Tag Archives: present

When the past haunts your present

22 Oct

“Why do you need two mascaras? They are identical,” I told Lumi, my sister the other day while at the mall.

“Cuz,” she said, moving to the next shelf and grabbing two bottles of shampoo. “When ones ends, I have another one handy.”

“But you can also go to the store and buy one when you run out of it, right?”

“That too, but I feel better having an extra one, for when time comes.”

I could’ve continued to argue with Lumi that buying two mascaras is a waste of money, potentially a waste of product if she’d have it stored for too long and it would dry out. Or chose to drop it, which I did because if anyone knows my sister, they also know, no one has ever won an argument with her. Like everrrrr. But I kept an eye on her and her buying habits and, at the end of the day I realized she has a problem: buying several of the same products, never just one.

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I know curiosity killed the cat (they say; I for one never seen a cat killed by that), but I had to know why, so after a day on our feet, and being 110% convinced my arms lengthen by at least a few inches because of all the bags we’ve carried, I teased Lumi, over a banana & nut blizzard, that maybe she needs help with her impulsive buying disorder.

Licking a spoonful of her ice cream, Lumi responded, “Do you remember living back home, in Romania? Do you remember the shortage on everything, the ratio food, the empty shelves and when they weren’t empty, the little that was there was of such bad quality that no one wanted it? Do you remember any of that?”

“I do, but what has that to do with the fact that you pack now like a squirrel on steroids?”

“It has everything to do with it,” Lumi said, lifting briefly her brown eyes at me, brown that when the sun shines, turns to green. “Communism scarred me. I used to tell myself if I ever have money and the possibility to live somewhere else, I will never go hungry, be cold, walk in bad shoes or wear terrible clothing. I used to tell myself I will never have nothing, but will have everything. And that to me means buy at least two of each product. It makes me feel . . . safe, covered, protected somehow.”

I laughed. “You definitely need a therapist.”

Later on when I got home, I unpacked my shopping bags and the more bags I emptied, the more I realized . . . I’m in the same boat as Lumi! I do buy at least two of the same product. I went to my closet, to my drawers, to my pantry and everywhere I looked, I found more and more proofs that I too am a shopaholic.

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And it got me thinking: am I crazy? Who in their right mind buys two of the same dress/shoes—not even in a different color, which might be an excuse, right? Why am I doing this?

Lumi’s earlier words came to mind and somehow they opened a flood of memories from my childhood back home in Romania. The constant fear of authorities, the poisoned indoctrination the Communist Party shoved down everyone’s throat but also the poverty . . . the constant hunger . . . the smothering feeling . . . the emptiness and helplessness I felt on a daily basis, with no hope things would get better.

And yet a lot has changed since then. I lived more than half my life under freedom and democracy, and for the past 13 years I made the U.S. my home, the best country ever (no offense, world!). A lot of the things I had witnessed/experienced during my life in Romania and under communism are just that, things from the past, a past I prefer not to remember too often for it mostly brings sad/bad memories. I also know that some of those things left scars and made me into the person that I am today. And I think for the most part I accept everything, except I would rather blame communism for my buying disorder (the other option would be to confess I pack like a squirrel on steroids and the image is not very appealing…).

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Christmas Books Giveaway Hop

30 Nov
Welcome to the “Christmas Books” Giveaway Hop running from December 1st to 7th with the winner announcement on December 8th.
A big round of applause for Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer  and Laurie @  Laurie Here  for organizing this fabulous blog hop.
christmas books hop

MY GIVEAWAYS: INCLUDE E-COPIES OF THE FOLLOWING TWO NOVELS:

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Waitress Lucy West is down on her luck at the diner. A fan of late-night television reruns, she’s always dreamed of a nineteen-fifties style happily ever after. But, in reality, she’s opted to settle. Barely scraping by on her meager salary and tired of going it alone, she figures marrying affable, yet distractible, Mitch as making the right move. Little does she know that Christmastime–and Santa–have other plans in store…

Bachelor dad William Kinkaid has his hands full with a young teenage son and a five-year-old daughter. Since losing his wife to cancer three years before, William’s worked hard to keep things as upbeat and normal for the family as possible. After his child makes a special Christmas wish, William’s stunned to awaken Christmas morning to find a beautiful blonde on the sofa. The woman can’t remember a thing, and his kid thinks Santa brought her. Can William solve the mystery about who she really is, without giving away his heart?

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A childhood spent on the streets leaves Mallory Phillips longing for a normal life and a perfect Christmas. Now an elementary school nurse in Chandlerville, Georgia, Mallory’s dream to blend into the picturesque community isn’t working out. She’s once more living a loner’s existence. Then an emotionally fragile seven-year-old appears in her living room in the middle of the night, and Mallory’s isolated world is turned upside down.

This is Polly Lombard’s first Christmas without her mother, and she won’t utter a word to anyone—except Mallory. She believes Mallory holds the key to helping her father overcome his sadness. Despite Pete Lombard’s lingering grief over his wife’s death and concern for his daughter, his resistance to their mysterious neighbor crumbles as he spends more time with Mallory and falls for her amazing heart. But when her past returns to haunt her, is Mallory strong enough to keep the Lombard family in her life? And can the spirit of Christmas heal these broken souls and bring them all the joyous, loving holiday they deserve?

TO WIN:

BECOME A FRIEND ON GOODREADS AND LEAVE YOUR ANSWER TO THE QUESTION: WHAT PART OF CHRISTMAS IS YOUR FAVORITE? MINE IS OPENING PRESENTS.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Funny gifts (some) husbands appreciate

24 Oct

On my trip to New York I picked for my husband the picture below  (it’s not on paper, but rather on metal). He absolutely LOVES it! He has it up on the wall in his happy place (his garage).

The moral of the story: always tell the truth and nothing but the truth. People will appreciate your honesty.

Question 4 U: what’s the funniest gift you gave to someone or you personally received?

Christmas in July Giveaway Hop

9 Jul

Merry Christmas everyone! Yeah, I know it’s only July, but I can start practicing now, right? I mean with so many presents to buy, christmas cards to send and visits to make I thought I’d begin practicing right here and now by giving out a … present. 
As you know Claire @ Claire Reads helped by Tess @ My Pathway to Books organized this year’s Christmas In July Giveaway Hop. This hop runs between July 9th and July 16th with the winner announcement on July 17th.

Now, I’m suppose NOT to tell what’s the giveaway for my site, but I’m a terrible secret keeper. So I left a hint. Somewhere on one of my pages (I have 5 of them: HOME, HIDDEN HEART, A WORLD APART, I WAS HERE–BEFORE YOU CAME and ABOUT) there’s a box wrapped nicely in gift paper. This box will go to one winner. It contains… well, I can’t tell what it contains, because the most important rule of this hop is not to tell what’s in it.

For your chance to win the present all you have to do is FOLLOW THIS BLOG BY EMAIL by clicking on the button to the right called “Sign me up!” (between BLOG STATS and TWITTER UPDATES) and leave your answer to the question: WHAT’S THE RIBBON’S COLOR TYING THE GIFT BOX?

Merry Christmas everyone!