They Say the Third Time is the Charm

And we all need a little Charm in our lives, am I right? Happy Monday!

Me, reflecting on my activities for the past week:

  • Finished a writing assignment on giving presentations.

Check.

  • Started the Podcast, “Terri goes to Doctoral School”.

Riveting, I promise.

  • Began to write my third novel (for the third time).

WTF?  No really.

Yes, it has been a busy week for most people, but just another dizzy day in paradise for me.

Better in Time (the working title) is in progress. I am a firm believer in outlines, for books, articles, letters, email, text messages, and Tik Tok. Type-A personality meets excessive compulsive disorder meets senior citizen angst. That’s some scary shit when you think about it. I thought about writing about cats, as I love them so much, but I get so attached to my characters.

Don’t judge. And stay clear of my yard. I throw things at people…cantaloupes and such. My therapist is in hiding. I wonder if I finally broke her.

So, you are asking (if you’re still awake), what is this new novel about? I’m so glad you asked! Better in Time is of the Historical Fiction genre, and is set in the province of Quebec, Canada at the turn of the century. Most of Canada’s French-speaking citizens live in Quebec, and studying its history and culture has been a hobby of mine for some time.

In case you are unfamiliar with the historical fiction genre, writing such a novel can be quite challenging. I became obsessed with historical fiction after becoming obsessed with a modern American author named Kristin Hannah, and her amazing ability to transform the reader to war-torn Europe during World War II. If you have not experienced one of Kristin Hannah’s novels, please give her a read. You will not regret it. I recommend beginning with The Nightingale. After that, please try my favorite of all her novels, The Four Winds. I have read it three times. Make sure you have a box of tissues for each book, however. You are going to need them.

Well, what do you know? I went off-topic yet again!

I’m nothing if not unapologetically chaotic.

Thank you for visiting my bloggy space/dining room/office/writer’s retreat and confessional. Sorry for the mess. It was such a monumental step moving from the outline to the first chapter of my new novel, I’m going to need a moment to collect my thoughts and find my joy. Peace. Love. Joy to you all!

All Online Universities are Not the Same

Deciding to go back to college (or attending for the first time) is exciting. There are many important decisions to make. The first and the best advice I would give is not to sign up for the first online college you come across. They are vastly different, and I am well-equipped to say so, as I have first-hand experience with jumping into things without thinking. I’m a jumper. In schools. In relationships. In life.

It’s a struggle, people.

So, I recently transferred from Grand Canyon University to Northcentral University.

Why, for crying out loud? That danged little voice in my head is taking over. My apologies. She’s clingy.

Truthfully, I enjoyed my half year at GCU, but there were a few things that just were not a good fit for me. Grand Canyon is a faith-based school, and I confess I did know that going in. However, I was so compelled by their approach to the dissertation, I jumped in with both feet. I was assured there would be no obligation to the religious aspects, and there were not many. However, there were a few.

I am a very private person when it comes to my faith, as I have elaborated enough in my blog. I am not a proponent of religion in higher learning unless, of course, that is one’s concentration of study. Long story, even longer…..I was doing fine until my third class. The instructor was extremely “faithful” and let us all know it every day. I dealt with it, and it didn’t really bother me because she didn’t force anything on me. Things changed when there was a required religion question on a major assignment which would have forced me toward a full answer on my religious beliefs. This was unacceptable to me. I ended up answering something like, “I am more spiritual than would fit in normal religion categories, so I feel I am not equipped to answer this question”. The instructor was lenient and did not mark my grade lower because of my answer, and I did appreciate that.  

It made me think that I should look elsewhere for a school that could provide a better fit. Working toward a doctorate is a grueling, arduous, all-consuming journey that could last several years, and anyone signing up for it needs to find a doctoral program that is welcoming and provides an environment (even when online) conducive to their core beliefs and comfort level.

Bottom line. Don’t settle. In higher education. In relationships. In life. You matter, as do I.

