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...

Sunday, January 30


Today's post is my entry into this week's 100 Word Challengehosted by Velvet Verbosity. The 100 Word Challenge is an exercise in which we write exactly 100 words in response to the weekly prompt word. Click the link to read the other entries–good stuff over there! 
This week's prompt was "harmless". 

She had spent the afternoon with Lucas at a coffee shop near Henry's school. Realizing she was late, she asked Lucas to come with her. She knew it was childish but she didn't want Lucas to leave just yet. The three of them walked together on the sun dappled sidewalks, laughing at grade school jokes and kicking the fall leaves aside. Henry begged them to stop at the park, and it seemed harmless when she agreed. 

Now she questioned herself for making that decision, the one that took Henry away forever. Had she said yes for him or for Lucas?

**This is a new passage written this week for my current work-in-progress, still untitled.**

Wednesday, January 26

Is that on FaceBook?

Well, it's a snow day again so I don't have to risk my life to attend class today! Snow days are only exciting if you had somewhere to be, aren't they. I emailed my professor at 7:30am telling her that I know the university doesn't close for snow, but I drive 30 minutes and didn't know if I would risk it. She very promptly answered that she doesn't "do snow" either and had called off class. What a relief. I don't feel like such a wimp.

This past weekend hubby and I went with a couple of my girlfriends and one GH (girlfriend husband) to see a band in the nearby college town. Despite our differing ages, all of us grew up in this area, and most of us spent at least part of our 20's and 30's (if not longer) in and around the bars, nightclubs, and honkey tonks in the city. Hubby went to college here, and it is only 30 minutes or so away from our hometown. The occasion for the evening was mostly to get out of our little hamlet and see some new faces, but as an excuse, one of my bff's co-worker's son had a band and this was there CD release party.

We planned this outing a couple weeks in advance but as usual there was a last minute flurry of texting that day. "are we still on?" "what time are you going over there?" "we're eating out, are you?" I refrained from a "what are you going to wear?" text as I though, seriously, I am 40-something and should be able to pick my own clothes. Which then led to my exasperated husband getting an unsolicited 30 minute fashion show full of "OK, is this better than the other?" "OK, now this is the same one with a different shirt, better or worse?" "OK, this is the first one again, do you like it or the last one?" "Which shoes? I know they look almost the same but these are dressier." Poor guy.

The show was to start around 8:30 but I know enough about musicians to know they NEVER start on time. Apparently that violates some sort of universal rule, the addendum to which is "never play before 10pm". But hubby and I left the house early enough to stop on the way and treat ourselves to dinner out at a local restaurant before heading out to the show. I had ended up wearing the cutest pair of little red shoes with a bit of a heel, so when we got there and the ice and snow remained on the parking lot I was a bit dismayed. Walking like a 70 year old granny I carefully made my way across the snow and ice and into the door.

So our 2 friends were there and soon the other friend and husband arrived and we filled up our table. The early crowd wasn't bad, a lot of people our age, ok, I can handle this. As the hour got later and later, all the college kids began pouring in. The table next to ours filled up with chain-smoking, loud-talking, obsessive picture-taking, ants-in-their-pants twenty-something girls who couldn't seem to quit seat swapping and jumping up and down to go to the bar.

The smoke? Was bad. I can not WAIT for the city to pass their no-smoking ordinance. After living in places where restaurants, and sometimes even bars, are smokeless, it is tough getting used to the smoke again. But this was a bar, a live music venue, so what are ya gonna do? By the time we had been sitting for about an hour, one of my friends had a splitting headache and she and her carpool buddy had to go home. Before the music even started. I can't say I blame her, I was feeling the effects of smoke breathing in my lungs and I just new I would be sick the next day. So, we were left with just the four of us, two couples, and we shifted around so that we could all see the stage and still talk. Hubby and I who were across the large, round table from one another, had been text-talking all night because you could barely hear the music, much less each other.

My friend and I talked about how much we miss our youth. We talked about how different things are now days with the cell phones and texting and picture-taking. Every moment, good or bad, is now documented. I shudder to think of some of the pictures of me that would be out there had there been camera phones in the late 80's/early 90's. I remember just planning an evening out back then was so much trouble. If you didn't find out in the dorm where everyone was headed for the night, you'd spend half your night driving from bar to bar looking to see where "your" crowd was. There were no cell phones in 1987, not really on college students anyway. Now, they just text "where are you?" "we're at (where ever)", and problem solved. Again, there's something to be said for old school because if you didn't want someone to find you back then, you could avoid being found.

