Let Us Talk Lettuce: Roaming For Romaine

Walking into the grocery store, my list in hand, looking for first item on my list, green leaf lettuce.

Am about to grab some green leaf lettuce when I’m approached by young woman, early 20s, cute in a confused but earnest way, who asks me if she can ask me a question.

And so the conversation began…

~ 🥗 ~ 💚 ~ 🥗 ~

HER: I’m supposed to buy my dad some romaine lettuce.

{pause}

ME: Yes…

{pause}

HER: I don’t understand where the romaine lettuce is…

ME: It’s down the way to our–

HER: This isn’t romaine lettuce, is it?

[She has a plastic bag filled with something green and leafy.  She puts the plastic bag directly in front of my face, about 6″ in front of my eyes… because I’m old, I guess, and she wants to make sure that I can see what is in the bag.]

ME: No, that’s Napa cabbage.  It’s not romaine lettuce.

HER: This is CABBAGE?  In the lettuce department?

ME: Yes, it’s leafy and looks sort of like romaine lettuce, but it’s cabbage… and won’t work if you’re looking for lettuce.

{pause}

HER: What does it taste like?

ME: Cabbage.

{pause}

HER: Is that lettuce?  It’s red.

ME: Yes, that’s red leaf lettuce.  It’s lettuce… as is the green leaf lettuce beside it that I’m going to buy.

HER: Lettuce can be RED?

ME: Yes.

{pause}

HER: I don’t understand lettuce.  How do you know which one is which?

ME: There are little tags on the shelves below each kind of lettuce that tell you what it is.

[She takes the opportunity to turn her head sideways and notice the little tags, reading a few of them.]

HER: Huh. That’s helpful.

ME: Yes it is.  Now if you go down the way to our right–

HER: LOOK AT THAT! The tag says Napa cabbage.  That’s what I picked up.

ME: Uh huh.  Down the way, to our right, there are bags of–

HER: What am I going to do with this Napa cabbage that I don’t want?

ME: Put it back. On the shelf. With all the other Napa cabbages.

{pause}

HER: I can do that?

ME: Yes, and down the way, to our right, there are bags of romaine lettuce that have three–

HER: THREE!!! Yes, that’s what my dad said.  Bags of three. Where are they?

ME: Down the way. To our right, where the big sign talks about–

HER: Yes, yes.  I see it.  How did I miss it?  Thanks.

[She scampers off to buy a bag of romaine lettuce, leaving me to finish my sentence, unheard and definitely unheeded.]

ME: — where the big sign talks about the current dangers surrounding consumption of romaine lettuce.

~ The End ~

Because You Asked: My 5 Basic Blogging Guidelines

When it comes to blogging, I know things.

I have, after all, written a personal blog [most years] since 2004 so I have experience + I have a couple of college degrees about words and ideas and communication and images and branding.

Yes, I know a thing or two about keeping a personal blog, while not losing your mind in the process.

But what I do not have is much of an ego, so over the years I’ve been disinclined to put together any “how to” blogs posts in which I tell everyone what to do.  

I fear being pedantic.

That would never do. 

• • •

However, talking with an acquaintance got me thinking.

The acquaintance confided that she knew the practical aspects of writing and blogging platforms, but she was uncertain about how to envision, then maintain, a personal blog.  She wanted guidance.

From that conversation I got the idea to share my blogging guidelines in a pretty little informative image that sums up my experience on the topic. 

These are not blogging rules, if such a thing exists.  No, these are general guidelines that I’ve learned over the years, and adhered to as a way of centering myself and my thoughts when I sit down to do that bloggy thing that I love to do.

• • •

• • • 

Questions Of The Day

If someone were to ask you for guidance about how to keep a personal blog, what would you tell them?

How have you envisioned your blog? How have you maintained it?

If you were to start over, what would you do differently?

• • • 

No Salt For You: A Circular Dinnertime Conversation Between The Married People

You know how in the movies married couples have these amazing heart-to-heart conversations over a home-cooked meal? We’re not like that.

Our conversations are more like a Looney Tunes cartoon.

~ ~ ~ ~

Me, putting a plate of hot food in front of him: Don’t want any salt on your dinner.

