Monday, January 31, 2011

Target Run

I am in love with Target as it never fails to know what I need want even when I don't. New designer for a limited time? Check. Polka dot drinking glasses in four different colors? Check. Dog food? Check. Clearance end caps marked @ 75% off? Double check.

The weather forecasters have been freaking out for days. Snowmaggedon 2011. It's coming right for us we've been told, and you might be able to go to work and take the kids to school today but your routine is about to get seriously disrupted. So what did I do to prepare? I thought of a reason to go to Target. They had a boyfriend cardigan in their Sunday ad and if the youngin and I are going to be camping out for a few days, I want to look cute. And fashionable. And Targety. Parts of the interstate were closed and I slipped in the driveway on the way to the car but I didn't let that stop me.

I squandered an hour looking at my cardigan (geez those things make your butt look big), getting socks and gloves and candy hearts. Target was quiet, calm, civil, and a rest from the storm. From there I went to the grocery store where all hell was breaking loose in every aisle which reminded me to stop at the liquor store before heading home.

After I got home and put everything away, guilt settled in for blowing off half the day and so I asked myself what I always do when I'm feeling bad about wasting time. Will you regret this on your deathbed?

The grocery store? Without a doubt.

Target? Not so much.

The liquor store? Only if I underestimated.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


In my rundown of reality (wink, wink, wink) shows that I watch, I forgot Tabatha's Takeover. Love her. Love that she kicks some business ass. Love that she's so brutally honest I start picking up my house during the commercials for fear she can see the mess through the t.v. Who found this woman with the cut to the chase, stop your whining, my way or the highway kind of managing style that makes things happen?

I want Bravo to send Tabatha to the Congressional Salon and when those talking heads walk up to the camera and microphone for our daily heaping of crapola sound bite, she should stand behind them in her Darth Vader garb, rolling her eyes and dropping the F bomb whenever they start the looney tunes. We can watch it all go down in the comfort of our home and like every employee of a bat-shit crazy owner, nod in agreement and wipe our teary eyes because somebody finally heard us.

So be afraid Mr. The American People Have Spoken But I Can't Remember What They Said Cuz I Wasn't Really Paying Attention. Tabatha is coming for you and that little dog of yours and about to make you seriously pee in your pants. How your hair turns out will be the least of your problems.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hoarding, Housewives & The Duggars

I can't help but watch these shows.  God help me if there's a marathon because I don't get a damn thing done.  It's like watching a wreck in slow motion and knowing you should alert the authorities but not being able to peel your eyes away from the impending doom.  I don't admit this to everyone because there are some people who think I'm intelligent and I'd like them to continue thinking that even if it's often not true, but you bring this up On The Down Low at a cocktail party and it's like moths to the light.  There's a whole lot of women watching crap on t.v. and all it takes is one of us to spill our guts and it becomes True Confession Time.

I recently watched an episode of Hoarders that kept me awake all night.  Rabbits.  DOZENS of rabbits in the house hopping everywhere.  Normally I'm not scared of rabbits but this was such a freaky obsession that I couldn't close my eyes for fear of them hopping into bed with me, and I couldn't very well tell my husband what was keeping me awake.  He's not all that aware of how much I watch this kind of stuff because I keep my finger firmly on the "last channel" button should I hear footsteps.  Nope, this is one of those secret addictions, much like the hidden malted milk balls I keep stashed in the cabinet for when I'm stressed.

I could name ten things I do that even weird me out time after time but I don't drink every afternoon with a bunch of botoxed women I can't stand, never felt the need to pop out a baby every year and prefer my garbage and wildlife on the outside of my house.  Self esteem comes in many different forms.  Mine comes by way of Bravo and TLC, thank you very much.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Reason #3

Last week our family attended the funeral of my cousin's wife, Carol.  Carol died of breast cancer at the age of 66.  To say she will be missed is an understatement.  At every significant event for our family she has been there with her movie star smile and great laugh.

Over the last two years when I would write a piece, I would email it to Carol for her input.  She was a retired music teacher and got the creative gene so I figured she was a good critic.  She never criticized.  You would have thought every essay I sent her was the best she'd ever read.  She encouraged me constantly to "get my stuff out there."

