Life in a Bubble Can Leave You All Wet

My obsession with acrylic tumblers goes way back. It began in 1988 when I was a Tupperware Lady.

Teachable Moment: Do not call acrylic tumblers glasses. That is silly as you cannot have an acrylic tumbler made out of glass. I know, it’s semantics; but I wouldn’t want anyone (namely me) to make fun of you for misuse of the word. Also (and this may seem weird since I am so finicky about acrylic tumbler versus glass lingo) it didn’t bother me at all to be called a Tupperware Lady even though I am not made out of Tupperware.

By the time the late 1990s rolled around, my obsession had grown to the point that I couldn’t walk by a store display with acrylics on it. I had to stop and touch – feel the rim to see if it was smooth enough to drink from, turn it over to see if it would collect water in the bottom when put in the dishwasher. I didn’t buy a lot of them (a marriage saving decision), but a girl could dream. Dream of having cupboards full of different sizes and colors of non-shattering acrylic – some for wine, some for margaritas, some for juice, some for tea. They are the perfect thing for use by a pool.

Only we didn’t have a pool. It is true. Not all people who live in Florida own a pool. Let that sink in. I know it’s shocking that anyone could live down here with this amount of heat and sunshine and not have a pool, but it happens.

But then something amazing occurred. My husband Bob’s company had been giving him stock options and they were growing in value beyond our wildest dreams. That meant that I could buy all of the acrylics that I desired!

Seriously, Bob said he thought it was time for us to get a pool. The kids were older and would not need constant supervision. It would be wonderful for our family. We came up with a plan. We secretly shopped a pool company and started on the design; and, best of all, Bob said I could buy new acrylic tumblers to use during the big announcement to the kids.

After dinner one night we had the kids hang back at the table for a little family pow-wow. Bob said we had something to tell them and then looked to me. I brought out a bag and started pulling acrylic tumblers out of it and placing them on the table.

“Do you know what these are for?” we asked, and got the standard smart-alecky responses.

“Why acrylic? Why would that be important from a safety point of view?” I asked.

Soon one of the kids jumped up and yelled, “We’re getting a pool!”

There were shouts of joy and excitement. We explained that everything was in order; we just had to wait two short weeks before we could sell the stock and finalize the purchase. We could almost see an enormous hole being dug in our yard. We even took a tree down in preparation.

It was an active two weeks. We felt like we were living in a bubble of joy and anticipation until we realized that that bubble was actually the “Dot-Com Bubble.” And during those two weeks it burst. We were unable to sell enough stock in time and our plan to get a pool was suddenly the only thing that was all wet.

The Sweet Life

That sweet acrylic life.

The kids took it well – probably better than I did. Life does have its disappointments; but if this was as bad as it gets, that’s not bad at all.

So whenever we talk about that stock we now call it the “worthless stock.” The kids still get a kick out of our big announcement using, as they call them, “the pool glasses.” That’s the thing that really hurts. They won’t even call them acrylics.

Happily now Bob and I do have a pool. It took over 15 years to get it, but we finally feel like real Floridians. And now as a “safety precaution,” I have lots of acrylic tumblers, too. Life is good.

I Can Barely Contain Myself

photo (130)We have a new Container Store here in Orlando.  I had heard of this chain, but never thought it would be a big deal to have a store solely dedicated to containers.  Who thinks up this stuff anyway?  Can you picture a boardroom table surrounded by people brainstorming when somebody shouts out, “I know, let’s make an enormous store where we sell boxes and bags and all sorts of things to hold other things.”  I mean, don’t we all have shoe boxes and grocery bags?  And that doesn’t count that drawer in the kitchen that catches all the miscellaneous stuff of life.

I’ll admit I was skeptical.  I didn’t want to spend more money on a container than its contents, but I had to check it out.  Truthfully, my reason for checking it out was that Starbucks was having Frappie Hour and I wanted a half-price drink.  The problem was I had a half hour to kill, so in I entered the Container Store to kill it (the half hour, not the store).

photo (127)The first thing that caught my eye was an end cap filled with paper bags.  These sold for $12.99 and up, depending on size.  They are marketed as Paper Bins. “Fascinating,” I said in my most Mr. Spock-like voice.  “I think I have the prototype for these in my pantry.”  I envisioned myself explaining to Bob (my husband) that I was organizing our bathroom closet with Paper Bins.  He would likely tell me I had been sold a load of something and that we could put that something in that paper bin, light it with a match, and leave it at the front door of The Container Store.  I couldn’t chance that, so I passed on the bags.

It didn’t take long before I was sucked into the concept of specialty containers.  It must have been my old roots as a Tupperware Lady, but I suddenly found myself needing containers.  I’m not sure what I would contain in them, but I knew I wanted them.  I picked them up, removed and replaced their lids, and burped them like a Tupperware baby.  I was in trouble.  I should never have gone in alone, but I just wanted to take a peek, a quick look until I could get my half-price frappuccino.

photo (128)There was a huge display of travel containers.  I like to travel.  I’m planning on traveling – I must buy something!  A large wall of odds and ends drew me in.  Unique little “purses” hung on display.  They were black and reminiscent of the fifties, and they came in two sizes – A/B and C/D.  Yep – bra holders at $17.99 a piece (or $9 a cup).  I didn’t purchase this item.  The only cup I was interested in was one with coffee in it, and that would only cost me $2.25.

I did find something I couldn’t resist – an anti-theft travel handbag.  This would best be described as a soft-sided safe on a cross-body strap (okay, it’s a purse).  It is purported to outsmart bag snatchers, slashers, pickpockets and identity thieves.  If I can figure out how to open it I think it will come in handy when I travel.

The bottom line, my half-price frappuccino ended up costing me $102.25.  That’s $2.25 for the coffee and $100 for two purses (I mean anti-theft travel handbags).  But, as a bonus for spending $100, I received a coupon for $15 off any item that I purchased in June.  Unfortunately I forgot I had this coupon until today.

All I can say is, drinking coffee is an expensive habit.  Not to mention that the above cost doesn’t include a trip abroad for me to try out my new anti-theft travel handbag.  Maybe it’s a good thing I forgot about the coupon – it could only get me in more trouble!

Diaper Dodgers – It Must Be a Full Moon

Watch your step this week.  There is a movement afoot that could get messy.  If you see an adult carrying a baby and resting on your front lawn for a moment as they pass your house, be on the alert.  It’s GO DIAPER FREE WEEK.  Seriously.  It’s a movement that more and more young parents are getting on (the urinary) track with.

Here’s what you should know so you can be totally PC with EC, elimination communication (yes, there’s a name for it).  The impetus for going diaper free is manifold.  Of course, there is the green movement – not to be confused with the yellowish-green bowel movements that often emerge from a newborn.  The push here is to spare the environment of so many disposable diapers, which are filling landfills.  I do think that it’s clever that this aspect of going diaper free also has the potential to green up your yard as strolling parents pick up on the clues their babies are sending to them and hold the child over your hedges or lawn for a baby bowel blast.  (I’m also wondering if the doggie poop bags that people carry when walking their dog will now simply be called poop bags.)

Going diaper free also helps diaper rash as the baby does not have a wet diaper clinging to the irritated diaper area – wet clothes or blankets maybe, but not diapers.  Of course, the parents have to change their clothes often, clean rugs, mop floors and do a lot of laundry which has been soiled or peed upon, but hey, it’s a movement (literally).

Then there is the financial reason.  That’s one I could get behind.  I even did the cloth diaper thing with my daughter for a season – a messy season.  It did help financially, but not enough for me to embrace it long-term.

Finally, my editorial note – I loved communicating with my four babies.  Often I knew when they were filling a diaper, but not too often did I know that they were about to fill one.  And, even in those times when I did know, I don’t know that I would have been able to run to the sink, toilet or outside fast enough for success in the diaper free arena.  Hum, the Diaper Free Arena – not one which I wish to enter.

I read several accounts of moms who love EC and the bond that it gives them with their baby.  One mommy said she keeps a Tupperware handy so she’ll always be prepared, which is brilliant because you can seal in the freshness; but as a former Tupperware Lady, I’m pretty sure that odors are not covered in the lifetime guarantee.  Of course if you break it, crack it, chip it or if it peels while you are using it for that special purpose – then you’re golden.

When You Really Need Freshness, You Need Tupperware

When You Really Need Freshness, You Need Tupperware