It’s 76 degrees in my house.
The air is not moving around.
For you, this might not be such a big deal. For me, it is a calamity.
I hate to be hot, and not only do I hate to be hot, it gives me a terrific headache.
Which reminds me that my uncle Bobby has a motorcycle, and my granny, back before she was in the nursing home, was saying how “It scares me to death that Bobby rides that motor-siccle all over the place.”
I asked her if she was afraid my daddy was going to get one and she said, “No, hon, your daddy likes air conditioning too much to ride on a motor-siccle.”
So at least I come by it honest.
I got home from tennis yesterday and the air was flat and still and the thermostat said it was 76 degrees in here, which, honestly, if it’s 76 degrees outside, I’m liable to freak out and think we’re fixing to have a heat wave.
I called the number for the company I’ve been using for decades and Mikki, because she’s familiar with my conditioned-air hysteria, said she’d get someone out here “by noon tomorrow,” which is today, and that’s fine. I have fans set up all over the place and I’m sitting in the dark so as not to generate even more heat.
When I bought my first house, some little something or other went wrong and I trucked myself up to the Home Depot for the 90th time that week and was trying to explain to the man what the problem was (without even benefit of a phone that could take pictures!) and he looked at me and said, “Honey, don’t you have something like a husband?”
Something like a husband.
No. I have a phone and a checkbook. And I’m not afraid to use either.
Today my brother and I had occasion to be in Dublin. We had lunch at one of our places we like that WAS NOT THE MINUTE GRILL.
I ordered a sandwich that was supposed to be fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese, and bacon.
The tomatoes were not green. They were, in fact, red. Which makes a big difference, if you know SAS about your vegetables.
It ruined the whole thing for me. Because a fried ripe tomato is a terrible thing.
I ended up pulling the whole thing apart and picking out the bacon and pimento cheese and eating them with my sweet potato fries.
I ended up telling the waitress, who was also the manager, that I didn’t need her to do anything about it, but it was a sorry excuse for a sandwich, and then I felt better about it.
It’s a good thing the lemon pepper pork skins were good.
27 years ago yesterday, I moved to Atlanta.
It was all I had ever known I wanted to do, and I had done it.
I had $72 in my pocket and a friend I was going to be roommates with.
I got my first crappy job at Eastern Newsstands, where I suspect my meteoric rise to floating manager in just four days was due to my first language being English.
After much cussedness and a number of interviews, I got a job at the Atlanta Journal & Constitution, which was what I’d come here for to start with.
I brought home $135 a week and gave myself an allowance of $5 a week spending money.
I was filthy rich.
After a decade of the best fun a girl can have working, I moved on to my grown-up job, where my fearless leader taught me everything and became one of my very dearest friends.
The company sold last year and I am out on my own now.
It has been an amazing 27 years. I have been the subject of great friendships and the recipient of so much good fortune.
I have had the joy of seeing my friends have children, and being part of those kids’ lives.
I have learned more than I ever thought it was possible to know, and I know there is so much more to see and do.
I have won more than I’ve lost.
When I travel, my heart still pounds when I see the skyline ahead of me on my return, and I always ask for the window seat on flights home so I can see the tree cover as soon as possible. I hope that where you live brings you as much happiness as Atlanta brings me.
Life is grand.
I love what I’m doing for a living now, but I miss a lot about my old job. I miss my old boss. I miss having a definite schedule. I miss the security men in our building. I miss our postage machine. I miss my big office and my big leather chair and my phone with a lot of buttons.
This summer, when it gets hot, I will particularly miss my door, which I could close so I could work pantsless for a little bit. There will be no more of that.
This morning I read a blog somewhere that asked, “What personal accomplishment are you most proud of?”
That question has been like an all-day sucker.
I think I’ve finally decided that it’s my excellent oral hygiene.
When I go to the dentist, he always brings people in and makes them look in my mouth, exclaiming, “See this? This is what a mouth should look like! No recession at all!”
I really thought by this age I’d have done something grand, but there you go.