Despite all of my Googling expertise, the pile of things that I just don’t understand keeps getting higher. I am pretty sure that I know less now than I did when I was 10. I mean, back then, I actually had to hold on to information for lengthy periods for pop quizzes and exams. Now, I discard any facts that are not vital to my present survival.
Today’s list of things I don’t understand:
- Why large things that protrude from your head are more appealing than small, unobtrusive things that can be covered by a fashionable hair style. Every time she sees my husband, Cap’n Firepants, our elderly friend, MILlie, complains to him that her stereo headphones will not work. He explains that the end needs to actually be plugged into something that makes sound – instead of dangling down her back. She says that she does not want to plug them into something; she just wants to walk around with them on, so they will help her hear better. (I tried to get her fitted for a hearing aid last year, but she refuses to wear one.)
- Why my husband insists on being loyal to a car-maker (let’s just call them “Frod”) who keeps selling him cars with transmission problems. After he got stranded, and they finally admitted there might be an issue (despite the fact that he brought it in 3 times before and there was “nothing wrong”), and then they proceeded to keep it for a week without offering him a rental car, I asked him if he still planned to go back there for his next car. “Well, they did fix it,” he stated.
- Why Google cannot help me find someone to help me fix my husband. Not that kind of fix. Just fix his blind allegiance to an automobile manufacturer who has not once returned the favor.
- Why I keep shoes in my closet that are agonizingly painful to wear, then forget the damage they did to my foot the last time I wore them, then stupidly choose to wear them to work one day, not realizing until I am at work that I have made yet another dumb wardrobe decision, make my way through an excruciating day with blinding pain, then come home, take off the shoes, and put them back in my closet without even a sticky note to label them as “Shoes That Cannot Be Worn for More Than 5 Minutes without Completely Hobbling You for the Next Week”.
- Why Dimples takes 90 minute showers, and she does not even shave her legs, yet.
- Why Twitter sent me an e-mail inviting me to use it more often (I never use it; I just signed up for it so I could get a Pinterest account) and then proceeded to suggest that two people I would probably like to follow are Tyra Banks and Snooki.
- How I can explain to Twitter, in 140 characters or less, all of the reasons that I will never follow Tyra or Snooki.
- Why one of my students gave me a very nice gift today, then ran to me after school and said, “Oh, don’t throw out the gift bag because my mom wants it back.”
Why Wonderbutt decided to grab, out of all of the sections of the newspapers spread across the kitchen table, the Obituaries. And dragged them, relatively intact, out to his Poop Pen.
So, we have an elderly friend, MILlie, who moved into town a year ago. MILlie needs to go to a doctor. Instead of choosing from one of the thousands in San Antonio, she wants to see her former doctor. Which is fine. Except that he is 2 hours away. And MILlie doesn’t drive. For a recap of the beginning of this story, you can go here.
After finally getting the doctor’s correct name from MILlie, assuring her that I did, indeed, intend to have her accompany me on the trip, doing an internet search, calling a wrong number that directed me to the right number, calling the right number only to be told I needed to give them more information which I didn’t have, calling MILlie to get More Information, calling back to give them More Information, not being asked when I called back the second time for the More Information..
I made an appointment.
We were in business. I marked the date on the calendar for MILlie’s appointment and cleared my schedule for our road trip.
MILlie came over a few days ago.
“I need you to cancel that appointment,” she said.
I raised an eyebrow. At least that’s what I think I did.
“May I ask why?” I cautiously said.
She pulled out an entire section of the newspaper from her purse.
“I was afraid you were going to argue with me, so I brought this as proof,” she said.
“Don’t Ever Drive in this Town Two Hours Away Because The Roads Suck and You Will Die a Horrible Death” the headlines said. Or something to that effect.
“The roads are terrible there because all of the oil trucks are ruining them, and I would hate for something to happen to you just because you were driving me to the doctor,” MILlie said.
The roads are terrible here, too. But, I did not point this out to MILlie. Part of me was jumping for joy that I wouldn’t be going on the road trip, part of me was resenting all of the time I spent planning this adventure, and part of me was thinking about the last time I took MILlie to a doctor in town – which was not an experience either one of us would like to re-live. The environmentally concerned part of me was ticked off at all of the oil trucks, and the financially desperate part of me was wondering how I could cash in on this whole oil thing…
MILlie said, “So you don’t mind canceling the appointment?”
“Are you okay with me picking a doctor here in town?”
I gulped. “Alrighty then. I will get right on that.”
As soon as MILlie was gone, I called the 2 Hour Away Doctor. “Uh, do you guys have a recommendation for a doctor here in San Antonio?” I asked.
“We’ll have someone call you back with that information.”
