Category Archives: Rants

Fiscal Cliff My Ass

I am so sick of hearing about the fiscal cliff and paying my fair share.  I’ve paid my fair share, okay?  My whole life, I’ve paid my taxes.  Whatever was withheld and then some.  I’ve never asked for or needed government assistance.  I WORKED, okay?  My husband WORKED.  My kids WORK.  They pay their bills and that includes health insurance, or they go without.  So don’t tell me I didn’t pay my fair share.

Fiscal cliff?  Gee, what caused that?  Government spending.  They want to raise taxes to provide more revenue because they’ve run out of money.  Only problem with that scenario is the more money they rake in in taxes the more money they waste.  The ONLY reason for the federal government to raise taxes is so it can spend more money.  This is a case of physician heal thyself.  The federal government will never stop raising taxes to pay bills it creates.  When’s the last time you heard about cutting spending?  Or getting rid of duplicate government programs?  Maybe you heard about it in conjunction with sequestering which is when the government forces itself to make arbitrary budget cuts, probably because they didn’t raise taxes quickly enough to cover the expenses of a certain department. 

Idiots!  The only reason taxes go up is to increase the size of government.  Does anyone understand anything about how the economy works?  Think about this:  WHY does the government need to grow any more?  My reply is, “it doesn’t.” 

Raise taxes on the wealthy because they don’t pay enough in taxes.  I have heard this so many times I’m ready to puke.  This is something I actually understand because I am married to a man who worked fifty-hour weeks for thirty-plus years.  He/we made investments.  Look at it this way:  You get a paycheck.  Part of your gross income is removed from it off the top to pay for federal income taxes.  At the high end of the tax bracket you might be paying 35%.  More than a third of what you earned is gone.  If you get a bonus, it’s taxed.  If you use some of your net pay (remember you’ve already paid federal income tax) to buy stock (invest in a U.S. company that provides jobs for workers) and then you later sell that stock, you are taxed (again) if you made a profit (capital gains) of 15%.  If you die, your estate (all the wealth/property you accumulated by working hard and investing) is TAXED AGAIN at something like 50%.  Who does this affect the most?  The wealthy.  The people who worked hard, created businesses of their own perhaps, the ones who provided jobs for the rest of us, the ones who are ALREADY PAYING THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE of taxes.  Yes, let’s penalize them AGAIN for being successful.  

If that doesn’t take away the motivation for anyone to work hard, acquire wealth, be successful, live the “American Dream” I don’t know what does.  Why should you?  Why should anyone when the federal government will come in and take it all away from you in one form or another? 

Meanwhile, how many?  Let’s all say it together:  47% of Americans don’t pay federal income tax.  They are the takers, some of them living on entitlement programs from cradle to grave.  Why not when citizens like you and me, along with the federal government make it so easy for them?

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This Lemonade Is Making Me Crazy, Part II

I said I was going to contact the author (see my blog from 10/5/11) about the lemonade issue that was making me crazy and I did. Below is my e-mail to her and her reply to me. She asked that I not use the name of her book or her name if I used this in a blog, so I didn’t. I also deleted the names of the characters in the book when they were referenced in either of our e-mails.

I love knowing I can contact an author, ask a question, and that she’ll take the time to reply. It means a lot to me as a reader. I thanked the author via e-mail, of course, but I want to thank her again here.

Dear Author:
I am reading your book and arrived at the section where they are in the Dakota Territory and one character is teaching another to shoot and she serves him lemonade. Later she gets sick from drinking lemonade someone else on the wagon train made. (Why?) She reaches her friend’s place in Utah and I believe they are drinking lemonade once again.

I am curious as to whether this is historically factual and if so, where/how did all these lemons arrive in the Dakota Territory and where did they come from? How were they kept from spoiling? Wouldn’t they be a luxury and quite costly? I am genuinely curious. I’ve tried to look up the possibilities online but come up empty.

I would love to know the answer. My husband’s degree is in U.S. History and he is stumped as well.

