I have an insane sense of direction. It’s indeed a gift. Especially in the days of traveling with male drivers pre GPS devices. Sorry guys.
Ever since I was a child, I could remember how to get from point A to point B from the backseat nonetheless.
I contribute this to my keen sense of my surroundings or my mnemonic image skills. That’s right ladies and gentleman, yours truly is a human navigational system via the pictures in my head.
When I was no more than 6, I remember sitting in the backseat of my father’s Caprice Classic looking out the window while taking notes on where we were going. Mailbox, blue words, brown building.
This came in handy when we were heading to the same place, and my father seemed to forget the left turn at the mailbox. I’ll never forget how impressed he appeared with my knowledge of direction.
Fast forward to me slaying my driving test. My sister went to Center City to get her hair cut at a high-end salon, but that’s another story. Anywho she called my father crying because she couldn’t seem to find her way to the train station to get home.
So, what does a father do when he doesn’t want to miss an episode of General Hospital to pick-up his lost daughter in the city? He summons his other daughter with her keen mnemonic image skills and fresh drivers license to fetch the one he claimed: “could not find her way out of a paper bag.” The 80’s were a different world people.
Mind you my license was fresh off the presses, I had never driven to the city alone, and yet my father seemed more than confident that I would be able to pull off this mission. Good thing I was fearless at 17.
Of course, my big question was “where is she?”
Without missing a beat, my dad said “17th & Locust.” Ok, that didn’t help.
Since he was aware of my skills, he followed that up with “you know what city hall looks like right?” Um, yea.
“Well, that’s 15th Street. Just follow the numbers until you see a park on your left. Turn left at the end of the park, and you’ll see your sister crying on the corner.” Um, ok.
Considering I’m writing this story, and my sister is a married mother of two, you know that the mission was indeed accomplished without incident. Including that riveting episode of General Hospital.
Enjoy the Ride! Directions are optional.
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!
Imagine receiving a call from a potential employer, who decided to conduct an impromptu phone interview right in the middle of a summer day when your two overzealous boys are home. Are you sweating?
Well, this is exactly what happened to my sister. She was on the phone putting her best professional voice forward, while waving her hands; talking through her teeth and giving an evil eye to her two laughing boys, whom she decided to keep after this day. They have no idea how lucky they are … really.
Mothers of boys know that the laughter only escalates when her face begins turning all sorts of colors and she appears on the verge of exploding. In their eyes this is the best thing since double stuffed Oreos.
While she found herself trapped between motherhood, corporate America and a full-blown circus right in her own living room, she slithered up the steps to the sanctuary of her bedroom, shut the door and continued the interview. Just when you think you’re safe…
Suddenly she heard some sort of commotion outside, which wasn’t too unusual since she lived on a main road, but this noise just didn’t seem normal. At times like this you just want to smother your inner curious cat.
While still on the damn phone she looked out the window only to see her two boys, one in his boxer shorts, holding a sign that read:
Honk If You Like Boobies
Unfortunately for her the neighbors really, really liked boobies!
Express yourself. Never be afraid to find the humor in life and always Enjoy the Ride!
Yes, she got the job!
Todays Daily Post Pens and Pencils asks the following:
When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?
Just this week I wrote a note of well wishes to a sick friend and good luck wishes to friends who are starting a new chapter in their lives. I would consider both of these notes substantive, because they had the personal touch of the written word …. my words.
As a matter of fact, I can’t return from the pre-keyboard era because I never really left. I love giving and receiving a written note. I don’t care if it’s a simple “Pick up milk” on a post-it or a loving reminder inside a card that someone out there in the world is thinking of me on a special occasion. Handwriting Rocks!
Let me toot my handwriting horn now. My handwriting truly rocks because I went to Catholic school where penmanship was far more important than anything else on the planet. You haven’t lived until you completed an entire copybook of the handwritten alphabet!
My children, ages 20 and 21, will never ever master this craft. There are chickens in barnyards across America with better writing skills! Although my daughter had a brief stint with penmanship, my son had less.
He has voiced his dislike for my hand written notes claiming he struggles to read cursive, while insisting I print. I refuse to resort to wall drawings on his behalf!
At work I still have the pleasure of using a sharpened wood pencil, along with a date book that has real paper pages. Don’t faint.
