November 30, 2004 

Welcome to the new residence of non-soap related Sherry material.  In case you link directly, and are here for soap business, my soap column can now be found here.  You can also check for updates for both easily on the EOS updates page, found here.  Not that I’m implying the updates will start being more plentiful, despite the wishes and dreams I have in my head.   

Today I really don’t have an actual column for you, more of a collection of random thoughts that I’ve been thinking about, some for a while now and some more recently.  There’s no way I can make an entire column out of each of them, yet they really don’t work together in one column.  In fact, that’s exactly what I was yapping about to Katrina when she so kindly offered to make a second space.  Of course that was a while ago, back when she probably had higher hopes for my rate of productivity, bless her.   

So let’s get to it!   

Let Random Ring!   

Get it?  Freedom…random…both end in “dom”…this would probably work better around the fourth of July or something, wouldn’t it?  I’m a little punch-drunk today.  Not that I really understand what that means…is that referencing spiked punch or something?  Like you might be drunk but not know it, therefore you’re acting even goofier because you aren’t trying to appear sober since you don’t know you’re drunk?  Oh look!  I just looked it up ( and “slaphappy” is in the definition!  I’m slaphappily punch-drunk today!  That’s merrier sounding than I’ve been in years trust me.  Anyway, mostly it’s the caffeine.   

Speaking of ring (because we were, awhile ago), why doesn’t my cell phone have a ring option?  It will only play these maniacally happy tunes.  I refused to accept it at first, and spent altogether too much time going through every menu but alas, it’s not there.  There is no ring option.  There is a jungle animal noise option.  I’m fairly certain if I tried I could find a download of a man’s voice yelling at me to answer the damn phone, but there is no option for the phone to just…ring.  When I want to pretend I’m Sydney Bristow, I steal her trademark ring.  When I want to be dramatic, I can pretend the Godfather movie is trying to reach me through its score…but what about when I just want to be a non-whimsical mom on the go?  It seriously bugs the crap out of me.  A) I find myself embarrassed when my phone rings, and I’m constantly explaining that it won’t just ring, and B) I’m forever walking around in a store somewhere and thinking that happy tune is coming from just about everything BUT my phone.  Hearing music playing just doesn’t trigger the “pick up the phone” response in me.  I’ve actually found myself humming along to the tune before realizing it’s the stupid phone ringing with what could be a dire emergency!  I will admit to having one really creepy moment where I thought “hey, I should see if I can download an ‘Oh, Sherry’ ring tone, that’d be so cool!” but thankfully I had no luck finding it and came to my senses before completely falling prey.  However, I did just receive an insert in my bill for some free holiday downloads…probably that’s no worse than my current Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, right?  And yes, I chose that one because that last part of the title sounds kind of (shhhh!) dirty.  

Speaking of options, one of the great losses a parent suffers when a child reaches school age is the option to be present when yearly pictures are taken.  My kids have always been a bit problematic when it comes to photography time; it always takes work to get shots that work.  I’m uncomfortable having my picture taken and I suppose maybe it’s inherent.  At one time I thought maybe my unease with the whole situation just threw them off and those parents who were confident in front of the camera are the ones whose children can be screaming bloody murder at being trussed up in velvet and ribbons but will stop and pose with a huge smile when plopped onto that fuzzy carpet in the portrait studio.  Whereas the first few poses of any portrait session I’ve ever had show my kids scrambling in opposite directions, trying to get away, while my arms are reaching in from the side to catch them before they take a header into the shelf full of puppets, bells and whistles that apparently work for some children but have almost always proven worthless with mine.  Pictures of my kids that involved the photographer waving some critter in front of them leave you with the haunting feeling that they’re looking into the camera and begging for rescue.  When they were old enough to go off to school, I pretty much breathed a sigh of relief.  Someone else would now be responsible for getting a smile out of her.  When I got the Kindergarten pictures back for my oldest, I realized I was obviously insane.  She had a chunk of hair (it was long and curly at the time), probably about one inch wide, standing straight up from the top of her head.  It stood up about three inches I’d say.  I foolishly thought that school photographers could actually see the pictures they took before moving on to the next kid, but apparently not.  Either that or it’s a man taking the pictures.  Those are the only explanations I have.  I swore after that, that I would not be paying for school pictures.  I’d take them back to Sears or whatever where I could at least control the pose I received.  Because retakes may sound like an option, but any parent who has gone to the trouble of getting them ready for pictures once knows that doing it twice isn’t desirable.  Then I figured out they have you by the “you know what’s” since you cannot get your hands on a yearbook (which is where the class pictures are) unless you buy a package.  So you’re supposed to say cheese and smile for paying twice as much for pictures you have no control over.  *Sigh*      

