This was a Dale Carnegie course. My jobs really made sure I bootstrapped my way through GAD.
They aren’t all that big, they just look big next to the tiny person in the yellow shirt.
Was the jazz hands mandatory?
Are… are you accusing me of being the physical manifestation of forced perspective??? So rich coming from a typing panda!
Yes, we were prompted to look like we were having fun. They made Vicki bend her knees too. Ahaha.
In my current role the bent knee or hands on knees pose to make one shorter in the front row of a large group picture is called the ‘sorority squat.’
@saf, in that last pic you look like the scrappy best friend on a Disney or Nickelodeon show who always crawls into their friend’s bedroom via window.
We can’t all be beautiful. Some of us have to be quirky.
I didn’t say you weren’t pretty!
do you work for cheesecake factory?
or Public School Cafeterias Association?
anyway, the lady in the pink looks super annoyed by having to do the pose.
I don’t work for anyone anymore. But no, I was working for a call center in the first one, and in the second one I was working for a OTR trucking company. Fun fact, because this was a Dale Carnegie course, they teach you witchcraft to remember names so here it is four years later and I still know the names of every single person in that photo.
Jill wasn’t actually annoyed, she had one of those sedated personalities… she was doing her best. Ahahaha.
I have a cousin who looks similar to the woman on the far left. She always sings at weddings, which is annoying. The bright side- we always know when it’s over.
It looks like saf is saying “Ok, Brent, like we talked about. We’re all friends here. Tell everyone about the last time you saw your penis.”
This internet thing is too easy for u. Are u this funny in real life or just grumpy in grocery lines?
Please, Balv, he also cuts a svelte figure in a denim jacket professionally.
Ha. We all know a Jill. Jill doesn’t give a shit that there’s cake in the break room. Jill’s husband is probably way closer to their kids than Jill is. It’s not that Jill doesn’t like her kids, it’s just that Jill’s husband, Todd, helps them move and stuff. Jill takes stabs at fun. Jill probably talks about Tiger King now. She even tried to floss one time, but her grandson told her not to.
Was this your side-gig at Macy’s, ensuring all the volunteer Santas understood Covid protocols?
How did you know? I’m an elf.
I’m going to tell you about my wife. I’m drinking. Bear with me.
This isn’t really an anecdote or even funny. My wife was something special. I know I have said it here before, but before my wife I was just a good time. There was some good there, but, man, it wasn’t harnessed in any meaningful way. I’ve always wanted to be a father, but I wasn’t so sure about being a husband or life partner. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to commit to someone. I just didn’t know that my brand of bullshit was sustainable. How many times can you expect someone to pretend to enjoy a Wham! reference or take part in a debate about what is the best version of “This Woman’s Work.” It’s Maxwell’s by the way. I just didn’t didn’t see how or why someone would put up with that long-term. But my wife, my wife was someone special. She helped me evolve in such a way that made me feel like my bullshit was tenable. She never set out to change me. She wasn’t a task master. She didn’t see me as a unique HGTV fixer upper. She didn’t see me and think “yup. I’m thinking shiplap and a new bay window.” She loved me for everything I am (or was). I just evolved because this fucking force of a person was in my life and my life started to take shape. Gone was the uncertainty that comes with a bivouac-like life. I wasn’t exposed to the elements or susceptible to my whims. She filled voids I didn’t know I had. The same voids those who loved me saw but I never did. Everything made sense and life seemed easy. Even though I’m without her now, imagining a life without her ever in it is a very short exercise. Simply put- I probably wouldn’t be here. Those whims of mine were destructive. The drugs felt compulsory. I was Judy Garland without the ability to summon a Gershwin. It never felt like I abused drugs and booze. We didn’t have that kind of relationship. We had an understanding. “You help me sleep and I will keep buying more of you.” I’m not saying helping me get my shit together was effortless, but my wife definitely made it feel that way. She did a lot without ever deeming me a project. Again, she was special. That isn’t lost on me or anyone else that can enjoy me now. Things have been rough lately. Leo has more questions than ever. He doesn’t truly grasp what we have been through. He’s three. Shortly before Christmas he asked me if his mom was coming back to open gifts with him. It kills me that he thinks she just left us. Friday Mae found a DVD with her mom’s picture on it. She wanted to watch it. I explained that it was the DVD the funeral home provided and that it was only a slideshow. I warned her that it would make us sad. She insisted on watching it. About 15 pictures in there’s a picture of just Kate and Mae. We both started weeping.
