Posted in A Moment in My Life

“The Song and Dance of My Life”

A Moment in My Life – Monday, September 13, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

The song and dance of life hold different meanings for different people. For me, the song represents the cards life dealt me, and the dance represents the choices I made with them. Everybody goes through a song and dance ritual, but, for most, in a mundane sort of way because life is hunky-dory—nothing stands out. That’s not a bad thing because who wants trials and tribulations? Surely, not me, but a mundane life wasn’t in my deck of cards.

It always felt like one step forward and two or three steps backward. It seemed as soon as I began feeling good about things, then the other shoe dropped. It was as if God constantly humbled me with little relaxed moments in between. Sometimes, I laugh and tell God that when I meet Him in heaven, we’re going to sit down and have a talk. I’m inquisitive, and I want answers.

There is a lot I don’t understand, but in walking with God, He does reveal the answers that I seek at the right times. He gives me what I need when I need it—no more, no less. He equips me for what is to come, and now in hindsight, I understand why there was little downtime in between humbling episodes. Life goes on with or without my paying attention. Every card dealt me, like it or not, made me the person I am today. At times, it felt unfair that my deck of cards contained so many challenges, whereas others had the most boring lives where nothing ever happened. I know that’s not true because everybody’s deck includes some kind of challenges unique to them. It’s the “grass is greener in the neighbor’s yard” syndrome. The truth be told, if I asked my neighbor, he’s likely to think I had the greener grass. The bottom line is that God is a just God, and He equips each of us for what is to come in our lives. As unpleasant as some of my cards were, I’m so grateful for that truth, but I am not quite at that point yet where I’d say I’m glad it happened the way it did.

Every challenge I experienced was necessary to prepare me to live my life on my own. It couldn’t be more pronounced than the months following my husband’s demise when unbeknownst to anybody, including me, I was suffering from PTSD. I was alone, but God surrounded me with people who cared about me. For a solo person, I was never lonely. Every day, many loving people filled my day in some way. My social life couldn’t be fuller. Although, I was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted after weathering the many intense months of suffering my late husband endured. Not to mention bearing the aftermath of putting my life back together without my husband in it. Plus, the emotional ups and downs of my new position. My mind was a blank slate. I went through the motions when I was with someone, but I honestly believed my life ended with his. I didn’t verbalize this thought to anyone, but I wanted to lock myself away and be a hermit and stop living. What was the point? The life I adored was gone.

God knew what I was thinking and going through. Again, He wasn’t going to let me relax into my plans. Instead, He put me back on the saddle with a vengeance, mind you. I thought I would never travel again, but God had to have the final word. Instead, I never traveled as much as I did that first year of widowhood (whoa, this is the first time I ever used that word). I was also dreading my birthday since it was my first birthday without my husband. Again, I told nobody my fears, but God knew. Who would have guessed that my older sister would treat me to an early birthday cruise in May, checking off two birds with one stone in that single statement—covering my birthday and travel? A month later, my BFF, Noreen, bought my airfare and invited me to vacation with her in Seattle. My younger sister gave me an airline ticket to San Diego as my birthday gift. This trip would’ve been my first time celebrating with my family the July birthdays had I not ended up spending that whole vacation in the hospital with a heart attack the day before my flight out.

It was a traumatizing week where the hospital staff danced around as if I were fragile. One friend scared the bejeebies out of me when he said his farewells to me, saying that he knew I missed my husband and that I was now on my way to be with him. Whoa! Hold on, mister! Let’s not rush things here! Sure, I miss him every day, but I wasn’t ready to leave this world yet. One doctor said had I gotten on that plane, I wouldn’t have made it. Another said I was weeks away from another heart attack. It turned out my heart was fractured (hence, my heart was figuratively and physically broken), and it was damaged so severely that it was too risky to perform any procedure on it. Although, that unfortunate event turned out to be a blessing in disguise where I celebrated my birthday, not alone, but with more visitors and birthday cake than I had in my entire life. And, I am living proof that miracles can happen since God restored my heart without surgery.

There is a time and place for everything, but sometimes things are harder to deal with, like after being a couple for thirty-plus years, you find yourself single. Life continues regardless, and people have babies and get married. It’s an honor to receive an invitation, but it’s nerve-wracking for a new single. Attending a baby banquet alone isn’t that bad, but a wedding is entirely a different story and stressful. Everything is subjective. The pandemic with everybody on the same boat allowed me to catch up with my new status, a blessing in disguise. It was reassuring.

