Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: #noreasontohide, bare minerals, beauty, benefit, condifence, Flirt!, makeup, philosophy, urban decay
Last week, I joined a conversation on twitter. Those of you who know me on social media know I don’t shy away from jumping in on social media conversations. This, however, was different.
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon @styleit in her underwear. Don’t worry, it’s not as scandalous as you think. Sarah Conley, known as @styleit on twitter, was showcased, with other tech women, in a campaign by Dear Kate. Running around as a size 14-16, I was immediately impressed by Dear Kate, for using a plus-sized model and by Sarah Conley for having the confidence to be a part of it.
I’m vocal about my politics. You guys know this. I’m constantly being called fat and ugly by people who disagree with my politics. Heck, they’ve even tried to come after my job. This is even more hilarious when you know I’m self-employed. So, seeing another plus-sized gal certainly mattered to me. I voiced my support of her involvement in the campaign and follwed her on twitter. Plus, who doesn’t love a good fashionista?
Last week Sarah tweeted about a conversation she was helping host with Philosophy. The conversation could be followed by using the hashtag “#noreasontohide.” Work was done for the day, so I decided to join in. From the start, I saw women doing what women are NOT known for doing. They were *gasp*… encouraging each other! That’s right, complete, total strangers were being NICE to each other.
So here I was, talking to all these women, @lovephilosophy, and @styleit. The topic of conversation? Confidence. Now, confidence is something I haven’t had a problem with since 3rd grade, when June Hoppe beat me up because I wasn’t afraid of her(by the way, this is when my mom informed me that bullies bully to make themselves feel better. Suffice it to say, she neglected to inform me that this was information I should keep to myself). Women were sharing what made them confident; from makeup rituals to dressing up. I shared stats for kids who dress up for the SAT exams and I expressed my own sources of confidence. I shared that friends from college didn’t even realize I was barely five feet tall, because of the way I held myself. And I must admit, it’s part confidence and part not caring what others think of me; remnants of that lesson learned in 3rd grade, from June Hoppe.
At the end of the conversation, @styleit announced a random winner, someone who would receive a gift from @lovephilosophy for their involvement in the conversation. Much to my surprise, I was announced as their winner. Within a couple days, I received two #noreasontohide products.
Now, it just so happened that I was freshly out of the shower when the delivery man showed up with my Philosophy products. So, naturally, I excitedly reached for these new products to try. Let me interject for a moment to tell you that I used to hate makeup and skin care. When I was 14, my mom spent a LOT of money on makeup for me. I mean, Estee Lauder high quality. As nice as it was, though, I didn’t care. I didn’t like makeup. Consider it my “feminist rebellion.” It took several years for me to appreciate makeup. And when I did, I LOVED it.
So here I am, loving and appreciating makeup and skin care. Ready for something new….and OOOH, did I find it. I tend to have dry skin. I also have rosacea, so finding a good moisturizer is always difficult. On top of that, I have to worry about a decent bb cream or tinted moisturizer to help cover up the rosacea. The moisturizer(serum) reminds me of Oil of Olay. Light, soft, but less greasy. It feels amazing.
I was tempted to try the bb cream I always use, but I knew I had to use the tinted moisturizer to achieve the full effect. So I used their product and was surprised. Coverage was light, even(despite rosacea), and somehow still complete. I was a happy girl. I threw on my Urban Decay eyeshadow, my Stilla eyeliner, my Benefit highlighter, my Bare Minerals mascara, and my Flirt! lip gloss. It was perfect.
There are many experiences that play into my confidence. But to be honest, makeup is just the cherry on top. And these products from Philosophy were quite the delicious cherry. I look forward to growing old. I look forward to children and grandchildren. I also look forward to looking 20 years younger than I am. This is why I take skin care so seriously. Because right now, the average age guess is 23, and I’ll happily take it.
Information on the brand can be found above. Be confident, have no reason to hide, you are beautiful.
Filed under: Uncategorized
I LOVE sarcasm. In fact, I love it so much that I often joke that sarcasm is my love language. Like all things, though, sarcasm needs to be used in moderation and when appropriate. In addition to the societal gray areas for using sarcasm, sarcasm via text can be difficult to decipher, depending on the recipient. I think it’s fair to say, however that there is one place sarcasm should ever be used….and that’s between an employee and a customer.
