Last night I dreamed that I was with the girls and my former in-laws at an enormous sporting goods store that also sold cars. While we were there my oldest was driving around, people were nervous that she was behind the wheel, I was anxious because they were nervous, my youngest ran a white car into something else and the front end crumpled. I don't remember much beyond that, but it was typical of situations in real life, someone had bought one of my children a super expensive gift that I didn't ask for or think was age appropriate, and then people were mad because they hadn't foreseen the possibility that an inexperienced driver might crash. My children are both decent drivers probably because they've been behind the wheel of various vehicles from a young age. My oldest was given a batttery powered John Deere miniature vehicle, when her sister was older she received a four wheeling ATV. While there are parents who dislike this type of thing, and I admit I wasn't wild about them when they were gifted to us, I think it teaches children spatial awareness and gave them toddler level experience at getting their vehicles out of snowbanks and brush piles when their driving skills led them there. They knew mom and dad would help, but only after we saw them make an effort to rescue themselves first.


Work was just awful today. I had laid everything out the night before, packed my lunch, I wanted to write when I woke up, I was going to work on my puzzle, but then I was distracted by who knows what. I listened to some music that usually puts me in a good frame of mind for work, it helped until I was in the car and I heard a song in my head that I couldn't get to stop playing. I hate it when this happens, I don't know why this song keeps playing, I'm at the library so I won't be able to listen to it again until I get home. It was a mistake to listen to it at work, I felt like crying and eventually did. When I got in I started cleaning the shelves by the perfume oils. I love the yellow one and thought that would help brighten my day. Behind the displays the dust was thick. Wiping it away made me feel better, as if I had done something nobody else knew about, but was making the store a healthier place to shop. I can hear nothing. I can see nothing. While I was cleaning I noticed that the prices on the bubble baths were all over the place. Sometimes one product in a line will be less or more depending on the ingredients used to manufacture it, other times this means someone in my department or pricing made a mistake.

You say it's nothing, but a game to play. The person who was scheduled next arrived and asked how my weekend had been. I made a toss away comment and asked about hers, not really caring, moving away so I could get back to cleaning as soon as she was finished talking. Before I left she opened the coupon drawer. My boss has talked to me about this before. This woman makes lists of the coupons which may sound like a good idea, but it actually counter productive and a huge waste of time. It gives her the appearance of being very busy without doing anything that needs to be done. I pulled the sunscreens down and shook my head at the disorderly way they had been jammed into the space, cleaning shelves sounds so easy, take products down, wipe the shelf, put products back, that's what should happen, but to really do it well you have to redo what wasn't done earlier and this is probably one of the most frustrating aspects of my job. Imagine putting 22 sunscreen tubes in a space designed for twelve of them. Now imagine that there are multiple rows where someone has crammed things onto shelves and walked away after making sure the first couple in front are in order. By the time I was done cleaning this four foot section of shelving, I was seething with concealed rage.

A feeling only, or a state of mind. I had gone in back to get a catalog so I could check more prices. I saw my boss and then I was sad because I could tell that she was angry. I made a comment about her and another woman both wearing pink and she said that her sweater was purple. I agreed, but I know what she was really saying - don't compare her to someone who is lazy, insubordinate, and greedy. It felt like the fight I had seen coming earlier was going to take place, I walked away when she said that someone should check the expiration dates on the sunscreen. Then I stopped and asked if I could take a break. I needed to get away from the tension, later on she told me that someone had put two boxes of new products in the cooler without putting in for shelf tags. This is absolutely unacceptable behavior and I'm super glad I wasn't around when that went down. Everyone in my department has been there for more than a year. If you can't figure out that new products can't be sold unless they have pricing information and are visible to customers, you need to go. Two of the women in my department have birthdays in September and October. All of us pitched in for a token appreciation gift. Today another woman had a birthday, I said Happy Birthday to her when I saw her, nobody did anything for my birthday so I assumed we weren't doing anything for hers. I don't care if we do something, or nothing, but please, be consistent.

