Double Dip Wellness

After a week of not posting about myself, demand is skyrocketing for another one. The Pandemic disrupted the flow of my anti-Narcissism cream when pharmaceutical companies prioritized the elimination of Covid-19. Although Narcissism is more dangerous than Coronavirus, bias against Narcissists is open and blatant. Covid-19 vaccinations are free but now that anti-Narcissism cream deliveries have resumed, I am charged triple the 2019 rate for the medication. The price gouging has been attributed to a spike in the Narcissist population which is disingenuous because most Narcissists are in denial and not using the cream. My own awareness stems from a relatively mild condition and a wife who reminds me of my disease nearly every day. She also claims the cream is not working. But ever since I started applying it to my butt, my rear end has become more modest. It no longer appears unclothed in public and has stopped twerking in private.

My daily medication for Hedonism is Placebo but I call it ice cream. The pharmaceutical companies are now making it in smaller containers to disguise another form of price gouging. I squeeze my own Anti-Hypocrisy juice and supplement it with the rigorous daily exercise program GOOB (Getting Out Of Bed). It exercises all muscle groups. I am considered an idiot savant for the way I negotiate the path from bed to bathroom in the middle of the night. Like playing Wordle, I have six chances to win every day. I am finally getting enough sleep by more regularly dozing off in Church, at the movie theater, and during testimony at Narcissist Anonymous meetings. I have also created extra time in my day by eliminating personal hygiene rituals except for the double dipper of jogging while I brush my teeth.

MOPE

I recently rediscovered a tiny pillbox in my miniature collection. It seemed empty but a tiny pebble made a rattle. This was a kidney stone my wife passed in a White Plains hospital over a decade ago. I took it when the nurse offered. Hard to believe something so excruciatingly painful could be so insignificantly small. I am not sure why I saved it. The box is not labeled, the contents will be a mystery after I pass like a kidney stone, and the mineral deposit that caused so much trouble will be thrown out. Still I am powerless to toss it.

Perhaps I should have kept the nail that pierced my running shoe and caused me great pain. My wife and I could have put together a unique display of things that hurt. I never thought to retain my yanked tooth after a failed root canal and my two extracted wisdom teeth. I should have demanded my burst appendix from the hospital, like getting back a failed auto part. How do I know the doctor took out my appendix? It could still be in there. Maybe they pumped me up with powerful antacid and sent me home. I should have kept the Volkswagen Rabbit engine I ran out of oil and saved notices of a Bar Exam failure and a potential layoff. I could have asked girls to dump or reject me in writing. We did keep the three sons that caused my wife so much pain when she delivered them. They could be co-curators of the Museum Of Pain Endured. This partial listing is painful enough to be included. My quirky brilliant ideas always come too late. We could have become famous embracing pain as an opportunity to build a better museum.

Dandruff Mysteries

I used to have a dandruff problem. Or maybe I just dreamt I had dandruff. Either way, it was troublesome. I was considered a bewildered deep thinker because I was constantly scratching my head. I wore white shirts to work and avoided dark clothing. The more I used anti-dandruff shampoos, the more dandruff I seemed to shed. I lost three quarters of an inch of height and my scalp looked like I was running a carrot grater over it. I was convinced that anti-dandruff shampoos were actually causing the dandruff. Eventually I switched to baby shampoo because I figured babies did not get dandruff. But then my hair started falling out. Perhaps this explains why babies in my family never had hair until my daughter-in-law from El Salvador produced two of my grandchildren. We thought it was a miracle when Noemi was born with a full head of dark hair but her brother Diego outdid that when he arrived with a head and back full of black hair. After panicking that baby shampoo caused my hair loss, I now use whatever shampoo my wife abandons, the grandkids leave behind when they visit, or the neighbors discard in their trash. I particularly like hoarding complimentary hotel shampoos and squeezing those little bottles into one big container. I do not know why that process brings me such joy. Remarkably I do not have a dandruff problem now that it does not matter. I needed to be dandruff-free back when I was dating. Well, not exactly dating, more like asking girls out on dates.

While proofreading the above, I reluctantly allowed my ten year old granddaughter Zofia (who manipulates me easily) to read over my shoulder. Her critique: “As one writer to another, this is good so far but needs a better ending.”

