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Wednesday Lady

Today is Friday. Which means that two days ago, it was Wednesday. Grocery shopping day.

I don’t buy much at the small rural market, mainly because the “fresh” produce they carry usually isn’t. I buy frozen peaches, carrots, frozen green beans, frozen broccoli, and a case of bananas.

Yes, an entire case.

Yes, every week. We eat mostly raw food, thus our primary source of carbohydrates is fruit.

Can you guess what the primary fruit might be. You’re so smart! Yes, bananas! In these tasty dishes known as “smoothies.”

And, yes, on Wednesday. Why? Because the market gets a truck in every Tuesday and Friday evening. Which means if I order something by the case, I can pick it up on Wednesday or Saturday.

I choose Wednesday, because it’s against my religion to go grocery shopping on Saturday.

Oh, wait. Sorry. I was trying to be funny, but it actually is against some people’s religion to go shopping on Saturday.

No offense.

Anyway.

The assistant manager of the produce department – whose name I know; it’s Mitch – makes sure to order a case of bananas every Monday so it will come on Tuesday so I can pick it up on Wednesday.

If a person buys something by the case, the cashier – whose name I know; it’s Martha – has to call one of the managers to run his I.D. so she can put in the price. Chris is the name of one of the managers. J.T. is the name of the general store manager.

I know their names.

Where everybody knows your name

You might be wondering why I’m making such a big deal about knowing the names of the people who work at the store. Well, that’s pretty common in a small town, everybody knowing everybody else. Right?

It’s true of our bank. Even though we hardly ever go in there anymore, whichever teller-lady waits on us she brings up our account without us having to say “boo.”

Or tell her our name.

Let alone show her our I.D.

If all the bank tellers, who hardly ever see us, can put a name to our faces, wouldn’t you think that it this would be true for the people who see me every single week without fail?

It’s what I had thought. Until, a little while ago from typing these words, I had put the last bag of bananas in the freezer and noticed this:

Now, I’ve seen “sold” written on the banana boxes before. It lets everyone – Chris, J.T., Mitch – know the bananas are not to go out on the display case.

But apparently a higher-up told whoever was writing “sold” that this was not good enough. They had to write the name of the person to whom the case was being sold.

“They” most likely being Mitch.

But I can’t be sure, so I won’t pick on him exclusively. Whoever it is obviously doesn’t know my name. He just knows I’m going to pick up the bananas on Wednesday.

Therefore, he chose the name, “Wednesday Lady.”

I never take pictures, hardly ever pick up my camera, so you have to know I thought the above photo was worth taking. It was pretty funny.

I’m wondering if, next Wednesday, I should drop my driver’s license on the floor right in front of Mitch – uh, I mean Choctaw Market man – so that he has to pick it up.

But then, he might not read my name.

I could ask a question. “Hey, just for grins, is my first name spelled the way you thought it was, or did you have the Southern ‘Emma Lee’ in your head?”

You know, do something real subtle-like to help him out a bit.

Wednesday Lady. LOL.

In truth, the incident inspired me and helped me to zero in on the content and name of my next YouTube channel.

Don’t look for it yet. I’ll tell you when I get it set up.

In the meantime, here, have a banana. I’ve got plenty. 😉

 

 

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How NOT To Handle The “F Bomb”

I was an elementary school teacher for thirteen years. I know that yelling at a kid isn’t the greatest way to get them to listen to you.

I’ve been a mom for twelve years. I know that yelling at my kid won’t get me anywhere – unless you want to count a trip to the fighting ring.

Everybody knows that if a child blurts out a naughty word when he’s upset, that’s the worst time to call him on the carpet for it. The worst time to try to shell out discipline.

Everybody knows that. Even I.

Unfortunately, the most critical pieces of child-rearing wisdom somehow always get stuck in the back closet of my subconscious when I need them most.

Like today. When B said the “F” word.

