Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Dinner With The Boys

They will always be The Boys, though they are now Mr. 17 and  Mr. 19.  

They tease the way they did when I was taking them to pre-school - the big brother asserting dominance and the younger one shrugging it off with a smile that lights up the room.... even when the barbs strike close to home.  

They eat the way they did when Amster and I took them for breakfast after we finished working out - with good table manners and big appetites.  

Tonight the conversation was also about working out and food and friends and school, just as it was all these years, watching them grow from babies to young men, approaching adulthood, right on the cusp.  

It was just the four of us; Amster's tummy kept her home.  My heart was full - the boys wanted to come and celebrate even if Mom couldn't join us.  We had memories to share and jokes to retell and questions that went unanswered . 

Why didn't Mom put me in baseball? from the kid who begged me to take him to play basketball as soon as he could dribble.  

Did I play baseball? from the other one.

We will have many more years to figure out the answers.  We're in each others' lives forever..

Monday, February 27, 2023

A Birthday Weekend

I used to celebrate my Birthday Month.  This is just a scaled back version.

I haven't cooked except when I wanted toast a bagel.  Snooze gave me a free birthday pancake Friday morning.  It was covered in vanilla cream, strawberry coulis, strawberry mascarpone, fresh strawberries, and almond streusel.  It was the richest thing I've ever eaten.  I left very little on the plate.

We went to Ole for the 2nd meal of the day in the late afternoon, with a celebratory margarita (the best in Tucson) to mark the occasion.  The toasted bagel came when the after effects of dinner at 4pm took their toll.

I vacuumed and sprayed and cleaned and folded in the midst of another cleaning frenzy that fed my soul in a way that walking outside in rainy, cold weather just wasn't going to do.  We watched UofA basketball lose at the buzzer, which had me laughing through my tears (How did he make that shot?????) before we left for another meal-at-an-odd time with our favorite Cornell couple, The Class of '63.

They've joined us for my birthday since my 60th.  It's always been wonderful, and this, at Locale, was no exception.  The flatbread pizza (pear, gorgonzola, carmelized onions, candied pecan, arugula, and aged balsamic) was sweet and crunchy and soft and surprisingly unlike anything ever called pizza before.  I loved it.  Sipping a bright orange aperol and prosecco cocktail made it all just a little bit better.

We ate the leftovers for dinner.  I had yogurt for breakfast and we'll order Chinese food in the late afternoon to tide us over until Monday, when, after breakfast (of unknown origins at this time), Amster and her boys will join us at Flemings.  TBG will have his favorite food (steak with bearnaise sauce) and I'll be surrounded by the people who've loved me the longest in Tucson.

It will have been a lovely weekend.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Yard Work

We are preparing to have the outside of our house painted.  Wind and sun and heat and time have eroded the stucco and peeled the paint.  It's time.

There are all kinds of new products - including Rhino Shield which wanted nearly $50,000 to seal our home with a 25 year warranty against anything looking less than perfect.  In 25 years we'll be midway through our 90's, which makes this a very hopeful purchase.

Our previous painting company was purchased by a larger painting company, after extensive review of their personnel and practices.  We liked knowing that the service we valued in the past was appreciated by this new ownership.

We also liked the price and the 10 year warranty; celebrating my 81st birthday doesn't seem that far fetched.  

There is a lengthy list of instructions, including RELAX, midway down the page.  Today, though, I did not relax,  Instead, I did what I could to comply with the requirement that all vegetation must be 2' away from the surfaces to be painted.  

Our house is 1 story.  It's laid out to maximize the views and provide privacy to the bedrooms.  That translates to a fairly extensive footprint, around which I have planted or allowed wildflowers to grow.  I'll wait for the gardeners to bring their electric slicer to cut back the rosemary hedges.  Everything else was fair game.

I set out with my Japanese saw and my long handled pruners.  I pulled what I could and chopped what resisted.  I trimmed the backs of the sago palms.  I chopped down scotch broom (an invasive that grows tall and sprouts flying white blooms on fairly unattractive foliage) and pulled out dozens of volunteer brittle bush plants that really could have been pooped out in more visible spaces.  

