Monthly Archives: May 2016

I’m Not Having A Stroke!

Each of us has the occasional moment of forgetfulness. We walk into a room and can’t remember why. We call someone and leave a message to call back, but when they do, we don’t remember what we wanted to say. We refer to those times as “blonde moments” or “senior moments.” If these occasions are common enough to get a nickname, they’re probably nothing to worry about when it happens to us. However, I come from a long line of women who have had strokes, so if those “blonde, senior moments” happen too frequently, I get a little worried that I’m following in family footsteps.

I was experiencing more than an acceptable amount of forgetfulness one night last summer which led my daughter to ask me if I was having a stroke. She most likely did not think that I was, but she was a little concerned about my memory loss that evening.

It started when we decided to go out for a sandwich at a local sub shop. Though we’d been there countless times, I couldn’t seem to remember where it was. No sooner did the question regarding it’s location leave my lips, than I suddenly remembered. But it was too late. I had uttered the words and my daughter knew that I having a little old lady moment.

Okay, no big deal. Everyone has a mental lapse now and then. In my case, it’s caused by storing too much intelligence in my brain. There just not enough room in my head for directions to the sandwich shop around the corner. (wink)

I couldn’t finish my sandwich and I started wrapping it in a napkin, like some Depression era survivor. My daughter looked puzzled. As if it were not obvious that I was saving my sandwich for later because I don’t like to waste food. Duh! She asked if I was becoming a hobo and planning to hang my sandwich on the end of a stick. Then she reminded me that they have to-go boxes for such purposes. For just a millisecond, that was a brand new concept to me. A box in which to put my leftovers. Genius!

That’s when my daughter asked “are you having a stroke?” right there in the eatery. I’m not saying that she said it loudly, just aloud. I knew that she meant it jokingly, but if anyone else heard it, they might think she was asking a legitimate question.

While driving home, my husband called. He was leaving a meeting and wanted to know what to expect for dinner. I told him that we were just leaving the sub shop and he asked if I’d bring him a sandwich from there as well. I offered to go to any place to get him whatever he wanted, anywhere other than where I’d just left.

My reason for refusing to go back inside and get my husband the sandwich he requested was simple. I’d just eaten all that I could, wrapped up my leftovers and walked out. If I walked back in a few minutes later and ordered another meal, an astute employee might call 911 on my behalf. “I heard her daughter ask if she was having a stroke. She clearly is. She forgot that she just finished eating and now she’s back ordering more food! Poor thing.”

I didn’t want to end up in an ambulance explaining that I was fine… other than forgetting how to get somewhere I’ve been a hundred times and forgetting what a to-go box is.  I would not have been very convincing.

Anyway, I’m fine. No strokes so far. I’ve found my way to many destinations and used several to-go boxes since that night. Although, I have left most of those to-go boxes sitting on the table at the restaurant!


Road Trip

I’m taking a road trip today.

While getting there is half the fun, driving can be miserable. There are traffic jams, road rage, and the ever present speed trap. I’m not worried about today though. Firstly, because my daughter is doing the driving. Secondly, because I have a special relationship with law enforcement.

When police officers pull me over, they always say the nicest things that let me know that I’m unique, that I’m getting special treatment, and that I’m not just the average citizen. For instance, there was the time that the officer said to me, “I don’t USUALLY ticket nurses, but I’m going to make an exception in your case.”

Then there was the time, just recently, that my husband and I were driving in separate cars. He was behind me, travelling at the exact same speed. When a police officer noted that we were exceeding the speed limit, he flicked on the lights and siren and jumped on the highway in pursuit. Because of my good fortune, he went around my husband to pull me over. Just me. Eddie, my Jack Russell terrier, tried to talk the officer out of ticketing me, he even rolled down the window by himself to bark at him. The cop thought Eddie was hilarious, but he didn’t let that stop me from getting that special ticket. Maybe I should have told him to give it to someone else because I’ve had plenty. More than my fair share, really. I don’t want to deprive anyone.

rearview, road trip
Commonly seen in my rearview mirror

I hate to brag, but the police give me preferential treatment.

