I feel the need

I feel the need

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My mom attends the Bon Jovi concert. What could possibly happen?



Good morning!

So a couple weeks ago, I'm sitting in my customary living room chair, watching something on Netflix, when I get a text from my mother.

Mom Text:  Is Bon Jovi a band or one guy?

Sarah Text:  Both.  Why?


Mom Text:  What songs do they sing?


Sarah Text:  Dead or Alive, It's My Life, You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin' on a Prayer. I could go on. WHY?


In her maddening way, (a habit she excuses as being not technologically inclined, but I think she just pretends not to know how to operate her phone so she can ignore me sometimes), she doesn't answer my question for several minutes.

Thinking this might have something to do with my brother, who, knowing his overall good luck in life, he got tickets to see Bon Jovi perform the final concert ever at the BMO Harris Bradley Center (THE go to arena in Milwaukee for more than 30 years) and Mom wanted to find out who he was seeing.

That's something that's been going on since we were teens. Jay would get tickets to see a band, or buy a CD or something like that and Mom would have me explain who the group was and what they sang.  I stopped playing that game the day Jay had me pick up the Sugarcubes' "Life's Too Good" album which had questionable words on the song titles.

I digress.

So imagine my surprise when, an hour later, Mom sent another text.

Mom Text:  Terry's son got two tickets to see Bon Jovi and he can't use them.

Sarah text:  And???????  (Here I'm clearly thinking that Terry, a friend of my mom's and a big fan of my work, is going to hand over two tickets to ME!)


Mom Text: And I told her I'd go with her if she could name a song they sang.


And this is how a blog is born.

Now I knew my mom going to a Bon Jovi concert would be funny.  But when I got a text from her early Monday morning, April 30, I realize I had something great to share with you all.

Mom Text:  Concert  it felt like i went through a war or i saw a little bit of hell.

I'm sure that's exactly what Bon Jovi was going for.  (By the way I had numerous friends and family members who went to the same concert and came up with a far more favorable review.)


So I had to know what could possibly have happened to make my very religious 76 year old mom equate a concert with hell.

And now I'll tell it in her own words, with minimal commentary on my part:

So Terry picked me up and first we had to go to Shorewood to pick up the tickets.  We had to get the tickets off the front porch, they were stuck between two chair cushions.

(Mom, you stole Bon Jovi tickets from some guy.)

Then we got downtown and do you know parking is really expensive?  They wanted $30 to park right at the Bradley Center, so we drove around for a while and found a lot four blocks away that charged $20. Terry has a handicapped placard, so we got a really good parking spot in the ramp.

(Wait, she's got a handicapped placard and she turned down parking in the ramp next to the Bradley Center because it was too expensive, but she got a handicapped spot in a ramp four blocks away?)


She's got that bad back.

(I guess that makes sense...)


So I paid for that.  Then we got to the Bradley Center and we were hungry, so Terry went up and ordered chicken and a coke and they said they weren't selling that. So she ordered a burger, and they said they weren't selling that.


(Um yeah, it was the LAST NIGHT EVER for the Bradley Center. They're tearing it down soon.  The last thing they wanted after that concert was a pile of left over concessions.)

So Terry asked what they had and they said hot dogs. So she ordered two hot dogs a diet Coke and a bottle of water and it was $29. Can you believe that?

(Having purchased food at sporting arenas, yes, yes I can.)

Terry said that was too expensive, and they told her it was because that price included a commemorative cup for $3.  Terry said she didn't want the cup.  They told her she didn't have a choice, they were putting all the drinks in this cup. BUT if she wanted her money back she could get it back, all she had to do is find the guy in the green shirt and he'd give her back her money.


(Am I the only one who thinks this sounds shady?)

Then Terry and I went to our seats which were way up in the rafters.  The 400 section, row J.  Those steps are steep! There was a man with a walker making his way up those steps, I don't know how he did it.

(Well he probably paid the extra $10 for parking so he wasn't exhausted from walking four blocks.)


The concert was supposed to start at 8, but there was an opening act.


(Who was the opening act?)

