Who’s Sorry Now?

images (13)I grew up in a household where nobody ever asked for forgiveness. The closest we’d come was challenging our siblings to the board game “Sorry,” then beating the pants off them and refusing to apologize for that as well.

So when I recently joined a 12-Step Anonymous support group for my little “addiction,” (I won’t tell you what it is but you can bet I’m not addicted to admitting I’m wrong and saying “Sorry!”) I was quite taken aback that making amends to those I’ve hurt in the past is a high priority.

Even though this particular support group maintains anonymity in the media, and even though I attend these meetings without revealing my personal identity, apparently it’s critical that I divulge my name when making these formal apologies.

I’m pretty sure this rules out my sending “I’m sorry!” notes with cute little bunnies on them that say, “From Your Secret Pal!”

Therefore I’ll save a lot of stamps, phone calls, and gasoline by completing this task in public where there can be no question that it’s me who is “writing” (pun intended) all my wrongs.

Here we go . . .

To All My Past Victims, Please Accept My Formal Apology For The Following Transgressions:

  • To Marcia Grady in my 4th Grade Class — I’m sorry I kept throwing a football at your face in an effort to make you gasp and exclaim, “Oh, my nose!”
  • To my First Boyfriend Charlie – Please forgive me for breaking my date with you by simply uttering, “Something suddenly came up.”
  • To My Mother Adrienne – yes, that was me who used our VCR to tape over your prized Merv Griffin talk shows with my favorite Brady Bunch episodes. (Okay, that old show MIGHT be my addiction?)
  • To Professor Norris – I copied all the answers in your Cognitive Therapy class and then implemented what you taught us in Psych 101 to make you feel guilty for suspecting me of cheating.
  • To Gene, My First Ex-husband – I’m sorry for saying, “no wonder you turned out like this” when I found out your mother shaved our newborn baby’s head, (claiming it would make her hair grow in thicker) snuck one of our twins off to a wet-nurse because she didn’t like formula, and told the director of the holocaust museum that the exhibits were too depressing because there was so much emphasis on Hitler.
  • To Ron, my Second Ex-husband – I’m sorry that I kept submitting your application and headshot to audition for the reality show, The Bachelor when we were still married.
  • To Brad, My New Finance Fiance — I’m sorry that the word “Fiancé” has that little accent mark over the letter “e” and I’m too lazy to figure out how to type that on my keyboard and autocorrect keeps changing it to “finance,” so that’s how you get referred to in my blogs. Okay, I’m also sorry you keep getting referenced in my blogs so much.
  • To Mitchell my Eldest Son – Please forgive me for ruining the S’more making contest at your Boy Scout campfire when I devoured all the Hershey bars, (okay, chocolate MIGHT be my addiction!) then told everyone the proper recipe calls for plain toasted marshmallows on graham crackers . . . and these are called, “S’Less.”
  • To Eliza, my Youngest Daughter – I should never have shaved your head when you came home with that lice infestation. However look on the bright side . . . your Grandmother guarantees your hair will grow back thicker.
  • To The Editor of Time Magazine – I’m sorry to have rejected the rejection letter you sent for my “How To Deal With Lice in America” article. But the negative energy just wasn’t a good fit for what I was looking for at the time.
  • To All My Many Regular Followers — I’m terribly sorry you’ve had to put up with a blogger who regularly uses humor (however weak) as self-help therapy and who thinks Wordplay should be an official olympic game.
  • To My New Readers — I hope you can forgive this one single post.  It will never happen again. I don’t normally try to pass my personal life off as entertainment. Also please don’t ask any of my Regular Followers if this is true or not because they’re liable to say it’s a lie. But they’re just bitter that I didn’t apologize to them all individually, by name. (see above)  I actually think all of them should be ashamed of themselves. All six.
download (6)

I’m sorry — I normally don’t put another image at the end of my post but seriously, have you ever seen an owl look this cute? (Okay owls in general MIGHT be my addiction!) 

Questions That Will Cause a Divorce!

imageIt all began innocently enough. I invited happily married friends over for a home-cooked dinner and to play my own personalized version of “The Newlywed Game.” Now I’m no gameshow host, but it was always one of my favorite television shows growing up and especially cherished were the occasions the wife would bonk the doufus husband on the head with her answer card. Would my dining room table tolerate all this excitement?  My mind began racing, thinking up fun questions.

Every couple I invited rsvp’d fast and furiously “Uh….No thanks!” Had my culinary skills reputation really spread so far and wide?

But with the first telltale phone call, it began to dawn on me that it wasn’t just bad food.

Wife #1: Hi, we’re flattered to be included on your guest list, but Manny made me call to make sure you’re NOT gonna have a question about which of my girlfriends he fantasizes about?

Me: Manny. Really? I don’t know about that question but now I’m certainly going to include one about how a guy makes it through life named “Manny?” He should have married someone named “Wifey.” Then the Justice of Peace could have said, “I now pronounce you Manny and Wifey.”

Wife #1: Yeah, we’re gonna have to decline. Click.

Hmmph.  As I hung up I told myself, absolutely no questions about other partner fantasies.

That night I served soup, salad, and chicken with choice of baked or mashed potatoes and already there was an issue. I asked Husband #2 (when his wife was in the bathroom) if he thought she preferred her potato whole or whipped. He glared at me and said, “I know what potato is a euphemism for! We’re not staying for your raunchy little game.” He snatched his wife’s purse (and I presume he snatched his wife’s potato as well!) and the front door slammed.

“Well,” I said resisting the urge to do an evil laugh.  “I guess we’re down to you three lucky couples.”  Everyone squirmed uncomfortably in their seats. But that might be because my dining room chairs are at the bottom of this post.

When dessert was served I invited the couples to take their seats in the pairs of chairs set aside with their backs to one another. I sliced up the pie, took my seat with my new fiancé and hoped for the best.

Me:  Okay first question. We’ll start out easy. Wives — What’s your favorite thing right now on your mate?”

Answers were “his wedding band” and “this shirt I bought for him” and “Old Spice cologne.” But Wife #4 said simply, “Nuts.” When questioned, she sheepishly admitted she thought I asked, “favorite thing right now on your plate?” And she loved the pecan pie.

Me:  Moving right along. Husbands, when you first met your future mother-in-law  you thought to yourself, ‘Genetics aren’t everything. I can live with my wife if her ______ grows.’

Answers ranged from “hair” to “nose” to “ass” with one husband wanting to ensure he got a little something/something later on, because he wrote down, “heart.”

So far, so good.

Me: Husbands again – – if your wife could be compared to a cereal, which one would she be?

Again, the men came through as romantics with “Lucky Charms” and “Special K” (the wife was named Kay!) and “Sugar Smacks” (his wife was rumored to be into BDSM)  My fiancé dared to say, “Cracklin’ Nutty Flakey Oat Bran” but I chose to let it go.

Me: If your first kiss with your spouse could be described as a candy, what would it be?

Clever, clever guys.  Answers were “Starburst” and “Hot Tamales” and “Bar None.” One husband said “Pay Day” then changed it to a “100 Grand bar” and the wife thought he was inferring she was a hooker and stomped out of our house, followed by her man wailing plaintively, “But I thought that would be better than saying, Snickers or Butterfingers!”

At this point my fiancé said he was getting tired and had early morning appointments with patients and could I wrap things up fairly soon? So I decided to throw in a question about that. “If your husband was a doctor, what would he specialize in?”  Fiancé immediately sauntered out of the room yawning and to get his toothbrush. Oh well.

But then I lost another couple when I asked, “Who would you say wears the pants in the family?” I didn’t think being a cross-dresser would come up.

The last remaining husband and wife stared at me and I braced myself for the worst.

Husband #1:  We’ve waited all night to hear you ask which of her girlfriends I fantasize about being with.

Wife #1: Yeah, C’mon!  It’s the whole reason we came. We thought it would be a great way to start up a threesome!

image

These are the chairs people must sit on at my house.

 

 

 

How Lice Can Make You Rich !

price is rightThis is a parable. You can substitute anything at all for Lice in this (nit)witty allegory tale — Fleas, tics, bedbugs. Okay, seriously? This is a quick but true story of how parasites can become paradise!

Once upon a time (Note: there are far more original ways to begin a narrative than this so think up another one.) I wrote a piece for The Huffington Post about how a mother of six deals with lice. The lice finally disappeared (or we may have given them away to some classmates, but that’s not really relevant here) and any reader laughs from the article also faded into Arianna’s (that’s Ms. Huffington’s first name) archives. All was forgotten.

Until….fast forward a year (Note: editors state that writing “fast forward” is an overdone, awkward device to depict the passage of time in your writing, so don’t use it!) when I get an email from the Chief Marketing Officer at Lice Clinics of America saying they need someone to dispel the public stigma of lice. Basically they needed someone who can write about nits and nymphs (a teenage louse) and other itch-worthy causations in a humorous way.

Well anyone who has read more than one of my blog posts knows the immediate reaction is to scratch your head and ponder, “Why does this woman think she’s even remotely funny?” And thus my humor was deemed louse-y enough to fit the bill. (Note: Self-deprecation is borderline acceptable as humor but fairly transparent as to its intentions, so don’t rely on this too much.)

But there was a major problem. My Little Miss Menopause persona simply would not do. It sounded old. And hot-flashy and crotchety. What could my new Pen Name be when writing about these fascinating creepy crawlies?  I thought of The Licey Lassy, aLice in Wonderland, Minnie Louse, and even Linda LoveLice came (no pun intended) to mind. An idea I thought was brilliant, “Glinda the Good Itch of the North” was blatantly rejected. Hmmmm. How will you Dear Reader, ever find out which alias I eventually came to use to become so well-known in the lice world? (Note: Cliffhangers can work but should be inserted at the end of your post.)

Here’s the real point for conveying the information in this post. If you write blogs ABOUT ANYTHING, there could be an unlikely paid opportunity just awaiting you as well. But the person has to know that you’re open to such possibilities and have a concrete way to contact you. After she read me on The Huffington Post, the Lice Chief Marketing Officer (lice have chiefs and they get marketed?) tracked me down to offer me this glamorous job from a category on top of my blog menu called “Hire Me To Humor You.”  You need to have something similar! Make one right this minute. (Note: Research shows that readers love to be told what to do by an author. It has something to do with Fifty Shades of Grey.)

And now without further ado, I implore you to follow my brand new blog aptly called “Sugar & Spice & Everything Lice” because even though Lice are no laughing matter, I’m going to find a way to make them at the very least, a chuckling matter. And also because they’ve given me permission to write about other subjects as well, just so long as I loosely relate them back to lice. Therefore you can expect the topic of sex to surface at my new Lice blog quite often! (Note: Sex Still Sells!)

PS.  If any readers think I’m selling out, you should know that I have firm self-respecting boundaries.  I draw the line at writing about termites. Crickets however will be okay because duh…Jiminy and Pinocchio. (Note: Very bad idea if you’re trying to get followers to a new blog about lice to suddenly end with a Walt Disney movie reference. Give the original link once again so the last thing on their minds is to click and follow it RIGHT HERE.)

