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To Nag, or Not To Nag?

wtad.com/white pages/6.22.17

Bobbe White

Define nag: noun 1. annoy or irritate (a person) with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging. 2. horse especially : one that is old or in worn-out condition.

Nag comes from Middle English nagge; akin to Dutch negge small horse. First known use: 15th century.

In other words, women have been nagging their husbands to do things around the house since 1417. It’s nothing new. It rarely works. This post is about getting things done without acting like a small worn-out irritating horse.

Jeff made me a beautiful seven-foot trophy case in 1973. It has a little engraved brass plate that reads, “Bobbe Schecter – 1973 – JWW.” I had been at college, while Jeff took a semester off to work and build things. He built the case for my childhood swimming awards. There may have been a few water polo trophies, as well, but not because I was any good. I could out-sprint most girls to the center of the pool to swat the ball back to my teammates. That was about it for me. I was afraid to catch that hard polo ball (jammed fingers) and threw like a weak kitten. I digress.

cabinet

The trophy case lived in my parents’ basement for twenty years. I mentioned it occasionally, “Why can’t it live at our house?” I can’t recall the answer. It then moved to my parents’ next home for twenty years. Are you seeing a pattern here? When they had movers anyway, why didn’t we move it to my house? I guess it was easier not to move it. I asked a few (hundred) more times to move it. In 2013, my parents moved to assisted living. Finally, happily, the case moved to our basement. It was placed on its side. The ceilings weren’t high enough to stand the damn thing upright. There it slumbered like a beached whale for four more years.

Last month, we gathered Korey’s things for her move to D.C. To help Jeff (and me), two guys from work agreed to carry a heavy table upstairs and out to the garage for loading. “While you’re at it, bring that stupid trophy case upstairs too.” Ha!  They did it! “Set it up in the corner.” Up, up, up it went like a flag on Iwo Jima. Our carpeting, it seems, was too deep of a pile. The case was top-heavy and it lurched forward.  Down went Shamu, to the floor, to rest in the middle of the room, as it had downstairs. Terrific. I paid the guys with two six-packs of good beer.

Last weekend, Nick and Jenna came home for Father’s Day and my birthday. Jenna asked, “What are your birthday dreams?” Nick analyzed the trophy case’s tipping point and sent us to Home Depot for shims. And we shimmied that whale right into the corner, where I hope it lives for at least twenty more years.

WTAD-White Pages-6/15/17

Bobbe White

Are you acquainted with the prayer to St. Anthony, the patron saint of all things lost? St. Anthony is currently the one praying…for a rest. He’s worked overtime for me lately. Those of you who have confused look on your face may not understand; St. Anthony is available to all faiths. Trust me. Here’s how our son, Nick, explained it, eighteen years ago.

Skip: “What religion are you, Nick?                                                                                                                      Nick: “Well, my mom’s Jewish and my dad fishes.”

I digress. Back to topic. Last weekend, I attended a terrific women’s conference, “LET’s RISE”, in Austin, Texas. Our kids gave me the best Mother’s Day gift: Austin gift cards, to experience the food and charm as I moved about the city. With just five hours to redeem these on Friday, mission control ignited. I walked a mile to Terry Black’s BBQ, with objectives: (1) quickly learn the menu (2)  manage ravenous hunger and (3) spend the card. I failed miserably on #3. I realized I’d left the cards in my hotel room. Yes, I did. When I pull a “Schecter move”, I get REALLY mad at myself. This is what I’ve come to call them. That’s my maiden name. We just get excited or in a hurry to go and we don’t do the mental checklist. Always have. My other side, the Whites, have yet to experience a Schecter moment. This includes in-laws, out-laws, my husband and children. They just would not. Back to the hotel I trudged. Time is evaporating. It’s hot. With cards secured, I UberX takes me to the BBQ, because now I’m hot, tired and mean hungry. (Worse than hangry.) BEST BBQ EVER! Next, I went to the fancy, Driskill Hotel, with my cocktail gift card. The Driskill’s couches, chairs and coffee tables are covered in cowhide. Giddy-up! I rested on a cow, recharged my phone and my own battery. Next, I walked a mile to Amy’s Ice Cream. They prepare food fast, because it’s hot. As the waitress kneaded my order, she flipped the ice cream into the cup. And some residue into my hair. That’s how you remember your order. Ahhh! Chocolate, check. Coconut. Check. Almonds. Check. Oh well, I would shower before dinner anyway.

The rest of the weekend was seamless. Until I returned to St. Louis Sunday. I couldn’t find my car key. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  I pray the abbreviated version:  “Tony, Tony, come on down. Something’s lost and must be found. Amen!” The only thing I found was a locksmith through AAA motor club, who could make me another key for $165 and a two hour wait. There are no other options. Steven had been super busy, “People are crazy today, losing keys in lakes (and Austin…).”

