Archive for April, 2012

Yesterday I went to the doctor for my annual physical. When I walked up to the receptionist behind the desk she looked at me and said, “Oh good, you’re back.” Somewhat confused by her greeting I inquired, “What do you mean by, ‘Oh good you’re back.’? I just got here. “Oh, I’m sorry. Aren’t you Mr. Reynolds?” Lady, I think you’re still confused. I’ve been called many things, but I think if you look real close you’ll notice I’m a woman.” She looked real close and studied me, “You sure you’re not Mr. Reynolds?” I played along and retorted, “If his health insurance is better than mine I can become Mr. Reynolds.” Not even a chuckle.

She told me to sign in and that the doctor was running thirty minutes behind schedule. Great. Since I forgot my book at home I resorted to reading the expired golf magazines. Doctor office magazines – covered in germs – front to back, probably with Mr. Reynolds germs.

The nurse calls me in and takes my vitals. Then I sit and wait some more. I don’t know which is worse – being in the waiting room with sick people with mysterious diseases or being in a room with no window when you’re claustrophobic. While I waited I reviewed my list of questions and concerns. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching Dr. Oz it’s to go to the doctor prepared; that and to always do a poop check when I go. So, I learned two things. It’s fine. Thanks for asking. I was prepared and ready for the doctor to listen.

Doctor came in. Doctor asked how I was and if I had any concerns or questions. I got to number two on my list when the doctor interrupted and told me he was concerned about my concerns, but he had to get on with the exam. He listened to me breathe and did an EKG. It took all of five minutes. He shook my hand and told me to come back in six months.

“You want me to come back twice a year for a yearly physical?” I asked.

“I didn’t have time to answer all your questions today.”

So, I have to pay the price and come back a second time because you were pressed for time. Who’s to say the next time will be any different? May be if you were the one who spent thirty minutes in the waiting room you would have been gracious enough to recognize my time as valuable as yours.

I tried to get him to listen, Dr.Oz, I really did. I think it’s time for me to find a new doctor who will listen.

The hangers were jumbled together. I tried to remove just one from the rack of clothes and three came off. I tried shaking free the other two. They wouldn’t let loose. I tried to untangle them. They fought me. I pleaded with them. I cursed at them, nothing. Finally, in frustration I threw them to the ground. Success. When the cashier asked if I wanted the hanger I answered, “I fought hard for that hanger, of course I want it.” I was grateful the blouse I bought looked as good on me as it did on the hanger.

I always take the hanger. I like picking clothes up from the dry cleaners because of the hangers. I simply remove the paper covering which reads ‘we love our customers’ and stick it in my closet.

When we traveled as a family I always took extra hangers as hotels never have enough. With five people and only three hangers fights ensued. To prevent hanger theft the three hangers in the closet are the kind that loop around the rod and can not be removed. Are hangers high on the list of items stolen by hotel guests?

Did the guest in room 222 steal the soap, shampoo and all the hangers? Did the guest in room 717 smuggle out the toilet paper, washcloths and all three hangers? Are these guests penalized; and if so, how? Are hangers worth more than peanuts from the mini bar? Are these hanger thieves placed in a worldwide hotel data base alerting all desk clerks with a wanted flyer reading, ‘Caution! Hanger Thieves! Have hangers and ain’t afraid to use them.’ The last hotel that my husband and I stayed at supplied removable, satin hangers. The nicest hotel hangers there ever were.

When we returned home I was unpacking and noticed a hanger in the suitcase and asked my husband about it. He informed me calmly, “I took one.” He took one? Is the man crazy? We didn’t eat from the mini bar because we didn’t want to go bankrupt and the man lifted a hanger? How can he be so calm?

We’ll never be able to go back there. We’ll never be able to go to another hotel as long as we live. We’re on the list. We’re hanger thieves. If we’re in court I’ll have to testify against him because if he goes down, I’m not going down with him.

I placed the hanger in the back of my closet next to the dry cleaning hanger. It looks quite nice.

 

There was a short notice in USA Today about a young entrepreneur’s cleaning service called Fantasy Maid Service that offers nude maids. It reported that police inLubbock,Texasare keeping an eye on the business to ensure no hanky panky is going on. Customers pay $100 an hour for one maid or $150 an hour for two. No touching is allowed. The owner is reported to have said, “We really just clean houses.”

