Tuesday, July 14, 2015


I am a terrible Facebooker.  Or bookee . . . bookist?

As I said.

Today I discovered how to get to a hidden place for messages sent via Facebook, and began answering all twenty-six of them.  Twenty-six.

“I read your post today,” a new blog reader of mine wrote. “Love, love, love!” she said.

“Oh, thanks,” I replied. “Hope you keep reading!”

She at least kept writing. I heard back from her a few minutes later when she pointed out how long ago she sent the compliment—two years ago.

Hoo boy.

Am I the last person on earth to learn about . . . the OTHER box? I hadn’t heard of the OTHER message box Facebook created until last week when I tried to send a private message to a friend that I can’t friend.

“Your message will go to their OTHER box,” Facebook interjected, “because you're not their friend. Unless you pay one dollar,”  they added.

What? Is Facebook charging tolls now? I’m not paying a dollar when I can email for free. Especially when Facebook won’t let me be her friend.

My friend emailed and asked me to be her friend, which seems kind of backwards to me since we’ve been friends for a while now. But once I found her on Facebook and tried to friend her, there was no friend button to push on her page. So I emailed her back to ask her where her button is.

“My daughter came over this afternoon and we can’t find your button, either,” she wrote.

I didn’t know I don’t have a button. Now I’m missing both my button and my OTHER box.

Why do I even have an OTHER box? What was wrong with my FIRST box?  And where did I lose my button?

I think I figured it out this afternoon, though. They must have put my button in the OTHER box.

That’s just no way to treat friends.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Tooth Fairy Is My Hero

Jules isn’t a baby anymore.

She reads a little, swims a lot, and in a couple of weeks is going into kindergarten. But most of important of all, she has loose teeth. When you’re four going on five, that’s almost as big a deal as getting married.

Last night was exciting for her—her first baby tooth departed this life, leaving her a tiny bit toothless.
But it didn’t go without a fight. She and Allie and Will came to play at our house while their mama taught a few piano lessons at home yesterday, and Katy texted us before we picked them up.
“There’s a good chance Juliet will lose her first tooth today. You gotta take a picture for me if she’s at your place!”
Jules was pre-occupied all afternoon, focused on wiggling the little escapee with her finger and not so much on playing with the dolls. She definitely had a lot on her mind. But when it was time to take the kiddos home, there were no pictures.
The tooth was still hanging on.
We picked up a pizza on the way, and sat around the table with Katy and the kids, talking and eating. Suddenly, Jules was crying—that little tooth was trying to make a run for it. Turns out, hand tossed crusts are as good at twisting loose teeth as caramel apples.
But the tooth was still there—just a little sideways now. And instead of excitement, Jules had fear in her eyes.
“I don’t want you to pull it, Mama,” she said, as tears ran down her face.
“My teeth didn’t hurt at all when they fell out,” big sister, Allie, tried to encourage her.
“It’s just like pulling a carrot out of your garden,” I told her. “It doesn’t hurt the carrot and it doesn’t hurt the ground.” Guess how well that sage advice went over. Grandmas can’t remember how it feels to lose teeth. Well, some of them can.
But Katy had the magic answer. 
“Do you want to talk to Daddy?” she asked.
Jules wiped away a tear and nodded. So they got him on the phone, switched it over to face time so he could see the renegade tooth all the way from his fire station, and Jules started smiling again.
“You don’t have to pull it out,” he told her. “Just keep wiggling it with your tongue.”
“Yeah,” she said cheerfully, “I think it’ll come out tomorrow on Dependence Day!”
Firefighter daddies save the day every time. Jules went back to eating, we went back to talking, Daddy went back to working, and a few minutes later Katy asked Juliet to open her mouth so she could check on the dangling tooth.
“Jules!” she said in surprise. “Your tooth is gone!”
We all looked at each other and then at the gap in her mouth. Sure enough, the tooth was gone. Really gone. It wasn’t in her mouth or on her plate or stuck in her pizza. We expected more tears then. Cuz how do you explain to the Tooth Fairy that you still want her money but it might be a lot harder for her to retrieve the tooth she came for?
But Jules was jubilant. And trusting. She knew the Tooth Fairy would do the right thing. She and Allie went in to the craft table in the other room and, pencils in hand, explained everything—Jules with a hand drawn sketch of the whole event, and Allie with a written explanation on behalf of her little sister.