And yes, I am happy at my new school. They are all-inclusive and welcoming. I feel it already. I’m going to do okay at Northcentral University.

See y’all at graduation!

Okay, that’s a tad premature. Don’t judge. I’m nothing if not embarrassingly optimistic. And scholarly. Don’t forget scholarly…

Thank you for visiting my blog. Everyone is welcome, no matter your beliefs. As long as you are peace-loving. Be kind and find your joy!

Mature Women and Hot Weather

Upon further reflection of this post’s title, I fear readership may decline for lack of interest. Maybe I should have titled it, “Hot, Mature Women,” or “Mature Women get Hot.” One wonders how far one might go for readership. All that being said, the title remains as is, and this hot, mature woman shall press on. And what the hell, you have gotten this far; you may as well accompany me.

Pretty please.

Hell is alive and well in Georgia. Temps are in the high 90s and humidity is hovering around two or three hundred percent, give or take.

It sure as hell feels like hell.

We women of a certain age are not only mature, but we are also wise. We will not be doing any porch sitting in this heat unless, of course, the power bill was not paid. I certainly hope we are way too wise for that, ladies! Of course, if you still have a husband, he obviously forgot to pay the bill. He owes you! May I offer you some advice? Make his cheap ass take you to a hotel during this Georgia Hell and turn the air-conditioning to the ‘polar bear’ setting. He does not have to stay if he misses that porch…make sure he knows that. When he leaves, rejoice and order room service.

You are welcome.

I think it is highly unfair that men can go shirtless, but women must cover-up. It really should be the other way around. After all, we women have a lot more to show off. Just imagine going out to mow the lawn, wearing a t-shirt and a freaking bra (because god-forbid your boobs might jiggle), instantly dripping in sweat, and cursing at global warming. Taking one’s shirt off would not only cool one down but would beautify the neighborhood. Remember, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Fuck your neighbors if they don’t see the beauty. Their boobs probably sag, too, and I’m not just talking about the female neighbors. Have you seen saggy men-boobs? On the upside, the entertainment value of your property would probably rise exponentially. But may I offer you some advice? Maybe just chuck the whole lawn-mowing plan and have ice cream instead. If that drips on your boobs, instant coolness!  Win-win situation.

Once again, you are welcome. I am nothing if not a woman with a plethora of unsolicited ideas.

In my never-ending quest to find the good in growing older, it only occurred to me the other day that we mature women have the ability to turn uncomfortable situations in our favor. Next time you are sitting on that porch (and this only works when you are not alone), start fanning yourself, up and down, all over. Complain in no uncertain terms that, “It is hotter than deep-fried hell.” Repeat as necessary, until you have gained sympathy from anyone within earshot. Then, revel in your success as someone offers you a cold beverage. Ladies, we no longer have to be the ones who serve. Make sure to order exactly what pleases you. You want to make good on this getting older crap.

After all, Matriarchs Matter. Am I right??

Thank you for visiting my special bloggy place. I may get a little cranky when those damned kids are on my lawn, but I am delighted to see you here! Please comment below if you are so inclined. Have a fabulous day, be kind, and find your joy. And kiss your favorite matriarch. I heard that doing so brings good luck.

TIK TOK. There is no stop.

I have a new addiction. Sans the intellect and any delicate sensibilities I may have nurtured over the years, I managed to have fallen under the spell of tiny fast-talking dogs, fluffy felines with attitude, teaching teachers, dancing dancers, singing singers, ranting republicans, and a partridge in a pear tree.

TIC TOK. For crying out loud, I have landed right smack in the middle of Crazytown. Stop the train, I want off!

If only.

If you have not heretofore, experienced the magical ridiculousness of the Tik Tok, you need to run the other way, fast as you can. However, if you choose to continue toward the light, be afraid. Be very afraid. There are sights you have never witnessed. Sights you never wanted to witness. Sights that make you wish you didn’t have sight.

But you can’t stop watching, can you?

