Pat and I got along quite well until we allowed another girl to room with us until she found other accommodations or got married, whichever came first. She was a little strange, well, a lot strange, and a large framed blonde, blue-eyed woman and meticulous about her appearance. We had only 2 bedrooms, and I think she slept on the couch and was with us for several looong months.
One of her many strange habits was her choice of girdles! They looked like rubber, and one was drying on the bathtub all the time. I think her idea of washing was more like rinsing, if you get my drift. Our bathroom smelled like sweat most of the time. If I wanted a bath, I had to remove them, which meant I had to touch them. Help, mama, come get your baby girl!
We had no choice but to marry her off! Every weekend, we made dinners for her and her boyfriend and left them alone to let nature take its course. And sure enough, she got pregnant, and they got married. Yay! I know what you are thinking, and you would be right, but we had to hold our noses when we had to go in the bathroom. Besides, she was happy and so were we!
I started dating a nice guy that worked on the other side of the file cabinets. He was a sweet guy and incredibly thin. We were going to the beach one day, and he begged me not to laugh when he came out with his bathing suit on. I have to admit, it took all my strength, not to at least giggle.
I may have told of “hazing” of all 8th graders entering High School; repeating the story will make the next paragraph make more sense. The hazing ceremony took place in the Town Hall in front of nearly everyone in town. We each were given some silly thing to do. I had just had all my front teeth pulled and bone surgery to eliminate an overbite. I was given a song to sing. “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!” I was scared out of my mind but hammed it up. My partial plate, now 4 years old, caused sores; my dentist recommended pulling the rest of my teeth and making a full set of dentures. I had to allow my mouth to heal before I could have dentures made. For several months I didn’t talk much at work or anyplace else. Remember, I had a steady boyfriend! He was invited to a wedding and, of course, so was I! I bought a large-brimmed hat and just smiled at everyone and didn’t talk.
Now here is the revenge part with the nasty city girls! My Boss was impressed that I showed up every day. One day one of the city girls showed up with an ulcerated tooth and wanted several days off because she looked like a chipmunk with her huge swollen cheek. Nope! The boss said if I could go several months without any teeth, a few days with a swollen face wouldn’t hurt her. The poor girl was miserable, and I think the boss enjoyed making her stay at work.
We damned near got fired when we decided to go home for Christmas. It was a culture shock when we learned you don’t just get time off when you want it. I think we called in sick and took off for Maine. I guess we didn’t think anyone would figure out that roommates calling in sick the same days would not be a red flag. Of course, we didn’t answer the phones. Remember, cell phones hadn’t been invented. Fortunately, they only docked our pay. We didn’t care; we got home for Christmas! Another culture shock was when we realized we didn’t get the summer off, either! How come nobody told us about these things?
The time came when Pat and her guy were planning to tie the knot. I would lose my roommate, and I couldn’t afford the rent alone. I didn’t want to break in a new one, and I could see the handwriting on the wall; the job wasn’t going anywhere. All the “girls” were called in for a talk from the Big Boss. I was nervous, but my Mom said to picture him in his underwear. He talked a lot, then said that our work was not “up to snuff,” we weren’t going to get a raise, but to keep up the good work! I nearly laughed out loud, picturing that balding man with a big belly in his boxers with his skinny legs standing there in his black socks and black shoes. I raised my hand and said, “But Mrs. Bill has said I had a lot of Perfect batches, and I think I deserve a raise.” That went over like a lead balloon. The other girls said the company did the same thing to everyone. No one EVER got a raise, and no one ever said anything to the old fart, either. Bet the “men” on the other side of the file cabinets got a nice one. The 80s wasn’t a good time to be female.
I had planned to be part of Pat’s wedding, but it wasn’t possible because I didn’t convert to Catholicism; I was left out. It was funny that most of my relatives ignored me until they thought I might convert! I heard from everyone about how it would be a sin for me to convert. Hell, I wasn’t going to convert; I just wanted to know what it was all about, but it was good to find out I had relatives. Besides, the priest was a hot young man and great eye candy.
I forgot to mention that the apartment was almost across the street from the Catholic Church and the Mohican Market, which was the store my husband managed until he was drafted. I used to shop in that market; of course, we missed each other by a couple of years. That probably is a good thing because he was married to someone else.
I decided to move on; I packed my bag and headed to my Aunt Irene’s house outside of Boston to stay until I found a roommate and a small apartment. She helped me get a job at Raytheon as a mail-girl. Not a big stepping stone up the ladder of success, but a paycheck. My immediate boss was a dick, but I had a blast delivering mail to the various buildings. I loved delivering mail to one of the labs where they were testing rocket engines. I had a bunch of mail for that building, and as soon as I set it down, one of the guys said, “Quick, come with me, I will show you something terrific!” He was about 6 ft 6 and had bright red messy hair with big blue eyes and was skinny as a rail. I think he wanted to date me but was too shy. I watched them firing the prototype of the rocket NASA would use in the space ships. It was the coolest thing ever! I watched it several times. He never did ask me out. Too bad, because I would have loved to listen to him talk about rockets.
I never found that wonderful job that I could envision a career and eventually decided to go back home.
I will circle around in a few days, and we will tell you more about the job that was more satisfying than all the others! If you are looking for something to read, try my book, “Immortal Enemies.” Aliens are living among us! This is a “who is fooling who” book with enough twists and turns to make you dizzy. Click on the cover to learn more about it.
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