Someone just beeped at me. And not to say hello. An aggressive, “take the turn LADY” beep. I hate that! It’s like getting an email IN ALL CAPS. It always goes the same way. Someone beeps at me and I immediately do what they want, be it speed up, take the turn or whatever. But then I quickly transform into full-on rage. Are YOU beeping at ME? I once got so mad that someone beeped at me that I rolled down my window to yell at them (didn’t know what I was going to yell exactly but I was ready) but they actually didn’t stop to hear what I had to say.
I don’t get the beeping thing. I understand if someone is backing up and they don’t see you, you have to give them a little honk, honk, aka- please don’t hit me. And if you see me out running, beep away (even if I don’t look up, I appreciate the gesture) but it’s the aggressive beeping that I have a problem with.
I’m not a big beeper myself. I might be if I had a better horn. My horn is awful – it’s like there was a mix up at the factory. Maybe they were putting in the horns for the cute little VW bugs and in the next line was the big giant boat cars and one got mixed up. I have this SUV that I can’t even see out of and this little wimpy horn. It’s almost embarrassing. And it’s not even a powerful “toot toot”. It sounds like the last gasp of an air horn right before the battery dies. So I don’t really use my horn unless it’s emergency. Then I end up laughing because of the horn. So for me, the horn thing doesn’t have an appeal. Unfortunately, many people LOVE their horn.
As you know from last year, I try to be a “Zen driver”. I’m just out there doing my thing quietly and considerately. Getting from point A to point B without too much drama, or a spike in my blood pressure. Clearly, this hasn’t spread around since everyone is always in such a hurry.
Today, however, I noticed that there was a pattern forming (me getting beeped at) so I’ll let you be the judge. Here’s the situation. I was going to BJ’s in Northborough. I got off Route 9 to the right. There’s a light there and it was red. Now here’s where it gets tricky. That is not a 90-degree angle right turn. It’s a definitely a right CURVE. To me, that isn’t a “Right on Red” situation. It’s more like a red light (which one stops at) and then when it is safely green, gently veer to the right. Apparently, people think this constitutes a ‘right on red’ (which, by the way, people are obsessed with. What are you saving…5 seconds?)
So this guys like 4 cars back starts beeping his head off. AT ME!! So against my better judgment, I went. But I honestly believe I went through a red light. And I don’t do things like that.
This same scenario happened a few times in Natick. Say you’re coming out of the movie theater on Flutie Pass and go right. Get to that light and want to take a right. There is a red right arrow. Wouldn’t that mean, “if you want to take a right turn, don’t”? That one always annoyed me too but luckily, I have my new teenage driver who knows all things about the rules of the road. And loves to share his bountiful knowledge with me. So apparently, one CAN INDEED take a right on red, even on a right arrow.
If you ask me, that’s a mixed message. Just drop the arrow. An arrow says to me, “if this is the way you are going, it’s either a YES or a NO”. Period.
So that’s what happened on this cold, rainy morning. If it was you who beeped at me this morning and are reading this right now, I forgive you. Hope you stopped at that drive-thru Starbucks and brightened your day. And hey, relax and enjoy the ride.
Keep beeping (only to say hello) and Have No Fier!
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It’s a rampage kind of day. I just made the mistake of walking into my kid’s bathroom. Even though I told them I wouldn’t write about them, I said nothing about writing about their habits, which are frankly, disgusting. So maybe this post will “motivate” them to get it together.
Is it an age thing? Do you think the older you get, you just naturally become more responsible? You think, “well, I’m done with this ________, I’m going to put it away” because you know from your many years on earth that it won’t put itself away. Or is the problem…me? If someone is always putting the stuff away, how does one learn to do it him/herself? But, I’ve actually called my kids down from upstairs to put a dish from the sink into the dishwasher and the very next day, guess what happened? I’ve tried system after system (I’ll write about those someday) but we’re having a little trouble with what I like to call the follow through.
So today, here’s what happened. Describing it doesn’t do it justice so today I share with you my personal photos.
