No More Cleaning, No More Snow

One of the great things about blogging is meeting people – electronically that is – from all around the world.

Imagine my surprise when I realized a fellow blogger who I’ve been following for over a year now is practically my neighbor. Yes Jackie of Ambling and Rambling is a fellow Bergen County resident.

Serivce Industry Neighbor

My neighbor and fellow blogger.

She has been married to Fang (an homage to the late, great Phyllis Diller) for almost 25 years. They have a teenage daughter, “Fangette”, for whom she has little patience, but great love. What parent of an adolescent can’t say the same?

Jackie has been in the service industry for thirty-two years. She has worked in all types of establishments.  These days she is at a steak house where she splits her time between serving and bartending.

Ambling and Rambling focuses on the trials and tribulations of being in a long-term relationship, raising a teenager, and working in the service industry. Her perspective is often funny and insightful.

Make sure to check out Ambling and Rambling.

I’m tired of snow!

I’m sick of all the extra work snow involves. I’m of the opinion that something as simple as retrieving the mail shouldn’t require crampons — not in the wilds of suburban New Jersey, anyway. Don’t even get me started on the shoveling. Or the ice-covered everything. Winter wonderland, my patootie!

While I’m not too old to enjoy a little cold weather fun, I’m not sure that sliding down my driveway on my hind end, owing to the fact that we don’t actually own crampons would fall into that category. I’m getting pretty good at it, though and have come to call it “driveway surfing.”

In fact, I’ve grown so proficient at it that I’ve been giving some real consideration to petitioning for its inclusion in the next Olympic Winter Games. I’ll have to come up with rules, a scoring system, and money for bribes of course. However, the work involved and the financial considerations will be small prices to pay for indulging my gold medal dreams.

Sure, rock salt would eliminate the need for hanging ten on the driveway, and rumors of its existence abound. For something that in any other year has always been an abundant and readily available substance, procuring such has proven as elusive here in 2014 as finding a Cabbage Patch doll was in 1983. When driveway surfing becomes, as I suspect it will, all the rage, I will undoubtedly be grateful that the shortage of this product made it all possible. Invention being the mother of necessity and all that.

Working has been a challenge, as well — and an unprofitable one at that. Members of the general public, not to mention the majority of my co-workers, do not seem to share my level of commitment for getting to the restaurant.

As if going to work and coming away without any financial remuneration isn’t, in and of itself, enough to make anyone a mite cranky, the expectation that while I’m there — because I’m there — I will do cleaning projects is enough to send me round the proverbial bend. I’d rather pick nits out of ferrets.

Ferret grooming aside, there is very little that I enjoy participating in less — even in my own home — than cleaning. I clean the hovel because I have to. Unlike my bosses at work, I don’t have any members of the slave labor force hanging about that I can press into service. My teenager, not surprisingly, has better things to do.

Luckily, I maintain low standards for cleanliness. Still, household tasks don’t do themselves! Over the years my enthusiasm for this nonsense has given way to a general sense of ennui. Truthfully, I was never all that enthusiastic about cleaning to begin with. To be honest, I have always greeted tasks like mopping the floors, doing the dishes, and sanitizing the bathroom with about as much fervor as I would a trip to the lobotomist. (And don’t think THAT hasn’t been suggested!)

I finally arrive at work wetter and colder than I generally like to be due to a few practice runs of driveway surfing and trudging through hip-deep snow. At that point, I can’t get excited over the prospect of scrubbing shelves, relocating supplies, and spit-polishing equipment. It’s childish, I know, but in my head I’m stamping my feet, balling up my fists, and shaking my head back and forth while tearfully screaming, “I don’t wanna clean!!!!”

It’s all I can do to keep this immature and unseemly behavior contained in fantasy world. I’m convinced that the sole reason I’m able to keep it from spilling forth into the real world is how embarrassed I would feel after such a meltdown. It’s really no way for a future gold medalist to conduct herself.

I’ve discovered a way out, though. For years I’ve observed others successfully employ this method. I’ve always subscribed to the theory that “A job worth doing is worth doing well.” So, I could never bring myself to participate in the kind of subterfuge that I am now wholeheartedly embracing.  Unlike the positive attitude I’ve adopted where driveway surfing is concerned, I’m doing the bare minimum in the area of workplace cleaning. And, I’m doing it well.

I’m happy to report that I’ve calculated my laziness score to be 8 out of a possible 10.  I think that’s pretty good for a novice!

The Need for Speed

Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go, go, go.

The last couple of Sundays I have been out of my house just after 7. I’d love to tell you a great story about an adventure. Maybe, I met friends and we went fishing and talked about life and stuff. Well, besides the fact that this sounds like a sappy beer commercial, and I don’t like fishing, it’s not true. I could tell you that I had to be out early because I am training for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. That would be a lie too: the only way I will get there is if I buy a ticket.



No, the reason for my early ventures into the day was to partake in that chore I have mentioned in the past: food shopping ( & As you can imagine, I had the roads nearly to myself on Sunday morning. Part of my trip (about 2 miles) to the supermarket includes a highway where the speed limit is 50. How could anyone expect me to go at that speed? I wanted to turn it up. You know what I mean. You have your favorite driving song on – “Running Down a Dream” by Tom Petty or “Radar Love” by Golden Earring or “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane (or nearly anything by Bruce if you are like me) – and an empty road. Now, I ask you again, could I really go just 50 mph? No way!

When I was 23, I accompanied my aunt down to Charlotte, North Carolina. My aunt, who was in her 50s at the time, was going to Charlotte to attending a three-day racecar camp. Anyway, to quote Tom Cruise or Maverick in Top Gun, you could say my aunt felt, “the need, the need for speed.” As part of the camp, she got to drive around the track in a racecar at unbelievably high speeds. After the two days of training, she did one lap and got scared. It was too much speed.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Back to my shopping trip: When I got to Shop Rite – in record time, mind you – it came to my mind just how much of a rush I am always in. I am perpetually in “the need, the need for speed” mode.  My odometer is always burning high whether I am zooming down an empty road, briskly walking up the block, or pushing my boys to “Hurry up! Let’s go!”  I wondered, “Why am I always rushing?”

Not everything is an open road. Sometimes, I need to stop and smell the proverbial roses. The food will get to the shelf, the boys will get to school, but the moments I zip by will surely be gone.