If you can't say something nice, at least make it funny!

Thanks for visiting Tinfoil Magnolia, a blog about my life, times, marriage, friendships and all the strange things that happen to me and with me. I hope you find something here that will encourage you, inspire you or at the least entertain you. And if it doesn't today, check back tomorrow because, my life? honestly...

Saturday, August 28

No Man's Land

Today's post is my entry into this week's 100 Word Challenge, hosted by Velvet Verbosity. The prompt was "corridor".

I am no longer that cute young thing of 22. Or even 32.
I am not yet that hunched over elderly woman with arthritic fingers.

Somewhere in between these is the land where I reside.
My body a corridor, bridging that gap between old and young.
Feeling some days closer to one or the other
but never really either.

To the left are younger days.
Left behind in a haze of working too hard at the wrong job.
Left behind in the stress of daily living.

On the right is my future.
Right there in front of me.
Right now.

Wednesday, August 25

But While I'm on the Subject

The time? 3 years ago. The place? Harrisburg PA. Mitch and I are house hunting. As usual. I was a Realtor at the time and we were looking to buy a house and move out of our condo. For this showing the seller's agent insisted on being there, something I absolutely hate. The house? Was phenomenal. And affordable. I almost cried when I saw the beautifully upgraded kitchen in this early 1900's stone home. It looked like something out of a movie. So I am wandering through the house, letting the listing agent ramble on and on, wondering if he knows that the only thing talking does is distract buyers from actually looking at the property.

I wander away from the kitchen and into a "den" off the side of the home. I am looking around in there and wander back out, distracted by the other Realtor's jabbering. Several minutes later, the other agent follows us upstairs and asks if we saw the full bath downstairs in the den, saying that room could easily be a first floor master. I hadn't noticed it so we went back down. And then? As I entered the room? I saw it. How the HECK did I miss it the first time?

There? On the wall? Is an oil painting of the creepiest, most sinister, evil looking clown I ever have seen in my life. EVER. I am telling ya'll, Stephen King's IT has nothing on this clown. I have an immediate reaction. I can't breathe, I can't look, I close my eyes and whirl around, scrambling for the door. Ya'll? My feet were slippin' and slidin' like a cat rounding a corner. I couldn't think. My husband grabs my arm and asks what is wrong. I can't even talk, I just point. I am supposed to be a professional, thank god I wasn't with a "real" client, thank god it was just us. I keep pointing to the wall on which the offensive clown is hanging. I try to think what to do.

The listing agent is trying to get us into the bathroom but I am going to have to walk past that THING to get in there. I can't do it. I am shaking my head furiously and I wave away hubby, telling him to go look and get him off our back. "Come on in here and look at this bathroom, it is great, very roomy." Says the agent. "Oh, I am fine, my husband will check it out for me." I couldn't breathe, I was scrambling to get out of that room and out the back door. Air I need air. "Oh, but you need to see these upgrades, and I will show you how I think this would work as a master." "Me? I can't." It was obvious at this point that Mr. Salesman-of-the-Month wasn't going to let it go so I had to tell him.

Me: "I have a clown phobia."
Him: "What?" I am sure he was thinking what that has to do with anything.
Me: (Still standing in the kitchen near the back door so I can't see the Evil Thing. And probably talking a bit too loudly.) "Clowns, I can't do clowns. That is the scariest thing I have ever seen."
Him: "What? Oh, this?" As if he just noticed it. Yeah, right. A smile comes over his face.
Me: "YES, that is horrible. It is SO creepy. Why would anyone want to own that, that, that thing?!"
Him: "Actually the homeowner painted it. She's an artist."
(well, of course she did)
Me: **staring at him through the doorway with laser beam eyes**
Him: "What, you don't like it? He's called The Creeper."
(weakly smiling and going all Southern on him because I just basically called his client a freak)
Me: "Well, I suppose it is fine. I mean I am sure she did a great job. I mean obviously she has a lot of talent. Y'know, if scaring people is the purpose of it, it sure worked." *hahaha pitiful laugh* but inside my head was....
Him: "Well, if that is all..."
Me: "Oh, I think that is all."

Moral of this story. Even if you love that kind of scary-art, (and I know some do. not that there's anything wrong with that) never EVER leave it up on your wall when you try to sell your house.

Same goes for nudie pictures of yourself or your spouse. (But that's a story for another day.)

You're welcome.