I present Exhibit A
Few things to notice. First of all, the proximity of the new toilet paper roll to the toilet paper roll holder. Two feet…max. Second thing: the proximity of the trash can to the empty roll. And third, which is my personal favorite, is the new toilet paper roll, and let’s notice the word PAPER in toilet paper, is resting ON TOP OF…. the hair straightener! Can you say, fire hazard?
I should have just walked away, but I made a critical mistake. I glanced ever so slightly down to the floor.
Let’s call this exhibit B
See those two black boxes with the blue and green tops? Those are laundry baskets. They are approximately 12 inches away from this towel. Now in my child’s defense, he/she did need to open the closet door to actually put the towel INTO the basket, so I can see where that might have required about three-seconds of actual effort.
Again, a towel. But this is interesting because as you can clearly see, I really made an effort with this one. See that adorable basketball hoop/hamper? I bought that thinking that maybe, just maybe, shooting your laundry into the hamper would somehow make it fun. Well, we can clearly see that it didn’t work. My bad.
I like neatness. I crave order. I actually put things away when I’m done and if the toilet paper roll needs changing, I go crazy and do the three step process. At the same time!! How is it possible that I have not one, not two, but THREE messy kids??? Is that an example of Murphy’s Law?
I welcome your suggestions because that basketball hamper was the last thing in my bag of tricks!
Keep cleaning and Have No Fier!
I cannot tell a lie. In my last post, I talked about sins, and how many things I was going to work on this year. But this morning, I realized something I actually do well. I don’t lie. Really, I cannot tell a lie. You know when you’re little and the absolutely worst thing your parents can tell you is that they’re “disappointed” in you? Well, I guess that happened because even since I can remember, I haven’t been able to lie. (And for the record Mom & Dad, New Year’s 1986 – IT WASN’T A PARTY!! 8 people, max)
Of course I’ve tried, but I’m really lousy at it. Usually, I start giggling (that seems to me my M.O. for everything) but that’s a dead giveaway. Now I’m not one of those people that acts like they’ve swallowed truth serum and going around telling everyone the painful truth. It’s not like that at all. It’s just that I can’t look someone in the eye and tell them a flat out lie. I am definitely guilty of exaggerating, or being evasive (ex: “Where are you?” “On the way” because pulling out of the driving is technically on the way) but never a lie. And all those magazine articles that say, “When it’s OK to tell a Lie” are bull. You don’t have to lie. No friend is going to ask you flat out if you like her new haircut. If your friend gets a new haircut and you notice it, you’ll say something. If you love it, you’ll comment. If not, you just won’t say anything. Or you’ll say, “you look great” which is not a lie, because in my eyes, my friends always look great.
Personally, I think lying is bad karma. For example, if someone asks you to help them move, and you say your kid is sick, if your kid does get sick, it’s totally your fault. And the other thing, which is more obvious, is the whole trust thing. If you lie about taking the last peppermint Luna bar, you can lie about anything. Once you’re not trustworthy, forget it. My kids are definitely traumatized by my “no lying” policy. Because the few times that they were trying to be typical teenagers, I completely lost it. But hopefully they got the message.
But, I must confess something I feel really bad about. I LIE TO MY DOG. Every single day. Stop laughing, this is a big problem for me and I feel very guilty about it. I love my dog. My dog is my buddy, my companion, and yes (cue the barf bag) my best friend. And, have I mentioned that she’s a genius? But sometimes, she doesn’t want to put on her leash. And this is a problem and kind of annoying. So instead of chasing her around the house, I do something really sneaky. I’ll say, “Want to go see the bus?” and she’ll come flying. She knows the word “bus” (genius) and she LOVES buses. But guess what? There’s no bus!! Once she’s at the door with her tail wagging, anxiously awaiting the walk to the bus stop, I loop her cute little head into the leash and off we go. And I feel bad about it the whole time.