Most of you are familiar with TSA, the Transportation Security Administration. A majority of their work is done in airports, screening passengers. Security measures have changed to include scanners. They’re not x-ray machines, but there’s a lot we don’t know about them. That is, outside of knowing the images produced and stored are basically inverted nude shots, but that’s another story.
I’ve traveled a lot this year via air travel and have become accustomed to the TSA process. Boarding pass and ID checked; taking off shoes and removing my laptop from my backpack; informing the TSA agent I want to opt out when asked to go through the scanner; proceeding to get molested and have my items tested for explosive materials, nitrates; and finally, being cleared and gathering my belonging and moving on.
Well, last night went a little differently than I expected when a friend dropped me off at the Will Rogers World Airport. I checked in, went to TSA and started the usual process. My boarding pass and ID were checked, I removed my shoes and laptop, and I waited to see if they would ask me to pass through the scanner. When the TSA agent, a young man, asked me to go through the scanner, I told him I wanted to opt out. The TSA agent looked at me and said “you know that’s not an x-ray, right?” I replied “Yes, but I also know my rights.” He looked taken back by comment. He called for a female agent to do the opt out pat-down and another TSA agent asked if I was going through the scanner. The first agent sarcastically said “No, she knows her rights.” I decided to wait to say anything. I didn’t want to cause trouble. I had the molest…I mean pat-down and as I was waiting, another passenger, who went through the scanner and was patted-down ANYWAY, was having his hands wiped down and checked for nitrates. The passenger kept looking at the clock, like he was in a rush. So I said “Now you know why you should vote for Romney.”
I want to take a moment to point out that I know Romney himself cannot disband the TSA. However, with the hopes of taking over the senate and having a Republican led Congress, as well as the hopes of a Republican President… a lot more can be accomplished(and that doesn’t just apply to the TSA).
The passenger smiled at me and was cleared to leave about the same time I was. I gathered my belongings and before I walked away, I stopped asked the female TSA agent to inform the agent up front that I didn’t appreciate his sarcasm. She immediately apologized and I started to walk away…but not before a NEW TSA agent, an older man, jumped in the conversation. He was several feet away from me and behind a desk that had a wall that was about five feet tall. This agent had NO interaction with me prior to this. He shouted over the desk “Well I appreciated your sarcasm!” I wasn’t sure I heard him, so I said “What?” and he repeated himself. That’s about the point where I lost it. I told him that I wasn’t being sarcastic. The female TSA agent was still standing in front of me and I asked her if I could get the information for both agents, the one at the front, and the one yelling at me. She asked if I wanted to speak to a supervisor and I said yes.
You’d think this is where things start to settle, but if you’ve read my blog before, you know it’s never that easy.
She walked away and the TSA agent who yelled at me walked up, big grin on his face, and asked if there was a problem. I said yes, and I asked to speak to a supervisor. That’s when the TSA agent who told me he appreciated my sarcasm said he WAS the supervisor. Perfect. I asked for another supervisor, for HIS supervisor, but it was just him. He told me that his supervisor wasn’t in. So I asked for his name and the name of the other TSA agent. He smiled, said okay, and walked away.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from people having bad TSA experiences is to try to record as much as you can. While he was away, I put my shoes on and grabbed my iPhone. I opened up the camera, switched to record, and as he returned I started to record the interaction. Or so I thought.
He wrote down his name and badge number and what location he was at. He repeatedly refused to give me the name of the other TSA agent and refused to give me the name and number of his supervisor. The whole time he was grinning like an arrogant jerk. He insisted they did nothing wrong and that there were cameras there to record everything. Knowing I would get nowhere, I decided to walk away… I may have shouted an expletive as I did. It was as I was walking to my gate that I checked my phone to start reviewing the video and instead found a two second clip instead of the minute or so of interaction. Needless to say, I was even more upset.
Not having enough time to take out my laptop and start writing down what happened, I took to twitter to record the incident and give myself something to help me recall the details.
So, here I am, ready to file a complaint with TSA through their website. I also plan on calling the TSA supervisor in OKC, and I will also email as many of the high up TSA people as I can find emails for. I am not letting this go. I know this pales in comparison to some of the things others have dealt with involving TSA, but that doesn’t make it okay. Being mocked and yelled at didn’t violate any of my civil rights, but I’m pretty sure they violated their code of conduct.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: alcoholism, cancer, family, health, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer
It’s been six months since my last post. If anyone has had reason to procrastinate on posting, it would be me. My life has been chaos since Christmas, well, two days before Christmas.
