I thought I was done talking about this, but I’m not. I’m never done talking about anything. Just ask my family and friends. I bet it takes all the energy they have to not throw tomatoes at me during a movie. I feel the need to give commentary even when not wanted. Or needed. Is that the same thing?
Today my day started with making a smoothie and putting a wooden spoon into the running blender. A friend suggested I strain the wood-splintered smoothie, which I proceeded to do…right into the sink. How was your day?
So, here goes my Coronavirus Random Brain Dump:
Most restaurants and bars are shutting down across the entire country. Think about the enormity of that. People aren’t gathering anywhere (except Florida beaches but I don’t want to talk about it). It probably hasn’t been this quiet since Columbus didn’t discover America.
Less cars on the road equals better air quality. Less pollution. Less gas being used. Less mileage. Longer car life. Has anyone seen the pictures from Venice? Soon enough the Hudson River will be safe enough to drink from. I mean, I know Venice doesn’t have cars. Potato Potawto.
Toilet paper is something I will never again take for granted as long as I live. At least until September, anyway. If I run out of it, I don’t know what I’ll do. Wiping my backside with moss really doesn’t do it for me. Growing mushrooms out of there isn’t a trend I would be too keen on participating in. Mushrooms may be hard to find right now, but I’ll take my chances.
This event is an extrovert’s worst nightmare. I have been feeling squirrelly since day two. Please send help. Just send it in a hazmat suit.
I’m getting so conditioned at practicing social distancing that when I see characters on television hugging or standing close in a group, I scream at the screen, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? SIX FEET, PEOPLE! SIX FEET!!!”
I haven’t seen this many kids outside playing and riding their bikes since I was twelve.
I think I have tennis elbow by repetitively looking at Coronavirus memes on my smartphone.
I really hope the virus outbreaks shrink as much as my pores have from not having an opportunity to wear makeup.
If I don’t start shaving my legs soon, there WILL be mushrooms growing. Moss not needed.
That’s about it for today. Stay safe out there, and please don’t do what they are doing on TV. Or in Fort Lauderdale. For the love of God, practice social distancing. Thank you and have a nice day.
The shelves are empty. People are fighting over a roll of toilet paper. Schools are closing. Events are being cancelled. Businesses are locking their doors.
It almost feels like we are hunkering down for the blizzard of the century. And it’s not limited to my little part of the country. It’s everywhere and widespread. The entire world is in on this.
Only it’s not a snowstorm. It’s a really bad “B” movie with zombies and aliens, and we can’t get away. As the wise Pat Benetar once said, “got nowhere to run, got nowhere to hide.”
You can’t trust anyone. People are feeling crazy, losing their minds. The National Guard has been called into some areas. They have shut down roads. People are quarantined — not allowed out, not allowed in. There’s mass hysteria. There are no supplies to speak of because we were fools and didn’t listen to the “Doomsdayers.” And to top things off, it all came to a head on Friday the 13th in the United States. The only thing we’re missing is Jason.
Except it’s not a movie. It’s real life and we’re all living it. Although there are no zombies, there are aliens. And it comes in the form of a virus.
I have washed my hands so much the skin is peeling off. I haven’t touched my face in so long that I forget what my face feels like. If I accidentally touch a door handle with so much as my pinky finger, I get completely disgusted. I run to the nearest sink or hand sanitizing station before I do anything else. Repeat ten thousand times in what seems like a ten minute period because people touched the sink. See the problem?
I’m usually not an alarmist when it comes to this stuff. I really am typically not that fearful. Hell, if I didn’t have a husband with asthma, I might take advantage of the $65 round trip flight to sunny Florida.
But I do have a husband with asthma and there are people out there who don’t have strong immune systems. We also have to worry about our elderly. Therefore, we need to act responsibly. I need to act responsibly. Even though acting responsibly is just about one of my least favorite things to do.
Although at times this all seems a bit extreme, I will order my *groceries online, make sure I have enough wine to last through an apocalypse, and remain calm.
Are you calm? I’m calm. Oh, where did I leave that damn cork screw?
