Posted in A Moment in My Life

“1020 Stockton Street”

A Moment in My Life – Friday, October 29, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

I rarely go to San Francisco’s Chinatown. The last time was during my family’s previous visit from San Diego. Nothing beats a real Chinatown shopping spree when you’re not a local. Isn’t that how it always goes? I live just outside of San Francisco, and I never go there. My family lives in Southern Cal, and Chinatown is on their agenda every time they visit. When I hang out with my family, they take me places that I don’t typically go, and it’s mounds of fun for me to follow them around as they collect whatever is on their lists. 

We parked at the Plymouth Square Garage. When we elevated to the surface to Plymouth Square, a stale smell of cigarettes greeted us on the sunny and unusually windless day. Numerous small groups of Chinese people gathered around cardboard boxes playing cards. While other people congregated to enjoy the busker singing with a lovely instrumental assemble behind her. It was tempting to linger and enjoy the music. Except, we were on a tight schedule—lots to do and little time to do it all in. After all, we were heading to City View for a dim sum lunch. Dim sum never gets old. It doesn’t matter what city you partake dim sum in. Dim sum is a “must-have.” Something about having dim sum in Chinatown sets the mood for the day.

My niece said that she loves it when other people order for her because she’s introduced to unique foods that she might never have experienced. I feel the same way about tagging along with others. I experience things that I might never have considered myself. Such as the Fortune Cookie Factory, which I wouldn’t think of checking out, but since my younger sister wanted to go there, I didn’t mind trekking along. It’s been ages since I was there. I did not expect anything more than the regular shaped fortune cookies, the small and large flat round ones, and possibly a bag of the multi-colored cookies that was the craze during my last visit there. It was fun tasting the pink strawberry-flavored cookie and the brown cookie that tasted like chocolate. 

Times have changed, and we go with the flow. This time, there was a line to go in with a Covid vaccine check at the entrance as you whiff the delicious sweet famous scent of the fortune cookie in the making. We filed in assembly style and observed their shelves where now, to my surprise, there was a nice assortment of cookie choices to choose from. The first display caught my eye and stole my attention. They had chocolate-dipped cookies in a variety of colors. Who’d think they’d have cookies dipped in lavender? I wasn’t planning on buying anything, but for purple cookies, I would. It cost an arm, but I had to have that! Interestingly, they had porn cookies! Really? Well, it turned out their version of porn was harmless. The author with the handle “Fu Ling You says” delivered off-the-wall humor quotes like “Artificial insemination is copulation without representation.” Haha haha. Cute. I even got a purple shopping bag! I was on Purple Heaven. By the way, these cookies were worth every penny. They were the freshest, most delicate fortune cookies I’ve ever eaten.

After leaving Ross Alley, my family went in and out of shops along Jackson Street towards Stockton Street. I loitered on the street as I waited for them, and that was when I noticed the view of the Bay Bridge backdrop from Jackson Street for the first time. What a magnificent sight! I was awe-stricken. Sure, I’ve seen the bridge closeup and even outside my office window, but there was a new meaning of seeing it from Chinatown. I don’t know why. It felt personal to me. 

Once we ventured onto Stockton Street, my family divided to conquer more shops, so I continued taking photos. I stood at the corner of Jackson and Stockton and snapped a photo of Grandma and Grandpa’s apartment building across the street diagonal to where I was standing for old time’s sake when I decided to go over and snap a picture of the front door. Well, that wasn’t enough. I placed my phone up to the door window, trying to take some shots of the lobby when someone came out. I stepped aside to let the man out. I’m a bit of a slow thinker at times. After the door latched shut, I thought how nice it would be to go inside and look around. Before I knew it, an older man approached. I stepped aside. He unlocked the door and went in. This time, I followed him inside. It was darker, muskier, with a smaller lobby and stairwell than when I was nine years old. After our family of five relocated from Canada, we lived in Grandma and Grandpa’s one-bedroom apartment on the fourth floor for a month or so. At the same time, my newly widowed Auntie, her infant, and two toddlers moved in just before we did. It was a full house before the TV series was born. 

To this day, I wonder where everybody slept. I’ve asked each member of the family, but nobody had an answer for me, to my surprise. I guess I’ll never get my answer. All I know is that I slept in the Ernie Ford foldaway bed (from “I Love Lucy” fame) in the kitchen. 

I didn’t stop there. I was curious if my elementary school was still there. I peeked around the corner, and it was right where I left it, but it had barricades due to construction. It was comforting that Commodore Stockton remained standing. 

