Glancing up, I realize that my title is a bit ambiguous. The word “pack” can have many meanings, such as “a pack of gum,” or a “Cub Scout pack.” Or carrying a concealed weapon.
So let me state at the outset that the following is not intended to be a sequel to Orange Is The New Black, although murder could very well be one possible outcome.
But no. I’m referring to “pack” as in “packing.” Like putting clothes into a suitcase or a garment bag, or loading boxes into a car.
One of the rites of winter in Florida is the annual visit of the grandchildren. Four years ago I commemorated this event with an essay. Yesterday marked the end of another week that was long on fun, but short on time. So please forgive me while I repost. Four years later, some things have changed significantly, while others have not. Play-Doh and sparkles have been replaced by shopping excursions (this year it was the quest for the perfect Steve Madden shoes), competitive tennis, and a zealous interest in all sports teams whose names begin with the word “Boston.” The pool barrier is gathering dust in the garage. And the current dog doesn’t hide, but jumps right into the fray. Things that have remained the same: the food consumption, the exuberant energy, and the delicious chaos that resonates throughout the house. And, of course, there’s still the laundry. So if you’re reading this for the first time and have grandkids, I think you can relate. If you’ve read it before, maybe, if you’re like me, you won’t remember!
Please don’t stop reading. I promise that, despite the title, what follows is not a downer. Rather, it’s an observation, a practical consideration, and maybe even a little bit funny.
What precipitated my seemingly ghoulish reflection was an actual conversation I had with my husband, a semi-retired attorney, who, for the past three years has been vowing that this year would be the last. However, you did notice that the prefix is still attached to the verb.
When I was a young married person, I would sometimes find myself in the company of an older married couple who had been together for a very long time. And it was impossible not to notice that they would frequently disagree over the most unimportant subjects. And this disagreement would invariably lead to an argument.
I used to wonder to myself if this was the way they had been communicating for the past 40 years, and if so, they’ve done a very good job of concealing their battle scars. Or, could the pattern of their discourse be something more recent? And if so, what was the fatal wedding anniversary that became the turning point?
Friendships have a lot in common with a marriage. You are drawn to another person because, among other reasons, you like the same things, or he\she make you laugh, or because he is able to secure a reservation at the most popular restaurant in town.
But then an important issue arises about which you and your friend adamantly disagree. And suddenly your relationship is fodder for The Ladies Home Journal: Can This Marriage be Saved?”
Of course I’m referring to the current presidential election. I can’t recall a campaign that was this provocative or where emotions ran so high as to pose a threat to the very foundation of book clubs, canasta games, or rounds of golf.
When it comes to decluttering, the world seems to consist of two types of people: those who are able to divest themselves of inanimate objects once they’ve outlived their usefulness, and those who would sentimentally cling to an old rubber band.
Darned if I know why letting go of things is so difficult for some people, and so much easier for others, but I do know this. If you happen to be living with someone who is a “keeper” and you are inclined the other way, I suggest purchasing a helmet in preparation for repeatedly running up against that stone wall. Trust me. I speak from experience.
No doubt my priorities are all screwed up. There’s so much going on in the world that cries out for serious attention and consideration, and here I sit, obsessing about Viagra commercials.
Gun violence, Brexit, terrorist explosions, to say nothing of the upcoming political conventions during which two flawed candidates will be nominated to run for the highest office in the universe. It’s absolutely terrifying. In fact, I should be focusing on which country I would migrate to, if the flawed candidate with the orange face and comb-over should happen to win. But I’m not naming names here.
I am frequently confronted by a situation that would appear to be a statistical improbability but is nevertheless true.
My husband and I are out for the evening. Our destination is of little importance. We could be on line to purchase movie tickets, or waiting for our table in a restaurant. Or even preparing to board the first flight to Mars. It doesn’t matter. Invariably he will run into a guy he knows from high school.
What makes this so astonishing is that his high school class had all of 106 students, while my class had about 900. And yet, I bump into nobody.
Unless you’ve recently crawled under a rock, or have been hiding out on a Pacific island with the Japanese soldier who didn’t know WW II had ended, you must be aware that the much- anticipated film version of “Fifty Shades of Grey” was released this weekend, with the biggest advanced ticket sales of any movie. Ever.
If you, like me, are at that age where novel erotic positions are guaranteed to give you leg cramps, but don’t want to feel left out of the sexual frenzy, I offer you a reprint of my own, formerly released versions of two out of three of the “Fifty Shades” trilogy.
As I’m sure all of my literati friends already know, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is about a kinky relationship between a very unreal 27-year-old drop-dead gorgeous male who is a self-made gazillionaire, and a somewhat unreal beautiful 21-year-old female recent college graduate who is still a virgin. She is an English literature major with a perfect grade point average who nevertheless expresses her emotional astonishments by repeating the phrases “holy crap,” “holy shit,” and “holy fuck” on alternating occasions.
I am of the firm opinion that if a project is advertised as something you can do yourself, it should be exactly that. Yourself. Alone. No assistance required. And therefore, no possibility of discord with the significant other.
It is with this belief that, singularly, I have tackled furniture purchases from Ikea and Crate and Barrel, spending many satisfying moments on the floor with my phillips head screw driver, fitting Part A into Part B, and praying that this time, they have included the proper-sized screws in the little plastic bag with the assortment of fasteners.
When I’m finally finished, certain that I have successfully included all of the provided pieces, and have located my right leg, which has fallen asleep during the process, I stand proudly in front of my newly assembled bookcase. Yay me!
At times I feel like I’ve been transported back to the 60’s and am trapped in that old ad for Grant’s Scotch.
Remember that ad? Don’t try to tell me you weren’t born yet. (Well some of you weren’t born yet, but very few.)
I’m not sure how many bottles of whiskey they sold, but the slogan As Long As You’re Up, Get Me a Grant’s had a major impact on popular culture. It went viral before there was such a thing as “viral.” It was a subject of a famous New Yorker cartoon and found a home in the Yale Book of Quotations, in the company of such other blockbusters as I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.