Thirteen, going on 13 and one day

What made clowns decide on the onesie for their look? Somewhere, the first clown had to say, Ima pull on this onesie. Maybe add a ruffle. Why? Was it because it was some sort of circus troupe and that’s all they had to wear?

Quarantine. Month six.

This is the 13th anniversary of my moving to North Carolina. We moved here when NC was having a record number of days of 100-degree heat, so that was relaxing. Here’s my first blog post from North Carolina the day after we got here. I said that very specifically because someone would delight in stampeding to say, “But that post was dated August 6, Jooooooon. You said you moved there August 5, JOOOOOON. Why didn’t you tell Marvin you had to stop schlepping boxes to blog that first day, JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON?”

We had to fly in the cats. They boarded in Los Angeles while we drove here, and once we arrived safely in NC my father had to go get them at the kennel and put them on a plane. Then Henry, Winston and the cheerful Francis all flew first class—or under the plane, whichever—to Charlotte, North Carolina. Francis totally got drunk and harassed flight attendants. Tried to cram a giant bag in the overhead. Moved his seat all the way back. He didn’t give a shit.

When I left Michigan in 1992, I spent four years in Seattle—but they were very formative years and it seems like longer. Ten years in Los Angeles, where I was either betrothed or married to Marvin. And now 13 here. Making the grand total of years I’ve been gone 139, according to my maths.

Oh, I was sad when I first got here, although “here” wasn’t Greensboro, it was a teensy little town that so far has had two COVID deaths—it’s among the counties I check. Also, I joined a book club in that town and ended up sleeping with one of the other members after I was appropriately separated. Also, Marvin joined a band in that tiny town and two of the four members hit on me, after I was appropriately separated, so I have to say I got a lot of leg out of TinyTown.

Now I like it here. In Greensboro. I drove around this weekend because it’s my new way of killing time, although I have a fear of having to pee. Where do all y’all pee now? This is actually relevant because in a few days I have to drive Edsel to Charlotte for his cardiologist appointment and I KNOW I can’t drive him all the way to Charlotte, wait for his appointment, then drive back and not pee. Do I need adult diapers like that astronaut who was definitely an anxious attacher?

Do tell.

Anyway, I drove around the country this weekend, for maybe two hours, which is an amount of time I can go without peeing. I am a rock.

In all, ’twas a fruitful drive. I even stopped at Arby’s, and let me tell you something shocking. In the last six months, I’ve gotten fast food very seldom, and each time I do it’s so awful! What gives? Are they cooking it different or am I losing my taste for it now that I’m Chef Do Tell?

Last night I made rice with ginger in it, and a stir fry of pork, scallions and green beans. I now own three pans. I KNOW! But I hate to think I’ve lost m’taste for the food that is fast. It’s who I am, like Tara. It’s where I get my strength.

I have to go. It’s six minutes till I should officially be “at work” and I need to gird my loins with coffee. You know what it is that stresses me out? It’s not that lots of work is ahead. It’s the unpredictability that stresses me. If they say, “Here’s a project. It will take 9 hours. Go do it and bring it back.” If they say that, I am glad to do it. But “Here’s a project. It will take 9 — oh, wait. Work on this thing instead and still get the — oh! Can you also do this? Why not? Hey, are you done with the 9-hour thing yet? Why not?”

It’s the lack of control of what’s coming at me that makes me tense, I’ve realized. A lot of work, I can do. Unpredictable work, that’s what makes a pearl in my oyster.

That sounded dirty.

Anyway, it’s time.

Loins. Girded.
June. JOOOOOOOOON.

61 thoughts on “Thirteen, going on 13 and one day

  1. 13 years! I’ve been reading you that long, I guess.
    I’ve lost my love of fast food as well. It used to be such a treat! Only Chick-fil-A is any good. I’ve taken my son to McDonald’s once and met up with my sister at a Zaxby’s and was horrified at how awful they both were. I turned into DW with the trots as his dear mother (may she RIP) called them! I swear fast food used to actually be good. Right? Either way, good for you for having such refined taste. Good luck on your road trip to Charlotte!

