Tonight I wish to address the people who cannot control their urge to throw another’s drink away prematurely. You know who you are. You’re the neat freaks, the cleaner-uppers, the-I think she’s done with this type of people. I am pleading with you to ask before you dispose. I know, it only looks like there’s a mouthful left, the ice cubes are just about melted and the drink appears to be watered down. The average person may not wish to finish this diluted drink. I am not the average person. I am the person who loves my last sip. In fact I anticipate the last sip. I have to say my favorite beverage to experience the last sip with is fresh brewed iced tea. There is a merger that happens at the end of this drink than cannot be compared to the first sip or anything in the middle. The tea, water from the melting ice and the few small tic-tac size cubes left, creates a perfect encore. Imagine my disappointment when I go to take that last sip and my cup is gone. My eyes frantically search the area. I hope that I simply misplaced it. I check every corner of counter, every table’s edge; I even quickly look atop the microwave. I don’t’ want to ask the question because I don’t want to hear the answer. So again I look, expecting to find my glass in the same place I swore I left it. But more times than not it’s gone. “Did someone take my drink?” I ask. Growing up it was always my mother. She liked a tidy house and hated when glasses were hanging about. If you saw her coming you better grab your drink or kiss it goodbye. Usually she was too quick for me and it was too late, my last sip was gone. It didn’t only happen at home. It seemed to happen at the restaurant just as much. It would be a crazy busy night. In between waiting on tables, punching in orders and trying to stay in the zone, I would pour myself a glass of tea. When my mouth became parched I would whiz up to it take a quick sip and carry on my way. I knew once I got caught up with all of my tables I could enjoy it to the last drop. Yeah, that never happened. Whatever shift I worked, there was always that one waitress who went into her own zone and cleared the clutter. Little did she know my last sip was amongst that clutter. It hasn’t only happened with tea, my coffee mysteriously disappeared several times and I had many glasses of water go M.I.A.. Countless times I found my glass empty in the sink. But there was one drink that never seemed to get thrown away. The soda I got at the drive-thru, which sat in my car’s cup holder for hours on a hot day. I got  distracted before I made it to the garbage can and set it on the counter. Three hours later there it was just as I left it. The bottom of the cardboard cup was now deteriorating from the sweat of the melting ice. A puddle of soda/water circled the cup and dripped down the side of my counter. It’s funny how no one thought to throw this one away.

Advertisements

We took the kids to an arcade/inside amusement park. The place wasn’t too fancy. The game room was typical. Skeeball games lined the walls and car games with the steering wheel and gas pedals were abundant. There were tons of ticket machines, the kind that has flashing lights and a bubble. You hit the bubble and the lights quickly circle the machine and land on a number. Whatever number the light stops on is the amount of tickets you win. In the lobby of this giant play room was a beautifully restored carousel from 1922. My older children and my husband went into an area where they could shoot plastic balls at each other through giant canon like machines. I accompanied my two-year old on her discovery adventure. It was the first time she saw a lot of these games and moving machines. She climbed into the rocket and pretended to take off. After returning from space she noticed an old ice-cream truck jumped in and believed she was actually driving. As I was following her to her next destination I noticed an older couple. They were standing in the middle of the lobby looking around. If I had to guess I would say they were well into their eighty’s. It was obvious the gentleman was a taller man in his youth. But now there was a small hunch in his upper back. The woman was much shorter than him and had the kindest eyes. Their steps were slow and they lingered in the lobby. I remember thinking they must be here to see their grandchildren. I raced to keep up with my very active toddler and forgot about the couple. It wasn’t long before my older children and my husband were running up to us. They grew tired of shooting balls at each other and running around. They wanted to take a break. “Let’s go on the carousel,” my son yelled. Good Idea, I thought. I went over to buy tickets and sent them to stand in line. When I came back I saw the most amazing thing. The eighty-some year-old couple was sitting on horses side by side. They didn’t come in to see their grandchildren. They came in to ride the carousel. Their faces glowed and they looked excited to be taking a trip around the moving platform. I wanted to watch my children’s faces but realized I was more engrossed with seeing theirs. Their eyes were connected and their smiles matched. A moment was being shared and I was experiencing with them. No longer did I see them as old people. I saw them as teenagers on their first date. I lived their life with them in a matter of minutes. I pictured them marrying, raising a family, welcoming grandchildren and lasting the long haul. I don’t know if they were rich or poor and it didn’t matter. They were happy and young at heart. Age is but a number, the child we were forever remains and this couple proved it.  I saw them ride off into the sunset. It was glorious.  

