Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Nov '05

That’s a First

Today, for the first time in my life, I shoveled snow off my driveway.

(Pause while readers absorb this momentous statement.)

I know some of you might be thinking in disbelief, “How can this be your first time? Didn’t your dad make you shovel snow when you were a kid? Isn’t that the point of becoming a parent, so your kids can shovel snow for you?”

But it’s true. I grew up on a farm in Iowa, and when it snowed my dad or big brother would hop on the front-loader John Deere tractor and plow our long gravel driveway. They leapt at the opportunity to do this. I think tractor-driving is somehow connected to manhood. In any case, I never had to lift a finger.

It snowed last night and throughout today, and when I came home from work in the near-darkness of five-thirty at night I looked around the neighborhood and discovered that our driveway was the only one covered in snow. Every other house had an immaculate, dry driveway and sidewalks. Ours were three inches deep in powder and ice.

So I grabbed our $14.99 snow shovel that John and I bought from K-Mart on Friday with the express intent of faithfully shoveling our driveway and walks when it snowed, and I spent the next half-hour breaking it in.

And breaking my back. It turns out that my upper back and shoulder muscles don’t take especially well to heaving ten-pound loads of snow repeatedly onto the side of our driveway.

But let’s focus on the bright side: our driveway is no longer covered in three inches of powder and ice. Mostly just ice with a thin covering of snow that I was too sore to scrape off completely.

I am a driveway snow shoveler. I am One Who Shovels Snow. I am The Lady with the Snow Shovel. I am the Woman Who Must Now Go and Rest Her Back.

Snowman Cartoon

For more such funny cartoons see The Iceman Cometh Web site.

Nov '05

Shower for two?

A while ago John and I noticed that we weren’t receiving any mail except for letters addressed to “Occupant” or “Resident.” We were confident that we had more friends than letters we were getting (and by “friends” of course I mean the phone company, gas company, city utilities company, insurance company, and credit card companies). We called the post office to see if they could tell us why our mailbox was so empty.

It turns out that they had confused us with a family in Payson by the name of Robison, and all our mail was going to them. Now, I’m sure those post office employees are smart cookies in general. But I don’t understand how, truly, they could confuse Robinson in Provo with Robison in Payson. In any case, we got the number of the Robisons and gave them a call. We told them that we would make the half-hour trip to Payson and pick up our mail.

We went, we knocked, and no one answered. We waited, we knocked again, and no one answered. We went home.

Later that day the Robisons called us and arranged to come to Provo to drop off our mail. They were a young couple, maybe in their mid-twenties. He was tall and slightly paunchy; she was short with black hair and a perm that had turned to frizz. Both seemed friendly, but the wife was definitely the dominate talker. When they handed over our stack of mail, Mrs. Robison apologized profusely and excused her and Mr. Robison for not answering the door when we had come earlier that day. “We were in the shower,” she said.


Did she just say that they were in the shower together? Soaping up naked while we were standing innocently on their front step, waiting?

If they want to shower together, fine. But that’s not something you say out loud, to total strangers, not even if our last names are only one letter different. I had to black out instant images of these two people standing in front of me showering naked together.

Note to self and everyone else: Never, never use “We were in the shower” as an excuse. For anything. To anybody. Ever.

Nov '05

As It Turns Out…

…looks aren’t everything. When you’re a kid you learn the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Funny how at 24 I’m still learning that.

I had lunch the other day at a local restaurant whose business thrives at night but is dead during the day. I went there at one o’clock and was the only customer for about twenty minutes until one other woman came in. The advantage of being the sole customer is that you’re the sole focus of the employees who work there. The manager waited on me himself and when I wanted to order something from the menu but asked for several special changes to it, so it only remotely resembled the orginal item in the menu, he said, “No problem. I got time.”

He was a really nice, young guy. Probably in his mid-to-late twenties. Great smile, good looking. I didn’t chat with him much, but I overheard most of his conversations with the other woman who had come in after me (hard not to eavesdrop in a large, nearly empty, echoing room). I learned that Smilely Guy was from California (which I could have guessed; sometimes Californians have a certain way about them). He used to be a student at UVSC but now worked full time. He had been working at a branch of the restaurant up north, but his boss sent him to Provo to fix the serious customer service issues that were plaguing the business’s reputation. (I give him an A+ for his service to me, by the way.)

The woman asked him if he was married. (To clarify, this woman was older middle-aged; she wasn’t trying to pick him up, but was just one of those friendly people that can get a life story out of anybody.) Smiley Guy said no, but he had a girlfriend. He paused. Then, “But I used to be married. I’m divorced.” (more…)

Nov '05

Important Principles I Must Teach My Children

And it doesn’t matter that I don’t have any kids yet. I’m still qualified to write about Important Principles I Must Teach Them. It’s the same with baby names. You don’t have to be expecting, or married, or even expecting to be married to pick out fifty different baby names and rank them in decreasing order of preference. People do it all the time, especially in Utah. Most girls already know their top choices for baby names by the time they’ve picked out their ideal engagement ring from the ad inserts in The Daily Universe. Notice that no husband-to-be is required for either selection.

And although I don’t claim to be among the many die-hard Baby Name Pickers, I have seen the list of Utah’s top ten baby names from 2004. Three of my favorites are in the list. Which basically means none of my future kids nor pets nor plants will be named Emma, Emily, or Samantha. I’m pretty sure that Emma’s popularity started to rise after the movie Emma came out in 1996. According to weddingvendors.com, the name Emma rose from #52 in 1996 to #37 in 1997. Which pretty much means that not enough people read these days because the book Emma‘s been around since 1815. A sad, sad commentary on society. (more…)