Dream Journal 5/31/18 | Customer Service

I was waiting in a really long line at a McDonalds-like fast food place. There were a ton of employees behind the counter, just standing around, and the customers were all growing very frustrated. Continue reading “Dream Journal 5/31/18 | Customer Service”

Dream Journal 3/2/17 | Will Smith

I stared for a moment, completely in shock. It was Will Smith. Will Smith was the man angrily pacing through the greeting card aisle.

I was walking through a large store by myself, just browsing around in the women’s clothing section, when I saw a man pacing angrily through the aisles of greeting cards. The man was wearing a gray beanie, dark sunglasses, and a leather coat. He was shouting angrily about there being no one around to help him, and cursing under his breath. Despite him seeming slightly terrifying, I walked over to him and asked if he needed help looking for a specific card. I told him that I used to work in the store, and might be able to help him. He just stared at me for a few seconds before dramatically ripping off his sunglasses, and saying, “Get the fuck away from me.”

I stared for a moment, completely in shock. It was Will Smith. Will Smith was the man angrily pacing through the greeting card aisle. Will Smith had just cursed at me and told me to get away from him. I calmly asked him if he was sure he didn’t need any help, and he started hollering incoherently at me. I backed away and quickly retreated back to the women’s clothing section. I was shaking, and felt a strange mix of confusion and excitement. There was a girl nearby who was folding shirts on a table, and I walked over to her and told her that Will Smith was in the store. She got excited and said she wanted to say hello to him, but when I told her what happened, so said we had to warn the other employees.

We walked over to the Electronics department, where a really young guy was working at the counter. He literally only looked 12 or 13 years old. As we were telling him that Will Smith was in the store, Will Smith walked by, and before we could warn him that the guy was kind of an unstable jerk, he ran up to him, excitedly asking him to take a picture. Will Smith looked over at me and the other girl, and started shouting that I was stalking him, and that this was all my fault, and whatnot. I stood there, completely frozen, while security showed up to drag him away, still screaming obscenities in my direction.

Then, I was at home. I was sitting at my computer, and Facebook Messenger popped up. I didn’t know the person, but they sent me a link to an online blog, run by Will Smith. In his most recent blog post, he wrote a scathing article about how I was stalking him, and harassing him, and had gotten him removed from a store. He mentioned me by name, and there were pictures of me as well. I was horrified. I never told him my name, and how did he even get the pictures?

I read through the comments, and there were at least a dozen people with “Jan” or “Janise” (my name) in their screen names, all claiming to be me, and all saying horrible things, and making me look bad. There were links being posted to other blogs, social networks, and even YouTube, where people were pretending to be me. I tried writing a comment, apologising to Will Smith, and telling him this was all a huge misunderstanding, but as soon as I hit enter, I was flooded by horrible, mean replies. Most people thought I was another fake.

I started crying, and closed the blog post. Back on Facebook, I had another two dozen messages waiting for me, all from strangers, all with links to these other sites where people were pretending to be me. Trying to twist the situation, and tell “their side” of the story, trying to get attention. I clicked on a few of the YouTube links, and saw girls of every age, ethnicity, etc. impersonating me, making me look awful. It didn’t make any sense.

It went on like that for a while. Endless videos, endless tweets, endless blog posts, all people trying to garner attention for themselves, while destroying my good name.

After a while, I woke up.

Dream Journal 10/19/16

I looked through the poop hole, and saw my childhood neighbor, Ashley, and her younger brother, Jacob, moving furniture into the apartment across the hall. I opened the door and greeted them excitedly.

I was sitting at my kitchen table, drinking coffee while Liam ate his breakfast, when I heard the sound of voices in the building’s hallway. Continue reading “Dream Journal 10/19/16”

“We Can Do Better”

“Let’s all learn from our mistakes, and try to be a better person than we are today.”

