Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Aunt Ethel

I tried to write a blog last night that was silly or irreverent or hopefully somewhat amusing…but I couldn’t. I didn’t get farther than keying in the date, which is my first step in writing a blog. It’s easier that way because I’m not staring at a completely white screen and a blinking cursor that seems to mock me for not being able to come up with a title, let alone an entire blog.

So why couldn’t I write a blog last night? Well, because I was sad. And I still am. You see, my Aunt Ethel died the other day. It wasn’t unexpected, but that doesn’t seem to make it any easier.

When I first heard the news, I didn’t cry or react much, which is hard to believe given that I’m this overly sensitive and emotional-type person. (A cringe-worthy statement to hear if you’re a guy. Thank goodness Vince can deal. Either that – or he didn’t know that side of me until it was too late!)

Anyway, I think I didn’t cry right away because Aunt Ethel had been in the end-stages of Alzheimer’s. She didn’t speak and didn’t recognize us when we saw her in June. So it’s easy to say it was a blessing that the Lord took her. Her suffering is over.

But then the realization hit that this woman – who graced our lives for about 84 years – is gone forever. My mom lost her only sister. And I know how much she mourns her loss.

As one of my cousins said when she heard the news, “It’s like the end of an era.” And that is true. On that side of the family, my mom is about the only one of her generation left.

In fact, my parents’ generation is quickly losing members of a special fraternity and, with their passing, we’re losing an incredible group of people. Or, as Tom Brokaw called them in his book: “The Greatest Generation.”

Coincidentally, I’m reading Brokaw’s book with that very title at this very moment. Well, not this very moment, since I’m writing at this very moment. But, you know what I mean.

Another cousin recommended the book to me, so I borrowed it from the library. And I’m finding it very enlightening. I always thought my parents were unique in their views about life and money and patriotism and family. But reading the stories in the book about the men and women who lived through the Great Depression and World War II, I discovered that my parents’ behaviors, attributes and values were intrinsic to their generation.

When I was a kid, I thought we were poor. I mean, I knew we weren’t destitute, but I didn’t think we had a lot of money either. In truth, my dad had a pretty good job as a metallurgical engineer. And my mom was fortunate not to have to work while we were younger. Sure, she could have. She’d worked as a registered nurse before she had children. But people of their generation thought it was important to have a parent stay home and raise their children, which is a whole other blog for a whole other day.

But I digress.

See, I thought we didn’t have a lot of money because we were not allowed to waste anything. If an apple or a banana had a bruise or a black spot, we either had to eat around it or cut off the bad part. Vince would laugh at this statement – because now I crinkle my noise and make a frowny face if he offers me an overripe banana. “Yuck,” I’ll say. “It’s mushy!”

Back when I was a kid, my mom would simply respond, “It’s fine. Eat it.”

Blecch. But I ate it. Back when I was a kid. You know what I say now? I say that it’s good to be an adult and not have to eat mushy bananas.

When I was a kid, I hardly ever saw my mother tear a new piece of aluminum foil from the roll because she reused every single scrap. She’d take a sponge and wipe off any food particles, and then would carefully fold that by-now soft piece of foil and place it in the drawer. And woe to the child who used a piece of foil and then balled it up and tossed it in the trash! After we received the obligatory lecture, Mom would likely pull it out of the trash, smooth it out, and fold it up neatly and put it back in the drawer.

And if I ever walked out of a room to, say, go to the bathroom, I’d come back to find the room dark. Apparently, we had an Energy Fairy in our home who magically turned off lights that weren’t in use for approximately 45 seconds. The funny thing is, I never EVER saw that Energy Fairy. What did my parents do? Did they have some weird Spidey-sense that someone had left a light on somewhere in the house and they’d spring into action? They’d climb the walls to our bedroom on the second floor, flick the switch to the “off” position and then fly back downstairs – all before I had time to flush the toilet? It was weird.

But my parents – and others of their generation – knew what it was like to go without. When they were young, they saw people who had lost their jobs and their homes and didn’t have welfare or unemployment to live on while they found another job so they could pay the bills. Even if their parents hadn’t lost their jobs and their homes, the time in which they were raised left a huge impression on them.

So they didn’t waste money on new rolls of aluminum foil and they didn’t want to send a single penny more to the electric company than they absolutely had to. And in our family of six (four of whom were not paying the electric bill), they had to be extra diligent.

