Category Archives: Uncategorized

Reshare: Smartazz Hippie

Interesting to note that we still have true hippies in this world. Although, I am not sure it is cool that they feel they have something to prove? What ever happened to the peace loving ones that loved to live and let live?

It all started when I came home from work and found a butterscotch-colored VW microbus in my driveway. I pulled in and as soon as I got out of my car, the door of the microbus swung open and a most interesting character appeared. He was short with salt and pepper hair with a beard […]

via From Mushrooms to Moonshine — Everyone Else Has the Best Titles

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Reshare: Insanitybites.

I am woman. Hear me roar. Know what? Yes. I make my husband a sandwich from time to time. Know what else? He does it for me too! Marriage and relationships are about team work and not who is wearing the pants or who is in control. It is about give and take. “For better and for worse” means that when he is down, I step up and drive this boat. When I am tired from cleaning, working, caring for the kids, and, God forbid…making sandwiches, he steps up to the plate and does the same. My husband can clean house every bit as well as I can. He can run this house and keep everything running if I need to sleep a day a way or I am ever ill. He doesn’t do FOR me and neither I him. We are in this together and we are equal. When the world, especially the damn internet figures that out, there may be something similar to World Peace happening in the domestic arena.

 

 

 

There’s a real spiritual war going on within our culture right now that some may be blissfully unaware of, the battle of the sandwiches. I too was unaware of it until it began to encroach upon my life. The meme about “making sandwiches” is about far more than the superficial, it is an outright attack […]

via Making Sandwiches — See, there’s this thing called biology…

This Morning, I Squirreled

As we all know, I have my “writing days.” This means general laziness and lack of the elixir of life (caffeine.) To begin with, I worked late last night. This, of course, horribly threw off my weekend sleeping schedule. As a result, I ended up oversleeping. I know what you are thinking. How can you over sleep on a sleep-in day?  Sadly, I had to work for a couple hours this morning.

Bottom line? I was tired, I overslept, and I had no choice but to have a couple cups of Java. No, I have not been squirreled yet, I have just begun my day! Groggily, I meander into the office and get my couple hours out of the way and then brush my teeth. Yes, normally I am ready and the brushing of the hair, brushing of the teeth, beating of the boogey man are all done before work. Like I said, I overslept. Anywhoo…I went to brush my teeth and made the mistake of looking up. Toothbrush and toothpaste in hand, I notice a couple of dots on the wall above the lights that are above the medicine cabinet. I know, why in the sam hill would I look up there? I don’t know. Maybe it was my body finding something to do with an extra dose of caffeine for the week cuz BOY WAS I AWAKE! Instead of proceeding to put the toothpaste on my brush and go about my day, my brain said that I absolutely had to see what those two dots were.

OOOOKAY! I was too lazy to go get the utility bench and stand on it so I just went for it. I climbed up on the counter and stood up. So here I stand, on the counter, without my glasses on, and my face is about 8 inches from the wall so I could determine what these little dots were. Here is what my brain is saying: I don’t know why I never seen these things up here before. But dang….its dusty up here and I need to get a wet rag and wipe the top of the cabinet and the light fixture down because; oh…ick. What are those two dots?  Squint. Squint. Think. Squint. Damn, its dusty, let me grab the hand towel and put some water on it because the dusting wipes are in the kitchen. *Looks down* Let me grab my phone by my foot and take a picture and send to Cal because WHY THE FLUCK AM I STANDING ON THE COUNTER? It would be hilarious if he were to walk in the house at this moment from picking up breakfast. Hehe *Click…Send*  Where is that towel, there it is. Lower yourself to get water carefully Micaa, that floor is concrete and you might break something if you fall. How would you explain THAT?!”

Let me step back from this thought process.

At some point in all of that noise, it occurs to me that the dots on the wall were ants from an infestation we had originating from the open bathroom window about 4 or 5 years ago. We sprayed ant spray all over the bathroom and there was a line of ants going from the bathroom window to the light fixture above the medicine cabinet. These two guys must not have been wiped off the wall during any subsequent cleaning adventures. Oh, they were crunchy. I imagine there was nothing biological left of those guys except the fact that they were just there. Mummified so to speak. Ultimately, I wiped the entire wall above the medicine cabinet, dusted the top of it off, cleaned the light fixture, and started laundry.