Now I do think she forgets about it once I’ve given her the “dog bone of guilt” but it still haunts me. And it gets worse. If she doesn’t come for the word “bus”, sometimes I ring the doorbell to get her to come. She goes batty when the doorbell rings and that’s a surefire way to get that leash on her. But again, here she comes, bounding around the corner just hoping for a glimpse of the UPS guy, and it’s just me with her leash.
ARGH!! I’m just awful.
I did read an article that dogs don’t have good memories, they don’t hold grudges, and they don’t feel guilt. But if she doesn’t have a good memory, how does she remember the word “bus”? And she’s pretty darn smart for a dog without a good memory.
So, that’s my confession of the day. I lie to my dog. Better go back to temple. I forgot that one.
Keep that nose from growing and Have No Fier!
“You can’t eat the WHOLE DAY?” my friends often say to me regarding this coming holiday. Yes, the whole day (actually, 25 hours – can’t do a midnight snack prior to).
Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is on Saturday. Since this falls on a weekend, it will get less attention (in my world) than last week’s Rosh Hashanah, even though one might argue that this is the “big one”. There are people that won’t go to temple the whole year, but will go on Saturday for this holiday because this is the one where we repent for our sins. We fast from sundown on Friday, to sundown on Saturday to wipe away past transgressions and then we start with a clean slate. It’s awesome. Not only is it spiritually moving, it is really like a “sin cleanse”. Saturday night, boom! All is forgiven and you eat a big bagel. You’re like a new person filled with all the good intentions of being super nice and morally sound.
So the way it works is that there are a series of confessions that we recite. These are the same ones we read every year and although many apply, many do not. This year, my synagogue is doing this part a little differently. We were asked to submit our own personal sins to make this more meaningful and relevant to our lives today. When I saw this task, my first thought was, “no problem”. I didn’t even send mine in anonymously. I just sent an email, with three sins (we only needed to submit one, but being the brown-nose that I am, I did three). But after I did this, something very interesting happened. As I was talking about my sins, I said, “Mine are pretty tame. Boring even. I’m sure others are much juicer”. And as I walked away pretty smug that I was SURE other people had done WAY WORSE stuff than me this year, I thought, uh oh – better add SMUG to my list. Because that’s what I was being.
As the day wore on, I realized my list was growing. I DID glance down at my phone while I was driving. SIN! I didn’t notice that the dishwasher was clean. SIN! I “accidentally” threw something in Ian’s direction while he was trying to nap. SIN! Who did I think I was sending a short 3-sin list? My list was growing by the hour, and I was supposed to pick from the whole year. Now I knew I was in trouble.
This got me thinking. What is considered a sin, and what is just well, your personality traits? One of my sins is that I can be, at time, short tempered (cue the laughter from my family). I have the uncanny ability to go from 0-100 in a millisecond. But is this a sin? Maybe if I actually shot someone in my fit of rage, it would be, but is it a sin to just lose it for a minute and then regroup? And why can’t someone else empty the dishwasher?
So I decided I needed more clarification on what constitutes a sin. Here’s what dictionary.com says:
1. Transgression of divine law: The sin of Adam.
2. Any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
3. Any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense: It’s a sin to waste time
To be honest, I was hoping for a much stricter definition of the word. Like, “a sin is a horrible act that is done deliberately, with malice and resulting in injury or death”.
Any regrettable action? Are you kidding me? That’s a little broad. And all too common.
One might argue that a sin is a sin if it hurts another person. So if you are gossiping in the comfort of your own home with a trusted partner who would never repeat your words, is it really a sin? What about a bad thought if you don’t act on it?
I do not have any answers to these questions so it’s really good timing that I’ll be in temple this weekend figuring it all out. Clearly, I need it.
As the Steve Miller Band says in The Joker:
I’m a picker, I’m a grinner , I’m a lover and I’m a sinner
I play my music in the sun
I’m a joker, I’m a smoker, I’m a midnight toker
I get my lovin’ on the run
I think the Steve Miller Band could use a little repenting (judging, SIN!).
So on this holiday, I will look at my list, think about my actions, and try to do a little better in the New Year. Happy New Year to those who celebrate, and to those who do not, happiness to you too! May the coming year bring health, happiness, and peace to all.
