One of the reasons I moved to a rural Wisconsin was to get away from all the traffic and crowds in a big city.
Since I hate crowds and traffic, you’re probably wondering why I decided to go shopping on the busiest day of the year, the day after Thanksgiving. Did all the tryptophan from the Thanksgiving turkey affect my brain? Normally, I try to avoid shopping on Black Friday, like the Black Plaque, but my TV broke down, and there were some really good deals on LCD TV’s.
I talked my sister into going with me. It was a big mistake; I shouldn’t have dragged her into this nightmare. The pushing and shoving was terrible, and that was before we even left her house. After we had our coffee we felt better.
When we finally arrived at the store, the lines outside were huge.
"You jump out and get in line, and I’ll try to find a parking place," I said.
After driving all over the lot, I finally found a parking place and then rode a bus back to the store.
When I finally got into the store, it was like a piranha feeding frenzy. I finally managed to push my way to the TV’s and wrestle one into my cart before they were all snatched up. Then I had to guard it with my life; "Back off lady I got it first."
I had what I wanted; now the problem was getting to the cash register. The aisles were packed with carts and shoppers. I took a back route past the unpopular merchandise,
I finally found my sister at the back of the check out line.
"Can I borrow your binoculars so I can see what’s going on at the front of the line?"
As we inched our way forward, the heat, and lack of sleep, started to get to me.
"I don’t think I can make it. I feel weak. I have to sit down. Take the TV and save yourself. Give it to my granddaughter. Tell her to think of me when she’s watching the Disney Channel," I said.
"You can’t give up now. We’re only an hour away from the cash register. No one gets left behind on my watch! You, the guy with the Xbox, help my sister up. If we all work together, we can make it out alive along with all of our merchandise!"
"Who are you, the Unsinkable Molly Brown of shopping?"
You know you’ve reached adulthood when your relatives trust you to bring a side dish to the family Thanksgiving dinner. After all, they aren’t going to trust someone who’s immature and irresponsible with such an important duty.
“Trevor did you bring the dinner rolls?”
“Yeah well Zach came over and we started playing Galactic Pumpkin Chucking and then Zach said, ‘Dude, aren’t you supposed to go somewhere for Thanksgiving?’ So I rushed over here and stopped at a gas station on the way to get a Mountain Dew and I bought a bag of beef jerky. So where do you want the jerky? (Silence and killer stare) Okay, I’ll just put it next to the mashed potatoes.”
My first assignment was to bring the relishes. At the time I was a working single girl who spent most of my time eating out and when I did cook it was usually mac and cheese from a box, so I didn’t mind bringing relishes. That was over 30 years ago. I never realized that first side dish assignment was written in stone. I’ve since learned that it’s easier to quit the Mafia than it is to bring a new side dish to Thanksgiving dinner.
Every year at this time, magazines come out with their Thanksgiving issue featuring pictures and recipes of delicious entrees and I think, “That sounds good. I should make that for Thanksgiving.” Then reality hits me; I’m stuck with the relishes. It’s not very creative to go out and buy a jar of pickles and olives. One year I tried to mix things up and I brought garlic stuffed olives. It didn’t go over well with my elderly relatives who thought it was too spicy. Why don’t old people like spicy food? My 84 year-old father hates spicy and chewy food. I think he lives on gruel and soup but that’s another story.
I’ve become resigned to the fact that I’ll be bringing relishes for the rest of my life.
“Great, great, great Grandma Deb is here with the relishes.”
“Can someone please open this dang blasted jar of pickles for me? Why I remember when a jar of pickles cost $2. You know I never lived by a store. I had to drive 10 miles through a snow storm in my mini van just to get to a grocery store!”
Believe me, I’ve tried to change my assignment over the years:
“Can I bring corn this year?”
“Aunt Sue always brings the corn. She makes her special corn pudding recipe that’s been passed down for generations.”
“Then can I bring the mashed potatoes?”
“I’m making mashed potatoes. You know my sons love my mashed potatoes they look forward to it every year. I don’t want to disappoint them.”
“Can I bring the green bean casserole?”
“Uncle Bill always brings the green bean casserole. That’s the only thing he know how to make.”
After extensive cross-examinations and a lot of begging I was finally allowed to bring Jell-O along with the relishes. At first I brought a lemon/lime Jell-O concoction but then I switched to Orange Fluff, or as my wealthy friend calls it, Mandarin Mousse.
Well the Orange Fluff was a big hit so I’ve been bringing that for the last five years. This year I thought I’d change it up and make a different kind of Jell-O but I made the mistake of mentioning it to my granddaughter.
“You HAVE to bring Orange Fluff I love it besides it’s a family tradition!”
"Every time I try to get out they keep bringing me back!"
(I'd love to hear what you're bringing to Thanksgiving!)
Today is a big day for Numerologists who believe 11/11/11 represents three open doors. Three choices. It reminds me of that Robert Frost poem:
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
took the one that led to the Raw Sewage Treatment Plant."
I always thought Numerology was one of those New Age things like Horoscopes, Palm Reading, or The Food Pyramid. It turns out Numerology was invented by the Greek Mathematician Pythagoras. I don’t understand what a flying white horse has to do with math. Whoops, I got Pegasus and Pythagoras mixed up, but here’s an interesting fact, Pegasus, the flying horse, was really good at long division.