Yea, I started laundry. Then I brushed my teeth. Whew! That took about an hour. All I was going to do was brush my teeth. I have come to a conclusion about this situation. I am either suffering from busy mom syndrome or I truly have ADHD. That was tiring.

What do YOU think?

 

The Opposite of Writer’s Block?

All weekend I have had a feeling that I absolutely must write. The only problem is that I did not know what it was. I did get a couple of good posts out of it but the satisfaction one gets after forking out a blurb did not last. I almost felt like it was a drug and it had ceased to work its magic for me. It reminded me of that little “Nugget” cartoon that is going around social media that shows what drugs will do to someone. (Here it is in case you need a memory jog…  see below. ) Mind you, I am normally satisfied to do 2 posts a week and then  wait until the next weekend. However, with this posting on a Monday, you must know that the need for that satisfied feeling has yet to come. I have also felt the need to read something and everything I pick up, with the exception of one book was simply not good enough. I don’t know what it is. I have never felt this way before and like most things that interfere with my rut, it sucks. It sucks a big old fat one and I don’t know what to do.

I have tried all my outlets. From my idea and personal journals, to my book, to my next non-fiction work to my blogs. NOTHING seems right! What is a girl to do? I even thought that if I did this small post that it would satisfy that. Oh no. Like so many other things in my life recently, that was a good idea as it bounced around in my brain but not very fruitful once it came out. Ah, but I digress.

Such it is that we are….

What do YOU think?

 

 

 

Fiction: Losing the Extra Button

Mollie stood there admiring her work. This has been a custom of hers as of late. Every time she completes a difficult job well, she feels compelled to stand there for a moment and take her success in. another habit she has begun is rather odd but she doesn’t find it so. When she finally gets beyond the planning phase of any “work” task, she purchases a new button up shirt. Modern times have shown that most any new button up shirt needs that extra button that no one ever needs or uses. You know what I am talking about. It is normally fastened inside the shirt somewhere. Normally along the seam, at the bottom of the button row, or attached to that annoying tag inside the back of the shirt. All safe and snug in its own little plastic, transparent envelope (of sorts.) Ironic is it that nothing messy can get into that plastic slip unless you tear it open to retrieve the button. Mollie has never had reason to tear open the plastic. She only hopes to keep it that way. You see, the buttons do have some importance. At least for Mollie they do.

Mollie suddenly remembers the button on this blue plaid number. She was short on funds this time around. When it came time for a new button shirt, she had to surf the clearance rack. No biggie. Even cheap shirts are blessed with that button. Remember we came to find Mollie admiring a job well done. After taking a deep, satisfactory breath, she begins to search the shirt for the button. A constant comfort, those buttons. Always there for her. Without fail. Of course it helps that she ensures they are there before purchasing the shirts. But that is a story for another day. She finds the button and then bites the plastic tie with her teeth to snap it off. Firmly grasping the packaged button in her sweaty palm, Mollie heads for the office where she will put it with countless others. The cigar box she keeps them in has enough to cover the bottom and to begin some depth. She smiles serenely as she thinks of it as a small pool….of button water!

Now the real work has to begin. Mollie goes to the closet in her office. So opens this closet so rarely that when she does pull open the accordion doors, dust floats down into her  hair and makes her sneeze. She grabs some chemicals she obtained while working nights in the hospital. They have this great stuff that gets rid of bodily fluids quite well. Doesn’t even leave a trace. Not even something those nosey forensic professionals can find. This stuff is so great that it doesn’t even leave a trace of itself. A degree in forensic science helped ensure that she was fully informed of all aspects of the task at hand. She returns to the kitchen. Looking at the clock, she knows she has approximately four hours before the love of her life returns from his business trip. Being married to a wealthy executive has its advantages.

Let’s take a step back from the mind of Mollie for just a moment.