Hello, friends. I want to talk about something today that is very near to my heart. It may be triggering to some, and to others, you may not even care. Today, I want to talk about bullying. Specifically, cyber bullying. Recently, a very funny man named Wade, who I regularly watch on YouTube, and who I follow on social media, made a post to his Tumblr page that tugged at my heart. In his post, Wade spoke poignantly about how we, as a generation who spends much of our lives online, treat other people on social media, and shed some light on the ever growing issue of cyber bullying. Continue reading ““We Can Do Better””

Take A Walk With Jan #7

Hello, friends! Yesterday was a bonus day, and Kyle got off of work 7 hours early, thanks to a conveyor belt breaking on his line, so we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather, and have a family day. After Liam woke up from his nap, and ate a yummy lunch of brown sugar squash pancakes (I’ve been slipping extra vegetables into damn near everything he eats lately), we decided to walk to the park. The weather has been in the high 50’s/low 60’s off and on this week, and yesterday was going to be the last beautiful day for a while, so we wanted to make the most of it.

We stopped at Subway to get some lunch, then walked to the park. A block away from the Subway, I saw Liam’s black and gray, striped beanie, which he lost three days ago while we were out walking, lying on the ground! I was super excited that we found it, as it is my favorite hat of his. When we got to the park, I was happy to see that there was another woman there, with two small little girls. After chatting with her for a bit, I discovered that she was their “grandmother” (long story involving the death of her son, I didn’t quite understand it all), and that the little girls were 20 months old, and 5 years old. Liam immediately adored the little girl, whose name is Jersey, and followed her all around the playground. She was a bit better on her feet than he was, since she is 7 months older than him, so he couldn’t follow her up onto the play area, or down the big slide, but he was so smitten. I found it funny that despite her being 7 months his senior, Liam was a head taller than her, and his feet were easily double the size of hers. She had the cutest little Puma sneakers on! He doesn’t very often get to see babies his age, but when he does, he comes out of his shell beautifully.

We talked to the woman and watched the kids play for a long time. She was very friendly, and introduced us to a very nice man named Big Al, who lives by the park, and was out walking his golden retriever, Dante. Liam LOVED Dante (he loves dogs), and Big Al let all the kids pat him. He was a very well-behaved dog! Liam was so talkative, and wanted to talk to everyone, including the adults, which he never does. He would run excitedly up to baby Jersey, waving his arms around, babbling up a storm. And his smile. It was so nice to see him making a friend.

Unfortunately, the older of the two girls put a bit of a damper on our playtime, as she kept pushing her baby sister away from Liam, and demanding that he not play with them, because he was a stranger. Their grandmother tried to reason with her, and I would smile and re-introduce Liam, telling her that everyone starts out as strangers, but she had some serious attitude, and was a bit mean. She actually tried to trip Liam when he was running by her on the slide, and later slid down and almost hit him when he was standing at the bottom. She glared at him the entire time, and tried to steer her sister away. I was a bit annoyed, because the grandmother was fine with them playing, and Liam and Jersey were having fun, but it wasn’t my place to correct her behavior.

After a while, we said our goodbyes, and continued our walk to the store, where we picked up some charcoal for our grill, and some yummy treats. It was starting to cut into Liam’s nap time, so we reluctantly headed home. It was so beautiful out, and sunny, and I wanted to stay outside all day! Despite being sleepy on the walk, Liam refused to take his afternoon nap, and was a fussy little dude all night, resulting in an early bedtime. I think he is finally teething again (he is 13 months, and still only has 4 teeth!), because he has been fussy, drooly, and has been biting me every chance he gets.

Overall, it was a perfect day. Kyle works a 12-hour shift today, but has the next THREE days off, which has never happened. Ever. I’m looking forward to getting out of the house some more, even though it will be really cold, and we won’t get to take our walks to the park.

Hope you’re all having a great day today! How did you all spend your extra day yesterday?!

Thanks for reading!

Jan

Dream Journal 2/24/16

Past. Reoccurring.

It was my first day of college, and I was walking into a large auditorium with other students my age. The speaker standing in the front of the room was already speaking, and she glared me as I sat down in a chair in the front row. She was talking about drinking and driving, and gestured toward a large, glass case next to the front row, where there were pictures of other students on display. She explained that all of these students had died in car accidents related to drinking and driving, and a confused murmur went through the crowd. I was confused, as one of the girls in the pictures, Katie, was sitting right next to me. Everyone started staring at her, and at several of the other alive students in the crowd. The speaker tensed up, and bolted from the room, and we all casually got up and started walking out.

