June 13, 2011

Am I The Only One Who Thinks This?!

Two of my smartest friends and I have an on-going conversation.  It starts when we have a "situation" of some sort and we see a very practical solution, but for some insane reason, others don't.  Then committees are formed, research is done, tests are implemented, studies are gathered, spreadsheets are made, etc.  All the while, we sit and look at each other like, "Really?"  We're not geniuses, but we have some common sense.  The whole time the process is taking place, we feel stupid.  Why? Because, obviously, if others don't see it, then we must not get the whole picture.  These others make lots more money than us, and they have offices (REAL offices!), so they must be wiser in the ways of the world, right? I mean, there is no way a solution would be THAT easy, right?  Ehhh...

I had this thought again today when another friend posted about her experience with buying medication.  Her son remarked on how he felt sorry for people who did not have insurance.  Dear friends I know pay several hundred dollars a month for their medications.  I'm sure there are others who pay thousands.  I read an article today about an older lady who has cancer.  Although her Medicare paid for the treatments she needed, the pill she needed to take cost $2400 a  month.  Um, yes, that was ONE pill.  That makes my stomach hurt, let alone my purse.

Because I don't live under a rock most of the time, I know there has been and will continue to be a huge uproar over the healthcare plan.  I won't try to critique it, because I would only show my ignorance.  Here's my question...what about those people who have insurance, but the medications have gone through the roof because of the companies trying to cushion themselves?  What happens to the families who go to work everyday, but have to spend a week's pay at the pharmacy?  Kinda hard to fuel an economic recovery when I'm leaving it at the drugstore.  Trust me, I'd much rather drop that kind of cash on some shoes or a purse. 

I get that medicine is a for-profit industry.  I know drug companies, while trying to save/better lives, are not doing it for free.  I know it takes money to research and market new meds.  I get it. I just get a little ticked when  someone's DEDUCTIBLE is $2400 for a pill. 

The American Dream was, according to my grandpa, all about working hard and doing better for your children.  You set an example with your work ethic and your morals.  You teach them right and wrong.  The quality of life, for the most part, is dictated by how hard you work for it.  Nobody, by God, owes you anything, and it's not the government's responsibility to take care of you.  If you take care of yourself, then no one else has to.   Unfortunately, that's getting harder to do with medications costing a half month's pay.

I don't know what the answer is.  I don't pretend to.  I just can't help but think that giving uninsured people insurance doesn't help those who now can't afford to pay for the medication they need.  Sort of my friends and I looking at each other and wondering if we're the only ones who see this, I wonder if I've just missed something.  Is there some solution in the 90 million page document that addressed this?  I hope so.

P.S.  I've declared I'm an idiot in this department, so you don't have to!   :)

June 9, 2011

Some Helpful Grocery Store Tips

A trip to the grocery store is sometimes my only moment of sanity in the day, so I like to savor those moments.  However, as of late, it's more like a trip into the bowels of Hell.  Thus, a few tips I learned yesterday.

1.  The young man stocking the produce section will be really pissed if you don't take his suggestion of which tomato to purchase for your fish tacos.  He will glower at you until you leave in a haste due to his icy glare.  I don't care if those bland, pale red hothouse tomatoes are on sale; I want a REAL 'mater! Or at least as close as I can get before my gardening-minded family send some my way.  Sorry, dude, but I'll stick to what I want, not what you deem appropriate for my fiesta.

2.  I didn't realize how many people took their Hoveround to the grocery on a weekday afternoon.  Now I know.  The answer?  A lot.  They usually have an accomplice, so I'm dodging the Hoveround, the cart, and two humans in a small aisle.  To compound matters, the Hoveround driver usually stays on his side, but directs the accomplice who is shopping on both sides for him.  Result?  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Until I just give up, turn around, and hit the next aisle.  Who needs toilet paper, anyhow?!

