If I’m Chopped Liver, Then You’re Bologna

Some situations provoke me to the point of regressing to my EIGHT YEAR OLD LITTLE GIRL SELF… mouthing off… under my breath… to myself… about someone.

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To wit, as I may or may not have mentioned before, I live in a suburb that is non-friendly.  People are neutral about other people.  Pleasant, but indifferent.  Aware, but detached.  Previously polite to a fault.

This I can live with.

But what I cannot condone is rudeness.  And that is what I’m finding more often when I go outside for a walk.

###

For example, yesterday as I was walking along – up & down the hills – around the curves, I said “hi” or “hello” to all the people who I passed.  I exhibited a modicum of good manners.

I. Was. Nice.

People with headphones nodded at me.  People talking on phones waved hello.  People with dogs shouted a greeting back at me.  People just out for a stroll said “hi” or “hello” back to me as I walked by them.

However, people reading their smart phones as they walked along – up & down the hills – around the curves IGNORED ME.

Besides the obvious fact that it’s foolhardy to not pay attention to where you’re going when you’re walking along – up & down the hills – around the curves, it is rude to not acknowledge the person who is near you in real life.

###

As we all know, REJECTION HURTS.

So naturally, being the mature adult that I am, I started talking to myself about this boorish behavior.  My muttering monologue went something like this…

ADULT ME [sarcastic, through clenched teeth]: Well, don’t say anything to me.  Just. Being. Polite.

CHILD ME [insulted]: Hey, hey– what’s wrong with you, you poopy head?

ADULT ME [irritated]: Boy, I tell you, Ally– you try to be nice & see what you get?

CHILD ME [frantic]: Hey booger face, I’m over here.  What am I?  Chopped liver? Huh?!

ADULT ME [resigned, with a sigh]: Whatever.  Some people aren’t even worth the bother.

CHILD ME [zinging away]: Well, well, well… if I’m chopped liver, then you’re bologna.  Cut thick.  Just like you, fatso!

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Bottom line truth of this story?  I LOVED BEING SNOTTY RIGHT BACK AT THESE PEOPLE.  Granted, the conversation was only in my head, but it was lots of fun to mouth off like that.  Kind of a forgotten pleasure of childhood– empowering & entertaining.

SO THERE.

Clothes Shopping: Doing What I Don’t Like To Do And Telling You All About It

The Facts.  I went clothes shopping yesterday afternoon.  I dislike shopping for clothes.  Yet I forced myself to get out there and buy something to wear this fall.

I wore: Josef Seibel sandals (from Dillard’s), Diane Von Furstenberg capris (from Kohl’s), Lands End t-shirt (from Sears) + simple jewelry (from Tiffany’s*).  I was carrying a Baggallini cloth purse (purchased online) which is lightweight and expandable.  For me, this is a typical shopping for clothes outfit;  I wear clothes that I can get in & out of easily.  But in this case I didn’t have on even one piece of clothing from the stores I was going to.  This was probably an oversight on my part.

I went to a lifestyle center where I could park my car in one spot, then walk along outside to these four women’s clothing stores that are almost side-by-side.

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•  First I went to Talbots.  This is not my most favorite store, but I admit that they do have clothes that are well-made and age-appropriate in decent colors.  Usually.

A sales woman dressed in black [isn’t that out of fashion?] greeted me when I walked into the store.  She then took one look at me, turned around and went to the back of the store.  After I picked up a few items to try on a young guy came over to me and offered to put my items in a dressing room.  I never saw him again.

After trying on a number of clothes, I decided to buy a few things.  So I folded what I wanted, took my purchases to the cash register counter and waited for the one employee at the register to ring up all the customers standing in line.  During my wait the first woman appeared, looked at all of us waiting to buy items, turned around and went back to wherever she was hiding.

It was a disappointing shopping experience.  I give Talbots a C-.

•  Next I went to Ann Taylor.  I love the style of clothes in this store.