I was going into my dorm room, which was a small room, with 4 bunk beds in it. There were already girls setting their things on their beds of choice, and one of the girls came up to me when I came in, and introduced herself. I told her that we had gone to school with each other for 10 years, and that I already knew her. She ignored me and walked back to her bed. I didn’t have any bags, and immediately started panicking at the realization that I had just arrived at college, and didn’t bring a single thing into me. I didn’t have my cellphone, and ran around, trying to find a phone to use to call my mom.

A girl walked up to me, and asked me if I wanted to go to iHop, and I said yes. She offered to pay for my food, and I thanked her, but when we got there, she sat down with another group, and didn’t talk to me at all. I decided to just leave. I was walking by a high school, and there was a field hockey game going on, but there were no lights around the field, and it was completely dark. I actually couldn’t even see the players, but I knew it was a field hockey game.

I was back at the dorm, and I went into the common room, where all of my roommates were watching some singing show on a massive, flat-screen TV on the wall. I started making frozen waffles in the toaster…

And then I woke up.

Dream Journal 2/4/16

Present day.

I went to the salon with Kyle’s mom to get my hair done. The women at the salon all knew her, and were super friendly to her, but completely ignored me. She decided that she wanted to go tanning first, and went into the back with one of the girls, leaving me alone.

One of the stylists cat me in the chair and asked me what I wanted. I was just getting a trim, but decided that I wanted to dye my hair, which is normally medium brown, to a dark auburn color. The woman told me that she was going to have to bleach my hair, and I told her that I had dyed me hair hundreds of times, and had done this color before, and my hair definitely didn’t need to be bleached. She scowled at me and proceeded to mix the dye for my hair. She put it on quickly, and put a plastic cap over my head. Several minutes later, she took the cap off and my hair was WHITE. I screamed, and yelled at her for bleaching my hair. She just laughed. I demanded that she fix it, or I would call the police and file assault charges on her (I guess that’s a thing?). She scoffed, but agreed.

I repeated to her the color that I wanted, and se told me that would be impossible, since my hair was now bleached. She put the dye on anyway, and covered it with a cap. When she removed it, the top half of my hair was BRIGHT purple, and then changed very abruptly to white on the bottom half. All of the girls working in the salon laughed at me, and I stormed out. I waited in front of the building to hours, until Kyle’s mom came out. She took one look at me, and laughed. I started crying, and told her that I wanted to walk home. And she just left.

My phone rang, and it was the police station, saying that the woman who did my hair was claiming that I threatened to kill her, which was not true. They asked my location, and I hung up the phone. I started running down the highway, but I could see a roadblock of police cars in the distance. I ran into the ditch, and hid in the woods that lined the highway. I watched the police, who were later joined by all the girls from the salon, until the sun started to set. Then, I turned and started walking deeper into the woods.

I remember being in a large clearing, littered with tree roots…

And then I woke up.

Random Prompt | Schoolyard Bully

“Tell a story from your grammar school days.”

When I was in middle school (grades 6-8), we had dances every weekend. Sometimes, these dances were themed. This particular, unpleasant memory takes place during a Hawaiian-themed dance that I attended in the 6th grade.

But first, a little backstory.

When I was in the 4th grade, I developed a crush on a boy named Billy, who I had several classes with, and always sat near, because our last names were near each other in alphabetical order. He was a skinny boy, with gray-blue eyes and pale blond hair. Billy had an older brother named Bobby (I’m not joking, those are their real names), who was two grades above us. However, Billy did not like me. Despite the popular belief that, when a boy is mean to you in elementary school, he likes you… yeah, no, he didn’t like me. And he made sure to make that perfectly clear to me in the following years, even after my crush had gone away, by teasing and taunting me on an almost daily basis.

Okay, now skip forward to the 6th grade Hawaiian dance.

