Checking out a K-Wal-Tar-Mart

Checking out at K-Wal-Tar-Mart

“Did you find everything you were looking for, ma’am?

Actually, no.  I couldn’t find the  aluminum foil.  Do you know where it is?

Did you check on the shelves?

I didn’t see it.

If it’s not on the shelves, then we’re probably out of it or we don’t carry it.

Could you ask somebody if you carry it and where it would be?

They’re at lunch, ma’am. Your total comes to $44.12.  Debit or credit?

But I only bought  a sweater and a package of gum and the sign said the sweater was 50% off.

Let me see, no, ma’am.   No, this sweater’s only 50% off when you buy  four.  If you just buy one it’s $29.99.

But that total still seems high.

No cause by the time you add in the gum and the tax and whatnot . . . debit or credit?

Debit.

Slide your card and push the green button.  The green button, ma’am? The green button. Push the green button, ma’am.  The green button!

I am pushing the gre–

Cash back?

No.

Push the green button again, ma’am.  The green button!  No, the green button, ma’am!

I am but nothing’s happening.

Slide your card again and push the green button.  The green button, ma’am.  The green button.  Are you a rewards card member?

No.

Would you like to become a rewards card member? All you have to do is fill out this application with all  of your  personal information, and  it entitles you to take an extra 1% off  purchases over $15,000?

No thank you.

Would you like to make a donation to March of Dimes, then?

No thank you.

St Jude’s?

No thank you.

American Cancer Society?

No thank you.

Muscular Dystrophy?

No thank you.

It’s only a dollar, ma’am.

No thank you.

How would you like your receipt, ma’am?  Printed out or e-mailed.

Printed out.

Do you want a bag, ma’am?

Yes.

Do you want your receipt in the bag?

Yes.

And what’s your e-mail address?

Why?

So we can  e-mail your receipt to you.

But I want my receipt in the bag.

No, for next time, ma’am.

I don’t want to give you may e-mail address.  NO!

Okay, ma’am, calm down.  What’s  your zip code then?

What no!  You don’t need my zip code!  Why do you need my zip code?

Okay Ma’am.  I’m just asking you a simple question.  It’s part of my job.  I need your zip code for our data base.  If you don’t want to give me your zip code, that’s fine.

Good.

What’s your phone number then?

What?  You don’t need my phone number! That’s ridiculous.  I’m just buying a sweater and a pack of gum for heavens sakes! Let me talk to a supervisor.

They’re at lunch, ma’am.   If you don’t want to give me your phone number, that’s okay.  Just one more thing.

What?

What are the last four digits of your social security number?   . . . . Ma’am? . . .   Ma’am?  Okay fine don’t answer me then. Thank you for shopping at K-Wal-Tar-Mart anyways, ma’am.

Shopping at K-Wal-Tar-Mart

My Choice for 2013′s Most Annoying Verbiage

Well, Dear Readers, it’s time to  talk about the most annoying and overused words of 2013 which will be totally awesome and amazing and, like, whatever!

Michigan University has a website where people go throughout the year to vote for the words they think are the most annoying. This year “selfie”  “twerking” and “hashtag” topped their list of 2013′s most annoying words.

Well, Dear Readers, I’ve taken the liberty of coming up with my own list of annoying verbiage that I’ve managed to glean this year from conversations I’ve eavesdropped on while browsing through magazines at Barnes and Noble. The first one is:

“Babe”

Couples who call each other babe is fine.  But when you’re trying to concentrate on a Mad Magazine and the annoying couple standing next to you thumbing through Dwell Magazine are beginning and ending every sentence they utter with the word babe, as in:

“Babe, look at this, Babe!”

“Babe, we should totally do that with our kitchen, Babe!”

“Babe, yeah we should totally, Babe!”

Babe, yeah, yeah, yeah, Babe!”

. . . well, Dear Readers, hearing so many babes in rapid succession like that makes me want to leave and go upstairs to the Barns and Noble  snack bar and eat two stale Toffee Crunch Blondie Brownies as a way of making it up to myself.

Another phrase I find extremely annoying is:

“Stay off the technology!”

I remember a time last year when I was at the Barnes and Noble Magazine stand catching up on my Royal Baby news when I overheard a mother tell her children they could go upstairs if they promised her they would “stay off technology.”

I don’t know why, Dear Readers, and maybe it’s just me, but that phrase made me want to throw up stale Toffee Crunch Blondie Brownie right onto the pages of Babe’s Dwell Magazine.

But the phrase I find the most annoying of all is:

“Not a problem.”

I have a big problem with “not a problem”.  Okay to be fair, I’m not annoyed when someone uses “not a problem” when responding to actual problems, such as:

“Excuse me.  Would you mind helping me with this bank robbery?”

“Not a problem.”

or

“Listen, don’t bother returning my plumber’s helper to me after your are done unplugging your toilet.”

“Not a problem.”

But what I abhor is when “not a problem” becomes insidious and starts leaking into my very own conversation against my will — like, say, when I’m ordering goodies at the Barnes and Noble snack bar:

Me:  Yes, I’ll have a Lemon Crumb Bar.

Girl:  Not a problem.  That will be$3.75.

Me: Not a problem, thanks.

Girl:  Not a problem.

Me:  Oh, I’m sorry but this is stale.

Girl:  Not a problem. Here’s another one.

Me:  Alright not a problem, thanks.

Girl:  Not a problem.

Me:  Oh can I have a bag?

Girl:  Not a problem.  Oh, sorry, we’re out of bags.

Me:  Not a problem.

Girl:  So sorry.

Me:  Not a problem! Thank you.

Girl:  Not a problem!

Me:  Not a problem!

Anyway, Dear Readers, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to annoying verbiage or whatever but for the life of me I can’t think of anything else that’s amazing or awesome.  I hope that’s not a problem.

Until next time . . . I love you

Sunny, How I Love Ya!

Yay!  The Sun is out!  And summer is sliding into home plate!

Sunny, California

I really shouldn’t be complaining about the sun or lack thereof since I live in Sunny California and would never live anywhere else.  I couldn’t take the weather anywhere else.  It would either be too hot (Arizona I’m talking to you), too confining (Hawaii I’m putting your name on the board), too humid (Florida go sit down) or much, much too rainy (Seattle you’re staying after school).

 Honolulu, Hawaii

37 (my husband) and I visited Hawaii for the very first time last fall.  I always thought, when I go to Hawaii I know I’m never going to want to come home again.  Well, turns out I was wrong.  It’s not that Hawaii isn’t beautiful beautiful beautiful! (Btw, I’m asking for adjectives for my birthday.)  It’s just that Hawaii belongs to the people who were born and raised there.

You see, I’d get a little stir crazy being surrounded on all four sides (or maybe even five) by the sea, see?

I mean, I like the ocean just fine as far as bodies of water go, I just don’t like what could be lurking in said body of water just below my big toe – getting ready to freak me out by biting, stinging or eating it.

 Seattle, Washington

And as far as places to live go, don’t even get me started about Seattle.  Places like Seattle should be illegal.

37 and I lived in Seattle for six of the longest years to ever grace the pages of a calendar.

In my opinion, Seattle is a horrible, horrible place where people have to take a number to jump off a bridge.  Ok, I might be exaggerating just a teeny bit, but whose going to stop me?  You? Ha!  I’d like to see you try!

Another non-wonderful thing about Seattle is that when the sun does come out (once or twice for a couple of hours in the August), you can’t go out in the yard barefooted because “the rain forest in which all things in Seattle are located” is home to a little thing called slugs, only they’re big.

In Seattle, you’ve got your small, your medium and your large slugs – inch-worming around in the grass day and night –their sole purpose in nature being to freak out barefooted humans.

And if that’s not bad enough, they also have this really cute thing called a banana slug, that looks like a banana only it moves.

Banana Slugs put the jeebie in heebie jeebie

Anywhere In, Arizona

I would go on to complain about living in Arizona but I’ve never been there.  I know it’s pathetic isn’t it?  I’ve only been to Hawaii, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, and California.  But judging from the shape of Arizona on the map, it looks boring.  Maybe I’ll make it a point to visit that little notch at the top left-hand side just so I can say I’ve been there.

Forget About It?, Florida

Now, I’ve never been to Florida, but I think I would like to go there.  Even though I’ve heard  they have snakes, alligators, sharks, and stink apes and that’s just at the airport. Ha Ha!

I would visit there but 37 is against all things Floridian.  (“Floridan” is one of those great words that make you sound smarter than you are.)

37 thinks it’s too humid in Florida and when he went there, he felt like he couldn’t breath and said it was so hot he felt like he was going to die.

What a pansy!  We’re going anyway!

Until next time . . . I love you

How I Single-Fingered-ly Became the World’s Worst Secretary!

Yesterday, I was having a dialog about typos with fellow blogger Harper Faulkner who has a great blog,  All Write (and who is on my blog roll of course!)  And I was reminded of the career I used to have as the World’s Worst Secretary.

When I graduated from high school back in the year 19mumble, I was all set to go away to a four-year college in the fall.  Well, for reasons I can’t exactly remember (I didn’t pay much attention back then), that plan fell through at the last minute.

Suffice it to say, my safety wasn’t Harvard.  It was the local community college that, as luck would have it, had established itself the same year I graduated.  Being a new college, it offered two courses: Secretarial training and nurses training.

I chose secretarial training because having just seen the movie, Mash, I imagined the job of a nurse to be just like a Mash unit where people lined up around the block waiting to get in while blood squirted out of their every artery, vein and orifice.

Besides, I already knew how to type having taken typing class my sophomore year in high school – where I practiced typing everyday for an entire school year. (And this was back when kids went to school five days all in a row, each and every week.)

You’d think I would have become a pretty decent typist . . . you’d think.

The first day of high school typing class,  I actually got my fingers caught between the manual typewriter keys. I was hopeless at typing.  Heck, I could draw better than I could type and, as you know,  my drawing skills suck like a collapsed straw.

Anyway, since I now found myself painted into a backwater community college corner, I chose to study the art of the secretary – despite my uncoordinated typing skills.  My mind was made up.  I would get  myself a one-year secretarial certificate or I would get every finger permanently stuck in a manual typewriter trying!

My college typing teacher would hand my assignments back with comments like:

Linda, five full minutes of typing and you only managed 27  words AND with 3 errors?  See me after class.

or

Linda, there is no 7 in the word brown. See me after class.

I eventually found out, through trial and error, that I was a much better typist using just one finger.

So what saved my secretarial career was the fact that I was a whiz at shorthand.  I could take shorthand like nobody’s business.  Only trouble was they were using shorthand in nobody’s business – thanks to some slick, new technology called a dictaphone.

Still, relying on my  impressive shorthand skills, and the fact that potential bosses were always overly impressed by my ability to  repeat back to them what they had just said (Oh I could take a letter alright, I just couldn’t give it back), I managed to worm my way into a job as the World’s Worst Professional Secretary!

Which just goes to show you what a person can do if they will just put their mind to it.

Until next time . . . I love you

The AARP / AAA Smackdown for Little Ol’ Moi

Gosh! I haven’t been this popular since I was in the eighth grade and three boys liked me at the same time.  But that magical time of youth was nothing compared to the fuss AARP and AAA are making over me. It’s enough to make a girl blush into a coma! LOL (laughing out loud)

And all because I’m so alluring (ly old).

Today it’s AAA that’s come a-courting.  For instance, this tender love letter  arrived only moments ago by special dispatch because, ahem . . . there’s not a minute to lose:

Now that’s exactly what I was thinking on the way to my mailbox . . .  I was literally thinking if only someone, somewhere would just give an old, sick, poor loser such as myself one last chance . . . well, I just figured it was just some kind of OFFOM! (old-fogey fantasy of mine)

And then when I proceeded to read:

“Or you may want to wipe out any outstanding debts after your passsing or relieve your family from the expense of a funeral.”

Well, doggone it, my heart melted, AAA! (American Automobile Association!)

You are so Frigging Sweet!  You mean to tell me you want to wipe out my debts after my passing?  You are soooo adorable OMG ! (oh my god!)

One small question though– you don’t say after passing what?  Do you mean after passing the bar exam or something because I’ve never been to law school — you must be getting me mixed up with someone else. ROFBAHL  (rolling on floor breaking a hip laughing!)