Let’s assume you completely disregarded the above advice, and ventured into the TIK TOK app, promising yourself you would just take a little peek. The first thing you see is a grown man in a tutu, wielding a wand (which you assume is for granting wishes?). You feel somewhat excited and are quite convinced that there are good people floating around somewhere in the universe. TIK TOK must be a good thing! A place you want to be…

UmmmHmmm…

Let’s talk about earworms. The next TIK TOK pops up, and a little chihuahua is trying to convince his human that they must go to MacDonald’s. He is successful in his quest and off they go. Suddenly “Macarena” is blasting on their car radio and the tiny dog is bobbing his head to the music. It’s riveting, I tell you. This is good stuff.

Except that it will be days before that song leaves your brain.

Next appears a lovely lesbian couple getting married. Ah, so beautiful! At this point, you are convinced that you are in the right place and TIK TOK was meant just for you.

Ummm…not exactly. I hate to burst your “love is love” bubble, but the TIK TOK app works like the others. By using algorithms, rendering words into figures, exploiting mathematical similarities, using meditation and reflection, waving the talking stick, ignoring all reasoning, chanting and performing tribal dances, and the regular infusion of medicinal gummi bears, TIK TOK is able to entertain everyone from toddlers to the most highly educated and enlightened without hesitation or remorse. It’s really quite fascinating. I am hopelessly hooked.

Once you have been using TIK TOK for a certain length of time, you are put into a category, whether you like it or not. This is not specified, so you will not realize it right away, but for example, at least every other TIK TOK I watch has something to do with lesbians. I am not complaining, mind you. That’s totally my jam. That being said, they took away some of my little talking dogs and cute kitty cats. I miss them. They are my emotional-support animals, and now I am at risk of a nervous breakdown. I am also missing the TIK TOKs of all the different groups dancing to the exact same toon. If you don’t understand from whence I speak, think back to the old days and those Halloween dances, and everyone getting out on the floor to offer their own renditions of the “Thriller” dance. Remember that? Do you also remember that not everyone had mastered the dance? Some were not, shall we say, dancing machines, but rather just drunk. Well, TIK TOK has lots of dancing videos, and some are quite addictive. Some, however, awaken your scrolling finger, as you try to find something better with which to waste your time.

Ah, but it is entirely too late for you. Just scroll on to the next TIK TOK. Lean into your obsessions. Feed your hunger for third-grade humor, giggling babies, and that dude who twirls a towel while dancing with a line of other men to “Here Comes the Hotstepper.”

You cannot move mountains. TIK TOK will now be part of your daily existence. For how long, you ask? Well, my guess is until someone comes up with a 12-step program. ‘Accept the things you cannot change’ and all that sort of thing. Good luck. You might need to rearrange your schedule and maybe even delete some activities to make room for your TIK TOK time.

I may have to drop out of Doctoral School…

Thank you for visiting my little bloggy universe. So happy to see you all. I think my membership may have grown to five by now. Progress! Please Comment below if you are so inclined. And check out the rest of my blog, where you will witness my mission to change the world, one mind-numbing post at a time. Have a beautiful day, people, be kind, and find your joy.

I Lied to the Preacher

Reverend Mike came to my door today. I do not remember Mike’s last name; in fact, Mike may not even be his first name, but for purposes of my confession, we will go with Mike. Also, for purposes of my confession, here is a little back-story on Mike. I was engulfed in my school work, minding my own damned business, writing one of my endless doctoral masterpieces, when a knock at the door brought me back to reality. I was mildly annoyed at this intrusion of my time, but being the kind and patient person I am, I meandered to the door and swung it open. Before me stood a big dude, and he looked a bit like a cop, but not a sexy cop. An overweight, balding, sweating, impatient cop. I did not recognize the uniform, but to be perfectly honest, I am new here. My idea of a Georgia police officer is pretty much the image I witnessed on my porch, so I assumed he was a cop. Immediate thoughts ran through my head:

What did I do? Who is dead? Do I have any illegal substances in my house? If I slam the door in his face, will he go away? Should I call 9-1-1 because the dude is really sweating? And, will I get one phone call if he takes me to jail, because I really need two phone calls, one to call my sister who lives nearby, and the other to call her daughter because my sister won’t answer her phone during nap time.