After my fun going down memory lane, I found my older sister in a dry good shop. Remember I said I’m a slow thinker sometimes? Well, after waiting on the street for a bit, it dawned on me that I should tail my Big Sis and learn how to shop for authentic Chinese food items. The short time I followed her, I learned the best-dried mushrooms and scallops to buy. At that moment, I wish she lived closer so that I could tail her more often. I laughed when I remembered I got bused to another high school, and I was relieved finally to be out of my older sister’s shadow. Now, I long to follow her? Too funny. But that shows how much things have changed—not only with people but with things and places.

Soon, it was time to head for home. The quick spree through Chinatown was delightful. We all had a great time doing our own thing. Every time I venture into Chinatown, it is like a new town for me. Everything keeps on changing, but it is reassuring to see some things never change, like Grandma’s and Grandpa’s apartment building, where we called home for a while at 1020 Stockton Street.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“In Simpler Times”

A Moment in My Life – Thursday, October 28, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

I long for simpler times. I missed yesteryear of being disciplined with a schedule that worked for me. I miss writing my column five days a week. The silver lining from being sheltered-in-place was that it afforded me the time to get disciplined and set good habits to write every weekday, whether I felt like it or not. My goal was to complete my column by noon each day. I didn’t know whether I could pull it off or not. I just did it, and it came together for over 180 columns. The funny thing was that being sheltered-in-place, I had nowhere to go and nothing to do, yet I managed to write about engaging topics each day. Where did those days go?

I’m grateful for shelter-in-place for the sole reason that I launched my writing career without external distractions. It’s hard enough fighting the internal nuisances without any outside provocation. Sometimes, you can’t help it. Life happens, and when it does, you have to go with the flow. Despite the pandemic, my family came to town for our cousin Heman’s funeral in the early fall. There are always pros and cons to every event. It was lovely being with people again, but it was hard to rebound from the diversion. Before I made it back to my routine, I participated in writing a novel for the November writing month, and then it was time to prepare for the holidays, and you know how that goes. It wasn’t until after the holidays did I get back on course.

Over Christmas, I fell madly in love with Laine Hardy and soaked up everything I could find on him, and he made me happy. Laine saw me through each day with his songs cheering me up—especially when he sang “Louisiana Lady.” As the song goes, “when we’re together, everything’s all right,” and when I listened to his music, everything was all right in my world. We were both starting our careers—he with his music and me with my writing. In the beginning, we mirrored each other, and I had so many plans that I couldn’t wait to flush them out. I was beyond excited for him and me. I wanted us to succeed. I felt he and I were both shooting for our stars this year. Well, one of us is making it happen while the other sadly got sidetracked.

My first quarter was floating along nicely, and my Seattle BFF and I planned a trip together next Spring to celebrate each of our successful endeavors. Then life happened, and I took on more than I could chew, spiraling my plans south. I began writing short fiction weekly while maintaining my columns, but it became harder and harder to juggle the two. When that was already a challenge, I got recruited as a moderator for The Team Hardy Fan Group, which I declined. Still, after much persuading, I caved and accepted as I honestly wanted to help Laine soar. If that wasn’t enough, then came my stalker, who ate up two months of my life, simply by interjecting himself into every aspect of my world and suffocating me in the process. It’s incredible having someone constantly there distracting you from getting anything done. I know what you’re thinking. I should’ve put a stop to it sooner. It’s easy to say that from the outside looking in. When you’re in the heat of the situation, it’s not that transparent. It took me six weeks into the friendship before I realized it was taking a massive toll on me before I attempted to dial it down. Long story short, I quit the moderator role since Laine’s career is soaring. Now, I need to concentrate on my career. I also removed the stalker from my life, freeing up my time to focus on what’s important.

Being off course for most of this year, it’s not easy to get back on track. Lately, I feel like my life has been a chaotic mess. I’m barely able to write a column, let alone write one daily. I don’t get started writing until late afternoon. If I do write, I don’t finish until late in the evening. It’s not my ideal, but I’m grateful that I wrote. Days go by when I have no idea what to write. What happened to those days when I had nowhere to go and nothing to do, yet I managed to write about engaging topics each day? I’m busy as heck now, and I have no time to write, but that doesn’t matter because I have nothing to write either.  

That’s not true. I have plenty to write about since the world reopened, I’ve spent time with many people, and I’ve gone to some places. Yet, I have nothing to write? What is wrong with this picture? Oh, I got it. Life is full of experiences, conveniences, and luxuries that only we get to experience in this time period. The problem is that my mind is overwhelmed with information. I realized this a moment ago when a FB friend commented that she loves stories like what I shared on FB about visiting my grandparents’ apartment, where we stayed with them briefly when we moved to San Francisco. That comment was a lightbulb moment for me. Suddenly, all these story ideas flashed before me, and I do have story ideas. Now, I need to manage my schedule and rebuild my routine to get back to my good habits. 