I use these old school tools to schedule the doctor’s surgeries and I love it! Sharpened pencils make me smile, erasers … well, they make me smile even wider. Trust me, when you’re dealing with the public erasers are a dream come true.
Honestly though the pen and pencil people of the world have to have some empathy for this keyboard era. What are they going to do save a text message from their lovers on their phones? Ugh … that is just depressing.
I guess if they don’t know any different they’re really not missing anything. Ok, now that’s even more depressing.
I am grateful to have the skills to write a note; the ability to appreciate a written note; and the sense to frame a note written by my husband on our first anniversary. Husband and writing are rarely used in the same sentence.
This little beauty has acted as a reminder over the past 24 years on more than one occasion and I cherish its existence. It has also acted as a life saving tool more than once as well … just saying.
Doing things “by hand” isn’t as dirty as it sounds. So take a moment today to write a note and as always … Enjoy the Ride!
Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.
I have spent the majority of my life in self-doubt. What can I say, not everyone is blessed with the ability to ooze confidence from every pore. I must have stepped out of line when it was being distributed.
This weakness was nourished in my house and reinforced throughout my school years. Let’s just say I could totally relate to Jan Brady … Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! So there I was, without an ounce of effort, neatly placed in the shadow of my older sibling. I was cool and comfortable with no reason to face the heat.
When I look back, I realize that I did step out into the light on more than one occasion, but didn’t even take a minute to put on my sunglasses. I chose to squint and hurry back to that shady spot.
Over the years, I had the pleasure of being in the presence of some very good people, who little by little enforced my confidence, but none more so than my children. They allowed me to see the sun when that’s all I was able to see were the clouds. Hey, they thought I was the greatest thing since sliced bread because I knew how to tie my own shoes!
But unfortunately there were also those who just loved to remind me of my weaknesses, especially myself, which left me overvaluing my lack of confidence and undervaluing my badassness, until one day when I was suddenly forced to unleash all of me on the world. An emotional Tsunami if you will.
I was faced with fighting a battle on behalf of my daughter, after quietly being told by the school psychologist (we will be using that term very lightly) “Mrs. G. your daughter will NEVER go to college.”
Her educational future was as stake and no one was going to take that away….willingly. My daughter believed I could do anything and lord knows I wasn’t going to let her down. Have no fear…Underdog a/k/a Mom is here!
Although I gave myself permission to spend a good amount of time silently sitting in the shadows, no one was going to force my daughter to do the same…she deserved the opportunity to shine and someone else’s low standards of her abilities were not going to stand in her way. Do not Ef with my cubs!
So there it was, bigger than life…the LESSON. Up until this point I spent my life believing that being the underdog was a FAULT and all along it was a GIFT. Never underestimate the quiet one sitting in the shadow, our sparkle is contagious.
I will always treasure that time in my life, not because of winning the battle although it felt pretty good, but because of the look on my daughter’s face when we went on our first college tour. Priceless!
We were walking on the campus of Lebanon Valley College, on a sunny freezing cold day, when she just stopped in the quad and said “Mom, I can really see myself here.” There it was, smack in my face, my daughter was shining in her own light. I just put my shades on and thought damn straight you can…Why the Hell Not!
I am proud to say that this Fall she will be entering her junior year … still shining strong.
Never let anyone dull your sparkle … Enjoy the Ride!
Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm?
Oh, this prompt really hits a nerve with me, especially since I tend to internalize what I see and hear. I would consider myself highly sensitive to my surroundings, which is great when things are good, but look out when they’re not. Yikes!
Witnessing someone being embarrassed hits me at the core and usually leaves me with a pillow over my face as if I’m watching someone being slaughtered. This usually occurs during shows like American Idol or X Factor when people are convinced that they are talented. Oh my God I’m starting to sweat just thinking about it!
During these shows the worst part of all is when the producers decide to do a little piece on how the particular person made it to the life changing moment we are about to witness. It usually entails some sort of sad sac story of homelessness, tragedy or overcoming some insane obstacle, yet here they are ready to make it big. I ALWAYS take this bait and immediately start chanting…please be good, please be good.