3.  Bathing is optional at the grocery.  I don't mean in that, "Hmmm, their nails look a lil' dirty" kinda way.  I mean, HOLY-SHIT-HOLD-YOUR-BREATH!! kinda stink.  The kind that permeates every single molecule in the building.  To make matters worse, the offender had apparently forgotten something, so he'd backtracked through the store and re-generated the original stench zone.  I almost made a run for the pharmacy to rub a little Vicks under my nose like the coroners do.  Trust me when I say it's hard to shop for delectable vittles when your face is buried in your shirt halfway past your eyeballs.

I think I will go back to my normal routine:  milk, bread, cereal.  This is the fastest way to complete the grocery trip.  Besides, I'm sure all the restaurants/fast food joints in town have been missing us.  I'd hate to disappoint them.  Plus, I think this is a Heavenly message that I'm just not meant to cook.  Who am I to argue with that?!

June 7, 2011

No, It's Not Fair!

Life is not fair.  That simple.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, either.  I remember clearly the first time it truly hit home for me.  Sixth grade year, Wendy (Alison, now) Beckner wore a pink buttondown shirt with a red sweater...and she rocked it.  If that had been me, the laughter would still be ringing in my ears.  Plus, she had great hair, and ~ the kicker ~ she was nice.  Like, really nice.  And she could pull off pink and red.  My intro into Unfair Life.

Yesterday was one of those days where I wanted to slash tires, kick small animals, and cuss loudly.  Life was unfair to me.  Grossly unfair.  Other people's decisions were impacting my life.  Given my love affair with control over all parts of my life, this is not my idea of fun.  At all.  I went to bed grumpy and hating the world.

Today, though, life wasn't too unfair.  Matter of fact, it was pretty darn good.  I got to get my sparkly tennis shoes smudged up...I got a lot of the house packed up...my tribe didn't kill one another...all in all, a good day.

Better Half's response to our kids when they say something isn't fair is, "Life's not fair!"  That's true, but only on some days.  Others the sun shines down on me and I'm queen of the world.  It's those days that help me get through the others, the ones I want to spit on.

There will always be those unfair moments.   Someone will always walk right out of college into a powerful position he doesn't deserve.  People will cheat on their spouses and then judge you for what you wear.  Children are born with disabilities.  Good people die for no damn good reason.  Life is unfair.  But what if it wasn't?  What if life was always fair?  We always get what we want; No one suffers; Everyone is eternally sunshine and rainbows; What then?

I say it would bite.  For all those crappy, horrible, and painful unfair things that happen, there is a good thing that makes me feel blessed and grateful.  Sometimes it takes a little reminding that life is not a bowl of cherries.  When you do hit a sweet spot in life, you appreciate it even more.

I'm still bitter about yesterday because I TOTALLY deserve this, but I get it.  It's not my time, yet.  BUT! It will be.  One day.  So don't sweat the girl who makes everything look good, the promotion that didn't come you're way, or the trustafarian who travels the world while you slave away...It's unfair, but it's okay.  The sun shines on all of us every now and again.

June 5, 2011

Go Love a Geek!!

I heard on the radio the other day that being called a geek is now a compliment.  My, how times have changed...that was almost a fightin' word when I was cruising the playground.  Apparently, no longer is this the case.  I see it supported by those gigantor glasses everyone is now wearing as fashion accessories. 

I was fortunate enough to grow up with a variety of friends. Not to say everyone loved high school. Many people I've talked to have said they wouldn't go back for a bajillion dollars.  Of course there were groups of different sorts ~ the jocks, the artsy, the future criminals ~ but we pretty much got along for the most part.  Having said that, I'm sure there were others who don't feel the same way.

Our class was fairly close, and the turn-out for our ten-year reunion was pretty amazing (as far as ten-year, high school reunions go).  Everyone got along great, except the date of one graduate who stole from the bar.  Yeah, that was a nasty moment...I wasn't concerned with who was divorced or what jobs people had; I was truly just enjoying seeing everyone.  

