Meet The Flintstones

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I had a husband. That husband met my parents and liked Daddy-O enough to plan a trip down to Florida so that he and Daddy-O could go fishing. Husband showed up at Daddy-O’s house at the appointed time and found Daddy-O cutting back trees in the yard. Daddy-O asked Husband for assistance with those trees before they left to go fishing and eight hours later, Husband said, “I don’t know about you, but I’ve never done any fishing like this” as he carried the final bunch of limbs out to the curb. They never did go fishing together and both learned a valuable lesson – sometimes plans fall apart.

Once upon a time, very recently, I made plans to hang with Woney and her parents in Georgia for Memorial Day weekend. We were going to attend parties, have some cocktails with my friends, Miguel and Will, and lounge by the pool. I wasn’t worried at all about liking Woney’s parents because, hello, Woney. And I wasn’t worried about them liking me because, hello, Jimmie. I showed up at Pa Fred and Ma Wilma’s house ready to party but instead I moved furniture. Someone in the family sold a house and someone else felt like it was a marvelous idea to schedule a surprise clean-out on the only three-day weekend this family was gonna get. I wasn’t dressed at all for moving as I like girlie dresses and floppy shoes, and after a long time of me uselessly flapping around saying “What should I pack next? Whose truck does this go in? I can lift this end if you can get the other end,” we finally got to sit down and eat pizza in our dirty, sweaty clothes. I said to the Flintstone family, “I don’t know about you, but I never attended any parties like this before – usually there is a pool and a barbeque,” as I wiped the sweat and mascara from my cheek. We never did get to meet my friends for drinks, either. I learned a valuable lesson – sometimes plans fall apart.

Lest you think I have my panties all in a twist over the surprise moving party, I’m going to tell you that my Memorial Day weekend was fabulous. It really was. Woney’s parents, Pa Fred and Ma Wilma, were just the nicest parents ever. When I arrived, Woney was showing me all around the room, introducing me to her family, and mentioned that I was the friend she took to Ireland. She was telling the story about how I would not kiss the Blarney Stone (y’all, it has been urinated upon) to receive the Gift of Gab (that’s what it promises), and Pa Fred said, “She already has the gift of gab – she doesn’t need it!” I hadn’t even said hello to him yet but I could tell we were gonna see eye to eye, Pa Fred and I.

Oh, I loved those people! Ma Wilma made a salad for the family but because I don’t eat maraschino cherries, she left them out. Aunt Collette offered me some of Aunt Sue’s belongings even though I never met Aunt Sue and won’t because her house was the one that was sold after her passing. Niece McKenzie, the most beautiful 16-year-old girl I know, is making plans to travel with Woney and me in the near future. All Woney’s brothers treated me like they treat Woney except maybe nicer because while I’m sister-like, I’m not really their sister and don’t deserve to be picked on just yet.

I also met Woney’s new cat, Boo. Isn’t she cute?

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Well, she’s cute in real life where she is exactly this blurry as she tears all around the house and finally stops when she claws her way lickety split up your leg and you knock her off. We came home from moving to find Pa Fred kicked back in his recliner, a bandage fashioned from a paper towel and secured on with a ring of electrical tape around his leg to staunch the bleeding inflicted by Boo’s claws. He reminds me of Poppa. “I hate that damn cat,” he’d say but then five minutes later you’d catch him stroking her furry, blurry head.

I got more hugs that I deserved from these people. The Flintstone family gives great hugs, just like my family. They share their inside jokes and make fun of each other and have dinner together at a table that is ever so slightly too small but it doesn’t matter because they all like each other and want to sit close. I got more apologies than I deserved, too. Each person apologized to me, their guest, for being forced into a move no one planned on the weekend meant for parties and barbeques, which I really did not mind. I hate to tell them but when they meet my family, they will have to move tree limbs in order to earn pizza and fishing. It’s all going to come out in the wash!

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Throwback Thursday! No Words Needed

Madre

Madre

Auntie Pastel

Auntie Pastel

Lynnette

Lynnette

Junior Prom Date and Jimmie

Junior Prom Date and Jimmie

Jimmie and Martie

Jimmie and Martie

Dammit Todd

Dammit Todd

Jimmie

Jimmie

Martie

Martie

Madre and Poppa

Madre and Poppa

Martie and Jimmie

Martie and Jimmie

Yes, That Sounds Normal

I ran into an old high school friend this weekend. He’s a police officer here in Nashville, and it seems to me that a friend like that is a handy thing to have.