Tuesday, August 24

The Phrase Evil Clown is Redundant

I have a ridiculous fear of clowns. Well, honestly? I don't think it is so ridiculous, but apparently some do. One of our scooter buddies was once an aspiring clown and he is the nicest person ever. Sometimes I wonder if I ever saw him in the makeup, knowing who it was, would I have the same reaction? What reaction is that, you ask? Well, I can't look at them, I just can't. I had to skip an episode of one of my favorite shows last year because it centered on killers running around dressed like clowns. My heart races and I feel like I can not breathe, like I am locked in a box and the air is running out. I feel like I might throw up and I feel panic, extreme, unmitigated panic.

Some people ask me what it is I don't like about clowns. I ask you, what is there TO like? I mean, think about it. You have a grown person, walking around, being mischievous and wearing giant shoes, a big wig and a face full of makeup. What sane person does that? Seriously, they could be anything under there. Man, woman, killer, pedophile, or (only in deference to my scooter buddy because I don't really believe they ever are) normal person. Who knows? And yet they are allowed to walk around like this on any normal day of the year. They do things that most people would never get away with, like squirting water at people or dropping trou in a public place. Who else could show their boxers, giant and flowered or not, and not get arrested for indecent exposure? Much less in a dark tent full of pre-adolescent children. The whole concept is just strange to me. And creepy. Isn't it? It can't just be me.

I have on many occasions tried to trace the root of this phobia. I don't remember being scared of clowns as a child. I had a birthday party with Ronald McDonald when I was nine for heavens sakes. I do, however, remember when I was 12 or so watching an episode of Fantasy Island which featured a particularly creepy (and evil but that is redundant) clown. I don't remember the specifics of the episode, but what I do remember is that I didn't sleep at all that night and I had nightmares for weeks about that stupid clown. I was at a sleepover at the time I watched it, my parents did not let me watch Fantasy Island, so I couldn't tell my mom why I was having nightmares. It was a long summer.

Fast forward. Much later in life I had continuing run-ins with a real life clown in downtown Nashville. Now this freak? Let's just call him Sprinkles*.  He would go out to bars dressed up in FULL clown regalia. **HOW IS THAT EFFING NORMAL?** So, how did this affect me?  I had just moved to Nashville full-time and had a job at a local nightclub. Now, I normally worked in the daytime as their accountant but after I was there a while, I started filling in as the coat check girl. $$$$ Good money! So that meant I worked all day 5 days a week, then all night Fridays and all night Saturdays. Every now and again Sprinkles came into the club. Yep, full clown makeup, clown clothes, shoes, everything. No, he was not paid to be there. Yes, I asked him to pay the $5 cover charge every time, standing as far away from the counter as I could get and without looking him in the eye. However the owner let him in for free every single time. What bothered me about this guy? Was that if I had to go out into the club for any reason, like to take a break or to the ladies room, he would silently follow along behind me. I would turn around and he was just there. It creeped me out.

Early one Sunday morning a group of us went to a favorite place for breakfast after the club closed. Wouldn't you know it, there was Sprinkles. In all his clown glory. Being all creepy and making balloon animals for a bunch of drunken and hungover college students who couldn't have cared less, but were apparently buying him breakfast in return for leaving them alone. I looked at my friend Allison and said "I am not doing it. I am not eating here if that freak clown is here." At which point she reminded me that it was 4 am and we didn't have many choices. So when the waitress came over to seat us Allison calmly said, as if it were a perfectly normal request, "We'd like to be seated away from Sprinkles, please." "Excuse me?" the waitress said. "We need a table in a Sprinkles-free zone" said my friend with a straight face. The waitress, apparently unsure about who, among a room of 40 Vandy college students and one clown, would be named Sprinkles, said "Whuuut? Sprinkles? I don't know what that is." To which Allison replied, in her fabulous Bronx accent and with all her fabulous Bronx attitude, "THE CLOWN. Sprinkles is the clown, over there? My friend has clown issues. We need a table away from Sprinkles the clown."

God, girlfriends are awesome!

Monday, August 23

Water Fight!

Well the Cool Whip Queens were back in my water exercise class today for a reunion tour of the pool. Click here for a refresher if you don't remember who they are Well, I shouldn't so much call it a "tour" since they didn't move from the spots they were standing in, but you know what I mean. I sort of forgot how annoying they were. I've had a break the past couple of weeks, either one or the other has been there but not both. I actually was starting to believe that I had exaggerated in my storytelling and now I was remembering them larger than life. But no. They are not exaggerated. At all.