Thanks in advance,
Barb Meyers

The author’s reply via e-mail:

Hi Barbara,
Thanks for your email. I hope you are enjoying the book. About the lemonade, it probably wasn’t what we drink today. However, they did have lemons. Columbus brought them here and by this character’s time, it was quite an industry in California and Florida. Like the sailors who journeyed for months at sea, pioneers could take real lemons with them. They can last a few weeks, but she would mostly have had lemon juice, which women could make themselves. They could use the juice for cooking and cleaning, too. The character could have also used lemon extract, which was probably more alcohol than lemon. They were amazingly resourceful women. Here’s a recipe from 1866:

To Preserve Lemon Juice for a Voyage.
Select only the best, freshest lemons. Squeeze them well through a strainer. To every 1 qt. of juice add 1 oz. cream of tartar. Let it stand 3 days, (stirring it frequently) and then filter it through thin muslin pinned tightly on the bottom of a sieve. Put it into bottles, filling up the neck of each bottle with a little of the best olive oil. Cork tightly, then seal. When you open a bottle avoid shaking it, and carefully pour off the olive oil that is on top of the lemon juice.

Don’t know how this tasted, but if you try it, please let me know.
This book began as a chapter for a history book, so my research was primary, and I did my best to be accurate. I travelled the route the character took and researched at libraries, government offices and historical sites from NYC to Utah. I studied maps, tax records; I read diaries, letters, newspapers, cookbooks and guidebooks (I found an original one of NYC from 1868). Of course, history is subjective, depending on who is reporting what and when, but hopefully, the character would recognize the world I placed her in. 🙂

Thanks again for reading the book.
The Author

Visit me at http://www.barbmeyers.com
Write me at barb@barbmeyers.com
#postaweek2011

P.S. But you see the part in the recipe where it says to avoid shaking the bottle? Travelling overland in a covered wagon seems like there’d be a whole lot of shaking going on. They’re fording rivers, the wagon almost tips over. I’ve decided this “lemonade” they were drinking must have been truly disgusting. Thank God for Minute Maid.

This Lemonade is Making Me Crazy!

I am reading an historical novel by an author I’ve never read before for which I paid 99¢ and downloaded to my Kindle.
I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but I’ve read a fair amount.
The story takes place in 1868, after the U.S. Civil War but before the transcontinental railroad is completed. The main characters are leaving New York City and heading west. Their ultimate destination is Utah. They start out on a train, but eventually (somewhere in Kansas I believe) buy a wagon and mules and join up with a wagon train.
I’m reading along, following the story, all is well. Until they arrive in the Dakota Territory and all of a sudden they are drinking lemonade.
I am yanked out of the story immediately. Lemonade? Under these circumstances? In this time period? In this setting? Is that possible? Believable?
I begin to ask the obvious questions: Where did they get lemons? If lemons were available, wouldn’t they be considered a luxury and therefore expensive? How did they transport them from…wherever to the Dakota Territory in a timely enough manner to keep them from spoiling?
I query my husband about this, figuring with a degree in U.S. History he should be able to shed some light on the situation. He points out that Florida was settled at that time and lemons would have been available. I agree, but we’re both stumped by the transport issue. Later he suggests that lemons are also grown in Mexico. Again I agree (I’m nothing if not agreeable) but point out that the distance from there to the Dakotas is about what it would be from Florida. Without preservatives or refrigeration what is the shelf life of the average lemon?
Back to the book. A short time later, one of the characters becomes ill with gastrointestinal distress and admits to drinking lemonade made by one of the other families in the wagon train. Okaaay.
They eventually arrive in Utah. They again drink lemonade.
Now it’s the Fourth of July and there’s a big celebration at a wealthy man’s ranch. Lemonade is once again served. (He at least could afford it, but I doubt he could move lemons across the country any faster than anyone else.)
I’ve tried to research this online. I’ve recruited a couple of friends to help me, but I’m coming up with nothing.
If you can shed any light on this lemonade, preferably backed up by facts, I’d like to hear from you.
As a last resort, I e-mailed the author to ask her these questions. I hope she sets my mind at ease and explains it all and offers me a peek at her research documentation. Because at the moment, all the lemonade in this book is leaving a sour taste in my mouth.
Visit me at http://www.barbmeyers.com

#postaweek2011

Job Opportunities Available

Federal Government Job Opportunities will exist for qualified individuals in the next election cycle.  You could be right for one of these jobs!  See partial list of preferred qualifications below:

College degree preferred but not required.  We are especially interested in those applicants with law degrees or who have held positions as instructors at well-established universities.  Entrepreneurs, CFOs, those with business experience in the real world, or anyone possessing an MBA need not apply.