I thought I beat the odds and was doing very well adapting to my new status as everybody slowly returned to everyday life. Who was I fooling, though? This morning, it felt like déjà vu seeing the ambulance and fire truck pull up to my neighbor’s house, which triggered the memory of them coming for my husband. Immediately the tears spilled down my face. I guess some emotions never go away, but I have come a long way. 

Every action has a consequence, and that’s when I realized that every card dealt me made me a stronger person who can withstand the effects that are a part of my life now. I endured more challenges than many people, but it made me a survivor, which I need now. Do I like it? No, but I will be okay because God equipped me for this path. 

It may not be apparent as we go through the motions of life, but what I have come to know about God is that He is precise and intentional. He doesn’t play games. Everything He puts in our deck of cards has a purpose to equip us for what’s to come. I’m grateful for all the life lessons that He used to prepare me for today, and I know I can continue to trust Him because He always has my best interest at heart, and come what may, I know He has blessed the song and dance of my life. 

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Easy As a Summer Breeze”

A Moment in My Life – Thursday, August 26, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

I met my friend, Awesome Dan, on the treadmill back when we frequented Bayhill Gym in San Bruno. He was retired from the post office, and I was on sabbatical from work. I preferred Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings as that was the best time to get on my favorite machines. I had a routine planned out alternating between cardio and toning, and if everything worked out, I would be in and out of the gym in 45-minutes, tops, but that rarely happened. Most days, two hours was more like it, and occasionally, even three.

Based on the amount of time I spent at the gym, I should look like Miss Fitness USA, but only if I spent that time working out. I tried, and I got pretty fit in the process between my routine and talking about everything under the sun with Awesome Dan. Later, Rose, another retiree strolling on the treadmill to my right, joined the conversation. After I completed my time, I left them for another machine where Clif, a retired police officer, would usually work in with me, and you guessed it, we’d talk and talk, and so on the ritual went. Riley would fill me in on her college life while we did cables, and she captivated me with her fun running trails that made me miss running. When I first started dumbbells with Adam, he was nicely toned. By the end of my sabbatical, he was buffed, which came in handy for his job. It was neat hearing about his aspirations and later seeing that he accomplished his goal when I ran into him at Kaiser Hospital, where he became an orderly. I love when plans come together for people. I learned so much about a fireman’s life, which isn’t as scary as I envisioned. The stories Anthony told me made it easy to see how firefighters become family between the dangerous moments and their downtime where they played, ate, shopped, and lived together.   

It didn’t matter which machine or the dumbbell station I was at; the regulars and I always ended up yakking away the time as we squeezed in our workout. I met so many wonderful people at Bayhill Gym that I ended up referring to my gym time as The Bayhill Social Club. You know, getting to know people is such a beautiful experience, and when it happens as easy as a summer breeze, that’s how it should be. I am a total sucker for harmony. It troubles me when we have to struggle to get along with people. Come to think of it. I met tons of people but not one I didn’t get along with during my Bayhill gym days. 

My husband Mark, Awesome Dan, his beautiful wife Becky, Rose, and her guy Ron and I took our conversations outside the gym, where we began triple-dating. On our first date, I met Becky, and as much as I liked Dan from our gym time, he earned Awesome Dan when I observed how loving and gentle he was to his wife. It was rare to see a man open a door for a woman, let alone one who pulls out a chair for her and who wasn’t shy looking into her eyes as if this was their first date and makes all those little chivalry and gentlemanly efforts that let her know she’s the most important person to him. I thought only my Mark did those things, but he wasn’t alone.

Talking with Becky earlier brought me down memory lane to those beautiful days when we worked out together in the morning and triple-dated in the evening. I love summers, and these moments remind me of summer and make me long for the good times where relationships were easy as a summer breeze.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“The Way It Was”

A Moment in My Life – Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

It’s never gonna be the way it was, and that’s called sad because I liked it the way it was. This truth is painful for someone who dislikes change. It can’t be helped. Sometimes, we have to bite the bullet and just let it happen, particularly when we know it’s for the greater good. It takes a lot to nudge me into this direction, especially if I were happy where I was. I rarely sought out opportunities. I didn’t have to because doors opened for me at the right times, and I knew it was time to move on, like it or not.