My family’s one-week vacation here just ended, and I’m playing catchup on everything that I didn’t do while they were here. I had a great time with them making coming down from vacay more challenging. Here we are again with November approaching, and it’s NaNoWriMo time again. I’m shooting for writing a novel again. Then, it’s time to prepare for the holidays. See, it’s a vicious cycle. I’m so sorry that I fell off my good habits, it’s incredibly late in the year, but I shan’t give up trying to get back on course. It is what it is. Here’s what I need to do. I need to simplify, set a new game plan, add discipline, and enjoy my path like how it was in simpler times.

Posted in Globfly

Globfly’s 34th-Month Angelversary

Posted a day late and a dollar short.🙃

Today marks Globfly’s 34th-month Angelversary—two years and ten months since he relocated to heaven on 12/17/18. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, as the old saying goes, is so true with Globfly. I was one of the fortunate wives who never had to worry about my hubby having wandering eyes except when food was around. I used to tease him that food was “the other woman.” Well, he always included me with “the other woman” and introduced me to many yummy culinary treats that I would never have partaken in myself.

For this month’s Angelversary, I chose a Mini Loco Moco that he introduced to me from our favorite Hawaiian Drive-Inn. I’m a picky eater, but he got me liking this meal. It’s the only thing I’d order when we ate there. I haven’t had it in forever, so it seemed fitting to honor his memory with this meal today.

Globfly here’s to you, honey! I miss you every day more than words can say! ILYVVVVM 💜🖖👊

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Sunshine and Raindrops”

A Moment in My Life – Thursday, October 14, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

“In the Still of the Night” played in the background filling my thoughts with memories of all those nights I was exhausted, but I couldn’t sleep. Closing my eyes meant giving my mind free rein to wander from one memory to the next, longing for my old life with my honey when sleepless nights meant rolling over and snuggling up in his gentle arms—a sure sleep inducer. Instead, I roll over to a box of MidNite sleep aid on the nightstand that eases me into sleep. It began as a friend I called upon after an hour or so of sleeplessness when I couldn’t ward off the gremlins in the dark of my mind that told me fables of all the disturbing things in my life now. MidNite has become my dearest friend, who I rely on nightly to avoid the gremlins.

It’s a vicious cycle. If you can’t sleep, you become more exhausted and less resistant to those gremlins, which means you’re most lightly not sleeping tonight. Some people wallow in the dark side, but I choose not to go there. I’d try anything, within healthy limits, that is, to get a good night’s sleep. Some nights are rougher than others. When trying as I may, I cannot chase out the gremlins. That’s when I discovered the Hallmark channel of family-friendly programming with feel-good endings. I replay scenes from my favorite movies, and most likely, I’d smile my way into sleep.

Something about the romance movies get me floating for days afterward. It’s a story someone made up, but imagining a couple in love is so endearing. It might be depressing to see others happy in love when we are alone, lonely, and have no one to love. It may make us long for raindrops falling from the sky to conveniently hide the tears streaking down our faces from the ache we feel inside. For me, however, oh, how these stories warm my heart like sunshine and help me make it through my days, and especially my nights. Being in love with the right person is the most beautiful act in the world as far as I’m concerned. I remember being newly in love. My honey and I held hands all the time. My family teased us for not letting go even while we were eating. Hey, that’s what new lovers do. You can’t separate them for anything.

As engaging as a movie goes, it doesn’t replace real life. It provides some comfort for a moment, but nothing replaces a soft touch, a gentle squeeze of a sensual embrace, or the whiff of his unique scent that flutters the butterflies in your stomach. Or heats your cheeks when you look into his eyes, and he smiles only for you. You miss each other when you’re apart, and your hugs last longer than any others. Mutual attractions do so much for healing. 

To move forward, we need something to look forward to, such as a new relationship, a new life, or a fresh start—some newness that lifts our self-esteem. The excitement of a new relationship changes your perspective by giving you something new to focus on. It revives your emotions and your passions, reminding you of who you are as a person. It gives you purpose to live again—to live a new life and permits you to leave your old life in a safe place, but in your past where it belongs. 

