice when other people are rude and awkward.  I can say with the confidence of a public librarian– a lot of people are rude or awkward–usually both.

People learn manners and social graces from their parents mostly, and then secondarily from school and interactions with other people.  There’s not really any such thing as charm school anymore (except that Vh1 show) to teach people how to act in certain social settings, so there’s really no way to learn to interact with people except by observation. Plus there’s huge difference between the way you interact in school versus the way your act in real life. Pair this with the anonymous and semi-anonymous online interactions on facebook etc, where you can tell someone exactly what you think of them with few-to-no consequences, and I think it’s safe to say we’re all doomed.

Yes, having any book delivered to your screen instantly is a very convenient thing, but even without that, I sometimes have a hard time finding reasons to leave the house.  This is why I’m in no rush to make things more convenient.  Even though I hate doing things like going to the mall, it’s nice to leave the damn house once in a while and see other faces–no matter how unattractive.  I hope I’m not the only person who feels this way.

I’ve been an atheist since age fourteen.  Actually, if I’m being completely honest, I’ve been an atheist since I started pondering religion (probably right around the time my mother told me to put away my coloring book and start paying attention), but I was fourteen when I first heard the word.  Prior to that, I would go to church with my parents, and sit there thinking things like I’m not sure about this, does no one else realize that a lot of this doesn’t make logical sense and I can’t wait until I’m a grown up and I don’t have to go to church anymore.

When I first heard the word atheist, it was possibly the only moment of clarity I’ve ever experienced.  It was a so that’s what’s up with methere’s a name for it, moment.  It was really great to have a handy label, but at no point did I ever want to seek out other atheists for existential chats, or find people like me, or organize in any way.

The way I see it is, religion is an organization of people who believe the same thing getting together to discuss and learn about their beliefs.  Since I do not believe in a god of any kind and am perfectly content with that, why would I need to get together and talk about it?  How do you talk about a non-belief?  I’m fine with groups like the American Atheists just as much as I am with any religious group until people start proselytizing at me, but religion is no part of my life the same way non-religion is.  It seems like organizing in this way is just the same except the conversation is different.

Recently The Pew Research Center did a study on religion & public life, which has been getting quite a bit of press for turning up some interesting facts namely that atheists and agnostics did better on a basic religion test than most Christians. That makes perfect sense to me because learning about what people believe and why from a purely clinical researchy standpoint is fascinating.  I’m intrigued by religion and ritual because it’s intriguing, not because I buy into it in any way.  Though if I was spending an hour a week doing an activity, I would probably try to learn a few of the basic facts.

This study then led to a group of atheists, agnostics and humanists to get together and discuss the future of their movement, which went badly because they couldn’t agree on anything (it’s a bit tricky when your movement is based on non-belief rather than a set of rules and ideas).  Of course, I don’t want the Religious Right to somehow get prayer into public schools, but I also don’t want to go to meetings and pay dues to yet another organization where we sit around talking for hours and accomplish (probably) very little.

Since Religion is a man-made idea, why can I not seem to opt out?  Why does everyone have to be something? I mean, yes, I’m an atheist, but I’m not an emphatic atheist, it’s just that I don’t believe in god and it’s a handy word to bandy about because people know what it means.  I could just as easily call myself a non-theist (which is closer to my non-beliefs, I guess) or a secular humanist, or an evolution fan–who cares?  Why talk about something you don’t believe in?  Do you really have that much to say about it?

Often when I tell people I’m an atheist, they say something like, “what were you, what are your parents?”  Then I say Lutheran, and whoever I’m talking to seems to unclench.  A friend who slipped more and more into crazy strident religious territory over the course of our friendship once told me that since I had once, when I was like six, parroted back the words “I accept Jesus Christ as my lord and savior” I was ok— not going to hell.  My protestations that I didn’t actually believe what I had said, and that I have since rescinded that statement, didn’t seem to register with her.  I’d said it once, was not going to hell, let’s have some onion rings.

I won’t be signing up with any organized atheist group anytime soon, and perhaps this is just a further manifestation of my non-joiner personality, but I don’t think so.  I do like those bus ads though.

…just wish it didn’t say probably.

I took piano lessons for about five years, and really liked them.  I only gave it up because I didn’t like my teacher, and I had reached the point where they weren’t so much lessons as her giving me new and increasingly difficult music.  so I figured I could continue on my own just fine.

