Posted in A Moment in My Life

“My Kind of Fun”

A Moment in My Life – Fun Friday, June 11, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

For today’s ‘Fun Friday,’ I planned to hang out with my friend, Elaine, for most of the afternoon—starting with a leisure brunch at Bay Watch in Burlingame, which both of us craved something from there. She missed their breakfasts. I craved their French fries. They make the best fries, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t care for French fries. After our leisurely lunch, we planned to take a long walk through the aisles of the nearby shops. Some call that window-shopping, but we’re not shopping; we’re walking, taking the scenic route through the stores. Someone has to take inventory of how they’ve changed during this past year, so we volunteered.  

A lot has changed in how businesses do things these days. For example, at Bay Watch, they now hand you a menu, and after you’ve studied it and decided what you wanted, then you return to the counter and place your order. Then, after paying, they seat you. From this point, it’s business as usual. The waiter brings you your beverages and food, checking in on you throughout your meal just like old times whereas they used to seat you first, then they came and took your order at the table.

It was nice that Bay Watch took advantage of the no-indoor-dining months and made improvements to their restaurant. Up until this point, I hadn’t felt comfortable dining indoors. However, this place lured me inside with the rustic ambiance and fresh scent wafting through the spacious dining room, putting me at ease. 

They have a new menu, too, and if I remember correctly, they did away with a portion of their menu. However, a substantial menu remains, and if you didn’t know better, you wouldn’t miss anything. Although we missed the specials listed on their blackboard on the wall, that will return in time, I’m sure. Our selections were just as delicious as before. I ordered a vegetarian omelet filled with broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, tomato, and cheese. I substituted the hash browns for French fries and opted for whole wheat toast. Elaine enjoyed her scramble with avocado and tomatoes. It was a satisfying meal for us both.

Elaine and I yakked for a few hours, and we were the last patrons to vacate the premises, just like old times. 

I was disappointed that we had to change our plans foiling the second part of our date. My bad, I wasn’t thinking. I bought Elaine a bouquet since she needed a little pampering, but my timing was off. It was too warm to leave the flowers in the car while we trekked through the shops. Instead, she wanted to take the flowers home and put them in water. I’m glad she liked the bouquet so much. In a way, she did me a favor—my day was gone—what was I thinking? I always lose time when I’m with friends. It was a most enjoyable afternoon, just the same. It may not be much, but for today, it was my kind of fun.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“If They Only Knew”

A Moment in My Life – Throwback Thursday, June 10, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

Recently, out of nowhere, I ended up having two separate similar conversations triggering a memory that I’ll share for nostalgia’s sake. When I first arrived in San Francisco in elementary school, I was so shy. Audience: “how shy were you?” Okay, all joking aside. I was topnotch shy, and the funny thing about that is that you understand everything that is going on around you, but the people you encounter treat you like you don’t speak their language. Do you know how in sitcoms, the character raises his voice at a foreign person who doesn’t speak English as if they were hard of hearing? The same principle applies here. People tend to treat you stereotypically. 

In my case, the school staff and the teachers thought that I didn’t speak English. It’s hilarious they presumed that when my transcripts should indicate I transferred from Canada. Why wouldn’t a Canadian speak English? Oh, right. Come to think of it, parts of Canada spoke French, but that wasn’t my case. They felt I spoke Chinese and asked my soon-to-be desk mate, Rita, to ask me a question in Chinese. I heard them talking to each other, and I understood every word, but did I speak up? No. Why would I? I was shy, remember? Up until this point, I hadn’t uttered a sound. I waited for Rita to ask me her question. 

When she spoke to me, she got a “Huh?” and grotesque look out of me. Our teacher asked Rita to speak Chinese to me. Was that Chinese? What did she say? Afterward, she told our teacher that she didn’t think I was Chinese. What? That was Chinese? Many moons later when I got to know my classmates, who were predominately Chinese, I learned that most of them spoke Cantonese, whereas my family spoke Taishanese. Aside from being shy, I went through culture shock here from a predominately Italian community in Canada, which didn’t help matters whatsoever. I always think of Steve Martin in The Jerk, where he said, “You mean I’m going to stay this color?”