Most homeowners aren’t home when the maid comes, but now I suspect more men will schedule their cleaning service for the weekend or take a sick day. Since the maids know they’ll be gawked at while say… ‘cleaning’ they’ll have to look presentable while they get down and dirty, so to speak. I wonder if waxing services are covered under employee expenses. I wonder if customers are allowed any flash photography. Guaranteed if someone’s paying $200 an hour they’re going to take a picture.

I think it’s only a matter of time till hotels jump on the bandwagon. No, I’m not suggesting maids run amuck, naked in the hallways (let’s exhibit some modesty.)  Once in your room they would disrobe.

A nude maid with an impeccable body would clean your tub, restock your glasses and fill your mini bar. A nude maid with silky, golden hair, lush lips and smoldering eyes would vacuum your rugs, restock your towels and fluff your pillows. An ideal, nude maid will do all this plus listen to your troubles.

As you tell him your troubles while watching him scrub, scrub, scrub the toilet you realize you’ll need to tip BIG.

You now realize my maid is a man. Fantasy Maid Service should fulfill every woman’s fantasy – a man who cleans and listens.

I recently went to an event where the suggested donation was $5.00. Rather than having a donation basket outside the doors a woman with a cup collected during the performance. She swiftly moved from person to person, but stalled at one person who was not forthcoming with his money. When she banged the cup on the table he looked at her and said, “I thought donations were only a suggestion.” She quipped, “Well, I suggest you donate.” He caved. Talk about peer pressure; should have been called mandatory donation.

Why my husband thinks speed limit signs are merely suggestions, until he sees a cop and then it’s mandatory.

He worked for a company that suggested its employees volunteer with a local charity for their annual fundraiser. Employees who did not volunteer were penalized. That motivated everybody! I never heard of mandatory volunteerism. Talk about pressure.

The catholic school I attended would give each student an offering envelope to put into the collection basket at Sunday mass. The offerings listed on the envelope went from 50 cents and up.  You would put the money in and check the appropriate box. In a way the envelope was an unspoken suggestion of what was acceptable. You could donate less, but it wasn’t suggested. This suggestion didn’t come with peer pressure or repercussions, just guilt. Nobody wants the big guy mad at them. Guilt makes all suggestions mandatory.

When I was young I swore it wouldn’t let it happen to me. But as I’ve aged and had kids it did happen. I don’t know when it happened or how it happened, but it happened. I’ve turned into my mother.

I call my girlfriends ‘Doll.’ I don’t know why. It’s not like I forgot their names and had to makeup a generic one so they wouldn’t catch on.

I was talking on the phone with my one of my ‘Dolls’ the other day when I blurted out, “You made me forget what I was gonna say.” My mother said that to me all the time, only I thought it was her polite way of telling me to, “Shut up”.

The other night I was out with my daughter when I told her to put on her jacket. “Why?” She asked. “Because I’m cold,” I replied. I’m cold? I can’t believe I said that! When my mother used to say it to me I would think it silly for me to put on a sweater because she was cold. She could put one on and leave me alone.

At night when my mother would get ready for bed she would announce, “I’m going to take off my face.” I always imagined her literally taking her face off. As a kid it was mysterious as she never let me watch her do it. I would wait by the bathroom door and expect her to emerge with a new face; for those of you alarmed by reading this – taking my face off means to remove the makeup.

What amazes me now is I find myself making the same announcement. I stand up, clear my throat and in a loud voice proclaim, “I’m going to take off my face.” I give this proclamation the same importance as someone declaring, “I’m going off to war.” Only in my case nobody cares and sometimes I say it to an empty room.

When I look in the mirror to remove my makeup I see my mother, myself and my daughter and know there comes a time in every woman’s life when her reflection becomes part of her past, present and future.

