Sometimes, my life feels like a house of cards

Sometimes I feel as if my life is a house of cards, and I’m Marcia Brady, ready to place a card on top but my charm bracelet is going to knock the thing to bits.

(Remember that episode? Dated Reference Alert: As I was looking for a photo or video, neither of which I was able to locate, I learned that this 1970 episode was about boys versus girls to win the bundle of trading stamps the family had been saving so that the winners could take ’em to the soon-to-close redemption center and get a Big Prize. Raise your hand if you remember trading stamps. Anyone? No??? Come on, you over there, in the corner – aren’t you old enough to remember this? When I was but a wee lass, We used to get S&H Green Stamps at the Weis Market and we licked & stuck ’em into books for years. Kids, this was back in the olden days, when your grandparents paid for groceries with cash or maybe a check, but never ever a CHARGE CARD, and the clerks rang the prices in by hand, for there were no scanners, and placed the items into paper bags (for plastic was not an option). The clerk dialed the stamps out of a machine

S&H Green Stamp Machine
S&H Green Stamp Machine

(many thanks to these fine folks at Flickr for this photo) and who here remembers the SOUND that it made? The number of stamps you received were a function of how much your grocery bill was. Then you would look through a catalog and daydream about all the merchandise you could earn, once you filled enough books. Card tables? Blenders? Food storage containers? All kinds of good stuff. Or, in the Brady Bunch’s case, the coveted items were a Color TV (boys) and a Sewing Machine (girls). They still have trading stamps in Freeport, Bahamas, by the way.)

(Check out the LOCK on the machine. Do you think Green Stamp Theft was a big problem back in the 1970s? could the clerks not be trusted to gain access to the machine? Did a store manager have to be in charge?)

Where was I? Oh, I remember – how my life is like a house of cards. So anyway, Marcia’s stupid dangling charm threatened their house of cards. This is what occurred to me tonight as I was picking up children from various locations in a certain order, then dropping one off here and bringing two home so that a friend could grab them as she took one of her kids to riding lessons, so that when the aforementioned dropped-off kid returned home with his dad, he could have dinner (which is spaghetti which is boiling right now), while dad and I go back to within one mile of where he and the son just came from, in order to celebrate a friend’s birthday at a restaurant, after which we will return to the friend’s home, the one who currently has the two other kids, to pick them up, except she has said she would really like for us to stay for a drink because, you know, it’s been a while, and heck, she will have just hauled around and fed two of my kids — one of whom is only like 80% potty-trained — for three hours, so how can we say no to that?

And did I mention, we are leaving for vacation week in exactly THIRTY-FIVE HOURS? Seriously. A day and a half, people.


15 thoughts on “Sometimes, my life feels like a house of cards

  1. Thanks Mom! The long sentences are deliberate to illustrate the things that go through my head as Chief Logistical Officer of the family. Blogging helps me empty out my brain of this stuff.

  2. Aw, thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    I don’t remember ever actually *getting* anything with those books of Green Stamps, do you?

    1. My first guitar cost my mom seven books of green stamps! That must have been the dollar equivalent of a LOT of money because she never let me forget it!

  3. Bets, I remember taking stacks of those books to the Weis Market but I also don’t really recall any notable scores. Mom? I know you earned the card table with Green Stamps but that was before our time. What do you remember?

  4. Not only did our local markets give stamps, but so did the gas stations and drugs stores.
    All the bowling alleys had “Bowling For Stamps” days or nights. You show up, get assigned to a lane, or if you were like me, you had your own foursome. You earned stamps for various splits, chain of strikes, different colored head pins etc.
    I scored enough for a sewing machine, new hair dryer (the hard hat salon type), and a vacuum. I miss those stamps.

  5. Sorry I”m late getting to this one. Yeah, the silver coffee service , several lamps (remember the matching milk glass bedroom lamps?) a clock or two . . . all came from the geen stamp collection.

  6. I remember a bunch of smoky glasses — maybe they were for old-fashions? — which we used for kid glasses (no plastic) and juice glasses. I think Mom got them from the gas station stamps. Thanks for a great memory, and one that’s hard to explain to anyone under 35 or so!

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