Then my parents sold the piano with the logic that since I wasn’t taking lessons anymore, why keep that huge thing around.  Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed, but not disappointed enough to pay them their asking price, and so the piano was taken away.

Throughout junior high and high school, I was in band (flute) and I had bought myself a recorder for those times when I wanted to mix it up at home.  I never really wanted for pianos, they were always just around, and so I didn’t mind too much that the parents had sold ours.  I bought a guitar after quitting band, which I never learned to play, but still moved from apartment to apartment as it slowly became warped from improper storage.

Finally I realized a couple years ago, that I no longer know how to read music at all.  Even though I can look at a piano, find C position and still play the song from my very first recital, if someone were to ask me if I could play piano, I’d be forced to say no.  I never thought you could forget how to read music–it seemed as impossible as forgetting how to read words, but I guess if I didn’t read daily, maybe that would fade away too.  Also, as someone who has always secretly yearned to be a musician, you can see why this is problematic.  Sure, plenty of rock stars don’t know how to read music, but they do know how to play an instrument other than the flute (which I’m not sure I could still play and certainly don’t want to find out).  Lacking both of these skills is a huge setback, and I intend to rectify it.

I borrowed a few basic piano books from a friend, certain that once I got in front of a keyboard, all the knowledge would come flooding back.  Turns out, not so much.  I mean I can still play that recital song, but lacking a basic music chart, I’m left guessing which notes are which, and nothing I’ve produced so far sounds good at all.  Also, I take umbrage with the fact that Alfred’s Basic Piano insists on inserting a ton of unfamiliar songs.  If I was  attempting to play songs that I was already familiar with, I could learn the notes that way.  Instead, I’m flying completely blind.  Damn you, Alfred!

So, in my quest for hobbies, I’ve basically unearthed an old one, but I’m not down about it because this is going to leave me with a huge sense of accomplishment, and tangible results– for free.  Plus, it might make me smarter.  Remember all those Save the Music, Music=Brainpower commercials?  I could always use more brainpower.

About ten years ago, I had my wisdom teeth removed.  As I was in the salad days of still being on my parent’s heath insurance, I got to go to an oral surgeon, get general anesthesia and painkillers afterward rather than trolling the internet for the cheapest medical care I can find or just crossing my fingers and hoping whatever it is goes away, like I do now.

Early in the morning I went to the oral surgeon, and the doctor (who has the largest hands I’ve ever seen on a human) cut out my three wisdom teeth while I  slumbered peacefully.  After that, as I was coming out of anesthesia, an incredibly annoying women wearing garish scrubs tried to keep me awake by telling me that Days of Our Lives was on.

“You have to stay awake,” she told me, “Look–Days is on!”

My memories of this experience are naturally hazy, but I remember being unable to speak thinking, why the hell would I want to watch Days?  I hate that show.  If I just quietly close my eyes and go back to sleep, she’ll never know… Finally she got so fed up with me, she forced me to get out of the bed and sit on a bench.  Then the doctor came in and told me that the EKG from when I was put under indicated that I have an irregular heartbeat.  Despite the fact that I was nearly unconscious, couldn’t speak and was still under heavy sedation, he asked me a number of pointed medical questions and advised I get myself a specialist.

When I woke up two days later, Map Fleece reminded me of this new and exciting medical condition to explore, and I set out in search of a cardiologist.  After echocardiograms, and discussions that included questions like “Do you get short of breath climbing stairs quicker than other people do?” and my response, “How in the world would I know how quickly other people get short of breath climbing stairs?” and laying out my entire travel history (this heart condition may be Mexico’s fault) it was concluded that, yes, I do have an irregular heartbeat.

I waited for the cardiologist to expand on this, and he simply shrugged and said, “We have no idea why.  Your heart is shaped correctly, nothing’s amiss there, you’ve just got this thing and we can’t figure it out.  If it doesn’t cause you any distress, then I’d say don’t worry about it.”

Always comforting words to hear.

Since that time, I’ve been kicked off my parents’ insurance and have not spent much time with doctors.  There was the stress fracture in my foot incident, which cost way too much money to have diagnosed and which completely soured me on medical treatment of any kind.  Thankfully, aside from a broken toe, and torn calf muscle, the last few years have been pretty uneventful.  Until the other morning when I was stumbling bleary-eyed through the bathroom on my way to make coffee and noticed that my face was twice its usual size.

