Why She Thinks?

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She Thinks started when Cindy decided that she and her daughter, Ally, should write together, and Ally couldn’t come up with any good reasons to say no. We wanted to see how our perspectives differed as a younger/older woman, mother/daughter, less/more experienced persons, brunette/blonde. Each week, we pick a topic sent to us from our readers that makes us think. We then go on our own and spill our respective guts/brains/hearts out on the page, and then post our thoughts here. To keep things interesting, we don't read each other's posts until we publish them. This means that sometimes our opinions and stories match, and sometimes they don't. That's what makes it fun!

We’re not trying to solve the world's problems, but who knows? Maybe we will.

Read more about Cindy and Ally.
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Topic: What do you do to relax?

Cindy Thinks

Ally Thinks

First, I have to stop.  Stop moving.  Stop doing.  Stop being…busy.

Sometimes I feel like I’m in perpetual motion.  Always moving – but hopefully – moving forward.

Then there comes a time in every day when the movement begins to slow.  And eventually…I can stop.

And then I can start relaxing.

I really don’t have a hard time relaxing.  It comes easily and naturally once I stop.

But…and there’s a BIG BUT…I can’t relax for too long.

I get bored.

Maybe that’s because I equate relaxing to all things restful.

Things like reading or watching TV or even knitting (which is only a winter relaxing activity because it just seems to only make sense during cold, cloudy days) are restful and relaxing for me…but all that sitting makes me bored after an hour or two.

Unless of course I imbibe in a glass of wine, or other available “calming” substances (yes…it is what you’re thinking).  Then…I can relax for many more hours at a time.

But eventually, I still get fidgety.  I start thinking about all of the things I should, could, must be doing when I stop relaxing.  And once that happens, I end up chucking the whole relaxing thing and go into perpetual motion once again.

Maybe my problem is that I don’t do anything requiring physical movement while relaxing.  I know people who have hobbies that require actual movement and physical effort, like hiking mountains, or doing Yoga or baking batches of cupcakes…and they consider that stuff relaxing!  While I consider that stuff physical labor.

There are also people who find it relaxing to exercise (God Forbid), and for the life of me…I don’t get that one at all.   There is absolutely NOTHING restful or relaxing about exercising to me.  It’s pure and simple physical labor and it is exhausting!

I know!  It would seem to be a good fit for me with the whole perpetual motion thing and all…but I’m all about getting shit done…not just movement for movement’s sake.

I also equate relaxing to comfort.  Comfortable clothes (which I call my “grubbies”), comfort food (give me a burrito and I’m in total relaxation mode) and comfortable activities like lying on the couch reading or watching TV.

I mean really, if I’m gonna stop moving for awhile, I might as well do it in comfort!

And rest.

Otherwise, what’s the point of relaxing?

I don’t have a hard life.  I don’t have a whole lot of stress or responsibility or problems.


The majority of my stress comes from my own brain.  I stress about random events, other people, and different situations that I have absolutely no control over.

(Not so jealous now, right?)


But really, barring the occasional crazy parents donating/receiving organs, I have it pretty easy.

Since I live this relatively easy going life, I’m able to relax a lot.

The things that make me relax aren’t very unique or special.

I like reading, watching (too much) TV, and screwing around on the Internet.

I know some people who relax by exercising (gag me), or cleaning, or doing productive things like crafting some amazing thing with fabric or food.

But for me, those things belong on a very nasty looking to-do list, and not on my relaxation radar.

(Though if exercising and cleaning were on my list, life would be so much easier.)

(Plus, I’d be thin and live dust-free.  WIN.)

I think that there are certain things that must happen if one is to relax.

First: comfort.  Jeans, dresses, or anything that requires me to wear a belt, just won’t do.  Baggy pants and over-sized shirts are incredibly important when relaxing.  Also, a comfy place to lounge.  The couch is great, but if you can get in a chair that reclines, life is really awesome.

Next requirement: a blanket.  Even if it’s summer, I need something to curl up with.  When it’s warm, I grab a lightweight scarf or sarong.  When it’s cold, I grab a fleece blanket or THE GREATEST INVENTION OF FOREVER, my Snuggie.

(Do NOT judge me.  It’s a freaking blanket with sleeves, people.  You totally don’t know what you’re missing.)

Finally: quiet.  I’m at the wonderful time in my life where I don’t yet have tiny humans running around my home, so making the house quiet it fairly easy.  Except when the dogs are being naughty themselves.  But then it’s as simple as blocking the dog door off (so they’re locked in the house and therefore can’t run outside and yell at the entire neighborhood throughout the day) or closing the blinds (so they can’t see (and bark at) the other creatures who have the audacity to walk near our house).

