Have a Very Hairy Winter

Last week I saw a Facebook meme that essentially said that since autumn has arrived I don’t have to shave my legs until next spring. That made me wonder what else I could dispense with at this time of year. Underwear? Eyeglasses? Makeup? None of the aforementioned? I couldn’t think of a single thing. And I’ll continue shaving my legs all year long.

Yes, I’m an overachiever. I have shaved my legs every single day of the year regardless of season from the time I was 11 years old. I shaved them on the days I gave birth. I shaved them after my lumpectomy. I shaved them after my hysterectomy. TMI? Too bad. If I were running for public office this would be my slogan:

VOTE FOR ME, I’M LEG HAIR FREE.

I don’t care if other women choose to let their hair grow all winter long. That’s a personal choice. I don’t shave for Studly’s benefit; quite honestly he probably wouldn’t notice if I grew a cashmere sweater on my thighs. I just can’t stand to sleep with myself if there’s any stubble at all on my legs.

When I become old and feeble I hope I have the money to hire a person to shave my legs on a daily basis. While they’re at it, they should also make sure my mustache is under control. And when I die, before I’m cremated, I want someone to take on these critical tasks. I can’t meet St. Peter with hairy legs. Is anyone writing this down? It’s important.

Peace, People!

Let it Go?

Why is it easy to let some small annoyances go and impossible to let others slide by?

I have raged for years about 32″ inseams on my 33.5″ legs. That danged inch and a half is a thorn in my side. On average aren’t people growing taller? Then why on earth haven’t inseams gotten longer? Let it go!

Political ads. The misdirection, happy family photos, staged walks on the beach, outright lies–they all make me cringe. I think every politician should be allotted ten 30 second television advertisements. They may not mention their opponent in any way during those 30 seconds. Only verifiable facts and statistics may be used. Don’t let it go!

The term “supermodel” bugs me. Anything with the word “super” imposed on it should at least be able to fly or bend steel rods. Let it go!

What’s up with beets? They always look like they should taste pleasant, and yet they don’t. It’s that bright red coloring that is the problem. I see festive red and I think, “mmm, sweet,” not “ugh, weird tasting vegetable.” Let it go!

Incorrect use of an apostrophe. Don’t let it go! People, an apostrophe shows ownership:

Paula’s plants. Not Paula’s plant’s.
Plant’s leaves. Not plant’s leave’s

Bathroom seats that are left in the upright position. It’s icky. It’s yucky! But I can live with it. Let it go!

Burps and belches that aren’t followed by the phrase, “Excuse me!” Common courtesy. Don’t let it go!

Blog posts with no apparent point. I hope you can let it go!

Peace, People!

Awareness Issues

Do you suffer from Awareness Issues?

1. Do you find yourself stepping in random puddles of oil in parking lots or piles of dog poop in parks?

2. Have you ever bumped into an inanimate object and said, “excuse me”?

3. Have you ever driven any length of time only to realize you have no recollection of the past 10, 20, or even 30 miles?

4. Have you ever accidentally brushed your teeth with Preparation H?

5. Have you ever gotten into the wrong car in a parking lot and wondered why your key doesn’t fit the ignition?

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions you might be suffering from Awareness Issues.

As a recovering sufferer of AI, I wholeheartedly endorse the Institute for Awareness Disorders, or IAD. Here’s what IAD can offer:

Intensive Group Therapy–Daily meetings with fellow AI sufferers will provide support as you deal with your lack of awareness.

Personal Counseling Sessions–One on one meetings with an expert to get to the root cause of your Awareness Issues.

Awareness Exercises–The heart of IAD. Our certified AI counselors will lead you and fellow attendees in activities guaranteed to eradicate AI. Previous exercises have included blindfolding participants and dropping them into a variety of locations such as Times Square in NYC, and the Amazon Jungle, walking a tightrope over a pit of vipers, and rock climbing in the Rockies.

Comments from our satisfied customers:

“If the exercises don’t result in death or dismemberment you most likely will be cured.” –Clueless Joe J., IA.

“I used to get into other people’s cars all the time before enrolling at IAD. Now, that hardly ever happens.”–Helen N., Hereford, TX.

Before attending IAD I was always doing embarrassing things like scolding strangers in airport restrooms, but the group therapy has been so helpful.”–Nedra P., Canyon, TX.

I can’t tell you the number of times I accidentally used hairspray as deodorant and vice versa before attending IAD. Now, I look twice before I spray.–L. N., Havana, FL.

You no longer have to suffer from Awareness Issues. Call our offices today at 1-888-bea-ware.

Peace, People!

Short and Gross

This morning I went out to get in the convertible. I pulled out of the garage and realized the ambient temperature was a bit on the chilly side to ride around with the top down. So with a press of a button I raised the top.

Little pieces of something began falling all around me. Dead lovebugs. Lots and lots of dried, dead lovebugs, no longer entwined in death, their flaky little carcasses raining down into my hair and onto my lap and into my purse.

What a way to start the day.

Peace, People!

Whatchamacallit

When I was a kid in the ’60s growing up in Floydada, Texas, we called the refrigerator an icebox, a fridge, or a Frigidaire, regardless of the brand.

