Sunday, December 28, 2014

The New Car

The mileage police were hot on our trail.  For months now, we knew we were getting dangerously close to going over the 12,000 miles-per-year limit that came with the lease of our 2012 Toyota Camry.

But we didn't care.

We drove that car from New Jersey to Tennessee.

We drove that car from New Jersey to North Carolina.

We drove that car from New Jersey to Philadelphia and New York and Washington, DC.

We drove that car everywhere.

And finally, we crossed the line.  The point of no return.  The danger zone.

We (egads!) surpassed our allotted miles...with eight months still left to go on the lease!

We knew we could only evade the mileage police for so long before we would have to pay. The time had come to evaluate our options:
1. Ground the car until the lease expired and use my husband Bob's car, a 2005 Mercury with over 100,000 miles to its name.
2. Keep on driving, throw caution to the wind, and pay the mileage fees when the lease expired.
3. Go to the dealership and play "Let's Make a Deal" in the hopes of returning the car early and driving away with a newer model.

We chose option 3.

Upon arrival at the dealership, we were greeted by a red-haired, blue eyed, muscular young man in his late 20s whose sexy accent nearly put me into a hypnotic state that would have resulted in the purchase of every car in the show room.  Fortunately, reality came back to me in the form of my much more sensible hubby, who reminded me to play it cool, don't show too much emotion when taking a test drive, and let him do the negotiating.

Turns out Mr. Red Head hailed from South Africa, which turned out to be quite the conversation starter as I posed question after question about his homeland.  He responded with humor and smiles (I know....I know...of course he responded with smiles, he did want to sell us a car after all!)

Mr. Red Head escorted us to a cobolt grey 2015 Camry, which from the outside, seemed to mirror the 2012 version we were attempting to trade in.   The inside, however, not so much.

"Wow, you can see the outside temperature on the dashboard!" I exclaimed with glee.

"How many miles to the gallon does it get?" asked Bob

"Wow, you can program up to 36 radio stations!" I exclaimed with glee.

"Does it have four wheel drive?" asked Bob.

"Wow, it's got a hands-free phone system!" I exclaimed with glee.

"What's the horse power on this thing? asked Bob.

"Wow, I want this car!!" I exclaimed with glee.

"What's it gonna cost?" asked Bob, thus initiating phase two of the car-buying process....

THE NEGOTIATIONS. (Cue twilight zone music)

Mr. Red Head sat us down at a desk, offered up some cookies and coffee, and started punching the numbers. Now, had I been soley responsible for phase two of the car buying process, the negotiations would have gone something like this:

Mr. Red Head: "Well Lisa, here's what I can do for you.  I'll make you a great deal. You only have to pay $9,473 per month, plus your entire wardrobe, your home, all of your furniture, and your first-born.


Fortunately, this is where Bob's expertise came into play, so the neotiations went something like this:

Mr. Red Head: "Well Bob, I can give you this car for the incredibly low payment of one dime per month, plus we'll throw in a free oil change every six months."

Bob: "Make it a nickel or we walk!"

And so on it went.  As my Bob played hardball with Mr. Red Head, the sun sank lower and lower on the horizon.  Finally, we all came to a mutual agreement!  Mr. Red Head even threw in two free diet cokes that I demanded, using my powerful negotiating skills!

But wait.

We had to sign our name on 3,276 pieces of legal documents. Then they had to call the bank, and the insurance company, and the credit bureau, and the leasing company, and the secretary of transportation, and the President of the United States....

Finally...we were escorted in to see the finance manager, fully prepared to use a credit card for the down payment, only to learn that they refused to accept anything but cash or check.

Oh no!

We had left our check book at home.

Would this tragic turn of events bring the negotiations to a screeching halt!


Mr. Finance Manager came up with an ingenious plan. He proposed that I stay at the dealership and sign my name to the remaining 274 documents, while Mr. Red Head drive Bob to our home, where Bob would hand over a check for the down payment.

Crisis averted!

By now the sun had truly disappeared, and the staff of the dealership had all but gone home.  Mr. Finance Manager walked me outside to my new car, which sat parked next to my old car....a car I no longer owner, but still bore the marks of the two years we had spent together.

Alone, cold, and in the dark, I began the arduous task of transferring all of the accumulated stuff from my old car into the new, including:

-A dirty towel used for ridding the windows of the dew and frost that forms in the overnight hours.
-A 2014 road map of every state in the country, along with individual maps of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.
-Discarded envelopes that once held hated bills.
-Newspaper circulars boasting of coupons long expired.
-A broken ice scraper.
-A musty old blanket that became the saving grace for my 17-year old daughter Melissa when her menopausal mother blasted the air conditioner in the middle of January
-A brochure from Gatlinburg, TN, where we had taken Melissa, and my dear friend Angelica's teenage boys Chris and Brandon on vacation the previous summer.
-A GPS Unit
-A note pad
-A CD featuring a recording of one of Melissa's original songs

Anxious to get out of the cold and on my way, I hastily threw everything in the front seat of the new car.  I expected to be thrilled, but meloncholy took hold.  The pile on the passenger seat was just a bunch of stuff, wasn't it?  The old car sitting there, alone and abandoned on the lot was just a pile of metal, wasn't it?

Or was it?

My old car, along with two year's worth of junk that had littered the interior, had represented something more to me.  That car was where Melissa first got behind the wheel and pressed on the gas pedal, nearly crashing through the garage.  That car took us to my step-daughter Jessica's wedding to her husband Brian.  That car traversed back roads and highways, enroute to visits with grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. That car helped us enjoy some spectacular vacations.  That car set the scene for some major arguements, most involving Bob's unwillingness to listen to my driving directives.  That car played host to laughter and, yes, even some tears.

That car had been a part of our family.

New memories would come, I knew.  But for now, I simply drove out of the dealership parking lot, pushed the meloncholy aside, turned onto the open road, and continued on my way home.

Behind the wheel of my new car!

If you like my stories, please tell me in the comments section below.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tooth Aches and Chocolate Pudding

Yesterday my husband Bob arrived home following his weekly pilgrimage to the supermarket.  As I dutifully helped him unpack, I pulled out not one, not two, not three, not four,  but at least 12, yes, 12 containers of chocolate pudding from the depths of the plastic bags.

At this point,  I turned to my husband and exclaimed in exasperation:



The poor thing did not deserve my wrath.

He had only been following instructions.

As the "survivor" of recent dental surgery, I had requested chocolate pudding, one of the few foods that could safely by-pass my swollen gums.

