A Conversation About Curly Hair With The UPS Delivery Man

Our new front sidewalk, pristine and perfect.

THE Scene

I heard the UPS truck pull up in front of the house, mid-morning. I looked out the study window and saw the UPS delivery man step off the truck carrying a thin squishy envelope package for me [a t-shirt from Lands’ End].

He’s a nice guy, handsome, a regular in our neighborhood, and I’m a nice person so I walked out the front door and started walking down the sidewalk to meet him halfway.

Save him a few steps in the intense summer heat, ‘ya know.

Welp, I smiled and said “hello” while extending my left hand to grab the thin squishy envelope package, figuring he’d hand it to me. But instead he froze in place about four feet in front of me and just stared at me.

I followed his gaze and realized I had MY HAIR TIED UP on top of my head in what probably seemed to him to be an UNUSUAL style. I was wrong about that assumption.

THE CURLY HAIR BACKSTORY

When I can, like on days when I’m staying home, after I wash my hair I don’t use a hairdryer;  instead I pull my wet curly hair into a topknot held in place with an elastic.

Then I twist bandana around it in such a way as to tie up my hair. This way my hair dries off my neck AND it forms groovy, beachy curls in the process.

It’s AN OLD-FASHIONED WAY of styling your hair that back then involved clean rags, but now as an affluent suburbanite I use A BANDANA purchased at Walmart for $1.98.

THE CONVERSATION BEGINS

Curly hair, he said.

Yes, said I while trying to reach over to grab the package from his hand, but to no avail.

You do that when it’s wet, he said. It wasn’t a question, it was a statement.

Yes, said I whilst staring intently at the package in his hand, hoping he’d remember why he was here.

Huh, he replied.

A LONG PAUSE during which time I began to notice how hot it was outside standing on the sidewalk in bare feet in the direct sunshine. DAMNED HOT.

THE CONVERSATION CONTINUES

My wife does that with our daughter’s hair, he explained.

Yes, said I nodding my head in what I hoped was a conversation-ending gesture of understanding.

I thought she was pulling my leg when she said it’s what you do with curly hair. I had two sisters but they had straight hair, he continued.

Yes, said I.

They never did that, he confided.

Hmmm, said I wondering where this conversation was going to go next.

After another LONG PAUSE, during which time he further scrutinized my hair like I WAS A SCIENCE PROJECT, he handed me the package.

THE UNEXPECTED COMPLIMENT

The bandana is a nice touch. My wife doesn’t use one of those but it looks cute on you, he said.

Thank you, said I whilst pondering how out of kilter the Universe must be that I, a gray-haired woman of a certain age, had just been told my hairstyle was “cute” by a handsome 30-something man.

I’m going to suggest she get some bandanas for our daughter’s hair, he told me.

Good idea, said I.

And with that he FINALLY handed me the package and said “goodbye” as he walked back to his truck, SHAKING HIS HEAD IN AMAZEMENT, mumbling about how he couldn’t believe his wife hadn’t been joshing him all along.

~ THE END ~

PLEASE NOTE: I’m having difficulties leaving comments on some blogs and it’s incredibly frustrating.

I don’t know if the problem is in my browser or if it’s another example of gremlins in WordPress. The problem seems random. Rivergirl, yes. Nicole, no. Kate, sometimes. And so it goes…

Also, on random blogs I’m not consistently receiving an indication that there’s been a reply to my comment when there has been one. Another gremlin?

Taking A Break From Blogging + A Tally Of YOUR Favorite Ice Cream Flavors

QOTD: how many words did I use in this post? Hmmm…? Care to guess?

~ ~

I’m tired.

My home is in chaos with no end in sight for these remodeling projects. The country is going to hell in a handbasket courtesy, most recently, of the Supreme Snort Court. And the world is a dumpster fire thanks to Mr. Putin.

I am almost without words.

Thus I’m going to step away from blogging for the month of July, maybe longer, so that I might REGROUP. Perhaps RECONSIDER what I want to do here. RELAX, even.

