Wednesday, October 28, 2015

She has to pay for that!

The girl is a sweet shoplifter, Mia is.
She had no idea the free candy she'd just taken from the table at the carnival wasn't free.
She just knew she was happy to find her favorites: a bag of Sour Patch Kids, a bag of Skittles and a roll of strawberry Mentos.
She came into the auditorium and showed me her stash.
"I got this!" she said, "and some for Hannah and some for Adell."
I looked at her, 4 years old and so proud.
I didn't understand what had just happened until a loud voice behind her announced, "She has to pay for that!"
I looked at the lady who was puffing up behind Mia from the carnival outside.
"How much? I asked as it became apparent right away that this woman would not be denied her due.
"$3!" she said with a hand on her hip.
"OK," I started digging in my purse but I hadn't come prepared for cash purchases.
I had two paper dollars and a bunch of coins.
I looked at them briefly and handed everything over.
I know I had three quarters and at least four nickels and a bunch of pennies so I figured that was close enough.
"Here, I think that covers it," I said.
The lady looked skeptical.
"All right. We'll call it good," she huffed and took off.
I looked at Mia who had no idea she'd done anything at all wrong.
After all, we were at a Halloween Carnival where almost everywhere she went she got a free cupcake, a free toy and free candy.
What was the difference?
I thought about giving her the standard lecture that comes with a child taking gum from the store but then I thought, why?
"Enjoy!" I said, "and thanks for thinking of your sisters!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Car wash stress

It happened again.
I told myself this time it would be different. I would be successful. I would remain calm.
I would get my car in and out of the car wash without difficulty.
But once more, I stopped the works, made the horn blare and embarrassed myself.
See, since we bought the Nissan Leaf, I've run into trouble at the car wash.
For some undefined reason, I cannot get the car into neutral in time for the belt to grab the car and pull us forward.
The first time I assumed it was just because everything was new.
I felt much the same when I tried to drive the car off the lot at Ken Garff.
I was ready but the car didn't move when I told it to.
I soon learned that in order for the car to go, I had to put my foot onto the gas pedal (in an electric car there is no gas pedal) and the brake.
In this case, I had to push the start button and put my foot onto the brake, then put it into "D" for drive and slip into motion.
At the car wash, it had to be in neutral but try as I might, I couldn't find the "N" position.
The kid running the place shut everything down and came over to help. People behind me sighed.
He figured it out and the car moved on through.
The next time I thought I had mastered the move but again, I couldn't get the car into "N." Everything stopped and I felt stupid.
This kid said, "You have to push it over to the left."
I told Marc about my problem and he guffawed.
I asked him to go with me and guess what? He couldn't get the car into "N" either. The car wash operation came to a grinding halt.
The kid helped us and we got our car cleaned.
We told some friends and family about our situation and they had all kinds of helpful stories about how they knew people whose cars stopped and others ran into and over them.
Then we drove by the car wash and saw it under repair. The conveyor belt had broken.
So I was nervous this last time but I stopped in a parking lot prior to heading in and practiced.
I thought I had it mastered.
But no, once more I sat there and argued with the gear shift knob, moving it up and down and sideways until the kid asked permission to reach in and over me and put it into "N."
"Thank you!" I breathed as the brushes and water started going again.
"You just have to hold it for a minute," he said.
I dunno. I think I tried that.
I believe I need to get out a hose.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The big decisions in life

Does this look silly?

There's an old saw about who in a marriage makes the important decisions that goes something like this: "My wife makes the big decisions like how to create world peace and what to do when it comes to foreign policy. I make the smaller ones like how to spend the money, where to live..."
In our house, I handle the bills and the taxes and the general upkeep. I plan the meals for the most part.
Marc gets to choose what TV and Internet we have.
Right now, he's changing us over from Dish Network to DirectTV because Dish is raising the price after breaking its promise to save us money.
I have basically kept out of the negotiations because I can't stand it and I don't understand much of it.
All I want is to be able to watch the 10 p.m. news and an episode of "Bold and Beautiful" now and then.
I don't want to have to fuss much or think upon it.
After he chooses what we're doing, I learn the pathway through the remotes and away I go.
I only have trouble when the 2-year-old comes over and plays with the remotes. Then I have some stress until I figure out how to fix whatever he's done.
But generally I just go my way and expect Marc to figure out how it all works.
We tried a while ago to go with an antenna and a kind of Roku box but that was a disaster so I'm not complaining about this switch.
It's just a little ridiculous while we wait for DirectTV to get their act together.
Ennie, Minie, Mo...

They came right out and gave us a new recorder and a new satellite dish.
The set-up guy spent two hours at our house the first night trying to get the system to talk to our TV.
Then he went away and didn't come back.
And they've been pretty slow about returning to get their leftover cable and Dish doesn't seem anxious to get their dish back.
So we currently have two on our roof.
Both of them look huge to me.
Do they look silly to you?