Some places, I tell you, I will never go!
Mostly, I’m not talking places on the map, but places of expression, or position, or opinion. For instance, as you already know, I will never, never, never in my life say “Oh My God.” Unless, of course, OMG stands for Oh My Goodness, which I have used for years — hey, then I’m with you!
Here’s another place I don’t think I’ll go to any time soon: bad-mouthing stink bugs! Hey, the poor things, all they want is what we all want on a regular basis: a nice warm place to stay in. Not that I plan to share mine with them if they get in my face, but since I never kill the bugs that show up in my house ( I collect them in a tissue and put them outside, to face certain death in the winter, no doubt ) I don’t have to worry about their famous stinkiness. At my age, I can’t smell them anyway, which is a tremendous help in sparing their lives. Plus they are stodgier than most insects which makes my vow to catch them instead of kill them much easier to put into practice. They seem to me to be perfectly equable and decent bugs, just trying to make their way in a world they didn’t ask to be born in. Sounds familiar, now, doesn’t it? OK, OK, I know — they are hard on the harvests — but then so are we.
Here’s another promise: I will never, I repeat, never, ever, in my lifetime, buy a designer handbag! I look at them in the TV ads with disbelief, because they are, without a doubt, some of the most unattractive and stodgy-looking pocketbooks I have ever seen in my life! I find it unbelievable that so many designers, who stake their reputations on attractive and artistic merchandise, would even acknowledge that they had anything to do with these monstrosities. And the amazing thing about it all is that people fall for them in droves. Sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars! Too often, they look like satchels you would carry your bathing suit in when you go to the Y for your regular workout — and back home wet.
And make sure that’s “your” regular workout, not “mine.” I don’t do regular workouts, not that I have any objection to your doing them. In fact, “regular physical workouts” are another place I plan not to go, if I have any choice about it. Well-meaning people can really mess up one’s priorities, but this is early notice to my family. If my life on earth is shorter by several weeks or months, or even years, because I don’t do regular physical workouts, just remember that these are the weeks or months or years at the END of my life I’m cutting short, (the ones in the nursing home), not the ones when I was 25. In my opinion, there’s a lot to be said for that difference.
I do worry about a lot of things. This year I worried, for instance, on Tuesday, Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day, for one whole second about what that loud explosion was when the mail person came by. And then I realized — it was the sound of millions of mail order catalogs hitting the mailbox, being delivered simultaneously throughout the country, at such a rate that you could barely get all the mail out of your box with your own two hands. Have you ever seen so many catalogs in one place at one time? Until the next day, when the number seemed to double.
Of course, unfortunately, they know what they are doing. I had long ago decided that when the fall blast of catalogs took place, I would just coolly ignore the whole thing. Unfortunately, I cannot include this among my successes. One place I would love not to go is into the world of catalogs, but they are fiendishly clever — they somehow manage to include a gorgeous blouse, or a loopy sweatshirt on the catalog cover that you just have to look at a second time. I am rarely enticed at stores, because I don’t go there much — catalogs are another thing.
I also choose not to read about, watch shows, or go to movies about witches, devils, evil spirits and the whole zombie-vampire routine. For obvious reasons, I would say, including getting a good sleep every night.
Here’s another place I plan not to go. I refuse to add two thousandths of a second to my clock every bed time, because “that is how much slower the earth turns on its axis each day now than it did a century ago.” (According to an article by Ivan Amato published in a recent Washington Post. And he is not talking about Daylight Savings Time.)
Apparently this has been going on for years, Did you know that, for the Jurassic-era stegosauruses 200 million years ago, the day was “perhaps 23 hours long and each year had about 385 days”? I don’t know how they figured this out this because so far as I know there are no stegosauruses left who checked their watches at the time. But who lets a minor detail like that stop them? They go on to predict that 200 million years from now whatever’s going on then will happen in 25-hour days and 335-day years. (Hey, I don’t understand this stuff, I just read it with my mouth open.)