Windswept is the tide. I wanted to do something to show my boss how much I appreciated the calendar she had gotten me. I started an art project, didn't finish it, and then thought about the one that had been hanging around for a while. I could have given it to my mom, but I couldn't make myself do it. One of the women I like and trust was upstairs when I got to work in the morning, I asked her about it and she said that my boss was a mom and would get it even if it was kind of junked up since it had fallen in the parking lot. Don't leave me there. Next time I do something like that I'll leave it in back, I'm glad I gave it to her, I think she does understand, I hate feeling like this. It feels like there is no justice and the bad guys are not only winning, they're getting propped up by clueless members of management. It's like being a kid and working really hard to get good grades and keeping my room clean, meeting the goals as best you can and then finding out that all the rules changed on you and you never saw it coming. It's like watching an abusive partner try to crush someone else and feeling helpless, powerless, speechless, and worthless. It's like watching a disease state spread slowly and insidiously despite your best efforts to halt and stop it. It's like watching the levees break due to a lack of government funding while the extra capital is lining pockets of the already ultra wealthy. Sometimes I cry hard, other times I just let the tears roll down my face. It's not cathartic, it's just excess emotion.


Him: "What are you up to tonight?"

Me: "I'm putting together a puzzle. Two of the edge pieces are missing and it's beyond infuriating."

Him: "You mean the border? Are you done with the puzzle?"

Me: "No, I just started it, land has borders, puzzles have edges."

Him: "Typical woman, complaining about something missing before the job is finished. They'll turn up, you're just being impatient. Also typical woman behavior. What's the picture on this puzzle?"

Me: "Jackson Hole ski routes. The pieces are missing. I pulled the edge pieces out first. I have all the pieces out on the floor except the ones that are connected on the desk. I'm not being impatient. The pieces are missing."

Him: "Jackson Hole? You mean the one in Wyoming?"

Me: "No, the other Jackson Hole where people go skiing. Typical man, asking questions when they already know the answer and bothering a busy woman who is just trying to live her life. God forbid she enjoy some leisure time on her own."

Him: "You never did tell me what your middle name is."

Me: "Yes I did. I remember the conversation very clearly."

Him: "What date was it?"

Me: "I don't remember the date. You can have a memory without knowing the date. By the way, I wanted to thank you for something, I meant to tell you this earlier, but then I got distracted. Thanks for listening and not interrupting. I really appreciate that about you."

Him: "I interrupted you earlier."

Me: "We were speaking at the same time. That's different than..."

Him (interrupting me): "Well you see Jessica..."

Me (after a pause): "Jackass."

Him (laughing): "Perfect timing there. Very unpredictable. Typical woman, you can never predict what a woman is going to do next."

Me: "I'm like the most predictable woman ever. I eat the same foods, wear the same clothes, go to the same library. Predictable is my middle name. I wasn't going to tell you earlier, try to remember this time."

Him: "Thanks for calling. I missed your sass."

Me: "Sass? I'm afraid you have the wrong number."

Him: "You called me."

Me: "Because you asked if I would. This conversation is taking away from my puzzle time."

Him: "You mean you're putting together a puzzle when you could be having sex? What is wrong with you Jessica? Do I need to schedule an intervention?"

Me: "This is my new seduction technique. I lure men in with the promise of puzzles."

Him: "You'd have more luck if you turned up the heat at your place. What is it, forty-five in there?"

Me: "That's how I weed out the real men from the wannabe guys. It's easier to get a man into bed if that's the only warm place you have."

Him: "Bed? You sleep on the floor. Do you warn these fools that you're a minimalist before you invite them over to your place?"

Me: "I'm not a true minimalist, I dabble."

Him: "I suppose it isn't the ground. But you have to be pretty hard core if you sleep on the floor instead of a bed. That sounds like a true minimalist to me."

Me: "That's how you know I'm a fraud. A true minimalist would have gotten rid of her floor."


Him: "Just threw a bunch of stuff in the crock pot; I expect it to be awful since I didn't follow the recipe. But you should be proud of me for rebelling against the recipe."