As much as it pains me, it’s time to make a change in an area of my life that I loved. Previously, I told a friend that I adore being with this group sharing a common passion that bonds us and brings joy to my heart, but things weren’t as pleasant as they could be. She asked why I stuck around, and I answered because I enjoyed being with these people and had fun every time I’m with them. I figured when it’s no longer fun anymore. Then it was time for me to leave. Little did I know it would be so soon. 

I’m a romance enthusiast, but it has to make sense. One blatant example is the quote from “Love Story,” where Jenny said, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” I’m sorry, who taught you that? That has got to be the worse bad advice anybody could give someone. “Mothers are always right,” says the old saying. Seriously? Who coined that? I bet you it was a mother. Well, let me tell you. My mother used to say, “Silly girl, you don’t have to say thank you. We’re family.” Excuse me? No, I didn’t say that to my mother. Oh, no. I dare not. I thought it, though. Thank you, along with I’m sorry, should be high on the etiquette list for survival. It is imperative to exercise proper etiquette to survive in any relationship. 

Thank you, especially those two little words, “I’m sorry,” could be the difference between saving or breaking a relationship. If ever in doubt, I would imagine during this pandemic where groups of people are shut in together in cramp quarters that proved I am right.

“I’m sorry” may have made all the difference in my decision, but I didn’t get offered that. Words are indeed sharper than a sword. Once a stab wound heals, there may be no scars, and you may forget it was ever there. Hurtful words, once spoken, can never be taken back, but I’m sorry could act like a medicative bandage that can ease the healing. Without it, it leaves an open wound that may never heal. It’s those hurtful words that are the catalyst to my decision. I can give him the benefit of the doubt, but since there was no apology, it appears that he meant those words, and to make matters worse, it seems it doesn’t bother him that he hurt me. If he offered a sorry, he would tell me he cares about my feelings, and I could look past that and work through the hurt.  

However, I realized there’s more to this equation. A more significant issue here fueled the problem, and I don’t need a license to diagnose it. If I stay in the group, there’s always going to be a problem because “I’m the problem.” I’m always going to set this person off. I mentioned that things weren’t as pleasant as they could be, and that’s because I had to watch my p’s and q’s not to set this person off. That’s preventing me from being my true self, but I was willing to do that for harmony-sake. Now, even walking on eggshells, I still managed to set him off. That tells me that it’s my presence that sets him off. I am not willing to change who I am to avoid setting anybody off. I never had to change myself for my husband, my family, or for a job. Why should I do so for someone who doesn’t matter? I tried to be accommodating, but enough is enough. As much as I love the rest of the gang, it’s no longer fun with all the restrictions on me, so it’s time for me to leave. I know if I stay anyway, it’s never gonna be the way it was.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Heart of Gold”

A Moment in My Life – Monday, August 23, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

When there are people involved, you know it’s going to be tricky. The cool thing about people is that we’re all individual and unique. We’re not robots programmed to be a certain way. How boring life would be if we knew the exact outcome of every situation. Who wants to hang out with the same old same old all the time? I don’t. After a while, I’m likely to say, “Let’s not do it and say we did,” and call it a day. Life is too short to waste a second of it in redundancy. The problem with people is that you never know what you’re going to get with them. People keep us on our toes. They help us grow and become better people or destroy us. I hope for the former for all of us.

Being individual means, we choose the way we live, our preferences, and our responses to everything. Everything about us is unique, making it entertaining being with different people. Yet, people are funny. We strive for individuality, but what do we do? We seek similarities in the people we associate with, but since we’re individuals, we don’t always share commonalities or see eye-to-eye—that’s a pro and a con. As neat as it is to be different, there’s a lot to be said for “We’re both the same way.”

It feels terrific to like the same things with my peeps, especially with new friends. It confirms we have a connection. Anything other feels like we’re not getting along, and that’s not a good feeling. I can guarantee you that you’d have a disconnect with every relationship at some point. It will happen more often than we’d like. Only a select few I know crave for a good debate of sorts while the rest of us avoid confrontation at all cost.

And that brings me to the tricky part—what makes people tick? You never know what you’re going to get, regardless of how strong your relationship is. There are too many drivers that could ignite an unexpected emotion out of the blue that can create havoc in your relationship. When it comes to emotions, we could be born twins and respond entirely differently, meaning if we can’t count on twins to react the same way, how can we expect anybody else to react the same way?