OK, and here’s a final place I plan never to go. I refuse, right here and now, and for the rest of my life, to buy a banana slicer! I saw one advertised the other day in — yes, a catalog. No matter how old I get I think I can handle that job with my present resources, old fashioned as they may be. Even if I have to resort to my letter-opener — I can handle it.
Because, in the end, I’m just an old-fashioned kinda gal.
But I have my principles, and I plan to stick to them.
Maude McDaniel is a Cumberland freelance writer. Her column appears on alternate Sundays in the Times-News.
Some places, I tell you, I will never go!
- Maude McDaniel - Living
- Very first memories of a very long life
July gotcha down? Maybe these will help
•In a hospital's Intensive Care Unit, patients always died in the same bed on Sunday morning, at about 11:00 a.m., regardless of their medical condition. This puzzled the doctors and some even thought it had something to do with the super natural. No one could solve the mystery as to why the deaths occurred around 11 a.m. Sunday, so a worldwide team of experts was assembled to investigate the cause of the incidents. The next Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11 a.m. all of the doctors and nurses nervously waited outside the ward to see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about. Some were holding wooden crosses, prayer books, and other holy objects to ward off the evil spirits. Just when the clock struck 11, Pookie Johnson, the part-time Sunday sweeper, entered the ward and unplugged the life support system so he could use the vacuum cleaner.
Hiccup cure you may find hard to swallow
Let’s give a cheer for one of the things in the human experience that the scientific researchers haven’t fully figured out yet: how to cure hiccups! Somehow it kind of restores your faith in the world, doesn’t it?
But don’t think they haven’t tried.
She learned to laugh with relatives’ help
Sometimes there are people in our lives whom we have never credited with all the influence they had on us when we were growing up.And now it is too late to thank them personally. I am about 50 years past due on this one (or two) but maybe somehow, somewhere they will get a hint of it — and — smile. Fondly, I think..
Signs of aging and what comes with it
It’s been awhile since I last informed you of new signs of old age, and meanwhile none of us have gotten any younger. (I’m working on it, I’m working on it.) I find one of the best things I can do to stay young is to read the obituaries. It reminds you that you are still alive and there are times in one’s life when that can be a serious concern. Of course, the trick is to avoid reading the obituaries for people you know, first checking the pictures for familiar faces. But for the folks you never met, they are remarkably invigorating, especially if they were older than you are. It gives you a goal in life — and we all need goals, right?
Torn between failing in two different fields
Which do I like better, singing or writing?
That's a tough question to answer.
Singing's got it all over writing as far as when I started (at about 5 in the church choir) but writing is certainly a close second. I have somewhere a collection of poems that I wrote from about eight on and I have the feeling that they are lost for a reason! As I remember, they were pretty awful, not at all the kind of effort an aspiring writer would be proud to quote 75 years later!
Bad habits are hard to eliminate — but try
Somebody mentioned smoking on these pages recently, so I thought I'd put in my own two cents on the subject. I started smoking in college, during exam week. The problem was that I was too busy during the rest of the year ever to stop and study for my courses — at least that is what I told myself — because I worked almost every night on the college newspaper. So when exam time kicked in, I threw some all-nighters for study. And the best way to stay awake all night (especially if you don't regularly smoke) is to, well, smoke.
Trivial questions you don’t have to answer
Every so often in this life, my mind, all on its own, generates questions that have no real answers. So I have decided to pass them on to you. I’m tired of them. If you come up with any answers, let me know. Remember when TV jealously guarded the time zone before 9 p.m. for wholesome shows that children could watch. My gosh, how many years ago was that? It seems like another world nowadays, when you can see murders, torture and rape, or those implied, every hour on the hour, somewhere on your public screen. It might be comforting then, to remember that most children nowadays are glued to their little machines with whole different worlds on them, that they can access all day long. Except that in these different worlds they also can view murders, torture and rape on demand.
Rusty writes about the nature of doghood
I am a dog.
Therefore I bark.
I don’t understand why it is so hard for humans to understand this.
I mean, there are certain things that come with the territory, right?
Free-range reminiscing and occasional nostalgia
When I was in grade school, (many more years ago than when either of you were in grade school) my daily winter (fall, spring) routine included walking to school across a railroad track.
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