Anyway, I’m delighted that you want to relieve my family from the expense of a funeral and that’s great and all, but we don’t normally go around paying for random people’s funerals so I’m a little confused MBTA! (must be the alzheimers!)

But wait a minute.   Are you being ironic on purpose AAA?  Because didn’t you just imply that any minute now I could KTB? (kick the bucket?)  Oh I get it, you’re just messing with my SM!  (senile mind!)

SILLY AAA! (silly american automobile association!)

PS. I so frigging love you right now I can’t even say!

************

Until next time . . . I love you

I Can’t Explain It . . . There’s Just Something About Uranus!

It’s nice to be mature or so I’m told. Now that I am nearly old enough to collect Social Security (so I can finally be more secure socially),  and now that I am a Grandmother, and now that  AARP is positively drooling every time I walk by, well I’m pretty much hot stuff in the fast-paced world of Aging Boomerism.

That is why, Dear Readers,  I am  delighted to be nominated for an award so infantile, so juvenile, so puerile, so River Nile, that I couldn’t be more pleased if God, himself, had instructed Moses to part the Red Sea and let me hunt for sea shells for a full five minutes!

"Hey lookee this one! It's not even broken at all!"

I am speaking of course of the most coveted and the most revered award to ever grace  the Blogosphere:

The Award to END All Awards

For this nomination, I thankfully thank Lizzie Cracked (but not broken) over at Running Naked with Scissors who writes a wise, funny and a humongously creative blog about life with Bi-Polar, six kids and one grandson among a host of other eclectic always entertaining topics. 

And now let us proceed to the Nomination Hoops through which one must jump when nominated  for the Glitter E. Yaynus Award!

Name five things that would make people want to kill me:

Lagging at every greenlight for miles trying to find my lip gloss.

 Eating the last  Girl Scout Cookie (OK, make that eating all of the Girl Scout Cookies).

 Meeting up with out-of-town guests, and forgetting my cell phone.

 Talking during the most important part of everything.

 Reading the time wrong on the airplane tickets.

Next: Name five things I would take to Uranus:

(OK, this isn’t the real version. In the real version, you are supposed to name five things you would stick up your ass, if forced. I’m  doing the watered-down, old-lady, granny version because I wouldn’t want to do anything that would jeopardize my membership eligibility for AARP.) So here are the five things I would take to Uranus:

A copy of Pride and Prejudice because a little culture never hurt Uranus.

A herd of elephants because it’s rumored that Uranus is quite spacious.

Martha Stewart in case Uranus needs redecorating.

A pot of gold to place at the end of Uranus in case there’s no rainbows.

A fireworks factory because nothing spices up Uranus like firecrackers and sparklers!

Next: Run across a Freeway Blindfolded.  

Only if the freeway is blindfolded too, let’s make it fair!

Next: Pick a Prom Court:

Ok, what happened here? Things were progressing so logically until the last two questions.  I think the person who thought this up might have a touch of the ADD!  Nevertheless.  I will pick a prom court by passing the nomination on to the following bloggers who I think can really do this Prestigious Award justice and the nominees are:

Lauren’s Crazy Adventure (She’s got a new blog with a fresh perspective!)

Eldon  (A comedy alchemist who turns mascara into black streaks!)

Clipsnark (She’s a funny clip art clipper!)

A Gripping Life (She’s breaking out of her rut in a good way!)

Morristownmemos (She reads Dr. Suess, you’ll like her!)

And please Prom Court/Glitter E Yaynes Nominees,  please do not let the prestige of this award swell your ego  –it might go to Uranus!

 

Until next time . . . I love you

How to Not Appear Shy Even If You Are

The first self-help book I ever read was called Psycho Cybernetics. I remember the author giving advice on how to overcome shyness. 

And since I was descended from a long genealogical line of timid folk, I was pretty shy so I bought the book and devoured it.  It didn’t help much though.

Back then, I worked as a waitress in a hotel and sometimes waited on famous people.