I also was involved in an accident this weekend. Some guy behind me “lost his footing on the clutch” and smacked the back end of my car pretty good. I was at a red light, in heels and church clothes, and of course, got out of my car to assess the damage. The guy, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, didn’t even put his car in gear or open his door.

I hollered, “What exactly are you doing?” and got the lame clutch excuse. He yelled it out his window and my head nearly popped off in anger. My bumper was fine, surprisingly (and I’ll say here, my car’s engine has given me lots of fits since January but it seems the body can take a hit pretty good), and when he saw that nothing was lying on the ground, he yelled again out the window, “Thank you!” and drove off, waving his cigarette at me as he drove merrily away, leaving me standing in the turn lane in my heels and skirt.

It would have been nice had I run into the police officer friend at that intersection but, no. That would never happen. Instead, I ran into him when I was at the grocery store getting “girlie supplies.” “Girlie supplies” consist of cookie dough, prewashed grapes and the neon hot pink box of *those* supplies. Why hot pink? Why such a loud color? Of course that’s when I saw my police officer friend. Of course.

Anyway, below are some pictures of my recent life. And while I’m talking about pictures, don’t forget to send me your Throwback Thursday pics. I already have some good ones and will get them up this week.

Madre's Flowers

Madre’s Flowers

Sounds Game

Sounds Game

Martie, Tigger, Jimmie

Martie, Tigger, Jimmie

Coach, Pooh, Tigger, Martie, Jimmie

Coach, Pooh, Tigger, Martie, Jimmie

Jimmie, Pooh, Martie

Jimmie, Pooh, Martie

Coach, Tigger, Jimmie

Coach, Tigger, Jimmie

My Greenway

My Greenway

Tuesday, 6:00 A.M.

“Yes, ma’am, that happened because you are older than 25,” my new dermatologist said as I pointed out a skin flaw I have recently developed.

I groaned and pointed to another. “Mmm hmm, that one is because you are older than 25, too.” One more. “Yep, over 25.”

I pointed out a final weird skin thing, and looked up hopefully, waiting for her to finally tell me that one of my skin oddities could be easily fixed with an application of lemon juice and tooth paste. “That one, yeah, that one is because you are over 40. Yes, honey. Sunscreen. Go get it. Next time you come in here you better be lathered up in it.”

You want to feel old? Go to the dermatologist. When she lets you look at some exuberantly brown freckle through her magnifying glass, you’ll feel old as dirt. Your skin looks like crepe up close. Did you know that? And then to add insult to injury, she’ll ask you for $80 for her assessment (that’s the discounted rate) and have you schedule the first of many appointments just to get some work done on the damage aging has caused. It was a slow realization for me, that she meant it when she said “daily all-over sunscreen, even in the rain,” only because I’m loathe to wear it all the time. Not only does it make me permanently flushed of cheek, but I’ll be an oil slick, too. Yee-haw. Why am I still single, I wonder?

So that was a great way to start a Tuesday. Really made me feel good about myself.

On the opposite end of the coin, last week I ended a Thursday in a way I never expected. I’d have told you that there was enough alcohol in the world to make me to do it, but that the amount of alcohol would knock me on my duff, out cold on the sidewalk in the dirty part of town before I ever reached the point of wanting to try this activity. Yet there I was, in a dance studio, taking a ballroom dancing lesson. I know! Me! The girl with no rhythm, the one people have made fun of as I danced, that pasty white girl! I was learning how to dance!

In all fairness, I should tell you that the dances I learned involved four steps: forward, back, side, side. No wiggling. No sashaying. No hip shakes of any sort, although when I watched the instructors dancing I realized that they looked less mechanical than I and somehow far, far sexier. But four steps! How can I mess that up?

I’ll tell you how. First, when the instructor, whom I shall call Antonio, says, “Ready, 5 – 6 – 7 – 8, now back – back – side – together, back – back – side – together,” you’ll want to whisper to yourself, “Ready, 4 – 5 – 6 – wait, I mean 8, back – back – side – back – no wait, together, no wait – I lost it, now back – back – side – together, yay I’m doing it, back – oh crap, I lost it.” That’s how.