Since I don’t know anything about Numerology I decided to look into it by reading Numerology For Dummies. My first step was to find out my Sun Number which gives you a pattern of who you are. For instance, if you were born on November 23 you’d add 11 + 23 = 34. Then break 34 into 3+4=7. Seven is your Sun Number. My Sun Number is eight so I looked up what that means. What I read was amazingly accurate.
"Number 8 is not an easy one when it comes to romance. This is mostly due to the fact that they don’t show what they are feeling and they are too level headed which can take the wind out of passionate romantic relationships."
Wow that really hits home. All my life men have been telling me that I’m not romantic. My first husband told me that because I didn’t want to have spontaneous sex on a beach. I didn’t want to get covered in sand plus the tide was coming in and I was afraid of getting stung in the butt by a jellyfish.
My second husband told me I was unromantic because I wore polar fleece onsies at night and slept in a twin-sized bunk bed.
Through the years I’ve discovered that men and women have different ideas about what’s romantic. Women want men to pay them compliments once in awhile, surprise them by doing something helpful or special, and show that you appreciate them. Men’s idea of romance is as follows: If I give her a hug maybe that will lead to sex. If I buy her flowers maybe that will lead to sex. If I install a new garbage disposal maybe that will lead to sex. Men if your wife/girlfriend/partner is having a bad day – just give her a hug and don’t try to cop a feel. Just say "Honey I’m sorry you had terrible day" and then zip it! Don’t go into a big lecture about how she can "fix" it.
Sorry for that rant! Getting back to Numerology. The profile on number 8’s also said they have trouble accepting authority. That is so true! All my life I’ve had trouble with authority figures – my parents, my teachers, my employers, even the school crossing guards, which led to me almost being run over by a school bus. If someone tells me I can’t do something it makes me want to do it that much more. If my boss said that no one is allowed to wear plaid pants to work, even though I hate plaid pants and have no desire to wear them, I would run out and buy the most garish plaid pants I could find and wear them to work. If I got fired I would hire an attorney and sue for violation of my 30th Amendment rights – the right to freedom of wardrobe expression. As you can imagine this rebellious trait has gotten me into all kinds of trouble. Now what I really need is someone to tell me, "You can NEVER go on a diet or exercise!"
Earth is now the home to seven billion people and I still can’t find a date! The problem is that I live in rural Wisconsin and all the men are too young, too old, married, gay, married and gay, or they haven’t been to a barbershop in 10 years. By the way, I’ve never yet met a woman who’s said, "I want to meet a man that looks just like Cousin It from the Adams Family."
Since I haven’t gone on a date or met an eligible man since the Bush Administration (I’m talking about Bush Senior), I decided to try online dating. So far I’ve only had two men show an interest in me.
The first was a con artist who sent me the following message:
"I AM A PRINCE FROM NIGERIA. REBELS HAVE STOLEN MY DEBIT CARD. PLEASE SEND ME $2,000 SO I CAN COME TO AMERICA AND TAKE YOU OUT TO EAT!"
The second was someone named RockStarBob. I went to his profile page to check him out and discovered his photo showed him with his arm around a woman. He claims the woman is his sister. That’s kind of creepy especially since he’s from Arkansas. Plus his whole profile is creepy. Instead of writing about himself, he just put down words like: SEXY, NAASCAR, GUNS, MOTORCYCLES, VIAGRA, BISCUITS AND GRAVY.
I read somewhere that men want women that are 30 years younger than they are. That means men my age are looking for 20 year-old women. In order to find a man, I’m going to have to look for guys in their 80’s. That could be a problem since most 80 year-olds don’t know anything about computer technology.
My father is in his 80’s and he doesn’t understand Facebook or Twitter. He doesn’t email. I told him I have a blog and he said, "Don’t run yourself down. Just because you’ve gained weight don’t call yourself a blob!" I tried to explain, but it was hopeless. It was like trying to explain some abstract concept like Quantum Physics or what Paris Hilton does for a living.
If I want to meet single men in their 80’s, I’ll have to volunteer at a nursing home. I can just imagine our first conversation:
"I hear you’re single, Melvin. Would you like to go to dinner and see a movie?"
"What? Speak up!"
"I said dinner and see a movie."
"What? You’re a sinner and you want me to see your boobies! Okay."
NO!!! I SAID DINNER AND A MOVIE!!"
"Okay. I’ll just go put in my dentures then we better skeedaddle. I want to get to the all-you-can-eat buffet before 4:00. After dinner, we can go see that new Buster Keaton movie."
The situation is hopeless. I better face the fact that I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life. I’ll turn into one of those crabby old ladies with too many cats. If anyone comes near my yard, I’ll fly out the front door yelling and waving a broom.
"Hey, get off my lawn or I’ll come out there and kick your skinny butt!"
"I’m terribly sorry. I was strolling along enjoying the heavenly beauty that God created and I didn’t notice that I stepped on your grass."
"Oh, I’m sorry Father O’Reilly. I’ll just go inside now and say ten Hail Mary’s even though I’m not Catholic!"