Naturally, I was much too shy to ever strike up a conversation with any of them.  But I was amazed when one of the outgoing waitresses walked right up to Kurt Russell and struck up a conversation which ended in him asking her out on a date.  This girl had not a shy bone in her body.

I, on the other hand, waited on him every day for the entire summer he stayed at the hotel and the most I ever said to him was, “would you like more coffee?”  And the most he ever said to me was, “uh huh.”

Kurt Russell just seconds before he didn’t ask me out on a date.

But even if I would have had the nerve to strike up a conversation and get asked out on a date by Kurt Russell, I would have been much too shy to go!

I remember finding out they had actually discovered a “shyness gene”.

The ensuing joke went something like this:  Scientists have finally discovered there is a gene that causes shyness.  It took this long to discover it, however, because it was hiding behind all the other genes.

“You’ve been discovered, Shyness Gene, no use hiding under your Capillary Bed!”

I also remember once seeing an ad in the newspaper advertising a support group for shy people.  It said, if you’re shy, call this number. 

Uh . . .Hello!  Shy people don’t cold call phone numbers from out of the newspaper where they have to tell the strange person answering how shy they are — without an extremely strong incentive — like gunpoints and things of that nature.

And here’s another thing.  If you’re shy, you find it quite embarrassing to be shy.

So you try to act like you’re not shy in shy-inducing situations for the sole purpose of avoiding these dreaded phrases: “You’re shy aren’t you?”  or “How come you’re so shy?” Even when I go to the dentist I suspect he thinks I’m shy.

“You don’t talk much do you?”

Of course, I’m not that shy anymore, thank goodness.

Life has worn off my sensitivity to new situations involving new people, I like to think.  Still, traces of a once-shy personage do linger and come out in odd ways.

For instance, I find myself in a mild state of dread if I see an acquaintance in line at the checkout stand worried we’ll have to chat while other people stand there listening.

Or if I’m out on a walk, and I see someone coming in my direction, I have to stifle an urge to duck behind the nearest tree.

Yeah, hi . . . how you doin’

Here are some tricks, I’ve learned to hide shyness:

Get the Other Person Talking

This is a god-send.  If you can get the other person talking, you never have to say a word.  Of course, as the years go by, that other person may suddenly realize that while you know that their great, great grandfather on their mother’s side had red hair, they don’t know your last name — which could be a little awkward, but a small price to pay.

Bait and Switch

When starting a new job in a very quiet office where the only sounds you hear are the ratcheting of ears turning in your direction when you say something-; and some loudmouth comes up to you and tries to strike up a conversation by asking you a personal question — drop your pen under your desk, crawl under to pick it up and then simply stay there until they go away.

“Ah nuts! Here comes somebody else!”

Feign Distraction

If you see someone you are acquainted with at the grocery store who you know talks really loud and is trying to get your attention, pretend you don’t see them by doing one of the following:

Drop that head of lettuce you’ve been examining onto the floor and then kick it around the produce isles pretending like you’re trying to pick it up but it keeps rolling away.

Stick your entire head into the freezer and pretend to be studying the ice cream ingredients.

And finally . . .

Don’t make the mistake of being overly friendly and warm to camouflage your shyness, this will only get you a job as a salesperson – or a date with Kurt Russell.  And then where will you be?

Until next time . . . I love you

Going Places by Slapping Faces

Sometimes when life hands you lemons you need to just slap them out of life’s hands and maybe slap life’s face while you’re at it.  Especially when it comes to boring jobs.

The only job I’ve really enjoyed was breakfast waitress in a coffee shop when I was 19.  It was fun, time flew by and I made tips! (I could actually pay my light bill in quarters which was completely possible in 1971.)

Eventually though, I got the not-so-bright idea to get Boring Secretarial Training and managed to land — shortly thereafter – the most boring secretarial job not only on earth, but on any planet in the universe that would even theoretically sustain life.

My job was to sit at the front desk in an architect’s office and answer the occasional once-a-day phone call and type the occasional, once-a-month letter.

But the pay was excellent and since my husband, 37, was a full-time student, I could never rationalize quitting  – even though the only challenge the position offered was that of polishing up my ability to keep my eyes open.

