Posted in A Moment in My Life

“It Can Happen to Me”

A Moment in My Life – January 31, 2023

Jeannie Yee Davis

I knew it might happen. I worked all year to prepare for December. I saw the pattern from the previous three years, which led me to believe it might happen again, and it did with a vengeance like no prior year, mind you. I swear each year got a little worse with this last December, the heaviest, deepest dive into the well of darkness than ever.

All year round, every single day, I woke up, and I pumped positivity onto my FB wall, hoping to lift others who awakened in dire need of a pick-me-up or were not quite a happy camper and needed a bit of reinforcement to start the day. Some wanted to jumpstart their day with a smile. We’re all human and need something to smile about each day. I tried to deliver a redeeming, sobering message of hope for everybody who needed, welcomed, and appreciated it. Creating witty captions upon gorgeous skyscapes brought me joy, and sharing them with others cheered me up as much as it did them.

Many people have said that I am always happy and inspiring and the most positive person they know. It’s true. I am optimistic, but it doesn’t always come naturally. Like anything else, I have to work at it. I strive for an uplifting outlook on everything that comes my way, but being human, I live with the trials of mood swings, good days, and bad—waking up on the wrong side of the bed—things not going my way. We must deal with life challenges, disappointments, and people who rub us wrong or intentionally aim to hurt us. There are plenty of unexpected circumstances that throw us into a loop. We deal with come what may and, as challenging as it is, maintain a positive attitude amid adversity.

The unfortunate thing about maintaining a sense of happy is that people assume we are always happy and nothing can penetrate us. They don’t think we may have a bad day. We do, but we don’t show it to avoid spreading negativity. They assume nothing can take us down, which would be fantastic if that were true. I would love to always be in a good mood 24/7. That’s unrealistic, though. It’s human to feel emotions, and it is healthy to verbalize our feelings and not hide them. I am verbal. I’ve voiced when I’m not a happy camper. It’s interesting the response I got. Nobody seemed concerned or fazed by it.

When you’re in the deep dive of depression, it feels like an empty canyon with miles of nothing and nobody around to hear you scream. You are all alone even though smiling people are all around you, but they see nothing, hear nothing, and feel nothing that is clawing at you. You think nobody cares—you feel unloved and alone. Depression does that to you. It spats lie after lie until it buries you under its weight, immobilizing you.

There is nothing lonelier than feeling alone with people all around going about their business, paying you no attention, especially during the holidays. It’s the saddest time of the year for some folks, and it has become that for me. Knowing this, I prepared myself for the darkness, but some challenges must take place no matter what you do. It’s in the cards. I will keep trying to beat the odds. I don’t want to relive this past December when it felt like the world turned against me.

When I thought things couldn’t get worse, they did. I had a scary jab in the nose accident in the shower that left me bleeding endlessly. Luckily, I stopped the bleeding, avoiding a trip to ER. As frightening as that incident was, it was just the beginning. A few hours later, an elderly lady didn’t see me and slammed her SUV into my little car, giving me my first fender bender. That incident also rendered my trunk latch unresponsive. Like anybody else, I was screaming, “Enough!” But it wasn’t over yet. My car battery stranded me, luckily, in my garage. Praise God. AAA came to the rescue with a jumpstart. Hallelujah. Two days later, both key fob batteries died. You know you’re going nowhere fast or slow. After replacing the batteries, my car didn’t fire up as expected. What is going on, people? Initially, it was probably the cold temperature. Long story short, the battery gave up its ghost and needed replacing. Enough? Nope. Not yet. Come Christmas Eve, just as everybody closed up shop early for Christmas, my dishwasher broke and flooded my kitchen, destroying my wooden floor. Now, enough? Oh yeah. No kidding. It was enough before any of this happened.

It was bad enough feeling the aloneness, but when challenges like these happen, you can quickly spiral deeper into depression and to the point of no return, but realistically, bite the bullet and fight back. This isn’t true for everyone. Some people may not survive so many ordeals in a short time. I’m a survivor. Take responsibility, and deal with come what may, as you have heard me say.

Regardless of the lousy hand dealt me, I still look for a silver lining in every situation. If you look, you will find, and I did. As depressing as these physical ordeals were, in hindsight, they were what I needed to distract me from my depression. Each incident was traumatic enough and timely spaced to force my attention away from my depression but not so devastating that I couldn’t bounce back from it.