Me: "Good job."

Him: "Have this engraved on my tombstone: 'Jessica told him not to follow the recipe and this is what happened'."


Him: "Thanks for the call last night. I needed it..."

Me: "I did too. You're welcome."

Him: "Here's an idea! Let's visit again!"

Me: "Hmm, okay."

Him: "You had to think about it? Weeping..."

Me: "You said it was an idea. You tell me you have an idea and then you complain that I'm thinking about it? Ideas are for contemplation. You know the rules. You don't like them, then don't talk to me."


Her: For your research:

  1. Sister 1: ESFP
  2. Sister 2: INFJ
  3. Sister 3: ISFJ
  4. Brother:
  5. Brother in law 2:
  6. Friend of sister 1: ENFP
  7. Mom: ESTJ
  8. Aunt 1: ISTJ
  9. Niece 1: INFP

Me: This is the best present ever!!!


Her: "When can we meet to catch up and give you your presents? Lunch?? Breakfast??? Supper??"

Me (in my head) 'How does never sound?'


Me: "I want more than just great sex. I want to be seduced."

Him: "How many books on management does he have to read to get between your sheets?"

Me: "Zero. Theory is meaningless unless it's accompanied by practical strategic application. Now if he wants to discuss the theories and see which one may work the best given a particular set of circumstances, I would consider that conversation to be potentially meaningful."

Him: "You're such a tease."

Me: "I please too."

Him: "Do you negotiate the number of orgasms he's expected to provide at your kitchen table first? Oh, that's right, you don't have a kitchen table."

Me: "If he needs a kitchen table to negotiate he's automatically off my list. This is why I like the playful and imaginative types. You throw a quilt on the floor, hand him a glass of wine and some fruit, and hear a grateful 'thank you' for the impromptu picnic."

Him: "You don't have dinner plates, what are you using to serve him fruit?"

Me: "The details of my sex life are none of your business. Have you never heard of a fruit bowl before? The guy is about to get laid, you think he's going to complain that his fruit was in a bowl instead of sitting on a plate? This is what's wrong with men today. They're too rigid and inflexible."

Him: "You pour him wine, serve him fruit, lay him down on a quilt, and then complain that he's rigid and inflexible? I think I know why you have trouble with men Jessica."


Him: "Good sex takes time."

Me: "That doesn't necessarily follow. You can sleep with the same person for years and still have rotten sex."

Him: "Maybe another woman could, I don't think you can."

Me: "I had to get divorced to find out what good sex really was."

Him: "What was the difference?"

Me: "I never trusted him. I never had a mental or emotional connection with him. It sounds awful, but it was just sex. It wasn't anything more than that. Hopefully I've learned my lesson, I'll never do that to myself or anyone else again."

Him: "I thought you said you haven't slept with anyone else since you got divorced."

Me: "I haven't. That's the really crazy part. I've had better sexual experiences while remaining fully clothed from the waist down than I ever did with him. There's no comparison. Once a guy has my mind, my heart and body will follow. That's why I take this seriously. I don't flirt with just anyone. Maybe I'll make some flirty comments, but I'm talking about the serious type of flirtation, the kind where both of you think it really could go somewhere. Now that's hot."

Him: "Was it his technique?"

Me: "I guess what I would say is I've learned to stop worrying about him having a good time and learned to take care of myself first. The hottest thing to me is when he gets off on my bliss and I get off on his. You're doing it for yourself, and he's getting the benefit because he wants me to be that happy. This is the kind of thing that women don't learn. They cheat themselves out of maximum pleasure and enjoyment because they're so worried about how he feels and what he wants. I burst into tears the first time it happened. I was literally sobbing and I'm sure he was confused because he was stellar. It wasn't him. I was so angry that I had put up with less than what I deserved for so long and I didn't even know it. I had read about the levels of orgasm and I had been through a couple, this was something entirely different. I couldn't breathe. It felt like my heartbeat was reverberating through my entire body. I could feel my pulse in my feet. I felt the tingle in my scalp go down my spine, it was like a volcano erupting inside of me. It was incredible. There are plenty of nice guys out there, but if I don't think he can deliver that, I'm not even going to bother. I'm worth more."

