EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY: Pre-Labor Day musings

We blinked and it’s almost here. Labor Day. Summer didn’t even get started until August, but I’m doing my best to not complain. Note to those to whom I complained, I’m not perfect!

Virginia Buckingham

Compared to the weather and natural disasters in the rest of the world, I’m feeling pretty lucky.  And I’m guessing, like me, you are not in the mood for deep thinking as the end of summer looms. So, here’s my list of random things I’m musing about as I get ready to store my flip flops.

  • I’m transfixed by a story I read last week in Axios Boston on Massachusetts’ vanity plates. Some 16,000 drivers shell out the extra bucks for a plate they apparently use for self-expression. Ok, whatever floats your boat. But what intrigues me is that nearly 900 requests got rejected in 2022. Sure, some requests are likely lewd or threatening. But according to the story, “pissa” got rejected? Huh? Put a “wicked” in front of it and saying that phrase is basically a Boston birthright. As one who worked in state government for many years, I would like to know — who gets to decide? And this — ‘Headers, what would your ideal vanity plate be?
  • If you’re a supplier of things that are in high demand once or twice a year and said things are part of your revenue base, why wouldn’t you plan to produce those things in excess to meet the demand and bring in excess revenue.? No, I’m not talking about medicine supplies — this is a light end of summer column remember. I’m talking about mattress toppers. In size twin XL. I searched the District of Columbia and all of Northern Virginia last week for one. And there were none to be found. Why?
  • Bringing a kid to college never gets emotionally easier. But it is definitely less tear- inducing on everyone’s part when your child is very happy to go. My question is — why do young college women scream when they see each other for the first time after summer break? As in issuing an ear-splitting, many-decibels-high scream? Boys high five, maybe give a brief hug if their mothers raised them well. I wish there were a scene in Barbie that explained that, in this one way, Ken World is better.
  • Continuing on the Barbie theme, I saw it, I loved it. I laughed, cried and snorted out loud to my daughter’s dismay. Those complaining it was too woke were looking for something to complain about. I, for one, will laugh for the rest of my life over the feet and hands.  #IYKYK
  • Why do people feel compelled to tell you that sharks have been seen near Marblehead recently just as you are about to have a relaxing afternoon at the beach? It’s the same reason people who had a bad labor are compelled to tell expectant mothers about it. I just don’t know what that reason possibly could be.
    Why didn’t my tomatoes work this year but my cucumbers are the size of a pickle ball racquet?
  • As written around Memorial Day, my revived backyard birding hobby was a pleasure all summer. The new addition is a yellow finch feeder. At a friend’s home, I’ve seen six, seven, eight finches at a time. Here? One. My research doesn’t answer with any certainty whether American goldfinches migrate. Here’s hoping it’s a finch-full fall and possibly winter.
  • I fell asleep during the first presidential debate though I love debates and think they are the best part of campaigns. Thus, my opinion of the winner(s) and loser(s) is informed by the media spin. Note to media haters, it has always been so, thus “spinning” after the debate is as important as the debate itself. In future columns during the 2024 cycle, I will have so my much fun (and so will you, maybe, hopefully) reminiscing about my campaign manager days and our top-secret strategy of preparing the candidate with “on-ramps and off-ramps” which, from what I read, a few of the candidates could have used.
  • I used Jordan’s Launch for a harbor cruise with my sister. It was delightful. And at $10 per person, a total deal.

I’m off next week for a final summer fling. I hope your Labor Day weekend is great. And sunny. I admit I enjoyed falling asleep this summer to the rain. On many, many, many nights. If it’s a “corker” this weekend as friend and neighbor Jack Attridge likes to proclaim, awesome. If not, do your best to remain sunny inside. I will, too, but as I’ve already admitted, I’m not perfect. Perhaps I’ll try to get “WckdImprfct” past the state censors for a vanity plate. That would be pissa.

Virginia Buckingham
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A member of the Marblehead Current’s Board of Directors, Virginia Buckingham is the former chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Port Authority, chief of staff to two Massachusetts governors, deputy editorial page editor for the Boston Herald and author of “On My Watch: A Memoir.” 

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