The class today was jam-packed full, probably double the normal amount of people. Our regular kick ass instructor was out and the instructor who was filling in? Well she is the regular instructor for the class right after ours. Yeah. Senior H2O. Yep that's right. So we got about 1/2 of the white hairs from her 9:30 class dumped in on top of our already full class, and ya'll? They. don't. move. At all. None of them. So when we had to run laps around the pool? We had to try not to hit them. Because they were just standing. Where ever they might be, middle of the pool, edge of the pool, didn't matter.

One of the reasons I love my Mon., Wed. mornings is that the instructor is tough, like a drill Sargent. And her music? Kicks serious ass. Beastie Boys, Black Eyed Peas, Beyonce, and Michael Jackson (the other MJ) should I go on? Today's music selection? Classics like "Who Let the Dogs Out?" and the Macarena. Seriously? You can't MAKE a new mix tape from something beyond the 90's?

So, I was already irritated with the music, and the instructor who was about as graceful as....hmmm... Mary Katherine Gallagher? Yeah, that's about right. She just looked goofy, gangly and, not that there's anything wrong with that, it just added to my ever growing aggravation. Then we started doing a bunch of moves where you had to go forward and back, forward and back, then turn to the left. Go forward and back, forward and back. Well, depending on which way I turned, the CW Queens were ALWAYS IN MY WAY. And talking. Non stop.

#1"Wehuuuul, I teeeal yuuuou whauuut. If ah am nawt out of the house before mah huuuusband gets home? I might as wehul forget about even goin'. He'll staht askin' me about dinnah, or can I peel him a tomatah. And I nevah get out in time." #2 "Wehuuul, I tell yoooou. I figure if he wants a tomatah baaaad enuff, he can figure it out on his own, don't yoooou?" And on and on about such earth shattering issues as tomato peeling, husbands and again church. And everyone in church. And where they shop. Y'know. Earth shattering stuff.

OK, so meanwhile, they are in my way. But that isn't the half of it. To my left, at the end of the pool, there are about 5 people other than the Queens who just aren't ... right. Ya'll I don't know how else to put it. They are going winky-wonky!!! When she says face left, they still face the front. When she says go left to right they are going front to back and running all over myself and the two girls behind me. They are standing with backs to the side of the pool and basically moving any which way. So this is all going on. There is a contingent on either end which isn't moving at all, another contingent which is moving, but directly in opposition to the directions, the CW Queens blabbering on without taking a breath, horrible, awful, stereotypical music and right in the middle of it all? Well, there's me. Exchanging aggravated "what the heck is up with this?!" glances with the sweet lady who was beside me, another regular. Thank goodness. It isn't just me! It was crazy-whack in there today.

Ya'll Ms. Marsha had all she could stand. I was kicking people, trying to avoid other people, trying to stay in place so I didn't bump anyone who didn't have the sense to move when everyone else moved. But this. This was the last straw. In the midst of all this chaos? Comes a woman. Just floating around on her floaty-weight thingies. She stops right behind me and leans on the rope. And just floats there. Right between me and the woman next to me who are crowded in because of the non moving contingent to our left. So we move up to adjust and then? She aimlessly floats up in between us, like there's no one there, and over to the other side of the pool, stops there and floats a while. Seriously? Helen Keller?! There are OTHER PEOPLE IN HERE!!!

That was when I lost it.  I got OUT of the water and left. Yep, left right in the middle of class. I just could. not. take it. Too much nonsense. So thanks to the Senior instructor who brought all her seniors to the class to do what ever the heck they want to in the water. Ya'll I am not an age-ist (or whatever). I don't dislike old people, really I don't. But if you can't follow simple instructions? You need to be somewhere other than in the water. Like a senior facility. They are getting in the way of my fabulously toned body. Here's hoping my regular instructor is back on Wednesday. My life, honestly...

Wednesday, August 18

Who Stole My Day?

Before her the list stretched out, long and lean. Seemingly endless like a set of railroad tracks heading for the horizon. Lines eventually ran together as she studied it and, seeing nothing appealing,  rewrote it and numbered it, masterfully delaying the progress. 

Hearing the Sirens' Call from the other side of the desk she logs on for just a moment.  It's early, 7 am, plenty of time. Besides there's email to check. Work to do. Who's online now? What's going on?  Status Update. Quick tweet. Check email again. Wait, four o'clock already? 

Status Update: "The list still endless for tomorrow." 