When we went to get a soft drink, it was always a “coke” even though that might mean a Pepsi or a Sprite or a root beer. It wasn’t until we moved to North Dakota that I learned not everyone did that. Up there, it’s a “pop” and in Kansas, a “soda.”

In our living room, we sat on a couch, but my Grandmother Hall called hers a divan and my Nannie Grace called hers a sofa. I’ve heard it called a davenport, but I can’t remember by whom.

Our noon meal was dinner and our evening meal was supper. We learned differently when we moved up north. There the noon meal is lunch and the evening meal dinner. That difference caused a bit of confusion when interacting with the natives. We’d invite folks to supper and they’d look puzzled until we gave them a time. Then they’d say, “Oh, you mean dinner.”

And we’d say, “No, that’s at noon.”

“Oh, you want us for lunch?” ”

“Well, we’d prefer fried chicken.”

Who’s on first? That’s right.

In Texas, if one was planning to do something in the near future she might say, “I’m fixin’ to…” as in “I’m fixin’ to defrost the icebox.” Truly it sounded more like “fixinta”–“I’m fixinta cook supper.”

And we were always “carrying” someone somewhere. Grandma Hall didn’t drive, so she would ask us to carry her to the store. She was an able bodied woman at that time, so carrying meant giving her a ride in our car–no heavy lifting involved.

Objects for which we didn’t have a name were called “doohickeys,” or “thingamajigs,” or “thingamabobs.” People whose names we couldn’t recall were “Old Whatshername,” or “Whatchamacallit.” It was possible to have a conversation that went like this:

Mom: Do you have that thingamabob that came off the icebox?

Dad: No, I took it over to old Whatshername to see if she had one of those doohickeys.

Mom: Well, Grandma Hall asked us to carry her to the store to pick up some fixings for a big dinner she’s fixinta have after church tomorrow. I can run by and pick up the doohickey while I’m out.

Dad: Be sure and get some Coke.

Mom: Okay. What kind?

Dad: Dr. Pepper.

Bad Karaoke

My singing is so bad it almost resulted in an arrest one night. A group of my co-workers and their spouses gathered one evening at a bar in Great Bend, Kansas, to celebrate the birthday of one of our friends. As it happened, the bar featured karaoke, and after we’d had a few drinks some of us began putting our names on the list of singers.

I was a karaoke virgin, but not a hesitant one. Once my name was called I practically leapt to the microphone and promptly butchered “Leader of the Pack” by singing when I shouldn’t, and not singing when I should. It looked much easier when I was just spectating.

Now anyone with a smidgen of self respect would have called it quits after the first go round. Maybe my smidgen was missing that night. I signed up again and again, and while I became better at following the bouncing ball my voice never got even a little better. But, everyone seemed to be having a good time so what was the harm?

Studly doesn’t sing, but he sat there drinking a beer, or two, or five, cheering me and the other members of our group on. The birthday boy (we’ll call him Bob) and I decided to sing a duet to “I Got You, Babe,” the classic Sonny and Cher hit. Bob could actually sing, so our duet had an interesting sound to say the least. I was trying to channel Cher, but ended up sounding like Oscar the Grouch with Kermit the Frog in his throat.

That’s when the heckling began. An inebriated couple–an incredibly skinny man and equally incredibly beefy woman–started yelling hateful slurs at Bob and me during our song. I was oblivious, but Studly was not. He asked the inebriated pair to shut their mouths. They impolitely declined. Our song ended, but on my way back to the table I was grabbed by some friendly folks to sing “Goodbye Earl,” so I stayed in the spotlight where I felt I’d always belonged.

I’d never even heard the song before, so I was kind of talk-singing the lyrics when I wasn’t laughing. The inebriated couple grew louder. Studly was busy defending my honor. I was still oblivious. I remember looking up from the karaoke screen to see an officer of the peace putting handcuffs on my husband. For some reason, the gravity of the situation didn’t phase me even a little bit. I calmly announced to my fellow singers and the room at large that I needed to go because my husband was being arrested.

I hurried to Studly’s side and arrived at the same time as one of the bartenders who came to Studly’s defense. According to the bartender the female part of the couple launched herself at Studly about the same time that I was singing about Earl dying. Studly held her off without actually hitting her, but she was big and strong and he finally had to give her a less than gentle shove to move her away from him. That’s when the police walked into the bar.

Just as in my favorite cop shows the officers escorted both parties to separate locations to grill them about the incident. I watched from the sidelines thinking, “Book her Dan-O!” With multiple witnesses corroborating Studly’s tale he was freed from handcuffs in a matter of a few painfully embarrassing minutes. In the end, he was asked if he wanted to press charges against his attacker. He declined. He just wanted to put the whole episode behind him. Too bad he’s married to me.

Just for the record, I am now a karaoke veteran, but Studly is banned from my performances until I actually learn to sing. In other words, it’s a lifetime ban.

Peace, People!

Long Week in Gadsden County

I got home from work this afternoon and plopped my butt in front of the television. Then I picked up my iPad, scrolled to WordPress and wrote this post. Yes, it was this bad.

