Friday, February 26, 2021

Saturday 9


Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is about a cheating boyfriend. Unlike most songs, where the lover deceives by seeing another, this one squanders his girl's financial resources. She sings that he's ruined her credit. Do you know your credit score? Yes. I check it every month. It's a good (though far from fool proof) way to see if your identity or account info have been stolen.

2) How often do you pay your bills? Do you handle them as they come in, or do you pay weekly, bi-weekly or monthly? Or are you lucky enough to have someone else handle your bills? Every Wednesday, if I can. I get paid on the 15th and the last day of the month, so some bills have to wait more than a week for payday to arrive.

3) Destiny's Child had a hit with "Bills, Bills, Bills." This girl group got their start in Houston, TX. During the recent, bruising storm, lead singer Beyonce sent food, money and water to her home state. Have you spent much time in the Lone Star State? I toured the Dallas area with my client's sales rep to get a better idea of their business in the region. It was early in my career, and it felt very sophisticated ... flying out, taking the sales rep to lunch and paying with my expense account (!), swimming in the motel pool before I turned in for the night. In retrospect, I smile because the rep and I ate at Chili's and it was such a modest motel. I bet it was one of the cheapest expense reports the accounting team ever received! But it's still a fond memory.

4) Beyonce is the breakout star of the group and went on to have a highly successful solo career. Can you think of another star who began his/her career as the member of a group? The supreme Miss Ross. With the passing of Mary Wilson earlier this year, Diana Ross is the last of the original Supremes who blasted onto the charts in 1964.


Florence, Mary and Diana

5) "Bills, Bills, Bills" was performed a cappella by the kids on Glee. That Fox show ran for six seasons. Were you a fan? I never saw it. But I have friends who were rabid fans.
6) In 1999, when this song was on the charts, SpongeBob SquarePants premiered. The show remains popular among the younger set. Have you ever seen it? Oh, this makes me wistful. My nephew was obsessed and Patrick the Starfish was his favorite. Now in his junior year of college, I'm very proud of my nephew and the young man he's become. But I miss the little boy who parroted Patrick's dumb jokes.
7) SpongeBob has become an industry, spawning movies, a Broadway musical, video games and both coloring and comic books. Once considered children's amusements, today coloring and comic books enjoy a following among adults. Have you recently enjoyed coloring or reading a comic book? Nope.

8) Also in 1999, Walmart expanded to the United Kingdom. Do you shop at Walmart? No. I went there a couple times years ago and found it depressing. Shoppers weren't watching their kids and the people who worked there seemed positively wretched, like they wished they could be anywhere else. During the pandemic, though, has really come through. Love it! And my cat Reynaldo loves their boxes.

9) Random question -- We've all met people who aren't exactly as they present themselves. Are you good at spotting a phony? I admit I have been fooled.


Kathy and Rita

At the beginning of yesterday's call with Kathy, I told her I only had 45 minutes. Now 73, she has trouble with her memory. It's beyond garden-variety forgetfulness that comes with age. During every conversation she will say -- at least once -- that she "recently had a problem" with her brain but "it fixed itself." No, it hasn't. She has never mentioned this to a doctor and won't because she insists she's "fine." She's not.

Kathy is also a long-time friend. I've known her since the mid-1980s. During my bout with covid, she was very thoughtful and supportive. I want to maintain my relationship with her. I just don't want to be angry or depressed when I hang up. Hence, the 45 minute limit.

I told her that I had to log onto Zoom at 4:15. Later in the call, I reminded her, referring to it as "a conference call," just in case she forgot what Zoom is. 

Most of the call was pleasant. We talked about her love of jigsaw puzzles, which has grown during the pandemic. I told her that this past year I've reread some favorite books. She briefly touched on how hard it is for her to read these days -- that she has to reread paragraphs sometimes. Then we started talking about my love of the Cubs, and she said it makes her happy to think of how happy I must be for spring training.

Somehow we got on the subject of my favorite grandmother's jersey. My cousin liked to take Grandma to Wrigley Field for Mother's Day, and she always wore a Cub cap and her #23 Ryne Sandberg jersey for the occasion. She looked adorable, by the way. We buried her with the cap in her hands, and after she'd been gone for a while, my cousin gave me her jersey because I was now our "matriarch of Cub fans." I love wearing that jersey.

I thought -- since Kathy said she enjoyed my Cubbie love -- that she would like that story. She's a grandmother herself, after all.

Somehow it made her edgy. She started to tell me a story that confused me about her sister Kim ("the one with the big mouth") and her brother and their father. I really wasn't following it and whatever she was trying to tell me was upsetting her. AND it was nearly 4:15.

"I'm sorry to do this to you, but I've got to go. It's 4:14. I've got a meeting, remember?"

"Isn't that like you! You end things when it's comfortable for you to end them. Just like you!"

Wow. Now she's lashing out.

"Look," I said evenly, "I told you I had to go at 4:15. I have to go. It's payday tomorrow and every once in a while they expect me to do something to earn it."

"Oh, OK. Goodbye."

I was relieved to end the call but sorry it ended on such a negative note. It left me rattled all evening.

Apparently she was, too, because she sent me a text before she went to bed, apologizing.

Fortunately, I just finished a book about Rita Hayworth. A major movie star in the 1940s and 1950s, she retired from the public eye when she was 53. The glamor girl was appearing in public angry and disheveled. It was assumed that she was an alcoholic. It was early onset Alzheimer's, a disease not well known or understood in the 1970s. Rita's outbursts were born not of booze but of terror and frustration she could not communicate.


So the Love Goddess of WWII and the retired real estate agent in Dekalb have a lot in common: Forgetfulness, confusion and anger at their vulnerability. The book about Rita was unremittingly sad. But I'm glad I read it, for it will remind me to be more compassionate.

Just as a biography I read about Johnny Carson, of all people, gave me insights into my Cousin Rose. I'm so grateful when I learn from what I read!

February Blogging Challenge -- Day 26


Visit Kwizgiver for the prompts

26) Most companies have a set of core values that act as guiding principals for their operations. On a personal level, what are your core values?

At the TCM Film Festival, in an interview about his career making movie music, Burt Bachrach said "Alfie" was his favorite song. While he wrote the melody, which is haunting and lovely, it's Hal David's lyrics that have always gotten to me, ever since I was a little girl. It puts my Christian faith in such accessible, conversational terms. 

We live in a country where some in the Christian community cling to Donald Trump with his casual cruelty, his win-at-any-cost mentality and the way he equates force with strength. My response is this lyric: 

If only fools are kind, then I guess it is wise to be cruel. And if life belongs only to the strong, what will you lend on an old Golden Rule?

As sure as I believe there's a Heaven above, I know there's something much more, something even non-believers can believe in. I believe in love.

When you walk, let your heart lead the way and you'll find love any day. 


I try to live this. I fall short often. I have an impetuous nature and a bad temper, both of which get in the way.

But I do believe this. It reflects who I want to be. And God knows how hard I try.