When I grew up and was living on my own, I’d leave every light on in the place – just because I could. And I’d ball up a piece of foil after one use – just because I could.

And then I got a little older and a little wiser and realized that my parents weren’t total flakes. Why waste the electricity? I didn’t, after all, enjoy sending my hard-earned cash to AEP. And why fill up our landfills with balled up pieces of aluminum foil and all the other stuff that our generation started tossing out without much thought?

Now we have recycling bins and energy conservation and composts in our backyards. And the funny thing is, my generations and subsequent generations all think they discovered recycling.

So the Greatest Generation lost another member the other day. I know how hard that is going to be on my mom. I know my uncle is missing his wife of 60 years. And I know how sad my cousins must be because they’ve lost their mom. I pray for strength for them as they mourn her passing.

As for me, well, I’m going to have my moments of sadness, too. But I’m going to remember all the fun times we’d spend with my aunt and uncle and cousins on our way back from Cape Cod through my growing-up years. I’ll laugh when I recall the time my Aunt Mary got my mom, Aunt Ethel and Nanna a little tipsy on Southern Comfort. I will be grateful that Vince was able to meet Aunt Ethel before her illness rendered her incapable of communication.

And I will be grateful for all the life lessons that she – and other members of her generation – taught us. May her soul and the souls of all the saints rest in God's peace, and may light perpetual shine upon them.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pardon Me…I’m a Little Road-Ragey Today

I think the temperature outside is something like 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Can’t be? Okay, well, it feels that hot. Hard to breathe out there.

Fortunately, I’m inside in the air conditioning, so I really don’t have much to complain about. But will that stop me? Noooo!

I’m hot, tired, cranky and really need a day off that doesn’t include a Saturday or a Sunday. (You do hear the whining going on there, don’t you?) The one other employee in my office called off sick today – and that pisses me off. And some idiot client decided they wanted to add 2 more shirts to their already mega-large order of 3 shirts. Ooh…five shirts – we ought to make a killing on this one, profit-wise.

I can see you all avoiding eye contact and slowly backing away from me right about now. Smart move, I say.

Oh well. The heat seems to affect me negatively. But I don’t think I’m the only one. I thought it was funny this morning when I saw a post asking if anyone else had noticed that people were being a whole lot more road-ragey in this heat. And I totally agree. Mostly because I’m one of those road-ragey people. Hate to admit it, but there you have it. The ugly, unvarnished truth.

I was driving to work this morning and just as I approached the railroad tracks, the safety arms started lowering and that annoying dinging began. Arrrgh! So I sat there and grumbled about the delay because I’d just started my commute and my car’s A/C hadn’t cooled the car off quite sufficiently yet. Four minutes later – as the train was just about past, another frickin’ train from the other direction showed up! By this point, it would have been a complete waste of time to u-turn it and go in another direction. I’d already lost about eight critical commuting minutes.

So I sat there steaming and trying to find something amusing on the radio to distract me. Hearing the weather report didn’t quite do the trick, however. The words “heat advisory,” “air quality alert,” and “will feel like 108 with the humidity” did not help the situation.

Once the second train had disappeared down the tracks to annoy some other commuters and the safety arms were nearly up, I raced across the tracks and continued on my way. Should I have waited until the safety arms were completely upright and not dinging any longer? Absolutely. But my excuse was that I was afraid a third train might be in the vicinity. Apparently smooshed on the train tracks was preferable to sitting there waiting for a third train to pass by? Hey, I never said I was making any sense here.

Once I hit the interstate, it was fortunate that other commuters were driving along at a decent clip (90 MPH) and I was able to make up some of those eight critical commuting minutes. I didn’t even need to tailgate anyone!

(Actually, I don’t tailgate people. I hate when someone else does that to me, so I try not to do it to anyone else. Doesn’t mean I don’t nag the slow-poke ahead of me in colorful language to move it along – but they can’t hear me, so I figure I’m safe.)

When I finally reached downtown, I found myself behind an indecisive person who either didn’t know where they were – or were put on this earth to annoy me. First, the driver swerved over into the left turn lane, but then swerved back in front of me to go straight. Okay. I can see how this is gonna go.