My honey and I never spoke about the “what if” one of us passes on. For me, it was denial. I didn’t want to think about that topic. In hindsight, I now wish we did. It would’ve made it a lot easier had I gotten his blessings to move on with someone else. Of course, our vows said, “Until death do us part.” I know many people who have remarried in widowhood. Yet, it felt like a betrayal to me for the longest time. I plan on being with my honey when I go to heaven, but then, how does that work if I have a new someone? Then, I learned that we wouldn’t be “a husband and a wife” in heaven, but instead, we will all be as one. Of course, God would keep it simple. It took a while for this to sink in. It’s fine with me now.

I’ve got so many hang-ups. That’s why I write the things I write. I’m working through all these processes and taking you along for the ride. I struggled with the idea of loving someone else other than my honey. That also feels like a betrayal. However, I’m learning that humans are capable of loving more than one person. We have humongous hearts that can love many in different ways. Knowing this is helping me to move on without losing any part of my honey while giving a part of my heart away to someone new. 

My honey was my sunshine, who would’ve done anything for my happiness. The feeling was mutual. My honey wore big shoes that were extremely hard to fill. Knowing that he always has my best interest at heart, I know that when the timing is right, he’ll miraculously make sure there will be someone special who can fit his shoes, even if not perfectly. After all, every day, there is sunshine, but each canvas is unique and beautiful. As I waltz through my life enjoying each Hallmark movie, I know that there will be light and dark days, and I will be okay as long as there is sunshine and raindrops.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“It Doesn’t Take Much to Lose the Trust”

A Moment in My Life – Thursday, October 7, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

When I think back to days not so long ago when I used to hand out my calling card with every contact information I had on it to strangers, I get the willies now. I was so trusting. Everything felt safe and uncomplicated. I remember my older sister asking me one day if I was giving out too much information to people, and I shrugged my shoulders and continued doing what I was doing. I wanted to live what I preached, and that was that I’m an open book. What you see is what you get. Lucky for me, I never ran into any problem people. 

Although people back then were more reclusive and tended towards their little clique, and that was it. Not a big deal. It wasn’t like I was hard up for friends. I have many cliques of my own anyway. I wanted to connect with and be friends with everybody, and that was pre-FB. I believe you can never have too many friends, that’s all.

I didn’t expect the different flavors of people I would recently meet that ended up challenging me in unexpected ways. One thing for sure I did not expect, and that was to lose trust in people. I’ve never been afraid of people before. One time, I was about to ask a street person home for thanksgiving. Thank God I couldn’t find him so that I couldn’t invite him. Later I learned he was a fugitive on the lam wanted by the US Marshalls—like in the movie. That’s another story for another day. My point is that I wasn’t afraid of people.

You don’t know what you don’t know until you know. That’s how we learn about life. Who would think that an old friend from high school would have you jumping out of your seat because he couldn’t keep his hands off you from across the table? You know, I love cuddling and hugs just as much as the next person, but I tell you, there is a time and place for everything. I don’t welcome being grabbed or touched, especially not by certain people. It baffles me to think that we’re all adults here and behaving like school kids. 

Yeah, we had a crush on each other back in high school, and our story was a lot like a movie where we lost touch, went our separate ways, and he found me on FB one day. Now we’re both single, and he thinks it’s our second chance. It’s one-sided thinking. The feeling is not mutual, especially when he wants to skip the getting-to-know-each-other stage and take me on a road trip in his RV. I think not. I’ve never been and never will be that kind of girl. Here’s where I told him, “Hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more!” After this incident, I lost trust, and I feared this guy. Luckily, he couldn’t come to my house because he never bothered to jot down my address from my Christmas card, and my older sister would be so pleased that I refused to give him my address when he asked for it.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was my stalker, who, unlike Hit-the-Road-Jack, who couldn’t care less about getting to know me, Stalker got into every nook and cranny of my space. Stalker came into my life soon after the incident with Jack, and I don’t know what it was, but I felt red flags from the get-go, and something inside me hesitated, so I did not give Stalker my contact info. Thank God for that! Initially, I wasn’t sure if it was nerves from the rawness of the Jack episode or what, but Stalker didn’t help. It was too much, too soon—both of them pushed me out of my comfort zone into areas that I did not want to go.

It’s been a challenging year where one friend told me I needed to change my venue for meeting people. I laughed. I know he meant well, but I wasn’t trying “to meet people.” These episodes happened to happen, and that was it. I’ve lived a pretty uneventful life with normal relationships. Then these episodes happened, making me question the purpose. They sent me on a journey that I never expected before, and maybe they will end up in my fiction stories—that’s the only place I plan to let these stories play out. 