But before I go, let me share the following with you. 😋

~ • ~

AND FINALLY READER COMMENTS IN THE FORM OF A TALLY…

About ice cream flavors. You told me your favorites. Listed below in descending order of preference are the flavors with two or more votes:

  1. VANILLA
  2. CHOCOLATE
  3. STRAWBERRY
  4. MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP
  5. MOOSE TRACKS
  6. COOKIE DOUGH
  7. ROCKY ROAD
  8. PRALINES AND CREAM
  9. COFFEE
  10. DARK CHOCOLATE SORBET

~ ~ • ~ ~

The One About Grace And Frankie & Fun Quirky Details About My Dad

[Spoiler alert]

• • •

OVER THE WEEKEND I FINISHED WATCHING the last hilarious season of the TV show, Grace and Frankie.  One of the episodes* in this season involves Grace [played by Jane Fonda] reconciling with her younger brother [played by Jamey Sheridan] who she hasn’t seen in years.

She invites him to her house on the pretext of familial love, but the truth is she’s feeling unexpectedly nostalgic and wants him to give her the family recipe for chicken paprikash.

He knows this recipe by heart.

In the course of their conversation he figures out the subterfuge and starts to walk out, but Frankie [played by Lily Tomlin] finds a way for the two of them to get along.

He was young when their father died and he wants to know fun little details about the man.  So for every chicken paprikash ingredient he says, Grace tells him something personal about their father.

This episode was quintessential Grace and Frankie, funny and poignant.

Absurd, yet believable.

• • •

THIS EPISODE GOT ME THINKING ABOUT fun little details about my father;  he died when I was 15 so my memories of him are from a kid’s point of view.  The details I remember aren’t about his professions, or his accomplishments, or his character– just idiosyncratic things about an adult.

Thus in honor of this coming weekend’s Father’s Day in the US, and for snorts and giggles, I share a list of some fun quirky details about my dad.

Ostensibly it’s about my father, but perhaps gives a glimpse into who I am as well.  I’ve read that the oldest daughter is a female version of her father. Maybe so, maybe not.

All I know is he was character.

• • •

✅ He could wiggle his ears.

✅ His favorite holiday was St. Patrick’s Day. He wore a green necktie and green suspenders, and insisted we have corned beef & cabbage dinner– with a shot of Irish whiskey for the adults.

✅ He collected antique guns.

✅ He was a camera-shy** camera nut, with more brands and lenses and tripods and lights than you can imagine. Equipment everywhere.

✅ He kept bees and we ate honey from the hive.

✅ He had a pair of boxer shorts underwear that had a white background with red ants crawling around. When he wore the underwear he’d say he had “ants in his pants.”

✅ He was ambidextrous.

✅ He didn’t suffer fools easily, nor dawdling little girls, so if I was being pokey and said “I’m coming, I’m coming” he’d yell “SO’S CHRISTMAS.” 

• • •

Questions of the Day

If you knew him as a child, what fun and/or quirky little details do you remember about your father?

Are you like him in any ways?

If you watched it, what did you think of Season 7 of Grace and Frankie?

Did the series finale work for you?

* Season7, Episode 14 – The Paprikash

** The best photo of him I have is of him sitting by a cadaver he worked on in med school.  While interesting, it is macabre, not suitable for this PG-13 blog.

A Spring + Summer Fling: The One About Simplifying My Blog Posting Schedule

BUT FIRST I AM ELSEWHERE…

On Saturday Yvette at priorhouse blog posted an in-depth interview with me for her ongoing monthly series.  I was thrilled to be asked to participate.  Go HERE to read the interview.

• • •

Image via @positivelytherapy on IG

If you’ve been around The Spectacled Bean for a while you may remember that last year about this time I decided to change how often I’d post to this blog.

At the time I had nothing written ahead and I was staring at a blank screen.  [History is repeating itself today, btw.]  It seemed like an opportunity to ditch my weekly posting schedule and try something new.

Because why not?

Thus I decided to change my modus operandi and post once every two weeks, usually on Tuesday, during spring and summer.  To become a fortnightly blog— and isn’t that a grandiose way to describe something so simple!