This week's word –"Failed"
This post is my entry into the 100 Word Challenge, hosted each week by Velvet Verbosity. 
For more information on the Challenge, click HERE

Sunday, August 15

Not at All What I Intended

I have been on a bit of a ... cleaning/organization binge lately. I hate to call it that, I cringe at the thought of "organization". I guess it is really more of an extreme closet purge. I lost some weight recently and I have decided that I am not going to gain it back. So, for the second time in my adult life, I emptied my closet of everything that was too big and sold most of it in a yard sale last Saturday. The rest is boxed up for Goodwill or some other charity. While our house is blessed with ample closet space, I have to confess that most of them are packed to the rafters with our "stuff". Hubs and I have a walk-in closet in our bedroom and currently my half, for the first time in our 16 year marriage, looks positively skeletal. The racks hold more empty hangers than actual clothes and the shelves on top, previously stacked with piles of sweaters, sweatpants, and other items of clothing are sparsely populated now with only what fits. (I did keep all my XL sweatshirts because hey, who doesn't like the feeling of a giant sweatshirt.) Now that our closet is easier to "walk in" to, I am feeling the urge to purge elsewhere. And boy do I need to!

I have, on occasion, watched the show "Hoarders" on A&E and shudder at the thought that there is any possibility of me ending up like that. I would hope my husband wouldn't let it get so far as those cases, but I guess anything can happen when it is a disease, right? I guess it is this kind of thinking that fuels my occasional burst of closet cleaning, attic reduction, and garage organization. I know people can't help themselves, and I truly feel so bad for them having to live that way. But I also do not think I would want to live the other way, with OCD or something like that, as evidenced on the show "Obsessed" which strangely enough is also on A&E. I saw one episode recently where a guy had an obsession with El Caminos and was convinced if he saw one something bad would happen. He had to "wash" the El Camino luck off him. He was also convinced that 2 of his brothers were bad luck and hadn't seen them in years. I thought, gee what if his brother drove up IN AN EL CAMINO! Wow, that would be good television, freak him the f*ck out! Part of his "immersion" therapy was, eventually, driving in an El Camino to his brother's house for a visit. My correct diagnosis led me to believe that I should be a psychologist or perhaps I just
understand so well because I have my own "issues".

Every night before bed, I have to physically check each door in the house to make sure it is locked. Hubby can't do it and just tell me they are locked. I mean, he can but it won't set my mind at ease. Nope, I must check them myself. The thought that I didn't check has actually woken me up out of a sound sleep and caused me to trek through the house checking every door. But I don't think I have OCD....it is just caution, right? ( I know my friend Patrick can make interesting comments/diagnosis here, as he is studying psychology. or possibly my former wonderful therapist who says she is checking in on my blog regularly.)

But anyway, I was cleaning out a closet earlier in the week and I came across a card that has been going back and forth between my brother and myself for a couple of years now. A lot of readers have asked me about my brother, and he is a whole 'nother issue all together. But, suffice it to say we are very different people and have taken different paths in life. We don't talk a lot and have never been close like most brothers and sisters are. At least the ones I know. But we get along mostly, except when it comes to things like food, guns and hunting, religion, glenn beck (he doesn't deserve caps in my opinion), racial issues, education, gay marriage and church. So maybe the fact that I avoid ALL these topics, lest we end up in an epic adult screaming match such as the one about racism and religion that ruined my last birthday, accounts for why we don't talk. What is left to talk about, really?

Anyway, despite all our differences I have to say that my brother is still my brother, conservative redneck that he is, and he is without a doubt one of the most hilarious people I know. And utterly tortured, but that is another story. He had a lot of issues growing up, not the least of which was having a sister who had a high IQ, made good grades, went to college and was involved in school and church activities (not to mention how cute, likeable and modest she was). Because of that and a lot of other personal issues (that I feel the parents left unresolved) he ended up dropping out of high school his junior year. So when my parents called me in Feb. 2009 to tell me he had completed his GED at the age of 38 I was so proud of him. I wanted to acknowledge it, so I sent him the card below knowing he wouldn't appreciate something serious and sappy.

and the inside said this:

So it is cut off for a reason, but I wrote "Great Job, Steve! Congrats on the diploma M&M". Like I said, this was in February, and I kind of forgot about sending it because I was busy being wrapped up with my own life (as usual) and working to finish up a graphic design degree at the age of 41. 