Keep Atoning and Have No Fier
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Since being “back” to this blog, I’ve tried to steer clear of writing about my kids. They read this blog, and they are old enough to not want me to write about them. I totally get that and I actually read that most “mommy blogs” (how awful is that category title?) drop off during the teenage years. It’s fine to write when they are little and try to feed the dog broccoli, but now it’s serious business. So that being said, MOST of my posts will not be about raising teenagers. But this one is, so sorry guys.
TEACHING A 16 YEAR OLD HOW TO DRIVE
If you have a young driver in your house, you just wept a little. You know where I’m going and you’ve been there or you’re in it. If you have young children, you might want to shut down right now because there is not much in this post that is going to get you excited about the coming years. Unless you read it as a warning, immediately move to the nearest city and buy your kids a “T” pass. Forgo the whole driving thing altogether. I wish someone had given me that advice years ago. I’d be in a cute little condo downtown right now probably eating delicious takeout and my kids would be happily riding around with Charlie on the MTA.
But, of course, that didn’t happen. What did happen was that despite my repeated pleas for the contrary, my son DID grow up and turn 16. And that’s where the fun began.
FOR THE RECORD: I HATE to be a passenger in any car. I don’t care if you’re 16 or 56. I am a nervous passenger. And frankly, I’m not sure people even LIKE driving with me. I’m a handle grabbing, flinching, noisy mess. So all around not a great scenario for the “learn to drive” lessons in the Fier house. So you’re thinking, she gave it to Ian. That would have been logical. Ian LOVES cars. He loves driving. He loves talking about driving. He loves talking about cars. He should have been the one (and believe me, the next 2 times he WILL be) but I had this crazy notion that since I’m the patient one (and a teacher), that I would somehow be this fantastic, calm, helpful and all around awesome driving teacher.
Write this down because it happens only a few times a year…..I WAS WRONG. There. I said it. I was wrong!! I was (and still am) the WORST driving teacher in the world. I flinched, I yelled out….I held that handle so tight I thought it would have to be surgically removed. At one point, Daniel looked at me with a totally straight face and said, “Mom, I’d be fine if you’d just stop yelling “Oh Sh*t” every time a car comes near us”. My bad.
To me, there was nothing more gut wrenchingly nerve wracking than driving around with an inexperienced driver. But now, I’ve discovered that there IS something worse than that. Sending that inexperienced driver out on his own. My first born, my sweet little guy is now a licensed driver and I can’t quite wrap my head around it. I still look at him (although I have to really look up now) and I see a baby. But he sees the whole world now and he can’t wait to explore it. And I have to let him. One Dunkin’ run at a time.
Be safe Big D and Have No Fier
I love Walgreens. Really…it’s a legitimate love. For a drugstore.
Let me give you some background info. I’ve always had a thing for drugstores. When I was young, there was a drugstore right near my house. Thayer pharmacy in Nobscot. My parents had set up an account there where I could just get anything I wanted and charge it to our account! No credit card or anything. Just brought my tons of Wet&Wild lipstick and Aussie scrunch spray to the register and said, “charge this to our account”. Well, the year I got my license, I guess I hit that pretty hard because I remember one month getting quite a “talking to” about my drugstore habits. I think it was to the tune of hundreds of dollars!! But the allure stuck and I’ve loved drugstores ever since.
For those of you in Southborough, you totally get it. That lot went from a used car dealership to a Walgreens. For those that don’t live around here, one could say it’s a little rural. Not too bad, but we are certainly more than a stone’s throw away from anything remotely useful except coffee and wine, so a Walgreens down the street was a huge coup. We anxiously awaited the building and opening of Walgreens a few years ago. It was thrilling back then but I have to say, it’s still thrilling today. Where else can you get shampoo, duct tape and a clock radio? I have actually bought an entire dinner at Walgreens (dough, dozen eggs = quiche!)
