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Working together separately…

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Recently I got a job working from home. I was very excited to think that I could sleep in a little longer, make myself some coffee, and be my at my desk in about 5 minutes. And the best part… NO BRA! My husband is also working from home and has been for most of the pandemic. He has taken up working in our dinning room which is fine since we never use it. I think I have friends that have never even been in that room after the 20 years we have lived in our house. I had visions of the two of us in matching pj’s and drinking from his and her coffee mugs sitting next to each other solving all our companies problems and multi-tasking using our cell phones and computers with a trendy office that is sparkling clean and organized.

Well, that was my thought anyway. The first day I was working from home I got up early, grabbed my laptop and started to create some space in the dinning room. I had noticed that my husband doesn’t have any lights on in the dinning room when he works, but I needed to see so I could write some things down. It was my first day of work after all! I decided that I would simply open the blinds on the window and the sliding glass door as a compromise, that way I could see and he would still be in the dark. Humm, a man in the dark about things?… Insert joke here. Shortly after opening the blinds and sitting down at my computer my husband came down stairs and into the dinning room. He paused briefly, looked at me and stated “oh, the blinds are open.” I asked him if he needed to blinds closed for a reason. He said with the lights on and blinds open there is too much glare on his computer. Ok, I said, I just need to write some stuff down and make sure my computer is doing what it needs to be able to do, then I promised I would close the blinds. By the way, he hates the blinds open in the house, not just when he is working, but all the time, and this drives me crazy. He looked at me, let out a large sigh and simply said OK.

So we didn’t get off to a great start. It’s ok, we have been married 33 years I’m sure it is just a minor set back. Next he got a phone call. Now here is where I should tell you that my husband is an engineer. Mostly he is doing stuff on the computer and has conference calls all day. I don’t know what he really does, but when he does it he is very serious and talks slowly, I’m assuming so others can understand. I am in sales, I’m loud and make jokes and often get sidetracked into conversations that are not work related. So he got a phone call, and then I also got a phone call. While I probably should have gotten up and walked out of the room to take my call I just didn’t think about it until I got “the look” from him. You know the one, the one mom’s give kids when they are in public and the kids start to get noisy? We all know that look, Ok, days not getting much better.

When my husband got off the phone he looked at me and stated that he needed to go to work and that he needed to go immediately. I teased him that he got pissed at me pretty fast for a Monday, and he just smiled and said no. Then he left. To tell you the truth I didn’t care at all. I turned the lights on, I pushed some of his papers out of the way, and really go into my job for the first time all day. It was great, I got my computer up and connected to the VPN so I could get into the company computer system, set up my email and my voice mail. I even had my first Zoom call so I could meet the rest of the team. Over all it was not only nice to be at home, but I enjoyed it all. A few hours later I got a text from my husband, wondering if I wanted to meet him at the bar for a drink. I asked him if he was mad at me and he said no, he was mad that he had to go to work on such short notice.

We met at the bar, and our friends thought it was really funny that even though we worked together now we still took different cars to the bar. “So you guys work together, but cant be in the same car together?” the bartender said kidding. My husband stated. “We don’t work together, we work next to each other.” We all laughed, but it was clear that our first day working next to each other wasn’t exactly what either of us thought it would be. Day two was not much better, our internet was acting up so neither of us got much done. The dog wanted to go in and out of the house all day long disrupting us and we argued over what temperature the house should be.

Now we are in our second week of “working next to each other”. We really dont talk to each other much when we are working. He is busy doing his thing and I mine. Since they are very different occupations we don’t really need to talk to each other. Sometimes one of us will get up and ask the other if we need anything, but other than that we have fallen into a routine that seems to be working… finally. Working from home is not as easy as people make it seem, and working together, but separately, as not been easy either . I have called him several bad names under my breath and he has done the same I am sure. Still, we both have lightened up when it comes to working with each other and that is probably good. He is going to move his office up stairs, eventually, into one of the spare bedrooms, I’m letting him pick which one. I may move into the other one or stay downstairs, I haven’t decided yet, but I will have the fucking blinds open!

Must, have, coffee!

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So for those of you that dont know… which is most of you, I wear hearing aids. I’m not deaf, one ear has only about 10 % loss in it, but my other ear is has much more hearing loss that would require surgery to correct and even then there is no guarantee that it would work. I decided I would try hearing aids before anything else. I also wear glasses for reading. Let me tell you, hearing aids, glasses and face masks dont mix well behind your ears.

I often stop and get coffee in the morning on my way to work, just like a lot of you. Living out in the “burbs” there aren’t a lot of options for coffee. I usually go to my local grocery store that has a Starbucks in it. Last week, as I’ve done 100 times, I stopped on my way to work, parked my car in the grocery store parking lot, put on a mask and went in to buy my $5.00 coffee. It was icky out. Icky, a weather term meaning cold, dark, half snowing, half raining… icky. Inside I probably put on my glasses to see the key pad when I used my debit card, and then took them off again once I finished paying, then picked up the coffee and headed back to my car.

Once in my car I put the coffee in the cup holder, took off my mask and headed to work. Then, at work, it’s just the same but in reverse order. Put on my mask, grabbed my coffee and got out of my car and went into work. After a covid check-in I head to my office and get to work knocking out the dozen or so emails that I got overnight. With most people working from home it was near 10:00 o’clock when I needed to get up and leave the office. That is when I noticed that I only had one hearing aid in. The aid in my right ear, the one with most hearing loss, was gone. The aid doesn’t really help in that ear anyways and I just didn’t notice it was gone. Frantically I searched my office, the jacket I was wearing and even my purse. Being so “ick” out I decided NOT to go look in my car thinking that I would find it when I leave the office to head home.

At the end of the day I jumped in my car. I looked around the front seats and even in the cup holder, bummer, no hearing aid. Thinking I needed to search between the seat and the console I headed home thinking I would look once I got there. Again I looked around in the car, reaching under the seats, noting I probably should give the inside of my car a good cleaning, but didn’t find it this time either. Going into the house I told my husband that when I took off my mask in the car my hearing aid must have got caught, flew off, and is someplace in my messy car. He laughed and said good luck finding it.