Since I fell into depression the last few years, I thought I could beat it this time, but I couldn’t prepare for any of them. Each depression is unique. Different triggers spiral you into a realm all on their own, meaning I will learn a new lesson next December, which I am not looking forward to, just like no two people can experience the same depression, but it is what it is. This began with Mark’s untimely passing and is something I must work through. Knowing this will happen, I need to guard myself with solid and positive surroundings, which I failed to prepare this time. I started with low self-esteem and exhaustion—both candidates for the devil to make himself at home. Once he enters, he tells you lies that nobody cares. You’re unloved and unworthy to be loved; before long, you’re too weak to fight him, and you believe him. Then your universe collapses.

It’s true. I was all alone during my darkest period, but in hindsight, that was what I needed. I had to search within myself and reassess my life and who I am. I needed to scrutinize everything I was doing to ensure that I was advancing along the right path, and it was a journey I had to take alone. Once I understood this, I no longer felt alone or unloved. God set it up in a way that gave me the space I needed to do this exercise without people influencing me. Once I completed this task, the people stepped back into the picture, wrapping their love around me.

Everything works together for a reason. We are not alone, even when we feel alone. It is sometimes necessary for our good to be alone. Of all unlikely people, I fell into a prolonged depression this December and only found myself a few days ago. It is good to find myself again. It’s a fabulous feeling to feel like me again. I disliked being depressed, but I learned much about myself and restored what I needed. My beautiful little car has a brand-new car battery, a restored trunk latch, new key fob batteries, and my baby is as good as new. I have no permanent damage to my nose. My dishwasher has a replaced valve that will outlast the dishwasher. My floors, well, they are as good as they can be.

Each depression is unique, some worse than others. We should not take it likely. I always recommend people talk to someone and do whatever it takes to get out of the rut. I was verbal about being down in the dumps, but in my case, it didn’t generate conversations, which was perturbing at first, but in the end, I understood it wasn’t what I needed to overcome this plight. I had to go through the motions to learn that, but I survived it a better me. Nobody is beneath depression. Even someone like me, who is always happy, can’t escape it. I am living proof that we are stronger than the devil who tries to trip us up. Try as I did to avoid depression, but I am human, and it can happen to me.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Love on the Brain and Not Something Else”

A Moment in My Life – Thursday, October 27, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

In my previous column, “Just Like That,” I weighed whether to call Ratish for a date. Before I decided, Ratish began texting me, and we started a friendship by getting to know one another. Straight off the bat, unintentionally, we did what my niece said young people do these days, and that’s “define the relationship.” Back in the day when I was dating, there was no such thing as defining the relationship, per se. You dated, and if all went well, the natural progression was to go steady, which led to engagement and marriage. Times have changed, and defining the relationship makes sense. Before we got to the talk about going on a date, we revealed differing relationship objectives. My poor heart sank as there was no apparent solution to bridge our differences. He was doing me a favor in his mind because we could satisfy each other’s needs since we were both single, straight, and available. He has a good point. He does. If only being friends with benefits worked for me.

I am thankful that he respects my decision, even though he wouldn’t mind being “friends with benefits” until my Mr. Right comes along. Well, that’s quite noble of him. I repeat, if only “friends with benefits” did it for me, our relationship would be so simple, and it would be a win-win for us both. Maybe for some folks, but me, it has never worked, and I doubt it ever would, just like I hope but suspect that he wouldn’t suddenly want a long-term relationship over a casual let’s-get-together-for-fun one. He left the ball in my court with, “let me know if you change your mind,” which meant that it was over before it started because I won’t be changing my mind.

What we have here is a modern-day Romeo and Juliette unrequited love story. Both are waiting for love to strike simultaneously in the same way. It’s a fairy tale wish our fairy godmother could sprinkle her magic dust to change one of our minds. Preferably his—as he matures and becomes ready for a long-term commitment. I know he would have me change my mind. For now, the obvious choice—let this one go. Like Tic Tac Toe, it’s better not to play the game. Playing will not lead to a happy ending for either of us.

Ending by choice still hurts and is sad and rejecting any way you cut it. Why couldn’t we both have love on the brain? He probably thought the same thing, but instead, why couldn’t I have sex on the brain? That’s why he probably kept checking in with me when I was so sure I’d never hear from him again after I set my boundaries early on. I kept thinking he would have found someone else and moved on. Yet, I heard from him week after week, and my mouth dropped. Why? What part of not wanting the same thing did he not understand? Eventually, I caught on. He checked in just in case I changed my mind. I guess this is when the word flattering comes into play.

Even though he knew he wouldn’t have his way, he still wanted to see me. After a while, I finally agreed to meet him in a public place to avoid temptation. I told myself that this was necessary to help him cut the ties. I was so sure that once he saw me again, he’ll realize that there wasn’t anything special about me and would lose interest, and that’s that. Then, he would forget about me and move on.

