Tag Archives: aging

Tuesday Morning Press 22 — Mid-Life, Presbyterian? No, Presbyopia & Grateful for Age


I didn’t do a Tuesday Morning Press last week. I didn’t feel like posting the content I wrote. It wasn’t ready, so rather than turn myself inside out, I decided to take my own advice: don’t over perform, don’t force, don’t exhaust the law of diminishing returns and just chill. Post content when I feel like it; after all, it’s not like I have an editorial desk waiting for me. Plus, the healthcare benefits of this blogging gig aren’t exactly like a pair of golden handcuffs.

Yesterday I hit 45.5 years old. Based on my genetics, it’s unlikely I’ll live much past 90. If her TV isn’t blaring in the background when she calls, my mother likes to remind me of my 91-y.o. “aunt” (we’re related but it’s really nuts to explain it so I won’t) so who knows, maybe I’ll make it to the mid-90s.

No matter… Conversations with my mom are hard for me. It’s not that she’s old and sort of losing it, it’s that she’s always been on her own wavelength. Conversations with her are usually about Ellen DeGeneres’ hair, Molière, Dr. Phil or Tom Cruise. She likes to talk about things I understand least in this world. So I listen, then I hit a point where I can’t anymore. She really likes to talk, but about the things she wants to talk about. When I try to get off the phone with her, it usually goes like this:

Me: Ok, well I’m ready now. I’d like to get off the phone.

Mom: Mipsy Klaustahaler thinks you’re smart…

Me: Mom, I can’t talk anymore; I have things to do and when you start to get like this, my blood boils. I am trying to hang up.

Mom: Your wedding was a happy time…

So she plays her own tape; she always has. It’s not an age thing; it’s a Molly’s Mom Thing. I said to her one day, “I can’t relate to you in these conversations. Every time I talk about something real, you call it ‘maudlin,’ or ‘negative,’ or ‘dramatic’ and so it becomes crazy-making for me. You want to talk about my wedding but not the bright turquoise suit and gigantic hat you wore [click the link for photo] and how your appeals for attention that day hurt me.” My entreaties are ignored. She does not respond to what I say ever. The conversations are circular.

Truth be told, I’m trying to have a meaningful conversation with her, and I feel this urgency — there’s so much to say, I want to work things out with her, but it’s like fighting a tsunami, so I try to let it go. Genetically, she could live for another 12 years. I will likely live those from a mental hospital if this keeps up. So I give in, say a little prayer to St. Francis, and try to be a channel for peace. I need to save my energy for myself and my children, but I’m sacked with this Catholic guilt about not being a good kid. And around we go again. It’s hard.

 . . . . . .

Last week, I posted an 11-year-old NASA photo taken by the Hubble telescope of a light echo of the formerly brightest in the Milky Way shining even brighter and then immediately dying (this is known as a supernova). ‘Light echo’? Did you know there are more than 200 billion stars in our own galaxy? I won’t talk about how many galaxies there are. It was a great relief to me to know that even that star, our system’s brightest, couldn’t keep it up anymore. She hit her maximum output.

We will all die. Ninety? That’s plenty old for me, however, it’s important to maintain what I have.

I twisted my ankle almost two months ago on the steps at IKEA. I thought about suing them for making me choose to use the steps and wear the clogs I wore (I was thinking Swedish an’ all; when I go to REI, I wear a kayak; when I go to Home Depot, I wear a chain saw, doesn’t everyone?) and decide to go to IKEA that day when I could’ve just stayed home. Instead, I leaned on my son, rubbed my ankle, flexed it a bit to make sure it was OK, told my son to close his eyes, I flipped the bird to the security camera, and moved on.

I walked through the rest of IKEA and didn’t find what I was looking for. That, I should sue them for.

If it weren’t for the yoga and my general state of good health, I likely could’ve broken something. It hurt a lot and it’s still achey today, but I can run on it, practice yoga (although it’s weaker) and chase my children up the stairs when they don’t go to bed on time. I suspect I’ll need a hip replacement one day.

