The Love Gift

kid playing video game

Excerpt from my book: Mom’s Eye View

The price of love does have a dollar amount.

The holiday season is upon us and so are the vultures. As their unsuspecting victims, they always seem to swoop down when we’re at our most vulnerable. They come at us at the time of year when we worry about how we’re going to find the money to pay for fuel, fill the cupboards with food, make the car payment, as well as buy Christmas presents.

This is when the vultures tempt us with the allure of an easily acquired, high interest rate credit card, which seems like the answer to our prayers.

Resist! Resist I say! But the pull is strong and the process so simple. Approval is almost guaranteed as long as you have a job and have been paying your bills on time. When the card arrives, just days before Christmas, it seems so beautiful; its shiny exterior lulling us into a false sense of financial security.

We tell ourselves, “it’s only a few thousand dollars, I can double up on payments and have it paid off in no time.” Or, “no problem, I’ll just pay it off after Christmas.”

Yeh right, that never really happens…most of us will only make the minimum payment and then bitch about the outrageous interest rates and how we’re getting shafted by the credit card companies. This is our punishment for being sucked into the world’s biggest scam in the first place. It’s the trade-off we make in order to indulge our expectant offspring.

As parents, we hate to disappoint our children. They’re the proof that our time here on earth hasn’t been wasted. They’re the ones who will carry on our family name, hopefully make it mean something in the future. They’re the ones who’ll make our family tree grow bigger and fill it with more apples. So, the last thing we want to do is piss them off.

They tell us they’re worthy of these gifts that they so desperately need. That to shower them with these gifts shows them the depth of our love. And if refused these wondrous commercial trinkets, the words, “you don’t love me!” will bounce off the walls of the house for days.

So, we grit our teeth and choke on the bile that rises in our throats as we agree to the credit card’s horrific and unrealistic terms of service and then reluctantly hand over a good portion of our paychecks to their out-stretched, greedy hands.

Then next Christmas when we again hear the cry, “if you loved me, then you’d get that for me!”

We’ll hand our blessed, darling children the bill from last year’s love-fest and say, “remember last Christmas when you had to have that gaming system and headset and the games to go with it? Here’s the love bill for that.”

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Elusive Success

From my poetry notebook…This Ain’t Shakespeare.

elusive success

Feeling of failure
Constantly plague
Touching with tips
The glory desired
But never grasping
Seeing others move ahead
Efforts are doubled
Trying too hard
Rejection scorches
Discouraged
Confidence diminishes
Frustration overwhelms
Setbacks impede creativity
Unwilling to give up
Tenacious and obstinate
Perseverance and time
Luck and unshakable belief are allies
Success will be found
If faith in ourselves never falters.

The Playground

From my book…Mom’s Eye View.

 

abandoned playground

There’s nothing as lonely as an overgrown playground with rusting equipment. The sight of an abandoned school yard bereft of the sounds of children at play, is like seeing a backyard pool with autumn leaves floating across the darkened water. It reminds me of the passing of seasons and the loss of lazy afternoons filled with fun and laughter.

I stand and look at what once was a small schoolhouse, now converted into a home. I see, in my mind, the shadows of its former life. The windows lifted open wide on a warm spring day, the fresh air clearing out the chalk dust and mustiness of a classroom that’s been closed off for the winter. I can see the doors suddenly banging open as children rush out to claim the spring day as their own.

children running to the playground

They burst onto the schoolyard, a bundle of tamped down energy, charging towards the once shiny swings. The swing’s only purpose, to aid in its young pilot’s flight into the heavens.

children on metal swing

I can visualize the crooked line of impatient children waiting to mount the first step that will lead to the top of a gleaming slide. I see the sun beating down on its surface, warming it to a finger jumping touch. The glare from the sun on the shiny slide, momentarily blinding the children; causing them to squint before flying down the length of the slide.

I imagine hearing the playful screams of little girls being chased by boys. Boys climbing over one another as they scale the jungle gym; racing against one another in order to be the first to make it to the top.

On the asphalt, jump rope fanatics twirl and skip to a monotonous and lyrical beat. Still others hopscotch into chalked squares after throwing down a pebble.

The sound of a basketball slamming against a backboard; then the resounding thwack of it hitting the tar, prompts a whoop from a child who is now two points ahead in the game.

A whistle tweets and a loud chorus of disappointment echoes across the playground. Children reluctantly shuffle across the school yard to line up, single file, then obediently re-enter the small house of education.