We took the kids to an arcade/inside amusement park. The place wasn’t too fancy. The game room was typical. Skeeball games lined the walls and car games with the steering wheel and gas pedals were abundant. There were tons of ticket machines, the kind that has flashing lights and a bubble. You hit the bubble and the lights quickly circle the machine and land on a number. Whatever number the light stops on is the amount of tickets you win. In the lobby of this giant play room was a beautifully restored carousel from 1922. My older children and my husband went into an area where they could shoot plastic balls at each other through giant canon like machines. I accompanied my two-year old on her discovery adventure. It was the first time she saw a lot of these games and moving machines. She climbed into the rocket and pretended to take off. After returning from space she noticed an old ice-cream truck jumped in and believed she was actually driving. As I was following her to her next destination I noticed an older couple. They were standing in the middle of the lobby looking around. If I had to guess I would say they were well into their eighty’s. It was obvious the gentleman was a taller man in his youth. But now there was a small hunch in his upper back. The woman was much shorter than him and had the kindest eyes. Their steps were slow and they lingered in the lobby. I remember thinking they must be here to see their grandchildren. I raced to keep up with my very active toddler and forgot about the couple. It wasn’t long before my older children and my husband were running up to us. They grew tired of shooting balls at each other and running around. They wanted to take a break. “Let’s go on the carousel,” my son yelled. Good Idea, I thought. I went over to buy tickets and sent them to stand in line. When I came back I saw the most amazing thing. The eighty-some year-old couple was sitting on horses side by side. They didn’t come in to see their grandchildren. They came in to ride the carousel. Their faces glowed and they looked excited to be taking a trip around the moving platform. I wanted to watch my children’s faces but realized I was more engrossed with seeing theirs. Their eyes were connected and their smiles matched. A moment was being shared and I was experiencing with them. No longer did I see them as old people. I saw them as teenagers on their first date. I lived their life with them in a matter of minutes. I pictured them marrying, raising a family, welcoming grandchildren and lasting the long haul. I don’t know if they were rich or poor and it didn’t matter. They were happy and young at heart. Age is but a number, the child we were forever remains and this couple proved it.  I saw them ride off into the sunset. It was glorious.  

I have always loved being a waitress. I enjoy seeing what other’s will tip me. There is a thrill in the anticipation of receiving the money. I wonder what they gave me. They seemed friendly. The moment comes and you are delightfully surprised when customers exceed your expectations. When you receive less than you should have it’s a bummer of a feeling. It wasn’t worth the wait. That’s where the fun lies. In the wait, in the end a waitress wants to get tipped. There’s lots of funny moments in this career. I could tell you a thousand but tonight I will only tell you about last minute people. Whoever out there worked in a restaurant knows exactly who I’m talking about. The people who walk up to the window check the closing time. They give a quick glimpse at their watch, look at the person joining them, shrug their shoulders and say “We still have time.” They have no idea that you just ran four hours straight, did another sixty-minutes of clean-up and still had silver to roll. You were just about to marvel in the thought of the night being over. Instead you grab two menus, force a smile and attempt to sound pleasant. You would think these people would harbor a little guilt. There are some that know it was probably a bad idea, but stay anyway. There are other’s that become somewhat defensive and feel the need to talk really loud and explain why they came. You know the one’s that yell out, “I know it’s late but I’m starving.” The best ones are the people who take their time ordering. It’s like they enjoy rubbing salt in the wound. You approach the table and ask to take a drink order. No answer. They stay focused on the menu and don’t give a reply until you ask again. You bring the drinks and ask if they are ready to order. “One more minute,” they say. If only they  knew the waitress is thinking, “One more minute, we’re only open for one more minute.” By the time they leisurely finish their meal all of the silver has been rolled. Your purse is on the counter and your jacket is visible. There is no one in the dining room but you and them. You have no choice but to keep looking in their direction. Still, they remain. It’s obvious they are lost in conversation. They are oblivious to the worker mopping the floors two booth away from them. Not even a blink when bright lights are turned on.  At last you see them beginning to stir. You are hopeful this is it. One arm through a coat sleeve is a good sign. They rise to get up. You fill with relief. Trying to appear patient you nod goodbye. You wait for them to exit then run to clear the table. You scan the mess. You mean there’s no tip. Disgusted you clear the plates cursing all types of thoughts. Your mood goes from irked to down right mad. You grab the last plate and discover a folded up ten dollar bill. It was worth the wait.

