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In 2008, my mother had a total knee replacement at 70 years old. Her hospital stay was expected to be four days. However, I went to visit her the next day and she was already in the discharge waiting room, "Take me home." She only went to two rehab sessions, and had about four visits from the home health aide/therapist before declaring herself recovered.
Flash forward 8 years and I arrived at her apartment at 3 pm, but she did not answer the door. I called the office of her apartment complex demanding they bring a key to open her door. Although I had a key for the inside door, I did not have a key for the outer storm door. The maintenance man arrived then said, "I don't have a key to the storm door either. Maybe I could see if she left a window opened?"
I looked at this man in disbelief, "What do you weigh, about 150 pounds? I could throw you through the French Door. That will get me in." Suddenly he decided to cut a hole in the screen to unlock the storm door. I entered, fearful I was about to find Mom dead. She's 77 now, so anything is possible.
Instead I found a dizzy and disoriented woman. She had been laying on the floor for eight hours and injured herself while trying to climb to her feet. She'd hit her head causing a concussion and had trouble walking. I quickly pulled out the walker from the back of the closet that had not been used since her knee surgery all those years ago.
Upon our arrival at the hospital, we were told her blood pressure was 248/100. Her calcium and kidney levels were too high, she was in renal failure and I was told she most likely had some sort of cancer. Mom began forgetting things such as her kids' birth dates and her own social security number. I was hysterical. Everything about her looked weak and dying. Her hands were wrinkled and dry looking with veins popping out, she could hardly move, and for the first time ever--- Mom was an old lady. She saw how upset I was and told me, "Don't worry. I have no expiration date." What the HELL was that supposed to mean?
After MRIs, Xrays, CAT, Scopes, EEG, EKG and a ton of other tests, it was determined she had no cancer--- just a small cyst, high blood pressure, anemia, and some stomach issues. But no cancer--which is what I expected because of her family history. She was still forgetful and seeing things--such as bugs crawling on the wall and shapes in the curtains--due to a concussion. At one point the nurse asked her who the US President is, she knew... then asked what day of the week it was, she got that wrong-- but that is normal for her! I wanted her to remain in the hospital for a bit, so I convinced the doctors to send her to rehab once she stabilized. I figured this way she could receive 24/7 monitoring in case the blood pressure got out of control again.
A couple days later, she was moved to the rehab floor. I arrived at the hospital with bags full of clothes for the next week. What I found was a feisty and determined young Mom, not the frail, dying one. She kept getting out of bed which caused a horrible alarm to ring, because she was considered a "Fall Risk". She shouted, "Isn't this ridiculous? Every time I move a buzzer goes off like a game show. I want out of here."
An aide came, "You need to stay in bed. You know to call me if you want to go to the bathroom."
Mom did not take kindly to this, "You aren't all the big, I'm not afraid of you." She climbed back into bed, but each time her wait shifted, the alarm sounded. "That's it, I'm going home." There was no point to refuse her.
The doctor came in and I asked what she thought. "I've never seen anyone recover from renal failure so quickly. What is wrong with her can easily be controlled with meds, and she does need rehab for the knee, but if she is willing to have the home rehab, I see nothing wrong with her going home today." That was all she needed to hear. She grabbed her clothes from the bags I brought and shuffled to the bathroom to dress. Once we checked out, she suggested a diner then wanted to walk around CVS--all without a walker.
When bedtime came around, I was concerned about the height of her bed. She normally uses a step stool to get in it--she's really short and it is really high. There is no hand rail on the stool though, so I worried. Before I could adjust the height of her cane to use as support, she hopped up into the bed and huffed, "Oh, how wonderful... my own bed!" She smiled and said, "I told you, I'm not dying... I have no expiration date... I'm going to live forever."
When I told her she isn't allowed to drive for two weeks she responded, "My god, am I on parole? You put me in jail, now I'm on parole and they are going to tell me where I can go and what I can do?" I just shake my head, equating a hospital to jail is something I never considered.