If only that introduction broke me of my shyness, but it didn’t. Everybody continued to believe that I didn’t speak English, and I let them, ending me up in their ESL (English as Second Language) program through my junior high years. It was meant to be. I loved everything in ESL. I learned so much more about the English language and grammar that apparently, the English classes all the other students took didn’t teach. I fell in love with the written word from these classes, and my dream of being a writer was born.

Life in ESL was more straightforward and slower, which turned out to be what a shy little girl needed precisely—just a little hand-holding, and from there, I learned from my “real” little English-speaking classmates how to speak Cantonese. After you got the gist of it, it wasn’t that different from Taishanese. It’s rather pretty a dialect and a higher pitch more fitting my preferred speaking tone.

Sometimes I wish I attended regular classes as my older sister did, but I believe everything happens for a reason. She’s 100% outgoing, and I was pretty much the complete opposite. I may not have thrived in regular classes. For that reason, I’ll always be grateful how things turned out, but none of that might have happened had they known I spoke English just fine—if they only knew.  

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Music is My Life”

A Moment in My Life – Whimsical Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

I’ve seen so much change as we go through the motions of living a life—growing up, getting an education, working our careers, discovering ourselves, and interacting with people—basically coming into our own. Civilization keeps on advancing along with us with new must-haves. It’s a constant game of out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new. Many things we once adored we now cherish as a memory, but one constant remains through the test of time, and that’s music. Music has taken different forms, with new artists making a name for themselves, but music has not disappointed over the years.

According to the Smithsonian, “Making music is a universal human trait that goes back to at least 35,000 years ago.” No wonder we’re so drawn to music—it’s a human trait. Not for everybody, but music touches all of us at one time or another—for some, more so. If there’s a celebration, there is music. Are you working on a physical project or exercising? Music makes the task more enjoyable. Need some white noise? Turn on the music. Even during the sad times, music consoles.

I’m not sure how it began, but during my teen summers, our house was the “happening” place where the neighbor’s kids snuck over after our parents went to work, and we spent every day together. It always started the same way, with us fighting over who went first to choose the songs we sang with a hairbrush in hand. It’s incredible how fast the day flew by when we entertained ourselves along with records—before karaoke became the bomb. Someone once told me kindly, when I sang, not to give up my day job. Hence, you won’t ever catch me singing in a karaoke bar. My public singing resides with the old hairbrush in the past. Do you want to know a secret? I still sing, but only in my safe place—my car with the windows rolled up where nobody can hear me.

 It’s funny how things worked out. Forever, I was a closet music lover. It might have something to do with my getting into trouble for listening to my Walkman under the covers in the middle of the night as a teen—pre-headphone days. During the pandemic, I’ve come out of the closet, and proudly so. Thanks to technology, I could listen to music on my phone all day and even Bluetooth my playlist onto my car’s sound system. Why stop there? If you run into me somewhere and call my name, please don’t think I’m ignoring you if I don’t respond. It’s most likely that I didn’t hear you since I typically have music piping through my ears.

If there is music nearby, you can count on smiles. One day, I stood in the long 6 feet apart checkout line at Trader Joe’s, immersed in my music. The cashier kept turning towards me as I approached his checkstand, and he got my attention. We made eye contact, and we were swaying to the rhythm of the music in my ears. For a moment, he scared me. Can everybody around me hear my music, too? It turned out he was only mirroring my swaying. Oh oops. I was embarrassed, but his luminous eyes put me at ease. When I reached him, he said that it was refreshing seeing someone have a good time in line different from the same old, same old—that made sense. I can imagine how bland the same old could be. For a moment, music connected us and covered our faces with smiles.

I can’t imagine a life without music. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to music as much as I have during the last couple of years. It’s been a lifesaver for those moments where there was so much noise in my head that I couldn’t think. When I needed a good cry, a sad song helped that along. So many beautiful pieces bring back memories as if they were yesterday to relive and warm my heart, especially when it was our songs. Beautiful melodic tunes quickly fill the void of loneliness. An uplifting melody gets me dancing my happy dance, which instantaneously replaces any gloomy mood. Some soulful songs inspired me to write my stories, which never would have happened otherwise.

