Courteous, Patient, Kind…Abstract Ideas?

So there I was, in the drop off lane at my son’s middle school this morning. Two cars were PARKED for unloading in front of me: a black Tahoe and some little compact thing. So I, being the ever obedient citizen that I am, dumped N off and then went to the left, around the PARKED cars as instructed by the “Duty Teacher.”  Dr. Queen of the Middle School (the Principal – not well thought of) has sent out newsletters warning us to follow the Duty Teacher’s instructions or basically you will lose your licence, your car, and your kid, so I am sure to pay attention and follow their instructions.

So off I went. I proceeded towards the exit and to my left, the black Tahoe came speeding by me, cut in front of me and then ran the stop sign to turn right. All on the middle school/next door elementary school grounds. It’s times like this that I wish I were an undercover police officer with one of those lights I could throw on top of my car and chase that sucker down. Even my daughter said, “that was NOT nice.”

Police Officer Clipart - Free Clip Art

It left me wondering: are simple manners and concepts like being courteous, patient and kind just abstract ideas now? Will my kids miss out on people like that? I’d like to think that I have instilled those concepts in them, and for now they seem good about being thoughtful of others, but am I doing enough? I think far too often we get so wrapped up in our heads that we forget to slow down and just be kind.


Sometimes We Just Need That One Friend…

It was the day before I was scheduled to have my hysterectomy and I was FREAKING out already when I got the email: my ex-BFF asked if it would be alright if she came to see me while I was in the hospital. I didn’t know how to respond. I didn’t want to be rude and tell her to piss off, but at the same time the end of our friendship literally drove me into therapy. Actual, pay somebody to listen to me talk, therapy. To complicate matters further, my husband works with her – like sits right next to her and has to interact with her daily. So, I didn’t want to make things any messier for him than they already were. Unfortunately for me, in the time we had been in Oklahoma, she had become my one and only friend (I put all my eggs in one basket). I later learned that manipulators like her can spot people like me a mile away and smoothly ease into the folds of our lives, which she did. But that’s a whole different blog post for another day.

So anyway, I didn’t know how to respond to her email and feeling quite alone, I started day-drinking some wine (which is NEVER a good idea for me because not only am I a light-weight, but alcohol frequently gives me hives), sucked up my pride and went over to a fellow military wife’s house to ask for advice. At this time she was just an acquaintance – someone whose kids played with my kids. Who I knew I had a few things in common with, but who I also had never had a real, “deep” conversation with. But I was desperate, so off I went…

I sat there and told her the long, sometimes embarrassing story of the beginning and ending of my friendship with my “friend,” the almost ending of my marriage, and how it was bothering me to be losing my chance to be a mother again (although I knew we weren’t have more children – strange, I know). Through it all, she just listened – offered supportive words here and there, but mostly just listened. And it was while sitting at this woman’s kitchen bar that I realized how nice it was to have someone to just talk to (that wasn’t obligated to listen) and how much I missed having a friend. She has since become my closest confidant in Oklahoma, a real friend that I know I can call upon if needed. I hope that in the time since that November day, I have reciprocated that feeling of friendship for her.


Gluten – Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are!

It’s not often that I watch daytime television. Truth be told, most weekdays you will find me listening to an audio-book while I do something around my house. Side note –  I firmly believe audio-books and their accessibility for free through the library are one of the greatest inventions of late. However yesterday was a Federal holiday and my hubbs was home, so we sat like zombies channel surfing for a couple of hours. We stumbled across the show, “The Doctors,” which I have seen once or twice before. I’m not confirming nor denying that I’ve stopped and watched that show before solely because Travis Stork is easy on the eyes. Anyway, yesterday Dr. Hottie just so happened to say the words, “gluten-free” so of course my husband stopped channel surfing, we watched it, and I learned something besides the fact Dr. Hottie has a cute smile.

A producer on the show took a nifty, yet expensive, little device to several restaurants that offer gluten-free meals and tested them to determine if their claims of being “gluten-free” were valid.  Here’s a link to the actual article/clip: The Doctors Link. Of the many meals tested at 10 different restaurants, all tested positive for gluten except one. I can’t swear to it but I think there was a blurb at the bottom of the screen that said Pizza Hut was the exception.  It’s important to note that in order to be certified “gluten-free” an item doesn’t have to contain zero amounts of gluten (it is allowed up to 20 ppm), so we can’t really say that all of these restaurants “failed” this test. However, for someone like my daughter who has Celiac, it is concerning. When we take her out to our go-to places that offer gluten-free menus, we make it a point to tell our server that she has Celiac and can’t have ANY gluten or anything that has touched gluten, and we hope that the restaurant is honoring our request. But my daughter, like many other Celiacs, doesn’t always show symptoms when she’s been “glutened,” even though the gluten is damaging her insides – making this even more of a conundrum for us.

Another concern of mine is whether some in food service are even aware of what gluten is and where it hides. Not that I expect any of them to be an expert but here is an example of a recent conversation I had during a birthday celebration for my daughter’s teammate. It’s a huge place that offers food, bowling, an arcade, laser tag, etc. Obviously lots of kids (and parents) so I would think a lot of different food preferences and probably allergies:

Me: “Excuse me, my daughter can’t have the ice cream that all the kids at the party are having (cookie dough) because she has Celiac Disease. Do you know if you have any that are gluten-free?”

Employee: “I have no idea”

Me: “Um, if you’re not sure, I don’t mind looking at the ice cream containers myself to see if any of them don’t contain gluten.”

Employee: “Well…they’re all made from milk (because I wouldn’t know that ice cream is made from milk), so I’m sure they all have gluten.”

Me: Rolls eyes and bites the side of my cheek, “You know what, never mind, we’ll just run by Coldstone on our way home and get her something.”