When Life Gives You Lemons

I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade….And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.  – Ron White

We all have those days from time to time with little pockets of suckiness in them.  Today was my day.  Oh, for the most part it was a good day, except for the rain –  black sky, thunder, and wind blowing the it all around in sheets. 

It was still raining when I left work for the day.  Our parking lot is about 100 yards from our building, which turns into 100 miles when it’s pouring.  Of course I had no umbrella, so I sprinted towards my car hugging my purse and my Jethro sized lunch bag, punching the remote unlock button the whole way.  Upon pulling open the car door I saw that the convertible top had been leaking and the driver’s seat was soaking wet.  By the time I climbed in, tossed my bags into the passenger seat, and shut the door, all of the windows were completely fogged over.   I started the car, turned the defrost on full blast, took a deep breath, and waited a few minutes for the window to clear.  As I drove I noticed the windows were not clearing as they should and I realized the little “on” light was blinking and there was no blowing going on.  So I turned it off.  Waited.  Turned it on again.  Nope.  So I switched to air conditioning.  That worked for all of 30 seconds then it too stopped. 

So for 12 miles I’m driving home sitting in a soaking wet seat in a mobile sauna, hair plastered to my head, eyes squinting, chin and both hands propped on top of the steering wheel, with the window cracked just enough to breathe and let more water into my car.  And all this time I’m moaning and groaning and fussing and cussing and just basically commiserating with myself on how much my life is sucking at that very moment.

Then I see a man.  With 7 grocery bags. On a moped.  In this downpour.  Cars flying past spraying him with even more water.

I made lemonade when I got home.


Prom Perfect

My baby girl, Anna, is a high school junior this year and her first Jr-Sr Prom is tomorrow. She’s excited and I’m excited for her. But can someone tell me when high school proms became practice runs for your daughter’s wedding day? Holy Moneybags, Batman!

I realize I’m older than dirt, but I remember buying a pretty formal dress and shoes from the local department store and getting together with a couple of girlfriends on prom afternoon to do each other’s hair and make-up and generally goof off until the boys showed up. $100.00 max. And I had a slinky black dress that would’ve made Elvira squeal with delight. Ok, not really, but it WAS long and black and I WAS only 17.  This was the early 1980’s after all.

My friends and I spent the afternoon hamming it up in my bedroom taking pictures in some of my mom’s dresses – hair curlers and all. It was a hoot! More fun than the prom, as I recall.

prom1 cropped prom_2 cropped

prom_3 cropped

Anyway, since all that is sooooo 1980s, Anna and I were looking for The Perfect Dress at a reasonable price and finally stumbled upon one on the internet for about half of what it would cost retail. This was Unacknowledged Clue Number One. I ordered the dress and paid for it online and six weeks later the dress was delivered to our door after being shipped on the back of a snail from somewhere in China. It was crammed to the point of exploding into a plastic UPS envelope designed to fit a small stack of legal sized paper. This is what you get with free shipping. This was Unacknowledged Clue Number Two.

With visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads we opened the package in anticipation of finally having The Perfect Dress and living the prom dream. It was horrible. As in Prom Night of the Living Dead horrible. It was wrinkled and squashed and there were big gaps in the skirt where some of the tulle was missing, and the rhinestones on the bodice were just…wrong. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry so we just hung it and stared at it like two deer caught in headlights.

The Perfect Dress


Once my senses returned I immediately took pictures and rushed to the laptop and filed a claim with Paypal. I had my money refunded into my account within about two hours. I do so love me some Paypal. I was going to return the dress, although no one has ever asked for it. (No surprise there). But when UPS told me it would cost between $81.00 and $162.00 to ship it back….well, let’s just say The Perfect Dress is still crammed in its bag on my kitchen table where it shall remain until I find another use for all those rhinestones.

So, we now have a New Perfect Dress which really is perfect. And New Perfect Shoes. And New Perfect Makeup. And New Perfect Professional Manicure and Pedicure. And tomorrow we get a New Perfect Professionally Made-up Face and a New Perfect Professional Hair-Do so that we can look perfect in our New Perfect Professional Photographs with The Perfect Date.

