Stan the Man

While my family and I were on vacation last week in Destin, we were in a gelato shop after dinner on our last night there. There was a family there and you could tell it was grandpa, grown kids and grandkids. Grandpa was treating the family to gelato and it was adorable. The man must have been about 80 years old and he had a HUGE button on his shirt that said “Stan _____.” I don’t remember his last name. So I casually said, “What’s up, Stan!” And he said “How did you know my name?” I said, “Oh, I don’t know – you just look like a Stan the Man if I’ve ever seen one.”

Then my brother pointed at his button and said “you have a huge button on your shirt with your name on it.”

Way to ruin the fun, Wade.

Stan said “STAN THE MAN! That’s me. I once lived in a retirement home and I wanted them to put that on my shirt and they wouldn’t do it.”

Well, alright then.

About that time, Stan was summoned by his grown son to pay the $14 gelato bill.

I meandered away and moments later realized they had all gone outside and Stan had left his walker by the cash register. Surely he’ll be back for it. Or will he? I mean, he clearly just managed to walk away without its assistance.

So sure enough, here he comes in a minute. I just put my hands on it like it was mine and when he walked up like “why the hell do you have that,” I was like “Oh! Is this yours!? Weird.”

Just a little flirting with an 80 year old man never hurt anyone.

So I passed him the walker and he leaned on it – settled in – and said, “What’s your deal? Are you in school?”

“Nope – I graduated nearly 10 years ago from UT if you can believe it.”

“KNOXVILLE!”

Yes, Stan.

“What did you study?”

“Public Relations – well, communications.”

Stan replied with a resounding, “Shiiiiiiiit.”

“Well, what’s that supposed to mean!?”

“Why not major in something USEFUL where you can actually get a good job, like engineering.”

“Well Stan, I hate science and math. Hate it. That would have never worked for me.”

“WELL SO DO A LOT OF PEOPLE, but you just work through it so you can get a decent job.”

“I HAVE a good job! I do marketing for Caterpillar.”

(Stan gives a look of consideration of this tidbit – mulls it over for a moment).

“Well, that’s pretty good. Alright then. God bless you.”

And then he walked, with the help of his walker, right on out of my life.

We did see him later with his family, after we’d walked around a bit more, and as we passed him all six of us said “Hey Stan!” “See you later Stan!” “Take care, Stan the Man!”

And he looked genuinely confused and shocked. I think he’d forgotten about our conversation and him dropping the career counseling on me.

Wherever you are, Stanley – preach son, preach.

XOXO,
Jenn

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Farewell, Old Friend

Today, I got a new whip. That’s means car, for those of you who aren’t so fly.

Before I can truly celebrate this though, we must mourn the one who is now headed to auction. There, she will either be purchased by some father for his 16- year-old daughter to ruin and not fully appreciate OR where she’ll be bought  *gulp* —- to be chopped up for parts. 😦

The 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse. God bless her little motor oil pumping heart.

I remember when my Dad and I started shopping for cars together my senior year of high school. My parents always had a deal with my brother and I that if we kept an A/B GPA through high school and went on to college, they would buy us a car. One car, and one car only for the rest of our days, so we better take good care of it.

My Dad took me car shopping the last semester of my senior year of high school. I had gotten into UT and fulfilled my end of the bargain. As we headed to Knoxville, I had my heart set on one of those lime green Volkswagen Beetles. True story. Dad strongly encouraged me to shop around. The first thing we drove was the Mitsubishi Eclipse. I think we went there because they were running a great deal with super low APR. I fell in love. Hell, I probably would have fallen in love with anything on four wheels that wasn’t my ’91 Toyota Corolla I was driving at the time. But I like to think it was that little red car’s destiny – that she should shuttle me around for the next 11 years.

The Eclipse was so dang cool. It was the shiniest thing I’d ever seen. And soon, it would be mine. Thanks so much, Mom and Dad. Dad and I signed the paperwork and celebrated by eating dinner at a Mexican restaurant by the movie theater. Obviously.

Two or so days later she was in the garage waiting on me one day after school. And so it began.

