Friday, August 17, 2018

WHAT EVER HAPPENED...? "Misfit Toys"

          I sometimes feel like I’m one of the misfit toys in the Rudolph TV movie. I could cite example after example of this, but here are some:

There’s a funeral home that I’ve unfortunately had to visit for wakes too many times. Inside the building, there’s a staircase leading to a private area upstairs. On the staircase is a sign about “monsters” being there.

I find a sign like that pretty rude for people passing by it to a room where a dead body or ashes are set out. After witnessing it many times, I finally spoke to a worker there about it.

             I told him how I thought it was inappropriate for a sign worded like that in a solemn place such as a funeral home. I also told him I’m the type of person who notices a lot more than the average person and didn’t mind speaking my mind.

             He just laughed me off. Does that sign bother others, too?

             Another example is that it is so hard to be in so many social settings and/or watching TV shows or movies, and to not be a mommy. My heart actually hurts that I never had any children. It’s just one more example of how I’m a “misfit toy.”
             Add to that, all the women who have favorite recipes and/or hobbies like gardening, knitting, sewing, or crocheting. I don’t do any of those either. I really am very different from the majority of women. Sometimes, that feels okay. Sometimes, it doesn’t.

          Another example of how I don’t “fit in” is one behavior that I do that I bet many don’t.
          When I’m driving behind an erratic driver, I call 9-1-1. I’ve called about someone doing 20 mph in a 45-mph zone. I’m worried they’re sick or something.
          I’ve called many times about speeders and/or swervers, perhaps due to texting, drugs, or alcohol. Once, I even called about a dog on the back of an open pick-up truck with the driver speeding over 60 mph in a 55-mph zone. Isn’t having a dog on the open back of a moving vehicle against the law? If not, it should be!
          I know most people wouldn’t even notice as much as I do, much less go to the trouble of pulling over to make a call about it. But, I worry about others on the road, mistreated dogs, and so much more.
          That’s why I call myself a “misfit” – because I don’t mind my own business as much as others do.
          Another example is that I miss handwritten thank-yous when I buy something for someone. In this modern age of technology, I dislike that the only form of communication with most people is through a device, not voice or the written word.

          I also use outdated equipment, such as alarm clocks, watches, cell phones, etc. I get teased by certain people about my “ancient cell phone,” but I couldn’t care less about having the newest device or gadget. I’m clueless to hashtags, apps, Twitter, etc. I affectionately dub myself “TC” (Technology Challenged).

          So, please, those of you who “fit the mold” better than some of us do, show us some love. We deserve it, too!

          This is another chapter that could go on and on….

For the coming year, I [Douglas Winslow Cooper] will be
excerpting, weekly, material from this almost-final version of the fine book by Janet Johnson Schliff, M.S. Ed., which she wrote over a three-year period with some coaching and editing help from me, through my business, Write Your Book with Me.

Her memoir is now available in paperback and ebook formats from Outskirts Press  and



Janet Johnson Schliff was on WKNY  Radio 1490 at 9:10 a.m. on Thursday, March 1, Kingston, NY.

Janet spoke at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 at Barnes & Noble in Kingston, NY. I [DWC] attended, along with about 40 other people. Congratulations to Janet on a fine talk!

Janet Johnson Schliff spoke at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck, NY, at 7 p.m. on March 6. 

She spoke at the Golden Notebook Bookstore in Woodstock, NY, at 2 p.m. on March 17. 

She spoke at the Morton Library in Rhinecliff, NY, at 6:30 p.m. on March 28. 

She spoke at RCAL in Kingston, NY, at 4 p.m. on April 3. I was able to attend. They gave her an impromptu book-launch party.

On 4/4/18 Janet spoke at the Parkinson's Support Group at the Starr Library at Rhinebeck at 2:30 p.m.

On 4/27/18 Janet spoke at the Stone Ridge Library at 5:30 p.m.

On 5/4/18 Janet spoke at the Hurley Library at 6 p.m.

On 5/9/18 Janet spoke at the Kingston Library at 6 p.m.

On 5/14/18 Janet spoke at the Staatsburg Library at 7 p.m.

On 5/31/18 Janet spoke at the Clinton Community Library at 6:30 p.m.

On 6/9/18 Janet spoke at the Tannersville Mountain Top Library at noon.

On 6/11/18 Janet spoke at the Gardiner Library at 7 p.m.

On 6/20/18 Janet spoke at the Marbletown Community Center at 6 p.m.

On 7/13/18 Janet spoke at the Esopus Library at 7 p.m.

On 7/20/18 Janet spoke at the Pine Plains Library at 6 p.m.

On 7/23/18 Janet spoke at the Ulster Library at 5:30 p.m.

On 8/11/18 Janet spoke at the Northern Dutchess Bible Church in Red Hook at 1:00 p.m.

On 9/06/18 Janet will be at the Inquiring Minds Bookstore in New Paltz at 7 p.m.

On 9/15/18 Janet will be at the Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie (93 Market St.) at 2:30 p.m.

On 9/22/18 Janet will again be at the Tannersville Mountain Top Library, at noon.

More signings will be coming up. A fine feature about Janet by John DeSantos [845 LIFE] appeared in the Middletown Times Herald-Record on Monday, March 12, as part of Brain Injury Awareness Month. An article about her book was just published in the May 2018 Living Rhinebeck Magazine. An article about her book appeared in the May 14 Daily Freeman of Kingston, NY. and another in the Family Life section of the Poughkeepsie Journal on June 8th. The Millerton News published an article on Thursday, August 2, about her talk at the Pine Plains Library. 

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