Saturday, November 27, 2010

FULL OF MYSELF

Earlier this fall... after years of wearing the same coat, I bought myself a NEW one for the upcoming WINTER season. When I got home, from shopping… I stuffed it in the front closet and forgot about it, until the temperatures outside dropped. Then… on a day when the thermometer hit 25 degrees, I hastily retrieved it from it’s hiding spot, putting it on, to run some errands. Amazed by how warm the coat felt… I congratulated myself on such a smart purchase, not to mention the fact I had only paid $49 for it. Full of myself… I scooted from store to store, that day, accomplishing each task on my TO DO LIST. With one last stop to make at the grocery store, I hurried through the checkout line with my basket filled. As I was getting ready to pay, the cashier said, “Ssh! I’ll take care of that for you.” Flabbergasted… I thought she meant the bill, until I saw her wielding a pair of scissors, leaning over the conveyer belt. “Wait a minute. What are you doing,” I asked? She responded, “I’m taking care of a little problem you have.” Perturbed she wasn’t being specific enough. I said, “What problem?” She smiled sweetly and pointed to my arm. I glanced down, still not seeing anything. In one fell swoop, she pulled my arm upward, reaching underneath with the scissors, going SNIP! SNIP!, proudly producing a HANG TAG with my coat’s price and size, in her hand. I gasped, immediately thinking of all the places I had been that afternoon, with that tag, hanging out for all the world to see. What if someone thought I had shoplifted the coat? Sensing my discomfort with the situation, she told me, not to worry about it. She too, had once forgotten to remove a tag. “It’s not a big deal,” she said. I whispered back, “Thank You.” If not for the kindness of this stranger, I would never have known of my, fashion faux pas. I have never been so embarrassed in my whole life.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

TURKEY DAY

Last year, at Thanksgiving, our stove was broken. This meant a huge sacrifice on our part. We would have to eat out at a local restaurant advertising Family Style dinners for the holiday. Their description of the upcoming meal, via a newspaper ad, sounded mouthwatering. So, we made reservations and anxiously anticipated the BIG day. A couple weeks passed, and on Thanksgiving... we arrived at the eatery, at our allotted time, with a HUGE appetite for turkey with all the fixings. Grateful that the cleanup would fall on someone else’s shoulders, that afternoon... put us in a festive mood. Unfortunately, that mood quickly changed, when the food was brought to the table. Instead of hearty slices of turkey on our plates, we saw several strands of unrecognizable shredded dark meat. I hate dark meat. I never eat it. Besides there was hardly enough for a mouthful. We were instantly disappointed. As far as we were concerned, the STAR of the show, the TURKEY, was missing in action. When we inquired about it, the waitress apologetically intimated that we weren’t the only ones with complaints. Turns out, that shredded stuff was the turkey and there wasn’t a lot to go around. She had strict instructions from the chef. We could have all the fried chicken or ham we wanted, but the turkey was limited. That’s why it was being shredded, to stretch farther, amongst the guests. Meanwhile we were encouraged to fill up on an abundance of stuffing, yams, cranberry relish and green beans. What else could we do?  We gave up on having white succulent turkey breast for our Thanksgiving Day meal, as promised. It just wasn’t in the cards. The restaurant, hadn't lived up... to it's own hype, for the holiday. Our Family Style dinner, was RUINED.  Then I realized... how ungrateful that sounded, on a day when humble appreciation is revered. SHAME ON ME. Lesson learned. Shortly thereafter, we bought a NEW stove. No more complaints about eating out. This year, the menu is up to me. And I can guarantee, the BIRD won’t be hiding on our plates. It'll be... front and center. Now, if I can just get my hubby and daughter to CLEAN UP, afterwards, it'll be a miracle? From our house to yours… HAPPY TURKEY DAY. And don't forget, to Count your Blessings.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

HERE WE GO AGAIN

The holiday season is in full swing. Decorations are up and stores are busy competing for the next sale. I have most of my shopping done. But I’m struggling to come up with ideas for a couple people on my list. So, I opted to buy some gift cards. Denomination, fifty dollars, which was clearly marked on the front of each card. Yet when I went through the line, at the register, to check out… the salesclerk specifically asked me, how much money I wanted to put on the first card. Flabbergasted by the question because the answer was so obvious, I told her, “ It says $50. I want to put $50 on the card.” I thought the subject was put to bed. But she responded, “Are you sure? You can put any amount you want to on the card. It doesn’t have to be $50. Perturbed, I retaliated… “The card is clearly marked $50 on the front. Why would I confuse or disappoint the person I’m giving it to, by putting a different amount of money on the card?” Surely this made sense to her. Think again. She continued to ignore what I was saying and continued with her own spiel. “The card is good for any amount of money. Ten, twenty, thirty or a hundred dollars. So what do you want to do?” At this point, I wondered if I was on Candid Camera? Calmly, I said… “ I want you to put $50 on the card.” She repeated, “$50.” I told her that was correct, hoping she finally grasped the situation at hand. Concentrating on my order, she reached for the next item. Another $50 gift card. Would you believe she started the whole dialogue, about the cards, all over again. With a perfectly straight face, she asked me, “How much money do you want me to put on this card?” I thought to myself, “You’ve got to be kidding.” Here we go again. I laughed out loud. She didn’t look amused. It’s one thing to be conscientious about your job. It’s quite another to be a pain in the rear. Christmas can’t get here soon enough.