I’ve got laugh lines, and I love them. If you have read every single syllable I’ve ever written here, you know that I’ve said the quickest facelift is a smile; I catch myself consciously grinning as I type this. It’s true. Go ahead, try it. I’ll wait.

I know! Right? Just smile all the time, it makes people nervous.

. . . . . .

Saturday night I went to a mini high school reunion at a friend’s house. It was so great to see everyone. We are all “in there” — I recognized everyone and to me we are just wider, wiser, less-haired, crow’s footed, worry-lined versions of ourselves. People lied remarked that I haven’t changed a bit. The lighting helped and there was alcohol served.

The joke of the night? Presbyopia: Our whacked-out eyesight and our short arms. How is it that I went to bed with my 20/20 contact lens -aided vision and all of a sudden the next morning (well, it felt like that) I couldn’t read anything within an arm’s length of my face? So because we all have smartphones or cameras, we’re snapping pics and it was hilarious. We’re all squinting and “Wha-? Who is that? Me?” -ing ourselves and our friends in the photos, moving the image away and in and closing one eye or the other, blaming it on the lighting, “I can’t see it in this light…” (and that’s true, some displays are terribly dark) but the wonderful part of it all is that we’re all doing this together. What I’m waiting for is the Nikon CoolPix Whatever ad of Ashton Kutcher crashing an event and running like an old man, then snapping shots and holding his camera three feet from his face to see what he’s taken and what’ll even be funnier is the gals who will hang on him when he takes the pics. They’ll be REGULAR PEOPLE — in my mind they would be.

So far no one has married someone half their age. A lot of us have bangs now. As I looked around at our assemblage I felt a lot of pride. It was a really nice feeling to have been included in this group and blessed by its company. We were all at our (mostly) natural (save for hair color, contact lenses, maybe even some anti-wrinkle cream here or there) states.

Back to the eyes. Lasik won’t work; presbyopia affects the muscles and the lens. Apparently the muscles and the lens starts to stiffen around age 40 and around age 60 they stay permanently stiff. Sounds like if we could swap out Viagra needs for men around 60 with our presbyopia stiffness we might be on to something…

Of all the things surgery can address: boobs, fat, hair, turning you into Barbie or Ken, it seems that there still is no surgical way to fix the presbyopia. It’s probably easier to get arm-lengthening surgery. I noticed this first when I went out for a run and tried to set my GPS watch and I couldn’t read a damned thing on the screen. Then I couldn’t set my iPod because the font was too small and my arms were too far away, but up close, I couldn’t read a thing. So now I just yell a lot.

I’ve sort of worn my age like a champ, there are parts of myself that I’ve never been thrilled with, but I’ve gotten over that. I am proud of how old I am and I am coming (finally) to terms with being OK with how I got here: crazy, Ripley’s-Believe-it-or-Not -esque childhood, my therapist’s lumpy couch and all. The truth is: it’s up to me to decide how to deal with it all. I’ve chosen to recall, assess, process and integrate my past into my life. This way there’s no denial and there’s no shame. It’s just life and I’m proof it can mostly work out. My therapist credits my great aunt Alshee, God rest her soul, with helping us out as kids.

Being on the other side of the slope doesn’t mean I’m going to kick up my feet and take it easy; it just allows me to keep things in perspective. I can trust my gut and my decisions and be OK with where I am. I don’t have to second-guess myself anymore. I’ve made it through the first half of my life fairly well, I’m sure the second half will be just as fine. The key is to keep the drama at bay. So, the next time my mom calls, I’m gonna let it go to voicemail.

Thank you.

Post 200. Be Present, Regret Nothing, Take Chances.


I hail from a pretty private branch of a pretty private family tree and even though I consider my family’s branch to be a bit more open, it still doesn’t mean we’re like… super open.

