Warning: this post is all over the place. The impending departure has obviously produced ADD symptoms. I stop and start more times than…something that stops and starts a lot. <Fail.>

Saturday: We leave soon for Paris! My guest bedroom is covered in clothing, suitcases and shoes. Robert is color coding our itinerary so I know what to select from this hodge-podge of a wardrobe.

Work was challenging Friday, as it always is when you prepare to go on vacation. You try to wrap up all those loose ends, but have short-timers and are completely unable to focus. The fact that well-wishing co-workers stopped by regularly to speak to me in French or advise me how to carry my purse so as to minimize the chance of it being stolen didn’t help matters.

I have received thought-provoking hand written notes on our infamous itinerary from those co-workers who frequent Paris. I appreciate their advice and comments more than I can say – for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which was the comic relief. “Seems a long way to go to smoke a “j,” noted beside one particular destination will keep me laughing for days. I believe we have crossed that off the list. (The cemetery where Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde reside.)

I’ve been told to not bother speaking French, as it will just tick them off, but would like to at least be able to say please, thank you, you’re welcome, good day and such.  I’m having trouble with the “you’re welcome” or “no problem,” but have considered it and concluded no Parisian will be thanking me for anything anyway, most likely. Unless it’s for leaving. Perhaps a curtsy will suffice in a pinch.

Sunday: I stopped writing yesterday and went back to packing. I’m glad I did because I discovered there was NO WAY IN HELL all these clothes were going into one bag. I haven’t even started on the evening wear! Last night I borrowed a second from my in-laws and will be loading that up as well. The fact that I will still, no doubt, stand in the hotel room each morning crying, “I have nothing to wear!” should make Robert’s head explode. What’s a wife for, anyway?

<Time lapse.>

I have just spent an hour online researching cheese course etiquette. I have serious mental problems. Cheese course etiquette is now my greatest concern. Sigh.

I would like to offer a special note of thanks to my adorable marketing team (with whom I work – not who market me) for supplying a collection of scarves, cardigans and belts to take on my trip. I am not really an accessories girl, so they are responsible for pulling my whole “I’m not a tourist, I am actually French” look together. And it is a “look.” Once I open my mouth, it’s all over.

They are also to blame for my two suitcase situation, because now half my suitcase is full of scarves, cardigans and belts.

And finally, in a semi-awkward segue, say hello to the Flat Marketing team. My companions, (in addition to Robert) on this adventure. If I can fit them in the suitcase, that is.



This is going to be a quick post because I am way too busy freaking out on multiple levels to spend a lot of time analyzing my thoughts.  As far as I can tell, my current thoughts sound something like this, “Aaaauuurrghghhhghhhh!!” 

Here’s why:

1.  I have a great job that I love most of the time, but right now I need it to slow down so I can THINK, or take a few moments out of the day to make an appointment to have something done (like a doctor’s appointment, hair, pedi, etc.) before I leave town in 15 days. Leaving my desk for lunch would be awesome, and maybe managing to get away from the computer long enough to pee would be even better. (Sorry, Mom, I mean “Powder my nose.”)  If new requests would just STOP coming in on an hourly basis, I might actually dance with relief.

Due to this overabundance of work, I am getting annoyed with the people who keep presenting me with more. Really really annoyed. So annoyed I’m thinking of printing this sign and hanging it at my desk, or using it as my screen saver:

I can hear the response now. “You don’t LOOK calm. And your left eyelid is twitching. Oh, and I need this tomorrow.”

2.  I get to go on an amazing trip to Wales in 15 DAYS.  That gives me two more weekends to gather what I need and get mentally prepared. 

Ready for the part where I start hyperventilating? I’m freaking about credit cards and something about a chip & pin versus magnetic strips and the potential to get some sort of pre-loaded Master Card, and all this stuff that sounds really complicated to my brain, which automatically shuts itself down like a blown breaker every time financial transactions, exchange rates, or foreign currency in general are mentioned.  I just want to be able to hand a card to someone and have them take my money. This apparently CAN happen, but I also have to notify everyone (the bank) that I am leaving town and will be using it somewhere else, etc.

I’m sure this will end up being no big deal at all, but for some reason it completely FREAKS ME OUT. What if I get there and my card doesn’t work? What if I can’t buy any cheese at the cheese festival?  Should I just take cash? Euros? Shiny beads? Valium?

I got so crazy about it this weekend – with hubby flashing 3 different credit cards at me I never knew we had and telling me to go online and open electronic accounts blah blah blah…login blah blah blah… verify blah blah blah… that at some point I went in my closet and kicked a box.

Confession: I am not the most mature person on the planet. (This is where you politely plaster a surprised look on your face.) 

Luckily for the rest of the planet, when frustrated beyond words I rarely strike out against anyone but myself. (At least physically.) In fact, I’m lucky I am not in a cast now, as I had no idea what was in the box I attacked. Chances are pretty good that it could have been a stash of books).  I DID limp around for a few hours afterward with some tingling in my toes and a tendon that seemed to be a bit annoyed with me. I know all of this is completely over the top and I will have plenty of time to get everything done and it won’t be the end of the world if I don’t.  It’s going to be an amazing adventure. If I don’t have a stroke before we even get to the airport.

Sandy, (beat the rush and start pitying her now for selecting me as her traveling companion) – when I get like this on the trip, we’ll need a cue so you can signal me that I’m losing it.  Just say something like, “OMG! There’s cheese tossing!” and I promise to shut up and take a deep breath. 

After I kick something. (With my adorable new boots I bought last weekend for the trip!!)

Plus, just in case, I am packing this. Use it at your discretion.


There is a plot afoot to starve me to death. I can tell because usually, we HAVE food in the house. Typically, the only issue is that I get a handful of chips or crackers or what-have-you and the rest gets sucked into the gaping maws of Hubby and his partner in crime – Austin – the minute I leave the house.

But this is different. Hubby has NOT gone to the store AT ALL. In at least a week. I’ve decided it must be some sort of last-ditch diet effort before we go to the beachy family reunion. The problem is, the lack of sustenance is making me a very dangerous human being. (Forget beachy, I’m leaning way more toward bitchy.)

Yesterday for breakfast, I had a trail mix bar that had been in the bottom of my purse for 2 months. For lunch, Hubby sent me to work with a Lean Cuisine. Chicken. It had the consistency of…let’s just say…NOT chicken. I popped a Valium and an anti-inflammatory just to get something on my stomach.

I SHOULD have had a good breakfast this morning. My co-workers and I take turns on Friday – as a little motivational treat. Usually, it’s some variety of breakfast tacos (from different origins). Thanks to the Jenny Craig Circle of Hell at home, I was a bit obsessed with the idea of food this morning. So what happens when I throw my stuff down at my desk and race over to where my co-worker has deposited his loot? I find the smallest damn breakfast tacos I have ever seen. One for each of us. One.

After inhaling the “teaser” tacos we pondered voting our inferior breakfast supplier out of our little club. Sure, it will be painful for him at first, but it may just save his life. You do NOT want to deal with four hungry (possibly hung over) women, one of whom is already undergoing a war of attrition on the home front.

So now, I am hunkered down at my desk with room temperature venison sausage and a handful of crackers that somehow escaped the cupboard embargo. Things are not looking hopeful for the afternoon.

We ARE, however, sporting a new motto in the marketing department:

Don’t mess with breakfast.