Category Archives: Confessions

Shouldn’t Be Left Alone

Originally, I envisioned this post to be about how I maneuver in an airport, especially when I’m alone. I’ve done this a couple of times and I pride myself on being prepared and not being the  dumb girl with too much jewelry on and fumbling through security checkpoints. I keep my id out and wear shoes that are easily removable and very minimal jewelry. I have my liquids pre-bagged and ready to be set apart. I wear clothes that don’t look like I’m concealing anything and I try to look like the mature and thinking adult that I am.

I assume you know where this is going…

I’ve only been in the airport for 30 minutes and all I want to do is hang my head in shame and I’m wondering if I can get facial reconstruction in the airport so the others that were around me, won’t recognize me.

Or I might just buy an Obama mask and call it a day.

For this trip, I decided not to mess with arranging drop offs and pick ups with my parents, and instead I would park at one of those places across the street from the airport. I had a coupon and I like feeling wholly independent. Also, when I get back, I want to just hop in my car and get back to my husband.

First off, I somehow managed to take the wrong exit. No big deal. No one else around me knew and I just looped around and figured it out.

But as I pull up, I realize that the type of parking I was planning on using was full, but they put the signs so close up to the entrance, that by the time I realized it, I couldn’t turn around and I had a car behind me.

Luckily, they had valet roof still available, so I didn’t have to park it, but it wasn’t covered so it was only going to cost me about $1.50 more a day. Fine. I can handle that.

But then I am apparently an idiot when it comes to reading signs on ticket machines and I kept fumbling trying to figure it out all. Then I, of course, didn’t park in the correct spot because I simply misread the lane signs.

Again, I am an idiot.

The nice man didn’t laugh at me, at least to my face, and helped me get all my bags to the shuttle. The driver was nice and the shuttle was full. One guy had on a polo from my undergrad, and we had a nice little chat about our awesome basketball season that ended too soon. Everything was great. Until it came time to get off the shuttle.

You see, I never carry cash. I just don’t. I am rarely in positions where I am tipping separate from paying for a service, and therefore I usually put the tip on my card. And today I had cash that my husband wanted to make sure I had. But it was a large bill.

So I couldn’t tip the very nice shuttle driver that helped me with my bags.

I looked like a moronic high school girl running away from the shuttle while all the other passengers tipped and thanked.

MORTIFIED.

But my embarrassment doesn’t stop there. Oh no. That, while embarrassing, I could deal with. I would just hope that he was the driver when I came back and tip extra.

As soon as I got off the shuttle, I was practically in a line for curbside check in. Everyone was doing it and seemed good to me.

Again, a very nice and funny gentleman greeted me and went to print off all my stuff and get the tags for my bags.

Again, realizing too late that this was another situation where people tip the bagging guys.

I always check in inside, where people don’t tip, so it never even occurred to me until people all around me were getting out small bills and I heard the workers saying “Thanks for the tip!”

Repeat: moronic girl running away, mumbling thank you and trying to hide the red creeping up my face. (I’m  still not convinced that my bag will make it on the plane…)

Of course the people that were on the shuttle were in line behind me at curbside check in and I’m more than positive that they saw the entire thing. Effffff

Sidenote: I get embarrassed easily, especially if I deem it something that makes me look rude or impolite or improper. I relive the scenarios in my head and turn 5 shades of red all over again.

So as I ran to get into the security line and hoped and prayed that enough people got in line after me, before the people from the shuttle, i just kept thinking how awful I must have looked to all of these workers when I am known for giving very good tips. I want them to know that I appreciate their hard work in a not so glamorous job.

As karma would have it, I wasn’t done yet.

As I walked through the metal detector, it beeped. I just started to laugh thinking I had left my phone in my pocket or something or that my very small and discreet jewelry had set it off.

Nope.

I was “randomly” selected for additional screening.

……

Seriously?

I of course assumed this meant I was going to be embarrassingly patted down and the poor TSA women who had to pat my sweaty self down.

