One of my early childhood dreams was to be a mailman. I say “mailman” because when I was a kid, women were busy being housewives. We did not have “carriers”; we had “men.”
To this day, I can’t explain my attraction to this career path, but if I were to guess, it was probably all of the “hello, how ya doings?” Everyone loved to see him heading down the street.
What was not to love? He was the bearer of cards celebrating special occasions, letters from loved ones, and an occasional check. A celebrity every day.
Don’t get me started on the idle chitchat with folks on the route or an unplanned life-saving event due to mail piling up and actually noticing. I do this now for free.
We’re not going to discuss the bills; they were a given.
I was probably deterred by the rain, snow, and sleet motto, only to find out when writing this essay that it was all a LIE.
“The U.S. Postal Service has no official motto. Nope, it’s not this: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” But we certainly appreciate the sentiment.“US Postal Service
No doubt I heard “gloom of night” and said, “I’m out!”
Anyway, fast forward to yesterday when I went to the post office to mail a package containing a book. The book recipient informed me of a book rate that cuts the shipping cost. Who knew? Not me.
However, I was not informed then that an FBI-like interrogation went along with using this discounted rate. Folks, there is always a damn price to pay!
As always, I waited in line for the lone over-worked employee to address me.
Me: I want to mail this box at the book rate, please.
Overworked employee: Is there a book in the box?
OE: Is there anything else in the box?
OE: Is there a card in the box?
OE: A letter?
Me: Um, no.
Me: There’snothing else in the box.
OE: Ok, fine. Can I get you anything else?
Me: Yes, can I get two books of Christmas stamps?
OE: Which ones?
Me: Not the religious ones, the other ones.
OE: The Elves or the Otters?
Me: One of each, please.
OE: You know they’re brown?
OE: The Elves.
Me: (Looking at the stamps.) They’re Elves.
OE: Yeah, but they’re brown.
Me: Elves aren’t real.
OE: I know; I’m just saying they’re brown.
Me: So are the Otters.
I got my tracking receipt, turned around to leave, looked into the dead stares of a long line of people, and went my merry way. What in the what?
Enjoy the Ride!
I’ve been contemplating whether or not to go to the grocery store for way too long this morning. It’s not that easy anymore.
There are two more factors added this morning. The Eagles game, which I hear might be a big deal, and impending bad weather for this evening. This combo is enough to deter the strongest of shoppers.
I started looking around the kitchen to see if I really needed anything. I could use chicken stock, or I can just make something else. Hmm, maybe I don’t need anything. This conversation went on for way too long. I will never get this time back.
In my defense, going to the supermarket is now a full-blown event that requires decisions that have never entered my mind before 2020.
It was bad enough that I had to make sure I had a mask and hand sanitizer, but now, oh, it’s much more. I long for the days when it was just a mask.
Before I head out, I say a prayer of protection, load my bra with energy protecting crystals; yes, you read that correctly, then, and only then, do I grab my mask and sanitizer.
Covid is frail compared to the energy-sucking, opinionated audience I might encounter in the produce aisle. Some folks are looking for potatoes, and some are looking for a debate.
Believe me, I get the urge to debate; I’m just as frustrated. The never-ending confusion is enough to bring anyone to their knees. We are all tired of being tired. We can’t deal with asses too.
Needless to say, I did not go to the supermarket. Instead, I have a creative meal in the oven. I wrote this essay, and I didn’t have to put my bra on, let alone load it with chyrstals. Good juju only!
Enjoy the Ride!
Did you hear the one about the squirrel that walked onto a deck wearing a mask during the pandemic? At this point, it’s the only way anyone would believe that this actually happened yesterday. On the FIRST day, masks were mandatory in Pennsylvania.
I was sitting in my sunroom, on a quiet morning, listening to the bird’s chirp, waiting for the sun to make an appearance when I felt I was being watched. Listen to your instincts.
Once my eyes registered, I realized that I was, in fact, looking at a squirrel, looking at me, wearing a mask. This little guy just stood there as if he was on the red carpet waiting for the paparazzi to get their shot, which is precisely what I did. A miracle considering the laughter!
I still have no idea what this little guy had in his mouth, so I’m going with the obvious, that he watched a do-it-yourself mask-making video like the rest of us. Well done!
Now that the squirrel community is on board with following directions, it would be great if humans would follow suit. The sad reality is that people are well, people, and they only listen to what they want to hear and do what they want to do. Educated, grown-ass adults suddenly become toddlers.