I sawed off a curving branch that has annoyed TBG for months. I created a proper path around the outer perimeter of our abode, removing branches and plants, cutting off a cactus paddle or two,  making a place that only the painters will walk a lovely spot for a stroll.  

I deposited the prunings from the inner courtyard in the trash.  I left the detritus outside the wall, in neat piles ready for the yard guys to collect on their next visit.  I put away my tools and locked the potting shed door.  I remembered to turn off all the lights. 

I wore the long gloves Little Cuter sent me and a long sleeve shirt and a sweatshirt over that and long tights and socks covering my ankles so I was un-bloodied (a relative miracle when it comes to me and the garden).  I took a shower and washed plant life out of my hair and off my face, put on soft sweats and Big Cuter's flannel shirt from 9th grade, and came to type to you.

Once again, my work here is done.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

I'm Glad She Spoke - A Snippet

I understand that there may be issues with the trial down the road.  But delaying tactics will be no surprise when it comes to holding TFG legally responsible, so, really, what's the big deal.

Watching Emily Kohrs, the foreperson (and how I loved seeing that scrolling across my screen) of the Atlanta grand jury investigating election meddling, made me smile.  It made me laugh out loud.  

This 30 year old woman didn't vote in 2016 nor in 2020, yet she waxed eloquent on the virtues of participation in the government. 

It's the only way it works.

Out of the mouths of babes.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Happy Birthday, George

Here, once again, is my somewhat annual rant about President's Day.  I didn't realize it was President's Day until Little Cuter told me she was staying home to celebrate with FlapJilly, whose school was closed.  Here in Arizona, we have Rodeo Weekend this Thursday and Friday so schools remained open.  It may have been a Legal Holiday, but my trash was picked up right on schedule.

I'm not the only sentient being who is struck by the strangeness of it all.  NPR told me that February 22nd had been a Federal Holiday from 1879 all the way through until 1968 when Congress standardized almost  all the Federal Holidays and George ended up with the 3rd Monday in February.... which will always be before his actual date of birth... and, as long as I'm ranting, will always be after Abe's on the 12th.

I'm all for celebrating your Birthday Month, but that's just plain ridiculous.  

Here's the rest of the rant, reprinted and slightly edited.


Mary Ball Washington gave birth to a boy child on February 22, 1732. Unlike many of the stories surrounding this man (think cherry trees and coins across the Potomac and standing up in an open boat as it crossed the Delaware) this is an indisputable fact.

Mary was not in labor on the third Monday of February.  She produced her child on a specific day - the 22nd day of February.  His birthdate didn't move around according to the federal holiday calendar.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln met her second son, Abraham, on the 12th of this month.  Like Mrs. Washington before her, she was not in labor on an indeterminate day sometime in the middle of the month.  It occurred on a certain day, a day formerly commemorated by school children and mail carriers alike.

Alas and alack, these fine gentlemen have been conflated into Presidents and their birthdays combined into a generic celebration designed primarily to afford employees the opportunity for a 3-day weekend in the middle of the winter. What was wrong with the old system, I wonder?  As an elementary school kid I looked forward to those random days off in the middle of the month.  One day, breaking up the routine.  One celebration for each president - pennies examined on the 12th, leadership and lying (not) on the 22nd.

There was no time for a weekend away (not that G'ma and Daddooooo could have afforded to take us anyplace anyhow) and there was no competition between students for who went the furthest and had the most fun.  It was an opportunity to go sledding at Bethpage (the Black Course was used for many things in my youth; this was the best of them) or to meet friends at the bowling alley and then walk to Smiles (our precursor to a 5-and-dime) where we cruised the aisles until our parents picked us up.

It was grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon on the side, eaten on paper plates and accompanied by the admonition Don't Tell Daddy since the bacon was not exactly kosher and he cared a lot more than did G'ma.  There were snow forts to be built, snowball fights to be fought, snow men to be built. The entire neighborhood roamed from front yard to front yard, creating and tumbling and finding warmth and drinks and the occasional bathroom in whichever house we happened to be in front of when the need arose.

And now?  Now President's Day is always an event.  It's a long weekend for which plans must be made.  It has no intrinsic meaning, no relationship to George or Abe or any of their colleagues.  Their faces are used to advertise white sales and car sales and furniture sales and The History Channel runs back to back episodes of The Presidents but that's about the size of the historical component.  What began as tributes to great men has devolved into spending opportunities for the masses.

Am I bitter?  You bet.  A day off followed by another one 10 days later.... what better way to combat the winter doldrums than that?  A random day, a day to cuddle under the blankets with your sweetie or to do all that laundry that interfered with your weekend plans and so still sits in the basket, mocking you.  A day to explore the neighborhood and have lunch in that place you've driven by 100 times before..... a day just to be.

Sometimes, when I was a girl really was better.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Using The World

Friday night, TBG and I went to church with friends.  We spent an hour or so listening to Cornell professor Annette Richards perform on this splendid, delicious, marvelous organ 

Saturday night I heard a local blues band outdoors at Club Congress before walking across the street to dine, al fresco, with friends. 

SIR and Little Cuter and the kids spent Sunday at the Field Museum.  


And today, Monday, The Kibbitzer and The Doula and I went to the movies.  Masked, inside, in a large and nearly empty theatre, and, for my friends, their first going-out-to-the-movies-since-Pandemica experience.  

Lunch outside at Flora's Market Run was an extra added bonus, just like seeing an old friend stroll by and stop for a brief Hello.  

It's really quite wonderful to use what's around us.  Little Cuter and I agreed - it's the good kind of exhausted.

(Sorry this is late.... I forgot to update the time... you'd have found it at 6:43pm if JannyLou hadn't alerted me to its absence.)

Monday, February 20, 2023

A Cleaning Frenzy

It came over me all at once.  Every where I looked, there were manageable tasks just waiting to be tackeld.  My nightshirt was comfortable, my Kizik's made me feel as if I were floating on air; I got to work.

I sorted out my closet, after coming to the shocking realization that I will never again be a size 6.  There are Banana Republic and Ralph Lauren and Carlisle Trunk Show black wool slacks that come no where close to zipping, let alone snapping.  

Plus, they have belt loops.  I've already consigned my belts to the Give Away box; I see no reason to deal with anything more complicated than an elastic waist.  I hung the trousers beneath dry cleaning plastic bags as they started their journey to one of the many clothing banks around town.  

There are two more "areas of interest" in the closet, but they required more thinking than I was willing to expend at the moment.  They can wait.  They don't detract from the work that's done.

I moved on to the kitchen.  Countertops were cleaned and polished.  The cooktop glistens.  TBG vacuumed all the floors.  Our public spaces are now pristine.

I was not finished.  The garage lay in wait.

The remains of the Christmas decorations were piled along one wall.  The Valentines Day box was nearby.  I've been gathering donations for Deseret Industries  and the Food Bank in bags and cartons along another wall.  Grandma's Garden tools and supplies occupied half of a third wall; that's as far as they got after long days with Prince Scholars left me unable to do more than toss them out of the trunk onto the ever growing pile.

I sorted.  I tossed.  I replaced.  I stacked.  I reorganized. I swept.  I showed off my accomplishments to TBG, who was properly impressed.... awestruck....mesmerized.... well, perhaps I exaggerate.

Later this afternoon, I'm going to Club Congress to celebrate with The Kibbitzer and The Doula and Dr K and a host of other vacationers who are enjoying the clouds and the cold with the rest of us.  Typing to you was the last thing on my list.

My work here is done.  

Friday, February 17, 2023

How To Feel?

I liked her until I didn't like her.  I trusted her until I didn't.  She's the only person I ever told I just cannot be your friend. 

We shared activities with our children, even a road trip.  She was good company, always up for an adventure.  Still, I didn't really trust her.  I was always on guard. 

Years and miles separated us.  I was curious about her, but nothing more.  The long ago wounds never lost their sting.

Not very long ago, she fell ill.  Yesterday, she died.

I feel nothing.   I'm sad for her children, for her ex-husband, for those who loved her.  For me, there's no emotional component connected to her at all.  