Thus I have determined, likely as a vestige of those thoughts and mannerisms, that nuance and subtlety is always going to win over dropping a grand piano; that restraint, grace and pacing is always more appealing than simply stating things because I feel they need to be stated.

As I grew up, I was dynamic, extroverted, real, on point, and often passionate. I was anything but present, unless that meant taking a moment and dragging it on as long as possible.

me and my mom. i was about 9, she was about 43. i remember that dress she wore - it was one of her favorites and who could blame her: cotton pullover t-shirt dress? talk about easy and fashionable.

me and my mom. i was about 9, she was about 43. i remember that dress she wore – it was one of her favorites and who could blame her: cotton pullover t-shirt dress? talk about easy and fashionable.

Nothing has changed since my younger years other than my delivery. I have learned through experience that my mothers’ friends frequent admonitions, that I needed to dial back or be more respectful, were correct and that no one likes a blowhard, arms akimbo, wild-eyed mayhem maker. No one. So I’ve learned to dial back, speak slower, make my point but do it softer while just as intensely.

I alluded last week on Tuesday that I will likely write every once in a while about my parents’ aging and how I’m processing it. I could make that sentence more direct: “How I process my parents’ aging” but I don’t believe that does the situation justice. I mentioned my family’s privacy above because I will try to honor it as I continue to chronicle our evolution as my parents age. Try to come at it from my perspective.

As I allow myself to turn the table, as I endeavor to put on my parents’ well-worn, comfortable, and sensible shoes, I realize that what they’re going through has got to be the absolute worst battle they will surely lose. There has to be nothing worse than digging in your heels against life’s most inevitable lesson: that we all die and wonder a lot of the time, “what if I’d chosen this instead of that” or “what if I’d said it this way instead of that way…”

My parents like to say, “go to God” when a loved one has died.

I like that. It’s not so much that it’s the Christian aspect of the phrase, but it’s the mystical aspect to it. It shows me there’s something else, something waiting; something more.

My parents live about six miles from me despite the county’s attempts to turn that into eight miles in the name of progress.

I have been in touch with a consultant to aid us all through the next stages of their lives here on earth. She is a character herself, this woman. A little stiff, a touch too efficient, but compassionate nonetheless. I suppose it’s her years of experience that have done the opposite of softening her to the inevitabilities of life: death, and has honed her to be ready, be that efficient consultant. It’s a challenging job for certain: full of fits and starts that her clients undoubtedly put her through during these processes.

I thank God for people like her: to be able to see all of what’s before them and cut through the clatter and chatter and clutter to the end point: living well to die well.

She tells me I am a good daughter, to advocate for my parents this way. She has no idea. I am not a good daughter. I have been hewn and sculpted by my parents’ choices which shaped me into the woman I have become. But as I am not a totally bad daughter, they were not totally bad parents either. There’s a phrase that describes this perfectly: “you get what you give.”

The consultant and I will meet on Valentine’s Day this week. After yoga. At a middle-eastern shopping center restaurant where we will talk about my parents and their situation over hummous, toasted pita points, shwarma, tzatziki and cucumber medallions.

I am the only child of theirs in the area. I am the only daughter, the only vessel, if you will, able to manage, carry and internalize all of this and continue on.

Men can’t help how they are designed, but they are not meant for this kind of Work. This is not a sexist statement, it’s just true, is all. Women are containers, we have wombs, we bear children, we take in, we bear pain and we deal — one way or another, and some ways are better than others, but we deal. Men are externalizers, except when they internalize which never works because by their very design and my 6th grade emotional estimation, they are not supposed to linger long; they disperse their seed and they move on. This is proven time and again in almost every animal kingdom other than birds which mate for life. If I’ve offended you I’m sorry. 21st Century man has come and evolved a very long way since those days when Kroc inseminated Kreika, Tngu and Phlark in the same cave and moved on, but the fact of the matter is that women bear the kids and sometimes, the men walk out. Just sometimes. I’ve only heard of it happening a couple times. And sometimes those fathers might stick around but their minds move on.