It’s not that difficult. Wear the mask because the GOVERNOR said so. This is smart, safe, and limits make-up application to just the eyes.
The lack of human cooperation since the kick-off of Stay In Your Damn House guidelines does not surprise me or any other human being who has witnessed the behavior of parents on back to school night. When the words “this is not the time to ask questions about your child” are uttered, the hands begin to rise.
Disclaimer: I’m not a teacher. I’m the parent who LISTENS.
Living in a culture where instant gratification is a necessity and impatience is at the forefront does not help. Listening to adults asking on more than one occasion, “Is this over yet?” is the equivalent to “Are we there yet?” and that rarely ends well. Get hold of yourselves, people!
Honestly, the universe doesn’t always protect us, sometimes it challenges us with more than we would like to receive, and on occasion, hits us when we’re down, instead of cutting us a break. We have to remember that not every test passes in an instant, and not every threat can just be shrugged off. So, here we are, on the day who the hell knows of this blip in our regular routines, with guidelines changing every day, and new choices to be made. We can resist. We can hide. Or, we can just react in a manner that will benefit ourselves and others.
Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Enjoy the Ride!
As most of you know I work in the medical field, on the administrative side, not the actual healing side. Trust me, this is a blessing for all of us.
Although, I must say, after 15 years I do believe I could include therapist to my resume without an ounce of guilt.
I say this because, for whatever reason, some patients walk in the door with an agenda to unload. I’m not sure if it’s the glass window, my face or loneliness, but whatever the case may be, the stories just spill into the room. Some good, others require earplugs.
Don’t get me wrong this can be a blessing or a curse depending on the schedule. There are days when I have to take things with a grain of salt, and then there are days when a gem like the one I’m about to share falls right into my lap and heart. It’s like hitting an emotional lottery.
George and Pauline are longtime patients. They are both in their 90’s, with Pauline being 8 years older. Yes, Pauline is pushing 100.
They are both brilliant, highly educated, interesting, frisky and funny as hell! The full package.
Unfortunately for everyone, Pauline can no longer come into the office, but thank goodness George comes regularly.
On Thursday, when George was making his next appointment I inquired about Pauline and he said “the honeymoon isn’t over” and I smiled. This is when he spilled to this GEM all over my desk. Hmm … I hope I scheduled his next appointment.
One month after we were married Pauline was in the kitchen when I was heading out for a morning run. I yelled from the door “Pauline, I’ll be back I’m going for a run” and she replied, “hurry back and I’ll make it worth your while” The honeymoon wasn’t over. At this point, George is sporting a huge grin.
He continues to tell me that he hadn’t thought about that moment in a very long time, but today as he was leaving to come to this appointment, Pauline was settled in with her aide when he yelled into the room “Pauline, I’m going to see the doctor, I’ll be back shortly” and without missing a beat she replied, “hurry back and I’ll make it worth your while” As I was staring at George I noticed he was still wearing that big grin, but his eyes were welling up when he leaned in and said: “Looks like the honeymoon isn’t over yet.”
Honestly, folks, it doesn’t get much better than that now does it? Enjoy the Ride!
Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the 15th Annual Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation with members from my Quaker Meeting, and it was an enjoyable experience. This country could use one of these on a daily basis.
The theme for the walk this year was “Recognizing the One in All of Us.” This is appropriate for many reasons, in and out of religions.
Although this is something that has been going on for 15 years, it was my first, but certainly not my last. There is just something fulfilling about being surrounded by a group of like-minded folks that energizes me in a way I cannot put into words.
We started our journey at the Arch Street Meeting House in old city Philadelphia. The Meeting room was filled with Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Baha’i, secular humanists, and others who share the values of peace and justice. We sat in silence, as we do in Quaker tradition before heading to the streets.
Our first stop was the Society Hill Synagogue where we were greeted by members lining the entrance. Musicians were playing inside that filled the room with joy. The Rabbi welcomed all of us with prayer and a dash of humor. We then enjoyed a musical prayer performed by the Philadelphia Sikh Society youth group. A reading by Philadelphia Youth Poet Laurite, Husna Hashim, that rose the room to their feet in applause, and a Recitation from the Qu’ran by Muhammed Shehata from the Al Aqsa Islamic Society, which thankfully was translated for all of us to interpret. Notice the Rabbi & the Muslim embracing in the background. Who would have known ….
All throughout the walk, we were encouraged to use this opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone outside of our comfort zone and LEARN. Questions like “does your turban come pre-wrapped or do you do it yourself?” were not off limits.
