Thursday, May 03, 2007

Actually no, I don't remember

Yesterday in the supermarket, I ran into the girl who sat in front of me in homeroom throughout high school. Four years staring into the back of her head;we were pretty good friends. After a big hello I had a serious mind blank and could not remember her name. I was quick enough to figure that her last name had to be a "D" name and definitely a D followed by a letter that came before E. We sat in alphabetical order. I was getting nervous and answered her casual "catch up" questions in an irregular way. Before DE? Must be DA. Dallinger. No, she is Italian. I remember that. D'Antonio. No, that girl sat in front of us. Maybe DB. Can't think. DC. DD. Come on! DD. That's silly. Had to be DA. She was staring at me by then, waiting for a response. I had no idea of what she asked. She was kind and said that she had an appointment and it was so nice to see me, after all these years. Twenty-nine to be exact, but I didn't say that. I was thinking still. D'Ancona. No. Definitely not. D'Dado!! That's it. I want to chase after her, have a really good catch-up conversation and tell her how much I liked her hair when she cut it like Farrah Faucett.

My memory is inconsistent. It is acute only when digging up the most useless facts while compelling information is totally lost. Today I went to the market and was totally distracted by the jingles in my brain until I realized that I could turn this into a really cool game. I want you to try it. When walking through the market or better yet, do it now at home. All you need is a pantry full of food. As you gaze upon each box, bag, jar or can of food, cleaning supplies and toiletries, sing the jingle. I started with Nutter Butter Cookies. "Have another nutter butter peanut butter sandwich coooookie. By Nabisco." If you can hear the tune as you read this, you are probably about my age and will definitely recognize, "Hot Dogs. Armour hot dogs. What kinds of kids eat armour hot dogs? Fat kids, skinny kids, kids that climb on rocks. Tough kids. Sissy kids. Even kids with chicken pox. Love hot dogs. Armour hot dogs. The dogs kids love to bite." Not very PC but memorable. And if you're from Philadelphia I'd lay odds that you know the Tastykake jingle as well as The Melrose Diner one. See, it is fun. You can stop worrying about your memory. Your memory is perfect. When we can no longer remember that the underwear go on before the pants and we are sent to the "memory park" at our local nursing home, we can all have a giant, jingle sing-a-long.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


There are lots of silly, stupid & amusing internet personality tests but this vey short one is a little like the old Myers-Brigg. It just doesn't take hours to complete, which is ideal for us ADD folks.

Your Personality is Very Rare (INTP)
Your personality type is goofy, imaginative, relaxed, and brilliant.
Only about 4% of all people have your personality, including 2% of all women and 6% of all menYou are Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving.
How Rare Is Your Personality?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Saturday Morning

A group of Amish girls pardon themselves as they move ahead of me, stooping down to their parents who sit on plastic, woven lawn chairs underneath the tent. I stand just outside the canopy begging warmth from the early morning Autumn sun. The girls are given a few dollar bills and they pass me again as they run toward the food cart that the Ephrata Fire Company has set up in the driveway of the 200 year old home. The auctioneer is holding up an old, aluminum trashcan, pale pink with ballerinas dancing in an endless circle around the center. Minimal chipping, paint in good condition. Late 1950's. "Do I have ten", he starts in rapid fire voice, "five, five dollars for this vintage can. And not just any can. This can is full of clothespins. Do I hear five? Three. Two. Two dollars. Just the clothespins would cost you three times that price. One dollar!" I shoot my hand up at the same time as the Amish woman in the front row. The auctioneer looks at me. "Two dollars?" I nod. "Now we have two. Two. Three. two Three." He is looking at the woman. "Two. Once." She nods and he looks at me again, "Three. Four. Four dollars for the can." I hesitate. The can has more scratches than I initially noticed but I see all those clothespins now. I am thinking of something else. I shake my head yes and listen as he tries to raise the price to five. The Amish woman has lost interest. "Sold. Number 133. Standing in the back. Next up a quilt..."
I walk toward the aisle where a young boy passes me the can. I thank him quietly and place the can on the wet grass where I have piled the other items I've won. A small handmade quilt with a little fraying at one end but brilliantly colored. Two primitive rug beaters with red wooden handles. I was excited about getting the rug beaters for five dollars each. I sell a lot of these in the store priced close to thirty dollars a piece. I feel the need to justify waking up so early on a Saturday morning and the rug beaters do just that. Truth is that I used to come anyway, even before the store. I'd watch more than buy in those days, wondering what people did with all that stuff. I still wonder about that. The dealers, like me, I understand. We buy. We sell. We like to possess things but only for a little while. Clean them up, wonder about their history and pass them on again. I like the idea of antiques. It's a green business. We recycle. I understand the Amish too. They buy what they will use. Buckets. Rugs. Sewing notions. Tools and barn equipment. It's the others I can't figure out. The ones that buy boxes of old towels and chipped teapots. What do they do with that stuff and how does the desire to possess it get them out of bed on these early Saturday mornings? I am thinking these thoughts and realize that I missed the last auction. A chalkboard from the late 1800's with a small wooden box of chalk. I am mad at myself until I notice that one of the Amish men has purchased it for his children who are smiling these really great smiles. I wish my own kids could be so pleased with a hundred year old chalkboard and a box of chalk. I let go of my anger even as I calculate the eighty dollars or so I could have seen as profit.