I had been working as a temp for a home builder for several months. The commute was easy, the hours were full-time and the schedule fit my needs perfectly. Unfortunately, people don’t buy homes in the winter, so that Friday, two days before Christmas, I lost my job. On the plus side, I would be free to spend time with my family, including my uncle and his friend who were visiting from Italy.
Saturday morning my sister and I got up early to take my uncle and his friend to NYC. We had tickets to the 9-11 Memorial. After spending some time considering our commuter options, we decided to drive to Hoboken and take the Path into downtown Manhattan. This pleased my uncle and his friend tremendously since they were hoping to visit Carlo’s Bake Shop, home of TLC’s Cake Boss. We drove to Hoboken, parked and walked to the bakery. After we picked out some sweets to take home, we walked over to the waterfront. As we were walking I overheard my sister say something that caught me off guard. I stopped, turned to her, and asked her to repeat herself. I couldn’t believe, I didn’t want to believe what she was saying. I had figured that since I hadn’t heard anything the day before, there was no news. And no news is good news. I was wrong.
It was there on the Hoboken waterfront that my sister confirmed that my mom has Pancreatic Cancer. Beyond upset at the news, I was furious at her and my mom for not telling me the day before, when everyone else found out. It was almost too much to take in.
For those of you who are fortunate enough to not be familiar with Pancreatic Cancer, here is some information about survival rates from Pancreatic.org:
” According to the American Cancer Society, for all stages of pancreatic cancer combined, the one-year relative survival rate is 20%, and the five-year rate is 4%. These low survival rates are attributable to the fact that fewer than 20% of patients’ tumors are confined to the pancreas at the time of diagnosis; in most cases, the malignancy has already progressed to the point where surgical removal is impossible.”
Those statistics take into account ALL stages. My mom has Stage 4. This means that the cancer has spread. The diagram below helps show progression. There is no stage after “4.”
In the weeks after Christmas, we learned a lot more about my mom’s cancer and her treatment options. While she does have Stage 4, we’re lucky because it’s only spread to her lymph nodes. This means that her body is fighting, trying to keep the cancer from spreading to other vital organs.
Learning about my mom’s cancer was certainly difficult to deal with. But it wasn’t going to stop there. A few weeks after we learned about her diagnosis, we learned that my dad was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer. The plan for him was to remove at least one, maybe one and a half of his kidneys. When talking to my mom about the severity of his illness, she informed me that he was worse off than she.
Now, I had been planning on moving, but news of my father made it more clear, that I had to move to Texas to be with him, to help him. So I started planning and packing. I had hoped to leave New Jersey in the beginning of March, but kept having delay after delay, including inflammation of slipped discs in my lower back. It was March 28th when I finally hit the road. I made several stops along the way, taking my time as I made this huge transition.
I finally made it to Texas mid-April. I was happy to see that my dad looked to be in good health. It was now a matter of time and seeing what the doctors were going to do. The more I asked, the more I got excuses from him. He told me that the doctors had to reschedule. Then he told me that they decided not to do surgery because it wasn’t that bad. It was very easy for me to see the denial.
There’s a lot more to his story, he’s a Vietnam Vet who still suffers from PTSD. And I know that the VA doesn’t take good care of him. Unfortunately, he also is the type of person who was taught to have no emotion. He grew up in a very different time. He doesn’t like to accept help from others. He’s also an alcoholic. Something that has definitely come into play in the past few months that I’ve been here in Texas. It was almost a relief when he came home from the neighbor’s house really drunk about a month ago. Almost a relief because it was then that he got mad at me for telling my mom he was drinking. And it was then that he finally said “You don’t have to worry about me for much longer, I’m dying.”
As heartbroken as I was that he was drinking and suffering, it was a relief to finally hear the truth from him about his condition. He still won’t talk about it to me, but I did learn from my aunt that he was given a year to live.
I wish I could tell you that the chaos ends here, but there’s one more thing. Back in May, I was rear-ended in front of my house by an uninsured minor. My car, which had LESS than 90,000 miles was totaled.
And yet, despite all that has happened, I can’t help but be grateful. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and people who love me. From here, I can only take it one day at a time, one post at a time.
One last thing, here is an update from my mom. Yes, it’s dated in April, but the progress stands.