Just as the person takes the stage I can feel my heart swelling in anticipation and there is nothing in the world I want more in that moment than for this complete stranger to bring down the house and leave us in awe. As soon as the music starts and the first note is released, I know if I’m going to be cheering or hiding behind my throw pillow for the loooonnnggessst 2 minutes in history. There have been many times that I found myself willing the power to go out to save this soul from further humiliation.
Of course I’m not referring to the goofball who just wastes everyone’s time for their 15 minutes of fame, I’m talking about those who would swear on the lives of their children that they are talented. They are usually the ones with that surprised look on their face as the room fills with the sound of crickets. I just felt a pang in my stomach on that thought … jesus.
As you can imagine my squirminess is not limited to talent shows. Oh no, I spent a long 8 years squirming during the Bush administration. For so many reasons, but that’s another story. It doesn’t matter if I agreed with his policies or not during his time in office. He was our President, so if he was giving a speech or holding a press conference I would tune in to see what was going on in our country. Needless to say by the second term I had to bring out the big guns and invest in a body pillow to hide behind.
Even though we had our differences, I couldn’t help but feel bad as he stumbled over words or take a deep breath just was at a loss for words. I would shout through my pillow at the TV “Just say something…anything…NOW!” My face would be blushing for him as the room fell silent. I know it would be really very easy to wallow in moments like this, but I couldn’t. Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t laugh when SNL put a spotlight on the moment.
So, when it comes to squirming I would have to say public humiliation does it to me in a big way, most likely because it’s always been one of my biggest fears. Let me explain. I’ve been publicly humiliated by loosing my skirt on the dance floor while wearing my mother’s granny panties and I’ve been shit on by a flock of pigeons on my lunch hour and survived. I just found these things funny, as did everyone else. Laughter is so much better than silence.
What I’m talking about is the kind of humiliation that leaves the room with the roaring sound of crickets. I’ve always feared public speaking, not because of the speech, because of the reaction and even though I’ve faced my own fear, it still affects me when I witness happening to someone else. Got Empathy? Um, I sure do!
None of us will ever truly understand something until we actually experience it ourselves, so do something that makes you squirm and Enjoy the Ride!
It’s so funny that this subject should come up today, because I was just thinking about it this morning…when I was being my bright-eyed bushy-tailed self. As most of you know we have a new addition to our family, Peanut the Maltipoo. I bring this to your attention because he was reason for my early bird thought this morning. Peanut and I are the first to get up in the house, which is great since we both seem to leave our beds with the same attitude … wide awake and ready to go.
I don’t require coffee or anything else for that matter to “wake-up.” No alarm clock or wake-up call for this girl. If my eyes are open, I am awake and little Peanut is the same way.
He jumps out of bed with vigor, runs like lightning down the steps, grabs a squeaky toy and is ready to play. Minus the squeaky toy, that’s pretty much my routine as well.
This stems back to my childhood when my father would bellow up the stairs “Hey! Are you going
to sleep your lives aways up there? I’ve been up with the chickens.” Um, number one it was 6 a.m. and number 2 I never saw a chicken around the house.” This was bellowed almost every day of my young life and before I knew it I was up feeding those invisible chickens too!
Thank goodness I married another early bird, which produced 2 more early risers to the flock…actually 3 if you count Peanut, because if I’ve learned anything in this world, it’s that non-early birds really don’t quite get our perkiness. They don’t care to talk or even mumble for that matter until the sun is up and rolling for at least 4 hours. Hint: If you’re going on vacation with other people a pre-screening is highly recommended.
Doing my research for this little piece I’ve come to learn that the early birds really are a minority. I’ve seen hateful t-shirts, coffee mugs (how ironic), bumper stickers and last but not least an endless array of memes filled with death threats from the non-morning crew. There were some stooping as low as using babies and kittens to spread their evil messages.
Another road traveled by the non-morning crew is the mother of all mornings. Yep, you guessed it MONDAY. Whew, you want to talk about a bad wrap, this is it.
Who cares that it’s Monday? Honestly, if Monday weren’t Monday than the baton would be passed onto Tuesday. The party has to get started at some point..whether we like it or not so make the most of it.
I’m an Early Bird, always have been and probably always will be. I guess I will continue to get the worm while those Night Owls get the tequila. If we were all the same the world be so droll.
