NO MORE RETAIL THERAPY AT MACY’S

Walked through  the local mall today for the first time since Macy’s closed their doors.  The south end of the parking lot is empty and the halls are eerily quiet.
Once upon a time, big city department stores seemed like a magical dreamland to this hick from Purdue who graduated  college to work in  Chicago.  I took an entry level  job in an advertising agency only one block away from Marshall Field’s.  Heaven!  I could barely make my rent, and certainly couldn’t afford their clothes, but it was fun to enter those revolving doors , look up into the vaulted ceilings,  smell the exotic fragrances, and see the latest fashions, Then, I’d get out my sewing machine and copy those expensive dresses as best I could.
A few years later, I landed a job that sent me on a trip  to New York City.  Couldn’t wait to get to Macy’s. It seemed years ahead of Marshall Field’s, and the epitome of  sophistication.
Then, fate knocked me around for a few years.  I got a divorce and landed back in the ingrown, Southern Indiana hometown I’d always wanted to escape.   But I got a good job which I needed to support three kids, so I was stuck in River City. Then,  lo and behold, Macy’s came to Indiana, and that made me feel as if a part of my old life had returned.  I wasn’t stuck in the boonies; I could shop at Macy’s!  

The  fun  of department store shopping has gone the way of the internet, and now, with Macy’s gone, retail therapy is never going to be the same. Farewell, Macy’s, and thanks for the memories.

ARE NOSE RINGS TRASHY OR HOT?

My husband and I often have brunch on Sunday mornings at a college hangout, so we are able to observe  current  fads and fashions.  Some we like—skinny pants, boots, short skirts, mini dresses. And we’re seeing fewer tattoos.  But it’s the nose piercings that leave us puzzled.  Why would a pretty girl –or any man or woman– want something  like a bull ring between their  nostrils?  I dunno.  When we were in college I recall we did a lot of kissing.  Seems like a long smooch would be uncomfortable if you’re having a piece of metal pressed against your lips.  Not to mention that it might be gooey if it got infected or you had a runny nose.  The allergy season could be problematic.

The studs on the side of the nose are more attractive. Especially on dark skinned people, they look rather exotic.  But apparently, there’s a down side to the studs, too.  They can get infected, and cause ugly pustules to break out on your skin   And sometimes they leave permanent scars.
What do prospective employers think?  In some jobs, it really doesn’t  matter.  Many waiters and waitresses have nose rings, so apparently you won’t have any trouble getting a job at Cheesecake Factory if you’re sporting a bull ring. But I imagine if you’re applying for a job in more conservative organizations like law offices, consulting firms, and the like, they’ll find a reason not to hire someone with a with a face full of junk.
Some psychologists believe nose piercing  is a way of rebelling, or making a statement that you’re hot and sexy.  But a beautiful woman doesn’t need anything to make her more attractive.  And if you’re not exactly gorgeous, it seems like a bad idea to draw extra attention to less than perfect features.   A clean, fresh face glowing with youth doesn’t  need  piercings.   

According to online surveys,  men see nose rings as a sign that a woman is vulnerable and easy.  So, in that sense, I guess nose rings are hot.  But to us, they’re not.

BEAT THE BLUES WITH GRATITUDE

Sometimes, you have a streak of bad luck. You lose your cell phone, have a falling out with a loved one, and get into a fender bender at the Walmart  parking lot.  On top of that, it rains all day, and suddenly you’re in a funk and can’t seem to pull yourself out.  That happened to me awhile back, and then I ran across one of those self help articles which said that keeping a  gratitude list over a period of one month would leave you in a better mood than a bottle of St. John’s wort.
The suggestion  was this:  Every day, for one month, list three things you’re grateful for.  That calculates to approximately 90 items.  After listing the obvious things like family, friends and home, I wasn’t sure I could do that.  But surprisingly, I found  I’d taken many small joys for granted—like hot coffee and the morning newspaper.  How many women in war torn countries can enjoy these simple pleasures?  And so, the list began to grow, and yes, it worked and by Christmas, I had made it through number 65 , and  was my old self again.
Then my husband had surgery, I got the flu, and we finally went south for a few weeks.  Now that we’re back, it’s been nothing but snow, ice and cold in April.  Time to finish my  gratitude list before the blues take me down.  Today I started again:
66. blooming daffodils
67. my husband’s  recovery
68. a good night’s sleep.
There.  I’m done for the day, and already feeling better. 
So, the next time you lose your wallet and you’re coming down with a cold, whip out a notebook or open up a new document on your computer titled Gratitude List.

JIM CROW LAWS & SEGREGATED BATHROOMS

On the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, I thought back to the time I first saw a segregated bathroom. I came of age in the State of Indiana, moved to Chicago, and had no idea there was such a thing.

While growing up on the wrong side of  town, most of my neighbors didn’t go anywhere special for summer vacations. State parks, maybe.  Later, in college, I knew lots of kids who could afford to go to Florida for spring break, but not one of them ever reported having to watch where they went to pee. I had never traveled south to Florida until I was married at age twenty four.

