Part 4 : (Of My 6 Part series) A Good Sense Of Humor Is Hereditary… And That’s A Fact.

I was over my mom’s house the other day and we were looking in a closet to find a box containing some ace bandages.

Mom: “Erin, try that box on the left.”

I pulled the box down off of the upper shelf and opened it.

Mom: “What is it?”

Me: “It’s an over-sized sterling silver butter dish, still wrapped in the original tissue paper.”

Mom: “Oh, that was a wedding gift. We never used it.”

Me: (Laughing) “Well, that’s pretty obvious… either that or you have some serious OCD!”

The whole situation got me thinking about what makes a good wedding gift. What makes the difference between the wedding gift that’s still in the box when you’re 83 years old and the wedding gift you can’t wait to use?

I think the answer is two-fold: practicality and comfort. I know money is practical and  gives you the ability to buy whatever you want, but the comfort part of having money only lasts until you spend it.

My mother and father received a wedding gift that not only met the above criteria, but also provided a story that would live on for decades to come.

Back in 1957 when my mom and dad got married, an electric blanket was a luxury.

My parents were lucky enough to get an electric blanket for a wedding gift. It had dual controls and was top of the line.

Newly married and facing their first brisk night, they unpacked their brand new electric blanket and placed it on their bed.

After they each set their respective controls for their personal temperature preference, they slid under the covers anxious to sleep coddled in warmth and comfort.

My mom was a bit chilly.

She quickly adjusted her control to a higher temperature and waited for the heavenly warmth to kick in.

My dad, liking his bed warm but not too hot turned the dial on his control down a bit.

My parents both closed their eyes and tried to drift off to sleep only to be awakened at fifteen to twenty-minute intervals to adjust the temperature controls on their side of the bed.

The night of uncomfortable, restless sleep ensued as my parents tossed and turned adjusting their controllers for the blanket they were both so excited to own.

My mother turned hers up and my father turned his down.

Finally, my dad said, “I can’t sleep, I’m sweating. It’s sweltering under these covers!”

“Sweltering?” My mother replied, “I’m freezing! I don’t think this blanket works.”

“You can’t be serious?” My father asked, as he got up to turn on the light.

After checking if my mother’s cord to the electric blanket was plugged into the wall outlet, both connections to the base of electric blanket and the settings on each dial, they stared at each other and began to laugh uncontrollably.

“We have each other’s control, don’t we?” My mother asked with a smirk.

“Yes, we do.” My dad replied, shaking his head.

I don’t think that my parents got much sleep that night, but I do know they shared their ability to laugh at themselves, as well as this story for years to come.

In the long run, sleep is overrated anyway.

Join me for part 5: Adding Children Ups The Craziness Ante…

Just sayin…









Write Late, Sleep Hard, Dream Weird

Have you every had a weird dream so powerful, it just kept going on even after you woke up to hit snooze and to fall back to sleep?

I had one early this morning… and it left me running late for work.

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This doesn’t mean the dream was good or even made any sense, it just means it was too strong of a dream to just shut off, or for it to fade away.

In my dream, I snipped off one of my fingers with something resembling wire cutters. There was no blood, no pain, and I simply held my unattached finger in my opposite hand.

Not only was I not upset, I really didn’t seem to care about the loss of my finger at all.

Buzz of the phone alarm clock.

Open eyes.

Hit snooze.

Back to the dream.

A woman in my dream mentioned to me I should really do something about my unattached finger.

It was then I remembered I had a cousin who accidentally cut off the tip of her finger when a window slammed down on it. She put the tip of her finger in a glass of milk to preserve it on the way to the ER. (Okay, this part of my dream, this memory oddly enough, is true.)

In my dream, I put the my unattached finger in spaghetti sauce, but that didn’t work. Then I placed it in a cup of milk, but the spaghetti sauce residue was swirling in the cup.

That’s about all I remember before I heard John ask, “Erin, what time do you have to be at work?”

I bolted upright, glanced at the clock and replied, “Now!” as I hopped out of bed.

“Now?” John asked, “You told me you didn’t have to be at work for another hour.”