During the Christmas holidays, my husband and I went with my mom to visit her and Hal, and though cancer had taken its toll, she was still Carol and when I left I thought, "So this is how you die.  You stay true to you."  I can't think of a time when a lesson was so poignant or so clear to me.

I was going thru some old emails when I found this one from her in response to something I'd written:  "I can't help but think of Hal and I who one day won't be here.  And I can't help but think of the life we've led with no regrets and many blessings to be thankful for.  It's been a great life......."

That was a year ago when I told her I was going to spend more time writing.  When I was at her funeral I regretted that I spent the last year not working very hard at that and that when we met again I'd like to be able to be able to tell her that I gave it my best shot.

There was a story told at the funeral about Carol that most of us had never heard.  Late one night she got a call from a former student who was an actor in an off-Broadway play.  He was at the after party and wanted to thank her for encouraging him when he was in middle school because his dream was coming to fruition. 

How lucky were we that Carol saw in us what we didn't always see in ourselves?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Say You're Sorry

When my kids were little and they'd bounce a ball off their brother's head or shove their sister out of their way, I'd make them apologize.  Often they'd try to get away with offering up a lame "sorry" without an inkling of remorse so I'd make them do it over and over until I thought it sounded sincere.

How many times do we have to read or hear a politician/athlete/celebrity say something completely stupid/offensive/inappropriate and start with, "If I offended anyone...."?  How about, "Since I offended everyone....."?  Or "I shot my mouth off without thinking and I feel like a complete jerk."  Maybe, "I hope you won't judge me by this insensitive remark because I'm a better person than I just demonstrated."

The latest example would be newly-elected Gov. Robert Bentley (AL) who said only Christians were his brothers and sisters.  Maybe he should have spent his first week on the job looking for the cafeteria and bathroom and keeping his hands, feet and objects to himself.  A day later he offered up this:  "If anyone from other religions felt disenfranchised by the language, I want to say I'm sorry.  I'm sorry if I offended anyone in any way."

What the what???  Is there any way but to feel disenfranchised by his statement?

I think that if your remarks landed in most papers and news sites, you offended a healthy amount of people and your spouse/agent/designated toadie should yank you by the arm and tell you to stand up, look into the camera and say you're sorry without blaming anyone for your bad behavior.  Responsible parents have been doing that very thing forever.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reason #2

Upon the one year anniversary of a job I was recently employed at, the owner gave me a gift.  Enclosed in the card was this:

Now if ever there was a sign that your services aren't all that appreciated then this is it.  I sort of thought a raise would be an appropriate anniversary gift but she had a different, cheaper way of expressing her gratitude. I often question my contribution to the world, but even on my worst day it's worth more than $5.00.

I currently have no job and, therefore, no extra money to speak of.  Not working for someone who thinks this is a good idea? A relief.

Reason #1

I have thought about starting a blog for more years than is mentally healthy.   There have been a few events in the last year that have pushed me into actually doing it.  This is the first event:

I was working in a clothing store and met a woman named Barbara.  We had the same crazy, curly hair which is how I started a conversation with her.  By her accent I could tell she was from the South and asked her where she grew up.  Alabama.  My coworker grew up there as well and I introduced them to each other.  They compared geography and I asked her if she ever read, "All Over But the Shoutin" by Rick Bragg who wrote about his dysfunctional childhood growing up in Alabama.  She had and reached into her purse and pulled out her business card and handed it to me.  She said she'd written a book as well about that very subject and leaned in and said it was a bestseller.  I leaned back and said I was in a writers group.   "Well, honey", she said," you just need to keep writin' and writin' and writin'".

About a year later I was cleaning out my wallet and came across her card.  I'd still not read her book and considering the pile next to my bed, there wasn't much chance of reading it anytime soon so I put it on top of the recycling pile.  I walked past that card all afternoon and each time it was like the damn thing was giving me the stinkeye.  By that night for reasons I'll never know, it was back in my wallet.

Three days later I read Barbara's obituary in the paper.  She made her presence known, I have taken heed and I need to just keep writin' and writin' and writin'.