About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Social Whirl is Winding Down

At least a little. I caught a bit of traffic after work last night, and by the time I’d finished up at the grocery store, it was about an hour before I needed to be at dinner with my friends, with the finished brownies. So I called one of them and told her I would meet them at the dance.

I listened to an archived podcast of Sticks and String while the brownies baked, and I knitted. As of this morning, roughly an inch and a half [4 cm or less] remains before I bind off Anastasia and start picking up stitches for the afterthought heel. Between now and then, I want to make a trip over to Harbor Freight to pick up a digital pocket scale. There were somewhere between 1000 and 1200 yards on this 4-oz [112g? can that be right? wouldn’t a quarter of a pound equal just less than 500g?] skein, and I think I’ve used maybe a third of that, and I’d like to confirm that before making the fatal snip.

Back to the subject of Harbor Freight for a minute. Brother Sushi buys a lot of tools there, because they carry everything you can imagine, and at a discount. I had never heard of it until he told me.

When I needed the blue painter’s masking tape to line up the Wall Words on the dining room wall in the old apartment, that’s where I went [chiefly because my neighborhood grocer didn’t carry any, and there’s a Harbor Freight not too far from Secondborn and her tribe. Two birds, one stone, and all that.

Middlest had left McAllen and her Awful MIL and was waiting to join her hubby at Great Lakes after he completed his basic training for the Navy [the place where he apparently got the idea for a girl in every port. Bozo.] She was staying with her father and Fourthborn at the time. And we got to hang out a lot, which was very nice. But I digress on my digression.

There is a joke on one of the singles sites that I used to frequent, that the best way for a girl to get a date for Saturday night is to walk into a hardware store and peel a banana. I’m not sure that I want to understand all the logic or symbolism behind that.

At any rate, Middlest and I walked into this enormous hardware store that was teeming with menfolk of all ages and a handful of intrepid females, none of whom apparently brought their fruit salad with them, and most of whom looked as if they could tear down a Jeep in 23 seconds flat. As we were standing in line to pay, I had a thought. Middlest read my face and said, “What? ... What?” I murmured that I would tell her in the car.

Which I did, after we were buckled in and the windows were up and the doors were locked. “I think we just discovered the Testosterone Kingdom”. [That will only be funny to someone who is or used to be LDS, and is otherwise explainable only at Macaulayesque length. I’m not even going to try. But you could ask the missionaries about the three degrees of glory, the next time that they knock on your door.]

I think if I were the type to go hunting for a man, Harbor Freight would not be a bad place to start. You’re almost guaranteed that the guys who go in there are good at fixing things, or at least willing to learn. And “competence” is definitely one of the legs on what Tinks and I call my Three Legged Character Stool, the shortlist of what defines a “keeper” for me.

Unfortunately, most of the fellows I saw in there on my last trip, could either afford tools or dentists, but not both. And the ability or inability to go see the dentist is something that conjures up ghosts from my past. At the first apartment complex we lived in when we moved back up here from the Texas Hill Country, the maid/make-ready supervisor was a woman with a good heart and a lot of common sense. I really liked talking to her. We will call her Fannie Mae [just to irritate any government spooks who may be reading this blog].

And Fannie Mae was a smoker and one step up from destitute and missing maybe a third of her teeth. She was my age, and looked 20 years older. When one of my wisdom teeth cracked and fell apart as I was sitting and reading and eating bonbons, I probed that jagged remnant and wondered how we were going to fix it. And I thought to myself “I am not going to be [another] Fannie Mae.” Because I could look into my future and see myself losing one tooth after another; at that point I had not seen a dentist in over ten years and had not had medical insurance in thirteen. I think that is when I realized that in a material sense, my life was not ever going to get any better unless I made some drastic changes.

Thankfully, the fast offerings that our friends had paid into our church, covered the extraction. [Once a month, those of us who are able to fast, fast for two meals and give the value of that food, or more if we can afford it, as a fast offering to bless the poor. I have been the poor. And I have been blessed.] When it was time for the other three wisdom teeth to come out, the children’s father was working and had dental coverage. We were separating at that point, but he took care of me after the extractions, and I took care of him after his cataract surgery.

I am thankful to have a good job and benefits that include dental insurance.

So, I’m headed over to Fort Worth to watch one or more sessions of General Conference today, and I’m making a side trip to Harbor Freight. And I am leaving my bananas at home.

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