cleaning lady

cats sweeping broomWhen I was in college, I lived in a dorm. Dorms can be great equalizers. It’s hard to tell who’s as poor as you are or as rich as Midas when everyone’s living in the same building, schlumping around in sweatpants and pajamas. Hardly anyone at Cornell had a car (the campus isn’t vehicle-friendly) and this was way back in the day before cell phones, laptops and even computer ownership might have given some clue. One telling factor was Spring Break plans — if you were off to Prague on a moment’s notice, that probably meant you weren’t down to your last two dollars, as I often was. The more economically challenged among us often stayed put for Spring Break (and had a fun time, too).

Another thing I noticed was cleaning ladies. Every now and then, one of my friends would mention their housekeeper, or the cleaning person that came to their house, back home. I couldn’t fathom such a thing. We’d never, ever had a cleaning person. Quite frankly, at the time, my mother was working a second part time job *as* a cleaning person, to keep me in school. You can imagine how galling I found it when a fellow student protested to me that having a cleaning person wasn’t a luxury; his mother worked, after all. She didn’t have time to clean. Meanwhile my mother worked all day, worked cleaning offices at night, and cleaned her own house with whatever energy she somehow had. It’s not an entirely fair comparison, but I still think having someone come to clean your house, unless you’re physically incapable of doing so (and a lot of those people can’t afford help, sadly), is a luxury.

You have to imagine, then, how weirded out I am by the fact that we have cleaning people coming to the house this week.

I mean, this isn’t a regular thing. We had a Groupon, and it’s a spring cleaning kind of deal. Dave’s super busy in tax season. And I have a little trouble doing certain things, especially when there’s bending involved. It’s still a luxury, though, and I feel strangely guilty about it.

I’m a lousy housekeeper. I didn’t inherit the Leonard cleaning gene, the one that guaranteed my grandmother’s basement floor was safer to eat off of than most people’s kitchen plates, and the one that made my mother stress about dust bunnies in the storage closet. Yeah, I missed that. I don’t have it in me. But I grew up with it, so I end up looking around my reasonably neat house and seeing nothing but dust and dirt and feeling ashamed.

So as a result of all that matriarchal genetic pressure and guilt over economic divide, I’ve been desperately restraining myself all week from cleaning the bathroom ahead of time, because I don’t want the cleaning people to see that my bathroom is dirty and think I’m lazy. I haven’t succumbed yet, but there’s still more than 24 hours to go. I’d say it’s 50/50. At best.

geek vs. nerd edition

from http://xkcd.com/747/

Geeks like cool tech stuff. We like gadgets, electronic thingamabobs, we can fix your laptop and we often have a spare USB drive just when you need one. Nerds, on the other hand, know a lot about Star Trek, always win at Trivia Night, and recognize the African Anteater Ritual when they see it. I’m both, and proudly so.

For the record, though, in my opinion, the level of enjoyment I’ve gotten out of setting up shop at my brand new spiffy site, whatamiholdingonto.com, marks what is probably both my geekiest and nerdiest moment to date. I mean, registering a domain and setting up a self-hosted blog, that’s just mildly geeky. Gleefully looking forward to playing with plugins all weekend? Pricelessly nerdy.

here I go again

funny-scaleOnce upon a time, I decided to lose some weight. I started counting calories, I started exercising. I was tenacious. And it worked. I lost 108 pounds, and it felt terrific. And… I’ve gained it all back. Every single pound, and then some.

What happened? Well, a lot of things. The first answer, and we’ll come back to this: I ate too much. I also stopped exercising, and that, to be fair, wasn’t my fault. After I hurt my back, and then the surgery that followed, the sciatic pain in my leg took away the walking I loved. Outside on Amherst’s bike paths, my mix going on my iPod shuffle, walking sneakers on, workout clothes always with me, I loved to walk. A lot. The treadmill will do in the winter, but walking those paths, or the ones at the museum, that was fulfilling. Sometimes joyous. But it’s not a real possibility now. My leg muscles are tired and weak, and the pain recurs too often and too strongly. So this time I’m focusing on swimming. I’ve never been a great swimmer — I taught myself when I was 11 or so, and I’ve never learned to swim underwater (long story). But I can swim laps, and I can exercise in the pool, and it’s the best thing possible for my back.

But back to the eating too much part. Well, that was all me. Why? I don’t know, why does anyone eat too much? I wanted to, for one. I was home a lot more. I had time on my hands. I like food. It tastes good. I like a big comfy meal that makes me feel warm and fuzzy and full. I like salty things and cheesy things and ice cream. A lot of people do. I like them too much — a lot of people do that too.

I was also happy. I met this guy, as you know, and that worked out pretty well for me. 🙂 And then you’re a couple and you’re going out to eat, and you’re sharing desserts, and you’re happy. I felt loved, and okay, and for the first time in forever, not so insecure. I’m lovable! I’m great the way I am! And there’s some value in just loving who you are and accepting it and so forth. But there’s a line somewhere that I crossed, and now I don’t love who I am. My clothes don’t fit. I don’t fit. I don’t like myself this way. So it’s time to do something about it, again.

For unrelated reasons, I’ve been tested six ways to Sunday by a veritable crew of doctors in the past few months. Enough bloodwork to satisfy a hungry vampire’s thirst. Ultrasounds and sonograms, some of them mighty uncomfortable. A couple of specialists. The upside of all of that is that apparently I’m actually pretty freaking healthy. I get nice numbers on everything, except for an underactive thyroid (and while yes, it’s true, that ain’t helpin’ the number on the scale go down, studies have shown that weight gain due to hypothyroidism is mild — in the 5-20 range, and I got a lot more than that to lose so I’m not hiding behind that). And we’re addressing that with medicine, so here I am, healthy as the proverbial horse, but just overweight. Again.

There were a few false starts this spring — I tried a couple of other diets, but none of them did much for me. And then, after another dismal rendezvous with my friend the scale, I finally conceded that I have to go back to what worked before, and will again, no matter how tedious. Calories, calories, counting calories. I started using MyFitnessPal, and I like it. Since I began last Sunday, I’ve lost 5.2 pounds — as an experienced dieter I know that’s just the initial water-weight jump, but it’s still nice to see that number on the scale going in the right direction.

So, here I go again. Wish me luck. 🙂

Created by MyFitnessPal – Free Calorie Counter

earning money swagging

SwagBucksTwitterLogoI waste a lot of time online. On my phone, on my iPad, the computer. While I’m watching TV, while we’re eating dinner, whatever. I’m using surfing around aimlessly, in between more vitally important tasks like refreshing my Facebook feed.

A couple months ago I was obsessed with playing QuizUp. Like, constantly. I was as focused as I was back in 1993, when my friend Paula and I spent countless hours playing Yahtzee on her Apple II (high scorers forever!). And after awhile, it started seeming pointless. All these hours answering questions about “Friends” and “How I Met Your Mother”, and nothing to show for it. Surely my time futzing around online could be put to better use.

As a side note, right around then, I learned to great sadness that we wouldn’t be getting $200 of onboard credit on our next Disney Cruise (maybe 2016, maybe 2017). You used to get this, along with a discount, any time you booked a return cruise while still on the ship, and then you could just keep moving the reservation until you were ready to cruise again, even for years and years. Well, Disney doesn’t let you do that anymore — you have to actually take the cruise within 18 months, or you lose the 200 bucks of ship credit. Bummer.

So, I decided to put my online time to better use. Without making a chore of it, without spending much more time online than I used to anyhow, I started spending time on Swagbucks. I had an account there already but had never really tried to make much of it. The theory is, you do surveys, watch videos and ads, maybe sign up for special offiers (I never do those, though, as they often cost money, which defeats the purpose), and earn Swagbucks. And you can trade Swagbucks in for gift cards, to places like Target and Amazon, or even for straight-out money, through your PayPal account.

I’ve been “Swagbucking” for just short of 2 months now, and I’ve earned $100. Yep, that’s 100 bucks! 🙂 Yay! My goal was to at least replace that $200 onboard credit for our future cruise, and I’m half-way there already. Now I’m going to see how much we can put towards the cruise altogether, since it’s years away it might be a nice tidy sum.

