7 Quick Takes (vol. 7)

November 2, 2008 | 35 comments

— 1 —

Want to know what I think of Daylight Savings Time? Read my tortured thoughts here in this post. No need to write a new one. I stand by everything I said in that one.

— 2 —

On Friday I was at the book drop outside the library and had a question about where to drop off DVD’s, so I flagged down two employees walking by. One was a nice, normal looking lady, but the other one was a young man who just looked like a total punk. As a former nose-ring-wearing, blue-hair-having punk myself, I have a pretty high tolerance for outrageous attire. But this was just beyond the pale.

The young man answered my question politely enough, but as I drove home I grumbled to myself like an old church lady about the lax dress code of our local public library. I huffed that I just could not believe what they let their employees wear to work these days!

My enjoyment of a little righteous indignation was brought to an embarrassing, screeching halt when I remembered: it’s Halloween. He was dressed as a pirate. I guess the huge faux gold clip-on hoop earring in one ear should have been a tipoff. Or the exaggerated black eye makeup. Or the black bandanna. Or maybe the cheap polyester vest with a skull and crossbones on it. (My husband almost choked as he asked through peals of laughter if I wondered about what unfortunate accident led to the plastic hook hand or what that blowup parrot was doing on his shoulder.)

This is why I never leave the house.

— 3 —

A commenter noted in the last post that it feels like there’s an elephant in the room that I don’t talk about the election. What election? No, kidding. Elephant acknowledged. As apolitical as I tend to be, I actually am aware of this one and, like everyone else, have plenty of opinions about it. I just decided early on that I wouldn’t talk about it here, so I plan to stick with that, as painful as it is sometimes.

On Monday our church is holding the sanctuary open for 24 hours of Adoration leading up to election day, and I’m hoping to make it over there at some point to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Tuesday we’re having some good friends over for pizza, beer, election watching and smack talking, which I’m looking forward to. Anyone else have good election night plans?

— 4 —

Speaking of Halloween and elections, I think I heard about the most clever costume ever: a friend’s nephew dressed in a t-shirt that said POLLSTER, and then carried an Obama bag and a McCain bag, and people could choose which one they put candy in. He evidently got a really impressive haul of candy from people who expressed their emotions about this election by dumping handfuls of goodies into their candidate’s bag.

(At the lunch where this story was recounted the floodgates were opened for wry comments about the Obama supporters taking candy from his bag to give to the kids who didn’t want to trick-or-treat, or McCain supporters telling him to stop asking for handouts and go earn his own candy. As you can imagine, the witticisms abounded.)

— 5 —

I’m so excited to try all the great towel-folding tips I got for the last post. Thank you! And who knew that towel folding would be such a hot topic?

— 6 —

Do you ever run into a stranger who seems like someone you’d be friends with, and find yourself wishing there were a non-awkward way to walk up to them and say, “Hi. You don’t know me, but we should be friends. Umm…here’s my email address.”? Or does that only happen to me? (This was prompted by seeing a mom about my age at Mass who looked all relaxed and stylish as her seven young children sat quietly in the pews. I need to know her.)

Has anyone ever done that? Any good tips? Or is it just too weird?

— 7 —

My mom was at a local resort this weekend for a board meeting, and ended up in their finest suite with plenty of extra room. Long story short, both she and my husband insisted that I take the evening to join her at the board’s lavish dinner and then spend the night in the suite to get a little break. It was niiiiice…but as nice as it was, I’m surprised at how happy I am to just be home.


Happy Feast of All Souls, and I hope everyone is rested up for what will undoubtedly be an interesting week!

photo credit: MaestroBen


  1. Paul, just this guy, you know?

    As a former nose-ring-wearing, blue-hair-having punk myself, I have a pretty high tolerance for outrageous attire

    I used to work in a call center, where there was no dress code at all. One fellow came in day after day with earrings, nose ring, tattoos, torn jeans, mohawk (seriously!), etc.

    One day, Ash Wednesday to be precise, I was at work with my ashes visible on my forehead, and I’d already gotten a goodly number of people telling me that I had something smudged on my forehead, and had explained, with varying degrees of success, Ash Wednesday.

    And punk-man walked by. He glanced over, noticed the ashes on my forehead, and said in a very polite tone of voice, “oh, is it Ash Wednesday?”

  2. Gillian

    On 6. I know the feeling. While I love my friends I’m the only one with a child so far(4.5 months old), and so have less in common with them and I find myself wanting to know other young moms with children around the same age. I’ve never been quite so bold but I did once catch up to someone in that category and we talked as we walked back from the store which was nice, I wasn’t snubbed or anything, but nothing much ended up coming of it and I think they’ve moved now πŸ™ Ultimately, I don’t think you can do anything wrong by extending a hand in friendship, and if they don’t take you up on it then it’s their loss.

  3. Renee

    #6 – yes, semi-regularly and so I’m hoping to see if anyone has any good tips. I definitely don’t have any.

  4. breagha

    I was LOL at your library story. That actually sounds like something I’d do. With full-time work and full-time grad school, a business and another few jobs on the side, goodness I haven’t even had the time to ENJOY my October (my favorite month of the year), let alone really enjoy or celebrate Halloween.
    As a matter of fact, since I’m such a new Catholic (Easter Vigil 2008), I am perhaps painfully aware of the Days of Obligation. I do my best to always attend on Sundays and other Holy Days. Last year, All Saint’s Day was on a Fri., so the Vigil was on Thurs, Halloween. No problem. This year, a Sat. So what did I do? Drive to church for the Fri. night Vigil. (sigh) No one was there. OK… must have gotten it mixed up.
    Went to church yesterday evening at 7, thinking that surely it was on the day. Nope. Literally as I was driving away from church, our Sister was on her nightly walk, and I pulled over and we chatted for a few minutes. Now I understand about the holy days of obligation falling on Fridays or Mondays. I hope I don’t do all of this again LOL.
    Re: Eucharistic Adoration… That sounds lovely that your parish is offering this on the day before E-day. It is certainly a great idea. I wish our parish offered this.

  5. the Joneses

    #6 – Well, actually, I did a whole blog post about how to make friends! And I’ve even tried my own advice!


    The best thing to do is go up and introduce yourself. If the conversation goes well, you could offer a playdate… although it might be hard for a mom of three to host a mom of seven. The key is, Just Do It. (I should market that as a catchphrase or something.)

    I called my husband, who’s out of town, to read him the pirate post. That’s one of the funnier things I’ve read recently.

    — SJ

  6. Erin

    RE #6:

    Two of my closest friends were made because these two girls randomly walked up to me and said “I get the feeling that we have a lot in common, and I think maybe we should be friends.”

    I’m not kidding or exaggerating, although I may have paraphrased a little.

    Granted, none of us are moms, though we all want to be one day.

    Honestly, I find it difficult to do that, just to walk up to someone and say “let’s be friends”, but if you started out your conversation with her by saying something like “Hi my name is Jennifer, and I see that you have seven very well-behaved children. I’d love to make friends with another mom, and I was hoping maybe we could get together sometime for coffee or something. I have a [back yard/play room/other enticing place for the children to play] and I’d love to have and your kids over some afternoon for a play date.”

    I really do think that would work. At the very least it couldn’t hurt. Put yourself out there, you’ll feel better for it afterwards. πŸ™‚

  7. Christine

    On no. 6. Oh yah I did this and it has started a wonderful friendship. I was new in town and she was at Mass with a bunch of kids and she had a darling little girl the same age as mine and I needed some playmates……she became my playmate. I love her as a friend. Do it…just do it. You never know. She might be thinking the same.

  8. Pam

    #6 – That’s exactly what I did last summer to a baby wearing mama that I saw in my small town library. She just moved into town and was very excited to find someone with common interests. We’re best friends now.

  9. reprehriestless warillever

    I have had the exact same urge to go up and ask someone like that to be my friend. It is awfully hard to make friends when I don’t leave the house very often!

    Tell us how it goes.

  10. Tertium Quid


    I am not sure my blogged opinions on presidential politics have done half the good your spiritual journey on the web has done.