A few weeks ago I had no idea what a blog was. I heard the name over and over. Mostly I heard of it in the news. Everytime Rosie got into a heated discussion with someone she supposedly talked about it on her blog. So I did have an inkling it was some type of online journal. I set one up as a way to network myself for future writing possibilities. Maybe just maybe someone somewhere would like reading what I wrote and who knows it could lead to something right? My excitement is beginning to dwindle a bit as I look at my blogging Stats. The first day I couldn’t believe I had eighty some hits, the next day was the same thing. But today only fifteen or so. I am beginning to get discouraged. Every spare moment I get I check to see if any comments were left or how many people viewed. I think I am addicted to blogs. But the lower my stats are the less I feel motivated. I guess I could look at it as regardless of who looks at what I have to say- I am writing. And writing is what I love to do.  

     I was chubby as a child. I like to say I had baby weight for say -sixteen years. I was determined to lose the baby weight once I entered eleventh grade. By the start of college I was beginning to hear talks of the freshmen fifteen. Oh I was not going to gain fifteen pounds. I just lost the baby fifteen. So, I watched and watched and watched what I ate. I survived college without gaining a pound. Okay, it wasn’t as hard for me as I am leading you to believe. My dorm was my parent’s house and the university I attended was a local college. There was no reason for me to live on pizza and fast food when my mother provided a hot meal each night. She was genius at balancing her meals carefully. All meals consisted of a protein, starch and vegetable. For dessert we were treated to a delicious fruit salad. College life ended and I entered into the world of married people. My home was no longer at my parents and my personal chef- aka my mother was home cooking for my father. I did luck out though, my husband worked second shift and I worked first. I was not expected to cook. I had to fend for myself as did he. It wasn’t hard maintaining my weight. My refrigerator only consisted of fresh-brewed iced tea and some condiments. I grew fond of boiled noodles and store bought spaghetti sauce. This way of life didn’t last too long. I was pregnant and knew in no time this person growing in my belly would look to me for food. Shortly after two more little persons entered my world. I assumed the role of chef and began cooking well balanced meals for my children. I was proud of myself for providing home-cooked dinners. But once again-life changed and a new fifteen was lurking, waiting, determined to throw itself at me. This time it’s the… baseball fifteen. I thought I better warn the unsuspecting mom’s out there. Especially the one’s that haven’t had a child join baseball yet. Four out of seven days I am at the field. Dinners have been preempted until further notice. I suppose I could prepare the meals earlier in the day or even days ahead. We could eat before we go, but then who wants to play on a full stomach. So I rationalize the options and decide it is easier to eat at the food stand. We can find protein in a hot dog, starch in a pizza, fruit in a Popsicle and sometimes there is broccoli and shells which gives us the vegetable. Do you see how dangerous this is? I am convincing myself it is okay to eat all this great junky food four days a week. So please, heed my advice and watch out. This fifteen comes disguised as convenient and inexpensive. This fifteen shows up even at away games and is very hard to resist. Consider yourself warned. I wish someone warned me.I found out by being unable to buckle my jeans. 

I am new to this world of blogging. I have read other people’s blogs and saw that many of them receive comments on their blog contributions. Some of their hits are in the thousands. Can anyone offer advice on what to write if you are looking for feedback on your writing. What makes a blog successfull? Is it the luck of the draw? Do we need software other than what wordpress offers? If anyone who has a successful blog can answer these questions I would appreciate it.

You just vacuumed every room. The tables are all polished, there is nothing on the floor and the windows have all been cleared of little hand prints.

Your bathroom is glistening, all of the beds are made and the laundry has been put away neatly. You take a step back look over your house and feel a sense of accomplishment.