For all openings, we prefer applicants possess the following set of skills and abilities:

Must be able to lie convincingly, especially to constituents and in interviews with journalists and other media personnel. 

The appearance of a stable personal life is important, but any hint of morality will disqualify you for this position.

Must be willing and able to spend taxpayer’s money irresponsibly.  Voters have come to expect this ability in their elected officials.  Maintaining this standard is paramount.  Fiscally responsible individuals need not apply.

Prevarication.  If you feel compelled to answer direct questions with direct answers, you are not what we’re looking for.

Previous experience at covering up wrongdoing on your part or the part of others is a must for these positions, although when necessary, on-the-job training is provided.

Must be willing to undertake frivolous travel at government expense. 

Basic understanding of economics, wasteful spending, bankruptcy, deficits and accounting is not required.

Some experience using the internet, e-mail, Twitter and other social media outlets is expected, but proficiency in this area is not required.

Preferred candidates will possess excessive amounts of hubris, ego, and immaturity.  Stupidity also a plus.

Applicants will find a sense of humor, especially self-deprecating wit, to be  a detriment.  Stiff-necked snobbery and an attitude of either disdain or condescension is much preferred.  The ability to be patronizing also a plus.

You are not right for this job if any of the following apply:

You are a team player who possesses the ability to compromise especially when it’s in the interest of the voters you represent and the country in general.

You are caring, intelligent, idealistic and believe you can make a difference.

You believe doing what’s best for the country should take precedence over your personal glory. 

Contracts run four or six years depending on position sought and are renewable at the whim of the voters in the state where you live.  Several of our Senators and Representatives have worked a lifetime in these positions.  If this seems like the career for you, we suggest you aspire to their standards.  

To apply please contact your local political party affiliate office.

Note:  If you have held other government positions, especially an unelected (appointed) position, please state so on your application.  Several such “czar” positions are currently available and require no experience or training of any kind whatsoever.  If you subscribe to the theory that it’s not what you know it’s who you know, you may step into one of these newly created positions immediately.

Occasionally I like to take a break from writing novel-length fiction.  If this made you smile, please like or comment.

You can always visit me at www.barbmeyers.com

 

The Trouble with “Low” Morale

It’s come to my attention recently that morale is low in the workplace.  A couple of my fellow worker bees had to tell me such was the case because I had absolutely no idea we suffered from low morale.  What is this?  Where does it come from?

My dictionary defines morale as a “state of mind, especially associated in some enterprise, with reference to confidence, courage, hope, zeal, etc.:  the high morale of the workers.”

So if you suffer from low morale I guess that means in your state of mind you’ve lost confidence, courage, hope, zeal, etc.  You’ve lost enthusiasm for what you’re doing.  If that’s the case maybe you should be doing something else.

Notice the definition refers to a state of mind.  Which is your perception, your attitude.  So if you’ve decided you have low morale, you probably do.  You’re miserable in your job, you’ve got a bad attitude about it, your morale plummets, and sadly you start to bring everyone else at your place of employment down with you.

I’ve noticed how quickly low morale can spread.  One person’s discontent shared with another adds a layer, shared with another, adds another layer, until wah-la!  We’re all miserable and we don’t know why.  It’s because negativity spreads like wildfire.  All you need is to drop one unhappy person into the middle of a group where everything was just fine and pretty soon, one of two things will happen.  Either Mr. or Ms. Unhappy will find him or herself in the minority, ignored and ousted or their unhappiness and discontent will seep into the environment and poison it and everyone they touch.  Sadly, the latter happens much too often.