Over the next few days I only half looked for it. Every time I got in the car I would look around, tuck my hand into crevasses of the seats, console and floormats, each time thinking how I needed to REALLY give the car a good cleaning. Four days later the weather is still “icky”, but I needed a coffee, so the routine begins. Park in the lot, put on the mask, buy the coffee, go back to my car. This time, the ground was wet and a little slushy. I’m holding my car keys, the $5.00 coffee and I’ve added a slice of lemon Iced cake… which by the way is amazing, and I’m in a hurry to not be late for work. Of course, I drop my keys on the ground, better than dropping the coffee or the lemon ice for sure! I put my coffee and cake on top my car, bend over to pick up my keys, and there it is! My hearing aid! Evidently I parked in the exact same spot that I had parked in 4 days earlier, and lying on the ground, dirty and scuffed up was my hearing aid. It was missing the little rubber end that prevents the aid from going to far into your ear canal and was wet and dirty looking but it was there and it had not been squished from other cars driving over it. Feeling amazed and lucking I grabbed it along with my food and headed to work.

In my office I pulled out the hearing aid, brushed off the grime, sleet, and whatever else ended up on it. Thinking that there would be no way it would still work I removed the old battery and put in a new one, and put it in my ear. I worked! How lucky is that! Four days, in “icky” weather, in a parking lot of a busy grocery store and it still works! I felt extremely lucky, but I also felt stupid. How could I have lost a hearing aid in the first place? Who does that? Feeling lucky I bought a lotto ticket, but didn’t win, that’s ok. I have learned not to put my hearing aids in until I’m someplace where I wont be putting on and taking off my mask multiple times and to take better care of these hearing aids until I have ear surgery. As for my car? It is still really messy inside, but I no longer feel the need to clean it. Today it is still “icky” out anyway.

Small business Saturday?

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Short of almost a dozen pairs of shoes I have purchased during the pandemic, shhh dont tell the husband, I have mostly stayed away from going shopping. Truth be told “going shopping” usually means meetings my friends at a bar anyway. Don’t judge, you shop your way, I’ll do mine. But now it is Christmas time and I HAVE to do some shopping for presents! BTW I hate xmas… for personal reasons, but I dont bitch because I dont want to ruin other peoples holiday.

I have not been to a mall yet but Amazon, Etsy, and other websites have been my friend, ordering most everything online. My UPS driver and I have developed a deep and meaningful relationship of give and take. He gives and gives and gives and I take and take and take those packages, checking them off my Christmas list as they come in. I’m sure I get more satisfaction than he does, but isn’t that the way it should be? And getting more than one package on the same day?? Well let’s just say I need a cigarette after that, and I dont smoke! 😉 In the end he just leaves, without a word, without snuggling, without that awkward goodbye, and messy clean up! Perfect!

Yesterday, however, I grabbed one of my favorite people in the world and we set off to do some small business Saturday Christmas shopping. In Michigan this time of year you never really know what type of weather is going to happen, but undeterred she wore her Stormy Kromer, I had my many layers on and we set off to spend some money and time together. This was a serious shopping trip and so no alcohol or wine was consumed during the filming of this episode. Clearly this was a one time only event.

We choose to go to an area that I used to frequent when I lived closer to the area, but hadn’t been to for at least 10 years, fuck I’m old. Back in my interior design days we would go store to store to store looking at and touching everything. Royal Oak was a young hip upcoming place full of old buildings filled with antique shops, home décor stores and clothing places full of unique, all be it pricy items, where it was as much about seeing as it was being seen. Young people holding coffee cups talking on the corners, an occasional person playing guitar with the guitar case tipped open for tips and young couples walking their dogs. We parked in the same parking lot that I used to so many years ago. This time we had to pay for parking and had to drop at least $3.00 worth of quarters for seemingly not enough time to get through the whole shopping district. The wind blew hard and cold but it was sunny so we zipped up and started walking.

The first store we entered was a t-shirt shop. It was small and had two rows of maybe 10 different t-shirts on display with cardboard boxes with the tops cut off full of the t-shirts messily piled underneath each design. It also had a slightly bigger box of clearance items that looked like someone had spent time searching feverishly through it but not finding what they were looking for abandoned the box for other things. While we were in the store a group of three people came in. They were all wearing masks, as we were, but sudden the area felt even smaller and my friend and I quickly left without even thinking about what we could buy there. As we walked down the street we saw a line, not very long, but a line none the less of people waiting to get into a store. We got inline, at least masks keep your face warm, and waited for our turn to go in. It didn’t take long and we were in. Part of me wanted to buy something for all the effort we were putting in. Part of me didn’t want to, thinking that I could be home on my sofa with my laptop instead.

In the end we bought a couple small things for presents, but the town had changed drastically. Now there were at a least 5 to 7 ramen noodle places, and even more sushi places. The middle eastern place that I loved so much was now a tattoo shop and my favorite furniture store was now a location where you could rent office space. Beside the fact there were more restaurants than anything there, I noticed other changes as well, Old buildings have been remodeled or replaced all together. Parking was expensive and in a parking garage instead of on the street and for free. The youngsters were gone and replaced with couples dressed way better than I was busily buying a candle or a mug for a gift before they went on to their final destination of, I imagine, a friends house for dinner.

Royal Oak had changed, and not for the better. Gone is the shopping, replaced with bars and restaurants that are trying desperately to be hip and trendy, but instead are overcrowded and expensive. Parking is scarce… and also expensive. What stores that are there are filled with the same “it” products over and over again, candles, mugs, scarfs, more candles. As I said, I bought a couple of things, but overall was disappointed with what the city had to offer. I dont know if it was me longing for the days where we could spend an entire day shopping and never see the same item twice, indulge in a specialty coffee or yummy sandwich and come home at the end of the day exhausted and broke but blissfully content with the new items I had purchased, or that my lack of shopping over the last couple of years, and current pandemic, had changed my once joyful and therapeutic hobby that I loved and treasured so completely into a exhausting and sweaty chore that was now more an inconvenience than anything. I guess it doesn’t matter which. I enjoyed my time seeing my friend, we caught up with what was going on in our lives, and had many, many laughs. Maybe that is what “shopping” is suppose to be now anyway. I cant wait to do it again, see my dear friends, that is. For now I’m going to open my laptop and shop.