*I tried to order my groceries online except there was a week-long waiting period for a delivery. Instead, I weathered “the storm” and was able to get what I needed. I had to leave the house before the sun was up and be amongst the zombis…err, other people…but I survived. Well, maybe. I won’t really know for another 14 days.
One year ago today, I wasn’t exercising at all, I was lazy, and a major couch potato. I was the textbook definition of that word that I hate most: Sedentary.
My flexibility was so bad I would wonder how I was going to do something as simple as push myself up from a sitting position. Time and time again I put off going to the gym in favor of going home and relaxing because I had a bad day and “deserved” it.
I drank something alcoholic every single night of my life and woke up every single morning groggy and with a bad attitude. I basically didn’t care about anything. I wasn’t depressed, but I wasn’t happy either.
I ate all kinds of bad crap. I hardly ever ate a vegetable. I suffered from high cholesterol and terrific heartburn, but I didn’t seem to care. I liked to eat and dammit I ate what I wanted with the reckless abandon of a teenage boy. My weight was the highest it had ever been and was climbing.
I fought with my closet every morning over what to wear, which inevitably made me late for work. I never packed a lunch, prepped a dinner ahead of time, and more often than not I’d go to the grocery store with a list in my head and not on paper. That never ended well and often required me to hit the store again because I forgot something.
I had no good habits. I never wrote which is something I adore. I was addicted to my phone and social media and would choose that over doing something else that I adored: Reading.
I never planned a thing in my life. I flew by the seat of my pants because that’s the kind of person I said I was. The problem is, it didn’t work for me.
A year later I exercise and stretch consistently. I wake up early to do yoga most mornings. I eat right and track my food. I have developed so many habits that not only work for me but have helped to improve the quality of my life that include simple things like packing a gym and lunch bag and picking out my clothes the night before.
I plan out my exercise and meals. I even plan out when I’m going to write and read. I go to bed early to be sure to get a good sleep and wake up before the sun comes up with no problem.
When I think back to that girl I was a year ago, I feel bad for her. I no longer think of exercise as a chore but something I actually look forward to. It’s something I do to improve my life, my flexibility, my mind, and my body. My mindset has changed from being irritated that I need to exercise to wondering how I could ever not do it.
In the past year I’ve lost weight, lowered my cholesterol, and have controlled the terrific heartburn. I have learned about self care and how important it is. Today, I almost want to say, “I don’t even know who this person is.” But I know who this person is. It’s ME. It’s who I always was. I was just bogged down with negative thinking, laziness, self doubt, and no self control.
Is it perfect all the time? No. I’m human. But the difference is now I just pick up and continue on. Instead of throwing it out the window and starting again “on Monday.” Or worse yet, “next month.”
But I did not do this alone. I joined a fitness group online. This group of amazing women, run by a badass instructor, helped me to achieve what I thought was unattainable.
You should join me in the war to combat unhealthy living. It’s really pretty awesome. I would not be here saying this if I didn’t see with my own eyes what it did for me.
You don’t have to be a mom or even have young kids still at home. It turns out, that was really just an excuse for me to not take care of myself. Being an empty nester for 3+ years didn’t change my attitude.
I’m sharing because we all deserve to take better care of ourselves. Also, the deal is amazing. And no one loves a good deal more than I do. Also, I’m cheap as they come, just ask DH.
The next course begins on January 13, but the cart is open now.
So, who’s in? (Click the link below for more information)
Yesterday after work I went to the gym like I do and I saw a friend down there exercising. I went over to talk to her and in the process, lost an end of the rubber earpiece thing that attaches to my earbud.
I dropped to my knees frantic to find it. I retraced my steps all the way back to the locker room. I wasted a good ten minutes of exercise time because I was desperate not to listen to the music the gym was playing — country.
If you know me, you know I am the absolute opposite of a country fan. I would rather listen to Ben Stein on repeat for a month straight than be forced to listen to country music.
Unless it’s old school like Johnny Cash or Patsy Cline. Does this make me a hypocrite? I think not. There is a VAST difference between yesterday’s country and today’s. There just is, so don’t try to fight me on this.