 I did notice something, though.  The guys who were considered "geeky" or "nerds" in high school had bloomed!  No longer were they wallflowers or quiet, shy boys sitting on the sidelines.  They were the life of the party, dancing, talking, cracking jokes...putting all those tired-looking jocks to shame, I say.

My own Better Half was one of those boys in high school.  And, though I loved him then, he was too blind/smart to notice.  He always made me laugh.  Looks may wither, but a man who makes me laugh is worth his weight in gold.  Really, when we're old and gray in our matching recliners at the old folks' home, am I gonna care if he was hot 60 years ago?  Doubtful.  If he can make me wet my Depends with his jokes, he's my recliner-mate for life!

I wish all those young girls out there would take a look at that brainy little boy sitting beside them in the cafeteria...I wish they could look into a crystal ball and see the "bad boy" they are trying so hard to impress may turn out to be a cold dung pile in a decade or so...I wish they'd just give geek a chance.  

June 1, 2011

Boxes and More Boxes and More Boxes and More Boxes

I keep waiting for the phone to ring.  Then, those words:  "The deal fell through. Sorry."  Now, as is typical for me, I have no reason to suspect this will happen, but I'm prepared on some level.  It was too smooth, ya know.

Our closing date is now about 7 weeks away.  That would be the closing date for selling our house...not the date for closing on a new one.  Why?  BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T FOUND ONE!!!  But, it's okay.  Better Half and I have been the ultimate planners since we married.  We've set goals, found a strategy to reach them, and stuck to it (for the most part...it's always the purses that cause me to stray. I love you, Coach and Louis!)  Flying without a net isn't so bad.  Matter of fact, it feels pretty good to "live outside the box."

Today we've cleaned. I mean REALLY cleaned... like, sorting through the boxes that have been in storage for years.  Going through photos from high school.  Culling out the computer games from the good old bachelor days. That kind of cleaning.  On that note, here's what I've learned today...

1.  I have a lot of books.  Lots and Lots of books.  Almost the entire series of Sweet Valley High (don't act like you don't remember those!) and a fair amount of Nancy Drew.  Also, one about teenage lesbians.  Yeah, I don't know either.

2.  I was a crappy college student until my junior year.  Coincidentally, this was the year I started paying the bill myself.   In my mind, I was a scholar, but apparently that was an illusion. 

3.  Packing sucks.  I'm grateful the house sold this quickly; don't get me wrong.  But, do you have any idea how much crap a family of five can stockpile?! Bags.  Boxes. Tons.  Mountains.  It's easier to part with it, though, when you think about making a fresh start. Still, packing, taping, labeling, stacking...bites.

4.  My kids are horrible assistants.  I told them to go through the movies.  We still have all of them, but now they are scattered hither and yon across the den. Apparently, they needed to view every dvd they've ever gotten to make sure it still worked before they could make a decision.  I think I'll have to do some late night recon and remove some for them.  Trust me, they'll never notice.

5.  My semi-OCD has paid off, finally!  My sorting, organizing, categorizing, label-making self has really helped.  Even though I'm going through a ton of crap, it's pretty much together already.  I knew it would pay off!

6.  Finally, I have an over-abundance of office supplies.  No, really, like 500 envelopes, about 200 manilla folders, and too many file folders.  We don't have a home office.  Most of my stuff stays filed (although neatly) in an old pampers box until our annual file/shred day(s).  Girlo Two has been shredding for three days, so maybe we should make it a week.  Or maybe I should get out those supplies and use them instead of packing them?  Nah....

So, there, my lessons for today.  If you walked in, you'd never know we've worked all day on this, but we're making headway one box at a time.  Truthfully, it'll be a little sad when it's all packed up and ready to go.  It's time, though.  Then we can move on to make another mess in another home!

P.S.  To those of you moving out and on, good luck.  You know who you are!! :)