It’s like getting to play with a real life-sized Barbie Doll.

I never did really much care for Barbie.

But this one is going to be gorgeous…and Perfect!

Life Change

I hate to “diet”.  I consider it a nasty little four letter word, yet I’m always, ALWAYS, using it. I think of myself as a food connoisseur.  Okay, a food junky. Especially bread.  All kinds of bread.  White, wheat, sourdough, French, potato, beer, pumpernickel, rye, cheese, multigrain, oat and honey, 12 grain, biscuits, yeast rolls, communion wafers — just add butter and I’ve got dinner. That’s because my middle name is Pillsbury.

So this is the year of “50 is the New 30”. New Year’s Day is the whole world’s Life Change Day. Everyone makes resolutions to start dieting or to do better at whatever they currently suck at.  I have Life Change Mondays.  Pretty much every Monday is Life Change Day because I’m usually having to start over with whatever life change I was sucking at the week before.  And Life Change Day can only take place on New Year’s Day or Mondays.  You can’t start a diet on Thursday; and starting an exercise regimen or quitting smoking on Friday is just not done.  It’s the law.

My fellow streetwalkers and I decided to step up our game and join My Fitness Pal. It’s a handy little website (with a mobile app) that lets you keep track of your daily food consumption and exercise.  Also you can add friends and chat and comment pretty much like Facebook, which gives you a support group and makes you a little more accountable. Or it possibly could if I’d log on regularly.  Sandra and Merrick are much more devoted to it than I am.  That’s because my middle name is Nowillpower.

I love this app because it lets me see what I’m eating and how much I’m exercising.

I hate this app because it lets me see what I’m eating and how little I’m exercising.

I also downloaded a couch to 5K training app on my phone called RunDouble.  It’s full of running training plans and all you have to do is pick one, hit start, and just run or walk whenever the pretty little voice tells you to.  You can link your tunes to it and also link it to your MyFitnessPal account so you can run and walk and sing yourself silly. And at the end it will log your exercise for you.  Excellent! Or it would be if only I’d remember to hit start….

So far, I haven’t managed to drop a single pound or firm up a single bun (no relation to the bread above – or possibly it is….).  It’s not my fault.  Neither of these apps comes with a clown carrying a butcher knife to chase me.  Maybe that will be in their next updates.

Confessions of a Streetwalker (Part 2)

trunchbullRemember when I said I had two suckers – I mean people – respond to my Facebook plea for a walking partner to help me train for the half marathon? Well that was 3 years ago and, except for a few months, we have been at it ever since.

As it turns out Sandra and Merrick are not the suckers. I am. They hound me relentlessly. They’ve tagged me with the name “NoShow”. They rag me for refusing to walk in the rain. Sugar melts, I tell them. Or lumps. And I have enough of those, thank you very much. You started it, they say. Sandra has started bringing cheese on our walks to go with my whine. Merrick has recently acquired the new nickname of Sarge. I expect her to show up with a whip and whistle any day now. I’m starting to confuse her in my mind with Headmistress Trunchbull from the movie Matilda. I’m a pathetic excuse of an exerciser. My motto: No Pain, No Pain.

Merrick suffers from fibromyalgia and some neuropathy in her feet. Yet she’s persistent about walking. Sandra has diabetes and at one point developed a virus which left her paralyzed for a while. She spent a few months in the hospital and rehab. And yet she’s still walking. They are the reason I’m still at it. They are two more beautiful faces on my very short list of heroes.

That’s enough slobbering.

Last year, while Sandra was recovering, Merrick and I decided to run (read walk) a 5K. We chose the Derrick Law Firm’s Run for Children which supports the Children’s Mentoring Program of Horry County and is held in our town. It was held, as I recall, around early February and it was cold as ice cream that morning. I was way overdressed for a 5k run/walk and was conspicuously drooping by the time we finished. As we were nearing the finish line, I realized that we were the last 2 people. They were all waiting on us snails, and had apparently been doing so for quite a while. I also realized that Merrick was one step ahead of me. So I took off running. She took off running.