I don't know who it was. It was four guitars, a drum set, and guy who screamed into the microphone.  Do you know people don't come to see the opening act?  We were almost the only ones there!  The placed filled in and then Bon Jovi came out and there were all these women just standing there bobbing their heads up and down.

(Maybe like they were keeping time with the music?)

Of course Terry and I wore earplugs.  Then about 90 minutes in to Bon Jovi, Terry was done with her Diet Coke so it was time to go find the guy in the green shirt and get that $3 back.

(Which put me in mind of one of my favorite John Cusack movies...)

So of course, no one on the 3rd level knew anything, so we went down to the second level and no one knew anything there, so then we found a lady in a green shirt who was sweeping and she said she didn't know anything, but we should follow her.  

(Which of course you did...what could possibly go wrong with that?)

And that lady got us to a guy at a card table.  We asked for our $3 and he said he couldn't give it to us because he didn't have any money. He was at the right table, and there was a sign there that said we could get the money back, but he didn't have any money. We had to wait for the guy with the fanny pack to come around.

That guy finally got there, and he wasn't wearing a green shirt, and we got the money back. We decided we didn't want to climb all the stairs back to our seats, so we just walked in on the second level.


(And how often were you kicked out of the second level?)

Oh we got kicked out three or four times. They kept asking us if we belonged in that section and we said no, and they kicked us out. 

(I'm shocked that you didn't enjoy the concert more, given how much attention you paid to it.)

So then after four or five encores, we figured the concert was over and we were already out of our seats so we got back to the car quickly, ahead of everyone else.

(And also having that great parking spot in your ramp didn't hurt, I'm sure.)


We got into Terry's car and the low fuel gauge started ringing. She drives this big SUV. I asked how many miles she got once the alarm starting dinging and she thought maybe 15 miles. It's midnight, and there's nothing open downtown and we've got about 50 blocks to drive before we two senior ladies felt safe stopping, so I was praying we'd get to a gas station quickly.

The only place old ladies feel safe stopping
at after a night of rocking out.

We found one near where Jay used to live and it was well lit so I told Terry to stop there. She looked at the price and said there was no way she was paying $2.89 for a gallon of gas.  I said fine, there's a Kwik Trip on 124th St.  She said that was past my house and I told her that was fine because she wasn't going to make it home unless she filled up.  


(By my way of counting the mileage from the Bradley Center, I can't believe she made it to the Kwik Trip. It didn't take much to imagine the two of them trying to push Terry's beast of an SUV.)

So we got to Kwik Trip, she filled up and got me home. I was just useless the next day because my head hurt from the noise and I was so tired.


Well there it is, then. My mother and her friend went to the Bon Jovi concert, and really didn't enjoy it at all.  I did get a four minute phone message from Terry's phone. She apparently thought I would like hearing one of the songs. Of course, all I hear on that message is a crowd screaming and Terry yelling something unintelligible to my mom.

According to my cousin, Lana, who was in the fifth row center for the same show, it was a great night, a lot of fun, and she didn't get roped into the commemorative cup scam.  She had her own issues getting home, but that's another story for another person to tell.

I am a little salty, however, that no one dumped a drink on her.  I mean...come on!






Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Shared Fluffy Girl Moment at Meijer.









Happy Thursday all!

I'm definitely in the minority here, but I'm happy with the stretch of gray, cloudy, wet weather we've had the last couple days. Yes, the damp messes with my arthritis, but we had a couple days of 80 and humid and I am NOT a fan of summer weather.  Nope.  I'm more of a spring/fall person, which means I get about 12 perfect days a year.

Anyway...

So last week I ran to Meijer after work to do my shopping for this week. This is part of one of my resolutions for the year, to make a menu for the week and have everything on hand for that menu so that I stick to it and don't order Marcos Pizza five nights a week.  (You don't have a Marcos attached to a Family Video????  You need to find out whoever is in charge of your town and demand one.)

Anyway, so I ran to Meijer with my week's shopping list.  What I didn't do was eat lunch before going and you know what they say about shopping hungry...that adage is especially true for me. I will throw twice as much stuff in my cart than I originally intended to get because everything just looks sooooo YUMMY and I MUST have it!

