Chapter 2: (v.2) Part 2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 24

Cleaning Out the Refrigerator

Ugh! Every couple of weeks or so, it’s time to play “what’s green and fuzzy and living in the back of the refrigerator?” I always vow to keep up on the leftover rotation, but somehow it always gets away from me. I made up my mind years ago that I would not invest in any expensive plastic containers because of this very day right here. All the plastics I own are old cottage cheese tubs, margarine tubs, yogurt cups, etc., because when it’s all said and done, most of the containers will be tossed, along with the unknown concoction that was once part of a food group. 

We always have leftovers from Chinese takeouts - like shrimp with vegetables, minus the shrimp. All that’s left now are some limp bamboo shoots and a tired piece of broccoli. Oh, but we have rice. Boy, do we have rice! Why do I always end up with like five cartons of rice? I HATE RICE! 

As I cautiously peel back a lid, I brace myself. Will it be green or blue? Fuzzy or slimy? Will I be bowled over by its overwhelming stench? What is this, or better yet, what was this? I move slowly down to the vegetable bin. This right here would be a treasure trove for Jonas Salk. I’ve had this onion forever. It’s hard to tell about onions because this one still feels and looks okay. It doesn’t give me much of a hint as to its age (and I can’t really go by smell, can I?) 

I have to think back on when I did a big grocery shopping because why else would I buy an onion unless it were for some special recipe or something? It’s not like I know how to cook with them or anything! And I still don’t know why I insist on keeping that last bite of pie. I mean, it’s literally ONE bite. I don’t want to waste it, yet I’m not a big fan of pie. 

Let’s see here. Oh, here is maybe a half cup of milk in a gallon jug. That makes me so mad! It just hangs out there, daring me to dump it down the sink for the sake of more room. But I don't. I figure I can make some onion soup or something with it later. (Perhaps someone may want a tad of milk to go with their bite of pie?) 

It’s funny. When I’m cooking, everyone asks the same question they do when they find leftovers. “What the heck is that?” I guess coming out of the fridge as a great mystery or going in as last night’s leftovers seems to mean the same thing around here. 




I Just Don’t Get Kids

I consider myself pretty lucky to have worked in a children’s learning center. By the time it was all said and done, I suppose you could say I was the one who learned the most. Through the years, I have made my own observations about children, and I could never figure out why some kids would start crying when their parents came to pick them up. 

They would catch a glimpse of dad or mom, drop their book and hold out their arms in feverish desperation, sobbing the whole time. I guess you could say their emotions got the better of them. I knew right then that these were going to be the people that tear up when watching old reruns of soap operas! 

Another child would run away as soon as his mother came to get him. Here she was so happy to see him after a long day without him, and he’d just jump up and run away. I always felt sorry for the mom whose child wouldn’t come and give her a big hug. Her fading smile was evidence of her sadness as her daughter ran to take refuge in the playhouse. (I ventured to say these children were probably going to be independent.) 

The ones that really puzzled me, though, were the kids who would start acting out the minute mom came up to the door. They had been fine all day, but the minute they saw mom, they ran off, just stopping long enough to smack a toy out of another child’s hand or jump on the pile of mats that any other time they knew was a no-no. 

When it was finally my time to go home to my own family, I encountered pretty much the same scenario there. 

My daughter cried uncontrollably because her brother had torn up her book, my oldest son ran and hid in his room so I wouldn’t get on him about his unfinished chores, and my oldest daughter stopped long enough to slap her little brother in the head. “That’s for playing my video game without asking!” 

Yup. My job just followed me home. The only difference in the kids was, oh, I’d say about fifteen years. 



Wink Wink

Do you recognize yourself in these comparisons? As I converse and interact with people throughout the day, I have to smile at the differences and similarities that interweave us all into this fascinating socialized ‘human cloth.’ 

When some people talk to me, their sentences are monotone and matter-of-fact, and their sober looks mirror their words. But as soon as they are finished talking, they flash a smile. Do you know which people I mean? Their conversation is a repetition of saying a monotone sentence and flashing a smile when finished. It’s like their verbal P.S. 

Some talk and their sentences sound perfectly normal until they get to the end. Then the last few words trickle off into a chuckle, followed by a hearty laugh. There are people who mumble the first part of their sentence, and as it gets nearer to the end, their voice becomes louder, and they accentuate the last few words. “I told my son-to-Come INSIDE!” There are some who talk while distracted by something else. You know that they have totally lost their train of thought in your conversation when they continue to speak, but their eyes move to something or someone else. Sometimes they don’t even finish the sentence. “I told Mark that I would…” 

Would WHAT? I’m standing there still waiting to see what she told Mark, but it never comes! 

Still, there are the people who say their entire sentence and then end it with a nod. They purse their lips and nod in a matter-of-fact fashion (sometimes you get a little eyebrow raise to go along with it).