Eat, drink and be scarry

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As I stated in my earlier post I love fall. With that of course is Halloween. If your my age, insert old age joke here, you remember the store bought costumes that our parents bought big enough to fit over our winter coats, with leg sleeve that were always to short and the top that tied from the back so you always needed help getting in and out of it. And what about those masks! One thin piece of elastic stapled to the mask on each side. If the mask was to small the staples would scratch the side of your face, if it was too big the elastic wouldn’t keep the mask on right and you would get scratched by the sharp holes of the cut out eyes. And lets not forget how devastated we would be if the elastic broke all together!

When my kids were really little I could buy those cute little penguin or lion costumes and put them on my kids. Hubby would stay home to hand out candy and I would take the boys out for bit taking pictures along the way as they dragged their candy bags walking from house to house. They were always ready to go home before I was. Lets be real, as an adult isn’t part of trick or treating looking in peoples houses when they come to to door to see what other houses looked like inside? That wasn’t only me right?

Once my kids got a little older and we moved into a new subdivision Halloween changed. The kids wanted to go trick or treating themselves, and the put their costumes together from stuff we had around the house, my boots, dads jacket, whatever. They teamed with their friends from our neighborhood and plotted their course of action for the night, which sometimes didn’t even involve actual trick or treating. It changed for us parents too. We still went out in groups, to “supervise” of course. But instead brought a wagon, with our coolers in it and maybe some extra gloves or hats, we are suppose to be the parental units after all. One year we caught up with one of my sons friends and his dad out and about. He teamed up with us and my three girl friends. We got to his house and the kids ran up and rang to door bell for mom to hand out treats. Talk about a Halloween fright! She did not take to kindly to the 4 moms dropping off her now very drunk husband. Needless to say we did not see him at Halloween the following year… I dont think he has been seen since, humm. One couple in the neighborhood has the Halloween tradition of handing out jello shots, adults only! That is a very popular house Halloween night and great NEW way we celebrate the holiday.

These days my kids are grown, and do the haunted house, or party at a friends house Halloween. Normally hubby sits on the couch and watches some sporting event when I busy myself in the kitchen until I hear the door bell ring. Kids dont yell “trick or treat” like they use to. They often wait until the door is opened, and just say it, rather politely. Last year the local police department made a (nice) visit to the neighborhood, talked to a few families, and handed out some candy to the kids. Last year it rained a little, but the kids still came out, young ones with their parents in cute little princess and and star wars costumes, and older ones dressed in old cloths that really aren’t a costume and more just different from what they usually wear.

This year I already have my bowl of candy ready. Some houses in the neighborhood are very decorated and some aren’t at all except for a pumpkin or two. Ours is the latter, I’m to old for this decorating bull shit. But I’m still excited to see all the little kids in their cute and scary outfits and the parents who think they are the first parents to ever drink beer from the road as their kids run up to strangers doors to beg for candy (amateurs’). It will be cold out tonight, low 50’s, but not rain. A slight wind will make the leaves swirl and decorations sway. Hopefully we will have a clear sky that will be bright with the full moon that we have tonight. Could be the makings of a perfect fall Halloween night, Even if I never leave my house.

Happy (and safe) Halloween!

Write, right….

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So the new job is great. Its a challenge, but I like it. I like the people, I like the duties, I like the hours, and the money. Unfortunately, it has left me with little time to write, which is frustrating, and when I make time, the words just aren’t there.

Often, as the day is moving forward I come up with an idea and think that it would be great for this blog. Sometimes I forget the idea before I even get home from work, or sometimes when I get home the idea seems… well stupid. Sometimes I start writing and I just cant get into it. I’ve never had a hard time writing, and I certainly haven’t had a talking (I’ve been doing that since I was just a baby), the two things to me usually go hand in hand and I diffidently write like I talk and or talk like I write. While that may not be the ideal for some, its fine for me.

So what do you do when words elude you and you cannot write? I posed this question to my husband who said I should just “get over it” and write something. He is an engineer by the way and talks to people with a series or grunts or strange mathematical equations. A friend of mine thought I should light some candles, pour a class of wine, sit in my office and the words would magically come to me. Clearly I am not a classy as she thinks I am, with Fireball being my drink of choice and being braless the number one priority. Come on, nobody REALLY likes wearing a bra and you know it.

When I googled “how to beat writers block” I did get some suggestions. The first of which was “take a hike” … Really like I would walk anyplace much less do a hike…. whatever that is. Another suggestion was “Deny, deny, deny”. What the fuck is that? I deny deny deny whenever my husbands asks about the money I spent, that doesn’t help me write anything! One article suggested I wash dishes. Well that is a no, the end. One article, believe it or not, suggested I take a smoke break. Really? I dont even smoke, but the article said to take a cigarette, dont light it and then stand outside like your taking a smoke break. That just seems stupid, like pushing your car off a cliff because you dont want to get an oil change yet.

I think, or hope, that this phase I am in will pass. I enjoy writing, be it for this blog, in my journal or on a bathroom wall, so I will keep trying. Maybe when I feel comfortable at work and it doesn’t feel new anymore. Maybe because, at least hear in Michigan, fall is cold and wet with winter coming, the perfect time to stay home and write. Maybe this pandemic era will be over and we will return to someone normal with experiences I can write about. The last article I read said I should go to a book store and get expires. Are there even bookstores around anymore? I think I will take a nap. That seems like as good a way as any to get over writers block. Beats washing dishes.

Dream a little (weird) dream.

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I had the strangest dream last night…. but it was long and detailed. I woke up and my first thought was that I had dreamed the next big comedy and that I needed to get it down on paper before I forgot about it. As I am typing this, I still feel the need to write it down…

The dream started with me babysitting a child, maybe 6 or 7 years old. We were outside talking to other people but decided it was time to go inside and do home school work. We walked down a long stretch of grass half aware of the surroundings half not. The young boy got on his hands and knees and pretended to be a baby crawling and cooing. I urged him on going with his behaviors like it was a game. I dont remember how we got inside, but suddenly we were inside a house, I think, in the hall with non-descript rooms all around. The boy had a yellow tape measurer and he waved it around as a puppy chased it. He wanted a book and we walked to a large wooden cabinet that was old and full of clutter and dust.

Suddenly there were others around, young people who wanted me to open the cabinet for them to get beer and wine (now we are talking!). We couldn’t get the cabinet open and set on a quest to find the keys for the antique. I feel like at least one of the young people was a man, but I’m not sure who any of them are and could not see their faces or even much more that an outline of their bodies. The antique cabinet on the other hand was very detailed, large, wooden and had many (probably way too many) brass knobs on it. Across the top was a carved decoration that matched the legs at the bottom. But there was also a bright neon green smiley face painted on it…. Yea, I dont know what goes on in my mind either.