On this particular day I was determined, in spite of my craving for all things food, to stick to the list and not break the bank with snack food.  But then...

Meijer was having a sale on sushi!

I do love sushi.  I mean, it's not like I've had a ton of real, actual sushi, but the stuff they sell in the grocery stores is aces with me!  And if it's on sale, that's even better!

I was so hungry, I grabbed two boxes of sushi.  I then spent the next half hour fighting the urge to EAT THE SUSHI right there in the grocery store.  (Have you ever done that?  Eaten something and then brought up the empty container to the cash register?)

No, no, I haven't done either. Nope.

I got through the store, and through the checkout, without breaking into that oh-so-temping plastic container of sticky rice and raw tuna (yep, I love living on the edge) and was headed to the car where I fully intended to eat the first of the two boxes of sushi on my drive home.

That's when I saw her...another fluffy lady coming out of the self check aisle.  Now my rule while out in public is to generally NOT lock eyes with anyone.  If I'm out, especially when I'm out on my own, I'm generally focused on what I'm doing and don't care to get into a conversation with anyone, strangers and friends alike.  (I've actually hidden behind grocery displays to avoid talking to acquaintances before.)  It's not that I'm rude. I'm trying very hard to be NOT RUDE, because I know that any conversation I got into would end with me being rude and walking away.  I like being social...just on my own terms.  And being social at the grocery store when my stomach is growling and I have two boxes of sushi waiting for me is not high on my list.

Anyway, I see this fluffy girl coming out of the self check and I all but stop in my tracks. She is elbow deep into a family size bag of Cheetos, shoving them into her face at a volume and rate that stirs more than a little admiration in my heart.

I don't want to stare, but I've never seen an adult eat snack food, in public, ten seconds after purchasing it, in such an unapologetic manner.  Clearly, she and I share the same 2:30 hunger.

She pauses to breath and notices that I'm staring.  She gives me a sheepish, and very orange, smile and says, "I'm just so hungry, I couldn't wait."

I start laughing. I can't help it. This lady might be my hero.  "I know how you feel, I've got some sushi in here that I fought not to eat in aisle four. I'm tearing into it the minute I get in my car."

She laughs back, and we go our own ways.

It was a tiny, simple moment, but one that I won't soon forget because it made me realize two things:  1)  I'm not the only one who can't always stave off the urge to eat

and

2)  There's just something about a fluffy girl elbow deep in a bag of snack food that makes me smile.

I felt less alone in the universe, I guess.

Hey, so if you have an "eating in the grocery store" story, I'd love to hear it!  Share it in the comments!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

One Obsession to Rule Them All



This post is brought to you by my dear Hubby, who suggested I share a weird and humbling moment with everyone.  So, yes, dear Rick and Darcy (not their real names) at church, you're about to learn something new about me...again.

Hubby is on vacation this week and spent the last couple days with his mother in a town across the state from home.  He does this from time to time, and it's no biggie. 

Normally I get up at 5, get Peaches out the door to work and then go back to bed for about an hour before I get up and theoretically go for a walk before I start work. Yesterday that routine was thrown out the window because Peaches was ill and didn't go to work, but didn't make that decision until 4:45. She sent me a text, which got me WIDE awake for some reason.  I could not fall back asleep.
So I rolled around, thinking, "I should just get up and go for a walk and get that out of the way and then go get working."

Well I didn't.  Instead, I rolled over and managed to fall back asleep until about 9 minutes before I had to be at my desk. That meant all the niceties of going for a walk, putting on make up, applying deodorant all went out the door.

The one thing that did not get missed, the one thing that DOES NOT GET MISSED...I made the bed.

Admittedly, not my best attempt at making the bed, but for those of you who are regular readers of this blog, you know that I cannot ABIDE an unmade bed.  It's one of those fun little things some would call an obsession...I call a quirk.

One of  my other quirks, for the purpose of this blog, is I hate, hate, hate it when Hubby and the kids don't return a text IMMEDIATELY.  Nothing throws me into a panic faster than sending a simple text like, "When will you be home for dinner?" and not getting an immediate answer. I begin to picture all sorts of horrors have befallen my beloved family members.