It doesn’t matter if it’s sun up or sun down as long as you … Enjoy the Ride!
Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.
I’m from the wonderful City of Brotherly Love, better known as Philly or Philadelphia if you want to be technical. That’s right folks, I have the pleasure of living in the same town as some very well-known historic landmarks such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the ever so famous icon….The Philly Cheesesteak.
No one, and I mean no one, visits this fare city without delving into the wonderful world of crusty rolls, rib-eye beef and of course … melted cheese. It’s your duty as a visitor to partake in the consumption of this local delicacy.
Here’s a little heads-up to the outsiders who believe that they can walk into any Philly eatery, order a cheesesteak and therefore claim to have lived the experience. No, that’s not how it works around these parts. We actually have our own Cheesesteak etiquette if you will. Yes, there are rules. First you must master the ordering procedure, then and only then, can you venture out to indulge.
When ordering one does not just walk up to a counter stating “Can I have a cheesesteak?” not unless you want to be stared at as if you are an alien of some sort. Don’t let that Brotherly Love stuff fool you, we can be a tough town and our patience have been known to run thin…especially in a cheesesteak line. So please, for the love of god have your order and money ready. You will need to follow these instructions carefully….very carefully when ordering.
Once you have your ordering method memorized and money in your hand you are ready to venture out to a location that will allow you to have the best authentic cheesesteak experience. Hmm where to go? Well, chances are if you ask around town you’ll be steered in the direction of Pat’s and Geno’s. Just imagine a Hatfield & McCoy rivalry with meat and cheese. These 2 famous eateries have been partaking in a friendly competition for over 4 decades to claim fame as Best Cheesesteak in Town.
They are kind enough to keep their grills sizzling 24 hours a day to satisfy your taste buds whenever they feel the need to be slathered by one of Philly’s finest. Believe me when I tell you a cheesesteak never tasted better than at 3 in the morning after a night on the town. If I was asked to cast my vote between the 2, it would go to Pat’s.
However, these aren’t the only two guys in town who can assist you in your quest for experiencing the authentic flavor of a Philly Cheesesteak. You can also check out Jim’s, Tony Luke’s, John’s, Steve’s, Rick’s, Soni’s, McNally’s, Shank’s, Campo’s and Dalessandro’s … just to name a few.
Everyone has their own reasons for liking one cheesesteak over the other. For some it’s the roll, others the quantity of meat vs. distribution of cheese. It’s serious business. My hubby likes Philly Steak & Hoagie for the roll, while my son enjoys Steve’s Prince of Steaks due to the size. My daughter enjoys the dripping cheese on a Pat’s steak and for me … well, I crown Dalessandro’s as “Best Cheesesteak in Town” for the texture of the meat.
So, whether you’re Wit or Wit-out (pronounced Widout) either way … Enjoy the Ride!
You’ve been asked to do a five-minute presentation to a group of young schoolchildren on the topic of your choice. Describe your presentation.
Kids: In unison …. G R E A T!
Me: Today I’m here to fill you in on some truths about being a grown-up. Oh, no not the lies the world is selling you, the TRUTH. Growing Up Is A Trap. How many of you already knew it was a trap?
Kids: The sound of chirping crickets filled the air.
Me: First of all don’t be in such a hurry to get there, you’ll be very disappointed. Honestly, it’s not that great. Of course there are some perks like driving, sex & drinking….but, you know what kids? They don’t last forever and if we’re being honest here, which we are, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be…seriously. All of these things can be great, but they can also get you in BIG trouble. Not the “go to your room” kind of trouble, but the “time to go back to your cell” kind of trouble.
Kid: My mom said ….
Me: Your mom is lying.
Me: But nothing kid! I told you I’m here to fill you in on the big secret of life. Are you ready? Every grown-up you see, even good ole grandma & grandpa, mom, dad, teachers … all of them, wish for ONE thing….Interruption…What? You with the hand waving like you’re putting out a fire…what?
Kid: My grandma wishes she could walk faster.
Me: I’m sure she does kid, I’m sure she does. Do you know why? Put your hands down, there is no need to guess because that’s what I’m here to tell you…All grown-ups wish they were kids…just like you. That’s right guys, they want to play in the dirt without a care in the world.
Kid: My dad doesn’t like when I get dirty.