But here’s the thing. It’s not just any chain drugstore. Our Walgreens is a chain that feels like a neighborhood shop. I know all the pharmacists and they are super nice. There is very little turnover so you pretty much know the cashiers as well (although someone new just started…I’ll let you know). So even though it COULD feel like any other drugstore, it doesn’t. It’s special.
I was there on Saturday and two things happened. First of all, the music is awesome (I’ve already written about my love for the Walgreens music) and it was Sheena Easton “You Could Have Been With Me” which really is a great song. I bought my complete random assortment of things which one store should never carry but they do. As I checked out, the cashier said, “thank you and be well”.
Be Well. This is their new thing. It started a few months ago and if you peek around the pharmacist’s desk, there’s a poster that says, “End transaction with BE WELL”. Well, I just love that. That’s what we should say to each other! Be well, physically. Be well, emotionally. Be well enough to be the best you can be every day. I LOVE that and I love that I’m reminded of that every time I’m at Walgreens.
One final reason to love Walgreens. You know the voice on the radio commercials? IT’S AIDEN from Sex and the City!! Favorite character ever. I cried harder than he did when Carrie dumped him. Have you heard the ad? The motto is At the corner of Happy and Healthy. Well, I don’t know about you, but that seems like a great place to be. At the corner of happy and healthy. So a big thank you to Walgreens. You make me sing, you make me smile, and you make my lips the perfect balance of color and shine.
Be well and Have No Fier
1. An abnormal fear of being of trying on favorite jeans after the summer.
Hi. My name’s Rachel and I have jeanophobia. You haven’t heard of it because I made it up. But it’s real. And it’s a huge problem.
Unlike many people, I do not wear jeans in the summer. I just don’t. Ever. I wear jeans for 9 months of the year, and come Memorial Day, they go away. And I don’t pull them out until….well, pretty soon.
I love my jeans but it wouldn’t dawn on me to put them on in hot weather. For one thing, it’s HOT! And jeans are the worst. I’m so hot these days I can barely wear a maxi skirt (those suckers are surprisingly toasty). So that’s one thing, but also the fact that we only have 3 short months to wear cute spring and summer clothes. Capris, skirts, sundresses, and the like so I wouldn’t waste those three months in the clothes I have to wear the rest of the year. Those are my “special clothes” and my jeans are just my jeans. So I save them until the weather turns. But the weather has to really turn. Not just this “cool in the morning, warm in the afternoon” stuff, but really turn. Like possibly the first frost.
So that’s the million-dollar question I face every single fall is “Will my jeans fit?”. And that is the cause for jeanophobia.
You might be thinking, how do you not know if your jeans will fit? Do you own a scale and/or a mirror, or are you just a complete idiot? And here’s the answer. I do own a scale but I’ve made a HUGE effort not to visit with it so that’s a big mystery. And a mirror, yes, but I’m starting to think I bought one of those dressing room mirrors by mistake because it’s completely distorted (in my favor). I think I look great until I catch a glimpse in a real mirror.
Plus, there’s another issue. Without getting into too much detail (being sensitive to my mixed audience) things shift around in this place called “middle age”. My body is like a BARBAPAPA. Remember that show? It was my favorite cartoon growing up. It was these blobs and they took the shape of whatever they were in. So if they were in a box, they became square. If they were in a circle, they became a circle.
I kind of feel like that. My body just shifts around based on what I’m into. So if I’m doing a lot of yoga, I get “yoga body”. Then things change again if I’m running a lot. And then again if I sit on my deck eating guacamole. Clothes that used to look awful now look ok, and things I’ve worn forever suddenly don’t sit right. There’s no rhyme or reason to what’s going on so I’m just rolling with it. And yes, my other pants fit. But there’s something about those jeans. You know the ones. Your favorite pair that no matter what else you put on you feel great? Those jeans.
So you’ve learned a new word today. Jeanophobia. Anyone out there have it too? Maybe we can find a support group together. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome. But ironically, my favorite jeans are so maybe that’s what I’ll be this year.
Keep jumping up and down to get those jeans on, and Have No Fier