Tag Archives: mistaken identity

When Did This Happen?!

IMG_1806It’s all fun and games until you show up dead. Trust me, I know. You can only imagine my understandable surprise and concern to discover that, sadly, Jean Ciampi passed away January 9, 2015. If you think it’s funny, go Google search yourself and see if you missed your own funeral by two and a half years. If someone had actually notified me of my untimely demise, I would have possibly attended the event, signed the guest book, and tried to piece together what exactly happened that I turned up dead in Ventnor, New Jersey.

What was yet even more alarming was to then discover that since the time of my unfortunate passing, I’ve still been voting a consistent Republican ticket in Florida. I’ve always said, “Vote early and vote often,” so I’ll stand by that. But for the sake of clarity, I vote issues not party lines – even from the grave.

Of course, this then led me to check Facebook to find out what else I didn’t know about myself. For a split second, I thought I’d become a Spanish-speaking male gymnast managing a Tommy Hilfiger in Venezuela – and not at all bad looking, if I can say that. Obviously, at least in that case, wires have just gotten crossed somewhere causing confusion. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve never spoken Spanish beyond ordering a beer and finding a bathroom.

So back to the George H. Wimberg Funeral Home in Linwood, New Jersey (I’m guessing that’s somewhere near Ventnor. If you’re from New Jersey, feel free to jump in here.) I’m scanning through my obituary and seeing a couple of things that need correction. For example, they got my age wrong. I’m not, despite all appearances, 87-years old. They also got all the names of my family members wrong. But I guess they did go astray on that one critical detail that I’m not actually dead, so I shouldn’t be surprised that they missed the mark on those things, too.

Regardless of all that, from the condolences left online at the funeral home’s website, I see how much people really do appreciate my cooking and baking. I hate that it’s taken this for me to find out, but still good to know. And the indications are that I’m a pretty okay person. Or at least I was. May I rest in peace.

         

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Omaha Officer Thought WHAT?!

Omaha mapIt’s been a few weeks now since the College World Series wrapped up — long enough that I think I can talk about my personal, cringe-worthy Omaha experience. A number of summers ago, I booked a trip to visit my mom who lived in Iowa, just across the Missouri River from Omaha. I’d grown up there, so you’d think I’d have known enough to book my hotel way in advance. Even 45 years ago, the College World Series turned Omaha into a baseball Mecca which meant I rolled into town with a reservation at a hotel that was sketchy at best. Not until I checked in did I realize just how sketchy.

I already knew I wasn’t in the best part of town, but the bars on the windows of the hotel office and the fact that I had to get buzzed through the permanently locked steel door to even check in should have tipped me off. If there was any question about whether or not I was in hotel hell, my room erased all those. There were bugs I couldn’t identify crawling out of the sink. The bathroom was wallpapered in toxic black mold. Honestly, I was afraid to set my suitcase on the carpet and prayed that the stain wasn’t blood. There was no way in a frozen over hell that I was even going to sit on the bed let alone consider sleeping in it.

Because this bastion of hospitality was constructed out of cinder blocks (heaven forbid it burn to the ground), I was forced to go out onto the balcony to get a cell phone signal. So I’m standing on the balcony, begging my mother to find a friend who actually owned a couch and get me out of there. About that time, an Omaha PD squad car came cruising through the parking lot. My first thought was to run down and beg them to post a guard at my door for the night. Their first thought was something dramatically different from that.

That’s when the officer rolls down his window and tells me that if I did not conduct my business inside, they were going to take me in and charge me. My what?! Business?! Charge me? …(insert look of sudden shock that comes with understanding) … HE THOUGHT I WAS A PROSTITUTE!!! A prostitute!!! I’m not a prostitute! I’m a soccer mom! An active member of my church! I’d been on the board of the PTO at the elementary school where my two adorable children had attended! That officer thought I was a hooker in a cheap hotel! OH sweet Jesus! the mortification! The shame!

So believe me when I tell you this, if I ever go to Omaha now (which I probably wont because my mother has since passed away — most likely from the shock of  hearing this story retold!), my room at the Marriott is booked months ahead!

(Thank you to JudgementalMaps.com for the map of Omaha!)

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