Archive for January, 2012

An article in my local paper reported that Wal-Mart has done away with greeters from the overnight shift which runs from10 p.m.to7 a.m.The greeter’s job is to welcome all customers. Even though I know the greeter is paid to be nice, smile and exchange pleasantries (and they’d walk right bye me if they saw me on the street) I think they can teach my family a thing or two.

There have been times when I try to sneak quietly into my house (because everybody’s home) so that nobody will hear me and come running. At times all I want to do, or, rather, need to do is run to the bathroom. If they know I’m home they’ll come running and stop me with questions such as, “Where were you? Who were you with? Did you buy me anything? I’m hungry. What’s for dinner?” They don’t greet me like the Wal-Mart greeter who acknowledges me, steps back and lets me go about my business. My family could learn a thing or two from them; or, next time I need to use the bathroom I should go to Wal-Mart.

We got our daughter an electric blanket. The settings go from 1 -10. Just like a toaster, #1 does nothing, at # 5 she’s slightly warm and toasty and at # 10 she’s burnt to a crisp. In the mornings, after a night of sauna like conditions her hair’s limp and stringy, her pajamas are damp and sweat covers her body. And she looks to have sweated a couple of pounds off. The kid couldn’t be happier.

I know my husband would also be happy with an electric blanket, but since he sleeps with me that’s not gonna happen. I like it cold when I sleep, he likes it hot. If there were a blanket for 2 with dual control, like temperature control in a car, I would consider it.

He loves that our car has dual temperature control. I keep my side set at a nippy 48 degrees and he cranks his side to a balmy 98 degrees. But, even though I like the idea of dual control, I’m not convinced of how well it works. To me it’s like a restaurant with a smoking and non-smoking section. You may sit in the non-smoking section, but smoke will still waft over to your side. It’s not like my husband’s on his side wearing shorts and flip-flops and I’m wearing a parka and mittens.

I imagine the man would be in his glory with heated seats and his own portable electric car blanket. Does such a thing exist?

I don’t get it. It must be a male thing. My husband will open a drawer, take what he needs and walk away, leaving the drawer open. My husband will open a closet door, take what he needs and walk away, leaving the door open. Why, if a man opens something, can’t he shut it? It’s simple really; it’s the same as opening – only in reverse.

At times I play the part of a ‘demonstration model,’ and demonstrate the simplistic ease of opening and closing doors and drawers to my husband.

We can’t let them slide by on the excuse, “I just don’t think about it,” because it’s bogus. Why is it they can’t remember to close a drawer and yet when they go to the bathroom they lock the door automatically behind them? And if shutting doors is beyond their mental capacity, why is it they never leave a car door open? See, they can do it when they have to.

The only time my husband doesn’t have a problem with closing a door is when I’m walking behind him from the garage into the house; then the man has no trouble closing the door on me.

Today is National Compliment Day. The objective is to compliment at least five people and be sincere.

I’ll never forget one particular compliment I received. The woman looked at me and with suspicion in her voice said, “I’ve never seen your hair look so good. It looks fake.  Are you wearing a wig?” What does one say to such a backhanded compliment that has you rubbing your cheek to ease the sting? I’ll tell you what I said, “No, Mother it’s not a wig. It’s my real hair.” It cut deep coming from my own mother.

When someone compliments your weight loss with, “You should be proud you lost so much weight, now you don’t look so bad in that dress,” it leaves you with whiplash from the verbal slap in the face.

When a friend shows off their newborn daughter you feel pressured to offer a compliment. I’ve found one line works and keeps everyone happy. “What a baby, it looks just like your husband.” They don’t gotta know you think their husband’s a dog.

And so now, all my readers, I say to you, “You’re the smartest people I have never met; you chose to read my blog, didn’t you? I mean that, sincerely.”