So later that spring, when my graduation day rolled around, Mom and Dad came up for a visit. The day the left I received an envelope in the mail with my dad's business logo on it. I thought it peculiar that they mailed me something when they had been with me for 5 days. How did it even get mailed? When I turned the envelope over, written on the back was "pardon the borrowed envelope" so I ripped it open not knowing what would be inside. But what I found was this:

What the heck, someone sent me the same card I sent him? How wierd is that? I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was going on until I opened the card and found the following changes made inside.
So when I saw this I have to say I laughed uncontrollably! 
Time went by and October rolled around. My birthday. I was spending it in KY with family and on the day of my birthday this card was sitting on the breakfast table in front of my plate:

(It was my 42nd birthday)

This was the most my brother and I had communicated in all our adult years. I don't recall that he ever once sent me a birthday card prior to this. My husband had secured a job which would bring us back to our hometown and I had visions of becoming friends with my brother, having him over for dinner, going places together, and having a real relationship. Which makes it all the more painful to think how that very afternoon we ended up trapped in my dad's car, screaming at each other over a hate filled remark he made and how I do not think you can be a christian while harboring so much hate and resentment for other people. How that just doesn't work for me. That day, on my 42nd birthday, he and and my parents told me flat out that I am going to hell because, although I feel that people in this country should all be treated equally, and though I volunteer my time for different causes, and I help my friends out not only emotionally but financially and everything else,  I won't attend a church in which the preacher keeps his gun collection showcased in his living room. I won't attend a church in which they can judge me or anyone else. And I won't attend a church where members can think of fellow humans with such vehement hate in their hearts.

So I guess underneath it all, this is why I hang on to things like these. Life was so much easier when I just let them think I was who they wanted me to be. Life is complicated, religion is complicated, beliefs and lies and truths are complicated. Memories are simple. Rocking chairs in which I read when I was little are simple, china cabinets from hubby's gran-gran's house are simple, pins worn by my grandma are simple. The memories captured in pictures, the cards sent for many birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries with supportive sentiments are simple and cherished memories. The parts of life to which we cling. Waking up from a bad dream and being held by your mother, getting hugs from a brother or sister when you are homesick at camp, or phone calls and visits when someone you love is teetering on the brink of death. Some days these memories can make up for all the realities. So some days, I could easily imagine why people have to hoard. And I continue to unapologetically hoard all these memories.

This isn't remotely what I intended to post today, but I am finding out that what comes out when writing isn't always what you intended. My life...

Monday, August 9

No Time for Nothin'

I would like to blog today. I am feeling the overwhelming urge to write. Something. Anything. However, I am consumed with things that need to be done, immediately. If not sooner. Which is good because it means that I have freelance design work, I have jewelry party tomorrow night, and I have free freelance work to do for the BPW.  Life is good right now, I have no complaints. But I am busier than I could have ever imagined considering that I don't collect a paycheck or punch a time clock.

I know as sure as I am sitting here that if I had nothing going on I wouldn't feel the least bit like writing. Or doing anything else. It seems that the busier I am the more motivated I am. And the less I have to do, the lazier I am. What is with that? Am I all alone here?

Anyway, until I have time to make a legitimate post about all the things going on in my life, like my dad's birthday lunch or the people I met at my yard sale last weekend, please enjoy this extreme-80's music video as much as I did. And dance a little for me, willya!?

Ms. Marsha's Extreme 80's Clip of the Week

Wednesday, August 4

Not My Mama!

Some of you may know that, since moving home last year, I am able to spend almost every Friday morning with my Mom. Also, as you may know, our relationship is a mixed bag sometimes. To put it nicely. But for the most part, Fridays are "our" days together and they usually go pretty smoothly.

My mom is a 75 year old firecracker of an opinionated woman, she is of Cherokee descent (which has nothing to do with anything other than providing a description), and she seems to get smaller and smaller every day (height-wise). She doesn't back down from anything, and my brother and I  (Yes! Tinfoil Magnolia has a brother. Betcha' didn't know that, did you?) joke with her all the time about being so bossy. (Refer to Paragraph 1 re: mixed bag) So, anyway, she doesn't have a lot of hobbies and she doesn't do things like "normal" moms. Play bridge, go to girls' lunch, ladies bible class, or any of those things. I don't think she really even has any ladies who she would consider "girlfriends" which probably explains why she doesn't get the importance mine have in my life. She always made my dad and our family her first priority and really did everything with us. But let me tell you. That. Woman. Loves. Yard Sales. She loves going to them. She loves having them. She loves bargaining with people. She calls it her therapy.

