Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Patrick's Saturday Six

A little late but what the hey...

. Do you have a Valentine this year? Yes

2. How will you spend the big day itself? I happened to get Valentine's Day off from work and made a special dinner for my family.

3. What are you most allergic to? I don't think I'm allergic to anything. Do you have to take medication or avoid certain medication to stay well?

4. Take this quiz (if you haven't already!): What temperment are you? (Thanks to Barb!)

You Have a Melancholic Temperament


Introspective and reflective, you think about everything and anything.
You are a soft-hearted daydreamer. You long for your ideal life.
You love silence and solitude. Everyday life is usually too chaotic for you.

Given enough time alone, it's easy for you to find inner peace.
You tend to be spiritual, having found your own meaning of life.
Wise and patient, you can help people through difficult times.

At your worst, you brood and sulk. Your negative thoughts can trap you.
You are reserved and withdrawn. This makes it hard to connect to others.
You tend to over think small things, making decisions difficult

Hmmm...my husband has been known to call me Eeyore sometimes.

5. There is actually a town in my state of birth, South Carolina, called Ninety-Six. What's the most unusual place name in the your home state. (For home state, it can be where you live now or where you grew up.)  There are a lot of funny names for towns in the state I grew up in which is New Jersey. One I always found very amusing is Cheesequake.

A Valentine

1. Do you have a Valentine this year?

This was the first question posted on Patrick's most recent Saturday Six. An appropriate question, considering it was the Saturday before Valentine's Day and I thought I'd expand on the answer with a Valentine memory I will never forget.

Yes, I have a Valentine this year and he is the same Valentine who has been mine for the past 36 years. Mind you, we've been together a little longer than this as a couple but this year we celebrate our 36th one. Time warp back with me now 36 years ago when it was February 14, 1970. Wasn't that just a few years ago? I was 16 years old, a junior in high school and in love, very deeply in love, with a young man I began a "steady" relationship the past November. This was to be the first Valentine's Day that I knew I'd be showered with love and affection from my beau.

He told me he was taking me out to a very nice restaurant and he was planning on a special gift for me to celebrate the day. He had turned 19 the past December, held down a good part-time job and was fully capable of making this evening into something wonderful. I was so happy, so excited and so full of anticipation of what his gift to me might be. A bracelet? A pretty ring? A necklace? What?! As the day got closer, he began to drop some hints and I wasn't liking what I was hearing. I was being told about something arriving in a cage, a very unique thing that he knew I'd just love. A cage?? What kind of Valentine's gift could possibly come in a cage? Upon my insistence he finally broke down and informed me that I was about to become the recipient of a snake, a beautiful black snake. What?? I loved this young man very much and I knew he loved me even more so surely he was just teasing me...wasn't he?

This went on for several days and I tried to shrug it off and tell myself that of course no one in their right mind would give their special girlfriend a snake as a gift of love. However, doubts began to creep in as The Day approached and his story hadn't changed a bit. It must've been a Saturday night that we were going out; I must confess I don't remember but unless Valentine's Day fell on a Saturday that year, we certainly wouldn't have gone out during the week. No matter. I started to ready myself for the evening and from my upstairs bedroom windows I had a good vantage point to watch cars coming up the hill towards our house. I saw his car soar up the hill and soon after, heard him talking to my mother but I couldn't hear what they were saying. Shortly after this, my mother came up the stairs and into my bedroom with a most solemn face, shaking her head back and forth telling me, "I don't think you know this young man as well as you think you do. You won't believe what he has downstairs in the living room for you". This is not exactly verbatim but they were words to that effect. I was dressed and ready for the evening to begin but my dear mother's words and expression distressed me very much. I started down the stairs cautiously and about halfway down, spied a large wire cage sitting in the middle of the living room floor. That was enough for me and I let out a shriek, turned tail and bolted back up into my bedroom. I was coaxed back downstairs to look, really look at what exactly was in that cage. No sign of a snake or any other reptile anywhere; just a pretty black velvet oblong box nestled in a bed of straw.