I connected with two different groups online, where we share a mutual passion for music. For the first time, I’m not enjoying songs alone. My groupies and I share song videos, and having discussions over the songs has introduced me to some great songs and some beautiful people—all because of music.  

It’s no understatement when I claim the importance of music in my world. It may seem frivolous and a waste of time to some people, but I can assure you that it couldn’t be further from the truth. Music is a survival mechanism that can soothe a hurt, mend a broken heart, resonate a love, officiate a celebration, commiserate a farewell, and connect people. 

Music has seen me through my formative years. It has been like an old trusted friend who has been there for me through the good times and the bad, which means music is my life.  

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“It’s Nothing Personal”

A Moment in My Life – Truth Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

When you are alone, everything works out perfectly as you imagined. There’s nothing to trip you up. Well, you could be your worst enemy. Come to think of it, I have been my own saboteur, but that’s another story. Today, I want to share a revelation that I didn’t see coming. I could blame the pandemic, but who knows if things would have been the same or different sans the pandemic? Besides, blaming accomplishes nothing, so we won’t go there. 

During this past year, I’ve been patting myself on the back, believing that I’ve arrived at being the person I strive to be. For the longest time, it felt like one step forward and six steps backward. It was a constant disappointing yet humbling endeavor. You can imagine how ecstatic I felt thinking I arrived. On the same token, what opportunities did I have during Shelter in Place that would allow me to test the waters? Not much, if any.

As I embrace the gradual community reopening and inevitably reencounter people, that’s where I collided with my old self, who has been lurking in the shadows waiting for this moment to come out again. It would be different if it were someone I wanted to see, but it wasn’t. I honestly thought I sent her packing long ago. Yet, here she was, causing havoc in my current life where I was happy with who I’ve become. Someone confident with every aspect of her life. Someone who is true to herself and doesn’t care what people think of her. One who proudly lives Jenny Joseph’s words, “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple…”  Okay, you got me there. I’ve been wearing purple long before I’m an old woman. The point is that I thought I became wiser than I was and that I left behind the negative thoughts and banter that used to haunt me.

When I began socializing with my new friends, I didn’t expect to revive those old insecurities that told me I wasn’t good enough and that these people are out of my league. I fretted over their response to my every comment. I worried about how they would receive something I said or didn’t say. It was darn if I do and darn if I don’t. I couldn’t win. It troubled me whether they liked or didn’t like me. I lost sleep over worrying. I felt juvenile. The year in hibernation caused me to forget all my social achievements, and I felt like I was starting social skill class 101.

Old habits die hard, and one of mine earned me a rock inscribed with “It’s Nothing Personal” on it for my meditation. This mantra always reminds me not to take everything and every one personally. It reminds me that everybody has baggage, and they might be having a bad day before they met with me that has nothing to do with me. They could’ve fought with their significant other or had a rough night’s sleep or whatever. My old habit would immediately assume they were mad at me or don’t like me or fill in the blank. The only truth here was that it was nothing personal to me, and that goes with each person I meet. I need to remember that whatever I perceive from them most likely has nothing to do with me but everything to do with their baggage. I must remain authentic to myself, and if someone doesn’t like me, then so be it. I shouldn’t change anything about myself for them. This is where the saying, “change the people around you,” comes into play. 

It’s a long road back to the new me, but recognizing my issue is the beginning of the journey. I feel hopeful that with my awareness that I’ll strive to enjoy my new friends for who they are, baggage and all, as I keep telling myself that “It’s Nothing Personal.”

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“The Last Good Night”

A Moment in My Life – Meaty Monday, June 7, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

Remember the famous quote from Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get”? That is such a profound representation of life. Neither the box of chocolates nor life holds what you expect to find. I’m adding people to that list. When you meet someone, you never know what you’re going to get. It’s true not to judge a book by its cover. I’ve learned I can’t even consider how well the relationship is going based upon our conversations. Who says if you’re hitting it off and “getting” each other, that it means you’re connecting? There are no guarantees. That’s the part that hurts the most. You think you made a friend, but the friendship fizzles before it begins. I’m not talking about a romantic relationship specifically, but rather relationships in general. 