It’s Just Me, Myself & I !

Lermaa1 (pic)When you’re as neurotic as I am, (aside from having a lifetime of writing) you’ve had a lifetime of therapy as well.

But psychologists can get extremely bored with you and your same old stories replaying, so they’ll often have you do simple “therapeutic exercises.” Nothing that would make you feel awkward or silly of course!  Just sitting on their couch and pretending a part of your personality is in the empty chair across from you. And then talking to it. “Speak to your Fear & Anxiety and tell it everything will be okay,” they’ll encourage.

And they love role-playing “games.”  But they always make me play the part of ME. Hmmph.

But if they find out you’re a published author, this one becomes their favorite idea — “Write a letter from your Younger Self to Your Present Self” or “From Your Future Self to Your Intuition.” Or “Your Small, Fragile Child” or “Your Angry Side” or “Your Control Freak.”

However, what they really get off on is having you do certain things with “Your Inner Critic.”

Let’s see . . .  so far I’ve embraced my Inner Critic. Then in a shocking move, I fired my Inner Critic. Apparently I hired him back however because next thing I knew, I was instructed to silence my Inner Critic. I still have to tame my Inner Critic, then challenge and conquer him. We’re very busy together.

My point being with all these different facets of my personality floating around various therapists’ offices, I thought it was high time I did something completely innovative with all of them.  I would invite everyone to a fun cocktail party!

“Hi Personality Traits!  Please come to a formal gathering so we can all get to know each other better and then we can rely on one another when we need help or when we just have an impulsive desire to be one well-rounded, sane person! Potluck, of course!  See you at my house. Oops, I mean OUR house.”

Sincerely,

Sybil err Stephanie

I was nervous an hour before the get-together but my Perfectionist showed up early and laid out the silverware, plates, and napkins in meticulous order. Okay okay, Miss Compulsive might have come along as well, but I think she busied herself threading fruit salad onto skinny wooden skewers. Soon the kitchen was alive with a cacophony of noise and conversation as various parts of me interacted.

Lazy Bones: Seriously?  Who do you think is gonna clean up this huge mess?

Eating Disorder (ED): And how come you’re only putting out healthy fruit and veggies and some measly cheese and crackers?  Where are the Oreos, Nutella, and pints of Rocky Road?

Mean Girl: Like oh my god! You can’t eat anything until you fit back into your cheerleading uniform from high school. And what makes you think anybody will show up to a boring party that Loser you throws anyhow?

Confidence: Hey everyone, after we have a few ice-breakers, I’m gonna read aloud one of my classic Huffington Post humor pieces. You’ll love it and never stop laughing.

My Fiancé: (Yes I just got engaged and he’s the only actual real person at this wild shindig!) That sounds great Stephanie.  I’m so proud of you, but first let’s go into your room…

Me: (tossing hair in a flirty flounce) Oh, really?  Right now?? Well okay, Handsome. Come along Inner Critic, Bitter About Prior Divorces, Blame, Shame, Aggressive, and Sarcasm. Oh alright, Fragile Little Child, you’re welcome in our bed too. In fact, let’s try this with everyone for a change! C’mon y’all — we’ll be swingers!

Inner Critic: Lights off!

My Fiancé:  Yep, that’s the drill.

Bitter About Prior Divorces: You’re just like the rest of my ex-husbands. Already implying our sex life is mundane and predictable.

My Fiancé: Let’s hammer out the details. And shelve it.

Fragile Little Child: I don’t wanna put this discussion on the shelf. Tell me now! You’re leaving me, right?  I feel scared and tiny. And vulnerable.

My Fiancé: I’m not going anywhere as long as you can take all my pounding.

Confidence: (fluttering eyelashes) Well I like it rough, but gentle can be nice too. I can handle anything you got!

Asks For What She Needs: But can I get a lot of support?

My Fiancé:  Definitely. It will hold up to a lot of abuse if nobody throws a wrench into it and you go easy with all your many hang-ups.

Self-Defense Mechanism:  Like you’re so perfect! You have a few skeletons in the closet too, I’m sure. Maybe you’re a skirt-chaser?

My Fiancé:  Skirts?  Nope, I just can’t wait to come out of this closet!

Waiting For Other Shoe to Drop:  What?? You’re gay? See that!  I knew something like this would happen to prevent our future happiness. Can’t you at least fix it to swing both ways??

My Fiancé: Stephanie, can you stop integrating all the different sides of you for just a moment? I need to concentrate on getting this extra storage wardrobe built. Otherwise when I finally move in, I’m afraid I’ll drown in all of your clothing! Why do you have so many dang dresses anyhow?

All Personalities: (simultaneously) Surely you don’t expect all of us to wear the same size, do you? !

Big thanks to my new fiancé who will hopefully be just as understanding as he was when he was my boyfriend that I use his “persona” here for PURE FICTION!

“Wow! You Should Be a Guided Meditation Leader!”

images (11)Has someone recently said this to you? It probably means you have that “peacefully enlightened” vibe, a relaxing demeanor, and definitely a comforting, soothing voice. But if you’re really toying with entering the meditation field, you will need to use phrases (ad nauseam!) that could literally make your friends lose their ever-loving mind(fulness).

Nevertheless, if you’re still curious about becoming one, here is a resume of the 9 most important qualities needed to be a Guided Meditation Leader:

  1. The ability to direct people to let themselves “Arrive,” ignoring the fact that they are actually already there, sitting in real upholstered chairs, listening to your droning voice (which should be dripping with butter or honey or something else decadent that none of these people will ever let their bodies ingest) Yes, this ceremonial act of “Arrival” is extremely important, so execute it with pronounced enunciation.
  2. Able to conduct Individual Intention Settings. It’s crucial that anyone who is about to listen to your guided meditation tapes or Youtube videos first set their intention. Warning: A few smart alecs will state, “My intention is not to set any intentions.” Ignore them and do an Intention Intervention instead.
  3. Must possess creativity to command your listeners to breathe-in a large variety of different things. (Although seriously, when did breathing plain old oxygen become such a scarce commodity?) Make certain they’re breathing in something they might potentially want to embody (being mindful not to choke them by telling them to inhale a new Mercedes!) and then direct them to breathe out something else entirely different — preferably something you think they might want to rid their life of. (Hint: If they are listening to you with their children nearby, avoid telling telling them to exhale their ex-spouse!) And then tell them to do it all over again. Sixty. Three. Hundred. Dang. Times.
  4. Be adept at issuing reminders.You’ll want to regularly remind them to notice lots of body parts. “Notice your arms, notice your hands, notice your fingers, notice your ear-lobes (always a fun one!) notice ankles, knees, calves, thighs, etc.”  If they start to notice another participant’s feet, they might have a fetish and become aroused and you should gently guide them back to a state of complete relaxation.
  5. Should have strong observation skills in the area of respiration (you may think the act of observing is similar to the act of noticing, but shame on you — it’s incredibly different!) Say things like, “Observe how your breath flows in and out. Make no effort to change your breathing in any way, simply Observe how your body breathes. Your own body can Observe how much air it needs. Observe in your mind’s eye, your breath flowing gently in and out of your body, etc. Etcetera! As long as you string together certain key words into a fun tongue-twister, nobody will be the wiser that you’re a Guru who just made a boo-boo.
  6. Able to Help Someone Conjure Up a Serene Meadow. This is self-explanatory, but having a vast knowledge of classic Crayola crayons is useful here. Water should be imagined as Turquoise Blue, Aquamarine, Periwinkle, but most likely it’s always Cerulean, while the grass is either Pine Green, Forest Green or Fern. Remind them there’s no need to color inside the lines in their mind’s eye meadow. Ahhh, freedom!
  7. Must Be a Thought Killer. Approach this one gingerly. You can’t let them know you’re straight out of George Orwell’s novel, 1984 with “The Thought Police” so say things thusly — “When your attention wanders, as it will, just focus gently back again on your breathing. Notice any stray thoughts, but don’t dwell on them. Simply let all your thoughts peacefully pass away.” Shouting out “Die, thoughts, die!” might rile up all the gun-control issue folks.
  8. Continuously use the word “Mindful” even when you’re not leading a class. Here are creative ways to incorporate this great new buzzword. “If you don’t stop kicking the back of my seat, I’m going to lose my mindful!” And, “Do you mindful?? I’m trying to get some sleep here and I can’t with your damn snoring!” As well as, “Mindful your own damn business!” And don’t forget to say this to your teen daughter, “I have a good mindful to let you freeze to death in those skimpy shorts.” You can also take liberties with the trendy word “authentic.”  i.e.  “Seriously the price is $85?  Is this just a plain old suede purse or is it genuine, authentic leatherette?”
  9. Ability to Self-Soothe. When you suddenly find yourself out of a guided meditation job because everyone and their bloody Uncle wants to live in the present moment and do this woo-woo work.  But no worries!  With all the skills you’ve just cultivated, you can still use that terrific voice of yours – – as a Phone Sex Operator. Just know in advance that all the cleansing breaths you’ll help elicit from your customers will be the “Heavy Breathing” kind.

Thanks for reading and Namaste! (How the heck do you pronounce that??)

If Your Name is Jack, You Need Psychological Help?

jack

Therapist: Welcome to the therapy support group for (Barely) Functional, Fictional Jacks. Our first order of business is that we’re a non-smoking building, so Jack Be Nimble, please put out your candlestick.

Jack Be Nimble: I’ll be quick, Ma’am.

Therapist: Thank you Jack. And Little Jack Horner, please join the group, we have a chair for you right here in our circle.

Jack Horner: Sitting in the corner is just fine, Mrs. Jackson.

Therapist: You boys feel free to call me Jacqueline. But Mr. Horner, I do insist you join us. We’ll work on that social anxiety of yours later on, but our focus of the day is on eating disorders, over-exercising, and body dysmorphia.

Jack Spratt:  Nobody here deals with any of that crap.

Therapist: Oh, don’t they now? When was the last time you allowed yourself to eat a little fat?

Jack Spratt: Well I . . . um. . . well you know. I don’t trust our entire Fat system. They claim there are now considered good and bad fats. I figure better play it safe and eat NO fat.

Therapist: Oh nuts! Slice up an avocado, Jack. Eat salmon. You’re wasting away. And your wife, that little heffer, she isn’t helping matters by eating no lean.

Jack Horner: I brought some Christmas Pie to share. I’ll just go get it. It’s in the corner.

Therapist: What a good boy are you!

Jack Horner: What a good boy am I!

Therapist: Yes, Mr. Horner that’s what I just said. But what’s that on your thumb?

Jack Horner: I was born like this. It’s a terrible, hideous swollen purple defect.

Therapist: Oh, it most certainly is not! That’s your body dysmorphia talking, Little Jack Horner. There’s nothing at all wrong with your thumb. You just stuck it into a plum one time too many.