Of course she'll die eventually. But somehow my vision of her living to be 110 seems more real than before. My nerves are still shot.. my insides still tremble, knowing how dire things had become. She's perfectly happy in her bed asleep.
My father died in 1977, leaving my mom with five kids, ages 2-17. I don't know how she did it, cause it takes a strong person to get through something like that.
I guess she got tired of me and my brother asking where Daddy went, and she decided to try to distract us---with a dog. Looking back it's kind of funny, "Daddy's dead, let's get a dog." So Mom loaded up the station wagon with not only my family, but the neighbor and her kids as well. Two adults, two toddlers and three teens loaded in the car and headed to the pound to get our new dog.
While we were there, the neighbor's daughter decided on a doberman pincher puppy, Dobbie---how original. My brother immediately found an adorable white fluffy puppy who licked his fingers through the cage. It was a bichon frise/poodle mix they named Sinbad. My mother started the paperwork, but there was another little girl there who was crying that she wanted our dog. Being the typical four year old, I wanted the dog, and I remember giving this poor crying girl the evil eye. I had my back up of siblings, so a rumble would ensue if that chick thought she was getting our dog. With two dogs barking and yapping, snapping and pawing at each other, a bunch of kids screaming, and adult women yelling for us to shut up, we headed to our home thirty minutes away. This was one car ride I will never forget, and still don't know how Mommy didn't crash the car. Thank God her driving skills are better than her navigational skills.
Our new dog ran like a bullet all through the house as we argued over a name. I wanted Goofy, my brother wanted Pluto, and my older sisters threw out their own ideas. After a few years, the dog responded to the following names: Dog, Mutt, Mutki, Hey You, and my brother-in-law's favorite, Sh!the@d. The funny thing about dog was that he didn't mind the screaming and yelling, he didn't care about the stereo blasting, and he thought he owned the entire house and all in it. It was the perfect dog to compliment our house for the seventeen years he lived there.
Dog was always trying to run out the front door when we opened it, which as a kid I found annoying. Now I realize he was trying to escape an insane asylum. Eventually he settled in and become one of the inmates. One time the ten pound dog grabbed a five pound steak off the table and carried it down the street. Another time he ran out the door and chased two dobermans up the street. He had no fear and even attacked my sister's pit bull when it visited.
One tragic day, he curled up in a ball on a chair and fell asleep on a round hair brush. When he got down from the chair, the brush was stuck in his tail but he refused to let anyone take it out. As he ran around the house wagging his tail, the brush clanged against the surrounding objects. We all chased him, but he hid. My mom figured she would wait until the next day to try to remove the brush to give him time to calm down.
The dog often slept in the front bay window and waited for us to come home or barked at cars going down the street. All night long we heard CLANG CLANG CLANG as he wagged his tail in the window. The family tried to remove the brush again, but Dog did not want to be touched. He snapped and growled, determined to be left alone. My mother was never one to give up, and was afraid the weight of the brush would hurt his tail. She cut a hole in the crotch of a pair of pantyhose and pushed his head through to make a collar. Then she tied each leg of the hosiery to the legs of the coffee table--making the dog's face point under the table. That didn't stop Dog, he continued to snap and bark. He bit my sister who laughed, "My pit bulls bite me harder when they are playing."
After trying for some time, Mom decided to give up. It took two months for the hair to grow long enough for Mom it cut the hair out of the brush so the Dog was not injured or whimpering.
Over the years, there have been many crazes where parents battled crowds and stores for Teddy Ruxbin Furby, Elmo, Wii, iphones, Nintendo, and much more.
One of the earliest "kid crazes" a mother had to endure was the Cabbage Patch Kids. Every little girl wanted one, and a parent had to stand in line for hours to get one. Luckily for me, I had sisters who were willing to do so. However, in four separate attempts, my sisters got to the front of the line and the dolls were gone before they received their ticket to get one.
