Wednesday, February 09, 2011


After reading a Facebook status update that shared a quote I checked definition of the word practical. From Free Dictionary:

1. Of, relating to, governed by, or acquired through practice or action, rather than theory, speculation, or ideals
4. Capable of or suitable to being used or put into effect; useful
6. Level-headed, efficient, and unspeculative.

I would say I am practical in the fourth sense, doing things that are useful. The word brought back a Christmas when my sister said she wanted something "practical and useful" for Christmas. I bought her tights, maybe headbands, and things like that. I wrapped each gift individually, then packed them in a Modess box, carefully tapping it shut. Then I wrapped the box. I said "Well, you said you wanted something useful and practical."

Christmas morning she opened her gift, pooh-poohed it, tossing it back under the tree with her gift pile. It stayed there all day. I finally ripped part of the box top pulling one of the gifts up to be visible. When she realized the box was not filled with sanitary napkins, she opened it, but still did not like my joke. Well, I got the idea from my mother who put my Miss Revlon doll in a Modess box ~ that was much prettier at the time ~ because I had asked her "What's that?"

Every time I saw a woman at the Acme with a Modess box, I would say to my friend, Joanne, "Someone is getting a Revlon doll." One day she asked, "How do you know?" and I pointed to the box. LOL She straightened me out, but I do not think either of us knew what sanitary napkins were used for quite yet.

Many years after those two events, my then mother-in-law asked the "What do you want for Christmas?" question. I forget exactly what I said, I am thinking I told her three things, but all I remember is "clothespins". She insisted I must want something other than my choices. No, I did not. I am practical. Actually I was in dire need of clothespins. Clothespins are cheap, right? That will give you an idea of how poor we were.

Could poverty lead to homelessness? Well, we, the ex, our toddler and myself did live in two motels for six weeks after we were evicted from a house rented with another couple. The rooms were "efficiencies" with small kitchenette. His father broke down and loaned us money for security and rent to put us in an apartment. As with all the loans his parents gave us, it went unpaid.

A post like this, spoken, would be what made Dr. Ahmad decide I was bipolar. I am definitely not in a manic mood at the moment. And now I want to explain about Dr. Ahmad, but that will really make this post grow and go off-topic. What was the topic? Oh, practical...

I used to describe myself as a calculated risk taker. That is, I did my Ben Franklin sheet, pros and cons, possible outcomes, positive/negative, before I embarked on my journey to start a new life 3,000 miles from home. That definitely was not practical. The old Honda had, oh, I forget, 182,000 miles (?) on it and everyone told me it would not make the trip.

No comments: