Morphing Into A Southern Lady, Finding My True Self

Have you ever thought [or said] something that made you say to yourself: now where the heck did that come from?

BE MINDFUL AND PAY ATTENTION to your thoughts, they say. Tune into yourself, they advise. Be cognizant of what you’re thinking about, they encourage.

Then you’ll know your true self, they claim.

Well apparently, if we agree with the basic premise of the foregoing, I’m morphing into a southern lady.  Here are three real life examples from last week in which I paid attention to what I was thinking while the person in front of me babbled on.

 🔷  ~

#1 – The cashier at the drug store went on a small rant when I gave her cash for payment for my purchase.  She immediately started talking about pennies, specifically her dislike of them, and how recently our county tax rate had changed, making her job more difficult because [somehow] the new tax rate made more work for her when she had to make change… so she was going to get a petition going to change the tax rate back to what it’d been before.

My thought: THAT DOG WON’T HUNT

~  🔷  ~

#2 – The receptionist at the doctor’s office told me in a wordy girlfriend-to-girlfriend way that she was not happy about the newly remodeled waiting room because she could no longer see the TV on the wall in the waiting room without getting up from her seat and walking into the room itself, instead of sitting behind the reception counter… doing her work… presumably.

My thought: SHE’S YOUNG

~  🔷  ~

#3 – An acquaintance, known for being a drama llama, told me with tears in her eyes about her latest troubles that stemmed from being asked to do too much in too short of time for her to feel in control of her project.  Yes, she was sure the system was actively working against her… until she double-checked her text message and realized that she was getting twice the amount of time she needed to do her thing.

My thought: WELL BLESS YOUR HEART

~  🔷  ~

UNTIL LAST WEEK I DIDN’T realize that underneath this midwestern nice exterior lurked a southern lady waiting to summarize the scene in front her with pointed polite colloquialisms that ooze passive-aggressive charm.

Well tie me up and call me Loretta*, it’s like I’ve found my true self, y’all.

I suppose it’s a matter of time before I start saying these things out loud, but with a midwestern accent that may negate their impact.  This will in no way make me less happy, because I can’t stop the people from babbling but I can have fun with it in my way.

What do you say to yourself when people drone on and on about topics you don’t care about? Are you a southern lady, too? Spill the beans in the comments below.   

* Gold star to anyone who knows where that Southern saying came from!

The One About Beautiful Wedding Photos & Sneaky Weasel Words

Here’s a story I heard from an acquaintance wherein weasel* words created a situation that is not dire, but truly annoying. See if you don’t agree.
Photo by Pexels via pixabay

Acquaintance’s mother recently married.

Acquaintance’s mother had a lovely, perfect wedding that included hiring a well-known local professional photographer to take photos.

Beautiful photos.  Many of them.

But here’s the thing, what acquaintance’s mother did not read [or understand?] in her contract was that this photographer would not use his expertise to discern which photos were the best ones, instead giving acquaintance’s mother the opportunity to see all the photos he took of the wedding.

In practical terms this means that acquaintance’s mother has a problem.

She is now forced to sort through 3,000 photos and decide which ones she wants to keep and have put in an album.  In many cases there are 20 or 30 photos of the same thing like a bouquet… or of acquaintance zipping up her mother’s dress… or of the cake from a gazillion angles.

As you can imagine this sorting process has become a tedious burden for acquaintance’s mother.  It’s overwhelming and is an unwanted game for acquaintance’s mother as she tries to figure out which photos are the best ones.

Acquaintance’s mother is flummoxed by this situation.

It’s not as if she has the time, or the eye, to fuss around with three thousand wedding photos that she’s has contracted for, assuming the photographer would narrow down her choices.

Acquaintance has offered to help her mother, but she can’t intuit which photos her mother and new stepfather will want, nor can she wrap her head around how this happened.

Can you imagine…?  What would you do with 3,000 photos of your wedding day?  

* Oddly enough this has turned into animal week here at The Spectacled Bean.  First ducks, then squirrel, now weasel.  I didn’t plan it this way but go where the road stories take you, I guess.

In Which I Notice The Sky & Share My One Word Of The Year

What’s the word, hummingbird?

Well, if we’re talking about my favorite photo of late the word would be blue.  I took this while out for a walk in the park.  Such a clear day and look at that sky!

But I doubt that’s what you, my gentle readers, want to know about.

I suspect that you’re asking me about my #OneWord365 because you’re wondering if after choosing one word you might feel empowered to get your lazy backside into gear for the new year.

So you want to know my word in case it’s a good one and you can use it, too.  Which would be fine with me because mi palabra es tu palabra.

Thus, I share with you my word of 2019.  It is:

STREAMLINED

As in efficient.

Without turbulence. 

With ease of movement. 

Smooth-running.

Well organized. 

While I admit I’ve never known of anyone else to choose this word, as a free spirit with a Type B personality I think I’m onto something good here.

I can keep it simple whilst accomplishing things.

Just watch me do it this year.

• • •
how about you, my gentle readers, Do you have one word for the year?
If you do what is it? If you don’t, why not?
And more to the point, how are things working out for ‘ya so far in 2019?
• • •

A Puzzle: Flying Pigs & Swizzle Sticks

Sorting through stack of magazines piled up ready to go into recycling bin.

Found half-finished crossword puzzle book.

Published in 2005, purchased around that time by me at B&N.

Rescued the book intending to puzzle through a puzzle.

[Crossword, that is.] 