I just didn't expect 12 containers of said chocolate pudding.

Allow me to explain!

About 4 weeks ago as a lay in bed, eager to welcome the dreams that would carry me through the overnight hours, a sudden, incidious throbbing in one of my upper front teeth jolted me out of my impending slumber.

Clad comfortably in my cozy comforter, I weighed my options:
   1. Ignore it. It's nothing. It will go away.
   2. Take Motrin.
   3. Call the dentist first thing in the morning because it could be a very serious issue that needs urgent attention!!!

Guess which option I chose.

That's right.

Option number 1.  Until 45 minutes later when I decided to re-evaluate my original choice.

Time for option number 2.

And so on it went, for several days.  The pain was not nearly bad enough to force me to (egads) voluntarily schedule an appointment with the dentist!  That would be preposterous!

In the meantime, drug stores in southern New Jersey experienced an alarming shortage of pain medication as your's truly popped pill after pill, hoping the throbbing would subside.

Alas, t'was not meant to be.

With reluctance, I finally found myself sitting in the dreaded "chair" as Dr. Dentist poked and prodded, expressed sighs of concern, and then jabbed me with a shot of novacain.

"You need a root canal," he said, matter-of-factly.

Wait. WHAT?

I need time to digest this information!

I need time to prepare!
I need time to panic! To worry! To fret! To scream!

Too late!

The root canal had already commenced.

A few hours later I found myself at the dinner table, barely able to swallow mashed potatoes.

The pain would eventually subside, my dentist had assured.  In two week's time, as I was told,  the temporary crown that kept my smile intact would be replaced with a permanent model....and I'd be good as new and pain free!

Alas, t'was not meant to be.

Post root canal day one  - throbbing pain.
Post root canal day two  - throbbing pain.
Post root canal day three, four, five, six, guessed it, throbbing pain.

Back to the dentist, who poked and prodded, changed my medication and sent me on my way.

Fast forward one week.

Once again, stuck in the dreaded "chair", Dr. Dentist assured me that the insertion of the permanent crown would leave me good as new and pain free.

My dentist lies.

Fast forward another week.

I found myself stuck in the dreaded "chair" of a dental specialist called an endodontist who examined my xrays with the deepest of frowns and threw his hands in the air in resignation.

Watching a specialists use this type of body language did not induce confidence in the quaking, quivering!

"You have a fractured root," he said with a tone of seriousness that led me to believe I might not survive long enough to even call Bob and tell him what was going on.  "The tooth has to come out."

"So, what are my options," I tentatively asked.

"I could pull the tooth right now, but because it's Friday, I couldn't refer you to someone to make a temporary crown until Monday. You'd have to go the weekend without a tooth."

I weighed my options:

1. Go to my company's holiday party sans my front tooth.  My company's fancy holiday party, with cocktail dresses, dinner, and dancing!
2. Raid every drug store within a 10 mile radius for enough Motrin to get me through 'till tooth-pullin' day.

Fast forward yet another week.

I chased down my bowl of cereal with two valium and floated to the car on the arm of my "oh so patient" hubby.  Upon arrival at yet another dental specialist, this one called a periodontist (the tooth-pullin' dude), the friendly office manager explained to Bob and me about insurance coverage and payment plans for my dental implant.

Insurance coverage - 0 percent
Responsible by patient - Everything

Through the fog of the drug-induced haze that had set up residence in my brain, I dutifully signed on the dotted lines, giving away my first-born giving Dr. Tooth-Pullin' Dude permission to charge my credit card the $1,975,262 it would take to restore my smile, leave me good as new, and pain free.

While Bob went home to look for hidden treasure to cover the cost of my procedure, I floated to yet another dreaded "chair", where I readily accepted the offer of nitrous oxide, allowing me to observe the drilling, pulling, grinding, and sawing from some distant, far away planet.

Two hours later (or several days, I really couldn't tell) Bob picked me up and took me to my original dentist, who inserted a temporary crown to cover the grand canyon size hole in my smile.  Then Bob took me home, made sure I took all of my meds and put me to bed, where I stayed for several hours (or several days, I really couldn't tell).

Since that fateful day, my sweet Bob has catered to my every whim, wanting nothing more than to rid me of my post-op pain.  And how do I respond to this wonderful man? I yell at him for buying too much pudding.  I felt so badly, he didn't deserve my anger.

Bob, thank you for putting up with me. I am so lucky to have you in my life, and I love you more than anything.

I'm feeling a bit better now, and even a little bit hungry.

I think I'll have some pudding!

Bob and me at my company holiday party at the Camden Aquarium in Camden, NJ You'll see my teeth are still intact!
If you like my stories, please tell me in the comments section below.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Missing iPhone

(I originally posted this blog nearly three years ago under the title "The Kindness of Strangers". I am happy to share it again, with some minor edits)

They say that opposites attract, and when it comes to my husband Bob, that old adage certainly rings true.  He loves to watch zombie movies, while I choose romantic comedies.  He enjoys the independence of working from home, while I thrive on human interaction.  His first stop in the book store is the History or Biography section, while I’m content to read Harry Potter for the millionth time.  He is a horrible driver, while I am….well, let’s just say I think my skills behind the wheel are perfectly fine.  

My husband begs to differ.

Bob considers himself a “good”, bad driver, while referring to me as a “bad”, good driver.  I follow the rules at all times.  He decides when and where rules might apply.  I think he’s too aggressive, he things I’m too cautious.  It doesn’t matter if we are driving to the corner store or across several state lines, Bob refuses to sit in the passenger seat when I am behind the wheel unless he is bleeding from every orifice or has slipped into a coma.  That’s why I found it incredibly surprising when, on the way home from a family visit in upstate New York, Bob pulled over and actually asked me to drive.

I settled comfortably into the seat, readjusted the mirrors, and we continued happily down the New York State Thruway.  My daughter Melissa, 14 at the time, sat curled under a blanket in the back, her iPod placed securely on her lap, earphones blocking her parents' mindless chatter.  Bob watched the road for a few minutes, cautiously making sure that his decision to relinquish the wheel would not result in an untimely death for all three of us.   Eventually, he succumbed to exhaustion and drifted off to sleep.


I would have gladly steered the car all the way through New York, onto the New Jersey turnpike and into our welcoming driveway, had my bladder not had other plans.  So after about two hours, I turned off the highway into a rest stop, found a place to park, and shut off the engine.

