Saturday, October 31, 2009

An Open Letter to Parents of Young Children

Dear Parents of Young Children,

Congrats! You're parents! I'm sure you're very excited about your little one's first Halloween. And, of course, they are adorable. It's great that you've found "the perfect" costume for your precious baby, but I have a little bit of news for you. As cute and cuddly as they are, you're not fooling anyone - we all know they can't quite have any candy yet. They don't even have that many (if any) teeth. So here's where my beef with you comes in. I'm absolutely fine with you dressing up your child, in fact, I encourage that - I would dress up my dog if he wouldn't try to eat his costume. I don't even mind you parading your baby around in his or her costume. If I had a baby and I dressed him or her up, I would definitely want the whole world to see and tell me how cute he or she is. And I will do that one day, so get your compliments ready. But where I have to disagree a bit, is actually getting a candy bucket for your little one and trick-or-treating for him or her. I mean, really?? That would be like me dressing up my dog, putting a bucket around his neck and then taking him door to door to collect candy. Everyone knows that I will not be feeding him the candy. It's a front. And I'm on to you. If you want some candy, make a little effort and come up with a costume for yourself. Here's a thought, you could even think of a costume that accompanies your little one. But don't try to kid yourself or anyone else. And if you show up at my door tonight, you're not getting any candy. Happy Halloween.

Thanks for your time.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Alone...and hopefully I stay that way

I have mixed emotions about the next two nights. I used to love my alone time - crave it actually. And to a certain extent, I still do. But at the same time, I really like having my husband around - for company, for conversation, for protection, for a laugh...oh yeah, and because I love him. But for the next two nights, not only will he not be around, he will not be within the same time zone. And it wasn't supposed to be this way. But, that just seems to be the story of my life.

This weekend Herschel has a meeting in College St., Texas. We had made great plans a while back that I would go with him and we would make a long weekend out of it and meet up with some other friends while we were in the area. We thought it would be even more perfect because during our last trip I got an email offer Southwest where I could get quadruple credits on my next rental car. PERFECT - that would give me a free ticket! So we did it, no questions asked.

Turns out, it wasn't so perfect. While we did everything we were supposed to do to get the credits for my free flight, it hasn't been processed yet. I've called the airline and the rental car company repeatedly over the past few weeks and gotten about 50 different reasons for why it hasn't worked, all the while being told not to worry that it should definitely be posted by the end of the month. Well, here I am...still in Florida...still 1.5 credits shy of the free ticket that was all but guaranteed to be mine by the end of the month.

Because we waited so long for my phantom free ticket, the cost went way too high to justify me tagging along for the weekend. Believe it or not, I'm actually really trying not to be too whiny about it, but it's not easy. I'm trying to get reacquainted with my enjoyment of alone time. And I've decided that I do still enjoy it, it's just that it gets overshadowed just a bit by the thought of frogs and lizards and other Floridian creatures making their way into my house without anyone else there to "take care of them" besides me. See this doesn't actually happen to us, but I'm TERRIFIED of the thought. I see these creatures everywhere right outside of our house, so really, what would stop them from wanting to come in?

I actually had a dream last night where there were frogs - everywhere! I was completely freaked out and barely slept last night. Herschel just about had me calmed down and talked off my frog-fearing ledge as we were walking back home from our morning workout, when what should happen as we walked in the door?? Yep, you guessed it - frog! In. Our. House. Until that moment, my dream was just horrible fantasy, but in a split second, it became a horrific reality. I get it, I'm a big baby, chicken, whatever you want to call me. But I can't help it. That's just who I am. Everyone who knows me knows my absolute fear of crawly critters. That's the way it is.

So, during this alone time that I'm relearning how to enjoy, I'm praying (quite literally) for an uneventful rest of the weekend and that we have no more uninvited guests. Granted, Oscar has already spent the day throwing up, but that, I can handle. On the up side, there's some really good TV on tonight, and I'm very excited about that. At least it will keep me distracted for a while.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall is in the Air?

I was warned. "Florida is seasonless," they said. But I was tricked. I got caught up in the all of the other evidence - the calendar, which btw does read October 23, the pumpkin patches, the fall decor in the stores, the appearance of pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. And then, to make matters worse, we had a "cold front" move through south Florida last weekend. That's right, lows in the 50s - check. us. out. And, quite frankly, it was lovely. Perfect, actually. Everywhere I looked, Fall was in full bloom. I was beginning to think that I had proved everyone wrong. But, I just gotten caught up in it all.

See, "they" were right. Florida doesn't have a Fall. Much to my dismay, the cold front was a fluke. As much as I wanted that weather to stay, the temperature today and for the foreseeable future will be in the high 80s. I've been told to look forward to January. Really? January? It seems so far away. Fall has always been my favorite season. So when I pulled out my pumpkin decor and bought a bag of candy corn, it just didn't feel right. I think it was the fact that I was doing it in flip-flops and a tank top, or maybe it was the hum of the A/C in the background.