Found an almost finished puzzle with “flying pigs & swizzle sticks” written on the page.

In my handwriting.

For some reason. 

No flying pigs in this puzzle, if there were swizzle sticks I didn’t see them.

Mind starts to wonder why I wrote these words on this page.

Delightful gibberish, slightly whimsical, with no actual meaning?

Could be, sounds like how I think.

Something I heard someone say so I wrote it down?

Not likely, but possible.

The name of a new blog I was contemplating?

I suppose. Maybe.

An encouraging phrase suggesting better things are to come?

Sure, why not? Let’s say that’s what this phrase means.

No need to belabor this obvious example of the inevitable decline of my memory.

We’re all older now.

We forget things.

But darn it, I sure wish I could remember what the heck I was talking about when I scribbled this clever phrase on the page.

Saving it for me to find 13 years later…

Anything like this happen to you? Do you remember? 

As Our Summer Begins, A Dazzle Of Zebras

Last week was the unofficial beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere.  We were on staycation so we had to go to the zoo.

Had to, I tell you.

On the day we went to the zoo the weather was hazy and humid, drizzly, so most of my zoo photos weren’t amazeballs.  As I’d hoped they’d be.

In fact this photo of the zebras is the only one I kept from our visit. I kept it because it’s not half bad, from an artsy point of view, and because it lends itself to a good question of the day: how many zebras do you see in this photo?

I ask because I snapped the picture not realizing that there were three zebras standing together.  All I saw were two black and white zebra rumps.

That photographed beautifully.

Especially, I suppose, because the animals, known collectively as a dazzle, were standing still having a little nosh.

[Unlike the flamingoes who weren’t at their best, having been dipped in Pepto-Bismol then rolled in dirt, looking drab and confused by the weather.  Or the totally uncooperative gorilla who was a lovely shade of bricky orange, but wouldn’t stop moving for me to get a pic.]

Whatever.

Anyhoo, getting to a point here– I’m back from our staycation.

We had a nice time. We went to the zoo, and we went to an art festival, and we went to an English pub, and we did some much-needed pruning + weeding in the flower beds, and we read books.

Nothing too exciting happened.  Nothing too dull happened.  It was a staycation that was, to quote Goldilocks, just right.

And I do believe, if I might be paradoxical and pithy here, a perfect way to gear up for the summer… by slowing down. 😎

Don’t Harsh My Mellow, I’m Only Doing What Mom Taught Me To Do

Mom was a proponent of a good lollygag and fritter.

To be clear she accomplished things in her life, but she also took the time to not be focused on her To Do List, allowing herself to let go of the need to accomplish things all hours of the day.

To wit, yesterday afternoon her daughter, moi, was out running important errands when it dawned on moi that spring had finally arrived.

The sky was medium blue with gorgeous white clouds floating across the it.  The trees were sporting bright green leaves again.  The temps were in the 70s so that I was wearing capris + sandals.

Thus, channeling my mother + remembering her admonishment to lollygag and fritter, I decided to toss my To Do List aside and stop at Home Depot to wander aimlessly through their garden nursery department.

I half-filled a shopping cart with herbs and annuals.  Nothing exotic, just tasty and pretty plants.  Then I went to pay for them at the checkout counter where the sales clerk, dispensing with your traditional “hello,” asked me:

Are you having a productive day?

And you know what, my gentle readers?  Her question about productivity, asked in that moment, peeved me in a way that surprised me.

She was, I believe, harshing my mellow.

Was I not, I ask you, paying tribute to my mother’s memory by lollygaging and frittering in the garden nursery department, not bothering a soul with my mellowness?

Why yes, Ally Bean, you were paying tribute to your mother’s memory by doing that which she taught you to do.

However, putting my snitification aside, I also believe that, knowing Mom’s sense of humor, she was laughing from heaven above about my irritation over a small thing in life on earth.

Yep, she was probably lollygaging and frittering on a beautiful white fluffy cloud– like the ones I could see floating overhead while I mumbled something to the sales clerk about being productive enough… for today.

Throwing It Out There In A Kick-ass Kind Of Way

  FOR A PROJECT I was working on I looked up the meaning of kick-ass*.  I found the following words used to describe kick-ass:

impressive • powerful • cool • effective • hip • vigorous • interesting • extremely good • forceful

In the process of this research I also discovered that kick-ass is sometimes considered vulgar slang.

[News to me.]

  I WAS SURPRISED BECAUSE: 1) I use the word in casual conversation– and as we all know I’m anything but vulgar;  and 2) I occasionally describe myself as kick-ass… because you know I am… in certain situations.

However, from the foregoing word research I’ve concluded that despite my good intentions and a desire to communicate clearly, in today’s world it doesn’t matter how I say something because someone will find a way to misconstrue what I have said.

Even when what I’m saying is truthful.

[Maybe especially when what I’m saying is truthful?]

  AND ON THAT OBVIOUS, yet annoying, note of writerly despair, I’ll end this post, my gentle readers, with what has become my latest favorite saying.

In fact, if you’ll forgive my vulgarity here, I’ll even suggest that this saying is a kick-ass way to add a bit of levity to your day– not that I’m suggesting that you should do this in your real life when your choice of word seems to get people all snitified.

But you could.

[But don’t.]

• • •

• • •

* Alternative spelling of kick-ass is kickass.  There does not seem to be agreement on how to spell it. 🙄 I went with Merriam-Webster’s spelling because I majored in English in undergrad and I have a fond spot in my heart for this dictionary.