Her death is just another reminder that we are getting old and that this is happening more and more frequently.  I'm getting used to the emotions that accompany these announcements; I'm noticing their absence right now.

Remembering when my parents' friends began to die, I didn't laugh when Little Cuter told me to take your high blood pressure medication and keep exercising.  

I could definitely feel her love.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Weather Woes

It's been cloudy all day.  It was raining when I woke up, and it's continued, intermittently, all day long.  It's not monsoon rain, interesting clouds making raucous noises as the lightning streaks and amazes.  Nope, it's just a low, grey blob, no real shape at all, as far as the eye can see.

Occasionally, there's a patch of blue which lures us outside .... to freeze.  It's 42 degrees out there.  Running into the grocery store for a loaf of bread without taking my scarf (at least) and my jacket (the one with sleeves) was a big mistake.  

The clerk gathering stray carts and I shared a look of utter dismay.  Like Miss Clavell in the middle of the night, I thought something is not right.

Last week I contemplated turning on the pool heater; today, I'm wearing heavy sweatpants and a flannel shirt.  I was going to bbq dinner; instead, I'm contemplating making a pot roast.

The Doula and The Kibbitzer are arriving for an annual hiking and biking two week vacation.  Every time they come, the sun disappears, taking with it the warmth.  I love seeing them, but I'm wondering if I should steer them elsewhere........

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Valentines Day at Amphi Middle School

Once again, Grandma Suzi brought Valentines to the middle school.
Some of the scholars wrote copious words of love and encouragement.  
Some didn't want to commit to sitting down.

Some decorated their faces.
Some just wanted me to take their picture.
Once they realized the photos were going in The Burrow, these scholars were happy to smile for the camera.
The young men took the project quite seriously.

Some of the cards were silly.
Some were kept private.
With the help of Google Search the flag of Tanzania appeared.
Cutting out a perfect heart took several tries.
Once the doily's place in my Valentines history was established, the oldest girls went all in.
There was kibbitzing. 
There was posing.
But mostly there was love.

I've been doing this for a dozen years.  Every year is filled with hugs from tweens who look nothing like the kindergarteners I met years ago.  Do you remember me?  What's my name?  I'm terrible with names and faces... especially faces that have matured over the past 9 years.

But they asked about the garden, and they asked how I was doing, and they paid attention to my answers.  They shared memories that made us smile.  We have history together.  

It was a wonderful lunchtime.


Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Happy Valentines Day

slightly updated from 2018. 

 Hearts are everywhere, and not only today.

There's the heart Yogi Mary found in nature.
 There's the heart the Mesa Mavens drew for me at the first Stroll and Roll.
There's the heart that bereft parents look at and cry.
And there's the one I send to you, denizens, filled with everything wonderful and beautiful.
Happy Happy Valentines Day to the people who make my fingers fly over the keyboard every day.  Thanks for being here, for commenting, for reading, for caring.

Without your presence, there would be no Burrow.  

Monday, February 13, 2023

Not A Football Post - Random Thoughts on Super Bowl Sunday

The game was fun.  Lots of scoring, some special moments, and because I didn't care about the outcome I was happy at the end.  Not-Kathy and Dr K watched withh us.  Little Cuter's Chicken Chili was a big hit.  I got to use the some of the serving platters that rarely see the top of a coffee table any more.  My apple pie was a big hit.  I had fun preparing, listening to another episode of Rachel Maddow's Bag Man podcast.  TBG and I made quick work of the clean up and put-away.   

In all, a successful Super Bowl Sunday.


The fans made me nuts with their booing Dak Prescott as he won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award and their chop-chop tomahawk chant.  The Fox production staff made some egregious errors, like giving the sign language performer 5 seconds of screen time while focusing the camera on whoever was singing whatever the song was.  We could hear her voice; we couldn't see the young performer's version at all.

The singing of every other song was sooooo s-l-o-w.  None of them were properly synced to the moving lips.


We saw a lot of commercials, because the teams kept moving up and down the field, scoring touchdowns which led to commercial breaks.  

TBG wouldn't let me talk during the game.  I wouldn't let him talk during the commercials.  It made for some interesting confrontations.


