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What’s Bugging Me

What’s Bugging Me
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BY BETH PORTOLESE

It’s been awhile since I’ve been moved to write one of these rants but today I am flying cross-country to Seattle for work.  I just got a new job and our other office is in that city.  Anyone who knows me understands that I don’t like to fly and a six-hour flight is not exactly my idea of fun.  Anyway I’m hoping this flight is a little different because of some advice a friend gave me that I ‘m taking.  Since I’m the type of flyer that thinks we are probably going down every time even slight turbulence hits, I need something to relax me. A friend told me to take a half a Xanax pill.  Luckily I was able to get a hold of a couple of pills from a generous friend so here I am on the flight and I have to say, things aren’t bothering me as much!  I just hope I don’t suddenly go off the deep end like some of these stars you read about who act crazy on airplane flights and blame it on Xanax and the glass of wine they had.

Before I got on the plane though I couldn’t help noticing the unfairness of the luggage situation with airlines these days.  I always check a bag, which costs an extra $25.  It’s annoying but to me it’s worth the money not to have to lug it around an airport and hoist it up into the overhead containers, which I can’t even remotely reach.  Lately I’ve noticed though that if you bring your bag to the boarding gate and they have a packed flight, they will offer to check your bag for free so the overhead containers don’t fill up!  Is this fair? I don’t think so.  People bring these humongous bags to the gate knowing full well they don’t fit the dimensions for a carry on and so they get to check them for no money.  I think I’m going to complain and see if I get my money back.  I’ll keep you posted.

As I listened to what has been put out there during the past week from Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee, I couldn’t help thinking of that song from the musical Chicago sung by the prison matron and Velma asking ‘what ever happened to class?’  Really, it is beyond me what people say on Twitter and other social media sites, from our fearless leader on down.  It is appalling and apparently people think they can just come out with any disgusting thing they can think of and then apologize and all is supposed to be ok.  Just common politeness has gone out the window! When I was a kid my mother went out of her way to drill politeness into us.  I can remember being yelled at for over a half hour straight because I forgot to say thank you to the family who had invited me over for dinner.  That was a little over the top I know, but my mother had 6 kids and it was the end of a long day.  Anyway, any rudeness that popped out of our mouth was dealt with quickly. We knew you didn’t say insulting things…. let alone something racist.  Even if a stray insulting or politically incorrect thought popped into your head (as they do in most humans), you knew enough not to say it!!  I just don’t get what is going on these days.

Lately I’ve suddenly had to deal with being asked if I want the senior citizen discount when I go to the movies or buy a train ticket.  OMG what a jolt it was the first time someone asked me if I wanted it!  Huh?! Don’t I look at least 20 years younger than I am? The friendly makeup mirror in my house seems to make me look that way…however, maybe it is just the lighting.  It could also be the cocktail I drink when I’m putting my makeup on to go out at night. Anyway, maybe it’s time to find that ‘good dermatologist’ that Christie Brinkley is always talking about when people ask her what her secret is to looking so young.  I’m not sure that magic will work the same on me though, so perhaps I’ll just start accepting the cheaper prices.

One of the great things about being part of a large Italian family is the fact that my relatives have always been a big part of my life.  I have been fortunate that longevity seems to run on my fathers side of the family so the people I grew up with have been constant in my life even up to my age.  The tough part of being my age is that now some of them are leaving us.  My mother passed away 4 years ago and this past week our beloved Aunt Frances left us.  Please indulge me while I say a few things about her.  She was always there when I was growing up.  I loved it when she would come over and visit my mother or we would go over to her house.  She and my mom were buddies who trusted each other and could talk about anything when they got together. . I remember when I was little, Aunt Frances took care of me when my mom was in the hospital and rehearsed with me about where I should get off the school bus, since her house was a different stop than mine.  Of course I missed the stop and was overjoyed to see her when Aunt Frances came to rescue me after the bus wound up back at school.  As I grew older, Aunt Frances opened a clothing boutique in my hometown, The Frances Shoppe.  She had great taste and could make any outfit look fashionable no matter how simple. When I was broke and working as a waitress after college, she let me ‘charge’ things at her store and pay whenever I could.  She loved going on buying trips to NYC and once I moved here, always wanted to know what was going on in New York.  She was kind, fun, a great cook (loved those cutlets) and always great to talk to. The last few years had not been that great for her as she was on dialysis and had a couple of falls.  She was not well this past year and her death has relieved her of the pain she had been in.  Once when I was in Catholic school we asked one of the nuns what heaven would be like.  She told us that when we died and went to heaven all the people we loved were there waiting for us.  I’m sure my mom was waiting for Aunt Frances with open arms.

 

Until next time…

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