Most people in my life enjoy the stuff. I have countless friends who love it. DH’s family — every single blessed one of them — seem to only listen to it. It is on every one of their car radios, and playing at every single bleeping family event.
A few years ago, two of my sisters-in-laws and a couple nieces even drove me to Tennessee in the hopes of a massive conversion. It was country music everywhere, all the time, for a week straight.
Did it help?
No. In fact, I believe it pushed me even further away. Which is as possible as pigs sprouting wings.
I know what you’re thinking. Especially those of you who love the stuff and can’t see where I’m coming from or are insulted by my little anti-country music rant.
You’re thinking, “Suck it up buttercup. Everyone else likes it, so you need to join the club.” And to that I would ask the question my dear parents bestowed upon me every single time I wanted to do what everyone else was doing.
If you told me to jump off the Brooklyn bridge, would I?
No, I would not. Because I know jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge would most likely kill me. And so would listening to country music.
After enlisting the help of my friend and the gym trainer, it couldn’t be found. Finally, I threw my hands up in the air and gave in. I wasn’t going to go home because I couldn’t listen to my own music. I wasn’t going to abandon my daily workout because I was going to be forced to listen to Today’s Country. No.
I had to put on my big girl spurs and get to doing my thing.
There are two types of people in the gym: the ones who workout to the music de jour. And the ones who listen to their own music. I never understood how anyone can workout without their own theme songs, but who am I to judge? It’s what makes the world go ’round, right?
To each his own.
One thing I discovered about myself yesterday was that music is a very large part of setting myself up for the energy and the motivation to exercise and to exercise hard.
Was my workout up to par yesterday? No. I was cranky and severely annoyed. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t feel like exercising. I did it, but I wasn’t happy. I even got off my elliptical 1.3 minutes sooner than usual because I just couldn’t take it anymore. Also, the blood running out of my ears was making a mess.
I have gotten to a really good place in my relationship with the gym the last few months. I have worked hard to create a habit that I actually enjoy. I have worked hard to get to a point where when I enter the gym, I don’t curse, make ugly faces, and sigh deeply over the fact that my body — inside and out — isn’t perfect and that I even have to spend my time doing this thing called “exercise” at all.
You know, kinda like the fact that spinach and brussel sprouts can’t taste like Big Macs and donuts.
My earpiece thingy may be lost forever, but I will replace it, cement it where it belongs, and never, EVER be without my own music again whilst at the gym.
And if there is a freak incident and it does happen again? I will have a back-up. On top of a back-up. On top of a back-up. On top of a…get my point?
Have you ever embarrassed yourself so badly that you aren’t sure how you can ever recover? For me, there are too many such moments to count. But my most recent incident makes me either want to put a bag over my head or lock myself in the bathroom for life.
Dramatic? I think not.
I started making exercise a habit of mine earlier this year. It was a New Year’s Resolution that actually stuck (I also joined this amazing online course that helped to seriously motivate me, so I can’t take all the credit).
As a woman in her 50s, I was really starting to see and feel things happening to my body that I did not want to see and feel. Bingo wings and a behind that practically hits the back of my knees are just two examples of phenomena that have occurred.
Add in tight hips, pain in my lower back, and the inability to stand up from a sitting position on the floor. The latter makes me want to give up and stay there until I die because it would take less time.
After a year with my current place of employment, I finally started taking serious advantage of the free gym. I am now an active member and go just about every single work day.
Note to self #1: when you go to the gym nearly every single work day for nine months, you might want to make sure your gym bag AND gym clothes are fresh.
I started noticing my gym bag was a little ripe a couple months ago. I thought it was my sneakers, so I started throwing them into a plastic bag. Problem fixed?
And then I realized something.
It wasn’t my sneakers.
What happens to clothes that you hard-core sweat in almost everyday? They start to take on a life of their own. I wish I could be one of those cute, perky girls who barely breaks a sweat and when she does, she still smells good.
But I’m not.
I stink when I perspire hard. It doesn’t matter how much deodorant or body spray or baby powder I use.
Last Wednesday (I remember the exact day because I have PTSD) I pulled my workout clothes from my bag and oh.my.dear.god. The odor that hit my nose was akin to something the cat dragged in.