The girls at the table next to us got more raucous, smoked more, and took even more pictures as the night went on. The camera phone they used had a flash and it was about to set me off into a siezure they were flashing it so much. For some reason the girl with her back to us was having most of the pictures taken and everyone else was coming around the table to pose with her. She was also the chain smoker of the group. Seriously, it was getting on my nerves. Hubby was on my left and we were directly facing the table. Girlfriend and GH were on my right and sort of behind them.

As the non-stop paparazzi flash kept going off I noticed hubby craning his neck around. When I looked over at him I realized that he was trying to get his face into the background of their pictures! When they got the camera ready he would push up real tall in his seat and lean between the people hoping to mess up the picture. I laughed at him so hard, and then leaned over and said "I will give you a WHOLE dollar if you walk over there and stand behind them for the next one." We started laughing uncontrollably and had to share with GF and GH the reason why we were laughing. Then, hubby started holding up his hands in a peace sign or whatever, but he was still too chicken to do it. All of a sudden I look up and GH  is right behind the girls with his hands out to the side in jazz hands  like "WHAAAA-ZZZAAAAH!!!"  I don't know how to describe it but it is sort of like this:
Except without the top hat. Or yellow fur. So, yeah, not so cute as this. But you get the picture, though what we saw was only from the back so I can only guess about the expression on his face. He probably didn't have those cute whiskers and a pink nose. So maybe it was more like this:

I sure hope it was, JB looks crazy here.
Well, the three of us are DYING laughing as the flash goes off and GH calmly walks away and goes to the bar to order another drink. We finally stop laughing and just as we do, the girls look at the picture, look at each other, then look around at us, but the guy in their picture is gone. The looks on their faces? Priceless. We explode into laughter again and my GF walks over to apologize for her husband, in true southern woman fashion.

Now, I am one of those people? Once you get me laughing I can't stop. Can. Not. I kept giggling forever. After GH does this, you'd think it would slow down their picture taking, but no. They keep right on flashing. So with a prime example set, hubby decides he's got the nerve to do it to and quickly flashes in and out of a picture. By this time the one guy at the ladies' table (I think he was their token gay bff) notices what we're doing and starts laughing too, but doesn't warn them. This sends me off into fits of laughter again. Cause I'm mature like that.

Then? The topper? Some random guy, a 40-something in khakis and dress shirt looking like an off-duty news anchor. swoops in from behind us, poses for the next picture, turns around to hubby and says "I saw you do it and I wanted do it too!" He says, beaming from ear to ear. Hubby and I explode in laughter, hubs gives him a fist-bump and suddenly it occurs to me.

Even in a room of 20-somethings? We 40-somethings are still the life of the party. Or the troublemakers. Whatever. I really wish one of those pictures would show up on Facebook. Because you can't make this stuff up! My life? Honestly....

Tuesday, January 25

School Day Blues

Well, today I took my place as one of the world's oldest living undergraduates. Once again I am returning to academia, this time to finish my bachelor's degree. I am attending Western Kentucky University, which is located about 30 minutes from where I live. It is alma mater to the majority of my high school classmates, and now their children I am sorry to say, as well as that of both my husband and friend Amy.

If you aren't familiar with WKU, they are the Hilltoppers and they have that name for a very good reason. The campus is built in a series of peaks and valleys which require serious climbing to get from one building to the next. As a friend of ours pointed out, the possibility truly exists that in getting from point A to point B you would literally have an uphill walk in both directions.

I stressed over the weekend, mainly about parking. Western is infamous for lack of parking in certain areas of campus. One of which is where my class is located. Additionally, being the master procrastinator that I am, I had neglected to have an ID made or to obtain a parking pass so I wasn't sure what I would do. What can I say, I live life on the edge.

The building where the class was located is at the tip top of the Hill. No matter which direction you are coming from, it will be an uphill walk. Now, I have been trying for months to get myself in shape with yoga and water exercise, but I knew that this walk would kick my butt. And it did. I lucked up on street parking about 1½ blocks downhill from Cherry Hall. After huffing and puffing my way up that street I then had approximately a 2 block walk across to the building which was also at a slight incline. By the time I reached the building I thought my lungs would explode and I couldn't stop coughing from inhaling the cold air. I was trying to conceal from the youngsters that I was having trouble catching my breath, lest they feel the need to call an ambulance for Grandma here.

My lungs were burning, my head was pounding, I thought I might pass out. I found a bench inside the building and sat gasping for breath until my pulse slowed to an acceptable level. I am wondering to myself how many trips up the hill it will take before I become conditioned to this. Also, I am looking forward to the toned condition of my butt and thighs from doing this three times a week.