Filed under: Uncategorized
This year I resolve to write more. A lot that has led up to this new year has taught me to not be afraid to speak up. I may not always have interesting things to say, but I have things to say. And I’m grateful for those of you who choose to listen.
Last night I was in New York City for New Years Eve. From running into old friends to sleeping with the air conditioner at 60° and STILL being hot, it will be an experience I won’t soon forget.
And while I could tell you all the details of the evening, like how our bartender made a mask with cardboard from a straw box and electrical tape, I’m going to instead leave you with the following.
At some point between our arrival at my friends apartment in the UES at 7:30pm and waking up at 8:20 am for Mass, this photo was snapped. Neither my friend Claire, nor myself recall taking the photo. We also cannot identify the location, though we’re fairly certain it’s from the bedroom of the apartment. And so, 2012 begins with fun, chaos, and a little bit of mystery.
Happy New Year.
Filed under: Uncategorized
My apologies that I’ve not posted in a long time. And my even deeper apologies that this is what you’ve come to find after my long absence.
In truth, I don’t even know where to begin. I will refrain from using names, if you do not already know people involved, then there’s no reason for you to become involved now. I suppose first you should know that everything being said about me is a lie. Second you should know that because I don’t document everything I do online with screen captures (who does?), this will likely end up a he said/she said. Believe me, don’t believe me. I know the truth, and this is it.
You think that there is one issue at hand, and that it is what has caused this whole mess, but that’s not true. That’s the first thing that’s a lie. It is being claimed that I started calling someone a stalker after he commented on a Facebook event, that I planned to attend, taking place in New Jersey, when he lives somewhere in Texas. As far as I am concerned, he had no business commenting on the event. When I saw that he had, I found further reason to be concerned. Further because there had already been a number of things that were cause for my concern. For me, this action was a kind of breaking point. I knew that something was not right. His claim is that he was invited to the event accidentally by someone. This has recently changed to a claim that I invited him mistakenly. I assure you that I made no such mistake. I’ve not been to the monthly events in question in some time and have never invited anyone to the events, ever. The only proof, that I’ve seen, is a screen capture of his “Past Events” on Facebook. That screen capture does not prove that he was invited, nor does it prove that any specific person invited him.
I understand that a lot of you take issue with my use of such a harsh word in such an accusatory manner. I assure you I do not take it lightly.
Before that particular incident on Facebook, there were several things that occurred that made me weary. More than once, I was sent a direct message on twitter from this man asking me to unfollow people on Twitter. I was perplexed when asked to do that and did want to know why I’d be asked to do such a thing. Both times he approached it as if it were a grave matter. With one of the people he asked to unfollow, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, since he acted with such urgency and I didn’t really know the person. With the second, however, I raised my own concerns because it was someone who I had talked to on a fairly frequent basis. I was then told some story about how the person I was following had offended him because he never followed him back and had even ignored him. I assured this guy that it had to have been unintentional. He then went and spoke to the person who had “offended” him and ended up working everything out. Doesn’t seem that peculiar at first, but as other things started to happen, I remembered these incidents from early on.
I learned early on, after recommending people to follow on Twitter, that this guy was very serious about Twitter. There are a handful of friends from college that I had recommended people follow. He was quick to follow them, but he was also quick to ask me why they had not followed him back, at times, after only one day, as if I knew the answer. I cannot claim to know their reasoning for not following him back. That was their decision to make. I also noticed that he’d consistently ask people to follow him back, if he had followed them and they had not returned the favor. I also learned, from this person, that there are ways to see who unfollows you on Twitter. He seemed pretty up to date on who was not following him and who had unfollowed him. I was curious as to how it all worked, so I did ask about it and I did try it. It took way to much work than I was willing to put in to keep up with something as silly as who unfollowed you. The point, though, is that he gave a lot of attention to these things, more than I’d consider reasonable.
Another incident, that I admit I could have addressed sooner, was in regards to my “goodnight” tweets. I love the book “Goodnight Moon”. After seeing someone tweet “goodnight” by simply saying “Goodnight moon”, I started to do so myself. I usually got a few funny responses, including one from this guy that said something along the lines of “That’s no moon, that’s a ____.” A great Star Wars reference…the first few times. It got to the point that he was tweeting that every time I said “goodnight moon”. I should have asked him to stop, I should have told him that it was too much, but I didn’t. I cannot fully explain why, but to some degree I was uncomfortable expressing that to him. I was afraid he’d get mad at me (unreasonably so). Instead I let it continue, thinking that he’d have the good sense to tone it down. Instead, there were times where I’d gone to sleep really late and tweeted “Goodnight moon” only to wake up to a tweet from him sent hours later, in the early morning, saying “That’s no moon…”. It got to the point where he said it one night and I snapped at him saying something along the lines of “that was funny the first hundred times.” He quickly sent me a direct message apologized to me and told me that I should have spoken up sooner. Here, he was right. I should have spoken up sooner. Again, though, I was growing uncomfortable with him and the idea didn’t sit right with me.