Merrick stomped that timing pad literally one second ahead of me, and I finished – you got it – dead last.

I got the last laugh, though. I’m the one that got a medal: Third Place, Geezer Division. BAM!!

Next Saturday is the 2nd annual Derrick Law Firm’s Run for Children. We’ve signed up again and let me just say — It. Is. On. ‘Cause I need more bling. And I’ve got a mind to take away that whip and whistle.

Cheese for the loser!

Confessions of a Streetwalker (Part 1)

This whole thing is really Dianne’s fault.  She was, I thought, almost as sedentary as me, but in the time it takes me to get from the sofa to the fridge, she had quit her evil sedentary ways and was running marathons and competing in triathlons.  I was in awe of her, and still am her biggest fan.  In fact, when I grow up I want to be Dianne – unless my prayers of becoming a Catherine Zeta-Jones clone with Aretha Franklin’s singing voice are answered.

Diane, Retta, and I have been BFFs since college days but don’t live in the same towns.  We try to get everyone together at least once a year.  So I thought, hey, we could make a fun Girl’s Weekend by getting Dianne to come to Myrtle Beach to run the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon. I had swell visions of Retta and I standing on the sidelines cheering Dianne on and holding her beer while she jogged serenely and effortlessly by us in a cute little running outfit, waving and high-fiving her groupies.

Wrong.  Dianne had a Whole Nutha Plan – and I was in way, way over my head.  Sure, she would come do the run, but I had to run it also.  Which meant I had about 7 months of training time.  Which meant I was going to need some serious help. Which meant I was going to make Retta run the marathon too.

Thus began my side career as a Streetwalker.

After barely managing to walk 2 miles for 2 days in a row, I made a pathetic plea on Facebook for a walking partner from my hometown.  Surprisingly I had two takers and the next day we were off and running…er…walking.

As it turned out, Retta and I were able to bargain our way down to walking the half marathon.  Three hours and 58 minutes later, I finished those 13.1 miles by coming in 4th from the rear with my tennis shoes smokin’.  I was also hot and thirsty as all get out.  However, I was the proud owner of My Very First Marathon Medal and some free ice cold beer.  And for the record, the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon medal is WAY cool: A surfboard with a bottle opening shark bite taken out of it. If you’re man or woman enough, you can sign up for the October 2014 run at http://www.runmyrtlebeach.com

Since then I’ve done two more 5K races and walked them both.  As they say, DLF>DNF>DNS.  For the uninitiated that’s “Dead Last Finish is greater than Did Not Finish is Greater than Did Not Start”. 

Whatever.  I just do it for the bling. 

race medals

On Being Couth

I ventured into Walmart after work one day, which, for me, was traumatic enough.  Those of you who know me are familiar with my feelings about Walmart, but that’s a blog for another day.

ANYhoo, as I was wandering mindlessly through the store I caught a woman staring at me.  You know, that look where they just stop and look you up and down as if you’re a mannequin and won’t notice.  The thing was, she had on something akin to pajamas and her hair was gray – from the top to just past her ears – and a faded bleached out blond from there on down past her shoulders. So, me being me, I returned the favor.  Then I remembered where I was and realized that, yes, maybe I am the strange looking one in this picture.

All would have been fine except that a few minutes later I noticed another starer. So I glanced down to make sure I had on pants.  By the third starer, I was freaked and took off to the women’s bathroom.  Looking in the mirror I could see nothing wrong – freshly cut and colored hair, no nose doppelgangers or wardrobe malfunctions, and 10 years’ worth of praying that I would suddenly morph into a twin of Catherine Zeta-Jones with Aretha Franklin’s singing voice had not yet been answered.

True, my outfit might have been a little too cool for a 50 year old woman (ow!) in Smallville, USA. I have a teenage daughter to thank for that.  Or possibly they were all amazed by the bright glow of inner fabulousness that is me and couldn’t get enough.

But more likely it was the fact that, as we say in the South, some people just ain’t got no couth.