Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

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Dear Lucky Star

image Today’s prompt:  “Today is your lucky day. You get three wishes, granted to you by The Daily Post.  What are your three wishes and why?”


Dear Lucky Star:

Thanks for nothing.

Do you realize how complicated you are making my life by giving me three wishes?  Do you know how anxious I am now to not screw this up?  I would be like the guy in the TV ad who wished for a million bucks and ended up with a million male deers roaming around his front yard.  I guess I should be asking you to grant me wisdom before I wish for anything else.  But if I had wisdom, then I would not need magic wishes. I would have the knowledge and prudence to know how to make my own wishes come true. OK.  Wisdom — I guess that would be my first wish.

But I still have a problem, Lucky Star.  You have made me feel selfish and miserly.  Most people in my place would be wishing for stuff for themselves:  houses, fancy cars, good health, the Prince (or Princess) Charming who isn’t going to turn into a gila monster– those sorts of things.  Now you’ve made me consider the sorry state of the world and how we “normal” people should be wishing for ways to make it better for others less fortunate than ourselves.  Now that you’ve made me feel so bad about it, I guess I’m forced to make my second wish:   that you make me generous and altruistic.

So that leaves me with one last wish to worry about.  I could sit for a long time pondering this.  Do I want wealth? No, I would just worry about losing it all.  Health?  I know what to do to be healthy. I just have to do it.  Love?  I’ve got it all around me.  I just got to give some to get some.

I guess that means I must be pretty content with what I have.  I just need to learn to say thank you more often.   Gratitude.  That’s it. That’s my third wish:  to have a more grateful spirit.

OK, Lucky Star. I get the point. Sorry about flying off the handle at first. I guess you know what you’re doing.

Thanks for the reality check.

Yours truly,

Miss Pelican



Dictionary, Schmictionary

Today’s prompt:

“Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).”

At one time I often used the word “schmuck” to describe a person who was annoying, obnoxious, stupid, or just a plain screw-up. I liked using that word because I thought it sounded funny and was a lot softer than a word like “idiot” or something more vulgar. It also had a satisfying feel when it came tripping off the tongue. “He’s such a schmuck!”.

One day I used that word in the office to describe someone for a reason I have long forgotten. My supervisor at the time who had some familiarity with Yiddish said “do you know what that word means?”

I told her what I thought it meant. Then she told me what it really meant. Uh-oh.

You will need to read the definition on Wikipedia to find out.  Let’s just say that word is forbidden in some Yiddish speaking households.

So the lessons I learned from that are this:

  • Don’t borrow words from other languages unless you check the meaning first.
  • Even more important: don’t think so poorly of others that you end up calling them names — in any language.

From this experience I learned it is better to be a mensch than a schmuck.