One night, this lady from one of my FB groups messaged me and started a conversation that traversed into the wee hours as we got to know each other. I was intrigued as we walked the same streets growing up and never met each other. It was fascinating hearing her life play out on those same blocks where I lived a completely different life as if we lived in different time periods. 

When it was time to call it a night, we both expressed mutual anticipation of sharing more stories over future conversations. I was thrilled, and I sent her a friend request which, to my delight, she accepted straight away, only to have her unfriend me a few days later without a word. As superbly as we connected that night, she misled me into believing we had a connection, and I had a new friend only to discover that she did not share the same feelings for whatever reasons. From that, I deduced the only guarantee we can count on is while you’re connecting and having a fun time that you had a good connection at that moment—anything beyond that—there are no guarantees.

I met this guy during an event. He and I immediately hit it off, finishing each other’s thoughts as if we were two peas in a pod. We connected like long-lost best friends. I seriously need to stop being such a sucker for people with similar interests. I felt we had so much we could learn from one another. We moved our chat online, where we continued to discuss our mutual interests. As engaging as our conversations were, we said all we had to say a few days later. We both knew it. Sometimes, when you meet someone and have an engaging exchange, that’s it—that’s all there will ever be. He was the wiser one and knew when to end it. One night, he sent me a good night message, but in the midst of it, I read between the lines, as he wished me “happy days, always” before closing with a good night, and I knew that was going to be the last good night from him. At least he gave me a clue where we were heading—nowhere. 

Luckily, these scenarios are the exception and not the rule. I’ve met some wonderful people over the years who once were strangers with no commonality yet became friends for life. Like Franklin, who I met on Bart during our commute. After running into each other on the same Bart train many afternoons, we struck up a conversation, and that was it. We’ve been buddies for over a decade now. I no longer commute, but we stay in touch and meet up periodically for lunch.

Even longer than that, I have been blessed with my soul sister, Lenore, who I met over thirty years ago. She started as my late husband’s Star Trek buddy, and eventually, I joined in with their Star Trek banter. Since Lenore came into my world, our friendship morphed into a deep, meaningful relationship where the sky is the limit on our discussions. We couldn’t limit our conversations to one topic. After all these years, you’d think we’d run out of things to share, but that couldn’t be further from the truth as we write to each other every week.

Along with Franklin and Lenore, many more notable people light up my life with their special stars. Each has added unique flavors to my world, like a delicious assortment of chocolates in the box. Did I know what I was going to get when I met them? No, I didn’t, not until I got to know each of them. Luckily, like a box of chocolates, I don’t have to pick only one to love.

I compare people to a box of chocolates only to the extent of their unique divine deliciousness. Aside from that, people are complicated. Everybody has their story and their timeline, and timing is everything as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know why some relationships fail to work out, but I’m grateful for those that do. I much rather end a day with chocolate than with the last good night.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Fun With Pun”

A Moment in My Life – Friday, June 4, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

The other day, I posted the song “If You Leave Me Now” by Chicago on a FB group that I belong to. Unbeknownst to me, someone commented, “You’ll take away the biggest part of me…..my saving’s account!” I had no idea what to say to that.

 I meekly replied, “LOL, um, sorry?”

The next thing I knew, someone else chimed in with “Don’t feel bad, but it’s “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” LOL,” rendering me speechless. It’s rare to catch me not knowing what to say, but here I was, dumbfounded. I wondered why he put Hard to Say I’m Sorry in parentheses. I wasn’t familiar with this person, so I figured that was his little quirk. 

I accidentally ran into Chicago’s song “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” on YouTube, and a lightbulb turned on in my head. I realized that in his comment, he used a song title, giving me the bright idea to Google a list of Chicago’s songs. There were at least fifty. I scoped out the list of songs and discovered a wealth of great titles that I could use to string together a story, and I decided to play along.

I replied, “it’s okay if it’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry.” Just “Make Me Smile,” and everything will be fine and dandy.”

