Open Door Policy

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I’m all for full disclosure and share and share alike. But there are exceptions. Keeping the bathroom door open during use is one. Asking your grown daughter to remove an unsightly and ever-annoying piece of nose hair is another. I mean… seriously? That’s a job neither your barber nor your doctor want any part of.

Privacy is a funny thing. A toddler exhibits no understanding of boundaries when he rushes, head first, into his parents bed in the middle of the night – having no clue as to why mommy and daddy are playing ‘doctor’ when they should be sleeping. A parent will insist that a pubescent teenager’s bedroom door remain open during any and all ‘study’ sessions.

Yet some things are just better left unknown – unseen and unheard. Deeply disturbing sights and sounds (horrific crashes or parents having sex) can stay permanently etched in the recesses of your mind. Freedom to come and go as you please is a wonderful privilege. But a door is there… for a reason!

Once Is Enough

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There’s a saying: Everything old is new again. The older we get, we start to really see the value of this statement. As a mom, I always found it quite amusing when one of my kids would ask if I’d heard of a particular band – one that was still around but that I remembered (with all its original members) from my own childhood.

Sometimes, when going through my closets, I know I should be gathering up items that I haven’t worn and taking them to Goodwill. Instead, I’ll try them on, see that they still fit and convince myself that they’ll come back in style someday. Remarkably, they usually do.

So… Music can still sound good after all these years. Clothing can suddenly be ‘in’ after being ‘out’ for a spell. But one thing that you should never hold onto – even if you think you’ll use it again – is the dreaded tissue.

I remember my grandmother always stashing tissues in her sleeve for possible later use. My Mom (her daughter) continues in that tradition because you never know when the world might run out of them. Granted, tissues are useful for a number of things:

1) Blowing your nose
2) Wiping off lipstick
3) Stuffing your bra (when you’re prepubescent)
4) Crying at funerals (or sad movies)

But, mostly, they’re a disposable item and (since they’re fairly easy to come by) should not be stored inside your long-sleeved shirt. Ever. Seriously, how many other ‘cleaning wipes’ do we keep on our person after they’ve been used?

The answer is an astounding None. Zero. Zilch. Tissues are light, airy and small because once the job is done… you roll ’em up into a ball and you throw them out! 

The Name Game

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Ever notice how the more time you spend with people, the more you start to think like them? We all have those moments when we can’t remember what we were going to say or do. Some call them senior moments and some (more colorfully) call them brain farts. But we all have them at one time or another – some more frequently than others and some who flat out deny their very existence.

Living with my parents is sometimes like living in prehistoric times. I’ve come to realize that the remote control is a clicker, a CD is a tape, the cell phone is a ringer, the printer is a copier and the DVR is a recorder. It’s not that these ‘alternate’ names are confusing. It’s fairly easy to tell what my parents are referring to most of the time – especially when they… point.

It’s when the parentals are at a total loss for words yet they expect you to read their minds, nonetheless, that you become somewhat frazzled and impatient. It can go from one extreme to the other:

1) The Dangerous Chair – a comfortable chair that, once sat on, makes an octogenarian fall immediately asleep. This covers every chair in the home from the most comfortable recliner to the hardest, metal folding chair.

2) Squeaky thingy – this can be anything from the upstairs neighbors walking around on parquet floors to a door that needs oiling.

3) Ice box – an old fashioned name for a refrigerator/freezer.

4) Who-ja-ma-bob – again, could be a razor, an alarm, the doorbell, the tv… anything whose name doesn’t immediately register.

5) Thingamajig – see above.

And don’t even get me started on proper names. Whether it’s trying to remember a person’s name from the past, a character or actor’s real name from tv or even their only daughter’s name (I usually come in at about 5 or 6 down on the list – after my brother, my grandparents, their grandkids), I’ve gotten so used to it that I’ll basically answer to any of the above… especially if it’s for something really good that I didn’t even do!