A sales woman working behind the cash register counter enthusiastically greeted me when I walked into the store.  She explained the deals to me & smiled at me.  I looked around the store, but saw nothing that I needed now.  This made me sad because I wanted to buy something there.  So I said “thank you” and went on my way.  The sales woman said “good-bye” and told me to stop back again.  She was still smiling.

It was a lovely shopping experience.  I give Ann Taylor a B+.

•  Next I went to Chico’s.  I have a love-hate relationship with this store.  My style is not glittery and flow-y, but the clothes are well-made & the accessories are great. So I go in there when I’m near one just to see what they’ve got going on.

A  sales woman greeted me immediately as I entered the store.  She told me about the deals.  After I began to collect items to try on a different sales woman came over, took my items to a dressing room and then checked back as I was trying on clothes to see what I might need to resize.  She was helpful.

When I went to buy some items I did not wait in line because three employees were running cash registers.  The store was hopping and the vibe was fun which made me happy.

It was a wonderful shopping experience.  I give Chico’s an A.

•  Last I went to Coldwater Creek.  This store is popular around here and I like some of their clothes, some of the time, when the colors are not muddied and the textures are not too nubbly.

No one said a word to me when I walked into the store.  I wandered around, collecting items to try on– while carrying two large shopping bags from other stores.  No one offered to take my clothes to a dressing room for me.  No one offered to grab a blouse off the higher rack for me.  No one noticed that I existed.

I found myself a dressing room, tried on some clothes, re-dressed myself, went back out onto the sales floor carrying my two large shopping bags from other stores, found what I needed, returned to the same dressing room, and tried on some more clothes.  I then decided to buy a few items which I took to the cash register desk.

Here I found two employees at the cash registers ringing up customers while both employees carried on an involved [grandma one-upmanship] conversation with three other women who were [supposedly] shopping in the store.  I felt like an intruder within their [60-something] clique, but I have to admit that as the employee handed me my purchases she did manage to say “thank you.”  So there’s that.

It was a frustrating shopping experience.  I give Coldwater Creek a D+.

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The Conclusion.  I really have no insightful conclusion to this story.  Yes, I got some clothes.  Yes, I had a tolerable time clothes shopping.  I guess.

But what could have been one of the best afternoons of fall– filled with lots of new clothes & warm memories– was, as usual, a trial.  A struggle to find something that fit.  A struggle to find a sales employee who was attentive.  A struggle.

And I just don’t think that is how clothes shopping should be.  But it is.

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* Upon hearing this story, Zen-Den took it personally that my jewelry from Tiffany’s did not help me get noticed or good service in two of these stores.  From his POV, this shopping trip did not offer the predicted ROI that he was expecting from sinking his monies into platinum & diamonds!  He’s so sweet.

[Well hello there FTC!  It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?  But today, because I’m talking about specific stores, I want to let you know that I was in no way compensated for my opinions about what happened to me when I went clothes shopping.  We’re good, FTC.  Right?]

10 Search Terms That Brought You To Me

I’m ashamed to say that in the year and a half that I’ve written this blog I’ve never looked through the complete list of search terms that people use to find this blog.  I knew that WordPress provided such a list for me, but I’d never had the inclination or the time to check it out.

Well, all that has changed, people.  All. That. Has. Changed.

The other day I decided to look at the list & I’m smitten.  Absolutely enthralled by: 1) what people are searching for;  & 2) what I have written about that somehow or other brings them here to my sweet little bloggy.

So, without further ado, I give you 10 Search Terms That Brought You To Me in order of “makes perfect sense” to “huh?”.

~ ~ • ~ ~

1.  Satin nickel door knobs on white door

  • Definitely wrote about that.

2.  Gas furnace heat exchanger crack

  • Definitely had that happen.

3.  Pepe Le Pew & Penelope Pussycat

  • Yes, I did talk about this iconic couple.

4.  Honey colored paint

  • Yes, I posted about what colors to paint your home’s interior.