I have a FB friend, who has a lot in common with me. We share interests and enjoy good banter like we did Saturday. Our conversations contained merriment and compliments. I thought everything was peachy when suddenly, he said something that caused me to go, “What are you talking about?” He tried to explain, but he did so in his riddle way. You see, although we have a lot in common, we handle confrontation as different as day and night. He tends to beat around the bush and hope I get it. I prefer you cut to the chase and tell me straight. Eventually, we got there but only after a bushel of hurtful words.

I am not proud of my verbal response to his accusations, but it is what it is when it catches you off guard. I did not see his comments coming at all. I honestly thought everything was fine between us. We had issues in the past, but we worked it out, and we had an understanding that I thought has been working for us. I don’t know what drove him to this point, but it did not end well. We did not see eye-to-eye. I prefer to resolve the issue and not leave it open-ended, but we’ve already been down this road before, and at this point, there is no sense in rehashing the scene.

I believe people are good, but with bents created by the individual circumstances that cause us to be sensitive to certain things that we could set off with the slightest effort. Something during our banter set him off. I believe he honestly thought he was doing me a favor in saying what he said, but that’s his belief, and that’s where my agreement ends. However, it doesn’t matter what the content of our disagreement was. What does matter is how we handled the situation. 

I strive to be more like Cassie Nightingale, “The Good Witch,” who always sees the good in people and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. She miraculously works out all situations in a positive manner. I admire her because it’s not an easy task for any human. My unfavorable response to my friend clearly showed that I have much work to do in achieving my goal of being like Cassie. Serendipitously, the song “Heart of Gold” appeared in my Amazon queue this morning. This song comforted me and refocused the unfavorable situation to the root of the problem, which was, as I mentioned—our bents. It doesn’t make it right or wrong. It is the way that we respond to whatever propelled the hurt. People hurt people because they were hurt. We’ve all been there. 

My mistake propelled my hurt to my friend in response to his hurtful words that tore my spirits when I should have taken a step back and not take it personally. I should have tried to understand where he was coming from and discuss the scene diplomatically instead of taking it personally and attacking back. What my friend should have done was sleep on it since it was so close to bedtime. After a good night’s rest, if he continued to feel that he should say something to me, then he should have spoken up. There was much both of us could have done better. I can’t control my friend’s actions, but I could control mine, and I should have done better. It’s too late for this situation, but it’s not too late to exercise kindness and compassion in my future situations if I want to be more like Cassie Nightingale, who is the perfect example of one who has a heart of gold.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“If Not You”

A Moment in My Life – Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

“‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t. You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t,” so the song “I Can’t Make You Love Me” goes. This couldn’t be more true because we can pretend to like something for a while, but ultimately it becomes too much work to keep up the pretense. 

Why do people do it? I’ve wondered most of my life, but I’ve yet to learn why people play the games they do. One day, I’m going to do a study and get to the bottom of this. Until then, I can only imagine why. I know a couple of people who are entirely different when their spouses are present. One friend who was carefree and enjoying lunch with me became agitated and practically jumped out of her seat when her husband surprised her at our table. Her personality shifted from relaxed to formal, and she was apologetic about everything from the place setting to the food she chose. I don’t know their expectations, but I’m surprised she didn’t apologize for hanging out with me.

I never cared for micromanagers at work, let alone in my personal life. Let me know what you want done, then leave me to get it done for you. That’s how I operate. The bosses I remained friends with respected my space. I adore the song “Float On,” where it opens with “Aquarius and my name is Ralph. Now I like a woman who loves her freedom. And I like a woman who can hold her own.” That’s me. Mark and I got along perfectly because he gave me all the freedom I wanted. He was confident and secured with himself and respected me as a person. I firmly believe that is the key to a good relationship—feeling confident about yourself to allow your partner the freedom to be. 

My other friend lies to her husband about her spending. She has her kids and sometimes even told me to tell her husband I bought something for her instead of letting him know she purchased it herself. Interestingly, he was okay with her having things if she didn’t buy them. Wow! How can someone live like that? It’s funny, though. In the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” I saw a similar scenario: Richie Rich Astrid Leong hid all her purchases from her not-so-rich husband in her compassionate attempt to spare his ego. Okay, there I can see an act of kindness but is that the best solution?