When I finally get my heart rate and breathing to an acceptable level I try to figure out where my classroom is and I realize that I am in a 4 story building. “Oh, god, if I have to climb stairs I am not going to make it.” I think, digging in my bag for the schedule. It says classroom number 0004, which makes no sense when looking at the room numbers on the first floor, 134, 101, etc. Finally, I gather my belongings and trudge into the nearest office, HQ for the English department, pausing before entering to once again attempt control over my breathing by sheer force of will. As I step in two student workers are on to me immediately, staring and asking “Can we help you?” They probably meant, “by calling a doctor” but I asked quickly “where …..*pant, pant* would I find, ….. *pant, pant* room 4?” After giving each other one of those looks like “do you believe this?” complete with eye roll from the girl, the guy says “um, it's downstairs??” in the most sarcastic tone possible. Thank goodness! I think I can manage DOWN the stairs without passing out.

Aside from being locked into our first-day seat choices by an immediate and permanent seating chart, things went pretty smoothly and I thus secured my back corner seat for the remainder of the semester. The professor seems pretty cool, despite having a serious and quite disgusting cold which was evident in her hocking phleghm every 10 minutes. But she did use the word “dude” in a sentence immediately and also the word “hellacious” in the context of “I asked the dude who runs the bookstore to make sure he has plenty of “used” copies because these textbooks are hellacious.” Nice. So, first day, syllabus, homework review, seating chart, we're out of there. I am for sure the ONLY person over the age of 25 and I may possibly be older than the professor. How I am going to do in this class remains to be seen.

Scene 1 from the first day of class:
My professor: "This class is hard. If you are good at math, it will be easy for you. It uses the same part of the brain for processing. If you are good at something like interpreting novels, it will probably be harder for you."

Me (in my head): "Wait...this IS an English class, right?" Me (out loud): I am in so much trouble."

Blonde sorority girl in front of me: *snicker* (is it possible I said both out loud?) She and the girl next to her turn to give me an appraising glance for my sarcasm. I may have just scored points with them.

Here I am, 43 and still trying to fit in with the other kids. Honestly....

Friday, January 21

Keeping Up

Today's post is my entry into this week's 100 Word Challengehosted by Velvet Verbosity. The 100 Word Challenge is an exercise in which we write exactly 100 words in response to the weekly prompt word. Click the link to read the other entries–good stuff over there! 

This week's prompt was "credentials". 

Was it a matter of not being qualified for the job? No, if anything she was overqualified. Her credentials were stellar. But the truth of the matter was that she was elected because of who her parents were, and she never forgot that. 

Every day she worked hard. Every night she trained hard, harder than most deputies, to keep in shape. To prove to everyone that she wasn't just a bored housewife playing cops and robbers. Ellie was good at her job but she felt the need, as any female sheriff would, to be perfect in order to keep it.

Tuesday, January 18

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Amy bestfriendsince8thgrade and I were to meet up Monday morning to attend a local breakfast in honor of MLK Day. She had to walk the block back to her office to get money so I went on in and sat down. Upon her return, she told me that she had twisted her ankle and almost fallen in her new shoes. The ones I encouraged her to buy on our girls' weekend because they were a) crocs b) on clearance for 9.99 c) wedges that looked like dress shoes and I love wedge heels and d) I really wanted them myself so if she bought them I wouldn't spend the money. Oops. Sorry Amy. Then later she told me that she had slipped twice more in the wet streets and she was afraid of breaking a leg. It reminded me of a day I had several years ago.

Before I was a graphic designer, before I wrote consistently, before I blogged and before I lived in Pennsylvania I lived in Nashville for 18 years. The first 12 of those I was an accounting-type person and was employed in such exciting jobs as bookkeeper,  a/p specialist, payroll specialist and finally, business manager. I know, right? The one that did me in was as an audit clerk for a company that owned a chain of Burger King restaurants. The people there were nice enough but the job was extremely tedious and involved going through paperwork from 30 some restaurants that came in each week smelling of fry grease, cigarette smoke and desperation.

A couple of years after leaving that job (because of life circumstance) I took classes and the exam to become a REALTOR. I know, any of you who have seen American Beauty (I WILL sell this house today!), Desperate Housewives or Modern Family probably have a new view of me upon learning that. But although I usually stayed busy, I was by no means one of those vacuous, vain, self-centered brokers that are depicted on television. I loved working with people and first-time buyers in particular. 