5.  Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay meaning

  • Yes, I suppose you could say that I defined that phrase.

6.  Poems about horsing around

  • Well, there was no poem, but there were photos of horses.

7.  “When the moment is right” old coffee commercial

  • Granted I made reference to the phrase, but I knew that coffee had nothing to do with it.

8.  Why is Twitter eating my punctuation?

  • Oddly this one kind of makes sense if you read what I wrote & the comments afterward.

9.  Hither yon unicorn

  • No way did I hither any unicorns… but I might have used the words “hither” & “yon” in one post.

10.  Why do my eyeballs look like flowers?

  • No, I did not provide the answer to this question, nor do I understand why anyone was asking it.  Do you?

~ ~ • ~ ~

What We Didn’t Do Over The Weekend

The weather was supposed to be clear and warm over the weekend.  THAT’S WHAT THEY SAID.  So I planned accordingly.  I thought that we’d take the weekend off from our usual home improvement projects and goof-off instead… but that was not to be.

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I thought that we’d go to a rural county park on the other side of the city.  We go there a couple of times a year.  We like to walk the trails which take you through groves of wildflowers + into farmlands + beside horse paths + near a stream.  But we didn’t do that.

Then on Saturday night I thought that we’d have a cookout for the two of us with burgers + grilled veggies, cold beer and perfectly toasted marshmallows courtesy of moi.  I figured that we’d kick back and enjoy our deck for a few hours.  But we didn’t do that.

On Sunday morning I thought that we’d go to an outdoor antique show (which is more flea market than an antique show) at a county fair grounds.  We like going there because it’s filled with all sorts of old stuff and costs only $3.00 per person.  It’s a fun way to get lost in time.  But we didn’t do that.

Then on Sunday afternoon I thought that we’d spend some time sitting down in The Spoon [the lowest level of our terraced forest backyard].  I figured that we could just do nothing or read our books or play some backgammon or whatever.  But we didn’t do that.

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All of which leads me to the real point of this post that: PLANS CHANGE OFTEN.  And that instead of grumbling about this truth, I’d do well to remember the following Rules of Life by Robin Patricia Williams that I keep on a sticky note on my desktop because, well— they are the rules of life.  And because, clearly, I need to refer to them often.

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As some of you have figured out already, I’ve had quite a bit of difficulty getting the following to show up here on this post.  I’m going to try it one. more. time.   Then if it doesn’t work, I’m going to go drown my sorrows in a cold adult beverage.  Of course, if it does work, there’s a good chance that I’m going to go celebrate my victory with a cold adult beverage.  From my point of view, this last attempt at posting The [Revised] Rules of Life is a no-lose proposition.

  

 

Planning Ahead

… following Belle of the Carnival’s lead, I’m writing and posting my blogging obituary.  Read more about this exercise in “what-if-ness” here

My Pretend Obituary As A Real Blogger

Ally Bean, guiding light of the blogosphere and quiet voice of sanity in the real world, has passed away peacefully at her home while reading blogs in her Google Reader.

Ms. Bean first came to the world of blogging in 2004 when she decided to keep a personal blog of her own.  Said blog was filled with much flapdoodle and twaddle.  This was a tradition she continued in all her subsequent blogs– taking care to not take herself too seriously.

In the real world Ms. Bean was a tireless advocate of all things bloggy.  In her early days of blogging, she spent lots of time explaining yet again to the uninformed masses what a blog was– and where it was– and why everyone should read hers.  Which is to say that Ms. Bean talked to concrete walls quite frequently back then.

Later as blogging became more mainstream, Ms. Bean helped many people start their first blogs.  She was always willing to talk of cabbages and kings of html and links.  She was more than happy to explain the details of her experiences in various blogging platforms as well as to commiserate about the suckiness of comment trolls and content thieves.