I know that Twitter and Facebook are for interacting with people. I get that, it is social media. However, there are still limits within the parameters of social media, same as there are limits with in-person social interactions.
At some point, it became quite overwhelming for me when I noticed that I was receiving a lot of tweets from him that included my name but had nothing to with me. It appeared like he was adding me to conversations just for the heck of it. This behavior transferred over to Facebook; where there were a lot comments being made on many of my posts in a row. It was not looking good and I grew concerned. I know that he recently made the argument that I reacted in a positive manner to his comments on Facebook, but I felt I was left with no choice. What else was I going to do? I had talked to a couple friends who had recommended that I slowly back away and slowly stop responding and quietly unfollow on Twitter and de-friend on Facebook. Until then, though, they encouraged me to not get upset and to respond nicely, so as not to cause him reason for concern. I followed their advice, but I knew things would not end well. Seeing how closely, first hand, he tracked things, I knew that he’d notice if I removed him from Twitter and Facebook. There was no doubt that he had obsessive and stalker-like tendencies.
In the process of slowing down my interactions, but trying to remain somewhat friendly, I received a direct message on Twitter that read “Do you even see my tweets anymore? It’s like you have me on mute. #cranky(his name)”. I didn’t know what “mute” meant and I honestly didn’t know how to respond. I did my best to assure him that it was not intentional. I wasn’t ready for the onslaught of whatever this has become. In that conversation he mentioned that he had tweeted me about 30+ times in 3 days and that I had only mentioned him twice. To me, that meant that he had kept track and counted both his tweets to me and my responses. This is the only conversation I could find record of, I am still uncertain if there are more screen captures. Like I said, I don’t really keep a catalog of my online social life.
After that, I knew it was becoming too much for me. I knew it was time to stop it by breaking the social network connection. I made it a point to tweet a lot about the possibility of removing Facebook completely and noted it on Facebook as well. I removed a good number of Facebook friends, people that I didn’t really talk to anymore, in case he looked to see if I was actually removing people or not. I became paranoid.
Within a few hours of removing him from Facebook, I got a direct message from him on Twitter. I don’t recall if he asked if I accidentally removed him or if he told me that I accidentally removed him, but he informed me and told me he’d sent me a friend request. I do not remember if I responded to him or not. Not long after that, I removed him from G+ and Twitter. I didn’t only remove him, I blocked him. I didn’t want to see what was going to follow. I was honestly afraid.
I wanted to not care. I wanted to let it all pass. Instead, I grew frustrated. He had overstepped his boundaries, made me uncomfortable, and even slightly paranoid. And for the most part things moved on unnoticed. Every once in a while I’d get mentioned in a tweet with him and it made me uncomfortable. I’ll admit, a couple times I informed people of what happened in hopes that I’d not be mentioned with him again. I never went into such detail. It felt like so much of what happened was private.
I don’t think I noticed to what degree it was making me angry. It didn’t help that a couple people I had told about the fiasco were quick to come to his defense. I think I spoke with about a dozen people regarding the matter. And I tried to keep his name out of it, at first, in hopes the situation would be judged for what it was. I didn’t want to let the anger and frustration get the best of me. I know that I failed at that. If you want to take issue with me, take issue that I lost sight of who I was and started to and continued to make comments regarding this man in public. I did not use his name, and that doesn’t make it right, but it does not make my comments untrue. It simply makes them unnecessary.
I had tried to avoid this, not talk it up incessantly, because I was afraid of this happening. I knew some people would jump to conclusions. I knew that others would side with him, no matter what I had to say. He was the one that first used my name in public, calling me vile, a liar, and whatever else. I had only become aware that he was still keeping tabs on me when someone approached me on Twitter regarding the matter. What followed was me learning of his rants on Facebook. This is what happened last night and what followed was quite disgusting.