Mid-Year Resolutions

I love having hair on the top of my head. I hate cutting it, so I pay someone else to do it. I hate that it does not all grow back. I hate having weeds in my yard. I hate pulling them but am too cheap to pay someone else to do it. I hate that they all grow back, get married, and raise their children in my garden. I favor love but I am sentenced with more hate. So I am going to make some changes. I plan to hire my barber to cut my weeds. And I am going to pull out my own hair.

I love pizza, cookies, and ice cream. I can eat them even when I am not hungry. I can consume beets, radishes, and sweet potatoes but not when I am full, unless they are smothered in marshmallows. So my next Resolution is to stay full more often.

I crave accomplishments. I hate wasting so much of my life sleeping so I am going to stay up a couple hours later every night playing Spider Solitaire. I also crave popularity. So I have to eliminate some guilty pleasures like interrupting, mansplaining, and criticizing. My wife tried to tell me why that would be impossible, so I cut her off mid-sentence and explained why her negativity is such a poison. She said she would be submitting her own resolution in writing.

Wasting Food

My oldest son Ryan told us the nearest post office to his Big Lake vacation home was in Clear Lake, Washington. My wife and I were excited we would get to visit a small town on July 4th while we dropped off our monthly apology letters in their post office box. As our excitement for the expedition mounted, Ryan warned, “Prepare to be disappointed.” I embraced those four words as a wonderful replacement for our current family motto: “It wasn’t me.” We stopped at the city park where about two dozen townspeople were swimming, fishing, eating, and playing games. Our 14 year old granddaughter interrupted our peaceful holiday adventure with an urgent phone call requesting we go buy some large flour tortillas. We cut short our tour of Clear Lake and located their one small local market. We raced back with the package of tortillas, only to find that the grandchildren were introducing a game where everyone slaps each other in the face with them while trying to hold water in their mouths. Why was I the only one who recognized that this would lead to disastrous un-passive aggression in a family that needs no additional prompts?

The other favorite family activity during our ten day vacation was binge watching “Is It Cake?” I can understand viewing that show once but each episode is exactly the same. Bakers make cakes that look like shoes, purses, and radios and try to trick judges into thinking they are the real items. But why would my extended family watch all eight episodes of the first season one after the other when they have neither the time nor interest to read my Blog?

Although I use question marks in this post, I am not actually seeking answers.

Dishwasher Duels

My philosophy on loading the dishwasher is to get the dishes as clean as possible. My wife views the exercise as a geometric puzzle you win if you can squeeze every dish, glass and utensil you own into the appliance at one time. This week she was standing on the other side of the dishwasher literally rearranging each item as soon as I let go of it. I was trapped in a version of speed chess. Normally her moves would be considered defiantly aggressive but she was doing this as unconsciously as flicking away nats. [She would spell “nats” with a “g” because she crams as many letters as possible in any word.] I paused to ask, “You know I am in the room, right?” At least I rearrange her work when she is in the laundry room overfilling the washer. I resigned from my dishwasher workstation and exited the kitchen to check if water was overflowing from the washing machine. Normally my sudden departure would be considered a defiantly aggressive gesture but was actually an act of loving deference. Besides, I would be the last one up at night and would return later to rearrange and run the dishwasher. This disrupts her plan to add dirty breakfast dishes the next morning but is a minor setback in a war she always wins. We already have separate sinks in our master bathroom. So my proposal for two dishwashers in our kitchen remodel is not really as crazy as our contractor claims.

Sixth Favorite

What is your sixth favorite color? My ten year old granddaughter Zofia recently asked me that question. I did not pause to develop favorite colors three through five. Instead, I scanned my mind for an offbeat or fictional color that would cement my reputation as a quick wit. But I was distracted by the absurdity of the question. Everyone has a favorite color as required by President Calvin Coloridge’s 1925 Executive Order. I chose “green” as an elementary school student, ignoring the more prestigious primary colors and posturing as a fan of the color of life in nature. Secretly I was actually obsessed with the color of money. Like many, I chose a voluntary second favorite color in case humans eventually destroyed all the green in nature and turned green money into bitcoin. My back-up “purple” color represents Royalty. I wanted to grow up to be King but Queen Elizabeth has been clinging to the Crown.

