Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Eric Carmen Hates Me

 I am a dyed-in-the-wool optimist. It makes me happy if I can turn lemons into lemonade. Life just seems to go more smoothly when I hone in on the funny, quirky things rather than the things that are out of my control. My sister, Ginger, and I are strangely competitive when it comes to this. We can find the silver lining in almost any situation. At last count, she was the reigning champion. She won this title by pointing out one of the benefits of having diabetes was that it kept her in the same size jeans as her 16 year old daughter.  That's some serious glass-half-full kind of thinking, ladies. It's not a Polly Anna kinda thing or a "bury your head in the sand" kinda thing. It's more of a "I choose to be happy" kinda thing. 

But these past few weeks, since my oldest kiddos have gone away to school, have left me feeling a bit discombobulated.  That silver lining has been a bit hard to find in my day to day. Maybe it's because they're now a plane ride away instead of a car ride away. Maybe it's because I can't make a Starbucks run with my girlfriends for moral support. Or maybe it's just because I'm getting more sentimental with age. I'm not quite sure.

There is one thing I am sure of, though. Even after doing this 4 years in a row, it's still difficult. I just miss them. And here's where it gets tricky. There's really no way to avoid it, you just have to work your way through it. The odd thing is, it hits you when you least expect it.  It wasn't the goodbye at the airport or the first phone call from their dorm room that got me. It was the dairy section of ShopRite.

Although ShopRite is a jaunt from my house, it has become my go-to store. If truth be told, though, it's mainly because they carry Mrs. Renfro's jalapenos. I would gladly drive to Vermont to get those babies. It had been a while since I'd gone grocery shopping, so I went to stock up the pantry. Almost done, I was loading my cart up with milk when the sweet little lady standing next to me said, "My goodness! Look at that. You must have a large family." I looked down in my cart and realized I had put 5 gallons of milk in it without even thinking. And that's when it hit me. With only two kids in the house, we didn't need five gallons of milk anymore. My brain kind of stalled, my throat got tight, and then this happened.

This guy. Eric Carmen decided it was his turn to sing his song on the Musak running overhead. Of all the times, of all his song choices, this was the moment he decided to sing his classic. You know which one it is:

When I dial the telephone
Nobody's home
All by myself
Don't wanna be
All by myself

 I tried my best to hold it in, I really did.  I am not what you would call a "pretty crier". But let's just say it might have gotten ugly. As in, clear the whole dairy section kinda ugly. I hope Eric is happy. Now I'm going to have to drive to Vermont to go grocery shopping.


  1. You can come to Vermont grocery shopping anytime. I'll even take you to a couple of great country stores for some Vermont cheese and syrup.

    1. I'll bring the jalapenos and we'll make some queso with your cheese :-)