Monthly Archives: April 2010

Planning my 80th Birthday Party

Some simple advice to my children (who will certainly want to fete me on my 80th birthday). Yes, it’s 22 years away, but it’s never too early to start planning. Last night I went to a meeting and someone was talking about her 80th birthday–and how it was going to be at KFC. Her children were planning it, she was so excited, blah blah blah. I didn’t know quite what to say. I kept thinking, “I hope if I make it to 80 my kids will do a little better than Colonel Sanders–I mean at LEAST they could spring for the Long John Silvers!” It was only later that someone told me what she was really saying was K of C, aka Knights of Columbus, which is actually a pretty nice venue.

So, Greg, Mike, Rachel, and Liz–PLEASE start thinking about reserving the Golden Corral for 2032?

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Hell’s Bells

I used to hear my mom say “Hell’s bells” fairly regularly. It was about the limit of her profanity, except for an occasional “Dammit to Hell,” which was required for situations of greater magnitute. I’m afraid my own profanity goes a bit further, although I like to believe that I save it for situations that need emphasis. My dad used to say that people who used a lot of profanity didn’t have good vocabularies–so not wanting to be accused of that, I have tried to think of original or not-so-original things to call people when I am mad at them.

But once in a while, I must use a well-placed “a#*hole,” “mother f@*&$#er,” or the less offensive “douchebag” to adequately express myself. The reaction among my acquaintances at work when I do this is absolute shock. I had one friend say this week, “I have never heard you use that word!” to which I replied, “I’ve never been mad enough before to NEED to use it.” Expletives. Great for emphasis.

A new and final title for my blog

OK, I have gotten sick of changing the name of my blog “every whipstitch”–a cool phrase my mom used a lot. I have taken this title from advice from my dad–and I think it’s pretty darn useful advice! So, this blog shall heretofor be called “It’s Not Nice Not to Be Nice.” So there.

Clean Laundry Smell

I LOVE the smell of clean laundry. And I think I know why. I was a bedwetter until I was 11 or 12 (traumatic, I know!) Although it sounds disgusting now (and it probably was then), we didn’t have a dryer, so most of the time we’d air out the sheets, maybe put a towel over the spot, but in general leave them on for several days. (I wonder if I would have worn pull-ups or depends if they had been invented then? I wonder what the casual visitor thought when they entered our house?)

Anyway, eventually the sheets would need to be washed, and if there wasn’t time to hang them on the line, my mom or dad would take a trip to the laundromat. The sheets would come back smelling so good! My dad would put the bottom sheet on, and I would get in bed. Then he would make the bed with me in it. At last, he would say something like “Now where did Barbara go?” What feels more magical than to be invisible? He would call me a few times, and then he would sit (not with all his weight) on me, and continue to say things like “I have no idea where she could have gone.” Eventually I would delightedly reveal myself, and I would go to sleep with warm sheets and nice Daddy memories.

Now that smell can bring it all back instantly. If I am really depressed, sometimes I deliberately walk past the laundry on campus, by the vents, and that lovely smell can make me feel loved–silly, isn’t it?

I told my friend Hannah this, and for my birthday she gave me a candle with a scent called “Clean Cotton.” It is the same smell! So which is best? Nice daddies, good smells, or people who care enough about me enough to remember my stories? I like them all.