Friday, November 19, 2010

Journal of a Living Lady #385

Nancy White Kelly

Thanksgiving…that traditional American Holiday where families all over the United States sit for dinner at the same time---Halftime. The rushing on the football field in no way compares to the sprint through store aisles the next morning.

Black Friday is a strange acronym for the biggest shopping day of the year. Who chose black of all colors? I can think of a more appropriate moniker? How about Blue Friday? That is the color of shopper’s feet after a day of foot-stomping by aggressive women waving discount coupons for the early-bird specials.

A few members of my family still participate in this annual tradition of rising at 5:00 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving. My daughter-in-law and her mother still do. I opted out after the first year as a three-some. Not that I am not invited each year, but I see a slight glimmer of delight when I politely decline. Then a giant smile breaks out when I offer to baby-sit.

I won’t miss Santa Claus or the malls. The first problem is finding a parking place. The second is that you must tussle with otherwise saintly women for the door-buster bargains. Even if you get the very last toy of the year, you must stand in a long, serpentine line that redefines forever. Just when you get to the register, the clerk closes the line. A moral decision must be made? Do you break into the adjacent line or go the end and start over? Oh, what fun!

I prefer to shop all year. By the time Thanksgiving arrives, I have most everything bought that goes under the tree. Then the task begins that I dread most…wrapping. I am not artistic, not even a little bit. My packages never look like those in the catalogs. An eight-year-old could do better. This year a close friend who loves to wrap gifts has offered to help. Thank you, my Martha Stewart Hummingbird.

If your name isn’t Martha and your culinary talents are lacking, I have some words to cheer you up if you burn the turkey.

You won’t have to worry about Salmonella.

The smoke alarm was over-due for a test.

Carving the bird will provide a good cardiovascular workout.

When the game is finally over, the guys can take the bird to the yard and play football.

Until next year, Happy Goobally-gobbally Gook.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Journal of a Living Lady #384

Nancy White Kelly

This is Thanksgiving month, a time to reflect on the blessing of family and friends. Most of us categorize friends: close, sort-of close, solid acquaintances from work, church and the neighborhood, old friends who no longer live near-by, very old friends from childhood, and new friends we haven’t known long enough to label. There are many sub-categories of friends, but you get the point.

My few closest friends are my confidants. We can banter freely without fear of betrayal. We don’t dress up for each other or need to call first before dropping by. They’ve seen my dust and dishes in the sink. I think nothing of their unmade bed. They would feel free to raid the refrigerator.

Within reason, I could borrow money from my closest friends or anything else of value. I could call on this special enclave day or night and they’d drop everything and come running.

It should be no surprise that they would expect the same responses from me and would get it. This sounds sappy, but you wouldn’t have to be a close friend to avail my help. Buddy was a Boy Scout. He can recite their pledge on cue and does so often. I like the part of being willing to help others at all times. I learned that in Sunday school, “Be ye kind one to another.”

But, be I am no goody-goody two-shoes. My foibles are many. I have personalized a well-known mantra: “Fool me once, friend, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Only once has a close friend hurt me deeply. It would be trivial to most people, but trust is hard to regain. That wound took a long while to heal so I give my trust cautiously. The past is the past and I choose not to dwell on things forgiven.

I cannot fail to acknowledge my internet friendships. Some acquaintances have never met personally, but a few relationships have truly blossomed. The first time I saw Judy she was lying in a casket. She fought a long battle with breast cancer. During that war, she and I must have exchanged a jillion keystrokes. Judy’s grieved husband asked me to give the eulogy for his wife. I was honored to do so. Friendships know no boundaries.

Thanks to the Internet, hardly a day goes by that I haven’t benefitted from at least one quasi-helpful email.

Why buy expensive cookies from Neiman-Marcus? I now have the recipe.

I no longer touch the bottom of purses for fear it has spent time on the floor of a public restroom lurking with ghastly microbes.

When eating in a restaurant I now keep my eyes on my Southern wine at all times. The tea glass goes where I go. Otherwise, I might wake up in a bathtub full of ice with my kidneys removed.

No more cancer-causing deodorants for me. It is far better to smell like a water buffalo all day.

Please don’t offer your hand for me to shake when you get out of your car. One of my cyber friends just advised me that the number one pastime while driving alone is picking one’s nose.

I keep my toothbrush in the living room. Experts say that water splashes over 6 feet from the toilet.

While I concede to being friendly, I admit to being stubborn. I adamantly refuse to give up my Diet Coke. Why should I worry about having cancer since I already have it? If you don’t have the Big C, , it might interest you to know that one cyber friend told me the ingredients in Coke are strong enough to dissolve a T-bone steak in 3 days.

With tongue in cheek, I transmit this foreboding notice to the Living Lady’s discerning readers: If you do not send this column to 166,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large bald eagle with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 tomorrow afternoon. The fleas from 120 camels will infest your body causing you to grown hairy bumps that attract bed bugs. I know this will occur because one of my Internet friends said it actually happened to her second husband’s cousin whose best friend is a local beautician.