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my older sister said. She’s right. I need to be wiser in what I share. These two guys didn’t know where I lived, but still, for a spin, they had me pretty scared that they might show up on my doorstep. I had nightmares of Stalker sitting outside in his car on my street watching me. Not a healthy way to live. Since then, I’ve redone my calling card with select contact information on it. 

The takeaway from these experiences taught me that it is good to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I shouldn’t be so quick to trust everybody because we need to earn trust. If trust isn’t solid, it doesn’t take much to lose the trust.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“The Day FB Went Dark”

A Moment in My Life – Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

What were you doing the day FB went dark? That’s the similar question everybody asked forever after the big earthquake that shook San Francisco in 1989. For me, I was sitting right here writing when I decided to go into FB and change my cover photo at just past 9 a.m. Only to receive a “failure to open the page” notice. Who would’ve thought FB was down? I figured it was on my end. I rebooted my modem, which didn’t help. So, I hard booted my MacBook, which also didn’t help. Oops, don’t tell me, my verbal posts caught up with FB administrators, and they threw me into FB prison! That was my first thought. I Messengered my buddy, Big Bro, at about 9:30 and asked if he was having trouble. That message looked weird and didn’t appear to get sent, so I texted him ten minutes later. He called and said he wasn’t having trouble, but he couldn’t open my page. Ugh. Yep, I knew it. I was tossed into FB prison. It was a big maybe. Another possibility was that my profile got corrupted somehow, which stressed me out more.

What if FB couldn’t restore my profile? I would have to open a new account. Ugh. All that history since 2008 in this one account—poof just like that. I began kicking myself for not having taken copies of all my photos and archived them nice and neatly as the FB memories do. FB spoiled me rotten, and it got me relying on and trusting it for these daily memories. I swore I’d begin collecting all the everyday memories into File Manager if I got back into my account. 

The second layer of panic—my list of friends! I’ve got 626 FB friends. How in the world am I going to recreate that friend list? I have no clue who the 626 friends are. That’s the stupid thing about FB that I dislike. It decides which 25 friends I get to interact with. I have a love/hate relationship with FB. If it comes to that, I will do the best I can to recreate my list. The good news is that if you’ve been active in my FB world, I’ll know you and send you a friend request. As for the others who never make an appearance, I’m sorry, but I might not know who you are to send you a friend request. I don’t like losing people, so know that it wouldn’t be on purpose.

A moment later, Big Bro called, saying that it wasn’t just me. It looked like it was a FB problem. Phew! What a huge relief! I could live with that. After we hung up, I googled for news, and that’s when I learned about the system-wide lockout between FB, Instagram, Messenger, and What’s App! That was awful news, but it felt good knowing I wasn’t in FB prison. Self-center, I know, but hey, I can’t worry about everybody else, and someone has to worry about me, so I guess I’m the best candidate for the job. 

Knowing that there was nothing I could do with FB, I resolved to get as productive as possible in my real-world before FB came back online. Isn’t it hilarious how much we rely on FB? It’s absurd if you think about it. FB has become such a big deal in my life that it feels like I’m reporting in to work each day. When I was a moderator for a FB group, it felt like reporting to work, except it wasn’t a seven-day workweek with a job. I’m slowly catching my breath now that I recently quit that role.

I honestly have a love/hate relationship with FB. FB has been a Godsend, especially during the isolation period of the pandemic. I admit FB has seen me through the dark times after my hubby’s demise. I am grateful for all of my daily FB connections that eradicated my aloneness. However, on the same token, when you’re in your writing zone, FB can be a big pain in the butt with all the alert notifications coming through all day and all night long. Not only FB but Messenger, well text, too, for that matter, especially group chats—those are the most distracting. I’ve yet to learn how to turn off alerts without acquiring yet another app that turns everything off for me. I’ve gotten into the habit of ignoring the alerts during my “zone time,” but I get dozens of alerts when I return to FB, which is overwhelming. Yes, it’s wonderful having all those interactions, but let’s say, every good thing has a downside. 

The day FB was down, I have to say that I didn’t miss it at all. It was super quiet, though, and for one day, that was great, but I know I wouldn’t want that much quiet every single day. I would miss my FB buddies and my favorite groups and all the lovely interactions I have with my peeps. Also, I would die if I had no place to share my skyscape photos and fun times. But, for the one day, I loved feeling like I was living my life in the flesh again. Many people posted funnies after FB came back online about living in the real world again, but it’s so true what a difference it made not having FB. I got a lot done without guilt. See, with FB, especially when I was moderator, I felt guilty if I stayed out of FB longer than an hour. I conditioned myself to be a good team player, just like on the job, and for this one day, it felt wonderful and freeing and guiltless to live my life again. I usually found myself constantly checking for FB alerts. Crazy, right? It’s that love/hate thing I mentioned. It just became something I habitually do. I do it because if I check more often, there are fewer alerts, which is less overwhelming to catch up on than a dozen or more alerts at a time. 

