I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy.

I “attended” a virtual online brand storytelling conference today. My boss signed me up under her email and username. When I logged in and realized I was her—and that none of the participants were on camera—I could not let the opportunity to have a little fun pass.

It all started when introductions were made. People were sharing where they were from in the online chat box.

“Nashville, TN.”
“Hi from Chicago.”
“I’m in Austin, Texas.”

So formal. So boring. My supervisor, D, was feeling a little sassier.

“Rapid City, South Dakota in the house!” she announced.

Next, one of the presenters shared some valuable information with the group. They expressed their thanks in the chat.

I have no idea why D was getting her ’90s slang on. Seems pretty loose and informal, but who am I to judge?

My favorite part came a little later. One of the presenters was discussing how to build a multi-channel digital storytelling strategy. He was also obsessed with Julia Roberts, using movies of hers as examples to illustrate each of the five steps in his plan.

For example, he played the clip from Pretty Woman where Vivian goes back to the store that refused to serve her (“Big mistake. Big. Huge!”) to demonstrate how important it is to Know Your Customer. Erin Brockovich was his inspiration for Do All You Can. And so forth and so on.

My “supervisor” just had to chime in.

Hmm. Bit of an overshare there? Hey, don’t blame me. To quote the esteemed Jamaican-American reggae musician, Shaggy, it wasn’t me.

Mad respect, D.

You know, I really shouldn’t be left to my own devices…


Well, that big storm they’d been predicting for a week came in not with a bang, but a whimper. It snowed for about 10 minutes. North Dakota got our blizzard.

Those thieving bastards.

I only say that because of the drought we’re in. Lots of worried ranchers here in western South Dakota as we head into a potential year three with below normal precipitation.

Hell, Portland, Oregon ended up with more snow than we did this week. Funny, I lived out thataways for 20+ years, and not once did it ever snow in April.

Talk about a great cosmic joke.

We do have plenty of cold weather, though. 15° this morning and our high never made it out of the 20s. I’m actually huddled in the basement enjoying a blazing fire in the hearth. In mid-April.

That’s downright nutty.


Tomorrow is a very auspicious occasion for Team MarTar. It’s the 10th anniversary of our shackin’ up!

Tara arrived at my townhouse shortly after 7 p.m. on April 14, 2012. Along with her dad, a U-Haul, and boxes. Lots and lots of boxes.

For those who weren’t following along back then, we’d been dating long-distance for exactly seven months. She was in Nevada, I was in Washington. The only reason we were able to make an LDR work was the fact that I was a bum unemployed for a stretch. Hell on the bank account, but it gave me lots of free time to see her. The 845 miles separating us were nothing! I drove to Ely a bunch of times, she came to visit me on several occasions, and once we met halfway in Boise. Being jobless sucked, but it did wonders for our relationship.

File that under Silver Linings.

I’d thought about writing a long, sappy post commemorating all that, but my blog was brimming with mush a decade ago. Instead, I’ll just say it’s been great and leave it at that. A thousand times better than my first marriage. It’s all so effortless; we make each other laugh and truly enjoy one another’s company.

It’s like one big Julia Roberts rom-com, come to think of it.

41 thoughts on “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy.

    1. I’m actually Hector Elizondo, aka Barney Thompson. The hotel manager. Is that weird?

      Unlike previous employers, my boss/coworkers do not read this blog. That I’m aware of. But that’s not to say she won’t find out. Knowing me, I’ll brag about it to her!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Once again, your blog is being mean and hiding comments from me. I’m so confused now by what comment goes where. (This one is going here, btw, because it’s not giving me the option to reply down below.)

        So, I thought my latest blog post, titled, “Fight or Flight” was near Mark-level clever.
        And, I fully expected you to comment on the Office reference!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I laughed out loud at the “I really shouldn’t be left to my own devices.” Or maybe you should only be allowed on your own devices and username! Hilarious!

    Congratulations from a 10-year rom-com. How sweet! Didn’t know that any of those worked out to be happy ever after so I’m glad that you two are proving it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s both hilarious and accurate. There’s always a rivalry between North/South states. The Dakotas, the Carolinas. Of course West Virginia hates Virginia. And everybody in the PNW hates California. It’s just the natural order of things!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I moved to Portland (well, Beaverton), people told me in advance to get rid of my CA license plates ASAP. Maybe hate’s too strong a word, but they definitely don’t like to see Californians encroaching on their territory!

        Like

  2. I’m not a rom-com fan at all – I know, I need to be drummed out of the female gender club. But I did rather enjoy Notting Hill, even with its total lack of realism about property prices in London and who could actually afford to live in those gorgeous houses. The very British humour is probably what swung it for me (see Endless Weekend’s example above). Also, your title line is a truly great line. So that’s another plus for this particular rom-com.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice work loosening up the virtual meeting. Here’s hoping your supervisor shares your sense of humor.
    Our state is seeing drought conditions from lack of snow as well, although we’ve seen so much rain this spring our lawn is a swamp right now.
    Happy anniversary to you and the brave woman who kept dating the unemployed bum.
    😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I suppose it goes without saying that most movies could use more Richard Gere. Congratulations on your anniversary. I look forward to your rom-com, Team MarTar. Perhaps a working title?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You certainly can’t be trusted with someone else’s login! But it was funny just the same.

    Congrats on ten years!
    I find that when you are with the right person, it’s pretty easy. I’m not saying I never want to put a pillow over my husband’s face, but you know, most of the time I don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great. If there’s ever a Dateline episode about an unsolved murder down South involving a man with a sports nickname who was smothered to death with a pillow after a spat with his wife, who has a fondness for bees and butterflies, I just know they’re going to be calling me as a witness…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The friend that introduced me to blogging doesn’t like Julia Roberts. Makes me wonder what’s the matter with her. My friend, not Julia. At least as an actress, she can rarely do wrong.
    I am now surrounded by boxes myself. Just spent the last 20 minutes or so trying to figure out how to photograph where I am in the process so I could possibly post them here. Too early in the AM to be that ambitious!
    I hope my move turns out to be as “successful” as Tara’s.

    Liked by 1 person

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