To my surprise, when he saw me, he said I was hot and sexy. I turned left and right to see who he was talking to. Oh, me! Hot? Sexy? Where did that come from? I’ve never heard or thought of either word in the same sentence as my name in my entire life. I’m just me, trying to be the best version of myself. I’m so not hot or sexy. I can only dream. I like the idea of being sexy, just a little, not too much, but I honestly never thought about it, so I have to admit, having a guy say that about me got me doing the happy dance.

It’s still too early to tell whether this is the end of the road for him, too, but I would be okay with being friends with benefits differently than his version. I could see friends with benefits coming in handy when we need a plus one for an event, which sure beats attending alone. I don’t know if we could go there. If nothing else, I’m thankful that Ratish came into my life, distracted me from routine, and allowed me to feel like a schoolgirl again for a couple of months. He renewed all those little nuances of anticipation and excitement of a new relationship long forgotten. Everybody needs to be wanted and loved, and I am no different. Ratish wants me, but that’s not enough for me. I like the real deal, the balance of a complete, deep, and meaningful relationship where my guy will want me and love me at my best, worst, sexy, and everything in between. When I meet my special guy, I don’t want to compromise my objectives, meaning it will have to be love on the brain and not something else.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Just Like That”

A Moment in My Life – Friday, October 7, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

All I wanted for Christmas last year was to experience a Hallmark romance of my own. That thought can be daunting since many Hallmark romances begin with a disconnect between the prospective couple in an unexpected circumstance. I could do without the trauma drama disconnect, but I’m okay with meeting Mr. Right under the least expected circumstances. When Christmas came and went without a glimmer of Santa’s present somewhere in my humble abode, I filed away Christmas and returned to my reclusive life. My Christmas wish poofed with a snap of my fingers. What was I thinking? I’m a grown-up practical modern-day woman relying on Santa for a wish to come true! Before long, my sensibility sent me down my mega to-do list, tending to my projects by priority. Soon, everything holiday-related faded to another calendar page on top of the previous calendar years.

If you don’t go anywhere, the chances of encountering unexpected circumstances are a moot point. The pandemic does not help. Every day, the Covid numbers rose with a new variant mutation, and I retreated deeper into hermit life. I encountered zero social life for six months as my way of keeping out of trouble. You never know who you might catch the virus from, when, how, or where, but like it or not, at some point, I knew I had to stop being a fraidy cat and do what needed to be done. For starters, my six-year-old modem has troubled me for quite a while, and it finally refused to transmit a byte of data. The reason I survived the looney farm as a hermit was my cyber world, my only means of human connection, which meant if a stranger needed to come inside my home to get my Wi-Fi working, then so be it.

Of course, when you have a technical problem, it’s not easily fixable, as in my case. Conceivably, I should be able to resolve my issue with a couple of easy steps, but nope. That would’ve been too simple. Instead, a live technical person needed to service my call. Imagine my dismay at having a potential virus-spreading person inside my home—not a good feeling, but I wanted my internet problem resolved more than I feared the virus.

When the service guy arrived, I opened the door, and my eyes went skyward to meet the eyes of the tall, dark, and handsome man in a fluorescent service vest. I was glad he couldn’t see my mouth fall open under my mask. He immediately put on his mask, following my lead. He asked what the problem was, and I was a bubbling idiot trying to form logical sentences. I was glad I had jotted down the issues that needed servicing before I became distracted.

After the initial awkward greeting, we worked together well. Ratish didn’t mind my inquisitive curiosity, allowing me to follow him and watch what he did. Everything fascinated him. He noticed around my place, pointing out all the purple, like a kid at an amusement park. He said, “Your outfit is even purple. I like it,” pointing to my two-tone purple tee and lavender jeans. I glanced at my clothes, surprised that he was so amused since I dressed, not to impress. He commented on how much he liked my purpleness; now, purple is one of his favorite colors.

During this service call, I was uptight, concerned that I might have residual internet problems, while Ratish was the total opposite of me, with his carefree amusement. His easygoingness and willingness to answer all of my questions helped put me at ease. Once we covered everything a few times over, he gave me his cell number and said, “Call me anytime if you have questions or problems or want a date.” 

What did he just say? Did he say, “a date”? I didn’t comment as I followed him out the front door, replaying his words in my head. He turned around, and when I saw the playfulness in his eyes, I realized I had heard him correctly. Then I said, “A date, huh?

“Yeah. Just call me.” Ratish leaned against the doorframe as the butterflies fluttered in my tummy. For the first time in a long time, I forgot everything that needed to get done. Instead, I floated up to meet his eyes, and my Christmas wish came true just like that.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“A Perfect Day Over and Over or A Not-So-Perfect One?”