And finally, the person who flashes a wink when they’re talking- I think I am guilty of this one. As I’m talking to somebody who happens to be with other people, I may wink at those standing next to her. I suppose it’s my way of inviting others into the conversation.

I don’t know. I always found it rather rude when a person was talking to a friend of mine who was right next to me and didn’t even acknowledge that I was standing there too, blatantly ignoring me as if they were deliberately trying to keep me out. The conversation may be none of my business, and that’s fine, but perhaps talking about something less personal would be more fitting while in the company of others. 

For instance, if I’m in a social situation, telling my friend something like “I saw your husband with another woman last night” is NOT the best thing to bring up when the rest of her friends are all standing around next to her. Not only is a comment like that vague and confusing, but it also becomes awkward for everyone else.

 To put others at ease, I try to keep the conversation light. I’ll say something casually and maybe pass a wink to anyone around- unless, of course, the woman standing next to my friend IS the other woman I saw her husband with. Then she, in my opinion, warrants an extra “wink!”

 

Chores

Dear kids:

Since I can’t seem to get a hold of you any other way, I’m infiltrating your social media sites so I can give you today’s chore list. I left it on the refrigerator, but since nobody wants to eat what’s in there, I suppose you haven’t seen it yet. I figure I would have better luck this way…

Cory: Please get up and pull all the empty beer bottles out of the flowerbeds. While you’re at it, pick up the guy that’s passed out in my petunias. I think he’s been there since the girls’ graduation party. Just because you don’t recognize him from the back is no reason to walk by him hourly and not attempt to resuscitate him. 

Erin: You must pick up all the clothes that are strewn out all over the floor in the basement. I think one of Danny’s friends went down there to play, but I never saw him leave (perhaps he’s the guy in the flower bed - just all grown up now.)

Dina: How many times have I told you, you cannot put your makeup on while playing video games? There’s eyeliner everywhere! And was it you who drew on the cat with a marker? I don’t care if it is washable- he doesn’t look too happy with that big, pink streak down his back. He can’t even lick it off of himself. (The other cats are making him feel very unwelcome on the back fence.) 

Danny: It's that time of year again. No, it’s not your birthday; it’s time to take a bath. I’m going to come home and check the soap bar. If it’s dry, you’re gonna get it! (And holding it under the tap doesn’t count.) I put a piece of tape somewhere on your body as you slept. If it's still there when I get home, I’ll know you really didn't take your bath. Oh, and this time don't keep your clothes on just to save a few minutes.

And finally, dinner. I can’t afford to order take-out, and you can’t be running to get hamburgers every night, so I took the liberty of cooking something. Dina, I don’t know why you insist on starting your diet every time I put something on the table. There are starving children all over the world who would love this dinner. 

Danny! Did I just hear you say you can have UNICEF over here in twenty minutes to pick up this meal? Not funny, young man. There are some extra chores in it for you this week. 



Hey, What Happened to That? 

I thought this was gonna be the year. The year of ME. The one where I would take some time out to decompress, think, ponder and work out. It hasn’t really happened, though. I meant well. I thought I’d begin running, so I jogged on down to our local ice cream parlor -bad idea. Then I thought I’d call 1-800-HEYFATy to get some positive reinforcement, but I accidentally dialed Pizza King (so I ordered a LARGE.) 

Today I thought I’d go over to the workout room and get on the treadmill. It’s pretty sweet, I must say. There’s a cool TV, pretty little guest soaps in the ladies' room, and the treadmill is all decked out! It comes complete with a pulse meter and calorie counter and even has a little tray for all my snacks. I jumped on with a towel around my neck, just like the pros do it. I was pumped. I hit the ON button and began. I could hear the theme from “Rocky” playing in my head. It got louder and louder; it kept pushing me to go harder and harder until I realized - it was the theme from Rocky playing on the television, so I jumped off, popped some popcorn and went and watched the movie. 

Ahhh, the year of ME! 



Resume 

If you were asked to list ten good things about yourself, would you be able to do it? Would you struggle to find them? I wonder if a person who jotted down ten items very fast would be considered arrogant or conceited? What about the one that couldn’t think of one thing? Too modest? Embarrassed by their own achievements? Illiterate? 

I always found it hard to complete a resume or application because of the achievements part. I don’t want to sound haughty by ‘tootin’ my own horn,’ yet I want the company to know that I can and do make strides in my life. 

When listing hobbies, I always seem to put the same things. “I enjoy playing drums, writing and interior decorating.” I often wonder if they’re looking for hobbies that would be more relevant to the job I’m applying for. I guess I could say, “I enjoy playing drums on my desk” or “interior decorating my cubicle.” 

The business summary is the part where I tell them what I actually do at work and why. I find if I make up fancy names and titles for my tasks, it takes on a more attractive appeal. For instance, I don’t want to just say, “I perform data entry.” Instead, I’ll say, “I calculate and input vital information into the client’s electronic files.” See how cool that sounds? If you are a janitor, you might say, “I transport refuse materials via our waste receptacle venue.” Oh, that is too cool! Who wouldn’t wanna hire a guy that does that? 

