catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 10, Num 1 :: 2011.01.14 — 2011.01.27


Ten favorite “goodbyes”...and good buys!

1.  High school: Whether it’s that awkward first date or the first big break-up, I am glad to have said “goodbye” to teen angst and early post-pubescent stupidity.  And, yes, I had a Pet Rock.  That was a good buy. At least back then.

2.  My first car. It was old, it was reliable (or so I argued) — I just didn’t want to let it go! But I had heard enough of the “nickel and dime the budget to death” arguments from my husband that another used car became a really good buy.

3.  My diaries!  I learned that diaries are meant to be read — and that means not just by you alone!  Like worms to a fish, a juicy diary is slippery, tempting bait for a nosy family member whose rude intrusive style stinks just as much!  A good-buy: a sturdy diary with a real lock on it that can’t be picked open with a bobby pin or a ball point-pen (still looking for one of those!).

4.  My tone, twang and dialect!  It just was not worth the effort to try to convince others in my new East Coast circle of friends that native residents from the 8th ward of New Orleans do not typically have a rolling, soothing southern drawl — those enchanting rhythmic gentle splashes of patois that tumble off the tongue like lilting breakers on the Gulf of Mexico. (That’s Mississippi.)  No! What you’re apt to get is a broken rattling hailstorm of dysphonic broken Brooklynese that is much more like Hurricane Katrina pounding against your eardrums, especially when it’s accompanied by boisterous laughter! Good buy? A set of earplugs! Keep some extra pairs handy for “Mamma ’n ’em!”

5.  My training bra!  Yes, I am actually one of those women who, as a girl, actually wore out rather than grew out of her first training bra!  There have been times in my life when I could be described as flat broke, but, thank God, it has been so long since I have been flat busted!  Good buy?  The Bali “Snowflake” brassiere. They don’t manufacture these anymore, but talk about comfort and support and being close to the heart — just like a really good girlfriend!

6.  Excessive hair growth.  Poor Rapunzel!  We know all about those heady tresses, but what secret is she hiding under her princess skirts? Well, if she has a lot on her head, she’s probably got a lot on her legs and her underarms, too! Well, thanks to aging, I am no longer like Rapunzel — at least from the waist down! I no longer need to shave almost twice daily because my five o’clock shadow runs all the way from thighs to ankles and on to midnight! Good buy?  A really cute princess-style mirrored Christmas tree ornament, and the rhyme: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall — I have become like my mother after all!”

7.  Trying to make a living — succeeding at living on purpose is much better! Good buy: Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose-Driven Life — and not because it made the New York Times best seller list, but because it should be on the “best tellers list”: self-help in such a friendly and warm conversational style that it is as enjoyable to read as a story, and it is, in fact, no fairy tale.

8.  Procrastination.  Well, at least I want to say goodbye to it.  I did manage to begin writing this piece as soon as I received the most recent call for submissions message. Good buy: *cino subscription.  Okay, okay. Call me a shameless promoter. Would you really be reading this if it weren’t any good?

9.  Food. Specific kinds of foods, according to God’s leading, and learning to love by living a lifestyle of regular fasting, and loving it all in the process. Good buy: food! Giving up food (or drink, or other pleasurable activities like television) and reintroducing them after a time has created two counter-balancing conditions: a decreased need and drive for the item, and increased pleasure in it when I do indulge!

10.  Sniping comments. Sarcasm has its place. Well-executed, it is an effective literary technique. But sharp criticism can wound and put personal relationships on the “guarded” or “critical” list.  Sniping kills, whether the bullets are fashioned from lead or from a verbal barrage. Love heals. Love is better — much better!  Good buy? Salvation.  Jesus did the purchasing. There’s no better bargain anywhere on Earth.

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