My entire jawline was swollen in a way that made me look like a cartoon character.  I also had a splitting headache, earache and general sense of unease–though that may have been a symptom of the impending doom of paying for medical treatment again.  I immediately asked the internet what was wrong and learned that I’m probably fighting off an infection of some kind, or it could be cancer–have to wait and see.  As my ears hurt, I assumed that I just have a simple ear infection that a bit of amoxicillin can wipe out handily, but as my face has never grown to twice its normal size before, I was still a bit alarmed.

Gentleman Scholar kept giving me worried looks as I sat on the couch all day feeling sorry for myself and watching The Office, and finally after three days of large face I went to the University Health Center at my job (where I can go for free and get a $13 throat culture!).  By the time I actually made it to the health center, my face was back to its normal size, and the Nurse I spoke to was very disappointed in me.

“So it was swollen, here?” she asked.

“All through here, yeah.  I guess it’s gone now, but I couldn’t tell because I feel like I was getting used to it.”

“And this has never happened before?”

“No.”

“And you have no other symptoms?”

“My ears hurt a bit, and I had a headache, but that’s gone now.” I was starting to feel like I should have taken pictures to prove that I wasn’t making this whole thing up.

“If it happens again, you should come in while you’re still symptomatic.” She said, in a way that sounded like she was chastising me, even though the health center had been closed for the holiday weekend.

So yet again, I am a medical mystery.  Every time I approach a health care professional, he or she lectures me about not having health insurance, and then tells me “I don’t know what’s going on with you.”

They are not making a convincing case for spending tons of money insuring myself.

My grandfather went to the doctor about three times in his life.  He was a farmer who presumably got injured all the time (farming seems dangerous to me), and finally, when he was 88, his leg turned black for mysterious reasons and my grandmother forced him to go see someone.  I have no clue what was actually wrong with him because that wasn’t the important part of the story, as my grandmother told it.  The important part to me–he lived til age 95.

I went out for drinks with some of my lady friends the other day to a place called a snuggery.  The word snuggery should conjure up images of a place with cozy close quarters, tiny tea plates, and overall adorableness.  Since the snuggery is such a cozy place, it’s also a place where you’re acutely aware of the people seated next to you.  I’ve been there a few times and not been bothered by anyone, but whenever I sit next to the table in the far left corner of the front room–things tend to get a bit annoying.

The first time I went there was with Jewish Friend.  She raved about the snuggery despite my protestations that snuggery seems like a made-up word, and certainly one I would require defined before I set foot in it.  Finally she said, “A snuggery is a place where you can get both beer and cupcakes.”  That’s putting it in terms I can understand.

She and I went, and sat in a tiny booth for two right next to the dangerous corner table.  Seated at the table on this particular evening were a couple who looked, as I described them later to another friend, like two people who had recently discovered fitness.  They were both rotund, but smug about it in a way that indicated they had previously been more rotund, and tucking into their food in a way that lets others know they’ve “earned” it.  They were also really, really into each other in the way that rotund people who have recently starting dating another person who shares a love of food and hiking/biking are.

They also treated the server terribly, had conversations where it looked like they wanted to crawl inside of each other, and practiced aggressive hand-holding.  At one point, long after Jewish Friend and I started actively ignoring their almost un-ignorable displays of affection, the man in the couple started crying.  Apparently, his date had said something to him that was “so beautiful” it moved him to tears.  Seriously, I’m not making that up.

Eventually, they paid their bill, produced bicycle helmets from somewhere (despite near-constant complaining that it was too warm in there and couldn’t the proprietor prop the window open with something?), and rode off into the dusk presumably to practice more aggressive hand-holding and have conversations like, “You like that?  I love that! Let’s talk about that thing we both love and eat sorbet!  I’ll feed you.”

This most recent time, we were seated next to the dangerous table full of picture-taking women.  Again, the snuggery is cozy–you’re practically seated on top of the people at the next table, so when a middle-aged pack of hens take pictures over and over with the brightest flash known to man, you notice.  What I failed to understand about this endeavor was:

  1. At least two of the three of them had cameras–couldn’t they just share the pictures?
  2. They weren’t doing anything other than taking pictures.  They’d pose, snap, then look at the pictures they had just taken.  That was their whole evening.  How can you look back fondly on a night where you just went somewhere to take pictures?
  3. They seemed to only be talking about the pictures they had just taken just after they had taken them and were looking at them.  I don’t think you can reminisce when you’re sitting in the same place wearing the same clothes.