Him: "Is that your definition of true love then?"

Me: "No, I've tried explaining this to my friend and she doesn't get it. Sex can be a part of love, but it doesn't have to be. Sometimes, I just feel loved. With sex, he's getting something and so am I. With love, he's sending something without expecting anything else in return. I could go the rest of my life without sex if I kept getting that kind of love. You have to learn how to receive to feel loved, that's my two cents on it. So many of us have been conditioned to feel like we have to give, few of us learn how to ask for what we need, and how to receive love from someone else. You make fun of me, and a lot of other people do too, but this is why I like negotiation and compromise. You tell me what you need and want, I'll share my wants, needs, and desires, and we'll learn how well we communicate during the process. I once read that most relationships fail because people fail to understand how the other person communicates. My friend was mad that the guy she liked wasn't very conversational. She ignored the fact that he was keeping the lines of communication open. Most communication isn't verbal. You have to learn how to go beyond the words. Language is just one very small part of how we communicate. A lot gets lost in translation. I learned what didn't work, now I'm trying things I didn't before. Maybe it doesn't make sense to anyone else. I'm fine with that. In my opinion, these people are really missing out. I've never felt so loved and understood before. It's scary, but really cool. I'm still learning so sometimes I question it, then I saw that poster that said, 'Don't think - just feel'. It seemed like good advice, so I took it. I think too much. It hasn't helped. I'm going to try just feeling instead."

Him: "Does he know anything about this?"

Me: "You jest, but the other day we were talking and I told my friend, nobody is confused about how I feel about them. Nobody is coming up to her and saying - I have no idea how Jessica feels about me, can you please clarify this for me? I am a very polarizing figure. People tend to either love or hate me and that's how I feel about them. If I dislike you, then you know it. If I love or respect you, then you know that too. I try very hard not to say one thing and do another. I'm not perfect, but I don't think my problem is ambiguity. If I'm warm, friendly, and sarcastic; I like you. If I'm cold, polite, and distant; I either don't like you, or I don't trust you. They aren't the same thing, but they're pretty close in most cases. I give people I really like presents and I'm generous as a rule, but I don't think people who get presents from me are confused about why they're getting them even though there are times when I give gifts to people I don't like. You know that."

Him: "So you give presents to people you like and people you don't like. Makes perfect sense to me."

Me: "It does make sense. Sometimes you have to give things to people who don't deserve them. My boss taught me that. You have to give to get. I can give because she taught me what it was like to receive that kind of love and warmth. I get a lot of free stuff at work, that's not necessarily a gift. My boss wants us to share the love so I try to make that a priority. Especially when I know there are many others who could use some extra recognition or a really practical item. Never mind. I'm not even going to try explaining this to you. If people are confused by me, maybe they should be talking to me themselves instead of my friends. Giving people little things is fun, you're trying to make something serious out of it. It isn't confusing at all to me. I don't really care if people understand it, they're getting a gift, if they don't want it they can get rid of it or give it to someone else. If it makes them uncomfortable they can ask me to stop, this isn't rocket science. This is just who I am. If that makes me confusing, then so be it. End of subject and if you bring it up again I'm hanging up on you, and you know I'm not the type to make idle threats."

Him: "Your threats are the gift that keeps on giving Jessica."

Me: "I am never talking to you again."

Him: "You have a really nice voice. I've been meaning to tell you that for a while."

Me: "We can continue this conversation, but I'm going to keep the threat on file for future reference."


  1. Heat wave, night shade,
  2. shadows in your eyes,
  3. you say it's nothing,
  4. it's a game we play,
  5. castles in the skies,
  6. slow down, we can take
  7. our time, salt spray,
  8. on a Sunday, ospreys,
  9. windswept is the tide,
  10. sunswept, wind kissed,
  11. shadows in the night...




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