So one summer while the market was red hot in our area, I was a super busy bee. I had 7 active buyers at the time this happened. I know this is small potatoes for most realtors, but 7 buyers is a lot to have on your plate, as that is the one thing that takes up the majority of your time. Out of the 7, five were first-time buyers and out of the five, three were needing VA loans.

One morning on a hot day in June I went to the office. I had worked all weekend, showed houses to 4 buyers in 3 suburbs of Nashville. Written 2 contracts, one of which was the 3rd offer for that person. She'd had 2 kicked because everything in her price range was selling OVER listing price and I couldn't get her to understand that. The other offer I was desperate to have accepted because my client was so nice and just loved the house, it was in the perfect area for him and everything. So I started the day in a good mood, got up and dressed in new brown slacks and a white dress shirt. I was feeling sassy so I tied a brown and pink scarf around my neck, did my make up and headed out to a morning meeting. There was a new agent in the office and she was in the meeting with us that morning. She was all blonde and cute and perky and totally hadn't been jaded yet. Of course I disliked her immediately so I overcompensated by being welcoming and talkative with her. Let's face it, I was a bit giddy at the though of getting 2 buyers wrapped up and having only 5 to deal with. And tired after working 3 consecutive 18 hour days.

During the meeting I get a call from the female client asking if I could show her another house at lunch "in case" her offer doesn't work out. I said yes and made plans to meet her there. After that, I get a call from the agent on the second offer, who I have been trying to reach for 24 hours. I just knew something was going on by the way she acted and she said she had another offer come in on the house. Great.

So by 10am, after a chat with my broker about what nonsense this other realtor was up to,  I was headed out of the office to face the day. I strutted across the parking lot in my jaunty scarf and strappy sandals to get into my SUV and head out to show houses. I wasn't a mile from the office when I got another call from the suspect realtor stating that she now had 2 other offers and one was more than mine. I confronted her, asking if she'd held my offer all weekend to leverage offers from other brokers. She weakly denied it, but I got so fired up. I had to call my client and tell him we'd have to offer well over asking price to get the house he was so in love with.

I met my client at the condo she wanted to see and had no more than parked when the first agent called to tell me her contract wasn't accepted because the seller wasn't willing to do a VA loan. I could see my entire weekend's work unraveling. So I told her, showed her the condo. She loved it and wanted to write up her 4th VA contract on this condo while we were together and get it presented immediately.

We decided to meet at a Quiznos down the road so that she could eat while I filled out the forms. I knew I had somewhere to be at 1 and I was freaking at the thought of having to do that paperwork all over again. I was stressed and when I get stressed? I get clutzy. As I came out of the condo, locked the door, and walked toward my car, I fell. Twisted my ankle in those strappy sandals, ripped my slacks, scuffed up the palms of my hands. And last but not least, looked like an idiot in front of my client. It was already getting hot outside and I was sweating through my clothes sitting on the ground looking like an idiot. I finally was able to get up and walk barefoot over the hot asphalt to my car, meet her at the restaurant, and write up the contract.

She ate and the longer I sat the more I realized how hungry I was. Before leaving I ordered myself a sub thinking I could eat it in the car on my 20 minute drive back to the office for a meeting. When I got back on the interstate I unwrapped the sandwich and realized that I had made the mistake of getting something with some kind of special sauce dripping from it and there were onions on there and ewww gross I hate raw onions so I was trying to pick them off and pulled over to the side of the road. Now, my hands smelled like onions and some sort of mayonaisey special sauce. I had used every napkin they gave me to clean up and had none left. Then, my phone rings.

It is the 2nd realtor telling me that, in fact, the house my buyer loved more than anything in the world had gone to another buyer who put in his offer 48 hours after ours, despite the fact that we asked for an answer within 36. I hung up and pulled back on to the interstate. I was so angry, but there was nothing I could do. I knew she had used me and I knew she operated in the gray area, but there was nothing I could do. I felt like a fool and I felt hopeless. I began shoving that sub into my mouth while driving with one hand, and I could feel the sauce dripping through my white linen blouse. I lost it and hurled the sandwich across the car and out the passenger window. My steering wheel was sticky and my phone had a big drip on the screen. I called my broker and as I was telling her what happened, I burst into sobs. Uncontrollable sobbing. Tears, wailing, gnashing of teeth, the whole nine yards. I hated it when my people didn't get what they wanted, but this was just too much. The whole day was too much and I was powerless to change it. Finally after ten minutes of wailing she told me just to get back to the office and see her when I got there. I bawled the whole way. Have I mentioned when I am stressed I am not only a klutz but I also walk around on the verge of tears? Yeah, that.