Here's my list of the best commercials:

  • Naked Adam and Eve avocado growers
  • Turbo Tax's older gentleman dancing elegantly to a changing fountain
  • Dorito's Triangles
  • The Farmer's Dog's aging dog
  • Bud Light's dancing while on terminal hold
  • Amazon's lonely destructive dog
  • Dodge RAM's Premature Electrification was seriously funny, down to the fine print at the bottom
But the best parts came at the beginning and at the end.  

All the healers who guided Damar Hamlin back to life after his heart attack on the field in Buffalo last month gathered on the field to hug him.... and to get hugged back.  I know what it is to have that kind of connection; I was just a little bit teary.

At the end, there was a disturbing black and white montage of angry people... a long montage ending with JESUS loves those we hate.  It was part of a larger ad campaign aimed at making Jesus more relevant to our lives today.  As Not-Kathy said after we all took a long pause, It certainly made you pay attention.

Now, I'm really going to try to leave football behind.

We shall see.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Super Bowl Sunday

I'm going to celebrate America's unofficial national holiday on Sunday.... although  I won't be putting out the flag.  

Dr K and Not-Kathy will join us for the game... and as much of the pre-game as Dr K can stomach.  We used to go to big Super Bowl parties.  There were snacks and beers and chili and not a man in the kitchen or tending to a child..... unless the child were watching the game from his lap.

When I cared about the game, I found a space on a couch.  For the most part, though, the friends were more fun than the televised entertainment..... except for the commercials.

So, I'll make Little Cuter's Chicken Chili with White Beans, and put out crudites on the football paper plates I bought a gazillion years ago and never remember to take out.  Not-Kathy will have Woodridge Reserve and I'll have prosecco and the boys will splurge on Diet Coke and ice tea.

We're a rowdy crew.

Unless something amazing happens during the game, this will be my last football post of the season.  


Thursday, February 9, 2023

Uncle Joe Strikes Back

Maybe it was the setting.  As he pointed out, he's spent more time there than anyone in the audience.  It showed.  He owned the room from the moment he walked in.

And speaking of walking in, I was fascinated by the man and woman who were ushering him down the aisle.  They kept themselves out of the frame on the way out, but coming in their facial expressions were as amusing as were those of the legislators trying to get their 5 seconds of face time with The Prez.  

He did look presidential, didn't he?  Yesterday, I worried that he'd be tired.  That proved to be time unwisely wasted; Joe was engaging and personal and feisty.  

Little Cuter and I saw him from 15 feet away, at the Commissioning of the USS Gabrielle Giffords.  He was shaking hands with everyone waiting in line for a tour of the ship.  He wore a baseball cap and his aviator sunglasses and he was having a very good time, totally ignoring the golf cart carrying his party, until Jill shouted Joey, we're leaving with or without you and he - reluctantly - waved good bye to the rest of us and ran to his rapidly vanishing ride.  

That's who I saw at the podium last night.  He suckered the suckers in the audience and told America that we were done being played for fools. He talked to Americans directly.  It felt good to be on the receiving end. 

I watched my senior Senator sit on her hands as Big Pharma and billionaires were pilloried by the President; Ruben Gallego was in my inbox this morning campaigning on it.  Marjorie Taylor Green looked ridiculous and rude, though she probably wowed her MAGA followers.  Poor Kevin McCarthy, shushing his ill-behaved cronies like an under-paid babysitter.  

I took two sentences away with me.  Let something good come of this.  Let's finish the job.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Written Two Hours Before

Aaron Sorkin writes some memorable State of the Union scenes.  Jon Favreau, of Obama speech writing fame, is eloquent about the process on his podcasts.  Hearing that the verbiage of the State of The Union address was being changed to reflect the Chinese balloon situation, I flashed to AJ giving Lewis oxygen as he rewrote The American President's SOTU.  

What's missing from Sorkin's rosy picture of pre-Trump America is dismissive criticism before the thing is delivered.  I'd prefer to live in his world than ours.

He's lost before he's begun.