Bob’s snores began to cease as he sensed that the car had come to a stop.  He sat up and prepared to open the door when I noticed that the strap from my pocketbook, which I had carelessly tossed onto the passenger seat floor, had somehow wrapped itself around his ankle.

In the magic of movies, emotional, heart-stopping moments are played out in slow motion so the viewer understands the full dramatic impact of the unfolding scene. In this instance, movie magic special effects were not necessary while I watched, in mind numbing slow motion, as my husband, unaware of the strap that anchored him to the car, fell tragically to the ground.

Melissa, who had exited the car on the driver’s side, did not bear witness to the accident.  I called out to her, struggling to get my seat belt off so I could jump out and rescue my husband.  

“MELISSA, DADDY FELL!” I screamed, making no effort to hide my panic.

I imagined him lying broken on the ground, bleeding, crying out for help.  I imagined my family spending the rest of the day, and perhaps more, in the local emergency room.  I imagined the absolute, very, very worst…..and in the few seconds it took to break free from the seat belt and run around to the other side of the car, I imagined living the rest of my life without him.   

Devastation, panic, horror, and unbridled fear all gripped my heart as I realized just how much I loved this man. 

I rushed to the other side of the car, only to find that a stranger had reached my husband first, an older woman who had kindly extended her hand to help him to his feet.  He assured me all was well, no bumps, bruises, or broken bones.  Perhaps a bit of damage to his ego, but thankfully, nothing more.  He brushed himself off and together, the three of us walked into the rest stop, Melissa shaking her head in embarrassment, convinced that her parents overreacted at the stupidest things.

We took care of business and wearily made our way back to the car.  Suddenly, Bob reached for his shirt pocket, where he always keeps his iPhone.  

It had disappeared.

We deduced the iPhone must have escaped the confines of the shirt pocket when he fell, and a search of the grounds immediately ensued.  The three of us combed the parking lot on hands and knees to no avail.  The iPhone, the expensive iPhone, complete with internet access, email contacts, and a host of apps, could not be found.

Although disappointed, we took stock of the situation.  Bob had survived unscathed from a scary fall.  His health was all the mattered, the iPhone could be replaced.

As we got back in the car, I glanced at the vehicle parked behind us.  There, positioned in the center of the windshield, sat an iPhone, which, upon closer examination, proved indeed, to belong to Bob.  Seems that someone had discovered the missing iPhone and placed it on the windshield, assuming it had been returned to its owner.

We climbed back into the car.

Bob took his rightful spot behind his wheel.

The iPhone took its rightful spot in Bob's pocket.

And we continued on our way home.

My husband Bob and me! Thankfully, his scary fall only resulted in a bruised ego, nothing more!

If you like my stories, please leave a comment below!!! Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My daughter Melissa (now 17) and I were reminiscing about this post, which first appeared in February, 2012. I am pleased to share it again!

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk on Monday

Take a typical carton of orange juice and leave it alone for at least 24 hours and you know what happens?  Thanks to the laws of gravity, the pulp sinks down and settles at the bottom.  That’s why every time my 14-year old daughter Melissa picks up a container of orange juice, she shakes it before pouring.

A creature of habit, Melissa has taken to shaking containers before opening no matter what liquid may lurk inside… milk, iced tea, fruit juice, it doesn’t matter. 

So why I am sharing this seemingly mundane information about my daughter?  Well, Melissa’s “shaking” habit sets the stage for our story, which begins innocently enough on a Monday morning.

The members of my household certainly don't embrace Monday mornings with glee. However, we do feel a bit more energized after a relaxing weekend, and we’re ready to tackle the challenges the week has to bring.  (This positive attitude is usually shattered by Tuesday, mind you.)

On Sunday night, lunches are made, clothes are ironed, and bedtime comes a bit earlier.  In the morning following my alarm clock's prodding, I throw off the warm covers, walk down the hall, enter Melissa's bedroom, and convince her to get out of bed.  Some mornings are quite productive, while others find her still fussing with her hair as the school bus makes its steady approach to our house. 

On a recent Monday morning, my daughter, determined to be on time, had awakened without protest, spent a limited amount of effort on her hair, and went down stairs for breakfast a staggering 20 minutes before her scheduled departure.  Looking forward to eating a leisurely meal, she happily poured a bowl of cereal.

My morning also went according to plan.  I had showered and dressed, and now stood in the bathroom, blow dryer in hand, trying to coax a curl out of my poker straight hair. 

Suddenly, a spine chilling scream rent the air, followed by the sounds of teenage feet pounding up the stairs!

Melissa burst into the bathroom, covered from head to toe in a silky white substance.

This photo is not Melissa! Had I taken a picture of her at the time, I'm quite sure
my life would have come to an abrupt end!


As I stared at my milk-covered Melissa, I opted not to remind her that she is the only person in the house who drinks the organic milk.  No need to hire a private detective to determine who had committed the crime of forgetting to tighten the lid.  

Instead, I surveyed the situation, thinking about the best way to remove every drop of milk in the five minutes that remained before the bus arrived, and trying, trying oh so hard with every ounce of my being, not to laugh!

I knew that if my mouth twisted upwards to indicate even the slightest smile, I might lose all of my limbs.

Ok, I needed to focus. Drawing on my powers of deduction, I concluded that the incident had a horrible, tragic effect on:

1. Her hair
2. Her fake Ugg boots (I will not spend $150 on boots when the fakes work just as well)
3. Did I mention her hair?


We tackled the hair first.  I grabbed the blow dryer while she maneuvered the brush, and together we rid each strand of milk.  Panicked, she yelled and whined and fretted and cursed.  By this point, I promised to drive her to school since the bus had come and gone.  

Next challenge - the boots.  

Despite my best efforts, my rigorous scrubbing was met with no success.

Melissa had to choose between covering her feet with milk-stained boots or (egads!) sneakers. Either choice resulted in a middle-school fashion paux pas.  (She chose the sneakers)

By the time we climbed into the car, the evidence of the breakfast fiasco had all been wiped clean, and the foul mood that now gripped my offspring remained the only remnant of our eventful morning. 

Later that day, as we busied ourselves with the choreography of dinner, I observed my now calm, happy child. 

“Melissa,” I said quite timidly as I set the forks and knives on the table, “you have to admit, the incident this morning really was funny.”

“I actually got a lot of compliments on my hair today,” she said, laughing at the irony.  

The remainder of the week passed by without incident, with the exception of the extra effort made on both our parts to get out of bed and ready on time, lest another shaken container ruin another pair of fake Ugg boots.