So being the only daughter and nearest my parents means this bowling ball inevitably will roll my way. I am a duckpin. In the corner. Number 10, hiding behind all the others and hoping that heavy, slow, lumberingly Brunswick or AMF ball, its approach like thunder in the distance, will find its way into the gutter and not hit me, but I know it will. I am a member of the sandwich generation and the way I see it: you haven’t fully lived until you are.

When the time comes, when it gets intense and sad and truly inevitable (as if it isn’t already), my sibs will be on board; I know this. But no way you slice this: it’s going to be work.

This is post 200; that means about 330,000 words +/- 15,000 words. I wanted to make this post smart, and true. That’s not to say I believe I’ve ever written anything stupid and fake. There are plenty of posts I’ve started and haven’t written:

I started and stopped posts 13 times. It's not that they stunk, but I wasn't ready and some of them simply didn't matter anymore.

I started and stopped posts 13 times. It’s not that they stunk, but I wasn’t ready and some of them simply didn’t matter anymore.

I wanted this post to be relevant. But in the end: for whom is it relevant? Most likely me and anyone else who is about to embark on this journey about aging parents.

I’m going to do my best to close each one of these posts about my parents with a positive memory or affectionate thought and how I sense it rather than to stitch them closed with butcher’s string and thoughts of pain, remorse or fear.

Her features are long faded; her beautiful cheekbones still winning out but her eyes feel lost now. She smiles sweetly, most of the time in regard to a memory or a thought which pleases her. I envy her that; her ability to stay in those happy places. My mind races at times to sadder moments, times when she broke my heart instead. The lump in my throat is very painful at the moment; sharp, severe. My therapy-educated mind is telling me to sit with it; feel the feelings. Let out the cry of disappointment, let out the sensations of fear and sadness. I can’t articulate it, but I will honor them. I suppose it doesn’t help that this song, “Mother of God” which is incredibly close to how I grew up at times, is playing in the background:

My mother has a gown-length muskrat coat she used to wear all the time in the winter; growing up in Buffalo, NY, that was about 5 months long sometimes. As a child, I would sink my face into it, pull it around me as I spun and wedged myself between her legs and the coat’s red silk monogrammed liner. She could’ve had a mink or a raccoon or a beaver or a fox or a seal coat, but she chose muskrat; which is just like her: that muskrat coat could be worn by a man, too, from what I recall: broad shoulders. Something fantastic about her buying a muskrat coat… her rebellion and artistic fancies winning over convention and beating aristocratic tradition with a tuned ukelele, three of which she owns. Something happened though, something changed her and I’ll never know what that was.

Someone mentioned witnessing her own mother and her mother-in-law and this person grew perplexed about how to avoid turning into either one of them, set in her ways, fearful and acerbic. I didn’t have an answer. I just told her to do what I try to do every day: Be Present, Regret Nothing, Take Chances. And one more: Believe in yourself.


Thank you.

Tuesday Morning Press 16 — The Not-Graphic Norovirus Philosophical Edition and more


I lost six pounds yesterday.

Today was the first time I’d seen my kitchen in 36 hours; I have three sons and a husband. Today’s state of the kitchen confirmed that.

I haven’t hugged my kids since Sunday night. I haven’t hugged anyone since Sunday night.

It’s hard, this lack of personal contact with those we love most. It gets me thinking.

My first tidbit for you: You will be pleased to know that iPads and iPhones can withstand Lysol spray.

We’d had a wonderful weekend; I started a post waxing nostalgic for my family of origin and the one I’d created with my wonderful husband of almost 19 years. I woke Sunday morning feeling like I’d partied like Rod Stewart in the 80s (I know, right? I just wrote what came to my mind) but I hadn’t. 