An unanswered text from me also results in many, many more texts from me.  

How on EARTH did my mother survive without cell phones?  She had no idea where I was half the time I was growing up.  But I knew if she blew that coaches' whistle out the back door and I wasn't in the house within ten minutes, life as I knew it would be over.  Still, all she knew was that I was ten minutes away. I could have fallen out of a tree and broken my neck.  I could have crashed my bike into a parked car.  (I actually did that, but that's another story) and gotten injured.  As far as I knew, she did not care what COULD happen to me. She just knew what WOULD happen to me if I didn't show up ten minutes after the whistle.

They must have made mothers different back then.  My kids are grown up and fully capable of getting from point A to point B without dying, and yet I'm panic mom if they don't answer a text immediately.  (And no, telling me they might be driving doesn't help.)

Anyway...

So yesterday I made the bed in a hurried manner and then went to the next room to work. Normally I keep my cell on the desk with me so that if any family member needs anything from me, I'm RIGHT THERE with an immediate response.
Much like a made bed, staying in contact with my immediate family is a quirk for me. Call it an obsession, go ahead.

Whatever.

So my day progressed, as Mondays do. Work was a little busy.  Peaches recovered from her illness enough to drag herself to class.  Skippy had a day off so I had no thought that I'd see him before 3 PM.  I moved around the house doing chores, I went for a walk and then I sat down on the couch to each a late lunch...and promptly fell asleep for over an hour.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Simple: This entire time I assumed my phone was sitting on my desk and if anyone needed me I would hear it ring and be able to respond immediately, as is my quirk. (obsession.)

The truth of the matter is...that phone was no where near me at any point during the day once I left the bed.

Yes...it's true.  I'd fallen asleep with my phone next to me on the bed and in the morning when I made the bed because I cannot leave it unmade, I managed to bury the phone under the covers.

I was almost 5 Pm by the time I realized this.  I found my phone and, too my horror, I'd missed (well, nothing from the kids. I mean, it's not like they text me without prompting.) many, many messages from Hubby!

Looking at the list of texts that had come in over the course of the day (and one missed call) I knew if I were on the receiving end of such a complete ignoring, I would be in the middle of a stomach churning fit, certain my lovely spouse was kidnapped, dead, or worse.

Kudos to Hubby.  When I called to apologize he said, "I knew you weren't dead, you checked in on
Face Book."

So, my friends, what have we learned today?

We've learned that Hubby is far more calm than I am when it comes to unanswered texts.

We've learned that my mother had a completely different mind set than I do when it comes to being in contact with our children.

And, finally, we've learned what my #1 Quirk/Obsession is...the one thing that rules over all other obsessions, including being in constant contact with my family:

The unmade bed.  My one Obsession that rules them all.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Fun Fact Friday: Why Sarah Wears Socks to Bed



Hello and Happy Friday!

I'll admit it, I love memes.  I don't post or share many because many of them are offensive or use vulgar language but know this:  90% of all the memes I've seen I think are hilarious.

That said, the one at the top of this post has been making its way around Face Book lately and it's a rare one that actually applies to my life in a wildly personal way.  See, I have worn socks to bed since I was six, and while I tell myself I wear them NOW because I'm old and my feet get cold at night, I feel I have to be honest about why I STARTED wearing socks to bed.

As regular readers of this blog know, I am a HUGE life long fan of the TV show "Emergency."   As a child, Johnny Gage was my personal hero and my imaginary friend.  (Yep, I was the weird kid at school pretending I needed to be rescued and guess who rescued me every time?  Maybe that's how I got my start writing romance...) 

Anyway, one of the episodes of that show that I can say helped shape who I am now was an early one called "Snakebite."   (This ranks as my #1 favorite episode of the series.  So much so, that I own a copy of the original script. Thank you, Ebay.)