It wasn’t the first time. It was the second. The first time was a week or so ago, when he gleefully called something “mother-f-ers.” Being the informed, calm parent and former teacher that I am, I flew into a blind panic that my son had used the “F bomb”, then jumped all over his case about it and asked where he learned that word. He became so angry that he burst into tears and went outside to destroy weeds.

And I felt like the worst mother on earth. He didn’t know it was a bad word (phrase, in this case). A gaming channel that he enjoyed spewed it out on a regular basis, so he thought it was a benign as other gamers saying “What the-“ and “holy crap” (though I don’t particularly care for the latter).

As soon as we both settled down, I told him what the word meant (good thing we’d already had the S.E.X. conversation) and asked him not to watch any more channels were the YouTubers used the “F” word.

And I told him he wasn’t to use it himself. Ever. Again. He agreed.

But today, he said it again. He got mad at J and said “f—ing thing.”

I would like to tell you I learned my lesson from the first time he said it. I would like to tell you that I waited until his anger subsided until I reminded him what we had talked about regarding that word.

I would also like to tell you that God has supernaturally healed the bunion on my right foot, and that ice cream and brownies are health foods.

But alas, I would be lying.

Thus it would be regarding my reaction to B’s second offense.

I could justify it by stating that he did know it was a bad word, and he had promised not to say it again. But how many times have I promised myself I was done saying a particular bad word? And in a fit of temper, let it loose?

Can you say, “hypocrite”? I knew you could. (Um, that’s from the twentieth-century children’s T.V. show Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Thanks for making me feel old.)

Anyway, how fair is it to expect a pre-teen with sensitive emotions to exhibit perfect self-control when I can’t? Or, don’t.

A-hem.

It’s not fair. Especially when it’s the last day of the Mercury retrograde, a day when tempers are sure to be short and moods precarious.

Regardless, I jumped all over his case, but this time it was worse. This time, I told him if he was going to keep using bad words, I was going to move to Bora-Bora all by myself and never even send a postcard. I might have also made J feel bad in the process by insinuating that he’s not an assertive enough disciplinarian.

B exploded, J simmered, I fumed. Good thing it was a chilly day, or we would have been roasting inside.

Time passed. B settled. J and I talked to him, and I apologized for handling the situation wrong. I suggested B say “blasted” when he felt the need to cuss.

Life went on.

I think I’m over it. But I hope I learned a lesson today. A lesson that will stick, and serve me well in the future.

The lesson? I need to spend the last day of the Mercury retrograde in Bora-Bora.

Wherever the…um, heck…that is.

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Our son, B, did it. He finally asked The Question.

Yes, I mean THE Question. I’m not kidding around like I was in this post.

The fastest sex-ed class ever

It wasn’t the first time he’d asked The Question. Before, we put him off, telling him he needed to wait until he was older. This time, he was around eleven and a half years old when, right in the middle of an episode of Little House On The Prairie, he blurted out, “So do women just randomly get pregnant, or what?”

His question wasn’t random. This was the episode where both Miss Beadle – I mean, whatever her name was after she got married; I forget – and Carolyn (Ingalls) get pregnant (the latter with Grace). B’s pre-teen brain couldn’t take the suspense much longer.

I looked at J. J looked at me. His look said, “Just to remind you, you’re the one that likes to talk.”

Aw, hubbies are so sweet sometimes.

Anyway, I looked at B. “Are you sure you’re ready to hear it? If I tell you, you’ll probably never look at Mommy and Daddy the same way again.” After a second, “You may never look at girls the same way ever again.”

“Yes, I’m ready,” he said with an enthusiastic nod.

So I gave him the birds-and-the-bees bare-bone-basics. What parts of whose body goes where, and why.

A pause.

Then, after a melodramatic grimace, “I’m never going to have sex!”

I said, “Keep thinking that way until you’re about thirty!”

Oh, no! He’s becoming a typical teenager!

His question that night didn’t surprise me. I knew the subject was bound to come up soon.

What did surprise me was a scenario I encountered last week.

