MJ’s Musings: Rituals from My Childhood

My mom had Saturday night rituals for us that I haven’t thought about in years. I have no idea why I stopped doing these things. Maybe modern materials don’t require as much care as things did back in day. Maybe we took better care of our belongings because we had to make them last.

We polished, then buffed our shoes every Saturday night. There were three or four colors of shoe polish and/or paste on the upper shelf in the bathroom. My dad had a large shoe brush. According to Amazon, shoe brushes are still a thing.

The other thing we did every Saturday without fail was wash our combs and hairbrushes. I can still smell the Prell shampoo we used. My mom had a dedicated fingernail brush we used to get between the teeth on our combs.  I sometimes used a toothpick.

Yes, I still clean the hair from my brush, but my comb isn’t dirty. Is my scalp cleaner than it was when I was child because I wash my hair more often? 

Do you have childhood rituals you abandoned?

 

MJ’s Musings: An Observation on “Healthy” Food

Many of my friends and most of my extended family have dietary restrictions. One person recently made a “cookie” she shared. I would never hurt her feelings, and I understand completely why this cookie met her food requirements, but I did not want another one.

When I’m grocery shopping, there are frequently people pushing free samples at the customers. The most recent one was a cookie in the health food department. Or maybe it was a “power bar”.

All I know is I stopped eating sawdust when I was about 3. Yeah, we used it as a “cooking ingredient” when we played house when I was an older child. But we also cooked with mud, gravel, and milkweed pods. Oh, and there was that disastrous experiment trying to make the cat eat a combo of Snowy Bleach and Oxydol. But like the cat, we never actually put the stuff in our mouths. (OK, we smoked cattails behind the barn, but that was different.)

So why does so much modern, “healthy” food remind me of my extreme childhood, sawdust-eating days? Particularly the sawdust part?

MJ’s Musings: A Thing I Don’t Get

There are many things in life I do not understand. Movies on a first date. Cars that are more elaborate than homes. I’m not saying those things are wrong. I simply don’t understand them.

Here’s another: you walk/run 10 miles a day, pride yourself on your physical fitness…and need an electric can opener to open your can of garbanzo beans. What?

And riffing off that, I don’t understand electric can openers. Why?

MJ’s Musings: “Do You Have Change for a Twenty?”

I dread having someone ask me this question.

People like me, who use ATMs, always have too many twenty dollar bills.  I’m fortunate that my bank’s ATM has an option with $5 increments, so when I withdraw cash, I make sure it’s $35 or $55 or $75 dollars. (If you take out $95, you get a $50, which sucks worse than a $20, especially since the McDonald’s next door will no longer accept $50 or $100 bills .)

So yeah, I usually do have change for a twenty in my wallet.

But if I make change for you, then I’m stuck with your $20, which defeats the purpose of my banking strategy.  And lately, it seems as if I’m asked if I can break a twenty a lot.

I need to start lying, and others need to change banks.

Something Else I Don’t Get

Several years ago, when X-Chromo was still in high school, I attended some sort of awards breakfast. I ended up sitting with a woman who lives around the corner from me, and with whom I had butted heads–in a very minor way–on several occasions when our daughters were in middle school. X and this woman’s daughter were not friends. They weren’t enemies, but they travelled in different circles with different priorities.

I had heard this mother was “never the same” after she suffered a head injury in an auto accident. Because of that, I always tried to be compassionate.  Even when our ideas about how to improve the schools were at odds, I tried. So maybe this head injury is behind the explanation of what I don’t get.

Back to the breakfast. “Jane” sat with me, probably because I was a familiar face. Like our daughters, we were not friends. She started chatting. That was good. I’m lousy at small talk. It’s a skill I’ve never learned. Somehow, a discussion of the school dress code came up. “Jane” started spouting off about, of all things, high heels. About how her daughter wanted to wear high heels and it just wasn’t right. And a ban against high heels needed to be added to the dress code. On several occasions, she’d caught her daughter trying to sneak out of the house wearing high heels and that was something young girls should not be wearing.

I happened to see her daughter on line at the buffet–wearing a spaghetti strapped tank top and shorts cut up to her hoo-ha (both violations of the dress code, but she was a jock so it was overlooked). And her mother was worried about high heels?

I don’t get it.