It began with 15 simple, naive words: “Of COURSE I’ll come watch the kids while you two get away for the weekend!”
There’s a poll our state leaders proposed on our willingness to pay a toll on some roads, in order to help with construction costs and maintenance of those roads. Sort of a toll poll, if you will. I understand the necessity of maintaining our highways, and the cost it entails, both in terms of money and inconvenience. But, you know the old saying: You can’t make an omelet without putting millions of drivers through hell on earth, sometimes for decades.
Good morning, and welcome back to school, folks! No, I’m obviously not Mr. Beaverhausen. My name is Ms. Wentz, and I’m substituting for Mr. Beaverhausen for a bit, as he and his wife move here from Boston and get acclimated to our please-just-shoot-me heat and this summer’s entertaining monsoons. No, I have no idea what he looks like, darlin’, but it can’t be any worse than I look today, having worked for a week now in this room with the air-conditioning permanently set at 83 degrees, trying to put books away, organize desks, mop the floor, and pin lovely borders around the blackboard ... sorry, I mean whiteboard, I forgot I was ancient.
If you asked me on any given day, really, where in the world I would least like to be at any given time, the mall – any mall – would rank right up there with a men's athletic locker room, and anywhere in Yemen. Give me an old-fashioned “shopping center” any day. In fact, if there were a shopping center with a grocery, a hardware store, a pharmacy, and a T.J. Maxx – oh, and an ABC store – that would be the consummate shopping experience for me. Sometimes, however, as hideous as it may be, I am forced to go to a mall with a friend who actually likes malls ... and who may have accompanied me to a bridal fashion show once, OK twice, like years ago, OK last March. (I adore all things bridal, you see ... like brides ... and grooms ... and cake.)
After all these years, all the lessons, all the ad-nauseum rehashing of every single stroke on every single hole by every single male member of my family – I finally get it. I can now appreciate a good round of golf.
I hate going to Walmart. Not that I hate Walmart itself; honestly, Walmart employees are usually the nicest, happiest, friendliest folks around. Especially that man or woman who greets shoppers when they come in, and bids them farewell when they leave. They really love their jobs!
I don’t watch much television news, for several reasons. First, call me crazy, but I just want the facts, you know? I’d like to hear something like, “Today, North Korea’s president gave a speech in which he said, ‘Neener-neener-neener, you can’t make me stop building nukes!’ while simultaneously looking into the camera and flipping off the United States.”
So, there we were at the beach, 30 of us, in a huge house together, having a helluva time. My generation spent most of each day at the beach under umbrellas and tents, yakking, catching up, arguing, laughing, and keeping an eye out for cocktail hour ... which seemed to be earlier every day. Grown children, nieces and nephews, though, decided that the clock was not a factor: Cocktails are appropriate from breakfast on, a lifestyle I frown upon outwardly ... inwardly, not so much.
So, here we all are at the beach in Corolla, on the Outer Banks, 30 of us, all in one house, granted one big house, but still ... one house. The oldest is Dad -- he’s 86. The youngest is James (named after Dad) - he’s 4 months.
Dear Jessie: Welcome to our home and thank you again so much for watching the “girls” while I’m at the beach this week! I think you’ll have an easy time, because they really are so sweet and low maintenance!
So today is the day we go to the beach! Big deal, you say. So what, you ask. Everybody goes to the beach around here, snore.
Not that I’m elderly or anything, but being fifty-none-of-your-business years old, I sometimes have a teensy problem remembering things. Not the big things -- I don’t forget to eat, sleep, get dressed or buy hair products. But, the little things -- returning a call, getting all the groceries on one trip, putting stamps on letters, making a dentist appointment ... although, that last one may be more of a subconscious pain/panic/denial -- the little things are getting to me.
Today is my daughter’s birthday, and I just hung up from getting her a gift certificate for a hair styling at her local spa, which reminded me how nothing any spa could ever dream up could help my hair in this lifetime. I can take them all the pictures I want to of Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman,” and it is - and will forever be - futile. (You men won’t understand this column, so I’d move on to the Sports section.)
Cast: Her - adorable, perky, around 22 yrs. old, around 110 lbs.;
Me - not.
Her: Hi! (brilliant smile and all exclamation points) Welcome to “We-Have-Absolutely-Nothing-You-Could-Fit-Into”! Are you shopping for your daughter today?
Happy Easter to you all. I wish you peace, love and a basketful of jellybeans! No, I’m not in the bourbon, I’m on Spring break…FINALLY!