Thursday, September 29, 2016

It Happens

I had hardly ever heard the phrase 'it happens' spoken to me, until this past month, where I heard it over and over. A few weeks ago, I had my first-ever car accident. Well, the first accident where I had to hang my head and accept blame. Then came the words, 'it happens.'

People said it when I had to explain what happened and what I had done. Personally, I never thought of a car accident as something that happens to everybody at one time or another. I think of slipping on an icy sidewalk that way. I think of getting your vehicle stuck in a snowdrift that way. I think of getting bucked off the chairlift and getting a face full of snow that way. Notice how all those accidents have to do with ice and slippery business? That's because that is the only justifiable reason I can think up as to why you should get into an accident. I feel like otherwise you should be fine.
Thus my accident makes me feel like the village idiot.

As part of my punishment, I was given a rental vehicle 14 years newer than my current ride. Can we say 'culture shock?' The guy renting it to me gave me a tour of all its features like a salesman. And I had to drive it all over town! PITY ME! I fretted to my hubby and he stroked my hair and told me in soothing tones that everything would be fine. He reminded me that I have been driving for many years and everything has always gone smoothly before. I felt all warm and comforted. Then my hubby was going to run an errand and I told him to take the rental so he could have the fun of driving a vehicle 15 years news than his. For a crooked man with a bad back and a stick... he can really move. And by move, I mean, back away from me as fast as he could and get into his little silver bullet that is, yes, quite a healthy teenager.

Now I feel this weird mixture of internal incompetence and external pampering. Anyone ever felt that? I feel like someone who just ate a tower of cheese fries knowing full well they were going out to dinner and then ate that too, only to vomit in the parking lot and ruin everything. I should have been given a rental car by some guy who snapped his gum too hard and just kinda pointed to the 1999 (insert least desirable car brand) with the peanut butter stain on the seat. Maybe if I had to ride around in a clunker (worse than my clunker), ruin at least one pair of my pants, and have to hold my nose while I drove, I'd remember 'it happens' and I wouldn't get into a car accident ever again.

Unless there was ice. I'd forgive myself for that.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Taylor Swift and Me

So Taylor Swift invited me to her mansion in Rhode Island this past weekend. She thought that I would be the perfect person to interview her about her scandals and blossoming romance with Tom Hiddleston. I asked her the perfect questions. She was gracious, ladylike in 50s fashion, while still obviously a fiery feminist full of spunk. Though I admit to being a bit bias. After all, she thought I would be the perfect person to capture her feelings during this tumultuous time in her career and love life. Why did she think this? Obviously because she's never heard of me.

Okay, none of that happened. What really happened was I read a news piece on how the new song by Calvin Harris This is What You Came For was actually written by Taylor Swift. So, I am not a Taylor Swift fan in that I mostly listen to music with no lyrics and can only recognize maybe half a dozen of her songs. But I was curious about that song, so I listened to it deliberately. As an author, I gotta say, it's not even a little bit confusing why she gave that one away and did not perform it herself. It's only half a song. Taylor's few songs that I know of are extraordinarily rich in lyrics. Though I will not admit to liking or disliking them. All I'm saying is that they paint a bigger picture than This is What You Came For which is quite empty in what it makes the mind conjure.

As a consequence of my reading this one article, my news feed exploded in news items about Taylor. Taylor and Calvin, Taylor and Kanye, Taylor and Kim, Taylor and Tom, Taylor and each member of her squad (unfortunately, that is not what you call a group of squid). Holy bananas on toast! I also read a piece I found very interesting on elder abuse, but my news feed didn't give me any other stories on that—just Taylor.

It's exhausting to have Google try to figure out my perfect newspaper by what I clicked on. Sometimes what I click on isn't what I find interesting in a good way. Sometimes I click on things I'm not excited about, but instead morbidly fascinated by. Even though I read it once does not mean I want my newspaper to be all about Donald Trump, or the new Ghostbusters movie, or Taylor Swift. It's like when you go somewhere you really didn't want to go and Google keeps on showing you the place on the map asking you if you're interested in commute times. Google has become your annoying kid who follows you around and tells everyone the worst cuss word they ever heard you say.

Anyway, I haven't decided if I'm going to pay money to see the new Ghostbuster movie. I guess it all depends on whether or not Taylor Swift can babysit for me.    

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Scent of Clean

I hate cleaning my house, but I do it because doing anything else means living in a house where the best tool for cleaning becomes a shovel and I cannot become that person. Since I feel so strongly about not living in a rat's nest, I read a lot of articles, blogs, and books about keeping your house tidy when you're only about a hair's breadth off of preferring to saw off your own arm. Most of these articles focus on the same things: legacy cleaning, and dashing to pretty up your house when company comes to call.

Personally, I prefer legacy cleaning and then just letting the chips fall when people come over. I do X amount of cleaning each day and if that's not good enough then <insert raspberry>. However, one aspect of speed cleaning for company really astonishes me. Each of these authors, bloggers, big fat know-it-all-ers, talk about how you have to do something after you clean to disguise the smell of your cleaners. I'm like, “Why would your house smelling clean be shameful?” They explain you don't want your visitors to smell the cleaners. I'm still confused.

Then I start thinking about the human body. What is not pleasing about the way a person smells when they get out of the shower? They have the mild smell of shampoo, maybe one or two other products. Personally, I never think the following thought about someone who just got out of the bath: “Ew! You smell like body wash. Get it off! Get it off! Go stand over a Scentsy until you smell like melted wax.”

I don't know about you, but loads of my different cleaners actually smell like a green apple or what someone imagines a mountain stream smells like. That aside, loads of these cleaning gurus clean everything with baking soda and vinegar, so again, what are they trying to hide from their guests? The smell of things they probably eat regularly?

There is also something curious I see on Pinterest regularly. It is the practice of putting vanilla in the oven on low heat to make your house smell heavenly. If I ever took to doing this, I can picture the outcome in my mind so clearly it's a bona fide prophecy of the future. My husband would come in the back door. He would breathe (because most men do that). His face would light up like it was Christmas morning and the biggest present was for him. He'd come up the stairs and enfold me in an embrace that let me know I was treasured beyond price. He'd say, “Whatcha making?” I'd open the oven to show him a bowl of hot vanilla. You would be able to freeze frame the exact moment his heart broke.

Long story short. When you are done cleaning, don't spray your house down with something that makes it smell like you were baking. Maybe don't make it smell like anything. Clean = Good.