I should not be surprised that my granddaughter has a “sixth favorite color” because she and her closest half dozen classmates have been ranking their “best friends” since Kindergarten. The exciting part of that process is telling each other about the rankings. This absurdity erupts into predictable and continual infighting amongst the “best friends” whose favorite activities are drama, snubbing, and yelling. Several years ago, an epic playground screaming match between Zofia and Gracie attracted the attention of school authorities. I am a father to three sons and foolishly thought I could intervene and provide guidance to a granddaughter. I asked Zofia what she and Gracie were fighting about. Without a hint of embarrassment she replied, “We were yelling about who was the bigger brat.” I had the pleasure of informing her that they had both won that argument.

The Upside Down

My wife and I have open lines of communication. I eavesdrop on her phone conversations and she reads my Blog. But we have trouble getting on the same wavelength. On October 7, 2021, she read about the ketchup prank our granddaughter Zofia played on me and asked if this actually happened and if so, was it a long time ago. I wondered where she had been because the ketchup stains were the talk of the household that very week. And why did she think I would make up something so innocuous. Yet if I write that my Uncle Hector grew a third head in his armpit, the conversation goes like this:

Mol: Who is Uncle Hector?

Geoff: Surely you remember him. He was the one arrested at our wedding reception for setting fire to the juggler’s car.

Mol: We did not have a juggler at our wedding.

Geoff: Right, Hector set fire to the car at the Bachelor Party but he was arrested at the wedding reception.

Mol: Why didn’t you tell me you had a juggler at the Bachelor Party? I thought we agreed not to keep secrets from each other.

Geoff: I had to sign a confidentiality agreement. Technically we now have to give up our third born son which is why I am breaching the agreement.

Mol: Is Hector the one married to Aunt Mary?

Geoff: Who is Aunt Mary?

Mol: Don’t you remember? She smashed your hand into a plate of ketchup at our wedding reception.

Hyena Hypothesis

My 34 day hiatus from daily Blogging generated an epiphany: If I posted only once a week, that post should be seven times better than my daily Blogs. I would have more time to research, edit, and brush my teeth. Or I could still write seven Blogs but only post the best one. Quality should increase sevenfold. But guess what? My weekly posts are not showing signs of being seven times better than the daily ones. Jim Adams is a Math genius but is currently distracted by Music, so I consulted with Goktug who recently set a record for how many times he has taken Calculus. He explained the Law of Diminishing Returns and other curve bending forces that prevent straight line projections. He was gone by the time I exploded from my spontaneous nap with a new insight.

I extrapolated, expostulated, and exfoliated to come up with the Hyena Hypothesis: Reducing anything by a factor of seven, merely doubles its impact. So if you reduce your daily working hours from seven to one, it doubles your chances of getting fired. If you reduce your visits to the bathroom from seven to one, it doubles your chances of wetting your pants. Since the Hypothesis worked in all two of my uncontrolled experiments, I realized the elimination of daily Blogs doubled the quality of my remaining weekly epistle. Making up some metrics as proof seemed like too big a lie to be convincing. Instead I am proud to announce that WordPress sent me the rare and prestigious Certificate of Congratulations for Doubling Blog Quality. I am thinking of cutting back to a monthly Blog but my nurse practitioner says the excitement of that much success would likely kill me.

Greener Grass

On my meanderings, I see people with binoculars watching birds. Others carry cameras to capture the perfect picture. I am an expert at spotting greener grass. I envied fellow students who did not need braces on their teeth. I fought so hard against metal in my mouth that my parents relented and I now envy people without crooked teeth. I hated school until my final graduation forced me to get a job. I never wanted to enter a hospital, even as a visitor, until my appendix burst and I was convulsing on the floor and begging my wife Mollie to drive me to the Emergency Room. Going to Church seemed like a drag until mine locked me out at the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

What have I learned? Absolutely nothing. This week the annual property value notices arrived. Apparently oil has been discovered under our home because our property appraisal increased 40.9% in just one year. If an appraiser had actually been anywhere near our property, we would have been reported to authorities for flaunting code violations. For 24 years, we have been on the “deferred maintenance” plan. That term provides an aura of legitimacy to our criminal negligence. My pal Herb is admired for living without television. Mollie and I should get credit for living without a working stove. Our gutters function only as storage units for badminton shuttlecocks. The carpet that came with the house has changed color.

The year we turned 30, we lived in a small rental home in a neighbor’s backyard with two young children and one bathroom. I hated listening to co-workers complaining about high property taxes. Nice problem to have I thought. On paper I am now a wealthy homeowner but the greener grass is everywhere except in my backyard.