Him: Ok.

Me, sitting down to eat: How does it taste?

Him: Tastes good. It doesn’t need salt.

Me: Good. Then you don’t want any salt on it.

Him, giving me an odd look: Yes, I don’t want any salt on my dinner.

Me: Excellent.

Him, still staring at me: Yep, quite tasty as it is.

Me: Uh huh.

Him: ARE YOU EVER GOING TO TELL ME WHY I CAN’T HAVE ANY SALT ON MY DINNER?

Me: Oh, sorry, you don’t know. We’re out of salt so don’t want any salt on your dinner.

Him: You’ve said that.

Me, distracted by the merry-go-round of thoughts in my brain: What?

Him: I don’t want any salt on my dinner.

Me: Well, good. That’s what I told you to do.

Him, giving me a sidelong glance: Yep, you did. Happy to cooperate. Wouldn’t want any salt on my dinner… oh. no. I. wouldn’t.

Me, half listening: Uh huh… what? Ok.

~ ~ ~ ~

Could it be that The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down is the Looney Tunes Theme? Why by golly, it is.

~ ~ ~ ~

That’s all Folks!

In Which I Remember Why I Like To Shop Online

I saw a former neighbor when I was out shopping in the real world. I hadn’t seen her in years, which was fine by me.

I’m a person who believes that losing contact with some people along the way is healthy because we’re not meant to stay in touch with everyone we’ve ever known.

When former neighbor spotted me, there was nowhere to hide, so I smiled.  My smile was sincere, just not in the way that I imagine former neighbor thought it was.

You see, I was smiling because I knew I was about to find out a few things that were wrong with me.  This is because former neighbor knows everything.

Yes, she knows it all.  She is always right.

And me?

I’m sorry to tell you, my gentle readers, I am wrong.  About almost everything.  All the time.

‘Tis a miracle that I can hold my head up high when I walk out my front door. THAT’S HOW WRONG I AM.

And true to form, after a bit of “where do you live now?” chit-chat, she started rabbiting on, allowing me to learn that I am wrong about 3 specific things. They are: 1) the value of higher education;  2) what sterling silver really is;  and 3) that I’m getting my hair cut at the wrong place.

Fortunately the conversation ended there because she spotted someone else she knew– and needed to correct.  So I took the opportunity to walk away, saying “good-bye” as I scurried in the opposite direction from where she was standing.

But as I was doing so, in a moment of self-awareness, I realized that shopping online is easier and quieter, with fewer distractions– and less criticism.

At The Pharmacy: But I Don’t Like This Answer, Said She

Never ask a question until you are prepared to hear an answer.  

That’s basic communication theory and common sense, I do believe.

Lawyers know this.  Teachers know this.  Police detectives know this.

Bloggers come to know this, usually the hard way.

Ask a question you assume you know the answer to: “Don’t you agree that Muskrat Love is the worst song ever?”  You may think that everyone will say: “Yes!”  But I’ll guarantee you that someone in the comments will say “No” and then explain why it’s their favorite song of all time.

• • •

Anyhoo, getting to the point of this post, I found myself laughing at myself because I asked a question to which I was not prepared to hear the answer.

OH. NO. I. WASN’T.

You see, I was at the pharmacy picking up my prescription.  It was the first time this year that I had it refilled.

The worried look on the pharmacy tech’s face probably should have warned me, but when she said: “oh, your prescription has gone up in price” I instantly said: “how much?”

Trust me when I say I was not prepared to hear the answer to my question.  An answer that was: “oh, 200%– or a little more.”  

HUH?

I didn’t throw a hissy fit, nor did I get upset with this pharmacy tech, she’s just the messenger of bad news.  I went ahead and bought this medicine that technically I could live without;  I need the script to see straight in a comfortable way, not in a life or death way.

But I will say that I was shocked by the answer to my question, and kind of startled into remembering that no matter where you go, or what you do, the answer to your question may not make you happy.

COMMON SENSE, RE-LEARNED.

In Which The Beans Discuss The TV Remote Control, Unnecessary Complexity Of Said

ZEN-DEN POLITELY EXPLAINED TO ME that I needed to re-frame my irritation.  That I had to let my mind embrace a new way of thinking about some of the little daily irritations that bug the snot out of me.