This was in the 70′s before computers and the internet. So I really had to be creative to find ways to make time pass. Whenever I’d get so bored I felt like crying, I would take the coins in the petty cash and stack them according to mint taking my sweet, sweet time to gaze into the copper eyes of Abraham Lincoln or contemplate, as earnestly as all get out, the expression etched on the nickel-alloyed face of  our beloved Thomas Jefferson.

This is when I began drinking coffee – simply as a way to kill more time. Pour, sip, swallow,  pour, swallow, sip.  Yay!   Thirty seconds disposed of!  Only 7 hours, 59 and a half minutes left to go! But no matter what ways I devised to kill time, every minute of every day went by in geological increments.

I was hanging ten on a nine-to-five glacier.

I finally got up the nerve to ask my boss one day if, when I wasn’t busy, I could read.  (I have no idea what he thought I did all day).  He agreed and I was in heaven for about three weeks.

But getting to read eight hours a day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year isn’t as dreamy as it sounds. Immersing yourself in other people’s stories to such an extent feels surreal and odd. When the phone would ring, I’d think . . . wait a minute . . . where am I? . . . who am I? . . . or even what am I?  (if I was reading science fiction).

I can’t believe I stuck it out for three whole years. When I think back, all I can  remember about the mid 70′s  is the tedious tick . . . pause 2, 3, 4 . . .  tock of the never-ending clock.

I’ve had a lot of secretarial jobs since then, but I am happy to report that none of them Put the Candles on the Boring Cake like the architect’s office job.  But I did learn a good lesson.

When life hands you lemons, punch it in the nose!

Until next time, I love you

Tightening the Elastic Waistband Til It’s Curtains

I’m not afraid of much.  Shots don’t scare me.  I can get major surgery with my eyes closed.  I’m brave enough to swat and kill any spider any size anytime with my bare hands.  Yeah, I’m pretty much bad to the bone.

Except when it comes to sewing.  When it comes to sewing,  I wouldn’t even qualify as skin-deep bad, I’m just plain ol’ bad.

But I want to sew!

If I could sew, I would make beautiful items for my home.  I’d become a fashion designer and go on Project Runway.  I would have more self-esteem and confidence as a person, in general — not to mention a killer wardrobe where everything I made would make me appear 15 pounds thinner, 20 years younger and upwards of  50  I. Q. points smarter.

It’s not like I haven’t tried!

Once, when my youngest daughter was in the 3rd grade she had a friend over.  I was sewing myself a pair of pants.  I had just finished sewing in the elastic waistband and was feeling rather proud of myself when my daughter’s friend looked over from across the room and asked,

“Why are you sewing an elastic waistband in the leg of those pants?”

I quickly pulled the pants out from under the needle, held them up and sure enough the little brat was right.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete idiot just an unfinished one.

I suspect my sewing problem stems from my inability to be able to tell right from left.  I can tell right from left, of course, – just not consistently.

And being able to distinguish right from left on a regular basis seems to be important in sewing.

Frankly, I don’t understand people who can tell right from left easily.  People like that have a tendency to complicate matters just to confuse you.  37, my engineer-husband takes great delight in vexing me:

Can you hand me my pocket protector? It’s in the right-hand, top-desk drawer.

No it’s not in here.

Yes it is.

No it’s not.

It’s on the RIGHT side of the desk, not the LEFT.  The RIGHT.

Well, that’s the one I’m looking in – the RIGHT and it’s NOT in here.

No, you don’t understand.  It’s on MY right, which is YOUR left.

Or  let’s say 37  is giving me directions over the phone:

What side of the street is their house on?

Well that depends.  Are you going east or west?

East or west?  How would I know? Just tell me what side of the street it’s on!

It’s on the RIGHT side of the street.

Ok, great, thanks.

If . . . .

If what?

If you’re heading east, that is.

I don’t know what direction I’m heading.

Well that’s easy to tell.  If your going East, the shopping center will be on your left.

It’s not on my left.

Not YOUR left MY left.

It’s times like this when I want to get out my sewing machine and sew an elastic waistband into 37′s shirt collar.  Then slowly tighten it to MY left HIS right MY East and HIS West.

You’ll have to excuse me now, I have some sewing to do.

Until next time . . . I love you