A Moment in My Life – Friday, August 19, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

What would it look like if you could choose the kind of day to live? “Would you rather live one perfect day over and over or live your life with no perfect days but just decent ones?” Jenny Han posed this question in her novel “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” and it has been dancing in my head since I read it. I wonder what I would choose. I never quite thought about it, but I strive for a perfect day every day. In real life, there is no such thing as a perfect day, or is there? Perhaps there is, but it wasn’t in my deck of cards. Was it in yours?

What would a perfect day look like to me? I imagine it beginning with a gorgeous sunrise unique from the day before, a gentle breeze, and a whiff of fresh, clean air as I sip from a hot cup of joe that remains hot to the last sip—flocks of birds in formation flying into my sunrise just as I click the photo. That’s what a perfect morning looks like to me. The rest of my day would look pretty much the same, with everything falling in place seamlessly. I think the gist of it would mean my plans working out without issues. People I want to socialize with will be available, and we’d have an amiable, pleasant time together—family gatherings where everybody gets along without discord. Peace and harmony surround me, and that sounds perfect. 

That does sound lovely, but would I be happy living this same day over and over? Although, I am a creature of habit who lives in routines. I have my daily morning routine checklist, but that’s only to ensure I get the must-do’s done because my to-do list is longer than the days of my life. I get tired of doing the same things all the time. I need a break and change occasionally. I long for weekends, days off, and vacations where I deviate from the same-old, same-old. Some of you know that I’m a song repeater. I once played the same song on repeat for two weeks. Oh, how I loved that song. As much as I loved that piece, I eventually needed a change. So, would I want to live the same perfect day for the rest of my life? 

If you think about it, perfection is subjective. My definition of perfect is not yours, so how would we simultaneously survive on a perfect day? We would need variety, just like shopping in a store. The whole purpose behind vendors providing more and more merchandise to choose from is because no two people like all of the same things. I am a sun lover and a fan of summer. Many people I know prefer the fog and wintry weather, which means if we’re living in the same space, one of us won’t be a happy camper. How does that work?

You know what, though? If we live a perfect day every day, I think that limits our full potential on many levels. We need the dark to see the light, the bad to appreciate the good, and the lessons we encounter to learn and grow. My belief, we don’t know what we don’t know until we know. The only way to achieve that is by encountering unexpected situations when we least expect them. When things aren’t perfect, we learn a lot about ourselves and one another by working together to remedy a problem, find a solution, or fix something that broke. As Jenny Han said, “It’s the imperfections that make things beautiful.” A great sense of joy accosts me when I suddenly see the beauty I haven’t seen before. It’s the little pleasures of life. It’s a means to see people differently when life isn’t perfect. 

Now that I had a chance to think on this topic, I prefer to live life with no perfect days but just decent ones with perfect moments every day. Having a perfect moment each day raises our happy hormones, which can float us through the day. That doesn’t mean we can’t hope for a perfect day. Hope flows us through life. We need hope to get out of bed, to do the things that we do, something to look forward to that gives us meaning to live every day. The unknown adds to the flavors of life—making and keeping it exciting and the world spinning around the way it needs to be. As Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” And that adds just the right amount of mystery to make a day perfect yet unique.

I am passionate about capturing gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, but I desire unique photoshoots, even if they aren’t perfect. The beauty of my endeavor is how to capture the best photo with what I have to work with, and that makes it perfect. On the same token, as much as I love sunshine, it’s a lot of fun to dance in the rain. There is a time and place for everything, and it is such a blessing the world is the way it is, giving us a little of everything to enjoy that I’d gladly forfeit living a perfect day every day.

That’s just my take. Now, your turn. I would love to hear your take on this subject. Delight my ears, my friends, and tell me, would you prefer a perfect day over and over or a not-so-perfect one?

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“The Little Acts of Kindness in My Life”

A Moment in My Life – Friday, August 12, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

Often, it seems I turn on the news only to hear about some violent crimes of hatred erupting in the world. Sure, there are scary neighborhoods in every city with enough ugliest filling the streets, adding fear to the old-timers who once felt safe walking alone. Then there are the scams that happen right under your nose in a supermarket where nobody cares, not even the staff. We can’t control all the bad things that happen. I never understand why people have to do bad things. Why do they have to hurt people, cheat them, steal from them, or whatever? Every action is a choice we consciously make. Realistically, we can’t and shouldn’t let fear prevent us from living. 

