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(not) real problems

repost: originally published July 2020

At dinner...

Me: Are you painting this evening?
Mags: I have been painting all day. I would watch The Office tonight but the...[at this she makes a face].
Me: The...?
Mags: The Roku wire.

Maggie is a half-hearted drama queen. And this is a problem that has a solution. It's called "doing what I told her to do three weeks ago". Find it on Amazon.

Mags: What? I don't have an Amazon account!
Me: This sounds a lot like something you just forget until you remember again...and now you are trying to blame it on me.
Mags: Lady, I do not need your sass. You are disrespectful and out of control.

I say "half-hearted" drama queen because she doesn't really go to the wall about it. She is willing to concede the point if it's right enough. Or funny enough--and we laugh and laugh.

After dinner...

Mags: How much do you want to go for a ride?
Me: Not at all. My sciatic nerve has seized up and I can barely walk.
Mags: Okay.
Me: Why?
Mags: Bryce is having a bad day and I wanted to deliver a Slurpee to him.

Mags is a people collector. She loves a friend, loves to be a friend. Loves to make a person smile. And I can't really say no to this side of her.

"Well, it's Bryce..." I say and that stops her descent down the steps. She pops her head back over the half wall and sees me getting up.

"Yay!" A little bouncy top knot flounce that is pure Maggie, and she runs to get my keys for me.

Bryce's "bad day problems" are as follows:
1. He lost his wallet. It had his permit in it.
2. His mom is mad at him (I should say so. See #1)
3. He can't find his student ID. (Again, the wallet)
4. He stayed up for 27 hours and now he's tired.

Backing out of Bryce's driveway...


Mags: Aww! That makes me so happy! I'm glad we did that!
Me: Me too. Although I just barely stopped myself, when I said, "I hope you feel better," from adding, "These aren't real problems!"

"LOOK at yourself!" She speaks sharply to an imaginary Bryce. "THIS is why you are having a bad day--your hair is a mess, you need it cut. You need to shave, there's a caterpillar on your lip. And you're wearing khakis with a Nike Dri-Fit...You're a disaster! Pull yourself TOGETHER!!"

To know Bryce is to love him. And although Dan only refers to him as "that little punk," he really is a dear boy who always comes out to say hello to me every time he sees me.

Maggie collects good people like that. Not only a people collector--a good people collector. He is only Maggie's friend, nothing more on the horizon for them, but they are so hopelessly adorable that it's hard to look at them.

I mean. Who could say no to either of these two sweetpeas?


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