Today I went shopping and got the cart with the squeaky wheel. Don’t you just hate it when you get the squeaky wheel or wobbly wheel? It didn’t start squeaking till I was halfway through the store and it was loud enough to attract attention. A wobbly wheel doesn’t draw attention, but it is harder to steer. You can’t fix a wobbly wheel the way you can change a flat tire on a car. There’s no roadside assistance. There’s no spare in the trunk. There’s no trunk.

Sometimes I wish carts came equipped with horns. With a horn you could scare the crap out of the shoppers who park their cart smack dab in the middle of the aisle. It would be fun to see them jump while they’re reading the nutrition label on a box of Fruit Loops.

Carts should also be equipped with bumpers. The last time I went to Wal-Mart the guy in front of me in line, paid for his stuff and walked off, leaving his cart at the register. If I had a bumper cart I would have rammed his cart, knocking into him, hitting him at the ankles. And if you’ve been involved in this type of collision then you know how painful it is. Usually this happens to me in the summer when my ankles go unprotected, heightening their vulnerability to the pain. With eyes blurred by tears I want to scream and cry simultaneously.

It’s always the inattentive driver (the one who’s looking sideways while going straight) that causes such collisions. One good, loud honk of the horn would do the job. Should they drop the egg carton they’re holding so be it.

Gravy – is it brown or red? The answer to this depends on nationality and geography. Growing up Italian, inNew York, gravy was and still is (even though I’ve moved) red. My definition of gravy is – tomato sauce for pasta.

Growing up in an Italian household every Sunday for dinner we would have macaroni (didn’t call it pasta) and meatballs. The meatballs would be fried early morning in order to be added to the gravy which would cook for forever (sometimes longer than a Kardashian wedding.) You would have red wine to go with the red gravy and wipe up the excess gravy with Italian bread which went with the theme.

When I moved to the South I learned gravy has a different definition. Gravy is brown and served on potatoes and biscuits. So, you could have gravy on potatoes. You could have gravy on biscuits, but you could not and should not have gravy on pasta.

As if the whole gravy/sauce thing wasn’t confusing enough, confusion was forefront the first time I ordered a meatball pizza.

“A meatball pizza? What’s that asked the pizza boy I spoke to on the phone.

“It’s pizza with chopped up meatball,” I informed him.

“We don’t have anything like that. Order something else,” he barked.

“You’re an Italian pizza parlor and you don’t carry pizza with chop meat as a topping?” “Oh, chop meat! Why didn’t you say so, of course we do; only it’s not called a meatball pizza.”

Of course it isn’t I thought to myself.

“What other toppings do you want on your pizza?”

“ The usual – meatball (oh, sorry) cheese, tomato, and gravy.”

“Gravy? You want gravy on your pizza?”

“Yes, gravy, you know, usually made with meatballs. Do you know what I’m talking about?”

Lady, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

When I got off the phone I thought – I may be living in the same country, but I feel like I’m talking a foreign language.

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend. After she tore open the ketchup packet she offered it to me. Since she had a cold I declined her offer of contamination. You run the risk of contamination with all condiments whether you use packet, bottle or squeeze jar. In a restaurant watch the person cleaning the tables and you’ll notice they clean the tables and chairs, but not the condiment bottles. And the bottles are usually sticky and shiny from the greasy fingerprints of the people who’ve come before you. Touch one and virtually you’ve kissed everyone in the restaurant.

With jars of mayonnaise or mustard you risk cross contamination from the person who sticks their knife in, holding it with the hand they just sneezed on. It’s like germs on a plate. Touch one and kiss everyone.

What makes me shudder is a butter tub whose inner rim is sprinkled with toast crumbs. This person butters their morning toast and wipes the excess butter (with crumbs) back into the tub. Wipe it off with a napkin! Wash it off in the sink! Don’t put it back! Yuck!  So, when you’re offered the butter, you’ll choose the jelly.

At a pancake house the jams and jellies are beside the syrup bottles. Syrup bottles are not only germ covered, but sticky to boot. Touch one and kiss everyone in the restaurant.

Some restaurants supply bottles of Purell in the restrooms. But you have to wonder if that’s safe or if you touch it  – do you kiss everyone in the restaurant?