In yesterday’s column, I asked whether to bait or not to bait not because I considered using bait or used it, but only because the bait subject came up. I was curious if anybody used baits, and if they did and didn’t mind sharing their stories, I would love hearing their stories, but that was the extent of baiting when I’m concerned. I don’t believe in being someone I’m not, just to get someone to like me. I’m totally for authenticity. It’s too much work and stressful trying to remember lies and which story I told to whom. I can’t imagine marrying someone under a false persona or discovering your spouse isn’t who you thought they were.

I know a couple of widows who sadly discovered after their husbands passed that they weren’t who they thought they were. That was shocking and traumatizing. I don’t know how I would’ve handled it had that been me. I’m sad for them but grateful it wasn’t me. I would not be honoring Mark’s memory had he been a fraud. I guess for these ladies, it’s easier for them to move on from that life knowing the ugly truth. I can’t imagine any relationship based on a lie, especially not in a marriage. 

Ideally, we should be ourselves at all times, but I know that’s not always the case for whatever reason, but home should be the one place we can freely be ourselves. We must be who we are with our significant other without judgment from the get-go for that to happen. I can’t live with someone and play a role. I don’t want to play a role, ever.

In an “Ally McBeal” episode, a man sued his wife, who he believes never loved him. She married him because it was better than being alone. She did love him, but not like he was her one and only, which tried as she did for eleven years, she could not love him with the passion that a husband expects from his wife. 

I think I know why people play the games they do. Everybody wants to be liked. Nobody wants to be rejected. Most of us have some degree of self-esteem or confidence issues that cause us not to like ourselves. Lacking self-acceptance causes us to think others wouldn’t like us either; therefore, we become who we think they want us to be. For many, it’s better to be with an incompatible person rather than alone, even at the cost of giving up their true selves.

There’s much to be said about being yourself. Relationships are delicate. We don’t have to like the same things all the time. It’s nice having common interests, but it’s a lot of fun learning new things, too. We don’t know everything until we’ve experienced it. Part of getting to know new people is trying new things. Who knows, by trying something new, we may discover a talent that we didn’t think we had. 

 I believe people can grow together and complement one another, but we must be authentic to who we are and give the other person a chance to know the real us and for us to know who they are. It may not work out, but at least you were true to yourself. Life is too short to waste pretending to be someone we’re not. Like the song said, “‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t. You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t.” We should learn from our hearts. It won’t lie. You can’t make it feel what it won’t. Don’t waste time with the wrong person. I am a romantic and believer that there is someone for everyone, and when the timing is right, you will find that person that lights up your life. The person who you can’t get out of your mind and can’t imagine living without. It starts with being true to your authentic self. After all, who would be you, if not you?

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“To Bait or Not to Bait”

A Moment in My Life – Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

We were all strangers at one time or another. Once you’ve become friends, it’s hard to remember that, and that’s a good thing. The early stages of a relationship, when we first met and during the honeymoon stage, are difficult periods when you’re not sure what you’re getting yourself into yet. It’s true, not all people we meet are good for us. Some might even be harmful or dangerous.

When I first met Dennis Yee via FB, I didn’t know what to make of him. I was so gun shy of friending another guy at that time because I had just ended a new relationship that had somehow interjected itself into my world and turned my life upside down. I fell into a negative funk before realizing that this relationship was not good for me, and I had to end it. If it weren’t for my older sister, who knew Dennis since elementary school, telling me what a wonderful person he is, I wouldn’t have friended him. After three recent challenging, unwelcomed male encounters, I admit I wasn’t very nice to Dennis initially and gave him a lot of resistance, but being the sweetheart he was, he didn’t give up on me. He even went to big sis to make sure that he wasn’t making me uncomfortable. What a guy!

I am curious by nature—maybe that’s why I’m a writer. I kept wondering why I had never heard of Dennis when he and my sister were friends since childhood. I knew I couldn’t ask my sister because, unlike me, who is an open book, big sis is private as heck. I chanced, asking Dennis for their backstory, and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Dennis and me. We adopted each other, and now I have a big bro. Big sis was right about Dennis being a wonderful person, and the more I knew him, the more I wondered why he and my sister never dated. In my humble opinion, and I mean no disrespect to my brother-in-law Ken or Dennis’ wife Happy, but I kept picturing Dennis and my sister in their younger days as the perfect couple. Dennis would’ve been a great brother-in-law.