When all of those things are taken care of… well, life is pretty damn relaxing.

Topic: “OMG – I look/sound just like my mother!!”

Cindy Thinks

Ally Thinks

I do actually.  Both look and sound like my Mother.


When I was younger I was always mistaken for my mom on the phone.  Once in awhile that was fun (as in tricking sales people to thinking I was her and getting her appreciation for fending them off).   But as a teenager, when someone would call and ASSUME I was my mother, I would always make it sound like it was a HUGE imposition, and respond in a dull teenage drawl with “NO…it’s not Del, it’s just Cindy…I’ll go get her” and stomp off to get my mom (‘cause we weren’t allowed to shout to tell her there was someone on the phone).

But mostly I hated it when people told me I looked like my mom.  Don’t get me wrong.  She was the cutest mom of all the mom’s I knew, and looking like her was not such a bad roll of the dice (no offense to my dad…but we all know I did better on that one!).    I was just trying to figure out who I was, and what my look was going to be…and sometimes it felt like I was just a carbon copy of her…only 4 inches taller and many pounds heavier (she was a teeny little thing, damn her).

As I’ve gotten older however, I’ve realized I look more and more like her every day, and it doesn’t much bother me anymore.

In fact, I kinda like it.

I have short blonde hair like she did (we never did find out her “true” color…but we’re never gonna find out mine either, so what the hell).  And, a round face like she did.  And small, thin lips…and virtually no eyelids (like her), but somehow…it seems to be working better for me these days.

But mostly…I have the same hands.  I look down at my hands now, and see my mom’s.  I used to love her hands.  They were small and warm and loving.  And now I think I have them too.

(Luckily I haven’t inherited the arthritis that bent her fingers and restricted her ability to use them effectively, but I always thought they were beautiful nonetheless.)

The thing that used to irk the hell out of me, though, is when she ended up in my head…and her words ended up coming out my mouth.

What the hell was that all about?

I’d be in the middle of a conversation with someone and out of the blue would come one of my mother’s “isms.”

There were hundreds of them.

I remember once (when Ally was about 3 years old) I was trying to explain something to her and she kept asking “Why?” every time I gave her an answer (like EVERY 3 year old on the planet)…and without hesitation, out came the mother of all of my mother’s “isms” …”Because, there’s no bones in ice cream!”

OMG!  Where did that come from?  My mother used to say that to me and my brother ALL the time when she didn’t want to give us any more of an explanation.

Me:            Mom, can I go to Nancy’s to sleep over this weekend?

Mom:            No honey…not this weekend.

Me:            Why not?  I don’t have anything else planned.

Mom:            It’s just not a good weekend honey.

Me:            But why?

Mom:            Because there’s no bones in ice creamthat’s why!


I was so outraged that I had used this tedious, outrageous tactic on my own little girl that I stopped my conversation with Ally…picked up the phone, called my mother and shouted “GET OUT OF MY HEAD WOMAN!”

Needless to say she was both a bit shocked at my call, and a bit pleased that her w-is-do-m had rubbed off on me!

When Ally got older she researched the whole no bones in ice cream thing and found out that there’s gelatin (which is made out of bones or something) in ice cream, and blew the whole thing out of the water…and COULDN’T WAIT to tell my mom.

My favorite “Del-ism”, however, is one that’s now being used by hundreds, if not thousands, of people who came into our sphere of influence over the years.  It’s the “Tell the Pilot to Drive Carefully” ism.

I know.  Pilots don’t drive planes.

It was just her way of telling someone to have a safe flight.  But, somehow when she said it, it was more than that.  It was a safety net she threw over you to make sure absolutely nothing bad would happen to you on your trip.   And it always made me feel safer.

So I started to say it to absolutely everyone I knew who was going on an airplane.

As a family, we say it to each other (individually mind you) when we get on the plane.   It sounds like a little chorus of well-wishing as we make eye contact and softly utter the words Tell the Pilot to Drive Carefully simultaneously to each other.  (Brian always hated it but humored me by saying “TTPTDC” every time we flew).

I even used it at work within my company and it became a “thing” with my staff.  At first, I think they (the collective “they” over 23 years with the company) thought I was crazy.  But I gotta tell you, there wasn’t anyone who left on a business trip who didn’t make it into my office to get their own Tell the Pilot to Drive Carefully before venturing out to the airport.

And now, after all these years, it absolutely warms my heart to hear someone outside of my family (because my family members are just expected to say it), tell ME to Tell the Pilot To Drive Carefully when I’m leaving on a trip.

