And Floss, Too!

I’m not proud of what I’m about to share, but here goes. I like to relax before dinner with a glass of wine and a puzzle of some sort (jigsaw, crossword, scrabble) as a segue from the day into the evening. Oddly (and thankfully) enough, a glass of wine tends to make me more steady on my feet ~ maybe it’s the sugar, or maybe it just relaxes me? I don’t really know or care ~ I just like being able to drink one with a clear conscious.

On this particular evening, for whatever reason, I was honestly just a tad tipsy (at least I hope I was based on what happened). I glanced up and saw out the window two people walking up to my front door. I recognized three things: 1) they were strangers, 2) they were teenagers, and 3) they were black.

I don’t like answering my door period, and I was startled for all three reasons stated above. Everything in the media says don’t open your door to people you don’t know, ever. The town I live in is very ethnically diverse with Armenians and Koreans, but not too many African Americans. Teenagers are, well, teenagers. Once I realized my 3 prejudices I was embarrassed at best, horrified at worst. Everyone is a stranger until you say hello, teenagers are inherently just frightened children, and what do I care what color they were?

Consequently, I opened the door laden with guilt and a loopy smile and asked what I could do for them. They were selling some sort of coupons for their football program. I asked them what high school, and it was not an area school, nor one I recognized. I then asked, “What are you doing all the way up here, then?”.  “Our coach brought us up here,” said the girl. I reply with, “Oh, that’s because he knows there’s money up here.” I did. I said that. Outloud.

Now that my foot was buried up to my shin in my mouth, I started to get even more frazzled. The kids asked me if I wanted to buy a coupon book (fair enough I guess since we’re all so stinking rich up in here) . It’s for things like Long John Silvers and Caesars Pizza and other places I never go to so I said no thanks, plus I told them I have no cash. “That’s ok,” says the young man, “we can take a check”. Who has checks? I don’t anymore. Why can’t they give these kids card readers?

I’m dripping in even more guilt, because I’m sure these teens think I’m lying about not having checks.Then,  I remember that I actually DID have some emergency cash on hand (yes, I dipped into emergency reserves. I was beginning to feel that this was an emergency. What if they think I’m a stranger/black/teen hater?). So  I ask them to hang on a second and go into my cash reserves ~ all I have is a $50 bill.

I give them the $50 bill. Their eyes get really wide and they are gushing with thanks.  I did not take a coupon book, but I told them to study hard and stay in school. Then as if I wasn’t already acting enough like a crazy old bat, I told them to brush their teeth. I did. I said that too. Outloud.

Their eyes got even bigger and I mumbled that I had braces like them once upon a time and they needed to keep them brushed. Needless to say, they couldn’t get off my front stoop fast enough. I need to get this brain/mouth connection sorted out. Fast!

 

a-better-looking-kid-with-braces

A hop, a skip and and a hirple

I play a lot of online Scrabble on Facebook (called Lexulous) with my mom and I cheat. I use one of those word generator web sites that help you put your letters together into words most people have never heard of, let alone used in a sentence.

In order to make myself feel better, I always look the word up though (so if Mom questions me I can say, with confidence, “oh, what a childish jape they played on her!”). So imagine my utter delight in discovering the word hirple.

To hirple is to walk with a limp. It also has the distinguishable honor of being one of two words that rhyme with purple (the other being curple ~ you look that one up).

Naturally, I prefer hirple to limp. So does my Mom, who at 90, has just recently started using a walking device ~ we now prefer to go on hirples together, rather than plain old walks.

You won’t find it in every dictionary (although apparently it is in the OED, the grandaddy of all dictionaries). Lest you don’t  believe me, it can be found in the Urban Dictionary and MSN Encarta:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hirple

http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_561509841/hirple.html

Please add hirple to your daily vocabulary and let’s see if we can get it to rejoin all the English dictionaries out there. I would hate to see such a fantastic word disappear completely from our lexicon.