The story will become one for the record books, not so much because of the humor, although that reason does rank quite high.  It will forever stay in my memory because when a carton of milk decided to let loose on my child, she ran up the stairs to that one person in the world who would have the answers.

She ran to the one person who would stay calm

She ran to the one person who would clean her up.

She ran to the one person who would make things right.  

She ran up the stairs…. to me.

If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My First Guest Post!
Menopause: Welcome to the Heated Years...Navigating Through "The Change"

I am thrilled to have a guest post on Be Prepared. Period. This is a wonderful website dedicated to the menstrual health of women and girls, covering everything from puberty to menopause.  Here's a sneak preview!

Menopause: Welcome to the Heated Years....
Navigating Through "The Change"

Each morning before leaving the house, I used to check the weather channel to find out if I should wear a coat.  But these days it truly doesn’t matter what the thermostat says….I won’t wear one anyway.


Because I am always hot.

The car thermostat could read 32 degrees and I’ll be turning the air conditioner full blast onto my sweltering face while my poor husband Bob, in the driver’s seat, quickly succumbs to hypothermia.

Yes, I have entered into the stage of life called ..... 

Click to continue reading

If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"How is Your Girlfriend"

My daughter Melissa, 17, sits cross-legged on the living room floor, guitar in her lap, notebook in hand, music and lyrics pouring from her heart.

Born of love, anger, sorrow, and joy, the words provide a mirror into her soul...a brief glimpse into the life of a teen who tells her tales through song.

Her first foray into the world of music came in the 5th grade when she answered the call to join her elementary school band and dutifully learning to play the flute.  Two years later when my husband Bob dusted off his old guitar and placed it in her talented hands, she knew she had found her passion....and never looked back.

Guitar lessons followed, along with acceptance into her high school audition chorus and the prestigious All South Jersey Chorus made up of the best and brightest teens representing 10 counties in the state.

Today, as a high school junior, she has carved out her niche as a singer/song writer who uses life experiences to produce powerful tunes that truly resonate with young and old alike.

Some have likened her to Colbie Caillat, others have described her as the next Taylor Swift.  As her mother, I admit my bias, so I will let you decide for yourself. I invite you to listen to what will hopefully be the first of many professionally produced songs to come.

Here is is: How is Your Girlfriend!

If you would like to download the song to your iPad, iPod, or iPhone - you can purchase the song for .99 from iTunes at

Melissa is on vocals and guitar, her friend Emily McNally is on piano.

Melissa at a Beatles convention in NYC. Photo take by her friend Erica Till.
Tell me what you think of Melissa's song in the comments section below!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The B. A.T. Invasion

(In honor of the Halloween season, I thought this might be a good time to revisit one of my favorite posts, updated a bit from the original version!)

The early evening air gathered thick outside, the kind of heavy, humid-filled air that forces people behind closed doors where they mercifully position themselves in front of their air conditioners.

While my husband Bob and my then six-year old daughter Melissa, now 17, quietly watched cartoons, I crept up to my room in our modest town home,  turned on the ceiling fan and placed my head gently on the pillow, hoping to close my eyes for a few minutes before Melissa's night time bath routine brought me out of my slumber.

In the distance I heard a low rumble, alerting me to the inevitable approach of summer storm.  

I had barely had time to drift into REM sleep when I heard Bob call my name, caution in his voice.  Bleary eyed, I sat on the edge of the bed, trying to comprehend his cryptic message.

"Lisa, there's a B. A. T. in the house," he spelled with forced calm, hoping Melissa wouldn't catch on.

As I walked into the hallway and watched a scene of horror unfold before my eyes, I quickly deduced that Bob had not been talking about bats of the baseball kind.  

A black creature with a wing span of 4,000 feet flew up the stairs, his goal to attack and turn me into a vampire! With my cat following close behind (although I've never been quite sure what the fearless feline would have done if he had caught the darn thing) Mr. B. A. T. flew into Melissa's bedroom.  Thinking fast, I raced to close her bedroom door and trap him in there.  Her sleeping quarters not being an issue at the moment, I naturally assumed she'd just bunk in my bed for the rest of her life.

Unfortunately, Mr. B. A. T. had other plans.  No sooner did he enter Melissa's room did he fly back out again, straight for my face!  So, in an effort to stay calm so as not to upset my daughter, I did what all mature, grown up, rational adults do in moments like this.  


In my effort to escape my impending death, I turned, tripped over my cat, nearly fell down the stairs (breaking my toe in the process) and ran into the living room where Bob still tried to convince Melissa that our friendly neighborhood B. A. T., still in hot pursuit, was, in reality, just a bird.

Bob opened the sliding glass doors that led to our small back yard and hurried Melissa and me outside.  Still screaming, I ran into our yard, then around to the front of the house where our next door neighbors Angelica, Louie, and their two young sons Chris and Brandon had come outside to find out why the normally quiet Weinstein family had seemingly lost their minds.

As the thunder rumbled a bit louder in the distance, and the westward sky darkened, we caught our breath and, together with our neighbors, tried to develop a B. A. T. coping  strategy more effective than "spending the rest of our lives in a hotel."

Just then, another neighbor pulled up in his car, a young single guy named Don who seemed to think we should just go into our house and trap the B. A. T. in a paper shopping bag, bring the bag outside and release the creature back into the wild, if you can call a New Jersey suburb "the wild".

Hmmmm, should we  choose Holiday Inn, Hilton, Sheraton, or Marriott?

Fortunately, Don offered to play the "catch the bat in the bag"  game for us.  

Angelica volunteered a paper shopping bag, handed it to Don, and wished him luck as he entered the B. A. T. lair of doom.  A few minutes passed with no word from Don.  The thunder grew a bit louder and flashes of lightening were now visible on the horizon.     

Still, in the still air we waited, and waited, and waited.

Finally, Don emerged with "bat in bag" and, as Melissa, Chris, Brandon, Bob, Louie, Angelica, and I all let out blood curdling streams loud enough to rival the approaching thunderstorm, Don released the B. A. T. from the bag of captivity.

End of story.  

Or so we thought.

Fast forward to "B.A.T. Invasion - Day Two".  

The next night, with Melissa bathed and tucked snugly into bed, I noticed the cat staring intently at our air conditioning vent.  Knowing full well that cat ears hear things that human ears can't decipher, I became concerned.  


Bob and I watched in horror as claws appeared gripped onto the inside of our living room air vent, looking for an escape route.  