Yeah…I look and sound like my Mother, and there are still some times when I do a double take in the mirror or have to stop myself in the middle of a sentence, and recognize that the words I’m speaking could easily have come out of my mothers mouth (and probably did sometime during her life), but instead of wanting to change my look, or shout and get her out of my head…I find that I get this warm glow filling my heart instead.

In Loving Memory of Del Kram…I hope I look half as good as she did, and that she never leaves my head.

I remember sitting with a girl on the floor of a high school gym, waiting to be picked up from a day at summer camp.  I can recall quite clearly that we were discussing why Jonathan Taylor Thomas was the hottest boy ever.

(He totally was.)

My mom walked in and started coming over to us.  As she approached, the girl next to me looked at my mom, then looked back at me, and said, “That’s your mom?  Are you adopted?”

“Um… no.  I look more like my daddy?”  What is a seven-year-old supposed to do with that?

(For a split second I actually thought to myself “OHMYGOD MY MOMMY ISN’T MY MOMMY.”)

(Again, I was SEVEN.)

Which parent I look most like depends on who you talk to.  Talk to people that grew up with my mom, and they swear that I look exactly like her.  Stand me next to my dad and his side of the family, and I look just like them.

I grew up being told that I looked just like my dad.  We have the same darker coloring, and when I stand with his sister and my cousins, we are all clearly related.

It takes a little bit more to realize that I belong with my mom’s side.  Her blond hair and shorter stature sort of throws people off.

(Notice I referenced your “shorter stature”, Mom, and didn’t just call you “short” or “little” or “small”.  Because I’m polite.)

I would go out with my mom and grandmother and nobody would think I was theirs.  Not that I blame them.  What would you think if you saw two small (well, TINY is more appropriate when referencing my grandmother) blond women, and me, towering several inches above them with dark brown hair, black eyebrows, and skin a few shades darker.

My brother is a pretty clear mix of our parents, though, and him and I clearly look like siblings, so at the end of the day we all look pretty cohesive.

When you see the four of us together, all of the pieces fall into place.

I think that my personality and mannerisms are a pretty good and even mix from both of my parents.  For example, I have my dad’s dark sense of humor, and my mom’s (slightly warped) view of life, and I’m perfectly happy with these things.  I wouldn’t have it any other way, actually.

BUT, there are certain things that just throw me off.

Like how I make this sound when my dogs are doing something bad.  It’s this “uh-uh” sound in the back of my throat that I break out if the dogs are inching towards an open door or trying to sneak away a napkin from the table.

(My golden retriever LOVES napkins, so I make the sound a lot.)

It’s an automatic reflex noise that drives Mike crazy, but (no matter how many times Mike claims that it does nothing) it works, damn it.

A few years ago I was at my dad’s house with the dogs when they did something naughty (the possibilities of what exactly they did are too vast for me to remember those details), and my dad spun around.

Is your mom here?”

Wait… what?

Well, shit.

It’s not a huge deal, but how did that little thing worm it’s way into my head and manifest itself?  Years of hearing my mom make similar noises at our dogs (or my brother) (but NEVER me) (because I NEVER did anything wrong) (seriously)?  Is it genetic?

Do we all end up like our mothers NO MATTER WHAT?

I think this blog has been really interesting because it’s shown how much we ARE alike, whether we realize it or not.  Like how we pick the same songs for our personal musicals or both have a slightly unhealthy relationship with shoes or both procrastinate (note: it’s Sunday evening and neither of us has finished this post for tomorrow).

There would be worse things in life than being told that I look or sound just like my mother.  I’m still young enough that it hasn’t taken over my life (yet).  I’m sure that once I have kids the similarities will be numerous, and I’ll be calling her daily to scream at her for screwing with me.

And who knows?  Maybe I won’t just look or sound like her, but also start dancing and someday be able to throw kick-ass parties.

Again, there are worse things that could happen.

Topic: How will you survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

Cindy Thinks

Ally Thinks

Screw zombies, it doesn’t matter what kind of apocalypse we’re in for, because I’m ready.  I have a fully stocked pantry with hundreds of canned goods, tons of extra water, enough toilet paper to last at least 6 months and a lifetime supply of chocolate, ‘cause really, who wants to stick around without toilet paper or chocolate?

No…I’m not a doomsday kinda gal, it’s just that I like to be prepared.

And I’m not the only one thinking about this stuff.  As I’m sure you’re aware, we’re only a couple of years away from the famed end of the Mayan calendar (December, 2012), which many believe marks the end of civilization as we know it.  I never thought about it much, but then I watched a multi-part special last year on the History Channel and it got me thinking about the possibilities of life ending on earth.

I mean…I really don’t believe it will all end on 12/21/2012, but after watching that show, I did find myself having an irresistible urge to run out to the store to buy a case of canned soup.