Unbeknownst to her husband, Mollie is the daughter of a famous serial killer. She was taught everything from the moment he slaughtered her mother in front of her at the tender age of four. After all, he included her in the clean up process. At that time in her life, she did everything she could to spend time with her Daddy who was away a lot. Instead of being afraid or sad, she was quite happy to help Daddy clean up his mess. That night, he told her she was good at her part of helping Daddy and asked if she wanted to help her do more cleaning. She jumped at the chance and never looked back. The difference between Mollie and Daddy is that Daddy got lazy. Not only did he get lazy. He tried to run when he knew it was time to quit. Not a good idea. In this life, you have to give up when life tells you to give up. Until then, take it and run with it. After the first time, Mollie understood the happiness killing brought Daddy. Same concept. Only, for Mollie, it was to protect her own feelings. Revenge killing is what you and I would call it. Erasing remnants of bad feelings is what it was for Mollie.

This body laying on the table in the breakfast nook of the kitchen was number 19 for Mollie. As she went about cleaning up the mess, she was singing along with her play list she had on her iPod for just this situation. See, the massacre that occurred in this kitchen just hours before was planned. Mollie has known for years that her husband has been unfaithful. Unbeknownst to hubby, it was convenient for Mollie that all of his flings were local. Made the entire process easier. Less of a disaster if something were to go awry. Mr. Mollie’s business trips were just that. Business. Mollie knew this as she followed him out of town and watched his every move. Several times. She even believed it was for him to get a rest from his current fling and his wife at the same time. “Poor guy” Mollie would think. Poor guy.

You see, whenever Mollie found out who Mr. was seeing, she would seek them out. She would find out all she could about them and then immerse herself quietly into their lives. Mr. was fond of socialites so it was quite easy for her to befriend them and stay below the radar. Mollie always struck when Mr. was away on business. Less questions and drama. By the time Mollie would strike, she would have become a close friend to the woman. Right down to knowing what kind of panties she preferred to wear. Close but not close enough to become a topic of conversation with Mr. She would invite them over to the house. It was quite convenient that these women did not know of this house. After all, Mr. had a separate home that Mollie was not supposed to know about. The secrets men will keep. She would invite the women over and, over coffee, she would tell them who she really was and provide proof. After all, there were pictures all over the house of her an Mr. in their happy days. There are none in the kitchen, however. No one hangs family photos in the kitchen. Prior to the woman’s arrival, Mollie would pluck one off the wall and lay it face down on the table. More for bait less for proof.

No two murders are the same. Ever. The clean up is the same. Thank goodness the fishing sink is just outside on the patio. Makes feeding the pigs so much easier. The pen was at the far end of the porch. They little bacon mongers absolutely loved it when Mollie used the fish sink. She would bring out pieces of her fresh kill, prep them by chopping them up and mixing in some fresh fruit. Over the years, strawberries and raspberries became the fruit of choice. Fortunately, Mr. has a thing for short women and this would not take long. After she fed her beloved pets and cleaned up the kitchen, she would make a grand dinner of steak and eggs, baked potatoes and, broccoli. A candlelit dinner for the Mr. at the breakfast nook table. Flawlessly perfect. In every way. Mollie always included the scraps of her new shirt in the pig slop. The button, a commemorative token of keeping someone away from what rightfully belonged to her. Mr. was always going to be hers. Anyone who thought different would become pig slop. A fitting death for a slut sleeping with a married man. Further, she would be there for him in the days that followed. He always became inexplicably sad after his business trips. This always made Mollie happy. This would always be the confirmation that she needed. The silver lining is that things would get better in her marriage. At least until the next short bitch came along….

This just means Mollie has to go find a new shirt. And a new button….

What do YOU think?

A Little Bird Told Me

One of the things that makes DH furious about people is that they tend to walk around with blinders on and tune out everything that goes on around them. I admire my better half for his skill in tuning into the details even when they are irrelevant. Apparently, I was walking around like a people (hereafter called sheeple) today and failed to remember that the world was supposed to end today. I got up, went to the cleaning store to buy cleaning supplies and even took the boys grocery shopping. All the while there was supposed to be mass chaos and doomsday going on all around me. BUT….It was just an ordinary day.

Until I came out of the cleaning store….

I hopped on my bike with my thoughtfully balanced bags and mop pointed out in front of me and proceeded to roll down the sidewalk. About halfway to the end of the strip mall, I noted something in the middle of the sidewalk. I always avoid anything I happen to see in the path of my tires because we all know I am the one to hit it and one of two things will happen. I will either pop the tire AND the tube or, the tire will shoot out from under me and I will find a way to become seriously injured and I fall gracefully to the ground. Bottom line? I just avoid things like that. It was a good thing I did this time too. Why?