During one of our conversations where he humored me with my in-law fantasy story that will only live on the page of my novel one day, he turned the tables on me and began asking me questions. He caught me off guard by asking me how I meet people. I thought that was a strange Segway to who knows where he was taking me. It turned out that he was taking his big bro role seriously and was concerned that I was meeting the wrong kinds of guys and suggested that I change my bait. Whoa! Where did that come from? For starters, I wasn’t trying to meet guys. Those unwelcomed encounters just happened, and I shut them down best I could immediately. 

And bait? What bait? What did he mean by bait? In the movies, girls played games to catch a guy, like playing dumb or pretending to be helpless, or faked liking things that the guy liked. Is that what he meant? I had to ask. Maybe from a guy’s standpoint, there was something juicy. I smacked my lips together and rubbed my hands as I waited for his response. I can’t wait. I can’t wait. Then he answered. He said, “This may not be set in stone. But involve yourself into areas of your liking, and that can lead to more common ground areas vs. not.” I asked him if that was it—his bait, and he confirmed it was. I told him that was so boring but spoken just like a wise person, but I was disappointed, sort of.

I expected a juicy story. In a way, I’m glad that was his final answer because it confirmed that he is a decent person. More reason why he is brother-in-law material. Well, at least I get him for my big bro and pretend brother-in-law. Good to know that he looks out for me. Now, he got me started. I am so curious about this bait thing. I don’t use bait. Do you? I am curious what y’all think. Has anybody used bait to get a date? If so, do share the details. And let me if you think yay or nay to bait or not to bait?  

Posted in Globfly

Globfly’s 32nd-Month Angelversary

Today marks Globfly’s 32nd-month Angelversary—that’s two years and eight months since he relocated to heaven on 12/17/18. It’s hard to imagine each month brings me farther away from the last time we were together. It is what it is. All I can do is everything that I can to keep his memory alive. 

One of my joys was scoping out goodies that I think he would like and surprising him with them. The second half of my joy was anticipating his response to the treat. Most of the time, I selected well, and he liked it. He was a foodie, and food made him happy, and watching him happy made me happy. It was a win-win. Habitually, I still scope out new treats that Globfly might like, but I don’t buy them anymore. I asked myself, why not? I could branch out from his favorites to new potentials. Today, I saw a unique lemon donut, and the first thing I thought was Globfly would love this. He never met a lemon he didn’t like. 

So, this month, I am honoring his memory with a Paris Baguette “Lemon King Cream Donut.” I would imagine he’d like it because there is a nice balance between the mildly sweet lemon cream filling to the delicate tartness of the lemon icing. Bottom line—not too sweet and not too tangy—just like he’d like it. The donut itself is soft with an even amount of filling throughout. I think Globfly would be pleased with my selection. I would even eat it. 

Globfly here’s to you! I miss you every day more than words can say!


Posted in A Moment in My Life

“That Was Unexpected”

A Moment in My Life – Monday, August 16, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

This Saturday, I unexpectedly went on an errand run for paper and ink cartridges. Now, I can’t say that I have never entirely run out of 8 ½” x 11” paper. Luckily, it printed the last page of my document before I ran out of paper and got the warning, “your ink cartridge is extremely low.” Forget about waiting until Costco has their ink sale, which I believe they had in the last coupon book. I didn’t realize I was low on ink, so I ignored that sale. Today, I have little choice whether to wait for another sale or not. 

I may have little choice, but I was still in control, so off I went to Costco and Staples to check the paper and ink cartridge inventory and prices before buying anything. It’s been years since I physically drove from store to store to window-shop. Before Amazon became the one-stop shopping giant, I let my feet instead of my fingers do the shopping. It was kind of fun hopping in and out of the stores again. 

I went into Costco expecting to find my 62XL ink cartridges on their shelves—maybe not the price I was willing to pay—but they would carry the stock. I also expected to find a carton of 8 ½” x 11” paper, which would present the dilemma of whether I wanted to invest in that much paper at one time or not. Contrary to my expectations, they didn’t have my ink cartridge in stock at the El Camino Real warehouse. To my surprise, they offered a ream of 800-sheet multi-purpose paper for $7.49, meaning I don’t need to buy the box.

