A Letter to Home Goods

Dear Home Goods,

I am a frequent shopper who enjoys finding quality products and getting great deals. But I have a bone to pick with you. It is impossible to steer my cart around your store! Your aisles are not wide enough for two people with shopping carts to squeeze by. We have to find a place to park them before browsing.

And that’s another thing. No matter where I turn in your store, I bump up against table after table of sale items right next to each other. I say bump because there is no way to maneuver past those tables without hitting them and knocking something over. If I’m not running into a sale table, I can turn a corner and find a large, flat cart from the storage room piled high with merchandise waiting to be shelved. And because your aisles are so narrow, I can’t get past those carts with my own.

Essentially, the layout of your store prevents us customers from making large purchases. Many of us enjoy the thrill of adding impulse buys to our carts. For instance, the last time I was there, I came in for shelving paper and bought dog toys, a bath mat, and a vase of fake flowers. It wasn’t easy to get to these items. And I’m sure I would have bought more if I could navigate the store and access more merchandise. Don’t you see that it’s your bottom line at stake

Clean up your act, Home Goods. Please don’t make me go to Walmart.

Thank you!



Top 10 Things I Think About Before Falling Asleep

Woman lying in bed not sleepingOnce, there was a time when I would fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Then, I’d sleep until 10 a.m. the next day and feel well-rested.

I miss those days.

The older I get, the more difficulty I have falling asleep. Even though I’m tired, the moment I start to drift off, my brain turns on and plays back my day in full detail for my viewing pleasure. If I had to title this internal monologue, I’d call it: “Shit I Got Done and Tomorrow’s To-Do List” (Not the best title, I know).

But I’m not done because, after the daily recap, my thoughts spiral into random tangents that pop up just to piss me off. These tangents are never the same which makes it interesting. But I’d much rather fall into a sound sleep until my alarm wakes me up the next day.

No such luck. So, here are the 10 things I thought about last night right before I fell asleep:

  • Is my CPAP mask on correctly? Did I refill the water tank? Don’t forget to buy more distilled water. Maybe I have a gallon in my car. How am I going to schlep this machine around Italy in September? Do they even sell distilled water there?
  • What do I have to do tomorrow? What day is it? What meetings do I have? When is Passover? I need to start making plans since I’m hosting this year.
  • I wonder what my mom wants for Mother’s Day. Are we hosting Mother’s Day this year?
  • Shoot! I forgot to post on LinkedIn today. What should I post about? What did I post about last week?
  • Please don’t let me dream about my crappy former boss again. That guy lives rent-free in my brain and comes out only during my REM sleep. Why can’t all my bosses be like the ones I had when I worked at the synagogue? They were the best!
  • Is my phone fully charged? Did I set my alarm? Is it going to rain tomorrow?
  • Did I set the DVR to record all the late night shows? Why didn’t it record SNL this weekend?
  • Why haven’t I finished writing my book yet?
  • I need to schedule my next mammogram.
  • Do I need to use the bathroom? Yes!

Rinse and repeat and fall asleep way past midnight. šŸ™

Does anyone else have random thoughts like this right before you fall asleep? What are you thinking about and how do you turn them off? Let me know in the comments.



The Kindness of Strangers and Friends

Last week, I was getting dressed for a networking event and contemplated taking my Star of David necklace off. I had never been to an event with this group of people before, so I knew no one. I thought about the location of the event and eventually decided to keep my necklace on but hide it under my shirt. I’d make it more visible if I felt comfortable enough at the event.

Can you imagine having this conversation with yourself about whether to wear your favorite cross around your neck?Ā  If you are Jewish, you may have second guessed your jewelry lately for fear that someone may come up to you and ask about the rise of antisemitism or the situation overseas. Or worse, make you feel unwelcome because of your identity.

I remember the first time a group of people “othered” me. It was a cold winter morning in 1983. I stood on the blacktop with the rest of my 6th-grade classmates, waiting for my teacher to open the door and let us in. My elementary school was comprised of several small buildingsā€”one for each grade levelā€”connected by open-air walkways. There wasn’t enough room for all students to gather inside the buildings, so we were forced to wait outside for school to start.

While waiting for school to start, I stood with a group of friends waiting for my turn at Chinese jump rope, I heard some coins drop on the ground by my pink snow boots. I looked to see if my ice cream money had fallen out of my coat pocket. When I saw the coins didn’t add up to enough money to buy an ice cream sandwich, I knew the coins were not mine.

At my feet were five shiny pennies. A group of boys stood nearby, pointing and yelling a slur that I knew was meant for me. I knew this word, and it sent chills down my spine. I was no stranger to bullying, but this was a whole new level for me. Thankfully, my parents taught me not to pick up any coins thrown in my direction.

Not wanting anyone to see my reaction, I walked to the bench where the PTA moms were hanging out. They were supposed to watch us until school started, but they were more interested in gossiping than supervising. I didn’t tell them what happened, but I didn’t have to; I knew that by standing near them, I felt safer.

Back at the networking event, I felt comfortable enough to let my necklace be seen. Within minutes, someone came over and complimented me on my Star of David. Then, she asked me what she could do to be more supportive of the Jewish community. I told her that not everything was as black and white as it seemed. I suggested she check the news sources and social media sites before sharing the information. Then, I asked her to check in on her Jewish friends to see how they were doing. And then, I thanked her for asking me that question and asked this complete stranger if I could hug her. She said, “Absolutely!”

I’m so grateful when people like her come into my life, even for a brief period of time. I also have friends who have reached out to see how I’m doing and share their support of the Jewish community. One even attended a vigil at a local synagogue after it was vandalized with a swastika on their sign. I was so touched that she went out of her way to show her support. Did I mention that my friend is not Jewish?Ā  I was touched, but not surprised.

Every day, I replace the story of those bullies from elementary school with people and stories who cancel them out. Please keep them coming.



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