Jack (John Cougar Mellencamp): Little ditty about Jack & Dianne. Two American kids growing up in the heartland.

Therapist: Now is not the time to introduce your girlfriend to us, Jack. I’d like to concentrate on the Jacks who feel they must chronically burn off calories. Jack and his companion Jill are forever going up hills. Jack and the Beanstalk is, well he’s climbing up and down that tall vine so much it would make a golden goose’s head spin. And Jack Be Nimble hasn’t met a candlestick he can’t jump over. It’s textbook ADHD combined with compulsive exercise.

Jack (John Cougar Mellencamp): Jackie gonna be a football star. Diane debutante backseat of Jackie’s car.

Therapist: Ahhh, I see you also suffer from delusions of grandeur, eh? You probably think you’ve got a hit song on your hands.

Jack (John Cougar Mellencamp): Oh yeah…. Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.

Therapist: And some situational depression too.

Jack & The Beanstalk: May I interject something? There’s a grotesque monstrous giant chasing after me because I stole his golden harp. Would that make me a kleptomaniac?

Therapist: Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, has anyone ever given you a paranoid schizophrenic diagnosis, Jack Old Chum?

Jack Spratt: Can we get back to my relationship with my heffer wife? I think we balance each other out nicely in the kitchen — between us both we lick the platter clean.

Jack Horner: Ewwwww, gross!

Therapist: Germaphobe.

Jack & Jill: I don’t suppose you could analyze why every time I take a fall, Jill comes tumbling after?

Therapist: Because she’s co-dependent, Jack. Choose better next time. Now I’m sorry but our time is up for this week. When we meet next we’ll discuss the common unhealthy dynamics in your childhoods since you all shared the same maternal influence.

All Jacks: She did the best she could under the circumstances. We forgive you, Mother Goose.

Receptionist: Excuse me, but your next patients are here.

Therapist:  Yes, please tell the Brothers Grimm I will be right with them. And all their Little Princesses as well.

Dear Readers:  I would love your comments on this piece or the last few in the series I’ve written (Fictional Characters On the Therapy Couch) 

7f87346ab1587751952ecd19e91138af

Poor Jack Nicholson….he’ll be next!

download (5)

This Jack really needs to think more outside of the box!

If You’re a Blogger, You Need These Tips (And If You Need These Tips, You Must Be a Blogger!)

IMG_7049

There’s a famous saying that every blog has its day! So without further ado . . .  on with The Ten Tips — And you can just take what you want (in a little doggy err bloggy bag) and leave the rest for other readers to digest.

  1. Your Job Title – When you’re at a cocktail party and you’re asked about your profession, do NOT just give a simplistic, two syllable, seven letter career name like “Blogger” or “Writer” or “Author.” How is that going to command any kind of respect? We’re Wordsmiths but we can’t even generate an impressive description for what we do all day?  Try these instead. a) A Controller in the Language Industry b) A Disseminator of Thought Processes c) An Ideation Ideologist.  See if that doesn’t cause a few people to avert their eyes, murmur, “Wow” and bow in deference. The host might even raise his glass in a toasting gesture.
  2. Suggestions — Learn to cut people off who offer you “terrific ideas” for your blog. WTF?  Why does everyone who finds out you’re a blogger think you’ve run dry and it’s their civic duty to tell you their life story so you’ll be chalk full of entertaining posts again?  And they always end by saying, “You can use that story for free!” Gee, thanks.  I don’t go up to my physician with a toy stethoscope from my son’s Doctor’s Kit and say, “Here!  Take this!  I won’t even charge you!”
  3. Conclusions — Always end your articles or blogs with some sort of “Call To Action” for the reader. Sometimes readers just need a nudge or a little direction. You can ask the reader to leave a comment, like it on Facebook, or request that he Tweet it on Twitter. I usually make my Calls To Action very personal. For example — “Please show up at the author’s home with dust rags and Windex this Saturday at 10 am.”
  4. Write-offs– For income tax purposes (you must do ample exploration of your location so it’s realistic, yes??) always set your blog post somewhere beautiful and exotic. Seriously, would you rather research events that take place in Costa Rica or Tahiti — or your bathtub?
  5. Lifelike — You want fictional people to be believable in your writing, so be sure and flesh out all your characters. You may even want to completely flush out a character, if one of them is due for a colonoscopy.
  6. There are NO NEW IDEAS.  — Got that?  If you have an idea that you think has never been done before, Google it and trust me, it’s already out there in some form. All plots loosely fall under these three categories — 1. Man Against Man. 2. Man Against Himself. 3. Man Against His Dishwasher.
  7. Plagiarism — Don’t do it. Take this vow:  “I pledge-arize not to plagiarize.” However, there are a lot of poems, famous sayings, and quotes out there that list “Author Unknown” at the bottom of them.  So even though “There Are No New Ideas” (see #6)  that doesn’t mean you cannot take credit for some old, anonymous ones. Does it?
  8. Reviews — Most bloggers are shy about asking people to review them on Linkedin or Amazon (if they’ve written a book) but you can do this in an innocent, charming way that harkens back to grade school. Simply pass your reader a folded note with a bashful smile, and they can check off the appropriate box. yes-or-no
  9. Funny! — Become a Humor Blogger so that when people don’t like what you’ve put out there you can always say, “That was just a joke.  Here’s the REAL blog.”
  10. To Be Continued — Always leave a cliffhanger (especially effective if your name is Clifford!) to ANYTHING you write.  Notice that there were only 9 real tips in this post?  But now you’ll keep checking back to see if I add a 10th item, won’t you?

Reader CALL TO ACTION!  Please leave a comment or take out my kitchen trash.  Your choice.

Colonel Mustard & Miss Scarlet See a Marriage Counselor

clue mustard

Therapist: Just to make it very clear — what happens here always stays highly confidential.

Colonel Mustard: Maybe we can write it on little cards and slide them into a sealed envelope in the middle of the game board?

Miss Scarlet: Oh will you just get a Clue? This isn’t about fun and games. That’s not why we’re here.

Therapist: Well maybe you can tell your husband the reason you ARE here, Miss Scarlet. What’s bothering you?

Colonel Mustard: Wait! Why does she get to go first?

Therapist: Check the rulebook. It’s right there in black and white. Miss Scarlet always goes first.

Miss Scarlet: Yes, that’s just the way I roll.

Colonel Mustard: Well this time, I’m making the first move. You’re just a little slut, wearing your slinky red dress all the time, with your long skinny cigarette holder. I see the looks Mr. Green gives you and I could just kill him for what he’s thinking.

Miss Scarlet: Did you hear that? You’re a witness to his threats.

Therapist: Please leave me out of this dangerous game you people play.

Colonel Mustard: Is it a crime to want my wife to be monogamous?

Miss Scarlet: When we go home tonight, we’ll sit down and talk this over in The Lounge.

Therapist: Wow. I’ve never known anyone with an actual room called The Lounge in their home.

Miss Scarlet: Never mind that. His fly-by-night behavior is for the birds.

Colonel Mustard: You leave Mrs. Peacock out of this. I knew you’d find a way to drag her into our personal affairs.

Miss Scarlet: You mean your affairs. She’s already very involved, I suspect.

Colonel Mustard: You should suspect. Because you ARE the prime suspect.

Therapist: Folks, settle down. My recommendation is you go back home and host a fun Murder Mystery Party. You know, your guests come dressed in costume, you put out lots of . . .

Colonel Mustard: Weapons.

Therapist: I was going to say appetizers.

Miss Scarlet: We’ll need a sharp knife for the cheese.

Therapist: My goodness, what’s wrong with you people? I think no matter how you toss the dice, it’s safe to say your marriage is over.

Colonel Mustard: The romance is dead. She killed it.

Miss Scarlet: You’re the one with the guilty conscience. You should turn yourself in; it would shorten your prison time.

Therapist: But if he goes straight to jail, how would I collect my $200 hourly fee? We could take a ride on the Reading railroad to a bank. Or you can take a Chance from the Community Chest?

Colonel Mustard: Can’t you see her community chest is already on display in that low-cut dress? Listen, I don’t know what game you’re playing right now, but deal us out. There are a million therapists in town. You don’t have the Monopoly on Couples Counseling, you know.

Receptionist: Sorry to interrupt but your next appointment is here, those two inventive male siblings.

Therapist: Please tell the Parker Brothers, I’ll be right with them.

This was the third in a series of shorts I am creating wherein Famous Fictional Couples see a Marriage Counselor.  Stay tuned for more. And please leave me a comment if you’d like to request an iconic pair rush to a shrink!

Bizarre Travel Tips You Won’t Read Elsewhere!

IMG_5408Just returned from the Middle East and because I’m not writing a Travel Blog here, I was going to take all this great information to my grave. But the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced there’s one reader out there who can benefit from my strangely comforting travel tips. Are YOU that reader??

Taking the Mystery Out of International Travel!

  1. When in airports that have heightened security, don’t sit around on benches darting your eyes furtively around. YOU know you’re contemplating which Duty Free shop to go drop major bucks in (because you forgot to souvenir shop for your kids) but the armed soldiers in Israel won’t get it. Neither should you have this dialogue. SOLDIER:  State your business for being in this terminal, Miss. ME: Oh, I’m just killing time. SOLDIER: Killing??!  Passport and ID. Now! ME:  Wait, what? That’s just an expression. You know like, “Wait till you hear the huge bomb my ex dropped on me last night!”  SOLDIER:  You’re coming with me.
  2. Try not to walk into open air market places and say, “Excuse me but which aisle would feminine hygiene products be on?”
  3. Don’t finally make it to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, extremely honored to slip a prewritten note of prayer into one of the cracks (because it’s the holiest spot in the country and there’s a direct connection with God there) get confused, and instead slide in your “To-Do” list for when you return home.

    IMG_5355

    The Western Wall: Don’t tell me someone else didn’t accidentally leave their grocery list?

  4. As you enter the country of Jordan, never tell the stiff, rigid-looking Border Crossing Guards that you almost named your son “Jordan” but then thought it might sound too girly so you went with “Benjamin” instead.
  5. At the Dead Sea, agree that you WILL float.  Don’t argue with everyone around you that you’re an exception because you weigh too much for this natural phenomenon to work on you. JUST BELIEVE. In fact bring reading material so you can have a photo like this fellow. dead sea
  6. Three hours later when you’re finally satisfied that you can float with the best of ’em and decide to try covering your body with the black sludge that sits on the shores (because it’s supposed to have healing and therapeutic qualities for your skin) don’t go around saying, “Guess I’m just a stick in the mud, eh?” and elbow people roughly trying to nudge a laugh outa them. Saying “Well, here’s mud in your eye!” gets even less of a chuckle.