So, the scene is this. My mom is about 5'2" if even that at this point. (seriously, she's shrinking, I swear) She drives a Dodge Ram extended cab pickup truck that I can barely get up in. One of those big-a, redneck, 4 door, loud muffler, huge-*ss pickup trucks. I mean, it is nice, nicer than my living room probably. And relatively new. And comfortable. She loves it, but she looks ridiculous driving it. Seriously. And since her cataract surgery she has taken to wearing those giant sunglasses, you know like the old folks in Florida wear? Yeah. Those. So one Friday back in June we were driving though a nearby town we like to frequent, around 7:30 am looking for yard sales. In the vehicle my husband has dubbed "the Hot Rod Dodge". You get the picture. So we're driving through a neighborhood and there is a stop sign at which she pauses and then continues to make a right turn. And then....are you ready? We see him. A bicycle cop.

A COP. ON A BIKE. PULLS OVER my 75 year old mother in the Hot Rod Dodge. HILARIOUS! Seriously? It was all I could do not to hop out of the truck and take a picture of this scene. His head barely came up to the window sill on that big, giant truck. It was so funny and I was trying so hard not to laugh. Immediately I had to text Hubby, who related it to his office mates, and from what I understand they were all in stitches. So this is the first time. In my adult life. I have ever seen my mom nervous and intimidated by someone. She was shaking! And calling him "sir". It was priceless. So the long and short of it is that he ran her plates, checked her license, and fussed at her but in the end gave her a warning and let us get back to our bargaining.

Flash forward to two weeks ago. I planned a day off with Hubby on a Friday and had to skip the day out with Mom. I didn't hear from her all weekend, and Monday I get a phone call.
Mom: "Well, I am not going yard sale-ing by myself again."
Me: "Why?"
Mom: **sigh**"Well, I got a ticket..."
Me: "MOTHER! A ticket?! What, did the bicycle cop get you?" (laughing)
Mom: "NO!"
Me: "Well, what happened then. Were you speeding?"
Mom: "No..."
(At this point I am beginning to understand how aggravated she always got with me when I was a teenager. And realizing she took notes.)
Me: **SIGH** "What happened?"
Mom: (quietly) "I ran a stop sign."
Me: (just being evil) "I am sorry? What was that? You did what?"
Mom: "I ran a stop sign. I didn't even see the cop, I don't know where he was sitting!"
Me: "Was it one of your famous rolling stops again?"
Mom: "Nope, I just didn't stop at all. Nothing was coming and I forgot."

Oh. good. lort! Ya'll... the Po-Po got my mama!!!

I will fast forward, to save you from a good 20 minutes worth of dialogue during which she describes every last scene in which she blows on through, how mean the state trooper was, where exactly he pulled her over and how he wrote the ticket. Then she says. "Well, he said I can go to traffic school. The tickets were over $350."
Me: (shouting) "THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS?????? For a STOP SIGN are you KIDDING ME???? Wait....tickets. With an "s"? Whadjya do, slap him, Zsa Zsa?"
Mom: "Well, there was the one for running the stop sign.....and one for not having my insurance card with me. We get those every six months, I don't know how they expect you to keep up with it, honestly!"
Me: (holding the phone away from my face and looking skyward with mouth gaping open) "Yeah, that's a lot to keep up with, allright. Twice a year and all."
Mom: "Well, they said I could call the court and provide proof of insurance and they would take that one off."
Me: "Mmmmm.....hmmmm....I would imagine so." (wondering how much that would knock off and thinking how I need a manicure and I am so done with this phone call)
Mom: "But Marsha?"
Me: "Yes, Speedy?"
Mom: "I don't want to drive down there again, will you drive us this Friday?"

My life, honestly...

Monday, August 2

Karma's My Bitch

So, after writing my final complaint filled blog yesterday Hubby and I headed out for our Sunday activity. I was a bit grumpy and didn't really want to go. I think I had put myself in a bad mood from doing all that complaining, or maybe it was just the thought of going out with a new crowd, most of whom I didn't know. Although most who know me well might call me a social butterfly I still have issues with meeting new people. I feel like a 5 year old wanting to hide behind my mother's skirt until I am comfortable enough to come out and talk. And I really haven't been feeling especially social lately anyway, I just go through phases.  Anyway, I was grumpy.