Not wanting to wake Melissa, I kept my screams to a minimum and instead, frantically dialed the local animal control office who informed us that bats eat pesky insects like mosquitoes and are therefore a protected species.  Their hands were tied.  The B. A. T. would have to stay.  Quite frankly, I didn't care if bats ate mosquitoes, grass hoppers, locusts, dogs, cats, pigs, bears, or killer sharks.   I WANTED THE CREATURE OUT OF MY HOUSE!

Willing to risk any punishment animal control forced upon me, I took a can of RAID flying insect killer and sprayed it into every single air vent.  Then, drawing on super human strength that only appears when confronted with creatures of the dark, I positioned heavy furniture so that it covered nearly every air vent.  Just let that B. A. T. even try to attempt escape!  Not on my watch.

The next day, we had a guy from a pest control service check out our home.  He quickly determined that Mr. B. A. T. had either died, escaped or evaporated, either way, no sign of the winged wonder existed in our air events, or anywhere else in the house, for that matter.

We had survived our terrifying encounter unscathed. But sometimes, during that brief time of day when daylight transforms into the grey skies of dusk, I see bats flying about in the distance and I wonder, do they know I probably killed their cousin?


If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Melissa Gets Her License!

Last summer my daughter Melissa, 16 at the time, took on a volunteer job at our local library. Although only a short bike ride from home, my cherub insisted on taking the safe mode of transportation to the library, namely, the "mom chauffeur".

What did she think would happen to her while pedaling the streets of our small suburban New Jersey neighborhood?  I don't know.  However I suppose all of those years of her overprotective mommy warning of stranger danger had taken its toll.

Finally, Bob and I convinced our naive girl to pull her bike out from the depths of the garage and pedal the short distance to the library.  When her shift ended, we stood outside in antipation watching her bike down the street towards home, the huge smile across her face beaming from blocks away!

"I did it!" she exclaimed.  "I felt so independent!"

Fast forward 13 months.

Once again, I stood outside in anticipation, waiting to celebrate another solo journey......this time in a (gulp)

As a licensed driver for a mere three days, she had asked permission to take her friend John the short distance to his home.

I hesitated before granting her request.

John would be in the car with her on the first part of the trip, but then she would  have to come back all alone.  Nobody to tell her when to brake, when to turn, when to yield, when to signal, when to slow down, when to switch lanes, when to stop, when to go.

Would she survive the two mile journey?

Would I survive the wait during the two mile journey?


The road to becoming a legal driver in the State of New Jersey did not come without its challenges for Melissa.

She had passed Driver's Education in school, then completed the mandatory six hours of lessons with a certified driving school, which enabled her to get a permit.  Now she could get behind the wheel with two of the greatest driving instructors who ever lived......her PARENTS!!

Indeed, each session with Bob usually ended with Melissa near tears because her father had dared to use his "strict" voice.

Sessions with me were not much better since my incessant pounding on the "imaginary" passenger side brake truly rattled her nerves.

All to soon (or not soon enough depending on your perspective) the day of the driver's test had arrived.  I took off of work so I could personally escort my "baby" on the road to adulthood.

Upon pulling into the testing center, we were greeted by an instructor whose look and demeanor were reminsicent of a boot camp drill sergeant.  With trepidation, I got out of the car and let Melissa take her place behind the to Sergeant Scary in the passenger seat.

I watched them go forward a few feet, then stop.

Something did not seem right.

After several minutes, Sergeant Scary exited the vehicle and beckoned me over.

I dared not disobey.

Seems our car lacked an important feature, an emergency hand brake located between the driver and passenger seat.  According to the State of New Jersey, the car had to have this feature in order to be used during the test.

Sergeant Scary commanded us to leave, get a different car, and reschedule the test.

I dared not disobey.

One month later, armed with a 22-year old car gifted to Melissa by my mother, we drove to the testing center through a downpour of biblical porportions in our second attempt to earn the title of "licensed driver".

The "rigorous"  test seeks to determine if new drivers can handle gruelling road conditions by forcing them to demonstrate two essential skills:

1. Turning the key in the ignition
2. Parallel parking

Having practiced parallel parking for most of her waking hours, my daughter tackled the test with ease.

Next stop, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) where we were officially introduced to the 3,974 Identification point system!

You see, when you present yourself at the registration desk at the DMV, they do not, can not, will not believe that you are you.  Therefore, you must prove that you are you by presenting 362 pieces of identification, each valued at a certain number of points.  Some pieces of identification can be combined to add up to even more points.

Allow me to illustrate the DMV's Identification point sytem.

Passport - 2,314 points
Birth certificate - 1,684 points
Driver's permit signed by Seargant Scary - 562 points
Bank statement with proof of address - 331 points
Social security card - 1,347 points
School ID - 457 points
School report card - 357 points
School ID + School report card - 765 points
First book report - 624 points
First baby tooth - 791 points
First baby tooth + letter of authenticity from the tooth fairy - 1,652 points
Umbilical cord - 2,970 points

Unfortunately, Melissa and I "only" had her passport plus the signed driver's permit, thus proving that the 17-year old girl standing next to me whose smiling picture lit up the inside of her passport was obviously an imposter.

We were told in no uncertain terms to go home and get more proof!

Since we live a mere five minutes from the DMV, this slight delay was met with much happiness and patience from my sweet new driver. (Note to readers who do not have teenagers - I AM BEING SARCASTIC.)

With "el grumpo" next to me in the passenger seat, we drove home, retrieved her social security card and her birth certificate and traipsed back to that joyful, wonderful place...the DMV!

"You need proof of address," admonished the eldery gentleman at the reception desk.

"But we were just here ten minutes ago and they didn't tell us that!" I protested, seriously thinking that I could change the rules of this archaic institution.

"Are you her mother?"


"Does she live with you?"


"Do you have the same last name?"


"Ok, you can use your driver's license as proof of address."  (794 points)

A half an hour later, a DMV employee handed my daughter that small, coveted piece of plastic proclaiming her a legal licensed driver!

I made her swear that for the first 30 years few months, she would text me before getting behind the wheel, and upon arrival at her destination.  She agreed to my terms and reluctantly, I let her drive John home.

True to her word, her text alerted me to her departure from John's.

Now came the moment of truth. Her first solo stint as a licensed driver.

I watched her drive down our street with care, stop in front of our house, put on the turn signal, and proceed into the driveway, a huge smile on her face!

"Mom, it was great!" she exclaimed.  "I felt so independent."