    IMG_5239

    Don’t be afraid to get dirty in Israel

  7. You will encounter co-ed public bathrooms. You don’t need to document this fact with photos. People back home WILL believe you.
  8. Many places will bargain for their wares, but you’re not Monty Hall. Don’t say, “Let’s Make a Deal!  How about I give you some Mickey Mouse soap from an official Disney hotel, a Hershey bar, and I’ll throw in a lock of hair from my firstborn for that Star of David necklace in the window?”
  9. Don’t go to Masada remarking, “Gosh, it looked far more grandiose in the Peter O’Toole movie.” And hiking around Petra asking every tour guide, “Exactly which Indiana Jones movie was filmed here again?” won’t ingratiate you.
    IMG_5201

    The Top of Masada!

    IMG_4809

    Petra, Jordan where a famous movie was filmed!

  10. Don’t think you’re so clever figuring out that the Med, Red & Dead Seas all rhyme (and you can make money off that) because there’s already a tee-shirt for that.
    med sea

    Coffee Mugs exist too.

    IMG_5417

    Quick!  Is this the Med, Red, or Dead Sea?  Or is this just a boring beach back home in San Diego???  Could be a prize…leave a comment!

A Shot in the Dark!

light-bulb-banA fairly old, (since 1999) but highly unique concept (and one that I’m just catching on to) called “Dark Dining” is making the rounds in my area of the country. Patrons pay a lot of money to NOT see the food they will be ingesting. It began in a small diner in El Paso where the Texas style BBQ ribs were so ugly in appearance and terribly messy  (dripping down the white bandanas of glutinous wranglers) that the proprietor of the establishment told his waitstaff, “Y’all, let’s just kill all the lights and we won’t have to garnish the plates all pretty like no more!”

Dark Dining was instantly born and swept the nation. The theory being that it heightens your other senses to eat in pitch blackness. But really it’s just a starving dieter’s dream. “What’s gobbled in the dark, stays in the dark!”

I decided to try this phenomenon at home instead of our Saturday night pizza restaurant jaunt — only I added one other unique concept…Darkness AND Silence. After slaving away all afternoon over a healthy meal of meatloaf, green beans and potatoes au gratin, I issued formal invitations to my family via disappearing ink (seemed eerily fitting) with written instructions specifying all six kids to enter the room quietly at 6 pm sharp with their lips zipped.

It was an unusually pleasant dinner with just the sounds of ravenous chewing here and there and once I thought I heard someone growl in appreciation. There was even one point where my senses were extra heightened.  I sensed that someone definitely needed a bath.  I congratulated myself on our first civilized meal in years and considered adopting this ritual as a once-a-week family tradition. And then I turned on the lights and found our mangy dog Lola lapping up the last bit of gravy on each plate. Apparently Dollar Store ink that disappears never reappears. The rest of the family could be found at Mama Lucia’s scarfing down an extra large pepperoni.

Hmmph. Here then is my list of…

 TEN ACTIVITIES THAT SHOULD BE MANDATED DARK!

  1. Bathing Suit Shopping — Female customers can grope racks of swimsuits, grabbing any size their heart desires, head to the dressing room and if anything ties around their neck, that’s a perfect fit! Gleeful women will pack up their purchases and post on Facebook that they’ve just purchased a size 2 string bikini. None of this will matter because the next activity commanded in the dark is . . .
  2. Night Time Swimming Without Any Pool Lights On— (You’re welcome!)
  3. Gynecological Exams — If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all.  No more having to shave your legs and shell out money for pedicures for a man who can’t be bothered to warm a speculum.
  4. Blind Dates –Blindfold the couple. Spin them around three times and let them pin the tail on the … ass who thought they would hit it off.
  5. Weddings— Will the bride wear white?  Yes, a white terry cloth bathrobe. May as well be comfortable when taking the plunge because how many solemn promises are made wearing Spanx? The only vow that can be taken seriously is to be able to breathe again. “Something old, something new, something that leaves its mark, something that glows in the dark.”  (How about fluorescent lipstick so “You may kiss the bride” doesn’t lead to the groom smooching the best man?)
  6. Sex–Married men are already accommodating in this regard if they wanna get any.
  7. Church–Hallelujah! The miracle of lower electricity bills.
  8. Grocery Shopping — Cuts down on damaged produce. What fun is it salaciously pinching melons when nobody can see you?
  9. Beauty Pageants — Can we actually crown someone for their inner beauty?  I think it’s about time!
  10. Parties — Finally you really can dance like nobody’s watching!

What types of things would you like to see (pun intended) happen in the dark?

 

Don’t Let Your Blog Sleep Like a Log!

photo-67Don’t let sleeping blogs lie, either.  It’s time to blow, err blog everyone’s mind with your fantastic writing. But that means getting your blog out there beyond just WordPress. I’ve learned that blog promotion isn’t just optional, it’s obligatory  oblogatory!  But you know me, I’m not going to just repeat all the traditional, conventional ways you’ve heard before to make your blog’s presence known.  Click HERE to read my ten UNIQUE tips which are featured on a very wonderful site called Mostly Blogging. If you don’t — well it just might always be a “blog eat blog world” out there for you, my friend.

Could Captain Von Trapp & Maria Be Headed For Divorce?

HT_sound_of_music_julie_andrews_sk_150316_4x3_992Therapist: Before we begin I want to stress that anything we discuss remains in the strictest of confidence and will not be spoken outside of this room.

Captain: Or turned into childish lyrics and sung on bicycles. Am I clear?? Tooot, tooooooot–

Maria: Oh spare me your whistle, Captain.

Therapist: Tssk, tssk . . . control issues. So what can I help you folks with today?

Captain: How do you solve a problem like Maria?

Therapist: Hmmm…Anything you want to tell us, Maria?

Maria: Perhaps I had a wicked childhood. Perhaps I had a miserable youth.

Therapist: But somewhere in your youth or childhood, you must’ve done something good?

Maria: Well, nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could.

Captain: And that’s just about what this session is worth.

Therapist: Now, now Captain. Your wife tells me you aren’t very supportive of her creative household frugality.

Captain: Ya think? Nobody needs to wear window coverings just to military march around the house.

Maria: But the children. They just want love. Please just love them, Captain. The children.

Captain: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Therapist: I’m sorry but that’s not a line of yours, is it? It’s not anywhere in my notes. Let’s save the Rhett Butler nonsense for later. He’s my next client, actually.

Captain: I said that to make a point. Sometimes I think she’s crossed over from the Gone With the Wind set – – they also have the Drapery/Dress Recycling thing going on. It’s like she’s taken Scarlett O’hara and Maria Von Trapp and blended them together.

Therapist: Could that be true, Maria? Do you think you have Transblender tendencies?

Captain: Haha, it was just a joke. Let’s get down to the serious issue, shall we? Whenever Maria is unhappy, she threatens to run away — go back to Abbey. Now, I don’t know who this Abbey person is, but I suspect it’s short for Abigail and my wife secretly likes girls.

Therapist: And how does that make you feel, Sir?

Captain: Haha, gotcha again. Kidding!

Maria: Honestly Georg, you’re so juvenile. It’s like I have an eighth child. You are 16 going on 17.

Therapist: Have you ever considered hiring a governess? To relieve the stress.

Captain: Ah yes, some pretty sweet young thing with a penchant for playing the violin.

Maria: Georg!

Captain: Fraulein, you will remember yourself!

Therapist: Who says that anymore? Is that even a thing?

Maria: Well, it’s time for prayers. God bless the Captain, Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Brigitta, Marta, Gretel and . . .

Therapist: Achoooooo!

Maria: Gesundheit and bless you . . . err, I’ve forgotten what you’re called. What’s your name? Well God bless What’s-Your-Name.

Captain: OMG. Look, is there any hope for this relationship? With a woman who has a severe phobia.

Therapist: What are you frightened of, Maria?

Maria: The hills are alive . . .

Therapist: Now we’re getting somewhere. But I’m afraid that’s all the time we have for this week.

Captain: Don’t you have any quick advice for her to conquer this fear? We may need to hike through the Alps one day.

Therapist: Of course — here’s a memorable tip . . . Climb EVERY Mountain!

If you enjoy thinking about what happens to iconic fictional couples “after the show” you’ll want to enter this new contest RIGHT HERE so you can write about it and have a chance to win $200! 

Meanwhile, if you just like to read about fictional couples going to a marriage counselor, you may want to read another one I published RIGHT HERE. Please leave me a message there if you enjoy the movie/play Fiddler On The Roof. 

And stay tuned for more information about my newly released collection featuring the following couples having a marriage counseling session with their therapist!  Tarzan & Jane, Peter Pan & Wendy, Lucy & Ricky Ricardo, Mike & Carol Brady, Superman & Lois Lane, Harry & Sally, Charles & Caroline Ingalls, Rocky & Adrienne, The Phantom & Christine, Mr. & Mrs. Howell, Jack & Rose Dawson, Miss Scarlet & Colonel Mustard, The Captain & Tennille, and many more!

 

 

 

 

The Phantom of The Cellphone!

-font-b-phantom-b-font-of-the-opera-fashion-original-cell-phone-case-cover-for“You called three times but didn’t leave a message, is everything ok?” my mother asks. Confession: I regularly hang up on my mom’s outgoing phone message because she gives excruciating instructions on waiting for beeps, admonishes you to speak slowly, enunciate clearly, and requires you to give the date and time of your call. A former teacher, she insists on educating people on leaving proper voicemail.

But on this occasion I’m certain I didn’t call at all, let alone three times. I look at my caller ID log and sure enough I have telephoned my mother thrice within a ten-minute period this morning. The Benadryl I took for a cold must’ve made me groggy and blurred my recall.

A couple of hours later, I receive a message from my old Avon Lady announcing light blue shimmery eyeshadows just came in and how shocked she was to hear from me after more than 30 years. I’m also kinda shocked, envisioning her hobbling up to front porches at age 75, ringing doorbells, gleefully shouting, “Ding Dong, Avon calling!”

Minutes after we disconnect, my long lost Tupperware gal calls, claiming mere moments ago I telephoned her but promptly hung up when she answered. She wants to know if the reason I’m currently reaching out is to schedule a Tupperware party? “Does the word ‘Ziploc’ mean anything to you?” I ask.

What’s the deal with my cellphone and the 1970’s throwbacks? If I’m butt-dialing people, my ass is way behind the times.

Suspicious, I carefully set my mobile device flush on the kitchen table and scrutinize it cautiously as I eat my cottage cheese w/pineapple and lime jello. It behaves itself and doesn’t dial up Dorothy Hamil or Billy Jean King. Just a nondescript, innocent dark screen.

Just as I swallow the last of the curds, suddenly my cellphone emanates an ominous glow and a notification pops up stating, “1 outgoing call.” Seriously??  This was no pocket or purse dial! Paging Rod Serling.

I click on it to see the name Layla Down, a woman I loathe. For one thing, she always asks, “Who died?” just because I wear the color black a lot. And she pointed her finger at my youngest daughter Natalie for the lice infestation in the 6th grade. “Nitty Natty” sticks to this day. I shudder, anticipating what’s next and sure enough, it rings right on cue with the big fat phony Layla on the other end of the line.

Me: Nitty Nat’s mom speaking, how may I help you?

Layla: My, my, what a droll sense of humor you still have. So when’s the funeral? Actually I’m returning your call, Sugar.

