April 30 (Z)…A Zaftig Cogitating

Today, the final day, is indeed MY day in this Blogging from A to Z challenge.  There was really no question on what I would write about today.  It is not only my favorite Z word, but my all time fave.  It is a lovely, whimsical, sonorously perfect description of…myself.

ZAFTIG:  Adjective, Slang.  1937, from Yiddish zaftik, lit. “juicy,” from zaft “juice,” from M.H.G. saft “juice.”

  • (of a woman) having a pleasantly plump figure.
  • full-bodied; well-proportioned.
  • literal:  juicy, succulent.
  • buxom, chubby, embonpoint, plump.
  • Also, zoftig.
  • having an (over)abundance of flesh.
  • Of a woman, having a plump and sexually attractive figure; voluptuous, well-proportioned.
  • Rubenesque.
  • (of a female body) healthily plump and vigorous.
  • with a full-figured body.
  • [women] having a pleasantly plump figure; full-bodied; well proportioned.
  • having a full, shapely figure; said of a woman.
  • having a full, rounded figure; pleasingly plump.

No matter how you state it, what is obvious is that zaftig refers to a plump woman.  Fluffy.  With some extra padding.

OK…fat.  But not as ugly as that word.  And not as rude when uttered out loud…to the aforementioned zaftig woman.

I’ve taken a bit of a liberty with the word, in that I chose to use it as a noun.  In fact, I think it functions well – if not actually better – in that capacity.   (Of a woman) is implied, if not stated outright, in every definition, and as such, it is easy to infer that zaftig (noun) would be defined as a woman with a full, shapely figure; a full-bodied woman;  a pleasantly plump woman; a voluptuous woman; a Rubenesque woman.  In a word…a ZAFTIG.

I’ve decided to own my deliberate misusage.  Maybe it will catch on, as have other changes…er…adjustments to this crazy, fluctuating language we call English.  I hope so.

In the meantime…

…I am, and will continue to be, a zaftig cogitating.

April 28 (Y)…YAWN.

Yes, I’m exhausted today, no doubt about it.  The day started at about 5:40am with a bouncing 6 1/2 year old young man raring to go, and considering that the sun was up before he was, it’s really a surprise he slept as long as he did.

YAWN.

We spent the morning in Surprise attending a very informative seminar on a huge project we are about to undertake…again…this time (hopefully) being able to see it through to fruition, without interruption, and with the desired results.  More on this later…

YAWN.

This afternoon we gathered with friends to celebrate two years on this fun, crazy, beautiful best-adventure-we’ve-ever-had in the Valley of the Sun.  It’s a milestone for my husband’s office, as he and six other engineers headed to the desert to start a new office and support a new client.  We had no idea how things would work out…but it has been one of the best decisions we have made for our family.

YAWN.

So I am exhausted.  Worn flat out.

It has been a long day.  Good, but long.

YAWN.

Y’all hold the fort down, ‘kay?

April 27 (X)…eXposing an eX

I suppose the real truth is that this eXposes me, and my lack of discernment and…well…X-ray vision, because that’s what it would have taken (for me) to see past the fauX eXterior to the deceitful piece of eXcrement that he turned out to be.

I was told “I told you so” a thousand times (after the fact) by my parents, and especially by my mother.  I could have lived without that, as I was already beating myself up enough on my own.  Nevertheless, it was (apparently) necessary, so thanks for that.  I guess.  Which is not to say that I’m not immensely grateful for the lessons learned, but I’ll come back to those.

In retrospect, it is eXtremely easy to see the glaring red flags that began popping up fairly early on, yet I of the newly minted “relationship,” eXploring all kinds of new eXperiences with him, relishing the seeming coincidence of having gone on one date with him in high school and then reconnecting ten years later, was (as I see now) willfully blind.  I suppose…no, I know, I should have started to question his veracity when the first (and thankfully only) Christmas we spent together was fraught with frustration (mine), lies (his), and anger (both of us).

The Christmas party we were supposed to attend…together…that he (at the last minute) reneged on, claiming instead that he had to work an overnight shift (as a paramedic, so it was believable).  Meanwhile, he rented a room in the hotel where the party was held, filled the bathtub with booze, and went on to the party.  Suspicious that he was lying, I called, discovered this and showed up where he was.  We fought.  He said “I was just about to call you…I got called off early tonight.”  And I fell for it.

Then there was the decision to move out of his parents home (a temporary arrangement that had eXtended much longer than it should have), but rather than moving to a place in town, where his primary job was, he decided to move 35 miles away.  Granted, it was the beach, but what the hell?  Again, I thought it understandable because he was working a second job another city, and that effectively put him halfway between…a reasonable decision until I saw it in retrospect.  In the immediate aftermath of the move (with which I helped, but his family did not), his car was stolen.  Here is where I lost my mind!

A request from him to provide a rental reference.  No, his currently landlord could not do it, because he had only be living there two months.  No, he could not tell the truth because it would seem like he did not have a stable residence.  No, he couldn’t have any bills in his name because I owned the house and all the bills were in my name.  Yes, according to the “reference” I stupidly agreed to provide, he paid me a fixed amount for rent & utilities, he did not have a cell phone (lie), and he had been “living” with me for more than six months.  RED FLAG!