A little background: B doesn’t like for me to cut his hair, because he’s super-ticklish around the neck and is also afraid I’m going to cut an ear off with the scissors. Nevertheless, he lets me cut it a couple of times in the summer so it doesn’t get in his face while he’s swimming.

He also likes to grow his hair long during the fall and winter because, he says, it keeps him warmer.

I should also tell you that the only time he’s ever looked in the mirror (just a small, hand-held one; we don’t have any large wall mirrors) was if he thought he looked funny somehow, or I told him to look to wipe ketchup off his mouth.

Those times have been rare.

So a few days ago, I did a double-take. There B stood, just outside the bathroom, studying himself – and I mean, studying himself – in the mirror. If I’d have been thinking, I would have caught the moment on camera.

But I couldn’t think. My little boy was acting like he actually cared about what he looked like!

Say WHAT??

He finally lowered the mirror, looked down at me to where I lay half-conscious on the floor, and announced, “I think I need a haircut. Just about this much.” And he pulled a strand away from his head, indicating with his fingers the length he’d like it cut.

I tried not to make a big deal out of it. Okay, anymore than I already had. I wasn’t sure whether to be excited or sad.

My baby is growing up. Seriously.

His hair is now about an inch shorter than it was a week ago, without me having said one word to encourage it.

Wait, I did say one word a few weeks earlier when he complained about how hard it was to wash his hair in the plastic tub (our house is not plumbed – no shower). But I didn’t push, and didn’t pursue it.

B is starting to care about how he looks. What’s next? Cutting his fingernails? Body odor? Will he have whiskers on his chin tomorrow morning when he wakes up?

Where will it all end?

**SIGH**.

Signs that your little boy isn’t so little anymore.

 

 

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College? Job? Debt? HELP!!

Question on Quora:

Would it be better to delay college for 4 years and save up and start your career later, or go into debt and start career earlier?

My answer:

The first question you need to be asking is, “Do I absolutely need a college degree for the career I want?” Because this is a different world than it was 30 years ago. College degrees don’t go as far. People with skills and know-how can get a job that is advertised as requiring a degree, without a degree…if they can prove their competence to the potential employer up front.

Consider also that over half of all people with a college degree never use the degree. Taking community college classes here and there, and otherwise learning as you go, might be enough to get you where you want to go.

Do you have a specific career in mind? In that case, could you find fulfilling work in a related career that doesn’t require a degree? Or, at least not four years?

I would recommend delving into the workforce as well as staring a side, part-time micro-business focused on an interest or talent you have. The one will broaden your skill sets and vision of opportunity, the other could turn into a lucrative, full-time career.

After doing both for a couple of years, you will

1) be able to better discern whether you truly need a college degree, and

2) have a much better idea about “what you want to be when you grow up.”

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How To Be NICE Without Being A Pushover

Question on Quora:

Why do people feel the need to be rude to me even though I am nice and polite to everyone?

My answer:

Two possible reasons. One is that, sorry to say, people have become ruder during the past 20 years (I’m almost 49). I think the Internet is partly to blame, because you can get into the habit of being rude anonymously, which will then slide over into face-to-face communication.

The second one, and one that I found when I was a kid, is that people take your kind character as permission to run roughshod over you. They see you as a doormat. And you’re too nice to stand up for yourself and establish boundaries.

Quick story: after graduating from college, I worked nights for a while at a nice restaurant. One of my fellow table servers was a 30-something year old guy who couldn’t keep lewd comments out of his conversation. He wasn’t making sexual innuendos toward me, understand, just talking generally.

He was a first-grade teacher, married with a kid, by the way. By which I mean to say, I found his behavior completely incongruent with his station in life.

One night, I’d had enough. I said, with firmness, something to the effect of how I found his constant sexual remarks offensive and that I wanted him to stop.

Never heard another lewd comment out of his mouth again.

Don’t stop being kind, but when people behave rudely set boundaries and be firm about it. Maybe even ask for reciprocal manners? You have the right not to be a doormat.

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