In the State of Tennessee, they offer a points reward system for traffic tickets. Each ticket is assigned points based on the severity of the infraction. Once you reach a certain level, there’s a prize. In the year 2000, I very proudly exceeded the state’s expectation of point accumulation. I had a total of five speeding tickets. Each one was from a different county. That takes a lot of skill!

Of those five tickets, my favorite was issued to me by a female officer in Atoka, Tennessee. As luck would have it, she pulled me over directly in front of a sign that stated the speed limit was 60. My youngest daughter was with me and I told her that I didn’t know why we were being pulled over since I was going 10 miles under the speed limit. Perhaps there was something wrong with my car. The officer came to the window and told me what I already knew… I was travelling at 50 miles per hour. When I pointed to the sign and said “the speed limit is 60,” she replied, “Nope. It’s 40.” We went back and forth a few times, but she had the uniform, the badge and the gun. So I got a ticket.

It was a good learning opportunity for my young daughter to see law enforcement at it’s finest. Later when the state called me in to redeem my points and claim my prize (more on that later), that ticket for going 50 in a 60 was not anywhere on my record. I only had four. I was really disappointed that I would not get credit for that one, especially since it was my favorite.

As it turns out, the points are not what I thought. They actually want you to keep your points low. It’s more like golf than basketball. And it’s not a reward system, per se. They did call me in to redeem my prize, but the prize was going to driving classes to avoid losing my license. After that, I started using my cruise control to drive exactly the speed limit and not a mile over. I’ve never been so alone in my life! Other cars passed me by in a blur. No one ever travelled along with me at the lonely speed of 55.

After a few years, I got a little lax and started driving normally again. So, of course, I’ve had a couple more speeding tickets in the last few years. Recently, I received a letter from the Great State of Tennessee reminding me about the point system that I had long since forgotten. They congratulated me on the two tickets I’ve received in the last two years, pointing out that they have both expired. However, they are willing to make an exception in my case (AGAIN!).  If I get another ticket in the next year, they will pull these two tickets out of retirement and count them against me.

How lucky am I?!

Potty Talk

All this recent talk about bathrooms has me wondering how many of us have a story about going into the opposite sex bathroom. Many a woman has snuck into the men’s room (on purpose) because the line at the ladies room was much too long. Sometimes we do it by accident. I remember once, as a kid, being pushed into the boys’ bathroom at the skating rink. I don’t remember who pushed me, but I do remember the  shock on some boy’s face when I came rolling in screaming. There was no way to stop it from happening since I was wearing rollerskates.

When my youngest daughter was about five years old we were at the library. She went to the restroom all by herself. When I looked up I saw her walking out of the men’s room. She was embarrassed but it was the middle of a week day in a suburban public library. She had the men’s room to herself.

My own wrong bathroom experience was at the zoo. My daughters and I stopped for lunch in the Cathouse Café.


Let me take a little detour here. This little restaurant at the Memphis Zoo is named such because it used to be the building that housed the big cats in cages. Now they roam in a much nicer outdoor setting. The cafe has a big window where the monkeys can watch people eat. A reverse zoo. It’s hilarious! If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Memphis Zoo, I highly recommend it.


So anyway… we finished lunch and I went into the bathroom. While washing my hands I looked in the mirror and noticed a wall of urinals behind me. I wondered why they were there but it still didn’t hit me. When I walked out of the bathroom my kids’ eyes were huge as they pointed at the door. I looked back and saw the word “MEN” on the door. Well that explains it! So see, people have been using the opposite sex bathrooms for years, with no laws.

I think there’s a lot of mystery surrounding the ladies restroom. Perhaps because we stand in long lines to get in there, travel in packs, and stay in there a long time. Since some women barely eat in front of men, some believe that there’s a buffet available in the ladies’ room. Some believe that we have a beauty salon in there where we get our hair and make up touched up.

Let me take this time to clear up they mystery… yes, all of those things are true. Here’s your sign!

Do you have a bathroom story?