So I walk into our Brentwood office, catching only a glimpse of myself in the glass door as I entered. My hair, normally looking cute and flippy, had sagged from the humid weather and the bangs were plastered to my forehead. My eyes were red and, oh, by the way, have you ever seen a redhead after she's been crying? NOT pretty. I had ripped off my scarf and there were mayonnaise stains down the front of my shirt and on the leg of my pants. My palms had road rash and were bleeding, my knee had bled on my pants, there were dirt stains and the knee was ripped open in a 2" square hole just large enough to see the seeping wound on my knee. To add insult to injury, I had chipped the french manicure on my big toe when I fell and it just looked plain trashy. Oh, and? I smelled to high heaven of onions. So I dragged in the front door and across the lobby where I hoped to make a b-line for the broker's office. And of course. Who would be the LAST person you'd want to see?

Yep, that's right little Miss Muffy NewRealtor came out through the lobby. She stopped DEAD in her tracks at the sight of me. "Oh maah gawwwd? Whuuut happened to yeeewwwww????" She asked. Then the topper. "Yew looked so cauuuuuute at the meetin' this mornin'....WHUUT HAAYPENNED?"
I just looked at her, at a loss as to how to explain my appearance. She stood there with her mouth gaping open. I just said "Isn't it obvious? I was mauled by a lion." In the most sarcastic tone I could muster, stepped into my broker's office and slammed the door.

And that, my friends, is how to win friends and influence people. Honestly....

Monday, January 17

The Truth. According to TinfoilMagnolia

Truthfully? The first time I remember hearing a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech? It was in this video:

It has a good beat, you can totally dance to it. Right? In 1986 a group called OMD released an album, The Pacific Age, containing the song which was an instrumental written around this speech given by Dr. King the night before his assassination. Pretty prophetic to someone like me who reads something into everything.

Truthfully? I must have learned about Dr. King in school, wouldn't you think? And yet I don't remember anything about him, I mean I knew WHO he was but I  didn't know a lot about the speeches he made. Once I found out that it was him, I immediately went to the library. (yes kiddies, this was 1986/87 and there were no *gasp* iPhones or internet back then) I did a lot of research on Dr. King and read as many of his speeches as I could find. Back then when something caught my interest it became a temporary obsession. Like much like the obsessions I later had with Kennedy, Charles Manson, and (god help me) Jim Morrison. I was blown away by his message and had a hard time understanding why he was so controversial. I was born in 1967 so I didn't see much of the civil rights struggle. By the early 70's it was mainly about women's liberation and gay rights and the like.

Truthfully? I have always struggled with the concept of equality in this country. I just don't understand why it is so hard just to treat everyone the same. Prejudice, while understandable, (we all have a notion of what someone will be based on how they look don't we?) doesn't make sense to me when it is elevated to the level of racism. I know the hatred comes from fear. Logically. But I can't imagine beating someone to death over their skin color or denying them the right to vote or sit at a table in the same restaurant as me.

Truthfully? I don't know how I grew up to have the attitudes that I do. I was raised by parents who were, and still are, very prejudiced. The only thing I can point to early in my life was a film and experiment in which we had to take part. (in typical 70's fashion) I guess I was in 3rd or 4th grade and they did that old blue/brown eyes segregation thing. Do ya'll remember that? I of course had brown eyes and got treated like crap. It sucked. I still remember how it sucked. Even after we were told what was going on and watched the film explaining it, my feelings were still hurt from being deemed "stupid" and "unworthy". My best friend at the time was a girl who was African American and I just couldn't imagine why I shouldn't be friends with her or why she would ever be treated that way.

Truthfully? My parents are 76 and 83 and they still use the "n" word. They still use all kinds of racial names that I would never in a million years let go through my mind, much less out into the world. They still hold firm to the argument that "it's how things were back then". In fact, I got into a huge disagreement with my brother over this a couple of years ago when he made a nasty comment about our president that I find utterly full of hate. We had a huge argument which ended with me basically telling him that "if" there is indeed a heaven, as he proclaims to believe, he is going to be 10 kinds of disappointed to see people of every race, color and religion inside those mythical pearly gates. Probably wine, too. And music, definitely music. None of which he or my parents feel fit in with their religious beliefs. Why else did his "god" in whom he proclaims to believe put them here if it was only to suffer torture and ridicule. If one of us is made in his image, so must we all be. Right?