The original air date for this episode was October 27, 1973.  That's about two weeks before I turned six.  I was a little, impressionable, and very inventive kid.  So watching my personal hero (and my imaginary bestie) get taken down by a snake...well, I don't recall having a fear of snakes before that moment, but ever since I have been terrified of all things long and scaly.

That night, October 27, 1973, I went to bed, wearing socks and this specific thought:  If I wear these socks to bed the rattle snakes that are OF COURSE lurking at the foot of my bed will not be able to bit through the sock and kill me.

Yes, it's true.  Not only did I develop a crippling fear of snakes that I carry with me even now, decades later, but I thought socks could protect me from the snakes that lived in my bed. 

There was some logical thought behind this.  See, my mother, who watched Emergency with me, explained that rattle snakes liked warm places.  Foot of my bed under the covers, very warm, even in the coldest Michigan winters.

Check.

She told me that if you were very, very still the snakes couldn't see you and then you'd be safe.

Even at the age of five  I knew I kicked in my sleep.  Nowadays I consider that my run for the day, but back then I just knew I kicked a lot.  So staying still...nope.

Check.

Plus, I knew the likelihood of the guys from Station 51 coming in to protect me from snake venom was pretty slim, so I had to protect myself the best way I could.

Check.

Never mind that I take after my paternal grandmother in that most of my life I've run hot rather than cold. Never mind that I don't like the feel of socks in bed.  I braved sweaty feet and the uncomfortable friction between socks and sheets because I HAD TO PROTECT MYSELF AGAINST THE RATTLE SNAKES THAT LIVED AT THE FOOT OF MY BED.

I believe I was in high school before I convinced myself that no, rattle snakes do not hide at the foot of my bed ready to strike.

And yet, even now...I will crawl into bed with fully clothed feet. I tell myself it's because I'm cold. 

But now you know the truth.




Friday, April 13, 2018

And because I'm an idiot, I just figured this out.


       
When you reach a certain age in the middle years of your life (Why yes, I am pretty optimistic about how long I'll be gracing this earth. I mean, if I can't die until my credit cards are paid off I might just live forever) you start to look back and start to look at stuff with the clarity of age and experience.

Such was my morning yesterday.

In order to explain this 43 year break down in realization, I have to go back and explain my early grade school years.

I went to a tiny parochial grade school in the Flint area of Michigan.  It was a two room school, my father was the principal and the 5th-8th grade teacher.  (Until I was twelve I thought everyone went to schools like mine.)  I attended this school from kindergarten until fourth grade and all those years I had exactly one teacher:  we'll call her Mrs. Smith. (Not even remotely her real name.)

Mrs. Smith wrangled grades k-4 (roughly 30 students or more most years) with no breaks other than 3 short recesses (Which is when we had gym class with my dad.  But that's a story for another day.  I will say we managed, and entire school, to have recess with no supervising adults other than my father, who was generally busy keeping score for some gym related sport inside or outside the school. And no one died.) totaling less than an hour a day, during which time she was expected to eat her lunch, correct papers, and make any parental phone calls she had to. Oh, and also lesson plan for five grades.  

I should also mention the following points:

1) 90% of the time she and my father were the only two adults in the building.
2) There was no teachers' lounge. Teachers had to use the same bathrooms the kids did.
3) It was a far more delicate age when teachers simply did not admit to having personal needs such as bathrooms breaks, (Or coffee. I never ever saw Mrs. Smith drink coffee during the day. I know my father did, but in the privacy of maybe the church office when no one was looking.  If I were still teaching, you can bet I'd have a coffee pot brewing in the classroom all day long.)

There. Now you're caught up.

The rules of the classroom were if Mrs. Smith was called out of the room for any reason, she would appoint someone to be in charge.  This person was generally a fourth grader, but sometimes it could be a younger person. The kid would stand at the front of the room and if anyone talked, they would right that kid's name on the board.

That kind of power can corrupt a kid.  There was a lot of bargaining and graft that went on. A kid in charge could write some one's name on the board for any reason...and blackmail that kid's Twinkies right out of his or her lunch.

The kid in charge could also let other students go use the bathroom.  We didn't have bathroom passes, it was a two room school with one hall. It wasn't like we could wander or get lost.  And with less than 50 students in the building, everyone knew where everyone else belonged.