But because I really wanted to get in a workout I put them on — against my better judgement — and went and did my thing.
Note to self #2: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT turn on the wall fan that is behind you when you know you smell like Fluffy’s latest conquest.
After about 20 minutes on the elliptical, the man on the machine in front of me turned around and gave me a look. Then it hit me. About as hard as it hit that poor guy.
People could smell me. After about another two minutes, he moved along. The paranoia in me was running deep. I stuck my face down into my shirt and inhaled. Even though I already knew. I knew like I know my own name.
Note to self #3: If your own stench makes your toes curl, then you’ve got a problem, Houston.
I finished my workout and high-tailed it out of there, although it was a little too late.
I should have gone home as soon as I took those clothes out of my bag. These are people I see in the halls at work.
Needless to say, I spent the better part of last weekend de-stinking my gym clothes, gym bag, and sneakers. Although I feel more confident I won’t smell too badly anymore, I’m afraid I have stained my reputation (pardon the pun).
It’s too late for me, but it may be not too late for you. Below are some tips to stay fresh as a daisy, although you most likely have more common sense than a goldfish than I do:
Hang your workout clothes to dry after the gym. Because putting them into a hamper wet is just asking for it and is the beginning of all your problems.
Speaking of hampers, keep these clothes in a separate one. Or a bucket. Or the garbage. Burning them is also an option.
Before you wash them, turn them inside out. For obvious reasons. I, apparently, am not familiar with Captain Obvious.
Do not put them in the dryer ever. Heat + Odors = Disaster.
Wash them with a 1/2 cup of vinegar sometimes. Vinegar, the Miracle Liquid. Good for everything from a sore throat to washing your windows.
Wash your gym clothes separately from all your other clothes, in cold water, and detergent specifically made for said clothes. This is not the occasion to try to save time. Or water. Or electricity. Or soap. This activity will not help to reduce your carbon footprint. But it is reducing pollution, so take your pick.
Store your sneakers in a bag that is vented, hanging from the outside of your gym bag. That person walking by you will not appreciate it, but he will just have to take one for the team now won’t he?
Drop a couple dryer sheets in your gym bag. By a couple, I mean fifty.
Spray your sneakers with some kind of odor refreshing spray. I picked up Dr. Scholl’s Odor-X. The can is already half empty and I bought it three days ago.
Repeat all of the above for as long as you live or suffer the consequences.
So, my friends, there you have it. Some words of wisdom from the apparent not so wise. I had ten ways to get it right, and I didn’t even get one. I was never a good test taker.
Now go live long and prosper, exercise almost everyday, and stay odor-free. If you can’t stay odor-free, just don’t turn on the wall fan.
Eight hours. That’s how long it takes to fly nonstop to Rome from New York. But after you factor in packing, traveling to and from the airport, and going through customs, it feels more like eight days.
Is it worth it?
Even though the customs agents ask a million times if you have any goods you’re going to sell, it’s worth it. Even with people pushing and shoving, cutting you off, and trying to sell you useless crap, it is totally and completely worth it.
Then after a day and a half in Rome, the flight to Lisbon, Portugal is another three hours. A car ride to Porto, yet three more.
Worth it. For so many reasons. One being the beauty. Two, spending time with people you adore. Three, the experience.
Anyway, when you spend an extended amount of time with the same people, you can pick up some habits from them.
I am a definite habit-picker-upper. I cannot go to North Carolina to visit my parents for even a day without coming home sounding like an Appalachian pageant queen.
So, the habit I picked up from one of my travel mates (who shall remain nameless)?
Let’s just say it’s never a good idea to respond to a “hello” from a colleague by saying “hey hoe” in a staff meeting. “Hoe” as in not what you garden with. That will be 1% off my raise come appraisal time. If I keep that up, I’ll be owing the company money. Or begging for it in the street.
Europeans are unaware of the term, “personal space.” I am the type of person who, if you are not at least arm’s length away from me, I am offended. These people will not only enter your personal space, but they will take it. And with no apologies. As someone from New York, this is an offense of colossal proportions and people should be thrown in the clinker for stealing another’s space.