My reply pleased my challenger as he exclaimed, “you’re making me smile, wow…..” Baby, What A Big Surprise!”

And that was the start of a sensational new skillset that I didn’t know I had. I morphed from being speechless to rocking it with this lyrical punning exchange. I’m sure there’s a name for this exercise, but I have no idea what it is, so I’m calling it “Fun With Pun.” Since Chicago has over fifty song titles, I was thrilled beyond belief that he and I could use many exchanges before we exhausted the titles.

I continued with, “Super cool! Glad to make you smile, and it’s no big surprise when “You’re the Inspiration.”

Him: Yes, we’re having fun with Chicago’s music from the “Old Days.”  

Me: But, don’t stop. “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” I’m just getting started here. Chicago always does “Color My World” and makes every day “Saturday in the Park.”

Him: Yes, no need to stop b/c it’s “Just You “N’ Me’ doing Chicago! So, just “Call On Me” regarding our passion for music! I love all your input and responses since the “Beginnings!”   

Me: I’m so glad you said that because the feeling is mutual. You are a “Hard Habit to Break” cuz I idolize your musical eloquence and feel I’d be lost “If I Should Ever Lose You.”  

Me: “If She Would Have Been Faithful…” he wouldn’t have emptied his savings account, and I wouldn’t have been sorry. Then, you wouldn’t have come to console me, and we wouldn’t have taken this scenic route through “Chicago.” Perhaps it’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” but there’s a lot to be said for talking things out. Now, we’ll always have “Chicago.” It was fun! 

Him: Yes, it was really fun exchanging song titles with you. Oh, by the way, today was a bit ‘windy,’ just like “Chicago”!  

Me: Yes, these exchanges were a fun way to feel “Alive Again.” That’s perfect; the winds came along to set the mood! After all, “Chicago” is the ‘windy city,’ and some days it’s “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day.” 

Him: Cool! “Questions 67 And 68”, here’s question 69, what’s your lucky numbers? “25 Or 6 To 4”? Yes, I do feel “Alive Again” with our exchanges!  

Me: Whoa, you’re getting a bit personal here. Maybe if “You Stay the Night,” I’ll tell you. 

And that’s where it ended. I saw many more possibilities of creating other fun puns, but I suspect he wasn’t as comfortable continuing as I was considering my last line. Especially since I’m the writer who weaves scenarios, but I shouldn’t expect him to do the same. Before we arrived at this point, I checked with him to make sure he was okay playing along. He assured me that he understood that our exchanges were all in fun. I was thrilled to hear that. After all, what purpose would it serve if we’re going to hang back? My goal was to use as many of the fifty titles as possible, requiring some creativity to make them work. I planned for a friendly and tasteful Ron Howard ending. 

If you think about it, where it ended was an excellent place to end. My challenger is a super kind and classy guy with a good head on his shoulders. Since our exchanges, he is quickly becoming a good friend and a fabulous mentor in all things music. In hindsight, I should reserve my fictional escapades for my stories. A real-life group setting may not be the place for shenanigans.

Thanks to him, I recognized a new skill set that I feel I’m pretty good at. It came so effortlessly to me to string these words together. I had a blast. I had no idea I was capable of playing with words like this. I honestly didn’t want this game to end. Anyway, all good things must come to an end, even the game of “Fun With Pun.”

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“To Be or Not to Be”

A Moment in My Life – Thursday, June 3, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

If you had a choice, what would you do? Would you choose to be alone or be with someone for the sole purpose of being with someone? We don’t always have a say, and especially not everybody does, but if you did, how would you choose? 

When I was in high school, my future seemed pretty set with me marrying a guy that my mother selected for me. It was done to her and done to my older sister, and it was my turn to follow suit. The thing that never made sense to me was that mother hated it being done to her, yet as soon as her daughters were of age, she willingly continued with the old-fashioned matchmaking tradition between some guy’s family with ours. 