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      1. And – the last time I went to Mc D’s – my son took me – he had a meal with a burger and fries and coke – I had a burger and fries and a frappe. The bill was $26.00 Are you kidding me??? I couldn’t even finish it either – just the Frappe! haha I am really done with fast food….

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  2. I loved getting to go back and read a bit of Bye Bye Buy. I didn’t remember that you didn’t know about Sonic before then! There’s not much better than a good fresh limeade slushy from Sonic. The bathroom situation is a problem. We all have our local favorites that we know to be clean, but I do carry a roll of paper with me for just in case.

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  3. Sorry you’re getting so much stressy work stuff. Must be hard when it’s in your home as well so no physical walk away.

    I was in a rowing team at university and we were advised to prehydrate by drinking much more than normal in the 4-6 hours before the race start. Driving to Birmingham from London is about 3 hours. That car of 5 women who’d prehydrated? Stopped nearly every 30mins.

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    1. My suggestion was not to drink anything in the morning or as little as possible till you get back.
      I’ve gone 6 hours not peeing that way . But a toilet roll in the car is a must.
      I just want everything to go back to us being free dangit.
      Happy Anniversary baby , gotch you on my miiiind!

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  4. This is off topic, sorta, but I just finished a book that took place in the area where you live. It’s entitled, When I Married My Mother, by Jo Maeder.
    It’s a good read and kept my attention, something that gets harder every year.
    I was just wondering if you have read it, and if not, would you like to read it? It’s in paperback form.

    Happy 13th Anniversary.

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  5. I returned late last night from Hashtag Roadtrip 2020. My daughter and I drove to Colorado to visit with my sister and basically to get the hell out of Dodge (Long Beach) and it was wonderful although I came home with a big ol’ crack and divot in my windshield from an invisible rock. Now that I’m home (drove straight through, 15 hours, only stopping for gas/potty breaks) I’m finally able to catch up with what’s going on with the Pie.

    June, I would still love to have a tarot reading but I’m in no rush. Whenever you have time.

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  6. UGH! My eyes!!The unnecessary apostrophes! Why?! They’re making me use extra, possibly extraneous, punctuation.

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  7. The bathroom problem confounds me, also. I drove 4 hours to NJ last week and had to stop at the big Delaware rest stop. It was awesome! Almost no one was there – felt like the apocalypse, but hey, bathrooms weren’t crowded. I tell myself if I’m in there less than 5 minutes, I don’t have time to breathe in enough COVID droplets to kill me.

    But I, too, remember that NASA astronaut and her diaper and considered it (the diaper, not the driving kazillion miles to enact revenge on an unfaithful lover).

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  8. OK. Third try to reply. (it’s my network, not wordpress). Anywho. Kathy’s Pawn sign bugs. Flying animals in animal class would make me a nervous wreck. Late to the game today because work is dumb. Will copy this entry before trying to post!

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  9. I realized that I was being a bit crazy about the bathroom situation when I was out. Like trying to plan how to not have to pee. The epiphany for me was everyone who works at the store I’m at goes to the bathroom and they are all still working day after day and not dropping like flies because the bathroom was a covid dispenser. I still go in quick , touch everything with paper towels and leave fan on when I leave.

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  10. I have bathroom concerns, also. I have to deliver my child into the hands of the NC college system this week, which will require me to leave my county for the first time since probably January.
    If I had clown aspirations, the onesie would kill that career path for me.

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  11. Our Wawa convenience stores have clean bathrooms. They are in every town. Walmart has bathrooms (the one by the senior village has two). Target has clean, nice bathrooms. It was my friend’s go to when her water was turned off for her renovations. I still have no toilet at my house (maybe this weekend, fingers crossed). I am using the near by Rite Aid drugstore bathroom which is clean, private (one person set up) and rarely busy, when I go there. Ch-FIL-A has some of the best fast food and also the cleanest, nicest bathrooms. We are not allowed inside most restaurants still. We had pizza on the patio on the boardwalk a few weeks ago and were able to use the restrooms.

    I am liking fast food less too. A Wendy’s Baconator is good and Sonic has good food but it’s expensive. They are hard to find too, for that reason I imagine. Tony likes to cook and we are keeping cold cuts and bread on hand for super steemy nights.