We were not living together, nor had we ever, nor were there any plans to do so.  And yet, I was willfully turning a blind eye to the fact that I had just agreed to do something egregiously unethical, and probably illegal, all for the sake of this nearly eXtinct relationship.  Nevertheless, I persevered with it through two more blinding red flags!

  1. He couldn’t pay his rent OR his car payment on time (and yes, he made more than enough money to do so).  So I lent him enough money to cover both…with no written agreement for repayment.  He repayed two thirds, “forgot” about the rest, and when I mentioned it, claimed he had already paid me.  Back to this in a moment…
  2. I stumbled upon (much to my dismay at the time) his internet activity one morning when I was checking email on his computer.  Local dating opportunities, Russian bride websites, etc.  This led me to sneak a peak at his email, where I discovered he was also keeping in touch with a former girlfriend.

Add all of this to the fact that he had basically gone “off the grid” as much as he could, and it stacks up to a lot of OBVIOUSNESS that I could not did not want to see.

The day I found out about his pursuit of alternative dating arrangements was a day we were going to the beach with another friend.  Our relationship would have ended at that very moment had she not been with us.  My purse was also stolen that day, which required that I head home to change locks and make sure nothing was amiss.  And I thank God for that, because the juxtaposition of those circumstances lead me to end the relationship the next day, with finality, and with no regrets.

There was no fighting.  There were no recriminations.  I knew the truth, and that was all I needed.

I am so thankful now for the lessons of this relationship, because though they brought me to my darling husband with baggage, they brought me to him, and it was baggage he both understood and related to.  During our courtship, one thing I repeated to him several times was that I couldn’t survive in another relationship where I felt myself getting lost.  He got that…completely…and the happy ending to the story is that it hasn’t ended.  Eight years married and still going strong.

So thank you, A.O., for showing yourself to be an unethical man of deceit and lies.  For being a man who took advantage, and a man of amoral character.  Thank you for making it easy for me to eXtract myself from that non-relationship.  I think $300 (the money you still owe me) is a miniscule price to pay to be rid of you.

And thank you, God, for bringing me through that, because without your strength and providential protection, I would have been nearly destroyed by this, and I would not have known the contentment of a happy marriage with a good man.  That is my most eXtraordinary (and wholly undeserved) blessing.

April 26 (W)…Writer’s Block

I think it’s safe to say that I’m feeling a bit blocked today.  If it leads to the following, we’ll know it’s bad. :-D

I’m hoping that the letter X will bring with it some eXciting and blog-worthy ideas.

See y’all tomorrow.

April 24 (U)…Utter Nonsense

Brought to you by The Lazy Blogger’s Post Generator:

Abject apologies.  I just opened mine eyes, and lo!  I have not updated this since long before Shakespeare wast a boy.  You would not believe how terribly tardy the Victorian internet can be.  I prostrate myself in sorrow and beg thy forgiveness.

The Savage Chickens

I am absolutely consumed with setting fire to people wearing Crocs, learning to fart the theme to Neighbours, and just generally being a nuisance to my husband.  My day is filled with fluorescent light from the first cocka-doodle-doo of the rooster until I am begging my kid to go to sleep or so help me God that kid will be decorating my wall…”Duct Tape Still Life?”  I am not being a whinging Pom or anything.  I just need a nap.

I swear on the bones of my ancestors I will write something that makes sense soon. Seriously! I mean it!

Original illustration by Paul Killebrew

For what it’s worth, here’s an actual (serious) article on the subject of nonsense, entitled Carl Sandburg Stop’s Making Sense.  I love the term linguistic anarchy to describe forays into the nonsensical.  It makes my heart sing!  Follow the link to read…

April 23 (T)…Thrifting (God’s Gift to My Continued Giddiness)

I have been a thrift store aficionado for many more years than I’d like to admit (and I say that only because I’m older than I’d like to admit, but that’s another subject…)  Thrift stores are, I’m convinced, God’s gifts to discount seekers such as myself, and I am in good company.  My shopping soulmate – the girlfriend who introduced me to some of the best thrift stores EVER – has an uncanny knack for ferreting out the most unbelievable deals.  She has the patience (and the eye) for searching out the quality items and deducing quickly whether or not they are worth the price that is marked.  We have had many…many…manythrifting excursions that have concluded with bags nearly bursting with “new to us” treasures.

And treasures they are!

I can not count the number of times I have found something brand new, tags still attached, selling at the thrift store for a fraction of the retail price.  Nice, quality merchandise…in my size or style…that is destined for my closet.  It makes me a little giddy to find a deal like that, even a little tingly all over.  I’ve come to believe it’s addictive in a way, if only that it completely changes my shopping (and especially buying) perspective.  Seriously, once you’ve picked up something that is a brand you love, that looks new (or nearly so), that is a color & style you love, and that is dirt cheap, it’s hard to go back to paying full price.  Really, really hard.

