Its All About Me…or, I’m More Important!

Okay, be honest. Please tell me I am not the only one who runs into those “self important, oblivious to their surroundings or those around them” folks in the course of daily living. You know, the ones I mean. The “I have to go there even if you’re in my way,” the “I don’t care what the door says, I’m going in here,” or the “So what if you want to get by me in the grocery store…I’m stopping right in the middle of the aisle to find the right mayonnaise,” and the hundreds of variations of those folks that we run into daily!

Here are some of my favorites!

You are driving along a busy road, and suddenly with no warning, somebody throws open their door, or even worse pulls away from the curb. Yes, they do have a side view mirror they could use to check traffic, but let’s face it, they’re too important to do that! A corollary to that is the person who opens a car door, and leaves it open while they walk to the trunk, or just sits in the car!! Yep, it’s all about me!

Ever been in a crowded parking lot, driving around looking for a spot, finally see somebody get in the their car, they start the car, some even put it in reverse, and then sit there, and sit there, and sit there! An even bigger parking lot nightmare is as you are waiting for someone to pull out of a space, before you can pull in, somebody comes from the other direction and pulls in! Oh, you were waiting? But I have to go to the store! Yep, it’s all about me! Or how about the folks who either walk or drive right down the center of the aisle, without regard for other people or cars? All About ME!

When I used to travel on the Long Island Rail Road to work in Manhattan everyday from Mineola, I’d often do the trip with my good friend Steve. The people on the train always amazed us, especially those folks who, when we got to Penn Station, couldn’t wait their turn on the platform to go up the stairs like the rest of us. I’d turn to Steve and say, “No problem…just push your way ahead of us…I mean, you have to go to work! We just took the train into Manhattan to have breakfast!” Self important ass wipes who were, of course, too important to wait with the rest of us peasants! About me!

How about the ones at the courtesy desk in a store. You are one of 3 or 4 people, who are patiently waiting in line, when suddenly somebody comes out of left field, walks right up to the desk, turns to the folks on the line and says, “I just have a question to ask.” Really??? What the hell do you think we’re doing on this line, waiting for our health?? Yep, it’s all about me!

One “Bagel Sunday,” pre-Covid and social distancing, I’m over at Hot Bagels and More in Somers Point waiting to place my order. In those days, you’d come in, stand on line, wait for one of the counter persons to be free, and then step up and place your order. Once your order was placed, you’d step to the side and wait to get called. So on this one Sunday, I’m like #2 on this line, when this guy comes in behind me. He says to no one in particular, “How do you order here?” I turn to him and say, “You wait behind us on this line, and when you get to the front and a counter person calls NEXT, you go up and place your order.” I guess he was too important to stand with the rest of us, so when the guy in front of me got called, this guy just walked up to the counter. My Hot Bagel friend Sue saw exactly what he’d done, looked directly at me, and said, “What can I get for your today Frank?” Sometimes even the All About Me folks get put in their place!!! Thanks Sue!

One of my favorite happens when you’re driving and somebody blows through a stop sign, or does some other traffic infraction that could affect you. There you are, driving along the perpendicular road, with no stop sign, they power right through their stop sign, you blow your horn, and they give YOU a dirty look, as if to say, “How dare you…don’t you know I’m more important than you?”

If anything, going through the Covid pandemic has only made it worse! New Covid variations are, “I know I’m supposed to wear a mask, but I left mine in the car;” “I know there’s a socially distanced line of folks waiting to pay, but I’m in a hurry;” or my favorite, “I don’t care that this door is marked as exit only, I’m not walking around to the other door!” Tell me you haven’t seen all these and many more, and you are either not being honest, or you really don’t get out much!

Take our local Shoprite in Somers Point. It’s been very organized since we went back to shopping in person back in June. Go in one door and out the other, hand sanitizing stations all over the store, socially distancing marks on the floor, and many other changes as answers to where the world is right now. When we go, we park closer to the door that is now the exit, and walk back to the other door that’s now designated as the entrance, but twice in the last week, we’ve had to fight our way through folks who are more important than us! One day, I’d dropped Susie off to pick up a couple of things we needed, and as she was trying to get out the “OUT DOOR,” here comes a woman in a Crossing Guard vest pushing a cart in the “OUT DOOR!” When Susie told her that she was coming in the “OUT DOOR,” she laughed and sad, “Oh Well.” Then last Sunday, when we both went to go shopping, here we are going in the “IN DOOR,” and out comes a guy pushing a cart with a “Yeah, but I’m parked over here” attitude! Dear God, please save us!

