Paper Goods Queen

Once, many years ago, an observant and very forthright patient dubbed me the Paper Goods Queen. She was merely reacting to what she saw everywhere. In addition to the napkins and paper towels in prominent spots in my kitchen, there were – and are – a large box of tissues in each and every room. In my office, there are three boxes of tissues – in strategic locations.

I confess to experiencing an instant frisson of anxiety when there isn’t a tissue in reach.

It’s all just paper, right? No. You’re ignoring the all-important nuances of thickness and softness: the absorbency of paper towels and the thin layers of two or three-ply toilet paper. These differences matter greatly to me.

Have I been brainwashed by Big Paper? Have I been indoctrinated and programmed by clever or insidious advertising? You bet. For me, a clear indicator of the demise of civilization will be when I have to blow my nose with a dinner napkin. The horror!

Look for my non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

ARE WE THERE YET?

I’m so weary of all the political news that my ass is dragging…Wait a minute – that’s not my ass, it’s the President. Sometimes I get them mixed up.

Okay. I know I’ve just cleared the decks of anyone who might be even a little sanguine about the Trumpster. Sayonara! See ya around.

It feels like we are in the early to mid stages of a festering process. Like there’s an infection that wasn’t treated with antibiotics and now it’s traveling through the body (politic), causing a progressive malaise. I should probably give that a name: what about the “DT’s?” Yes. We are all shaking and twitching – even if only on the inside. What’s next? Is there a bottom to this pit? Are we in for a protracted display of the worst of our system of government?

I know, I know. There is a powerful impulse to avoid dealing with the mess that the man in the White House is making/has made/will make. It’s like discovering that your three-year-old has silently puked in the back of the car. Perhaps if you don’t talk about it, it will go away. Nah. It never does. It just begins to smell worse and worse.

Well, my fellow Americans, there is one fetid stench coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Someone spray some Febreze on it, or put it in an airtight bag and throw it in the river. I’m just looking for a simple solution. I fear, however, that we are in for the complex route – in a buggy with no springs and a wooden seat. My ass hurts just thinking about it. Yes. I’m mentioning my ass again. It seems fitting, somehow.

Let’s think for a minute. What would be the best outcome for all of us? I’ve got it! (Dare I say, “Eureka?”) The next time Trump comes to New York, I would like to invite all the stellar citizens – who regularly commit various kinds of mayhem – to collect out in front of Trump Tower. When Donald leaves his residence, that will be the signal to throw a large bag over his head and spirit him away to a “safe” space. That is… safe for all of us; in other words – somewhere that he can’t escape from. Feed him and give him a TV – he’ll be just fine. If he asks why he’s a captive, tell him it’s Hillary’s fault. He’ll buy that, I’m sure. If not, then suggest it’s part of a Russian test of his true mettle. That should induce a level of compliance. After all, he would never want to piss off Putin.

Let’s keep him off the streets until his term of office is over. I’m just thinking of the country, you know.

President Pence? Lesser of evils.

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

MOTHER’S DAY

For those of you who are married or living with someone in a committed relationship, you have an issue which must be resolved on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah…you get the picture, right? It’s: Where do we go? Your mother’s house or mine? Hmmm. This is the kind of dilemma that we need to keep King Solomon away from. Not okay to cut my mamma in half. Oh, no! If you want to sacrifice yours to the cause, be my guest. Oh, yeah? What was that you said about my mother?

And so you see how fraught this entire issue can be, and how it can burst into flames at any moment. So what’s a girl to do?

We have tried (as I imagine many of you have) to make it fair and just – splitting our time equally between the two matriarchs, for example. What does that look like exactly? It looks like an exhausting trip from Manhattan to Brooklyn in stop and hardly-go traffic, followed by a grand effort to appear relaxed and delighted with the bagels and lox (which is the traditional celebratory fare). Choking it down while trying not to look at your watch is not that easy. You know you have to be in Suffolk County for an early dinner; which means possibly four more hours on the road. Mamma number two (don’t let her hear your refer to her that way!) will be in full-on denial that you had any kind of conflict of interest. She is, in fact, the one and only mother – as far as she’s concerned.

Ah, the drive…The kids will be in monster-mode, requiring the ultimate threat: “Don’t make me come back there!” It’s equally ineffective when expressed by either the driver or the driver’s spouse. Kids know that, unless we’re on the cusp of Armageddon, there is little that will be enacted in the way of discipline in a moving vehicle. “Wait till we get home,” doesn’t really work. Those kids count on your failing memory, which is only further compromised by the kind of exhaustion that comes from a day filled with bumper-to-bumper traffic and too many carbohydrates (dinner will consist of a six course meal at ye olde Chinese restaurant – the only one that still uses MSG.)

Now would be the time to encourage one mother to move down to Florida. Expectations for holiday visits are muted by the sun and all those beige buildings. There is also another solution to this and the other comparable quandaries: avoidance.

I can’t (yet) speak from personal experience, but a dear friend can always be found on one breezy Caribbean island or another during each and every family-oriented holiday. She has found a way to turn dross into gold. Now – do you have the courage to say: “I won’t see you on Mother’s Day”? I know, it’s daunting. But, let’s make a pact, you and I. Next year in Antigua!!

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/

CHARGE!!!!

Without anyone stating it overtly, I’ve observed that a custom has taken hold over the past several years. It’s the practice of charging one’s phone/device in someone else’s home or office – without asking permission. Just plugging in.

Now, I don’t really know what the $ amount is for filling up, but that’s not the real point. Is there any other commodity that people feel entitled to use on another person’s dime? No. There was, in my perception, a migration which I’ve seen over time: first – it was unthinkable that someone would basically hijack your electricity for their own use; then there were the tentative requests…”would you mind, Karen, if I charged my phone?” Now it’s become an entitlement (as so many things have), and – you know how that goes – once something has crossed into that realm of “I deserve it” you can kiss your hope of undoing it goodbye.

I’ve had a few somewhat evil thoughts: I could try to make certain accessible outlets less user friendly so that the user would get a mild shock. Not thrown across the room with their hair on fire, just a jolt that says: “Really, did you think you had a right to take that?”

or – I could put up a sign: “Please leave twenty-five dollars if you charge any device. Management appreciates your cooperation.” Is that a little too stringent? Nah. I think we (the “usee’s”) have to take a stand. If not, what’s next? Workmen and delivery people helping themselves to the contents of your refrigerator? Random strangers showing up to take a nap in your bed? Once that door is opened, there’s no telling what will enter.

So…let’s stand firm against the tide of laissez-faire; let’s kick some ass and take some names (okay – maybe I’m getting just a tad too fired up).

As a bit of additional context, I do want to disclose that I’m an only child, so sharing is something I don’t necessarily do reflexively.  But, as a conscious choice, I don’t want to accede to the gobbling of my resources. I’m planting my flag and guarding my territory. Don’t tread on me…

Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett

Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine

You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/