I suspected this fellow was a little crazy but now I was sure. He and my mother were having a wonderful time laughing and congratulating each other on their performances. You see, they had become great chums right from the get-go of our relationship and their friendship grew only stronger through the years. And what was in the box? It was a lovely necklace featuring a black-gray hematite hanging from a silver filigreed chain. It was exquisite and I'd never seen anything like it in my life. The evening was full of merriment and love and my relief was apparent at this reaffirmation of my Valentine's love for me. Through the years my husband has teased me and delighted in doing so because I am so gullible and such an easy target...still! However, he never again pulled a trick like this on me and I think the look on my face when I saw that cage which very easily could've housed a snake was horrified enough to let him know that once was enough for this sort of thing.

I treasured that necklace for years and had never seen anything like it before or since. Alas, when our house was broken into two and a half years ago by some nameless scum of the earth, it was stolen from me along with almost all my other jewelry. They weren't the Queen's Jewels of England but they were mine, full of memories and love. Thank goodness I still have the memories. All days are special when you have someone to share your life with who loves you, faults and all, as much as you love them. You should never wait until Valentine's Day rolls around once a year to let that special person know how very much they mean to you but we all seem to go an extra mile on this day of Love, don't we?

Happy Valentine's Day


Sunday, February 5, 2006

Aphabet Soup

We live in a world full of abbreviations and acronyms standing for a great many things in our world today, especially things of a technological nature. A lot of the time I have no idea what the letters stand for and I never seem to remember what they stand for after I'm told and usually don't care. And so it goes until those letters resurface in another conversation and it's played out once more.

I don't like abbreviations in general for names or things in the first place. I never have. I don't like using the first initial of a series of words rather than saying the words. I guess I can't think fast enough and it's just as easy for me to say the words. I'm a wordy person. I love words. I think this fairly recent development of using acronyms and abbreviations is slowly causing the deterioration of the English language. This would be very sad if such came to pass because we have a rich, wonderful language that deserves more than being condensed into a random series of initials.

The same initials identifying an object mean different things to people from different generations. I had an amusing conversation with one of the residents I visit on a daily basis at work that illustrated this. She told me she'd just been looking at some CDs and I smiled and asked her if she had a big collection, did she get them from the library or what? She looked a bit perplexed for a moment and said, "no, I got them from the bank". Now is was my turn to be confused. Then it suddenly dawned on me what she was talking about; CDs...bank...she was talking about Certificates of Deposit not Compact Discs! We shared a good laugh when I told her what I was originally thinking.

Here's another example. Part of my job is to fill out lab sheets for people who need blood work done the following morning. One of the spaces to be filled in is the individual's Medicare number. It's taken me a little while to keep in mind that it's not their MasterCard number that's required.

Throughout my entire life I've been asked what my nickname is or what do my friends call me when I tell people my name. My answer is always the same; there is no nickname and my friends call me by what my name is...Meredith.

Saturday Six - Episode 95

1. How interested are you in this year's Super Bowl game?

Not very but at least this is the football game where one might see a halfway entertaining ad and that gives it some merit.

2. How many Super Bowl parties have you been invited to attend? Are you going to one?

I've attended a few and we've hosted a few over the years. We're staying home this year and our son-in-law and granddaughter will join us since my daughter has to work.

3. What's worse, in your opinion: when the media produces what you consider to be a one-sided story, or when someone who is critical of the media for producing what they think is a one-sided story retells the story telling only one side of it themselves?

What's worse? Neither choice is any good but the media producing a one-sided story is worse because it's their responsibility to present both sides of a news story.

4. Take this quiz (if you haven't already!): What kind of weather are you? (Thanks to Shelly!)

You Are a Rainbow Breathtaking and rare
You are totally enchanting and intriguing
But you usually don't stick around long!

You are best known for: your beauty

Your dominant state: seducing

Well now, isn't that nice!

5. What kind of weather do you find to be the most relaxing?

The most relaxing weather to me is a sultry, tropical Jamaican breeze flowing over my bare body as I sit in a recliner, gazing out at the beautiful Caribbean sea with a large pina colada in my hand. It doesn't get any better than that.

6. Consider any television shows you are currently collecting on DVD or are planning to collect. Are there any series that you'd stop collecting at a certain point rather than just collecting the entire run? If so, why?

If I'm making the effort to collect a complete season of a program on DVD, why on earth would I stop before it was completed? I wouldn't have to wait until it finished its entire run because the programs I wish to have for my own are from many years ago.