I couldn’t get my thoughts together because I was apparently in the grips of the oncoming Norovirus that overwhelmed my gastric system yesterday morning until last night.  I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say that when you’ve stared down the loo seven times in as many hours only to return to your bed where everything irritates you and you want to watch TV, but not that one; you want to read a book, but not that one; and you want to talk to someone on the phone but not that person… you’ve had a life-changing experience.

I would simply just fall asleep every now and then too. I am grateful for the brownie and ice cream I had Sunday night, it gave me the calories I’d likely needed for the next day, but my tank was empty Monday morning and that, my friends, is an awful feeling. The hideousness began just before 8:00am and continued in onslaughts of pain and nausea followed by an almost manic state of reprieve only to be followed by more pain and nausea until about 4:00pm. It took me 10 hours to drink 12 ounces of ginger ale only to revisit it soon after each sip. After that, I ranged between mildly uncomfortable to hostage-taking heights of discomfort. Around 9:00pm last night I summoned the courage to take two Tylenol and endeavor sleep, which I couldn’t wait to begin. Despite mostly laying in bed for more than 20 hours, I was desperate for slumber.

Every trip and “respite” afforded me insights that I don’t think I would have appreciated at another time in my life. I’m 45 now. Life has literally passed me by. I am standing at the bus stop watching the cars go by. But I’m not really that bad off. I’m just realizing, turbo acutely, that I’m not gonna get another yesterday (you can have my yesterday), or today, again.

No matter how glib or flippant I may seem, even clever (I might add) that there’s no point in pissing away my life worrying about really stupid stuff.

When you hear your body make sounds you didn’t think it was possible to make, and you feel simultaneous chill and vaporizing heat, you enter some sort of rabbit’s hole, so to speak, and you learn to separate the wheat from the chaff real quick. I gained an insight into what fear does to me and how stupid we can be in the face of it.

I will start by declaring my space and my personal rights:

There is a bully in the blogosphere. This blogger has maligned me to people and Fiction Fridays due to its own severe insecurity that it has put on display on its Facebook page time and again in a pathetic attempt to garner fans. I have said this time and again: Fan numbers don’t mean squat. Quality matters; sincerity and authenticity and genuine humility matter. This blogger appears vacant of those qualities and it brings me little pleasure to write about it; however, I have been bolstered by my new band, “Vomit and The Loo,” appearing yesterday only, and this blogger can suck it. This blogger has created and continues to create its own vortex of drama and demise; this blogger’s minions will retire eventually as the Universe sees through you, darling blogger. We are a small circle. To quote one of my favorite movie lines of all time (Gladiator), “The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.” That is all. Cheers.

Moving on … nothing to see here …

If you have been following me, you are savvy that I’ve been repeatedly unwell with random illnesses the past month. I posted yesterday: “Norovirus has checked in. Don’t send chicken soup.” Many people replied with comments of well wishes and advice on the management of the illness; I am very grateful.

My immune system has been put through the gauntlet, not the metal glove, but the second reference: “military: to receive blows while running between two rows of men with sticks.” That gauntlet. All of my kids have been sick as well, placed on various antibiotics to cure them. A little horn-tooting: Last week, I wrote a post about the dangers of antibacterial soaps and cleaners and I am thrilled to say that it has enjoyed more shares, more likes and more traffic than anything I’ve ever written. Please read it and heed its warning: THROW OUT THE ANTIBACS. The horrid reality of the antibacterials is this: THEY ARE MAKING US SICKER. STOP USING THEM; I am sure I got sick — YET AGAIN — because my kids are coming home with antibacsoap all over them. We don’t use them in my house. EVER.

That post even got more shares than my candid and humorous post about my own challenges with Pre-Menstrual Disphoric Disorder PMDD (I have received comments from readers that men don’t believe it; LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING, “MEN“: that shit is real); if you know a moody someone with a uterus, please read it; PMDD can happen at any stage of life.