I wouldn’t ever want FB to be down again. I would much rather decide to quit FB than for it to lock me out. However, taking a day off from FB without missing anything was like a Hallmark movie where we got to experience our life without FB in it for a day. I regained access to FB just after 3 p.m., but my East Coast and England peeps didn’t get their FB back until hours later. The lesson I learned from the FB Day-off was that I liked living my real life without distractions, but I don’t want to lose everything and everyone from my FB world. I am super grateful that I didn’t lose my FB account, and now that I’ve had a taste of life pre-FB, I can make accommodations to co-exist in both worlds and make it work for me. I don’t think I would’ve arrived at this positive conclusion had I not experienced life without FB in it. For me, it was a blessing in disguise the day FB went dark.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“I Can Keep a Secret, Can you?”

A Moment in My Life – Monday, October 4, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

“I’ve got a secret. I can’t tell you. I’ve got a secret. I can’t tell you.” Do you remember singing that little song as a kid in elementary school? I swear that’s how I feel right now. As a grown-up, I have never felt this excited about any secret before. Well, maybe I have, but I don’t remember. It’s awful, people! Ugh. I’m dying here! I feel like I have to tell someone, or I’m going to burst! 

When hubby was here, he was my go-to person. We had no secrets from each other. When I’m sworn to secrecy, I usually ask if I could tell hubby. Often, it was affirmative. It was neat sharing with hubby. He wasn’t a gossiper, so it was a win-win. I don’t know. I think it was mainly the satisfaction of sharing with him more than telling the secret. On the rare occasion when it was negative, then so be it. Hubby wasn’t privy to the secret. Luckily, those few times, the secret wasn’t a biggie. 

At this moment, I don’t have hubby to turn to, and this is a secret that I positively could have shared with him. Isn’t that a killer? Have you ever been in this position before? How did you handle it? Never mind, I don’t want to know. It doesn’t matter how you handled it because I was sworn to secrecy, so there are no alternatives here.

I’m sure all of you at one time or another had some great news that you were dying to share, but it restricted you from doing so for whatever reason. Maybe you had to wait until after some announcement took place before you could reveal what you know. That was usually the reason, like the big boss announcing the promotion or speaking with someone involved first. Or the couple is announcing their engagement to the family first. Or revealing the new baby or what have you. Or a new venture about to take off, or what every writer dreams of—a publication contract. Maybe there’s a new man or woman in your life that you’re dying to spill. Or perhaps you hit the jackpot but can’t tell anyone anything until the winner is confirmed. 

I don’t know. All I know is that these secrets are time-specific. Maybe this is one of those. Maybe after things played out, I’ll be released from the secret, then I could scream to anyone who would listen. Hilarious. I could see it now. By then, it would be old news, and nobody would care because everybody already knows. But at this moment, for moi, it is like the most exciting news I’ve heard in a long time, and ugh, I can’t tell anyone!

I am SO happy about it. It’s exhilarating. I’m beaming from ear to ear. I’m floating and can’t wait to see how it all plays out. Can you see why it’s killing me that I can’t tell you? I’m doing the next best thing—write about it, and that’s how I’m handling this. It gives me a little satisfaction. Even though it kills me, I can keep a secret, can you?

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Less of Me and More of You”

A Moment in My Life – Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

Last week, I wrote about the cool guy that woke up the insecure little school girl in me that was no fun to have around. Boy, I couldn’t wait to send her back to the past where she belonged. I did not enjoy her visit, and I sure hope she’ll never visit me again, and that would be too soon. However, she was a part of who I am. Like it or not, it is what it is. I might be a completely different person today had she not been me. Who knows, had I been a different person, I might have turned out to be a big jerk that nobody likes today. For that reason, I am grateful for who I was, even if I didn’t like that old me.

I’ve learned so much about myself since her visit. For starters, we all have skeletons hanging in the closet, and I don’t mean those we decorate the front porch with on Halloween. The skeletons I’m referring to, we leave in the dark corner of the closet cobwebbed over, ignored, and hopefully, forgotten. Until something triggers us to open that closet door and dust off the cobwebs, something causes us to take out that skeleton, which is bound to happen. We’d have to face our old selves as awkwardly, uncomfortably, and painfully so. It’s only a matter of time.