Just in case you were wondering they are not pre-wrapped and there are YouTube videos for guidance. According to his smile, I would say he was relieved at the lightness of my question.
Once we left the Synagogue, we made our way back to the street and headed out for a 60-minute walk to Al Aqsa Mosque. We were greeted by the sounds of music compliments of a woman DJ wearing a hijab and Beats by Dre headphones. Something you don’t see every day.
The parameter of the facility was lined with the World Peace ballons in the above photo. It was indeed a site to witness. The air was consumed by the fragrance of dinner being made by the members of the Mosque, and dessert prepared by the Sikh community for all of us to share. All I can say is …. YUM!
As we were all settling in I took a moment to look around, I mean really look around at the oneness surrounding me.
I watched the men carrying out trays of food, and the women were not only directing where everything needed to go, but they were also getting annoyed if the men did not do it accordingly. Every woman reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about.
The children were running around excited to have company in their “home.”Look what I can do! Look at me! Watch this! Free entertainment.
I realized that the ONE woman in our lives who insists you try her dish over the everyday meals made by the other women even though your plate is already overflowing exists in EVERY culture. You know who you are ladies.
This was when I understood that the core ingredient to solving World Peace is FOOD. We really need to stop overthinking, start cooking and
Enjoy the Ride!
Verb: demand something forcefully, not accepting refusal.
This right here is the story of my life Monday through Thursday as I’m slaving away at my job in the healthcare industry.
I’m not sure what occurs before a potential patient contacts our office for an appointment, but it’s not a moment of zen.
I imagine more of a good look in the mirror for a one on one pep talk. “You got this!” “Pick up that phone and DEMAND to be seen TODAY because everything is ALL about YOU!”
The other explanation would be that they just live their every day lives like the entitled e’ffers they are, and this is their norm. This right here is the winner.
Me: Good morning Doctor’s office.
PITA: I need to be seen today around 1. Have you been eating your make-up again?
Me: Are you already a patient?
PITA: No! Bitch in the house.
Me: Did you have a trauma?
PITA: No! Ok, I see where this is heading.
Me: Are you a diabetic with a wound?
PITA: No! God help us all.
Me: Why do you need to be seen today?
PITA: I have a painful corn on my toe, and I’m leaving for Florida tomorrow. Tragic, absolutely tragic.
Me: Well, that’s not something we would consider an emergency.
PITA: But I’m in pain, and I have things to do before I leave. Sounds like a first world problem to me.
Me: You would be a new patient, which takes extra time and you do not have an emergency.
PITA: You mean to tell me you don’t save time for emergencies? Can you please Google emergency?
Me: Yes, we do, but your situation is not an emergency.
PITA: Being in pain isn’t an emergency? You are being inconvenienced, there’s a difference.
Me: Not the type of pain you’re experiencing.
PITA: Well, what am I going to do? I hoping for death.
Me: Call around to see if you can get in with another physician.
PITA: I don’t have time for that today. I told you I needed to come today at 1:00. Because you are who again?
Me: I’m sorry, but I already told you that would not be possible.
PITA: Huffing and puffing. The agony of defeat is music to my ears.
PITA: I guess I’ll have to try someone else since you don’t want to help me. Bye Bitch!
Me: Silence. CLICK! BAM! BOOM!
Enjoy the ride!
Have you seen Grace?
She’s the gal that spent her days roaming around within the majority of people for decades. Yes, it’s true.
You could find her on the street, the supermarket, and in fact, running free in most public spaces. I know, right?
So where did she go? One day did she decide to say “fuck it I’m outta here!” due to the overwhelming ignorance surrounding her kind soul or did she silently grab her box of kind words, gestures, and courteous goodwill and slowly walk off to the ends of the earth? Inquiring minds need to know.
In her youth, Grace was on her game spreading her attractively polite manner of behaving across the land. She was one of the popular girls.
That’s right she was regularly mingling in our daily lives lending a hand or two when needed. Providing words of wisdom, a tissue, a seat or a shoulder without her motives being in question.
Now it seems as if Grace only makes special appearances, sweeping in to give a kiss on the cheek, warm a heart, or soothe a soul before leaving Dodge. Today, Grace is a minority. I’ll just assume she’s on that dreaded travel ban list because of her good nature.
Yep, that’s right she’s been overpowered by the likes of Fear, and we all know Fear is too much of a kitty kat to travel alone, so he rallies his buddies suspicion and mistrust along for extra muscle.