Despite that last comment I just made, I am on the mend. So today, on Facebook I posted, “I am alive.” People have responded affirmatively (thank goodness!), which makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing. But posting this stuff made me think, “What did we do before Facebook?” Well, we got out of bed and we went on with our day. For someone like me, a SAHM, there are myriad chores I have blown off: my kids’ rooms need to be painted and updated, I need to paint the wood trim around the house, I could edit my book more than I am… I could prepare dinner more quickly than I do… LAUNDRY… but really, I guess what SAHMs did before Facebook, at least according to Mad Men, is that many of them drank a lot. They were depressed. This staying at home stuff is hard; first, there’s isolation, then there’s boredom, and other stuff. I suppose with Facebook, at least people can communicate.

Another Norovirus-inspired question: What did I do before blogging? Why blog? — I’ve read a couple posts lately where bloggers have sort of come out to defend (wrong word, but right tone) their blogs. I suppose I could do the same; I won’t. I blog because I can. If no one reads it does it make it less valuable an exercise to me? No. But both of you do read it, so that’s why I do it as well. I write because you read; you read therefore I write. At times I blather, like now; other times I am a freaking madwoman resource. I know that what I do brings value to me and at times to you. If nothing else, you know that there is one less abstract-thinking person on the road because I am here writing. That must bring you some relief…. eh?

Moving on… ps –  I am NOT A MOMMY BLOGGER. Please don’t ever make that mistake about me. There is nothing wrong with that tribe of bloggers, but it’s just not my gig.

This past weekend was our Second Christmas. I posted this on my Grass Oil Facebook fan page, mostly because I’m leery of posting stuff my dad reads, even though he is subscribed to this blog…

Yesterday, my sibs, parents and I gathered our broods to celebrate our second Christmas as the snow gently fell around us outside my home. My heart swelled with overwhelming gratitude that we shared those 27 hours together as I drove home from the airport today after bidding my brother and his family farewell. Our parents are aging, precipitously, and I can’t help but think the time together was perfect because it might’ve been the last best time for our mom.

Forgive me for the maudlin post, I just needed to express something on this wall instead of my personal one. I don’t understand the phenomenon of public disclosures like this, but I understand how they can help us feel heard and not so alone.

My mother’s health is failing. She will be 79 in June; she has let herself go for years, I’ve witnessed it most of my life; she has been lost emotionally and tactically. She has suffered so much loss in her life as well; the kinds of loss no one should have to bear, but these are her stories to tell. Our relationship has always been strained but my love for her is abiding; she means well, she just had trouble connecting the dots.

I’ve alluded to this before in my posts, but I came from no small measure of dysfunction. My parents’ relationship at times reminds me of the film, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” starring no one else but Hollywood heavy-hitters and likely arch rivals, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis; I truly marvel at how they’ve managed to stay together.

Now my sibs and I are preparing the next stages for their twilight years. It will be an uphill battle as my mother likely suffers from dementia and my father can be stubborn and difficult. But he came to us this time… so far, no inciting crisis to address, just woe and weariness. I will likely write about this more. I used to keep it under wraps because I fear my father’s judgement and his unrealistic assessment of my fame so I hope that doesn’t bring you down. I know that I will be writing about this for my sanity, from my perspective because as much as this is a situation of theirs, it’s a story of mine as well. I’ll likely come up with a theme so you can decide to not read it when I post. But the fact of the matter is: we all get old and we all die. This will be good for me to do.

Thank you.

Tuesday Morning Press #5: Voicemail, Debit Cards, Gratitude 100


I am a little late today, with my Tuesday morning press.

I have been assaulted by a meddlesome but not outright stomach bug. I chose my bed instead of yoga today, which bothers me because I love that class.

I don’t plan to spend much time here, I prefer a total recline to my current posture. But I will still adhere: less than one hour.

Suffice it to say, however that I am glad to be here complaining about it. The past few days I’ve written a little more than I’d planned. I disclosed my personal experience with PMDD when I wrote about women’s health and re-discovered yesterday that I had a great uncle, whom I’m sure I would have known if he had not died in Normandy in 1944. So I’m already ahead, if there were such a thing in a situation where no one but me is barely keeping score.

