February 17, 2021

more 'not one to complain, BUT . . . ' thoughts

(Drafted in October - why didn't I post it? No clue. I must've had more pressing things pop up. I've tried to update the lingo so the October references make sense. The living room stuff is from yesterday).


Kari recently posted lovely photos of her house. I looked around. Um, this is what we've got. A stationary bike in our formal living room. Not complaining at all - it's new-to-us and on wheels. We move it to the family room as needed. Such a lovely space:  piano, black and white photo collages of each baby decorate the walls.

Oh, as I pan the room . . . Mini's e-learning space also in this room.

Oh, and boxes and bins on the left from when we cleaned Mini's room - still undecided what we're doing with these. Welcome to our home.

Oh, and as I was leaving the room - on the edge of the piano near sweet photos IS AN EMPTY JUICEBOX. WHY.ON.EARTH? Just so you know I'm not making it up. 


I don’t even know if I have enough space to describe to you with enough foul language how much I detest group texts, or similar group messages. Dear Lord, I clearly have less of a command of the internet than most of the population, but


Is it me? Am I some kind of anarchist? A grumpy old woman? Wait, don’t answer that.

Example:  Curly’s dancing teacher moved classes back to zoom for a few weeks back in late October. No dancer had tested positive. A few dancers have family members who were exposed. I think it is a bit of a stretch, but I embrace the zoom component whole-heartily and am THRILLED not to haul ass up there for a few weeks. Also the teacher’s daughter who lives with her happened to be in labor when the message was sent moving class to zoom so I suspect the teacher might be happy to just teach from the comfort of her home for the next few weeks. 

Again, I’m fine with it. Curly’s disappointed because she was still waiting to see if the stars would align, so that the Midwest championships would take place over Thanksgiving in Indianapolis. It wasn't great timing to not be dancing in the studio, but that’s the reality.

Mary, the dancing teacher, sent out the ‘switching to zoom’ message on Facebook messenger. Every parent felt the need to respond. Why? WHY?

“Thanks for keeping us safe!”

“We appreciate you, Mary!”

“Thanks for the update!”

With every message my phone pinged and my blood boiled. People SHUT UP. Can’t we all just assume that everyone appreciates the teacher and that we all hope we stay safe? Am I the only one that does stuff in my waking hours and doesn’t want to get constant USELESS messages?

I had to laugh, because in addition to this string of messages Mary sent a text message. Covering all bases, I suppose. A class this Sunday was initially cancelled, but then Mary shared in the text that it would be done via zoom.

Every school has one ANNOYING mom. Our’s is Lulu. Lulu texted Mary the teacher back to correct her.


Mary: No, it’s going to be done on zoom.

That was the only message I enjoyed in the 25 messages. Sit down, Lulu - you bossy, psycho lady. I told Mini later that I am THIS close to sending a message like this:



The nice thing about remote learners is that I could go for a walk when the weather was cooperating and the babies/tots were napping. I'm trying not to become overly attached to this practice because eventually I'll not have built in helpers.

I walked in October when it was 75 and sunny out. So wonderful for October in Chicago to get this little nugget. I walked past a house in a different neighborhood  as I was at my farthest point. A few women, who I know, happened to be out getting mail, taking out a dog, etc. They called out to one another, crossed the street, and stood talking to one another while socially distant. It was SO pleasant, and unfortunately for our little corner of the world - so unheard of. 

Coach called me while I was walking to say he was taking the rest of the day off (a few hours early), since he had to work late that Friday anyway. He asked where I was, and I told him I was halfway through my walk. Just after I passed the chatting neighbors, I heard someone call my name. I turned around and there was Coach.

Apparently he'd called to see where I was on my 4.5 mile walk. Then he had Mini drop him off - seeing as we still had 3 other offspring home with the nappers.

I'd JUST decided to shake my fear that he was coming home early because he had some upsetting or disturbing or crushing news about Lad (who at the time I wrote this was no longer communicating with us. We were moving though our days concerned about him). Deciding that I would've heard emotion in his voice if something had happened, I literally brushed it off and kept on walking.