Truthfully? This is one of the three main reasons I made the CHOICE to walk away from organized religion 12 years ago. I don't understand the intersection of christianity and racial inequality. At all. I was taught in church to "love one another". But then see people who look like me saying such horrible things to people of other races. We are taught to treat well the least of us, as if he were jesus. But then we hear such vile, vitriolic comments coming from folks who consider themselves christians. In our town, the churches still remain segregated. The "white" church of christ and the "black" church of christ. I remember growing up and the murmuring that went through the building if a black person walked through the doors for a church service. Don't get me wrong, I don't hold christians responsible, nor do I hold them to a higher standard. It is up to all of us to learn to live together or none of us will achieve peace.

Truthfully? I really do try to treat everyone the same. I object to using the color of their skin or their race as an identifying quality. I hate it when people have to say "my black friend" or "the black waitress". Why can't it be "my friend from design class" or "The waitress in the blue top."? Many times I have questioned myself about whether or not I am being overly sensitive. Is it right to try not to see color? Is it better just to be OK with being divided this way? Because I was always taught that America was a melting pot, not a salad bowl, and we were supposed to all co-exist. I got into a huge argument with a "friend" of mine in Pennsylvania a couple of years ago over this very thing. She was making what I considered to be racist remarks. She said I was overly sensitive to the issue because of my southern background. I said, well if I am what's wrong with that, really? I mean, really. In anything else in life don't we say to err on the side of caution?

Months earlier, when Obama was elected, she texted a racial joke to my husband's phone. The same Catholic friend who admonished myself and others for not going to church or believing in heaven and that if we didn't we'd "get the chance to see it firsthand" someday. Her defense for these remarks, other than saying I am not a racist over and over? She received an award during her days in the military for promoting equality. Now, I am sure it's just me but I don't think the US Military is a yardstick of acceptance and equality in this country. Her other defense? Well, they brought it upon themselves. It was Africans who sold their own people into slavery. Needless to say I just stared at her with my mouth gaping open.

She maintained that defeating racism isn't about not seeing color. I beg to disagree. But what do you think? Am I wrong? I strongly believe it isn't just a black and white thing either. Some of the most horrifyingly racist hate speech I have ever been subjected to firsthand occurred when I was dating a guy of Korean descent. I never, ever told him of the things that were whispered to me when we were out in public. The tamest of which was that I could surely "find a real man, an American man, a white man" as pretty as I was. My stomach still churns thinking of all the horrible things that people thought was OK to tell me because I looked like them and he didn't. The sad thing about it was that this guy I was dating? He was a 3rd generation American and his father was a American veteran. It isn't just a black and white thing.

I have a friend who was burned to death in his home because of sexual orientation. I have a friend who I saw treated like a second class citizen because of her learning issues. I have a friend who is talked to and treated like a servant by her husband because it is how he believes their roles should be. I have a friend who has been passed over for a management position time and despite her being perfectly qualified. I have a friend who has obtained a coaching position at a major university and sitting in the crowd at a game I hear him compared to the guy selling cokes in the stands, who is also African American. I have a friend who has been mistaken for a gardener while mowing his own yard in a very nice subdivision. I myself have been subjected to jokes and images about and relating to my weight. It isn't just about race. It is about equality. And treating people with basic respect.

So this morning I attended a breakfast here in our small southern town to celebrate MLK Day. I was asked to attend so that I could write a story for the local paper. I was warned by a friend that I might be one of a half-dozen "white" people there. When I walked in I noted the "white" people, save one or two, clustered together at one table. I had hoped this wouldn't be the case. Determined not to fall into the patterns we all do, being comfortable and sticking with those who look like us, I sat across the room at a table with three of the nicest women you'd hope to meet. I had a wonderful chat with them about jewelry and children and the weather and all the things I would talk about with my own friends. I sat with them and wondered, without asking, what all they had seen or encountered in their lifetime. I came home to write my story covering the event.

But there's just this nagging in my head. Still, there are no answers. Has there been change? Yes, I think there has been. Amazing change. Is it enough? Not by a longshot. The sad thing is that you can't regulate or legislate changes to people's attitudes and opinions. Do we have a long way to go? Absolutely. But I have hope that even though not everyone of my generation can be so accepting, maybe the next generation can. Maybe they can ignore race, and religion, and all those other things upon which we judge people. If only we will let them.

Peace be with us all. And grace upon us fall.

Sunday, January 16


Today's post is my entry into this week's 100 Word Challengehosted by Velvet Verbosity. The 100 Word Challenge is an exercise in which we write exactly 100 words in response to the weekly prompt word. Click the link to read the other entries–good stuff over there! 
Special thanks to Velvet for choosing my post as her pick of the week last week!
This week's prompt was "invincible". 

We were young and thought we were invincible. Nothing could touch us. For six years we led a charmed life, really. Until that hot July day.

