Sunday, November 20, 2011

Packing Pains

Sometimes a blog is written by just recording conversation. In this case, this blog, comes almost directly from my facebook stream. I deleted all the pictures and the real names. As with my satirical book, it is up to the people who think the funny vignette is about them to “out” themselves.

My post was motivated because I have recently been told that few wives or significant others pack for their husbands, leaving me to feel as if I’m a control freak. However, coordinating clothes is not Hubby’s strong suit. The last time he went shopping by himself was for suits, and that was almost 50-years ago. He came home with 3 identical brown suits, and brown is not his color, blues or grays are. Since they weren’t altered, the shopkeeper took them back and advised me to never let him shop or pack for himself. Stupidly, I followed her advice, which is why when I pack, he cleans up the kitchen or does other of my usual chores.

Here is my stream that I think will bring a smile to your face.

Eda Suzanne: In my next lifetime, my husband will do his own packing. I will give him a crash course on matching clothes and folding.

Three likes from literally around the globe and people half my age. OMG, this is not just a problem of my generation.

Sally: Hear Hear!!!! What a wonderful idea!!

Mindy: Good luck with that! I used to let Ed do his own packing and then he ended up with things that did not match or were totally useless. He is good at folding, so now I choose and he folds....

Eda Suzanne: Tomorrow we shall try that. Folding is back breaking.

Lara: Great idea! I would do the to do that in THIS life...LOL. But John is color blind.

Sally: So's my husband...and he takes every advantage of it, too!

Annie: Lenny does all his own packing. If he doesn't pack, he doesn't go. I don't care what he looks like.

Jan: LOL...does he pack or does he go away naked? :My husband tries to coordinate his clothes when we travel, but as I said, he's color blind & he tries to fold clothes but after I look at them folded, I can't take it. I want him to look nice so he's not having everyone staring at him...LOL. But we do compromise. I match everything, fold & pack to go away & when we get home, he unpacks, puts the dirty laundry in the wash, puts away the sundries & the suitcases in attic. So I feel fair trade.♥


Eda Suzanne: I was told by a pro 40-odd years ago, that if what he wore would bother me, I had to pack or supervise. Up until he retired, he was never home when I packed. Old rules are going to be revised. Annie, Lenny knows how to match clothes! Jan, now that my husband is home, he also helps with the unpacking. Mindy, I tired letting him fold. It will have to wait for our next lifetime. I don’t want to take a travel iron.

Bobbi: My hubby always does his own packing...because he says I never pick the right clothes (coincidence? I think not) ;-)

Sally: Magillan has these clothing folders. Look into them. They take up no space, and he can do it himself.

Eda Suzanne: Bobbi, your husband knows what the right clothes are—he sells them. Sally, the folding is not as hard as eliminating what I don't think either of us will really need. Packing when we remain in one climate zone is easy. It's knowing we need cold and hot weather clothes for this trip that has me nuts. I hate over packing because everything still needs to be washed or ironed or cleaned when we get back, even if I don’t wear it.

Lilly: Sounds to me as if most women have pretty much the same problem, in different ways. I don't see any men complaining about packing for a trip...Me, I get hysterical when I have to sit for an hour while everything gets tried on and shown for approval or disapproval...and the inevitable question - do I take THIS sweater or THAT sweater. I keep telling him that I'm not his a man...make up your own mind! But after 59 years I know that nothing will change. And yes, he's color blind.

Sandi: I will vote for throwaway clothes lol
Eda Suzanne: Can't afford to throw away. Packing for 2-week bus tour is easier than a 2-week cruise that changes climates. Lilly, I'm the fuss pot so I've learned not to gripe. He couldn't care less as long as his clothes are clean and odor free and he’s not cold. I’m like Jan. I have to look at him across the table.

Eda Suzanne: I'd love to cut and paste this as a blog.

Lilly: Eda...As I was reading all the posts, my thought was "I can feel a blog coming up" but you beat me to it. I've plenty more to say on the I'm sure most women (married women that is) do.