We had to stop at the store to buy chips and salsa, our meager contribution for the day (in addition to bratwurst-Hubs' idea, not mine). Aaaand there she is. Old lady karma kickin' back at me for bitchin' and moanin' about all the people who chap my you know what. There was 1 (one) person in the checkout line ahead of us. She had 4 (four) items. And she paid (wait for it...) you got it. With a check. That she wrote. After digging in her purse for 2 minutes looking for the checkbook like she didn't know she needed it. I just looked at Hubby, rolled my eyes and said "You KNOW what this is, right? That bitch karma is kicking my butt." He looked at me not comprehending. "My blog? This morning. I wrote about THIS VERY THING!!" I whisper-yelled at him, dropping my head down to rest on his shoulder to keep my forehead from exploding. Finally she brings out the checkbook and painstakingly writes it out. Then, miracle of miracles we have a new cashier who has never had to run a check through (or maybe not so new and just no one ever WRITES A CHECK ANYMORE!!!) So the grand total setback is about 10 minutes for this checkout excursion.
I am going to stop here for an editor's note. Or writer's note. Or whatever.  I am not complaining here. My friend Lori gave me the advice that this is merely telling a story. I am not complaining, nosirree, not whatsoever. Just relating the facts, ma'am.
So now I am REALLY not in the mood for what the day had in store. Seriously, if this can hit me at 5 minutes out of the house, I made a list of 10 things to complain about and yikes! Who knows what else will go on. Like the great Tommy Womack said all those years ago "karma's real, it's no bullsh*t!" I believe it, just like Earl.

So on we go, meeting up with my sister- and brother-in-law and taking the most winding circuitous route to get to this persons house that was WAAAY out in the middle of BF Nowhere. And I don't know anyone but us 4 when we get there. And I am wearing a bathing suit under a cover up and it is 100 degrees outside. This means I have to strip down in front of people I don't even know and sit around with my flabby, just lost weight looking body. Grrrr.

Now, here's where I put the moves on old lady karma. This is when I put her in a half Nelson and wrestle her to the ground. This is where I say "nope, you are not going to ruin my day, I am going to have a good day. No complaints August. Everything today is going to be wonderful." 

The end result is that I had an exceedingly good afternoon. The folks who were regulars welcomed us into their group with kind words and open arms. We all shared a delicious meal, and Hubs initiated us into the group by doing a kick-*ss job as grillmaster . The best part for me was that this was the most diverse and wonderful group I have been around...well, since we left our friends in Nashville 5 years ago. There were men and women, married and single, gay and straight, believers, undecideds, dems and republicans. If only we'd had an African American trans-gendered illusionist I think we'd have been the complete package.  I was truly in heaven...in my element...and in rural Kentucky. Shame on me for being so surprised.

I came home last night with total peace in my heart at the love that so obviously exists between these friends who come together every week for fun and conversation and good food. I went to bed feeling so grateful to have met them and knowing I will be welcomed back. Not just because of my smokin' hot lip-synch performance of "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" (with tequila bottle playing the part of the microphone). Not just because I tripped while attempting to make a dramatic entrance and almost fell on the deck, thus providing everyone with a laugh. Not because I can reach the volume knob on the speakers. But because I just will. Oh, and all day? I had so many conversations with the folks who were there. And not once was I asked where do I work or what do I do. Not once was I asked where I go to church. Not once was I told to watch my language. No one judged. And not once did I feel that I didn't belong, despite being the "new kid". Why can't it be this easy in the real world?

So maybe there is something to be said for this no complaints thing. Thinking more positively seems to make me more positive. No Complaints August. It's a good thing.

Sunday, August 1

My List of Grievances

OK, I am going to get some complaining out of the way today and start my no-complaints project fresh on Monday.

#1 I can not stand clueless people.
I hate when they walk into a grocery store or Wal-Mart and then just STOP right inside the door as if the shock of being somewhere that big has rendered them motionless. Get your CRAP together people!!! Make a list at home, work out a floor plan, see where you are going, or at the least, please just push your cart on into the store, past the greeter and stand by the greeting cards as you take in all of the awesome glory that is Wal-Mart.

While I am on this subject. Really? You have to walk in the MIDDLE of the aisles in the parking lot, side by side with you husband and all your kids, thus taking up all the space available for cars to, I dunno, park? or something? I know cars should "watch out for pedestrians" but you have to watch out to. Couldya just walk to the side, single file and kinda, ya'know, pick up the pace a bit??? Just sayin'.

#2 When People Drive Aimlessly Across the Parking Lot
OK, this one just really gets me. How hard is it,  really, to drive in the aisles and follow the arrows??? It is actually a system DESIGNED to make things simple for the [simpleminded] general public. Now I will admit that sometimes I cross a row of empty spots to get to the next aisle of parking, but I am talking people who. to get from one end of the parking lot to the other, just drive aimlessly across every aisle and all the empty parking spots rather than drive through the pedestrian area. This is not only annoying, but also dangerous. So I feel justified. Really? It will take you an extra...minute? maybe?...to drive where you are supposed to drive. And it really doesn't make you look any smarter when you can't follow road signs.

