They Hate Us

Is it still a thing to be annoyed by couples that sit on the same side of the booth?  I stumbled across this on some person's random Facebook page.

Dear weird couple that sits on the same side of the booth.  Do you not realize that it's not a bar it's a table and thus there are two sides of the table to sit on?  Are you that joined at the hip and co dependent that you cannot bear to sit a few feet apart for an entire meal?  Do you realize how annoying it is?  When you sit across from each other you can talk and look each other in the eye.  You can actually see your partner and that is much more romantic then craning your neck to talk to each other side by side.  This same sider seating is very annoying and creepy.  Just the sight of it drives people insane.  It's as if you are desperate to proclaim to the world that you are that in love that you must sit next to each other. 
-Source, unknown/anonymous. 

Sitting on the same side since 2008
"They hate us you know,"  I said to MJ one time when we were sitting next to each other at a restaurant.  He had no idea it was even a thing to be hated for until I told him that a lot of people seem to have a problem with couples who choose to sit next to each other instead of across from each other.

We are that weird couple who sits on the same side of the booth.  I am the instigator and he allows it.  He slides into one side and I side into the same side right beside him.  There is no insidious purpose behind it.  We are not desperate to proclaim that we are so in love.  It's just a preference and one of many choices that one might encounter when dining out.  Table or booth?  Bar or Dining room?  Straw or no straw? Dessert or no Dessert?  You get the idea.  You go in you sit, someone takes your order and you eat.  It all plays out the same regardless of where anybody sits.

We are not sucking face.  We are not feeling each other up.  There might be some hand holding while we wait for our food and a few cheek kisses here and there but it's not excessive in any way so I don't really see how that is anyone's business but ours anyways.

When the food comes I have easy access for snagging a bite off of his plate and I enjoy the intimacy of having our own little private dinner.  Yes, in a public restaurant.  And I do not find it at all difficult to hold a conversation when we are next to each other.  I glance over to my left or my right and bam, there he is.  No neck craning involved.  We talk and laugh just as well as we would across from one another. 

Call me weird, but I just like being next to him.   Even at home I want to be right next to him if we are watching TV or when we go to bed.  Lest you think I am totally smothering him; I do give him his space.  We are not co dependent.  My husband travels for work every year and I do not fall apart without him.  We do our own thing.  I go out with my friends.  He participates in extra curricular activities and hangs out with his friends.  At home we are free to retreat to two separate living spaces and do our own thing.  We are not joined at the hip. I just like sitting next to him.

It's not my problem if this bothers people.  The only time I can recall being annoyed by this behavior is when I was in a miserable relationship or when I was single and sad about it.  My negative reaction to same siders had less to do with the couple and more to do with my own personal issues.  It just doesn't really seem like a big deal to me.  Certainly not something to be that annoyed by and I didn't even know "same sider" was a thing until I read that post.

How do you feel about same siders?  Do it, hate it or don't care?

That Daily Grind

About four weeks ago things at work started to get really, really busy as they do every year at this time.  I know it's coming but when it hits it REALLY hits hard and I end up stressed out and wiped out every time.  I work frantically and furiously from the moment my butt hits my ergonomic chair at 8am to the minute I leave at 5pm. I barely have time to get up to go to the bathroom.  I sit there waiting for that elusive stopping point even though I know it's really bad for me because there is so much work to do.  There is no way I can do it all at once but I heap a ton of pressure on myself to get it done fast and not make any mistakes.  By the end of the day my brain is fried and I'm so annoyed by all the crap I've had to muck through.  On the drive home I am just outdone.  I don't even want to listen to the radio.  My neck and back are tight.  I have been sucked dry and now that I'm free I have nothing left to give what's left of my day.  By the time I get home I am emotionally drained and physically exhausted.  When my tired head hits the pillow at night I am so tired and so ready to go to sleep and then the nagging thoughts about what I didn't finish and what I need to remember to do the next day start creeping in creating a ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach because I am so overwhelmed.  When I get to work in the morning it feels like I never left and the days start blending into each other.  Am I really here again doing the same thing?  Get up, work, eat, sleep, repeat and live for the weekends to  break the never ending cycle of that daily grind.

This time of year always makes me reflect on my days as a claims adjuster.  Worst job ever.  I seriously don't know how I survived for so long doing a job that made me so miserable.  Two weeks later, things have started to slow down a bit at work.  Still crazy busy but not enough that I have work dreams anymore. Two weeks of that kind of stress is doable.  Especially considering a lot of it is self induced stress that I put on myself but as a claims adjuster I felt that pressure and that stress every single day and it was more than self induced.  There were people on my ass every day on the phones pressuring me to do the impossible yesterday and it never ended.  I dreaded work so much that it wasn't uncommon for me to cry on the drive there or cry on the way home.  It went on for years and years like that until I finally couldn't take it anymore and quit.  I didn't even have a job lined up.  I just knew that I could not go on like that and I didn't care what the consequences were.  I couldn't do it anymore.

I remember when I first started working where I do now I was so afraid of finding myself in the same position.  Every time things got busy I had flash backs to the horror of being a claims adjuster and how it felt to have a ridiculous amount of time sensitive work,  deal with angry people all day long and feel like the world was crashing down on my chest every day.  I was so afraid that this job would turn out to be like that job and I freaked out a little bit but every time I felt overwhelmed.  I'd start to panic but it always blew over.  It always became manageable.  Now I can tell myself to calm down, it will pass and that I won't wake up tomorrow living the nightmare of hating my job.  It took me a few years to get over the post traumatic stress or whatever you want to call it of being trapped and miserable at work for so many years.  Yes, my job seriously stresses me out for about a month every year and a handful of times in between but I am so grateful that it's only temporary and not the day to day norm.  Most of the time I go to work, put in my time and leave it there.  It doesn't keep me up at night and it doesn't make me feel like I want to end it all.  Nobody should ever feel like that about their job.  Life is just too short to be that unhappy at a place that you depend on for your livelihood where you have to spend a huge chunk of your life.  I really feel for people who hate their jobs.  Having lived it for longer than I should have, I know how debilitating that can be.  You can almost feel the years being taken off your life.  Not good.

