Follow the Olives... (By Email)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Etiquette, Ever Heard of It?!

Look out Emily Post, here I come.

I would consider myself to be one with good manners.  Not perfect by any means, but good. I try very hard to be thoughtful and aware of others and very considerate.  This has often led to more than a few interesting situations.  For example, I am often shushing my hubby or friends as we walk through the halls of my apartment complex because, gasp, I am concerned they will hear us and this will disturb them.  However, I realize that not everyone is quite as considerate as me...example, my bedroom borders on the stairwell and security door for the floor.  "Did you, like, know that like, for real he's sleeping with her?!" - Conversation heard just this morning at 2:30 a.m.  Can you believe it?  He's sleeping with her and they individual that was so grossly offended didn't even know that "like" should not be used twice in the same sentence when not discussing one's personal love of something with great emphasis. 

Now, the exemplary behavior of my neighbors is not the motivation behind this post.  This, this one is from a long time pet peeve.  Mike, this one is for you.

The train.  There are rules people.  There are things that you should not do on the train.  These include, but are not restricted to:
  • Filing or particularly clipping your fingernails - this is a task that should be done at home. AT HOME...and even better if you do find it imperative to do so on the train...the clippings, they are NOT to be shared with your neighbor. Ew.
  • In this same arena - makeup.  Ladies, seriously, finish this at home.  I'm not talking about those folks that powder their noses or apply some lip gloss. No, this is directed at those folks that feel the need to apply their entire medicine cabinet in the seat next to you. You know who I mean, those with the ten brushes and twenty tubes of product all spread out over their lap and trailing onto the seat.  You're beautiful, with or without the makeup, but please, finish it up at home. I fear for your eyes and your accuracy with the lack of smoothness guaranteed by the train tracks ahead.  
  • Having personal conversations on your cell phone at a level that anyone else can hear.  Now the bad news is that almost anyone can hear you on a train.  You're on a train, not a sleeper car, but a commuter train where I can hear the conversation of nearly everyone on the car.  I don't need to know about your recent procedure or anything that you feel the need to describe by color, consistency or smell.  Again EW.
  • Please don't eat smelly food.  Eating is a tough one to start with because really your idea of eating etiquette is a whole other story...not to mention that it's a difficult thing to do without sharing some mess with your neighbor.  Candy, snacks that don't involve utensils these are okay.  But smelly food - that is just not nice.  Plus, having recently done this, it's really, really cruel to the pregnant women on the train. Whether they're dealing with morning sickness or just general sensitivity to smells, help the mommies-to-be out!
  • Share your music with me. Honestly, thank you, but I'm good.  I don't want to know that you are single-handedly destroying your hearing by listening to it so loudly.  I am sorry for your hearing loss.  I know a good audiologist when you need it.  Until then, I'm going to hope that you develop the good sense to turn the volume down!
Please don't think ill of me...I'm really not a horrible person...but this must be said.  Now, my fellow train riders are not all bad. I've seen some true acts of generosity on the train.  The two gentlemen that helped an elderly woman from the train every day on the evening commute home.  A fellow passenger covering the ticket for the obviously haggard mom on the train with the newborn that couldn't find any cash.  When the train missed our stop, another kindly person offering their cell phone to me since mine had died and I needed to call home.  Thank you to my fellow passengers that ride with respect for each other and a positive attitude.  Thank you to those that remember that stinky is bad and personal grooming is really best done at home.
All aboard!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Follow the Pink Brick Road

No, I don't have that wrong.  Earlier this month, my kind and understanding husband and I stalked the legions of ladies walking the 3 Day for breast cancer in Chicago.  Why stalk, you ask?  Why not support, follow, cheer lovingly from the sidelines, etc.?  We did that, we did all of that, but first...first, they have to be stalked.

You see...the lovely ladies were not that easy to find.  They were able share the location of the cheering stations and in between - well, it's up to you.  All the staff, volunteers and even the walkers will tell you to, "Just follow the arrows, follow the route."  Sounds easy enough, right?  WRONG!  Let me preface this by saying that it was absolutely worth it to see Megan after all our efforts.  Just to give her a squeeze after her long hours of walking - totally worth it.  Little did we know that we would be embarking on a scavenger hunt, and a pink one at that!!