    Thirteen years! Wow. Michigan, Seattle.California, North Carolina. Where did you go to college? Must go check. Which place do you like best?

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  12. You are on a roll today with the many references; great post! I have faced the “where to pee” conundrum and the best solution I’ve found is stopping at a Cracker Barrel. My daughter-in-law strolled into a McDonald’s with her kids to use the restroom and was chased out with a broomstick!

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  13. I guess I don’t go very far from home so the peeing thing is not an issue. 3 cars for 6 drivers and 8 family members total is nonsense. In between driving my kids to their jobs, etc I will say “Ok get in the car I will be right there. Just have to pee.” The groans I get from my can-you-drive-me offspring. No idea how legit taxi drivers do it.

    Uncertainty can undo me- even though my ‘work’ is in the home.

    You raise a good question about clowns.

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  14. The astronaut who was an anxious attacker cracked me up! Nobody ever gets it when I joke about her and her diaper!

    I totally get the unpredictability at work. My job can be like that. I like to come in and do my work and everyone leave me TF alone. If it happens to be slow they’re hunting me all the time for busy work. Or my personal favorite, coming to work on time and getting my shit done and then doing the work that other people are assigned don’t get done because they’re late

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  15. Can you take an interstate to the appointment? Around here the interstate highway rest stop bathrooms are clean and almost touch-free. I usually use hand sanitizer instead of washing my hands there so I can be in and out as quick as possible. Convenient with a dog in the car, too. Otherwise I use a big convenience store because that’s almost as good. “Before all this” I used to try to buy something if I used the restroom but not right now. In and out with my mask, open doors with my hip or one hand, and then hand sanitizer like 3 times.

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  16. The Lucky Strike reminds me of my father reenacting a commercial they used to have in early television where it was legal to advertise cigarettes (and thankfully never anything about constipation or erectile dysfunction etc.). The ad said that Lucky Strike was “so fresh, so firm, so fully packed” that one could peel the paper off the cigarette and it would still stand up. He tried it and it worked right in our little living room. That would have been in the very early ’50s.

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  17. I’m stressed on vacation because while the hurricane here was just wind and rain, at home things are a disaster. Power is out. Roads are closed. Etc. So I’m fretting. How long will the power be out? Will our generator last? My office even closed early. Thankfully our dog and cats are at “camp” (boarding) so they’re safe. But the weather is perfect here now so I’m trying to concentrate on that. And the lack of people! I really like that!

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    1. So sorry about your destruction. Hurricanes bring so much anxiety. We are usually right on the very edgety edge edge of them and around here we say we can’t beg rain out of a hurricane but the few times they have impacted us it was inconvenient to say the least. Hope your power is back up quickly. Please don’t let your generator worries stop you from living loving and laughing.

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  18. Reference your bladder, I do what Tee does, stop at a big gas station like RaceTrac or QuikTrip. You don’t even have to buy gas or Double Stuffed Golden Oreos (for example). You can just slip in the side door with your I Mean Business expression.

    Heather near Atlanta

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  19. Your job would stress me out to no end. I like to know what I have on my plate, and even then it’s sometimes too much. Like I know I have to make dinner every day but it’s always a surprise when people are hungry at 5pm and I have no plan.

    Traveling with a dog is difficult for bathroom stops. Can you leave your car running? I had to do a road trip during covid (18 hours) and I just used the bathroom when I got gas. I wore a mask and had a plethora of cleaning supplies in my car. Wear something with pockets, put your keys in your pocket and then clean your keys and hands with a wipe and then hand sanitizer when you get back in the car. Leave your purse in the car but have your phone in another pocket and don’t take it out while inside. It worked for me!

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  20. Thank you for the lovely post, June. As for peeing, perhaps you might google wooded areas on the way to your destination. Remember to pack a roll or two, and a privacy screen. Or, better yet, do what we did as kids and stop your car on the side of the road with both passenger doors open. You can squat and pee. Not having a preplanned pee place would definitely concern me.

    Congratulations on your anniversary! It is good to mark milestones.

    Laurie in NB, Canada

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    1. I have copped a squat as an adult more than I would care to admit! One of my favorite pastimes is getting an iced coffee and driving in the country, hence the popping and squatting.