“Well, when you asked me I was sleeping, now I’m late for work because I cut off my finger in my dream,” I stated, as I rushed to get ready.

When I left, John was standing in the bedroom looking perplexed. There was no time to explain.

I arrived at work half an hour late, and frazzled. As I passed by my boss, I said,”Sorry, I’m late, I cut my finger off in a dream.”

Strangely, he didn’t reply… in fact, he didn’t say a thing.

I guess after all this time he understands my uniqueness.

I wish I had a better story as an explanation… like, I’m still recovering after a late night of clubbing in the city, I had to stop and put my winning lottery ticket in my safe deposit box at the bank, or the installation of my new Jacuzzi took longer than I expected, but I always go with the truth.

All day long, this dream kept crossing my mind so I decided to Google it.

Dream Symbol Search Results:

To dream that your fingers are injured or have been chopped off denote your anxieties about your ability to accomplish some demanding task or perform in some waking situation.

“Accomplish some demanding task.” All I could think about was writing and publishing this book…

And now, as I sit at my computer keyboard, I’m really concerned because I’m going to need all of my fingers for that!

My Life I Swear.

Erin Cooper Reed








Sleep’s Overrated, Anyway…

When Marc was a toddler his older brothers used to call him the “Night Crawler.” I knew I was in for it from that point on. Marc always had trouble falling and even staying asleep. Having three boys, I innately understood that if I had enough children, I would experience one of everything, the picky eater, the biter, the crier, the spitter and yes, even the night crawler. I never imagined that Marc’s sleeping problems would continue throughout his life and worsen in his teenage years, ultimately contributing to my lifelong exhaustion.

One Sunday night, before I had the opportunity to begin my usual “because it’s a school night” lecture, Marc came into my bedroom at 9 PM announcing that he was going to bed. As he walked out of my bedroom door and into his own room I was elated. Should I read or go to sleep, I thought…this was too good to be true.

The house was finally quiet, for once. I decided to slide under the covers and spend some much-needed “me time” engrossed in a good book. I was joyous!  It was hard to believe that two hours had passed when I heard Marc’s bedroom door open.

“Mom, I’m uncomfortable in my bed. I’m going to sleep on the couch.” Marc stated.

I replied, “Okay, but get to sleep. You have school tomorrow.”

I went back to reading my book but my mother’s intuition kept nudging me. It was then I realized that I hadn’t told Marc good night. Maybe I’ll just go downstairs and give him a kiss on the head. I quietly walked down the dark staircase from my bedroom to the living room. I approached the couch and leaned over to kiss Marc on the head…wait where was his head…it was covered in blankets.I felt for Marc’s shoulders then down his back. I yelled for my fiance’ John.

“John, come down here!”

John made his way down the stairs and into the dark living room.

“Where is Marc?” I asked.

“Right here.” John replied as he reached for Marc’s body on the couch “I can feel his legs.”

“Can you?” I asked John as I turned on the living room light and pulled back the covers.

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There on the couch were Marc’s joggers stuffed with clean folded and rolled bathroom towels.

“He isn’t even home!” I shouted as I ran back upstairs to grab my cell phone.

I was both upset and concerned as I dialed Marc’s cell phone number. No answer. What parent doesn’t love to call their teenager’s cell phone (which they pay for) and get sent straight to voicemail, especially at a time like this and on a school night.

Time to go to plan B, I thought. I sent Marc a text stating that the cops were looking for him. Now I just had to wait.

Five minutes later Marc flew into the house.

“Mom, mom, mom, I’m sorry. You didn’t call the cops did you? I couldn’t sleep. I was only at my friend’s house across the street.” Marc stated with fear in his eyes.

“You are lucky that I didn’t…this time. Don’t you ever do that again! Now go to your room and go to bed. We’ll talk about it tomorrow.” I replied.

I had to chuckle to myself a bit as Marc walked up the staircase to his bedroom. I always thought that as a parent, I would be one step ahead of my kids at all times. I guess I was wrong.  Maybe I could be…if I could just get some more sleep.