So she puttered along at 5MPH (I kid you not) down Main Street where the speed limit is 30 whole MPH faster than she was going. And there wasn’t a passing lane that I could utilize, so I had to grit my teeth and meander along behind her. Was she sightseeing and checking out the two tire companies, car wash place, McDonald’s and some other mysterious run-down buildings that grace that stretch of Main Street? Was she lost? Did she not know the difference between 5 miles per hour and 35 miles per hour? Was she put on this earth to annoy me and was just fulfilling her destiny?

I don’t know. But if it was the last thing, she was doing an excellent job.

As we approached the light and I clicked my left-turn signal, I started repeating out loud, “Please turn right, please turn right, please turn right!” But did she turn right? Nooooo! She turned left. After apparently much internal debate, once she realized she could not go straight into the one-way traffic. The light had nearly turned red before she made her decision. I would have let her go on ahead and waited for the next light, but I was dangerously close to being late for work by this point.

So I followed her for a short stretch before hanging my head in defeat once I remembered that there was road construction ahead and the middle of the road was all torn up. Aw man, I thought. This is gonna totally flummox her – I just know it.

And it did. She slowed down to, well, okay, she was nearly stopped on the road because my car wasn’t even registering a speed. I could’ve parked in the middle of the road and walked faster.

Not that I would have. It’s hot out there, y’know.

You can’t even imagine the one-sided rant that was raging inside my car at that moment. But at the next intersection she thankfully turned right and I continued on straight. I swear, I heard a choir of angels singing and my heart lightened and I even cracked a smile. It was like the red rage had lifted and all was right with the world again.

Until I got to work and discovered my co-worker decided to avoid the whole road-ragey thing and call off sick.

Gulp. I think I’d better take a chill pill and relax. Anyone got a prescription?!

So I’ll end with these words: stay cool, everyone. I hope you have a nice, relaxing weekend.

But, um, just to be safe? I’d recommend avoiding the north freeway this evening from 5-5:30. You probably wouldn’t want to be on the same road with me during my evening commute. Just sayin’.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My 202nd Blog. Yeehaw.

Wow. According to the count on, I’ve managed to write over 200 blogs. And, okay, maybe saying “over 200” sounds like a lot over 200. Probably I should confess that the number (including this blog) is really only 202.

Nevertheless, writing 202 blogs IS a milestone for me. Plus, a few months ago I added a “stat counter” to my page, which shows that my blog has been viewed nearly 4,000 times. I don’t think that’s too shabby.

Oh, sure, there are people out there with thousands and thousands of friends, family and complete strangers from all over the globe reading their blogs – so my 202nd blog and my 3,964 “hit” ain’t all that and a bag of chips. But I still think it’s pretty great.

Especially since I sometimes think I’m running out of things to say. But then I mentally slap myself upside the head and repeat these words: “I CAN ALWAYS MAKE STUFF UP!”

Usually I don’t have to, though. Life is filled with too many funny/goofy/interesting or just-plain-sad sorts of things. The only thing I need to watch is my tendency to observe rather than participate. Many times I will be hanging out with family or a group of friends and an interesting topic of conversation arises and I start mentally writing a blog about it without actually participating in the conversation. Part of it is that I enjoy listening to others. The other part of it that I can’t usually walk and chew gum at the same time so it takes all my concentration to write a blog in my head. If I tried to add to the conversation, it might sound like gobbledygook. The blog I’ve written in my head, by the way, is always brilliant. It’s just that by the time it finally gets out of my head and into my computer, the brilliance has leeched away and I’m left with the dregs. But I make do.

The way I look at it, I take great joy in writing about funny things that happen to other people or interesting conversations I hear. Yet I really don’t want to call anyone out and embarrass them. That’s why writing about strangers is good – a stranger will never know I’ve written about him. Hey, whenever someone does something that makes me laugh unexpectedly, well that, my friends, is a blog-worthy subject.

Frequently I end up writing about things that happen to me. I mean, it’s hard not writing a blog about someone accidentally running into a wall for no apparent reason. And since the person accidentally running into a wall for no apparent reason is usually me, I pretty much need to call myself out.

Hey, what can I say? I have balance issues.

The last time I ran into a wall, coincidentally, was today. Fortunately, nobody saw my graceful pirouette as I rounded the corner to head into the copy room and – smack! – hit the doorframe face first.