I’m still waiting.
Something tells me I’m going to wish I’d made that road trip.
I do not have a good track record with doctors. So, I tend to avoid them if at all possible. I prefer to use the internet for my diagnoses.
MILlie, an elderly friend of the family, needs to go to the dermatologist. The only one she likes is in a different town that is about two hours away. Because I have had experience with trying to convince MILlie to try a new doctor in our town, I know better than to try that again. So, I agreed to take her. Which, in case you were not paying attention to my first paragraph, is a major sacrifice on my part. I am not telling you this merely because I want you to admire my heroism, but also because I want you to truly understand the irony of the last line of this post.
I called MILlie to make sure I had the right contact information so I could make the appointment.
“Well, let me get out the phone book,” MILlie said. “Okay. Here’s the address.”
“That’s okay. All I really need is the phone number for now,” I said.
“Well, it’s right across from the hospital. It’s in a big building. Across from the hospital. And, it’s in a suite. S-T-E.”
“No problem. If you can just give me the phone number, I’ll get the directions from the internet later, and then you can point out the building to me when we get there,” I said.
“Oh. Am I going to be with you?”
I’ve decided that my daughter, Dimples, elderly friend, MILlie, and Donald Trump are all conspiring to drive me bonkers. The three of them seem to enjoy having the same darn conversation over and over again…
Dimples: Can I get this hair band for my hair?
Dimples: Why not?
Me: Because you won’t wear it.
Dimples: Yes, I will.
Me: That’s what you said the last three times.
Dimples: No, I didn’t.
Me: Yes, you did. And then I fell for it, and you didn’t wear it.
Dimples: So-o-o, can I get it?
Me: Yeah. No.
Me (to MILlie, our elderly friend): I notice you are wearing your old glasses. As soon as I get out of school, I’ll take you to get the scratch on your new ones fixed.
MILlie: It won’t make a difference. They’re no good.
Me: What do you mean? That was the 5th pair we’ve gotten this year! You said they were good!
MILlie: They don’t work. He didn’t fit them to my eyes.
Me: Of course he fit them to your eyes. He used the prescription you gave him – remember, the one that you went to get on your own because you didn’t like the one that my doctor gave you?
MILlie: They give me a headache.
Me: You said the old ones, the ones you are wearing now, the ones you keep going back to every time we get you a new pair, give you a headache.
MILlie: But I can take these off when I read.
Me: Now, I’m getting a headache.
As for Trump, I’m sending him a box of Dimples’ headbands, since I think he needs them way more than she does. Or, maybe he would like to borrow one of MILlie’s pairs of glasses, so he can take them off when he examines President Obama’s birth certificate for the 798th time. Geez, dude, give it a rest.
Two weeks ago, I took our elderly friend, MILlie, to an optical store. To get new glasses. MILlie did not like the new glasses that we got 6 months ago. So, since the day after we picked up those glasses the second time (because they did not suit her the first time) she has been wearing the ones she vehemently opposed before we ever began this adventure last year.
Despite the fact that I had taken MILlie to an eye doctor in town, she chose to go back to her former eye doctor 2 hours away – the one who had been responsible for the first pair of glasses she hated – to get another prescription. Then, she proceeded to hint to me, not so tactfully, that she needed to get that prescription filled with new glasses.
I polled friends to find out the name of a local place that would meet MILlie’s expectations – something better than the l0w-cost chain store I had taken her to the first time. Finally, one friend gave me a reference. It turned out to be right next door to the eye doctor to which I had taken her. I had initially spurned this place because it looked quite pricey. MILlie used to get her eyeglasses at Sears, and I was pretty sure she could not handle the sticker shock.
When I explained to MILlie that this was the only other place I had heard of in town that had pleased 100% of the customers I had polled (not mentioning that I only knew one customer), but that it was definitely going to cost more for one pair than the two pairs we got 6 months ago, she pondered it for a couple of weeks. Finally, she started to hint that I should take her there.
The new shop is a small “boutique” store with one person, the owner, working. MILlie chose the biggest coke-bottle lenses she could find from the display wall, and told the owner that was what she wanted. He told her that they were too big. She looked at me.
“Uhuh,” I said. “I am not saying anything this time. I gave you my opinion last time, and you ended up hating them.”
The owner persuaded her to try another pair that was slightly smaller. She turned to get my opinion. I shook my head, and pursed my lips stubbornly.
She finally ordered a pair with absolutely no input from me – despite at least three more attempts.
Today, I took her to pick them up. When we arrived, there was another pair of ladies already waiting. The eldest one, when called to the chair where fittings took place, set her glasses down on the table, looked the owner square in the face, and said, “I do NOT like these glasses. I don’t want bifocals. I want one pair of dark ones for driving, and I want another pair for reading.”