It is comforting to know life isn’t absolute. It’s not all or none. There is still love and kindness and good people out there. I grew up in a world where my sisters and I walked to our elementary school without supervision. Parents these days gasp hearing such a thing. But we must remember that life does continue as if nothing is wrong in the world. We should always be cautious of our surroundings, but we should continue to trust that there is good in people. 

It doesn’t take much to show a little kindness that makes all the difference to someone’s day. I can speak from first-hand experience about the smile that tattooed itself on my face while an exhilarating joy filled my core in response to the little acts of kindness I recently received. What makes it an act of kindness is that it was unexpected.

Did you know they have a wine merchant at Costco? I did not. While perusing the wine aisle looking for a small bottle of wine, I was intrigued by a wine from Italy that was on sale. I don’t know the top end from the bottom end of a bottle of wine, but this bottle fits my size requirement. A moment later, I returned to ponder the wine further when Gio, the wine merchant, who was dusting the bottles earlier, approached me and started a conversation. He punched up information from his device about the wine and read it to me. He gave me a lot of food for thought. For starters, it was a dessert wine that sounded yummy but was not suitable for my plan. Now, Costco typically doesn’t have service where staff assists you with products, so Gio gave me service above and beyond, which made my day. This wasn’t the first time I received terrific treatment at Costco. My Costco does have the best staff. Another time, the staff person rang up my purchases for me, and I was in the self-check station. Not something you would hear every day.

Last evening, after completing a big project, I decided to treat myself to the Red Lobster Throwback Thursday deal of the day. I’ve done that from time to time during the pandemic. Life is short. We have to treat ourselves once in a while. I didn’t expect the act of kindness from the server who handed me my takeout order. I asked him if I got biscuits this time. He gave me a questioning look. I explained that once, I didn’t get any biscuits. Immediately, without further ado, he said to wait for him right there, and he ran off, returning with a piping hot bag of biscuits and handed it to me. It didn’t matter that I had biscuits in my bag already. He was customer-focused and kept me a happy customer, and his act of kindness floated me the rest of the night. 

If you look, you will find acts of kindness like when my gardener trimmed my roses, cut a few stems, and left them on my porch for me to enjoy. Or, the secretary at my church bought an assortment of tote bags for an event, and there was one purple tote, so she saved it for me.

When the world is grumpy, impatient, and in a hurry, it becomes the norm to expect zombies from other cars on the road. Once in a rare blue moon, I turned and made eye contact with the driver in the truck to the right of me. So, I nodded and smiled, and to my surprise, he reciprocated with a big smile and a wave. I don’t know about him, but that floated my boat. Another time, I waited to pull out from the parking lot. Across the street from my metallic grey Veloster, a young man sat behind the wheel of a white Veloster that mirrored me, also waiting for the road to clear. I stared at him, and when we made eye contact, I pumped my thumb at him, and his face lit up, and he responded with a thumbs up. We smiled as we made our respective turns in the opposite direction onto the road. It is human to connect, especially with a common bond.

Whenever I see passersby on my daily walk, I always make eye contact, and mostly, not always, people are friendly, and we smile, wave, nod, and so on, and it brings such joy to my heart. It’s people that make the world a whole lot better. It’s people who keep the world going round. Just like the people in my FB world, who let me know they are out there and care by participating in my cyberworld. Their interactions add little acts of kindness to my day, which means the world to me. 

These people and there are more out there, probably don’t even know it, but they add to my happiness just by their kindnesses. As I said, we have to be cautious about our surroundings, but we can’t let fear stop us from living and enjoying our lives or trusting that there is still good in people. And with that said, I will end here so I can go and scope out the little acts of kindness in my life.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“I Can Never Go Home Anymore. And That’s Called Sad.”

A Moment in My Life – Monday, July 25, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

During the past few months, I took a hiatus from writing to deal with life. As a solo act, it won’t get done if I don’t do something. This realization keeps me on my toes and juggling tasks by priority. If you’re not broke, take a number and get into the long line. I won’t deal with you until your number is up. One of the tasks that became a high priority was my dire need to replace my modem. At five years of age, which was ancient by technology standards, I knew I needed to replace it one day but dreaded it. I remember the headache it was the last time we replaced it. We previously bought a modem and Mark, who knew what he was doing, installed it for us but not without problems. With Mark gone, I wasn’t so confident that I could do it myself.

Long story short, after a friend and an Apple phone tech, said they rented the modem from their internet provider, I decided to follow their lead. After all, if a tech guy thought it was a good idea, who am I to argue? 