This is where it gets weird… weirder. Now, we are in a car. I think I was driving, but we were trying to get someplace and kept getting lost. It seemed like we kept driving down the same road over and over again until finally we stopped at a little building at a corner and went inside. Then suddenly I was sitting with some people by a pool, not the same people I was in the car with I dont think. I decided I wanted to put a swimsuit on and go for a swim. While I was in the changing room a man came in, diving and sliding across the floor shooting at me(yes with a gun), then he disappeared. I left the changing room and myself and the people by the pool decided to try and find the man.

The little building is now large and has lots of people in it and waiting in line for something. We walk through the building, but the floor is slippery and we put ice skates on. We get to the door and realize that one of us needs to say a specific sentence to open the door but every time we try to say it some of the people in line interrupt us by singing “Shoop” by Salt N Pepper. ” Here I go , Here I go, Here I go again, girls what’s my weakness?” Then someone made the comment that they could go for an iced coffee and that the coffee shop next door was open. When we walked next door their was a bright neon green smiley face painted on the door…… WTF.

No flip-flops ever!!!

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Ok, I’ll admit it…. I know its not a popular opinion (but I also dont care), I hate Flip-flops. Most women love them, kids love them, even some men love them, not me and here is why:

  1. Feet are ugly – And I really hate men in flip-flops. No man has cute feet and even fewer men take care of their feet. Women, even with their Pedi’s, still often dont have feet they should be showing off.
  2. Flip Flops are ugly and cheap – Cheap rubber, cheap plastic that do nothing to enhance your outfit or your ugly feet. Adding sequins doesn’t make them look expensive either. Grown ass people should buy grown ass shoes! You pay $4 for a coffee, but $2.99 for a pair of shoes? WTF is wrong with you….
  3. Michigan – One day can be 45 degrees, the next 75 degrees. Throwing on a pair of jeans, and a hoodie but continuing to wear flip flops just plain looks ridiculous. Frankly you look like a 2 year old that dressed herself.
  4. Cheap – Yes, I already mentioned cheap once, but they are doubly cheap! They are meant to be casual beach attire, not black tie attire. True, they wont hurt your feet like dress shoes often do, but you get your hair done, spend an hour on your make up, put on your expensive dress and jewelry all with the purpose of looking your best, then put on a pair of $2.99 disposable shoes? By the way, when you get your picture taken at this important event we all think, cute outfit, ruined by cheap shoes. That thought is made even worse because everyone else is wearing nice shoes, which makes you look like a child.
  5. Disposable – These things are most often made of rubber and/or plastic and a good chunk of them come from China. When your done with them they get thrown out where they sit in landfills or end up in the ocean for many, many years.
  6. Gross – Many times I’ve been in a restaurant and look over to see someone who has slipped their flops off, sitting on their barefoot leg with their hand on their foot…. how gross is this? Of course it is usually followed by the person using the same hand at some point during the rest of the meal passing someone the breadsticks or grabbing one for themselves.
  7. Unsafe – I have heard many “experts” say how unsafe they are and how bad they are for your physical self. I can’t comment on that because I dont wear them. I have seen people trip wearing them, or get one caught in an escalator. I saw a woman walk so fast (evidently) that one of the flip flops came half off her foot and she had to stumble around to get it back on… made me laugh by the way.
  8. Lazy – This one really needs no explanation. People wear flip flops because they are too lazy to tie, buckle or zip up real shoes. Flip flop wearers, you know this is true, its part of their appeal good or bad.

Disclaimer: I have one pair of flip flops. I wear them at the beach or out in the yard when I am picking up dog poop… just saying.

Gooooo Sports!

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I dated a hockey player in college, before I even met my husband. Damn, something about hockey players…….

Where was I, oh yeah, sports. As the years have gone on, my love of sports had dissipated for many reasons, the big one is that I am old and my jump shoot looks more like I tripped over a sidewalk crack.

Perhaps it is woven in men’s DNA, or maybe it is just a convenient excuse for a man to sit on his ass all weekend with a remote in one hand and a cold beer in another, but sports plays a huge part of my husbands life, especially football. Football is one of the few times he would get up early on a Saturday morning. He wears his favorite teams T-shirt, plants himself on the sofa, turns on the game and promptly falls asleep. This is how men watch football, evidently absorbing everything that goes on while they are sleeping in front of a TV is their super power. For me, my husband watching football, gave me the opportunity to go shopping or have drinks with my friends, maybe both. Don’t judge me.

The Covid quarantine has changed many things, one of which is sports. As time has moved on sports has slowly returned, but my no means are we back to normal. Basketball is back along with “the bubble”. For some reason I’m dont even know who is in the playoffs this year. Heat? Probably, Lakers? For sure. Anyone after that? No clue. Same with Hockey, although I dont even have a guess who is playing for the Stanley cup. It’s not the Redwings, that is for damn sure.

Finally, last night Football happened. I reminded my husband it was on, and he replied with a reserved, “oh yeah”, and for a moment I thought he no longer cared. As we watched TV an advertisement for the pre-show came on. “You dont want to watch that do you?” I asked him. He gave me a nope, and we moved on. As game time drew closer his demeanor changed. He put down his cell phone, stopping candy crush or whatever game he was playing. He moved from a chair to the recliner for seemingly no reason at all. Finally, a true sign football would soon be on TV, he cracked open a beer. I decided to mess with him for a moment, not changing the Chanel to the football game, but 3.5 seconds into the hour I was met with “Your going to put the game on aren’t you?”.

I watched the game, and I did enjoy it. Truth be told I dont mind watching a game or two of football. It is the eight games in a row and all the Chanel surfing that drives me crazy, again must be in a mans DNA. What it meant to me was normalcy and routine. Covid has changed or taken away many things from us. We all have been spending more time at home than ever before. Watching one football game gave me the sense that we were moving forward and that or lives were getting just a little bit closer to normal, even if it is slowly. Soon, my husband was snoring and watching the game at the same time. That was normal too, and I was OK with it.

The eye…brows have it.