Last week, Susie went into the local UPS store to drop something off. This particular one is in a local hardware store. As she went in the door, there was a man standing smack in the middle of everything, on his phone! She went around him, and got on the line for UPS, when she realized he was behind her. She said, “Sorry…didn’t realize you were on the line (sarcasm), go in front of me,” which he did. When he was done, Susie was standing to the right of an island, he could have easily passed on the left side, but instead, he walked right up to her, gestured for her to move, and she had to get out of his way! When she came out and told me, I said she should have just looked at the self important, situationally unaware jerk and give him the finger!

All the actions I’ve mentioned, and even more, are one of the main reasons Susie will sometimes, under her breath mumble, “I hate people!” I guess as long as there are more than two people in any given situation, someone will always feel they are more important than the rest of us. To those folks, it’s always All About Them and it always will be. So just count to ten, laugh a little, and realize that these people spend their whole lives in this self important vacuum, and honestly, there is karma in this world! As the T-shirt says, “My Karma just ran over your Dogma”!

Game Hour

Back in late August, I wrote a blog entitled D’Elia Family Sunday Traditions (https://rnewadventures.com/2020/08/27/delia-family-sunday-traditions/). Since then, we have added a new tradition, but unlike those that I mentioned in that August post, this tradition takes place 7 days a week. Let’s call it Game Hour.

At 4 PM, every afternoon (or close to 4PM), we stop what we are doing, and head to our two assigned seats at the dining room table, where we start playing whatever that week’s game is. We usually play for 45 minutes to an hour, and doing it 7 days a week, we think it’s probably a good thing to do to stimulate our brain waves, as we continue to spend most of every day in the house. It also gives our days an anchor, and is a bridge from the afternoon to the evening. It’s something we’ve continued to enjoy doing since we started back in the early fall.

We first started with an easy two handed game we’ve played since son Kenny taught it to us a number of years ago, called 5000. 5000 is a rummy style card game, where the object of the game is to be the first player to get to a score of, yes, you guessed it… 5,000. Its a relatively simple game to play in limited space, using one deck of cards, and because of that we’ve played it in hotels all across the United States, on airplanes, and even on the Amtrak Southwest Chief as we traveled across the country in a sleeper compartment several years ago on the way to Kenny and Chris’ wedding in Lake Tahoe. If you’d like to know how to play 5000, here’s a link to some online rules. https://gamerules.com/rules/5000-rummy/

For Christmas, I got Susie Hoyle’s Encyclopedia of Card Games, and we have broadened our two-handed card game repertoire. While we really can’t play popular games like Uno, which we played for years and years with the kids, we can play the game that Uno was derived from, Crazy Eights! Unlike Uno, Crazy Eights has much of the standard play of Uno, but without the Skip or Reverse cards, which are really hard to do with only 2 players!

Another blast from the past for us, that we had to learn again, but are enjoying is Cribbage. As I said, we’d played this game years ago, but over time, less and less, to the point we had to start from zero knowledge, and relearn how the game play goes. One thing that we did remember, and still had in the closest, was the Cribbage Score Board. This is the only one of the various card games we play that Susie doesn’t have to keep an official score on her pad. One oddity is that as we were putting the game away recently, one of the blue scoring pegs decided to jump off the table….we’ve yet to find it, so I fear I’m going to have to transition from blue to green for scoring! (an update since I wrote the last sentence…Susie found the missing blue peg on the edge of the inside of the clothes dryer door! Go figure)

The one game that we’ve played during recent Game Hours that is not a card game, is a game that has been a part of our life since there first was a Susie and Frank, and that game is Yahtzee! According to Wikipedia, “The present-day commercial Yahtzee began when toy and game entrepreneur Edwin S. Lowe filed Yahtzee as a trademark with the U.S. Patent Office on April 19, 1956.” I guess you could say that like us, Yahtzee is a Baby Boomer, and has been around for most of our lifetimes! My earliest memory of playing with Susie, was back on a car trip we took in October of 1980 and of sitting at a bar table at the Club House of Mountain Manor Golf Resort in Marshall’s Creek, Pennsylvania, playing and drinking beer! Over the years we have had travel versions, electronic versions, and we even remember playing a Yahtzee Slot Machine, where the dice had faces and little legs, and ran back into the cup after each roll! We’ve bought pad upon pad of score cards, and even went so far as to make our own a number of years ago (please keep our secret). I imagine Yahtzee will be with us for all time!

