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The Marty Chronicles …Episode 3 – Do NOT call me at work

14 Apr
It’s 1994.  Marty and I have been living together for about a year & a half.  I’m the supervisor/trainer at an answering service with 120% staff turnover every year and some of the lowest wages around.  I work 10-12 hour days, 5-6 days a week and usually have a trainee plugged in to my headset so they can listen and learn call-control and how to use the system.
Marty works at a lumber mill – usually graveyard or swing shift and he works overtime on a regular basis too – so we come and go and different times and often went 24 hours or more without seeing each other awake.  When he woke up in the afternoon or evening, he had a habit of calling me at work and just blurting things out that I would rather he not share with my trainee/co-worker – especially after I’d explained the strict policy against taking personal calls at your workstation and warned them that we tracked this kind of thing.  This was before cell phones and caller ID – the phone rang and you didn’t know who was calling until they spoke (scary to think about that now huh?)  He always called on my supervisor line which was supposed to be for clients who either needed to make account changes or complain about something.  After explaining to him several times that he should only call me for something urgent and he needed to ask me if I had a trainee listening before saying anything other than “hello” – and him subsequently “forgetting” and doing it anyway – I finally told him he was not allowed to call me at work anymore unless it was a dire emergency – like blood, fire, or earthquake.  Wanting me to pick up McNuggets for him (my work was next to a McDonald’s) was not considered an emergency.  Nor was asking me where things are – especially things he doesn’t necessarily want/need to use at the time, or things that were not appropriate to talk about in front of others.  He said he understood.
He didn’t.

Beep, Beep (at the answering service we had over 1000 different lines coming in – the phones didn’t ring – they beeped).

Me :     “Thank you for calling (company name), this is Kim, how may I help you?”

Marty : “Hi Snuggly (which is the pet name he came up with to try and make up for calling me a fuzzy kitty – he decided snuggly bunny worked better – which it totally didn’t)…..but I digress. ….

“Hi Snuggly – where’d you hide the stash?”

Me :  Frantically grabbing for the Y-connector that hooks my headset to my trainee’s headset and yanking it apart – I cringe and hiss “Marty!! I told you not to call me at work!!” I smile weakly and make an apologetic face to my trainee while turning toward the divider “WHAT do you want?!”

Marty :  brilliantly attempting to speak in “code”   “Uh I want to uhhhhh….make some toast, so I thought I’d ask you where you hid the bread – because uh I need to toast it………..cuz I like toast”

Me : “It’s just us on the line now.  You CANNOT call me about this at work!!  I’ve told you 100 times – and you know where things are because you are the one who used things last.”

Marty : “Oh – sorry – I forgot where it was……..oh yeah – I put it in the closet….sorry, Snuggly”  “Well, since I’m already talkin to ya – can you bring me home a 20 piece chicken nugget and a large fry?”

Me : “I’m going to kill you”

Marty : “And a couple of apple pies………yeah – hot apple pie”

The Marty Chronicles….. Episode 2 : Ordering Pizza

20 Mar
It’s the early 90’s and Marty and I have moved in to an apartment together – it’s our first time ever living with someone.  We’ve been there for about 6 months and have settled into a semi-regular routine.

Marty : “I’m hungry, let’s order a pizza”

Me : “OK – call Domino’s – get a half pepperoni, half whatever you want”

Marty : “Aren’t you gonna call ‘em?”

Me : “I always call – you do it this time”

Marty : “I don’t like callin people to bring me stuff – it kinda freaks me out man”

Me : “Well, I’m not doing it, I’ve done it the last 10 times – it’s your turn – just call them already!”

Marty : (dials hesitantly) “Ummm…Hi! Yeah, I umm would like to order a pizza!” (listens) “Oh! Ummm…. Let’s see….I would like crust…….. and sauce on it! (his tone is that of an excited kid who knew the answer when his teacher called on him) Oh yeah – and CHEESE – that too!”  (listens) “Oh – You want me to pick toppings? Um – yeah – how about pepperoni………and mushrooms on half?”

Yes – he actually told the guy to use crust, sauce, and cheese when asked what he wanted on the pizza. And that’s not all…………..here’s what happened next :

20 minutes later – a knock on the door

Me : (from bedroom where I’m changing): “Pizza’s here – the money’s on the coffee table”

Sound of Marty opening door and interacting with pizza guy – thanking him enthusiastically and laughing – probably making some goofy joke……… “Ok here ya go”……….”No – it’s OK – just keep the change – thanks very much”

Door closes.

Me (emerging from bedroom) : “Did you just say keep the change?! How much was the pizza? Please tell me you did not just give him the whole $20!”

Marty : “The pizza was $9.50…. I didn’t wanna hassle him for change so I just told him to keep it for his tip”

Me : “ARE YOU CRAZY!?  We live 6 blocks from the place!  How could you give the guy a $10.50 tip for a $9 pizza?!!”