Fear is doing his best to run the show we call everyday life. (yes, fear is a man because men have more power, and I said so) He is out slithering around insisting that we now question Grace and her posse of possibilities, kindness, and dare I say compassion.
Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. Franklin D. Roosevelt
This change didn’t happen overnight, oh no, it’s been going on for some time now, but it’s evident that it has recently escalated. Hmm, I wonder why?
Grace needs us more than ever now that fear has gotten his cloven hooves on the internet to spread at the speed of lightning. She needs us on the ground to defend her motives. To ensure that her kindness is trusted, and to regain the best that humanity has to offer. We need more than a glimmer of our girl.
So, if Grace happens to cross your path, embrace her offerings with open arms. Encourage her to stay for a while. Let her know how much we need her in our lives by spreading her around like glitter while you… Enjoy the Ride!
For as long as I can remember I’ve been required to complete some sort of form before my entrance into a school, hospital or doctors office. So why is this practice suddenly considered a personal attack on freedom? I have a few ideas.
Well, for whatever reason, people seem to be relating this procedure as a personal infringement on their rights as an American citizen. Hmm, I wonder where they could have gotten that idea?
As some of you may already know, I work in the healthcare system where I am in the presence of the public on a daily basis. Feel free to send words of encouragement.
So, as you can imagine, my days have been a real joy ever since people decided that every question presented, including NAME, has a hidden agenda. Items that have been routinely asked for DECADES I might add!
There seem to be (2) questions that set people off on a personal protest, lecture or comments on everything unfair. Let me introduce you to race and ethnicity. Again, why?
Um, first of all, it’s evident to anyone with eyes if you’re black, white, orange or blue and secondly, you do have the FREEDOM to not answer the questions. Places do exist where options are not a thing, and this isn’t one of them.
Recently a new patient completed his form and vigorously crossed out ALL of the race selections to write A M E R I C A N across the page. Where does one begin?
Do I ….
a) Inform him that “AMERICAN” is not a race or an ethnicity unless you are in fact a NATIVE. Based on his white hair, blue eyes and Fighting Irish jacket, I’m going to risk stating that his ancestors were not the hot guys in loincloths at the first Thanksgiving.
b) Ask WTF does that mean? Outloud!
c) Earn an Oscar nomination for exhibiting an extreme level of control while in the presence of an ass. Is there a category for “best poker face?”
See you on the red carpet folks! I have bills to pay ya know.
Next up are the folks who REFUSE to complete the ethnicity portion of the form, which is fine, and again, you have that right. In fact, there is even a little box that says DECLINES TO PROVIDE.
NO ONE, especially me is forcing you to reveal your heritage. However, one does not have to be Nancy Drew to solve that mystery or at least come close. I don’t think I’ll ever understand what makes people tick.
My faith in humanity weakens when I think about the passion associated with these “protests” and how that energy is wasted on something so senseless. Ugh!
Do they realize that their name, address, social security number, phone numbers, employer information, marital status and the name of a family member for an emergency contact have just been delivered on a silver platter, which dramatically weakens their argument and provides enough evidence to trace their roots back to a cave? Dear Lord!
Use your energy wisely and as always, Enjoy the Ride!
via Daily Prompt: Neighbors
Hmm … where do I even begin? I grew up in a city neighborhood where the typical household held anywhere from 4 to 12 children. How we were all conceived and raised in a three bedroom, one bathroom rowhome is still a mystery.
The best part of this upbringing was you were never without entertainment. There was always an active pulse ready to play.
We were never indoors. Never wore protective gear while riding our bikes. Never played organized sports, unless you count the games we organized via our imaginations, and we never had to worry about our parents hovering over us every second of the day. Ever!
We had an understanding with our parental units. Kids play outside until the street light comes on and then you scatter like roaches into your homes. Simplicity works.
Neighbors from my youth rocked! It didn’t matter if it was a sickness, new baby or death the neighbors organized meals, money, and services better than the Red Cross. No questions asked.
If you had a problem with a neighbor, you knocked on the door and dare I say expressed your concerns. Hey Bill are you hurt or just not keeping up with your lawn?
Life was simple.
Today I live in the same type of close-knit city dwelling and my oh my how things have changed. Now there’s a neighborhood FaceBook page.
The kids on my block if they come outdoors on their downtime from being carted from one organized activity to the next, are usually huddled around a tablet playing a video game, watching YouTube videos, taking selfies or snap chatting. Missing out on their surroundings.
