Random Observations and Revelations


I have been in a bit of a writing slump lately–a real “funk,” in fact.  I have had too many responsibilities and too little time, too many headaches and too little sleep, and these factors have combined their negative forces to rob me of my focus and my drive.  I have tried to write–honestly, I have–but unfortunately, I have not been up to the challenge of stringing more than a few thoughts into a cohesive paragraph and then tying one paragraph to another and another.

And so, in an attempt to end this frustrating dry spell once and for all (or at least until the next dry spell hits), I have decided to stop trying so hard and to simply let flow some of the random observations and revelations that have been cluttering my brain of late and wasting valuable storage space in my temporal lobe.  Perhaps once I have tossed out this jumbled weirdness, focus and order will return, and inspiration and creativity will follow.  I can only hope.

And so, away we go …

Why do we kiss others on the lips?  I mean, if you think about it, kissing really is just swapping slobber with another person (thanks, Dad, for implanting that thought 40 years ago), which should be disgusting (and is, after all, quite unsanitary!)–so how did it become such a popular and incredibly pleasurable way to express one’s feelings?  Was it just one of those fads that “caught on”?  (And who do I have to thank for that?)

My three sons did not suffer permanent side effects from being spanked at home.  (Or, at least, I don’t think they did.)  I believe they are all well adjusted, happy, successful young men–and I will continue to believe this until their tell-all autobiographies tell me otherwise.

Insomnia for weeks on end makes me cranky and weepy and weird–and sometimes just downright angry.  At everyone … and everything.

When will I learn to quit ironing my clothes while I’m wearing them?  Oh, I start off with an ironing board, but frequently when I slip on my dress or my sweater, I spot a wrinkle that I missed–and I despise wrinkles.  Rather than taking my clothes back off again, I will attempt to do a little “touch up” while wearing them–and invariably burn my belly, my chest or my neck.  And no matter how many times I try to explain that the hickey-looking spot on my neck is really a burn from ironing my collar, no one seems to believe me.

And, by the way, “wrinkle-free” clothing is a bold-faced lie.

Why do guys make fun of all the “stuff” women carry in their purses?  When they need insect repellent, a Band-Aid, safety pins, a napkin, a fork, a flashlight, a screwdriver, a piece of gum, a toothpick, a pair of scissors, a pair of tweezers, or countless other necessary instruments, I don’t see them asking another guy to look in his wallet.

And speaking of guys, why is it so hard for them to understand the value of small gifts?  It’s not about the gift; it’s about the fact that you were thinking about us and wanted us to know.  (And this observation is not implying that we don’t want the big gifts, too–we just appreciate occasional, smaller gifts sprinkled in between.)

Falling off of a bike at my current age hurts a whole lot more (and for a whole lot longer) than it did at age 10.  And getting up from that fall is not as easy as it used to be, either.

Wearing leather boots makes me happy and–just once in a while, paired with the right dress and a full moon–makes me feel (dare I say it?) almost … nah, I can’t say it.

When someone says, “It’s really none of my business,” that phrase is almost always followed by the word “but”–which is then followed by an intrusive question or an unsolicited piece of advice.

When I’m singing without an audience in my car, I’m pretty sure I sound like a cross between Adele, Stevie Nicks, and Carol King.  When an audience is present, though, I sound more like a cat-screeching cross between Joe Cocker, Cyndi Lauper and Roseanne Barr.  I wonder why that is.

The older I get, the older “old” becomes.

I have also been most disappointed to learn (the hard way) that “older” and “wiser” don’t always go hand-in-hand.

One McDonald’s french fry–just one–that has fallen, forgotten, between the car seats will soon produce enough nauseating stench to require a massive cleaning of the entire car in search of the offensive odor.

My daily life (and mood) would be greatly enhanced if I could live somewhere with an unobstructed view of the eastern sky so that I could–if I so chose–see the sunrise every morning.

The money that countless companies spend sending me catalogs I will never order from and credit card offers I will never accept could feed a small, starving nation.  And the amount of time I spend shredding these unsolicited documents should be a reimbursable expense.

I waste a tremendous amount of time, energy and effort worrying about things that never happen–but knowing I am wasting my time, energy and effort will not make me stop.

Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News fame should wear a purple tie every day.  And, considering the frequency with which he wears a purple tie, I’m pretty sure a group of female marketing executives has already informed him of this.

The greater the intensity of my headache, the louder the volume on the television in the next room.

I listen to every word and the meaning behind every word and all the words that aren’t said.  This scares some people and irritates the heck out of others.

I don’t understand “hoarders.”  I mean, I know I keep things that I should throw away (because you never know when you might someday need another rubber band or plastic bag or empty box), but I don’t cover every available surface with ceiling-high piles of unsorted junk.  Seriously, how do people live like that?

How is it possible that I can look at my watch and 20 seconds later have to look at it again because I didn’t comprehend what I saw the first time?

To all you guys who use your pocket knife to clean squirrels and clean your fingernails, please don’t offer to peel my apple for me.  Thanks, but I hear all the nutrients are in the peel anyway.

When there are “Road Work Ahead” and “Merge Right” signs well in advance of the actual road work area and some jerk refuses to merge, flying by as many cars as possible until the last possible minute, there is always some forgiving soul who will let him squeeze in line.  I say we should all refuse and allow him to sit in that passing lane indefinitely–who’s with me on this?

Nothing is more deflating than that moment in the middle of an argument when I suddenly realize I am wrong.  Do I swallow my pride and admit that I am wrong, or do I continue to staunchly support my position, knowing that I am being foolish (and knowing that the other person is well aware of my foolishness)?  I have experimented with both tactics, and both have proven to be most unsatisfactory.

I try very hard to make others think I am confident and strong and tough–and I am sometimes so convincing that I come across as arrogrant and harsh and unfeeling.  (I am not.)

One kind word has the power to change the dreariest day into something beautiful.

I know I’m going to get slammed for this, but I just don’t understand the whole Twilight thing, especially the fascination so many grown women seem to have with teenage vampires and werewolves and the ensuing drama when the two cross paths.  I thought vampires and werewolves were the bad guys–am I missing something here?

Sometimes I forget how short I am–until I am walking behind someone, thinking, “Gosh, now she’s really short,” and then when I get up next to her realizing that she is actually taller than I am.

There is an old saying that, “Everybody is somebody else’s weirdo.”  Now, after exposing you to some of the nonsense that has recently been clogging my creative juices and wasting my precious brain power, I have to know … am I your weirdo?  C’mon, you can tell me the truth (especially if you follow it up with one kind word).

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About icedteawithlemon

I have recently retired from a 30-year career in education in one of the best school districts in the world. I hope to spend my second life reading, writing, photographing, traveling, biking, cheering on my favorite baseball team (the St. Louis Cardinals), and soaking up glorious sunshine. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my pet tarantulas, trying out new flavors of chewing gum, and knitting socks for prison inmates. I'm almost positive that in a past life I was one of the Seven Dwarfs (most likely "Grumpy"), and in my next life I'm going to be either a taste tester for Hershey's or a model for Victoria's Secret's new line, "Bloomers for Boomers." I want to travel country back roads, singing Vanilla Ice songs at every karaoke bar and rating bathroom cleanliness at every truckstop. And someday I plan to own a private beach where skinny girls aren't allowed. I want to be a writer when I grow up. "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."--Henry David Thoreau
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20 Responses to Random Observations and Revelations

  1. Janet Taber says:

    You are not alone in your weirdness; weirdos abound. In fact, weirdos ROCK, if you’ve described weirdos! And the part about Twilight….I’m so with you on that. Let’s grow up, women. Except the part about ironing yourself…can’t say I’ve ever done that.
    P.S. You would NOT want to know what my guy does with his pocketknife… nothing to do with squirrels … and I fear he uses it to cut his sandwich in half when he eats his lunch out in the middle of nowhere. I feel pretty sure he wipes it across his jeans before he cuts into lunch….

    • Oh, Janet, the pocketknife … so funny! I would imagine every woman alive would cringe if we really knew everywhere those pocketknives have been! And I feel better just knowing that you are in the “weirdo” club with me …

  2. Amanda says:

    Thanks, great way to start my day, but I have to ask, have you actually tried watching Twilight? I am pretty sure they are the only movies that I have ever watched with a vampire or a werewolf in them, because I am a huge scaredy-cat. Unfortunately, like so many others, I was a sucker for the love story.

