Happy Halloween!




Last year, a few days before Halloween, I picked up a batch of Halloween Krispy Kreme doughnuts for a friend’s party. I live closer to the store, so I was happy to help out and save her the drive. That’s how you do for friends.


Anyhoo – while waiting for the order to be ready, the fine folks at Krispy Kreme were handing out hot-off-the-line samples. And I don’t know how, but I managed to get doughnut glaze on my glasses. I swear – I wasn’t tearing into that doughnut like a monkey or anything. I think it just must have been extra glaze-y. That’s the story I’m going with anyway.


Here’s to a Halloween of delicious, spooky treats. And to clean glasses.


Irrational, But Well-Rounded



I don’t get hit on. (Yes, peanut gallery – that may very well have something to do with my appearance in the above photo, but so the hell what?) Mister, on the other hand, occasionally receives attention from female admirers. That guy never knows it’s happening, mind you, but it does happen just the same.


Anyhoo, we were in Boston earlier this summer, walking around a street fair. Mister was wearing the t-shirt shown above. He was buying something from a vendor at the fair, where a couple of gorgeous, college-age gals were working. One of them looked into Mister’s face and said, “I really like your shirt.” I was about a foot-and-a-half away, witnessing the scene, and noticed Mister was so engrossed in getting the doughnut he’d just selected and purchased that he didn’t hear a word that cutie-pie said. So I leaned over and said, “Thank you.” Without taking her eyes off Mister, that too-cute-for-her-britches babe said, “I wasn’t talking to you.”


Let me be clear about something. I’m not the jealous type. I just don’t tend to that direction and I don’t have any reason to go there. The only reason I bothered to thank that young chippie for complimenting Mister’s shirt was because I didn’t want her kindness to be ignored. That would be rude and I didn’t think Mister would want to come across that way.


But I don’t give a rat’s ass if I’m rude, so after that brazen broad said she wasn’t talking to me, I leaned a bit closer to her and said, “Yes – I know, dear. But my husband is wearing my shirt, so thank you.”


Mister, thoroughly enjoying his dessert, never heard a word. We walked away together and shared that doughnut. It was fabulous. And well-rounded.

Here We Go



Now that the US party conventions are wrapped up and the balloons have been popped… Now that we’ve witnessed every emotion imaginable… Now that we’ve got only a little over 3 months until Super Tuesday…


Please, please, please – can we try to be decent human beings? Can we give that gift to each other and to ourselves? Can we try to remember that just because we have different opinions, we are still in this together, quite literally? If I’m in the same auto shop as you and we are on opposite sides of the political river, can we still be civil to one another as we sip our free coffee and talk about life?


Here’s the deal, y’all. Regardless of your political affiliation, I want your kids to have a good, decent life. I want them to run through sprinklers in the summer and to play in leaves in the fall. I want them to marvel at winter and to pick flowers in the spring. I want all kids to have a chance to live their lives, with youthful jubilance and curiosity. Not just the kids of my friends, but all kids. In fact, how about all us kids – big and small – get a shot at a good life. How about we do it with respect for one another. How about we acknowledge our differences, then remember our similarities. Can we do that?


Unless you’re wearing clothing that tells me your party affiliation, why on earth would I look at you and judge you as being different from me? I mean, if you’re standing in line in front of me, waiting for doughnuts, about the only thing I’m likely to be thinking is please don’t get the last creme-filleds! And even if you are sporting a t-shirt or a pin that represents your choice of candidate, so what? You like doughnuts? Me, too! You like creme-filleds? Me, too! And please don’t get them all!


I know you may have strong feelings about this upcoming election. I do, too. The strongest. But hating one another won’t serve either of us. And it won’t help us as we go about our day-to-day business in our towns and communities. You hating me will not help either of us get through the paint line more quickly as we shop at the ghetto Home Depot. Me hating you won’t benefit anyone attending the charity dinner where I and others have cooked for good, decent people. In short, hate won’t help us. It will drag us down. It will eat away at any goodness we’ve stored in our hearts. It will eventually destroy us. But it won’t  help us. Not now. Not ever.


So when you and I are out in the world, when we’re just trying to make those ends, when we’re trying to pay our bills and maybe fit in a little fun here and there – can we please, at the very least, show each other a modicum of respect during our encounters? Can we please remember that we are all more similar than we ever seem to notice? We all have to pay the rent. We all have to figure out what the kids will eat. We all think that the price of gas is too high. We all run out of toilet paper. When you get down to it, we really are more similar than not. Our minds alone take us down different paths. And that’s okay. We’re meant to think. We’re meant to opine. We’re meant to figure things out for ourselves.


But we are also meant to feel. And we are meant to strive. I cannot imagine striving for less than we are capable of being. And I promise, despite our differences, we are capable of being better. Period.


So if our paths should cross during this heated political climate, I tell you now that I will do my best to address you from the heart. (Because honestly, that’s how I do.) And even if you’re about to buy the last of the creme-filleds, I won’t hold it against you.

The Doughnut Table



Yesterday found me at the auto shop for a little routine maintenance. (For the record, “routine” does not equal “cheap.”) The joint was jumping with customers, and waiting area seats were scarce. After walking into the room and scanning the room, I took the only available chair. It was at the doughnut table.


At this particular auto shop, there’s usually an area set aside for a large tray of doughnuts. The owners are in the process of renovating the building, so the regular waiting area isn’t accessible. Until construction is finished, customers are pointed in the direction of a temporary trailer. They call it a “bungalow,” but trust me, it’s a trailer. Anyhoo, all the tables and chairs from the old waiting area are crammed into the tiny, temporary trailer, out in the parking lot. The coffee machine has been brought over as well, so of course the doughnuts made the trip, too.


The doughnut tray is probably around 28 inches wide by 15 inches high. The table on which the tray is kept is a wee bit smaller. Why chairs are placed at that table is beyond me, unless of course someone just bellies up to the tray and digs in. But I digress…


I walked in, saw the open seat, and took it. I held my book in my lap and hooked my bag over the corner of my chair. Fortunately, the doughnut table was against a trailer window, so I placed my coffee on the sill. I was set.


But I kept smelling those damned doughnuts. You know the smell: sugar mixed with pink. It’s the sort of aroma that makes you want to get your fingers sticky, just so you can lick them clean. And people kept coming over to the doughnut table for – what else – doughnuts. I wasn’t in their way or anything, and no conversation was exchanged. I just kept getting the full dose of that doughnut perfume, each and every time a waiting customer lifted the tray’s cover.


And yet I resisted. I was proud of myself. But I can tell you this: I’m not sitting at the doughnut table again. I’d rather be proud of myself for something else. Word.