Me: Uh, I never called you, Sweet Tart.

Layla: I have proof that you did, Sucralose.

Me: Think again, Sweet‘N Low.

Layla: Better wash your daughter’s hair, Aspartame.

We went on like this until we used up all the sarcastic (saccharin) terms of endearments and began repeating a few. Click. Maybe this was Siri’s revenge for when I let her nearly drown in the washing machine?

During the next week, my cellphone honed its interpersonal skills, not only making random embarrassing calls all on its own accord, (old boyfriends, old dentists, dead people) but it actually started efficiently connecting people together from my online address book via its 3-way conference calling feature!

It introduced my following Contacts to each other:

  • My gynecologist to my Rabbi
  • Dr. Harris, my cocker-spaniel’s vet to Harrison, a cocky Vietnam vet
  • My handyman Richard to Betty, a broken-down divorcee
  • My Weight Watcher leader to my chocoholic friend
  • My divorce attorney to my wedding planner
  • My hairstylist to my friend Nan, the Nun
  • My life coach to my son’s football coach
  • Sherman, a needy guy I dated (and wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy) to Layla
  • My therapist to my Mother (so she could analyze why nobody leaves her voicemail?)

And when I saw the newest popular trend on the market — a clear plastic food storage container (with a burping seal) filled with frosted lipsticks, I knew the Phantom of the Cellphone could take all the credit for striking again. He’d actually gone and hooked up my Tupperware Gal with my Avon Lady. Bravo!

The 6 Stages of Blogging We All Recognize and Relate To!

 

download (4)Yes, we’re familiar with those famous 5 stages of grief and loss (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) from our psych 101 classes, but did you know there are specific phases you pass thru when becoming a blogger too?

DENIAL— Oh c’mon, it’s not like it’s an official blog that I care about. I mean it was never an intentional goal. WordPress was free and I thought to myself, ‘who writes anything down with pen and paper anymore?’ So a pretty little text box happened to pop open and I typed some thoughts into it to reread when I needed help falling asleep. One day, my children got into a wrestling match next to my computer and one of them bumped my hand on the mouse and it clicked “publish.” That’s all it ever was. I’m an Accidental Author. But if you like my posts, then yes, I am a Certified Blogger.

ANGER – Those other bloggers think they’re all so smart. What is this, high school all over again with those same exclusive cliques that think they can exclude me and ignore my very existence?  So what if I don’t fit in with the “Mommy Bloggers” the “Food Writers” or the “Politics Penmanship People?”  I don’t need a special Blogging Tribe anyhow. All those fancy fake Followers and their “maybe I’ll drop-in and check out your blog some time” phoniness, and those other designer name-brand Commenters? I’m just as good as them, they’ll see. Soon they’ll come begging for me to stop moderating their comments and post them immediately because my blog will be the happening hangout for the In-Crowd, baby!  I’ll show them, I’ll show everyone.

BARGAINING — Hey fellow blogger! I was thinking you could write a guest post on my blog because well, because you’re so utterly fascinating. And just perhaps (because you have an established online presence) maybe some of your fans would stick around and read some other stuff that I’ve written?  How does that sound?  Hello??  “Dear Humor blogger, this post of yours is just hysterical!  I’m reposting your link everywhere, tweeting it, pinning it, stumbling it, tumbling it, mumbling it, fumbling it, jumbling it, bumbling it, and yes even sharing it on Facebook. Plus printing it out on cocktail napkins for my next dinner party. Isn’t that nice of me?  I’m just naturally generous in that way. My blog? Oh, well if you insist. It’s really not necessary but I think having a nice balance of give and take is what makes the blogosphere go round, don’t you?”  Dear God – – If you just let my stats go over 20 views today, I’ll bring my entire family to church this weekend.  Even though we’re Jewish.

FEAR — I just know that last post I put out there was the stupidest thing ever written in the history of blogging-kind. Oh my god, what was I thinking doing a shtick called The Bloscars which was supposed to be a parody of “The Oscars?” Nobody is even entering my contest and I’ll be laughed out of the Blogosphere. Not because I’m so humorous, but because I’m a fool and I never think before I impulsively click “publish.” And there’s no taking it back now, that sucker got forwarded to both my subscriber’s emails. There goes my one chance to turn blogging into a lucrative writing career and now I’m getting old and I’ll have to go back to waitressing and be one of those women with varicose veins and support hose, with a name-tag that says, “Flo” and who shouts, “Put Adam & Eve on a raft and wreck ’em!” to a cranky chef in Mel’s Diner.

HOPE — Someone just commented that I made them laugh so hard, they need a Depends undergarment.  That’s pretty gross but very flattering!  Oh my god. Maybe they are an agent.  Or they have an Uncle who is an agent.  You never know. Just think, they read my post and then exclaimed, “Those words! That grammar and punctuation!  I must have more! Who is this person?  I’m gonna find them and make them THE NEXT ERMA BOMBECK!” Gosh, I really need to put my contact info on my blog.  I could miss being discovered all because I’m paranoid that a telemarketer will call me up and try and sell me a magazine subscription to Good Housekeeping.  Why, I could be the actual author of the article featured on the cover of Good Housekeeping. I love Good Housekeeping. And poor telemarketers are only doing their job. That’s it, I’m putting my phone number on my blog in a prominent place right now.

ACCEPTANCE – – You’re a blogger too?  There suddenly seems to be a lot of us out there now, aren’t there? I guess I’ve resigned myself to realizing that it’s highly competitive and it’ll never be much more than a hobby.  Hmmm, well it’s fun, right?  Of course right! We can form a support group for realistic bloggers who came to terms with their mediocrity. But we still get to go to blogging conferences. Hey, that’s it — we’ll meet in real life! Wouldn’t that be something to tell our children?  Your parents met at a Writer’s Retreat where daddy got the wrong badge and went around all weekend with people calling him, “Little Miss Menopause.” And when he returned it to your mommy, we fell in love instantly. Hey, that’s kind of a unique story. It would make a great novel. And it will get adapted into a screenplay like Gone Girl. A romantic comedy,  I think they call that a rom-com?  We’ll be famous, but don’t worry because I’ll write a humorous acceptance speech for The Oscars so they won’t play us off with music like they did to Leonardo Dicaprio. Eh, The Oscars or The Bloscars, what’s the difference??  The latter is far more clever and unique. (Yep, there’s soon to be a 7th stage of blogging called, “Cockiness”)

REMINDER: TODAY’S THE DEADLINE TO ENTER THE BLOSCARS AND WIN AMAZON GIFT CARDS! 

 

 

 

 

The Bloscars (Oscars For Blogs!) Are Back! (With Giveaways!)

FullSizeRender (22)C’mon, admit it — You watched the Oscars ceremony last night while obsessing aloud, “Why can’t Little Miss Menopause do her Bloscar awards just one more time so I can win something??” This will be the 3rd year in a row I’ve featured a giveaway and you can ask the past winners if it’s worth their time to enter. But when you ask them, remind them that their Amazon gift card prize can also be used to order my book, Lullabies & Alibis just as easily as some ugly household decor item.

Now let’s walk the Red-Carpet and enter the actual Post to see the grandeur that awaits, shall we?  Beware of the Blogarazzi with their blinding camera flashes, whoops and hollers.  Smile nicely, with that odd, “looking over your shoulder at who-the-hell-knows what” type of pose.  Maybe all bloggers should keep looking over their shoulder for the next odd thing to happen to them?photo-217

 THE CEREMONY FLUFF, TIME WASTERS & A PRIZE!

Welcome! First of all – – instead of Chris Rock selling Thin Mints and other assorted Girl Scout Cookies, you’re stuck with me selling my home baked Bloatmeal, Blog Newtons, SnickerBloggle, and Tollhouse Blocolate Blip Blookies. Sorry.

photo-216Inject your Favorite Opening Dance Sequence right here to the left.  Bloggers usually have two left feet so we’ll just insert a 405 Error message over this part.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we need to talk about how it was mainly white people who got nominated for awards for the last two years and why people of color were snubbed from The Oscars. This will conveniently lead to our next contest — The People Of Collar Contest! That’s right! Collared people will never be excluded from The Bloscars! As proof of that, we’re having a separate honorary category. So to win this one you need to feature your favorite button-down shirt (sorry no tees, tanks or camisoles) and show off that gorgeous, freshly ironed, starched collar. Winner chosen for creative display of a collared shirt and will receive an Amazon gift card to buy a non-geeky shirt! Deadline and instructions are the same as the below Selfie Photo Contest.

And yes, just like when Ellen hosted the Oscars, there will be a Selfie Photo Contest, so let’s take down Twitter…Wordpress!  Not to place any WordPressure on you, but please take a photo of the front page of your Blog the way that it looks on your laptop/computer with you (the proud Blog Author!)  in the photo as well.  Shy, retiring, inhibited, insecure, and/or paranoid Bloggers (that would be me) feel free to just portray your blog alone, without any human in the pic.   Put a link to your photo (Shutterfly, Facebook, any other forum where you can post a picture) in the comments section below and the winner (based on the most eye-catching, creative photo) will receive two movie passes. (or the equivalent of such, on a $25 Amazon Gift Card)  Deadline will be March 7th to post your Selfie photos and a winner will be picked and their prize awarded on my birthday, March 12th.  Since I will have nothing better to do on that day, other than to sob about not being in my 40’s any longer.

And Now . . . The Blotion Picture Blogcademy Proudly Presents . . . THE BLOSCARS! (Imagine an orchestra of keyboard typing in unison rising in crescendo here)

During the silence that follows each category, please imagine who would deserve this particular award in your own real life world or Online World that you call your Blogosphere.  I would never be so presumptuous as to start naming Names here!  The idea is to get YOU thinking about the kinds of people (bloggers and non-bloggers alike) that you consciously surround yourself with each and every day.  It CAN make a difference.photo-218

And the Featured Categories Are ????

Best Supportive Commenter:  Who regularly leaves you lots of love?

Best Editor:  Which individual do you count on to give your posts a onceover, so you don’t have blatant errors like the spelling of “onceover” when published?

Best Original Score UnderScore: (Note: Strikeovers would also fall in this category)

Best Blog Header:  Your eye was drawn immediately!

Best Blog Background:  It compliments, rather than detracts.

Best Song: (Oh!  I feel another contest coming on!)  In the comments section below, please leave the one best song (with either a Title or the well known chorus lyrics) that would best suit your blog.  In other words, you would most want to have this song blasting when someone clicks open your blog.  Give a brief explanation as to why you chose this song. One winner will be announced (same dates given for the Selfie Photo contest and People of Collar contest above) and awarded a $20 itune Gift Card.  We’re looking again for Creativity here and some Wordplay.  Here’s a not so good Example:  The song “Roar” by Katy Perry should accompany my blog because people always roar with laughter when they read it!

Best Tagger:  Who gets the best traffic from tags?