Republicans have been screeching and Democrats have taken the bait and responded and Joe Biden hasn't even entered The House, let alone made a pronouncement or two.  They are making hay over Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, of Trumpian Press Secretary fame, who will deliver their rebuttal.  I'll be interested in their plan to balance the budget without touching the pieces of the social safety net that touch their lives (Medicare and Social Security.... they all know someone who's old) or increasing taxes on the wealthy or corporations.... and then how they convince us that scrapping Medicaid is the right thing to do.

This floats around the Twitterverse (such as it is, these days) and the talking heads and the radio hosts and the podcasters and the newspapers and it's getting so that I can't stand to read the political news that used to fascinate me. 

Both sides seem to agree on just one thing - Joe Biden will fail.

I admit that I'm a little worried.  It's a late start for an older man; I'm often in my jammies at 9pm.  But he's been doing the job with a smile on his face for two years, now, and those first two years in office have been extraordinarily productive.  

Nevertheless, sources close to tell scoop hungry reporters things that come close but don't come right out and say that so-and-so is in the running but can't publicly challenge a sitting president.  To all concerned, Democrats and Republicans, the future looks bleak.

Whether the current House will have time to do anything besides read the Constitution and Pledge Allegiance (twice a day) and threaten our American Way of Life (have you listened to Lauren Boebert or Marjorie Taylor Greene or Ron DeSantis or Greg Abbott lately?) remains to be seen.

Perhaps there are a few legislators on the Republican side whose districts are less amenable to racist, homophobic, anti-science nonsense.  Perhaps there are issues around the edges on which agreement can be reached.  

A girl can always dream.

For now, for the next few hours, before he's introduced to the Speaker In Name Only, until the President of the United States opens his mouth, I wish people would just shut the hell up.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Cleaning Up

Thanks to JannyLou's generosity, GRIN went to the dollar store and bought garden supplies.
Trowels and hand rakes with colorful handles (who knew that teal would be the most requested one?) were put to very good use this morning in Grandma's Garden.
There are weeds of all sizes and descriptions.  Some look surprisingly like the flowers we planted in the raised beds.  But since the definition of a weed is the wrong plant in the wrong place I decided they were all weeds and needed to be removed.
I had to retrieve the wheelbarrow from the pusher-rider combo.  We needed it to collect the detritus.
It was, for the most part, a group activity.  But when we moved over to the lettuce bed, one scholar kept digging.
We planted a variety of lettuces and other greens, and they are all available for munching.  The arugula is about as bitter as the kids can stand, but they are mostly game to try them all.  Some taste like mustard, some like horseradish,
and some need to be spit out immediately!


Monday, February 6, 2023

Taking Her Knee Out For A Spin

 We took Amster's knee for a walk today. 
She's far enough post-surgery to feel confident walking up one hill and down another.
The knee wrap is only to keep the scar from being sunburned.  
We took our repaired body parts for a 3.6 mile jaunt at Sabino Canyon, part of the Coronado National Forest.  The parking lot was full, but there's overflow parking at the school across the street.  Adding another quarter mile before the trailhead was an issue for neither of us.  

It is a beautiful road.
The views are like this all the way up; we walked until just before the first bridge ... because there was a beach.  Across the 3' of sand, the rocky outcropping (I've always wanted to type that) 
was a perfect place 
to take a picture
It was a lovely day to share.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Is This Goodbye?

Apparently, the answer is yes.  The good news is, she saved the best for last.

Do you have characters you've followed through the years?  Men and women you met in early adulthood, who aged along with you, and who are now retiring?  Characters whose lives touched yours in some places and were pure fiction in others but who always seemed like old friends when a new book came out.

And now there will be no more.  This is the final Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus novel, according to the dedication that hit me between the eyes in a most surprising fashion.  

Faye Kellerman has been writing the series since 1986.  She and I were young mothers at the same time and now, in 2023, 29 books later, our kids are all settled.  Her inner thoughts quite often mirror mine.  I get their marital verbal shorthand.  I'd like to be their friend, and not only for her cooking.  

So when The Hunt appeared on the Your Lucky Day shelves in the library I took it for my own.  It's just shy of 500 pages.  It took me two, don't bother me I'm reading, days.  They were lovely days.  