Monday, November 8, 2010

KNEE- HIGH

I am knee-high to a grasshopper. And all my life, it’s been a problem. When I was young it was cute to be diminutive, but now that I’m a senior citizen it isn’t. I swear I’ve shrunk. Clothes don’t fit me, anymore. Particularly, pants. Every pair I buy, needs to be taken up, at least four inches. Even the ones marked SHORT. It’s ridiculous. The same thing is true for all skirts and dresses too. In the old days, I did the tailoring myself. Now I can’t manage it. My fingers go numb, trying to hold the needle and thread and I can barely see, on top of that. So I take everything out to be done. The local seamstress sees me coming. My tailoring costs are enormous. I swear she bought a new car, last year because of me. To add insult to injury, I have other problems, as a short person. Reaching high shelves or display racks is also an issue. Most the cabinet space in my kitchen is off limits to me. When I was younger, I’d just climb up on a chair, stepstool or ladder to get what I wanted. But with two bad knees and arthritis, I can no longer do that. I have to ask my hubby for help. And you can forget that. He’s older and has more problems than I do. He has vertigo and isn’t climbing up on anything, either. So, we just make do with what we have at eye level. His and mine. And that means avoiding the second, third and fourth shelves in my cupboards. I’ve probably got things stashed in there, that are no longer fit for human consumption. LOL But what about all the other, non perishable stuff? Sadly, I haven’t used my GOOD china in over eight years. It’s tucked away on the third shelf, in the corner of the room, making it impossible to reach with unsteady legs and hands. Putting it there, when I was spry seemed like a good idea at the time. But in retrospect it wasn’t. It’s hard to know when my size is going to affect me, adversely. Another example is traveling. Recently when I had occasion to stay at a hotel, I almost panicked when I realized the bed was too high for me to sit on, much less sleep on. I had to pull the desk chair over and perform an acrobatic act just to reach it. God forbid, if I had to get up during the night, once I was tucked in. I would have fallen on my butt, maybe even injured myself. Truth is… when you’re short, life is jammed packed with obstacles, and everyday becomes a challenge.

Monday, November 1, 2010

BULLIES AND A LITTLE GIRL

In hindsight... growing up, is hard to do. I have empathy for all school aged children. It’s tough being a kid. You have to answer to everyone, while trying to figure out who you are. It can be difficult to conform. And marching to the beat of your own drummer is tricky, at that age. You can be labeled or ridiculed, for doing nothing at all. A lot can get lost in translation between adults and children. And between, children and children.  Life is complicated. You have to HANG TOUGH. You can’t be too thin-skinned to survive the ups and downs along the way. I’ve reached the age, now… where if I want to wear my TRILBY out and about, I do so... and I ignore any snide remarks being bantered about, because of it. But kids don’t have that same filter. They haven’t learned to compartmentalize. They tend to take everything, to heart. And that can lead to heartbreak. When I was a small child... I was the victim of bullies. The elementary school was about four blocks away from my parent’s house. You could take the long way there or you could take the shortcut through the neighbor’s backyard. Every time I tried to take the shortcut… trouble reared it’s ugly head. I would start to climb up the long hill which lead to my street... when I’d get about halfway up, BAM, I didn’t know what hit me. I‘d end up tumbling to the bottom. I got there... because a small group of little hoodlums... would grab my books and papers, toss them all over the hillside, and then push me down, until I lost my footing and fell. They laughed and laughed, as they ran away, leaving me there, in tears, in a crumpled mess, to collect my things. I felt horrible. Being picked on, wasn’t fun. And this wasn’t an isolated incident. They did it to me, over and over again. I tried to fight back. But I couldn‘t defend myself. They threatened worse violence towards me, if I told anybody. I was scared. I was one lone little girl, up against an angry mob. I finally conceded, that I’d have to take the long way home, to avoid the confrontations. So that’s what I did, even though I thought it was unfair. I also eventually told my parents, who were quite upset... by my dirty clothes. And, by how long it was taking me to get home after school, each day. They alerted the neighbor to what was going on in their backyard. I wonder if those BULLYS grew up to be juvenile delinquents? Or became... mean, rotten adults? Perhaps, it was just a phase they went through as youngsters, and later outgrew? To this day, the memories linger and I will never forget the pain and humiliation I felt from their bullying. I’d like to say, this experience, made me stronger. I guess it did. But I still question why it had to happen, at all?