My husband and I just got back from one of my favorite little cities,Charleston, SC. Even though we had a good time I would never again stay at the same hotel. This particular hotel sucked all the fun out of my visit. This hotel wanted to hold me personally responsible for what I ate. How did they do it? They had a scale in the bathroom! Yes, you read correctly. The nerve! Nothing takes the fun out of a vacation than having to watch what you eat. Isn’t the point of a vacation to break your diet and complain about it afterward? I weigh myself when I’m home, I don’t want to do it when I’m on vacation.

Instead of a scale in the bathroom there should have been a plunger. Why a plunger? We’ve been to so many Mom and Pop motels when our kids were young that we learned from experience to pack a plunger for vacations. Yes, in the trunk, next to the suitcases is the plunger. When you stay at a place where Mom gives you the evil eye your third time requesting the plunger you realize it’s time to buy your own. When the maintenance man has to call for backup to unclog the bowl you know it’s time to buy your own. When the maid gives you a pair of rubber gloves and tells you, “Clean it yourself,” you know it’s time to buy your own. When Pop gives you the plunger as a memento of your trip you know it’s time to buy your own.

Thinking back to Charleston I realize I should have taken the plunger and beaten the crap out of the scale. Really, a scale in the bathroom!

I’m an avid walker and walk whether it’s hot or cold, but admit I do prefer the cold. Thanks to the ipod I always have music to listen to. I realized how attached I’ve grown to my ipod when one day I turned it on and got upset when it wouldn’t play as it needed to be recharged. Infuriated I barked at my husband, “I can’t walk now. How can I walk without my ipod?  I’ll stay home. My husband reminded me, “There was a time you walked without an ipod, with no music to keep you going.” So, I took my walk, but I was lonely.

That’s why I was dreading the upcoming winter when I would replace my ipod with earmuffs (not a hat person) to stay warm. I was depressed until I found out about the ipod earmuffs. When I read about them in a magazine I gave thanks for the inventor. I ran to buy a pair and even though the selection of color patterns available was not my style –I didn’t let that stop me.

I bought my earmuffs because of the ipod. I bought my scarf to match my earmuffs. I bought my gloves to match my scarf and earmuffs and because of the removable flap which makes it easier to work my ipod. I thought I had completed an entire wardrobe around my ipod until someone gave my husband a jacket designed with an audio pocket which hides your ipod wire.

I have to head back to the store. My outfit is incomplete.

Have you ever had what I call a ‘Front Door Friend,’ someone who refuses to enter your house no matter how many times you invite them in? They’re a distant cousin to the mailman really, as their visits to your house are short and sweet and usually involve a package that they’re dropping off or picking up. They choose to chat and socialize by the front door no matter what the weather. My husband and I have one such friend whose name I’ve forgotten since I dubbed him ‘Front Door Friend,’ years ago.

So, you can imagine my surprise when one day he came over, poked his head in, looked around, pushed me out of the way, walked over to our couch and plopped down. I saw it with my own eyes and couldn’t believe it. Was he sick? Was he having a heart attack and needed to sit? Should I be calling an ambulance? What if he dies? What if he dies on my new couch? Oh great, he finally comes in, sits down and dies! He dies on my couch and now I have a dead person on my hands! How do I explain this to the cops? I have to call the cops, don’t I?

Nobody called the cops when we realized he was fine as he continued talking without clutching his chest, gasping for air or passing out. But, I wondered what bizarre behavior was next. Would he help himself to food in our fridge? Should I lock up my chocolate stash that family members know not to touch unless they want me to hurt them? Would he rummage thru our medicine cabinet looking for items of embarrassment he could then post on HIS blog? Would he done a glove and give the furniture the white glove test? Would he point out the cobwebs that have mailboxes erected in front because they’ve been there an eternity?

After he left I decided if he intends to graduate from ‘Front Door Friend’ to ‘Sit on the couch friend,’ then the least I could do is learn the guy’s name.