Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I Think This Is Going A Bit Too Far

I belong to a Facebook group for my neighborhood.  My community is quickly evolving in such a way that doesn't please a lot of "old timers" and you'll read many comments basically saying "Go away Hipsters!" and "Just say 'no' to building a New Seasons!".  While in another thread you'll read someone inquiring about where to get the best veggie burger or wondering how to petition to get a Trader Joe's in the neighborhood.  My favorite posts however, are the ones stating "Chickens on the loose on Main St. Anyone missing their chickens?"  Yes, the television show Portlandia has been filmed in my neighborhood.

This Facebook group is a fun one with neighborly inquiries, complaints and sharing of information of what's immediately going on around us.  But there was a post yesterday that had me shaking my head.  I'm just not sure what to think of the inquiry and I wasn't sure if it was a put on.  Someone in the neighborhood wants things, in great condition, for free and she wants them a.s.a.p.  Here's the post:

"I had my baby shower a few days ago and didn't get anything. It's a boy. So if anyone has anything I need that I can have for free that would be amazing. I'm due within a few weeks so I need them asap: infant soothing swing, gliding bassinet with storage underneath and mobile that plays lullabies and stuff, diapers and wipes any size, soft rocking glider and ottoman in great condition, baby bath, and anything else I can't think of right now. Please let me know if u have anything for me."

Maybe my reaction wasn't the most polite, but my jaw dropped.  Was this a real request?  She seriously had a baby shower and didn't get anything so now she turns to Facebook neighbors for her wish list fulfillment? She is asking strangers to provide an infant swing, a mobile that plays lullabies, a glider with ottoman - in great condition - and a bassinet with storage underneath.  And get this, with further investigation I found that she doesn't live in town however her mother lives near by and she visits her mother a lot.  So, well, yeah.

Comments from the group were perfect in directing her to facilities that help for just these circumstances.  I resisted in commenting.  I have so many questions but I don't think I could write them in a way that doesn't sound judgmental.

A stranger didn't get gifts she wanted from a party.  Upset, she goes to Facebook and asks for what she wants.  Hmmm. There was no "Does anyone know who/what/where I can contact to help me?"  Or, "Anyone know if there are organizations I can contact to help me out?"  Perhaps I wouldn't be so irritated if she had included the sentiment of appreciation, if the understanding that generosity is a factor in this transaction.  I didn't get either one of those from this post.  Oh, also the fact that this items need to be in "great condition". The last line just gets me:

"Please let me know if u have anything for me." 

I fully support helping others. We all have our moments of being in need and I want to help.  I give, support, donate often.  I just feel this post/request was over the top.  What do you think?




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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Why Didn't Someone Stop Me?!

Ah yes... I remember it well.  (~~~~trip back to 1980~~~~)

I remember my first day of High School. Actually what I remember is the picture taken of me leaving for my first day of High School. I'm wearing a brave smile, but the hair, the hair, my hair style was a nightmare. My two best friends and I were going to be attending a High School out of our district, that was stressful enough. To add to this new-ness we wanted new looks as well since this school was known for the preppiness that was sweeping the John Hughes lovin' nation. 

K. was going to sport the Argyle and Alligator shirt look. W. was going for 'All Monogrammed, All The Time" and I was going to ditch the bell-bottoms, wear Levi's and have the hairstyle of my dreams.  I have straight, thick hair and had always wanted curly hair. When I would see girls with curly hair they always seemed so artistic, so worldly. I wanted to be those things too!

My mom had been perming her hair for years so she called her hair stylist. The only appointment available was the day before the first day of school. I took it. I had to have my new hair to go with my new life! My best friends went with me. We were all excited. 

During the process I had an inkling that there might be a problem when the hair stylist began to run low on perm rods. However, my friends and I were so busy talking, and laughing that I didn't give it another thought.

At the end of my transformation the hair stylist took out all of the rods, put on her finishing touches of spritz and fluff, then turned me to face myself in the mirror. I was stunned. We were all stunned. The hair stylist in a good way, my friends and I, not so much. What... exactly... happened to my hair?! My hair had transformed from looking straight and long to, well, a big pile of curly poo!!! There was an upside-down triangle of curls on the top of my head.

What I'm sure I looked like in my "First day as a Freshman" picture on my porch

I cried on my friends shoulders all the way home. I cried at the dinner table. I cried on the couch. I cried in bed.

