I Was Almost Arrested Today

People never believe the stupid crap that happens to me, but yes, this ain't no clickbait. I was almost arrested today.

This morning there was an open house at the Fillmore Arts Center, where 3 elementary schools have their weekly arts program. M's school was there today and the parents were invited to check it out, so I got to watch her in a drama class and then an art class. When I swung back home to pick up my work things, Real Estate Dad was surprised I actually got to see her. He didn't go because he thought it was just a building tour. Sucks for you Real Estate Dad, I got to see our little angel. But thankfully, I also took thousands of pictures. And this is where I handed him my phone.

And promptly forgot that I had done that. So I was phone-less today. Which isn't a big deal for the days you don't almost get arrested, but today would have been a good day to have the phone.

I got to the office and I've been working on a project with another Realtor. We decided to order lunch from Maggiano's. My turn to pay so I handed her my credit card when she placed the order online and then I headed over there. I told her I could swing in the front No Parking Zone and just run in and grab it, that's what they always tell you to do when you call in an order anyway.

Of course I pull up and the front No Parking area is empty except for one police car. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that somewhere between the police car and the No Parking zone is where I almost got arrested. Wrong.

I put the flashers on and ran into Maggiano's and went to the order pickup window. Told them my name and in hindsight I now realize there was a bit of a kerfluffle behind the desk with the 3 employees and they said they had to get the order from the back. Then I turn and see 3 cops come storming in, Ponch style, and they're heading straight for me.

Me: "You're here for me?'

Ponch: "We are."

Me: "You want me to move my car?"

Ponch: "We're not joking, this isn't a joke."

Me: "I'll move the car."

At this point I'm stumped. Did I park in an ambulance zone? Handicapped space? Nuclear attack area?

Then he screams, very loudly so the entire bar area could hear him, wait for it,

"YOU HAVE A STOLEN CREDIT CARD THAT YOU USED TODAY."

For that first instant I was like, "Yes! I'm not getting a parking ticket!"

I said, "No I didn't."

Ponch says, "Yes you did."

If I had my F*CKING phone I could have shown him my text and email alert from AMEX that says Maggiano's charged whatever dollars to my card. But no. We have to do this the hard way.

The Manager is behind the desk. he's got a sticky note on it with a name, phone number and the last 4 digits of my credit card. I said, "What's that?"

He asks for my card. I provide it. Ponch asks for my license. I also provide that.

Then we wait.

Give me my salad damn it, I'm hungry. Hannah's hungry too. She's probably back at the office wondering if I'm inhaling her lunch in the parking garage.

Manager is calling the number. Asking the number for their credit card info. Hangs up and says "It's not the same number. There must be a problem with AMEX." Suddenly everyone's demeanor changes and I'm no longer a criminal. I was like, "Can you explain what is happening? Someone said I used their credit card but it's really my credit card?" They say yes. Me again, "And you called the police, and Brooklyn* over here comes in screaming at me so the whole restaurant turns around to look?" (Brooklyn is Ponch. I just called him Brooklyn to his face. Not Ponch.)

Then I asked Ponch "What happened to innocent till proven guilty?"

It seems that some woman in Virginia has an alert on her Amex and she received an alert today telling her that there was a charge at Maggiano's for the amount I apparently spent for lunch today. So...follow me on this.

This is Maggiano's in Chevy Chase. They received a call from someone who tells them something on the phone that her credit card may have been used there at the restaurant, and without any proof, and without waiting until I get there with the card - they then call the police. The police practically storm the restaurant and accuse me of using a stolen credit card. The same Maggiano's that hosted some White Supremacist event last year at this time. Yes. Lots and lots of conclusions were jumped to here today.

And all I'm getting out of it is a free lunch. Maybe. If they remember that this even happened. And if I ever go back.

The Manager gave me his card to claim my free lunch. This is what's on the back. Awesome!

I decided it needed some edits.

I decided it needed some edits.

#NotMeToo

I'm finding the #MeToo movement quite fascinating. This stemmed from some sleazy Hollywood scum who believed money and power could grant him the right to do some horrifying things to women. Not exactly surprising and not a new story.

Then #MeToo started to appear all over Facebook. I'm never one to jump on a bandwagon as evidenced by my total shock that the women's march became a thing, but I was impressed that there were women I knew who would share something like that about themselves in such a public forum. But then, as we all do, I started thinking about myself.

