Always learning (because knowledge rocks!)

Experiences should teach you something. Image found on QuotesGram.

In talking to a friend Sunday evening after returning from my nephew’s wedding, I noted how important it is to never stop learning. In that spirit, I learned quite a few things over the weekend.

🗺 Google Maps has a strange idea of 3.2 miles … either that, or someone stuck a decimal in 32 and didn’t notice. Of course, it didn’t help that so much of the landscape on the road to Poteau looked so similar. (I’ve been to Poteau and several other places in Oklahoma many times before. However, this was the first time I’ve ever driven to Poteau; it was always someone else driving, and I don’t pay attention when I’m not driving … which is how I forgot to tell a friend in college where to turn off when he was driving me to my parents’ house for a visit and we ended up in Oklahoma. He called me Miss Oklahoma for years after that.)

These two are just the cutest and sweetest.

👫🏽 Dalton and Amanda are a gorgeous couple. OK, I already knew that, but seeing them read their vows to each other with such love filled my heart. Even if they were physically butt-ugly, they’d still be beautiful because of the love between them. And of course, these are two of the most caring people I’ve ever known. Awwww!

👗 All dresses (and skirts and pants) for women should have pockets. I don’t wear dresses often, but I had gotten a couple for the wedding (those had pockets) and a lounge dress (pocketless, though I could have sworn it was supposed to have pockets) for the drive since it would be cooler than pants. Little did I know what a disaster that dress would cause.

I swear we want pockets for more than kittens! If there had been pockets in that very cute and comfortable lounge dress, maybe I’d still have my original key. Image found on Pinterest.

That wasn’t the only issue last weekend with a dress. The pink dress I planned to wear was wrinkled, so I decided to iron it the night before. Apparently, though, the hotel iron only had one setting, and it wasn’t “cool”; I burned one sleeve. Luckily I had brought several scarves to wear with the dress, so I covered it with the largest one, and only I, Dalton’s dad and my friend Sarah knew what had happened. And now you do too.

🔑 If you’re going to lose a car key and don’t have a spare with you (I know, I know!), don’t do it on a weekend (don’t have a stroke on the weekend, either, for that matter). When I checked in at the motel Friday afternoon, I had my key. I had it when I went back out to move the car to a parking spot and get my bags. I had it when I locked the car with the remote. After that … who knows? Ordinarily, I would put the key in my pocket, but … that dress. I thought I dropped it in my purse, but it wasn’t there when I was ready to leave for the wedding Saturday morning. Dumping out the purse and tearing up the room to look for it didn’t help, and no one had turned it in at the front desk. (I had just about decided my motel room must have been a branch of the Bermuda Triangle, as my comb disappeared as well. It showed up again when I was rummaging through my suitcase when I got home. Still no key, though.) There were only a couple of area dealerships that had parts department hours on Saturdays, and they were closed by the time I returned from the wedding.

I now have two new chip keys, a repaired remote fob (previously nonfunctional, from the spare that had been left at home) and a new remote fob on the way. Marie’s Lock and Safe in Fort Smith cut the new keys for me Saturday, and Bill at Bill’s Lock and Safe in North Little Rock took care of the fobs on Monday. I can highly recommend both.

🏃‍♀️ The staff at the Holiday Inn in Poteau rocks. Though they couldn’t find the key, one of the clerks drove me to the wedding a few minutes away, and the other kept checking in with me throughout the day to see if there had been any progress, and went ahead and set me up in the system to stay for another night before she left, just in case I would have to stay till Monday for a dealership visit. Between them, the kind older Texas gentleman who offered encouragement, and the little girl from across the hall who offered to open my room door for me Sunday when I returned with my breakfast, my hope in humanity was restored for a little while.

🚙 It’s pretty hard to break into my car (short of breaking the glass), even for a locksmith. It makes me feel better knowing that, even though there’s nothing worth stealing in there, GM did a good job. No mere Slim Jim will unlock the door.

🙋‍♀️ I have the best sister-in-law. As busy as Karen was with Dalton’s wedding, she really went to bat for me. She called after the wedding to see if I’d found the key, and when I told her I hadn’t, she leaped into action, contacting a locksmith friend (who was able to get the car open, but couldn’t cut a key; he got in touch with another who could, though) as well as the county sheriff, a personal friend who’d been at the wedding, to see if anyone had turned in the key to the sheriff’s office or the city police department. She calmed me down (anxiety attacks are no fun), and got me headed in the right direction. When you have someone who’ll fight so fiercely for those they love, you’re very lucky.

Love these three people. Karen is more like a sister to me than a sister-in-law. Image from Karen Molthan-Looper’s Facebook page.

😲 Way more than I ever wanted or needed to know about LeFlore County politics. Karen has been involved in Republican politics in the county for a while, and has helped run a few campaigns (including that of the current sheriff), as has her friend the locksmith. In listening to them talk about the election on June 28, I got the distinct impression that most counties’ politics are pretty bland in comparison. (I also saw a congressional candidate’s name that made me laugh [Teehee … seriously], but his “America First” campaign made me wince.)

🥰 My friends are some of the most patient people in the world. They know why. I can be a lot sometimes, especially in the middle of an anxiety attack. At least this time the sobs weren’t as loud as usual.

If I had to pick the most important thing I learned, I should probably say it’s that there’s still a lot of kindness out there or that true love survives. And yet …

Purses aren’t always the practical choice for women, especially at social events, so we should have pockets; flowy garments usually easily hide any added fabric. Image found on Us Weekly.

Pockets, people. Women have enough to deal with without having to worry about where to put things when what they’re wearing has no pockets. C’mon, clothing manufacturers!


Speaking of women, it’s hard not to be at least a little disheartened by the decision Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade. Chief Justice John Roberts, in his concurring opinion, indicated that the majority overstepped what it was asked to do, which was address the viability line only (and no fetus is viable at 15 weeks, which was when Mississippi’s law cut off abortions) by scuttling both Roe and Casey completely.

Roberts noted, citing the need for judicial restraint: “If it is not necessary to decide more to dispose of a case, then it is necessary not to decide more. Perhaps we are not always perfect in following that command, and certainly there are cases that warrant an exception. But this is not one of them. Surely we should adhere closely to principles of judicial restraint here, where the broader path the Court chooses entails repudiating a constitutional right we have not only previously recognized, but also expressly reaffirmed applying the doctrine of stare decisis. The Court’s opinion is thoughtful and thorough, but those virtues cannot compensate for the fact that its dramatic and consequential ruling is unnecessary to decide the case before us.”

So if you see a woman angry about the Dobbs ruling, before you decide that it’s just a trollop (actual word used in a recent letter to the editor) ticked off that she can’t use abortion as birth control (that’s very rare), realize that it may be more because a stacked court took the opportunity to upend precedent by doing more than was asked, and now the poorest women will suffer if they happen to live in a red state and find themselves the victims of rape or incest, or with a pregnancy that could kill them. And that’s before you consider the impact this could have on other “settled law,” like contraception and same-sex marriage.

All the pockets in the world aren’t going to help that.

I know and love women who’ve had abortions, and you probably do too. Check that hate, please. Image found on KSAT.