So on this day that tickled my memory so many years later, Mrs. Smith had left the room for something and left a kid in charge. It's not important who that kid was, because it wasn't me.  This blog is about me.  So the kid in charge is of no consequence to the story other than to say this kid allowed me to go to the restroom while Mrs. Smith was out of the room.

Keep in mind for this next part, I was seven, MAYBE eight years old.

I walk into the bathroom. There are two stalls and one sink in there.  (Did I mention this was a TINY school?)  One of the stall doors is closed. No biggie. I figured it was an upper grade girl or something. 

And then I heard a voice.

"Sarah?"

This was no girl. This was a grown up in the bathroom. For a moment I looked around, possibly wondering if God was truly a woman.

But no, it was my teacher.

My TEACHER... IN THE BATHROOM!

This concept to a little kid is foreign.  Sure, by the age of seven kids know what bathrooms are all about. But very few honestly believe grown ups like teachers and pastors and presidents actually use them.  So to be in there with my teacher...that was startling...and for her to talk to me...

This may have been when I began having issues with people in public restrooms.

"Yes?"  I asked in a tiny voice.

"Will you please go get Mrs. Jones?"

Mrs. Jones was the school secretary who worked maybe six hours a week.  On that day she just happened to be in.

Forgetting why I was in there in the first place, I left the bathroom, went to the office, told Mrs. Jones (Not her real name) that Mrs. Smith needed her in the bathroom and then went back to the classroom.

And this is when my idiocy began.

See, the brain can only process information as it can relate it to its own experience.  For example:  If an alien ship landed on my front yard and Martians walked out my brain would have trouble understanding what was happening and would then define the event in terms related to something I'd already experienced.  But if a space ship landed on the front yard of say, someone who had already been probed by aliens, then he or she would be able to absorb the scene and fully understand what it meant.

Such was the case with my seven year old brain.  I had no idea why one woman would need another woman in a school bathroom.  And so, my brain explained the scene in terms I could grasp.

Clearly, Mrs. Smith was stuck on the toilet.


Not only did this seem plausible to me, this was, in my head, the complete God's honest truth that I felt HAD TO BE SHARED.

Which I did, with my best friend, DJ (sort of his first name.)  DJ pretty much went through life thinking I was a moron, while I was convinced we were best buddies.  So he blew me off.  So I turned my other best friend, Kayla (not her name) who was far more sophisticated than I was, and therefore not at all interested in bathroom stuff.  So, hoping to get a rise out of SOMEONE at this shocking news I had, I told my other sort of best friend who was by far the most gullible person I knew, Debbie.  (Oh yeah...that's her real name.)  And Debbie and I had a good giggle over the FACT that Mrs. Smith was so stuck on the toilet she needed Mrs. Jones to help her up.


But here's the thing:  Almost 42 years later  I was putting on my make up and this scene flashed through my brain and, having now been a WOMAN for quite some time, the facts of the event as they probably really were played out in my head.


Yeah, see, Mrs. Smith wasn't stuck on the toilet.

Nope.  Mrs. Smith most likely had gotten caught needing some punctuation protection and since this was a parochial school in the 70's, there was no dispenser of such and thus she needed Mrs. Jones to come in and help her out.

And because I'm an idiot...it took me more than four decades to realize that.



Friday, March 30, 2018

I went to buy three things from Target...and then this happened.





Good morning!

So for reasons I can't fathom, we have been running through eggs in this house like it's the only food left and we're starving.  I don't know where they all go. I know I had almost four dozen in the fridge last Monday and yesterday I looked and I was down to two.  Who is eating all the eggs?

But it's Easter and I need a couple dozen for Sunday so we can play Tips and Butts (our Easter tradition game...the rules are here from my post on 4-18-14.) so I checked various other departments in the house for things I needed so I could avoid Easter shoppers today and tomorrow.