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Ancient Egyptian women and men were the first to wear makeup, and they did it to appear more attractive. Heavy lined eyes were done as a homage to the god Horus. Because the desire was to have prominent eyes, the eyebrows were also darkened and elongated to help the eyes be a focal point on a face.

Today the beauty industry earns around 50 billion dollars a year. That is a lot of lip gloss! According to the Science of People website, women wear makeup for only two reasons(basically), to appear less noticeable or to appear more noticeable and most all of us wear it. The current trend (hopefully just a short fad) has women of all ages creating a strong eyebrow again just like ancient times, but in today’s age of excess the affect is just not the same. Add a covid mask and the desire to be more attractive becomes the stuff nightmares are made of, or at least pictures on Facebook under the real customers of Wal-mart click-bate entries.

Recently I went thru a fast food restaurant drive thru (dont judge me, actually go ahead I dont care) and a pleasant sounding young girls voice came over the speaker. I ordered my food and drove around to the first window to pay. I had planned to complement her on how nice she sounded, even over the speaker. We looked at each other at the same time, the only thing I saw at that moment however were her eyebrows. They were diffidently drawn on, and vary darkly drawn on. One end of the eyebrow came to a point as if it went through a pencil sharpener, and it extended past her eye as if the were pointing to her ears. The eyebrow arch was strong, as if she was surprised that person she had just talked to via the speaker has suddenly appeared by magic in front of her in person.

For a moment, the hangry me thought about saying something to her. She was young, with beautiful hair, probably already very pretty but it was hard to tell between the painted on eyebrows and a covid mask. Does she know how strange she looked? Did she think that her eyebrows looked natural? Or maybe they weren’t suppose to? I am probably old, do I even know what looks good anymore? Did the other people inline think the same thing? Or were they running through a drive thru because they were in a hurry and did not have time to think about some girls eyebrows.

I dont believe a woman should feel the need to make herself prettier, but I also understand that most of us, including me, do. We are judged not only by men, but by other women too, and the need to feel excepted is strong in us. In the end I said nothing to her, maybe in her mind it made her feel more confident, more like she fits in, and yes, feel prettier, I’m not sure there is anything wrong with that, is there? Ah, now I get why the beauty industry make so much money now, I guess I cannot argue with 50 billion dollars.

Happiness is… being happy!

This is my brother Steve (yes, he will be pissed I posted this), who lives in Northern Wisconsin at a resort he and his partner own in a quiet little town. He has lots of of friends, his customers love him, he is well known in the area and is involved in many community events. He always has this smile on his face, but that doesn’t mean he is still happy with everything in his life.

Happiness is not something that we are usually judged on. We look at people and define them by the job they have, the house they live in, and the things they own. If you have those things you must be happy right?

But what if as time goes on we change and learn what really makes us happy, (Being happy? What a concept!) by that time we are usually knee deep in… well life! We worry about what change will mean to other people, how it will affect the people that love us and the people we love. Change is also very inconvenient. It means changing our routine, doing things we have never done before, and changing your relationship with the people you know as well.

Shouldn’t being happy be the most important thing in your life? The old saying “You cant change everyone” is true, more than that however, you cant change anyone but yourself! Changing yourself to be happy is hard, but pleasing everyone is exhausting. What if people supported you, and cheered you on as you seek to be a happier (and better) person? I am willing to bet that most your friends will. Your new inner circle of friends will be of much greater quality, with less quantity, and that is OK.

Some of the people that you thought supported you disappear and make no effort to be seen again. Don’t we all have that friend (and sometimes multiple)that calls you to rant about what is happening to them, and never asks what is happening with you? They call you for help, but never help you. They do things that make you think “Why wasn’t I invited? I would have invited them.” These people may not be around when you try to be happy, and that is good even if it doesn’t seem like it right away. Do these people really make you happy? When your shoes, couch or car dont make you happy you either fix it or get a new ones right? It sounds so simple, if it doesn’t make you happy replace it with something that does…. dont you deserve it?

Whats wrong with us?

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A couple of months ago my friends and I decided to start a podcast. We had a couple, well several…. ok many drinks and as we sat around talking we thought that we were fucking hysterical! We consulted with each other that night and the overall conclusion was that yes… we were indeed fucking hysterical.

Let me tell you trying to find time for four women to get together for a couple of hours a week is no easy task. Kids had practices, Husbands worked, we worked, the weather was bad, the weather was to good, golf league, traffic sucks…. you get the idea. After several tries we each filled our coolers with the nights drink, and came to my house to record something, a practice, but something.

Even though we had created a loose script with topics etc., almost right away things got, well, inappropriate. With no men around the short jokes and shrinkage jokes were prevalent. We discussed anything from our first time to runways (wink wink). We had a couple more shots because why not? And then had a couple of hours more of discussions, some even got serious. It occurred to me at one point that even though I had known these women for 15 years, I didn’t really know them until that night.

Since the first practice recording we have had lots of obstacles, including the biggest, Covid, but we have been able to get together most every week. What we did not expect was how therapeutic this experience would be. Some weeks we dont even record anything, but we sit discuss and support each other when one of us needs it. Even on those nights we laugh, make lots of jokes and enjoy just hanging out together without our husband, kids, dogs and any other possible distractions. Its not unusual to have women support each other, but I think we all could do more of it. Our goal is to get our first podcast on our website in a couple weeks (drinkandbesalty.com), but while we started doing it because we thought we were funny and women would listen to us, we also hope that we can support women at the same time, even if it is with a shot of whiskey.

Hot flashes and frozen peas

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So for several years now I have been going through menopause…. there, I said it. I will tell you it isn’t fun or freeing, or thought provoking. Never once have I thought, Damn, I will never again be able to experience the joy of motherhood again, or gee, cant wait to be reminded that I’m a woman again this month. Instead I think, “I’m to old to have kids”, “just let me get past these symptoms”, and “think of the money I am going to save a month!”

Women dont talk about Menopause much. Sure, we make jokes about getting hot flashes and standing in a walk in freezer or about getting so hot you feel the need to strip off our cloths, even if in a mall, but mostly we handle the issue ourselves and suffer the symptoms ourselves and move on with life as if it is something we will get over soon enough.