Long story short, my older sister had no voice and married the chosen man for her. It wasn’t going to work for me. I’m too romantic to spend a moment of my life with someone I do not genuinely love. I didn’t have a voice either, but I was witty and managed to convince my mother that each guy she presented to me did not fit her expectations quite how they sold it to her. I wore my mother down, and she relented with “Fine. You find your own husband.”  

I married the love of my life—the best person I’ve ever known. We had an incredible 37 years together. Our story wasn’t peachy every day, but nothing seemed that bad as long as we were together. We were rarely separated until death separated us for good. 

Now, I’m in my later years and single. My unattached girlfriends and I have been exploring this subject lately, and since it’s fresh on my mind, I am sharing my thoughts with you. Some dislike the aloneness to the point where they would rather be with a guy who may not be ideal, but he would replace the loneliness. I know that unless we’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, we honestly can’t judge their decision. Although, I’m curious how I would handle it? How would you take it? The only thing I could do is play scenarios in my head to get an idea of what life would look like with different people.

The people we have around us do impact us more than you know. If you spend a lot of time with someone, it’s easy to lose yourself in that person. It could be for the better or the worst, but change is inevitable. The people we hang out with make us who we are. I’ve met a variety of people within the last six months, and some of them have impacted my life tremendously without my realizing it until I noticed the effects that took a toll on me. We weren’t in a relationship. We were just friends. Yet, this person had a significant impact on me, and eventually, I realized I was smothered and drained and no longer was living my life my way. How did that happen? It was little subtleties each day until it became all day, and I realized I was no longer alone. I fell into a relationship without knowing it. That’s scary if you ask me. Other people came into my life and added smiles and positivity to my day. Those scenarios helped me see what works and what doesn’t work for me.

People used to ask me how my late husband and I managed to spend 24/7 together and didn’t kill each other. The simple truth was that we could live in a studio apartment 24/7 and be out of each other’s hair. How does that work? We spent time together but also apart. We shared the same room doing our own things. For example, we used to sit next to each other to be near one another, but we did our own things. That was the beauty of our relationship. We got to be together all the time, but we did our own thing. We gave each other space and the freedom to be ourselves. 

I mentally combined the different scenarios and concluded that I like being with someone, and I value my freedom. I never cared for micromanagers and definitely didn’t like to be smothered. Considering these few preferences, I would rather be alone than to have someone in my life who doesn’t allow me the freedom to become all that I could be. Life is too short to spend any of it with someone who breaks you down or drains you. 

Our goal in life should be to inspire people every day and help each other be the best versions of ourselves. Above all, to spread kindness and positivity every chance we get. That’s the kind of person I’d like to spend my every day with, too. For that reason, I wouldn’t want to be with someone contrary to this plan, but it is subjective to be or not to be. 

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“To Con a Con”

A Moment in My Life – Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

Is it possible to con a con? I want to find out. I’m curious what makes them tick? What is the purpose of doing what they do? What are they trying to accomplish? What is it they are after, and more importantly, why? 

The most obvious reason for me would be for fraudulent gain to connive your credit card and personal identification details for their monetary enrichment at your expense. It’s either the cons have gotten more sophisticated in their approach, or the cons of today are after something else, which bemuses me. Why? Because of the questions that they ask and the information they seek. It’s either the apparent reason still stands except they are taking their time to arrive at the big bang of obtaining your financial details, or they are working from a completely different angle. What would that angle be, though? I’ve never hung around long enough to find out. I tried, but they took too long, and I don’t have the patience to wait about to satisfy my curiosity.

Lately, I’ve been receiving FB friend requests almost daily from people in the same groups as I am. I don’t know these people per se but recognize their names, so I accept their friend requests since we have something in common. After all, if you don’t take a risk, how would you meet a potential friend? As a rule, I tend to accept friend requests from people who have a mutual friend or something in common with me. A week ago, I accepted a friend request from Frank Alexander because our mutual friend Jamie was a new friend. For some reason, I was leery, and I hesitated, but in the end, I decided to be more lenient, and I accepted his friend request. I figured if he made me uncomfortable, I’d unfriend him. For days, he was like everybody else and coexisted in the background on my friends’ list. Until this weekend when he messaged me. My first response was I didn’t want to talk with him. Something about him sent me into defense mode. I don’t mind having him as a FB friend, but I didn’t care to have a conversation with him. Does that make sense?