While placing the modem phone order with Xfinity, I locked down a promotional deal for their highest internet speed at $17 less than what I was paying for their lowest speed. I did a happy dance with that savings. The rep also introduced their mobile service, reducing my internet total bill by another $30 if I bundled my mobile service with them. The timing was impeccable as I needed to upgrade my antiquated iPhone 6 since it had already stopped getting system updates a year ago. I put off upgrading my phone to avoid having to dish out the porky price that comes with the purchase. Being a red-headed stepchild with AT&T’s go phone division, I had no clout, but I had excellent phone reception that I could always count on. Nevertheless, except for needing a new phone, I had no complaints with my go phone plan. It served my needs.

Since Xfinity was so customer-focused on pleasing me, I decided to give AT&T a call and see what they could (or would) offer to get me to stay with them. Maybe I shouldn’t have had high hopes before making the call because my excitement shriveled with every word from the AT&T rep, who was disinterested in whether I stayed or left. 

My options for staying with AT&T were slim. If I want a new iPhone, I can have one for the total price upfront. If I preferred an installment plan, I needed to switch to their post pay service side; however, they would replace my current cell phone number with a new one in the switch. I refused to surrender my cell phone number six years ago, so why would I do that now? So much for that option. Knowing that AT&T’s strong reception is the only thing they had going for them, I asked what would happen if I left AT&T for another provider and later decided to come back to the AT&T go phone plan, and she said I could return but would get a new phone number. What is it with the new number thing? I don’t get it. Years back, I heard that they were running out of phone numbers. Well, here’s the solution—stop switching numbers. Maybe that would help. Alas, AT&T convinced me to leave that day.

Customer service-wise, Xfinity, has everything going for them, but reception-wise, AT&T they are not. Yes, I got my beautiful purple iPhone 12, just like I ordered it with my existing number, and I’ll own it in two years. I couldn’t be happier. Well, I could be more pleased if Xfinity’s reception matched AT&T’s. Xfinity is on the Verizon network, and now most of the people I talk on the phone with are on the same network; however, for those not, it is a challenge to get good audio reception on the call. Then there’s the Bluetooth reception between my phone and the car sound system that frustrates me. I always listen to music from Amazon Music or YouTube, which was never a problem. I’m still waiting for the reception to acclimate, or maybe it’s wishful thinking. In the meantime, it is annoying that every time and I mean every single time, I turn on the engine, the music pulsates or gurgles through a song before it smoothens out. I’m unsure if it would eventually smoothen out on its own since I impatiently help it along by turning the music off and on and off and on until the song smoothens out. I tell you, this challenge is an annoying pain in the butt. AT&T, I miss you because you never gave me any problems before, but you left me no choice since I needed a new phone but refused to pay for it upfront, and you weren’t accommodating.

Sadly, I am locked in with Xfinity for two years until I pay for my phone and fulfill the promotional deal. For now, it is what it is, and this is home. In any event, AT&T won’t ever be home again unless they change their rules and allow me to retain my phone number when I return. Otherwise, like The Shangri-Las’ song, “I can never go home anymore. And that’s called sad.”

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“It Took a Tumble”

A Moment in My Life – Monday, May 23, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

Old habits are so darn hard to break. I keep working on it, and this is one of those areas where my success is one step forward and two steps backward. It doesn’t help that I’m always in a hurry. I have so much to do that I won’t run out of tasks even if I’m the Energizer Bunny 24/7. There are pros and cons to being energized. Pros are getting tasks checked off the list and feel good that I’ve accomplished something that will improve an area of my life. I can sum up the cons with an accident waiting to happen.

With accidents, you never know what, how, or when it might happen. That’s why they call it an accident. On Saturday morning, I had one of those so-called accidents when I moved a bit too quickly back up the stairs to my office. This time, I can’t blame it on the music piping through my ears distracting me. I was simply in a hurry to get back to my desk with my breakfast smoothie. I had two conversations happening online, multi-tasking with my morning writing. Words filled my mind, waiting to hit the page before I forgot them. 

In a flash, it didn’t matter what I was thinking. I forgot them when I landed at the bottom of the stairs with one slipper still on, and the other sailed away with the floor mat beneath me. My smoothie remained obedient in its cup like a torch in my left hand as my right shin kissed the edge of the second step, and my right forearm slapped the edge of the fourth step. Of course, they had to land on the edge where it would hurt the most. I took turns rubbing my shin and forearm, telling them not to stress out. I don’t know. It was wishful thinking that if I talked down the injured areas like a mother soothing a wounded child, it would lessen the hurt. It eased the pain, but not on my pinky, which got into the action somewhere between and swelled, reddened, and throbbed. That scared me. I repeatedly applied BioFreeze on it, took down the swelling, and lessened the pain.