Have I ever been sexually assaulted or harassed? Right or wrong this is how my thought process went:

"Not that I can think of. Definitely not assaulted. I'm not even sure I could beg someone to assault or harass me with the sheer stream of profanity that comes out of my mouth. That one guy said to me that I was so off-putting he couldn't believe anyone would actually have sex with me. A couple of my exes said I was so emasculating that they couldn't be in a relationship with me." All clear here.

I dug back a bit farther. Oh. Wait.

I was 13 and walking down a beach in Florida by myself. I heard a noise and there was a man standing behind me, shaking his junk at me. A legit flasher. I ran. He didn't chase me. And that was that. I got back to where we were staying and went about my day.

It bothered me a lot over the ensuing months so I ended up telling my mom. If you know my mom, you know that this could have gone either way, but she doesn't take crap from anyone. What was her reaction to this revelation?

She started hysterically laughing.

It may sound insensitive but, she taught me a couple things there with that laugh. First, don't let something like this occupy one ounce of your head space. Second, your reaction to being in a situation like that is key. The best defense is always a good offense. Of course I'm talking about non-violent assaults here.

It stuck with me. All these years it stuck with me.  I worked for a builder about 15 years ago where the treatment of women by some of the management was pretty crappy. I walked in on a conversation where a couple of the managers were complaining about having to pay one of the women an equal commission on a sale in which she shared an equal part with a man.

Lame Manager: "Why is she pushing this, she gets paid enough! She wants to compare what she's getting to everyone else? Why don't we just take our dicks out on the table and see whose is biggest?"

Me: "Do it. I want all of you to take your pants off and show me, I'll get the measuring tape." I delivered this with an expert deadpan, devoid of one ounce of emotion.

They spun around to see me at the door. The looks on their faces were amazing. Like they got caught with their pants down already. There was slow shuffling around and then some scrambling toward the door.

Me: "Where are you all going? We have a contest in session! Come back."

Those conversations were never had near me again.

I can't understand how not one person in Hollywood leaked this sooner, before dozens of women were affected. But I know this. I'm going to teach my girls that harassment is about power, not sex and if you can diffuse the power, you have a pretty decent chance of coming out of it not feeling like the victim. But you also have to choose the battles. If they pass the cliche construction site and get a whistle, then a smile and wave is fine and there's no reason to feel victimized. If they pass the cliche construction site and one of the guys says, "Nice tits," I think we have all been around long enough to know what I'll have my girls programmed to say.

"You should see my penis!"

I Hate School

Surprise #474 about kindergarten. Kindergartners have homework. Every night there are two pages of homework that have to be done, for a package of 10 that have to be turned in each Monday.

What. The. F.....

The first day was okay.  Painful, but okay. It took about an hour longer than it should have but it was done.

The second day I said "M, it's time to do your homework." She said, "I don't want to."

And that is the routine we've acted out nightly. There are nights that Real Estate Dad and I are just too tired or annoyed to fight with her. I tried telling her that this is the first of many many nights of homework and she got pissed. And you know what? I don't blame her one stinking bit.

Who the hell decided kids in kindergarten should have homework? My forehead is crinkling right now even typing that out because it pisses me off. Homework for kindergartners is really just homework for the parents and no. Just no. I'm way too busy to spend hours of time begging and coaxing and then helping with the homework. I don't think I had homework until maybe 4th grade. I can't even remember but I know it wasn't kindergarten.

Argh. School

Classic Real Estate Mama

Over the weekend, I was showing houses one morning to clients and I thought we were seeing one but we went to see five. I promised the littles I would be home quickly and we could head off to do some things I promised we would do. After all the houses and no breakfast, I was wickedly starving. I knew if I stopped home long enough to eat breakfast, they would really boil over. No, this had to be a screech up to the front of the house, kids hop in, and we take off kind of pick up.
 
I'm sitting in the left lane at a red light thinking about where I could grab something to eat when I spy a bagel place on the right, just after the intersection. I thought about that jerk who holds up traffic so he can cut across two lanes to get to the store he needs and I didn't want to be that jerk. Light turns red, and I plan to just figure out a U-turn. Except...the car on my right didn't move so fast and well...the New York Driver came right out.

I gunned it, got in front of the car, and made the right turn into the place I needed with tons of room to spare since they turned right at the intersection.

I walked up to the deli and this woman got to the door at the same time. She opened the door for me and I'm so happy I'm about to get some food in my stomach I'm like, "No you go first" and she said, "No, go ahead, it's fine." I said, "Okay but you can get in line first." She said, "Oh please, don't worry about it, go ahead."

Well shoot that was pretty nice. I order my bagel and when I'm told to move on down the line in that soup-nazi style to pay, I realized there's just one order taker and I held him hostage while he told me all the bagels they DID have since everything I picked was sold out. I turned around to the woman behind me and thanked her again and she said, "Oh, you're welcome. I'm all about being nice in this world where no one else is. I'm just so tired of it."

