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Monthly Archives: July 2013

…Borrow Their Books

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Counterintuitive advice, I know. If your friends can’t bask in the magnificence of ‘truths universally acknowledged’ in the ‘best and worst of times’ with you, who can, for cryin’ out loud?!?!! The thing is, though, books are personal. If Pinterest is to be believed (and isn’t everything posted on the webbernets intrinsically trustworthy?!), books are so personally significant that they really are just like good friends — in fact, they’re better:

found at Pinterest and linked to

found at Pinterest and linked to

But. You wouldn’t lend out a friend, would you?! What kind of friend would actually try to borrow another person?!?! Only a fiend, masquerading as a friend. (What a difference a letter makes, right?) Still, if books are really just like ‘best friends,’ and thus, we could theoretically borrow them, I expect the request would go something like this:

Quasi-friend asks: “Have you made any good friends lately? I really need a good friend right now! I’ve used up all the friends I have, and I’ve got nothing to to do this weekend. I thought I’d just curl up with a good friend — can you lend me one of your favorites? I promise I’ll get it right back to you!”


Quasi-friend says: “Good news! We’re heading to the beach for a few days! Do you have a good beach friend I could borrow?”

See? Friends. Books. Synonymous, really. REALLY?!?!

No, not really, though you can find PLENTY of tritisms (no, it’s not a word, and I don’t even care. I rather like it. But for those of you who might be sticklers about such things, I simply mean syrupy clichés of the sort you might see scrolled inside a Hallmark™ card) about books and friendship here. And, lest you be thinking I don’t like books very much, or worse, that I have no friends, WRONG. On both counts. Well, wrong on count #2 as far as I know, and I’ve been having an all out love affair with books for years. But see, books are not the same as flesh and blood people. And I hope I’m not shocking anyone with this revelation: people are not like books, no matter what this says:

found on Pinterest and attributed to

found on Pinterest and attributed to

I suspect we need both, don’t you? We need friends — this is well-established. I am convinced that we also need books — because learning, my friends, is good. Less good, borrowing a book from a friend. Here’s how I know…

I myself have borrowed a book or twenty in my time, and frankly, I have been disinclined to give them back. Once I read a book, it’s a part of me, you know? It sinks into my bones, stirs up my heart, sharpens my mind. How can I give that back, I ask you? I CAN’T! So, I end up living with the guilt of possessing something that isn’t quite mine (though I invoke the ‘possession is 9/10s of the law’ thing-y so that I can still sleep at night), pretending to have forgotten all about those volumes that I ‘borrowed’ with the intention of a quick return. HA! The minute an author hooks me, there’s little chance that the book will ever grace its owners bookshelves again. And that is why friends don’t let friends borrow their favorite books. Because we’re people who need people, and we should never let the borrowing and lending of books come between us. We should adopt this mindset:

found on Pinterest -- where else?

found on Pinterest — where else?

So remember: Keep your friends by keeping your books. Friends don’t let friends borrow their books; instead, they BUY a copy and give it as a gift!

I mean, right?



…Claim Stolen Ideas As Their Own

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I realize I’m stepping on some mighty big toes here — but intellectual property is a mighty big deal. You’ll be happy to know (I myself  heaved a lengthy sigh of relief) that the concept is not a new one. These days, so many catch phrases and buzz words litter our daily conversation that I am always feeling left behind, out of the loop. I mean, ‘snap chat’?!?!?! SEO?!?!?! (I have to look that one up every durn time I hear it!) When I was a girl, growing up in the dark ages of the second half of the twentieth century, Search Engine Optimization didn’t exist. But intellectual property did. By golly, QEI made provision for patents. After all, she did reign over the Early Modern period. And by the late nineteenth century, the actual term ‘intellectual property’ was coined. Thus concludes your history lesson (you’re welcome). Now let’s get on to the PSA portion of the program.

“Here’s the thing” (you’ll note I’ve quoted someone here — more on that in a moment).While I was lamenting the wallpaper situation, I took pictures (you’ve perhaps seen one hereposted a status update on Facebook, and suddenly, the inspiration for this blog struck me. ( maybe like a lightning bolt, only with less electrocution) And, because friends on Facebook must be notorious for their thievery (or I need to get a better batch of friends), I felt the urgent need to caution said friends against taking my self-proclaimed ‘stellar idea.’