I don’t think it was in any way random since it had to do with my laptop, but the woman made it seem like I had said some word you never say in an airport. She was making a much bigger deal than it needed to be, which only added to my embarrassment. So I had to stand behind some red line, looking like I was in timeout, without shoes on, and wait while they diligently searched my laptop, even though I took it out of the bag and put it in its own bin, so I don’t really know what the deal was. She wiped some sheet on it and had it analyzed in a machine. No clue what it was for or what they were checking for, but I passed. Thankfully.

I guess karma was just letting me know that it knew I had been rude and needed to be put into place. Also, my chips and salsa taste burnt, but I hate leaving so much food as waste, so I’m begrudgingly eating them.

PS- went to the bathroom for the first time today and realized that the shirt I’ve had on all day is a little see through. I had student conferences all day. And talked to our program director. And department chair. I think I will just hide in my hotel room for the night since I can’t be trusted to be in public.

 

 

[[ADDED]] The trip got worse, but I have to get ready, but I will be sure to write all about it tonight. WOWZA.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Confessions, WTF

My Mean Face

Yeah…I don’t so much have one.

Yes, I can’t rant and rave to friends and family about anything. I can talk all big a bad, but I’m not typically mean.

This sometimes causes problems for me in teaching.

I am easily intimidated. Always have been. I care what people think about me. And not in a “I hope she likes my shoes!” way, but I don’t want people to get the wrong impression of me. I want to be friends. I know I won’t be friends with everyone, but if there is an issue, I like for it to be a real one, and not imagined.

Unfortunately, I’ve been a little too nice so far this semester. If a student said they couldn’t print, I would let them e-mail it to me. If they had an unexcused absence, I would still accept their homework.

I was being nice.

However, this lead to me being responsible to print the assignments so I could comment then pass them back. Students were turning in assignments 3 and 4 days late, but because I had been accepting late homework, I would lose track as to when the original due date was. It was causing me some clerical nightmares.

So today, I had to put on my mean face. Or at least “I’m Serious” face. I made it clear that I wasn’t picking on anyone or mad at anyone, but that I couldn’t continue to do these things.

They seemed to understand and we moved on.

Except today I passed back their first units.

I explained that I won’t answer any questions for 24 hours about papers, for obvious reasons. They get all riled up if they don’t like a grade and they need the 24 hours to cool off and maybe realize that they didn’t do the work. Now, I might have made a mistake. I’m not above that- but at least after 24 hours, they will be calmer when they approach me about it. Then I will fix it and we will go from there.

It worked out wonderfully last semester, so I expected the same.

I guess a lot of their instructors for 101 didn’t do this, and they were not too thrilled and tried to make me answer questions. Also, I got this idea from our program director, so I know they won’t be able to complain about me when it comes to this.

But even better, about half of my first class stood outside the emergency exit door, didn’t realize that it was the exit door for our classroom, and started saying all sorts of things about me, without realizing that I could hear every word and knew who was talking.

Now, I am trying to remind myself that they were just mad about their grade, and it’s easy to rant in a group. I get that. I know I’ve done it.

But after everything that happened with my student from last semester, it’s a little difficult to not get really angry, really quickly.

Add to it that some of the stuff they were saying was just wrong. No other way to put it. They were 100% factually wrong.

I will not let this make me a jaded teacher. But you can bet my niceness is going to be much more limited in the future.

I need to work on the mean face I guess… Being nice sucks.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Confessions, Grad School?, Teaching in College

College Life

The world of a university is weird.

It truly is its own universe with its own rules and understandings and super annoying people.

I have been out of school for a little over two years. My lest semester in college, I was student teaching, and while I did have to put together a final portfolio, I wasn’t going to classes or writing papers. And while I am hesitant to say that I was in the “real world” during those two years since a lot of it was spent both unemployed, underemployed, and still being supported by my parents even though I was married, it was much more real than this.

I am in a constant state of feeling both like an adult and a college freshman, all at the same time.

Here I am, teaching two college classes. I am in charge. I AM the teacher. I don’t report to anyone in the sense that no one has to approve what I’m doing in class. I give assignments. I grade papers. I hand out consequences  when rules are broken. I decide if an absence is excused or not. I’m (basically) in charge. So much of my time is spent planning for classes and grading and responding to student e-mails and holding office hours that, at times, I feel like a true college instructor.

