Amy F. Quincy Author/Freelance Writer


February 2013

Next Door Neighbors

My future residence
My future residence

“Would you ever consider moving in with your mom?” my mom’s friend asked me in 2011.

“Oh, hell no,” I said.

As a wise friend is fond of saying — never say never.

I stopped saying “hell no,” particularly to my mom’s friends, when Mom reminded me it’s not a very nice thing to say. And once it became clear I was going to do just that, my standard response became “Yes, I’m moving to my mother’s, God help me.” I realize “God help me” is along the same lines as “hell no” and probably isn’t very nice either, so I’m going to stop saying that one, too.

My “wing”

Besides, (famous last words) I really don’t think it’ll be that bad. I’m actually looking forward to it. It’ll be nice to have everything new and accessible. Nice to have wide doorways that I actually fit through instead of accidentally chipping wood or gouging drywall. To have a bathroom I don’t have to back into. Or constantly sop up water off the floor because I’ll have a proper “roll-in” shower. Not to mention, my mother has a pool that we outfitted last year with a wheelchair lift. And best of all, there’s cable galore. My mom easily has a thousand channels.

Frankie will be happy too. He’ll have his two favorite people under one roof. And a new cat buddy, one that occasionally plays with him instead of hissing if he brushes up next to her on the couch. Maybe with two cats, he’ll get the message: cats don’t like repeatedly getting their butts sniffed. And there’ll be longer walks (and power chair rides) as we have to trek a little further to the ocean.

In fact, the only drawback so far has been the bruising of my ego. When you’re in a wheelchair and tell people that you live alone, they immediately assess the situation and conclude that you’re quite capable. If, on the other hand, you mention that you live with your mom, they consider you dependent to the point of needing 24/7 care and not being able to dress yourself.

My mom will do everything in her power to dispell that myth. Already she’s fond of explaining that the move will benefit us both. That she’ll be my body, reaching some item on a top shelf, and I’ll be her mind, figuring out her cell phone or reminding her where she left her keys. My mom values her independence as much as me. She’s even suggested I call before coming over to her side. At first, I found this ridiculous, but on second thought, it works both ways. Is it too silly to have a doorbell installed on the door that links her side to mine? Maybe an intercom? I’ll have a private entrance, a small living room and a kitchenette (with everything but the oven). We won’t be roommates so much as next door neighbors. In fact, maybe that’s what I’ll tell people: I don’t live with my mom, I live next to my mom.


Of course, the writer in me is looking forward to a plethora of new material. From renovation nightmares to disagreements over disciplining Frankie to crazy Carlito, my mom’s bipolar cat. I want it all to go well, but rest assured, I’ll be writing about it if it doesn’t. And so begins another chapter: a mother, a daughter, a dog and two cats. Wish us luck. We may need it.

My Valentine

pink-tulips-vector-17615498Another excerpt from my book:

Walgreens was its own corny planet this time of year, oozing sentimentality all over the place. I combed the aisles in my power chair, looking for the less mushy cards, wondering how the employees stood it. It started right after New Years. Red and pink banners swirled from the ceiling. Rows of cellophane hearts from miniature to jumbo lined the shelves. A stuffed lion held out a cushy pillow that read I’m wild about you. I rolled my eyes at all the commercial fanfare and steadfastly refused to go out to dinner that one night a year, but secretly I used to have high hopes.

When I worked, I’d sit at my desk like every other woman there, and pretend it was a day like any other. You could feel us holding our collective breath when the bells tinkled announcing an entry, and hear it released in disappointment when the spring water guy filled up the water cooler.

Some lucky women already had their declarations of love displayed proudly in their cubicles. I viewed these bouquets like diamonds on a ring finger. They were affirmations. Someone finds me lovable. I have been chosen.

Many years, not dating anyone, I contemplated sending flowers to myself just to avoid the empty desk.

Though not dating someone was certainly preferable to dating He Who Does Nothing. I never understood this. It’s so simple. It requires virtually no thought. And, I never, not once, met a woman who didn’t like flowers. Still, it happens. I know because I have dated several Mr. Do Nothings.

One claimed he forgot, which we all know is impossible if you live in the United States of America and didn’t just wake up from a long coma. Another said he was taking a stand against profit-making corporate giants and didn’t need a holiday to tell him when to express his love. Unfortunately, he didn’t express it any of the other 364 days of the year either.

I broke up with another man on Valentine’s Day itself after eight months of dating and receiving nothing from him but a card with a fart joke on it. I didn’t think they even made valentines with fart jokes, but apparently no holiday is too classy. I’m sure even one of the three wise men is letting one rip in a manger somewhere. Continue reading “My Valentine”

Chain of Bloggers

5286603994_4993b45840_mI feel a bit like I just received one of those chain letters. You know the kind — if you break the chain something bad will happen to you? The Versatile Blogger is an award given to people who blog about a variety of topics. And please don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful to be noticed at all. But the idea is to pass it on. To recognize someone else.

