WARNING ! – Nothing Subtle Ahead!

[Preface: Living away from the home and family crowd has it’s share of missing out on a lot of things. It has it’s perks too. I’m a pretty happy person and I spend time wondering about the lives of people in my circle. Are they also happy? No worries? Are there big life events like new twin babies this week? Are they excited, successful, even missing me?  How do I connect? Well I read FB and message some.  I mail pillowcases or small gifts that make me think of them. I wonder if something I know will help them with something they are struggling about. Should I say or not? How will they know I think of them, if I don’t say.  I was brought up short this week by a pronouncement that apparently “I think I know everything and always have”. At almost 70, I know a little about a lot, but not everything about anything. I know how to be helpful and KIND and honest and truthful. I also know that saying you’ll do something is a far cry from doing it. I know that I was raised with “you’re in charge” and “work everyday [there was a list]” and I often wish someone had offered some advice or a good book, that might have saved me grief.  Advice offered is not advice taken. But it might be ” thinking of you” advice. I’d rather someone thought I cared enough to spend some time on them as opposed to never giving a rat’s ass [as Carrie would say].

Oh, and I learned that BE KIND is way more “crap” than caring!]



“In  a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

“You never know what people are going through. Just remember to be kind.”

“Be thoughtful, be genuine, be thankful, be kind”

“Life is difficult for everyone…just be kind”


BE KIND ….  is code word for  “Say ONLY what I want to hear!”

BE KIND – I’m having a bad day, so pat me on my back and whisper platitudes of adoration. [ You spent time thinking of me and wondering about me? And you think that counts? Wake up!]

BE KIND – Encourage my bad behavior with abundant and gushing pride in me. [ You don’t think I’m great when I can’t tell the truth or keep my word, so what!]

BE KIND – Shower my inexperience and stumbling with praise so i can ignore any outside help or concern. [Better yet, who are you to help me?]

BE KIND – because being kind is a one way street and I will mow you over if I don’t think you are “kind” or “kind enough”!

BE KIND is plastered on Facebook. I see it on billboards, shop signs and marquees. “Be kind, you never know what someone is going through.” It’s a plea. It’s a reminder. It’s a request. It’s actually a WARNING! BE KIND or else!

It pretty much means, coddle me, stroke my ego, pamper me with praise and comfort, don’t say anything that might offend me today or yesterday or tomorrow …. or else!  Be Kind doesn’t mean “that’s what I can do for you”, it means “that IS WHAT you can do for me!”

On the Phone:  I’m not interested in you as a customer. I’m not interested in your service need. I’m not interested in even returning your call and I am not interested when you are upset with my lack of concern – BE KIND!

On Facebook:  I’m having a rough week, life is cruel, I’m not going to even post the details, but believe me, I need help and prayers. You just need to hear me whine cause life is sooooo hard and no one understands what i can’t talk endlessly about – BE KIND!

In Business:  I’m a professional but i expect exceptions for anything that goes wrong. I know exactly how things work on my terms. As a customer, you have no idea how hard this is. I’ll get it right when i get it right and DO NOT offer help or concern – BE KIND!

In Families:  Sure we’re related, bottom line, but that is all. I can lie to you about anything AND everything and you don’t get to call me out. I make no apology for my insincerity. I can hurt you, exaggerate, dismiss and shit all over you and you ….. you can just BE KIND!

See a pattern here? I do!

BE KIND, the latest catch phrase, means YOU BE KIND and I’ll dictate the terms and parameters and if you get it wrong, I certainly won’t remember the term “KIND”.

BE KIND….my ass!



So we are buying another house? The question mark is because, in point of fact, we want to buy another house and our funds are  L I M I T E D and so the buying on our part is  L I M I T E D by the sellers motivation and willingness to sell for less than they want – if they don’t agree to our offer, we are pretty much out the door.

Isn’t that the path of life? What we want is mostly governed by whether someone else is standing in our way.  We want independence and our parents are certainly a roadblock.  We want a car, a particular that-looks-good-on-me-car and the cost skyrockets in direct proportion to our desire – they see us coming a mile away.

We want to date that guy or girl, the one over there, looking really cool and smart and …….oh no, he’s holding her hand or she’s wearing a ring.  Damn! Is there a hex on me?  I’m getting nowhere.

So, I have learned to just plan for second place. I want this, I’ll settle for that.  I want that, this is what I’ll get. It’s life. Like it or lump it.