I hemmed and hawed for a couple of hours before I caved and answered his question that sounded harmless. He started with, “Hello, I’m Frank from Portland, Oregon and you?” Now, in retrospect, I should’ve been suspicious right off the bat. Do people really say that? He looks like a redneck, but it did not sound like the words and the style that an All-American guy would sound like from the way the conversation went. He had me feeling for him for a brief moment when he told me his wife died from breast cancer two years ago, and it’s just him and his nine-year-old son. This was the tender moment that he had me feeling for him. If only he stopped there, we’d still be friends.

He continued and asked what I do? I answered that I’m a writer and reciprocated by asking what he does, and that was the big bang for me. He responded that he’s deployed in Syria. I reminded him that he said he’s in Portland. He replied, “Not really,” which caused me to look into his FB profile for the first time. I really need to check out my new friends’ profiles straightaway. I’m glad I checked Frank’s profile, which I noticed he established his account two days before we became friends. He had only Jamie and me as friends. I mentioned that he has no friends listed, and he reasoned that he “doesn’t like to make much friends. I do come here to post some pictures.” I didn’t see any photos. He explained that his other FB account was blocked, and he opened this one. I asked him how he knows Jamie, and he replied that he didn’t know Jamie. I reminded him that Jamie is the only other friend other than me on his list, but he confirmed he doesn’t know Jamie? Holy cow, what did I get myself into? 

I still didn’t know what to make of this guy, so I asked him more clarifying questions. I asked him where his son is while he’s deployed, and he said his son is “staying in California with a Guardian in boarding school while he is away.” Have you ever heard someone talk like that? If you’re in boarding school, do you need a guardian?

By now, I had enough, and I told him this wasn’t going to work for me. He took it in stride and said, “It’s okay. I understood. Good night, have a wonderful night rest. I had a very busy day, I will need some rest, I appreciate your honesty. Good night.” Somehow, this does not sound like a redneck man or any American man to me. 

So, what just happened? If this person truly wanted a friendship, then why not be yourself. I don’t know what would have transpired had I kept talking with him, but I unfriended him and blocked him from Messenger. 

I’ve encountered a few other scams where the cons impersonated Laine Hardy. Why? Why Laine? These imposters respond to our comments on Laine’s posts as if they were the real deal. They create FB accounts pretending to be the real Laine. Then, they messaged you and tried convincing you that they honestly are Laine. It’s laughable that none of them bother to familiarize themselves with who Laine is or even have a clue about the latest Laine news to hold a decent conversation or to make their role more authentic.

The first “fake Laine” I chatted with said he was speaking with me from Louisiana when at the exact moment, I knew Laine Hardy was on a flight to the Persian Gulf. This con had no idea. There were many red flags, but I played along out of curiosity, waiting for the big bang. Being a Laine Hardy fan, I have tons of questions for him, but this conman kept redirecting my questions to me as he wanted to know everything about my life. He didn’t want to talk about him. He asked me questions like where I live and what I do for a living. I told him I was a student, and he asked where I went to school. See, it’s these questions that confuse me. Why do you want to know where I’m going to school? 

One guy complained that nobody wanted to be his friend. I don’t get it. Why not reach out as yourself and be honest. Why impersonate someone else? I wouldn’t mind being your friend if you were real. See, this is the part that bemuses me. What is the purpose behind these con jobs? Does anybody know? If so, please enlighten me. I honestly want to understand all of this. Sometimes, I’m so tempted to turn the tables on them for a change but to do that, I’d have to think like them, but I can’t. I wonder, though, what it would be like, one day, not today, to con a con.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Am I Spoiled? Yeah, Spoiled Rotten!”

A Moment in My Life – Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

Being located down the street from a firehouse means it’s rare that a power outage impacts my street. Surprisingly, it happens, not often, but it does. Considering the rarity, I’m not used to a power outage when it happens, which it did this morning. At 5:33, as I began getting ready for my day, the bathroom light went off. I glanced at my nightstand, and the clock display was also blackened. I peered out the front window to my neighbor’s porch light. Their porch light is on nightly. Seeing it off, when they typically have it lit when I wake up, I knew that the power outage was not isolated to my house only. Meaning, there is nothing I need to do but to wait it out. 