Her friend, who looked about 60, turned to me smiling. “Bertie has never been one to mince words.”
I grinned, but inwardly I groaned. I admired Bertie’s honesty, but I was afraid MILlie would, too. If MILlie suddenly decided she wanted two different pairs of glasses instead of the multitasking pair we had originally ordered, I was going to have to give this job to someone else and/or feed her glasses to Wonderbutt.
Bertie tried a new pair of frames, and turned to her friend, who said nothing. Bertie turned back around, and her friend looked at me, smiling with closed mouth as she moved her fingers across her lips. I sensed a bosom buddy.
Finally, Bertie was pleased. Her friend quickly got her own business taken care of, and it was MILlie’s turn. I held my breath for the announcement that she would like to change her glasses.
But the announcement never came. MILlie tried on her new pair, and declared herself satisfied. The entire trip home, she exclaimed about the crispness of the leaves on the trees.
I tried to be hopeful, but that was what she did six months ago…
My brief mention of St. Francis of Assisi the other day reminded me of a funny story regarding saints, real estate, and MILlie.
A few years ago, we were trying to sell our house, and MILlie, an elderly friend of ours, mentioned to us that there was a saint who could help us with this. She claimed that, if we buried the saint upside down in our yard, we would quickly get an offer on our house.
Even after it was clarified that we should probably bury a STATUE of the saint, instead of the actual saint, I was still skeptical. I had grown up in the Catholic Church, and had never heard of this practice. I can be a little irreverent sometimes, but this sounded downright sacrilegious. Weren’t the saints treated badly enough when they were alive?
I consulted a few other upstanding Catholics, and some members of the real estate field, and they all confirmed MILlie’s claims.
A couple of weeks later, MILlie presented us with a statue of our very own to bury in the yard. As luck would have it, we did not even have the chance to bury the statue before we got a bid on the house.
A couple of weeks later, a good friend of mine was desperate to sell her house. Her husband had been transferred unexpectedly, and they had a short turnaround time before they needed to move. I gave her the statue, and told her the story.
The next weekend, MILlie visited. In her hand was a new statue, different saint.
“I gave you the wrong saint,” she said. “You’re supposed to bury St. Joseph.”
“What saint did you give us?” I asked.
“Well, what does he do?”
“I don’t know, but it’s St. Joseph you’re supposed to bury in the yard for an offer on your house.”
After we explained to MILlie that we already had a good offer on the house, she still convinced us to keep St. Joseph – “just in case.”
As soon as she left, I did a little research on the internet about Saint Anthony. Then I called my friend.
“Uh, remember that statue I gave you to bury in the front yard? Did you, uh, do that?”
“Yeah, why? I figured we could use all the help we can get.”
“Hmm. Well, uh, it’s the wrong saint. Apparently, you’re supposed to bury St. Joseph, not St. Anthony.”
“O.K. So, you gave me St. Anthony? What does he do?”
I mumbled my response.
“What? I don’t think I heard you right.”
“Well, it’s an honest mistake. People also bury him in the front yard. But you probably don’t need to do that. He’s the ‘matchmaking saint’.”
“O.K. Well. You bury him in the front yard if you’re trying to find a husband.”
Silence. Did I mention my friend wasn’t exactly thrilled about this sudden transfer her husband had gotten?
“I think I might just leave St. Anthony there for awhile,” she finally said.
I hung up, hoping that I wasn’t going to be held responsible for any unintended consequences of a case of mistaken saint identity.
I’m pretty sure that’s not at the top of my List of Transgressions, though.
I am a heathen and a Bad Person.
I mentioned a while ago that I was a bit apprehensive about the upcoming Christmas decorating season. This will be Wonderbutt’s first Christmas with us, as he came into our household last December 26th. As a little tyke, he was crated whenever unsupervised, so the tree that was up for the couple of days of overlap last year did not suffer any damage.
However, this year is a different story. Our family is still debating the appropriate placement of the tree in order to avoid the Wrath of Wonderbutt. So, unlike most seasons, we did not get all of our decorating done Thanksgiving weekend.
We did break out a few small items in order to start getting into the spirit of things – decorations that could easily be situated far North of Wonderbutt territory. This light sprinkling of Christmas cheer in odd spots around the house mixed with my apparent disregard for the Reason for the Season probably contributed to MILlie’s confusion the other night.
MILlie, for those of you who just arrived at this party, is an elderly woman who is close to our family. We were having her over for dinner a few days ago, and she commented, “Oh, I see you got your Nativity scene set up.”