On Monday, my key search in a little red zipper wallet began. I called all over Austin, retracing my path, which was everywhere. Let’s pull my agony to a quick resolution, shall we? Tuesday noon, I checked messages at lunch. “We have found your red zip purse and key at The Driskill. Please call 512-391-7078. YEE-HAW! A cowboy found my stuff? Don’t know. Don’t care. I have to follow an email link to: ILEFTMYSTUFF.COM.  (I’m not kidding!) For $18.95, cough, cough, they’ll return my stuff. And my sanity. I love Austin. I love The Driskill. And Terry’s BBQ and Amy’s and Torchy’s Tacos and Mozart’s coffee and my feet, which hurt like the devil.

Wtad.com-white Pages-6.09.17

MOVING STUFF: Boxes and Bodies

Bobbe White

We moved Korey to Washington DC. Let me say, moving is not for sissies. There are better terms, but let’s just call her belongings, “stuff.” In March we helped move her stuff from Denver. She sold her furniture; it was cheaper than renting the big honkin’ U-haul trailer, as opposed to the little honkin’ U-haul. Her stuff lived in our garage for three months. Last week, (queue Beverly Hillbillies song) we loaded up the truck and headed for D.C. -Washington, that is. Monuments, politics. All of the stuff was packed in the trailer. The back of the truck bed remained empty, in case of rain or theft. Except for one item: Korey’s snow skis – because one never knows when you can catch a quick ski run at Dupont Circle. Sixteen hours later, we pulled up to her building’s loading zone.

Within an hour, everything was moved to her fifth floor apartment. Next up: IKEA, also known as Disney World for furniture. IKEA has everything from couches to succulents. We loaded up new stuff into the truck and headed for Target for more stuff.

Moving stuff is a lot like buying a mega-load from the grocery. By the time you put it into the cart, take it out of the cart for payment, load it back into the cart, then out of the cart and into the car, unload it from the car and into the garage, set it down while you find your house key, pick the bags back up and carry them to the kitchen, you’ve handled the bags thirty-seven times. So it was, with Korey’s stuff. It wouldn’t have been such a workout, except for all the boxes of books. Books and more books. Big books. Little books. Hardback books and paperback books. This sounds like Dr. Seuss’ books. The girl LOVES her books. I kept wondering why we ever taught her to read. Just kidding…it’s a wonderful obsession. Korey’s other vice is artwork. The framed pieces aren’t all that heavy, but quite awkward in shape; there are no two frames of equal size.

Korey reserved the loading dock for 9:00 a.m. The ramp incline was about a 45 degree pitch. Work those quads! Her new friend, Maddie, kindly came to help. Wanting to appear like the ever-capable mom, I headed in with two Rubbermaid tubs and tripped on a three inch step. In degree of difficulty, Olympic diving judges would have scored my belly-flop in layout position, an 8. For athleticism, I’d have gotten a 2 and for klutziness, a 10. Ironically, I was wearing soccer shin guards, but that’s another story… What I really needed were knee pads. During the move-in process, I began to feel less like a clodhopper, because two others on team White House tripped. So there.

Our one fun activity after moving was a power mile walk to power yoga/Pilates class on the National Mall. It’s the big park at the foot of the Washington monument. Fortunately, it’s a huge space, as 500 people attended class. Forty instructors were positioned throughout the crowd for guidance. They pumped up the music. We pumped up our muscles. The sun pumped out major heat. In spite of heat and fatigue, class was fun. I decided I’d be done, when either my water bottle was empty or my arches had completely fallen (Class was barefoot), whichever came first. No wonder I was the oldest person there, by twenty years. This was the mother of all workouts.

Just when my spirit was drowning in sweat, a young boy, about three, found his mom/instructor right near me, and gave her a big hug as she hugged her obliques. We laughed. She did not shoo-fly him away. Before long, another boy (five-ish) found Mom. The two boys sat quietly. The smaller one then balled up beneath her plank position. She never missed a beat. The older one plopped her straw hat onto her head, a towel over her outstretched legs and she never missed a beat. Next, their toddler sister waddled to Mom. And she never missed a beat.

What a precious picture at the end of class. We needed a mental break from physical fatigue. I doubt I’d have lasted much longer, if not for the entertainment.

Class ended. I told Mom how much we enjoyed her ducklings. Then we got to walk the mile back to Korey’s place. Yay. I prayed there would be no more stuff to move. There was, but just a bit. But I never tripped again.