But, it’s not a job. Some days I spend more time on it than I do on others. Sometimes I rack up a lot of Swagbucks, and sometimes just a 100 or so (cash equivalent: one dollar). I refuse to make it a chore. And it’s probably not worth your time if you don’t surf as aimlessly as I do, or if you don’t have the spare time I admittedly do. But for me, it’s a far better way to spend my aimless time online than anything else I’ve done.

bright lights, bigger city

A few posts ago, I was talking about the the parts of New York City that are nothing like what you see on TV or in the movies. To be fair, I should mention that there are other parts that are, well, every bit as cool as they look. Central Park is amazing. The Metropolitan Museum really does have hieroglyphics that may, who knows, be an ancient cartoon strip about a character named Sphinxie. Watching Good Morning, America before work and thinking, that’s just a short traffic-laden drive away, that’s kind of cool. And the city at Christmastime really was something to see — that tree at Rockefeller Center is gorgeous. Restaurants, shopping, the High Line, Grand Central Station, the Cloisters, it’s all right there on that one little densely-packed island.

lucille-lortel-theatre_v2_460x285

All you want is a dinkle… What you envy is a schwang… A thing through which you can tinkle…To play with or simply let hang.

The other really great thing is the theatre. I saw a slew of shows in the city years and years ago. But when you live out of town, going to a Broadway show is a whole rigamarole. Getting tickets that fit your travel schedule means you can’t take advantage of most good sales, or catch something in a limited run. When you’re across the state, you just don’t hear about a lot of great productions, off Broadway and on, and that’s probably for the best or I would have been even more pea green with envy than I was before. But being here, we can grab a great opportunity when it comes along, and I’m really excited about the shows we’re seeing.

My husband and brother-in-law have a subscription to MCC Theater at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on Christopher Street. If you’re a dork like me, the biggest thing that tickles you about that is that it’s where Joey sometimes had his shows on Friends, like the one where he fell for his leading lady before heading off to Blargon 7, or Freud! the Musical. But they actually do have a lot of great shows there — I went to one with them last fall that I really enjoyed and Dave has told me about others.

IMG_2015

The set for Waiting for Godot, pre-show. Unlike the jerkwad in the row in front of me, I didn’t use my phone to take pictures during the performance.

For Valentine’s Day we went to see Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan in Waiting for Godot. I mean, look: Godot is a weird play, and not entirely easy. You’re meant to chuckle but mostly to think, a lot. And it was an excellent performance, but I’m not going to lie: I spent the entire time in a bliss-filled haze of thinking, “THAT’S PATRICK STEWART. AND IAN MCKELLAN. PICARD AND GANDALF ARE LESS THAN THIRTY FEET AWAY FROM ME. ACTING. TOGETHER. THIS IS THE COOLEST THING EVER.” Don’t even get me started on when Patrick Stewart walked past me on the way to his car, later. It was transformative.

 

In early May, we’re going to see Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan. I think we’re going to enjoy it, as it’s gotten excellent reviews in London. It’s a dark comedy, and with Dave, the darker the better, really. And yes, I imagine there will be a similar part of me thinking, “HARRY POTTER!!!”, but this time it’s more about making up for a previously missed opportunity. I was desperate to see Equus when Radcliffe was in it in 2009, and I couldn’t make it happen. That’s still disappointing, since it’s such a great play and also starred the now-departed Richard Griffiths, but I at least we’ll be there this time around. And for Dave’s birthday, later that month, we’re going to the long-awaited revival of Hedwig and the Angry Itch, starring Neal Patrick Harris (go for Barney!). I can’t wait.

Years and years ago, I studied theatre and thought I wanted to spend my life working backstage. That didn’t work out, and it’s not something I want anymore. But living here and getting out to see shows, keeping on top of what’s coming up in venues small and large, gives me back a little bit of something that I once wanted very badly, even if in the most tangential of ways. So if nothing else, that alone makes up for all the stinky subways and the sun setting at two o’clock and the traffic, even the traffic, ten times over.

post hoc, ergo propter hoc

Wednesdays on NBC  (9-10 p.m. ET)My husband and I have been doing a rewatch of The West Wing lately, which isn’t surprising since the show is how we met. It’s certainly not our first rewatch individually — each of us has seen the series several times, I’m sure. It’s our first rewatch together, though, and for me, at least, it’s been awhile since I last visited the Bartlet White House.

It was a great show, for so many reasons — the cast, the writing, the score, the setting. It ran for seven seasons and while I felt there was a bit of a slump in the penultimate year, by the end I would have eagerly signed on for a President Santos sequel. All good things come to an end, though, and in retrospect, maybe it ended just when it was supposed to.