I showed up at the dance in my black pants, black tank top, and an over-sized, men’s Hawaiian shirt… which was blue and black. I wore a lot of black, even back then. I walked in and was immediately approached by my friend Travis, who told me, “Please, don’t get mad…” I was confused. He told me that Billy and his brother had pulled a mean joke on me, and had hung posters around the hallways and cafeteria, where the dance was being held, depicting a fake AIM/AOL conversation between “me” and Billy. I was mad alright.

We went into the cafeteria, and sure enough, there were white pieces of paper taped up to the walls. Dozens and dozens of them. I tore one down and read through it. Someone had created a fake AIM name, it was “janice95775” or something, and was pretending to be me, saying embarrassing, mean things. First of all, that isn’t even how you spell my name, which luckily, a lot of people knew, because teachers were always saying my name wrong, and it was kind of a running joke. Second, I had always been known for my great grammar and spelling, even in elementary and middle school… and this person did not type like me.

The conversation was vulgar, and disgusting, and mean.

I wanted to cry, but I was too angry. Travis and a few other friends helped me tear down all of the posters, while Billy, Bobby, and their friends, laughed at us from the chairs in the corner of the dark room. They were loving it.

After we tore down all of the posters, I angrily marched over to them, and threw them in Billy’s face. I called him an asshole, or a prick, or something similar, and walked away. The next day, I reported him to the principal, and he was given several days of detentions, since I had ample proof of his mean joke.

After that day, he left me alone. Despite having several classes together in high school, we never spoke to each other again, until our junior year, when we exchanged words during an assembly on bullying. He did eventually apologize, but I could tell by his laughing that he wasn’t serious.

While his joke was cruel and immature, it didn’t bother me as much as I could have let it. I think I found the fact that they thought that people would fall for it made me almost feel bad for them. They wasted all that paper, and so much of their precious time, trying to make me look bad, and not a single person fell for it.

Don’t let bullies get you down, friends. They aren’t worth your time and energy.

Jan

Dream Journal 9/30/15

I put the bowl down and went back to the break room, but I was stopped by a customer who was complaining about the coffee spill on the escalator, which had now turned into a stream of coffee just flowing down the steps. I told the woman that I was a manager and that I would have someone clean it, and she just walked away. I went to go find someone to clean the spill, but the store was completely empty, even all the customers were gone.

Present day/present age.

I was the new manager in a huge store, which looked eerily similar to a Super Target, only it was two stories, and was so much cooler.

I was sitting in the coffee shop inside the store, waiting for my drink, and I was watching the young barista be really rude to everyone waitng in the line. She was shouting and cussing, and no one was reacting or doing anything about it. I didn’t want to do anything about it, since no one knew who I was apparently, so I just got my coffee and walked around the store.

I was drinking my coffee on this obscenely large esclator, when someone bumped into me, spilling my coffee all over my khaki pants. The coffee stain was unrealistically massive, and I got really angry because he didn’t even apologize to me.

I got off the escalator and approached an employee, telling him that there was a spill on the escalator, and he told me to, “Fuck off.” I just stared at him for a minute and walked away.

Then I was sitting in the break room, watching a weird, coloring movie on a big-screen TV on the wall, when a guy sat next to me and started talking to me. I told him who I was and that I was everyone’s new boss, and he got really angry and walked out. Then my walkie went off and someone announced that there was a food fight happening in the grocery section.

When I got there, the barista from before was holding a really big bowl filled with some kind of batter or sauce or something, and she was just throwing it at everyone, but they were all laughing. There was a pedestal next to me with another bowl, and when I went to pick it up, everyone looked at me, and the guy from the break room started screaming for everyone to run, and they all ran from me. I didn’t know why.

I put the bowl down and went back to the break room, but I was stopped by a customer who was complaining about the coffee spill on the escalator, which had now turned into a stream of coffee just flowing down the steps. I told the woman that I was a manager and  that I would have someone clean it, and she just walked away. I went to go find someone to clean the spill, but the store was completely empty, even all the customers were gone.

Then I walked back into the break room to see if I could find anyone, and the guy from before was in there kissing another employee, and they looked at me angrily when I went in and left the room together, so I sat and watched the movie I was watching before and ate a bowl of pretzels and popcorn that was sitting on the table.

I could hear someone singing a weird song over the walkie, and people were starting to come back into the break room.

And then I woke up.