I felt bad for her. She sort of had a day it seemed. I got to the register and my order popped up without me telling them like you have to do at Potbelly. I said, "Can you see what the woman behind me ordered?" They confirmed, so I said I wanted to pay for that too. The cashier said, "Aww that's so nice." I said, "She's sort of having a bad day so maybe this will cheer her up."

The woman moved down to the register as I was heading into the bathroom and when I came out she came up to me and said, "That was so nice of you! I was having the worst day and I really try to be so nice to people and to top off my horrible morning, when I was driving in here someone tried to cut me off and it really put me in a worse mood."

Uh. Oops?

Forehead slap. Bad! Very bad!

I'd like to say I wouldn't do it again but you and I both know I would be lying.

Forgive Me, I've Been Remiss

It's been months I realize, but this summer we scored the most excellent Summer Nanny! Truthfully, I robbed her from her place of business which also happened to be Chubs's longtime tumble gym where we're not allowed to poach teachers but hell. I couldn't resist. And my intuition was on point. Summer Nanny rocks! So how does Summer Nanny result in me not updating here? Simple. I was able to crank out an insane amount of work this summer thanks to Summer Nanny raising my kids. As in, I closed more homes for clients now than I did last year for the entire year. And we've got 4 months to go.

Sadly, those 4 months will be without Summer Nanny. Cue, sadface.

Several weeks ago, I checked out M's elementary school website after we had not received any mail about the upcoming school year and who her Kindergarten teacher was. There was a school supply list posted on the Kindergarten page, and then another list on each of the teacher pages. The lists were similar but not identical. So I started purchasing the items that were on both the general list and most of the teacher lists.

Well what I fool I am. Here's what I didn't know. THOSE LISTS CHANGE! ALL THE TIME!!!

D'oh! So finally a couple weeks before school we received mail with teacher assignments. Great! After I google stalked her teacher to make sure she was young* I then consulted the supply list. Seemed like I had done a decent job and only needed to pick up a few more items. I placed an order online, picked that up from Wal Mart and I was done. 

So I thought.

Suddenly, I was in possession of way too many glue sticks (the lists said buy 12, now they only wanted 5,) and the wrong color construction paper, and we no longer needed crayons.  What? Where did the crayons go? And some items on the "girl list only" seem to have moved to the boy list so I have the wrong gender supplies. Or something. I mean, the supplies aren't gender related or anything. And I'm missing pencils. I'm missing Ticonderoga Primary Tri-Write Pencils. Off to Amazon only to find that those 12 pencils will cost around $20. What. The. Hell. But there was one seller selling them for $5. Great. Order placed.

And two weeks later, no pencils. I checked Amazon and it pretty much boils down like this: Since the day I placed my order, that seller received 96 1-star comments saying they were a scam artist and never shipped the item and did not respond to inquiries. I tried to place a refund order and it said the seller no longer exists on the Amazon Platform. I want my $5.00!!!! Or my pencils. Christ.

Since "Megan's" storefront on Amazon was declared a farce, I started looking other places and couldn't find any better pricing or selection. I decided to look in person. I went to Office Depot and they had the triangular pencils but not "My First" size which is large. I went to CVS and they had the "My First" pencils but not triangular. I went to Staples and they had them! Except they were black rubbery type of wood even though the box said wood. Shit. I can't buy these because they need to look like the pencils in the picture which are yellow.

The funniest part of this is twofold.

1) M knows how to write with a regular pencil already and;

2) These are communal supplies, not for her specifically. So really, I'm spending all this time looking for pencils for the kids whose parents actually loved them enough to keep them home until this very day instead of sending them off into the wilds of Daycare and Pre-K where they learned, among other things, how to write. Except for the letter "E," to which M adds many many dashes, not just the ones at the top, middle and bottom. But she gets an A+ for this because I used to do the same exact thing.

In total, there are probably about 8 hours of my life I can't get back due to these stupid elusive pencils and the fact that I'm a complete amateur at this. Maybe this is like those secret clubs where you have to know the location and secret word to get inside. The moms "in the know" got these pencils months ago and here I am, the day before school starts, still scrambling.

I'm better at real estate, clearly.

And, because you're still waiting for the explanation of the asterisk, here.

*M has to have a young teacher because if her teacher is old, she's liable to call her an "old bat" which is what I call every old lady driver on the road and M now thinks this is what you call old ladies - they are either Yiayia's or old bats.