So what then is the opposite of Menopause, what do men go though? The nearest I can think of is a vasectomy. Can we discuss how men handle vasectomies please? Recently at a friends birthday party where someone made a comment about a couple having three kids, the father announced that he would be having a vasectomy. Men at the party, and somehow most of the county we live in, hunched over in a pretend pain, moaned, and collectively grabbed their balls. They patted him on the back like he was making the ultimate sacrifice, one that no woman would ever do. That the sacrifice of no longer bringing babies into the world somehow save all of humanity from a plague or ultimate destruction. It was as if they lifted him up while the glory of the sun shone on him and other men offered him sacrificial bags of frozen peas in hopes of feeling worthy.

True, one is a natural event that happens in all women’s lives and the other is a( simple) medical procedure that men are usually dragged kicking and screaming too, but look at the basics. Women move through the process with little bitching (I’m not saying no bitching), and carry on taking care of her family, house, and lives. Men see the opportunity as a was to sit on their couch with frozen balls between their legs watching t.v. knowing that they are getting the sympathy of all their male friends who then bring him beer….. Men, suck it up, grab your balls and go mow the lawn for fuck sake.

What’s the over/under for the speed limit?

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I’m a fast driver by many peoples standards, I usually chalk it up to my ADHD, although that has never gotten me out of a speeding ticket. My general philosophy is that you drive faster than me your a dick head and if you drive slower than me your an asshole, its words I live by…. usually.

Recently I made a trip to northern Wisconsin via the upper peninsula of Michigan. When you cross the Mackinaw Bridge into northern Michigan you can feel the calm and stress disappear knowing your about to enter the most beautiful part of Michigan, the U.P. There is a darker side however, one people dont realize until they get there, across the bridge, and deep into single lane 55 mph territory. That is when you realize your going nowhere fast, because of… Old people. There I said it.

Once you go over the mighty mac, you will notice that the cars have all turned light gold or tan, and most are 4 door sedans kept immaculately clean and without scratches or dings from parking to close to other cars. I’m not sure how that can be, but assume it is because they all drive five miles under the speed limit. The correlational of the two seems lost but it is the only reason I can give to this strange occurrence to everyone driving so slow!

Cars driving 3 or 4 miles lower than the speed limit, a line of cars behind them waiting for the next passing zone, which seems miles away, and often is. Same for the motor homes and travel trailers. I cant understand what reasoning there would be to drive just a few miles under the speed limit and think to myself that if they can go 52 miles per hours surely they can go 55. Frustrated I look for a opening to pass the long line of cars deciding between passing the cars as soon as I can and waiting for a passing lane. As I pass the offending car I look over and see an elderly couple, barely able to see over the steering wheel, but smiling. They are calm, and happy, not a care in the world except getting to their destination, eventually. Perhaps I should slow down, and do the same, enjoy the ride, the scenery and the peace and quiet. No way I think, I’ll never get there if I do that.

An impossible decision?

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Today i went grocery shopping. I’ve done it a million times and probably will do it million more times over my life time. While it isn’t something I like to do, I really hate it in fact, its apart of life and so I do it. I’m not going to lie, if I can find a way to trick my husband into doing it I will, although he most often buys more stuff that is NOT on the grocery list than is on it.

Today when I came out of the grocery store it was pouring, like couldn’t see across the parking lot raining, like catching your boyfriend cheating on you so you sit and ugly cry pouring. I stood there for a couple of moments thinking it would lighten up a little, but it didn’t. While my husband may think me the wicked witch of the west, I’m not and so I will not melt if I get wet I thought. Taking a deep breath I pushed the cart forward and out of the door to my car. By the time I got to my car everything was wet, really wet. I popped the trunk and looked to my basket for what to put in the dry trunk first.

Do I grab the large pack of toilet paper I had purchased or do I grab my brand new coach purse that I got last week was my first thought? I cant decide what is worse, the fact that I am worried about a purse? or that I have to worry about something that I wipe my ass with. The world is so strange today. Things that we thought were important has been replaced with things that we never thought were important. We hear “the new normal” all the time, and I ignored it most of the time. But we now live in a world where toilet paper is one of the most important things a person can get. When I see toilet paper available to purchase i state in my head “yes!” like I have won the mother load.

Half an hour later I’m still thinking about that moment, not because I was concerned about ruining the toilet paper or the purse, but because HAD to think about what was more important. The “new norm” sucks. Being excited because I got the toilet paper in the car without it getting wet? Really that was something I worried about? What future changes will be coming? We dont know, but hope that things return back to pre-covid times. In the mean time I will try to not worry about toilet paper and start enjoying the time I spend with my family, enjoy the great outdoor more and count my blessings that my friends and family are all healthy. When this is all done maybe I wont be excited about buying a new purse, maybe I will be excited I can wipe my ass.

Dream a little dream…

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Disclaimer: I am probably not crazy!

But as long as I can remember I have had these very crazy dreams, and they are very detailed, I remember every bit of them, sometimes parts of the dream comes true and I experience deja vu. Another thing that happens is my dream continues into other dreams, nights or weeks later. When I was young I often wrote the dreams down so that later when events in my dream actually happened, I could pull out the book and prove to people I had dreamed it would happen. Really, that just made people question my sanity so I stopped.

Now I know that the more I am stressed about things the weirder my dreams get. About the time I started my new job, I started having dreams. The first dream seemed simple enough, I was shopping in a very high end area but could not find the shop I was looking for(a nightmare??). Suddenly, scrawled on a white wall in messy red writing was directions to get where I needed to go. When I got there it wasn’t a trendy store but a psychologists office. the psychologist however was not in his office, he was shopping. Did I mention I’m not crazy?

The second dream happened about a week ago, starting at the white wall with red writing. Again I was shopping (Perhaps I should take this literally and go shopping?) and searching for the high end shop. This time I had a couple “friends” with me, although I have no idea who they were. We travel through a maze of locations, some were scary but beautifully decorated. Think Saw movie meets Martha Stewart? Some parts of the maze were crowded with happy people having a party. (Perhaps I get to drink wine in the third part of the dream… fingers crossed).

When my husband experiences stress, he sits at our outdoor bar, with a beer and a cigar and gets some relaxation in. Women rarely take this time. Instead they fill their life dreams, and with tasks and chores. My mother used to say doing laundry relaxed her… perhaps that is where I get my crazy from. My mother-in-law gardens. Other women may workout, clean the house, go grocery shopping, redecorate the house…. you get the idea. How often do we actually sit down and do…. dare I say it…. Nothing? Perhaps that is why wine has been so popular with women lately. Wine forces you to sit so you dont spill that deep dark luscious vino. Wine forces you to take a deep breath, smelling the essence of the ingredients and undertones. Wine forces you to watch the relaxing swirl of goodness as it sits in a perfectly shaped stemmed glass that somehow has the ability to make you feel special when holding it. I love wine…. Wait, what were we talking about?