There is a part that asks about special mentions or awards. I was nominated Employee of the Month several times. Well, more like once a month every month for a year. (I guess that was the advantage of working in a one-person office.) And finally, they want a list of references. Now, ya never wanna list a person that you forgot to invite to a party or whose cat you accidentally ran over. Remember, you wanna get this job!  Why, I suppose if one gets good enough at creating a resume, that could become a career choice in itself!




Go Get Your Moms and Dads

Since social networking is really geared more towards younger people, I say, “hey kids, go get your moms and dads! I’ll wait.”

“Are they here? Okay.” 

This is to all the moms and dads who were teenagers back in the 70s like I was. Face it; life was much easier, wasn’t it? 

Parents: Remember when we could brush our long, thick, lustrous hair without having to recheck the sink to see how much had fallen out or see that our ever-growing bald spot was covered? Take sunbathing, for instance. I used to jump out of bed, brush my hair, don my swimsuit and lay in the sun for hours. Now I can’t even GO in the sun for fear of aggravating my crow’s feet or spontaneously “bursting into flames” when my hot flashes reach their boiling point. 

Some of us ladies used to climb out of the car and jump on our guy friends’ backs for a piggyback ride into the house. That was then. Now, we need help getting out of our car from our guy friend, if we even HAVE a guy friend, and if we do, we certainly won’t risk jumping on his back. Chances are his osteoporosis would make that impossible anyway. 

To add insult to injury, we have to tug and pull at our blouses to ensure our ‘fat bulges’ are covered and that our big, spandex elastic-waist pants aren’t too short. Heaven forbid if they drag on the ground as our jeans did back in the day. Remember that? The more they dragged in the dirt, the cooler they were. Now our pants just might cover our white, rhinestone-studded sandals. 

Remember how we used to sit in the car with our bare feet perched up on the dashboard? I’m lucky to be able to get my feet off the ground now. And how easy was it to squat down and look at something close to the ground? Now, some of us have to actually fall into a sitting position, tuck and roll, then hope that someone will be around to help us back up! 

Guys: Try getting out of the car like you did when you were seventeen. No holding your breath until you’ve cleared the steering wheel and no pushing the seat back until it’s practically hanging out the back window. 

Music: Two words. Eight Tracks. Mind you, these may seem a tad ‘lame’ to you kids, but at least they didn’t get as jacked up as the stupid CDs you kids had a few years ago. My kids insisted that I ruined them by holding them wrong. Pahleezz - I know how to hold a CD. Remember, I grew up in the frisbee era! 

Well, you know what they say - “what goes around, comes around,” and I have a feeling you kids are going to be enjoying the same lava lamps, giant, fuzzy, smiley face pillows, earth shoes, bean bag chairs and click clacks that we enjoyed. What are click clacks, you ask? Two large marbles on a thin string, capable of severing a finger or other appendage or even shooting out an eye with a flying shard of glass. 

Oh, the good ol’ days!



Ca-Ching

Why does this always happen to me? When I go to my own bank to withdraw my OWN money, the teller always has to go to the back room to talk to her coworker. They close the door, and each of them takes turns tossing out that seemingly indignant glance attached to a big, fat ‘tsk tsk tsk.’

I don’t know why I’m nervous; It’s not like I handed her a note saying I’m robbing the place or anything. Gee whiz, lady, I just want my money! 

They seem to take a long time, too. What could they be saying back there? The coworker pulls up his screen, and the teller turns her back to the window. I stand there, nervously playing with the pens taped to those giant plastic flowers. Maybe they’re looking over how many times I’ve gone to the liquor store in the past week or how many withdrawals I’ve taken from the ATM. I swear the coworker just said, “Hmm, dinner out again?” The teller shakes her head, takes a long look at me, then shakes her head again. 

Uh oh. They’re eyeing my latest charges: 10 pairs of earrings from Earduds, cellulite cream from Pamela Daley’s own “This Fat’s Gotta Go” line, and an Abracadabra salad spinner from that annoying man on the late-night infomercial. Hey man, give me a break! All I have to show for my life is cellulite. I may as well have a great pair of earrings to show it off with. And if you must know, the salad spinner was a birthday gift to myself!As far as eating out goes, I don’t know how to cook, okay? And, if you had MY kids, you’d need to go to the liquor store every few days too. 

I guess they get a little upset because the minute I hand them a deposit, I just move two steps to the left and hit the ATM again. Ca-ching! I think they know I’m gonna withdraw it. 

They need to lighten up. After all, that brand new Mercedes the bank officer just drove off in? Yeah, my overdraft fees helped pay for that! 

 
























 


Submitted: August 05, 2022

© Copyright 2022 mari' emeraude. All rights reserved.

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