    • Thank you! I’m glad I could help get your day off to a good start. And, in response to your question, I have not seen any of the Twilight movies nor read any of the books–just not my genre. Maybe if I took the time to read and watch, I would understand the fascination, but I don’t want to get “sucked in” by any love story! To each his own …

  3. SUE says:

    OH MY GOODNESS – You hit on so much “stuff” rattling around in my brain. Thank you for solving my lack of concentration lately! – and welcome to my world – the “weirdo” one I live in. To admit being wrong during an argument is THE hardest of all, especially involving a Norman. The ironing while dressed NEVER works for me either – been there, done that, painfully burned myself. And the “Twilight” thing? I haven’t figured that one out either. Then there is the pocketknife…Is there ONE man out there who has EVER WASHED that pocketknife??? To add to all that, now I have a very UNprofessional TV repairman, Action Electronics, in Mtn Home who has had our TV for 3 wks, can’t fix it but refuses to give it back. It’s on my list now to call the local Sheriff’s dept. HAPPY MONDAY!!!! Thank you SO MUCH for your compassionate blog today – just what we all needed. And you aren’t really a weirdo, just normal like the rest of us!

    • Thanks for the reassurance! I’m sorry (but relieved) that you have some of the same nonsense “rattling around” in your brain; I think we are re-defining “normal.” Good luck with the television retrieval–that sounds ridiculous!

  4. This was really, really fun to read!

    Sing in the car, rock those boots and dress (full moon or not) and those Twilight guys? Sorry but I like my men … MANLY … not anemic looking 🙂

    Crank up the Stevie Nicks & pass me some Clive Owen .. Hooah!

    🙂 MJ

    P.S. we missed you

  5. janetmorrison says:

    OMG…so hilarious…I’m so with you on some of these! How did I not know this side of you when I was in high school??? So here’s my vote…we all come together and the next time that irritating, annoying person tries to fly by everyone else, we all band together and squeeze our bumpers together so he/she has no chance of ever getting in. I truly can’t understand why people don’t do this already. The person who lets them in should somehow have to suffer miserably as well.

    • You didn’t know this side of me when you were in high school because I tried very hard to keep it hidden! Teachers have to maintain a professional distance, avoid smiling, and never let their students realize how human they really are–or, at least, that was the philosophy back when I was getting my degree and first starting out. (I wish now I would have ignored that philosophy!) I don’t mind letting someone cut in front of me when he’s attempting to pull out of a parking lot (and I certainly appreciate when someone affords me the same courtesy), but those line-butters who deliberately ignore the signs and zoom past all of us patient, rule-following drivers–yeah, they should suffer, and the person who lets them in should have to pull out of line and give up his spot. That would teach ’em!

  6. Gail says:

    I tossed and turned for hours last night with insomnia and finally got up. This was the first thing I read when I got on the computer and it so made me laugh out loud…. especially the ironing clothes while you’re wearing them! I found that so hilarious (only because I’ve done the same thing countless times and burned myself a time or two while doing it). Will we ever learn? I’m also with you on the Twilight thing. I don’t get it either but I must confess I haven’t read the books or seen the movies either. Yes, I do believe vampires are supposed to be the bad guys! A female friend of my youngest son coerced and bugged him to read them when he was a senior in high school and so to make her happy, he did. He tried to explain to me that these are “good” vampires. Okay…whatever. I’m always bumfuzzled when I go into a bookstore and see the teen section. IT’S ALL VAMPIRE BOOKS! I Just don’t get it either. So trust me, you are not alone!! Thanks for this great post!

    • Thank you! I’m so glad to know that I could make you laugh out loud (although I hate that it was in the middle of the night!). Apparently there are quite a few ladies who iron themselves (while attempting to iron their clothes), and it has made me feel much better to know that I’m not alone with this weird habit. I’ve also heard from a few women who want to explain to me why the Twilight series is so awesome; I’ll take their word for it, but I’m just not interested in finding out for myself.

  7. jjaneswift says:

    Hear, hear and honk, honk, on the line-butters insisting on their here, here! As to men’s pocket knives and little gifts, guess what my ex’s first gift to me was — my very own Old Timer! At least I knew where its blades had been when I chose to use one.
    — Thanks for the lift and connection; I needed one just now!