My sister, Abby, had a big argument with an employee at Bradlees department store. Thank God she never got arrested, but that is my sister Lee's forte. My mom did not give up. She called every store in the tri-state area, and finally said, "Let's go! Clover has one." Remember Clover, the discount version of Strawbridge's?
We got to the store and on the shelf were five dolls left--all black. I still remember how excited I was as I looked them over and chose mine carefully. "Gwen Carla.. she's mine," I said and proudly carried my new little girl to the register. I bounced around dancing, waiting to get rung up to make her officially mine.
There was a black female customer in front of us in line who looked at me and snapped, "Don't you know you should stick to your own kind." Wow. Until that moment, I hadn't realized there was a difference. As an adult, I'm a little mad at the woman who tried to push her racist bull crap attitude upon an eight-year-old kid. I'm also sort of proud at the fact that I saw no difference in the doll, nor did my mother try to talk me out of it. That says a lot for the way my mother raised us.
My brother was the one who tormented me over Gwen... not over the color of the doll, but just him being a little bratty brother and wanting to torture me. He would stand at the top of the stairs and throw Gwen down and scream, "Flight Lessons!" As an adult to get him back, I would occasionally throw something of his and scream the same.
I still have Gwen Carla, sitting on top of my dresser. Thank God she's just a doll, cause I would never have been able to afford college for a real kid. I sometimes wonder why adults can't rid their prejudices, not just of race, but of religion, social class and more.
My mother requested I post this story, because it shows her way of thinking and brings a smile to her face.
I had a cousin who was close to my age who came to spend the weekend when I was about 12 years old. My mother then invited my brother's friend to also spend the weekend--that was a disaster.
The two of us girls were playing our make-up and hair, teasing it high and frizzy ala 1990's. My brother and his friend kept making fun of us, telling us "It doesn't matter what you do, you'll still be ugly." This of course led to me squirting my brother with the foaming mousse that shot out like silly string.
A huge selection of hair and make-up products flung around the room, landing on whatever and whoever was in the way. Streaks of fuchsia Vidal Sassoon hair gel dripped down my brother, and before I knew it, ketchup and mustard were the new weapons of choice. We looked like gay pride floats with the rainbow of mischief that decorated our clothes, skin, and hair.
Any new mother would have been upset, screaming and yelling. However, my brother and I were kids number 4 & 5, making my mom a veteran. She was happy as long as no one need stitches or casts... to her this was "no big deal". The problem? How do four kids get showered in a one bathroom home with only enough hot water to bathe two?
My mother had the perfect answer, "Lay towels down on the backseat and get your butts in the car."
"But we're filthy."
"Get in the car, here's some towels." She drove us to the car wash and I thought she wanted us to wash the car. Mom put five dollars of coins into the do-it-yourself wash, then grabbed the water gun and squirted us down. "Here, you want to shoot each other? Then at least clean yourselves off doing it." She got back in the car and waited for us to finish. Four extremely wet kids loaded back into the car and headed back home.
To this day, I'm extremely thankful that my brother didn't turn on the hot wax. Not only would I be scarred for life, but it probably would have taken my mom forever to find the hospital.
Mom always said:
With one kid, you aren't a parent cause you know who broke the lamp.
With two kids, you aren't a parent cause you can separate two fighting kids.
It's at three kids that you become a parent, because when the kids fight, the third is always jumping in and you only have two hands.
Kids four, five, and six don't really marry cause by number three you are already crazy.
Working in retail can be a wild and dangerous place. Many people outside of retail do not appreciate the things that occur nor the efforts these lower paid employees make to help customers. I will eventually write a book, "Customers Suck", but I have other projects lined up first. However, today's posts is about the THREE times I had a gun in my face while working with the public.
At 19-years-old, I was an assistant manager of an Eckerd Drugs. I got paid a whole dollar per hour more than the starting employees, but basically had the responsibilities of running and protecting the store. I dealt with 2 am police calls when the alarm would go off, tried to satisfy customer complaints, and dealt with the register balancing.