Before I felt blech this morning, I posted on my facebook wall this:

NnnnNnnn. Why can’t all voicemail systems be alike? Why can’t 3 be delete in all systems? It’s like those stupid debit card machines asking you 60 questions before you sign out. I sound ancient. Get off my lawn.

Resist urge to write about this.

Knowing me, as I do and as I suspect you’re getting to, I am now succumbing to the urge to write about this and my feelings of get-off-my-lawn ancientism (I made that up) regarding voicemail and debit card machines. My grandparents didn’t have such woes. My parents didn’t have such woes. Hell, up until about 10 years ago I didn’t have such woes.

On my landline at home (yes, I still have one of those) “3” deletes a message and “1” plays it again. It sorta makes sense as “3” is also the corresponding number for the letter D (delete) or E (erase) or F (I won’t go there). “1” makes sense because “1” initiates everything.

Let’s not talk about (ok, let’s do) how I was trained by the almighty Verizon (who also manages my mobile account, but it would be foolish of me to suggest that the same company use the same @)!$)(%@! protocols on its other service, identical in every possible way, save for the !)(&$@(%$ codes to keep, forward, delete, repeat and deconstruct messages.

On my cell phone, I have 47 saved messages because I can’t remember how to delete them. I also have 5 that I’ve already listened to, but don’t want to press the wrong button — I don’t want 52 saved messages. So, they sit there.

I am becoming one of those people. I am becoming my brother. His voicemail cache is never able to take incoming messages.

One day I will muster the enthusiasm required to sift through all those messages and delete them to kingdom come. I know, the next time I’m in carpool. Waiting to die.

So if it’s not my phone, the other “get off my lawn” moment comes when I am shopping. I don’t carry cash, or at least more than $20 on me. I use the debit card. When I go to Safeway, I am presented with a litany of questions about the transaction from the machine; the button to “cancel” is different there than it is at Giant (or Stop and Shop) or Wegman’s. When I’m there, at the different stores, I literally feel like an IDIOT when I’ve pushed the green button. When most of us would think that green means “go” mean on one machine, on another, it means “cancel” and I have to do the whole bloody thing again.

Da. Dew nyut laff. Awl yewr munny ees is komink frum dis wun baynk in Rrrussia.

To avoid all the questions, sometimes I press “credit” but then when I think I’m done, I’m not. I have to press “cancel” because the machine will think it’s a debit experience and well, it’s not equipped or programmed to think outside its own parameters. This, my friends, is where the humans will win. We can pick up the machine and stomp on it.

Of all the hideous retail debit card experiences, my vote for most insecure machine is Target’s. You suffer through the questions and it asks you toward the end the following (my sequence might be off):

  • Total: $600,425.98
  • Please confirm / Change
  • Do you want it all on the card?
  • Yes / No
  • Any cash back?
  • $20    $40    $60    No

and then this one:

  • Are you sure?
  • Yes / No

At this point, I want to transform into the Incredible Shopping Hulk and smash the machine. Kill the machine. Kill it with fire and leave it crying.

  • No cash back. Please confirm total.

But the machine isn’t left crying, I am because I feel codependent now. I feel that if I leave this machine, I won’t be giving it a job. It’s job is to take care of me and to offer me money, even though it might not be what’s best for our relationship, and my job is to be there, to let the machine give me the money.

But there are people waiting behind me, eager for their chance with the machine. I go on my way, sadly, to my car on the tarmac.

~  ~  ~

The deadline approaches! My post “Gratitude in 100” has received a modicum of responses and I am thankful for that. If you’re waiting until the bitter end to send me your thoughts, just how you express gratitude in 100 words or less (see the link above for details), I am ready for you! I am not having huge expectations because this is a wee blog with a wee following, but I love you guys and I appreciate your checking in.

The deadline is next Tuesday! Hurry!

Thank you.