From MILlie’s vantage point, this is what one would see:
As you will no doubt note, this is not a Nativity Scene. It is our Harry Potter shelf. Dimples and I are Harry Potter fiends, and we have dedicated this shelf to our collection. The shelf has been this way since July when we were fortunate enough to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida.
In MILlie’s defense, this is the shelf where we usually set up the Nativity.
In MY defense, MILlie was wearing her OLD pair of glasses, the ones that she “hates”, the ones that are the complete wrong prescription – not one of the two new pairs that I took her to the eye doctor and the eyeglass store to get three separate times in order to get the prescription, fit, and balance exactly, precisely correct.
In MILlie’s defense, it’s Christmas time, and I should have a Nativity scene set up first, above all other decorations.
In MY defense, and I realize that this is not a good defense at all, I am still trying to figure out where I want to put it. Because of Wonderbutt. And because I don’t want to disturb the Harry Potter shelf.
I know. That sounds bad, doesn’t it? It sounds bad, even to me as I’m typing it, that I am reluctant to remove Hogwarts to replace it with the birthplace of the Baby Jesus.
I suppose it would not be a good compromise to place the stable next to Hogwarts, would it?
I just hope, when the lightning strikes me, that it gives me a cute little scar on my forehead like Harry’s.
Well, I’ve made it 84 posts without bringing this up, but I’m afraid my streak is ending.
You know how you avoid mentioning some people in your post, because you don’t want them to recognize themselves, or you just plain don’t want to be one of those people who talks behind others’ backs? Well, those aren’t my reasons for avoiding this topic. I just had a lot of other things to talk about, and now I’m out of ideas.
So, I happen to be very close to an elderly woman. I won’t say what the relationship is, but let’s just call her MILlie. MILlie is the sweetest person in the world, but she’s getting up there in years, and needing a little more help than she used to.
MILlie just moved to the big city to an apartment around the corner from us. After living in a town with two streetlights for 30 years, she is having a hard time finding her way around and negotiating San Antonio traffic. That’s where I come in. Kind of like the slightly less blind leading the blind.
Which is a nice seque into the next paragraph.
For about a year, MILlie has been complaining about her eyeglasses. Finally, I convinced her to visit my own eye doctor, who found her previous prescription to be very wrong, and wrote out a new one for her. This necessitated a visit to the local Eyeglassorama Extraordinaire, who promised her not one, but two new pairs in two weeks. MILlie was delighted at this guarantee of improved sight, and declared she would be throwing those Horrible Old Glasses away as soon as the new ones arrived.
I dutifully took MILlie to the discount people two weeks later, and they patiently fitted her eyeglasses. Afterwards, we went to lunch and celebrated her amazing super-duper vision.
I think you can see where this is going. Pun intended. Since this whole post is in bad taste anyway, I don’t see the problem in sticking a few puns in here and there.
So, a few weeks later, you can imagine my consternation when MILlie appeared to have begun wearing the Horrible Old Glasses again. After some quizzing from me, she admitted that the new ones just didn’t seem right.
Back to Eyeglassorama Extraordinaire we went, and a very nice man tolerantly attempted to get down to the problem MILlie had with her glasses. After determining one pair hadn’t gotten the right lens prescription and the other one needed some frame adjusting, he took them both to send out for repairs.
When they finally came in again, Cap’n Firepants took MILlie to pick them up, presumably going through the same fitting song and dance that had already happened twice now.
MILlie declared herself satisfied.
Today, I took MILlie for her first haircut in the big city. She had been unhappy with her hair for at least a year, and had taken to wearing thin pink plastic headbands in it to keep it out of her face, making her look slightly deranged. It took about 30 minutes for her to negotiate with the stylist about her cut. When a suitable one seemed to be agreed upon, the shearing ensued.
I could not believe the difference. After the cut, MILlie looked at least 10 years younger. I enthusiastically thanked her stylist, and took a bunch of phone photos of MILlie Minus the Headband. We went to lunch and celebrated her new gift of an updated do.
MILlie declared herself satisfied.
Halfway through lunch, I noticed her glasses. Her old pair. The pair she had cursed up and down and wanted to throw out the car window while the car was moving. I had been so focused on her hairstyle, I hadn’t paid attention until then to the glasses she had replaced on her nose after the cut and style. They were curiously slanted on one side farther from her face, but they were definitely the old pair.
When I asked her about it, she said she was still trying to get used to the new ones.
Kind of hard to do if you aren’t wearing them.
MILlie is coming to dinner tonight. If she doesn’t have either the old pair of glasses or the pink headband on, I will delete this post.
If it’s still here tomorrow, well, then, I think it’s safe to assume that MILlie was not satisfied.