He stood there staring at me while I was doing all that thinking, which made me wonder if I had been saying all my thoughts out loud.

So I smiled until I was done thinking. Mike waited patiently, but he was still sweating.

Turns out, Mike was not a cop, and was indeed, a preacher. After further reflection for an awkward length of time, I found my voice, and said, “Hello, may I help you?”

Reverend Mike was here to invite me to the yearly Memorial Day Weekend Tent Revival at the local baptist church. It is happening tonight through Thursday, June 2nd. For those of you who have been shopping for a tent revival, now is your chance to get on over there and get your share of salvation. It is free, but they pass the plate, so don’t even think about showing up without money.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the good Reverend…

After extending said invitation, Reverend Mike offered a big smile, and handed me a brochure and a flyer, complete with schedule, driving directions, phone numbers, and a popup “A” to pin to my chest while attending the revival. Okay, that last item was made up, but my imagination was going wild, thinking what the crowd would do if they knew I was a bonified, card-carrying lesbian…..not a concealed weapon carrier like they were used to.

Spine shuddering stuff to ponder, indeed.

So, I smiled back to Reverend Mike, accepted the brochure and flyer, and said, “That sounds lovely. I will try to make it if I can find the time”.

I LIED TO A PREACHER!!!

I haven’t a clue as to why I would lie, because I have no intention of attending such a gathering of which I have no business, interest, or inclination.

But he was smiling. And sweating.

My apologies, Reverend Mike. I confessed to my readers, all two of them. Sometimes I only open my mouth long enough to change feet.

It’s a struggle, people. Try to stay true to yourself, be kind, find your joy.

And confess when you lie to a preacher. That’s just wrong…

Thank you for visiting my blog. I love it when you stop by! If you see Reverend Mike, please don’t tell him you know me. He might not be happy with your being associated with a liar. (Sorry Reverend Mike).

Hola Friends!

Doctoral Dreaming. It’s a thing…

I thought it was about time I made a blog entry! I have been knee-deep into this doctoral school stuff, and on most of my days, my brain is pretty fried. I had not realized it would be similar to a full-time job, with overtime. Non-paid overtime. In fact, non-paid anything. Oh, wait! They get paid, not me. I just get the loss of sleep (from assignment deadlines), droopy eyeballs (from all the reading! So much reading), arthritis (in my fingers from all the writing. So much writing!) But someday, I will get that Doctorate Degree, and it will have been worth all the effort, to be quite honest. I love it, even if I do tend to whine, drool, curse, pull my hair, gripe, flip other drivers off, talk to myself, scare kids off my lawn, and eat my feelings. Worth it all!!

But I digress…

So, what have you been doing? I miss the blog. I really need to visit more often. I began writing my third book, also, but that ended badly. I had a nice outline, but trying to switch between creative writing on the book, and academic writing for school was near impossible. The two styles are so unique to their respective genres and require completely different structures, I just could not manage the time or patience it would require juggling both consecutively.

But the book will get written. The storyline is compelling. The characters are fun. It will happen when I am once again, fun, and compelling. Well, fun. I do not know about the compelling part. Tired is probably a better adjective for me at this time. I need to color my hair. I need to buy some clothes other than sweatpants, pajamas, and T-shirts. I need to leave my house occasionally. I need to get some sun. In fact, my Vitamin D is low, and the doctor put me on supplements. I think she wonders if I live in a gopher hole. Back to the things I need. I need a lady friend. Not a lady who is a friend, but a lady friend. If that does not make sense to you, then you probably do not want to know. Trust me.