I came up with three items:  eggs, eyeliner, and a gift card for some one's shoebox from the Naughty Easter Rodent.  (Yeah, we don't do Easter baskets.  Years ago I gave up trying to dig the baskets out of a box in the basement.  And the Naughty Easter Rodent?  Well...it's not a NICE creature that sneaks into your house and hides your Easter Eggs, right?)



So off to Target I go to get three things.

Of course, it's Target, so I wound up with a few more than three things.  I mean, who walks out of Target with only the stuff on their list?  Please. I had enough things in my basket (not cart, I actually kept my over shopping to basket levels) that I didn't want to mess with self checkout.  So I headed to the registers.

Now, I've had some adventures at the Target check outs, so I've learned to avoid a few things:  Like the shortest line. Or lines where someone has a ton of kids with them.  Or lines where the register operator is over the age of 80.  Or the register where the operator has his/her mouth pierced closed.  (I'm all for tattoos and piercings if that's what you're into. But sticking a metal bar in your mouth so that you can't open your face to speak clearly makes the details of any transaction difficult to understand.  It's really a me thing I guess.)

So, armed with my experience, I marched my basket of fun things to the longest line where the register operator was a young man in the lower twenties age range. (No mouth piercings.)  There were three people ahead of me, but Ahmed (That was his name) was moving things quickly.  

Well, at least the first two people went quickly.  

And then we came to a person I'll call Rosetta, as in "apparently she's composing a new Rosetta stone."

Rosetta had four things in her cart: two bed-in-a-bag and two other items I didn't see.  Ahmed ran the four things through quickly and then asked for payment.

That's when everything came to a screaming halt.

Let me just rant for a moment:  In this day and age of debit cards, credit cards, cash, apple pay and one touch shopping, WHO IS STILL PAYING WITH A CHECK AND WHO IS STILL TAKING CHECKS?

I can answer that question:  Rosetta is paying with a check and Target is still taking checks.

As we all pretty much know, writing a check takes a minute or so, but it's not that long.  I mean, it's five, maybe six blanks to fill out:  date, pay to, amount in numbers, amount in letters, signature, and maybe the memo line.  It's not a novel. It's not even a tax form.

Except for Rosetta.


I do not know what that woman was writing.  I watched her get her checkbook out of her purse, find the check blank and start filling it out.  And honestly, I've never seen anyone write more...or TAKE LONGER...with a check than she did. 

We all have internal clocks when it comes to basic activities:  An ATM transaction should take X number of minutes.  A drive thru order at a fast food place should take X minutes.  A trip to the bathroom should take X minutes.  AND WRITING A CHECK SHOULD TAKE ZERO MINUTES.

Not so for Rosetta. Words fail me as to how she was filling this thing out. It was like watching some Middle Ages monk transcribe the Bible with gold plated letters and artwork.  And it went on and on.  She might have been writing out her shopping list. She might have been filling out a home loan application.  She might have been writing a letter to her pen pal.  (Do people have pen pals anymore?  I don't know. But I had time to ponder that.)  My guess:  She was doing all three.

I've never, in my life, seen someone take longer to fill out a check.

FINALLY, FINALLY she was finished. She very deliberately tore the check from her book and handed it to Ahmed.  We were home free.

Until...

"I am going to need to see your I.D."

WHO WRITES A PERSONAL CHECK AT TARGET AND DOESN'T HAVE I.D. AT THE READY??????????????????????????????????????????

Answer:  Rosetta.

So then we waited, Ahmed and I while she reached into her purse and slowly, very slowly, drew out her wallet.  Meanwhile, behind me, the half dozen people lined up were being dispersed to other check out counters.  I, on the other hand, was determined to see this through.

You know, when you're waiting in line at a retail store and the person in front of you is being especially difficult, you sort of bond, silently, with the clerk.  Weirdly enough, you do this without more than a quick glance.  No one wants to be caught staring at a clerk in a meaningful way when it's the customer who is being the problem.

If the clerk is the problem, however, I have no trouble giving him or her the death stare.

But in this case I shot a quick look at Ahmed and then spent the rest of my time, when I wasn't mentally taking notes on Rosetta's movements, being VERY interested in the gum rack.

