If you're new to the grocery store game and are sacking groceries, do not put a hard chunk of celery on top of potato chips.
I can't get on with life if something eats away at my thought process like wanting to shake the stuffing out of someone who crushes my chips. Plain potato chips are a guilty pleasure, so I don't like to draw as much attention to my buying them as would happen if I were to chew out the person crushing the bags.
That may be fate's way of making me remember to be nice.
It also makes me feel a wee bit remorseful for the time I laughed when someone backed into a display of potato chips and fell, arms and legs spread, on top of the bags. While that was funny enough, it was even funnier to see him stand up, straighten his shirt, then try to puff up the chip bags. Pretty sure shoppers could see they were smushed.
Funny how odd events like that come back to you when you least expect to think of it. That potato chip crush happened 45 years ago, so thinking of it at all defies the odds. But with all these TV Christmas movies to watch, my brain finds itself on the memory track. So many of the movies make you think, remember a time when
When anything. When your first love unexpectedly put his arms around you and you pushed him away. When your heart hurt because of a perceived slight. When you stubbornly refused to be the first to budge to correct a bad situation.
Those thoughts, while perfectly good to have, can be hard on you because they let you know for certain you're not the nice person you thought you were.
My dad told me many things through my growing-up years. "You ain't sugar, you won't melt" in the rain, and, "be nice." I tried hard. Did all I could to be nice, and thought I'd pegged the concept years ago.
I was wrong. And how it upsets me to use those words.
My sister said I was never nice, but that's coming from a sister. I must have been nice to her some time. I'd play cards with her on Sunday afternoons. That's nice. I let her go into the house when I did chores. That's nice. OK, she went into the house because I screamed and yelled, and maybe that wasn't so nice. Still, I figured this was a sibling thing, so I likely was nice to others.
Guess again. Years ago Jimmy Schliske told me I scared the well, tar, out of him when I babysat for them. I laughed when he told me and thought he was kidding. Until Jerry Schliske recently told me they took a baseball bat to bed with them because no babysitter was going to get the best of them.
Yikes. I mustn't have been as nice as I thought.
I should ask Santa for nice pills.
Just don't sack them with my chips.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson, former lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.