My technique worked. There is no residue, not even a bruise, of my fall, but this wasn’t the first time I slid off that mat, and I’m sure it won’t be the last unless I make a change. This time, I seriously considered getting rid of that mat. It should be a no-brainer and an easy peasy thing, but it was not easy for me. Removing it meant letting go of a part of my life with my late husband, Mark, because it was a mat with a “D” on it, making it personal.

In the past, it would’ve been a no-brainer. I would’ve decided on the spot and told Mark that we were tossing the mat. Period. But today, I am feeling guilty for wanting to dump it. It was a gift from one of Mark’s judo students, making it harder to let go. I hem and haw back and forth with yay and nay. So, I removed the rug that morning to see if I could let it go. And, you know what? I didn’t miss it, and I liked not having a mat at the bottom of the stairs. To make it easier, I reminded myself that this was just a gift that we received, and we found a place for it—not something that Mark and I had chosen together. Had I told Mark my plan, he would’ve said, “Fine by me. No skin off my nose.” And with that, I finally felt okay to toss it. It’s just one small floor mat, but the act felt like a load off my shoulders. It was a step towards changing an old habit of letting go. You never know what might happen to orchestrate a necessary change until it happens. For me, it took a tumble.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“The Tennessee Waltz”

A Moment in My Life – Friday, May 20, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

Just when I thought the past was buried and gone, never to be seen or thought of again, then Patsy Cline mournfully belts out her story of heartbreak. My fingers froze over my keyboard. My eyes stared inwardly into my mind’s eye as Patsy’s sweet voice deposited her sad story in my ears. 🎶 “I was dancing with my darling to the Tennessee Waltz. When an old friend I happened to see. I Introduced her to my loved one, and while they were dancing, my friend stole my sweetheart from me. I remember the night and the Tennessee Waltz. Now I know just how much I have lost,”🎶 and a choke tightened in my throat as memories unleashed an old familiar story from the dusty archive of my mind that I couldn’t ignore.  

It wasn’t “The Tennessee Waltz,” but it was a dance with songs like “Lady,” “Being With You,” “Woman,” “Slow Hand,” and “Keep On Loving You” that glistened under the disco ball. I happened to see my friend just like in the song, and I introduced her to my guy. Unlike the song, they did not dance. For some reason, she needed a ride home, and I did what a good friend would do. I begged my boyfriend for a favor. He didn’t say, but his face grimaced with displeasure. Yet, he agreed to give her a ride. Despite my gut feeling, I was delighted and grateful to have such a sweet boyfriend who would give my girlfriend a ride without complaint. He seated her in the backseat of his Celica hatchback and me in the front passenger seat. His unusual quiet filled the cabin with a dismal chill of silence that rendered me unsociable. 

To my surprise, my boyfriend drove me home first. I was too stunned and shy to ask why. Maybe it’s just me, but I expected him to drop her off first before taking me home. The clicks from my heels tapping on the ground replaced unspoken words on our brief walk to my door. We stood a foot apart and stared into each other’s eyes on the porch, searching for answers to different questions that never got asked. He leaned in and softly kissed my forehead and said, “Goodbye.” I watched him turn and walk away as if in slow motion, and the scene faded into the fog as they do in the movies. I have no recollection of what happened after that. I never heard from or saw him again. I have to give him credit that he did say, “Goodbye.”  

I saw my girlfriend in school from time to time. She didn’t have to say anything to confirm my suspicion. I knew. She smelled of his shampoo. We remained friends into early adulthood, but we never spoke about the elephant in the room. Eventually, we three went our separate ways. I say this because she married some guy I don’t know. And, you probably figured it out, she is not one of my BFFs. 

It’s sad. I can forgive pretty much anything, but I need words. I need to understand. Neither he nor she gave me the respect of answers, and that’s sad. It tells me a lot about their character. He was my first ghosting before I knew about ghosting. It would have been nice had he told me what wasn’t working, even if it were the dreaded, “It’s not you, it’s me,” or “I’ve fallen for someone else,” or “this is not working for me,” or whatever. At least give me the respect to know that we were breaking up and why instead of just saying goodbye. And now, I know just how much I have lost—nothing, unlike she did in “The Tennessee Waltz.”

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Too Many Memories”

A Moment in My Life – Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

Not everybody likes purple. For years, I was a closet purple lover. Donny Osmond was the only person I knew who openly owned his love of purple. I love Donny, but I wasn’t brave enough to stand on this side of the closet door. Did it make it right or wrong? Who’s to say? There is no right or wrong answer to this color question or pretty much for anything else that requires a preference, including memories. Who has enough clout to determine what and how many memories we should have on this planet? 

