Archive for June, 2008


Towels ‘n Crap living up to it’s name

A long time ago I decided that the store Linens ‘n Things would be better called “Towels ‘n Crap,”so I should’ve known better than to have any expectations walking in there.

Who calls a store Linen’s ‘n Things?  And ‘things?’  What was that board meeting like?  Surely it was 1am, everyone was drunk and tired, and the copy went out to the marketing department without a sober executive to stop it.  The guys in marketing were like, “….okay….?” shrugging while faxing it on to the printers who make the signs for the stores.   

The Linens ‘n Things Towels ‘n Crap nearest to where I live is going out of business (surprise?) and has been advertising blow-out sales.  They caught my eye because I’m still settling in my new place and I’m in the market for a big picture for one of my living room walls.

I know that they don’t sell fine art at Towels ‘n Crap.  Wall hangings would fall under the ‘n crap department.  But the small chance of finding a decent picture for a good price was enough to entice me. I walked in and wandered in a big circle looking for some ‘n crap. 

I should’ve known it would be a bust when their blowout sale meant 10% off everything in the store.  Lawn chairs that were normally $79 were ‘marked down’ to $71.  Movin’ ’em out! 

Most of their big pictures were themed around liquor and cafes in Europe.  A faceless man in a pinstripe suit holding a highball glass in one hand and a long umbrella in the other, leaning on a Parisian store front.  A set of women’s legs, crossed and in high heels, her hand holding a martini glass with a green olive in it. 

vintage liquor ads have their place...not in my place

I smiled as I sorted through the paintings.  My other options were wall hangings that said things like “loves me, loves me not.”  Sigh.  None of them would quite go in my living room with the New England folk art hanging on the opposite wall. 

What I’d really like to have is a painting of Robert Frost’s wrinkled hands, penning a poem.  Anyone have one of those…for more than 10% off?



who am I and what am I doing?

Between May 24th and May 27th I moved into a new place and started a new job. 

That means I wake up in an unfamiliar room and spend the rest of my day in a different unfamiliar room with unfamiliar people.  I walk gray halls making eye contact with strangers, bound to them only by the security badges we wear that allow us access to company rooms.  I don’t know their lingo yet.  I don’t know their positions or reputations.  My brain is a blank slate when I’m at work.

Although I’ve been working full time for the last five years, this job makes me feel as though I’m actually in the rat race.  I sit in traffic each morning and evening.  My fellow commuters wear bland business-casual attire and yawn.  Between traffic jams, I sit in a light gray cubicle with a flourescent light above me. I have an extension and drink out of water coolers. 

The neat part is that I have a decent position within the company, so I get a decent amount of respect when I’m introduced to new co-workers.  There are only four people in this Human Resources department, so I make up a quarter of the group.  Right now my name is “new girl in HR.” 

At my complex I’m sure my name is “new girl in 1402.” 

Both my new job and new place are improvements, which is why I’ve decided to make the changes.  I’m movin’ on up…and out of my comfort zones from the last five years.  For me, who gravitates to routines, I’m struggling to maintain my sense of identity. 

Whether or not I liked it, I was able to find a part of my identity in what I did everyday.  People knew who I was, I knew what I was doing and what I was going to do next.  But now, being a novice in both my occupation and location, I can’t help but flounder a bit.  It’s self-imposed discomfort.

But intermittently I’ll catch perspective and my heart is quieted.  I have family and friends and a God who loves me indefinitely.  He doesn’t care if I know the new software program or worry if I can afford higher rent.  I could go limp and still be good enough.

Tomorrow starts my second week.  I know I’ll have a different take on things by next Sunday because I’ll be more entrenched and possibly may even be more than “the new girl” to my colleagues.  But I wanted to record this moment because I don’t identify enough with my job yet to make it me — I’m more myself without a job title slapped on.