Friday, May 30, 2008

Lost No More

The GPS really works – if my husband inputs the correct information and then listens to it when driving. His life would have been so much less stressful if he had one when he drove our sons to school. Our neighborhood streets resemble a labyrinth that necessitated many needless turns until he found his way out of the development. Car pooling was pure torture for him.

Years ago, the city removed the flagpole my husband relied upon to help him find our children’s school. Needless to say, he missed the turn. A GPS would have saved the day!

A few days ago, our eldest grandson admitted that he did not have the greatest sense of direction and feared this would be a handicap when he begins to drive.

“No problem,” I assured him. “I’ll get you a GPS for your car. Maybe if your grandfather had one, he wouldn’t have turned gray by forty!”

Monday, May 26, 2008

Remote Anxieties

Just when I thought my new HDTV was becoming my friend, I accidentally sat down on top of the remote control. Nothing appeared broken, but when my husband attempted to turn on the television, all that appeared was “no signal.” He pressed all sorts of buttons, looked in the owners manual, but nothing helped.

We called the cable company, and a human eventually answered. She “walked” my husband through the steps to reset the remote. I watched, but even if my life depended on it, could not repeat his actions – and I’m not sure he could either.

I shared the story with my Mah Jongg group. “You’re not alone,” one of my friends said. “When my husband goes on his fishing trip next week, I’m going to have to come to your house to watch television. I still can’t get anything other than ‘no signal’ half the time.”

“When my TV breaks, I’m buying another analog,” another friend said.

We informed her that unless she gets one in a second-hand store, she won’t be able to find one. Then I reminded her that my major problem was not from the television. “It’s the cable company and all the extra gadgets that are driving me to gorge on chocolate.”

“I've a great idea,” she said to me. “Why don’t you write a book called, Remote Control for Dummies?”

It is a great idea – and when I come back in my next lifetime with a computer chip in my genes – I will definitely do it. But by then, the remote will probably be obsolete.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reservations Preferred

Friends stopped over my house last night before we all went out to dinner. They were inspecting my newly renovated kitchen. “How come you invested all the money into this if you only make reservations for dinner?" one of the men asked.

The stale joke didn’t bring a smile to anyone’s face – not even my husband’s.

“Adds to resale value if we decide to move,” he answered.

I love my new kitchen. The granite counter tops, the glass top stove, a new double sink, and wooden cabinets – everything was designed to make cooking and cleaning easier than before. No more bending to get pots – deep pull out drawers instead of cabinets are a godsend. Slide them open and everything you need is in front of you. The original designer deserves a Congressional Medal of Honor. I no longer have to do deep knee bends to find my food processor and all the attachments. Even better, I don’t need my husband’s help to get up from the floor after I retrieve a pot from the rear of my old kitchen cabinets. It makes what little cooking I still do a pure delight.

Years ago, I overheard my son tell his friend, "My mother used to cook. Now that she works full time, she just makes supper."

He was apologizing for the store bought rotisserie chicken, pre-cut salad, and frozen vegetables I was serving them. After teaching the entire day, the last thing I had the energy to do was stand on my feet for another hour and prepare veal scaloppini or pepper steak. If I had my dream kitchen 25 years ago, would I have continued to cook after I returned to work? Nope. Tired is tired. There is a reason the stale joke about making reservations for dinner has survived for so many years. That’s what we tired women like to do!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Once in a Lifetime

This morning I dialed my cable company, put my phone on speaker, and put my breakfast on the table. Experience has taught me I had more than enough time to finish before I would reach a human.

I pressed a number in response to the first question. Then I took a bite of my toast. “Good morning. This is Tasha. How may I be of service?”

My food went down the wrong pipe. I coughed incessantly. Then I heard a voice say, “Would you like me to call 911 for you?”

I took a sip of my coffee and was able to stop coughing long enough to gasp, “No.” Then I hung up.

After my voice returned, I redialed – with no food in my mouth. This time it took the usual eternity until I heard a human’s voice. Opportunity didn’t knock twice.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Timing is Everything

On Sunday morning my husband and I walked in our first 5 K. I cannot write my husband’s exact words when I told him I signed us up for the charity event. Let’s just say he implied something about my mental state.

“We walk that distance almost every morning,” I said. “Why are you complaining?”

“Because we walk at the crack of dawn, we don’t walk as fast as we used to . . . and I don’t want to be the last across the finish line.”

The tropical sun was above the horizon when we knelt with the other participants to insert the timers in our shoelaces. Before the race began, we were instructed to let the runners go first. We listened. The other walkers did not, thus we were the last to leave the starting gate. My husband was not a happy camper and let me know several times as we trailed the pack around the track. Thankfully, we were not the last to cross the finish line – and the few behind us were decades younger. My husband’s ego was intact.

Doing a 5K in Florida with no shade along the course is not something we would ever do again. We were hot, tired, and sweaty when we finished. I did what I always do when I feel scorched and no longer care how I look: I drank some of my bottled water and poured the rest over my over my head. We chatted with friends for a few minutes and then headed home to shower.

My phone rang just as I walked into my house. The caller ID said the call was from the friends we had just left. "Eda, you’re famous! You came in third for your age group!”

Timing is everything!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Modern Day Swingers

On Tuesdays, my friends and I meet for lunch and laughs before we head to one of our homes to play Mah Jongg. “Did you see the article in today’s paper about the germs on the bottom of purses?” one friend asked after we all sat down.

None of us did, so she gave us a quick summary: the bottoms of our purses are laden with germs, especially if we ever set them on the floor. We should never place our handbag on any surface where food is prepared or served.

In restaurants, most of us tend to keep our bags under the table between our feet. By the time she finished talking, we lifted our bags from the floor and hung them on our chairs. We knew that was a good way for a pickpocket to relieve us of our wallets, but decided we were safe since the eatery was not crowded.

The following week one of the “girls” came to lunch with a present for the rest of us - fancy hooks designed to hang a purse from a restaurant table. When the waitress came to take our order, she couldn’t help but notice five handbags swaying from the table’s edge. She sucked in her lips, trying to suppress her giggles, but finally burst out laughing. Others in the restaurant turned to see what was so funny. Had our lunch bunch just become known as “The Swingers?”

The next time we met for lunch the hostess seated us in a round booth. There was no room to hang our bags from the table, so we asked for a chair. “Is someone else coming?” she inquired.

“Just our purses,” I answered.

"Ah,” she said. “You read the article too.”