Me: Yes he does, he’s just jealous. I bet your parents don’t like when you run around the house like energizer bunnies do they?
Kids: In unison …. NOOOOOOO!
Me: That’s because once again they are jealous. Do you get it kids? Every time you do something they can’t do, because they’re too big and it’s no longer acceptable, they get angry at you. Have any of you ever destroyed something in your house, but because you are so darn cute you got away with it? You, all the way in the back with the pointy tail and horns..what did you do?
Kid: One time, I um, emptied a case of bottled water in the driveway to make mud for my trucks and when my mom asked me “what happened to all the water?” I told her “I drank it” with a straight face and she smiled.
Me: Great example kid and kudos for the straight face…well-played, well-played indeed. Now, just imagine if your dad did that, what do you think would have happened? Ok, don’t get your pigtails in a knot, what would your mom do?
Kid: First she would tell my dad how stupid it was, then she would probably post about it on Facebook so all her friends could agree that my dad did a stupid thing and then she would just talk in “one words.”
Me: Your mom sounds lovely and pretty much dead on in this case. See, when you’re a grown-up you’re no longer cute…your just big, hairy and well, stupid. So, do you understand the message here kids?
Me: Do you see how important it is to be a kid as long as you possibly can?
Me: So what are you going to so about growing up kids?
Kids: Respectfully decline. Never forget our inner child. Learn how to act in public. Have the courage to become who we really are and Enjoy the Ride!
Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too!
Seriously, I could only hope that this included an ounce of fiction!
The 24 year-old recently divorced me was minding her own business, when her sister decided to do a little match making. What cuold go wrong? Somehow my sister stirred up a conversation with this young man and for reasons unknown, she thought I would be interested and actually got his number. Oh, she’s good.
Since I had just wasted 8 good years of my life with my
asshole first love, I was certainly ready to welcome a breath of fresh air. Ugh, I made the call like a nervous school girl and he invited me over on a Sunday afternoon. Honestly, what could possibly go wrong on something as safe as a Sunday afternoon? He lived close by but, I decided to drive in the event I needed to make a quick escape.
Just as I pulled up to the address, I noticed a young Adonis sitting on the front step. This godlike holder of testosterone was just what the doctor ordered with his tan shirtless torso, slightly long hair and cut-off shorts. Sweet Jesus! Well done sister, well done indeed!
I approached the porch with thoughts of pouncing this guy right on the spot. He was sitting there with this amazing smile looking delicious. I started off with a very simple “Hi, I’m Lisa are you George?” The name has been changed because I can’t remember the real one after using Troll for so long. Suddenly, before my Adonis could utter a word, a door flies open and I hear “No, I’m George that’s my neighbor.” ***BOOM*** That was my fantasy imploding on the porch.
The Adonis and I said goodbye as I went inside with this George Costanza look-alike, a frown and a trickle of my positive attitude. Let’s begin with the fact that my feet were barely over the threshold before this guy was trying to lure me upstairs to see his watch collection. I didn’t want to see watches, unless of course his neighbor decided to sport a few!
We sat at the kitchen table were I endured listening about his job. As the conversation was going on, I started to put some puzzle pieces together and conclude that George was a BAG
BOY MAN at the Acme. One would think at this point you would be listening to the screeching of my tires….but no, I just had to stay for more of this show.
For the record, the people close to me have already voted me most likely be buckled into the backseat of a stranger’s car while stating “hey, did you know you have rope, duck tape and knives back here?” I tend to see the good in people…I can’t help myself, it‘s who I am…ugh. That being said, when George kept pushing for me to see this watch collection I caved and headed upstairs. Feel free to shake your heads, I just did.
Oh…My…God! Who knew “watch collection” actually meant Marijuana Paraphernalia Collection! It wasn’t until I stood in this man-boy bedroom of sorts that I had the thought of “ok, it’s time to hightail it out of freaking crazy town!”
He went to the bathroom and I ran like hell!
On my way out Adonis said “Later” as if I weren’t the first female he had seen jumping off of the weed wagon! I got in the car and locked the doors just as George came looking for me…in his freaking underwear! Oh, it was clear at this point that there had been a brain cell massacre from all the pot smoking.
Life can be hilarious some times so … Enjoy the Ride!