We planned to see Sister at her cheering stations in Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect on Saturday.  Then suddenly, we get a call from her early in the morning saying they were already at the first station and moving on.  Find that and go forward from there and we can catch up somewhere between the two.  Ok... Find the first station - drive to the address given out - Check.  Find oodles of women and a few men in pink, lots of pink, lots and lots of pink - Check.  Find arrows to next stations - Sort of Check... We started out fine and then we started looking around and seeing a lovely residential area, but no pink.  No pink at all. In fact, no walkers.  So I look out the back window and sure enough see the snaking line of pink turn to the left a few streets back. U turn #1.  And we're off again, following the hordes of pink t-shirts, bandanas, men in lovely padded bras, Pink feathers, sashes and much more.  A full abundance of pink.

Pink Everywhere!
Then we moved into Mount Prospect. Let me say, an awesome town.  Much of the town came out to support, with stations for the walkers to rest, beverages and food in their front yards, signs congratulating, encouraging and cheering, different entertainment and adoring fans along the way.  At this point, we're now on the phone with our dear Sister - asking if she's seen the belly dancers?  No.  The Blues Brother (yes only one)? No.  The banners about the "worst parade ever"?  No.  Hmm...and you're ahead of us?  Sure.

As we continued on our trek, seeking black and white arrows along the road, I kept hearing the theme for the Wicked Witch of the West in my head...scenes of crazed people driving behind the wheel desperately trying to find their goal on the road.  

Eventually, we settled into one of the "pit stops."  They have these frequently - thank goodness.  I know I'd need it a bunch if I was walking. On a side note, a very well done and well organized event.  Happy to know they were all so well cared for while on this crazy journey.

So we settled at the pit stop, this one themed for superheroes.  The lovely Baby M was amazing.  She was such a good sport in the heat.  And what an awesome thing to have her there.  We hadn't thought about it ahead of time, but people were truly excited to see a cute little one and a lot of folks thanked us for bringing her and said they were happy to walk for her!  Sister walked for her.  Thank you Sister. 

Now, after rushing out the door, racing around two if not three towns, you would think we might have missed dear Sister, right?  No. We waited...and waited...and then she was there!  In all her sweaty glory and so happy to see us.  We were all so happy to see her.  So wild goose chase or scavenger hunt - either way, bathed in pink and totally worth it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hold On...

Ten tiny toes
No this is not a blog about the amazing 90's sensation Wilson Phillips and their hit "Hold On" - which made a fabulous and entertaining cameo in the movie Bridesmaids. 

 Hold on - don't go so fast.  I know these are the words that I will be saying a lot of in the many years to come with my little one.  They're already so true.

We worked so hard at the beginning to get her to grow. To encourage her to eat so she would put on weight...first so the feeding tube could come out...then to gain weight so she could go home...then so we hoped they wouldn't send her back once we had her home...now to keep healthy.  And wow, has she caught on.  She's amazing to me each day - growing and stretching and reaching each milestone so much faster than I ever anticipated. 

She now thinks she's ready to walk. No interest in crawling or figuring that out, but let her stand in your arms and she's happy as a clam.  Let her push against you with her tiny, delicate toes and she'll smile all day.  But wait...too soon...that means you'll walk soon and I know we're not ready for that.  That means baby proofing and cabinet locks and moving all kinds of stuff out of your reach...but it means you're walking.  That you'll be running on a playground and meeting other kids and learning and loving and living and I want all of that for you, but wait!  You're still my little one that was so, so very little and I want every second with you.  Every moment of precious giggles and coos and smiles and even the tears and cries and stinky moments.

I know all that lies ahead of letting you go - your first day of school, being a teenager, oh God, driving and then graduations and college and so much more.  Watching you grow and learn and make mistakes and being here for you, but also letting you make those mistakes.

But for now, I'm going to keep cuddling and cherishing every second with you.  Every moment you smile and shine so brightly and when you wrap your so tiny fingers around my one finger to hold yourself up - those moments, I'm going to hold on to.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Fond Farewell

We had our first date night out recently.  It was a tired Friday night, but special because I was able to hold my sweetie's hand in the dark lighting of a movie theater and not be listening for our little one at the same time.  We decided to enjoy the release of the new Harry Potter movie.

Ten years - has it really been that long?  Ten years of movies that thrilled audiences and imparted just a small piece of the awesomeness of the books that reinvented reading with children and young adults.  The books were released in 1997 in England and it's been an amazing whirlwind since then. Thank you for the amazing stories for taking us away whether it was in print or in the flicker of a movie projector in a chilly theater.

When did you first read a book?  Were you one of those folks that couldn't put the books down? Did you read from the beginning or did you start somewhere in the middle?  What about the films...did you go to midnight showings?  What did it mean to you?

Regardless of your personal experience and thoughts...thank you Harry Potter - for all the pieces you've given us.  We'll miss sharing in new adventures with you.  But above all, thank you.