I was beside myself to learn that he was lying about me so openly. I was also quite surprised that people would be so quick to judge me, without even considering that there was more to what he was saying. It got to the point where I definitely felt I was being attacked. I tried to defend myself, without going into details. It did me no good. Before I knew it, it was 4am, 5am, and 6am. I had to be up for work early this morning and I was in need of sleep. I knew that I was so tired from the emotional melee that I couldn’t even properly defend myself, so I gave up and went to sleep. When I woke a couple hours later I had a few tweets awaiting me. I had expected such, but I hadn’t expected the animosity. Again, I was asked to defend myself on the spot. I knew that all I had to say would never be able to be said on Twitter, or Facebook for that matter. There was far too much information and it would have been severely unfair, to those unaware and those uninterested, to use Twitter as a medium for this explanation.
I tried to explain that I needed to depart for work, but met with a skeptic who highly doubted me. The skeptic claimed that the number of tweets I had meant that I was lying, that I had to be able to tweet during the day. I merely responded that for several months of the past year, I had been unemployed and that I recently started a temp job where my access to the internet is limited. I invited the skeptic to search my timeline for tweets implying such; I don’t know if he did.
I’m certain that this will be met with many who still do not believe. I also expect claims to the contrary. In the end though, I did what you asked. You wanted to know the truth, here it is. What you do with it, that’s up to you
Filed under: Uncategorized
As I stood in disbelief thoughts raced through my mind. Should I get in my car and chase them down? Do we call the cops? What if something happens to her? It’s all my fault! I took a moment and a deep breath, hoping to calm myself down. I looked at my co-workers and our customer and asked what we should do.
There were no options. We called the police and let them know what happened. They told us they’d be on the lookout for the vehicle and the people. Unfortunately, that was the best they…and we, could do.
I watched the news, looking, listening for any sign of a woman disappearing or worse. I was relieved every time there was nothing.
About a week later it was Halloween. It was Friday and I had an early shift at Starbucks. Since we were given the option, I dressed up as Cleopatra. It was certainly fun seeing peoples faces as they pulled up to the drive thru. I was certain most of them hadn’t even remembered it was Halloween. I worked until noon and then headed to my grandmother’s house for lunch.
After lunch with grandma I headed back to Starbucks to retrieve the paycheck I had forgotten. When I walked up to the counter I was greeted by Jackie. Before I could ask for my check Jackie asked if was there when the cops showed up. I looked at her, very confused, and responded no. She didn’t immediately offer up information, so I asked her why. She directed me to the back room and told me to look at the fridge.
Incredibly confused, I headed to the back to look at the fridge. When I got there, I found this lovely paper attached with tape. It reads: Jonathan W. Wood is wanted by the Elk Grove Village Police Department for questioning. Written in hand next to his photo are the words “Call 911 RIGHT AWAY if you see him!”
This cannot be good. He killed her, that’s it. She has to be missing.
Again, the thoughts ran through my head. I was certain that the picky customer who gave him a ride the week prior was, in fact, in a ditch somewhere.
I snapped the photo of the paper and headed back out to the front. I found Jackie and asked her if she knew why they were looking for him. She said that he was wanted for questioning in a murder. She said that the cops didn’t really say much more than that, but shared that much so that we knew there was a possible danger. I thanked her for the info, got my check and headed home.
I didn’t know what to make of the situation. I talked to a friend that day and told her everything. She assured me that stressing about it wouldn’t be wise and that we didn’t even know the details. I did my best to calm myself down and enjoy my evening. And she was right, we didn’t know the details.
The store was all abuzz when I walked into work the next morning. A series of “Did you hear what happened?” greeted me as I walked into the back room. I don’t remember who filled me in, it may have been a number of people. But, somehow, we’d received more information about the man with his photo on our fridge.
It turns out, he WAS wanted for questioning in regards to a murder. A couple days prior, a woman failed to show up to work. When her co-workers received a scribbled fax, supposedly from the woman, saying that she was going to be out of town for a few days to visit her sick sister, they suspected something was wrong. The co-workers notified the police and asked them to check on her. The woman was found in a closet in her house. There was a bag covering her head. She was dead, and if I remember correctly, beaten.
Her car was missing, the details about her car were on the sheet from the fridge. The police suspected the man with the laptop. They thought he had her car. And they were right. They learned this when he showed up in the neighborhood, in her car. When he saw the cops at the house, he took off. A chase was had, he was caught.