#3 People who Judge
I almost don't know what to write on this one. It is so widespread and encompasses a lot. So let me just say that, on a personal level, I am tired of being made to listen to other people's religiosity, political opinions, and social attitudes when: a) they are not willing or even remotely interested in listening to mine b) they believe in order for one of us to be right, the other must be wrong and c) they want to hate on anyone who disagrees with them, or make them feel inferior. Falling to the lowest common denominator by name calling and using stereotypes does not do anyone any good. We are all humans in this life and there are a million ways to live it. Live within the law and basically, everything else about the how and why should just be inconsequential to us. But I am a hippie that way. Love your neighbor and all.

#4 Women in Ill Fitting or Inappropriate Bathing Suits
This is fresh on my mind as we spent the day at the water park last week. My god. What is wrong with you people??? I wore something more revealing than I normally would have because my skirted suit has become too large with my recent weight loss and I only had 1 suit in my current size in the house. But it was still a 1 piece. Seriously, ladies, you've got to have some rock solid abs to pull off a 2 piece after 40, much less in your 50's and 60's. But if your stomach? Hangs down over your bikini bottoms? Yeah, you shouldn't be wearing it. If your back fat? Looks like cleavage between your shoulderblades? Ya need a bigger top. If your tramp stamp tattoo is sagging down to your butt crack? Yeah, ya' need a one piece. And, this isn't really offensive, but WHO buys a bathing suit in navy and hunter green tartan plaid? Really are you such a die hard preppy??? I burned up looking at it, the colors and plaid style made me think of a wool kilt. Seriously, it is summer, lighten up a bit.

#5 People Who Smoke When They Have or Have Had Cancer
I don't have anything mean to say here. I mean, really? Who wants to attack a cancer victim anyway. It is a horrible disease which has taken many of my family members way too early. But when you are diagnosed with cancer? Seriously? Stop! Is it easy? No. Will it prevent more cancer? Maybe maybe not. But do NOT criticize what I eat and drink and tell me how healthy you eat now that you had cancer, then let me see you light up. 'Cause I will GO off on your superior, judgy, food criticizing ass.

#6 Who Writes Checks Anymore?
Can I just tell you that I haven't written a check out somewhere like a restaurant, grocery store, or department store in probably 12 years. Until....I moved back home. Everyone here writes checks for everything, it just freaks me out. Literally, I think my husband and I collectively wrote maybe a dozen each year, and that was usually to friends or something like that. We use debit cards, credit cards, and online bill pay. But here, everyone uses checks and I have had to start carrying a checkbook again because I never carry cash, and some places don't take credit cards.

#7 When You Write a Check In Line
When you do write a check? At the grocery? Instead of standing there until the cashier has totalled it up and is waiting for your payment, and you act all surprised like you didn't know that was coming, and you ONLY THEN pull out your check book and ask the date, and slowly write it out in your best hand writing, taking care to rip it out ever so slowly so as not to leave a ragged corner before handing it to the cashier? When you do that instead of writing it out while your groceries are being rung up and just filling in the total at the end? YOU ARE HOLDING UP EVERYONE ELSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PEOPLE BEHIND YOU ARE GROWING OLD. AND THEIR HEADS ARE THREATENING TO EXPLODE!!!!!!!!Yeah, just sayin'.

#8 Whistlers
Don't whistle. Seriously. Not ever. Unless you are completely alone in the middle of a cornfield or on a riverbank somewhere. Do. Not. Do. It. No one needs your feeble attempt at entertainment. Least of all in line at the bank, at the grocery store, in the office where people are trying to work, in a hospital, or at the dentist office. Stop it. Right now.

#9 People Who Use the Phrase "At the end of the day..."
Honestly, I am not sure what gets me about this. It never used to bother me when I first started hearing it more and more. I watched that real estate show whose name escapes me (hubby and I call it the Richard and Ginger show) and Richard said it all the time. But somehow it grew to Godzilla proportions and now everyone says it. Ad nauseum. I think it bothers me because it is a bit nonsensical and really unnecessary. It is like nails on the chalkboard to me, right up there with whistling.

#10 Memory Loss
Seriously, every day I waste countless amounts of time looking for things that I should know where they are. Thinking of names or places or a particular word I know but can't think of. I can't think of the 10th thing to go on this list, which in and of itself qualifies memory loss for the final aggravating thing on my list.

Happy August Everyone! I am going complaint free tomorrow and I encourage everyone to join me, just for a week. Let me know how it is going!