This is a question I’ve pondered lately. Everyone I know is quick to tell me about holidays they like, but rarely do I find myself in a conversation about a holiday someone does not like.
So I made this poll, basing my answers on my Judeo-Christian Middle Class American experiences. I know that around the world there are lots of other holidays than the ones I listed here, so if your least favorite holiday is not on my list you may add it to the poll using the “other” category.
If you, my gentle readers, want to tell me why a particular holiday is your least favorite, the comments below are the place to do it. Certainly everyone has one holiday that bugs them while everyone else around them is enjoying it.
ONCE UPON A TIME the Lady of the House was minding her own bidness, standing in her kitchen pouring some granola into a bowl, when she was startled, almost out of her skin, by an obnoxious bird.
THIS BIRD, A ROBIN, made himself known by peering into the kitchen as if he wanted into the house. Which wasn’t going to happen.
THE LADY OF THE HOUSE, in a Tippi Hedren moment, had a sudden horrifying flashback to The Birds, a creepy movie the Lady of the House saw at an impressionable age.
UPON REGAINING HER COMPOSURE the Lady of the House watched as the nosy robin stalked her, boldly staring at her and the bowl of granola that she was eating.
NOT WANTING TO RUFFLE any feathers the Lady of the House, a charitable woman, decided to give the nosy robin some granola. Hence she bravely went outside onto her deck, and put a small handful of granola on the railing.
HOWEVER, THE UNGRATEFUL ROBIN flew away when the Lady of the House walked onto the deck, leaving the granola untouched.
WHILE YOU MIGHT THINK that’d be a good thing, it turns out that what the Lady of the House inadvertently did was chase the nosy robin to the front of the house where he dive-bombed the outside of the window in the foyer for hours. The end.
ZEN-DEN POLITELY EXPLAINED TO MEthat 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.
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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.
He turned to look at me and snarled. I looked at him and tipped my head, slightly, to acknowledge his presence.
I didn’t attempt to run over him with my car nor did I give him the finger. Both options occurred to me as I sat there waiting for him to get out of my way but I realize that with some people indifferent is the best you can do.
I’D LOVE TO LEAVE THIS story at that, but here’s the thing– and it’s something that’s weighed on my mind since seeing this guy, a man who has served his prison time and is now merely listed on the state registered sex offender website.
In the last year, or two, this man has fathered a baby girl with his wife [girlfriend?]. They live down the street. In this family neighborhood.
Interestingly enough, it’s my understanding that soon, in the next year, he will be eligible to have his name removed from the sex offender website. Meaning that only those of us neighbors who are here now will know about his past.
SO GETTING TO MY POINT, I’m left with three questions:
would any parent knowingly allow their child to play with his daughter at his house?
how unfair is it for this daughter to live her life under the shadow of his crime? and
when new neighbors move into the neighborhood, should someone tell them the rest of his story?
HEY! DID YOU KNOW… that an ATM can take your card away from you? A legitimate card that you’ve had for a while? A card that attaches to an account that has your money in it?
Well, it can. And one did.
Here’s what happened: I drove to our local bank branch, got into the stay-in-your-car ATM lane, got to the machine, put my bright red ATM card into the machine– and WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM the machine ate my card.
Just. Like. That.
The message on the ATM screen said that my card had been confiscated for security reasons and that I needed to contact my financial institution for further assistance.
Considering that I was at my financial institution I found this message ludicrous.
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• • •
SO I SWORE AT… the ATM, as one does, then I drove around to the front of the bank, found a parking spot, got out of my car, wandered into the bank branch, waited in line– and finally got to a teller.
This teller, a pleasant woman, told me that the bank doesn’t want its customers to use our old bright red ATM cards, so the bank is confiscating them when you try to use one. Thereafter, I was quickly issued a new light blue ATM card that the bank wants me to use.
And it worked when I used it so… *yay* I guess.
• • •
• • •
BUT HERE’S THE THING… what if I’d been on vacation when this happened? Or at the airport stuck waiting for a flight? Or I needed the cash immediately for some reason*?
What would have happened then?
The reality is that I would have been in dire straits through no doing of my own– all because the bank, who has my money, doesn’t like the ATM card it issued to me.
So instead of just sending me a new card, the bank decided that it’d be better to risk my safety and experience my ire, than waste the money on an envelope and postage to send me a new light blue ATM card.
That gets me to my money.
All of which has me thinking that Sheldon might be onto something, ‘ya know?
• • •
* Actual real-life examples of when I needed cash now:
in the hospital emergency waiting room late at night by myself, hungry, in need of cash to use in the vending machine
in a foreign country too tired to use public transit back to hotel, in need of cash to use to take a taxi
at a local art show, having found a beautiful piece of art, in need of cash to buy it from the person who made it
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
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Phooey! I’m working on being grateful now, but after last week’s unexpected clear blue skies, this week’s return to dreary gray skies with snow has been difficult.
Piffle! Then add the lost hour of sleep [I’m looking at you, Daylight Savings Time] and I’m not feeling my usual writing mojo OR joie de vivre OR any other flapdoodle-y & twaddle-ish way of using words to indicate joy and productivity.
Pshaw! So instead of stressing myself to find something to write about that is actually interesting and fresh, I’ll just share some photos– and attempt to remember that I am grateful for this change in weather because the more the wet now, the prettier the flowers then.
In case you care, I looked up the meanings of the exclamatory words I used above. They are defined as follows:
I was in Best Buy in an upscale part of town and after a long wait in line I’d finally made it to the cashier, a pleasant efficient girl, a bit on the plain Jane side, probably college age– totally confused about what to do next.
“But what do I do with it?”
She was holding the change from the transaction that had just taken place in front of me when two Kardashian-esque high school kids had purchased some candy with a twenty-dollar bill– and refused to take their change.
“I tried to give them the $13.47 back, but they wouldn’t take it. They told me to keep the change. But it’s theirs, not mine.”
I’d been watching and listening to these kids directly in front of me while standing in line. I knew them for what they were. Troublemakers. Snotty rich kids wasting Daddy’s money. Pointing at the cashier, snickering about her looks.
“But what do I do with the money? It’s not mine.”
As if on cue, we heard a car engine outside the front window of the store and turned to see the two high school kids in a convertible Mercedes, top down, driving by the window laughing and waving at us.
With that my cashier began to cry. Somehow being mocked by these two had really gotten to her.
So there I stood, waiting for the tears to stop and for her to look at me. When she did, still sniffling, I answered her question about what she should do. I said:
You’re ok. You did everything right. This is not your fault, no one is going to blame you. After your shift when you turn in your till tonight you explain that there’s $13.47 too much in there because some rich idiotic spoiled kids wouldn’t take their change. You’re ok. This is not your fault, no one is going to blame you.
And you know what? My words calmed her down so that she stopped sniffling, rang up my sale– and was back to her cheerful self quietly saying her newfound mantra.
“I’m ok. This is not my fault. No one’s going to blame me.”