Monday, December 21, 2009

The Irony of My Great Uncle Maury this Christmas

Maury passed away this past weekend and although hospice had already been on site for a while, I still cannot imagine what his wife, Judy, and his children must be feeling so close to Christmas. Christmas is a time to celebrate and be with family. To reminisce of holidays past, over eat, and reconnect with those family members who live to far to see any other time of the year. It shouldn’t be a time to say goodbye to loved ones.

For us, Christmas night is usually spent at Maury’s over dinner and conversation. An added bonus has been the home that he and Judy invited us too for the festivities. To say that Maury was an antique collector would be the largest understatement of 2009. Their home is live-in museum. Literally. I wish I had pictures, but his place had an actual old time general store in it where you could spend hours exploring if you wanted. Every room had a theme and could most likely tell many stories without any words spoken. People toured his home with antique groups, but for us it was just tradition to spend Christmas night there taking it all in and singing off-key Christmas carols.

This year with his passing, I can’t help but think that although we won’t be heading to his home for tours and dinner, he will still be the reason that everyone is together on my dad’s side of the family, even if for one day of the year. I wish it were under different circumstances, but I’m still thankful for the chance to be there with everyone and celebrate once more. This time we will celebrate him, Maury Gambrel.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thank God I Wasn't Born in Jersey!

Although I'm sure it's a lovely place with many lovely people, the new MTV show "Jersey Shore" has completely ruined that state for me. I knew the overly tan, tight t-shirt and spiked hair was never my thing but those guys and gals completely terrify me. Watching muscle junkies "Fist pumpin like champs" and girls who truly believe they invited the hair poof (and i'm guessing the bump-it as well) is a little too much for this southern transplant to handle.  

Granted I've never been there so I could totally be missing out, but the sheer guido-ness of the commercials alone for that show are enough to give me a panic attack. I cannot imagine watching an entire episode of the junk. That'd rate right up there on my fun scale with having to sit through another Widespread Panic concert in my lifetime. No thanks, MTV. That is one reality show you can keep.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Idiocy?

Now I know some people say stupid things and mean nothing by it, often talking just to hear themselves talk, but when what you're saying is completely offensive, it's often best to keep your mouth shut.

As I'm checking out at the grocery store last night, minding my own, I unfortunately became a fly on the wall for the conversation between the cashier and the bagger. They apparently were discussing coupons, freebies, etc... when the cashier (who is usually obnoxious anyway) went off an a tangent. In his usual loud fashion, he began voicing his opinion on how Americans always want something for free and he can't stand it. "Americans need to work for everything they deserve period. Nothing should be free" he stated. At this point I'm thinking nothing of their conversation, other than "I totally wish I had coupons right now to slightly annoy this guy."

A few seconds later the young cashier, who is always friendly and professional (can you tell I visit that BiLo at least 3 times a week) replies "not everyone can work though. What if someone is sick? Or what if it's an American soldier who is now paralyzed after serving his country? What about those incidents?" (Side note, here is when I almost threw my sweet potatoes at said cashier) "Well then we should put them to sleep" confidently and disgustingly replies the cashier. Are you kidding me? Am I on one of those Dateline specials where they see just how much customers will tolerate??? As if this guy hadn't already hit rock bottom in terms of customer service he opens his mouth one more time. Bagger asks "What if this woman's (bagger points to me) husband or family member is paralyzed or injured from battle?" Cashier replies "well then I just invoke my freedom of speech for saying that they should be put down." No apologizes, no remorse, no "I'm a huge idiot", nothing. Just smugness.

I wanted to say something and I should have said something, but I wanted to throw something even more, so I kept my mouth shut until I had calmed down. I drove home in disgust and then decided to call the Manager. I don't like confrontation, but in an effort to shut him up before he does say that to someone who does have a sick or paralyzed loved one, I didn't want to not speak up. He is correct in his right to freedom of speech, but when you are working among customers, that freedom pretty much flies out of the window. You cannot say whatever you feel and if you do, you better make sure you say it in front of a 5'5 female and not someone who will invoke their freedom to punch.