Blabberings

I just have a lot to say.

Archive for the ‘THIS AND THAT’ Category

June 6th, 2017 by celesteconner@comcast.net

#DearMrZuckerberg

I consider myself fairly level headed . . . 

. . . not too savvy; not too behind-the-times . . .

. . . not too quick tempered; not too mild mannered . . .

. . . not too knee-jerky; not too pokey . . . .

Though I walk fast and talk fast, I’m more of a tortoise than a hare. (But a tortoise who comes in 2nd or 3rd place. I’m not going to win the race.)

I’m a medium-type American 70s girl, who wanted Billy to not be a hero, wished the Rambling Boy would settle down, and hoped the Little Girl did not go away. I eat too many French fries, choose shoes that are 49% pretty/51% comfortable, and need a new bra. I mostly shun Change, but I allowed my older girlfriends to talk me into bolder lipstick, even though I rarely tote a pocketbook and don’t reapply.

So, how come I’m the boring-est person ever to be banned from Facebook? How come I’m doing the time, if I didn’t do the crime? Well, lean in closer, and I’ll tell you.

Beguiled. Bamboozled. Hoodwinked.

“Please don’t throw me in that briar patch!” Brer Rabbit outwitted Brer Fox and Brer Bear. 

My Brer Rabbit said, “Your Facebook account has been disabled due to security reasons. To unlock it, review your account here: (insert phony link). Facebook Team”

Oh, Hindsight! Where were you?! You slay me now!

My yelp scares my children more than a speeding, lane-invading car. I’m certain they cried more as little kids over my reactionary “OH NO!” from their stumbles than they ever did over the bloody knees.  

My immediate response to the faux Facebook Team message was a similar overprotective “OH NO!” And I clicked.

Hooked. Lined. Sinkered. 

I know. You’d have known better. I should have known better. I do know better. And yet, I gave my password to Brer Rabbit. I threw him in the briar patch. 

On the night of March 2, 2017, the Facebook profile known as Celeste King Conner shut down and went to bed. The next morning, it had ceased to exist. All traces of Celeste King Conner had been erased from Facebook. If you searched for it with your whole heart, you could not find it.

The American Red Cross hates me for spending a semester in England in the 80s. Facebook hates me for momentary gullibility. I believe both to be sins of O-mission rather than CO-mission, as the preacher says. Sins, nevertheless, I reckon.

On March 3, the real Facebook Team emailed and asked me to upload a form of identification with my name, birth date, and face, so they could prove I’m really me.

Check.

“Don’t call us; we’ll call you.”

There is no way to contact Facebook, so I waited. My friend has a friend who works for Facebook (my friend-in-law?). He submitted two requests for me, whatever that means. I waited some more. After a couple of weeks, I had actually detoxed from Facebook, when I began receiving texts and emails: “Are you okay? You’ve taken yourself off Facebook” and “Have I offended you? You unfriended me.”

Yes.

No.

I had another email address, so Celestia Joy King Conner sent friend requests to the friends of the former Celeste King Conner, who didn’t want to accept them, because they assumed she was hacked and that the account was phony. Lawdy, friendship is complicated.

I don’t have an end to the story. I suppose Mr. Zuckerberg has a few security risks greater than a chatty mama in Lower Alabama, at risk for Mad Cow Disease, who wants access to her photos, words, and virtual memories back.  

I don’t have a moral to the story either, except, I guess, “Don’t be stupid,” but sometimes we just are.

I raise my battle cry: #freeCelesteKingConner!

I solemnly swear to pester Mr. Zuckerberg for the rest of my life: #freeCelesteKingConner!

With my last breath I’ll rattle #freeCelesteKingConner!

Mr. Zuckerberg is younger and smarter, healthier and wealthier than I am. But, by golly, I am more annoying than he is.

#freeCelesteKingConner!

 

 

March 6th, 2016 by celesteconner@comcast.net

May They Live Forever in Our Hearts and on Our DVRs

First, this happened:

Do You Downton?

Then this:

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As I age, I care less and less about television. I rarely watch it. I almost never watch it alone. I think Jimmy Fallon is the funniest man alive, but I only watch The Tonight Show if Chuck’s awake. I feel a kindred spirit to Frankie Heck’s chaos and Bevvy Goldberg’s insane smothering of her children, but The Middle and The Goldbergs are LOL funny to me mostly because every Wednesday evening, my family gathers together and quips, “They are peeking in our windows again.”

By myself, I watch reality shows, like American Pickers, Pawn Stars, or Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, but only when there is laundry to be sorted. I like them, because I don’t have to pay much attention. I used to watch Today, and I especially liked Kathie Lee and Hoda, but I rarely turn on the TV in the mornings anymore, except for Sundays. I like the gentleness of Sunday Morning on CBS, while I’m dressing for church. I recently began recording it, so I can watch it later in the week, if I miss it when it airs.

But every Sunday night in January and February 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, I perched my patootie in the exact same spot on my friend Laura’s couch and watched Downton Abbey, along with a dozen of my besties, wearing pearls and matching grey tee shirts that proclaim, “My Sunday nights are spent at Downton.”

My Sunday Nights

This was Linda’s pledge year. After initiation, she got a tee shirt.

(Lean in closer. I am going to let you in on a little secret: I am not sure I would have watched the show by myself.)

