The Week In Photos; So Fine

The week in photos, because it’s a holiday and I posted this weekend and want to say in the flow. First up is tennis, obviously. No matches this week due to rainouts, so just practice, practice, lessons, practice. I did have some social wellness insights though, but just a head up — you may not like them if you are a text message tyrant.

I tend to agree with people who take a hard stand on choosing not to return text messages. Text messaging should be optional for everyone. The fact that we own cell phones does not obligate us to receive or return text messages. None of us should be required to submit to the tyranny of texting to stay in good graces. I confess it took me a while to come around on this one. I got miffed many times when folks ignored/didn’t respond to my text messages until I understood how intrusive it is. How insensitive it can be when people need down-time or a break, how pressurizing; I didn’t realize this at first. And I don’t mean a delayed response, I mean no response at all. It took some time to understand why people who like or even love me might not want to text with me whenever I feel like it.

However, I did think of an exception this week. We should still respond to personal invitations sent by text message. The second exception might possibly be an apology but I’m a little conflicted on the appropriateness of apologizing via text message. Surely this would be a last resort, or perhaps given by text to hasten it if a timely apology would make a difference to the receiver. But even so, I do believe it is a good social wellness practice to respond in some way. Don’t ignore any apology, folks. Don’t let that dead silence poison the exchange of an honest, heartful offering, even if it’s a lame-ass text message. If you are not ready to accept it, at least acknowledge it.

An invitation sent person to person; don’t ignore that either. A quick yes or quick no and we’re done, yes? We can make an exception as opposed to ignoring an invitation completely. Would you like to join me for tennis on Sunday morning? This is not a tyrannical text, especially if you have encouraged me to TEXT you any time I want to play or need a partner. If I invite you per your request and you opt not to respond in any way, odds are I will never ask again. Give me a hard no but don’t just ignore it.

I texted three people with tennis invitations this week. All three enthusiastically suggested I text them for early Sunday morning tennis “any time.” I invited. I gave two day’s notice. Tennis at 8 am Sunday morning! Join me? Dead silence. All day. All night. All next day. All next night. Sunday came and went; still no answers. Late Sunday night one person apologized for not responding. The other two have still said nothing.

It’s fine. It was a holiday weekend after all. People make other plans. But all I’m asking is say so. It wasn’t a cat meme or an obnoxious video or office gossip when you’re off the clock. It was a practical, functional message containing a specific invitation sent according to pre-established guidelines and permission. For this you can make an exception and respond, people. One word, two words; just say something so I know to move on to someone who is available.

I ended up playing tennis with a stranger, and it worked out just fine but still, ignore everything and anything else I might send you but an invitation? Just tell me no.

I assume you don’t need a caption to know the orphan image above is yoga. Or maybe you do. It’s also fine if you do.

Below I give you a cracked rusted handle on a weathered plank. Homegrown harvest from the backyard garden getting salted before I boil off their skins and stems. A flowering plant growing where I did not plant it but I’m allowing it. The orange floof in the middle will turn into a giant paintbrush and spore more seeds all over places I did not plant them. I truly thought they were annuals when I bought them. Now they are popping up everywhere. More things that are fine.

More harvest from the garden; a giant cutting of mint. I will enjoy it as fragrant greenery until it starts to wilt. Then I will remove it from the vase and dry it witchy style in a bound bundle.

I do this with all overgrown herbs. This is also how I find out which plants shouldn’t touch my skin, which is somewhere around half the garden. Mint is fine, though. Often accompanied by crawling and/or flying creatures I didn’t want in my house, but really, it’s fine.

This one was supposed to be all about the morning light but it turned out to be all about my butt. I went for a run. These are my favorite running shorts but they are no longer in production. Can’t buy more. Wash and wear, over and over. Once they are gone they can’t be replaced.

A buddy of mine has a direct-sale activewear business. I thought I’d take a photo of the length and fit so she could give me some options to rotate in and make the favorites last longer. The sunrise over the eastern hill makes nice lighting for photography, so this was my post-run pose.

Mid-thigh, not too squeezy, basic black, pockets. You’d be surprised how tall an order this is, especially for a short human. Luckily my buddy is even shorter than me, so she’d get it. It would be fine. The image I sent to her was raw and edited because no one else was ever supposed to see it. But then about an hour later I ripped a hole in the butt and killed my treasured irreplaceable shorts.

I should have made a better choice, as hindsight loves to remind us. I was already sweaty. I needed to clean the gutters. I didn’t want to sweat through another set of clothes so I left my beloved butthuggers in place climbed the ladder. My yard slopes away from the house so I have to get all the way onto the roof to clean the gutters. Extension ladder, up, up, up, and blow out the gutters with the leafblower.

Once done, back down, down, down the ladder. Only the first step off the roof onto the ladder is really scary so I usually do it on my butt. Once I can safely reach the next rung it’s all good. (Sob.) Except this time my shorts snagged the jagged edge of some beat-up clippy metal thing-a-ma-ripper. I tore a hole in the buttcheek most prominent here in the foreground of the photo. After that the photo became my sad homage to the service of my longtime favorites and to my dumbassity for not changing into clothing I wouldn’t mind destroying. Lest you think it a gratuitous photo of my 50 year-old ass, no. It’s a photo of my 50 year-old dumb ass.

I’m 49. But it sounded better to disparage my error in judgment with a round number.

Yes, I’ll be 50 soon. It’s fine. Really, completely fine.

Be well, friends. Just answer the damn text. Read the label on the potted plant. Change your shorts. It’ll all be fine.

— Mercy

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