He and I finished the rest of my walk together, which was nice.

He said the 3 neighbor women looked confused when he came hustling along to meet me. Since they know us, they thought he just couldn’t keep up with me. As if I'd walk so fast to leave him in my dust intentionally. He and I laughed and I told him how quaint it looked to have people stand outside on a beautiful day and chat. He laughed, totally agreeing that this would NEVER happen in our weird-ass neighborhood.


Suz said...

You've been plagued with bad neighbors. I'm not sure what you did in your last life to deserve it, but it must've been bad. :(

Your home looks like you have a big, busy family. It goes with the territory. Random juice boxes? Maybe you should install cameras to see who the culprit is.

Group chats: I love the ones I have with my family and a few different friends. They keep me entertained. The whole dance one would make me bonkers though. You need to have your notifications turned OFF on your phone for messenger. I turned off all notifications for FB and I only see what's going on when I log in on my phone or laptop. It will save your sanity. And my take on that part is Lulu needs to get a life. LOL!!!

Kari said...

Group chats on Messenger were the devil. I don't miss Facebook AT ALL.
I have group texts with family members and those are fun but we are usually sending funny memes or messages, so those are different.

I am so lucky to have pretty great neighbors. I am with Suz on your neighbor situation LMAO. Maybe you need to move nearer to those ladies chatting in the street.

4.5 mile walk? You are my hero.

Ernie said...

Suz - Yes, the neighbor thing must be my fault. Something I did in a former life, because I swear in this life I've been nothing but delightful and sweet.

I've thought of cameras and of locking shit up. At this point, I've kind of given up though. And it shows. My e-learning life is that of a barmaid. "Let me get that for you."

I JUST tried turning off my notifications on FB a few days ago, but I felt like my text message alerts were tuned off. I know that shouldn't be - I might have to test it out again because those messages drive me bat shit crazy.

Now that I've introduced you all to Lulu, I might have to share a few of my favorite stories about her. She could be the next Mary Ann. Possibly worse, except FORTUNATELY she doesn't live across the street from me. Get excited.

Ernie said...

Kari - My issue with the family group chats is that they all have iphones and I don't. Every time someone says something in a group chat they all have to share their emotions. For me, their 'emotions' show up as a full blown text message. As in: Aunt Leprechaun liked "Let's all . . blah blah blah" and I'm like HUH? Why do you need to like a message and resend it? My kids explained to me that it looks differently to people with apple phones. Well, I find it ULTRA annoying.

So so so funny - but the house directly across from where the ladies were chatting is a house that Coach and I looked at and considered buying when I was expecting Curly. Didn't happen. (and back then I knew who the neighbors were and I knew they were delightful). It was out of our league. Plus it needed cosmetic stuff that would've put us over the edge. That house is on my route and I look at it often, wistfully. Very big house. Huge front porch. Sobbing softly. Instead we bought this house when Curly was 6 months old.

I used to run, not walk. I haven't run in years, but I'm thinking maybe when the snow ever melts I will go back to running.

Charlie said...

I’m not sure how you’d cope in my street Ernie. Ever since the start of the pandemic we have a street WhatsApp group for the 100 or so homes here. Sometimes it’s very sweet and neighbours give away cake after a baking spree or advertise free furniture they no longer need. I’ve been to the pharmacy to get prescriptions for neighbours who can’t get there and have advised on best local internet providers etc. BUT sometimes some neighbours take it too far and ask for free stuff all the time. Even on Christmas Day one neighbour wrote at lunchtime that they fancied a different type of veg to the one they had and could anyone bring him some over! Before he goes to the shops he mostly asks if anyone has free xxxx, or messages that they’ve just had a baby and want to know if anyone wants to join their (vegan) meal train. A good neighbour friend of mine and I often laugh about some of the silly stuff on the chat, but the constant pinging would drive you mad I’m sure!! I’m really scared I’ll laugh about the strange neighbours to my friend directly, but type it in the group chat by mistake!

I do think we need to hear more about Lulu, she sounds like a delight.....

Ernie said...