While I love the sparring of Daisy and Mrs. Patmore, the villainy of Thomas, the devotion of Anna and Bates, and my heart belongs to Matthew Crawley, the pure delight of the show, for me, has been the community of my fellow Downtonites, a group of women who didn’t set out to be a group—much less groupies.

We never meant to kick off a kerfuffle.

We never intended to host a hooley.

We never calculated being cock-a-hoop.

Our winters revolve around Masterpiece Theatre. We ask each other, “What are we wearing at Downton this week?” or despair to one another, “I can’t go to Downton on Sunday!”

We range in age from 48 to 81.

All of us have been married, some more than once.

All of us have had babies, two had a set of twins.

Most have had a child to marry or are planning a wedding–or two–real soon.

About half have grandchildren, one has greats.

Only two still have children at home.

Some of us are retired. Some of us still have careers. Some of us never did.

The oldest of our bunch is the one we call our Dowager, because she is the only one who has buried her Beloved. I pick her up from her house every Sunday night. We drive to Downton together and discuss the plot twists in our lives. Afterwards, as I take her home, we discuss the plot twists of the show. I would tell her near ‘bout anything. She loves me, and I trust her. She used to be my mama’s friend, and now she is mine, a friend I never would have had without silliness surrounding a British television show on PBS.

Some of us knew we loved each other, but perhaps had forgotten how much.

Some of us didn’t even know each other. That’s hard to fathom, to remember when we weren’t a Club, a Club whose only requirement for membership was to say, “Can I come, too?”

These women, these deliciously ridiculous women whom I never imagined befriending, taught me how to embrace 50 years old. They showed me how to relish—and rock—growing older.

TEA PARTY 2015

Season Finale Tea Party 2015

Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore didn’t expect their friendship. Violet and Isobel despised each other when life thrust them together. Mary might not be so mean nor Edith so pathetic nor Cora so wrapped in both of their lives, if they had girlfriends. Rosamund surely has some girlfriends whom we never met. No one who lives by herself and has her act together could do it alone. She seems the most comfortable in her female skin. I’d like to be friends with Rosamund. I’d like for her to invite me to tea and gripe to me about her mother.

Our binding show had its curtain call.

The writer, Julian Fellows, put down his pen.

The costume designers are dreaming up clothes from a more recent decade.

The actors and actresses took their bows and scooted away to memorize lines for other projects.

Highclere Castle is void of lights, camera, action.

“What is to become of me?!” shouted Eliza Doolittle at Henry Higgins, after their experiment had ended and she had been passed off as a princess at the ball.

“Where shall I go?! What shall I do?!” begged Scarlett to Rhett, when it was over.

Personally, I plan to pout for a while, “until nostalgia has smothered my fury,” until I’m able to giggle, “Golly gumdrops, what a turn up!”

Carson: What’s so funny?

Mrs. Hughes: Just life, Mr. Carson. Just life.

TEA PARTY 2016B - Copy (2)

“We’ll take a cup of kindness yet for Auld Lang Syne.”

February 15th, 2016 by celesteconner@comcast.net

Nothing But the Blood

I noticed in the bulletin that my church was hosting a blood drive. I didn’t even attempt to give.

Back in the day, the blood bank came to my high school a couple times a year. Students lined up to give blood. You got to go to the gym and talk to your friends. You got to skip class and eat a cookie. Why would you not give?

Well, I didn’t give then, because I didn’t weigh enough. That was the gospel truth, but how much fun was that to say?

“I’d give, if only I weren’t so darn skinny.”

Over the years, that excuse went to the weigh-side (See what I did there?), but I still didn’t give. I didn’t mean to not to. I just got busy with life and didn’t make it a priority. I wasn’t afraid of needles, and I love cookies.

When Phillip went to kindergarten, I stopped one day at the local LifeSouth office. I was healthy and had some free time. I wanted one of those little cards that checked off the pints as you gave. I wanted to give blood and give life.

I walked into the office and was greeted by the staff. A welcoming woman put me into an exam room by myself to answer a few questions.

Weren’t they nice to care so much about my life?! I was born in the good ole USA. I have always been healthy. I bubbled in

“no”
“no”
“no”

on all the illnesses.

“During the 1980s, did you spend more than three months in the United Kingdom?”

I was plumb tickled that the Red Cross was so interested in me! I sure did! I spent a semester in London in 1986!

“Yes.”

The kind woman took my completed questionnaire and put it through the scantron. That computer spat out my application like it was unsweet tea.

How dare it reject me?!?! Didn’t it know I only wanted to help people?!?!

“It’s because you spent time in England. It’s because you could have mad cow disease.”

Banned. I am banned from giving blood. For life. I cannot give life for the rest of my life. I am not good enough. I don’t smoke or chew or go with the girls who do, yet my blood is tainted, contaminated, polluted.

At my church, I learned there is “Pow’r In the Blood.”

At my church, I became “Washed in the Blood” and “Redeemed by the Blood.”

At my church, I will never give a drop of my own blood.

It’s a good thing that “Nothing but the Blood” of Jesus saves mankind, because the blood of Celeste might pure make folks crazy.

London group pic

The group of Samford University students who, in 1986, forever forfeited their chance to donate blood (at least if they’re honest in answering the questions). I’m the one in the red hat. Please don’t tell me that I didn’t look as adorable as I thought I did. (I still have the coat.)