The street peddlers in Rome are a force to be reckoned with. If you don’t buy what they are throwing at you, you are a “cagna.” It’s nice to know I am a bitch in another country. I felt right at home.
I pretty much can’t eat anything fried, processed, acidic, or fatty because I suffer from GERD. During my visit I didn’t have one single bout of it. Do you want to know why? Because they eat the way people were intended to eat, and not like an African bush elephant. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything processed. Everything is fresh, and the portions are small.
Dinner isn’t until at least 9PM. We didn’t eat before 10PM. The streets are alive, people can actually walk around in public with wine, the joy was palpable. I wanted to stay forever just to be able to experience this every single day.
The breakfast that we are accustomed to does not exist. Unless you go to a touristy area. The sign outside a restaurant that says, “American Breakfast here” will make you feel at home like the African Bush eleph…er, I mean, American, that you are. Otherwise, you need to be accepting of croissants, fresh breads with jam, fresh fruit, and cappuccino. Forget about a normal cup of coffee. It doesn’t exist.
Since we’re on the subject of food, there is no need to tip at a restaurant (or anywhere for that matter) because they have an actual salary and don’t get paid in peanuts. Also, you can sit and enjoy your meal for hours. The servers will not bother you and will not bring the bill unless you specifically ask for it. And when you do ask for it because it’s been six hours and you have things to do, you know, like go to bed, they will respond by saying, “Are you sure? There is no rush.”
As someone who is always rushing, it was a little off-putting at first. But by the end of the week, I realized this was something I want to do for the rest of my life. I enter a state of calm when I even think about it.
Drugs are legal as long as you are carrying 5 grams or less. The smell of marijuana was everywhere. I believe I got a contact high from it. And guess what else? There is no Heroin epidemic over there. Let that sink in.
The Sistine Chapel is a glorious site to behold. As long as you have the patience to get to it, that is. You have to walk through a maze-like museum first. We felt like beef cattle on the way to a slaughter. It was terrifying. The ten thousand signs on the way let us know we were on the right track. And once we entered the Chapel, I didn’t realize it. “Why are all those people standing in the middle of that floor looking up?” Oh. Right. Michelangelo.
Even the McDonald’s was breathtaking. And instead of a plastic three inch princess, you get a beach towel. That actually absorbs water. Amazing. The plastic princess doesn’t do that.
I discovered I like port wine a little more than I thought. Not enough to partake in it on a regular basis, but enough to sit through a tasting. The “children” in our party — don’t worry, these children are both of legal drinking age — did not appreciate it. Youth is wasted on the young.
And the piece de resistance? The afternoon “siesta.” Or in Italy, a riposo. Businesses (apart from the touristy areas) shut down. Like, close and lock the doors, for up to two and a half hours, every single afternoon. This is called self-care. And we should take a page from their book.
In a nutshell, we all need to drink wine in the streets, take two hour naps daily, eat healthy foods, and slow down. I know I would be a better person for it. Wouldn’t you?
The first thing you open in the morning after your eyes is Facebook. Because let’s be honest with each other, unless you are elderly or below the age of ten, it’s an addiction we can’t seem to kick. It doesn’t matter how many promises you make to yourself.
“I’m going to put down my phone and start reading an actual book,” is something I’ve been saying to myself for, well, who’s counting? Let’s just say I’ve broken that promise and said, “I’ll start next Monday,” so many times I’m fairly certain enough Mondays have passed that I could make a decade out of them.
Or how about this: “I’ll just scroll through for five more minutes.” But 7AM comes and goes and you’re stuck there like if you put down the phone you will combust into thin air. You know you need to get in the shower or else you’ll be late for work. But you lie there in that position for another quarter of an hour without a care in the world, bleary-eyed as if you just got off the red eye to China.
I don’t really know what all the hullaballoo is about anyway. It’s not like Facebook is giving away a free trip to Fuji. Or even a free timeshare in my own town which I would gladly take because I’m cheap and love anything with the word FREE attached to it. It could be a pet rock, or an entire set of new teeth. If it’s free, I want it.