Pillow fight!!!

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Haven’t had much time to write lately, getting adjusted to working everyday again has kicked my ass regarding time management for sure. The job itself I am enjoying, working for a high end pillow manufacture company just a couple of miles from my house. It’s a growing company, which is exciting, and I am developing a new sales department and new customer service department before moving into one or the other to manage.

As with most manufacturing jobs I get the chance to get products for myself. I recently brought home two pillows and was excited to use them. I came home from work and showed them to the husband. He thought they were very cool and seemed glad I could bring them home. They were different from each other because I wanted to learn the product as well as use them and offered the husband first choice of pillow. He squeezed one, squeezed the other and said he didn’t care. It was late and I took the pillows as we headed to bed. I selected one and put it inside a pillow case, the other I gave to him. He placed it on top the dresser and got in bed. “Aren’t you going to use the new pillow?” I asked him. Naw, was his reply and I fell asleep not thinking anything of it.

The next day comes and goes and it is night again. I will admit we had a couple… several…. ok many drinks and both of us needed to go to bed knowing that our age and alcohol would not be a good mix waking up the next day. It really is hell to get old. Again I asked the husband if he was going to use the new pillow and again he said “naw”. In an alcoholic rage I hit him with the pillow(OK maybe rage is too strong a word). He laughed and rolled over to go to sleep. I thought to myself “Remember to fight with him tomorrow after breakfast. Am I the only one, that after many years of marriage, plans a convenient time to have a fight with the husband? Anyone?

The next morning as we settled into our favorite chairs with our after breakfast cups of coffee I went in for the kill! “So. Don’t you like the pillow? we can switch.” he told me it was fine, he just didn’t want to use it. I gave him that look… you women know the one, and asked him why. He said he just didn’t want to. I reminded him that the pillow he uses now is actually three old pillows that have flattened so much they all fit in the same pillow case. He replied Yep, I like them. Wha whaaa.

That was it for the great pillow fight of 2020. Anticlimactic? Yes, much like other things that happen in our bedroom (wink wink). Stupid ass fight? Also yes, but it reminded me of a couple …. or is it several… many things. 1. My husband is a stubborn crazy ass. 2. Sometimes old is better than new. 3. If your happy dont change for others. 4. You cant teach an old dog new trick s (but we still try!) and 5. If you want 2 new fluffy pillows for your side of the bed buy them and enjoy. The husband doesn’t care … or has some motive that you will find out about in a day or two that probably includes him golfing.

Hi ho, hi ho, off to work I go.

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Time for a job. So I applied for jobs…. well, 2 jobs, lets not rush into these things you know. I was excited for one job more than the other, but both jobs were blind ads so I didn’t know much about either. While I joked often about never going back to work, I new it was time. My husband, although very supportive, was also very happy I would be going back to work. Very Very happy.

I’m not sure why I didn’t tell anyone I had applied for a couple of jobs. A lot of people think that if you talk about it you will jinx your chances of getting the position. I’m not sure I think that, but why risk it? I quit my last job, and it was a really good job, so I felt pressure to find an equal or better job. I worked my ass off to get where I was, so I was going to get a better job than I had. Another part of my fear was that I would be rejected, time and time again, its not easy to get a lot of rejection as everyone knows.

What I thought was interesting when I talked about starting to look for a job was the reaction I got. One person would be very encouraging, and the next would be sympathetic (dont be surprised if you dont find a job for months). Some people even thought I should take any job, no mater the pay. Most interesting was the people who said things like “So your husband is finally making you get a job”, or “your husband will be happy”. I’m not going to lie, I wanted to bitch slap a lot of them! My husband supports anything I do, even if it was never going back to work. Every time I went out, my friends would asked if I “had a job yet” or “have you thought about doing (blank). I felt the pressure from everyone I knew to get a job, which increased the pressure I put on myself even more!

I ended up getting the first job I applied for and got it the same day as the interview so back to work I went, although without a summer tan. I will have time to get a tan when I get older. I told my friends I got a job. Suddenly all the advice, thoughts, and concern they had quickly vanished in one very anti-climatic “congrats”. There are many, many insecurities faced when someone looks for a job. Am I good enough for the position? Will how I look effect if they hire me? Will they like the suit I am wearing for the interview? Am I smart enough to do this position? The list goes on and on. What my friends and family were thinking should not have been one of the things I worried about. Getting a job was what I wanted to do and I got the job I wanted, and yes, my husband is happy, very very happy.

Warning, graphic T’s ahead

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As I head toward yet another 39th birthday I cant help but look at the very important topic of… the cloths I wear. Shallow? probably, but I am caught between wearing the hottest trends (except black Northface jackets… way over done) and wearing age appropriate cloths. Nether of which are easy with big boobs I might add. My mother once told me I didn’t wear cloths that reflected my age, and gave me an outfit that was yellow and had bright red cherries on it. I have never worn that outfit and never will.

Facebook is littered with advertising’s for women’s t-shirts with funny and witty sayings about drinking wine out of a coffee cup, eating taco’s and having too many cats, and I want them all, the T’s not the cats! But at what age are these types of t-shirts off limits to you as an adult? At what point is it no longer funny for a grown woman to be wearing a shirt that says “Classy, sassy and a little bit smart assy?” What if I’m not feeling classy or sassy? I dont think I have ever not been smart assy, but all three at the same time seems like a lot of work.

I have many graphic t-shirts with funny sayings and wear them, but usually around my house or out with the girls. I dont feel too old to wear them, or maybe I just dont give a shit what other people think about what I wear, even my mother. When I am out in public I do look at women I come across wearing a graphic T. Most often I chuckle to myself because I find it funny and dont even think about whether the person wearing it is old or young. I have a girlfriend who bar tends and she wears a t-shirt with some funny saying on it often when she works, and her patrons love them! I’ll probably continue to wear graphic T’s, with a v-neck to show off the girls, because I want to. Never ever with a black puffy Northface jacket…. or uggs, because I am a grown woman and I will wear what I want..