While he still hasn’t admitted to anything, almost three years later, the story is there. After killing the woman in the closet, he grabbed some paper and wrote a note. He got the fax number to her place of employment and stopped at a random business to use their fax machine. Eventually,after sending the fax, he returned to the house, where the police spotted him and chased him down. She had a restraining order against him. How bad can it be when a mother has to get a restraining order against her own son? Yes, the woman in the closet was his mother.
Every so often I do a search to see if any more news has come of this horrendous tale. Not much is out there. He’s in jail, awaiting trial. last I checked, he had finally agreed to being evaluated by a psychiatrist.
And the woman in the red Jeep? She came in to our Starbucks a couple weeks later. When I saw her I filled her in on what had happened. She was shocked, to say the least. She told me he had asked her if she knew of a Catholic church nearby. She said that she pointed up the street to tell him where there was one. He asked for a ride to the church and that she agreed. She said that she agreed, but on the condition that his belongings went in the trunk, his pockets were emptied, and his hands were on the dashboard the entire time. When she finished sharing her story, she left, not as shaken as she should have been.
And that, is my story about a murderer.
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PART I can be found here.
I was wrong. As the man with the laptop picked up his drink, he interrupted our conversation to say hello. Politely, I greeted him in return and went back to eating my dinner. This, however, didn’t stop him from continuing to talk to me. He started with the small questions….what’s your name? Do you work here? Is that spaghetti? And as I answered moved closer and started asking more disconcerting questions: Where do you live? Do you live by yourself? Who made that spaghetti for you, your mom? Where did you go to high school? What were your activities in high school?
I kept looking over at Joe and Colleen, but they were busy with a line at the drive thru. Unsure of a better way to close off the conversation I muttered something about my break ending and hopped off the bar stool. I quickly headed to the backroom and took a seat at the desk, where I finished my meal in peace. I then took a few moments to grab my iPhone and say something on facebook about the unusual encounter. I had dreaded my break time ending, knowing the man with the laptop was still going to be there.
Colleen assigned me to the espresso bar after I clocked back in. I was relieved to be on the bar because I knew it was much easier to feign busyness on the bar than at the drive thru.
The customers grew to be fewer and fewer as the night drew on, but that didn’t stop the man with the laptop. He approached almost every customer that came in, tried to chat them up. While I could not hear what he was saying, I could see the body language of the people he was talking to. It was enough to make me feel uncomfortable. I knew there was nothing we could do.
About 30 minutes before we closed the man with the laptop packed up his belongings. But he didn’t leave. Instead, he started a conversation with a customer and followed him outside to chat. They stood there talking for several minutes, during which another customer entered the store.
I took the woman’s order and started to make her drink…a Venti Mocha Frappuccino. I made her drink the same way I had made hundreds of drinks, exactly according to recipe.
I handed the woman her beverage and was about to warn her about the man with the laptop who was now outside. However, before I could tell her about the creepy man, she started yelling at me. She was exclaiming that the drink was terrible and demanded that I remake it. I asked her what the problem was and she merely stated that it tasted wrong. I asked her if anyone in our store made it different for her, and she said no. So with no reason to remake her drink, I remade it, to appease her. I made the drink the EXACT same way I had made it the first time. When it was ready, I handed the drink over for approval and she told me that it was “much better”.
Much better? It was the same thing that I had just made, that she had wasted. I was so incredibly frustrated with her that I purposefully neglected to tell her about the man with the laptop standing outside, closing up the conversation with the man. The woman made some remark that was probably meant to be a compliment and headed out the door.
I watched as she went outside, hoping that she’d bypass the man with the laptop. But by the time she made it out the front door the man with the laptop had been left by himself. He greeted her as exited the building and started talking to her. He said something and she pointed at the road, as if giving directions. She nodded her head then started walking to her car. Their conversation was brief. He came back inside, where he’d left him bag and quickly grabbed it and walked back outside.
As the man with the laptop exited the building, our favorite regular, Tony, walked in. Before I could greet him, I saw the man with the laptop walk over to and get in the car belonging to the woman. Tony must have seen the look on my face, because he turned to look outside too. I mumbled something about stopping the car and before I could move, Tony ran outside to try to stop them, but they were off before he could even get the license plate number.
Immediately I felt regret for not warning the woman. Immediately I felt responsible. For what…..I didn’t know. But there was an unsettling feeling inside of me, worried for that woman who was now driving the man with the laptop.
To be continued….