It’s surprising how often the misery has nothing to do with the workplace.  Unhappy people are unhappy with virtually every aspect of their lives, so naturally they bring that state of mind to work with them every day and look for some more things there to add to their misery.  They look for more people to pile on to their sympathy bandwagon.

Frankly, I don’t want to hear about how low morale is in the workplace.  What I want to know is what are YOU doing about it?  Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?  Have you lost your enthusiasm for your job?  Too bad.  It might be tough to duplicate or improve upon in the current market, but I encourage you to try, because I’m tired of your attempts to bring the rest of us down with you. 

My dad used to always say, “I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

Maybe a little gratitude for what you do have in the workplace would help.  Maybe if you tried to lift up and encourage your coworkers instead of reiterating how miserable they should be you would find a little more joy in your job.  Maybe, just maybe, you should consider what your life would be like if you lost the job you’re complaining about now and were unable to duplicate it.

It isn’t anyone else’s job to lift your morale.  Go back and read the definition of what morale is.  It’s a state of mind.  It’s your state of mind.  Your choice.  Your opportunity.

WHY I BLOG

Courtesty of WordPress’s Post-A-Week campaign, I now have a file full of blog topics.  Sadly, however, my good intentions to post at least once a week have fallen by the wayside since January 1, 2011.  This morning, I have a splitting headache, but bagels and coffee are on the way, so I’m going to make this valiant effort to post for all three of my loyal readers. 

I’m not sure I understood what a blog was or what it was supposed to be when I set mine up.  My web site’s host company offered it as part of the deal.  My web site exists to inform interested individuals about what I do (write) and a little bit about who I am, to give me a web presence and an identity.  A blog would be an extension of that, right?  Ultimately, would it help readers find me?  Would it generate interest in my book(s)?  I hoped so.

Here’s the problem with blogging on a regular basis:  What do you say?  It’s hard enough to pull bits and pieces of creativity together when you’re writing fiction and making things up on a daily basis.  Then you’re expected to come up with something else for a blog?  Something reader-worthy and interesting?  Color me tired.

I had years and years of journals from the past and I posted a lot of entries from those in segments listed under “My Vein, My Blood.”  They’re in the blog archives now.  I don’t think anyone read them.  At the time I thought they’d be a way for readers to get where I’m coming from, where I’ve been, how I think.  But does anyone care about your internal thoughts except you?  Since they were part of my real life, I had to abbreviate or change names to protect other real life people.  Maybe those posts make no sense to anyone but me.

The problem with blogging is having something to say.  Often.  Something interesting or funny or touching.  Something that will strike a note with readers.  Otherwise…why bother?  There are tons of blogs.  Why would anyone want to read mine?

The great thing about a blog is it’s totally and completely mine.  I can say whatever I want, post whenever I want, share whatever I want.  It’s a forum for no one but me.  If I need to vent or rant or share a funny story or if something’s on my mind, my blog is there.  Does it help me sell books?  Who knows?

Ultimately, I think we blog for the same reason we join Facebook and the same reason we carry around cell phones 24/7 constantly checking for text messages.  We want to feel important and interesting to someone besides ourselves.  We want to feel we matter, that we can share thoughts and ideas no one else has.  It’s a sad bid for attention.  “Hey, look at me!  Read ME!” 

So here’s my brilliant thought for the day:  Three Advil, bagels and coffee will cure just about anything.

For more brilliant insights visit me at www.barbmeyers.com

What made you decide to start a blog? If you’ve blogged about this before, go back and read it. Is that still the reason? What’s changed?

A Barista Bemoans

A Barista Bemoans

1. “I wanted that iced.”  Usually spoken at the hand-off counter by a customer who doesn’t know the difference between an iced drink and a hot one and didn’t order it iced so we assumed they wanted it hot.  Also usually after you’ve created the perfect hot beverage with perfectly timed shots and meringue-like foam.

 2.  “Can I get some water?”  Usually requested by an individual you’ve never seen before who has no intention of ordering or paying for anything.  Occasionally requested by non-regular customers who apparently have no running or potable water in their homes and must search out the local coffee emporium to order drinking water.  These individuals rarely have any concept of the appropriate use for words like “please” and “thank you.”