But then I’m also a student. I have to go to class, do readings, write papers, complete daily assignments, coordinate group projects, and just do everything that is involved with being a student. I go to the student center for coffee runs with my friends. We complain about papers. We make study nights (that usually involve a lot more snacking, drinks, and talking than studying…). We go out for classmate’s birthdays and laugh at buying them shots and giggling just like college kids do.

So where am I?

Am I an independent adult that has bills (grant, parents are still helping a little) and responsibilities, not only for my own academics, but for the educations of my students?

Or am I still a kid? Hiding behind the walls of this university and not truly being in the “real” world?

Where does one stop and the other start?

I know this doesn’t seem like a real problem. It’s very much a #firstworldproblem. VERY MUCH SO. And I know that. But it puts me in this weird state and I can’t quite figure out the balance yet or which world I’m supposed to be in.

The problem is also that I’m married. Yes, Mr. A may still be a student, but he’s a law student and they seem to be on a whole other level than I am. He has always been a bit of an old soul. Even in undergrad, he might go to the fraternity house for a little while, but he always left before me and I would meet up with him later. I am the social butterfly of the two of us.

So now that I have all these awesome new friends, I want to go do stuff with them and hang out and go to the mall and go to movies and make dinner and everything they are doing.

But I have a husband at home that, while he likes my friends, he likes his downtime a whole lot more. And I’m feeling a little torn.

Believe me. I know where my loyalties lie. If it ever came to it, I will always pick my husband. I love him and would do anything for him. However, I also have new friends and people to mingle with and make connections and just become better friends with.

This whole balancing act thing has not been nearly as easy and I thought it was going to be. I’m nearly halfway through my first semester and I still can’t seem to find a way to make it all mesh together and work.

I guess that’s life. Figuring out how to prioritize and meet all the responsibilities while still being yourself.

I’m not going to figure this out anytime soon, am I?

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Filed under Confessions, Grad School?, Life After College, Teaching in College

End of the Summer

Again, I apologize for my terrible blogging. But it’s for a good reason this time.

I have been having a freaking blast finishing off my summer.

Wednesday was the last day of workshop. The sexual harassment session became its own beast and some issues within the department became evident, but that thing deserves its own post and I’m still waiting to find out about a few more things.

But, it was over. Thankfully. I learned a lot, but like any training time, lots of it could have been shortened and there was NO need for it to be a week and a half.

Despite training being long and boring, I have met some of the greatest people. I have made some fantastic friends who crack me up. My group leader was so nice and the big group leaders were thrown into their positions last minute, but they did a great job and I know if I have a question, they will be more than willing to help.

So, to continue the fun and to get ready for the school year, M and K came over to my apartment on Friday for a lesson planning party before heading out for the night.

We didn’t really get much lesson planning done. We DID create our blackboard accounts for our classes and filled in our gradebooks. We discussed a couple things and asked a couple questions, but we then decided we needed a Target trip. Target rules all.

M’s friends from home came down, so we all headed out to dinner then to get ready for the night. I was so excited to take them to my favorite bar. And hey, they had $6 mixed drink buckets on Friday nights. It was going to be an awesome and cheap night out.

Nope.

My all time favorite bar in Cville is under new management and no longer has their drink buckets. They no longer have their rail drink specials.

LAMEEEE

It was pretty much dead. All night. And that place used to be wall to wall packed by 9:30. Hopefully it picks up because the other bar options aren’t my favorite.

BUT. M and I decided to meet up with a couple of her other friends at the “undergrad bar”. It’s not only undergrads, but it’s 19 and up and it always has a much younger crowd. I had never been, but had heard about it.

I have never felt so old in my life. And I’m only 24.

We both were entirely too covered up and not drunk enough. Girls were in painted on dresses and I saw more butts and other things than I ever needed to see. We kept getting looked at like we were aliens since we weren’t showing all of our personal space to the bar.

But, it may have been the best place on earth to people watch. Holy cow. I know I didn’t act like that when I was in undergrad.

And…since when did mom jorts come back in? And I’m not talking about cute jean shorts. Full on mom jorts. We saw at least 4 girls wearing them. Ridiculous.

All in all, it was a good night. We’re fairly certain we will see some of these kids on our classes tomorrow. Which will be even more awkward for them since 99% of them will be freshmen and shouldn’t have had that beer in their hands anyways.