I don't know how I got over myself and made it to school the next day. But I did. And I learned a valuable lesson that I can now pass on to my two girls. When wanting to make a big change, start with clothing. At least that you can return.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Is There A Camera On Me?



Do you ever get the feeling that everyone around you got the script, except you?  Some days I feel like I'm living in a SitCom.  Here's one example:


"I'm off to rehearsal" said my husband.

"What play are you in Dad?" asked our youngest.

"King Lear.  I'm the Duke of Burgundy and a few other smaller character's."

"Have fun!" we say and out the door he goes.  My youngest returns to the computer and Movie Star Planet.

I pick up the t.v. remote and find one of my favorite channels, Turner Classic Movies.  I see a movie beginning starring Rosalind Russel and Hayley Mills made in 1966.  It's a comedy and that's just what I'm in the mood for.

*Knock at the front door.  My oldest daughter's friend walks in wearing head-to-toe penguin footie pajamas.*

"Hey Katie", she says.  "Ready to go to the store?"

"Um, you're not wearing that, are you?" asks Katie.  "No."  (I think she actually was.)  "I'll go change first."  Katie goes into her bedroom to get some money for the store.  Her friend stands by me, in her penguin footie pajamas, and asks what I'm watching.  I answer, 'It's a movie called 'The Trouble With Angels'.

She asks "Isn't that the girl from The Parent Trap?"  Yes, I answer.  "Hey, is this the one where she becomes a Nun in the end?"

*beat* *beat* *beat*

'I wouldn't know.  I haven't seen this movie.  Thanks for that!'

*Cue audience laughter*

"Or, I don't know.  Maybe not!  I may be thinking of a different movie." she stumbles.

Katie comes out of her room and says, "I'm ready.  Let's go."  And out the door they go.

Yeah.  You do that.

*whaa* *whaa* *whaa*


What would life be like without zany neighbors? :->

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Did I Catch Him At A Bad Time? Or Is This His Normal?

Did I Catch Him At A Bad Time? Or Is This His Normal?  Ann Again and again

"Get back here!!  What do you think you're doing?!  Go wash your hands RIGHT. NOW!"

This was being shouted by a grown man to a young boy as my husband, my 13 year old daughter and I were walking into, what is normally, a mellow neighborhood pizza place.  Apparently this man didn't like the fact that this boy had pizza grease on his hands. He didn't like a young child taking his time eating. He didn't like a young child riding their bike in circles. And I definitely didn't take kindly to his constant verbal assault which, whether this man realized it or even cared, was really pissing me off. 

A quick scan of the outdoor seating space showed a father, sitting on top of a picnic table, holding court over 4 young children.  Every move they made he yelled at them.  "Pick up that napkin!"  "Why'd you pour that water on the ground?!  It will pool and bugs will come around where people eat!  What were you thinkin'?!!"  A weak "Sorry dad" was the response. The more I heard the more agitated I became. I made a move, not really sure what would come of it, but I had to do... something.

I picked up my drink and went over to the area where this man was bellowing.  I sat at a table near by.  I wanted to see if he would continue at the volume, and intensity, if an adult was close. I looked at the children, they looked at me. I watched their faces as they heard his voice. More words of "What's the matter with you?!" and "Use your brain!!" This time not as loud, but still, the anger is there.  

Here's the thing, I interpret this father's behavior as anger. Does he see it as good parenting?  If someone's yelling at you are you truly listening to what they're saying? Or are you scrambling in your brain, and body, trying to think of ways to make the yelling stop? Of course this isn't the first time I've heard a parent yell. I'm guilty of losing it too. It's just that we were at a sweet, laid-back neighborhood pizza place and his intensity took over the whole space.  It's like he wanted an audience.  As if to say, "Look at what I can do!"  Well &%$! that - is what I hope I conveyed.

Should I say something?  What would I say?  The man knew I was there and started talking lower and lower.  The daughter tried to bring her dad's attention to her broken kickstand but he kept mumbling "Why don't you think?!"  I was hoping he was talking to himself.

As the last pizza crust was consumed, I went back to my table with Rob and Lily. Just then a man and a woman sat beside us and turned to see this father get on a bike and rally his kids behind him on their bikes.  As the 5 of them rode down the sidewalk this woman applauded him and said "He's so brave.  4 kids on bikes?  I'd be a nervous wreck."  Sometimes, to be perceived as a good parent, it's all in the editing.  

Should I have said something?

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