    Kind regards, TQ

  11. Not Strictly Spiritual

    I just want to say that I love your Quick Takes. It was just what I needed tonight — lots of laughs and nodding in agreement and just general good feelings. Thanks. Keep ’em coming…

  12. Christine

    On #6 – I usually find it pretty easy just to go up to another mom after Mass and say something about her children’s behaviour, and how I would love my kids to make friends like her children. In fact, would she like to get together for a play date, we’re always looking for other good Catholic friends. It may sound awkward, but it works, and if you don’t click you don’t click.
    Don’t know if it’s that helpful, now that I’ve typed it out it seems pretty unhelpful.

  13. Hope T.

    I just have to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this one little place that is free from election talk.

  14. Aimee

    Re: #6

    Jennifer, you should seriously introduce yourself! I’ve met tons of great friends in church that way. It may feel weird at first, but my bet is that she will be gracious at the very least. It’s church, so I’m sure you can tell her you were admiring her well behaved children without her taking offense or thinking you are some kind of creepy stalker πŸ˜‰ As a matter of fact, I’m sure she would love to hear another mom compliment her children. And it may lead to you two exchanging numbers.

  15. Kate

    #6 – YES! Never had the guts though. I am unbearably self-conscious.

  16. Jess

    The Halloween pollster costume is the best I’ve heard – great idea!

    And you should introduce yourself to the woman at Mass. I was feeling a little sorry for myself as I headed out alone to Mass this morning with my baby and toddler wondering how I was going to manage participating and keeping them from being disruptive, and that story puts me in my place. 7 young children and she looked relaxed! I need her email address too! πŸ™‚

  17. Diane L. Harris


    Like you, I’ve made a conscious decision not to comment on the political races on my blog. I was tempted once, but decided that politics has no place on a site intended to glorify God and explore faith. I’m sure I could work it in so it would seem to fit, but I think it would distract me from my mission. There is more than enough commentary online and everywhere else about this election cycle and I don’t want to add to it.

    By the way, hilarious Halloween story. Glad I’m not the only one doesn’t see the obvious from time to time.

    Diane L. Harris

  18. Bonnie

    #6 – Go up to her, introduce yourself and see how the chatting goes. She may be begging for a friend but too shy to do anything. You could mention a playdate and if she responds then go for it. I always figure there’s no harm in trying, and in the end, wouldn’t you like to approached by someone who has been admiring you from afar.

  19. clara

    another one on #6: I totally feel like that sometimes and I either don’t speak up or gush and make a fool out of myself. Usually I feel very silly.
    but: I’d love it if someone did it to me, and wouldn’t think they’re silly at all!

  20. Elizabeth

    #6: I would just walk right up, stick my hand out and say: “Hi, we need to be friends.” LOL. But then again, I’m a direct sorta gal, so, I’ve had mixed results with that. It really freaks some people out. Other people are relieved because they were just waiting for someone to befriend them.

    I say, if you really like her, take the jump! It’ll be worth the risk.

  21. SuburbanCorrespondent

    I like the quick-takes, also. That’s what blogging is supposed to be!

    Good job refraining from election posts. I just may have to write something tomorrow – it’s irresistible.

  22. mom huebert

    I really enjoyed this little hodgepodge of stories. Thanks.

    I think it’s great that you are going to Adoration right before election day. I knew nothing about Adoration, since I am not catholic, until I read about it recently on your blog. And even though I’m not catholic, I went looking to see if any of the catholic churches in our area offer that, because even for a protestant it sounds like a wonderful opportunity for worship and prayer and quietness.

  23. Kylie w Warszawie

    I got stuck on “obscure blogger”. According to google reader’s “most obscure” you have 430 subscribers, I have 16. Yeah, you’re not obscure, well at least not the most anyway.

    And I never talk about the election at all. This morning my coworker brought up who her husband voted for and I actually ranted about how I don’t want to know who the bloggers I read are voting for. Anyway.

    And, there’s a mom at church who was the same way with me. She thought we should be friends. She invited me for coffee. Maybe you could try that.

  24. Sarah Reinhard

    Re #6: Yes, OFTEN! And I haven’t gotten over the weird part of that…though I am more of an extrovert so sometimes I can find a way to just “Hi, I’m the parish secretary” if it’s at our parish (but when it’s not, I’m helpless, weirded out, unable to move beyond leaving).

