Nicole D. Paul aka J.C. Paul

Question of the Day

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Mary was fed up with Bob!  It had only been 8 months since he moved in, but gosh! This isn’t what she’d bargained for.

She sighed remembering how it all started.

She had been tired of being lonely – she wanted to be loved, she wanted companionship, she wanted to be needed.   Didn’t everyone want that?

Her best friend, Julie, told her that online was the way to go these days.  These days, you never met your mate by a chance meeting.  No, Julie had said – you have to go out and be proactive!  Online.  Yes, that was the way to go.

She had joined four different online services and within a month was exhausted and growing increasingly frustrated at the entire process.  There were just so many profiles to read; and how would she really know if their descriptions were true?  She sighed at the memory of all her hard work.

And, then she found him.  It was the picture that grabbed her:  big brown eyes and dark curly hair; perhaps a little pudgy, but they could work out together.

Okay, so maybe she should not have moved him into her apartment so soon, but she really was lonely; it just, well, felt right.

But now!  She was sick up picking up after him!  Sick of him hogging the bed!  Sick of his incessant snoring!

For the month now, she’d really become fed up with him and started kicking him out of the bed at night.  Sleepily, knowing the drill, he would saunter out of the room to sleep on the sofa.  And, there, in the morning, she would find him still asleep, still sprawled out, and still snoring!  She was so fed up!

Today was no different from the rest.  She had gotten up, passed him on the sofa, grumbled under her breath, and made her way to the kitchen to make her breakfast – and his.

She heard him rustle off the sofa, give a nice hardy yawn, and amble into the kitchen.

And, as usual, his big brown eyes captured her heart again, as they did every single morning.

Beth smiled, rubbed his dark, curly, furry head, and made him his bowl of kibble.

Today’s children should be taught how to do laundry, especially boys.

Ben, Bob, and Bruce were triplets and now, at 12 years old, she knew it was time to teach them how to clean their clothes.  She was fed up with the funk; she was disturbed by the dirt; she was sick of the stink.

Knowing that this day was quickly approaching, she’d prepared well.

When they arrived home from football practice, she going to be waiting at the door – actually, outside the door.

Normally, they would come rushing into the house, through the back door, dropping their funky, dirty, smelly gear on her kitchen floor, rush the refrigerator like it was the quarterback of an opposing team, and devour whatever didn’t move out of their way.

Not today!  No more of this madness!

Her mother had told her stories about teaching her own 6 sons how to do laundry when they were each 8 years old.  But, Beth thought this custom was akin to child labor and refused to follow the tradition of the matriarchs of the family.  But today she would conduct the ritual, as it had been passed down from generation to generation.

Beth heard the school bus approach and the throng of children escape, with reckless abandon, into the streets – darting here and there as they made their way to their homes.

Suddenly, she panicked. She couldn’t do this.  They were just kids.

She stared at the 3 tubs of soapy water that awaited the boys and thought was a horrible mother she was and hung her head in shame.

Ben, Bob, and Bruce came barreling through the wooden gate, already tearing off their smelling jerseys.

Bruce stopped so suddenly that Ben and Bob crashed into him, causing everyone to stumble.

Bruce, the oldest by 7 minutes, looked bewildered at his mom.

“Mom”, he said questioned cautiously, “what’s going on?”

Beth couldn’t breathe, let alone speak.

Behind her sat three women:  her 97 year old great-grandmother, in a wheelchair, her grandmother, just approaching 81, and her mother, age 61.

Feeling the strength her ancestors, all the mothers of boys before her, she raised her head and firmly said to the boys, “Today you’re learning to do laundry!”

This is a plain text paste from Word – normal

Mary was fed up with Bob! It had only been 8 months since he moved in, but gosh! This isn’t what she’d bargained for.

She sighed remembering how it all started.

She had been tired of being lonely – she wanted to be loved, she wanted companionship, she wanted to be needed. Didn’t everyone want that?

Her best friend, Julie, told her that online was the way to go these days. These days, you never met your mate by a chance meeting. No, Julie had said – you have to go out and be proactive! Online. Yes, that was the way to go.

She had joined four different online services and within a month was exhausted and growing increasingly frustrated at the entire process. There were just so many profiles to read; and how would she really know if their descriptions were true? She sighed at the memory of all her hard work.

And, then she found him. It was the picture that grabbed her: big brown eyes and dark curly hair; perhaps a little pudgy, but they could work out together.

Okay, so maybe she should not have moved him into her apartment so soon, but she really was lonely; it just, well, felt right.

But now! She was sick up picking up after him! Sick of him hogging the bed! Sick of his incessant snoring!

For the month now, she’d really become fed up with him and started kicking him out of the bed at night. Sleepily, knowing the drill, he would saunter out of the room to sleep on the sofa. And, there, in the morning, she would find him still asleep, still sprawled out, and still snoring! She was so fed up!

Today was no different from the rest. She had gotten up, passed him on the sofa, grumbled under her breath, and made her way to the kitchen to make her breakfast – and his.