This is just what happens when a person deals with a 100% hearing loss in one ear. The other ear works hard to keep up, but the inner ear balance thing is simply out of whack.

In the past whenever someone caught me running into walls (and excessive alcohol was not involved), and they started laughing, I tried shaming them. I’d get all serious and tell them I lost the hearing in my left ear as a young child (cue the violins) when I suffered terribly from a horrendous case of German Measles. I would then go on to tell them it was only by the grace of God that I recovered at all – but was devastated to discover a short while later that the auditory nerve was damaged beyond repair and I’d been rendered completely deaf in my left ear.

You’d think that would shut ‘em up, wouldn’t you? Perhaps they could tell that I was not exactly emotionally scarred by the German Measles since I don’t actually remember being sick. (Unlike my vivid memories a year or so later when I had the Chicken Pox.) But, anyway, after my gut-wrenching story, they usually cup their hand over their ear and say, “What??” in an annoyingly smug tone of voice. Like they think they’re funny or something.


But it doesn’t really bother me. I don’t even think about it when I run into walls or doors or whatever since I’ve been doing it for such a long time now. More often than not, I am able to catch myself before I actually hit the wall or door in question, so I’m generally not walking around with black eyes. Thank goodness.

There was only one time I truly remember embarrassing myself. I was in my mid-20s and flirting with some guy at work. He was leaning against a wall near the lunchroom and we were chatting away and having a friendly conversation. Eventually, I told him I needed to get back to my desk and we said our goodbyes. I turned to walk away and round the corner, but instead ran right into the corner of the wall. Hit myself in the forehead and everything. Some graceful exit, huh?

While he laughed, I rubbed the rapidly forming bump in the middle of my forehead while my face turned scarlet. And then I slunk away. Strangely, the guy never asked me out. Go figure.

Ah well. He wasn’t right for me, anyway. Vince might think it was a little funny to see me walking into a wall – but before a ghost of a smile crossed his face, he’d first check to make sure I was okay. That right there is true love!

So there you have today’s “running-into-a-wall” story. Be sure to remind me if you read about them too frequently. By the 303rd blog I might forget what I’ve already written about and start repeating myself.

And, by the way, thanks. I hope you’re still reading by the 303rd.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Say it Ain't So!

Last week I wrote a blog about love and marriage and the ending of some of those marriages. It was sort of depressing for a day or two as I realized how fragile relationships can sometimes be.

Take J.Lo, for instance. I just read the not-surprising news that her marriage of 7 years to Marc Anthony is over. Probably because he hasn’t had a major hit since “I Need to Know” came out in’99. She is, after all, a big-time important judge on American Idol and has veto rights. Maybe she told him, “You’re Fired!” (Oh wait, I’m mixing up reality shows…)

I don’t think celebrity marriages are shining examples to follow, anyway. I mean, would anyone want to place a bet on how long the Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo marriage will last? That’s cynical, I know, but Nick’s track record so far is not impressive. But perhaps it’ll last longer than his marriage to Jessica Simpson, which was celebrated ad nauseam in Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. The show, of course, ended before their 3-year marriage did. Not too inspiring, was it?

Oh well. Their marriage may not have lasted, but I suppose they did increase their fame and fortune. Especially Jessica – she has since become a little mogul with her shoe and handbag line. Plus, she’s engaged again, too.

It’s all about priorities, I guess.

Sure, some Hollywood marriages stood the test of time. Like, um…hmmm. Can’t think of anyone righ…oh, wait – I’ve got one! Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. They were married a LONG time and the marriage only ended because Paul passed away in 2008. And, no, I’m sure it wasn’t intentional on his part to escape his marriage vows.

There surely are others, but I’m not in the mood to do more Google research right now. Yes, I’m bein’ lazy.

But for us everyday sort of folk, I think we should take a look at some of our own personal examples. My aunt and uncle, for instance, just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Sadly, I don’t believe my aunt recognized the milestone as she is in a facility suffering from Alzheimer’s. But it’s inspiring to realize that my uncle goes to that nursing home day after day to visit his wife of 60 years, even though she can’t communicate with him and may not even recognize him any longer. We should all have partners who will perform this loving act should we find ourselves incapacitated in our later years.

My own parents are in their 59th year of wedded bliss. And, please. I’m not a total wacko…I DO realize that every single moment of those 59 years could not have been utterly blissful. That’d be pretty far-fetched given that they have four children – so probably life was a little less blissful during the years we freeloaders were hangin’ around.