As a claims adjuster my best day was five time worse then even my worst day now.  That's pretty bad.  I'm so glad I don't have to deal with that anymore so even though I still haven't figured out how to quit my job and spend my days sitting coffee shop, traveling the world, and staging Instagram pics I'll take it and consider myself lucky.
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What's in a Blog Name?

Yes, you are in the right place, it's just that I have changed my blog name for the fourth time. That's four times in going on six years of this blog's history. Five if you count the blog I originally started on Word Press.  Is that a lot? I think it is.

When I changed it to Pink Sunshine it felt right and I was certain that I would never feel the need to change it again but towards the end of last year a new name infiltrated my thoughts.  I couldn't get it out of my head and Pink Sunshine didn't feel like me anymore.  I would have felt weird having my blog name be my parent's address while they were living there so it never occurred to me that Mahogany Drive was the perfect forever blog name until after they moved to Vegas last year.  The move drummed up all the feelings of nostalgia I ever had about my childhood home.  I moved in when I was in 1st grade and didn't move out until the year I graduated from college.  Mahogany Drive is the last place that we all lived together as a family.  It's where I grew up.  There are so many memories and an entire era of my life tied up in that house.  To this day, the land line to Mahogany Drive is the only phone number I can recite without a hitch.  I've since forced myself to remember MJ's cell phone number but it still takes me a minute to string the numbers together from memory and sometimes I still forget.   I don't remember phone numbers like I used to, but I think the land line to Mahogany Drive will be etched in my memory forever.  It made us all a little sad to know that number was no longer 'ours' even though we had stopped using it after my parents got cell phones.

I pulled out an old flash drive in hopes of finding a picture of our old house on Mahogany.  I didn't find any.  I'll have to search the real photo albums.  You know, those books that people used to put pictures in?  I didn't find what I was looking for but I enjoyed the trip down memory lane that took me back to 2006.  That flash drive is a treasure trove of pictures and videos that I don't even remember saving.  I lost a lot of pictures when my Mac crashed last year but the ones I was most worried about are on that flash drive.  Our first date.  Our first overnight trip, the floor plan for our first home together that I saved off the website.  And the more recent lost photos (including our honeymoon) are carefully archived in photo albums on Facebook from back in the days when I consistently put everything there.  As I dug through the photos that MJ did recover from my Mac I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of pictures that were there, especially because I can still remember the days before digital cameras.  I take pictures of anything and everything because it's easy, because I can, and my camera/phone is by my side 24/7.  Pictures are a dime a dozen.  It's nothing to take five shots just to get the perfect one so I have almost identical pictures of a lot of the same things.  I should delete the duplicates but I don't.  Just in case.  I have pictures of beef stew, pictures of my yoga mat, random pictures of the sky.  They flood my phone, consume all the memory and I become annoyed over having to decide which to keep and which to delete.  Which ones were real moments and which ones were just in case I wanted to Instagram it or blog about it later?

I took a Polaroid camera to 5th grade camp and in in high school I was always the one with the camera at every event.  I sent my rolls of film out for developing by mail because it was cheaper and patiently awaited my return packet so anxious to see how they turned out.  I have always had a love for picture taking because I want those memories but the over abundance of images has made me slightly indifferent to how valuable and precious these pictures really are.  Looking through that old flash drive made me realize how detached I had become.  Each photo back then seemed to count so much more than they do now.   Photo taking was reserved for special times and special things.  You had to make a point to bring your camera with you and if you forgot it all was lost.  You didn't take ten pictures of the same pose or five pictures of your wine glass because there were only so many shots. You wouldn't waste a frame on something so trivial and there was time, effort and money involved in seeing the finished product.  Even after digital taking pictures of chicken or a margarita still wasn't a thing.  Without social media nobody thought so hard about documenting the mundane because it was about the moment and the people you were with not when and how you were going to share it later.  I remember lovingly selecting each photo to place in my photo album.  Now they just sit around in a hard drive somewhere taking up space and if I did decide to put them in an album more than half of them wouldn't make the cut.

Blogging is not a passing fancy or a trend for me.  I plan to blog for years to come and once I got the new name in my head the old name started to feel like one I had already grown out of.   I'm not posting as often as I used to but I'm okay with that because it's reminiscent of the old days when it was less forced and more organic.  Less about numbers and more about writing.  Looking at those photos from before blogging made me remember how excited I was just to have a place on the internet that was all my own and a time when that was the only reason anybody did it.  It reminded me of just how precious each and every photo really is and why I started blogging in the first place.  Memories are precious and writing is what I love to do.  I want to get back to that. 

Can I just say how excited I was to claim the name for all of my social media accounts without having to add any funky underscores or additional numbers? This name was just sitting there waiting for me to take it.  The only thing I have not switched over is my feed burner feed name.  I actually have twenty-one precious subscribers that I will probably lose forever if I make them update it so I'll sit on that for a minute before I make a decision.  If I know me, I'll probably end up changing it because it's going to bug the heck out of me that it doesn't match everything else.

So what's in a blog name?  Everything.  Once upon a time Mahogany Drive housed my family and everything I loved and owned.  It's also who I am.  I can't think of a better name for a blog that will continue to house my pictures, memories and thoughts for years to come.  I'm never changing my blog name again.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.