They put the documentation under Jules’ pillow later that night, and the Tooth Fairy—who wasn’t attending her first rodeo—made good with the money.
I think of all of childhood’s heroes, the Tooth Fairy is my favorite—even more than Santa Claus.

She doesn’t care if you’ve been good or bad, she doesn’t watch you while you sleep, and she doesn’t make you wait all year before she brings good things to you. Most important of all, though—if you accidently swallow the evidence, she still keeps her end of the bargain.
And whether you’re four going on five, or forty-nine going on fifty, we all need that kind of grace in our lives.
Thanks, Tooth Fairy. You rocked it again.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What's The Problem?

I drove into the drive through. I ordered my iced decaf at the triple-caffeine-beverage-store. I waited patiently as the car in front of me waited patiently, too, and finally got his drinks. Then I waited even longer to get mine. I drove out the other side of the drive through and took a big gulp . . . of a fully caffeinated drink.
Until that happened, I had no signs of hormonal dysfunction. Which is the reason I drink decaf.
So I drove around to the beginning of the drive through line again because it’s in the triple digits here and that’s why God invented drive throughs—no one walks outside in the daylight in Phoenix in July.  No.One.  Now there were three cars in front of me and I’d already waited four times too long in this line thirty seconds ago.
I looked in the rear view mirror and saw no one.
I turned down both side mirrors and began easing out of the circular drive through, praying with perseverance and asking with full-on faith that no one would plow into the back of my truck while I backed out. That’s when I saw her—the woman in the red truck who impatiently waited for me to finish my circus act. Still, prayer works and we did not meet by accident.
I parked, leaving my truck at the mercy of the sun where the air conditioned temps disappear through the cloth and glass interior like water through a sieve. I went inside where no one waited in line, two people sat at separate tables in the gigantic room, and three baristas stood behind the counter. In short, it was human error with no extenuating circumstances. So I politely told one of employees I had ordered a decaf but didn’t get it.
“Not a problem,” she answered, taking my cup and starting over.
Have I not blogged about this before?
Yes, there IS a problem! 
It’s a first world problem, admittedly, but it’s still a problem!  It was a problem for me. I didn’t want to park my car and walk out into the furnace we call ‘summer in Arizona,’ or I would have done it the first time around. I didn’t want to order this drink twice. I didn’t want to back out of the drive through because there was no “through” happening in the drive.
Not only that, I’m not the one who caused the problem. So why did the person who made the mistake tell me she wouldn’t hold it against me if she had to re-do the order she messed up?
I’ll tell you why. Because no one says “I’m sorry” or “You’re welcome” anymore. Polite responses, appropriate to the situation, have been dumped. Now the universal, one-size-fits-nothing response, “not a problem,” is all we’ve got left.
And. It’s. A. Problem.
How do I explain this? It’s a toughie, but I’ll give it a shot.
The very answer implies that a problem does exist but, through the graciousness of the offended/guilty party they’re willing to overlook your stupidity just this once. Or, in a situation where “not a problem” substitutes for the more appropriate “you’re welcome”, you can just take it at face value that you are not welcome and, again, it was a problem.
We’re not telling the truth, folks. “Not a problem” insinuates that there was a problem or we wouldn’t even use the word “problem.”
See the problem?
Sigh. I don’t know how to undo what’s been done to manners with this pathetic phrase. I could write a letter to my senators, but in light of foreign affairs, they probably won’t think it’s a problem. I could put it on a t-shirt, warning people I will stand for nothing less than “you’re welcome” or “I’m sorry”, but then I’d feel stupid and everyone would agree. And that’s a problem.
So, I’m throwing it up here, again, on my blog where I’ll look like a whiner who needs to focus on positive thinking a little more and stop making mountains out of molehills. AND be grateful that I have enough extra cash to order overpriced drinks in the drive through from the air conditioned comfort of my giant land barge.
I’m sorry. Thank you for listening.
I know. It’s not a problem.
With thanks to my husband for letting me post this photo which I unashamedly used to get your attention so you'd read this blog. And because I couldn't figure out how to use flickr.com to borrow other people's photos. I'm sorry. You know the rest. Still, it does make you wonder if he has a problem.  :)