She heard him rustle off the sofa, give a nice hardy yawn, and amble into the kitchen.

And, as usual, his big brown eyes captured her heart again, as they did every single morning.

Beth smiled, rubbed his dark, curly, furry head, and made him his bowl of kibble.

Today’s children should be taught how to do laundry, especially boys.

Ben, Bob, and Bruce were triplets and now, at 12 years old, she knew it was time to teach them how to clean their clothes. She was fed up with the funk; she was disturbed by the dirt; she was sick of the stink.

Knowing that this day was quickly approaching, she’d prepared well.

When they arrived home from football practice, she going to be waiting at the door – actually, outside the door.

Normally, they would come rushing into the house, through the back door, dropping their funky, dirty, smelly gear on her kitchen floor, rush the refrigerator like it was the quarterback of an opposing team, and devour whatever didn’t move out of their way.

Not today! No more of this madness!

Her mother had told her stories about teaching her own 6 sons how to do laundry when they were each 8 years old. But, Beth thought this custom was akin to child labor and refused to follow the tradition of the matriarchs of the family. But today she would conduct the ritual, as it had been passed down from generation to generation.

Beth heard the school bus approach and the throng of children escape, with reckless abandon, into the streets – darting here and there as they made their way to their homes.

Suddenly, she panicked. She couldn’t do this. They were just kids.

She stared at the 3 tubs of soapy water that awaited the boys and thought was a horrible mother she was and hung her head in shame.

Ben, Bob, and Bruce came barreling through the wooden gate, already tearing off their smelling jerseys.

Bruce stopped so suddenly that Ben and Bob crashed into him, causing everyone to stumble.

Bruce, the oldest by 7 minutes, looked bewildered at his mom.

“Mom”, he said questioned cautiously, “what’s going on?”

Beth couldn’t breathe, let alone speak.

Behind her sat three women: her 97 year old great-grandmother, in a wheelchair, her grandmother, just approaching 81, and her mother, age 61.

Feeling the strength her ancestors, all the mothers of boys before her, she raised her head and firmly said to the boys, “Today you’re learning to do laundry!”

Looking at Paris in this light, Traci fondly remembered meeting Thomas here, in the city of love, more than 35 years ago.

It was a night just like this; dusk was ambling into the city, with the lights of the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the distance. Then, like now, they reminded her of diamonds; like the diamonds that adorned her neck tonight – the gift Thomas had given her for their 25 anniversary.

More than three decades had passed since she and Thomas had met. Back then, they were among 50 students, from their small Midwest college, studying abroad, honing their French skills in a sea of Parisians. She’d been a giddy girl and he’d been the astute honors student.

Traci continued to gaze out of the 10ft windows of her 1500 sq. ft. suite – the Champs Elysees Suite of the La Tremoille hotel – one of the finest in Paris. It was a far cry from the dank, cramped, and smelly hostel where she’d fallen in love with Thomas.

A soft knock preceded the entrance of the Amelie, but her entrance did not break Traci’s reverie.

Amelie was their dedicated maid that always serviced Traci and Thomas during the week-long conference that Thomas attended every year.

Although Traci thought that it was a foregone conclusion, still, ever year, Traci asked Thomas if they were staying at the La Tremoille. As if withholding something precious from Traci, he always said he’d think about it. And every year, just 3 days in advance of their trip, Thomas would inform her that, yes, their accommodations would be at the La Tremoille; and every year, she’d breathe of sigh of relief.

Amelie had become her closest friend and confident; over the past 15 years/ Year after year, she attended to Traci’s needs while they were in Paris, and they wrote long letters to each other after Traci left. Amelie was the only brightness, besides the Eiffel Tower, that Traci experienced in Paris.

Although she could hear the Amelie’s soft footsteps on the plush carpet behind her, and the clink of the glass crystal bowl as Amelie placed it on the marble buffet, Traci continued to regard the twinkling of the city lights, and the reflection of the sapphire blue sequins of the bodice of the formal dress she was wearing. She was sure that Thomas would approve of it; the blue matched the color of his eyes.

But, as she made her grand entrance into the living space of the suite, ready to attend the banquet, she knew he didn’t like it. Traci froze when she saw his face; he was angry; she could always tell by those same sapphire blue eyes when he disapproved. She’d made a mistake – again.

Without turning from the window, she addressed Amelie.

“I won’t be going to the banquet tonight, Amelie.”

“Yes, I can see that”, replied Amelie.

Amelie attended to the task at hand. Ice could be heard clinking on the edges of the crystal bowl, as Amelie removed the cubes with the silver tongs.

Traci saw Amelie’s approach in the reflection in the window, turned around, and welcomed her friend with a crooked smile. They embraced briefly.

As they parted, Amelie said, “Now let’s see about that black eye”, and gently placed the freshly made ice pack on Traci’s swollen face.

Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.  ― Eckhart Tolle

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