To bra… or not to bra

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When I heard we were coming to the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, quarantine, whatever you want to call it, I was as happy as everyone else was I’m sure. I have enjoyed my time with my family, enjoyed catching up on housework, enjoyed getting time to do some of my favorite hobbies, and enjoyed not wearing a bra everyday, but I also will be more than happy to go back to work, eat in a restaurant, go shopping, and visit my family and friends again.

Wait…. that not wearing a bra thing, do I have to do that now? As a woman who is well endowed, (yes they are real, they are fabulous) putting on a bra was right up there with breathing. I put it on every morning and took it off only when I was sure I was home and not have anymore visitors, now that all ends?

Wearing a bra is hot and restricting, plus if its too loose the straps slide off your shoulder making you lopsided and looking like one melon has softened while the other stayed ripe and firm. To tight and cups spilith over like a freshly baked cupcakes. If the straps show you look like a hooker. If you wear one too padded you have cleavage for days, but one to thin and you look cold all day long.

As I sheltered in place it was fabulous to not have to wear a bra at all. My everyday clothing item has been pushed to the back of the dresser to give way to comfy camisoles and tank tops. It was freeing! On days I left the house I put a bra on, but as soon as I came home it came off and was discarded faster than the men on The Bachelorette. I walked the dog without a bra on. Drank wine without a bra on. Cleaned without a bra on…. All this is going to end next week when we get back to normal. There will be a morning period for sure. Women from all over will have to find their bra’s and put them on. Then find their big girl panties and deal with it I guess. So If we are back to being bitchy again know its not us, its our tit’s being suffocated and they know what freedom feels like now.

Stupid social media

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I live in a small town of 8000 people or so, typical small town America. We have a really nice lake in our town and there is two block section with restaurants, craft shops, and a small boutique, etc. A new shop moved in and is the last shop on the end of the retail blocks. It appears that this establishment wanted to make it easier for their customers to get to their location so a gentleman placed signs all the way up the block in front of parking spots designation them as parking spots for their business only. Of course this made the other stores, upset.

One person removed the signs that were in front of their location, leaving the remaining signs. As this was happening the new business had a person replacing them. At one point one person putting the signs back, and the person removing them actually bumped into each other. The older business had a security guard (unarmed and African American) because they had been robbed a few months earlier, just watching and did not talk to anyone.

The event was captured by cell phone, and placed on social media. I read the comments which is where my frustration began. I opened the video and began reading , most comments showed concern and upset that it could happen in their small community and were equally glad that the police handled it. However, someone posted that the the security guard “pulled a gun on the crowd”. Most people quickly corrected the person and stated they were also at the location and their was no gun anywhere to be seen and the “crowd” was about 5 people.

A couple of hours later the video showed up on my social media again, this time the person that person that made the statements regarding a gun had “shared” on his page and a good chunk of the comments were regarding it being a race issue and a gun issue, that post was also shared to other peoples pages.

There is so much misinformation on social media these days, and honestly news media also. That upsets me and I wish it could somehow be controlled. But what upsets me the most is the people that believe everything being posted on social media without check the facts. Social media has been around many, many years now and yet people STILL have not figured out that you cannot believe what you read? Shouldn’t we be smarter as a society by now? All I am asking for people that use social media is do their do diligence when they are reading posts. If it is on social media and you cant find anything about it in the news it probably didn’t happen! The easiest thing to do would be for people to read it (if you must) then move on without commenting, is that so hard?

It happened anyway!

When I got married and had kids I knew I didn’t want to be THAT parent. The one yelling about everything and constantly complaining about having to “Pick up after you kids”. The one where my kids were afraid to do anything for fear of making a mess, so they just sit on the couch watching TV and doing nothing.

With this pandemic I have been vigorously cleaning the house, not just of the mess, but of the “clean mess” that we all accumulate after years and years. Room by room, going through and tossing out almost everything, and for whats left finding it’s correct place. I have to admit is feels good to have a clean home and it is nice to walk into a room and not have to step around or over anything rationalizing that its a “clean mess”.

Today, after a quick cleaning of my kitchen after breakfast, I sat down to enjoy a cup of coffee. It seemed, if only for a moment, calm. When finished I got up to bring the cup into the kitchen, and then it happened… I turned into my mom! Perhaps I’m tired of all this shelter in place stuff, or perhaps it is something that physically happens as you reach middle age, I became my mom. One glass, one clean glass, left on the counter, is all it took to remind myself that I had become the one thing I didn’t want to become. I wanted to yell “Who did this!”, “why did you put this there!” I didn’t because that would mean I had become my parents, and I thought I was’t that kind of parent.

Ladies, at what age did you discover you were like your mother? or father? Is it that I fought it for so long that I let my guard down and it snuck up on me like the fat did on my ass? Can you stop it from happening? I had a good life growing up, dont get me wrong….. But seriously am I going to start wearing an apron and carrying around a duster? While I ponder this I’m going to have a glass of wine (or bottle) and look for someone to yell “Don’t make me get up!” too.

How quick we forget

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I went to the grocery store today, big deal right? On the way home I noticed traffic was unusually heavy considering the Shelter in Place order from the state of Michigan. As I drove home, and passed the boat launch I noticed that a good chunk of the traffic was people heading out onto the water with family and friends.

I stopped at a liquor store (dont judge!), and it was crowded with people buying beer, wine others items for a day on the lake or picnics. I myself only bought one bottle of Rumhaven…. so good! The gas station had a line of people getting gas for their boats, quads, and lawnmowers.

Thinking about the groceries I just purchased, over $100 worth, I realized how quickly we forget about things and move on with our lives as a society. I just bought groceries 2 days ago (and spent more that $100 then too). We have been going to the grocery store every 2 weeks only, buying only 2 cartons of eggs, meat, and toilet paper and making what we buy last easily for 2 weeks not wasting anything we buy, purchasing only necessities and even using coupons. Yet, a few days after the Governor relaxing restrictions only slightly we have all forgotten the valuable time we spent with our families and the money we saved by staying at home and the items we didn’t buy and got along just fine.

Businesses, restaurants, and salons are all still closed, yet with one slight change to the rules we all have moved well passed them in order to get back to what we think we want: to spend what we want, when we want, and to do what we want, with who we want. Corona be damned!