Hubby just read this blog and told me to add that he picks out better fresh fruit than I do. That is true. All is not lost. That is his job, but no matter how he tries to justify it, picking our fruits, putting the dishes in the dishwasher while I fold and pack, and taking everything that needs to go, to and fro the cleaner after we return, just doesn’t seem the same as folding and matching two-weeks worth of his clothes. What do you think?

P.S. – I am a control freak—but only when it comes to what he wears. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

If you are looking for something to give the over 50 set for the holidays, check out my book on Amazon or Barnes & or read a sample chapter at:  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oh, My Aching Computer

Contrary to popular belief, old people do not spend all day complaining about aches and pains. We kvetch more about frustrations with problems that didn’t exist ten—fifteen years ago. They all have to do with keeping up with the constant changes in technology and keeping our newest hi-tech acquisitions in the “best of health.”

I entered the computer age when I took my Masters in the 80”s. I remember being advised to buy an Apple 2C, and I would not have to pay to have someone type my thesis. I was misinformed that the purchase, which was double what a good computer would cost today, was all my husband and I would ever need to be part of the future. I’m thrilled the same person was not our financial adviser. We never imagined when we planned our first retirement needs budget when we were still very middle-aged, that we left out the high cost of staying connected. This is not a five-dollar bill that can easily be squeezed into a budget.

If you’re reading this, you know the monthly fees to enable my blog bounce around the world on various sights. But how many of you have two monthly exterminating services making house calls. One sprays stuff on my garden and in my house to prevent multilegged bugs from crawling around my home. The other kills the invisible bugs and viruses that somehow get inside my computer despite all the “vaccinations” that are supposed to prevent such mishaps. Instead of old people bragging that they have the “best doctor,” they now boast that their computer specialist is the best diagnostician in town. I’ve yet to hear people brag about their cable or internet carrier. Instead, the complaints about internet and cable services remind me of my mother and her sister complaining about whose aches and pains were worse.

Last month my husband went to the pool to exercise. He forgot to take his cell phone out of his pocket. Unlike his watch, the cell phone wasn’t waterproof. My husband doesn’t have a back up, old-fashioned phone book as I do. He enters numbers solely in his phone. I am sure his cousin, who only has a cell phone and as of yet there are no yellow pages for cell phones, is bummed out that he hasn’t returned her call. Ten years ago, neither my husband nor his cousin carried cell phones. Hopefully, since she is a Facebook friend, she will read this and call me.

Recently, one friend asked if I had received an answer from another friend to an email. “No,” I replied. “Which is weird because she has instant internet service on her cell.”
“She doesn’t know how to get to her email on her new phone, but she won’t admit it.”

Unlike my friend, I won’t bend to social pressure to “have the latest” and invest in a Smartphone that I know I’ll never learn to use. It took years for me to learn to retrieve messages on my present, very basic cell phone, and I’m still not able to enter phone numbers. For this South Floridian, investing in a Smartphone is like buying a snow sled for my grandkids to use when they visit. Life was easier for status seekers when all the needed were jewels, cars, or manufacturer’s labels. I’ve never known a Gucci bag that was attacked with a virus rendering it DOA.

Recently my husband announced that not only our cell phones, but our computers are near the end of their lifespan. “It just doesn’t pay to fix them again.”

He literally has spent more time in the last few weeks investigating what kinds of computers and phones meet our current needs and budget—lap top, desk top, or tablet—than what he should be investigating—which Medigap policy and which Medicare Drug Plan is best for us in 2012. (If you aren’t aware, these plans’ benefits change every year)

I questioned his priorities since, if we have to switch plans, it needs to be done soon. His answer explained why seniors now kvetch more about cell phone and computer problems than aches and pains. “How long will you last if both of our computers and our cell phones drop dead?”

Physically I’ll make it, and I’m in better (communication) shape than he is. I still have my little black phone book, which has landline and cell numbers—and unlike more and more people we know, we still have landlines.