Sunday, December 27, 2009

"It's Complicated"

The answer to “What do Jewish people do on Christmas” is usually “Go to the movies and eat Chinese food.”

I can’t disagree. It’s become a tradition – like turkey on Thanksgiving. My Mah Jongg group has been doing it for years – although for the past several years we go to someone’s home after the movie because the local Chinese restaurants are too crowded – and not just with fellow Jews. (They’re the only restaurants open in this area.)

Anyway – now that you have the background, let me share my story. To insure that no one sees the movie before the 25th, we gals pick one to see a month ahead of time. Hubby asked me several weeks ago if we did, and I answered, “It’s Complicated.”

On the morning of the 25th, he repeated the question. I couldn’t figure out why he forgot because we’d seen the coming attractions. Since we’ve both had too many senior moments lately, instead of saying my usual “you don’t listen to me,” I responded, “It’s Complicated.”

“We’re meeting everyone in a few hours,” he growled. “Don’t you think by now you should know what movie we’re going to see?”

I would like to say my story ends here, but it didn’t. When I shared it with friends on the way to the theater, one said, “Well it is hard for us to pick one none of us saw.”

The only thing funnier than Hubby’s and my friend’s response was the movie itself.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Spooky Voices

The other day I was in the kitchen, with the windows closed, yet I still heard the faint sound of a siren. I went to the front window and saw no vehicles. I returned to the kitchen – in the middle of my house - only to hear the noise again. The siren was intermittent – almost like the noise from a kid’s friction truck – you know the kind you want to step on, but don’t - only there are no kids living in Seniorville. I ignored it, assuming it came from outside of my development, and I heard it because it was abnormally loud. I finished in the kitchen, and went into my office – the one I share with Hubby. The siren sounded as I passed Hubby’s computer.

“A new warning system about email’s that might have a virus attached,” Hubby explained when he came home, “and I haven’t installed it in yours yet.”

Not sure if I want it. Flashing signs work fine for me.

The next day, I was home alone when I heard a strange man’s voice coming from somewhere in my house. Nothing was turned on – no radio – no TV – nothing. All the windows and terrace doors were closed. Still I know a human’s voice when I hear it. Was my new house haunted, and was that why we got such a good deal? I looked out all the windows only to see rabbits nibbling on my flowers. Bravely, I searched each room, with my phone in hand. ready to call 911. The voice was getting louder, but this time I could hear the siren also. I headed for my office. Along with the siren, Hubby’s computer’s robotic voice was shouting “virus alert.”

“They improved the original,” Hubby surmised. “I guess too many people didn’t realize the reason the siren was coming from the computer.”

I wondered how many complaints the anti-virus program designers will get from police because people not sitting at their computers will think there are intruders in their homes and call 911.

The next night, unexplained voices once again spooked me.

“Was that guy calling us?” Hubby asked when we passed a crowd of people in the parking lot.

“That voice was too loud,” our friends in the rear seat said, “It sounded almost as if it was in the car.”

We drove a few more feet. Then, a voice from my glove compartment called out, “Turn right in 200 feet.”

I still haven’t figured out who turned my GPS on after I returned it to the glove compartment. I would never do anything as stupid as forgetting to turn it off when I put it away.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Trashy Gifts

If you get a thank you note that is a bit too vague – no reference to the gift – not even a hint – I think I know why. If you are one of those who bought a gift card, put it in the envelope, and then instead of giving the gift to the honoree, you did the new “in” thing, chances are the gift is somewhere in Mt. Trashmore.

The new “in thng" is to put cash equivalent gifts in gift bags. Instead of handing the envelope directly to a human or placing it in a basket specifically for cash gifts as was done in “my day,” the envelope is now buried in colorful tissue paper, stuffed into a coordinating colorful bag and tied with ribbon. Mind you, the bag weights the same as a feather. In fact, it is so light, some people just might think it was empty.

A conversation after the party might be,

She: I saw the Smiths come in with a gift. I don’t see it here.
He: We didn’t unwrap a box from them.
She: It was on the table where they were sitting – not with the other gifts.
He: All that was on that table was trash. I tossed it in the dumpster.
She: (Voice cracking) Was there a bag with ribbons on the handle?
He: Sure, it was empty. I tossed it with the other gift-wrap.

So, if you get a thank you saying, “Thank you for your thoughtful gift. We’re glad you could join us,” don’t think the recipient doesn’t know how to write detailed thank yous. If you gave a check, and it never cleared, and you received that kind of note – call. Chances are the recipient couldn’t get to the trash before it was collected and wrote the generic note because they were too embarrassed to call you. If you gave a gift card – oh well – the store got an unintended gift from you.

As for me, I’m not using gift bags anymore – unless the gift weights a ton.

Monday, December 7, 2009

To Catch a Cheat

To the best of my recollection, I can think of no female politician who the press has exposed for having an illicit affair. And, even though I can think of one or two female celebs making headlines for infidelity, the ratio of men to women celebs caught being naughty is probably a zilllion to one, with the females being the latter.

Now I am not naive enough to think women politicians and/or celebs are saints when it comes to keeping their marriage vows. I just think they are far superior when it comes to covering their tracks, and NO I AM NOT SPEAKING FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. Women learn the art of successful deception early in our lives and men don’t. Obviously, the gals who cheat don’t leave visible tracks like charges to hotels, love letters in deleted emails that are easily retrievable, or text messages that any suspicious person or reporter can tract. In most homes, women are in charge of the cleaning and many are trained in their early years, so they tend to be better at cleaning up messes. (I know this is an old, chauvinistic view). And, if the wife pays the bills and hubby charges something in Victoria’s Secret, unless she was the recipient of the gift, well, the rest is obvious. All these male politicians and celebs that have been caught cheating during the last few years clearly are skilled only in their field of work and that is it. I will also assume – which is dangerous – that they leave their dirty clothes around the house and dishes in the sink, so they never learned how to clean up their own dirt.

The trait of deception superiority shows itself early in life. Ask a four-year-old boy a question he doesn’t know the answer to, he’ll look at his shoes or shrug. A girl will change the topic. “Do you want to hear me sing the Alphabet song?” (Honestly, I saw this in a teacher training film.)

By middle school, girls carry a change of clothing in a paper bag or stuffed in their backpacks. They head for the girls’ room before the day begins and again at the end of the day. This way they can change into the outfits their parents warned them not to wear to school. “Well I didn’t wear it to school,” my niece told my sister when she was caught.

This week, I learned how even we grandmas cover our tracks. My friend’s husband and married children have told her that her grandkids have enough toys to last ten life times. They explicitly asked her not to buy any more “junk.” After the warning, she was in a toy store shopping for a baby gift and fell in love with new toys for her own toddler grandkids. Like me, one of her major weaknesses is toys for grandkids. Needless to say, she bought the new toys. “I came home, tore off the wrap, and mixed the new toys in with the old ones in the toy box. I put the wrap through the shredder, mixed it in with the wet garbage, and then tied up the bag. When the grandkids came, no one realized the toy box had new additions,” she told me. “And I thoroughly enjoyed watching the babies play with the new toys!”

I would not say it is safe to assume my friend pays the bills in her home. I would say it’s a sure bet. To Catch a Cheat