Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pay It Forward

I went shopping today and there it was again. All of it, smacking me right in the face, the minute I walked in the door. Actually, most stores were stocked the minute Christmas was over; overstocked Christmas items on one aisle, the next holiday rolling in on the next aisle. 

My love/hate relationship with this holiday goes way back. I can remember as early as Junior High School; this holiday causing such a raucous. Thirteen year old girls having flower bouquets delivered to the school and boys coming to school with teddy bears and odd and end stuffed animals, crammed into their book bags; girls and boys alike, waiting to see who got what or more sadly, who didn't.

I turned and practically ran out of the store. I made it to the parking lot and bent over trying to catch my breath. My brain was racing a million miles an hour. I was trying to rationalize what had just happened to me and why. Then I began to cry. I just stood there in that grocery store parking lot; and cried.

I turned and practically ran out of the store. I made it to the parking lot and bent over trying to catch my breath. My brain was racing a million miles an hour. I was trying to rationalize what had just happened to me and why. Then I began to cry. I just stood there in that grocery store parking lot; and cried.

For the lovelorn it can be such an emotionally painful holiday. And if you think I'm being dramatic, then you have obviously never been hurting on this holiday. Hurting from someone you have lost, from someone who has hurt you, or from someone who has no idea you exist.

Seventeen years ago, the first February after I was divorced, I went to Winn Dixie after work. As I walked in, my face was filleted by strings; balloon strings. There were THOUSANDS of balloons in this store and they had all been set loose. Every step I took, they were slapping me in the face, strings swiping across my lips. I was practically spitting the strings out of my mouth as I walked. I’d taken about 15 steps, and my breathing rhythm began to change.  I was gasping for air. I had begun to hyperventilate; INSIDE THE GROCERY STORE.

That day, one of my best friends came to my house, got my grocery list, and went and bought my groceries for me. It was an act of kindness and love I will never forget as long as I live. 

I want women everywhere to know this is why we have girlfriends.  Why our gender looks out for one another, because at one time or another, we have all had the same pain. I don't care how pretty or popular you are, we will all, at some point in our lives, experience this shared pain.

Unite Sisterhood of the “The Horrors of Valentine’s Day” Club. I owe it to someone as one of those pay it forward deals, so if any of you should ever need your groceries bought on that dreaded day, call me, I’m your girl. I will gladly bust through that barrage of balloons to help you out; stumbling through the menagerie of candy and cards to get your gallon of milk. Call me. I owe someone.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Formation Of A Fan

The year was 1977, I was fourteen years old and it was summer.  I was the typical teenage girl interested in nothing but boys, clothes, learning to drive, and more boys. Not only was I interested in all of the above, summer time changed the dynamics, so you’ll need to add beaches and sun bathing to those interests.

Back in “my day”, there was no such thing as SPF sun block applications and if there was any rampage about sun cancer and skin damage, we sure never heard it. The darker the better, we would slather baby oil until you could see your reflection in the oil slick of our bodies and if we ran out, we were not beyond using straight Crisco out of the bottle or can. Lard, we would spread lard on our bodies; which stands to reason, that my teenage generation may have unknowingly help create all the skin cancer scares.

But let’s shake the sand from our flip flops, and move back to the couch in the den, where it all began. My “learning” about sports if you will; that was the year my Daddy decided it was high time I was taught. And I don’t mean I had to sit and watch a few games with him. Oh no. This was a yearlong sports class on two of the most All American Sports today; baseball and football; there were plays to be learned and terminology that would become a second language.

My Daddy said years ago, he had no idea what I would do for a living or what my career might be in the future, but what he did know, was that if I could stand in a group of people and intelligently discuss a sports game of one kind or another, that I would always be able to carry myself and stand on my own; and he was right.

So summer of 1977 I watched and learned about baseball, and watched the NY Yankees and LA Dodgers in the World Series; pulling for the Yankees as they won the pennant. And that fall, I would learn all about football and I would pull for the Dallas Cowboys against the Denver Bronco’s in the Super Bowl.

The next year, The Yankees were in the World Series again, and the Cowboys were back in the Super Bowl; which must have meant that I sure knew how to pick a team!

I’m still a die-hard Yankee fan, but I move around a bit with my football teams. However, every year, no matter what two teams end up together, and whether I’m a fan or not, I pick a team and I cheer, holler, stomp and yell at the television up until the glorious or bitter end; I am not a quiet fan.  I have permanent “pound” marks on the arms of my chair.

The game will have passed and a win or loss will have already transpired, but I’m crazy about Peyton Manning so…..GO  BRONCO’S! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Clean-Up Crew

We obviously weren't going to do it. We’re not qualified. We had done it before, but this time a little more work would be involved, more talent if you will; and none of us possess any such thing where that is concerned.

You would think since we were only “the movers” we could do that much. Surely we were capable of taking things down, moving them out of the way and then putting it all back. Well, we took it all down alright. We took it apart, moved and separated everything. Putting it back, well that was a whole `nother deal.

We’re having the inside of our house painted; room by room; which may take several weekends. How three people who are not even really participating can have so much go so wrong, I will never know.

We took the bathroom sink apart from the pedestal that holds it; went to put it back on, and it was leaking. It didn’t leak before. We took it off and put it back on but now it leaks.  We bought new fittings and finally got the leaking to stop. Evidently we bought smaller fittings than were on there before, because now, not near as much water comes out when it’s turned on. Turns out, we’re neither painters NOR plumbers!

We took down a shelf in the hallway filled with pretties, books, and picture frames. It was lit from the back with some rope lighting that had been in place for years. It was completely lit when we took it down. When we were preparing to re-hang the shelf and put everything back in place,  only half of the lighting was working.  It’s the whole Christmas light’s mystery all over again. You take them down In December and they’re working. You drag it all out the following Christmas, and half the strands are blown. What the heck happens out there in those plastic bins in those eleven months I ask you?

Today the painting of the second Saturday was done and it was time to put everything back. I cannot emphasize enough how disappointed I was; not one single soul in my home knows where anything goes but me. We all sit in here together, stare at the same Etejer, aka fancy glass shelving that holds I cannot tell you how much stuff; including lights on every shelf that would cause a Fire Marshall to shut my house down if he saw the massive amount of cords/power bars it requires.  However, get this, even though NO ONE can remember where anything else goes, by golly, they know to the nth degree if the television is off balance or not exactly where it was positioned before. We spent twenty minutes or better arguing about whether the screen was tilted more to the left or the right; but their memories were blank about anything else.  

It was touch and go, but everybody made it out alive. Week Three is next. It couldn’t possibly be worse….could it?