Having done that recently, I survived the encounter as traumatizing as it initially was. As I dusted off the cobwebs, I stared in my mind’s eye and saw the scared little girl I was who wanted so badly to be loved for who she was, which was a tall order since she didn’t love herself. How could she when her mother kept telling her she was good for nothing? She could never imagine someone loving her. Her mother didn’t, so why should she? Why should she even like herself when it seemed like nobody did? Kids at school could be so mean to each other. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in that thinking. It’s awful the torture that kids do to each other and themselves by spewing negatives and tearing down each other’s psyches. I can see how some kids grow up all messed up and do not survive the growing pains.

Most of us managed to grow up okay, scar tissues and all. And that was the biggest lesson I learned from this incident that who we were as kids do not guarantee the people we become as adults. As kids, our appearance was everything. Everybody strived to look like everybody else and do whatever it took to be cool, but inside, we were all the same. That’s the funny part, but we didn’t know it then. 

I’ve gotten to know my cool guy better, and wow, he truly is a cool guy—nothing like the cool guys of my youth who only looked the part. My cool guy is a genuinely good person who happens to be warm, loving, and full of kindness—that’s it—that’s what made him cool. His looking the part was a bonus. As we got to know each other better, he figuratively held my hand and escorted the insecure little girl back to the past where she belonged with his reassuring words, and he has since become an amazing buddy of mine. 

My cool guy takes his time to hear my words, and when we’re together, I am his priority. I don’t feel rushed. From him, I learned that that is the key to live by—focus on the person you’re with and honestly give them your attention as if they are the most important person in the world. Everybody wants to feel special, and that’s how Brian, my cool guy makes me feel—growing up would’ve been a breeze if I had been more like him as I concentrated on others instead of internalizing my insecurities. It doesn’t take much effort, but an ounce goes a long way when we exercise the golden rule of less of me and more of you.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“A Note to My Stalker”

A Moment in My Life – Monday, September 27, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

This is a note to my stalker, and you know who you are. I didn’t think I’d ever talk to you again, but you wouldn’t leave well enough alone, so here I am, giving you a piece of my mind. I don’t get it. Why can’t you move on? Why can’t you get it through your head that I don’t want anything to do with you? Why did you come back into the Doo Wop group and tap “like” on my songs? What purpose does that serve? Did you think that you could sneak back in, and everything would be okay? Let me tell you, there’s too much damage done, and it will never be the way it was. Did you know that seeing your name made me cringe? I’m sure that wasn’t the emotional response you expected. Then again, I don’t think you care what my reaction might be. It’s always been all about you. 

I unfriended you as an act of kindness because I realized staying friends with you and working with you to overcome your obsession gave you the false hope that there might be a future for us. We could’ve been friends, but you ruined that when you crossed the line—a line that I made crystal clear I would never walk with you. You kept insisting you understood and that we were nothing more than “just friends,” and you assured me that you weren’t stalking me, yet your actions told me otherwise. 

The more I tried to work with you to stay friends and coexist amicably online, the more overwhelmed I became because I couldn’t help you. I’ve never known a stalker before, so I tried to help you as if you were a normal person, which you are not. I wanted to believe there was hope for you because you have many FB friends who think you’re a nice guy. Before I got to know the real you, I thought so, too. I wanted to believe that there is a genuinely good guy inside you, and all you have to do is overcome your demons. Everybody deserves a second chance. Having said that, you already blew many second chances with me, but I still want to believe there is hope for you, just not in my world. 

Had you stayed out of my life and allowed me peace, you could’ve gotten away with your stalking. I wouldn’t have done or said anything to anybody because I was so grateful to be rid of you. But you couldn’t stay away. You had to touch my songs in Doo Wop! In hindsight, I’m glad you did because seeing your name made my skin crawl and propelled me into action. Especially since I learned that you have a history of stalking tendencies, I am not your first, and I’m sure I won’t be your last, but it has to end now. I can’t prevent you from stalking someone else, but I’m not going to ignore what I know either. Staying quiet only allows you to continue lurking and preying on unsuspecting victims. However, for your own good, I sure hope you’ll heed my advice and get yourself professional help before you end up in the slammer or worst. 

Stalking is wrong. You must know that! You may think it’s love, but any unwarranted affection is a crime. You have got to know that. If nothing else, think about the consequences of your family finding out this side of you. I know you care about your reputation, and that’s why you didn’t want me to quit Doo Wop in fear that the outcome would ruin your reputation. It’s not too late to make things right. You’re not at the point of no return…yet. But you have to stop what you’re doing and make that call to get professional help, pronto!