Saturday.

Oh Saturday.

We all headed to the best breakfast place around before heading out to go hiking. We didn’t know which trail we were going to do, but decided to do the moderate one which was a mile and then the rugged trail which was just over a mile.

First of all, this area of the state is SUPER hilly. You don’t think that when you think of us, but it is. Crazy hilly. The moderate trail was about to kill me because my legs were just killing me.

However, there was also some amazing sights. There are some cool rock formations and cliffs and we all had fun climbing all over the rocks. We saw the biggest daddy long legs that I have ever seen in my life. Pretty sure they have been living there since the dinosaurs and have just been chillin’.

Everyone still thought the rugged trail was a good idea. My legs were already sore and a little shaky, but I wasn’t about to be a party pooper, so I went with it. it was amazing until we came to these rock steps that went straight up for 100 yards. Pretty sure we all thought we were going to die.

And then I had the only injury of the trip when my foot slipped on some moss and my knee slammed into a rock. It’s all kind of scraped and bruised, but at least I got it doing something fun.

Then, the winery happened.

We all got cleaned up and headed to one of the best wineries around here. We live right in the middle of a huge wine trail and there are probably 20 different wineries within a 45 mile radius.

There were about 12 of us and we were all just joking and having a good time. A wedding was going on so we were having fun making fun of the absolutely horrific bridesmaid dress and the late guests that showed up. But the bride was stunning, and other than it being super hot, they had a pretty day for it all.

However, the outdoor area is on a slight hill. This is important to the story.

K was sitting next to me. She is a riot and we were making jokes and she likes to mimic people’s hand movements. The problem is that I tend to use my hands when talking as well, and we both motioned at the same time. She had her wine in her hand and I ended up making her spill her entire glass all over her shirt and side of her face.

I. Was. MORTIFIED.

I felt absolutely terrible and I was embarrassed. So what do you do when you’re embarrassed?

You start laughing uncontrollably. I was crying and we were all laughing.

And then it happened.

I leaned back a little while laughing and my chair fell backwards and my feet came up and over my head and I rolled down the hill.

Yes people.

I rolled down a hill. At a classy winery. While a wedding party was taking pictures feet away from us. Mind you, I was not even drunk.

I shall let you pause while you imagine this scene. (There were also about 200 other people outside enjoying the winery and the sun. )

I just laid there, on the ground, in the grass, laughing uncontrollably and dreading having to get up because then I would see all the people staring at me.

Our group was all crying laughing. I have never been so publically embarrassed in my life. My husband was considering possibly never taking me out in public again. I think K forgot that I just spilled wine on her since I had just rolled down a fucking hill at a winery.

I keep repeating it because I just can’t believe it’s true.

But I have the worst purple bruise on my arm to remind me.

So that was the end to my summer. I spent it with fun new friends. I explored our area a little more and made an ass of myself. Good end, no?

So tomorrow is my first day with the college kids. I’ve spent time figuring out how to look tough so that maybe they will fear me enough to do what I tell them to. I’m betting they figure me out by Wednesday. Here’s hoping I don’t fall in front of them!

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Filed under A little More About Me, Confessions, Grad School?, Just having fun, Life After College, Teaching in College, WTF

Truth Time: Unemployment

Something I have always strived to do with this blog is be honest. To give as much of a real view of my life without giving away things that could come back to bite me in the butt. I don’t post my name or city we live in. I won’t air our dirty laundry and even some things that I want to blog about, I think better of and decide that maybe I don’t want to deal with those consequences.

But something I worked hard to be honest about was my time of unemployment.

I’m pretty sure it is obvious how miserable I was. Click any of the tags or categories called jobs, job search, life after college, freak out, WTF. There are tons. I would link them, but I don’t think you want 12 lines of links.

But something I found during that time was that I felt very very alone. I felt like no one understood what was going on, what I was going through, how I felt or the emotions I was battling every day.

But here I am on the other side.

In 3 days, I start my workshop training for my graduate assistantship. 2 weeks from Monday, I officially start grad school. Not only is my grad school being paid for, but I will also be getting a pay check. I am on the upside of this year long ordeal.

But it was an ordeal.

