Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Warning to Candidates: Don't Call Me!

Today is primary Election Day in Florida. That means the incessant barrage of political phone calls trying to scare me away from evil candidates will cease. So will the calls from famous people advising me to vote for their candidate of choice. The calls will start again in October. When they do, I would like to leave this message on my answering machine:

“If you are calling on behalf of a candidate, this message is for you. The more you call me and tie up my line, the less likely it is I will vote for your candidate. In fact, I may keep a tally, and the candidate who calls the least is the one for whom I will vote. If I intended to vote for your candidate, I won’t unless your calls cease. If you are saying lies or distorting facts about your opposition, forget about getting my vote. If you keep calling, I will convince others not to vote for you. And, if your voice is that of a famous person, you are not impressing me. I’ll hang up on you, too.”

I would like to leave the message, but there would be no point. The robotic caller doesn’t hear or record. The constant interruptions prove the candidate doesn’t care about me at all. So, if any of you know anyone running for office, give them my message.

Thank you.
I’m Eda Suzanne, and I approve this message.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Not to Name the Baby

Many of you have written to ask me if I ever found out the new baby’s name. (See last week’s blog – Color Wise). I did. Her name is Aerin. It’s different. It’s pretty. However, I feel sorry for the child.

There are two divisions in the what-to-name-the-baby camp: those who select unique names and those that select Jacob or Emily. Obviously, because of a lifetime of having to explain my name, as Aerin will probably have to do, I believe parents should select a name from the top 200 “in” names. New situations are not always easy for those of us with monikers that are rarely found in a book of names for a baby.

On the first day of school, my name always drew negative attention to me – usually when I corrected the teacher’s mispronunciation of my name. Today, if it’s not important, I no longer correct people. If I’m listening for my name to be called, I respond to Etta, Ed -a, Edna, Eva, Ida, or Edith. On a rare occasion, a stranger will actually pronounce my name right, with a long e.

Since I’m conditioned to answer anything that remotely resembles my name, yesterday at the doctor’s office, when the nurse called, “Rita,” I stood. Another woman got up at the same time, so I sat down. A minute later, the door opened and this time the nurse called, “Edna.” I went in – without asking the nurse if she sees an “n” on the chart in my first name as I once did.

But, just as having an unusual name can cause adjustment problems, having the “in” name can cause constant confusion, especially in school. My sister once had nine Leslies in one class – 6 boys and 3 girls. In high school, I had five Linda’s in my P.E. class. By the end of the school year, everyone called them by their last name. My gut feeling is that when all those Leslies and Lindas grew up, they gave their children names like Aerin or Eda! And why not. The Edas of the world tend to give our children names such as Charles or Marc.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Color Wise

A birth announcement printed in neon colors arrived in the mail from a relative’s relative whom I rarely see. I studied the baby’s name, but could not read it. The curlicues in the calligraphy made the first letter virtually illegible, and the letters I could read didn’t resemble any name I ever heard of.

“Is it a boy or girl?” my husband asked after he looked at the brightly colored design.

“Beats me,” I answered.

I couldn’t call my relative to see if she could decipher the name because she was away on vacation. I put the announcement next to my computer as a reminder to order a gift. For the next several days I studied the name but it still left me baffled. Finally, I decided the safest gift would be to send books, so I ordered them on line. Instead of addressing the gift card to the new baby, I addressed it to the parents.

I usually keep announcements until I receive a thank you note. When I went to put it in my correspondence basket, I laughed aloud.

“What’s so funny?” my husband wanted to know.

“Well, I still don’t know the name, but I figured out the sex.”


“The name is printed in hot pink.”

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Blame It on the Ringtone

I didn't win one Mah Jongg game yesterday because every one of the players received too many phone calls. Each interruption was necessary and more than acceptable, but -

The different ringtones of everyone’s cell phones had my mind on anything but the game. Sometimes I wonder if advertisers pay cell phone companies to do subliminal advertising via the selection of songs everyone seems to use for ringtones. Each unique signal of incoming calls yesterday forced my mind off of my game.

When we started to play a few years ago, a few of us used the conventional ringtones offered by our cell phone carriers. This created minor confusion when our phones rang since our purses were usually near each other’s, so we all switched to unique ringtones. Yesterday, the blast of "When the Saints Come Marching In" signaled pictures of an adorable grandchild that all the grandmas at the table enjoy seeing. The only problem with that ringtone is it makes me hungry for a beignet – the fried donut-like cake they sell in New Orleans.

Another friend’s ring is reminiscent of the songs played by the Caribbean bands as passengers board the cruise ships headed for the islands. Instead of thinking about the hand I was playing in Mah Jongg, I had the urge to do the Conga around the table with a Pina Colada in my hand.

"Rocky Mountain High" had me remembering some of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen. Instead of concentrating on what tiles the other players were discarding, I was thinking of the fun my family had when we went water rafting down the Snake River.

The second time the phone with a song about New York rang, I decided that instead of making Tilapia for dinner, I would stop by the deli after the game and buy some corned beef and fresh rye bread.

Perhaps if my phone rang, I would have won a game or two. If my "Lullaby and Good Night" ringtone had the same effect on my friends as their ringtones were having on me, perchance they would have dozed off during the game. The way I played yesterday, that would have been the only way I could have won a game.