You never know what you might do when someone you love is suddenly gone from your life. I forgot how much I depended on him, how much we depended on each other. I hadn't realized that he'd become the first person I turned to whether I was happy or angry. Now he lay there in a coma, fighting for his life while I was faced with the thought of being a widow at thirty-three.

Monday, January 10

Dreams and Confessions

Things have been weird lately. I don't know what's going on in my body or in my head but it is starting to mess with me. I am normally not one to complain, but in the words of Michael Stipe "somethin's goin' on here that's not quite right".

I have been having crazy, strange dreams lately. But stranger than that is the fact that I actually remember them when I wake up. I have rarely ever been able to do that. Two nights ago I dreamed about some old friends of ours who we haven't seen in years. Which is criminal since we've been moved back to the south for a year now and are now less than an hour away from their house. It was a wonderful dream in which the husband (a talented singer/songwriter) was playing guitar and singing and we were all at some kind of outdoor party, sitting in the grass, their beautiful daughters were there and my sweet friend Kimberly was being her sweet self. It made me miss them so much that when I woke up I had to send her a message about it and to say how much I missed her.

Last night I had a really strange dream about being interviewed by a panel of doctors. They were interviewing me to go into a detox program. But it wasn't just a detox program, it was a food detox program. Yep, you heard me. I sat there in a windowed office answering truthfully about the way I ate, how much I ate, when I exercised or if at all, on and on and on. Finally they decided that I was a tragic enough case and yes, I could pay for the pleasure of being detoxed and cured of my food addiction. Then one of the doctors took me to the fitness center where I stood, Bambi-like in the midst of a bunch of neanderthal-like muscle heads.

Why on earth would I dream such a thing? Well, the answer is pretty simple. In 2010 I lost a huge (number remains undisclosed, but somewhere north of 40lbs. and south of 100) amount of weight. I went on a medically supervised eating program and lost it in a relatively quick amount of time. As of right now,  I have been off that eating plan for the longest period of time since last June. The reason is that I decided to take a break after my last 6 week, willpower challenging, friend amazing, eat next-to-nothing round of weight loss. After my initial 6 weeks of maintenance, I decided that I would eat normally through the holidays. Problem with this?


Hel-loooo? That's why I had to lose weight in the first damn place. When it comes to food, I am not normal. I know there are both people who believe this and people who scoff at it, but I? have. a food addiction. I KNOW it. What I can't get a grip on is exactly how to deal with it. So, the minute I came off my diet, did maintenance for 6 weeks as instructed, what is the first thing I do? Well, it was the week of my birthday, back in October. I had been off sugar entirely for 12 weeks and I ate 1/2 of an entire pecan pie. Now y'all. That's not normal. And why did I eat 1/2 of a pecan pie? In one day? Because it was sitting there. Taunting me. I wasn't hungry. I was stressed, and it looked good. And made me feel better.  If that doesn't sound like an addict I don't know what does.

So I think to myself, "OK, that won't happen again. It's over." And I get right back to healthy food, lose that 5 pound gain and try to move on. I told my friends and husband that I would take a weight loss break and eat normal over the holidays. (they were slightly concerned about the speed of my loss and the small amounts I had been eating) And I did. If you call a break eating anything and everything in sight including all kinds of sugar, candy, cake or cookies as if it's my last day on earth. I need help, y'all seriously. Now, I have gained back 10 pounds of my loss. If you knew what I had eaten in the last 3 months you'd be shocked it wasn't more than that. So now, I have to face not only getting off the rest of my weight, but 10 pounds I already lost. Suck!

Add to this the fact that I had gotten into a great routine of visiting the gym on a daily basis for yoga, water aerobics, or treadmill at least 5 days/week. Now? It has been hmm....2 months as well since I have darkened the door. I know if I could give up sugar and get back to the gym, I wouldn't even have to diet. How could I have that much willpower for 12 weeks to eat next to nothing, pack my lunch, watch other people eat, and now I can't even do those 2 things? I try not to be hard on myself, y'all. I try to practice moderation, but it just isn't as easy as all that. Not for me.

Sunday, January 9


Today's post is my entry into this week's 100 Word Challengehosted by Velvet Verbosity. The 100 Word Challenge is an exercise in which we write exactly 100 words in response to the weekly prompt word. Click the link to read the other entries–good stuff over there! 
This week's prompt was "stabbed".

Kate had spent the last hour waiting at her window table, watching cars go by. The lunchtime noise drowned out the bell on the front door. When she finally glanced around she saw her friend, looking long and lean in jeans and cowboy boots, slowly making her way through the crowd. She stopped at each table to address the patrons personally.