Maybe I’m missing the point, but I’ve grown terribly weary of people who go to bars to take pictures to post on facebook that seem to say –“Look how much fun I have!”  How can you have fun when all you’re doing is taking pictures and posing for them?  That’s like a family holiday, not a night of revelry.

Of course, given the fact that I was so close to these groups of people when they each incurred my wrath, they probably heard me making fun and are writing blogs about that angry, frowny-faced librarian-type who ruined all their hand-holding and picture-taking fun.

Since beginning my job a year ago, I’ve found that gross old men who frequent the library just can’t get enough of me.  It’s annoying and bizarre and according to my boss, it’s unlike anything she’s seen in 22 years of public librarianship.  I love being unique, but I wish it was for something I was happy about.

Frankly, I just don’t get it.  Yes, I’m friendly and attractive, but so are my co-workers who don’t have to deal with these attentions.  Honestly, I do not feel that I am hot enough to have to put up with this.  I’ve never reaped the benefits of being a hottie i.e. getting free drinks or airline upgrades, so why do I have to put up with the drawbacks?

This also sounds like a whiny thing to complain about, but the fact is, it makes me incredibly uncomfortable.  It makes it hard to do my job, to focus on the task at hand and to not overanalyze all my interactions with male library patrons.  I shouldn’t have to try to do my work knowing that there’s a person using a particular computer just so he can stare at me, and my co-workers shouldn’t have to field and deflect questions about my whereabouts and work schedule.

Since I’ve been having more issues with a new gross old man at work, I finally broke down and bought a stunt ring i.e. a fake wedding/engagement ring to send the clear signal without words, “I’m not interested in you.”  What’s hilarious about all this, is if I was actually engaged/married I probably wouldn’t wear a ring.  I really dislike wearing jewelry, and the few items I own, I never remember to wear.

We’ll see if this actually works and allows me to go about my workday in peace, or if I need to come up with a plan B.  The only plan B I can think of right now is dressing poorly, which sounds like a lot of expense and effort, so I’m hoping this ring is the magic bullet I need.

Day One: Wore the ring to work and discovered that not only is it slightly too big for me, but it is also incredibly heavy. I put some scotch tape on the back to make it fit better, and tried to ignore the heaviness.  Creepy Old Man #2 came in and did his usual use the 15-minute internet computers right next to me for over an hour and stare at me routine.  I make a point to run my fingers through my hair over and over, displaying the ring prominently as I did it.  The ring got caught in my hair a few times, which did not feel good.

By the end of the day, one of the fake diamonds was missing, but at least it’s one on the side.  I’m starting to think I need a different stunt ring, one that’s less cumbersome, but also would rather not spend a whole bunch of money on jewelry I don’t even want. Plus now, can I really sub in a new ring? Damage done, card played, I’ve got to keep up the pretense.  I am not cut out for jewelry wearing.

Day Two: Forgot to wear stunt ring and got asked out by a man named Earle.  Is this some kind of joke?

I decided to replace initial ring with something smaller.  I then spent an hour on overstock.com shopping for engagement ring for myself for less than $15, which was odd to say the least.  I finally found something that was the right price and size, and was moderately attractive if a bit ostentatious.  Let’s hope it doesn’t turn my finger green.

It’s not bad, I don’t hate it.  I hope it doesn’t start some kind of rumor in the workplace.

Fast forward to three weeks later, and I’ve been wearing the stunt ring every day at work, and then taking it off immediately at the end of the day.  I’ve injured myself several times getting it caught in books, clothes and all kinds of hazards I never previously noticed.  I also find it a bit hard to type while wearing it.

Several co-workers have asked if I’m engaged, one scoffed and said “my god that looks fake.”

The newest creepy old man in my life has stopped coming into the library since that first day I wore the previous stunt ring.  He may still be coming in on my days off–but who cares!  Life is good again and it’s all down to a piece of ugly jewelry.

If I wasn’t so happy I’d be totally depressed.