With most things in life, I prefer the calm, safe (boring) approach. I am not a thrill seeker. I do not endeavor to live on the wild side — far from it. I drive within the speed limit; I wear sensible shoes; I brush after meals; I have first aid kits in each of the family vehicles. None of my hobbies involves parachutes, bungee cords, zip lines or poisonous snakes.
People have their bucket lists — things they want to do before they, you know, kick the bucket. And, people have lists of goals — also things they want to do. But how about a list of "I never." You know, things you’ve never done, and probably never will, but you never know.
I’ve never used a pen name or adopted an alias. My family’s not in the witness protection program, which I’m assuming would necessitate a name change. But this week we are the Nielsens. It’s a moniker steeped in power, prestige and a TV viewing diary.
My family has a lot of fun with words and workings of the world. We aren’t alone. Recently a friend posted a new term on Facebook: Recognore. It’s when you are out in public and you see someone you know but pretend you don’t and ignore them instead. I found the concept clever, even though I’ve never, ever recognore anyone. I’m sure you haven’t, either.
They sat indiscriminately on the clearance rack marked down like 1,000 percent from their initial price. Hand towels. These were not your everyday, ordinary, run-of-the-mill hand towels. These happened to be emblazoned with the letter "P" as in the first letter of my last name. I contemplated my good fortune for a millisecond before tossing a pair in my cart. A couple bucks later, I returned home with monogrammed towels. Monogrammed towels!
It was a simple trip to the grocery store. Something I could probably do in my sleep. Pick up a few items, hit the checkout line and bag up the goods. I’d even remembered my coupons. It was a good day. I didn’t even bring my purse because I have a new trendy phone case that has a nearly invisible compartment to hold a driver’s license and one credit card. I snapped open the case, feeling smart and sleek — and #hipster — and handed the checkout lady my plastic. I didn’t give it a second thought.
Our household is reaching the tail end of tooth loss. It’s been a decade-long endeavor where the tooth fairy went from super benefactor to sleeping beauty. That can happen to a person (or fairy) after 60 pick-up and deliveries. The whole fairy thing sort of loses its charm somewhere around the forty-second tooth. After that, things just aren’t as glossy anymore. At least that was how it was for our fairy. I can’t speak for anyone else’s.
"Good news, she slept through the night." My husband shared this information in a hushed tone at 6 in the morning and we gave each other a silent high-five. No need to wake anyone at that early hour, especially our daughter, who had her wisdom teeth removed surgically the day before.
I believe in Santa Claus. When you critically examine the whole narrative, what’s not to believe? Logic is logic and should dictate our beliefs, or lack thereof. Let’s start with the big guy’s attire. We’re asked to accept the legitimacy of an elderly gentleman in a furry red size triple XL jacket and pants — complete with matching hat. It may be a bit flashy, but it makes sense. The fur, the boots, the cap — they keep Santa warm. Same goes for the snowy-white beard — flashy, but practical. That’s our Santa in a nutshell.
It’s common for readers to contact me and share their thoughts. Their opinions can often be categorized one of two ways: love or hate. They either love a particular column, or they hate it, which is pretty logical. You aren’t compelled to react and respond and write unless you feel strongly about a topic.