One day I got paged by the pharmacist to deal with a screaming customer about a prescription for a controlled substance-- I think it was Percocet. The pharmacist told me the prescription was forged and he refused to fill it. As I approached the customer from behind, I could see a shiny metal gun tucked in the of his waistband. Damn! What to do?
I took the nice guy approach, "That pharmacist is a real jerk, the next guy will replace him in a few hours. Come back at the end of the night, and I will make sure it is filled." We chatted as I walked him to the front of the store. He was fidgeting, it was obvious he was a junkie who needed a fix. When we got near the door, but he had no intention of leaving. Now what?
When he start raising his voice again, I figured I had to do something. I pushed him through the opened sliding glass doors, slamming him to the ground. I closed the bullet proof doors as quickly as I could, and prayed they were indeed bullet proof. I had to rely on the company to know what they were talking about. What proof did I have that they were truly bullet proof?
He whipped out the gun as he climbed erect from the ground, "Give me my pills or I'll shoot you! I will!"
I'm a witch and refused to comply. I pulled the fire alarm, hoping to get the attention of customers outside, ordered an employee to call 911, and said, "It's bullet proof. You can't do anything to me."
He decided to change tactics, "I'll shoot my foot off then! Give me those damn pills or I'll shoot."
"Go ahead, what do I care? It's not my foot."
It was at that moment when I realized just how strong an addict's urges are, and just how screwed up their thinking can be. BANG! He did it, he shot his foot, then begged for me to help him. He was arrested and pleaded guilty. I have no idea what kind of sentence he got.
Fast forward a year. I was now 20 and covering another store whose manager took a week long vacation. The Loss Prevention District Manager visited, concerned about suspected employee theft. He said that one of the employees' register counts was short by $5.60. It was the third time in six months this employee was short. The moron waited until the end of the workday which is when the most money was in the store, then ordered me to open the safe.
He went through all the register accounting paperwork, then asked me my procedure for counting tills. I explained for the third time that I was not the regular manager, and since he was speaking of an incident that happened the previous week, he should return when the manager was back from vacation. Idiot.
As we discussed this, a gunman walked into the store, kicked in the office door and demanded the money in the safe. I looked at the stupid District Manager, "You're Loss Prevention. Prevent this loss." Because Eckerd Drugs was concerned about losing a total of $15 over six months---which could have been a register miscalculating, or an employee unintentionally miscounting..... the store lost $10,000 that night. The man left without shooting. I was smart enough to put a die pack in the bag, so the man was indeed caught. Again, this one pleaded guilty.
The third time a gun was pointed at me, I was older and did not have the feel of invincibility that one does in their youth. I worked in Philadelphia at an auto body shop. It was in a bad part of town, and most business owners carried guns legally. A man came in to retrieve his SUV.... that he rolled over the night before while drunk driving. It was stuck in a ravine, had to be winched and then towed for 15 miles. The bill came to $400, and he refused to pay. It was apparent he was still indeed drunk. From a few yards away, I could smell the vodka on him, and yes--- vodka DOES has a smell to non-drinkers.
He screamed and yelled, but when he pulled the gun out, I hit a silent alarm under my counter. The police walked the beat in our area and always stopped for coffee in the winter or the air conditioning in the summer. I knew they would come quickly. "Give me my car," he demanded.
He had the gun pointed directly in my face, about three feet from me. His eyes darted around, his hands were shaky and his speech was slurred. My mind raced through hundreds of scenarios but I could not decide on one. I hoped to just talk to him until the police arrived. When he start screaming louder, the gun shook in his hand, which really terrified me. My pulse raced.... I thought I was dead for sure. Until....
I suddenly saw a little red dot on his nose. Laser sighting! One of the other managers had a carrying permit and locked this guy in his sights. I gained my courage, "You have a little red light on your nose right now. You look like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. If you shoot me, you're dead. Before my body even falls to the ground, your head will explode. So think long and hard about putting down that gun. The red beam circled around the man's body to be sure that he saw it.
