Life goes on. Long after the thrill of living is gone.

If there’s been a theme to my vacation, it’s “We have hit every Ross Dress for Less in Broward and Palm Beach counties.”


I got some sugar skulls wine glasses. Stemless with black skulls and a small bow on top of each. Mine is the hot pink. Mom can have red. There’s a gold one, for Steeler games. And a purple one for an imaginary friend.

I can tell that Mercury started its retrograde bullshit. I did everything for Mom today, from taking her to Bay Bay’s for chicken and waffles, to taking her to Pizza Time out in Coral Springs for pasta e fagioli and Sicilian slices. To two crappy Rosses out that way just because. And when I was walking out of one of those crappy Rosses in the rain to get the car for her, I wiped out and hit the street.

She never laughed so hard. She sounds like a tea kettle when she’s really laughing. No sound but a high-pitched whistle comes out. She can’t breathe and all she can do is whistle harder. It’s the damndest thing. Usually that makes ME laugh. But I was bleeding and it wasn’t all that amusing. 🙂

I figure it was at Ross and I didn’t have any dignity to protect. I do fall very well, I have to admit. Very graceful and slow. I ended up sitting on my ankle and the other leg was out in front of me. I figured to try to fall left since my phone was in my back right pocket. Of all the goals I set out to achieve this year, this is the only one I can check off my list.

The way I fall reminds me of my great-grandmother Anastasia. One day she fell at home after getting a piece of pie from the kitchen. We came home and she was sitting on her ankle (same one) and the other leg out in front of her. She was calmly eating her pie. That was me in the middle of Fort Lauderdale today. I credit her for my grace, and my green eyes.

If only I inherited her dignity.

Speaking of lack of dignity, I now own three bikinis. (Pausing while you laugh hysterically. It’s OK.) I tend to wear bikini tops instead of bras on the weekend. The problem with losing weight is that the boobs are first to go. (RIP boobies.)

I barely even need a bra these days, but I’m not crazy enough to leave the house without something covering them. And I saw all the bottoms I would need on clearance, which was great. I figure, my shorts are falling off. The bottoms HAVE to fit, right?

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. < / Vinny Barbarino >

(Incidentally, I have an Arnold Horshack laugh when I’m sick. Which I am now. Which means I am on vacation and I HAVE HAD NO BOOZE.)

In any event, I know I have the Horshack laugh because holy shit, me in a full bikini is entertainment of the highest level. I’m in that weird in-between sizing where I can wear juniors’ but I should probably JUST NOT.

However, wearing juniors’ stuff (and a bikini top as a bra, of course) and using my old belt as a hula-hoop was the highlight of my staycation so far.

(Token “Love Trunps Hate” button to match my bumper sticker.)

My old meeting leader Chris (back when I went to the good Weight Watchers meeting in Muddy Branch) always said to toss the fat clothes because you can easily slide back up into them since you just happen to have them. But definitely keep a belt as your progress yardstick, so to speak. Because who wants to fit into an old belt?

Thank you, Chris. As he always used to say to close the meetings, “I look forward to seeing less of you next week.”

I wonder if I would have succeeded had I been able to stay in his classes. Of course, I have a bad habit of thinking everything would better if only I lived somewhere else. 

I sure thought the same thing when I was in Rockville. But I realize now that I had more than my fair share of people who stimulated me intellectually and motivated me emotionally or professionally.

Perhaps that is what I learned on my summer vacation. I was hoping for an epiphany about where I need to be. But the truth is, I could be a whole lot happier no matter where I happen to find myself if I find even just a tiny, regular dose of mentoring and “shop talk” that gives me any sense of direction that is “Forward.”

That could make all the difference between liking and loving Florida. And myself, for that matter.

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