Patsy Porco

Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

Shop ’til You Drop, from Hunger or Anger

In Humor on October 13, 2012 at 12:32 am

We’ve all heard that you shouldn’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. And yet, we’ve all shopped when we were hungry, and wound up with a cart full of cookies, chips, and SpaghettiOs. Recently, I learned of another shopping caveat: Don’t shop when you’re angry.

A friend of mine, Debbie, related a story about an argument that she and her husband had which led her to aberrant shopping behavior. In her husband’s defense, I have to say that he is the most laid-back person I’ve ever met. In Debbie’s defense, I must say that she is not laid-back at all. Here is her story, verbatim, or as close to verbatim as I can remember.

“You won’t believe what happened last night! Mark worked from home yesterday and I had the day off, so we were together all day. I told Mark that I was going to clean the refrigerator and then go food shopping. So, I cleaned out the fridge and took a nap. When I woke up, I got a phone call. While I was talking, I put some tuna in a cut-up tomato on a plate and surrounded it with crackers, and gave it to Mark. After I got off the phone, Mark flipped out. ‘How can you call this five-minute meal a dinner?’ he asked. I told him that I didn’t consider it anymore than a snack. Up to now, Friday dinners were always delivered by a local pizza place. The tuna in a tomato was just something to tide him over until I got us all something to eat.

I immediately headed out to the store, but I was angry. First of all, in over 30 years of marriage, my husband had raised his voice about five times, and this time was ridiculous. It’s not like I had starved him. I gave him something to eat, and it was probably a heck of a lot better than some of the meals that I had cooked.

In my anger, I bought everything. I resolved to cook wonderful dinners this week, or warm up really expensive frozen meals. And only the best would do. $22 ham? Check. $20 olive oil for salads? $20 frozen gourmet pasta meals? Check. Check. You get the idea. However, when I got to the register and my total was $246.21, which didn’t include any expensive paper products or cleaning supplies, I have to admit that I was surprised. But I didn’t care. I was still angry. Then my phone rang. It was my husband, apologizing for being a jerk. My heart melted. I told him that it was okay and that I understood that he was under a lot of stress and took it out on me.

After I hung up, I still had a $246.21 tab to pay, and I paid it. Thank God that I took my wrath out on food. We’ll eat it all eventually. I might have to borrow somebody’s freezer, though. At least I didn’t retaliate by buying shoes. They don’t hold up well in freezers.”


From Hair to There, and Back

In Humor on October 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Me and Maggie Pollack, a sweet one-year-old who is no relation to me, and definitely not my grandchild, so don’t ask.
Photo Credit: Her mother

My life changed a few weeks ago when my San Francisco–area sister visited me. She’s beautiful and fashionable, and bossy. She persuaded me, against my better judgment, to straighten my hair with a flat iron.

In all fairness, I was hesitant for a good reason. Many years ago, when we were in our twenties, and happened to be visiting our parents at the same time, I mentioned that I loved her haircut. She told me that she had cut it herself, and offered to cut mine. I accepted her offer and, for some reason that I can’t recall, we decided to have my hair cut in our parents’ backyard. She brought out a chair, I sat down, and she cut my hair. Then she decided that we should go inside, so that she could use hot curlers and a curling iron. When she was finished, my hair looked pretty good. Only after I had returned home, and washed my hair, did I discover what a hack job she had done. I had a badly cut mullet. Now I knew why she had used all of those hair tools—to camouflage the mess that she had made of my hair.

This time around, I agreed to let her straighten my hair, as long as it was temporary, and no scissors were involved. When she was finished with the flat iron, and an array of gels and sprays, I was thrilled with my new look. My sister assured me that my new style made me look more youthful and fashionable. After she left, I washed my hair and re-straightened it with the flat iron that she had considerately left with me. I didn’t use any of the gels or sprays, just to make sure that they weren’t another cover-up tactic. They weren’t. My hair looked fabulous. I jumped in the car, went over to my BFF-CT’s house, and asked her opinion. She loved my hairstyle, too.

That clinched it. I was going to keep this style for a long time. I made an appointment at a local salon and had my hair chemically straightened. That weekend, I went to a party and encouraged people to take my picture. I couldn’t wait to see how I looked in photos.

The next day, I was sent pictures of myself from the party. My hair looked wonderful. The male-pattern-baldness, that my hairstyle displayed, did not. I had no idea that my hairline was receding. Apparently, my waves and curls had previously covered it up. There was only one thing to do— head immediately to the bathroom to find hot curlers and a curling iron.

Will I never learn?

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