Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Prepping for the Love Story - After College

And, then Ray DIED!

It had been over a year and a half since we broke up. I had dated and got engaged to EJ and he had dated and married a girl in Yuma. I am so happy he was able to be married and enjoy the fruits of a loving spouse and everything that comes with being married. Unfortunately, on deployment in the Indian Ocean there was an accident as he took off from the aircraft carrier.

At the young age of 23, I had invested a lot of my time, and yes, my heart in Ray. I was lost in which way to go. At this time in my life, I had not been involved in a church and was not spending any time in the Word. However, I always had that seed in me that knew right and wrong and convicted me to do what was right and good. Did I fail at times, YES, but the Holy Spirit was still there, ALWAYS.

One of the many results from Ray’s death for me is that it gave me clarity in the fact that it was not fair to be with EJ just because he was stable and the ingrained idea that I was supposed to get married because I had graduated college and the next step in the life plan was marriage.

It was time for me to get a real job. I sent out a zillion resumes in my field, public relations, for a few months and did not get many interviews. I thought about being a pharmaceutical rep and went on an interview in New Orleans. While waiting for my second interview appointment, I heard that an airline in Atlanta was hiring flight attendants, what a fun, adventure that would be. Ray loved to fly and I needed to do this to insure that I would not have a fear of flying, revel in the adventure and then close that chapter of my life (as much as that is possible). Within a three week period, I had interviewed, accepted a job and was in Atlanta training to be a flight attendant. It was right up my alley.

In a little less than a year, my feet were tired and the smelly business men that drank a little too much on short flights home on Fridays were about to wear me out. So, with a layover in Memphis, I grabbed a newspaper, searched the classifieds and sent a resume out to a HUGE health club chain (Q The Sports Club) that was looking for someone in promotions. Perfect job to use my degree, get some public relations experience and of course I already had some health club experience.

I got the job and rented a studio apartment in Midtown Memphis. It was old, but cool with beautiful French doors, eclectic neighbors, and a few mouse roommates. The first week I was there, I saw a mouse in my kitchen. I had never seen a mouse inside that close. So, I did what any logical, southern debutante would do. I grabbed the phone, jumped on top of my bed, and called my daddy… in Mississippi…. 4 hours away.

The landlord stopped by the next day and I told him about the fact that I had some new roommates and they were not helping me with the rent. He helped me to evict them with some traps. As I look back, I am sure the landlord just rolled his eyes when he had to put the traps in there and then check them for me daily because I would not go in the kitchen while they were in there. Every evening when I walked in, I would tell them that I was home and they better run to someone else's apartment. Talking to mice, hmmm, a wee bit crazy.

This was the beginning of the single life ~ out on my own, finding my way (and losing it at times). I had a great time working for The Q and met Kelly Jo who became one of my best lifelong friends. After about a year in Memphis, I had the opportunity to transfer to the Austin, TX club and Kelly Jo was not far behind, transferring a few months later.

I was there for about a year and loved Austin, it is a beautiful city. The job was a bit of a dead-end unless I wanted to go into Sales, and believe me, getting people to sign a gym contract did not entice me a bit, no matter the money. I felt bad taking people's money to join a gym when I knew they would not last until February 1 when their New Year's resolution wore off.

So, I packed up and moved back to Mississippi to regroup. Oh, what to do next?

Don’t worry; I am getting to that fateful day when my gun-toting ranger sauntered into my life.

Until then,
The Park Wife

Read Chapter 4 - Boomerang Kid


fairygodmother said...

Yeah! The first to comment. I have two newthings I now know about you....You were a "mouse mate"---I cut out the room part because I don't figure there was much between you & your furry "friend" running amuck...and that YOU were a stewardess...sorry I must be flight attendent. I love learning new things about you, this is so fun. Can't wait for the rest of the story. So come on Paul Harvey.

Amy said...

As you already know, I was born, raised,and went to College in Austin! Well, except when for some strange reason I felt like I needed to go to Lubbock, and attend school up there for a year.
I bet you any amount of $$ you and I have had a conversation or two! I was a member of that gym for 2 years. The one at the Arbor...?? Now, if I could only get my body back to that size! Who am I kidding, right? Well, as luck would have it, my parents and sister are still there. I go home about every month. :)

Blessed said...

I spent some time in Austin too! I was still a kid but I do have a lot of happy memories from Austin Texas.

jill said...

awesome, park wife, very awesome! this whole college time/life after college is really interesting to me. because i am just starting all this and it seems like there are too many people who suddenly know exactly what i should do. i really like that you stayed an extra semester to play soccer. and that you were a flight attendant for a year and so on. thank you for sharing this with us! i am excitedly awaiting the day you meet your ranger.

thanks again!
jill in mn

Anonymous said...

I love reading the prep story! There is sooo much about you that I don't know! I love Austin and have even considered moving there myself....especially since my BFF just packed up and shipped off to Austin today...can't wait to hear the rest of the story! Hugs!!

Steph in AK said...

The mice would have freaked me out too! The first house TheCDR and I had together ended up having mice, and OMG, I did not deal well! I don't know how I made it to age 25 never having dealt with mice, lol. I still don't like them, but I know now what to do if there's "evidence."

Anonymous said...

Mice! eeekkkk
Enjoyed After College.
Ala Grandmother

Mommy Lion said...

I'm so enjoying the stories! I'm with boozefairy, there is so much I'm learning about ya! We enjoyed our time so much yesterday! It was way too short though. We hope to do it again soon.

Valarie said...

Ok, I'm sorry, I might be prying here so just tell me none of your business, but What actually happened to Ray. I mean you just said he died. If its to sensitive a subject I understand, but that was a bit shocking, with no further info. :( You aint gotta tell if you dont wanna.

lolly said...

Kelly Jo? You're kidding right? How interesting! :o)

Tell Boozefairy (if she doesn't read this) to stay right where she is. Otherwise she needs a nice guest bedroom!

Thank you again for being such a wonderful hostess! Give the Big, Little and Old Buckaroos hugs and kisses. said...

Hey, Ray crashed his Harrier jet into the Indian Ocean right after take-off on a training flight.

There was not any radio communication, so we are not sure exactly what happened. It was not an act of war, it was "peace time", an unfortunate crash.
The Park Wife

OKGardners said...

Isn't it amazing what we go through in life to get where we are today. Some good; some tragic. We grow from these experiences though.

I'm looking forward to you meeting BIG BUCKAROO. Don't keep us waiting...

Love you, BETTY in Oklahoma (Rainy Oklahoma)

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Love the story and love getting to "know" you a bit better!

Hallie :)

Anonymous said...

hola. this is tia (mommy lions little sister, lollys daughter.) i resd your story cause lollys computer had it up! i love your mouse story hilarious. dont tell mommy lion i read it tho, because i'm not a dedicated reader of hers :o) miss you guys

Patriot said...

I am loving reading this! I am in that age range right now - and it is so hard to find your place in your twenties. It makes me feel better to know that most everyone goes through this time! Thanks for sharing!

Val said...

Hey there, just reading the story.
I am very glad you are at a good poin in your life and it looks like you are going to stay there!

Be well!