In 1960, my then husband decided to return to college for a degree from the University of Miami.   After about a month of staying with in-laws, we rented a small apartment near the University.  I didn’t know a soul, was bored to death, and worried about money.  Two blocks away was a Sears Department Store.  I knew my college degree wouldn’t  mean much to them, but I had worked my way through school as a secretary, so figured that might qualify me for a job in the office at Sears.

I put on my best dress, a pair of high heels, walked in 90 degree heat to the store, and asked for directions to the Personnel  Office. (They didn’t call it Human Resources then.)  After climbing the stairs to the second floor, I thought I’d better stop in the restroom to wipe the sweat off my face and comb my hair.  I asked someone where the Ladies Room was, and a bored clerk pointed her finger.  Without paying much attention, I entered the restroom, surprised that it was dingy and smelly.

After I’d checked my appearance, I walked back into the store, and noticed all the white salespeople staring at me.  I wondered if I was trailing toilet paper. Alarmed,  I turned around, and realized  that I had made what appeared to be a serious mistake. A large sign said LADIES ROOM. I hadn’t noticed the two smaller signs underneath, above two doors. One restroom was for COLORED,  and the other WHITE.  I had gone in the wrong door!

I was so shocked that when I finally sat down for an interview, I was shaking. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.  I suppose I was rejected for one of two reasons:  they thought I was either a nervous wreck or colored. Maybe both.

STORMY DANIELS BUSTING HER BUTTONS

This is not about politics or POTUS.   It’s about the Stormy Daniels interview with Anderson Cooper.
I actually didn’t pay much attention to what she was saying because her tight fitting red blouse was distracting and annoying.  If you put on a garment that is too tight across the bust,  usually, you take it off  and find something that fits now that you’ve gained some extra weight. Nearly busting  her buttons  looked like a cheesy way to get male attention and approval.  I  used to manage  rental property and if I had to take a young woman to court for eviction proceedings, invariably she would show plenty of cleavage or wear a button buster.  Unfortunately, most  male judges were susceptible and gave the defendant an extra week or so more than the law requires.

I would guess that men enjoyed the interview more than women.  Females are quick to pick up on cheap tricks.   Then there’s the fact that Stormy once practiced  the world’s oldest profession.

Apparently, she was going for the tailored look, but this photo- shopped picture of Stormy in her heyday is the only one I could find on the internet that wouldn’t get me kicked off Blogger.   And if you look for too tight blouse pictures, you will find they are for adults only.   Honestly, why would anyone take Stormy Daniels seriously?  (Except a male judge, maybe) Meow, meow.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT CATS & PIGS

Remember the time–just a couple of years ago–when you thought you knew what a Service Animal was?  You believed it was a dog trained to perform specific tasks for their physically or mentally impaired handlers.  That’s all changed of late.  For $75,  you can go online and register your pet as an  Emotional Support Animal.  The benefit being that you can take it on a plane, into a restaurant, or into a no-pets rental unit.

But hang on there.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  There’s a little caveat to buying that certificate. If you really want to force someone to accommodate such an animal, the registration must be accompanied by a letter from a doctor–and in some states–a psychiatrist, if you’re planning to take your case to court.  In my state of Indiana, owners of public accommodations are not required to allow Emotional Support Animals, only Service Animals.

People didn’t used to advertise their emotional problems.  If you were depressed, you saw a doctor or shared it with family and close friends.  You didn’t think it was anybody’s business but your own.  But now, you can proudly walk into an airport or restaurant with a cat or a pig and everyone will know you might be on Prozac, and can’t  get through a day without this animal to prop up your mood.  Never mind if someone nearby is wildly allergic to cats. Allergies are no defense against Emotional Support Animals.

It might be a good idea to bring along a box of Kleenex the next time you take a trip or go out to dinner.

What Will Millennials Do When They Retire?

We of the Silent Generation retired years ago.  And, believe it or not, there are a few codgers still left from the Greatest Generation.  None of us had ever heard of a computer or a cellphone when we were teenagers.  Television was in it’s infancy.  One of the most popular ways of passing time for young people was playing cards.  College students hung out in student union buildings playing bridge. Other popular card games were pitch, euchre, poker and hearts.  Card games required you to interact face to face with live human beings.  A lot of conversation and bantering took place while you were waiting for someone to decide which card to play.

One of the things retirees miss most is seeing people every day.  For older retirees, card playing is a bridge over those troubled waters.  Some men and women in their eighties play cards five times a week.  It keeps their mind active, but more importantly, they can  make new friends and  interact with real, live people on a regular basis.  Playing cards keeps loneliness at bay .

What will Millennials do when they retire? Will they sit back in their rockers and play games on their smart phones or computers all day?  And will social media prove an adequate replacement for the friendly–and sometimes not so friendly–work relationships they took for granted? There’s always television, of course, but anyone who’s been bedridden for a week or so knows how boring and unfulfilling that can be.

Perhaps they think they will play endless rounds of golf or tennis.  What they can’t foresee is whether their knees will hold out that long, or if cardiovascular problems will rule out any type of physical activity.  Hobbyists will enjoy their crafts, and gardeners will plant more bulbs.  But at the end of the day, it’s nice to hang out with friends in a good game of cards.