I walk over the to now-faded leather seat of a swaying swing and sit. I automatically push off and begin to pump my feet, then arch my back in an effort to increase momentum. I close my eyes and think back to a little girl who also yearned to reach the heavens.

When I open my eyes, I realize how quickly the years have flown by and I’m saddened by the passage of time. There are so many demands on being an adult that there seems no time to relax. Would I want to be a child again? I don’t think so. To go back would mean to relive my life. Though there are many moments that were wonderful, there are also moments of heartbreak and sorrow.

Still, it would be nice to feel that carefree spirit of when I was a child. To once again believe in nothing more than being able to reach the heavens, on playground swing.

girl on swing

 

From my book, Mom’s Eye View

New Year’s Resolutions…

happy new year

It’s time to move forward and onward into the New Year with a new determination…for at least two weeks anyway. Just what am I determined to accomplish for the New Year? Well, hopefully lots. First and foremost, my resolutions are going to be kept. You doubt me? Don’t. Because this year’s resolutions are going to be keep-able.

curvy woman.png

 

Promise to lose ten or twelve pounds? Nope. I promise to keep them. I’ve already gone and bought new clothing to accommodate the new, curvier me.

Start an exercise routine? And lose those nice new curves? Feels good to fill out my jeans for a change.

cold pizza.jpg

Eat healthier? What’s wrong with cold pizza for breakfast?

Stop robbing my savings account and actually do some saving? Save for what? My death?  My retirement? At this point, there is likely to be no retirement coming my way. Pretty sure I’ll be working until I die. So why not enjoy that money while I can?

Keep up on the laundry and housework? Then how would I plan my days off without those things looming over my head?

family time

Spend more time with the family? I’d love to, but my firstborn lives a hundred miles away and my other child has his own thing going on and doesn’t need his mother hovering over him. He’s more than happy with our caveman conversations. “Yup. Nope. Love you too.”

netflix logo

More romantic times? I’ll continue to scroll through Netflix to find the perfect romance.

See? Easy resolutions that are easily kept.

I May Not Be a Woman After All….

pile of magazines

Reading a woman’s rag mag was quite an eye-opener for me. Being a woman, I thought I had the whole “woman” thing figured out. Come to find out, I know squat about being a woman. I discovered I was so far out of the loop that I almost wasn’t even a woman.

Here’s a list of the finer points of being a woman that educated me.

  1. That women on the backside of forty…well, pushing the fifty mark…are sexy! Who knew? I guess a lot more men than I thought are excited by a woman that has had some life experiences and isn’t afraid to show her true self. In fact, it seems to take the pressure off of them to not be so concerned about how they look.

guy watching tv

2. That Alpha women are highly sought after. An independent woman who can take care of herself, pay her own bills, is assertive, aggressive and opinionated isn’t such a bad thing after all.

50 shades

3. That a woman’s body is her temple…she just needs to know how to accessorize it properly.

scarf

with half a scarf.

woman and sheet

a perfectly placed sheet

angels

and those damn wings.

4. Make-up is now done in a way that it needs to look like we’re not wearing make-up…despite the layers we’ve troweled on to make it look that way.

lots of makeup

5. Exercise is still one of the healthiest ways to stay young. Just stay away from gyms where young people go.

booty shorts

But if forty/fifty plus is considered sexy, well dammit what the hell is sixty gonna be? I’m gonna rock my independence by wearing what I feel like and doing exactly what makes me happy!

uma thurman pulp fiction

 

I’m Slacking…

My goodness, it’s been that long since I posted? What the hell have I been doing? Yes, that’s right…working retail. And this is retail’s busiest season. I’ve been slugging away at customer service for over twenty-five years now, and although it’s exhausting and the customers are just as exhausted as myself, I still smile and wallow through.

A customer once asked me how I could always be so happy and smiling all day long when things are so miserable this time of year?

unhappy shopper woman

My response, “that’s what I get paid to do.”

smiling sales clerk

Although my line of thinking was really this, “how can you be so pissy and sour-faced all day long?”

Retail is tough, if you’ve never worked behind a check-out counter at Wally-world or scanned groceries fast and furiously this time of year, you’re one of the lucky ones.

So, the next time you find yourself harried and ticked off because of the crowds of parents with howling babies and short-tempered momma and daddies…

angry shoppers 2

Think of me. The smiling idiot that hears that kind of “holiday cheer” and Christmas “music” day in and day out from the day after Halloween right up until the blessed release from hell, on December 26th.

relief