I can’t remember what he said after that but the incredulous vs clueless dialogue continued for awhile.  I had to explain the practice of appropriate tipping to him – generosity is great until you lose your freakin mind and tip more than the total bill. Keep in mind that I was working 50+ hours a week making $6.95 per hour at the time – and our rent was $675/month which is more than I’ve ever paid for rent in the past 20 years.  Marty had a good job but we certainly weren’t making insane tip money.

Tune in next time for…………Stop calling me at work, how to turn left at a stoplight, how to wash your armpits, how to throw away garbage and other “teachable moments”..

The Marty Chronicles …. Episode 1 – My First Valentine’s Day With Marty

24 Feb
About 2 months after we started dating our first Valentine’s day arrived.
I was SO excited that I was finally going to have a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day – that had never happened before.  Add that to the fact that I was a 22 year old girl with the silly hope of experiencing the mushy romanticized version of Valentine’s Day that I had built up in my mind all my life – you know, the roses, the card, the candlelit dinner, the declarations of undying love………

I thought about it and planned for weeks – I made him a heart shaped cake and picked out the perfect card – I had gotten some photo booth pictures of me blowing kisses and making sexy faces to give him for his wallet so he could look at them whenever he thought of me (which I figured would be like, 10 times a day at the very least).

We sat down on my bed to exchange gifts – I gave him mine first – he seemed to like the card and the photos just fine – he didn’t swoon or anything but that was OK – it was really his gift to me that was of major importance that day.

He told me to close my eyes and hold out my hands.  He put something in my hand (OMG – it was small – was it jewelry?!!! my heart jumped)  and told me to open my eyes.  I looked down – it was a small clear plastic envelope with…………..white powder in it……..I was confused – I asked him what it was – he said (enthusiastically) “IT’S COKE!”  I blinked and processed this………where was my card? Where were the flowers? He got me cocaine?!!  What kind of romantic gift was that supposed to be?!!! I was a pot smoker but I had never done cocaine nor had I ever mentioned a desire to do it!  I was dumbfounded……..then I was crushed…….

I tried my best to hold back the tears and not freak out on him but I communicated my disappointment and he must’ve gotten the picture because he quickly put it away and told me he was sorry and hugged me.  Then he turned my head toward his and reached up as if to brush a tear from my cheek – only he brushed my upper lip with his finger instead and said

Marty : “Aww, I’m sorry I screwed up – I don’t want you to be sad – you’re my fuzzy little kitty”.

Me : Umm…what?  “Your fuzzy kitty? – What do you mean? How am I fuzzy? Is that your pet name for me?”

He smiled and touched my lip again and said “Because you have a cute little fuzzy mustache……”

!!! What?!!! OMG! That is NOT something you say to an overweight insecure girl who had not yet realized (until the next day upon closer horrified inspection) that she might need to bleach the fine hairs on her upper lip! He might as well have called me his pudgy little piglet!!

I don’t remember much about the night after that – I’m pretty sure it consisted of me trying not to have a crying meltdown and him trying to dig himself back out of the giant crater he’d drilled for himself.
Suffice it to say guys, Do NOT buy your girlfriend hard drugs for Valentine’s Day – and DO NOT point out that she has a slight mustache – go with the card and the flowers instead!

The Marty Chronicles……….. INTRO

24 Feb
INTRO :  When I was 22 I met my first long-term boyfriend.  His name was Marty and he was 26 – we had a one-night stand that turned into a 5 year relationship.
I was Marty’s first “real” girlfriend – before me he had only had sex with  a couple of girls (one of whom was a hooker when he was 21 and in the marines) but he’d never gone “steady” with anyone.  I’d had a few short-term boyfriends but only 1 of them was serious enough to involve the “L word” and that was in my senior year of high school.
Marty was a sweetheart and an all-around good guy – he treated me well and we had so much fun together. We had a lot in common…….. especially when it came to wanting someone who wanted us back – we wanted to find love and we found it in each other.  Blinded by love, I didn’t really pay much attention to the fact that he was extremely naïve and not the sharpest tool in the shed – however, even if I had realized it at the time I doubt it would’ve changed anything.
Marty started smoking pot when he was 12 and never stopped – and he fit the stereotype of a stoner to a T.  To put it nicely – he was a loveable doofus – a hardworking doofus, a gentle doofus, a funny and charming doofus, a doofus with the best of intentions.
The stories I am going to post about Marty and things that happened in our relationship are 100% true although the sequence of events may be out of order.  I am writing this not to humiliate him or cause him harm – we parted as friends and I will always think of him fondly – but it’s been more than 15 years since we’ve had any contact so I think it’s OK for me to share my experiences now.