He grabbed his stomach and chest, trying to chase the beam the way a cat would. "What? He's really going to shoot me?"
"You're really going to shoot me. What's the difference?" He screamed, and I dropped to the floor behind the counter. I heard the front door open and close, and he was gone. A few minutes later, the police arrived, but there was no sign of the man. We knew who he was, so an arrest warrant was issued and authorities went to his home.
A couple hours later, his wife arrived, called the police and ordered them to search the business. She told them we killed her husband. Now let's get this straight.. if I ever wound up killing a husband and going to prison... I'm sure it would be for killing my own husband, not someone else'.
After a massive search of our property and every vehicle in it, the man came strolling out of a bar across the street. He still had the gun on him when police picked him up. All the while, he screamed that I made him drink. Guess I have a real effect on people, huh?
I hope you enjoyed this edition of "Short & Silly". Be sure to check out my other posts, and please share with your friends.
My followers know that I don't hold back, not on this blog, and not in my novels. What might surprise people is that I was always like that. Even in Catholic elementary school, I stood my ground and questioned everything.
We all know the story of Adam and Eve and in second grade, Sr. Barbara made the mistake of saying, "The apple is a symbol." Of course I asked her:
"A symbol of what?"
"You are not understanding me. It's a symbol."
"Yes, Sister, and an hour ago you taught us in vocabulary class that a symbol is a reference. A reference to what?"
The woman threw up her hands in frustration.
That same year we visited the natural history museum and toured historical Philadelphia. The following week, in Religion class, Sr. Barbara told us that the planet was only 5000 years old. W H A T????
"Sister, last week you showed us a 65 million year old dinosaur. Now you say that is impossible. Which is it?" This poor woman had me for two years straight. I can recall countless times when I argued... or at least pointed out contradictions. She was chewing a bottle of Tums a day by the end of the school year.
The school pushed the "pro-life" agenda even at that early age. I had no idea how you could get pregnant, but I knew abortions were bad. When she showed us a movie called "The Silent Scream"... to a bunch of seven year olds --- that went too far.(Google it). They even took us on an anti-abortion march, but lied to our parents saying we were taking a field trip to the hospital. People surrounded us with bloody clothes and sheets.. with red painted doll parts.. it was gross.
Sister taught us that Boy George was bad and WHAM! was good. It was the era of Madonna's "Like a Virgin", and I understand there wasn't much choice for them to guide us in a musical sense..... But telling us to listen to WHAM??? They wore "Choose Life" shirts in their video. That was all that was needed. When I asked the nun, "Do you know George Michael is gay?" She nearly flipped her habit.
When we were told to bring in our "most prized possession for an art project," I brought a picture of my deceased father. I hardly remembered him, and it was one of the few things I still had. The nuns came around collecting our items and I refused to turn it over. How could I trust a woman who didn't know the difference between 5,000 and 65 million? They took the picture anyway.
I was right not to trust them. They lit a bonfire, threw our possession into it, and said we needed to free ourselves from the bonds of idolatry. If you have read this blog at all, then you KNOW I chased the nuns--even at 8 years old--to get my photo back. That was when the fun began. They start playing records backwards and telling us the music we listened to was evil. KISS stood for "Kids in Satan's Service", AC/DC stood for "Anti-Christian Devil Children" and the Beatles were evil on so many levels that you would think Lucifer himself was the lead vocal.
Somehow I survived all that, but my mother insisted on keeping us in that school. Where she came from, Catholic schools were the best, and she wanted the best for us. I had the bride of Beelzebub for fifth and sixth grade, and I cried constantly. I can't image what my mother went through putting up with me.
Then the day of revolution came. My brother forgot his book, so I got a bathroom pass and went to the pay phone to call my mother. After a few minutes, Attilla the Nun approached me, "Excuse me, what are you doing?"
Confidence brewed inside of me. My mom was on the phone, this woman could do nothing to me. "I needed to use the phone." DUH lady... what does it look like?