In my ten, thirty, oh heck, sixty minutes of scrolling I’ve discovered that half of my “friends” had a high school aged kid graduate yesterday. That another fifty people have posted something political that I don’t care to engage in. And another god knows how many have shared an article or meme that I mostly just go right on by unless I think it may actually illicit some real emotions out of me or change my life. You know, something compelling.
And then there’s the one who has yet ONCE again posted a pic of herself with the “friend du jour” at another gosh-damned restaurant or bar. Or whatever. For the eighteenth time that week.
Look, I like to see my friend’s stuff. But when it turns into your own show, then it’s annoying. I don’t care to know your every move. And anyway,
The Facebook content really needs to step up its game. But yet. There I am. Scrolling like I drank the damn Kool-Aid.
The cherry kind.
And then there’s that little two-headed icon that shows a red number when you have a friend request. You get all excited wondering who it could be.
Was it that kid I befriended during eighth grade Outdoor Ed in 1981? I believe she was the one who took the picture of that raccoon eating uneaten Cheese Puffs on my back while I was passed out asleep on my cot in our tent.
Or maybe it’s an old friend that I haven’t heard from in years. Or an ex-coworker. Or maybe even a long lost cousin.
But no. Most likely it’s a friend of a friend of a friend and I typically decline those requests. If we didn’t have some kind of connection somewhere in life, then I don’t really need you knowing about me or my family. Especially when you are an Amway representative and clearly just want to make a sale.
But sometimes I do accept the friend request from perhaps someone I went to high school with. Not because I remember them but because a little quick stalking tells me we both graduated from the same class.
Except it turns out this person tries to get you to join a singles group. If you took one look at my profile pic you would see I am clearly married. No, he’s not my brother, uncle, or that long lost cousin. I don’t usually hold hands with family members in that manner.
He’s my HUSBAND and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t appreciate your invitation. We aren’t swingers last time I checked.
And let’s talk about stalking since I brought it up. I do it. You do it. We all do it. We’re all curious about that gorgeous woman at work who wears the best clothes and oozes confidence from her earlobes. Her husband must be HOT. Stalk.
Or the Anna Black of our lives. She was a childhood friend from my Army brat days who actually performed a hazing on potential friends in order to become her friend. Stalk.
Unfortunately, that search produced way too many “Anna Blacks” so there is no way of telling if she turned out to be a cult leader or, well, an Amway rep.
And you KNOW you have stalked an ex-boyfiend or girlfriend. Let’s not deny that you aren’t just a little bit giddy that said ex is fat or bald or is just now entering the toddler phase when you are an empty nester.
So, yeah. Facebook is an addiction that I need to quit. Or at the very least do much less of. So, how about I start next Monday?
They should call me the wanderer. My brain roams like a cell phone outside of its home area. It roams around, around, around, around, around.
Case in point: A couple weeks ago I joined a few friends for a salt cave experience. If you haven’t heard of this trendy new spa-like therapy, let me explain.
It’s basically a cave — albeit a manmade cave, but a cave nonetheless — with Himalayan salt covering the floor and walls. When I Googled the benefits, I was told tiny particles of salt is released into the air. I’m not sure if they did that at the place we went to, but I will say my lips and mouth tasted like I drank a salted margarita. Which normally isn’t a bad thing, except there was no tequila.
The health benefits are aplenty from helping to ease inflammation to respiratory issues. As well as a slew of other ailments. Sounds good, right? Yes, it seems so.
When we arrived, we were told we had to be quiet. This is a difficult feat for me. I’m the person who checks off “I like quiet” while I’m getting a massage, but talks the massage therapist’s ear off anyway.
I’m the person who has been told by dear friends, more than once I might add, that I don’t “always have to talk.”
I’m the person who, if there is no-one else to talk to, will have a full-on blown-out conversation with herself. Or the dog. Whoever wants to listen.
Needless to say, this part worried me a bit.
When we were led with stockinged feet into the grotto, we were met with a quiet glow. The room was softly lit with carefully placed rock lamps all around, chaise lounge chairs with blankets draped over the backs were evenly spaced about, and fake stars twinkled across the ceiling.