Honestly though, I don’t think the Mayans knew something we don’t know.  I think they just figured they had created a big enough template for us to follow…and we would be able to take it from here.  Or they just ran out of stone.

But nonetheless…it makes you wonder.

I mean…what will you be doing as we get closer to December, 2012?  Will you be worried?  Will you be stocking up on canned goods?  Water?  Toilet Paper? Chocolate?

Well I know I’ll be ready…and I’ll be doing it in style!

I recently bought some property down in Ridgway Colorado (just outside of Telluride, CO) which I must say, is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  The mountains, the valley, the people…are all amazing.

And…I just started building on it so that I can live there part of the year, and play host to my family and friends…’cause it’s a place ya just gotta share.

So I figure I’ll share it with a few dozen carefully chosen people for the end of the Mayan Calendar (and potentially…the end of civilization as we know it).

But we’re not gonna sit around waiting for the end.   WE’RE GONNA PARTY!!

Because it ALSO just happens to be my “triple 12 birthday” (12-12-12)…and I figure that calls for one big 12 day party!!!

And if it does all end, then we go happily, and probably…really really drunk.  With plenty of canned goods, water, toilet paper and chocolate in the pantry.

Unfortunately though, I’ll have to limit how many people can come to my party (because I just don’t have enough canned soup to feed everyone).

So I came up with a process for selecting who will be part of the chosen few…with some ground rules (’cause you always need ground rules):

1.    Applications for the now infamous 12-12-12 bash will be accepted beginning 6-12-12.

2.    A written test including just a few select multiple choice questions and an essay explaining why you should be part of the chosen few (no more than 500 words please) will be included as part of the application process.

3.    Bribes will be accepted (along with donations of canned soup).

God I hope civilization doesn’t end before then…it would really screw up my plans.

I think it’s awesome how we all assume that when the zombie apocalypse happens we’ll be fighting the zombies, and not become one ourselves.  Statistically, most of us will have to be the actual yucky, undead daemons for it to be considered an apocalypse (at least I assume so), so odds are that if you’re reading this, you’ll be craving brains at some point.


Personally, I think I’ll be made into a zombie fairly early on.  I don’t like confrontation and I’m not in shape at all, so I’d be easy to catch.  I accept that my chances of surviving for very long are pretty slim.

(What?  I’m being realistic.)

So I think I would just give myself up to the brain eating devils as quickly and as painlessly as possible.  Maybe I’ll get really intoxicated and just go to sleep on the front lawn and hope the zombies do a quick job at transforming me…

Because really?  I don’t think that I want to spend my days hiding in my house and chasing zombies off of my front lawn with a knife or gun.

Besides, I’m not allowed to wield weapons.

(Mike believes that I’ll injure myself every time I cut a tomato for dinner, so I’m going to assume that using a machete to cut off the head of a zombie won’t be allowed…)

(Just so you all know, I’m open to suggestions for weapon alternatives.  We’re all going to be in this together, people, so it’s no time to keep your tactics a secret.)

Now, if I could get to a place without zombies (preferably some sort of fort or underground lair designed by my mother), I would probably invest in some serious weapon training.  Maybe I wouldn’t be able to hire a personal trainer or my own Sensei (because the strongest of our kind will all be fighting to save the world… or they’ll be dead… or undead?…), but I assume the Internet will have a plethora of helpful blogs and videos by that point.

(Oh wait.  There’s already plenty of information out there.  Of course.)

The way I see it: geeks love zombies, and geeks get shit done on the Internet, so I guarantee there will be a Wiki up in no time.

(OH MY GOD.  That also already exists. We all have no excuse if we’re unprepared.)

Hell, maybe I’ll get in shape…

(Except probably not.  It’s going to take a lot more than a violent apocalypse to get me to start running on a regular basis.)

What I’d really need is a kick-ass outfit.

(Priorities, people.)

I’m thinking something flattering, functional, comfortable, and easy to clean (because killing zombies is a super messy business).  BUT, even if I were one of the BEST zombie killers EVER (and let’s face it, with the right training… actually, I’ll most likely still be useless regardless of my training…), I probably wouldn’t actively seek out zombies.  I’d leave the mass destruction of them up to the government or ninjas or Woody Harrelson.

Instead, I’d hide myself away with a good book and lots of cupcakes.

(If the world is ending, dieting will NOT be my priority.)

(Note to self: make kick-ass outfit baggy and in slimming colors.)

Actually, I think that I would just be happy deferring all survival responsibilities to someone else.

(Hi Mom!)

PS: I’m inviting The Bloggess to Ridgway, because she’s our only hope.  Well, her and Mr. Harrelson…