If company happens to show up. You are ready. They may even compliment you on keeping a tidy house. Especially knowing children are there all day long.

But do they show up? No, not today.

Fast forward a day or two. You say to yourself, I don’t feel like doing housework today. What’s the point, no one sees it anyway.

The dishes are piled in the sink. The counters are filled with empty juice cups and school papers. The floor is decorated with popcorn kernels from the night before.

You brought up three baskets of laundry to fold, but decided you will fold them later after the kids go to sleep.

The bathroom has pajamas and socks hanging from the towel racks and three pairs of shoes have been kicked off into each of the corners. The toilet is clogged and won’t be flushed until your husband gets home to unclog it.

You started to make your bed but decided to come back to it after you feed the baby. 

Your appearance is pretty much in line with the condition of your house. No makeup was painted on your face today. You slipped on those old cut-off sweat pants you swore to throw away.

Your hair is greasy and a mustache is making it’s way across your top lip. You look in the mirror and think-What an eyesore I am.

Just as you are about to turn on your soaps and kick back, the sound of the doorbell ringing sends your heart to your toes.

Company is here. Yes of course they know exactly when to come. And wouldn’t you know, they need to use the bathroom.

Okay, let me introduce myself. You can call me Mar, pronounced-Mare-short for Maribeth. Having a long name almost guarantees it will be shortened at some point or another. Heck having a short name may guarantee the same.

I have come to love my shortened name. As a young girl my mother would cringe when hearing someone call me by anything other than my birth name. “Maribeth is such a pretty name, don’t let others ruin it,” she would say.

But I felt differently. The fact that someone shortened my name made me feel like I belonged. I found it much cooler to be called Mar than Maribeth, and I didn’t like being called Mary for any reason.

I have had other nicknames at various times in my life. I was Nini(Nee-Nee) as a child. This name was given to me by my youngest sister because she could not pronounce my birth name. So Nini I was- until about thirteen. 

Once I entered my teens I branched outside of my inner community and Nini became a long ago name. 

At about seventeen we welcomed my first nephew into this world. I shared a special bond with him. When he was a toddler, he couldn’t pronounce my name let alone put “Aunt” in front of it, so to him I became FA FA. I nicknamed him Chico-for what reason I can’t recall. For a good five years, maybe longer. We were known as Chico and Fa Fa. Catchy right? I thought so

Then I met my husband. His family is a fun bunch and couldn’t understand that my name was Maribeth not Mary. My husband reminded them many times but still they called me “Mary” With each “Mary” I would cringe. 

Then finally, his oldest sister thougt it was funny to say”Here comes Mary Foo Foo.” From that moment his family stopped calling me Mary and started calling me Foo Foo, or an occasional Foof. I was just thankful they stopped calling me Mary.

Then when I was about twenty-five, my first born looked up at me with her round green eyes smiled and called me Mom. A name I hope will stay with me until my last day here on earth.

The funny thing is- I think each name that was chosen for me brought out a different characteristic that may have not come out without the name.

As Mar, I felt cool, like one of the gang-maybe even tough. As Nini- I felt young, likeable, noteable, rememberable.

 As Fa-Fa I felt like the cool aunt. We shared a bond that was created by the name he chose for me.

As Foo Foo, I felt liked by a family other than my own.

The older I get, I learn to embrace the name Mary. It’s not so bad, it’s actually a beautiful name, but one I had to grow into.

So whether I’m Maribeth-Mar-Nini-FaFa-Foo Foo, Foof, Mary or Mom-most importantly I am me. Thanks to others their nicknames have helped me know myself a little better and made my life a bit more colorful.

 20 Things about Me

1. I love God

2. I Love to write

3. I have been married for twelve years

4. I have four children

5. I am a Virgo

6. Favorite tree-Weeping Willow

7. I am a chocoholic

8. I am a night-owl

9. I love to read

10. I am a good listener but I also love to talk

11. I love sushi

12. I love jewelry

13. I love shoes

14. I collect angels

15. Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons

16. I love to dream

17. I enjoy cooking

18. Favorite flowers-Tiger Lillies and Hydranges

19. Favorite drinks-Coffee,Chai Tea and Iced Tea

20. I love to laugh