Watching it now, I can’t help but feel there’s an almost naive optimism to the show that doesn’t entirely gel with the horribly divided, much more cynical political landscape we’re living in right now. It’s always possible I’m the cynical one, but it’s hard to imagine anyone in government being that idealistic anymore. Bartlet’s presidency was its own little Aaron Sorkin-esque Camelot, and you can’t keep the magic going forever. You know, Matt Santos was modeled after then-Senator Barack Obama. In the final episode of the show, we’re left hopeful, excited and eager to start anew. That’s how I felt in 2008, but sadly not at all how I feel about the landscape today. Am I more disappointed because this fictional show gave me real-life expectations that were unreasonably high? Maybe, but I think that oversimplifies how defeated I feel every time I see another bill trying to encroach on women’s rights, learn of another brutal regime we’ve chosen to sell arms to, or hear another politician trying to legislate hate. I wasn’t asking for a utopian made-for-tv world, just something a little easier to live with than this.

Having said all of that… this probably won’t be the last time I’ll rewatch The West Wing. Like a nostalgic alum, I’ll keep coming back for homecoming and reunion, checking out the old dorm, driving the new-show kids nuts, remembering when. I might be a lot more cynical about politics, and a little more pragmatic about the world we live in, but I’ll never fall out of love with Josiah Bartlet, Toby Ziegler, Leo, Sam, CJ, Josh, Donna or Charlie. In that sense, I’ll always be a Wingnut, and proudly so.

New York state of mind

300px-I_Love_New_York.svgI’ve been going to visit New York City for years, since my friend Amy moved there (or in the vicinity) ages ago. And I like the city. It can be fun. Living near it myself, now, there’s still a lot I enjoy. Last weekend, we saw Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan in Waiting for Godot. It was, in a word, thrilling — just to be there, just to be able to be there. Exciting things happen in New York, and living close by means I can see them, when I want to.

Having said that,it’s a little silly the way Hollywood likes to treat NYC, at least when it comes to lighter fare. All too often the city is depicted as some kind of jolly Mary Poppins-esque wonderland. In reality, the subways are not well-lit and charming. The streets are not that clean. Sometimes there’s a smell. Well, all the time. There’s always construction, there’s always traffic, and the sun sets in mid-afternoon. I mean, sure, sometimes they show us the grittier side.  Taxi Driver is impeccably harsh, for example. Big shows Tom Hanks in that scary motel room. I’d also give good credit to Midnight Cowboy, Fame, and even Tootsie. But then there’s the brighter side of the street, apparently.

In When Harry Met Sally, everyone’s apartment is the size of the Met; it’s often adorably fall or the holidays, and the worst that can be said is that buying a Christmas tree for yourself is a fate worse than death. In The Object of My Affection,  a lovely Brooklyn brownstone is “slumming it”, and showing that you want to “escape the Hamptons” is proof you still have a soul. Serendipity started a run on not just old copies of Love in the Time of Cholera but also the restaurant from which the movie got its name, as long as you don’t dwell on how many times they’ve been closed down for rat infestations. I can excuse a movie like The Devil Wears Prada because it takes place entirely in the world of fashionistas, but all the other romcoms set in the Big Apple have the same, nauseating… sameness.  27 Dresses presents us with a city lacking any ethnicity whatsoever (except for one young boy, and they make sure you know it) and in 13 Going on 30, the sun always shines and there’s a photo shoot waiting to happen anywhere. Little Black Book, Maid in Manhattan, Made of Honor, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Sweet Home Alabama, Stepmom, and on and on. Everyone has an exciting job. Everyone has an unrealistically huge apartment. And the city is so damn picturesque you can barely resist packing up your worldly belongings and moving there immediately. The crowning achievement of Hollywood’s New York has got to be You’ve Got Mail, a movie that has charming baked right in with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in the lead roles. Here, New York is one giant street fair, filled with lovely (though possibly soon to be out of business) shops, literary parties, and friends singing Austrian folk songs together at Christmas.