 

 

 

Bobbe White 06/02/17IMG_3782.PNG

The dashcam footage of Tiger demonstrating -or rather not demonstrating the officer’s sobriety tests was startling. It makes me sad. I’m sad, not because I was a devoted fan of Tiger Woods, but what he did for his sport and all sports is something special. Besides Mohamed Ali and Michael Jordan, Tiger may be the most -or in the top ten -of the most recognizable humans on earth.

You’ve seen it before: the kings or queens of sports, music or movies fall from grace. It happens with some type of incident, accident or gradual demise.

When reading the police report, I was horrified at Tiger’s condition while driving. His personal physician(s) had to know he was on a slippery slope with his medications. But has he no close friends or even housekeeper who could hide his keys? That bothers me the most. While I hate to see any human destroy himself or herself, I would hate to see others destroyed because of his carelessness. Let me guess, his personal assistant was playing golf and having a few shots after the round.

Hopefully, Tiger can recover from his medication nightmare. We need heroes. Even the ones who fell hard and fast, but managed to climb out of their holes. As Jack Nicklaus was quoted, “Tiger needs our prayers.” Indeed. Children need to see him doing good things again. Even if it’s as a poster child in public service announcement for substance abuse. Life’s funny like that; one minute, you’re driving for show and putting for dough. The next thing, you’re learning, is Nancy Reagan’s campaign, “Just say NO.” Isn’t ironic that one of Tiger’s biggest sponsor is (was?) Nike. C’mon Tiger, your recovery is needed. It could be your biggest win ever. Just do it, Tiger, just do it.

Wtad.com/White Pages

5-26-17

Bobbe White

Morning Campers! Welcome to the summer of ’17…another fun-filled, max-packed season. Regardless of how full or empty your nest, summer can be exhausting. (Refer to title). Ask any mother of non-driving children about her summer and you may get a sigh, if she can catch a breath at all. That’s the problem, the kids love it all. We love that they love it all. Don’t we?

We used to love summer down time, but the only thing down this summer, may be your gas pedal. It’s so busy, the aid of grandparents, siblings, neighbors, co-workers and city bus drivers must be deployed to help meet the children’s demanding schedules. So many activities, so little time.

 

Swim lessons are first, because we want to get those babies into the water before the surface ice is gone. At early summer swim practice, the water was so cold, I got brain freeze. Our coach’s motto was, “If you’re not broken or bleeding, get in the water!” I still hate cold water.

 

Next, there’s tennis, golf, basketball, football, weight lifting and dance. On the kitchen counters are confirmations for College for Kids, Prep School for Pups and Catiquette classes, Summer Bible Camp for God’s sake (literally and figuratively) and a brochure of the upcoming vacation tree house in the Northwoods. Who picked that? It sounds like work if I have to climb up to bed every night. (Refer again to title.)

 

Vacation will offer respite. But wait! The older children have pre-existing commitments: a concert there, band camp here, college preview, summer school and a part-time job to dodge. Fortunately, vacation lodges have revolving doors to accommodate everyone coming and going. And massive parking lots, for every family member’s car. (e.g. different arrival and departures.)

 

I remember reading my dad’s summer humor journal. When running Nick to golf, then to baseball practice, Nick realized I hadn’t made, -I mean purchased- enough treats. Run short and you shouldn’t show up. Grampy made a quick stop to salvage our treat obligation. Whew. Dad wrote, “Got home from one hot & dusty ball game. Phone rang – Maggie’s makeup game was this afternoon. Change shirts and go. Six o’clock swim meet. Mother and I show up, but the pool and deck are empty. We’re at the wrong pool. Ha ha ha.“

 

That’s summer at any age. It’s going to get crazy and it may be hazy, but it certainly won’t be lazy. Not now. Not ever?

 

All you can do is laugh. And try. Try to carve out a slice of down time. It’s called a book. And that structure over there? That’s called, “a lounge chair.” Summer reminds me of the time when we’d arrived at the pool and as I pulled off my swimsuit cover-up, my friend, Deelite, started laughing at me. I’d forgotten to remove my bra. Yeah, summer, it’s a lot like that. So are you relaxed yet?

i said i'm working on it!

 

Wtad.com /white pages/ 5/18/17

Bobbe White

plane people

Upgrades in my life? About two. It wasn’t horrible. Especially the time when Woody Harrelson sat behind us.  However, first class fare can be quite costly.  Google it sometime. For what, exactly, are they REALLY paying up there?

PRE-BOARDING: that’s nice and all, but they look so unhappy when the rest of us slubs parade down the aisle to economy class. Maybe it’s that I just cracked a guy’s head with my overhead bag. Oopsies! Maybe first classers would be happier boarding last, so they don’t have to look at us. Maybe it’s the…

FREE BOOZE: Personally,  Johnnie Walker scotch doesn’t appeal at 5:55 a.m., which is when I usually depart. The only thing I want straight up, at that hour, is coffee. Besides, the air is bone dry in every section and alcohol just exacerbates dehydration. My skin’s already fossil-like, who needs it?