There was a tiny little bird just sitting there. He was in the middle of the sidewalk and did not budge when I rushed past him on my bike. I happened to look down as I went by and seen him regard me with a calm regard that made me stop and come back. If he curled in his tail feathers, he would be no larger than a golf ball. He continued to sit there and look up at me as if he was trying to tell me something. I parked my bike and lightly stepped over to him and he was watching me just as I was him. There was zero fear in his tiny eyes. I felt compelled to stand there. Not knowing what to do, I took out my phone and snapped a picture. I always share my “adventures” with my family. Thanks to technology, proof is in the peanuts when telling someone something that could be considered a fish story.

After I returned my phone to my pocket, I was unable to leave him there. It was almost as if my feet were glued to that spot in the sidewalk until I was able to make a coherent decision. As I stood there, I looked around to find something I could use to try and pick him up and move him to safety. It has been my experience that when a bird is un-moving when you are towering over them, they are likely injured. Also, if he was diseased in some way, I didn’t want to become a statistic. I had my DH and the kids depending on me. For the first time in what seems like a millennia, I had nothing in my cleaning supplies I could open or use to pick him up as I had all cleaning chemicals. The mop was a cotton mop but it was a tiny one and not nearly long enough to use to wrap around this little guy. Besides, it might have freaked him out. I took inventory of my surroundings and still found nothing. What was I going to do? If I were to leave him here on the sidewalk, he would surely be killed, eaten by a stray or stepped on. I felt helpless. Further, even if I was able to get him to the safety of the bushes in the parking lot, I felt he would die of the heat. Here, on the sidewalk, it was under the roof of the building and it was cooler in the shade. With it being 8 am and 87 degrees already, it was set up to be a hot day.

While I was trying to think of something to do, and still under the spell of having to stay in this spot, I pulled out my phone and started a video. I didn’t expect anything YouTube worthy but it gave some perspective at just how little this guy was. He listened to me talk to him and just watched me. There was obvious trust in his gaze upon me and he did not flinch when I reached out to him. There were busy city sounds going on all around us and every time he startled, it was due to that and nothing I was doing. He trusted me 100% and, for a fleeting moment, I felt like Snow White. Only, I wasn’t singing to the bird. I was talking to it. Here is my proof:

(Kind of ironic that I said it wasn’t YouTube worthy, and here it is….Ah, but I digress.)

After I recorded that video, again, I returned my phone to my pocket and just stood there talking at the bird. I don’t know if I expected it to chirp, talk back to me, or what but I still felt the need to stay right there. Some lady walked by and looked at it like…oh, well…and kept right on going. Sheeple….I swear. I decided that the best course of action, due to lack of other options, was to push him up to the wall of the building gently with my foot. This way, if he angrily pecked at me, it would be my shoe and not a finger. Slowly, carefully, and easily, he let me gently push him to the building wall where it met the sidewalk. He didn’t freak out or anything. He just let it happen. Satisfied, I turned around to my bike and was preparing to leave. Lo and behold, the little guy started hopping in one spot and fluttering his wings a bit. Quickly, I pulled out my phone and this happened:

I was in the middle of wishing the little guy well when, out of the blue, he flew away. You can tell from my expression in the second video, I was shocked. In that moment, I felt a wave of “everything is gonna be alright” come over me. It was almost joy that I felt as I stood there and watched him fly over the building at the other end of the strip mall. I am not sure why that happened or for what reason. However, when it comes to things like that, I do feel there are forces at work that cause people to go through things like this. Most people shrug it off and move on. However, for me, this was out of the ordinary in my ordinary life. It was special. There were forces at work that I could not comprehend and I won’t stress myself out worrying about them. It was a magical moment one in the same. Treat the world right and the rewards will be bountiful. THAT right there is something I believe.

So, the next time you hear me fuss at DH or one of the kiddos about respecting the planet and loving Mother Nature, you will understand. Even in the middle of the city, Mother Nature finds a way. That bird was there for me. No doubt about it. I may not even understand why. Eventually, I will come to understand. For now, I will revel in the magic that it was and appreciate that something happened out of the ordinary to show me that my life is more than just ordinary. It is special.

What do YOU think?