There are a lot of great movies set in New York City. This list has some great examples to offer, culminating in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. Another personal favorite of mine is The Royal Tenenbaums, which is set in an odd, strangely archaic present-day New York that remains, weirdly enough, entirely recognizable. And it must be confessed that I enjoy the fluffier offerings on their own merit, so to speak. But if you’ve never been to the city before and those are your entire frame of reference, just be warned that you won’t find the subway to be nearly as quaint as you’ve been led to expect.

this is 41

The other day my good friend Rose posted a link to a blog post titled, “This is 45,” written by Emily Mendell. A great deal of it hit home with me, despite my being a few years short. I’ll be 42 this year, I just realized, and Dave confirmed. My inability to keep track of my age makes him laugh, but it makes me happy, too, because the numbers have stopped mattering.

You begin to realize that granting yourself permission to just “be” is one of the hardest things you will ever attempt.

That’s true. Sometimes I feel as if I’ve spent all of my life trying to be something: smarter, thinner, prettier, more successful, richer, better liked. And there’s nothing wrong with any of those pursuits. I worked hard at them. Right now, though, I’m learning that it’s a lot harder to stop trying to be something I can’t. There are some aspects of my health that I can’t control, and I have to let myself be what I am. And in general, I have to love myself the way I am, even if it isn’t as good as I want to be. It helps to have a very wonderful man who says he loves me just the way I am; it really does. There are times I still struggle. I second-guess decisions I made years ago, I berate myself for bad choices. I agonize over decisions already made. But as Ms. Mendell says, there’s also a certain acceptance I have now, that this is the way life is, and that it’s okay.

I hope it’s also helped me to be more accepting of the world around me. If there’s one thing I know I’ve said more in my forties than I did in any other decade, it’s, “I don’t understand why you’re choosing to do that, but I accept it.” Friends, family, people we know — we can have opinions about what they do, of course, we can’t help it, if we care about them at all. But we can’t make their decisions for them, right or wrong. I hope that I’ve learned to simply accept that with or without my approval, people will choose to spend their lives a certain way. I won’t always agree, but I can respect their decision.

Acceptance doesn’t mean being a doormat, though.

At 45 your tolerance for mean people hits rock bottom. Life is too short to spend any energy on bullies. They are easier to eliminate from your life, while also easier to understand. You can’t help but pity people who hurt so much they have to make others feel badly, but you are smart enough to do so from a distance.

It’s true that I can understand, now, why someone is hurtful more so than I would have as a younger person. I know how hard the world is, and I know there a lot of people walking around in pain every day, inside and out. Sometimes I can see just how they got the way they are, and sometimes I can feel sympathy, or pity, but all the understanding in the world isn’t a good enough reason to stay around a person, a situation, that is toxic to me. And when I realize someone can’t seem to help but hurt anyone around them, I finally know enough to stay away.

It’s like the part of the Serenity Prayer that everyone knows says: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” The prayer goes on to talk about a pathway to peace and learning to be reasonably happy in this life, and that’s what I think being 41, or 45, is about — finding your way there.

Quietly folding laundry on a chilly Sunday afternoon as your family happily co-exists in this home you have built together trumps pretty much everything.

Now, that sounds exactly right. Those moments are well worth whatever it took for me to get here, new gray hairs, tiny wrinkles, forty-two candles and all.

****

(please read Ms. Mendell’s original blog post, as I have only quoted several of the truisms she provided and the full piece is well worth your time.)

home sweet home

I very much love my new home. For one thing, it has Dave in it.  🙂 Of course, I missed my old home a lot when I moved; it was a good place to live — I lived there thirteen years, and had the best neighbors anyone in the world could ask for (our new home, btw, comes complete with a downstairs neighbor who apparently has super-hearing… it’s not at all as cool as living near a superhero should be). But I’m very happy here. I like it because it’s ours, I like it because we made it our home together. And a few other things, specifically:

IMG_19061. The closet.

I mean, it’s enormous. You could fit a Manhattan apartment in there. There are lots of shelves (including one for our stuffed animal residents) and then we got these great cloth bins as shower presents, and those keep the Wildebeest from kicking everything over.

I’ve never loved a closet before but sometimes I just want to hang out in mine and revel in all the spaciousness. You could take a nap in there if you wanted to, or sublet to a small family, or conceal a passage to Narnia somewhere. Which might explain where Freddie disappears to sometimes.

IMG_19112. Laundry.