I want to know. Why? Because someone asked me this question recently. He asked me when was the right time to offload his wife’s things that he had tucked away after her passing. I didn’t feel qualified to give him advice when I had everything of my late husband’s right where he left them. 

A couple of months after Mark’s passing, I met with my high school girlfriends, who, in their attempt to console me, one suggested that I needed to move away. My mouth dropped, and I nearly fell off my chair at the food court as I blurted out, “Why? Why do I have to move away?” She said because there were too many memories. Her words slapped me in the face. I had been fighting PTSD, which left me an empty slate. I struggled to recall the teeniest memories with Mark, jotting them down as quickly as the memory returned before they vanished again. So, hearing her suggest that there were too many memories felt like she punched me in the stomach and flipped my insides out.

That lunch was a learning one since I was the first widow in our group, and we were having our minted discussion of the kind. And, it made sense why she suggested such a disturbing idea. For her and her husband, death was final. Once the person is gone, they no longer exist. There will be no service, no burial, no pictures, or anything except a cremation. They will destroy any footprint of their existence, and there will be no mention of them again. Life moves on for the survivor. I left that gathering heavyhearted with a dismal sadness, but I finally understood why she did not attend Mark’s Celebration of Life. Her way wasn’t easy to fathom, but who was I to judge? 

There is no right or wrong way. We don’t have to agree, but we need to understand where we are coming from and bridge the gap. It is essential to communicate and share our feelings and thoughts, which helps to respect each other’s views. Some might want to forget all or select memories, while others don’t want to forget a smidgen of memory. Some people remove all personal effects even before the funeral.

In contrast, others tend to these months to years later or never at all. I’m glad there is no one-size-fits-all to address this. Same with mourning. There is a time to mourn and heal, but the healing needs to happen. It is imperative that we eventually move on and live and live fully. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Every moment we remain in mourning, we are not living. 

I told my friend that he would feel it when it was the right time for him. Until then, nobody decides for us when it is time to move on or that we have too many memories.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Where Are They Now?”

A Moment in My Life – Monday, May 16, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

I’ve been nostalgic after my marathon phone chat with my BFF, who moved away from the bay area over twenty years ago. We talked and talked and talked as if there were no years between us, but we were catching up on our hectic week. That’s what close girlfriends do. The long chat made me miss her more. If we lived closer, we would most likely be popping into each other’s homes. Or we’d probably have each other’s key. Twenty years is a long time. The beauty of these years is when a friendship can survive the test of time. In this case, we survived the years, scheduling future marathon calls on our calendars. We also began planning a trip together. Oh, such exciting times ahead!

Thanks to Facebook, I reunited with my best friend from elementary school, and we are FB friends today. She is as beautiful a person as she was sweet when we were kids, and she has an equally lovely family—just having her in my life again overfilled my heart with joy.

Not all relationships resulted in happy endings, which got me thinking about some of the people from my past who made an impression on me, but we never saw each other again once we parted. Occasionally, they pop into my mind, leaving me wondering about them. 

In second grade, a little Italian boy named Luciano was not only oh so handsome, but he was extremely mature, intelligent, very well-behaved, and super polite and friendly. One day, Miss Roberts announced his extended absence due to a tumor growing in his brain. Tumor? What’s a tumor? I imagined a little tree growing out of his head. I never saw the tree or anything for that matter. Luciano never came back to school. A week later, he passed away. I never forgot him. I wonder what he would’ve been like today. I imagine he would’ve had more FB friends than anybody I know. I still miss him.

Suzie, the rebel in my fourth-grade class, scared me straight of any future wrongdoings I might have considered. Thanks to her constant backtalking that ended up with a leather strap across her bottom and tears streaming from her eyes, I never got into trouble. I wonder what became of her. I hope she used her rebellion for good and not for harm.

Remember when two team leaders chose players for their softball teams? I sucked at sports regardless and was always one of the last kids chosen when there was no other choice. Boys took their sport seriously, and some of them threatened to beat me up because I missed the ball. Out of nowhere, my hero, Donald, the tough guy with a soft heart in sixth grade, blocked the mean boys and talked them down, saving this damsel in fearful distress. As a kid, I didn’t know to thank him properly, but I never forgot him. I often wonder where he landed. I hope he is doing well. Maybe one day I’ll get to thank him.

Do you ever wonder about people from your past? I do. I get nostalgic and often think about them. I moved around growing up, which made it harder to stay connected, but I hold people close to my heart. Wouldn’t it be nice to reconnect with people from your past? I would love it, but I haven’t been fortunate in finding them, so all I have are memories and my curiosity that leaves me wondering, where are they now?