Charlie - You know me SO well. Yes, that group msg thing would drive me bananas. What's with the 'who wants to sign up to send us a vegan meal?' People. And . . . 'please bring me a different vegetable, Merry Christmas.' My chin fell to the floor reading this. I'd have to exit the group. Although . . . I just had a baking spree who wants some, is very sweet. Quite literally.

Lulu stories have been added to my que of 'posts to write'. If only I had time to write daily. Not that I'd necessarily have readers who would care for that. Stuff is happening over here. I'm constantly adding to my 'posts to write' file. The Lulu saga is laughable. I'm surprised I haven't strangled her yet.

Nicole MacPherson said...

Oooh reply all is the worst! There are a few group texts that I'm a part of and on iPhones you can "mute" them so you don't get notifications. Then later you can see the texts themselves, but you don't get notified. It's been life-changing.

Ernie said...

Nicole - It is great that apple has ways to avoid the nonsense when people don't understand how to respond without involving EVERYONE on the chat. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I have to thank you for explaining the iPhone “like/love” text response thingy. Some of my fam have iPhones but most of us are Android. Seeing someone “love” and then repeat your entire text is unsettling with no explanation. Then you explained and now I find it *hysterical* and kinda cute. Thank goodness I’m easily amused! :-)

Mostly I love my few Group Texts but like other commentators, they’re just silly content with the occasional iPhone amusing “like/love” thingy. Would be awful to be looped into an aggravating Group Text. I feel for ya. Hope you find some way to mute. I can (and have lol) muted one person on my Android phone. Such bliss to silence that person! And I’m not alone (others mute her too) so I don’t even feel guilty!

The juice box stands alone... I think you are unfairly out numbered. How can you possibly nab the guilty party? Cameras needed!


Ernie said...

Maddie - I never would've understood the emotions expressed by apple users if it weren't for my teenagers.

I do fear muting FB messenger because the dancing teacher uses it to cancel classes and if it snows she tends to cancel. Um, right now? Tons of snow.

I have recently told them that I will charge each of them $5 for EVERY piece of garbage found in the kids' bathroom. So regardless if they left an empty toothpaste container on the counter, THROW IT AWAY OF I WILL CHARGE YOU ALL A FEE FOR IT. It's silly, because I am outnumbered and they don't care.

Bibliomama said...

I have been in group texts where someone did actually say "could someone remove me from the rest of this", and if your Android phone deals with iphone stuff badly you could use that as an excuse? Your house is actually pretty neat considering all the people that live there. We thought there was no way to fit a treadmill into our laundry room, but I really wanted one so I made it work - I just told Matt to imagine that someone had had a heart attack or something and it was necessary, not just desirable. Now he's using it every day while working from home, so it was a good call.

Ernie said...

Ali - I would ask to be removed from the group text but it is the way the dancing teacher communicates with parents. She cancels class when it snows, alerts us when we have to get a hotel room by a certain deadline, etc. The other one is my family. Asking to be removed might be frowned upon.

There are parts of my house that are way messier that my living room, I am just not brave enough to share those. ;) That bike is sitting where the Christmas tree goes, so we juggled it from the dining room to the study over the holidays. It was a gift and I'm thrilled to have it, so I don't care where we stick it. Very grateful for the wheels, because we move it around constantly. I think if I had a treadmill in my laundry room it would be buried in a day, or used to hang things to dry. I think that's called repurposing.

Ally Bean said...

Oh, you know I'm with you on this. In fact were we to be involved in a group text I would not include you should I have something private to say to Mary, knowing as I do how to be quiet or use a backchannel to inform her of my pithy thought. Texts between two people are great; texts among the legions of people on this earth are not.

Ernie said...

Ally - Oh, I can go on and on about the many situations and various group texts where I've thought . . . WHY? WHY ARE YOU TELLING ALL OF US THIS? Maybe people who read my blog wonder the same. ;)

My mother has never sent an email or a text (doesn't have a cell phone), so if she was suddenly so inclined as to respond to all in a group message then we could all shrug and nudge each other and say 'AH, SHE'S A ROOKIE' - but what on earth is the excuse for the rest of the population who should know better?