And then when Antonio says, “Let’s change the tempo. Now we are going to s l o w – s l o w – quickquick,” you are going to silently count it out and forget that right after quickquick comes s l o w – s l o w and drag Antonio along with you in the wrong speed because you are bossy and don’t know how to follow.

After 45 minutes of practicing your follow and your counting (I’m not kidding, I’m bossy – it’s hard) and stepping, stepping, stepping, forward, back, side, together, you’ll start to get it. Antonio was very patient with me and rather bossy his own self and teaches this for a living so I’m certain I am not his worst pupil to date. Then after your group lesson when it becomes readily apparent that you are the newbie with zero skills, you’ll feel even better about things, especially as all the instructors remain bossy but don’t let you remain bossy and give you pointers at every step and count out every dance for you. Finally, when they have the dance party and every single instructor fights for your attention as a partner, you’ll stop caring how stupid you look and just enjoy the dance. That’s the whole point anyway, to enjoy it.

Let me tell you what I particularly loved about that lesson. I loved that Antonio held my hand every time we walked across the dance floor. He never took a hand or arm off of me. He made me feel special and that I could trust him. I think there is a dance lesson in there about following, about trusting your lead, but whatever it was, I loved it. I belonged. His time was my time and nothing could take that away. The other instructors who cut in every few seconds during the dance party also made me feel special. I know I was terrible at it, and I know that if any of them became a permanent instructor to me, they’d sigh at the amount of work they had to do, but the attention I got from them did not belie that at all. They held my hands and led me around and counted for me, even when I lost the count and even when I didn’t shake anything at all but simply did the White Man’s Shuffle.

I sat down with Antonio after my lesson to discuss pricing. Truthfully, I had attended the lesson to be nice as one of my lovely new co-workers got a free lesson by bringing a guest. She’s been dancing for years and it shows. It made me proud to watch her. But I had only expected to pass an evening and not love it like I did. However. Pricing. Turns out that ballroom dancing is for swanky people and since my salary is going to be invested in Neutrogena sunscreen from now until death, I can’t see my way into paying for lessons that may or may not yank that bossiness right out of me. I’m afraid that eliminating it altogether would prove to be an impossibility, but maybe some tempering of it would have been nice.

Still single. Wonder why.

Oh, Right. I Was Supposed To Have Winners.

I realized about halfway through my game show posts that I was no longer giving you the correct answers to my quizzes. Whoops. Madre won it all anyway as she got the most correct, and I’m telling you, she is a virtual fount of miscellaneous, useless information. Bootsie and E won round three. I already have lunch planned with Bootsie for Thursday, so E, let’s do lunch! (Any excuse really.) Martie won round five and for that she gets a date night soon.

For those of you who quit paying attention but really wanted to know the answers, please see below.

Lobcock – a dull or boring person
Tittup – the prancing of a horse
Furfur – dandruff
Crapulence – a sickness resulting from too much food or drink
Pissonia – a small bush found in Australia, although I’ll award bonus points to BMB for his definition: Pissonia is a small island in the south pacific, full of really angry people. Cruise ships never go there for that very reason.

Your mission is use each of these words at least once in daily conversation. Let me know how that works out for you.

I had another thought about what we could do on this here blog. I’d like to do a Throwback Thursday edition and ask all of you to send me pictures of yourself from back in the day. I’d love to see some big ol’ 80’s hair or some goth eyeliner, both on boys and girls. You know, send me the pictures you’ll be mortified to show or even the ones where you were adorable. I’m going to dig up some of mine and in a couple of weeks am going to share them here. Won’t you join me? Send your pictures to extraordinaryordinarygirl@gmail.com or my personal email if you know me personally in the next week and a half, and I’ll do one big post will all our submissions.

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I’ll type at you again tomorrow. I had an Event yesterday and you must know about it.

Later!

Tropical Cruise Part Five: Pissonia

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Five 2

Today I’m wrapping up the final words about my cruise and truthfully, I’m a little melancholy. Spring is here finally, so yay sunshine, but the people I vacationed with are not. I’m going to miss the half marathon in May so I’m not sure when I will see My Girls again, although if I know us, it won’t be long. Spring makes travel feel so hopeful.

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Five 11

Even though I feel so connected to My Girls, we still have a lot to learn about each other. We did so much talking on the ship. Every night at dinner we would pose philosophical questions and take turns asking each other stuff. One night the four of us were lounging in the restaurant in our sweet sundresses and red sunburns, discussing our marriages. Rather, Woney and I were discussing our divorces, neither of which was pretty. Divorce is never pretty but sometimes marriages aren’t either and unfortunately, Woney and I had some rough times with our respective spouses. We were discussing our horror stories and Squash and Nurse Bananahammock were “mmm hmmm”-ing and patting our arms when I realized that the couple sitting next to us, a young man and woman wearing wedding bands, had slowly stopped talking to each other and were just going through the mechanisms of dinner.

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five 10

Y’all, I felt terrible! Here Woney and I were monopolizing the whole conversation with ugly stories about being married and this poor couple had no choice but to listen to us only a chair’s width away. I’m not known for being particularly quiet. Needless to say I introduced myself and then explained that as newlyweds they were not to listen to us but listen instead to Squash and Nurse Bananahammock, both of whom have lovely marriages. And then I told them about Kevin and how I was now betrothed and invited them to our wedding. I rounded that out with nosy questions of my own about their engagement and marriage and with all that, we found new friends. (You will ignore the fact that I browbeat them into that friendship and rest assured that they were thrilled to meet us.) Jonathan and Jennifer are the loveliest people and very happily married (I was wrong about their being newlyweds – they’ve been married 13 years) so I feel good that I was not a part of another wrecked marriage.

five 5

Another surprising couple we met, and these two are my favorites, have been married for some ridiculous amount of time – maybe 60 years. Grant and Astaar. We met them in the crowded bar that served the fruit in the drinks, and because there were not enough tables for everyone, we invited them to sit with us. Oh, I loved them! Grant was tooling around in his wheelchair, twinkling at everyone and Astaar was very calm and serene about all of it. We ran into them often throughout the week – you know how it is. You see one person one time and then it’s like you see them everywhere.

One night we were chatting with our new friends and Woney asked, “Could I take your picture?”

“Heavens, no,” said Grant. “I’ve got a bounty on my head. A picture would get me into trouble.”

“How much is the bounty?” Woney asked.

“$1.29.” Then he twinkled at us and took a swig of his drink.

Do you see? Do you see why I love them?

Five 1

While I’m having a love affair with people, I’ll tell you that I loved Dennis, too, our valet for our room. I liked the cruise director and the comedy team and all the strangers I met. We had a great wait staff, too. I meant to tell you this yesterday and forgot but one night at dinner, Woney replied “nothing” to the question “ma’am, what would you like for dessert?”

This is what she got.

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I always say this, but my favorite part of any trip or any adventure is the people. Traveling with My Girls is just easy as pie and meeting new people, for me anyway, comes naturally. I’m ever so thankful we took this trip. I’d take another, any time. Someone want to plan a trip? I’m in!

five 8

Final round of our game!

Tell me what pissonia is:

A. A non-poisonous snake found in the wilds of Australia
B. A mixer commonly used in cocktails in Australia
C. A small bush found in Australia

five 6

Don’t worry . . . . about a thing . . . . every little thing . . . . is gonna be alright . . . .

five 3

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Tropical Cruise Part Four: Crapulence

Food 3

Is anyone still here? Did I go away for too long? I’m sorry but I had to go on vacation to recover from my vacation so I spent some time at my Daddy-O’s house, lounging on the beach. I still don’t have a tan. I have no idea what is wrong with me.

Today we are going to talk about food, but before I begin with cruise food, I’d like to tell you about Daddy-O’s food. Daddy-O makes, hands down, the best stir fry I have ever eaten. Have I told you this before? Doesn’t matter, I’m telling you again. Every time I start planning a visit to his house, Daddy-O will ask me if I’d like anything special for dinner as he is just minutes away from a fish market and his love language is cooking for others. I will respond with silence, and then he will respond with, “Right. I meant to say instead, what night are we having stir fry?” Oh, it is delicious! For those of you who would like to visit Daddy-O and JiJi with me, understand that stir fry will be on the menu. If you are adverse to Asian food, well I’m sorry, but you don’t get a vote. Also, we will lounge on the beach and I will not get a tan. Apparently I don’t get a vote in that.