Since then, she’s taken me on more road trips than I can remember, braved the parking garages at the University of Tennessee, had more fender benders than I care to remember or discuss and just overall been my number one gal on four wheels.

But she’s 11 years old now, and although she’s served me well and is still purring, it’s time for her to move on to the next phase in her little car life. Now, she’s chock full of door dings, hail damage, scratches, strange smells and several other surprises. Maybe I should have left instructions in the glove-box about how to turn the radio volume up and down. It’s sort of a tedious process.

Ah well.

There were near tearful hugs goodbye.

God speed, little Eclipse. I sure love you lots. The Mazda has big wheels to fill.

Also, August will be the first month that I’ve ever had a car payment in my life (again, thanks Mom and Dad), and I already think it’s pretty sucky.

XOXO,
Jenn

Update on Eggplant Kitten, aka Sally

I got an email update from the sweet people who adopted Eggplant yesterday. (see previous post to catch up).

Apparently, Sally, as she’s been renamed, is doing just beautifully in her new home. She loves it and has settled right in. The four-year-old little girl who is Sally’s new mommy is having to work on giving “gentle hugs and kisses,” said her Mom, because the kitten is just so squeezable. Smile Too cute. She said Sally doesn’t seem to mind though, because she just keeps coming back for more. I’m telling you, this little fur baby has the sweetest disposition.

Check it out.

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So glad she’s enjoying her new home and all her new furry friends in that crib.

XOXO,
Jenn

Eggplant the Kitten

Yesterday I was headed to lunch at the Farmer’s Market here in Nashville to meet my friend Alice. I was walking down the sidewalk from where I parked, and noticed up in the distance this tiny thing bounding down the sidewalk. I thought it was a bunny — it was so tiny and bouncy. Then, it darted under a car. I hurried up to the car and knelt down to see what it was, and it was a tiny, adorable, heartbreakingly precious kitten. It mewed (smaller than a meow) and hopped up into the car’s engine parts. Oh hell no. I wasn’t about to let this little nugget get piston slapped.

I laid on the ground (in a skirt) and shimmied halfway under this car. Two people asked if I was ok. ‘YEP! I’m cool. It’s a KITTEN!” They just hurried away — probably going to find security.

I coaxed it partly down and then pulled the little booger into my arms — fully prepared for it to eat my hand off. (After all, I live with Callie Cat, so fury is all I know). But it just looked up at me and mewed. (I think it said “mama?”) Then it licked my nose. I about fainted from cuteness.

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I called Alice to see where she was because she’s always wanted a kitten — and told her where to meet me. In the meantime, approximately 20 people walked by and told me “oh you’re done for now,” or similar. Yeah — I know. I also tried to give her away to several people, just in case Alice didn’t want her because I sure as heck wasn’t putting her back out on the cruel city streets.

I knew I couldn’t take her home though. Callie is an only child and just can’t be anything else. Let’s just say that if I brought the kitten home, she would be an only child again like five minutes later, because she would eat it for fourth meal.

Alice went in and got our lunch (after she too fell in love with kitten pants) and we had a picnic outside with the kitten. She played (the kitten, not Alice), ate some cheese off our pizza, part of an old chicken finger someone had dropped (and accidentally bit my finger — so I was pleased to find out last night that she didn’t have rabies), then she tuckered out and took a bath and a nap.

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Alice took her back to her office, thinking she’d at least foster her for a few days and then decide what to do for her full time. But her Executive Director fell in love with her too, and took the kitten home to her four-year-old daughter who is going to give her a good home. She already got checked out at the vet last night and got a clean bill of health. Just a few earmites.

P.S. — Alice and I decided since we’d found her at the Farmer’s Market, we should name her something vegetable-like. So I blurted out Eggplant, and it was set. Little kitten Eggplant.

However, I found out last night that the four year old who Eggplant is living with has renamed her “Sally.”

I’m not sure how I feel about this, and think she’ll always be an Eggplant deep down.

I’m such a crazy cat lady.

Best lunch at the Farmer’s Market ever, right Alice? 🙂 Thanks for taking care of our kitten baby!

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XOXO,
Jenn