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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Kohl’s Boycott

Before I start my story let me say that my family is military; I am retired Air Force, the DH is a Senior Master Sergeant in the Air Force, my son is an A1C in the Air Force. My son-in-law is also military as was my father during the Korean war and my Grandfathers during WWII.

With this in mind, read about why I am no longer shopping at Kohl's. The family boycott is on!

Today I was walking through our local Kohl's to pick up my daughter. In front of me was a young man wearing his dress blue uniform. He looked proud. After he had walked by, one of the employees said to another - “He is in the Air Force. That is the sissy's way out.”

I took a few more steps and froze. I wasn't angry so much as truly annoyed. Who was this kid? What was he saying? Did he even know what he was talking about? I turned and looked. With my military instructor background I sized him up and he wasn't going to fit! I walked over to him and this is what followed.

Me: Excuse me. Did I just hear you say that the Air Force was the sissy's way out?

Him: I was just joking.

Me: Oh. I didn't find it funny. I am retired Air Force and I found it rather offensive. I also found nothing “sissy” about the Air Force.

Him: I was joking...

His manager walked over into the fray to save his hide.

Her: I didn't think we were talking about anyone in particular. And, I don't believe it was meant for your ears.

OMG! What was she thinking?! Of course it wasn't meant for my ears, but it landed in them nonetheless!

Me: I am sure it wasn't meant for my ears. But that doesn't mean I didn't hear it. I managed in retail for years and know that some things are best not said on the sales floor. Maybe you should discuss that with the young man. I won't be back.

Her: I am so sorry mam...

She was talking to my back.

So, I am boycotting our local Kohl's. I am writing to their corporate headquarters and the district manager. If an employee will say that and be allowed to get away with it I will never set foot in that store again! Maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill, but I am proud of my husband, I am proud of my son, I am proud of my family history of service. I am proud of any person that puts on a uniform and stands up for this country.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Unexpected Hilarity

Years ago I saw a segment with Steve Martin - "Teaching Your Children To Talk Wrong".  Although not his most famous routine, it was one that I found to be his funniest.  When I had children, I set about doing just that!  It was fun, it was entertaining, it was interesting to watch them wrap their limited experience around the concept.
How does one teach their children to "Talk Wrong"?  It is simple really.  All you do is take one of the small, baby babble words they use everyday and use it too. 
With my oldest daughter it was Kikity Kat.  I must admit, she was very bright.  It didn't take her long to figure out the Kikity Kat was, in truth, a kitty cat.  The day I discovered this revelation on her part was a sad day for me.  Very sad  indeed as she refused to play along.  She would not allow me to repeat after her.  It was always, "Mommy, what is it really?"  She questioned to the point of me feeling absolute distrust on her part.  To this day I just don't understand. Where did I fail.
Hija Primera must have clued her sister in on the evil game as Segunda never uttered a word until she could speak in complete sentences with a preciseness reserved for a professor of phonics.  Not just complete sentences, but sentences packed with three and four syllable words!  Where is the fun in that.  A child that is quiet until they are six years old, save the occasional bleat or whinny.  No, I am not kidding.  This child wanted to be a horse when she grew up.  Her animal sounds were so convincing that creatures large and small would answer!  Cattle were lowing right along with her.  Horses would stop their grazing and run to the fence to see the small human that spoke their language.  Cats would meow, dogs would bark, Segunda would answer in kind.  Then, one day...She spoke!  And. Never. Shut. Up.
Then along came Hijo Segundo!  Another opportunity to excel in the art of parental mis-guidance.  I waited the first year as he learned the basic sounds.  Then, as he uttered his first words.  The normal Mama, Dada, and mundane words for his day and needs.  Then it happened...Da Da Da Dumm...grand-teton-national-park-pronghorn "Look Mommy! A hoe hopey!"  He shouted pointing at an antelope.  There is was!  The perfect thing to teach him to say wrong.  From that day on it was Hoe Hopey.  Not antelopey, not Hoelopey, but Hoe Hopey!  Always said with delight and exuberance.  This went on for years...and years...and years. 
Tonight I found out just how long his belief that antelope were Hoe Hopeies went on.  He was 18!  All I could do was fall over in fits of laughter.  Tears running down my face, legs crossed to alleviate the urge to...well, you know the result of hysterical laughter.  As it turns out, he was driving home with his brother and his girlfriend.  They turned onto our country road as a large herd of antelope ran in front of his 4-runner.  "Look and all the Hoe Hopeies!"  He said with delight and exuberance.  His brother thought nothing of it as that is what we always called them.  His girlfriend on the other hand, hadn't gotten the "Talk Wrong" memo.  "What are you talking about?" she asked him in puzzlement (she had no sense of humor that girl). "The antelope?" 
And I was busted.  The child/parent bond was shattered.  I was evil.  From that day on he asked his father things.  Everything from how do you get to Denver from Cheyenne to how much salt to put in a pot of water for pasta.  I was unworthy. 
Was this Grand Canyon of a rift worth it?  Hell Yes!  Steve Martin, you are my hero.