Half sweet, and half sour

Speaking of cell phones (weren’t we?), I noted cell phone usage in the mall on Saturday.

I’ve been to a mall twice in the past 20+ years, I love it that much. I took grandson there (his choice) so that we could finish out our happy day together with a late McD lunch, where he was unacknowledged by an aging Ms. Six Hickeys at the counter register to the point that he came back to the table defeated, “After I got into the other line when told to instead of listened to — that I already had my order but had forgotten to ask for sweet-and-sour sauce — and after 10 minutes in that line, she looked right at me and waited on two other sets of people…” I had been shocked enough to see him empty-handed after all that time.

He blinked rapidly for a moment, something that wrecks (and should) the heart of an observer when that little formerly happy chatty person has already suffered more than most in his short life.  Suffice it to say it’ll be an even colder day in hell when I return to a mall, though not because I caused a ruckus in direct view of a mall cop, which I most certainly did.  You mess with my polite, people-loving, bullshit-forgiving angel-grand, you mess with the surprisingly spry fugly thing behind him.  You will regret it. I won’t. He’s already consciously chosen not to become cold or hard in order to survive the cold and the hard. I do stand behind that. We had sweet-n-sour sauce in hand within milliseconds of my *approach.*

We were far from happy, though, for a while. It was one more thing that had to be talked to death, and a sad lunch (for me), and all of it ultimately to be excused by him. He was still happy to have found a blue spinner for his sister at a different store. He had missed giving her a birthday present at the time and promised her a desired spinner, and she had requested blue.  (He hadn’t wanted anything for himself at the store.)

Fortunately, he is nice enough for two people, and if I am dragged to heaven on anyone’s coattails, they’ll be his, but anyway, other things have indeed changed at the mall. A few tables in the food court bore families who put their phones down or kept them in pockets (though not at the teen tables), but I watched as everyone — even grown men — weaved their way down the long corridor to the rest rooms while they stared at their cell phone screens.  Adrift is today’s word prompt. Yes, indeed — that is exactly how they appeared!  It might even shock them to know it.


I has them.

It would’ve gone alright with the rest as a middle name for real: Relax Qualm McGillicuddy, though it works better as a statement — a comma after Relax would’ve been perfect.

I had qualms about everything. If I didn’t, I imported them. I was my mother’s daughter, which is to say not half Irish just yet, which is to say French Canadian. My neighborhoods in a historic seaport were incredibly diverse, so I was surrounded by Italian qualms, many French Canadian ones, and the rarer Irish qualm (who had qualms about having qualms but had them anyway, only slightly moreso than did the Greeks).

The problem was, we were mostly of the Catholic working class persuasion, and that was rife with qualms. The only Jewish girl I knew didn’t seem to suffer them. She was joyful, animated, sure of herself. I desperately wanted to be Jewish for a while, back when I didn’t realize one could be Jewish and yet not religiously so.

I continue qualmward. Not because it’s mandatory for the conscience — that’s only how it got a foothold. I need qualms, the awkward 50-lb butterflies of doubt, to warn me off of what I think I want to go for — or at least make me think longer, consider more.

Or, angelqualms.


“I know My sheep, and…”


“…the rest of that changes more every day.”

It’s Good Shepherd Sunday, also celebrating the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

In this state, today is one more thing:  Suicide Prevention Sunday.

This is a tiny little bodunk if historical state (said with lavish affection), but even here, suicide is the second leading cause of death among… ready?

10 to 14 year olds.

The bulletin goes on to say that every day, 22 veterans commit suicide in America.

We have a lot to pray for.  An awful lot.



A Re-blog (“An Open Toolbox in the Rain”)

(Relax note:  “A journal of the vessel Seafire including mishaps and musings of the crew.”  Somehow, you’re always right there with him.)

The evening is clear, the sky is clear. The temperature is not frigidly damp. In fact it is almost tepid. Outside in the last of the day’s light two Kingfishers dart and chase, chattering vigorously. Inside the boat, I’ve just turned the heater on for the evening. It was off for most of the day […]

via An Open Tool Box In The Rain — seafireblog