I couldn’t imagine that a year later, I would be sitting here, looking over my new school supplies, picking out which outfits to wear, getting keys to my office in the English department at the university. I never thought I would be here.

Unfortunately, I know there are plenty of others who are where I was a year ago.

This is my way of reaching out to YOU.

YOU are not alone. While every situation is different, I at least have some idea of what you are going through.

Whether you are just out of college, if you had a job and lost it because of downsizing or whatever reason, if you took the bar and are waiting for results, if you are underemployed, because believe me, I may have only been unemployed for 5 months, but I was extremely underemployed for 8 months and it was rough.

There was one blogger who I found that helped to just know someone else had gone through this. Ashley from Accidental Olympian Alaskan was amazing. She might be a little embarrassed and be all, “I just wrote my story blah blah blah”. She was the only other blog (that i found at least) that was honest about what being unemployed felt like for people who worked so hard in college and had degrees in fields that should have jobs and not finding anything. For applying for job after job and getting turned down. She was open with her emotions and depression that resulted. And THANK YOU ASHLEY! I told her in a million different e-mails how much I appreciated her honesty. (Ashley, i swear I’m not a stalker, but I think you deserve some acknowledgement! YOU ROCK GIRL!) And even if you have a job, go check out her blog. She has a job now, just moved to Alaska, and posts cute pictures of her dogs and of areas in Alaska that are breathtaking. And she’s pretty damn hilarious.

I am not nearly as eloquent as Ashley. I know that. I’ve re-read some of my posts from that time and they ramble and I come across very pathetic. I know it. It’s okay. But I always wanted my readers to know what was going on. I didn’t want to hide it and make it sound like I was thoroughly enjoying my time at home and being little miss homemaker and didn’t have a worry in my head.

So. Not. True.

I was a wreck. Maybe the first month was kind of fun since we had just gotten married, moved to a new city, had a new apartment. But that wore off quickly. In that first month, I never imagined I wouldn’t have a job for another 4 months.

And yes, the big D word hit me hard. I was not myself for a long time, even after I got the job in retail. I was so underemployed that I felt worthless. There were days that maybe I got out of bed, but only to stay in my pajamas, move to the couch and watch Netflix all day. I didn’t want to spend any money because we were truly living off of student loans. I cried more than I have ever cried. I was short with my husband. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I would snap on my parents when they would ask me how things were going, even though they were being incredibly supportive and knew that I was working as hard as I could to get a job.

I feel I’m rambling.

Basically, I just want anyone out there going through a hard time that you are not alone. And if you EVER just need to vent or talk to someone who has a slight idea of what you are feeling, do NOT hesitate to e-mail me. I won’t think you’re weird or anything. I don’t want anyone to feel isolated during this time. It is hard. I know that. But both Ashley and I are a couple of the stories that prove that it does get better. (I hope that phrase isn’t copyrighted…) And if I have to send you an e-mail everyday reminding you of that, I will. If that will help, I will do it.

One thing. People who haven’t been through this, they really won’t understand. They may empathize, but they won’t truly get where you’re at. My husband, who saw me every day and knew that I was doing everything in my power to find a job, he still didn’t get it. He would get frustrated at times because his new wife, the girl he knew to be fun and outgoing didn’t want to leave the house. Didn’t want to put on clothes or makeup. He couldn’t grasp how I was feeling.

But here I am. I am offering my support. My love. My words of encouragement. It does get better. I promise. Even if it’s 6 months or 12 months or 18 months, it will get better and we are here to help you along those rough days.

And lastly, this new song makes me cry every time. No one dies in it. It’s not about a lost love. But the man in the story of the song is so absolutely desperate that even though I didn’t have kids and a family to support, I can sympathize with his emotions. Take a minute and listen to his story. And maybe take a second before judging someone who is currently looking for a job. If you have one, it’s hard to understand why those of us can’t find one. But it is hard out there. There are millions of stories about people applying for jobs they are so overqualified for and being turned down even though they desperately need the money. It’s my PSA for the day.

Ronnie Dunn- Cost Of Living   (Won’t let me insert video, but this link will take you to it. Give it a few minutes. It’s something close to my heart.)