All too soon, the "mom chauffeur" will retire, as Melissa drives off to a college campus, and then to her own apartment...her own life.

And I know, despite my worry, despite my fear, despite my stubborn unwillingness to let her baby will do just fine!

Melissa shows off her new driver's license!

If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Resizing my Rings

I am nearly impossible to surprise, yet for my engagement nearly 22 (gulp) years ago, my husband Bob managed to pull it off.

Tempted by the inexpensive hotel rates that lure Philadelphians to Atlantic City, NJ each winter, Bob and I decided to invest in an unexpected weekend getaway.

"Are you going to propose to me in Atlantic City," I probed during the two hour drive to the shore.

"Lisa I already told you," he growled.  "You are impossible to surprise, We are getting engaged on Valentine's Day!"

Surprised by his insistance, I believed him, and put the matter to rest.

We had dated for over two years, and I knew a proposal was imminent.  However, Bob said he would not even attempt to catch me off guard since my keen powers of observation  would most certainly foil any "surprise Lisa" strategies he might have planned.

In Atlantic City we spent the afternoon on the casino floor, and I watched the slot machine swallow quarter after quarter without spitting out any in return. In a panic, I urged Bob to leave, fearful that we'd lose all of our money.  He angrily denied my request, and made it clear how much he resented my attempt to ruin his fun.  An arguement ensued as we made our way to our hotel room and changed for dinner.

Getting engaged was the farthest thing from my mind.

The restaurant overlooked the ocean, however, the hostess stuck us in a corner far from the scenic view.  Bob started to complain, but, not wanting to cause a scene, I told him to stop, and assured him our table was just fine.

The meal proceeded as planned and I forced the recent arguement to the back of my mind and began to enjoy our romantic setting.  Suddenly, the waitress approached our table with a bouquet of a dozen multi-colored balloons.

"What's this for?" I asked, completely perplexed.

"Oh," she said, then paused, searching for the right words.  "We sometimes give balloons to really nice couples."


I looked at Bob with suspicion.  "Are you planning something?" I accused.


He seemed beyond angry and, not wanting to fuel another fight, I again put any thoughts of a proposal out of my mind.

Until we finished our meal.

The dishes were cleared, our tummies were full, and the only thing on my mind was the desire to order dessert. Suddenly Bob stood up, muttered the word "ok", put his hand in his pocket, bent down on one knee, opened a small box and said...........

"Lisa, I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  Will you marry me?"

Despite the waitress nearly ruining Bob's monumental efforts to throw me off track (efforts that included staging an arguement), he had indeed, managed to pull off the world's biggest surprise!

Amid my tears and giggles, I said yes, and he placed the most beautiful diamond ring on my finger.

In the years to follow as our life unfolded, that symbol of our love rarely left my finger. (With the exception of pregnancy swelling that rendered the ring temporarily too small.)

Seven years after we said "I do", Bob presented me with an anniversary band that served as an exquisite complement to the engagement ring that started it all.  Now I had two symbolic keepsakes that I rarely removed.

That is........until last week.

I'll explain.

Several months ago, I had actually considered getting my rings made smaller since they slid up and down my fingers with ease, ominously threatening to fall off and dissappear forever.

Then came the surgery that hurled me into the next phase of life as a woman.

Bye bye menstrual cycle and hello swelling, bloating, and the overwhelming desire to sit inside the kitchen freezer All. The. Time.

Per the hospital's orders, I had removed my rings prior to the operation.  Two weeks into my recovery, I attempted to put them back on.  No luck.

I waited two more weeks.

With some effort, they slid beyond my knuckles, however, the gold band practically strangled my fingers.

Still too soon.

I waited a few more weeks and finally, the rings slid on with minimal effort, yet at certain times of the day I experienced a tightness that caused physical pain.  This sensation happened most often in the morning, when my body had gleefully retained everything it could during my innocent slumber, forcing my fingers to become as wide as a cucumber.  As the day wore on, the swelling would subside a bit, resulting in a decrease in the tightness and pain.

Weeks turned to months, and instead of worrying about returning to the days when I feared the rings would fall off, more often than not it hurt too much to even put them on.

I had two choices.

1. Stuff the rings in a drawer and never wear them again.
2. Take the rings to be resized and in the process, admit that change of life has taken its toll on my body, and I'll probably never be a smaller ring size again. (or clothing size either, for that matter.)


I entered the jewelry story with trepidation and waited my turn while a twenty something salesman helped a young couple pick out an engagement ring and a forty something saleslady spoke to a customer on the phone.

Please let the lady wait on me.
Please let the lady wait on me.
Please let the lady wait on me.

T'was not to be.

The young couple walked out of the store as Mr. Twenty Something greeted me with a smile and a professional, "How can I help you?"

He measured my rings, then measured my fingers, which had increased from a size 5.5 to a size 3,423.  Somehow, I felt the need to justify my humongous fingers, to tell this man that they didn't blow up because I got heavier, but because I had an operation that threw me into the throes of menopause.

Instead, I attempted a smile and said, "Oh well, I guess my fingers grew over the past 20 years."

"That sometimes happens," he said without much emotion.

The saleslady would have understood.  It comes with the bond of being female.  She simply would have understood.

I walked out of the jewelry store with my naked fingers, feeling quite vulnerable.....and quite old.

Later that day during our weekly journey to the supermarket, Bob instructed me to hold out my finger.  He then proceeded to take a plastic bag intended to store fresh produce, tied it around my finger, and proclaimed ,  "There! Now you'll have a ring to wear until your wedding band is resized, and men won't think you're single and try to steal you away, and everyone will still know you're mine!"

It certainly lacked the romance of that memorable evening in Atlantic City so long ago, but this "mock" engagement came with just as much love.

My change of life did not change his feelings, and that's all I need to know!

My husband Bob and me on our wedding day, April 23, 1994

If you like my stories, please tell me in the comments section below.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mom the Stalker

On a chilly autumn morning two years ago, when my daughter Melissa was still adjusting to her right of passage transition from the school for babies (middle school)  to the school for cool teenagers (high school), my husband Bob and I both received a text from our offspring, who had just boarded the bus for another day of roaming the halls with hundreds of other teens who would rather be home in bed oh so much fun and learning!

Below is the context of this "loving" text:

"Way to stalk me Mom and Dad."

Bob and I exchanged puzzled looks.

Could she be referring to her Facebook page, where I have been forbidden to comment, post, like, or otherwise indicate to any of her friends that I even exist?  Hmmm, no I didn't think so.

Then why, I wondered, had she accused her innocent parents of the unforgivable crime of stalking. (Which of course, by the mere fact that I gave birth to her, it goes without say that I have complete stalking privileges!)

To properly answer this question, I must take you back in time.  Throughout her elementary and middle school years, Melissa had always boarded the bus in front of our house.  Her mother, AKA Mrs. Overprotective Stalker, waited outside with her, until my embarassed middle school cherub commanded me to stay in the house where I was forced to peek through the window blinds to make sure she safely joined her peers on their daily journey to school each day.

But now that she had entered the "grown up" world of high school, everything had changed! She was now required to walk 3,974 miles  a short block to the corner to wait for her daily transportation.

Being Mrs. Overprotective Stalker, I had a hard time coming to terms with not being able to actually witness my baby in the act of getting on the bus.  However, I realized I needed to accept this new reality.  At 15, I knew my daughter had the intelligence, maturity, and capability to walk to the bus stop on her own.

I had to let her go.

And I did.  For five weeks. Until my insecurity reared its ugly head.

You see, when Melissa left the house at 6:45 am, the autumn sun had not yet peeked above the horizon, forcing her to walk to the bus in pitch black darkness...without me there to shield her from harm.

So I worried...and worried...and worried some more.

Irrational?  Yes.

Logical?  No.

But I didn't care.

I needed to channel my inner stalker overprotective nature and put "Plan B" into action.

I emailed the school, explaining that my daughter walked to the bus stop on a busy, traffic-filled main road, alone in the pitch dark.  Surely they could understand my reasons for requesting that the bus pick up Melissa in front of our house, instead of making her walk the 3,974 miles to the corner, out of range of my line of vision.

Melissa, on the other hand, could not believe just how overprotective her mother could be.

"Mom, I am 15 years old and perfectly capable of walking to the bus on my own," she said in exasperation.

But it no longer mattered.  The change had been made and I now had the privilege to once again stalk peek out of the window and watch until I saw Melissa step safely onto the bus.

However, on that autumn morning when we received her infamous text, I had changed up my routine just a wee bit.  Since I needed to throw clothes in the dryer, I chose to peek out of the window in my upstairs laundry room instead of the living room.  As the bus neared its approach, Bob took that particular moment to come into the laundry room, take off his shirt and throw it into the large pile of dirty clothes in the middle of the floor.  Together the two of us watched Melissa get on the bus, then continued about the mundane business of getting ready for work.

Until we received the text.

Seems that all of the occupants of the bus had witnessed not only me staring out of the window, but also my shirtless hubby peeking out from behind!

The laughter that greeted my daughter as she boarded the bus caused the type of mortified embarrassment that could scar a child for life and result in thousands of dollars of therapy.  Thus the reason for the "love" text admonishing us for our behavior.

So, in the end, I promised not to look out the window in the morning, ever, ever again.

This month, as she starts her junior year in high school, I no longer have to worry about her getting onto the bus because I now have more important things to worry about.....she'll be DRIVING!

Oh help me!

My daughter Melissa with me  - AKA Mrs. Overprotective Stalker!

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Flying on Three Hours Sleep

Six weeks ago, the Weinsteins were preparing to part ways.  For my 17-year old daughter Melissa, a trip to West Virginia for a two week leadership camp....for my husband Bob and me, a trip across the pond for a 10-day vacation to London to celebrate our 20th anniversary!

While my nerves frayed at the thought of Melissa flying without her parents, I took some comfort in knowing she'd be travelling with a number of fellow teens from her youth group.  Still, I wanted to stay by her side through the oftentimes harrowing task of getting through security and finding the correct gate.

Although I didn't have a ticket, I had heard that airlines were willing to give a gate pass to parents of minor children.  Sure enough, the kind representative at US Air did not hesitate when I asked if I could escort my daughter through security and to the gate.  Melissa boarded the plane without incident, and proceeded to have the experience of a lifetime at camp!

Four weeks later, my baby would fly "sans parents" once again, this time to visit her grandparents and cousins in North Carolina.  Ever the bargain hunter, Bob had discovered incredibly inexpensive fares out of a tiny, two terminal airport in Trenton, NJ.

The only downside?  We had to awaken by 4 am so that we could get in the car by 4:30 am so that we could arrive in Trenton at 5:30 am...enough time to get through security and safely onto the plane for the 6:30 am departure!

Of course the Weinstein family snuggled under the covers at a reasonable hour to get a good night's sleep in preparation for our middle of the night journey to Trenton, right?


Instead, we spent the night rockin' out with Billy Joel, who dared to schedule his Philadelphia tour date the night before Melissa left for North Carolina.

So, when the alarm so rudely signaled our wake up call after a mere three hours sleep, three bleary-eyed people, delirious with exhaustion, made our way outside into the early morning darkness and silently embarked on our journey to Trenton.

At the airport, I again waited in line to get a gate pass to escort my daughter through security, while Bob decided to find a parking spot and get some shut eye in the car.

Surprisingly, we were not the only ones who had learned about Trenton's cheap fares, translating into a 20 minute wait behind dozens of moms, dads, toddlers, strollers, car seats, wheelchairs, golf bags, diaper bags, carry on bags, etc.  Finally, when my turn came, I approached the lady behind the counter and I requested the gate pass to accompany my daughter to the terminal.

"How old is she?" came the employee's grumpy response to my request.

"She just turned 17," I replied.

"Well technically, she's not a minor," growled the lady.

Thinking that anyone under 18 was still considered a minor, I kept my contradiction to myself, and calmly explained that I had accompanied Melissa to the gate in Philadelphia, and there wasn't a problem.

"Do you want her to go with you," the lady asked Melissa, as if I were some kind of parasite.

What a ridiculous question!  My baby, my cherub, the love of my love would absolutely want me to be with her!  How could this crazy airport lady even think that my offspring would not want her mommy to be with her!

"Of course she wants me to be with her," I said with a definite air of indignation.

"I need her to answer me," snarled the airport lady.  Then looking Melissa in the eye, she asked again, "Do you want her to go with you?"

Ok, no problem, I thought.  I know that Melissa wants me to be with her.  How could she not want me to be with her.

I looked at my child who was staring at the airport lady with a somewhat glazed expression born out of lack of sleep.  Then, she responded by shrugging her shoulders and uttering the following words: "I don't care."

Yes.  That's right.  The child who I carried for nine months...............

Shrugged. Her. Shoulders.

Yes. That's right. The child who I raised from a six pound infant said....................