Stream Of Consciousness on a Sunday

I have been wanting to sit down and write something all day. It has been like an itch that is just bothersome to be noticed and will not go away. I even went to my email inbox for my weekly dose of writing prompts that I never look at. Nothing interesting there. Out of desperation, I even went to the interwebs to try and find something to give me some inspiration or something. Today just seems to be a dull writing day. So, I figured, why not just sit down and write about whatever. The good old stream of consciousness. Gotta love it as a backup plan. Only, right now, the only thing I can think about is just that. **sigh**

On the other hand, I am watching a movie with the Hubby. I love watching movies with him. The only draw back is when I sit still like that, unless I am playing one of my games or writing or something like that, I tend to go to sleep. It makes him grumble a lot. Imagine a bear waking from hibernation a bit early. He is tired, hungry, and not quite awake. The grumbles he must make. I imagine that is what goes on inside my husband’s head when I fall asleep during a movie I promised to watch with him. I can say that if we ever are able to afford a theater movie, I wont fall asleep there.

Ah, here we go…..the movie theater. Wow, have they changed! I remember the hard chairs with the flip down seats and the only way to get truly comfy was to scrunch down in the chair and put your feet on the seat in front of you. You had to share the arm rests with the people next to you and there was always room for someone to come in and watch the movie late. As time moved on, there were cup holders and some even had cushioned seats. Although, they were still sticky and smelled of soda and soured candy. J

Just recently we went to see the Dark Tower movie. Yea, that is a topic for another post But it was definitely a different experience from the last time I went to the theater. Now, we rarely visit a theater because it is too durn expensive. Why do that when movies come out on pay per view so fast these days, right? The first thing that was different was the guy in the ticket kiosk pointed to an LED sign in his window and asked me to choose our seats. Um….excuse me? Yes. We had to choose our seats before even walking into the building! This is new. One of my favorite things about going to the movies was walking into the theater and scanning the room to find the perfect seat from whatever was available. I guess those days are gone.

So we go in and buy our over the top priced popcorn and soda (you KNOW I brought candy for us from the dollar store,) and we go to the ticket guy to direct us to the theater that we are to visit to see our movie. What we seen next was totally unexpected. We walked into our theater and found our seats. They were massive recliner chairs with cushioned leather seats from top to bottom. There were drink holders on both sides and it was quite comfy. I had never had an experience such as that during a movie. To be honest it was pretty great. I felt like royalty.

Speaking of royalty, we went to the mall yesterday. (Weekly dose of Pokemon hunting and we had a video game fix to take care of. Ah, but I digress….) What is it with all of these women and girls wearing tiara’s?  I mean its all good for a little girl to feel like a princess I am not knocking that. But grown azz women wearing tiara’s like it is cute on some middle aged women WITH NO CHILDREN!  Why would you walk around with a tiara on, in the mall, as a grown woman?It makes no sense. WHY?

Know what else makes no sense? HUGE women wearing yoga pants. I mean you are stretching that fabric so far that you can actually see through every inch of the fabric. You are wearing that stuff like it is a second skin. Ok, that is another rant for another day. I talked about tiaras and movie theater cushiness. I think I am done for the day.

What do YOU think?

Through Daddy’s Eyes

More often than not, I will wake up remarkably sad. For absolutely no reason at all. I mean, my life is great. I have my family surrounding me. I have a good job. The bills are paid. This house is ours. We have transportation. Sometimes we even have extra. I just wake up and look at my sleeping husband, (This makes me smile because I love him so much!) and I am just so flucking sad! Ugh. I hate this so much. Don’t get me wrong, as I get up and go about my day, the feeling wears off. However, some mornings it is near unbearable.

Let me back up a bit. I used to not understand why people could be sad all the time and not shake it off. I could not grasp the idea that someone could be so happy and sad all in the same breath. It made no sense. Alternatively, I also become offended when people go on social media and run their mouth about people who commit suicide and say that was the coward’s way out. To that I say this: The next time you are in a car accident or you fall and break your back, don’t be a hypocrite and opt for those fancy pain meds that your doctor gives you for pain. That is the flucking coward’s way out. No, it is not comparing apples to oranges. Their pain is just as unbearable as yours. Sometimes, there is no amount of medication that can fix it so buzz off.