In later life when asked about her contributions to the blogosphere Ms. Bean demurely suggested that as a warm, down-to-earth, quirky blogger she had reached tens of tens who considered her posts to be amusing, insightful & informative.  She wryly noted that she did not reach a single, solitary person who had any interest in paying her for her work.

In lieu of flowers Ms. Bean asked that comments be placed on her blog, The Spectacled Bean.  She also suggested that everyone who keeps a blog and reads this post should do this same thing i.e. write your own blogging obituary.  And then link back to me [no, wait… I meant to say] this post [wait…] obituary.  That’s it: link back to this pretend obituary.  Please.

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After I posted the above, Mike, who is Notoriously Nice, tweeted me the link to Tombstone Generator.  Here’s what I made for my pretend blogging grave.  😉

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In Which My Parking Is Duly Noted

Let’s discuss this, shall we?

•  I found this note from Cranky McCrankerton taped to the windshield of my car, a small two door coupe, when I walked out of my doctor’s office after an appointment.  Beautiful handwriting, no?

•  I remember parking beside Cranky McCrankerton’s vehicle, a huge van.  It was to the right of me.  I had to be very careful not to hit it as I pulled into the last spot available in the compact parking lot that has only one way in & out.

•   I had parked my car at a slight angle because I was accommodating the car already parked to the left of me.  That car was accommodating the car that was parked illegally in the spot to its left.  Beyond the illegally parked car was grass, the end of the line, nowhere else to go.

•  I believe that the intent of this note is to criticize me and what Cranky McCrankerton believes to be my sloppy parking job.  Lovely use of sarcasm, no?

•  I was aware that I had left a tight squeeze for Cranky McCrankerton, but felt that it was ok because:  all the spaces in this parking lot are very narrow;  and because I know that my doctor’s receptionist is a stickler for being on time— and I fear her wrath more than any anonymous van driver.

•  From this note I learned that Cranky McCrankerton is a flexible, able-bodied human being capable of entering his or her van from either side of the vehicle.

•  This fact suggests that I might be incorrect about my initial assumption re: the intent of this note.  In which case, I must conclude that this is a thank you note to me from Cranky McCrankerton.  Very succinctly worded, no?

•  So what do we think?

  1. Was this note– readable and polite as it is– really necessary?
  2. Do we think that it is possible that Cranky McCrankerton has lots of issues in his or her life?
  3. Should I feel bad about mildly inconveniencing someone who drives a vehicle that by its very size is always in the way?
  4. Tonight, when saying my prayers, will I include this anonymous person among my blessings for giving me the most unexpected laugh of my week?

… as usual, answers & discussion in comments below.  

Speaking Of Archetypes

“If you can’t say something good about someone, come sit next to me.”

~ Alice Roosevelt Longworth

~ • ~

‘Tis the season of… meeting and socializing with lots of different, unique people.

So we’re sitting at home discussing where we’ve been and Zen-Den, who is not at all fluent in archetypes because he did not major in English in college, asks me:  What’s up with X?

I explain to him that she considers herself to be a Possibilitarian.  That it’s an archetype.

And he counters with: that’s the most ridiculous term I’ve ever heard– you mean, someone who doesn’t actually do anything, just talks about what is possible?

I tell him that’s the gist of it–  someone who focuses on aspirations.  Who thinks and talks about what might be.

A dreamer with a fancy vocabulary.

He nods in amazement.

Then Z-D, who doesn’t usually drink very much, asks me:  Do you suppose if I drank more alcoholic beverages more often I could call myself a Chillaxatarian?

I tell him that I’d refer to him as such.  And that he could definitely get X to refer to him as such.  And that by doing this he’d have his own, very special, archetype.

A goofball with a bottle of beer.

He nods his approval and then wanders off to the frig to get something more to drink.

And so, with that, a new archetype was born.  One that encompasses all that is relaxed and beer related.  One that you know is bound to be popular.

~ • ~

Hallelujah and pass the brewskis, there’s a Chillaxatarian in our midst!