Our horizons will broaden as we delve further into Susie’s card encyclopedia, but for now, it’s those 4 games that we are rotating on a weekly basis!

One constant during our daily game hour, is a cup of something hot, to go along with our play (you can see our cups in the picture above). With the help of our Keurig, it could be anything from low calorie Hot Chocolate, to regular tea, or to any one of several different flavored tea K-cups we have on hand! Susie even bought a sugar free Hot Spiced Apple Cider mix!

We’ve also recently bought these No Sugar/Zero Calorie Syrups with a wide variety of flavor profiles! We can have hot chocolate with raspberry flavor (tastes like one of those chocolate candies from an expensive box), or a Chai tea with caramel flavor enhancement! So good, and no calories??? A really win/win!

So that’s our 4 PM Game Hour….

Exercise

The Mayo Clinic says, “Exercise boosts energy. Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.” Sounds like exercise is a good thing, and something we all should participate in, during the course of our lives. Spending 11 months locked down during a pandemic, only amplifies the need for most of us to exercise, but do we?

Back in April, in a blog post called Quarantine I wrote the following about our son Kenny and our son-in-law Chris, who were living with us in Ocean City, and started exercising along with Chris’ sister Michelle.(https://rnewadventures.com/2020/04/03/quarintini/)
“Speaking about the boys, they have gotten involved with Chris’ sister Michelle and her on line fitness classes! She lives out in Reno, and conducts a class at 9:15 Reno time on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday! No way the boys could handle that, but at the 12:15 Eastern time her class starts in Ocean City, they are in it all the way! After the half hour or so of the class, they come out of the den everyday dying, but every morning of her class, they are back in it, using their cans of tomatoes or jars of pickles as weights, and enjoying the work out! They’ve even gotten our neighbors Patti and Meade involved! Michelle’s class is every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 9:15 AM Pacific Time, and the link is https://zoom.us/j/428504901

That was early on, but they eventually got real weights and even moved the exercise classes down to the garage, so they no longer shook the whole house! The past 6 months that they’ve been in Florida, they have continued with her classes, three days a week!

If Michelle’s class kicked the ass of two 30 somethings, there was no way one 60 something and her 70 something husband were going to get involved! In a burst of realization that we should probably be doing some kind of exercise too, Susie purchased a DVD at the end of March called, Grow Young Fitness Starter Pack. This was a series of exercises by a young man named Deron Buboltz that were aimed at older folks and their abilities or lack of them. So we got going with them as soon as the DVD was delivered, right? Ah…not exactly. I’m embarrassed to say, that the DVD sat on the shelf in it’s shrink wrap till we did our first session with it on October 7th! Wow!!!

So, we started with a couple of the exercise routines on this intro DVD. They were each about 30 minutes long and some of it was done while seated and some on your feet. You moved your shoulders, your arms, your legs and feet, and his purpose was to get your heart rate up. Once you got to the end of the routine, he taught you how to stretch and then took you into a relaxation period. If you’d like to see what I’m talking about, here’s a link to an example on their YouTube Channel. https://youtu.be/P-g7TAjjAE8

We may have started late, but I’m proud to tell you that every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning since we started, (we did miss a couple of days Christmas and New Year’s week) we have religiously spent 30-40 minutes with Deron, and his exercises! Having spent 2 months with the samples on the Starter Pack DVD, under the Christmas Tree, Santa gave Susie the next DVD, Cardio Weight Loss Chapter One.

We’ve now moved into the routines on that DVD, and even have added dumbbells to our workouts.

I should also say that occasionally (like every time we do them), we do tend to yell at the screen, and what we yell is not always complimentary to Deron and/or his exercises!

Is it even close to what Michelle does during her workouts? Absolutely not, but then we are not in our 30s, and let’s face it, the most exercise we’ve gotten before this was walking in the sand on the beach! An alarm goes off on my phone at 9:30 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, signaling us that iPad time is over, and it’s time to get ready for our session with Deron. Do we always want to do it? Absolutely not, and honestly, some days are harder than others, but I will tell you that we always feel better and a sense of accomplishment after we’ve done that day’s routine…especially on those days when we really didn’t want to do it, and were just a hair’s breath away from skipping our session!

Hey, as the phrase goes, Better Late Than Never!