 

This year for lent I gave up chocolate. For me, giving up chocolate is like making a New Years resolution that I know I’ll break. Once you give up something it seems all you do is think about it – forbidden fruit. At first I did great, and then I saw a commercial for chocolate. Next I read a magazine advertisement for chocolate. At the movies the guy next to me was eating chocolate. My waiter showed me a desert tray filled with chocolate goodies. The shelves at my local grocery store were filled with chocolate cakes and cookies. Chocolate ice cream seemed to form a river at my feet as I walked by the freezer section. I went to bed and chocolate sugar plums danced thru my head. I looked at the chocolate hidden in my kitchen (so my family won’t find it) and tried to ignore it like a rejected lover. The temptation was everywhere. The hold on me was strong; but I survived and let me tell you, “That one day of being chocolate free was the hardest day of my life.” I spent the next 39 days feeling guilty whenever I ate chocolate. Finally, Easter came and I ate chocolate bunnies – minus the guilt.

But this was the first year I questioned my sacrifices. When someone told me he was giving up his aversion to technology I thought may be I’ve had it wrong all these years. May be I shouldn’t give up that which I love, but rather that which I hate. So, as sat and ate my chocolate cake topped with chocolate syrup and chocolate sprinkles I thought that next year I’ll give up my aversion to coconut cake; and if it comes with chocolate sprinkled on top, so be it.

One-dish restaurants are part of a growing trend where you can go to a restaurant that serves mac-and-chesse only, but serves it 10 different ways; one-dish restaurants offer up a big old serving of comfort food. There are one-dish restaurants for: cereal, baked potatoes, grilled cheese, hot dogs, mac-and cheese, meatballs and peanut butter. Meatloaf was not listed. Meatloaf is the number one comfort food. I guarantee – meatloaf – ‘coming soon to a restaurant near you.’ Only meatloaf is always served with mashed potatoes; you can’t have one without the other. And if a one-dish restaurant sold meatloaf and mashed potatoes it would be a two-dish restaurant. Wouldn’t it? I see now the reason for the holdup. These restaurants pop up in densely populated areas where it’s likely to have success.

Another growing trend is pop up food trucks. Food trucks attract the leisure traveler to the business traveler on the run. A food truck can be a convenient way to eat great food without wasting time, cutting out the restaurant dining experience. Although if you’re on a first date I wouldn’t suggest dining truck side as it’ll also be your last date. I’m surprised it’s taken this long for food trucks to become part of the landscape. When I lived in PA I had a girlfriend whose parents used to buy their fish from the back of a truck. The whole setting was rather sketchy as it was the only vehicle parked in a deserted parking lot and they were the only customers. And when they used terms such as, “I got fish eyes for two – to –one,” I suspected it was a front for a bookie joint. Nevertheless, that’s where they bought their fish and I’d bet they were telling the truth.

And we can all remember the ice cream truck from our childhood. Mr. Softee was the most beloved, iconic food truck known to children. On a hot summer day children would wait to hear the sweet sounding music announcing the arrival of Mr. Softee. Children would run to buy a cone because like a hot dog at a game, it always tasted better than what you had at home. I think these one-dish restaurants and pop up food trucks will do just fine as they’re serving up more than good food.

Last night at a small get together I was unfortunately introduced to a guy. I say, “Unfortunately,” because the guy had bad breath. When he opened his mouth to speak it was as though a dragon had unleashed its fire upon me. Luckily, someone was standing behind to catch me when I fell backward from the full force of his breath. And why is it, that it’s always the people with bad breath who are the close talkers. They stand nose to nose and breathe heavy. What’s even worse than a close talker with bad breathe is a spitter (someone who spits when they talk.) If you stand next to someone with bad breathe, who’s a close talker and a spitter then you’ll have smelly spit on your face.

A person who eats garlic will have bad breathe, but at least it’s only temporary.

Unfortunately, I have a neighbor who smells like garlic; not his breathe, but his body odor. Every once and awhile when we talk I’ll get a whiff of him, depending on which way the winds blowing. Sometimes I’ll get a powerful punch right up my nose. When we talk I’m mentally checking out the wind conditions so I’ll know which direction to stand. He does get curious the times when we stand back to back.

I have a friend who doesn’t have to worry about body odor or bad breathe as her car has the offending scent. Hers was the first car I ever got in where I gagged and then held my breathe; this worse than bad breathe man or body odor man. Not only did her car smell, but it was messy and the seats were sticky. Unfortunately, I was wearing shorts and when I tried to get out my legs stuck to the seat. Afterward I took a shower.

What do say to these people? Do you say anything at all? Do you offer them a mint or a bar of soap? I believe if you tell someone, “You stink,” you may, end up with a broken nose. That would be unfortunate.