I went to Staples, most likely for paper but not for ink. As little as I want to pay an arm and a leg for the ink at Costco, they tend to offer the best price, but you never know if Staples might happen to have a sale going on. Staples was my go-to place for printer paper, and they didn’t disappoint. The last few times I went there, they didn’t have a paper sale. This Saturday, I showed up just in time for the last day of their paper sale—a 500-sheet ream of multi-purpose paper at half off for $4.99. Just as I expected, the individual ink cartridge price was more than Costco’s.  

I saw the paper display when I entered Staples. I busied myself reading their sale offer when a kind salt and peppered hair salesman approached me and asked if I needed help, which I appreciated his kindness but declined. After seeing what I came to see, I headed to Price Club, which is what I call the other Costco on South Airport Blvd, to distinguish the Costco in reference. I think I’m getting soft because I had this urge to thank the gentleman on my way out of Staples. I haven’t seen such customer service anywhere in forever. He was busy serving a customer, so I reluctantly left without seeking him out.

Since the per-unit price for the paper was 9 cents at either store, I planned to purchase the 800-sheet ream from Price Club. Luck was on my side. It turned out they had my 62XL ink cartridge making my shopping at Price Club a success. 

On my way home, I kept thinking about this notebook I saw at Staples. That’s the trouble with physical shopping, you might see something that you didn’t plan on buying, so I decided to go back for it. I’m a sucker for purple notebooks. 

Guess who I walked right into when I entered Staples? Yep, you guessed right, that kind gentleman whose name is Rickey. Rickey was arranging a display near the entrance. The first thing out of his mouth was, “You’re back!” and we chitchatted a bit before I got my notebook. After I completed my purchase, I made sure I sought Rickey out, this time, and said goodbye. 

In a way, I wish I didn’t because he made it hard for me to leave. I found him where I left him earlier, and I said, “Okay, Rickey, I’m heading out,” and we chatted a bit and said our goodbyes. Such a sweet man. He asked if I was returning that night since I might come back for something, but I assured him that I completed my shopping. He seemed so sad, and it broke my heart to have to leave him. It’s crazy, but it doesn’t take much for me to warm to someone, and apparently, he is the same way. After all, everybody was a stranger at one time. 

Throughout this errand run, my expectations were all over the place. I began the trip with certain expectations—some met, some not—but I accomplished what I set out to do in the end. It turned out the best part of my experience was when I went with the flow of things and just let life play out. I couldn’t have planned or expected to meet someone who would touch me in such a sweet way. Who knows if our paths would cross again, but for this one afternoon, this lovely older gentleman put a smile on my face and made my day a better one, and that was unexpected.

Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Where Are They Now?”

A Moment in My Life – Friday, August 13, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

One thing led to another during my walk yesterday as I thought about the topic for today’s column. I do a lot of brainstorming during my walks and birthed many stories, but nothing concrete came to me at that moment. On and on, I wandered with the blank slate in my mind and the invisible chalk between my fingers. I began laughing because if there’s nothing in my head inspiring me, I could keep on pushing myself, and at the end of the walk, the slate will still be blank. 

I laughed and laughed. It was too funny to expect something out of nothing, which reminded me of my fourth-grade class in Vancouver, Canada, where Miss Boychek, the meanest teacher in the universe, made us stand in the aisle until we knew the answer to her math question. Soon, most of the students were lining the aisles hovering over the few remaining seated. Eventually, more of us joined the seated ones. Somehow, I always ended up being one of the few left standing. It’s hilarious thinking back to that moment, but I tell you, at the time, fear was more fitting than funny as I envisioned myself still standing there, a pillar supporting the building years later. After all, if I knew the answer, why would I subject myself to Miss Boychek’s torture?

Then came a prince to my rescue—my brainiac classmate. The other day, I shared that I have trouble recognizing faces, which makes me sound like a hypocrite because, in this scenario, I can still see this little Chinese boy’s face as he lipped the answer across to me and saved me from being a building fixture. In this case, I don’t remember his name, but I can’t forget his face. Boys often got the bad rap, and quite often, they deserved it, but there was nothing bad about this boy. I wonder what became of him. I would love to see him again and properly thank him.