Now. I bet you are wondering why I titled this post as I did. I am getting there. Everything has a back story, yes? Yes. In my Daddy’s last decade on this planet, it was hard for me to be around him. No, it was not because he was old. Nor that he would rather not bathe. Hell, he spent 70 plus years on this planet and if it bothered his back to take a bath then he earned that right to marinate in his own stink. Honestly, the only one it bothered to a great degree was my mother. After all, it wasn’t THAT bad. Jeez. That is not the point though. It was his face. There was always something empty there. It hurt me to see it. He would smile, chatter, and carry on. You would see a small glimmer of sparkle when the kids would do something cute or talk to him. But it would fade just as fast as it would appear. He had it pretty OK. He wasn’t hurting for anything. Despite the fact that it appeared that my mother and he had a love/hate thing going on, he was alive and taken care of. He was able to get around for the most part and was never alone. He just had a hauntingly sad look in his eyes. He even had an official diagnosis from the VA doctors. He had dementia and was depressed. Even had medication for it. Sometimes pills are just not enough.

This morning was an especially difficult one for me when I woke up. Good thing it was my blogging day. On blogging days, I don’t work. I don’t clean house if I don’t feel like it. I just basically read, write, and sleep. I also make this the one day that I give my body a break from chugging my daily gallon of coffee. Yea, I sleep. So what?  **Picks up favorite mug with coffee and takes a marvelous sip because today is different** Ah, but I digress… As I said before, I woke up this morning sad. It sucked. It sucked bad. I have good coping mechanisms right now and am able to function after a little talking to myself so seeing a therapist or getting some sort of diagnosis is not necessary. It just took me a few hours only because I had no reason to get up and motivate other than I wanted to. As I was brushing my teeth and getting ready to face the day, I took a moment and looked at the face that was staring back at me in the mirror.

I had never had a ghost look me in the eye before this morning. (I believe in ghosts. They never look at me. They are always far form arms reach. Just sayin…)

My father was in the mirror. Looking at me. With those hauntingly sad eyes. I froze. I swear I stood there for nearly a minute. Now, there is no clock in the bathroom but I know it was close to that because the song my phone was half over and it was about a 3 minute song. So, yea, about a full minute. It is hard to convey in words what I felt in that sixty seconds. Happiness, fear, recognition, sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, joy, shock……all in one breath. Yes, it is possible folks. (Insert empathy statement here, please!) After I came back to the present, something happened. Every. Single. Thing. that had ever caused me sadness, fear, isolation, depression, failure, etc., came rushing into my brain and was like a roar of a crowd that starts out quiet then comes rushing loud in a crescendo of a million voices. In that instant, I knew how it felt to have depression so bad that the only way to make it stop was to walk off the top of a 40 story skyscraper and not look back. Just to want to embrace the darkness and make it all stop. It was the most horrible feeling I had ever had in my life. I seen my Daddy in the mirror this morning. Not that you can see it because I wear glasses but I have inherited my Daddy’s under the eye bags. I swear you could fit a monthly grocery run in them suckers. Gotta love genes for that huh? Anywho…. It sucked.

I had to sit on the side of the bathtub and collect my thoughts because it hit me like an atomic bomb and it even took my breath away. As I gathered my scruples, I had a premonition. I fully understood what Robin Williams must have felt like for the majority of his life. Or anyone who decided that suicide was the best answer. I just could not imagine feeling like that all day, every day, and still be able to function. I also thought of my co-workers who fight with anxiety every day. How hard it must be for them to be crippled by something that not many people understand. It was very, very clear and my heart goes out to people who deal with crippling anxiety and depression every day. The are true soldiers if they are able to live through another day. I had anxiety attacks a lot in high school and early 20’s. They only lasted a few minutes and I had developed my own coping mechanisms. But, to have that as a constant tap on the shoulder day in and day out must really suck. Seriously.

Not that I am bragging. I have my own coping mechanisms. They work for me. As time goes on, they have to evolve. I can only hope that they will last me. I hate doctors and therapists. I feel its nosey and if I am vertical and not contagious, I should be fine, right? Yea, I have seen two instances this year alone where that line of thinking can end badly but hey, that is not everyone right?

My Daddy visited me this morning. He gave me a message. Things (feelings) could be a lot worse than what they are when I wake up to sadness in the morning. I seen that uncut, vivid and, extraordinarily clear. In the words of the infamous Stephen King:

“We all float.”

