Sunday, December 14, 2014

Calendar Tongs


Calendar Tongs
By:  Diane Dean-Epps

The heralded angels are harking and it’s that time of year.  Am I referring to the holidays?  Nope, it’s NEW calendar season.

I won’t bore you with the specifics, but I possess more degrees and certifications than I can count on my fingers and toes, but I am undone every year by one simple task:  Swapping out my old desk calendar pages of date goodness for the new ones.

What is my undoing year after year?  Calendar tongs.  

The need for the featuring of New Year months begins in the fall; however, I usually put the above-mentioned task off until right around January 2nd.  That is when my fear of missing appointments eventually exceeds my fear of tackling this annual challenge. 

Every December I zing around my office all motivated and energetic about applying a little feng shui to my lair.  I tap dance right on up to the edge of the volcano doing everything I can think of (complete with unwrapping the cellophane on my brand new desk calendar) short of the actual task itself.  I even clean out my “things to do in 2014” folder by dumping it all into the trash as I trill, “Moving on!”

But it’s there.  I can feel those beady calendar eyes on me; its hungry presence felt by me so very keenly. 

(“Hello, Over-Personification Clinic?  Sure…I’ll hold.”  Cue music:  Duran Duran’s Hungry Like the Wolf.)

It always comes down to “the” day when it’s just me and that small stack of pre-hole punched 365 days, indexed by handy monthly tabs, and two small black spring-loaded calendar tongs.  

Though I’ve watched a lot of Charlie Brown movies I always remain hopeful that things will be different this time around.  It will be my football year. This time I will get these pieces of parchment loaded up on that small ipad-looking black base of doom without asking anyone for assistance.

I approached my task confidently, appearing to any outsider as if I’ve done this a thousand times.  In point of fact, I have, just not successfully.  I racked up that papery stack of daily possibilities as though I was a seasoned dealer at a Las Vegas casino, making sure the two “hold the pages steady” holes were lined up just right.  And they were.  Perfect.  

Next, I stood up to get some really good leverage.  (It’s for these moments that I work-out.)  Finally, I grasped one of the two calendar tongs in my right dominant hand assertively and plunged it into the first hole with all of the confidence I possess – or at least two-thirds of it.  In my one-two plan of attack I plunged the second tong into the second hole and mumbled, “Let the games begin.”  

Squeezing the tongs tightly as though they were exercise hand grippers I tried to line up my stack representing the future into that custom calendar tong hole that would get me that much closer to marking this task off of my new 2015 “to do” list.  

I made my first approach, second approach, and at least six failed subsequent approaches reminding me, once again, why I avoid anything that remotely resembles this apparatus physically or symbolically.  Two of these reminders are clasping bracelets that cannot be self-snapped and “relationship dresses” rendering me unable to get myself into a buttons-up-the-back dress solo.

As the sweat began to gather under my jacketed shoulders I began to experience some intense “Go to the blackboard and complete this math problem” junior high flashbacks.  

There I was all over again in Mrs. Pacheco’s 8th grade geometry class, wearing my new micro mini dress and Famolare wedges (not to be confused with a wedgie) as she yodeled out my name, beckoning me to step up front and fill in the blanks. Not coincidentally this request always rendered my mind a blank.  You got it.  Tabula rasa.  My recollection is that I made it to the board without flashing any underwear or intelligence, but I never completed the requested task.  Kind of like now with my O.K. corral face-off with the calendar tongs.

Time and time again I squeezed those steely instruments of torment only to have them go flying out of my hand and into the following items repeatedly:  my in-box, my coffee mug (where ironically my coffee break became cleaning up the coffee), and my plant...may it rest in peace.

In the end I had to do what any well-educated professional on a tight schedule with no time to waste, lose, or spend does:  I asked someone younger, faster, and more patient to help me out, which narrows it down to ANYONE else in the office.

Next year I’m putting this task at the top of my “to don’t” list.

To order a classy, unique, and slightly “Oh, my!” calendar featuring the Calendar Girls actresses for the play by the same name opening in the spring, please go to:
(Calendar tongs optional.)