 3.  “I don’t want whipped cream.”  Usually this is mentioned after you’ve topped a drink that comes with whipped cream with the perfect dollop of whipped cream.

 4.  “Can I get that with skim milk?”  To which we might reply, “Yes, ma’am, we have non-fat milk.”  “Well, I’d prefer skim milk.”  Um, they’re the same thing.

5.  “This doesn’t taste right.”  Okay, we’re happy to remake it.  What doesn’t taste right about it?  “I don’t know.  It doesn’t taste right.”  Is it bitter?  Too sweet?  Too strong?  “It just doesn’t taste right.”

 6.  “One minute.”  This is usually followed by a finger in the air directed at whoever is trying to take orders and move the line along and is always offered by someone on a cell phone.  Get a clue, people.  If you’re on your cell phone having a conversation you are not ready to order coffee.  Step aside and conclude your phone call.  Then and only then should you get back in line.  The back of the line.

7.  “I don’t know what I want.”  Okay, then, step out of the line, study the menu board some more and narrow down your choices.  We don’t know what you want either, but here are some ideas before you step up to the register:  Do you want a hot drink?  A cold drink?  A drink with coffee?  A drink without coffee?  Something sweet?  Something not so sweet?  If you have questions, ask, but don’t stand there staring at the menu completely clueless when there are ten people standing behind you who know what they want.

8.  “Is this my vanilla latte?”  Usually asked right after you’ve set a vanilla latte on the hand-off counter and called it as a vanilla latte.  Almost always asked when there is only one customer waiting and the only thing ordered was a vanilla latte.

 Some more favorites: 

 The man who brings in his sandwich baggie full of coins and proceeds to count out three dollars or more in pennies, nickels and dimes to pay for his drink.

The people who hand you a ten or a twenty and wait until you’ve counted out their change, including the coins before they say, “Oh, I’ve got the change.”

The exercise freaks who stuff their money inside their sweaty clothes and then pull it out in a crumpled damp mess and hand it to you.

The woman who orders, and waits until you’ve rung up her order to place her gigantic purse on the counter and open it.  She then proceeds to search for her wallet, which is never in plain sight.  She must unzip/unsnap said wallet and root around for some dollar bills usually buried behind twenties and fifties.  Eventually, some ones will make it to the counter, where they will be counted slowly for the cashier’s benefit followed by, “I think I have the sixty-seven cents.”  The wallet will return to the giant handbag, there will be more rooting around for a coin purse and the same procedure will be followed until it is discovered that exact change is indeed not available as was earlier thought.  Coin purse is returned to the handbag, wallet makes another appearance.  Whereupon it is discovered that no more one dollar bills exist within the confines of said wallet and a twenty- or fifty-dollar bill is offered.  Meanwhile, ten minutes of everyone involved’s life has gone by and they will never get it back.

The man who orders a solo espresso, pours cold milk into it at the condiment counter then brings it back to you and asks if you have a microwave. 

Us:  No, we don’t. 

Him:  But my coffee’s cold.

Us:  Oh, did you pour cold milk into a one-ounce shot of espresso? 

Him:  Yes. 

Us:  That’s probably why it’s cold.

Ten Things I’m Sick Of:

1.       ASPCA sad puppy commercials. 

2.       Inarticulate political pundits. 

3.       Comedians who aren’t funny, they’re just mean-spirited.  (Calling those whose politics are different from yours nasty names isn’t comedy.) 

4.       Telemarketers.  Here is a partial list of things I don’t need and won’t buy from you:  storm shutters, insurance, an air conditioning check up, financial planning. 

5.       Poorly behaved children.  Screaming toddlers, whining pre-schoolers, mopey adolescents and surly teenagers.  Hello?  Parents?  Teach your children some manners.  Stop putting up with their disrespectful behavior and stop trying to reason with them when they’re throwing a tantrum.  If you need my help, just ask. 