As hungry as I am, I haven’t eaten dinner because chewing just takes way too much effort. I opened the fridge and cried to find I was out of wine. So I had a couple of beers instead. Now I need to pee, but the bathroom is two whole rooms away.

I just watched 12 political ads in a row because I didn’t have the gumption to change channels. I’m pretty sure I’m now an Independent. There was a funny commercial on about immature cheese, but it hurt too much to laugh, so I didn’t. Yawning hurts, too. Pretty much everything hurts.

I remind myself that I work to keep myself busy and to meet new people. I ask myself if I really need people at all.

I finally got up to heat some dinner in the microwave, and stood in front of it for a good 30 seconds looking for the preheat button. The beep signaling that dinner is ready grates on my already frayed nerves. Chewing is every bit as difficult as I imagined.

My phone rang. I let it go to voicemail even though it was on the table beside my chair. I sure hope it wasn’t Publisher’s Clearinghouse.

I updated my Facebook status to “pffffft!” and all two of my friends liked it. I cried again over my lack of wine. It’s eight o’clock and I’m ready to go to bed, but it’s even more distant than the bathroom. The sofa looks good.

My head aches, my back is in spasms, and my head throbs. But I met some new people! Tomorrow has to be better. Right? Right? At least I’ll have wine.

Me: SIRI, take a note.

SIRI: What would you like the note to say?

Me: Buy wine for tomorrow night.

SIRI: Here’s your note

I whine for tomorrow night.

Me: Yep.

Peace, People!

Having a Wine Time, Wish You Were Here

“A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and Thou.
Beside me singing in the Wilderness–Oh
Wilderness were Paradise enow.”

I’m fairly sure I know what Omar Khayyam had in mind when he penned those lines, but “Let’s get drunk and make out in the park.” just doesn’t give off the same vibe.

Wine does tend to lead me to amorous thoughts. I’m having a glass as I type this, which leads me to say, I really, really like you. I also find that I tend to over punctuate while nipping the grape. Commas abound. Semicolons trip over themselves in a clumsy attempt for attention; however, I am still obliged to follow the dictates of proper punctuation.

I wish I could gather together all those who’ve read my posts. The countries represented simply astound me. Today, I had visitors from United Arab Emirates, Angola, the Republic of Korea, and Chile. Last week I entertained readers from Indonesia, Colombia, and Argentina. The Seychelles. Italy, Guatemala, Ireland, the U.K., and France were represented, as were Spain, Ecuador, Georgia, and Ukraine. My mind is blown.

If I could, I’d throw a party. We’d drink wine and beer, vodka and soda, and solve the problems of the world in ways no politician would ever consider. There is power in words. Power in community. We’d row out on the lake behind my house and comment on the fish flipping their fins in the sunlight. What a glorious gathering! Then we’d have beef burgers or tofu burgers and relax in the waning of the day.

Good times.

Peace and Wine, People!

Inferior Homes and Gardens

Some women are HOMEMAKERS. These women can put together an impromptu dinner party for thirty while simultaneously stitching Halloween costumes for their grandchildren without breaking a sweat. Their homes are immaculate and their decor like something out of a magazine. I have friends who fit this description, but I am not one of these women.

I’m the dreaded anti-homemaker whose arrival was prophesied in the book of Martha Stewart, Chapter IX, verses 3-7, “And lo, there will be among them women who can neither cook nor sew. Women who will weep and rend their garments when the microwave fritzeth. And these women shall feel no shame. Yea, ‘tho they walk through the halls of Betty Crocker and Southern Living, they shall gather no knowledge of domesticity. Woe unto the partner who finds himself yoked unto her, for his days shall be filled with ramen noodles and take out.”

My mom tried to teach me the domestic arts. She really did, but I had no interest. Even baking a cake from a box puzzled me. Every single step had it’s own special rules: “It’s this way, not that way. Drain this, not that. Flip it like this, no, no, not like that. Here. I’ll do it.” Her need for me to be perfect in the kitchen was superseded only by my total lack of interest.

Our home economics teacher, Mrs. Craig, did her best to mold me into a practitioner of the domestic arts, as well, but her efforts were for naught. I did learn multiple ways to freeze cantaloupe in her class, though. To this day I hate cantaloupe.

Mrs. Craig also taught a sewing unit that culminated in a runway type style show. We were to find a dress pattern we liked, buy the material, and make a finished outfit that we would then model for our final grade. My pattern was for a jumper and blouse. I selected a light weight blue denim material for the jumper and red and white checked gingham for the blouse.

I worked on my outfit every day in class, but as the date of the style show grew near I was still woefully behind schedule for completing the project. With many painfully patient late night hours of assistance from Mom, I had a presentable, ok, darned cute outfit for the style show. I’d venture to say it was one of the best final projects that semester, and I received an A for my efforts. Of course, Mom threatened to disown me if I ever signed up for a home ec. class again. She needn’t have worried. Happiness was home ec in the rear view mirror.

Mom has been gone for many years now. She pretty much gave up on me ever becoming a competent homemaker, but I’d want her to know that I’ve become an okay cook and a decent housekeeper in middle age. She’d be astonished and proud.

Peace, People!