Best Muse:  Who inspires your ideas?  Which individual do you most find yourself telling to “hold that thought” for a second while you jot something down in your “Blog Notebook”  You do have one of those, right?!?

Best Brusher-Off-er:  Who (in real life) changes the subject the fastest when you bring up your Blog?

Best and Worse Dressed List

Clothing is a huge deal.  I know.  Just not here. And breasts are not going to be mentioned here at all.  If you want to know why, go here.   So alternatively,  there will be no hiring Mr.Blackwell Blogwell to ogle (blogle) and rave or conversely rant/diss any certain Blogger’s Pajamas Attire – – but the following categories will rhyme with the word “Dressed” instead.  You should nod your head right about now and see this as a perfectly “suit”able solution.

Best Jest:  Favorite Non-Serious Blog

Best Guest:  Who regularly has the most interesting Blogger Guests writing for them?

Best Blessed:  Whose Blog seems to have the most Gratitude or Grace?

Best Addressed:  Who takes a Controversial Subject and Nails it?

Best Confessed:  Who takes the opportunity of blogging to bare their soul, show their authentic truth?

Best Assessed:  Who is the Best Reviewer you know.  Books, Movies, Food, etc. Their opinion matters to you!

Best Compressed:  Who can blog in the fewest words you know and still make it work?  Really distill down their ideas so you just get the concentrated bottom line from them?

Best Distressed & Stressed:  Who is always having an issue?  Yes, this could be a Drama Blog, but maybe not?

Best Obsessed:  Who focuses on just one topic every single solitary time, but you love them anyway?

Best Cardiac Arrest:  Who shocks you the most with their outrageousness?

Best Nest:  Which Parent Blogger gets the most “oohs and ahs” because their love of family shines through?

Best Quest:  Who seems to have the loftiest goal or purpose in Blogging?

Best Teenage Blogger who is wise beyond their years:  Hey that doesn’t rhyme?  That’s right, just seeing if you are paying attention.

Best Contest:  Who regularly has Blog Giveaways that excite you?

Best Pest:  Who is that Blogger you wish you could secretly Unfollow?

Best Rest:  Their Blog is where you hang out when you want to unwind and relax.

Best Freshly Pressed:  And if they never got Freshly Pressed, then they should;ve been. But did you know it’s too late now?  They’ve changed that here on WordPress. You can nominate yourself now. Check it out!

Best Detest:  Okay, you hate their blog.  You don’t follow it at all, but you’re aware of its presence and you want them to clean up their act.

Best Intelligence Test:  Wow, are they just off the chart smart or what??  Do you even belong there as a reader?  Yep, you do!

Best Request:  They’re the Blog-Pleasers.  They will do what you ask because they want crowd approval.  But do you really know what they’re about?

Best Impressed: They are the equivalent of the  Name   Blog-Dropper who wants you to admire their Blog for the Flash, not the substance.

Best Protest:  They are never going to be happy unless they can keep blogging about how unhappy the world makes them.

Best Mae West:  “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?”  That’s right, I finally ran out of rhymes that had any connection to blogging! And besides we needed a real movie star right about now.

Along with leaving a comment, Please don’t forget to enter one of the contests above (Selfie, Song or People Of Collar!) and we’ll see you next year at the BLOSCARS! Also if you’ve ever wondered what would happen if Barbie Became Jewish (besides having her Barb-Mitzvah) or you just enjoy my bizarre humor, please go RIGHT HERE and leave me a comment. But if you do leave a remark, pretend you don’t know me and that I’m not offering prizes on my blog so the editors will think I have lots of legit fans.  ;-)

Panties . . . Inciting an Uproar? Or Just Uproarious Laughter?

images (10)

images (10)Sometimes a mere word can conjure up an image so intense that people become highly distraught. ‘Panties’ is one of those words. The Atlantic magazine is just one of several publications that ran an article going into depth about the controversy that’s ensued over the use of this term. And I’ve actually just spent an hour reading more research on the topic of ‘Panties’ than I think there might be out there for the subject of ‘Insomnia.’ But it didn’t help me fall asleep.

First of all, nevermind that people have such an incredible curiosity about this noun that they actually go onto the Yahoo Answers website (numerous times!) posing the question “Is ‘panties’ singular or plural?” but many psychologists and researchers are actually also making the leap that calling women’s’ underwear ‘panties’ has a direct link to the amount of pedophiles in our country.

But most of the research I came across was official surveys being administered to find out if the population now really detests the use of this word or maybe they’re just lukewarm about it?  Is that a job that someone can seriously be hired to do?  “Yes, I’m here to fill out an application to be a Word Wonderer. Aside from ‘panties,’ I wonder how the public perceives the word ‘spatula?’ And I’d like to put to rest once and for all where we all stand on ‘balderdash’ and ‘flummoxed’ as well. Thank you, and yes minimum wage is acceptable because this is my passion.”

Personally, I used to date a man who told me he thought ‘panty’ was the sexiest word in our language. I just think he was in a college fraternity that conducted one too many panty raids. But interestingly, he couldn’t stand to hear the word combined with ‘hose.’  In fact, if I so much as uttered under my breath, “gosh, it’s too hot today to wear pantyhose,” he went ballistic and insisted they were called nylons or stockings.

Speaking of covering women’s legs with nylons, stockings, or (gasp) the dreaded pantyhose, are you aware that topic in and of itself has hundreds of google searches not only on whether it’s coming back in style to wear (thanks to Kate Middleton) but also whether it’s still a sin to wear them with open-toe shoes.  And folks, brace yourself . . . . but it may NOT be a fashion faux pas any longer.  Now please ignore this entire paragraph but I had to include it because I plan to tag this post with all these words so that the thousands of google searches will actually land on my blog, for once!

Another word that women apparently cannot tolerate is the word, ‘moist.’ You can see the other five cringe-worthy vocabulary words right here, but rest assured that ‘panties’ made it onto this list. Yes indeedy. Clearly the two words strung together in the same sentence could possibly incite a war.

But before anyone thinks they’re gonna be clever in the comments section and tell me to just “put my big girl panties on” and blog about something more significant, I want to defend myself by claiming that words ARE important to me. I often spend twenty minutes just mulling over my choices (eww, mulling? That doesn’t sound too appetizing) in a thesaurus so I can be satisfied that I exhausted all my options for the best and most precise meaning.

And before I enter into a relationship with anyone, I will play word association games with them as a sort of test. Also my favorite oldies song from the 80’s was by Missing Persons, “What Are Words For?” So I feel perfectly justified to “get my panties all in a snit” (Really, snit?? That’s so close to snot! I can’t believe ‘snit’ didn’t make it on the top 6 worst words list!) if someone sings, “You say to-may-toes and I say to-mah-toes, let’s call the whole thing off.”

Call it off? No way! I want to debate about it with you for hours. Let’s call it ‘foreplay.’

Dear Readers — If you’ve ever seen the movie HER, (guy falls in love with his computer operating system) I’ve just written a parody for the fitness company I work for about that time I almost tied the knot with an activity monitor, the little rogue! You can read it HERE and please know that comments left there really help me with my boss – – My Word Slavemaster! Thank you if you can take a moment of your time.

What-your-underwear-name-says-about-you

 

For Valentine’s Day I Shoved Love Down Everyone’s Throat!

photo-72And it tasted like chalky Pepto Bismo. For a change of pace this Valentine’s Day, I decided to catch my children off-guard with being festive. All it took was sending everyone an “adorable” Valentine’s app and a lot of Splenda packets to conjure up the sweetness in our lives for a day. At least that’s what I thought.  Guess they don’t call them Conversation Candy for nothing! Have a look . . .

Me:

                                                                          photo 4-11

       College Son:

photo 5-9

 Me:

photo 1-16

 College Son:

photo-69

 Me:

photo 3-10Then my two younger kids chime in.

Daughter 14:

photo 4-12

 Son 12:

photo 5-10

 College Son:

photo 2-17

Me:

photo 3-12

 College Son:

photo 1-18photo 1-8

Me:

photo 4-7

College Son:

photo 4-4

Me:

photo 3-3photo 3-7

College Son:

photo 4-9Sick of this son’s smart retorts, I send a heart to his twin brother with a love greeting. It was very flowery and lovey-dovey sentimental.

Twin Brother:

photo 1-23

Me:

photo 2-22

Twin Brother:

photo 3-18Finally my 17 year old daughter (who btw takes 45 minutes to decide what she’s gonna wear in the morning) decides to join in . . .

Daughter 17

photo 4-14

 College Son:

photo 4-16

 Me

photo 1-13

 College Son:

photo 5-6

Me:

photo 1-22photo 4-15photo 3-14

College Son:

photo 2-18

Me:

photo 4-5photo 2-9

College Son:

photo 5-4

Me:

photo 1-11

College Son:

photo 2-10

Son 12

photo 3-8photo 2-13photo 5-11

Daughter 17

photo 4-17

Me:

photo 3-17

Daughter 17:

photo 2-19

Me:

photo 4-20photo 5-12

College Son:

photo-71

photo 1-17

Me:

photo 2-16

Frustrated, I decide to send the Valentine app to my boyfriend….

Boyfriend:

photo 4-3

Me:

photo 5-3

Boyfriend:

photo 2-21

Me:

photo 1-20

Boyfriend:

photo 2-20

Me:

photo 3-16

Boyfriend:

photo-70

Desserts backwards = Stressed.  Of course!  And look — this time playing Scramble was HIS idea. At least this confirms I’m with the right guy.

Hope your Valentine’s Day will be a little more on task than ours! And now excuse me while I eat my own words…

AND IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE HOW I ADVISE OTHERS TO HANDLE VALENTINE EXPECTATIONS AND PRESSURE JUST CLICK HERE!

How To Be “SUPER” Popular At a Super Bowl Sunday Party! (even if you don’t know football)

super-bowl-food-stadiums-stadiums-made-out-of-food-4

HOPE FOR THE IGNORED GUEST!  DON’T BE LEFT OUT ON THE SIDELINES!

1. Don’t make any kind of sandwich stadium, especially not as elaborate as this photo. There will never be enough kudos to compensate you for those tomatoes. Instead, make Guacamole. Just do this. Trust me. Even if you’re out of “Avocados From Mexico.” Use kiwis. These people won’t notice – – they’ll just keep dipping and dipping while hollering at that TV . . . The Big Dips. (Note: Underripe green bananas may also be substituted.)

2. Never say this – – “I don’t know why you folks don’t just record this stuff and watch it later so you can fast forward through all these silly commercials.” Never. Ever. (See #3 below)

3. Football fans are an exuberant bunch. And worse, they know their terminology. Before you attempt to chime in during an actual live play of the ball game, experiment with a silly commercial. Try the following options: A) Boo loudly at the creepy “PuppyMonkeybaby.” B) Shout, “Hold ’em! That’s the way!” to the crane lifting Jeff Goldblum up an apartment building as he sings The Jefferson’s theme song. (yes, seriously!) C) Throw a chip at the television in disgust and say, “Really? You’re eating Doritos at her ultrasound?”

