Farewell, 2011

It’s New Year’s Eve. 2011 is on its way out, 2012 is on its way in. Some will spend quiet evenings at home, some will head out to dinners and parties and other celebrations. My sister will hop a plane to Jamaica (or, so she says….I am a bit skeptical). No matter where you are this evening, the sentiment is the same – a celebration of a new year, a fresh start, a promise of new beginnings.

For me, 2011 was a good year. I’m ending it in our new house that I love, with Paul and his family and my sweet wonderful kitties. I don’t get to be with my own family today, but we all keep in touch and somehow we seem to grow closer despite our distance from one another. This year, I challenged myself to be a better person, to take risks, to live. I discovered Zumba and found not only a great form of exercise, but a group of amazing friends that I love. I jumped out of a plane despite a fear of heights and a distaste for flying, and loved it. Not only did I not go back to being a call center grunt this year, I got a new job in Customer Relations that for the last several months has given me challenges and successes that I have reveled in. All in all, I have no complaints about the year.

For 2012, I do have some resolutions. My first and biggest one is to enjoy all that I have, to relax and be happy. Every aspect of my life is really, really great and I’m hoping for more of the same in the new year. I’m looking forward to the exciting things we have planned: our trip to California in April, our vacation to Hawaii in December, my parents’ summer visit to see us. I’m starting the new year in a job that I love, and am excited for new challenges and opportunities to learn new things.

I hope the good times will outnumber the bad, and I will have lots of fun and lots of great experiences. I’m content with the events of the year we’re leaving behind, and looking forwad to beginning 2012.

Happy New Year, everyone!!

The Mango Screening

Not being one to frequent men’s restrooms, I know very little about the goings-on. So several weeks back, when my male coworkers started gushing about this certain urinal with a mango-scented urinal screen, Robin and I looked at each other like they were crazy.

According to the boys, a certain urinal contained a fresh mango-scented screen that emitted beatiful scent when, uh, in use. They gushed about how using that urinal was like transporting themselves to a tropical island for a vacation.

My amusement grew when more and more guys visiting our area could be engaged in conversation about this one urinal screen. All that had to be mentioned was that mango scent, and the boys were off and running on this topic.

My curiosity overtook me and I decided to investigate all this. Escorted by Bob, I made a trip to the men’s restroom to find out what all the fuss was about. I stood in front of the urinal, sniffing, to no avail. I smelled no mango. Not even a whiff of tropical paradise. Disappointed and now quite doubtful, I went back to my desk. The boys talked this over and decided that the urinal screen must be, well, in use to emit scent.

I had forgotten all about the mango-scented urinal until recently, when the guys began to gripe that it was losing its mango freshness and they were going to be in need of a replacement. Bob went online and found a supply vendor that carried exactly what they wanted. Nicholas held out though, wanting the company to foot the bill for the replacement tropical bathroom paradise maker. He appealed to the janitor in the following email:

Dear Mr. Janitor (name has been changed),

In the 5th floor North Men’s restroom, there is one orange urinal freshener that gives off a most delightful mango scent. It is the Clean Check brand in the Western-most urinal. Standing in the vicinity of this freshener is like taking a trip to Tahiti. This has almost reached the end of its fresh mango scent and there are several of us on our team who look forward to this aroma. It is truly what gets us through the day.

Would it be possible to have more of these installed in this bathroom?

Thank you for your kind consideration,
Nicholas

(And no, I am not making up any part of this, including that email. Haters.)

Anyway, Nicholas’ pleas for a replacement paradise went unheeded, and the janitor never wrote back. He sent a second email. Nothing. Then things came to a head a few days later, when suddenly the fast-disintegrating mango screen disappeared altogether. The guys were quite put out by this. They even went as far as to suggest that perhaps the janitor took away the beautiful-yet-waning mango awesomeness out of spite.

At this point, I was picturing the janitor from “Scrubs” and snickering to myself. It all played out in my head, Nicholas as JD and the janitor, scuffling with one another, the hijinks, the pranks…

Ahem.

Anyway….

Once the boys had accepted that the mango freshness came with a price, Bob went online and ordered more screens. After a bit of disappointment (they were on backorder and did not ship promptly), the mango Tahiti paradise arrived and was lovingly placed in a urinal that apparently does not receive as much use as the rest (you know, to preserve the mango scent for as long as possible). The same day that the new screen was placed, the boys had a face-to-face with the janitor, who agreed that the aroma was quite delightful and promised to at least attempt to provide more down the line.

Peace was made with the janitor over lovely mango fragrance. Is there any conflict this urinal screen cannot resolve?

I was once again provided an escorted visit to the men’s room so I could behold the new screen in all its glory. The guys had tacked a beach scene printout to the wall above the urinal to complete the experience (they had also put a tropical flavored Capri Sun in there to set the mood, but someone rather gross stole it and probably drank it up and now has diphtheria). The brand-new screen was fragrant and giving off plenty of scent, even just sitting there between uses.

And I must admit, it smelled pretty nice in that bathroom.