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Filed under A little More About Me, Blogging, Confessions, Life After College, What to do?, WTF

Making “New” Friends

While I’m writing this before my trip, by the time you read this, I will be in Other State and trying to find my way around one of the 5 largest metro areas. (Let’s see how many times I get lost or drive the wrong way on a one way street.)

Not only will I finally be seeing my husband after 3 and a half long weeks apart and getting to experience new restaurants and a new city and a new state and enjoy a little vacation away, but I will also be meeting some blog and twitter friends. 3 internet friends, to be precise.

EEEEEKKKK.

I am so very excited to meet these lovely ladies. I have been reading their blogs since I started this blog of my own. It feels like I have known them for a long time, but at the same time, I don’t know them.

Like me, they keep some things off the blogs and off of twitter. We all do. We all like to keep some things private. And even if I attempted to tell you all everything, it would be impossible.

So here I am, willingly going to meet 3 different women who I have never met before.

Sounds like the start of a horror film, doesn’t it?

Luckily, I have e-mailed and talked to them and I have decided that they are not serial killers or crazy people.

At least I don’t think so…

(Hi ladies. You know who you are. So excited!)

On Monday, I will be meeting up with one and her husband and some of their friends at a baseball game. Hubs and I both love baseball, so I figure it will be some common ground and will be fun. I think I’m less nervous than Mr. A. Poor guy is afraid he will embarrass me or something since these are people I have a connection to, and not him. He will be just fine. He’s good at talking to people. I’m not worried about him.

The other two ladies, we don’t have official plans, but one gets back from out of town on Monday and the other will be busy for the first few days, so once they get back and done with work stuff, we will figure it out.

I feel like I’m in grade school and trying to make new friends on the first day of class. What to wear. What to do. What to say. How to not look like an idiot. That might be the hard one.

Have any of you met up with internet friends? Any tips? Was it as awkward as I’m afraid it’s going to be?

(Girls, I swear I’m normal, I just get nervous meeting new people. Sorry!)

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Filed under Blogging, Confessions, Freak Out Much?, Life After College, The Others

Flying Drama

When Mr. A went to Other State, he drove since he obviously would need his car and he had too much stuff to bring on a flight without baggage costing an arm and a leg.

But I have no desire to spend 11 hours in a car by myself. There’s no need to have two cars there, so obviously, I’m flying.

But here’s a secret:

I’m not a great flier.

I don’t like to fly. Not to the point where I won’t fly, but I don’t like it. I get incredibly antsy and nervous. I have an overactive imagination and it seems to kick into high gear as soon as I settle into my seat.

And takeoff is the worst part. I can’t listen to my ipod to zone out. I can’t read my Kindle. I just have to sit there. Add in the fact that I get headaches pretty easily and my ears pop like crazy, and it’s just not an enjoyable experience.

I usually have about 2 or 3 pieces of gum and I chew like a mad woman to keep the pressure from building up in my ears. I’ll take a couple Advil before the flight and hope that it keeps any potential headache away.

But even better, I usually have my husband with me. Or someone else to talk to. Last year, when we had to get on two different flights both ways to and from Mexico, Mr. A was great and would just hold my hand and make jokes.

But this time?

I’m alone.

No one to hold my hand. No one to tell me that it will all be okay. No one to make stupid jokes and point out the other goofy looking passengers.

I have flown alone before.

I was 10 and I flew back from Salt Lake City while my dad and his girlfriend went on to San Francisco. But this was pre 9/11 and my dad was actually allowed to walk on the plan with me and get me settled in my seat.

But I am a big girl now.

And I can do this.

It;s not like I’m having a panic attack or anything, just…anxious.

My plan is to get to the airport early, allowing me plenty of time to get through security and to find my terminal and gate and all that. I am then planning on going to one of the restaurants and having myself a drink in order to calm my nerves, maybe even take a short nap on the plane.

I’m planning on buying a magazine so I have something to occupy my mind. Luckily, I got into the first boarding group, so I get to pick my seat, which will be an aisle seat, hopefully in the exit row so I have a little more space.

This time tomorrow I will be sweating my butt off and exploring a new city. Now to not panic on the plane.

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Filed under A little More About Me, Confessions, Freak Out Much?, Married Life, What to do?, WTF