Today told me that I need to work on my emergency plan a bit more. For starters, the most important thing of all—how to get that morning cup of joe. It’s hilarious, but you can get spoiled by the littlest things. I remember the morning after returning from my first cruise, I stood in front of my coffeemaker and exclaimed, “You mean I have to make my own coffee?” That was an eye-opening experience when reality kicked in. Today, what I would have given to be able to make my cup of joe. 

I wished I had leftover coffee to heat up in the microwave. Oh, right, the microwave uses power—scratch that. If only I had a cup of coffee sitting in the fridge, then I could have ice coffee, which would be better than nothing, but no ready-made coffee waiting anywhere in the house. Then, I got an epiphany—instant coffee. Right. Scratch that, no hot water without power. By this time, coffee was a forbidden item. Conceivably, I could venture out to buy a cup of coffee, but that would mean having to open the garage door, which would work manually. However, how would I reopen the garage door if the power were still out upon my return? Too much work to consider. Instead, I poured myself a nice cool glass of room temperature Zero water. Mm, delicious—just not a cup of joe that I wanted.

In times like these, I envy the people who let their hair dry naturally. It was a rude awakening to see the hairdryer on the counter, but I can’t use it. Luckily, this was simply nice to have. 

I’ve gotten into the habit of turning on my Amazon music as soon as I get up and enjoy listening to music while I get ready. Yet, today, I relented not knowing the duration of this outage when I noticed my cell phone had 60% battery power. Thank God for the personal hotspot feature I used in place of internet access on my MacBook. By the time the power came back on at 7:18, my cell battery had diminished to 30%. I made it a habit to charge all my devices to 100% before bedtime for the sole purpose of an overnight power outage. I’m fallible, and this is what happens if you skip an evening. Today was a good reminder that this is one area that I cannot drop my guard. It’s imperative to ensure we fully charge all of our devices.

Since the previous blackouts, I started leaving flashlights in every room. Today, I discovered that a flashlight is of little use when you’re in the dark closet trying to hold a flashlight in one hand while getting your clothes together. I got an epiphany, though, to affix a couple of those portable battery stick-on lights on my closet wall, and that should resolve this problem.

The timing of today’s power outage was right over the period I used to get ready for my commute into the city. Many people still have that same commute, which means the outage would’ve made many people late for work. Luckily, I use my Fitbit alarm, which has no bearing on the power. Otherwise, I’d be planning a backup alarm in preparation for the next power outage. 

It was no fun spending a couple of hours powerless, but it could’ve been worse if the power stayed out longer. I might be having a gigantic BBQ just about now. As it was, the power was out just long enough to allow me to reassess what works and what needs improving in my household in preparation for the next power outage since I’ve become so spoiled. Well, am I spoiled? Yeah, spoiled rotten!  

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Just Have a Little Fun”

A Moment in My Life – Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

A slew of people passed us on 2nd Street in San Mateo, each carrying a large distinctive yellow box with the Mochinut logo on top, which piqued my friend’s and my curiosity. We headed the way they came in search of the Mochinut shop. We found it on B Street.

We each selected a Mochi Donut to try. There were a limited number of flavors available. I tried to make the best of two worlds by sampling and staying away from the overly sugary choices. I choose their original with the powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

It was interesting. The exterior tastes and has the texture of the Chinese donut sticks but with the chewy mochi interior. The powdered sugar was barely visible and kept making me think of the savory Chinese donut sticks. It was good and would satisfy a donut craving without ingesting all that over-the-top sugar. Although, my friend said the mango wasn’t very sweet either and was okay.

I not only discovered this new donut today but also learned from FB that I’m way behind. People have been enjoying these Mochi Donuts for a while now. I need to get out more. 

I hope you enjoy today’s piece, which is a different column. It was great being out in the world today. It reminded me that we need to loosen up every so often and just have a little fun.