Monday, September 27, 2010

It Wasn't His Time

Today I found out that a co-worker of mine, a very young guy with young kids, has died. He had cancer, of course. I am devastated. I didn’t even know him that well, but I am devastated. I’m going to deviate from my “no-work-talk” policy for a sec because this isn’t about work, really. He was just an exceptional soul that I happened to meet when I was at work.

I didn’t really know him very well until this Spring. I knew he’d had some health setbacks in recent years but what was amazing about him is that he just seemed to always have such an incredible attitude. Nothing in his demeanor ever suggested that he was willing to give up. And that is what I remember most about him.
He and I did a video shoot together this Spring in preparation for some online learning modules that I was preparing for our sales team. He had a great sense of humor and every time he screwed up he would laugh and use some of his self-deprecating humor to explain away his blunder. He enjoyed the irony of him talking about one of our “green” products while a garbage truck went by outside the window. He did not behave like a man that was dying, rather a man that was living. Enjoying. Maybe even enjoying every second. Of course, I don’t believe for a second that he didn’t believe he had hope to survive. Even though he had a crushing setback the previous January, he just kept going as if life would go on.

That was the last time I saw him. I heard only a couple of weeks later that he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence because his disease was ravaging him. And now, today, the news of his death has caused me great pause. I did not anticipate the impact that he’d had on me until I heard the news of his passing. I cried uncontrollably for a solid ten minutes. I asked God, the universe, whoever is out there – WHY? Why the hell would you take this guy? This person who had so much life left in him. So much promise. A young wife. Little kids. This guy was only a few years older than me. Why him?

When an old person dies it makes sense. It’s easy to accept as a natural transition to the other side. Maybe even an adventure. When a young person dies, it’s just wrong. I’m tired of seeing it. I cannot understand why a person like him has to go. And I don’t want to hear anyone telling me that “it was his time.” That is total bullshit. It’s not your time when you’re 43 years old.

The only thing I will say is that I learned something from him. Something really profound. I learned to capture and enjoy the moment. I learned that sometimes the little stuff just isn’t worth getting all wound up about. I learned to remember that laughter is indeed the best medicine. Work hard but smell the flowers and laugh at the garbage truck because it really is funny. And never, ever take a moment on this Earth for granted.


RIP, friend. Thank you for having an impact on my life. You probably never even knew it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Truth About The Ladies Room

I know, I know….I am such a bad blogger. I have not blogged much at all in the last several months. What can I say, I haven’t been feelin’ it. And of course now that I am taking a break from taking a break, I have decided to touch on kind of a gross topic. Here’s the WARNING: If you don’t like potty talk…or if you don’t like to imagine that women actually go #2, PLEASE STOP READING RIGHT NOW!

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, I would like to broach a serious topic. One that I know enters the minds of every single woman out there. Women pooping in public restrooms. There, I said it. If you are severely grossed out, I will warn you again – STOP READING!

I am slightly fascinated by this topic, which is kind of a weird thing to admit. Here’s my deal – everyone poops. Everyone. You ladies that sit there squeezing your butt cheeks together in the ladies room, sitting quietly in the stall waiting for the entire bathroom to clear out – get over it! That is what the bathroom is for. Pooping and peeing. Duh. A woman that doesn’t poop is about as common as a modern day immaculate conception. It would be a miracle.

Men may not realize that there is this ladies bathroom culture that exists. Every man I have told seems utterly shocked. Let me put it to rest for you, guys. Women do not powder their noses. Ladies bathrooms are not scented like flowers or cinnamon (unless there is some nasty air freshener in the air that smells like cinnamon-y poo.) As far as I can tell, the following are the different female public bathroom situations one will regularly (pardon the pun) encounter:

1) The Battle of Wills – In other words, who wants it more? This occurs when there are two women in the bathroom who both clearly have to poop. No tinkling is happening. There could be coughing and nose blowing and each lady is trying to outlast the other. Whoever wants it bad enough wins. One will reluctantly flush the toilet, wash her hands, and leave…all without having done the deed. The other waits for the door to the bathroom to open and then pushes with all of her might with great relief and feeling victorious. Extremely common in any ladies bathroom (can also be coupled with any of the below.)

2) The Perfume Queen – There are some women that think if they bring their perfume sprayer in the restroom with them and spray down their stall prior to their “release” that it will somehow cover up the fact that they have dropped trou’. This is one of the worst offenders. I would rather smell your dookie than your nasty vanilla scented perfume any day. Seriously, we know what you’re doing.

3) The Cougher – This is the one who thinks she can cover a plop with a cough. We’re wise to you, honey. I get concerned about these girls. I worry that they’re going to pull a muscle. This also covers the nose-blower. Either way, we know what you’re doing.

4) The Old Lady – Old ladies are great because they just don’t care. They’ve lived long enough to understand that pooping is a natural human function. And they eat a lot of bran, so they are just gonna go in there and (God bless ‘em) they’re gonna let it all go and proudly plop, flatulate and walk out with their head held high.

5) The Hand Washer – This is the lady that enters the restroom to see if anyone is in there. Once she spots the telltale feet under the stall doors, she quickly pretends that she only came in to wash her hands. Then walks out crabby and unsatisfied. She’ll give it about a half hour and try again.

6) The Camel – This is the most fascinating breed of all. These are the ladies who exercise amazing sphincter control. They literally do not poop anyplace but their own home. I came across three of these unusual creatures a couple of months ago. Oddly enough, the conversation began at lunch. I know – chicks are disgusting. I will protect these subjects by avoiding using their names. These are the ones who think that anyone who chooses to drop a deuce in a public restroom is “distgusting.” I know this because they all told me themselves. They will instead, to their own discomfort, hold all of that putrid, foul waste inside of their bodies, sometimes for 48 hours or more. I’m sorry, who is the gross one?

I could go on and on, but the above are the most common. So, why did I choose to out these characteristics? Why would I choose to share this with you? I’m honestly not sure, however, it fascinates me to no end that women have such shame for such a normal and natural bodily function that they try to pretend, to the point of sometimes sickening themselves, that they could not possibly take a shit. That, my friends, is a tragedy.

Personally, I count myself in the most rare category of all – The Chick Who Just Does What Needs to Be Done. Hey, if I have to go, I’m gonna go. Go ahead and think I’m disgusting. But at least I’m not walking around with a stomach ache or smelling like a giant vanilla bean. I say all women need to be liberated. Fight the power – take a dump. Do yourself a favor. Avoid bowel obstruction and do your doody. Maybe if we all just own up to it, we’ll all be feeling better. It’s a new day. Instead of burning you bra – walk into that bathroom, head held high, newspaper under your arm, and show that bowl who’s boss. You GO, girl!