A unit down the hall from ours has been vacant for several months. The owner died and her kids put it on the market. They were there so often during the end that my Dad got really attached to their dog.
Imagine our surprise when, after returning home from the doctor the other day, we saw the dog (and his human) walking in front of our building. My Dad was so happy you’d think he just won the lottery.
Sunday morning I decided to take the train into NYC to visit my boys. What a mistake. Not the visit but the method of transportation at that particular day and time. I didn’t realize it was a Yankees-home-game and that suburban families from upstate NY would be making the long journey with me. And I didn’t even bring headphones…
Toddlers cried incessantly and crawled all over the seats until their indulgent parents gave them their very expensive phones to play with… Men, way too old to still be wearing the names of other grown men on their Yankees jerseys and t-shirts, strutted around the aisles ‘replaying’ past Yankees highlights.
Look, I have nothing against America’s favorite pastime. I think it’s an overpriced day out but to each their own (the train ticket price alone was staggering for these families and I can only assume the stadium ticket price was well beyond my monthly car payment).
But where was the ‘old time’ fun? I remember going to games with my parents and older brother. It didn’t bankrupt us and we needn’t bring our own food from home because it was mostly affordable. And actually keeping score was a skill we perfected after repeated attendance and something that made us feel like a part of the entire ballgame experience.
Somewhere along the lines the rules changed. Prices skyrocketed and manners plummeted. I wouldn’t bring a young child to a game today – they’d hear foul (pun intended) language; reek of warm, spilled beer and be exposed to a world of entitlement, rudeness and bad sportsmanship.
But, hey, how else will they learn how to act on their own school turf?!
My Dad’s latest obsession… his hair. At 85, he’s still got a full head of hair. The problem is, he spends so much time resting in his ‘comfy lounger’ that his hair is almost always a victim of static electricity. To battle the condition, Dad has taken to wearing a baseball cap. All the time.
He seems to feel like he must wear this hat, all day long (and inside) because you just never know when someone might drop by unexpectedly to visit (that actually NEVER happens). I tried putting a hand towel over the top of the chair but that only resulted in his wearing the towel around the house because it got stuck on the back of his shirt.
Static is static after all…
It’s funny but I never remember him caring about his hair sticking up in all the years I’ve known him – I guess it’s just another age-related obsession when you really have nothing else to think about all day long. Maybe I should get him some Brylcreem – You know, because “a little dab’ll do ya!”
We spend countless hours on our looks and on our bodies – lotions, spas, gyms, power drinks – so why don’t we spend any time trying to improve our minds? Yes, we play games on our computers and do crossword puzzles and the like. But, since graduating from school (be it HS or college), we haven’t properly exercised our brains.
Try these experiments:
Say the alphabet backwards
Play the old car-trip game (by yourself) where you think of alphabetized foods you’d like to take on a picnic
Try to remember the names of all of your teachers by grade
How did you do? I was visiting my son some weeks ago and, all of a sudden, I remembered a name we had both drawn blanks on in a recent phone conversation. We laughed. But it just goes to show you… It’s easy to forget but it’s redemptive to remember!
Call it compulsive but whenever the cashier tells me it’s okay to short them a penny or two (because another customer conveniently left some behind), I search through every nook and cranny of my bag to come up with the exact change for my purchase. It’s not that I’m overly honest – I just figure it makes it easier for them to close out their register, at the end of the day, with the correct amount of money in the cash drawer.
That said, I can always be counted upon to have more than my share of little sample bottles to take on any trip – even at the very last moment. Hotels put them out there for guests to use (ostensibly for that particular stay) but we all know they’re for us to load up on so that we don’t run out on the next visit somewhere and so on and so on…
My ‘toiletry bag’ has grown exponentially, over the years, to the point where I now have to spend extra time pairing up assorted sample bottles of shampoos and conditioners, tubes of toothpastes and flosses and bars of soaps and body lotions. That way I’ll always know when it’s time to replenish the supply (yeah, like I’ve ever NOT taken them home with me anyway).
And at this rate, I’ll never be without the comforts of home while far away from home!
As a parent myself I understand the need to know, at all times, that your children are safe. To that end, I always hope (ok, full disclosure… I demand) that my sons let me know when they arrive home from vacation or from a long car trip or even from visiting me.*
Just because your babies leave the nest and have their own lives, doesn’t mean you ever stop worrying about them. It’s a natural feeling – whether they’re off to college or on a business trip or visiting friends and family for the holidays.*
In my case, I’m in my 50’s and I’m living with my parents. You’d think the neuroses (I mean the loving care) would lessen – when I’m only traveling to a nearby town to work for a few hours and then returning home. Alas… NO. Even then I’m expected to call when I arrive safely at my destination and then announce myself upon my arrival home in one piece.
Truth be told, it’s nice to know someone cares about me that much. It would, however, be a lot less of a burden if my parents could understand the concept of simple texting. But that’s just not the case. Instead, it’s a classic case of Once A Parent, Always A Parent!
*Hint, Hint! 😉
NOTE: I dedicate this post to my parents, Carol and Philip, on the occasion of their 59th wedding anniversary. LOVE YOU!