6.       Women too afraid to sit on a public toilet seat but who don’t mind leaving a sprayof their urine all over it.  I now use more paper towels to wipe down the toilet seat than I do to dry my hands, because of these nasty women who can’t be bothered to clean up their own mess.  Why, if you’re not going to sit on it anyway, can’t you simply raise the toilet seat before you pee?  Just an aside for you paranoid freaks out there, in fifty years of sitting on public toilet seats I’ve never contracted an STD…or anything else. 

7.       Facebook.  I’m kind of over it.  Again.  Really, how many of those “friends” are your friends?  I think instead of calling them “friends” they should be called “people I sort of know and/or might have some sort of relationship with or did at one time.” 

8.       Tags inside new clothes.  What do they make these out of?  Sandpaper?  Even after I cut them out, the little bit left in the seam irritates my delicate skin.  I applaud the clothes manufacturers who simply stamp all the pertinent information on the inside of the garment. 

9.       Pajamas in public.  Seriously, when did we decide this was okay?  Although not as prevalent as it was a few years ago, whenever I see a teenage girl wearing a camisole and pajama bottoms I want to pull her aside and explain to her that pj’s are meant to be worn within the confines of one’s own home.  Period. 

10.     Women with boob jobs who insist on showing them off to the entire world with tight, cleavage-revealing clothing.  We get it.  You spent a lot of money on them and you want to show them off, but this is not like your husband showing off his new Porsche.  Follow guidelines in #9 above for appropriate venues in which to expose one’s boobs.  Unless you’re a stripper.    

I do welcome comments.  Come visit my web site:  www.barbmeyers.com

Barbara Meyers

Less Than Helpful

Make a will.  I don’t care who you are or what you have or don’t have.  Make a will.  Even if it’s a simple hand-written one leaving whoever you want in charge of your stuff (or lack of stuff) get it witnessed and notarized or whatever your state requires.  Make their life easier when you bite the big one.  Because if you don’t, here’s just one of the fun things they’ll go through: 

Let’s say you die and leave a couple of bank accounts with not that much money in them.  This is what happened to one of my family members. 

I have the bank statement.  I have the death certificate.  I have every bit of information you’d think I’d need.  Social Security Number.  Date of birth.  Etc.  I call the number on the statement (an account which happens to have been opened in California but it’s with a bank that has offices nationwide) to tell them of the death and ask what I should do to close the account.  I’m told to go to any bank office with a copy of the death certificate to close the account.  I don’t live in California, but there’s one of their bank offices near me.  And this individual didn’t die in California or Florida, but in Missouri.  But still, no problem, right?  I’ll toddle on down to the bank with a copy of the statement and the death certificate in hand and close the account.  No problem. 

Problem. 

First of all, I’m told laws in California differ from Florida laws and they can’t even access the account information.  Second, I’ll need more than a death certificate, I’ll need a letter of administration to get the money.  Well, truth be told, I wasn’t looking to get the money.  It’s not even that much money.  I just wanted to close the account and be done with one more detail of the estate.  But I can’t even do that without a letter of administration.  

Okay, great.  Where and how do I get this letter of administration?  At the courthouse.  Um, yeah?  Where at the courthouse?  What department?  The courthouse.  Ask at the information desk.  Okay, do I need to do that here?  In Missouri?  California?  Uh, we don’t know.  Go to the courthouse.  Can you say not helpful? 

What a complete waste of time.  Since I was only doing what the helpful person told me to do during the initial phone call.  

What I might do is absolutely nothing.  And in seven years, the account will be closed and turned over to the State of California.  And frankly, if they can deal with the aggravation they are welcome to it.

Barbara Meyers Blogs About Random Stuff

Is there anything better than walking across a clean wood floor?  I love the way the smooth wood feels on the bottom of my feet right after I’ve mopped my living room (and let it dry, of course).  As soon as the dog and the husband get their filthy paws on it, though, there goes that lovely feeling.  I could mop it more often, couldn’t I?  But I think we all know this about me:  I hate housework.

Speaking of dirty floors, what’s up the dog hair everywhere?  Pepper is shedding like there’s no tomorrow.  Not that it’s hot here or anything.