The temperature was set at a cool 68-72 degrees. You would think that was cozy, but it’s not. It’s chilly, and I believe there is a reason for that. Hence, the blankets.
After we assumed our positions, a soft voice came over the loudspeaker. It basically told us to breathe deep, relax, and enjoy. And were warned that in approximately forty-five minutes we would be awoken and our session would end.
Forty-five minutes. How was I going to do this? That’s soooooo long. I repeatedly told myself to be still in my mind, to be present in the moment, and to try to stifle the giggle that was forming at the back of my throat. The kind of giggle that emits from a twelve-year-old every time he hears the word “fart” or “penis.”
But within seconds, I was peeking at my friends from the sides of half-opened eyelids, wondering where the speakers were that emitted the spa-like music, thinking about what I would want for lunch, and hoping the new boutique by me would be getting in their new spring line soon.
Then something happened. With the warm blanket draped over me, I fell asleep. And before long, that voice, the same voice that told us we were about to begin, came over the speakers telling us our session was over.
The voice that was so soothing to me just forty-five minutes before, was like a jackhammer to my eardrums and startled me from my slumber.
The twelve-year-old in me was suddenly four and I felt like I was being jolted awake during naptime at nursery school. I was not happy. I needed another two hours. I wasn’t ready. I was relaxed.
“But you’re hungry,” I reasoned with myself. And the stomach wants what the stomach wants. So, I put on my big girl pants and moved along. It was past my lunchtime, anyway. And margaritas were calling my name. With tequila.
Is it just me? Or does everyone do it? I am talking about the opposite of purging. Not purging. Of accumulating. And collecting.
I don’t collect, per se. Not on purpose anyway. I don’t think my old cans of tomato paste will be worth much. Unless I just didn’t get the memo.
I have suddenly realized in the last few weeks that I really need to clean up. Every drawer, every closet, every cabinet, every everything.
And no, I am not KonMari’ing my life. Yea, I would love to choose joy, Marie. But I’d rather wallow in my joyless self-pity of collecting crap.
Also, I can’t really talk to my things.
Oh, that’s not true. I have been known to curse at the hangers in my closet when they’ve gotten tangled beyond recognition, among other conversations with inanimate objects I’m too embarrassed to admit to.
We don’t have clutter out and about. We don’t keep stuff on our countertops, or on the tables, or shoved into corners. No, we make sure the clutter is hidden. Away from everyone. Including myself.
Except now it’s starting to bother me. Like when I open any given drawer or closet in my house, I am suddenly filled with this irrational rage. Maybe it’s a mid-life thing seeing that pretty much everything pisses me off lately.
Maybe I’m “nesting” for the next phase of my life. I certainly don’t want to leave all this for The Kid to have to deal with if we, say, kick the bucket or decide to move without a forwarding address.
I just spent hours — on a Saturday, my precious Saturday — cleaning out the “kitchen” pantry. It’s not even in the kitchen. It’s really a mini “mud room” off my family room leading out to the garage. There is a door so we don’t see the mess and the reminder of what bad things lurk beyond.
God bless that door.
There is also a cabinet IN my kitchen. It’s one of those tall ones with the pull out shelves. I love those pull out shelves. I almost didn’t get them. When we were designing our kitchen, the consultant lady said, “oh, you’ll want to get the pull out shelves. Believe me, you’ll appreciate them.” And she was right. I can’t imagine my life without them. They are almost at the same level of fondness I feel for my daughter.
Those drawers give me joy. Also, another inanimate object I talk to.
Let me just tell you, I’m pretty sure the last time I cleaned out either one of these things, was back when Ross was on his third wife (Rachel, in case you’ve forgotten or just didn’t know).
So, here’s a glimpse into some of the things I tossed:
Four jars of pizza sauce that expired in 2013
Three opened boxes of crackers from New Year’s Eve 2012
Too many to count cans of tomato paste that really were probably empty from evaporation
Rice so old there may have been bugs crawling in there but I wouldn’t know because I was afraid to look
Much, much more
And the most surprising find?
That umbrella I thought we left behind on our last vacation.
In our food pantry.