SEATS/SPACE: there’s more leg room, but if you know how to pick, there are some economy seats offering leg room, too. Reclining is a matter of degrees, unless you’re on a fancy, schmancy international flight where the seats flip into canopy beds.

AMENITIES: blankets, pillows and socks, oh my! I do kind of miss blankies in the back…

LAVATORY: Technically, fewer people = less waiting. Just remember Murphy ’s Law of bathrooms: the worse you have to go, the longer the wait will be.

FOOD: Some say it’s improving, but from any food I’ve ever eaten up there, it’s more institutional, than gourmet. Cinnabun tastes and smells better, by far. That’s why so many carry-on food.

DE-PLANING: Obviously, deplaning is like accounting 101: FIFO (First in, first out), but I ask you, don’t we REALLY get there all at the same time? Exactly.

SAFETY/SECURITY/SURVIVAL: Again, the law of averages would dictate that the fewer the wingnuts in a given area, the less chance of a meltdown. Sorry, that boat doesn’t carry much water for me. As for a crash, they call it, “Nosedive,” for a reason.  ‘Nuf said. We slubs in the waaaaay back might be the last in the big splash.

PEOPLE are people, regardless of class. Some in first class have no class. You know what I’m talking about. Both flight attendants and passengers can be polite, rude, noisy, quiet, helpful, bitchy, loud, smelly or sad. Everyone has a story. My dad always said, “You don’t know what you don’t know. You may never know what you don’t know. And you may not want to know what you don’t know.”  Passengers are a microcosm of the world. As Abercrombie & Fitch advertised once:  “We’re all just passengers flying around and there’s no room for extra baggage.” It’s a lot like life down here, right? People sitting or standing next to you, in every arena, struggle for one reason or another: financially, physically or emotionally.  Sometimes, you can utter three words to make peace with your neighbor, “WHAT A DAY!” It might start a brief –or longer- conversation. Flying at any level in the atmosphere can be trying. Or exhilarating. “WHAT A DAY!”  are three possible words to blurt when you enter your 42D. That’d be my seat number, not my bra size. “WHAT A DAY!” It’s open to interpretation. It can be positive or negative. A door opener. An Ice breaker. Give it a go. Now, go have a nice flight in any cabin of the world or airplane. It’s time for take-off.

airplane food.

HAIR VIGILANTES UNITE!

Bobbe White 

written for wtad.com and trylaughter.com
5/11/17

“If I spent as much time praying as I did plucking, I’d be the Dalai Lama!”
Diane Sawyer

This quote from More magazine is taped it to my mirror. I feel exactly the same way.
There you are, out somewhere. You brush the  jawline accidentally. There is the familiar little solo stubble. OCD bubbles up until you can extract the enemy. One moment the chin is baby smooth; the next, a stubble like our grandmothers emerges. In the short time it takes to cross the street…BAM! A single hair has pokes surfaces.

Each hair reminds us that we have fewer hormones, which used to keep unwanted hairs at bay. Cosmetic drawers contain multiple tweezers and magnifying mirrors of various strengths. I sadly realize that even my dearest friend in the world, or my honest daughter, won’t mention the occasional stray that went wild. It’s nearly an inch long! What’s worse, in my white-haired world, it’s black. Definitely black. I am appalled and curse these witch-like indicators. Aging is now beyond normal maintenance. Patrolling facial hairs requires daily vigilance!

There’s evidence of various tools on the man’s side of the bathroom counter as well. No, Ladies, we are NOT alone in this war! There are E.N.T.s (Not doctors…ear & nose trimmers), magnifying shaving mirrors and a pair of cheater (glasses) to assist in detection.

I have four thoughts about this battle which is clearly endless until, you know, the end. (I hear hair continues to thrive posthumously. Is there no mercy?)

1. I’m thankful hair still grows. This means my system is working.
2. I’m thankful my eyesight is myopic. I can find a stray hair on a gnat’s ass.
3. Call attorney today: “Draw up a B.P.O.A. (Beauty Power of Attorney) A.S.A.P. My sister and I agreed years ago to honor this legal obligation ’til death do us part. We agree to continue the search and tweeze program that remains critical. Long after my vision clouds or my hands shake, stray hairs will not win!

4. Apply to law school to set up a B.P.O.A. Practice. Think: baby boomers + aging = strays. The case load will be heavy. Staffing needs must be adequate. Armored cars will be contracted to carry all the cash payments.

Never before has one affliction -stray hairs- been so universal and prevalent in our society. None of us is exempt. Ahhhh, hair: the great equalizer.