Most of the book focuses on other characters, and I thought they might be the start of a new series.  I was reluctant to get involved; they were going to supplant some of favorite fictional friends.  But their relationship drew me in, searching for understanding, considering options and obsession and psychopathy and the brothel business in Nevada.

Yes, there were unusual situations.  Some of them left me wondering about the research.  But I was always rooting for them, even in the darkest of moments.

At the end, I was left doubly bereft.  I'm going to miss every single one of them.


If you haven't read them, start at the beginning.  This is one series that really does need to be built from scratch.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

The Aftermath

Little Cuter deleted the on-going email thread(s) I created as I was trying to book the tickets.  

I opened the computer to type to you and found my screen covered with open tabs, all bearing the American Airlines red and blue logo.  There were so many of them, each a window into frustration.

I really didn't want to deal with the situation, and yet I did.

I found a text message from Little Cuter - tickets and seats had been received, confirmed, checked and re-checked.  Everything looks good was her conclusion, along with a lovely few sentences thanking me for doing that which I had asked not to do.

My kid was stressed and I took over.  So what else is new?

That's the thing about mother love.  No matter how onerous, distasteful, or annoying a task, if the kid needs it done, needs it taken off her plate so she can focus on that which is more important (kids, job, personal sanity), a mom steps up.

I'm so glad I raised a child who understands and appreciates that.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

And It Got Worse

There was a kerfuffle with the credit card, because the tickets were booked while I was logged in to my American Airlines account but I paid for the tickets with an American Airlines credit card TBG applied for on a previous flight (to be rewarded with two more flights) and which we use to eat out and travel.  

The computer had a hard time reconciling the difference in the information in their little boxes.  

It took a while to get that far.  The first person who called me back (I like those leave your name and we'll call you back queues) said It's a credit card issue and I can't help you with that. You have to go to the company.  I hung up.

Raised from birth to recognize nonsense, I called back and left my name once again.  This message was a little more discouraging; call you back between 1 hour 28 minutes and 11 hours.  It didn't really matter.  The weight on my shoulders was heavy already; another load was barely noticeable.  But I kept picturing the kids in the desert; in the end, it will be worth it.... in the end, it will be worth it.... in the end.......

Less than an hour later, Paul called me back.  He was courteous, clear, and right on the edge of perfunctory.  There were no wasted words.  How can I help you?  I reiterated the fact that there was, in fact, no issue with that credit card.  He asked factual questions and I responded.  He put me on a very brief hold, then asked for every piece of information that was on the pending reservation.  

When we got to name on the credit card he paused, then went on for the ccv and the expiration date and the rest of whatever he wanted when it dawned on me what happened.  Before I could open my mouth, he asked me wait on hold, once again.

This time, I waited.  It's not like I don't have other credit cards. There were seats available.  This was just time and fodder for The Burrow.  Why was I worrying?  

Welcome to my world.  It's only when I stop worrying that bad things happen.  

Just as that spiral began to really get going, Paul came back on the line.  Everything is okay.  Your tickets are booked.  You will receive an email (pause to verify email) confirmation shortly.  Is there anything else I can ....

I exhaled and began the litany of compliments that spewed from my heart to my mouth.  I'm sure people yell at you all day long.... and he interrupted my paean with a genuine laugh.  We wished each other a good day, and went on with our lives.

As I thought about it, perhaps his taciturnity was a defensive maneuver.  He was giving me no rope with which to hang him.  No How are you today?  Just what do you need and what do I need to give it to you?  

The email confirmation for those tickets went through.  When we couldn't find an email confirmation for the ticket I'd booked with miles I had another panic attack until I found the teeny tiny little link at the bottom of the screen that said find your trip into which box I entered the record locator and found that I'd never gone back and moved it from pending to pay for me.

Okay. That one's on me.  In my defense, I knew it was good until at least February 1st (turns out it was the 4th but who's counting?) and the fact that I wanted to blame the airline speaks only to the generally awful time my daughter and I have had trying to use what should be regarded as a treat but which was more of a roller coaster ride, and I don't do roller coaster rides.

But..... deep breath..... The kids are coming to town!!!!!  Spring Break can't come soon enough.