I do on occasion see kids riding their bikes, running, playing on swings and giggling with joy, but the parents ruin it with their “rules,” and the parents who don’t participate in the rules are crucified. Stop running, slow down, stop screaming, not so high, get off the grass, get out of the street … nag, nag, nag.
Now, as for the adults, I’m speechless at times. A lot of the time actually.
Instead of knocking on doors to settle concerns we now call the authorities. Oh, yes. The neighbors find it easier to call 911 on their fellow neighbor than to walk across the street, knock on the door and say “hey, could you move your car so I can’t get out.” Having your neighbor ticketed is better how?
Oh, please for the love of God do not have a sickness or injury that prevents you from cutting your lawn, because there’s a number to call for that too. The city will send a service over to destroy your lawn and give you a fine. The days of asking “do you need help with your lawn? I’ll send Bobby over to provide you with a hand are over.
Worse than these two examples would be the dreaded neighborhood FaceBook page. Don’t get me wrong the page is great for recommendations on home improvement repairs, lost or found pets and keeping us in the loop on activities in the area, but unfortunately, it has also become a place where free reign bitching is allowed.
Recently there was a post regarding an older neighbor installing a bright lightbulb on their porch. The post read “what should I do? My neighbor installed a high wattage bulb, and I’m blinded when I come out of my door.” This is what I’m dealing with people.
There were plenty of suggestions; however, none of them included knocking on the door to inquire about the bright light. This “man” was considering replacing the bulb himself. I just don’t get it.
As for me, well, I will continue to live by example, share responsibility and Enjoy the Ride!
Well, it looks like another holiday season is being shoved out the door before it’s over.
There is all this hubbub about “keeping the Christ is Christmas” yet we allow Cupid to shove him out the door before the New Year has had a chance to ring itself in. NEXT!
Oh, and if my Catholic upbringing serves me correctly, those three wise men haven’t even made it to the stable yet with their useless gifts! I’m pretty sure Mary could have used some blankets over frankincense.
I was so taken back on Monday morning when I noticed Christmas trees already kicked to the curb. It is 3 days after Christmas people … calm down!
Even the Hallmark store has exploded into everything hearts and flowers overnight. Cupid clearly arrived on steroids shoving all remnants of Christmas over to the clearance table without even batting those long lashes of his. Never underestimate the power of a cherub.
I know one thing for sure if I were a kid I would be having a meltdown!
Christmas was a time to be on break from school, not rush us back the minute our gifts were open. No time for savoring family, friends and the spirit of the season.
Today everything moves at the speed of light, even for kids. The days of waking up late in your own bed, playing with your loot from Santa and hanging with your friends are loooooonnnggg over. The streets are barren today other than an occasional tumbleweed.
New generations go straight from the womb to the hamster wheel. I watch young parents on my block packing their new wheel goers into the car as early as 6:00 a.m. and they don’t stop spinning until early evening. Go, go go.
School supplies are back in isle 6 before you have a chance to empty the remains from the previous school year. Candy corn hits the stores in July and is still hanging around in November. Proving once again Candy Corn & Twinkie’s will be here long after a nuclear disaster.
August comes and the likes of the Pumpkin Lattes start rearing their spiced heads in the middle of a heat wave. The store shelves are filled with leather boots when the air conditioners are blasting, and the remains of summer are shoved in a dark corner sporting big red clearance stickers a/k/a the scarlet letter of garments. The only sizes left are lawn gnome or circus tent before we’ve had a chance to hit the beach.
Don’t think our pets are spared from this insanity. The thermometer here in Philly was still reading “Satan’s Balls” when I walked into a display of Halloween costumes at the pet store. Please…not the pets … they’ve done nothing.
The modern world thrives on speed, instantaneity, and immediate results. When you start believing you can loose 50 pounds in 3 weeks with a pill … yup, there’s a problem.
The roads, lines of any sort, or basically “waiting” for anything over a nano second suddenly sends people into full-blown huffing and puffing mode. Umm … yea … unless you’re transporting an organ or you’re on your way to solve world peace … you’re not going anywhere that can’t wait a minute.
I REFUSE to surrender to this lifestyle!
If you decide to ride my bumper in your quest to go nowhere to do nothing, I will slow down to the speed of a glazier … don’t make me.
If you huff and puff behind my mother in line while she counts her change, expect the glare of death. Fear it might actually work.
If you complain that you cannot get an appointment today for that painful toe you’ve have for a month you will NOT go on the cancellation list. Yes, I am the boss of the list.
Happy New Year Folks! Use 2016 to be mindful of the present, your manners and the importance of …. Enjoying the Ride!