4. Casually introduce conversation with, “So how about that Joe Namath?” If this doesn’t get the reaction you are looking for, tell them you were a cheerleader for your brother in Pop Warner leagues. Note: This will only be effective if you can produce a photo. Still nothing? Remind them you brought the guacamole.

5. Don’t ruin the halftime (that’s fancy for intermission) surprise by announcing in the first two quarters, “Women are from Venus, but men are from Mars….BRUNO MARS. Oh boy. Did you hear he’s joining Coldplay?” However, it’s perfectly okay to speak about the singer 75 cents or a $1.00 into the game. Just not during the first two quarters.

6. If you are tired, don’t be offensive and yawn. Play defensively! Simply look at the clock (lower right hand side of the television screen) and if it says (only!) 2 minutes and thirty seconds are left until the end, you will now have time to play an entire game of Monopoly.

7. Look around for other wives and girlfriends that have that “I’m so bored, I could throw-up” green pallor on their face. Look closely. This could just be the guacamole. Engage them in a fashion review of the game. Tell them you think shoulder pads and tight ankle pants are so 80’s. Or entertain them with something more thrilling … like reading War & Peace aloud. If all else fails, casually remark, “Hey, I know what!! Let’s go in the other room and compose a Match.com ad for ourselves.”

8. You will eventually need to choose a side and root for them. Lemme help you. If you liked the Peter Sellers’ movie series, I’d go with the (Pink) Panthers. If you drive a Ford pickup, then the Broncos are your men. Just don’t cheer for the team wearing the black and white vertical pinstripes — they usually just stand around botching coin tosses and tossing out colored flags.

9. Right about now, you’re probably ready to show off your knowledge and throw out some authentic, sporty vocabulary during the actual game. Wait until the room is in some sort of an uproar over a bad call, then holler, “A noose, a tree . . . let’s hang the referee!” It’s always safe to pick on a man that doesn’t weigh 285 lbs, who carries a whistle, and always speaks in pantomime.

10. If none of this is working for you, continue nodding and being polite, offering all the uptight, nervous pacing men (and other guests who come in late) your spot on the sofa. Do this until every seat in the house is taken and you have to sit on the toilet in the bathroom. Bring guacamole.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

PS.  If you’re still bored watching the game, (and you happen to be Jewish) you can read my monthly humor article  RIGHT HERE. This one is on keeping the Yiddish language alive.  Did you know it’s dying?

10 Thoughts Going Through My Head When You Kiss On The Lips

Kissing-Or-Hugging-For-Social-GreetingWe’re not talking about playing ‘Spin The Bottle’ here. First off, I’m not a huggy type of individual. Therefore those clumsy moments I experience when initially greeting people I haven’t seen in a while (or when I part ways after running into an old friend in the grocery store) rank right up there with the awkwardness of mistakenly walking into a public men’s bathroom.

That’s right, hugging is enough of a conundrum for me. But social kissing on the lips? Just no. And here’s exactly what I’m thinking . . .

  1. You’re a guy and you’re farewell kissing every female in sight at a dinner party whilst your wife stands around obtaining the recipe for Monterey Chicken (just slap some cheese and BBQ sauce on the bird!) from the hostess. I notice you don’t give the menfolk even a cheek peck (something to do with hen-pecked?) so clearly you’re capable of discriminating lip-locking appropriateness. Therefore I ask, “Is your wife happy with you, Sir? Is she really?”
  2. Is this whole thing gonna escalate? Like going to 1st, 2nd and 3rd base? I’m worried next time you’ll sidle up to me from behind, fondle my breasts and whisper “Guess Who?” in my ear.
  3. Was that a tad of tongue or are you just chewing pink bubblegum? Either way….ewwwww.
  4. You’re a woman and we’re just meeting for coffee. Go home and Google ‘People’s Personal Circle of Space.’ Or spin around with your arms outstretched. Get it now? That’s the boundary zone. Violators will be towed.
  5. What? You’re kissing your kids on the lips too?! I dunno. Seriously. I. Just. Don’t. Know. I suppose that’s your own business.
  6. Wait, no it’s not! You’re raising a whole new batch of gratuitous lip-smackers who will show up at future dinner parties, making elderly people like me uncomfortable.
  7. You’re an eligible bachelor so C’mon! I mean it — is this a Come-On?
  8. A man is kissing my husband (if I had one) hello at a Superbowl party. Is He Gay or European? Okay, that’s just my favorite song from the musical, Legally Blonde.
  9. Yes, I know — cultural differences make it okay. But let’s put it to a fair test, shall we? You’re not in your country and I’m not in mine. We’re on another planet. I betcha a bag of Hershey’s chocolate kisses that the handshake wins (hands down!) every time with the Martians.
  10. You may have gotten away with that stealth lip graze when you greeted me hello, (you future Family Feud gameshow host, you!) but rest assured I will sooo vanish when it’s time for goodbyes. Even if I have to duck into a public men’s bathroom.

 

 

 

The Death of The Garage Sale

Make-money-selling-clothes-onlineGoodbye to Rummage Sales and Farewell to Estate Auctions! The cellphone has killed them off! That’s right, of all the free Apps you can download, there is none more ingeniously convenient than the one that allows you to make an appointment to invite local strangers to your home, knock on your door and promptly hand you cash for your trash, err I mean your used items.

I got so excited when someone told me about these apps (with names like Close 5, Nearby, and Shop/Swap/Plop/Drop (okay, I made that last one up) that I downloaded ten different ones.

It didn’t take long to notice that the same adverbs were repeatedly used to describe all aspects of my neighborhood’s resale merchandise. Everything was “Gently” worn or “Lightly” used or “Gingerly” sat upon. Where were all the items that had the living crap beat out of them, like the junk I needed to get rid of from my basement? “Designer Heels Slightly Walked In!” Seriously? Nobody tiptoed gracefully around our home in their sneakers. No, they stomped and romped, scuffed and roughed until a pair of Keds had zero treads and was reduced to mere threads.

Even the garbage collector would turn their nose up at our offerings and Goodwill would remind me that the emphasis should be on the word, “Good.”

Nonetheless being a writer, I caught on quickly about how to profile my stuff so I could competitively advertise with the best of ’em. For instance – – My great Aunt Martha’s badly scratched chest (but she once had a nice set of bosoms) with six drawers (stuck in the “pulled out” position) and made of pinkish particle board instantly became:

“An artistically etched antique rosewood bureau (french words always add class!) containing a half dozen open display shelves to showcase your negligees!”

when I got through listing the ad. My cellphone buzzed with interest and a full price offer was promptly made.

I learned two words to include in all my little ads that are guaranteed to elevate anything old, outdated and ugly into something special.  “Vintage” and “Retro.” Why my own face, eyes, hands, complexion and butt can’t be described similarly is beyond me but regardless, I’m grateful for the inanimate object glorification these two terms provide so that I can get top dollar for my great Aunt Martha’s hand-me-downs.

I also take a tip from real marketers and list many of my items with exciting tag lines like, “Brought back by popular demand!” (this was written about my king-sized mattress) or “Buy this and get another one free!” (I use this with things that normally come in pairs, like gloves and bookends.) But my favorite tagline is, “Help me remove the excess Junk in my Trunk!”

Meeting the suckers  people in the flesh who were about to fork over their hard-earned cash for my old shlocky wedding gifts (forget that the ink on my marriage license has long dried up, hell our divorce decree is completely yellowed from 20 years of being framed and hung on a sunny wall) was a fascinating experience. We are talking highly motivated buyers here.

After going to the trouble of borrowing their friend’s large SUV vehicle, programming my address into their GPS, then standing awkwardly in my living room while my six kids watched hopefully, praying this purchase would put them firmly into Disneyland territory, (and knowing they could run into me again in our local grocery market) were these strangers really going to say, “On second thought. That’s the grossest thing that’s ever been born into the second-hand consignment market. I’ve changed my mind. Goodbye!”

No Siree, baby!  If these people bid on something online, you can consider it SOLD! (Too bad online dating doesn’t work that way.)

However imagine my surprise when last week, I read the description of a piece of furniture that I just knew I had to have. It was an “armoire!” It was teakwood! It had ample storage! It was a “Designer’s Delight!” So I raced over to the address with the money I had just obtained from selling my mattress burning a hole in my pocket, jogged up their driveway, pounded excitedly on their door — only to look past the expectant eyes of their darling children and see that it was my old great Aunt Martha’s cruddy chest, with a new coat of paint on it.

“Well, hope you have fun at Disneyland, kids!” I said and handed over a crisp $100 bill.

Tomorrow I’m putting an ad up in Craigslist.  It will be for a Garage Sale so I can properly palm this thing off onto somebody else the old-fashioned way.

 

 

 

 

10 Reasons People Won’t Leave You Voicemail!

  1. cell-phone-messageThey are convinced you’re not really as busy as your message claims and will just keep calling back as many times as it takes until you pick up. And you will, won’t you?
  2. You have a completely boring and unimaginative outgoing message. It mentions your name, gives the number they just dialed (even though they can plainly see it on their own cell-screen) and discusses the sound of the beep. Dullsville.
  3. They suspect you replay their messages at important board meetings, incessantly rewinding the part where they clear their throat, while your coworkers get hysterical.
  4. TEXTING. Nothing more needs to be said. Okay, here’s something more: Phones are no longer fun if you must use them for the original purpose they were invented for.
  5. They have low self-esteem and don’t think their voice is recording-worthy.
  6. It’s going to be a highly personal and private message, perhaps even sexual in nature, and they don’t want anyone else to accidentally overhear it. They don’t even want you, the person it’s intended for, to listen to it.
  7. It’s totally a misdialed, wrong number — but they can’t wait for the beep because they’re late for a date with another hot little number.
  8. They’re vindictive and take great pride in getting back at you for stating they should speak slowly and distinctly, spell their last name, and heaven forbid you requested they leave the date and time of their call.
  9. They presumed you would certainly pick up (at least for them!) and are caught off guard, unprepared to state the reason for the call, which truthfully is — there is no legitimate reason for the call. But now that you’ve rejected them by not answering live, they’re going to torture you with an “Unknown Number” that lingers in your caller ID log for weeks, along with a long, deadly silence. Take that!
  10. It’s an old lover from your distant past, calling every so often just to hear your recorded voice and reminisce in their mind’s eye about that night on the dance floor when you pretended you knew the words to The Macarena, (You do know the meaning of the English translation, right?) or whispered together in a glitzy discotheque, “Do The Hustle!” And then actually did it. Together. Wasn’t that a lovely, innocent time in your life? Why don’t you pick up your own cellphone and call this person back so the two of you can stroll down memory lane. And if you get their voicemail, you know what to do at the beep . . . hang up!

And here’s my little New Year’s gift to you so that you’ll get more people who WILL leave you communications in a recorded fashion. Simply Click  HERE and pick your favorite snippet to use as your new outgoing message.

images (9)

 

 

 

I Still Hate Hugging!

photo 4-5

This is okay. Crazy, but okay.

