My Inner Pipi


swimming_in_caribbean_istockMost of the time, being an Attention-Deficit-Disordered Individual (ADDI) isn’t such a horrible thing. If I’m really at sea, I swim over to someone who looks Competent, and I say, “Point me in the direction of the shore,” and that person spins me like a board-game dial, and off I go, doing the breast stroke and looking up every once in a while to make sure I’m not veering toward Japan.

If you are afflicted with A.D.D., it’s important to have people in your life who can help you navigate.

Many years ago, I moved from Omaha to a suburb of Washington, D.C. I had to leave Omaha the morning of December 30. No wiggle room whatsoever.

On the morning of December 29, I called my sister, Pipi, the professional organizer. “I sort of need some help packing,” I said. She asked me if I had any boxes. “Hold on,” I said. “I’ll go look.”

I was still looking when the doorbell rang. It was Pipi, with a truckload of boxes, plus coffee and doughnuts. (This was during the era when coffee, doughnuts, and cigarettes were considered a hearty breakfast.)

While our three little girls played Barbies, Pipi and I packed, room by room. “You have to do one room at a time,” she explained. “Pack. Clean. Close the door, so you know that you don’t need to go into that room ever again.”

Sometimes, when Pipi’s not around, I call upon my Inner Pipi. “What would Pipi do?” I ask myself.


My brother, John; my sister, Pipi; and our cousin Bo

My brother, John; my sister, Pipi; and our cousin Bo

One of the marvels of PayPal is the PayPal Debit Card. Someone makes a purchase on my eBay store, and voila! — the money appears in my PayPal account, and I can spend it immediately, not just online but at stores and places, because I have a PayPal Debit Card!

Recently I received a rather large check. It was drawn on an out-of-town bank, and I am not allowed to have a bank account (I think this was decreed at a special session of the 2005 International Bankers’ Association annual meeting, right after the “Extending Mortgages to People Who Never in a Million Years Will Be Able to Repay Them” seminar), so I endorsed the check over to my sainted friend Jane, and she deposited it in her bank account, and then I sent her an invoice via PayPal, and she paid the invoice via the debit card attached to her bank account, and voila! — my PayPal account was bulging. “I’d better go out and buy some stuff,” I said to myself. “I can use my PayPal Debit Card!”

Actually, the process took about a week because we had to wait for the out-of-town check to clear, but the week gave me time to make sensible lists of what I needed to buy, and then lose them. It also gave me time to look for my PayPal Debit Card, which wasn’t where it was supposed to be — in the pocket of the Levi’s I was wearing the last time I used my PayPal Debit Card at a local retail establishment, which was October 29, which I know because it says so on my “PayPal Account Activity” page.

Okay, maybe I wasn’t wearing THOSE Levi’s, I thought. So I looked in all the pockets of all my Levi’s, including the ones mouldering in the washing machine. I looked in all the books I’m reading, in case I used my debit card as a bookmark. In desperation, I looked in my purse. Voila! There it wasn’t.

It is at such times that I feel inadequate. “I bet Sarah Palin never loses HER PayPal Debit Card,” I think. It’s little consolation that I can name all seven continents and most of the countries in them. “That and a quarter,” as my dad used to say, “will get you a cup of coffee.”

It’s been two weeks, and I still haven’t found my PayPal Debit Card. My Inner Pipi is malfunctioning. I think it’s time to call my sister….

May Whoever Is On Duty bless YOU and YOUR endeavors….  —Mary

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