Ellie caught her eye and gave her a smile and wink, mouthing “sorry”. As Kate rolled her eyes and stabbed the last onion ring with her fork she wondered, again, if anyone here ever got in a hurry.

Thursday, January 6

The Best of 2010

Oh, Magnolia readers, I have been a terrible blogger. Thanks to you all for hanging with me through my wonderful journey into the Blogiverse this year. Thank you for coming back even when I don't post anything but my 100 Word entries, or bad poetry, or rants on old ladies in the grocery store. I would love to post something hilarious and great every day, or at least 4 days a week, but alas it seems that if I don't get out and do things then there are no tales to be told. And it's cold out there, ya'll!

As I wake up this morning the yards in my neighborhood are covered in a dusting of snow although the roads and driveways remain clear. It's beautiful out there, but I am warm and cozy with a hot cup of coffee wearing my flannels and fleece. Recently I was reading a blog in which the blogger listed his top 10 most read posts of the year. Although I should have done this prior to the end of 2010 I thought I might do it now. Maybe just the top 5. I have been blogging since April, being a very latecomer to this world as with everything else in my life. In the nine month life of my blog I have seen my monthly traffic go from less than 30 hits each month to over 900 each month in October and November. So, thanks! Thanks for continuing to check in at TM and read about the nonsense that is my life, my writing and my storytelling. I am really having a great time doing it. I love all my readers. Like. So. Much!

That being said, I know I have readers who haven't been here from the beginning, and maybe haven't seen these posts. I recently went through and read everything from the beginning to now, and I have to admit I was laughing. So. Hard. I'm not being arrogant here, I had totally forgotten about writing some of these posts. 'Cause I'm young like that.

So anyway, for your reading pleasure, here is Ms. Marsha's Top 5 most read posts of 2010:

5. Christmas Confessions-Christmas Eve Edition Hubby said this post was a bit harsh, but I stand by what I wrote. I am not bitter toward cheerleaders, I just didn't like high school. Number one read, but the fewest comments posted shows that not everyone probably agrees with my view. Oh, well.

4. It Was Time No idea why except that I posted our new pictures. Not really much to say here bloggy wise.

3. You Say It's Your Birthday? A peek into Ms. Marsha's childhood.

2. But Then, What do I Know? Meme post in which I outline 10 things I believe.

1. I love Halloween I am so shocked this post was the most read, I guess I touched a nerve.

Now just a note here, I had 5 100 Word challenge posts within my Top 10 but I didn't count those as they are bound to get a lot of hits.  But if you'd like to check those out they were 5) In this Moment, 4) Disparity, 3) Afterlife, 2) Kissing Strange Boys and 1) Home
These all give a very in-depth look into who I am as a person and as a writer.

Now, for those of you who are relatively new to the blog, I am going to list MY Top 5 Favorite posts of all time. These posts embody what I intended the flavor of Tinfoil Magnolia to be when I started the blog, and before I got derailed with all this "writerly" stuff. This is my life, these are my favorites. Take a moment to check them out if you haven't already:

5. Karma's a Bitch Cosmic Slap-down
4. C'mon Down! New business idea in typical smartass style
3. My Soap Box I still get upset thinking about this one.
2. One for the Road The Cool Whip Queens
1. My Big, Fat Redneck Weekend In which I attend demo derby

And if you want more insight on me or my family situation, I would recommend the following posts:
No, Virginia there is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, The Man Who Raised Hubby, What Doesn't Kill You, Strange Days Indeed, and Not My Mama! or How it is With Dad

And if you still want to read this blog, I will gratefully welcome you back for more madness in 2011!! Go ahead, hit the follow button. You know you wanna! Happy New Year, Y'all.

Sunday, January 2


Today's post is my entry into this week's 100 Word Challengehosted by Velvet Verbosity. The 100 Word Challenge is an exercise in which we write exactly 100 words in response to the weekly prompt word. Click the link to read the other entries–good stuff over there! 
This week's prompt was "spirit"

I felt pathetic and dull, like a pale gray shadow moving through a sunlit technicolor world.As if the spirit left my body, leaving nothing more than an empty shell. I found myself completely unable to function. I became overwhelmed with the smallest decisions and felt crushed by deadlines.

Driving home that day, sobbing, I felt something tugging inside me. I thought, “You could leave, you know. Get on the interstate and just keep driving. Drive until you're somewhere no one knows you.” I drove in a loop around the city for hours fighting the urge to take the on-ramp.