Patsy Porco

Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Delayed Gratification

In Aging, Humor, Valentine's Day on February 14, 2017 at 3:17 am

It’s Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as the one day each year when couples over-spend in order to prove the depth of their love for each other.

After 25 years of marriage, I might be a little jaded, but my cynicism is practical. My husband and I haven’t stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day. We just move it forward by a few days. The date we celebrate depends on when Walgreen’s reduces the price of their Valentine’s candy by 75%.

I’m not crazy. Why would I settle for one small heart of chocolate that costs $20 when I can have a shopping-cart full of giant hearts for the same $20 a few days later?

I learned the hard way. In our first year of dating, my husband and I were on the way to dinner when he handed me a box of beautiful handmade chocolates (that his friend’s sister made and forcefully sold to all of his friends). I was touched. They were almost too pretty to eat. The candy set the tone for the evening. I was giddy with romance and anticipating our romantic dinner.

When we got to the restaurant, my husband gallantly came around the car to open my door. I stepped out of the car and the expensive candy which was on my lap fell onto the ground and scattered all over the parking lot. That was embarrassing. And expensive for my husband.

Now I get truckloads of marked-down candy that tastes as sweet as it would have on Valentine’s Day, and if I drop it in the street, it’s really no big loss.



Holiday Activities

In Humor on December 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

My husband just came home from work. I met him at the door and asked him what he wanted for dinner, and if he wanted to go out tonight.

He answered, “I just got home. Let me decompose for a minute.”

“Decompose?” I asked. “Don’t you mean decompress?”

He took off his coat and hung it up. “No,” he responded.

I put on my coat and went out to buy some air freshener.


Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? Does Anybody Really Care?

In Humor on December 28, 2016 at 4:12 pm

If it weren’t for my pill organizer, I wouldn’t have any idea what day it is.pill-organizer

My company’s office has been closed since December 23, but we’re still supposed to put in two days of work from home before the office opens again on January 2. Sixteen hours of work should, in theory, be easy to fulfill in ten days.

However, the days have sped by in a flurry of holiday activity and now that things have calmed down, I can’t seem to get out of my pajamas until the sun sets.

Luckily for me, I don’t have to get dressed in order to work from home … or go to Walmart, where my satin, leopard-print ensemble fits right in.



(Credit to Chicago for the title of this post.)

I Yam Not Amused

In Holidays, Humor on December 18, 2015 at 5:57 pm

This week, I was in a gift exchange at work. It was the type known as “White Elephant,” “Yankee Swap,” and probably by many other names. I personally think of it as “Cutthroat Gift Exchange,” because a person can steal the gift you chose rather than choose from the pile.

I had been in a similar exchange before, and while the rules differed a bit, the outcome was the same: your gift wasn’t safe until the game ended. I appreciate that twist because it adds a ruthless component to the mix, which can’t help but result in good feelings all around.

We had a maximum spending limit of $10. With a limit so low, even if your gift was stolen and you really wanted it, you could easily go buy it for yourself. So, the risk of hard feelings was minimal. Or so I thought.

I admit that I broke the spending rule. I bought a $4 flask (on sale) and a $10 pint of Johnny Walker Red. I had to spend the $10 on the scotch because the flask had “Whiskey is my spirit animal” written across the front of it. A bottle of wine wouldn’t make sense with that flask, and there simply wasn’t a decent whiskey to be had for less than $10 at the store I went to. That was fine with me, though. I was willing to settle for a $10 gift in exchange for my $14 one (actual retail price $20).

I was glad that I had spent a little extra. A lot of people wanted it, and it was stolen several times during the game. The gift I received, however, was not stolen even once.

Nobody wanted a sweet potato.

Gift Exchange 2015.



A Gift Like No Other

In Birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, Holidays, Humor on December 1, 2013 at 9:41 pm

In this season of giving and sharing, it’s easy to overlook the intangible presents: gifts that will last far longer than the season’s newest electronics or fashions.

For instance, the gift of the giver’s experience will be used again and again, but it’s usually less appreciated than a petrified fruitcake or a donation made in the recipient’s name.

That’s why it’s best to give a gift that your recipient wants — and accompany it with a cautionary tale. As an example, you could give your niece that Victoria’s Secret gift card that she asked you for. While she’s squealing in delight, you might say offhandedly, “They sell very nice cotton underwear there … the type a nice girl would wear. I had a friend who bought sexy underwear from that store. She ended up as a teenage mother with no child support. She had to clean offices at night to support her baby, while the baby’s father went off to college. Her parents were not happy that they had to watch the baby every night.” Your advice will probably be laughed off, but it will not be forgotten.

Before you start handing out unsolicited experience, you should make a list of things you’ve learned the hard way. You can also feel free to add lessons learned by your friends and family, but I wouldn’t use their names when relating their horror tales.

So far, I’ve come up with two life-lesson gifts that I will be bestowing on lucky family members or close friends:

Do not use chemical cleaners when you’re wearing a flimsy nightgown. Years ago, before ovens cleaned themselves, I was wearing a silk slip-like nightgown when I decided to spray the inside of the oven with an industrial cleaner. After the required amount of waiting time, I got a bucket of water and a sponge and began to wipe out the oven. Unfortunately, one of my mammary glands popped out of the top of my nightgown and came in contact with the oven-cleaning solution. As a result, the sensitive tip of this body part got burned. The phone call I made to Poison Control was extremely embarrassing … for both me and the young man who answered my call.

Take everything that a child under the age of 10 says with a grain of salt. My sister’s friend, Leslie,  got a call from her young son’s school. She was asked to come in as soon as possible. No other details were divulged. When she arrived, she was ushered into the school psychologist’s office. Her son, Joe, was in tears and was being comforted by the woman behind the desk. When Leslie asked what was wrong, the psychologist told her that Joe had been talking in class, so he was sent to see her. When she asked him why he was misbehaving, he said that his parents were out of money and that there was no food in the house.

“What?!” asked Leslie, in amazement. “We have money!”

Joe responded, “I heard Dad say that we were out of money and couldn’t spend any more.”

After thinking for a minute, realization struck. Leslie said, “He was talking about our renovation budget — the money we had to fix up the house. Dad meant that we couldn’t spend any more money on the house!”

“Well, I’m glad we’ve straightened that out,” said the psychologist, “but what about your not having any food in the house?”

Leslie responded, “We have plenty of food in the house!” They both looked at Joe for confirmation.

“Nothing that I like,” he said.


Over the next few weeks, I’ll be adding to this list of hard-won wisdom. But, I haven’t experienced what you have experienced, so I’d love to hear your stories. I promise that when I re-tell them, I’ll change your name. Let me know what you’ve learned the hard way, in the comments section.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays! There are several days left of Hanukkah, so there’s still time to add unasked-for advice to every present you give this year.

The Little Mermaid



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