mama kumquat

A blog from someone who has little of importance to say

Monday, February 18, 2008

Valtrex isn't Just for Your STD

On Saturday, i was in the shower scrubbing down and wow, something on my leg is super itchy! I look further and i have a rash on my thigh, lower, near my knee but on the back of my leg. It's all red and has little blisters. What the FUCK!

I go to the Dr.'s today, just to make sure i am not infecting my son with some fleshing eating virus and sweet, he thinks i have Shingles. Like, David Letterman made this famous. I have David Letterman's Disease. It's a grown up form of the chicken pox, both of which are a herpes virus but NOT related to herpes as we know it. Shit, i've never even had a cold sore.

He tells me i need an anti-viral medication and he writes this down: Valtrex. And the name triggers a memory. A memory of two people on my TV screen talking about how one person who has herpes, doesn't necessarily have to give it to their loved one, who is depicted with their afflicted partner riding bikes on the beach.

I can't wait to see the pharmacist's face flood with sympathy when i go to fill this. And now my husband has even more teasing rights. Me, Letterman, Shingles and Herpes medicine. The fun never stops here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Bitter Little Valentine

So as many of you know, i am now managing a transitional housing program. So, there is a young woman who lives at the complex i manage who has quite the reputation. When i arrived, i was told, "Do not speak to Amy because she is crazy, is suing us and will bite your head off." My boss forwarded me these amazing, lengthy emails detailing the "oppression" and "victimization" that she experienced at the hands of our agency. These emails were articulate and would be convincing to an undiscerning person. But upon reading these emails more, she uses the same language, the same phrases in each, as if she learned a few big SAT words and then recyled them, or even potentially cut and pasted sections from somewhere else.

I've only ever heard stories about her for the three months i've been there. She is apparently pretty. Thin, dark haired, slight, ballerina-ish. She has periodically removed her child from school to be able to "teach" her how to advocate for herself and how the real world really works. She was recently investigated by our local Department of Human Services for welfare fraud. She has burned through several lawyers. I recently got a call from a service provider who recently obtained her file, where it was written "Handle With Care." This woman is on a one way track to CrazyTown and i am completely mesmerized by her. Especially because she is this enigma--something of an urban myth. There have been infrequent sightings, many stories. Sometimes, i come in to work and i hear that just minutes before, she had chewed out a colleague for walking by her without smiling. Damn. I want to meet her. When can it be MY turn?

I thought my time was upon me this past week when we put 24 hour notices of entry onto people's doors so we could do apartment inspections. Because of this woman's litigious nature, we cannot put one on her door, so my boss, who is the only person allowed to contact her, was supposed to email it to her. So i am at her doorstep, knocking on the door. I hear the radio on and my co-worker had the thought that we had better check with my boss that she indeed sent the email, otherwise i would be unable to enter with my wonderful master key. Nope, boss did not send the email. I nearly went in without notice. Talk about being sued...and another chance to meet this venomous yet absolutely intriguing creature gone. Because she is being evicted for various reasons (most recently, non-payment of rent), i have been wondering if i would ever see her.

And then last night happened. I had a been at a meeting and was pretty ticked off that on Valentine's Day, i still had to go back to the office at 6pm and sign off on timesheets, make a few phone calls. So i pull up in front of the apartment complex and i see her light on and yes, even a silhouette. Awesome! This is more than i have ever ever seen before. I get out of my car and since it's dark out, i start fumbling for my keys but out of the corner of my eye, i see her carrying her laundry down the hallway above and i glance at her but she is not looking at me so i don't say anything and continue to finger through my keys to find the right one. She disappears out of eyesight as she heads down the stairwell. Just as i am opening the door, i hear, "Excuse me. EXCUSE ME." I look up and there she is, on the other side of the fence, holding her laundry basket. "Do you work here?" Yes, i do. And then it happens, she starts in on me.

For some reason i am surprised and taken slightly off guard. And there is not even a moment for me to interject. She is pissed that i did not greet her. She starts saying that i and the other staff feel as though we are better than the tenants and "There are many of us who are sick of it." Ummm, are you talking about the "we" inside your head? A few weeks ago i was talking with some clients who saw that i was outside Amy's door. They started laughing that i had better not say anything even close to the door or i would get chewed out. The other tenants think she's crazy and stay away from her. She has alientated everyone.
At one point in this two minute long tirade, she mentions something about the way i dress and flaunting my wealth. I was wearing a pair of brown pants and a sweater that i got at Old Navy about 4 years ago. My shoes were at least 6 years old. Sensible shoes. No jewelry. Then i was told that i was oppressing her and the other tenants because i think i am too good to greet them. Words like "victimized" and "repressed" were tossed about. Finally, the best part of all came. She called me "bourgeois." That was just sweet icing on the verbal lashing i was receiving. I remembered i smiled at her and the only thing i said to her was, "I believe you are making assumptions about me." This commenced further words about how i used my elevated status to repress the women in the buidling. She slowed down and i started moving inside and then i did say something else, not sure if she was hearing me, "Honestly, i didn't even see you."

I was exhilarated. I got chewed out by her. I met Amy. Of course, i thought of all the things i could have said to her had i not been so mesmerized and even taken aback. But of all the things i ran through my head, i really just wish i had ended the conversation with, "Happy Valentine's Day, Amy!"

So, Happy Valentine's Day to you, Amy, who in some masochistic/voyeuristic/perverted way made me love your craziness, your aloofness, your irrational behavior, your misused vocabulary, your vitriol. Your fascade is normal but your insides--the messiness of a volatile and literally nutty person. I could spend a lifetime analyzing you. You are a mystery, a hungry tiger rarely seen but when it emerges will tear your fucking head off. You can chew me out any old time, Amy. Happy Fucking Valentine's Day!