"That pay phone is for teacher's use only. You don't have permission to use it."
This was it.. today was my independence day.. it was now or never, "I don't really think New Jersey Bell cares whose quarter they get."
This Sasquatch-like six foot tall nun's face turned red and steam blew out of her ears like a cartoon. She stomped her foot and pointed, "Get in that office! I'm calling your mother." I mean, this woman made Meryl Streep's character in Doubt look like Mary Poppins, and I stood up to her.
I laughed so hard, "Lady, who do you think I was calling? All of my friends are here."
Panic spread across her face. Her raised brows explained she was debating that possibility. She tried to rip my fingers from the phone to hang it up as I shouted, "Mom! She's beating me, Mom! Get up here!" Unfortunately for that nun, my mother drove a Pontiac V8 at the time. She got there fast, and didn't get lost. That was a miracle in itself. My mother often got lost, but at least she did so quickly in her American muscle car. After an hour of arguing, my brother and I were enrolled in public school the same day.
I found out years later that Sister Barbara left the convent and became a lesbian. I was never quite sure whether she was a hypocrite for her gay bashing to second and third graders, or if she was so traumatized by us kids that any relationship that could produce a child was now horrifying. We'll never know.
When I turned 18, I went back to that school. I wanted to tell them just how cruel and evil they were. None of the nuns (yes, pun intended) still taught there. It's probably for the best. I'm sure I would have landed in jail. As for Attila the Nun, I search crowds for her, hoping one day I will have the opportunity to get even. That's the Italian in me, what can I say?
How do you deal with scammers?
Coming from New Jersey, I suspect everyone of wrong doing. People need to earn trust. Cynical, yes, but it keeps me from getting used or scammed. As an author constantly promoting with social media accounts everywhere, I am often contacted by strangers who are up to no good. You all know what I mean, the "I see you profile, you very beautiful I wish to know you more better." This is how I deal withe them:
Him: Hello pretty lady. I wish to know you more better. Here's my picture, I captain in US Army. Here my picture. What you do as work?
Me: Wow. The army? How interesting!
Him: Yes. It hard. I miss America.
Me: I can understand that. My father is a US Army general. He was gone a lot. You know what would happen? Foreign scammers would use the pictures of his men all over the internet, claiming to be US military looking for girlfriends. It's amazing the extents people will go to scam money.
Him: Yes. This world much bad. Horrible. What you do for work?
Me: I'm a federal employee. I work for a department that analyzing cyber crimes and internet scammers. It's kinda cool work because now we have these computers that trace the IP address, despite how many times the user re-routes. Technology is amazing like that. For instance, I already know the the uniform you are wearing in the picture belongs to a Colonel in the Royal Air Force, not the US Army. Neat huh?
Me: Hello? Are you still there?
One of the funniest was a guy who messaged me on Facebook. I actually enjoyed toying with this guy. After two days he was calling me "Baby". After the fourth day, he professed his love and told me he was coming to visit me---after he got him $100,000.
Him: I have $100,000 coming to me, but I need an account to put it in. Go to www.ira.com and open an IRA, then give me the passwords. I can deposit the money in it, then you and I can split it.
Me: Why would you want to do that? You don't know me. I don't know you.
Him: You know me baby. You're the love of my life. I trust you.
Me: So, if you have all this money coming to you, why don't you come see me this weekend?
Him: Open the account and I will. I'll be there Monday.
Me: I would need money upfront, as a sign of good faith. How about you pay my rent. It's $1,000 due tomorrow. Pay the rent, and I will open the account.
Him: I don't have any money until I can get this worked out. I'll pay your rent once you get me the money.
Me: No. Sorry. Try a family member or friend.
Him: I'll hunt you down and beat your ass if you don't do this!
Me: I'm a postal worker from New Jersey who grew up with 4 siblings. I'm not afraid of anyone. As a matter of fact, YOU should fear me.
Him: I SAID OPEN THAT ACCOUNT!