“Chickiedoodle,” he said, “it’s all just dust in the wind. Insignificant.”

[Yes, he sometimes call me Chickiedoodle.  Grow up people, we’re married & cutesy nicknames happen.]

“It’s not worth worrying about these small things.  I respect your feelings about them, and you’re right– but you gotta let it go.”

There’s a reason why he’s called ZEN-Den, you know.  He can get mellow, philosophical at the interconnectedness of life, almost without trying.  Little things in daily life don’t bug him so much.

But me?  I see the faults.  I remember the faults.  And then I tend to mutter.

Which is how this conversation started.

~ • 📺 • ~

Artist’s rendering of sensible TV remote control that has only what is needed on it, written in large letters and numbers.

~ • 📺 • ~

YOU SEE, I WANTED TO watch something on cable TV, but I was once again thwarted by the unnecessary complexity of our remote control.

Hence, I was muttering to Z-D about how ridiculous it is that to turn on the television one does not use the “TV” button on the remote control.  No, one uses something called “Input” while ignoring the button that you’d think logically turns on the television.

But it doesn’t.

And if by chance you forget and hit the logical “TV” button, then everything goes wonky on the screen, and you’re left not watching television because you, a woman who dislikes gadgety things on principle, can’t remember how to turn on the darned television.

So I end up not watching cable TV, while complaining loudly about the intentionally irritating nonsensical TV remote control.

Dust in the wind?  Not buying it.

It’s a conspiracy to drive me crazy crazier.

A Conversation: Blue Is My Color, But I’m Not Blue

🔹 🔹 🔹 🦋 🔹 🔹 🔹

Oh dear, I got myself into a confusing conversation about, of all things, my mental health.

🔹 🦋 🔹

Which is fine.  I’m a bit cynical + anxious, but considering Cadet Bone Spurs is our so-called president, who isn’t?

Anyhoo, I was at the doc’s office having my quarterly micropeel with an aesthetician I’ve seen once before.  She had with her a new-to-this-practice aesthetician-in-training.  Both women, in their 40s, had worked in medical practices for decades.

I was wearing a cornflower blue cardigan sweater because: 1) I’ve worn shades of blue since I can remember;  & 2) as a graying blonde this particular shade of blue is flattering on me, if I do say so myself.

I walked into the procedure room and the aesthetician-in-training mentioned that I look good in blue.  To which I said: “Thank you, blue is the color of my life.”

Because it is.  If I’m not wearing blue, I’m probably wearing teal.  Another color of my life.

But not part of this story.

🔹 🦋 🔹

Now as I’m standing there in the procedure room, there’s a pause while both women look at me, troubled, concerned– ready to help.

🔹 🦋 🔹

They start saying, alternately: “Oh, I’m so sorry.”  “I know this time of year can be difficult when you’re dealing with depression.”  “How are you doing today?”  “You can talk to us… we understand.”

They had tears in their eyes.

Yet there I was, about as emotionally balanced as I ever am, suddenly aware of what they thought I’d said, trying to explain to them that I meant BLUE the color– not blue, a reference to depression.

But do you have any idea how difficult it is to dissuade someone that you aren’t depressed when they’ve misinterpreted what you said, thinking that you’ve felt comfortable enough with them to share your pain?

Anything I said sounded like I was in denial, trying to back-pedal about a mental health problem.  While in fact I was trying to explain to them that as a rosacea-challenged fading summer blonde, blue is a pretty color for me to wear.

Blue with green undertones. Blue with purple undertones.

Just plain blue.

Light blue. Medium blue. Dark blue.

BLUE. ME. WEAR. OFTEN.

It took some doing on my part but I think that I convinced them in a polite way that my mental health was fine, and that while I appreciated their concern, I was being literal about the color blue.

That really, I’ve not been sad or depressed my whole life.

🔹 🦋 🔹

But honestly… talk about a weirdly awkward situation to be in.  One that only I could get myself into, I suspect.

🔹 🔹 🔹 🦋 🔹 🔹 🔹