What do YOU think?

Bingo is Serious Business

I grew up learning how to count in a Bingo hall. Yes, my mother was (and still is) a Bingo fanatic. I have literally played Bingo all over the country. From a basement place next door to my mothers thrift store workplace to the annual really big Bingo games that happen in places like New Orleans and Atlantic City. I watched the rules change over the years. Eventually, you could not bring kids under 18 into bingo halls in most states while others required everyone to possess a “Bingo pass” to simply be inside the building. I have watched my mother play the game for as little as $5 for the afternoon and watched her drop hundreds of dollars on the game in only an hour. There are other things that I have seen in Bingo halls as well. Seriously! I swear it is stuff that will give normal people nightmares.

Before I get to the point. Let me digress. Like I said, I have seen some really strange stuff in the Bingo hall. I mean I have seen women so big that they have to sit on no less than four folding metal chairs side by side. Imagine walking up behind someone and seeing that! Now I don’t have pictures to prove that and it has been quite a few years since I have been to one of the more serious games. This was back before cell phones or I could fill an entire photo book with the things I could go on about here. There are also people who have all their little good luck charms all over the place. Trolls, nick nacks, voodoo dolls, spells, lighters, even holy water. Yes, I have seen a woman sprinkle holy water on her bingo cards before the evening’s bingo games. I guess you can say I also learned how to cuss in a bingo hall. Call “Bingo” by accident and see how many people will cuss you out. They are serious about their games. Mess up their groove or make them think that you got your number before you got yours….if looks could kill sometimes.

That being said, Bingo is serious business! It is almost like living in a gang world. Be the new person in the bingo hall. You have to learn what is a good bingo and what isn’t. You have to learn if you can use multiple color daubers on the paper cards or not and other things like that. However, that is just the basics. What you have to really know about is where NOT to sit. who has brought their own chair (so you don’t sit in it) and, for the places that have computers, which machines NOT to pick. Why? Do you really want some 400 pound woman screaming obscenities at you because you sat in the spot she has been sitting in for the last 2 years? I don’t think so. Do you want to hear how much of a lowlife newb you are because you chose the number 42 machine that this anorexic biker chick has been playing on every Tuesday night since they came out with them? She will tell you about yourself after every stinking game. And, don’t win on that machine either. She will chew you up and spit you out with her evil, bony glare. Another thing you want to be weary of is that you do not want to sit in the middle of a turf war. Sometimes, people will go to the same Bingo hall that have beef with each other. If you happen to be in the middle of the crossfire, you may be forced to choose sides. This is not something you want to do and you definitely do not want to be in the middle of it either. Also, if you move, you will be a pawn in their issues with each other and they will argue over which one made you move away. Never mind you may have to walk by one or the other to go to the snack bar, restroom, or pull tab table.

While you are playing Bingo to have a good time and just hang out or to do something different. Try not take offense if you happen to bingo when you hear everyone muttering under their breath that they are one number away. Sometimes it is worse than an upset in football, especially during the big games, if a new person wins the final jackpot or a high dollar game all by themselves. You will hear papers crumble, people slam their daubers on the table, and cursing. LOTS and lots of cursing.

Now, if you are able to make it through your first night in a new Bingo hall without any transgressions, you may be welcomed back with open arms the next time you come in, especially if it is as soon as the same night of the week the very next week or so. Unfortunately, every night at a Bingo hall is different and there are different personalities that come in on a regular all week while others come in only certain times of the week.

For the smaller Bingo halls, there are even entire rows of tables where it looks like someone’s personal office. they have brought in an office chair, their sweater is hanging from the back of it, there is a cushion and a back up cushion. They may even be cozy enough for that person to leave their bingo bag on the table to “mark” their spot.  Take my advice, stay away from these tables. The Bingo hall manager will likely ask you to move if this person shows up. The person who normally sits there may also have something worked out where someone else is going to be sitting in their spot in the event of their absence. Further, there are relatives watching their stuff. So don’t try to move it an play innocent. You are liable to be jumped in the parking lot by a gaggle of old ladies armed to the gills with pocket books. They will take you out by the knees then trample you with their old lady shoes of yesteryear.