I grew up with laundry in the basement, and that’s where it was in my old house — all thirteen years of climbing two flights of stairs each way just to do a single load of laundry. Add in a back injury and it’s nothing but torture. And the shame of it all is, I like doing laundry, in general. I like getting everything nice and clean and folded and put away. But not when it involved mountain climbing. Here, we’ve got this great little laundry closet off the kitchen, and it’s easy as anything to do. Add in the laundry sorter we got and it’s downright nifty. George likes to ride it from the closet to the laundry, though that might have something to do with the many twist ties he’s already managed to stash under the dryer.


IMG_00193. When it snows, it’s someone else’s problem.

Mind you, it’s not like there’s generally much to worry about — I have a hard time not giggling over anyone calling this little bit of snow a blizzard. I’ve driven through white-outs where you can’t see the tail lights of the car ahead of you at times, and dug out my driveway and sidewalk with snowbanks so high it looked like the ice planet Hoth. It’s nowhere near as much, in comparison, out there today — but it could have been. It could have been ten feet of snow, instead of maybe about ten inches, and it wouldn’t have mattered, now that there are nice people who come and plow and shovel it all away. I can just enjoy the nice wintry view instead.

IMG_19124. And, most of all, Freddie has laid claim to new territory.

I worried about my Freddie adjusting to his new home. George, as predicted, has become a mighty hunter, intent on exploring his new jungle and taking out prey. But Fred seemed to take it harder. At first he often seemed kind of lost, not able to find his way around. But I think he’s got his bearings now. The back of the living sofa, in front of his fireplace, and here at the end of the bed, on his pillow, he appears to be right at home again — we all are.

 

the name game

I was more than eager to change my name when I got married, for reasons that anyone who knows me would understand. And having worked in the Clerk’s office these past few years, I know just what the procedure is: get your marriage certificate from the clerk and take that to Social Security, then the DMV, and then change it everyone else. Simple, right Not exactly. And the weirdest part is that the places we thought would be the most hassle weren’t, and in reverse, some places that shouldn’t have blinked were the worst.

US-PassportcoverMost important for us was getting my passport changed. Our cruise isn’t until January and we wanted to book everything in my new name, so I’d need an updated passport. I worried about that a lot — how long would it take, should we pay for the super-fast service, or just expedite it, would it come back quickly. Well, bravo, State Department, because it was a breeze. I made a short appointment at the Post Office, got new pics and mailed everything out, and I had my newly-minted document back in my hands about two weeks later. We were even able to track the progress while it was processing. Nicely done, federal government.

I’ll give credit to the feds for Social Security as well, though sitting in that office waiting for my turn was like a page out of Sartre’s “No Exit”. New York State, however, gets a slightly lower rating. Some of my endeavors at the DMV were fine — new license, new registration. Getting a new title apparently involves making the paper it’s printed on from scratch. And your “EZ Pass” program was a little too persnickety about documentation for changing my last name on something that’s linked to a device velcroed to my window.

PayPal was not a walk in the park and took two tries uploading scans of my forms. But every other site was simple — Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Google, it was just a matter of typing in the change. Apparently I could tell the Internet my name is Toni Princess Consuela Bananahammock and that would be fine.

Now, credit cards were a very mixed bag. One of them wished me to have a magical-kingdom-nice-day and did it in a flash, no questions asked. A certain clothing store’s card did the same, and I think sent me a 30% off coupon just ’cause in the process. With Bank of America, I went into my branch and was able to take care of my accounts there easily enough — but the credit card officer we had to call wanted me to go into a bank to process my request, which he said to me as I was calling him from a bank. Any of that pales compared to American Express — my favorite credit card (JetBlue miles!) and usually a wonderful company to deal with, but in this instance a monster-filled nightmare. I filled out forms and uploaded documents. I waited. I called to see what the problem was; I was told there was no problem, so I waited. I called again and was told all my submitted documents were illegible. I had an unpleasant conversation with a customer service person who didn’t understand what a PDF was. I submitted again. Those were also not acceptable. I had my new husband craft a lovely, CPA-ish letter that said, “Get this fixed and send my wife her AmEx card ASAP”, and it arrived FedEx a day later. (That right there? That’s why I married him. ) So go figure.

If I had it to do over I wouldn’t be so blithe, but it’s all done now, and I am who I am, both in paper and in plastic.