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  21. We’ve never been big fast food people except for eating at Chick-fil-A. We have what used to be Dwarf Houses, but those have all been changed to Truett’s (that Mr. Cathy’s first name, the founder of CFA) and they have a nice menu of sandwiches, salads and vegetables. Well, all of that is not available now because of the virus, which we miss. We went through the drive-thru once and all they had was chicken, fries, mac and cheese (who eats that with CFA?) and one other side that I don’t recall. We got the chicken and fries, but the chicken just didn’t taste the same. I want to think it’s because we eat at home exclusively, now. I must report the taste of the ice cream has not changed. We drove to pick up some type of tool that my husband had ordered and it was about an hour away and I had a huge container of water, so we had to stop on the way home. The QT (Quick Trip gas station) was open and since I have become an expert on opening doors with my shirt tail, butt or elbow and always have a large container of hand sanitizer in the car, it was okay (I did this long before the virus). Plus the restrooms were clean, which in my estimation is a relative term, but they had plenty of soap and paper towels to dry my hands and to open the door without touching the handle, so that was good too. I too am Howard Hughes without the cash.

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  22. Happy anniversary. I see that a hurricane was trying to throw an early party in N.C. for you. I remember the first summer that I moved to Georgia as they broke a record with ten consecutive days over 100 degrees. Thank goodness that hasn’t been repeated.

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  23. Happy anniversary! The modern gift is fur — I think you’ve got that covered! (hahahahaha.. my puns crack myself up)

    I can relate to your work tribulations — I can do what I’ve planned, but the “squirrel!” moments that sidetrack me, are killer. Also I was emailed a link to a Slack thread last night wherein I was derided by several of the Board members I serve daily. So that was a (not) fun end to my day.

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      1. The president, who I like (we have a virtual HH every other week!) alerted me to it. I think she meant well. I let her know my feelings were hurt (bc I am 62 going on 12), and then fretted about it ALL NIGHT (wide awake 12:30-3:30am). I am proud of myself for not lashing out or getting all defensive. I’m choosing to steer clear of those who I now know were snarky on a business platform about staff, and waiting out their terms. I’ve been here 28-plus years; I hope to retire from here in 3-5 years, and those people will be long gone. And if those people ask me for something now? I’ll be petty in my response. Bc … 62 going on 12. (My skin is very thin. It’s not been a career-enhancing trait, but I can’t seem to get around it.)

        Oof. That was long-winded. Apparently I am not quite yet beyond it…

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        1. Pam ,not June’s…you can retire at 62 so you always have that out if need be.
          Hugs to you. Mean people are just gonna be mean, no matter who they are.
          You get the same amount over time as you do if you retire at 62 or 65.
          Do the numbers , same amount moneywise..and you get three extra years retirement too. Love.

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        2. It’s not thin-skinned to be hurt by unexpectedly discovering that folks you thought were decent… aren’t. Definitely, next time they ask you for something, quote part of what they said back to them, and let them know you’ll get around to it when your schedule opens up!

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          1. Oh, I love this. Petty and yet effective. I would never be this clever. Now I wish I could quote one of the things readers said about me that one time I saw them talking all mean.

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    1. Pam, I hope you are the type who can let that stuff run off you as muddy water droplets run off a lotus blossom. I’m not. I’d still be in trauma therapy 20 years later. I’m sorry you were sent something hurtful. When someone puts something out that is hurtful to another person it tells an awful lot about the writer’s character. Know you are loved.

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      1. Thank you, internet friend. I hold these things too close, also. (see long reply to June’s comment)

        Their character is now on display, to me — and to the president. Not sure it matters, but I KNOW.

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  24. I am the same way with work and all things really, I like to plan and a surprise can wreck me. I am better than I used to be but it still irks when I think I have to do one work thing and end up doing something different. I cook most meals and you will find Fast Food to be too salty. I will get a craving for it, then I have it and am always disappointed. Now you will crave gnocchi in cream sauce and stuff like that. We fancy.

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  25. When I first became a Pie reader, I went back to the very first post and read up to the (then) current date. Loved your first post from NC. Does this mean I should go back and read from day one of Bye-Bye Buy? I mean, after all, it is a pandemic and I dont have much else to do after work. Lovely post June.

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