Miss Boychek, the meanest teacher in the universe, and I kid you not. In Vancouver, teachers were allowed to administer corporate punishment with a thick leather strap. I was an angel and never tasted the strap. Yeah, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Okay, fine. I was too chicken to misbehave. If you had Miss Boychek for your teacher, you would be, too—unlike my classmate, Suzie Gee. Oh man, Suzie. Suzie, Suzie, Suzie. Where is she now? Sigh. That girl had thick skin. Oh, I hurt for her. I’ve cried for her. Tears well up as I think of her now. If only she heard how often I yelled at her in my mind to sit down, shut up, behave, stop challenging Miss Boychek, but no, she never heard me. Dumb kid! Made me so mad, but even so, I can’t say she deserved to get whipped almost every day or even once. Nobody deserved a whipping, ever! Miss Boychek and Suzie spent a lot of time in the cloakroom, where the crack of the strap mirrored the echoes of Suzie’s cries filled the classroom scaring the rest of us silent and draining the blood out of our bodies.  

Wow, one thing really did lead to another where I started with nothing that led me to a version of nothing that led to a whopper of something, and two tissues later, I remember a time I much rather not remember. Although, if not for the bad memories, I wouldn’t have the good ones. If not for Miss Boychek’s torture, I probably wouldn’t have my prince’s face imprinted in my mind to this day. I wish I remembered his name. Now, he’ll always be my mystery man. Ooh, that sounds like an excellent title for another story. I wonder whatever became of my mystery man. I wonder how Suzie turned out! I hope she didn’t get scarred for life. I even wonder, just a little, whatever happened to Miss Boychek. I wonder, where are they now?

Posted in A Moment in My Life


A Moment in My Life – Thursday, August 12, 2021

Jeannie Yee Davis

Do you know someone with FOMO? I didn’t know there was such a thing as FOMO until my niece, Sassy, aka Kathy Lee, enlightened me that she has FOMO. FOMO? What’s that? That’s the “Fear of Missing Out,” defined as “a constant need to take part in as many things as you can because you fear missing out on them.” It all made sense the longer Sassy and I talked about her FOMO. I began seeing her world through her eyes—the way she thinks and the drivers in her decision-making. Why she did the things that she did—lived the way that she lives. You probably know someone with FOMO like I did and never knew it. People with FOMO look like everybody else. The only tell-tale is perhaps that the FOMO person is very busy, trendy, and gregarious, which is my definition of a popular person. Sassy has always been a popular person, so I never suspected it had anything to do with her fear of missing out. 

No wonder Sassy needed only a room to sleep in and store her stuff. She was rarely home since she never turned down an invitation. She revealed that if something was happening, she had to be there. She must try everything. She had to be included. She overcommitted. Sassy’s jam-packed calendar of events, just like her mother, my older sister, exhausts me. I keep a fairly busy schedule myself, but I’m a homebody at heart, making it difficult for me to understand someone who has to be everywhere, with everybody, doing everything all the time. For someone who can’t be with people non-stop and who needs alone time to recharge, this FOMO thing is a challenging topic for me to grasp. 

Every other Wednesday evening, Sassy and I have a standing phone date, and last night as our chat went from one topic to the next, she shared how she can’t decide on a Netflix movie to watch. I suspected it had to do with her not wanting to miss out on any movie, hence back to her FOMO. I saw a segment on yesterday’s GMA3 about FOMO, and I planned to ask Sassy how she’s been doing FOMO-wise during the pandemic. Her movie dilemma was the perfect Segway into this topic. For starters, I told her if I were with her, she wouldn’t have a movie dilemma—I would have selected a movie pronto. I was curious how she’s been handling FOMO during this pandemic? Has she been climbing the walls or stressing out over what she might be missing? Or has her FOMO tapered down? Sassy said that it has lessened because everybody is in the same boat. Nobody is doing anything; thus, she isn’t missing out on anything. I found this logical but interesting that someone with FOMO could feel okay without being involved because nobody else was doing anything. I figured she’d have these feelings of missing out regardless, but I was wrong. I’m glad that Sassy has this sense of calm at the moment. 

FOMO may be a driver for Sassy, but it’s so not for me. On the flip side, JOMO, the “Joy of Missing Out,” where you relish the time alone, unplugging emails, texts, and all social networks, and cultivating your relationship with yourself,” is also so not for me. Temporarily? Sure, but not long-term. I know some people who prefer total solitude. Regardless if I’m busy or a hermit, I always make time for my networks. I desire and need my alone time, but I love my tribes, too. I’m grateful I don’t have to pick one over the other. I’ll keep finding a balance between the two worlds. Your turn. Do you know someone with FOMO?