As much as Kate did for me, it’s the little things that I continue to miss the most. I miss having a drink with her at the end of the day and laughing about the kids. I miss how her beer bottle would fortuitously run out just as I would be getting up to fill my whiskey glass, saving her the dreaded trip to the fridge. She didn’t time it perfectly, most of the time she would be taking the last sips as she held up her index finger indicating that she just needed a few more seconds. I miss listening in as she sang the kids to sleep on stormy nights. She didn’t have a great voice, which of course made it sweeter. I miss how she just knew what to do when one of the kids got sick. She just knew. I struggle with this every time one of them gets sick. My family misses her guidance when dealing with any illness…and there have been a lot since Kate passed. Both of my parents have had numerous medical maladies. I miss knowing that I have that knowledge in my back pocket. It makes me more anxious. I miss how she’d take umbrage with me throwing away the heel of a bread…and not in a “don’t be wasteful” way. But she actually enjoyed that piece. That’s still weird to me. I miss how she would sit in the sink as she put on makeup. I miss how she loved me for exactly who I am. I miss how she could make me feel like both the best husband and dad in the world. She grew up near an Amish community and I miss how she would casually drop Amish vernacular in decidely non-Amish conversations. I miss how she wouldn’t tell me that she had heard one of my stories until I was finished telling it yet again. I miss how she never got pissed that I would tell someone they are an awful blackjack player at a table. When I’d get pissy that another player wasn’t playing the correct way, thus fucking the table, she’d just say “I know, honey, but if he’s that bad he will be out of money soon.” By the way, this rarely worked…but it was nice that she was humoring me. I miss how she was more of a friend than an aunt to my nieces and nephews. I miss how she’d immediately crank up the heat on her side of the car while mine was set at the coldest setting. I miss how complete life felt in general. I miss how she’d never forget a fucking thing when packing our shit to go to the beach that day. She’d pack more sunscreen than ice. I miss how I’d wake up from taking a beach nap with one of our babies, only to find out that she had taken a picture of us. I miss how she’d play along when I’d say “throw out a price” when we would have the rare opportunity to take a nap. I’d ask her throw out a number and I’d decide if that amount of money would be enough for me to forgo a nap. She’d always start low for the sake of the game. I miss coming home and there would be random pieces of furniture Kate bought just to refinish for other people in my side of the garage. Never hers. I miss her saying “…but you don’t wear all of the Bowie shirts you have now!” I miss coming in second when it comes to who my kids came to when something was wrong. I miss how she’d patronizingly say “Honey, I’m sure you’ve won more hands, you’ve just lost your double downs and splits” when I’d steam at a blackjack table. I miss how she would then say I needed another drink. I miss how she was never fussy. Kate wasn’t high maintenance, even though I encouraged her to be a bit more selfish. I miss how she’d jokingly say I should have asked for the happy ending when getting a massage. I miss how she’d call me and tell me we had to move because she saw a snake when she was mowing. I miss watching our kids play hockey. Kate loved watching her kids play any sport, but hockey was something else entirely. I miss how we would daydream about being kidless in our own house for a day. I miss how she never quite understood why I was fascinated with little people. One time I pretended to be masturbating under a blanket while I watched Little People LA when she walked into the room. “Do you need some time?” was her annoyed response. I miss how she liked nachos way more than any adult ever should. I miss how she would ask for advice despite me being the last person that should ever give advice. As fucked up as cancer is, I miss taking care of her. I have never been better than I was when taking care of her. She saved me, trying to save her only felt natural. I miss laughing about the various mishaps of our wedding day. I miss her telling me that I’m the sexiest man she has ever met, despite my whispy gray hairs that have a mind of their own. I miss looking at her and thinking “That’s mine forever.” More than anything, I miss looking at her and just knowing I have it so god damn good.
I never felt like I deserved Kate…but no one truly did. In February it’ll be two years since we got our diagnosis. In May it’ll be two years since I said goodbye to the strongest person I have ever known. I do my best. Some days are fucking daunting. My opinions of Kate have never changed. You don’t move on from a force like Kate. You move forward.
This is heartbreakingly beautiful, Nick. Tears running down my face.