Except for me. I was an angel so they l-o-v-e-d raising me. I’m sure of it. Just ask them. (Okay, maybe you shouldn’t.) But, hey, it IS my blog and I can write what I want. There are no fact-checkers here.

No but seriously. My own marriage hasn’t even reached the two year mark – so I realize that I’m no expert on the subject. Probably I’m an expert on failed relationships, though. So I’m pretty good at comparing what didn’t work before with what is working great now. For one thing, my relationship with Vince has been predominantly easy. I couldn’t say that about one single former relationship I had. Oh sure, they’d start off that way. Romance is wonderful when you think every little quirky thing your partner does is adorable. Years – or, heck, sometimes only months – later, that quirk could drive a person bonkers. And I’m sure I’m not completely innocent in the quirk department, either. Aw heck, let’s just spell it out. Can you say PMS? (Yeah, I know. We don't literally have to spell it out!)

I’ve heard that from other couples who have long-lasting, stable relationships that “easy” describes their relationships, too. They say that their lives are not filled with strife or drama. Maybe that’s key. I mean, it’s not to say that there are absolutely no disagreements in these long-term relationships, but that any disagreements are brought out into the open and are discussed and ultimately resolved.

On the other hand, I suppose some people thrive on drama and strife. Perhaps their marriages are like wild rollercoaster rides and they wouldn’t trade for our more boring, placid lifestyles for anything. But I’m afraid I’d probably develop motion sickness. And upchucking is not a pastime I partake in willingly.

Fortunately, as we get older and wiser (hopefully), we learn who we are – and what our life is all about. Some people may have gotten married as young adults only to discover they’d made a mistake. Maybe they even tried again at another point – and when that didn’t work out, learned that they were probably better off single. In this case, I say kudos to the person who knows himself so well. Besides, “single” is not a dirty word!

However, I also know quite a few engaged couples and newly married couples and couples anticipating their imminent nuptials – and I have hope for all of them. I pray that they’ve met their life partner who makes life together “easy.” And I hope we all are able to look back on those radiant smiles in the photos from our wedding days – and we always remember the love we have for our partners and the reason we said “I do” back then.

Because there are enough J.Lo and Marc Anthony stories out there.

Monday, July 18, 2011

And, Now For Today's Fashion Faux Pas...

I saw the funniest thing on the way to work this morning. I was stopped at a red light close to downtown when I saw a young, shirtless guy crossing the street.

Probably he should have kept his shirt on because he was not sporting a six-pack. But apparently he thought he had something impressive to show off. He was also wearing his pants so far below his waist that his drawers were showing. You know the style – right? (And I use the term “style” loosely.)

So there he was attempting to look cool by sauntering across the street with his T-shirt slung over one shoulder and his pants nearly hitting the ground. When he was just about halfway across the street, though, the pants gave up the fight – and fell into a heap around his ankles. Because he was in mid-stride when the tragedy occurred, he just about tripped. He didn’t – but I’ve never seen anyone yank his pants up so fast while trying to keep walking at the same time. He came close to tripping several more times until he managed to pull the pants up to the approximate position on his body that the manufacturer intended when it made them. Ladies and gentlemen, “cool” has left the building.

He furtively looked around to see if anyone had noticed. Uh, yeah, buddy. Hard not to. We were stuck at a red light with nothin’ else to watch. Well, except for maybe the light.

I was laughing, but trying to disguise my mirth by holding my hand over my mouth. The guy in the car next to me, on the other hand, wasn’t even pretending. I could hear his loud guffaws through two closed windows. I’m surprised he wasn’t pointing at the kid, doubled over and holding his belly while yukking it up, but probably the steering wheel was in his way.

Oh well. It brightened my Monday morning. And, yeah, maybe it was at some kid’s expense – but he should know better than to wear his pants so low he cannot maneuver himself across the street without a “pants on the ground” moment.

I figured this fashion faux pas already outlived its 15 minutes of fame, but clearly it hasn’t. The other day when I drove into the Kroger parking lot, I saw two other young dudes wearing their pants so low that I can report that one wore navy striped boxers and the other sported black paisley boxers. Come on. Do I really need to know the color and style of some stranger’s underwear?

My bigger question, though, is this: How DO they walk around like that?