Dealing with Telemarketers and Bill Collectors
Telemarketers are few and far between now that we have caller ID and the National Do Not Call List. However, some of my responses are kinda funny.
Caller: I'm looking for Rhoda D'Ettore. This is the collection department of Who Knows Who Collecting.
Me: Really? Do you know where she is? That bitch owes me $10,000!
Caller: This is the last known phone number for her. Can you help me?
Me: No, but if you find her, be sure to call me back with her number. Tell her I'm gonna hunt her down.
Caller: Hello, I'm working for XYZ charity. We provide housing and services to low income families. We are currently doing a fundraiser that will help pay for the utility bills for those in need. How much can I put you down for?
Me: Wow! This is great. I just got my electric bill today and it's $458. Anything you can give to assist would be excellent.
Caller: No, I don't think you understand. I'm collecting money, it's a fundraiser.
Me: Yeah, I heard that, and you give it to people who can't pay their electric bills. I think that is great. And very timely in my situation. Praise be to God!
Caller: This is AT&T Wireless. We have a special offer we'd like to extend to you. A FREE phone with a signed contract of two years.
Me: Do you believe in the Lord?
Caller: Excuse me? Ma'am, I'm calling from AT&T Wireless. I have an offer for phone services
Me: And I asked you if you believe in the Lord Almighty.
Caller hesitates: Yes, I do.
Me: BLASPHEMER! You are an agent of the devil! I'm right handed, and you want to sell me a phone that would be in my write hand... a phone with a number.. the mark of the best! It's in the book of Revelations.
Caller: No, ma'am. I'm just trying to sell you a phone.
Me: Deceiver! A minute ago you said the phone was free. Satan himself twists your tongue with every word. Repent! Repent!
Caller: Ma'am, the phone is free, the service is a monthly service. You would pay for that.
Me: Pay for services? So you are a prostitute as well as an agent of evil? The Whore of Babylon is riding the wild beast! Armageddon is upon us!
And this... my all time favorite:
Caller: Hello, this is Madame Cleo of The Psychic Network. I'll like to give you a free reading.
Me: It's 8 o'clock in the morning.
Caller: If it's a bad time, I can call you later this afternoon.
Me: Forget it. You just proved you are fake. I'm a night worker, which means that 8am is my 2am. If you were real, you would have called me three hours ago and I would have given you my life savings for your information. Now I know you are just a fraud trying to scam people.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of "Short & Silly" Be sure to comment and share my posts. I'd love to hear from you.
This is a re-post requested from my old website.
The milestone of turning 18 years old is celebrated in different way in various cultures. Often in the US, people go to buy a lottery ticket, or even a pack of cigarettes because the person is now an adult. But since nothing in my life is "normal".... that was not on my agenda on my 18th birthday.
My 75-year-old grandmother and her sister-in-law took me to a male revue. The lights flashed, the music boomed, and the crowd jumped with cheers. My grandmother was the oldest in the crowd, and the men seemed to think it was "cute" she was there-- in a Betty White sort of way. Boy, were they in for a surprise. My Mom-Mom got up there and groped those young guys and was not ashamed to do so. The guys tried to waltz with her out of respect and she pulled them close to bump and grind. The audience and men laughed as the guys each kissed her on the cheek before moving on.
Then she said to me, "You think old ladies can't get gorgeous, young men naked? Watch this."
The men pulled my 76 year old aunt onto the stage, and she insert coins into their g-strings, making sure to do so for every dancer. "Sorry, sonny. My social security check was late this month." She threw her hands in the air and wiggled along with them, smiling and dancing. It all looked so innocent.
I was horrified, "I can give her dollars. I don't want her giving her last penny."
Mom-Mom laughed, "You don't understand, in about ten minutes, she'll have put so much change in the underwear, it will fall down to the floor." I busted out laughing as hips gyrated and pelvises thrust knowing that each minute that passed increased the chances of unexpected nudity. Unexpected to all but the three of us that is.
Both of these women are long gone now, but their energy and memories last within me.
