aging, comedy, Food, Humor, shopping, women

Just Slice It

I can remember going to PT, which was the local grocery store, and buying doughnuts filled with sugar icing that oozed out with each bite.  Ooze and bite probably shouldn’t be used in the same sentence but I’m gonna leave it as is because it’s a good memory.  As a kid, shopping for doughnuts and other food at the grocery store seemed easy.  You rode to the store with your mom, got a shopping cart, put everything you wanted into the cart, moved everything from the cart to the conveyor belt so the checkout girl could punch the price into her register, gave the girl your mom’s money, went home, and ate everything that you had put into your cart.  Easy enough.  But something changed.

I went to the grocery store the other day.  Sure, I had to drive myself but when I got into the store I realized that grocery shopping was no longer easy enough.  First, I had to decide which size shopping cart I needed for all of my groceries. What happened to ‘one size fits all’ in the cart department?  A small load will fit in a big cart but a big load won’t fit in a small cart; just give me a big cart and save me one decision.

The deli was the first stop where I put things into my chosen cart.  “I’ll take a pound of turkey, sliced,” I said to the deli lady-the one who talks deli to me. That’s what I’ve said for over 30 years when I wanted sliced turkey to put on a sandwich and it always worked out well for me-I had a nice turkey sandwich when I got home.  That doesn’t work anymore.  I can have my turkey sandwich when I get home but I can’t just say, “sliced”. “What number slice do you want?” asked the deli-lady.  “Ah, the ‘I want to put it on a turkey sandwich’ slice,” I said.  I didn’t know how to order slicing.  I never had to do it before.  What happened to just plain old ‘sliced’?  Not shaved or chipped or diced, but sliced? My deli lady abruptly motioned toward the 10-point slicing scale that sat on top of the deli counter.  “Pick a number,” she said.  Panicked, like I am when I go to the DMV and there are so many directions to follow that I’m not sure what to do, I picked a ‘2’.  She made a slice and held it up for everyone in the store to see. “Is this good?” she asked, “Do you want to taste it?”  Ah, no, I don’t want to taste it.  I don’t think that will help me to decide if the slice is right.  Just give me the turkey, sliced.

I continued adding things to my cart and then it was time for a few more not-so-easy enough decisions.  I got to the checkout counter and had to decide if I wanted the checkout person to scan the items in my cart, or if I wanted to scan them myself in self-checkout.  I don’t usually check myself out, except when I’m leaving for somewhere special, so I went with the checkout person. But that led to a few more decisions.  “Paper or plastic?”  Ah, I want a bag; one that holds my stuff so I can carry it to the car and into my house.  “Are you are rewards member or not?”  Wouldn’t shop here if I weren’t a member.  That plastic rewards card holds a lot of power when it comes to my shopping bill.  “Cash, credit, or debit card?” Ah, what happened to someone else paying? Where’s my mom? “Do you want any extra?”  Unless you are giving me extra from someone else’s account, just stick with the total on the bill.

What happened to easy enough grocery shopping?  I just want to get in, get my icing oozing doughnut and sliced turkey, go home, and eat it. While choices are good, there’s a tipping point and I think we’ve reached it.

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aging, comedy, Humor, music, musician, women, work

It’s Never too Late

My dream job isn’t my real job.  Don’t get me wrong, I like what I do, but it doesn’t make people stand up and cheer, or sing along.

I’ve spent a lot of time in my not-my-dream job helping people to get on board.  While I’ve had some success, it doesn’t come close to what could’ve been had I pursued my dream job.  The problem is, I didn’t know about my dream job until later in life. But hey, it’s never too late.

Kenny Chesney, not my high school guidance counselor, was the first to show me the error of my ways when it came to career choice. At a crucial point in life, I chose to sort of play the flute and piano rather than the guitar. I wasn’t a fan of either instrument but nobody played the guitar in the elementary, high school, or the marching band; all of which my mother made me join. Sure, I learned how to read music but other than a very rough version of Annie’s Song, Ice Castles, and a Bavarian Dance song, I could only pounce across rather than tickle the ivories.  And the flute?  Well, I’d like to say, “This one time, at band camp,” but I wasn’t even that good at it.

Had I chosen the guitar, I could have helped a lot more people get on board, just like Kenny.  My stage name could have been K’eliza G and I would have loved seeing thousands of people at my sold-out stadium concerts standing up, cheering, and most importantly, signing my songs right along with me. And when I stopped signing and held the microphone out to the crowd, they would have kept it going, just like they do for Kenny and many of the other musicians I’ve seen in concert.