Another “style” I can’t wait to see end also features the backside – mostly worn by teenage girls and co-eds. You’ve seen the short shorts and the sweatpants with the words printed across the behind? Yeah, that fad needs to go away, too. I really do not need to see the word “Juicy” written across some teenage girl’s booty.

What is this obsession with teenaged backsides?

And, yeah, yeah, okay – so a teenager’s backside is probably the best it’s ever gonna look, but there must be better ways to flaunt it without, well, flaunting it. If you know what I mean.

Of course, my generation wasn’t all that much better. We invented the mini skirt – or at least we think we did. Fortunately, Twiggy was older than I was, so I was just a kid when I sashayed around in short shorts and mini skirts. Oh, and does anyone remember those wide-legged hiphugger jeans that were so low that there was only room for a 3” zipper? If thongs had been invented in the early 70s, you’d certainly have seen a lot of “whale tails” back then, too.

And, okay, I admit it. I grew up in the disco era. So I’m not pretending to be superior here. But newer generations should learn from past mistakes, shouldn’t they? Like, if we’re really lucky, we should never again see big, frizzy permed 80’s hair.

But style is a curious thing. Every generation thinks they’ve cornered the market on cool and they truly believe they’ve invented fashion. Most of which we could do without. “Classic” is classic for a reason.

Oh well. Maybe the kid with the low slung pants learned his lesson today. Maybe from now on he’ll hike ‘em up at least to his hips so that he can walk across the street without flashing the commuters.

Or…maybe not. It was, after all, pretty entertaining. And I do enjoy a good laugh now and again.

So, thanks, kid. You made my day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Love is Either a Many-Splendored Thing – or it Stinks

Last night I was looking at Facebook and read a post by someone announcing that she and her husband of barely three years were separating. Wow. People really post such personal information like that on Facebook?

Yeah, I suppose they do. Sometimes it’s like riding a relationship roller coaster as I watch friends change their status from “In a Relationship” to “It’s Complicated” and back again. Sometimes they get back with the same person and other times they start dating someone totally new. Teenagers I can understand – but people in their 40s and 50s? I almost feel like asking for a score card so I can keep track.

But even if I had a score card, I would never risk commenting on those kinds of posts. I don’t want to congratulate someone on getting back with their significant other only to find out they’re dating someone new. That would be a big oops.

But it seems like there are a whole lot of unhappy people out there. On the radio this morning, I listened to a DJ giving tips on how to keep romance alive in a relationship while the other DJ, who has apparently been married for a zillion years and finds absolutely zero romance in his marriage, cynically recommended divorce as a way of rekindling romance…with someone new. And I don’t think he was really joking.

Sheesh. Makes you wonder about the sanctity of marriage sometimes.

I also read a blog this morning by a housewife-type person who shall remain nameless who was having a “bad relationship moment” with her husband and needed to vent. Or maybe rant. Either way, it must have been a big problem because I vaguely recall seeing the word “poison” in her blog. I suspect that it was written in jest and that she wasn’t really plotting his demise. Or at least I hope she wasn’t. Besides, it’d be hard to refute the whole premeditation thing when the evidence is clearly out there in cyberspace. But just in case, I think I’ll wipe my memory banks clean. That way, I can’t be called on to testify for the prosecution.

And then the other day I had a conversation with an old friend who is going through a painful divorce. When I asked him how it was going, he responded, “You don’t even want to know.” What I do know is that it hasn’t yet been finalized despite nearly two years of separation and court negotiations because it has gotten ugly and neither side can come to terms.

That just makes me sad because I clearly remember his wedding day and the happy years that followed. What went wrong? It’s hard to say. I only know that my friend deserves to be loved and I’d like to see him move on with his life.

But sometimes “ugly” doesn’t even begin to describe marital discord. This morning (after the “Keeping Romance Alive” segment), I listened in horror to a news report about a woman in California who drugged her estranged husband and cut off his, well, his private part. And then put it in the garbage disposal and flipped the switch.

How sick is that?

Obviously, I don’t know any further details. Like, what prompted this woman to do such a heinous thing to another person, let alone someone she promised to love and cherish all the days of her life? Maybe there was mental illness or abuse involved, I don’t know. But I also don’t know how people can be so cruel to each other.

I might have mentioned before that I’m one of those overly sensitive types – so all these stories bother me. A lot.