Be sure to check out my "My Guzzling Granny" Short & Silly post about this same grandmother.
This Short & Silly is a re-post from my old website. Several of you asked me to re-post this story.
Picture it--- 1991. George HW Bush was running for his second term as US President, against younger, hipper, Bill Clinton. The Arkansas Democratic candidate was going on talk shows and playing the saxophone, and most of all, smiling. He and his attractive family traveled the country and young people crowded around him. Compared to him, George "Daddy" Bush looked very old.
In an attempt to counter Clinton's momentum, the Bush campaign came up with the idea of having a luncheon with high school students from across the country. Bush wanted to show people he could connect with young people, and he hoped to "get us early" before we could even vote. It was an honor to be selected as one of these ambassadors of my generation to voice my opinion to the most powerful man in the world. Those of you who have been following me for a while already know this is not going to end well. For my voice is strong and loud.
I arrived in Washington, D.C. armed with stacks of possible discussion topics for the following day. We were provided press releases on various issues and policies and even provided briefs on topics not permitted for discussion. The documentation was vague, and I suspect they wanted us overwhelmed and unprepared. Nope, wasn't happening. Questions whizzed back and forth across the table as the president asked the teens about hot button topics. Then he got to me.
"Did you have a chance to look over my tax cuts for working families? What kind of feedback can you give me?" President Bush asked. (Please understand, we were live on CSPAN at the time-- he wanted the world to see us there).
I took a deep breath and replied, "I read the proposals, but they were not specific. I did not see any figures, just rhetoric. What kind of tax breaks? How much are we talking about?"
The president held his head high and stuck out his chest as his tapped the table, "A family of four will save seventy-two dollars. What do you think about that?"
My knee bounced as my mouth turned to cotton. So it's no surprise I nearly choked on my water. "Seventy-two dollars? A what? A quarter, a year, a month?"
Again, this man who had lived his life disconnected from the working class, explained, "Seventy-two dollars a year." A smug look spread across his face.
"With all due respect, Mr. President, my mother has five kids and a dead husband. Seventy-two dollars wouldn't pay her cable bill for one month." He grumbled about me living in some high cost area-- yeah.. I do. New Jersey is expensive, and seventy-two dollars a year was not only nothing to brag about---- it was outrageous. Before I knew it, the television camera was no longer on me, and I was dragged across the floor by my arms.
If you have been following me for a while, you know my mother is funny, patriotic, an Airforce veteran, and most importantly-- Directionally Challenged. She watched me on CSPAN with her co-workers on a television in the workplace cafeteria. Happy and proud... until I got pulled away by two large men in black, complete with radio earpieces. They summoned my mother to our capitol to retrieve me from the city, as I was deemed a 'National Security Risk" and banned from the city of Washington for one year.
Now just imagine, I wrote a post about how my mother could not find the library in my town---where she lived for 40 years. To this day, I still don't know how she found me a couple states away. It must have been her anger and humiliation that led her in the proper direction. Once I got into the car, she had no problem conveying her feelings. My mother never, ever hit us... but she was smacking me the whole ride home. "You embarrassed the president of the United States.. and me." They weren't "real" smacks. You know, the kind a parent gives you out of frustration, but they don't want to hurt you. I think the whole thing was so traumatic for her that she repressed it and draws a blank.
My response to her was, "It's our responsibility to question our leaders. It's our duty."
She snapped back, "The Constitution doesn't apply to you yet. You're not an adult.. and at this rate, you won't make it to that milestone."
Having Secret Service after me in no way hindered my interest in politics, nor my desire to work on campaigns. At 16 years old, I interviewed the Governor of NJ, Jim Florio and several other politicians for the high school paper---and they took me seriously. I manned the phones to bring in voters, and even worked the polls. After almost two decades of volunteering at political events and attending the rallies and speeches of national candidates of all parties, again I was removed by U.S. Secret Service. Because I am an equal opportunity offender, this time it was Democratic Presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton. I'll save that story for the link below.
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