In the meantime, do me a favor, go away. Don’t show your face or name in my world again. Let me un-know your name. I don’t ever want anything to do with you. If I see your name anywhere in my world, I will publicly name you in every group you belong to that you are my stalker. I don’t want to do this, but if that’s what it takes for you to take me seriously, then so be it. I’ve always tried to be kind to you, more than you deserve, but you took me for a pushover. Label me whatever you like, but know that I warned you here in a note to my stalker.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Nothing Ever Happens”

A Moment in My Life – Thursday, September 23, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

Nothing ever happens in San Bruno until it does. I lived in San Bruno for over a decade, and seriously, nothing ever happened in that bedroom community. Back then, there weren’t even many walkers out on the sidewalks. People traveled in cars or buses, getting from point A to B tending to their business. In recent years, they added the crosswalk signal lights activated only where a person crosses the street for the sporadic few crossers on El Camino Real. They do get used on rare occasions—but nothing like the busy crosswalks in the city. 

One afternoon in the heat of the pandemic, I drove along El Camino as I usually do when I was avoiding the freeway. This particular day, a slew of people lined up waiting to file into a store on El Camino caught my attention. I don’t recall seeing anyone walking on those sidewalks, let alone going in or out of a store. Yet, there was a long line of people single filed inching into some shop. I glanced at the store’s name out of curiosity, and the word “guns” caught my eye. Guns? There’s a gun shop in San Bruno? Since when? I wasn’t surprised about the gun purchases since guns were making the daily news, but San Bruno surprised me. The fascination was short-lived. Thank God. It felt nerve-racking thinking about more guns in civilian hands with all the protests and riots circling the towns.

I dropped off my car for a smog check at a garage in San Bruno earlier this morning. Since it was such a lovely day, sitting outside the library courtyard sounded like a delightful place to get some writing done while I waited. I walked on El Camino from Kains towards Angus, heading to the library, when an unsteady medium-size Caucasian man with a rat’s nest of mousy blond dreadlocks and wearing a green lumberjack shirt came towards me. He danced around a bit, possibly intoxicated as he had trouble smoking his cigarette—but I couldn’t smell any alcohol. He was loud and talking to me from a distance. I considered my options to evade him. El Camino’s blocks are long, the sidewalks are narrow, and the streets are wide with three lanes of traffic on both sides going opposite directions, leaving me no alternative but to walk by him.

I ignored him as I got closer to him, hoping he wouldn’t try to grab me. We were that physically close. Thank God. He didn’t try anything. He rattled on, and for a moment, he stopped moving, stared at me, and waited for me to answer his question, “Hey, you want to come to my birthday party?” At that point, I relaxed and laughed, realizing he was harmless. I giggled, thanked him, declined, and wished him a happy birthday. I began moving away as he tried to change my mind, but he didn’t follow me. I left him exercising his lungs with gibberish since I stopped listening.

I located a nice secluded bench in the courtyard, settled in on my MacBook, and began writing. It was lovely today. The air was fresh and soft with a hint of a light breeze and felt warmer than the 63 degrees shown on my car’s display earlier. This location was a perfect choice not to be bothered. A little while later, two police officers, one Caucasian and the other Asian, broke my concentration. My first thought was that they were moving me along because loiterers were prohibited or something. I was wrong. Instead, they asked me if I noticed any loud yelling and screaming, which I didn’t, and that was my answer. I suddenly remembered the birthday guy and told the officers about him. The Caucasian officer did all the talking. He asked, “green shirt?” 

I answered affirmatively and added that he was down on El Camino near the bus stop. I’m a crackpot, so I said, “he invited me to his birthday party” for good measure. 

The officer asked, “Are you going?” He cracked this crackpot up. I laughed and told him no! He thanked me for my help, and they went on their way. As I said earlier, I was in a secluded spot. I couldn’t stop wondering why they singled me out. Light bulb! I got it. I was wearing a green camouflaged fatigue hoodie. (Don’t worry. I had purple on.) They were looking for a green shirt. This is how being in the wrong place at the wrong time wearing the wrong color clothes gets you in trouble. Lucky for me, it ended well. I don’t look like I might be a person of interest, but hey, I’ve seen the news and movies, for that matter, and some people aren’t as lucky. 

After all this, you probably think I’m smoking some funny stuff when I said nothing ever happens in San Bruno. Yeah, well, times have changed. I didn’t mention the shootings and the muggings at the mall months back. The pandemic has transformed life as we knew it. San Bruno is no different, and really until something happens in this town, nothing ever happens.