If you are totally new to the game, staking out a spot near the workers and asking them for help would be your best bet. If you happen to bother a pro during the games, they may become aggravated with you and start snorting under their breath like a bull ready to charge. It is not a pretty sight. I promise.

One final word of advise, if it appears that someone has laid a claim to an entire table, go find another one. It is not that serious to you. However, it is serious business to them. After all, Bingo is serious business.

What do YOU think?

The Most Amazing Flower Girl

My sister was 12 years my senior. It only made sense that she married her first husband when I was a young kid. I was about 6 or 7 years old. She invited me to be the flower girl. I was honored to be such an important part of one of the biggest days of her life. She was my favorite sister and it was an exciting time for me. Elaine lived with us in the basement apartment of our house. She and her husband. I loved that house, ah but that is a story for another time.

This wedding was nothing to sneeze at. There were colors picked, a lacy wedding dress, everyone in the wedding party had to have “fitting appointments for their dresses and such. There were flowers to be ordered, a fancy cake, I mean everything a wedding could be. My other sister was part of the wedding party too and my mom was even fitted for a fancy dress. Now, I imagine that it was her husband’s family who paid for everything because our family could never afford such an affair. It was still everything a princess wedding would be in the imagination of a 7 year old girl. Being the flower girl, I was to lightly drop flower petals as I did the wedding walk down the aisle for the bride to walk upon as she made her grande entrance.

I remember being nervous. I didn’t want to trip and fall (surprisingly, I did not have my klutz card at that point in my life,) nor did I want to mess up. I was terrified of messing up and making my sister mad or just making a fool of myself. I assume these fears were one of the first times I ever imagined a “worst case scenario.” To my delight it was nothing of any of the disasters that my little brain had imagined. However, I did do something that my sisters still talk about to this day. Some 35 plus years later, my oldest sister is still talking about what I did walking down that aisle as Elaine’s’ flower girl. Remember that I said I was nervous? Those nerves were about to make me a laughing stock among the members of the wedding party. You see, I was so nervous about doing a good job and everyone was watching me as I alone walked down the aisle supposedly to sprinkle cream colored rose petals all over the carpet. However, sprinkle was not what I did.

In all of the movies I ever watched up to that point, the flower girl skipped gaily down the aisle happily flinging rose petals into the air with careless abandon. However, this was a stuffy, rich persons wedding and I was told to keep my composure and walk a certain way, keep my head up and calmly drop tiny handfuls of petals to be walked upon in my non existent wake. Obviously this is not what I had envisioned doing and it was not fitting in the image of the flower girl I had intended to uphold. However, I did do as I was told. Literally the march down the aisle was step…pause…step…pause…step…pause. After each pause, I was to sprinkle/drop the petals out of my basket.

I did the walk. I kept my composure. Step…pause…drop….step…pause…drop…etc. Everyone was watching me. It was all eyes on the flower girl. To me it was a vast audience of people, most of whom I didn’t know, waiting for me to mess up. As I neared the front of the room, I seen that everyone in the wedding party (all of whom I DID know) were grinning at me. Almost if they were stifling laughter. Off to the right, where the bridesmaids were, I seen my oldest sister move. She made a motion as if she were dropping a softball on to the floor from her bridesmaid’s bouquet. It wasn’t until after the wedding was over, I overheard adults talking about how I was dropping clumps of flowers instead of spreading them everywhere. I heard someone say it was like I was handling rocks or a softball. What confused me was that everyone thought it was funny. Over the years, I would often wonder how such an important job could be so darn funny.

In hindsight, I guess it was because if you think about it. It was more like connect the dots when I was done instead of a field of petals for the bride to gracefully waltz down. In my own 7 year old defense, I did the best job I could without practice. I mean, we had plenty of flowers growing in our yard I could have practiced with or even with grass clippings. However, I had important imaginary friend stuffs to do in the club house (just a wooden pallet under a tree in the corner of the yard) as well as slugs to collect. Practicing my role as a flower girl was not on my mind at all. I was just to busy! I guess I just thought I would be amazing without having to practice. I guess that set the stage for me to write my college papers the night before without an edit.

Ah, but I (nearly) digressed. The bottom line is, I was a flower girl in a princess wedding. I did the best I could. I was amazing. I HAD to have been. They are still talking about it aren’t they?

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