August 8, 2015

Another thought too long to tweet

… or, in this case, too lengthy to rudely take up all the space in someone else’s virtual living room.

You all know Aunt B. (You don’t?! Why?!)

She regularly makes multiple wise and important societal observations on her blog, on the Twitters and in the real world. She is a person always worth reading and, more importantly, knowing.

I often natter on in her comments sections. In this post (which I saw in its original tweets), she creates another of her patented thought-provoking commentaries.

I wish I could be as wise, socially aware and eloquent, but y’all know me. I ain’t.

So I focused on something I *could* comment on. And that’s what prompted this comment-turned-post of mine.

Now that you’ve read her post, I have to ask: Does *everyone* have a family story involving Dwight Yoakam?

I have a cousin, a long, lanky and equally laconic fellow, who inherited our grandfather’s sly sense of humor. Like one of the commenters at B’s place, we, too, were at a family dinner one Sunday. It had reached the menfolks-snoring-or-gently-arguing-in-the-den, women-trash-talking-at-the-table stage of the afternoon.

My cousin sauntered in, bored, looking for a biscuit. Granny pointed over to the stove, and J proceeded to Dwight-walk across the kitchen in his sock feet.

Like this, you know.

dwight walk

(In socks, now. Complete with bent knees at one point. Lordy.)

There was a shocked silence, then everybody either doubled over laughing or started applauding. We were so loud we woke the men up in the den.

J just smiled and Dwight-walked back out.

My grandmother finally spoke.

“WHAT was that?”

“Oh, he was dancing like Dwight Yoakam,” his mom said.


We took Granny in the den and changed the channel from the ball game to CMT. Strangely, after about three other videos, one of Dwight’s came up. (I don’t remember which one, but he was doing the slide-walk.)

Granny watched it.

“Where DID that boy find paint that color blue?” she asked when it was over.

Wicked, wicked Granny.

“Where DID that boy get paint that color?” has been a family joke ever since. Especially among us women. Because … you know.

We also use another Dwight-ism whenever somebody says “Hang on a minute”:

“Hang onto THIS, buddy.”

December 24, 2014


This day and every day. It’s a fine place to start.


June 19, 2014

Sometimes you just gotta say …

I found another workplace with loud obnoxious people today while I was trying to set an appointment.

The clerk and I couldn’t hear each other because two of her coworkers were SHOUTING an inane conversation about their supper right next to, or possibly over, her.

After almost 10 unsuccessful minutes of “I’m sorry, hang on,” “What?” and “I couldn’t hear that” exchanges, I finally asked the clerk to hold her phone receiver up toward the shouters.


There was a sudden silence on her end, then the clerk came back on the line, coughed gently and said, “Okay, ma’am, did we decide that the first will be the best day?” as if nothing unusual had happened. We finalized my appointment quickly, I thanked her and apologized for yelling.

She said “Just a second” and then said, “Okay, they finally left. Don’t apologize, ma’am; I and other people have asked them several times to quiet down because clients could hear them and we can’t work, and they just ignore us. Maybe you’ve fixed it. Thanks.”

I told her I doubted this one time would solve the problem for good, but if they did it again, to call me and give me their names and I’ll report them to the owners. She laughed and said she would.

Then she said “just a second” again, left the line and came back. “One of the other girls wants you to be sure to come by our section when you come in,” she said. “She wants to shake your hand.”

I laughed and said, “You girls are welcome to call my office and do the very same thing for us. We have people just like those two.”

Score one for the long-suffering professionals.


Aw yiss

February 27, 2014

Public Service Announcement No. 4,851

Dear bunnies,

At least once a year, and maybe even every six months, take a few minutes and visit the website of every company with which you *regularly* do business, online and IRL, and verify that your contact information is updated and correct.

Maybe make it something you do on your birthday or new year’s, or when you do your taxes, or when you change the smoke-alarm batteries.

halpert computer


Why this PSA?

Well, it’s another one of my Auntie-loves-you-bunnies-and-wants-you-to-be-happy-and-not-inconvenienced things, of course. You know, those things I do even though you’re grown and know perfectly well how to live safely and happily as an adult and wear a coat and lock the door and eat something green every once in a while.


I discovered today that a company with which I’ve done business for at least a dozen years — and for which it is CRITICAL that my address is correct — was using an address of mine that’s been invalid since 2006.

I have updated my info at their website before and received written confirmation of the change from them, as well as seeing the change confirmed on the screen.

I visit their website two or three times a year and always see that my contact info is correct. (Blame my OCD.)

When I asked them several times via email since the first of the year for a refund of an overpayment and they didn’t respond to a single one, I got angry. Phone calls got the situation straightened out — or so I thought.

When I still had no response or refund after another two weeks, I called again today. They said the refund check had been mailed.

To my 2006 address. Which I had updated long ago, deleted and replaced with my current address, also long ago.

I checked their website again, and sure enough, the 2006 address was back in my contact info, as if it had never been changed.

The situation supposedly is being resolved and a check reissued, but if I had had an emergency and needed this company’s help, the help would have gone to a place I haven’t been since 2006. Despite keeping my contact information updated and valid.

The moral of this story? Trust but verify. Always.

And document every phone, online and IRL interaction with businesses. It’ll save you some frustration in an already frustrating situation. Bad enough that companies can be hacked and our sensitive information taken by crooks at almost any time, but it seems some companies can’t even rely on their existing systems to keep our information correct.

(And guess what? I checked their website again a few minutes ago, and my current address is in my contact info. JUST AS I TYPED IT ALL THOSE YEARS AGO.)

February 15, 2014

Here’s a thought …

If you are a person of predominantly Caucasian heritage and are above the age of accountability, as it’s often referred to in some fundamentalist denominations, I have a suggestion.

If a person or group of people who look different from you is/are doing something in a public place that you don’t particularly agree with but not clearly physically endangering you or anyone else — i.e., walking past you, playing loud music in their vehicle parked next to yours, sending text messages — ignore it, or leave.

It is not your inalienable right to fight someone who offends you by existing while you’re in a convenience store parking lot or a movie theater or in your front yard. You do not have a constitutional right to kill someone because you don’t like their looks, despite how some states’ laws may be interpreted.

Whipping out a gun and shooting whomever offends your delicate white sensibilities by being a Person of Color proves nothing but exposes to the world the fact that you are nothing but a cowering, overcompensating little animal, an animal who must mark his territory and lash out whenever he feels threatened by a leaf in a breeze. Perhaps a little yappy castrated Chihuahua should be your spirit animal.


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