And now speaking of delicious food and not getting a tan, let’s get back to my cruise. Every self-respecting American understands that food on a cruise ship is probably the most important part of every cruise. Ports? Screw that! Excursions? Screw those! Performances? Who cares! What are they serving for dinner? Seriously, you are allowed to eat every fifteen minutes if you like. You can have 14 desserts a day if that cranks your tractor. Your kids eat only macaroni and cheese with cut up hot dogs? No problem! That is served at every meal. It is ridiculous.

Chocolate Margarita

Chocolate Margarita

You know, typing all that up makes it sound like that’s just a recipe for disaster. Somehow it wasn’t for me. I lost two pounds on that trip. How I do not know, but perhaps it is because, looking back, very little of the food was memorable. Who’d a thunk it? Here are the things I do remember, though:

Pineapple – It. Was. Perfect.

Pretzel rolls – small and chewy and covered in salt – I ate about fifteen of those

Mahi mahi – this from the person who would generally rather skip all meals than eat something that comes out of the water. It was amazing!

Bacardi Raz with diet Sprite – Squash ordered this one night and it came with a swizzle stick of blackberries and raspberries. It was gorgeous and I was jealous. I had to have one. Every bar we went to on the ship, every time I ordered a drink, that was the drink I ordered and do you know I almost never got the swizzle stick with fruit on it? Oh, I was disgusted. Might as well have thrown that drink in the trash as it was useless to me. No fruit, no tip. That’ll learn ‘em.

With fruit!

With fruit!

Chocolate Extravaganza – I can just hear all of you over there sighing, saying “Yep. Sounds like Jimmie.” However, I will have you know that I DID NOT ENJOY the Chocolate Extravaganza. Sure, I waited in line and took pictures of all the fancy creations. I filled up a plate with things to try. I wanted very much to love the guts out of that chocolate but after a few small, uninspiring bites, I decided I was over it and Woney and I threw full plates of dessert away. How?! How was that easy yet I cannot leave a bowlful of M&Ms alone?

Fancy chocolate thingamasomething

Fancy chocolate thingamasomething

Banana donut – That banana donut was my absolute favorite food from the whole trip, and you’ll be surprised to know it did not come from the Norwegian Dawn. Instead, it came from a man walking down the beach in Honduras carrying a huge Rubbermaid container hollering about “Banana donut! Three for five dollars!”

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not really one for eating homemade food out of a Rubbermaid container in a country where I don’t speak the language. Also, I’m not particularly a fan of the donut. But this woman, who was also on the beach on Honduras, was splashing herself in the water when the man walked by hollering “Banana donut!” She looked at me and asked, “Did he just say banana donut?” There was a tremble in her voice, and it sounded like excitement.

“I think so,” I said, and kind of laughed. As if. Donut from a Rubbermaid container? No.

Y’all, nothing surprised me more than when that woman, delicate and thin and definitely a swankier class of person than I, hauled her butt so fast out of that water you’d have thought she saw Jaws coming for her. She was splashing and flailing and yelling, “Banana donut! I had one last year and it was the best thing I ever ate! Ever!” And off she sailed to get her purse and corner the salesman.

Well. I never.

In short order, the Rubbermaid container man was surrounded by people holding up dollars who then tenderly wrapped those purchased donuts in paper towels. Naturally, I was curious. I stuck my hand in my pocket and found two dollars and offered that to him. “Can I get one for two dollars?” He grinned at me with his gappy teeth, took my money, and handed me a paper towel. I selected a donut and as I picked it up, I realized that this was the heftiest donut I have ever hefted in my life. That thing was heavy. I carefully walked that donut over to My Girls to offer each of them a quarter of it but only Woney was under the palm tree, so she and I split it. Once I took a bite, I was never more thankful in all my life that I only had to give up half a donut instead of three quarters of it. If I had to live the rest of my life and eat only two things until I croaked, I would pick that donut and Daddy-O’s stir fry. I’m so, so sorry that donut is gone.

Now that I’ve made you all hungry, and now that probably Nurse Bananahammock and Squash are mad at me for not sharing (that’ll learn you to go the bathroom when the banana donut man walks by), let’s resume our game.

Define crapulence:

A. A sickness from too much food and drink
B. A state of frenzy arising from over-excitement when sighting a celebrity
C. A period of mild depression lasting long periods of time

Winner gets a donut!

fourteen

Every little thing . . . . is gonna be alright . . . . .