Friends don’t let friends claim stolen ideas as their own! Sure we share child-rearing tips, we share vacations, we share baby-sitters, trucks, electric roasters, valuable coupons, recipes (well, not ALL of them, actually. No one is getting THE birthday cake recipe, my friends), clothes — but we have to draw the line somewhere!! I draw the line at clothes, by the way. I always thought the practice a bit weird. When girl friends in high school and college pilfered whatever they liked from closets not their own, I was at best uncomfortable, and mostly outraged. And not the faux kind, either. I always figured another girl would look WAY better in my dress than I did, and then she’d get all sorts of compliments on it, and I’d never be able to wear it again, because everyone would remember how great SHE looked in it, and they’d think I was just trying to BE her, and borrowing HER stuff instead of wearing my own! Whew… It feels good to finally get that off my chest…

So, when a great new recipe shows up on Pinterest — share away! And when a new dremel tool, mitre saw, or wheelbarrow shows up in your garage, tell you friends so they don’t buy a one too! But when a new little black dress, a great idea for a blog, or a revolutionary new downloadable app comes along, friends don’t let friends take those ideas (or the dress!) as their own. My dear friend Carol always says, “here’s the thing,” and follows up with a pithy bit worth listening to. That’s her phrase, and shame on me if I let myself take the credit for it. So, “here’s the thing” (my friend, Carol): Friends, don’t take your friends’ ideas and claim them as yours. Haven’t we learned our lessons from Zuckerburg, for cryin’ out loud??!?!

Wait a minute…

… Have Anything to Do with Wallpaper

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Full Disclosure: Our house needs some updating (I watch a bit too much HGTV, I suppose).

Now that the nest is empty (and has been, really, for awhile now) we see the sorry state of the carpet, lament the coming demise of the kitchen appliances, and probably the water heater, AC, and who knows what else, and generally note that some of the decor has passed its prime. WAY, Way, waaaaay passed. Yes, my friends, I am embarrassed to admit it, but admit it I must: My dining room walls are covered in striped wallpaper. Okay, only half-covered. I actually ran a border around the walls’ mid-point as a sort of faux chair rail, with the paper running ’round bottom half of each wall. As an added bonus, the border ALSO graces the space where walls and ceiling meet. In the late ’90s, this was perhaps fashionable. It’s hideous now. No one waved me off wallpaper in the decorating phase of buying a new house and decorating it back in ’97. NO ONE WAVED ME OFF!!!!

I hereby have a bone to pick with my friends of the time, who, mostly are my friends today. Why wasn’t I reminded of the pitfalls and miseries of wallpapering in general, and its removal in particular!??!

I suffer the humiliations anew. I remember, as I labor to remove it, what a bitch it was to hang in the first place. My long-suffering husband, who bore most of the brunt of the paper-hanging, agreed to my decorating scheme (what choice did he have, really?), and did his level best to make the room lovely. I say ‘level’-best, having re-discovered the chalk lines he snapped to assure some precision work. (He’s an engineer, which both helps and hinders home improvements. Helps, because he does great work. Hinders, because for cryin’ out loud, I can’t even hang a picture around here without stud finders, measuring tapes and small calculations to assure geometric precision on a given wall).

Frustration ruled the wall-paper hanging, of course. I know this, because in a recent request for marital advice  at a wedding shower (dear friends have a son about to be married), Jeff (engineer extraordinaire and husband of nearly 30 years) offered this sage bit: “If you can’t wallpaper together, don’t.” The wisdom of the ages, right there for all of you. Based on personal experience and a wealth of friends who testify similarly, husbands and wives are wholly incapable of wallpapering together. The process can be survived — we managed to do that — but why in the heck would anyone risk it!?!?!

Which brings me to my point. Friends don’t let friends wallpaper. Because we’ve all been there, and we know the drill, the cost, the fallout, the pain, the arguing and inevitable anger that accompanies it. Worse still, we all know that the cursed stuff has to come down eventually. Oh, sure, some of it sometimes falls on its own, due to faulty application (in itself grounds for a small war). More likely, though, it stays around until you just can’t bear the sight of it one more minute. Our own wallpaper was hung with the understanding that it must withstand nuclear holocaust, apparently, because for the past couple of days I’ve been working on its removal, with limited success I might add, which entitles me to say this: FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS WALLPAPER!!!!!!!!!

My walls are chipped. My fingernails are split. My patience is near its end. I’m scoring the paper (two and three times, for the love!) and slathering on the wallpaper removal solution. I’m trying to keep a positive attitude here, and, get this: I’M DOING IT ALL BY MYSELF! (I am nothing if not willing to play the martyr) I haven’t asked for a bit of help. I haven’t complained out loud where anyone can hear but the dog, who promises to keep my secrets. I’m not even half-way ’round the room. Do I lack skill?!?! I submit, no. What I lack, apparently, is friends who keep me from wallpapering.

And now, I have to finish what I’ve started, obviously. I can’t have a room that looks like this:Walls of Shame

So, for those of you out there with friends — do them a favor. NEVER, EVER let them wallpaper. Save a friend. Save a tree. Go out and buy the paint, offer to run the roller, lock them up if you have to — just remember this one thing. Friends don’t let friends wallpaper. And if they do, they at least come over and help take it down!

hint, hint, hint…