    • You’re welcome, and thanks for stopping by! I shouldn’t be so annoyed by those line-butters–I’m usually not in that big of a hurry and maybe they are–but their behavior just doesn’t seem right to me.

  8. bronxboy55 says:

    The line-butters seem to think that wherever they’re going is somehow more important than where the rest of us are going. It also seems to be part of a larger, growing attitude: “If I can get my hands on it, then it belongs to me.”

    Thanks for this great post, Karen. As usual, I found myself smiling and agreeing on almost every point. Although I can’t imagine anyone thinking you were arrogant, harsh, and unfeeling.

    • Thank you, bronxboy55–I always appreciate your kind words. I HOPE those who have considered me “arrogant, harsh and unfeeling” are few in number, and I hope they have since revised their opinion of me. I have been told by several people that I can be rather intimidating; I don’t mean to be. One of my sons said it’s because I use too many big words (I disagree!), and another son said it’s because I’m too serious and quiet–that people seldom know what I’m thinking–and that may be true. But a little mystery can be a good thing, too …

  9. Johnnie Rotten of the North says:

    Well, my darlin’ American Clementine, should your sons get together and pen a tell-all “Iced Tea Dearest”, then ensure that only the most flatterin’ photos of you are used throughout the memoir from hell. Your maternal reputation may be food for collective fodder, but damn it all they’ll comment on your great hair and makeup, too!

    I’d personally like someone to enlighten me on the fact as to why it is that, in any store check-out line, we guys are always at the ready with our wallets open to speedily hand over the required cash or credit or debit card, while women, once the amount is tallied, will express both surprise and shock as they then hurry to open their pursies and rummage around for their wallets, then take another minute or so to go through old receipts and such, THEN produce their method of payment! It’s true, and has been scientifically proven by…scientific dudes.

    Why is it that women demand (rightfully so) open and honest communication from men, then, when we guys sincerely want to know what’s bugging our gals, they reply with “Well, if I need to TELL you what’s bothering me, then I’m NOT going to tell you!” BANG-MY-HEAD-AGAINST-WALL – repeat three times then consume liquor.

    I’m with you on the Twilight thing, also grown men who read comic books (The Far Side excluded, but of course). Also those of both sexes who are hooked on “Reality” television….aye yi yi.

    Why is it that, at many restaurants and other venues, the Ladies room is always more posh and better decorated then the Little Boys room? I have observed this through getting a fast peek as the Ladies room door is opened, and as well by accidentally entering the Ladies room, only to yell out “EXCUSE ME!” and subsequently met with bemused stares and giggles.

    As a guy, I’d also like to know why it is necessary for douche product commercials to be aired on TV? Too much info, and we guys don’t need to see these…they should be restricted to the Lifetime channel, where those Buddha awful “message” films, which always seem to star Valerie Bertinelli, are aired. “Tonight on the Lifetime channel, a film written, produced, and directed by women for women…a film which deals with a woman’s issue that will open your eyes and reach into the hearts of dames everywhere. Brought to you by Revlon and Kelloggs Eggo Waffles.”. Tee hee!

    Well, time to clean the old pocket knife and read Valerie Bertinelli’s tell-all bio of how she lost the weight, kept it off, and discovered the woman inside who yearned to break free!

    Albeit, nothing compares to Florence Henderson’s admission of crabs of yesteryear, as you yourself addressed in an prior posting!

    All in fun here, Iced Tea! 😉

    • I anticipate no “memoir from hell” in the making; I think all three would agree that they have a pretty good mom whose occasional flub-ups and downright stupidity did them no permanent, serious harm!

      I can’t answer your question regarding the rummaging through the purse at check-out time. I usually already have my check partially written, just waiting to fill in the exact amount. And I don’t believe I’ve ever refused to tell my husband what’s bothering me (although, admittedly, I have sometimes said “Nothing” when that wasn’t true). I agree with you on the reality television, and as for the women’s bathrooms being nicer, my first guess as to justification would be that we spend much more time in there–and my second guess would be that someone has simply deemed that we are worthy of such niceties (hurray for that someone!).

      And as for the commercials, I’ll see your feminine hygiene products and raise you everything I never wanted to know about erectile dysfunction!

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