Move along, play your best hand and accept what comes.  You can live a whole life on the terms of second-fiddle, second-chances, second-string, second-place. It becomes habit. Money is my benchmark. Money over matter, if it matters, money is my deciding factor. Cheaper is my benchmark. Better is limiting. If it’s better, it’s not going to be cheaper and money equals benchmark. Second place is comforting and secure and where I have settled. It is my zone, a very familiar place of protection.

When we moved to our 5th wheel, at my nagging and rationalizing, I hoped to nudge him into retirement. Our chance to explore, travel and have some partner leisure. That was my goal. We sold our house, we moved and 60 days later after a nice vacation, my idea of dual retirement was just mine and he was back to work. I was sitting again at second-string, second-place.  Damn.  How does this keep happening?  Live with it, get busy and “be happy”!!!

Projects come and go, interests take center stage, time fills and I am productive and in my safety zone.

A big anniversary rolls around.  We are getting along very peaceably and a week in Florida with some warm and sunny weather is just what we need after a cold, wet winter. His conversation has been heading in the direction of buying a property where it’s warmer, that we could vacation to and move “eventually”.   When that might be, is certainly not up to me, but hey, if I have a place to visit, I can visit solo on my timeline.

Our fun week, somehow, turns into the proverbial hunt. We are good at the hunt and enjoying our week.  We find a first possibility  – projects galore. We offer. Owner has delusions of value. We pass.  We find a 12 on a 1—10 scale.  It is out-of-the-park, magazine-worthy and nothing we can afford.

Finally, we find the second place slot that matches the money factor.  And would you believe we were shot down because our dogs didn’t weigh 15 pounds. Oh My G.!!!!!! Who would pass on asking if we were prison parolees, bankruptcy pirates, bad check writers, etc. when they could ask “how much does your dog weigh”?

Next, driving home, we saw two places that could have been salvaged with a gas can and matches.

AND THEN, sort of in our backyard, we found the right place, but I say that with lots of reservations. We found a number 9  place, sitting right next to a number 5 place on the 1-10 scale. I am not in the habit of claiming any number over 7.  [It’s that second-place mentality]. Any other number is more my comfort zone and I always say, I can make any place better and money is the factor in my book and hey, we are looking at number 9 at this PRICE and number 5 at this price, so I know where I belong…….and I also know where I want to belong.  This could be my last chance to choose or try for the ‘brass ring’.

We made an offer; it is not lowball, but could be offensive if they are sensitive. It isn’t all our money, but close and we wanted to hold back just a smidgeon for comfort. It needs exterior work…and we can do it, but it will require dollars and labor.  The inside is absolutely perfect…..already scary, just saying that.

I mean, two remodeled awesome bathrooms, a master with a king size bed, which we can replace with a full or queen, a walk-in [walk-innnnnn] closet, another bedroom, both with nice carpet. The main portion, the great room, is dark hardwood with the coolest appliances [they shouldn’t matter so much….BUT THEY DO], a three door stainless fridge, a dishwasher I don’t need, and BOTSCH stack washer/dryer….BOTSCH –stainless tubs; they are lovely enough to put on my Christmas card, he and I on each side, a pet in each tub – what a card that would be with no nonsense writing. Friends and relatives would be relieved. May I add, this is a single wide manufactured home….with lovely front and back porches, a postage stamp yard and the piece de résistance, a noisy mountain branch [southern for trickle] about 4 feet from the back deck.  I AM IN LOVE !

BUT,  the number 5 house is sitting right next door, ogling me, nagging me. It chants “you belong to me – I belong to you” continuously.  ” Remember that price, Deb. Remember your standards, remember..….you always settle”.  It seems to beckon, as if knowing our offer was nigglingly short of what the sellers of the great number 9  will accept and 5 is waiting in the wings. Damn.

Could be my last house ever, discounting a ‘community house’, worst case scenario.  How about I get this number 9? The chances are low, low, low.

What can I do to focus elsewhere and leave this in God’s hands? He handles everything so much better than I, of course.

I will just write an addition to my blog………see where that got me!


UPDATE – EMERGENCY UPDATE: as I am proofreading this blog post, my phone rings. It is the seller’s realtor.  Ugh!  I so want to answer and I so don’t want to answer.  She says if we are willing to add in the ‘smidgeon’ we had held back, the sellers will agree to the sale.  I just had to AGREE!  We are going to move to the number 9 house.  It’s NO SECOND PLACE !!!!!!