To my amazement this relaxed schedule was an excellent idea during the warmer days of the year.  Muse was onto something good.  All my happiness chemicals kicked in to make me, well– happy.

I wrote my usual posts, just less frequently;  I continued to share the comment love elsewhere;  and then I goofed off.  I was productive enough, connected as usual, but more carefree than during the colder months when I’m stuck inside.

So I’m going to do the same thing this year.  If something works, stick with it.

Right?

I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and comment here because y’all make blogging fun.  I wouldn’t have lasted this long in blogland if it weren’t for all my gentle readers + kind lurkers + wordy commenters.  You’re the best of all the rest.

Thank you.

And with that sincere compliment I shall go forth, doing less while pursuing my Word of the Year: ENJOY!

• • •

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About being the weird one in the neighborhood:

“If I’m being totally honest I am pretty sure that I would fit the description of the wackiest neighbor. I say that because I’m the one that my neighbors laugh and wave at while I’m running down the road chasing my donkey, or taking a walk and have my son, three cats (of the 6) cats strolling behind me, my two dogs wiggling around my legs, and possibly a stray duck, chicken, or even a goose following as well.”

~ LaShelle

“There was a time, long ago, when I kept rotten uncooked eggs and threw them from my balcony onto the car when the driver hooted … if there’s one thing I cannot stand, it’s hooting. He was a hooter of note.”

~ Susan

“When I got to the door, my neighbor, a very kind woman said ‘I don’t know if you’re okay with this, but your kids are playing on the roof.’ My kids were 5 and 3. They had popped the screen out of a bedroom window and as I could hear them just fine, I thought they were in the room. But nope. They had climbed onto the front porch roof, used that to climb onto the garage roof, and then onto the roof of our second story home. When I got them back in the house and asked them what they were doing I was told they were playing flood.”

~ Katie

Deconstructing Goblin Mode: It Can Happen To The Best Of Us

Image via The Gottman Institute on IG

I’m just throwing it out here, but I may have gone goblin.  Yep, I might be in Goblin Mode.

As you must realize it’s been a long 2 years of living with Covid-19 realities and precautions.  Plus considering I’m an introvert at heart, I may have been on the precipice of going goblin to begin with.

What is Goblin Mode, you may be asking?

According to Google Trends this term, Goblin Mode, has been around for a while, peaking in popularity in February 2022.  The Guardian recently published an article about this term.  The article is cleverly entitled: “Slobbing out and giving up: why are so many people going ‘goblin mode’?”

Here is what I learned from reading the article.  Someone named Juniper, a primary source I guess, described Goblin Mode as: “… kind of the opposite of trying to better yourself…. everyone’s just kind of wild and insane right now.”  

The article also says that Goblin Mode is: “… an almost spiritual-level embrace of our most debased tendencies.”

This was clarified further by Cat Marnell, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir How To Murder Your Lifewho said that: “It’s when you act crazy, and you enter a very mythological space– you want to jump on the back of a salamander and make trouble.” 

Examples of being in Goblin Mode include, but are not limited to, the ideas of not committing to a daily exercise regime, not bothering to wear clothes that match, and pretty much giving up on the bread-baking homemaker ideal + healthy diet that was popular at the beginning of the pandemic.

I have to be truthful here, the foregoing paragraph does ring true with me– and perhaps with you, too.  [Don’t worry, you’re among friends so you can admit it.]

While I don’t think I’m a total slob nor am I certifiably insane after two years of being on constant alert for an invisible virus that can kill me & everyone I love, I do think I’ve shifted my priorities, allowed myself to be less uptight in general.

In fact I’d go so far as to say I’m a person who’d love to cause some harmless trouble– if I could only find the right salamander.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

How did you… first come to realize that Goblin Mode was a thing?

In what ways… do you feel you are currently in Goblin Mode?

Tell me about… what you like or dislike about the concept of Goblin Mode.

What’s it like… to know that you, or someone you love, may have gone goblin?

• • •