  25. Shelly W

    Good morning, Jen! A couple of things . . .

    First, I think my election night plans will involve running for cover, staying in bed, hiding out. I am so over-burdened and overwrought by this entire election that I don’t want to deal with it any more.

    Second, go introduce yourself to this woman. Chances are, she’s as taken with you as you are with her. She will certainly benefit from knowing you. I say this because several years ago there was a couple in our church who were about 10 years older than my husband and me, and I admired the wife so much. She had a PhD, she wrote, she spoke, she did everything I want to do. I wanted desperately to ask her to lunch to just pick her brain for a while and get to know her, but I was too shy to do it. They ended up moving away, and I never had the chance to really get to know her very well. I regret that to this day. So, while you have the chance, ask her out for coffee.

    And have a nice day! πŸ™‚

  26. Duffy

    in re: #3

    I love that you’ve kept mum about the election. Every other website (I say that w/o a hint of hyperbole) is nothing but the election. It’s nice to have a refuge from that for a bit.

  27. Jenny

    As for Halloween, I was nursing my baby in the rocking chair, looking out of the window onto a beautiful afternoon, and saw… a convict walking down the street. A real orange-jumpsuit convict, not a black-and-white-stripes one. I was a little taken aback until I noticed that the guy walking next to him was dressed as a pimp… then I thought, “Oh, yeah… Halloween! Wsheww!”

    And as for meeting new folks, I, too, have walked up to another Mama and said something inane like, “I like your baby sling!” to get the conversation going. The only thing I’d recommend is perhaps suggesting a less-stressful place for a first (play)date, like a park or the zoo. I was telling my husband recently that finding like-minded Mom friends is like dating back in high school… you think someone is attractive, ask for her number, get together, and see what happens from there… whether you have “chemistry” or not. Anyway, it’s TOTALLY not random or sketchy. Especially when it’s someone you’ve seen at church–like dating, it’s not a bad place to meet folks!

  28. bipolarbing

    On 1: Daylight Savings Time always throws me off, too.

    I love your quicktakes, and your blog in general! Felt the need to delurk and say that today πŸ™‚

  29. Anonymous

    Every time I read your blog I wish we could be friends in real life. You’re humble, insightful, interesting, and honestly trying to do your best with each day. You’re a great mom but you don’t talk about your kids all the time. I honestly believe the lady mentioned in #6 would be thrilled for the opportunity to be your friend. You should try it just for her sake!!

    – Becky H

  30. Agnes Regina

    On #6: Just walk up, say hi, introduce yourself, take it from there! (A thing I’m often too shy to do, but maybe by the time I’m a Mom I’ll have the guts!) πŸ™‚

  31. theresa

    I loved #4! So much so that I included you in my latest “What She Said …” that will go up in an hour or so. :o) Thanks for making me smile on this stressful day-before-election.

  32. miller_schloss

    I think in the grocery store, it would be weird to just go up to someone and tell them you wanted to get to know them, but at church, I think it’s totally fine to strike up a conversation with someone who looks interesting. Especially another mom…you could always find something to bring up as a conversation starter! “Your children look so peaceful as you’re all sitting there together…” etc.

  33. La gallina

    Introduce yourself to mom of 7. She just might become your new best friend.

    And if you ever find yourself in my parish — Our Lady Star of the Sea, Port Isabel, TX, 8 am Spanish mass — introduce yourself to me!! (I’ve only got 5 kids, and I’m not as stylin’ as I used to be, but I know we’d get along great.)

  34. emily


    I totally do that all the time!! I’m in college though, so it’s a little bit more accepted maybe? But actually, most of my close friends have admitted that at first they were all “WHAT, crazy girl?!” but now they love me. So ya know.

    do it!! It doesn’t have to be awkward πŸ™‚

    ps- loooooove your blog.

  35. Jane D

    On 6-One now good friend printed up business style cards with her name and her kids names and ages so she could arrange play dates with families she met at the park (or McDonalds, or the doctors office, or…) She now seems to know everyone. If I very doing it again I would do the same with my e-mail address on it and maybe cell phone. Honestly, I am too much of an introvert to do it very often but it is still tempting.

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