Wow, 373 words ago I started this post, and I have virtually said nothing. My apologies. Next time, I promise to deliver something that will either make you laugh, make you think, or make you move on to the next blog. It is all good…

Have a great Mother’s Day, all you moms. If either of my sons read this, I love you. And I need a coffee maker (preferably a Keurig), a vacuum, and/or gas money, chocolate, or a good historical fiction novel. Or a lady friend, if you happen to see one. Just ship her on over.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you return again and again, as I need the company and I love attention. Please feel free to leave a comment if you are so inclined. Kindness, please. We do not do hate on this blog. We are lovers. Of kindness.

February. Not my best look.

February. I am not a fan. February has it out for me. Every year, I wait to see the hammer drop, or however that old saying goes, and something always happens. This year, I want a boring, uneventful February, please and thank you! Less is more. We need to focus on less and sleep more. Or at least climb into our beds and hide from the mean, cruel, unforgiving universe. Who’s with me?

Damn, I sound like I am on some serious downers.

But I do not partake in downers; I am not even sure what they are. I just wanted to sound cool. Failed again. Eating one’s feelings can have that effect. I had pork chops tonight for dinner, with a hamburger chaser. I just couldn’t decide. I seriously only wanted something on which to apply a splat of ketchup. I had a craving. Don’t judge. You could be a dork, too, and just have not realized it yet.

I married both my husbands in the month of February. Not at the same time; however, that might have been more interesting, and maybe more fun. Middle age was banging on my door by the time I fully realized I belonged with women. I did procure two fabulous sons from the marriages, though. And thank god, neither were in February.

I was in a bad rollover when I was 38, on February 13th. Yes it was a Friday. I was in a van with seven other workmates, headed to Vegas for the long weekend. We were about four hours away and the woman driving at the time overcorrected on some black ice. It was an ugly day, and nothing to joke about. I did lose a shoe in the wreckage, though. I went into shock after we crashed, and was told later that I wandered around the crash site, hobbling on one shoe, until the ambulance arrived. The paramedics cut my favorite jean jacket off me. I would have taken it off for them. I guess they assumed I couldn’t move, but I was just tired from all that shoe searching. And my foot was frozen. And I was in mourning for not being able to go to Vegas. I had a coffee can full of quarters with me, just waiting to be fed into those glorious video poker machines! I felt robbed. Now I would have to roll those damned quarters and take them to the bank.

I had two takeaways from that accident: 1) I saved money, because I was a gambling addict and would have hit the ATM 30 minutes after arriving, and, 2) My paramedic was a hottie.

Turned out I had three compression fractures from the ordeal and ended up in the hospital, and then home from work for months. There was nothing funny about that either, but our two dogs loved having me as their couch mate. After a few weeks, however, they just considered me their snack bitch, and ignored me the rest of the time.

The struggle is real, people.

A few years later, I was in intensive care with a blood pressure spike. Also February 13th. Also a Friday. I had only been seeing my new partner for a few weeks when it happened, and I was told she was really frightened for me. I didn’t notice because I was serving up my guts to the gods, via the floor, the bed, the bathroom, and my partner. She must have really felt sorry for me because she stuck around for 21 years. Happy Valentine’s Day in heaven, Joan. This crazy post is for you. I’m being careful, so don’t worry. After all, it is February and, even though shit happens in February, I know you’re looking out for me.

Oh yeah, one more thing. I just started my second doctoral class, and they gave me a different professor. It just about broke my heart. But that was actually in January, so I guess it doesn’t count. But I miss him. He had more patience with me than anyone should have with an old lady. I already feel sorry for my new professor.

Three Things I Stole

Today’s post is brought to you by the Number Three.

Three is a significant number for me, obviously, in that three, or a sum thereof, was the number of things I stole from relatives while they were providing me with a much needed place to stay until I got my shit together. It’s time to come clean. I am nothing if not blatantly late at confession.

To those family members involved, I have no remorse, but I do have three fabulous items in my home that now belong to me. Don’t judge me. I had an excuse. I always do. And you love me anyway. Don’t forget that.