A customer complained to corporate about me.  Apparently, I was “rude” to her.  I’ve been “rude” to her twice.  Oh, and she can tell that I hate my job.

Sadly, I knew she was going to complain about me and I probably could have done something to preempt it, but I didn’t.  I told my manager he was going to get a complaint about me (and he did).  In fact, she’d already talked to him, he’d smoothed it over, or so he thought, and told her next time she came in her drink was on him.  Not good enough.  Nope.  She had to e-mail corporate, so that complaint filtered down through the district manager (who had a hard time believing this woman had such a problem with me) to my manager, who was obligated to inform me and then sort of said, “don’t worry about it.”

Oh, but I do.  Maybe it’s a good thing she complained.  Makes me more aware of what more I could be doing to see to our customers’ satisfaction from here forward.  In truth, I don’t know who this customer is.  If I had to pick her out of a line-up, I couldn’t.  I remember her drink order because I made it wrong the first time and had to remake it (she wanted half-decaf).  She told me the drinks looked runny when I was pouring them into the cups.  I said, “They’re not runny.”  Then she said it again.  I repeated my response and told her I’d made the drink to the company’s standard and they’re supposed to be pourable.  I guess that was rude.  I handed the drinks off, thanked her, told her to have a nice day or whatever, same thing I do with every customer. 

She and her companion sat outside and sucked the drinks down, so I guess they were fine.  She didn’t complain about the drinks, just about me. 

Alternative responses?  Anyone?  Anyone?

I could have asked her if she’d like me to make them thicker (easy to do, add more ice and re-blend them).  When she was sitting outside I could have asked her how her drinks were.  I thought of doing this, but then realized, for whatever reason, I wasn’t going to.  Maybe I just didn’t care enough that day.  And maybe she was extra sensitive that day.  If she thought my behavior was rude, she must be offended by every store clerk and restaurant server she comes in contact with. 

I wasn’t being legendary.  That day.  With that customer.  Oh, well.  In the future, if you want to complain about me, be specific.  What did I do that was rude?  What did I say?  How did I behave?  And how in the world can you tell whether or not I hate my job from such a brief interaction.  (If I hated it so much, would I still be there after six years?  Would I have all these pins on my apron?  Would I have been promoted?)  Seriously.  We’re all so quick to judge each other, aren’t we?

Driving the other day I pulled into a right turn lane in front of another driver who apparently thought there wasn’t enough room for me.  He laid on his horn and made a few hand gestures at me.  I waved to him in a “thanks for letting me in” sort of way.  I made the turn and he hung back.  I don’t know why.  I think the coast was as clear for him as it was for me. 

At the next stoplight when I was waiting in the left turn lane, he passed me blaring his horn and my companion said he veered toward my car.

Okay, I get it buddy.  You’re acting just like I used to.  It’s embarrassing and makes you look like a hot-headed fool. 

I don’t know why any of us behave this way on the road.  It’s not like we own the road any more than any of the other drivers.  It’s there for everybody.  And if someone pulls in front of you when you think they shouldn’t, and maybe they cause you to miss a light or something, seriously, what’s the big deal?  It’s a few seconds or minutes out of your life.  Is it worth getting that upset over?  Take the time you have to sit at that light and think of things you’re thankful for.  Say a prayer.  Breathe deep.  Turn off the radio and enjoy the silence. 

Know what else I hate besides housework?  Cooking.  Planning, shopping, creating meals.  I hate it.  I don’t care about it.  It drains my creativity and most days I can’t come up with one idea to have for dinner.  These refrain runs through my head:  We just had that.  I don’t want chicken again.  He doesn’t like that.  That’s too much trouble. 

Maybe it’s cooking for two that’s got me.  Maybe it’s that my husband and I prefer different things.  I could eat a bowl of soup or a salad for dinner.  He wants an entire meal.  Why I feel obligated to provide that in some way, I don’t know.  Force of habit, probably.

Since it’s Father’s Day, he’s lucked out.  I’m making chicken parmesan, salad and garlic bread for three.  They say everyone should have one meal they do well.  This is mine. 

Now I have to go the grocery store.