Probably I should just focus on my own marriage. It’s good. We’re both happy. We’re looking forward to celebrating our second wedding anniversary in September – and we’re both surprised by how easy life together is.

I’m especially surprised. No, not because he sometimes leaves his dirty socks on the floor and I haven't gone into a homicidal rage about it. I have, after all, been known to leave shoes lying around on the floor from time to time. (Shocking, I know…)

No, it’s mostly because I was a single woman for a LONG time. Years. Decades, even. And that whole “set in my ways” theory definitely applies. But the adjustment to living with Vince was pretty easy. I figure it’s just because I finally met the right man – and it’s so worth it.

Even if I do have to pick up his dirty socks off the floor sometimes.

Besides, he makes me breakfast every morning and makes sure I take my vitamins. He gives me neck rubs when I have a headache. And he tells me he loves me every single day – both by his words and by his actions. So how could I not love a guy like that? Dirty socks on the floor notwithstanding.

Maybe I should tell him how much he means to me.

Or maybe I just did?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Blog-Worthy Holiday Weekend?

Last week I had the Plague. Well, not really. I wasn’t deathly ill or anything, but I did have an elevated temperature on and off for 3-1/2 days. This sucked because I was forced to wash my hair every day. I hate washing my hair every day. And, besides, being sick in general sucks.

So I spent my time shivering and covered up in as many layers as possible – or, once my many fevers broke, I was a sweaty, stringy-haired mess. Thus, all the showering and hair washing.

Let’s just say that I am NOT looking forward to hot flashes.

And, yes, by the way – I did go to a doctor and, yes, I did get prescription medication. Fortunately, those little pills in that Z-pack seem to have warded off the evil spirits, which is a good thing because otherwise I was thinking about calling in an exorcist.

I worked for most of that time, but people around the office tended to stay away from me. Hmm. Wonder why? Was it that my stringy, plastered-to-my-head hair was distasteful? Or did they just not want to catch my cooties? Probably it was more likely my snarly disposition. Unfortunately, when I’m sick but still have to report to work, I’m a little less, uh, agreeable than normal.

Having a “slightly elevated” temperature is worse than a flat-out, near-death fever, too. Because when you’re at that latter stage, nobody expects you to wash the breakfast dishes, pick up the dry cleaning or deal with the annoying vendor who is desperately trying to make a sale. Being “slightly” sick means you still have to do all those things, but because you’re not feeling well, you’re way crankier than usual when doing them.

Plus, you don’t get much sympathy when you’re not majorly sick. Well, except from Mom. Yeah, I was lucky – mom called every day to check on me. Made me feel a little better, too.

So, anyway, I didn’t write any blogs. I don’t think the word “blog” even crossed my mind last week. See what happens to creativity when the Plague hits? It disappeared right along with my well-coiffed ‘do.

But. I’m baaaaack. Now… what am I going to write about?

If I hadn’t been sick last week, I could’ve written about our fun weekend in Cincinnati to watch the Indians vs. Reds baseball game. Indians won, I hear.

But, um, we didn’t go.

Or I could write about the dazzling fireworks display that lit up the sky in downtown Columbus or the many suburban fireworks displays.

Except…we didn’t go anywhere and sit on a blanket and watch any.

Yeah, I can see where this is headed. I’m going to have to start making stuff up pretty soon.

On the other hand, we did sit on the couch and watch Red White & Boom on TV. We even watched the Boston Pops and the spectacular fireworks display set off in the Boston Harbor.

So that was something. Besides, watching fireworks from the comfort of the couch wasn’t all that bad. We didn’t have to deal with the heat or the crowds. Our restroom facility was only five feet away and was (most importantly), not a Port-O-John. And we could have a beer or two without designating a driver or worrying about getting behind the wheel of a car afterwards.

All good things.

So, on the whole, it wasn’t a bad holiday weekend. Plus, I had a couple extra days to fully recover from the Plague. Oh, and I also got caught up on the laundry. Yay.

But was it blog-worthy? Eh, probably not. But that just makes you appreciate the truly blog-worthy subjects – doesn’t it?

Sigh. Maybe I need to plan another road trip…

Oh well. I didn’t want you to forget that I sometimes write a blog. So I wish you a Happy Hump Day, folks. Hope your day is blog-worthy.