Three Things I Stole from my Relatives over the Past Six Months:

I never knew this about myself, but I attach inanimate objects with people I love. It’s a thing. Last June, as I was packing up and preparing to leave Boise and my son and his family behind, I stole a Tablespoon of theirs right out of the drawer. I stole it like a boss. I didn’t feel sleazy. I didn’t feel guilty. I just felt for the spoon, grabbed it, and hid it in my Broncos bag in my room. That spoon is now in my drawer, in my little apartment, and every morning, I eat my oatmeal using my spoon. I would apologize to my son and his family, but I am not sorry. That spoon represents them. I hold that spoon and feel closer to them. It probably makes zero sense to anyone but me, but so be it.

My spoon now!

The second thing I stole was in September at my Dad and his wife Donna’s house in Georgia. I am sure you know the story if you are a regular reader of my blog, and if you’re not, you should be. It’s the third most popular blog around. Okay, I made that up because I am stuck on threes. I can’t help it, just like I couldn’t help stealing an old towel from Dad’s house. I had been using it to dry my hair, and got really attached to it. I stole it like a boss, throwing it in my dirty clothes basket, and stashing it in my van while Dad and Donna went to town. That old towel is now in my linen closet, holding a very special place in my heart….displayed in the center of the shelf, and perfectly folded in (wait for it) thirds. I love that towel. I love Dad and Donna. They won’t mind. I swear I didn’t steal anything else.

My towel now!

That brings us to my sister. My sweet, short, sassy and fabulous little sister. She has more patience with me than should be allowed, and does not deserve a thief in her home. I lived there for two months while waiting for my apartment to come available. She made me coffee at least ten days in a row until I finally learned how to work the coffee pot. She gave me countless directions on how to get to town, and I am still not sure how to get there. She took instant naps right in the middle of my stories about the old days. It was during one of those naps, I stole a cereal bowl right out of the dish drainer. I stole it like a boss, walked right past her while she was snoozing in her chair, and hid it in an old bag I used for my toiletries. I love that bowl. I am not sure if it is a cereal bowl because it might be a small mixing bowl. It is one of a kind, and so is my sister. That bowl now resides in MY dish drainer, and hasn’t been used since I moved in to my little place. Sorry not sorry, LIL Sis. You snooze, you lose.

My bowl now!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you return again and again. I promise more craziness, but I can’t promise I won’t steal your heart. GOSH, that was sappy. Forgive me. Everyone knows I will do anything for more readers.

Worldviews

With the holiday break almost over, I resume my doctoral studies later this week. I am actually pretty excited to get back to it, as I have thus far thoroughly enjoyed my return to academia. That being said, there is an upcoming assignment that has me thinking.

And I still have four days left before I am required to do this thinking stuff. But here goes…

The subject of a person’s worldview has me intrigued, and I am indeed….thinking. My original idea about worldviews only encompassed the raw definition residing in my head, which was, “how one sees the world through one’s own eyes.” Okay, I also realized that a person’s upbringing, beliefs (religion, spirituality, or lack thereof), geographical location, philosophy of life, family, and academic knowledge also aid in shaping their worldview. After doing quite a bit of reading and research, I realized I did not know there are a vast amount of defined and an endless amount of undefined worldviews in our, um, world.

News Flash and chronic understatement follows:

We are not all the same!

I know, Lucy! It boggles the mind!

If only that were the end of my thinking on this. I told myself, “Self, just accept it and move on.” And I did, for the most part. And then that little irritating part of my brain that won’t let me “move on,” so to speak, just kept slapping me with questions and emotions and heartburn (that last thing was actually from the BBQ I ate for supper).

But the questions and emotions kept coming….

So, since we are not all alike, why are there so many freaking people in this country opposed to others not exactly like them? If it is a well-known fact (and it is) that we are not the same, that means we are not supposed to be the same, doesn’t it? And, if your religious beliefs are that we are made in God’s image, then that makes ALL of us the same, even though we are not the same. Seems clear enough.

Ah, but if only that really explained everything.

