Tammy Swift / Forum News Service
FARGO — I’ve been asked to speak to various groups and organizations before, varying from retired teachers to service clubs and church groups. But the most unusual request I ever received was to speak to a parenting class. I found this odd, as I am not a parent. What I know about parenting would fit handily inside a mouse’s thimble.
FARGO — "My little dog: A heartbeat at my feet." — Edith Wharton. When it comes to pet ownership, there are two distinct schools of thought on sleeping arrangements. One is that the only furry things allowed in the bed are husbands, while dogs should be appropriately and sanitarily confined to a kennel or their own bed.
FARGO — I have a friend, “Pearl.” Pearl is delightful, hilarious, compassionate, thoughtful and generous-hearted. We have magnificent texting conversations, in which we routinely crack each other up with our lively one-liners and banter. She just “gets” me as few others do. We frequently talk about getting together for coffee, bookstore browsing or some sort of social outing, but here’s the deal: Even though we live in the same community and we talk about getting together at least once a month, we almost always cancel our well-intentioned plans at the last minute.
Do you want to know what the real curse of Oak Island is? That it will never end. That I have spent seven seasons and countless hours watching the Lagina brothers drilling holes halfway through the earth, only to discover that the real treasure of Oak Island is a hyperbolic advertising campaign that makes it look like they’ve unearthed Noah’s Ark when in fact it is a few fossilized Skittles and the remains of a Shakey’s pizza box.
FARGO -- So I’m tooling through Target on a recent lunch break in the hopes of shopping myself happy. It’s been a rough day and I need a little reasonably priced retail therapy. My cart is already filled with several items guaranteed to bring sense and order to my life, including a 12-pound bag of Reese’s Eggs, a huge scented candle and a miniature appliance that specializes in making tiny waffles. I make a left-hand turn in the women’s clothing section and… what’s this?
FARGO -- I don’t remember how I spent most of the '90s. I think much of that decade was spent trying to get Drew Barrymore’s haircut, pretending I liked Adam Sandler and “cleverly” sliding phrases like “sponge-worthy” and “not that there’s anything wrong with that” into daily conversations with friends. But beyond that, most of that decade was spent faxing stuff. No, really.
FARGO -- By the time you read this, you will probably have given up on your New Year’s resolution. I hate saying that out loud. Please know that this isn’t because I don’t believe in you.
FARGO -- When I first met them, they were three little blond von Trapps of perfectly descending height — like stairsteps of a well-built Scandinavian staircase. The oldest, “Marta,” had long, honey-colored hair and a sweet grin. She seemed shy, although her brothers would later claim she was very bossy. The next in line, “Everett,” was a miniature of his father. He was polite — almost formal — but I would eventually find out he had a mischievous streak and a wonderfully puckish sense of humor.
When I took a new job at Prairie Public Education Services three years ago, I didn't know what to expect. Of course, I was aware of the fine reputation of Prairie Public. But I had no idea that the organization had its own education division, dedicated exclusively to promoting and disseminating PBS learning materials. My background is communications, not education. But before long, I was tooling around the state in a blue van emblazoned with PBS characters and accompanying a ginormous Curious George to child care centers.
Some people go to yoga class to relax. I go to OfficeMax. I'm not really sure why, but a visit to the office supply store can be strangely soothing. All those color-coded binders and elaborate planners line up before me like willing foot soldiers in the War Against Disorganization. It's like back-to-school shopping for adults. I'm constantly impressed by the new developments in office supplies. Who knew there were smart pens that photograph your notes and can transmit them to your smart phone in text form?