Of DVDs and late-night shopping

“When did we stop caring how we looked in public?” I asked my sister as we trudged into Best Buy at 8:15 p.m.

“I think I look fine,” she answered.

But the truth is, we were both wearing our sleep clothes because we had gotten comfortable for the night before she started trying to hook up my DVD/VCR player. When she found I didn’t have the right cords, there was a grim silence and then an agreement that we had to make a late-night run to Best Buy as she was leaving town the next day and this was the one thing I wanted her to do for my birthday.

OK, 8:15 p.m. is not considered late night by most folks. But when you’ve been hauling furniture up and down stairs for five days in order to set up shop in a new location, 8:15 p.m. feels pretty darned late.

Some $20 later, we tested the DVD player only to be greeted by a terrible buzzing noise, no normal audio, and an episode of “The Closer” in black and white.

And this was after we’d taken drill, chisel and hammer to the back of my antique ice chest to widen the hole to get all the cords through.

Then Therese did the most amazing thing — she read the manual. Having armed herself with knowledge, she punched a few buttons on the correct remote (we’d been using one for a defunct TV) and suddenly Brenda Lee Johnson was in beautiful living color and we could hear every word she was saying.

Another miracle of technology had happened in my Luddite house.

And because I am a Luddite, Therese folded down the corner of the instructions so I would know what to read in my hour of need. (There will be many hours of need.) I discarded the old remote, which had not helped us at all, and then we decided not to play a DVD after all.

That’s why I’ve cracked open a Diet Coke even though it’s after 10 p.m. If shopping in my PJs and carving up one of my antiques doesn’t merit a late-night Diet Coke, I don’t know what does.

 

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Wimp out

We’re wimps.

Don’t try to deny it. The subzero weather has kicked out butts and we’re whining about it nonstop.

It wasn’t always this way. It seems to me that we used to be tougher. I know I was.

In my 30s and 40s I was a walker and would walk outside before work even in the worst winter weather — subzero, strong winds, blizzards. There I was, battling the elements for good health.

Nowadays, I’ve wimped out and can be most often found pedaling on the easy setting of my stationary bike.

On the nightly news, the weather people shiver and complain about the long stretch of cold. “When will it end,” they whine to the meteorologist.

In April, I think to myself.

I, too, have been whining. On my call to Mom today I opened the conversation with, “Oh, gosh, that wind. It just cuts through you.”

How do I know? Not from walking outside. I felt it scurrying it into Target to scoop on the 90 percent off Christmas bargains. Yes, that was one mighty frigid gallop across the parking lot.

So I say we quit fighting winter and succumb. Stay indoors if we must. (I think I must.) Wrap up warmly with parkas and scarves and mittens. Turn on the heated seats and let the car warm up before backing it out of the garage. (Yes, I have an attached garage so it isn’t even that bad when I do decide to leave the house.)

Let’s remember where we live. We aren’t from Alabama or Louisiana or Texas. We are Wisconsinites. We laugh at winter.

And then we take the mug of hot chocolate out of the microwave and cuddle up in a quilt to watch TV.

Take that, winter.