All I can think about is Thanksgiving. It's supposed to be cold, or at least moderately cool, at Thanksgiving. How are you supposed to eat that much food when it's hot outside? Maybe this year we'll have to trade our turkey, for some hot dogs and a boogie board and head to the beach. I'm sure we wouldn't be alone...

I hope you're enjoying Fall where you are. And drink a pumpkin spice latte for me. I'm headed to the pool.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Old Men and Nail Clippers

Sunday was just like any other Sunday in so many ways. We got up, thinking we were right on track to be on time for church - and who knows, maybe even a little bit early. We got ready, somehow realized that we were, in fact, not early, and actually not even on time. Argued about whose fault it was that we were late. Rushed out the door. Got in the car and backed out of the garage. Realized we forgot something, ran back inside, retrieved forgotten item, ran back outside, blasted air conditioning from all of the running around in our Sunday best. Finally pulled out of the neighborhood. Apologized to each other for arguing and decided that we'd do better next week.

This is just an average Sunday in the Acosta house. And I hadn't really given it much thought until I was sitting in church on Sunday. I would like to say that it was some of the wise words that came down from the pulpit, full of the Holy Spirit that touched my heart and made me shout, "Hallelujah!" but that really couldn't be farther from the truth.

It was actually an older gentleman sitting a couple of rows in front of us during the service. During the sermon, I noticed him reach in his pocket looking for something. After a good bit of fidgeting, he retrieved his nail clippers. Now, I'm going to have to insert a side note here. Hearing people clip their fingernails ranks just below the sound of nails on a chalkboard in my book. I can't exactly explain why, but it just is. I know it's necessary, but I just find it kind of gross. And I don't feel like it's something people should do in public. Weird, perhaps. But that's just me.

Now knowing this fact about me, you can begin to appreciate the horror that flashed through my mind at that very moment. It was as if the sermon had completely stopped and all I could focus on was this man and his nail clippers. And all I could think was, "not only am I going to have to listen to this, but I'm going to have to watch it, too!" You might say, just look away. But I couldn't. It was like a bad car accident. I was transfixed.

Somewhere in the midst of this "average Sunday," my mind took me back to many other "average Sundays" in my not-so-distant past sitting in church in Little Rock. This time not seeing, but still hearing the sound of an older man who sat a few rows behind us regularly clipping his nails during the service. I was equally distracted and horrified at this event. Especially since it seemed to happen on an almost weekly basis.

All of these thoughts led me to realize that anytime I've found myself in this horrible situation, older men have been the culprits. And this realization caused me to wonder, is it an age thing? Or is it generational? What I mean is, did a whole generation grow up thinking that it was entirely okay to cut your fingernails in public - I mean, what do you do with the clipping??? Or, is it that after a certain age, men just don't care what's going on around them? If they have something that needs to be taken care of, they just do it. No questions asked.

I find that the answer to these questions will be somewhat important to my sanity. You see, if it is in fact a generational thing, this phenomenon will eventually fade away, or at least drastically decrease. On the other hand, if it is an issue with age, it will only become more common the older I get. And if that is indeed the case, I'm going to need to find a way to cope. Either that or develop a campaign to end public nail clipping.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We're baaack!

Weekend before last, we were in Little Rock for one of my friend's wedding. As usual, our time there was too short, and we didn't get to see half the people we wanted to see or do half the things we wanted to do. I don't know how I always seem to convince myself that "this time" it will be different. It never is.

But we did have a great time, and I got to see several of my best friends from high school. We have been close friends for a very long time, and the distance between each of us now makes that even more remarkable. Of course, email, Facebook, and blogs don't hurt, but it is definitely easier to fall out of touch with someone when you don't actually see them on a regular basis. I am so thankful that I have these relationships in my life, and I hope I continue to for a very long time.

One moment from the weekend when this sort of hit home with me was during the rehearsal dinner. As we sat around talking, we started telling stories from high school. And naturally, we started laughing uncontrollably, until one or more of us broke out into a gasping for air coughing spree, which only made us laugh more. But what was so great about this whole situation, was that we didn't actually even have to use full sentences to tell the stories, we only had to say a word or a name or a quote here or there, and it would send us all into uproarious laughter once again. To the point where we were actually being shhh'd by other people at the dinner. I mean, really? Sorry, you're not having fun. But anyway, I digress.

I'm thankful for these people and these memories. I love these friends dearly, and I know that they are part of the reason I am the way I am today - for better or worse. Enjoy some pictures from the weekend.