There is only one hard and fast rule for thrifting:  when you find that unbelievable deal, buy it immediately.  Do not think twice.  If you wait, it will be gone, and you will regret it.  Most thrift stores have some sort of return policy, and I’ve found it’s better to buy now and return later (if I change my mind) than second guess myself in the store. I truly speak from experience on this, thinking back to that pair of gently used Birkenstocks in a lovely, original print that I left in the store because why?? It doesn’t really matter, because they were g-o-n-e when I went back the next day.  D’oh!  Double d’oh!

If you will permit me, I’d like to offer a few suggestions on what not to buy at a thrift store.  There are a few obvious ones (for me) – underwear, bathing suits, bathroom soap dispensers, anything rusty or broken.  Yes, I’ll explain.

  • Underwear…just ewwwww.  Unless (and only unless) it is obviously brand new, and (not or) it is a gag gift for some unsuspecting friend.  I mean, that actually happened with one of my friends, who found a brand new (tags still attached) man’s thong and bought it for a gift.  But I digress…
  • Bathing suits…just like underwear.  If it has touched some unknown hoo-ha, it will not touch mine, except for the “brand new, tags (and crotch sticker) still attached” exception mentioned above.
  • Bathroom soap dispensers…this is just a personal “ewwwww.”  If it’s still gooey with soap / lotion / whatever, I just can’t.
  • Rusty or broken anything.  Because even at that price, if it requires a repair, I’m not investing in it.
  • Upholstered furniture…just no.  Germs.
  • Personal toiletry items….same “ewwwww” factor, unless they are obviously brand new, still in the package.
  • Toys that are broken, torn or missing parts / pieces.

With that, let me share a few of my fabulous finds over the years:

  • Two solid wood night stands, oak, not painted, drawers fully functional…$15 each.
  • Small wooden cd shelf, fully assembled…$5.
  • Metal clothes drying rack…$5.
  • Lane Bryant and Avenue pants…$4-9 per pair.
  • Carter’s, Gymboree, The Children’s Place, and Oshkosh B’Gosh clothing ranging from $0.50 to $5.
  • Steve Madden, 9 West and Chinese Laundry shoes, usually less than $10.
  • Le Creuset stoneware, $5 per piece.
  • Corning Ware cookware…usually $3-5 per piece (usually with lid included).
  • Crystal wine glasses…$o.99 a piece.
  • Large crystal wine glasses…$1.99 a piece.
  • Books, glorious books…trade paperbacks $2, buy 4 get 1 free.  Kid’s books $0.60, buy 4 get 1 free.

Couple these incredible prices with the often 25-50% discounts on select tag colors (or for club members…which means you have their nifty discount card), and you can really buy an insane amount for an insanely low price.  I have said for years that free is my favorite price.  However, nearly free is a close second, and I’ll take it for that.

So get out there and thrift, my friends.  The treasures are awaiting you…all you have to do is keep your eyes pealed for the deal.

April 21 (S)…Sowell (as in Thomas)

I have to admit that I have been crushing on Thomas Sowell for a long time.  He is a erudite economist, a pithy political pundit, and a phenomenally talented writer.  His is widely published as a columnist and is a prolific nonfiction author, all while continuing his day job as a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Instition of Stanford University.  To say he is highly accomplished is probably a bit of an understatement.  He’s one of my favorite people ever to advance the causes of economic solvency and political conservatism.  Plus, he has a wicked sense of humor.

With that confession now off my chest, let me share with you some of my favorite “Sowellisms.”

Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God.

Socialism is a wonderful idea. It is only as a reality that it has been disastrous. Among people of every race, color, and creed, all around the world, socialism has led to hunger in countries that used to have surplus food to export…. Nevertheless, for many of those who deal primarily in ideas, socialism remains an attractive idea — in fact, seductive. Its every failure is explained away as due to the inadequacies of particular leaders.

Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.

Whenever someone refers to me as someone “who happens to be black,” I wonder if they realize that both my parents are black. If I had turned out to be Scandinavian or Chinese, people would have wondered what was going on.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric.

Both free speech and property rights belong legally to individuals, but their real function is social, to benefit vast numbers of people who do not themselves exercise these rights.

Capitalism knows only one color:  that color is green; all else is necessarily subservient to it, hence, race, gender and ethnicity cannot be considered within it.

It’s amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites.

One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them.

People who pride themselves on their “complexity” and deride others for being “simplistic” should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth.

Intellect is not wisdom.

Talkers are usually more articulate than doers, since talk is their specialty.

Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on “income distribution,” the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned.

There are only two ways of telling the complete truth–anonymously and posthumously.

Extrapolations are the last refuge of a groundless argument.

Whatever we wish to achieve in the future, it must begin by knowing where we are in the present- not where we wish we were, or whee we wish others to think we are, but where we are in fact.

One of the consequences of such notions as “entitlements” is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.

One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.

Sources:  Goodreads.com, ThinkExist.com, BrainyQuote.com

This is a very small sampling of the wit and wisdom of Thomas Sowell…a dip of the toe.  I urge you to check out his columns at Townhall (one of several publication websites), his books (they’re available at your local library), and those columnists and authors whom he recommends.  He is worth it.

Yep, totally crushing…