15 someone elses to be exact. I’ll be honest here. I don’t even know 15 bloggers. Let alone have time to read the few I do know to make sure they’re versatile (unfocused) enough.  A fellow writer, Sarah (Full-Time Writer Mom) gave me the title and only awarded it to two others. I’m going to flout the rules even more than she did and award it to just one person. But don’t worry! Before the versatile blogging police deem me unfit and take away my keyboard, they should know: it’s a highly qualified and worthy recepient.

Meet Mary Ellington. Mary writes the blog, Random Thoughts, which is, by very definition, a blog without aim. She’s alternately pee-in-your-pants funny and guaranteed to make you mist up. And best of all she writes willy-nilly like me, scribbling away about whatever topic catches her attention that day. (Mary and I prefer to think of it as inspired writing.)  And here’s a nice bonus: she reads a lot of other blogs so she’s bound to have some interesting recommendations. (No pressure, Mary.)

Some other blogs that are way too on-topic to be considered for this award, but that I’ll shamelessly plug here are writer and author Carol O’Dell’s blog, Risk Play Create,… and Life’s A Bumpy Road by writing pal and retired clinical psycotherapist, Marilyn Fowler. Also, writers should check out my writer’s group new blog, Chat Noir Writers Circle Blog.

Finally, the folks on the Versatile Blogger Award Committee required me to divulge seven interesting tidbits about myself that readers may not already know. And so, I give you the following ridiculous facts:

  • I once owned a powder-blue Dodge Aries K car.
  • I used to play the theme from Ice Castles by heart on the piano.
  • I modeled as a teenager until various agencies suggested I get a nose job.
  • I was a member of Toastmasters International.
  • I could climb on a roof, measure it and write an estimate for any damage.
  • I was a paid extra (hotel employee) in Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise.
  • I pulled the ol’ “change a D to a B” trick on my report card in high school and got busted.

Now, get to work and pass it on, Mary. Should you choose to ignore this mission you will have three years bad luck and never write in this town again. (Just kidding.)

Movie Madness

???????????????????????????????????????I give up. The cable company wins. I can’t fight them anymore. I’m right, but I’d rather be happy.

I’m a whole lot poorer each month ($116 for basic cable and internet,) but I am happy. Happy with my On Demand. Happy with my DVR. Happy pausing live TV, especially during commercials that are never long enough for my epic bathroom breaks. (Being disabled means spending an inordinately long time in the loo.)

It all started when I fell victim to a recent popular addiction, Downton Abbey. The good news: it’s on PBS — Masterpiece Theater (no expensive cable required.) The bad news: I didn’t clue in as to what all the fuss was about until Season 3. This meant I had a good deal of catching up to do.

No problem, right? You can get anything delivered to your door these days, including DVDs of movies and TV shows.

Let me tell you, it’s easier to get approved for a mortgage than it is to join Netflix. If you’re already a lucky member, don’t ever leave them. First, my credit, then my mother’s, was denied. (And she just bought a house last year.) I snuck around this problem a while ago, when I used the name and credit of a friend at my address (I guess the mailman figured I had a roommate.) Then, after awhile, I lost my mind and canceled.

So now, I have Blockbuster At Home. I’ll run the risk of a slander suit and just tell you. They suck.

Their entire fulfillment department is out back on cigarette break and they seem to be the only company around still using the Pony Express. With Netflix, I’d return one movie and get another two days later. With Blockbuster, I returned the first disc of Downton Abbey – Season 1 on a Friday. It’s almost a week later, and still no disc 2. Oh, but I did get disc 3 yesterday. It lies waiting, taunting me from a bookshelf. I’d watch it, if I didn’t want to spoil it for myself. And, I might be confused. Though I bet, like any good soap opera, you can pick it up anywhere.

The only explanation for this sequence mishap is that the Blockbuster worker bee looked at the screen (or however they do it) at the exact moment I was shuffling movies in my queue, trying to get Downton Abbey to the front of the line! Disc 3 was only ahead of disc 2 for a nano-second. I didn’t leave it that way! See what I mean? They suck.

I thought I had the solution when I noticed the Red Box machine at the grocery store. I was so happy, feeling so confident and independent, that I checked out a movie before ever wondering how I was going to get back to return it. The next day, Frankie and I spent half the morning trekking miles on the power chair to the nearest Red Box location.

That’s when I upgraded my cable.

So, I’m playing the handicapped card yet again. When you’re disabled and don’t drive, you can’t be messing around with free-streaming equipment or risking your life driving to Red Box locations in a power chair. I’ve decided sometimes it’s worth it to pay for convenience. And now I can watch the Super Bowl in its entirety plus commercials. Even if I spend an entire quarter visiting the restroom.

As for Downton Abbey, wouldn’t you know it, U-verse On Demand doesn’t have it. So, I’m still waiting…

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