I figure that by the time I learn the guitar, write my own songs, and can get people who can remember the words to come to my concerts, sing with me, and fill in the gaps when I hold the microphone out, I’ll be well over 60. My first sold-out concert probably won’t happen until at least 5 years after that. Think of it, gray-haired K’eliza G standing up on the stage, rockin boot cut denim stretch pants, a sweaty white t-shirt over everything that is no longer perky, and a pair of orthopedic cowboy boots.  Get that vision in place and look at it, just look at it.  And then look off to the side of the stage at my fans.  Yes, the ones in the Recreation Room who are trying to sing along. See, it’s never too late to get people on board.

 

1980s, aging, comedy, Humor, introvert, school, women, work

High Schoolerish

I had a lot of fun in high school.  It was a long time ago but I still remember all the shenanigans just like they happened yesterday.   I was so busy having fun that the guidance counselor declared I would never be what I wanted to be, but I’m a healthy middle-aged woman in spite of his ‘counseling’.  I’d go back to high school in a heartbeat but recently, I realized I don’t have to go back. Some of high school is with me every day, but it’s not the part I liked.

Throughout my life, I’ve been given a lot of advice about how to be better at what I wasn’t supposed to be. Someone was always trying to change me or get me to fit in even though I’m not a fitter-inner, unless shenanigans are involved.  At my age, the chances of any major changes are slim to none because I don’t really aspire to much more greatness than I’ve already achieved.  You might say I’m comfortable with myself and my level of fit-in-ness. While that is good for me, it might be unsettling for others; just like in high school.

I was recently reacquainted with high schoolerish behaviors and it was sad rather than fabulously funny. Sitting in the back row of a room and whispering to your friend-of-the-day while someone else is talking is high schoolerish. Not the shenanigan type of high schoolerish, but the ‘I’m too cool for school’ type of high schoolerish. I bet the ‘too cool for schoolers’ feel that they don’t fit in, yet they desperately want to, so they pretend things are beneath them and not worth their time. Some people feel so unsettled with another’s comfortableness that they forget to extend common courtesies such as saying “hello” or offering a handshake. Perhaps they were just easily distracted by things such as their cell phone; just like a high schooler.

Whatever the story, high school ended over 40 years ago. It’s no longer about fitting in, or being the center of attention, or controlling the territory or the clique.  It’s about respecting other people-something everyone was supposed to learn in 6th grade social studies.  Oh, and I just checked, I listen when others are speaking was a graded activity on my 1968-69 Kindergarten Progress Report. I got a G on the G-S-I scale. What did you get?

 

1980s, aging, comedy, family, holiday, Humor, vacation, women

Blubberer

I never considered myself to be a blubberer.  It usually takes a lot for me to blubber. But last week, somebody should have posted a special blubber bulletin.

My family gathered for a weeklong vacation for the first time in a few years. I planned a family dinner for the first night at the vacation house and wrote a toast to commemorate the moment. I stood up, looked at all the faces staring back at me, said a few words, and then I blubbered. No, I didn’t show my blubber because that would have made everyone else blubber, I just blubbered. That’s a funny word, isn’t it?  Blubbered.  It makes your cheeks puff out when you say it.  Blubbered. Anyway, somebody should have sent out a blubber bulletin before dinner so that everyone knew conditions were favorable for blubbering, but instead, nobody saw it coming.  It was a surprise blubber.

Blubbering conditions didn’t improve on the second day when we toasted a first wedding anniversary, or on the third day when we chair danced, some in wheelchairs and others in lawn chairs, to a few hours’ worth of 80s music on the back porch. I have to admit that some of those were laughter blubbers, if such a thing really exists.

The fifth day might have been my only blubber-free day, but I think some vacationers were blubbering from too much celebrating the day before. After all, it was a holiday. Day 6 included a blubbering baby shower with gifts that made it on time since Reba the Mail Lady was also on vacation.  Day 7 was the ‘Preparation for Departure Day’ blubber.  And Day 8, well you don’t even want to know.  That required a blubber warning instead of a watch, a few pairs of galoshes, and a yellow life raft with oars.

It’s been a few days since everyone left and I still blubber every time I think about our vacation.  In fact, I’m blubbering right now.  I guess I now have to consider myself a blubberer, so send out the bulletin.