On to the next project. I have written in my new planner what I am going to attempt to clean out. According to my plans, I should be done by the end of April. I’ll let you know how it goes. But if you go by my procrastinational ways of the past, you’ll need to add seven years. You know, like you do for a dog.
My Netflix show would be called “Cleaning Like a Dog.” I’m not sure I would talk about items that bring you joy, but I can promise it would be quite entertaining.
And next time you are looking for an umbrella, check the place where you keep your food. You just never know.
How did we live without Amazon? This is a serious question.
How DID WE LIVE WITHOUT AMAZON?
Well, ok, so we actually DID live without Amazon. Just like we lived without cell phones, caller ID, WiFi, and Xbox.
We had no choice. And if we couldn’t find what we were looking for, we went without. Or we stayed home and didn’t go to the store because it was too much work or it was snowing, and we didn’t really need whatever we were looking for that badly anyway.
But with Amazon, whether we need something badly or not, we can get it with the touch of a button. And if you are a Prime member (which is totally cheap if you have a college student — another reason why college is so important), you can have all kinds of nifty things delivered to your door step for not only FREE, but in most cases THE NEXT DAY!
Just so you know, Amazon is not paying me to say this. They don’t even know I exist, except that I spend a really large portion of the money we make on stuff I can get on Amazon that I really don’t need.
Christmas this year came in an Amazon box. Actually, it came in several Amazon boxes. Gobs of Amazon boxes. If I weren’t in such a cleaning frenzying state of mind last Saturday, then I would show you a picture.
But alas, they are well on their way to the city dump, or incinerator.
Actually, I hope they are on their way to the recycling place because that’s where I want them to be, but who knows if we can trust THAT system.
CAN we trust that system? I guess that’s a discussion for another time.
Anyway, you’ll just have to take my word for it. I could have stacked the Amazon boxes beyond the roof of my house. Oh heck, I could have stacked them halfway to Venus!
I mean, come on, I have eight great nieces and nephews to buy for. I also have six direct (first generation?) nieces and nephews I still buy for who haven’t reached the age of “no longer buying gifts for unless it’s a really great occasion, like a marriage, or baby, or graduation” yet.
I also have parents, and a mother-in-law, and a husband, and a daughter. Not to mention the many children of my cousins (2nd cousin? Or would that be 2nd cousin once removed?) that I buy for because I want to.
Yes, it’s out of control. I realize this. But it’s not up for discussion. I’m not complaining. I’m just stating a fact.
I probably shouldn’t say this out loud because DH might see. But I just looked on our Amazon account and checked out 2018.
Collectively (when I say “collectively” I include DH and The Kid, which means that I am not the only culprit), we placed 69 orders.
In one year.
Before you judge me, please keep in mind that The Kid orders many of her college textbooks through Amazon. They are used, and although they are expensive, they are less expensive than buying them new.
She also rents them through Amazon. Not that that matters. I just wanted to put that out there for those of you who have college students and didn’t realize this little tidbit.
Some of the things, aside from textbooks, that were ordered from this household via Amazon this past year. In case you were wondering:
A Zoodle maker that I never used
A comforter set
Car crap, lots and lots of car crap
An under the desk portable heater because I get very cold at work but yet sweat at night like a monkey in heat
A Gregg shorthand book because I plan to reteach myself this skill just ’cause I can
Gift cards…lots and lots of gift cards, but much more fun than car crap
Books that are fun; aka NOT textbooks
Miso & chili flakes (I don’t know)
Baby Foot (the foot treatment not the real thing)
Flasks disguised as suntan lotion bottles (???)
And last week I was proudly the first person in my family to order an Amazon goodie in 2019. (The Kid DID rent some books for second semester, but does that really count?)
I decided my heels need to be smoothed out, and since I abhor pedicures (I never said I was normal), I had the inclination to, at 10pm, search Amazon for a resolution. And within about a minute and a half, I ordered myself an Amope Pedi Perfect foot file thing that I was the new owner of in less than 48 hours (it’s amazing by the way – the Pedi thing in addition to Amazon).
I may have a problem.
Do you think Amazon sells books on how to cure an addiction to Amazon? Let me go look. I’ll get back to you.