This year, the pictures came back with the youngest one seriously listing to the left, to the point that she’s pretty much falling out of the shot, and the oldest one looking like maybe someone once upon a time in another life combed her hair one day.  She said she had a few recesses before her turn came about for pictures.  I asked her if they still gave out combs like they used to and she said yes, but those were just to take home, not to use.   So this year, like last year and the year before, I will be taking them to get holiday pictures to send in the Christmas cards and I’ll tell myself it’s worth the fifty bucks I paid to have these classic school pictures.  I have found though that the people who tell me that someday I will love looking back at these pics, even if it means I have to tilt my head to the left about 60 degrees to get the full affect, are the ones who have those “I’ll stop and pose anywhere” kind of children.  I’m sure they’re right though.  And my kids are (of course!) absolutely beautiful even as roosters and leaning towers of Pisa’s. 

I went shopping last Friday, and lived to tell the tale.  I usually go, though last year I opted out.  For those of you that fear the madhouse, I submit that there are ways to make it an enjoyable day.  First off, I never ever go with the idea that I *have* to get anything.  I don’t care if PlayStation 2’s are $39.99 somewhere from 4am till 5am.  I do not go with the idea in my head that I’ll actually score one.  I mean hey, if I do, wonderful.  But to have a stress free day you must view those kinds of deals like you do a lottery ticket.  You don’t walk into the store assuming you’ll win a million when you scratch off your ticket, it’s just something you somewhat enjoy that’s worth the try.  Secondly, drink a lot of water.  Seriously.  Oh, and snack a lot too.  One mustn’t be afraid to duck out of the fray and have a bite of breakfast or something.  If you start early enough, you’ll have time once the initial rush for certain “before 9am” or “before 11am” deals are done.   

Thirdly, parking is usually an issue and it’s one that you can’t let get you down.  It’s usually easiest to just plan to walk long distances…I do try to make sure I can actually see the store I’m heading to from where I park.  What I can tell you from experience is that it’s fruitless to try to follow shoppers as they exit the store, shadowing them to their (hopefully) primo parking spot.  The thing is, you have to remember that they all parked their cars and bolted out the doors just like you do when you finally find a spot.  After all, some beyotch is in there grabbing the last $49.00 DVD/VCR player right this very moment!  So anyway, you spot a couple of ladies exiting the store and you think you’re oh so smart for creeping along behind them as they walk to their car.  Because hey, they’re walking fast since there are more bargains to be had and all, so in mere seconds you’ll have that spot!  Hmm, it seems they must’ve parked way in the back, since they’re still walking and seem to be looking toward the horizon past the parking lot.  That’s okay though, the lot’s mostly full so you’ll take anything.  Suddenly, they stop.  Then they start looking around them like they just realized they’ve no idea where they are.  Then one of them points over the left…waaay over to the left.  And they start hoofing it between parked cars to the spot three aisles over, where they actually parked.  And you’re left watching the taillights of the car owned by the woman who will own Wal-Mart’s last available DVD/VCR player, pull into what should have been your spot.  And just when you get all grandiose and make fun of the “where the hell is my car” point those poor unsuspecting women make, you’ll find yourself stopping, looking around, and pointing waaaay over there with a Mazda breathing down the back of *your* neck.  It is the circle of shopping; trust me. 

I had more randomness to impart, but it’s getting late.  I stepped on a Christmas tree light this afternoon while trying to wrangle them onto the tree, and I suspect it will take me several hours to remember where I put the replacement bulbs.  Oh, but first I will download Jingle Bells to my phone so I have companion music while on my quest!   

I’ll be back, maybe even with cohesiveness, sometime soon!  Take care! 



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