Finally she presented Ahmed with the I.D. and, completing her transaction, she was on her way...sort of. I mean, Ahmed hadn't put her two bed-in-a-bag sets in her cart, so she had to roll around to the end of the register belt to do that.  And yes, even with everything in my basket, it took longer for her to put two things in her cart than it took Ahmed to ring up everything I bought.

Once she was finally out of the way, and I, having had my method of payment in my had from the moment I put my items on the belt (LIKE A NORMAL PERSON) said to Ahmed, "If I said I wanted to pay by personal check, would you lose your mind?"

He smiled at me and said, "Well, it's not like we can turn it down, right?"

Total time for Rosetta's transaction, not counting Ahmed ringing up her four items: seven minutes and fourteen seconds.  Total time for Ahmed ringing up my seventeen items and processing my payment: under two minutes.  And that included our little conversation.

Next time I'll just do self check and yell at the machine when it tells me something foreign is in the bagging area.




Well kids, it's Easter weekend so I want to wish all of you a happy and blessed Easter!  For Christians I rejoice and say, "He is Risen!"

For my secular friends, I say, "no child really wants to sit on a giant bunny's lap."  

For everyone else, I say, "Half price candy on Monday!"




Thursday, March 29, 2018

Reposting a fan fave: Bless the Lord, Oh my Snot.

:Good morning all!

Once again, it's Easter Week, and Monday's choir practice reminded me of this blog from a few years back.  It's an oldie, but a goodie, I think.


I'm working on a fresh new blog, but at the moment I'm in the last week of NO BREAD FOR LENT and I'm a little low on those lovely high energy carbs.

 This is for the front row of my church's senior choir, (including me),  who is fighting to get through Easter this week.





Good evening.

We've established that I am, at best, an uninspiring singer.  The fact that I've been in a church choir almost my entire life doesn't not mean I have any special talent, other than being able to read music and make some sort of sound come out of my face.


Nope, we don't look this good.
For the last several years I've sung in our church's "Senior Choir."  In the last year, we've tried, as an ever shrinking group as members of said choir die or move to Florida, to reinvent ourselves.  We are now the "Adult Choir."

Yeah, we're the old farts of the congregation.

So tonight at a mid week Lenten service  (and I don't expect too many folks out there to understand exactly why my church has Wednesday night church during Lent.  We just do.) the Adult Choir was to sing two songs.

Now, the ladies of the soprano section, of which I am one, tend to get colds...a lot.  And we aren't very good at those really high notes.  We can hit them, but them you better play something loud because the next sound you hear will be every single soprano coughing, gagging, or clearing their throat.  The Hallelujah Chorus sounded like a consumption clinic when we sang it a few years ago.

The two songs we were to sing weren't that hard.  It's Lent.  Stuff is low key and quiet.  We do really well with low key and quiet.  Unfortunately for the sopranos, we once again were all sick.  Oh, my cold just started, which means I'm in the runny nose, random nasal clog phase.

I loaded up on decongestants before the service and figured I would be able to stay clog free for the 56 minute service.  Nope.


Could somebody just make one
of these for me?  Please?
About halfway through the sermon, my right nostril closed.  You know the feeling.  It's closed, nothing's coming in.  But plenty is rolling out.  Oh yes, I was suddenly a drain pipe for that really annoying, completely pointless snot that just runs down your face and you can't suck it back up into your head because your nostril is closed.  And you go through about fifty tissues in a minute because it won't stop running.

Yeah, about four minutes before our second song, that happened to me.  BUT, my good friend...let's call her Alexis, who has sat next to me in choir for almost twenty years, got hit with a sneezing fit a minute before the song.  Next to her, dear, sweet Rosie couldn't stop coughing.  In the back row, well, let's just say those girls were attacked by phlegm in the throat.

We managed to get through the song...watery eyed, runny nosed, and coughing at the end of every phrase.  But we did it.

That's not a puddle.  The sopranos just warmed up
right there.

My mom attends the Bon Jovi concert. What could possibly happen?

Good morning! So a couple weeks ago, I'm sitting in my customary living room chair, watching something on Netflix, when I get a te...