What about all those people who are not religious? Are they all going to hell? Do you have any idea how many people in this world are not religious? I don’t know exactly, but there is a shitload. And what about those people who are spiritual but not in the Christianity way, such as Buddhism, and Native American tribal beliefs. Are those people all going to hell?

Hard to send them to hell when they don’t believe in it in the first place. And the fact that sending people to hell is totally out of our paygrade. It is just too ridiculous to fathom.

All the research I’ve done so far has been fascinating. I am a person with an open mind, and I accept that our world is not mine alone, and I am but one very lucky human to still remain above ground, enjoying this wondrous miracle called life. My religious beliefs are private, and you will not hear or read me shouting them to the world. However, I firmly believe in the shouters, the worshipers, and yes, the non-worshipers, as well as those enlightened by science and our ecosystem.

We are the same, in that we are all not the same. It’s quite beautiful, when you think about it. Can’t we celebrate that, instead of…..well, you know as well as I do that we need to do some work in this area. I just ask that we all do some thinking. Couldn’t hurt. Oh! And did you know you can actually have more than one worldview? In fact, you can have lots! Boggles my brain, I tell ya. I love this stuff.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Sometimes I am funny. Sometimes I’m informative. Sometimes I’m just reflective, as we all are. I hope you will return again and again, as you are ALL welcome here, whatever your worldview! (Unless, of course, you choose to spread hate. If that’s the case, please move on.)

Jingle Balls

Have you ever been to Walmart two days before Christmas? If your answer is no, then honey, you ain’t lived a full life!! Oh!…The people, the cheer, the smells, the music, the lights!

But not quite as you might envision…

Let’s begin with the lights, shall we? Oh, there are lights, but the only ones left are either on the trees nobody wants, or in a package of 25 teeny tiny lights. Just one package. That’s all that is left. So good luck stretching that around your 9 foot tree for which you spent all day yesterday searching in the woods.

As for the music, everyone is aware of the piped in elevator-type Christmasy stuff they provide. But sometimes, if you’re very lucky, you’ll be in there to do some lengthy grocery shopping, and the music will be caught in a loop, and “Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer” will become your earworm for life. Such fun!

Let’s talk about the SMELLS! Oh Mylanta! When you first walk in, you might be lucky enough to catch the aroma of MacDonald’s fries. But, let’s face it, you’re no luckier than I am, so you will probably smell some serious body odor as half the population of anywhere USA tries to cram through the door to get that last coveted pair of reindeer boxers. As you proceed through the store, you are infused with people from all walks of life. There are soiled baby diaper smells. There are bad breath and farts aplenty. There are soiled grandparent diaper smells. And let’s not forget Junior’s stinky feet! By the time you get through all of that, everyone is staring at you, wondering why you stink!

It’s a journey, people.

Ah, but there must be good cheer, right? After all, it is almost Christmas! Not to worry, because Uncle Max will be stumbling through the aisles, wreaking of beer, and other good cheer, and mumbling something inaudible, but strangely familiar. You forgive him because you’ve probably done something similar, or your best friend has. He knows not what he smokes. Somebody call him a cab, please.

Last but not least. The people. Because that’s what it’s all about, anyway. We are social creatures. We gather. We gather for holidays. We gather for celebration. We gather outside the smelly restrooms, waiting for Aunt Agnes to pee. We are hoping she made it to a stall, but we don’t dare to enter the restroom for fear of the dreaded poop smells.

I can’t seem to get away from those smells.

Ah, but the pièce de résistance is what actually made Walmart famous! You will witness men’s butt cracks shining out from those britches, and women’s bosoms loaded into undersized t-shirts. Kinda makes my eyes bleed. I’m pretty sure it is a Walmart thing. It’s part of the customer’s uniform. If you don’t show what you got, you’re just un-American!

So if you’re out and about today, this Christmas Eve Eve, and you’re looking for a little entertainment, head on over to Wally World and get yourself some holiday spirit. But, might I suggest popping a quick gummi bear edible about 30 minutes prior to your arrival. Just call it your contribution to the culture.