I. Don't. Care.

Thinking at that moment that, at the very least, I would not be allowed to escort her through security, and at the very worst, the airline, convinced I was trying to kidnap this teenager, would send someone to arrest me.

Somehow, through continued haggling, the angry airline lady finally allowed me to have a pass so that I could accompany my kid through security.....even though Melissa obviously did not care if I came with her or not. (sob.)

We made it to the gate without incident, only to learn that the plane had been delayed by two hours.  As we settled in for the long wait on the uncomfortable airport chairs, I offered to get Melissa a snack, and in return she gave me a grateful smile.  

I knew that her "I Don't Care" response had come from lack of sleep, not lack of love.  And I also knew that, as the minutes slowly ticked by in the wee morning hours in the tiny Trenton airport, that Melissa was glad to have me by her side.  

Melissa celebrating her 17th birthday on the first day of her two-week leadership camp!

If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Tale of the Pink Shorts

Following surgery to correct problems with my "plumbing" last April, my doctor gave me the typical words of wisdom doctors are required to give after each operation they perform.  His dutiful speech included advice on coping with pain, getting plenty of rest, and taking proper care of my wounds.

What he neglected to tell me, and what no doctors undoubtedly ever tell their patients, is that they might as well take their favorite pair of jeans and throw them into the far reaches of their closet, for it will be a loooooong time until the tummy swelling will allow those jeans to fit comfortably again.

As for me, my energy slowly returned, and my body steadily transitioned to some semblance of normalcy, yet I still refrained from even attempting to look at my favorite jeans, let alone try them on.  I opted instead for comfortable (albeit unfashionable) stretchy pants.

The downside of the stretchy pants? My 17-year old daughter Melissa would not let me get out of the car when I dropped her off for a bus trip with her youth group, lest I embarrass her because I had dared to don my well-worn, 1990's pink sweats.

Sadly, as the days grew longer and the thermometer continued its upward trend towards summer, the pink sweats weren't going to cut it for much longer.  I dreaded the necessity of shopping for comfy clothes to get me through 'till September.

Reluctantly, I made the journey to a local department store, located about a half and hour from home. After carrying what seemed like a year's worth of summer clothes into the dressing room, I felt more and more discouraged as each outfit shined a glaring spotlight onto all of my perceived flaws. Finally, as I started to think I might need to spend July and August clad in my default clothing of choice, pajamas, I struck gold with a pair of blue shorts!

Yes, a simple pair of blue shorts.

Stylish, comfortable, stretchy blue shorts that DID NOT make me look like Attila the Hun.


With enthusiasm, I asked a helpful saleslady if the same style of shorts came in other colors.

"Yes!" came her reply.  "They are also available in pink."

Hooray!  The shorts fit so well I would gladly consider any color - purple with green polka dots  - I didn't care!

"But we don't have the pink shorts in stock," shared the saleslady, abruptly ending my short-lived excitement.

"We can order them online for you," she continued, getting my hopes up again.  "There is a shipping charge if we deliver to your home, but no charge if they are shipped to the store.  We'll call you when they are delivered and you can come pick them up."

It sounded too good to be true.

A week later the call came in.  My pink shorts had arrived!

My husband Bob and I made our way back to the department store, and down to their basement customer service counter to pick up my package.

I gave the salesman my information, and he disappeared in the back to retrieve my pink shorts......or so I thought.

After comparing the label on the package with the receipt in my hand, the salesman felt convinced that our transaction was complete.  I, on the other hand, wanted to make sure.

I opened the package, only to discover....... a purple shirt.

"This is not what I ordered," I said.

"Yes, it is," came his reply.  "It has your name on it, and the bar code matches your receipt."

"That may be the case, but I ordered pink shorts," I insisted.

"Well, I don't know what to tell you," he said.

"Look, look at my receipt. Look at the item number, go online and look!" I demanded.

He looked at the store's website, which gave me the evidence I needed to prove that I had, indeed, ordered pink shorts, not a purple shirt.

"You know, I normally work in the men's department," he said.  "I'm just filling in for the guy who went on break.  Whenever I fill in, there is some kind of problem."

His honesty did little to heighten my confidence.

"Can I reorder the shorts?"

"Yes, but first you have to return the purple shirt."

"But I didn't order the purple shirt," I reminded him, trying to stay calm.

"I know, but the computer thinks you ordered the purple shirt, so the only way I can reorder the pink shorts is to have you return the purple shirt, give you a refund, then order the pink shorts."

"Ok, but can I have the pink shorts delivered to my home so that I don't have to come back here again?" I asked.

"You can, but it will cost $8 for shipping."



"Ok, let me talk to the manager, I'm sure we'll be able to waive the shipping charge."

Indeed, the manager, upon learning of the mishap, approved the free shipping to my home, and Bob and I left the store minus one pair of comfy pink shorts.

Fast forward one week.

I came home from work to find a package waiting for me, faithfully delivered by the department store.  I tore it open....only to find.........BLUE SHORTS!

Yes, that's right.  Instead of pink shorts, they sent me another pair of blue shorts.

The same style blue shorts that I had already purchased two weeks prior.

What's more, they charged me for shipping!


In less than five minutes, I had a pleasant department store customer service representative on the other end of the phone.  Knowing that it was not his fault that his employer apparently hired kindergarten students to fulfill their shipping orders, I struggled to remain calm, and pleasant, and explain the situation.

"Ok ma'am, I can understand why you are upset, and I sincerely apologize," he said.  "All you need to do is return the blue shorts that were shipped to you and then we'll send you the pink shorts."


Let's just say that by the end of the conversation, Mr. Customer Service Rep had agreed to send me my pink shorts via overnight delivery, waive the shipping charge, and allow me to keep the second pair of blue shorts, free of charge.

He assured me that my pink shorts would arrive the very next day!

Fast forward 24 hours.

No pink shorts.

48 hours.

No pink shorts.

72 hours.

No pink shorts.

96 hours.  I came home from work to find a package waiting for me, faithfully delivered by the department store.  I opened the package ever so slowly, afraid of what I might find.  If anything other than a pair of pink shorts had been stuffed inside this box, I surely would have needed an ambulance.

Carefully, I pulled away at the seal and, with trepidation, peeked inside, only to discover....
a pair of pink shorts.  The store finally got it right!

Now I just need to find a shirt to match my new pink shorts....

I am now the proud owner of a pair of pink shorts and two identical pairs of blue shorts,
 thanks to department store ineptitude.

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