Tag Archives: friendship

People, Let Me Tell You Bout my Best Friend…Or How I Unwittingly Became An Uber Before That Was A Thing


Do you remember the day you met your best friend? I do and quite honestly, if I had known her as a kid, I probably wouldn’t have liked her, and I’m quite certain I would never have been allowed into her circle of cool friends, of which she was the undisputed reigning queen. The stories I’ve heard from her childhood friends, her husband and even herself confirm this. But fast-forward a few decades and the circumstances of our first meeting placed me at the top of her A-List because she saw something in me; something that I could offer her that she desperately wanted…transportation of her kids to school.

When we moved into our new house, I was welcomed by several friendly neighbors bearing cookies and other treats, so I thought Monique’s visit would be no different. By the way, if you haven’t already guessed, Monique isn’t her real name (is anyone really named Monique??) It’s just a moniker she uses when she joins me on various undercover assignments. Yes, we do that on occasion…  https://boxwinebudget.com/2012/02/10/i-know-what-you-did-last-sunday/

But, she heard through the grapevine that the new neighbors had kids who attended the same parochial school as her own offspring. An idea was quickly hatched in which she wasted no time ringing my doorbell, handing over a plate of brownies and introducing her daughter, who stood like a little cherub by her side. Turned out, my daughter was the same age and both were registered to start kindergarten at the same school. Monique also had an older son the same age as my boys. Before we moved in, they were the only kids in the neighborhood who attended this school, as all the others went to the local public school. So those parents were of no use to Monique. I, however, was heaven-sent, as the daily grind of shlepping her son to and from school was growing wearisome.

So, you might wonder why on earth I would ever want to befriend this self-absorbed person? Simple. She really isn’t awful at all. Well, maybe just a little, but in a totally good way. And yes, you can be bad in a good way. Turns out, those are my favorite kind of people. And I probably would have never known that about myself had she not approached our doorstep with that smile, those cookies and that agenda. And from that day forward, no one has ever made me laugh as hard as she can and no one is as eager to join me on my subversive missions, which I seem to have with alarming frequency.

Together, we have navigated the treacherous waters of parenting young children and teenagers, managed to find colleges that actually wanted them through graduation and beyond (well, we’re still kind of holding our breath on that last part) and even (WARNING…SHAMEFUL PLUG AHEAD…) collaborated on a collection of humorous short stories detailing our harrowing parenting experiences (Living The Dream On A Box Wine Budget) as well as a second, darker novel about a desperate woman’s unorthodox method of stress-management (NUMB). And we attended numerous writer’s groups, only to conclude that we were WAYYY better writers than those collections of losers. In all fairness, they probably weren’t ALL losers…

But best of all, she always enthusiastically joins me in my (sometimes outrageous) schemes to get rich quick. And with a friend like that, ummm… we’re probably going to need someone willing to bail us out…

Living The Dream On A Box Wine Budget: 





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A Day In The Life…

two hands inspirational pic 2

I am a dental hygienist by trade. I received my Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from Loyola University of Chicago. Oh, and a Minor in Psychology, too, so…yeah. I’ll allow a few seconds for the inevitable “oooohhhs” from my impressed readers. Continuing….often, people will ask, with a look of distaste, how I can put my hands in people’s mouths for a living. Truth is, usually, it ain’t that bad. Usually. I’m pretty tough. It takes a lot to gross me out. Saliva? Child’s play. Blood? Please. Wanna’ get a little peek into the brain of your hygienist? Here goes: she probably won’t lose sleep over your not flossing every day. She really won’t. Periodontal disease is not what she lives for. Not if she’s normal, that is. What, then, you may ask, keeps her returning day after day? Her patients. I suppose, at this point, I can really only speak for myself. I work in a great office. The staff work well together and I have never seen a doctor who loves her patients (and is so loved in return) as much as she does. And, to be fair, there are a few patients I wouldn’t be heartbroken to learn that they moved far, far away. But, overall, our patient base is great. Every day I look at my next schedule and think, “Yes! Mary is coming in. Or Mark. Or Karen (you know who you are!).

My husband marvels over how emotionally invested I am in my patients. We talk. We confide.  And, well, we just become friends. We laugh like crazy. I’ve cried with them, too. We hug. And somewhere in between, I take care of all that nagging scraping and x-raying that is required for me to collect a paycheck.  So, today, I had one of those great moments. I saw a man almost ninety years of age. He was frail and in a wheelchair. I love this man. He is so gentle and sweet, you just can’t help but love him. He was a soldier in the Army and served in the South Pacific during WWII. He was shot in the leg. Twice. He still owns and wears his original pair of aviator sunglasses. And he is just one of the coolest guys I know. Because of a recent fall, he is confined to a wheelchair. He told me he hopes it’s only for a while, but I think it will most likely be for good. And that made me sad. He was accompanied by his son-in-law, whose compassionate tending to the father of his wife was nothing short of amazing and, quite honestly, very touching. He carried this elderly man out of his chair, transferring him into my chair and back again, all the while encouraging him with, “Come on Bud, we got this.” Old Jake cannot communicate very well anymore. But his eyes speak volumes. They sparkle when he smiles. And he smiles often. As they were leaving the office, his son-in-law told us that they were now going to enjoy beer and hotdogs for lunch together!  Seeing these two men really made my day and I just wanted to share that.

So, when people make faces and ask how I can do the same thing day in and day out, I counter that it’s not the same thing. Every day is different. Every day I look forward to catching up with my patients. I can’t wait to hear what their kids are up to. I love talking to my teenage patients about how their school’s football team went to state or what part they won in the school play or what college they’re thinking about attending, or what they want to major in. That’s the best part of my job. Quite honestly, the part I could do without is the scraping and x-raying. I know I’m not alone in that. But, hey, I gotta make a living. That Minor in Psych probably won’t lead to anything.


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Position Available For People With A Sense Of Humor…Sensitive Types Need Not Apply


A sense of humor is a terrible thing to waste, which is why I am taking this opportunity to publicly announce my new New Years Resolution (stop judging) to surround myself with people who can appreciate a good joke. I’m not talking about practical jokes. I’ve never been a fan of those. No, I’m talking about dry humor. We, here at BWB, believe there is direct correlation between a person’s ability to understand dry wit and their intelligence level. Nothing screams I HATE YOU more than deftly dropping a remark so dry it threatens evaporation only to be completely missed by the intended recipient (thus evaporating) or worse, is met with a serious look of concern. What the world hears me saying, at this point is, “I was kidding…It was a joke…”  What I’m thinking is “OMG I hate you. Remind me to NEVER talk to you again.” What a waste of a perfectly dead-panned moment. Continue reading


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