This is an encore presentation of last year’s blog in honor of our (obviously still going strong!) wretched holiday on January, 21st.

I’ve stayed indoors all of today. It was National Hugging Day!  Are we serious here?  I also despise St. Patrick’s Day because it’s the one other holiday that encourages public touching. From the moment I step out of bed, I use a green toothbrush and dress like an asparagus from head to toe so there will be no mistake. I’m literally a live Female Leprechaun standing before you, folks.  I was never one of those sly minimalists who tried to trick people into pinching me so I could say, “Aha! Betcha didn’t know I have green-trimmed socks!”

But National Hug Day has taken things too far. Ask people who know me. I have been against the concept of embracing for a long time. It’s not just in public that I abhor it, and not just with complete strangers.  Although you should see my reaction as I walk down the street in a college town and some sucker student stands on the sidewalk with his sign, “Free Hugs.”  (I used to think this was a fraternity dare, but now I think it’s how they penalize pupils who have low GPA’s)

photo 2-19

This is also okay in my book.

But intimate relationship hugging is not for me either. First of all, that “Circle of Personal Space” (that none of us want to have invaded) stays up 24/7 for me.  It doesn’t take a break. There’s never a sign around my torso stating, “Personal Circle out to lunch, back in an hour.” C’mon friends, if you approach me with open arms and observe a sideways ducking maneuver, I haven’t just walked into a spider web, I do NOT want your limbs thrown around me.  A hug is just a strangle that hasn’t completed itself yet.

The thing I fear most is that some politician will decide if “National Hugging Day” is good, having a “National Cuddle Day” will be even better. Hugging, you can at least hold your breath and count to three and it’s usually over.  Cuddling is absolutely just the PITTS  (Prolonged Intimate Touching Torture System) in my opinion. Tell me you enjoy falling asleep with your mate’s hot breath on your neck? And those little involuntary twitchings and jerkings, just as you’ve crossed “leg waxing” off your mental to-do list for tomorrow and are finally slipping into those theta brain waves? And their inhales/exhales. You always gotta try and synchronize yours to theirs and when you finally match up perfectly, they’ll hold their breath and sputter.  No thanks.photo 1-20

On one of the many websites you can google today, to find more info about this holiday, (though why would you want to?) I found 10 reasons why today is supposedly good for us.  I’ve allowed myself commentary in BOLD font below.

Little Miss Menopause’s Input on “Their” Justification on Why National Hugging Day Came Into Existence

1)    Hugs make us feel “happy”! When we hug another person, our bodies release oxytocin, a hormone associated with “happiness,” according to scientific studies.  This is also released during breastfeeding and orgasm, but do we have National Days for that?

2)    Hugs alleviate stress! Just as a good hug increases our oxytocin levels, it decreases our cortisol or “stress” levels. How is stress alleviated when all you can think about is “Can they feel my stomach protruding?  Will their perfume/cologne set off my allergies?  And WHAT is that in his pocket??”

3)    Babies need hugs as much as water and food! According to researchers at Harvard University, hugs help promote normal levels of cortisol necessary for child development. Agreed.  I vote to change it to “National Hug an Infant Day.”

4)    Hugs make us better students! Students who receive a supportive touch from a teacher are twice as likely to volunteer in class.  And are ten times as likely to have a father who will see the school district in court.  And what exactly will the students volunteer to do?  Go first in dissecting a frog so that they can put their recent hugging trauma in perspective?

5)    Hugs improve our game! Scientists at University of California, Berkley discovered that the more affectionate members of a team are with each other, the more likely they are to win. Please stick to ass slapping.

6)    A hug a day keeps the doctor away! A hug stimulates the thymus gland, which in turn regulates the production of white blood cells that keep us healthy and disease-free.  And apples were removed from the prescribed “One-a-day” list because?  Don’t tell me hugs have fiber now.

7)    “A hug stops the bug!” Researchers at Carnegie Mellon proved that individuals who were sick and received hugs had less severe symptoms and were able to get better quicker. C’mon. That’s just absurd.  They simply couldn’t find anything else to rhyme with hug. (But I can – – “Give me a smug shrug instead of a hug, ya big lug!”)  Everyone knows there’s no better way to spread germs than bodily contact.

8)    A hugging heart is a healthy heart! Research from University of North Carolina showed that a good hug helps ease blood flow and lower cortisol levels, which in turn help lower our heart rates.  See? Still needing to resort to making up medical facts to defend this day.  If this is indeed true, why don’t surgeons have a couple of hearts snuggle up together in an incubator prior to transplanting one into their patient during “Open Hug Surgery?”

9)    A hugging couple is a happy couple! Couples that experience their partners’ love through physical affection share higher oxytocin levels.  Again with the oxytocin bit. Does this Stepford Wife below look happy?  Look closely.photo 1-19

10)    Hugs let someone know you care without having to say a word! So does a well-written Hallmark card.According to Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley, we can identify love from simple human touch. Well I’d like to suggest they study how much love a big VIRTUAL hug can communicate!

Am I alone in feeling that hugs should be reserved for your worst enemies so you can measure how large to dig the holes in your backyard that you’re gonna bury them in?  Who did you allow to hug you today??

How Being Obsessive (and taking acting lessons!) Ruins Sex Roleplaying!

role-playing“A French Maid? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. And clean your own damn apartment with that fru-fru feather thingy!” I said, slamming the door. That was my response to my college boyfriend’s suggestion on how we should spice-up our sex life.

Why did he need me to pretend to be someone else? How insulting! Truth be known, if you were shy like me, fantasy role-playing felt super awkward. Fast forward to a time I got involved in community theater and suddenly I saw “risqué make-believe” in a whole new light. The stage-light, that is. Oscar winning performance, here I come!

The following are highlights from some of the meatier roles I’ve sunk my teeth into over the years. (Note: I mostly had the same male co-star.)

Lonely Housewife and Repairman (okay, nothing was actually broken and The Maytag Man seemed too predictable, so I suggested he be a chimney sweep instead.) As he surveyed my filthy fireplace with his poised broom, I sashayed in wearing a negligee, holding graham crackers and a wire coat hanger with a white cottonball on the end (my marshmallow-roasting prop). “Would you like S’more?” I asked, fluttering my false eyelashes. He stammered, “Some more? I haven’t even had any,” then abruptly lunged for my breasts. “Cut!!” I yelled. “Just a minute, Buster. You forgot to say ‘Yet.’ Your line should be, I haven’t had any YET.” I angrily tossed a handful of black soot into his surprised face while humming, “Chim Chim Cher-Ee” from Mary Poppins and exited stage left.

Hitchhiker On The Road: (The street we chose was very realistic, although I got a lot of gawking from other motorists (I should probably mention that unbeknownst to boyfriend, I had decided to roleplay a Hooker-Hitchhiker.) I giggled when I saw the limousine slow down, wishing I were a fly on the wall when my guy directed the unsuspecting chauffeur to pull over. “What’s your name?” my boyfriend’s eyes widened with surprise at my black lace stockings, as he asked the question we’d rehearsed. “What do you want it to be?” I breathed huskily, sliding in next to him in the backseat. “I appreciate this whole seduction thing you got going on here, but let me give you a tip. I’m a sure thing,” I loudly continued. The limo-driver stared at me in the rear-view mirror. For extra measure I added, “In case I forget to tell you later, I had a really good time tonight.” Driver’s jaw dropped, finally recognizing I’ve been quoting Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman. But slow Boyfriend still clueless so at the red light I directed my next line toward the front seat. “I was in here yesterday. You wouldn’t wait on me. You people work on commission, right?” Driver nodded. “Mistake. Big mistake. Huge mistake. I have to go shopping now!” I flounced out of the vehicle, leaving both men staring after me flabbergasted.

High School English Professor:  Crossing my 45-year-old legs while perched atop my desk, I observed him excitedly eyeing my short skirt as it rose up my shapely thighs. Perfect! And now for his assignment. Conjugate the words “fellatio” and “cunnilingus” into verbs for all 6 tenses, including singular past perfect in both the active and passive voices, then write me a 65-page essay on why oral sex was banned in the middle ages. Cranky without my morning coffee, I promptly headed to the teacher’s lounge, (my kitchen) leaving him to ponder how such a wild sexual fantasy could turn out so grueling and possibly lower his GPA.

Innocent School Girl: Aha! Same boyfriend (as above) thought he could outsmart me into having sex, this time turning the tables with a role-play reversal that put him in charge as the teacher. But when he leered at me I let out a piercing scream, kicked him in the groin with my little white patent-leather Mary Janes, and proceeded to report him to Child Protective Services (and the PTA) using my cellphone.

Sexy Nurse in All White: While I fastened my satin garter belts, my  very male “patient” sauntered in and started inadvertently sneezing, which wasn’t in our script. Pulling out a thermometer, I lectured, “Sorry, but I’m in my best friend’s wedding this weekend and can’t risk getting sick. I’m not touching any part of you until you get a flu shot, buddy. Understand?”

Porn Star: He finally got wise, appointing himself Executive Producer in this next roleplay so he could unleash my wannabe acting skills on a real “casting couch.” At my audition, he gave me a lengthy screen test, had me pose for racy photos, then directed me to read my lines extra seductively. But just as I was actually getting turned on, contemplating if my Adult Film Star name should be “Anita Diamond” or “Candy Barr,” he hollered, “Quiet on the set!” That was my cue to inquire if I had gotten the part?  “Don’t call us. We’ll call you,” he responded. Next thing I knew, a gorgeous, busty blonde bombshell strolled in, just as a giant metal hook yanked me offstage. Obviously my boyfriend had enough of my role-playing shenanigans and called in my understudy. Hmmmph. Lights, Camera, but no action.

Are you ready for your close-up? Do you think role-playing is sexy or just silly?

 

 

This Blog Hijacked By Truth-Tellers!

08DISRUPTIOINS-master67517-Year-Old: “Is Truth-Tellers even a word?  Maybe she won’t approve of our using this post title?”

Oh, just get over it!  Who really cares what our mom thinks?  The whole point is we’re sick of being her blogging subject matter and we’re not gonna take it anymore.  So while “Little Miss Menopause” (Geez, I can’t stand that name! It’s a good thing she didn’t start blogging when she was 13, she’d be known as “Little Miss Menstruation!”) takes a writing break (we’ll reveal what she’s really up to, lollygagging around) we took this chance to sneak into her log-in and tell it like it really is. Anyhow, that’s what she gets for making her password be all our birth-weights.

12-Year-Old: Really? We’re gonna tell people everything. Even THAT stuff?

17-Year-Old: Nah, we won’t disclose that. We’ll let her boyfriend spill about how she looks in bowling shoes.

14-Year-Old: I’m digging this whole revenge thing. Remember when she fabricated our entire Disneyland trip and then The Huffington Post went and published it?  Like she’d actually ever go on any ride faster than an escalator. Ha!  Serves her right for passing off fiction as our family outing. And I’m also doing this to get her back for that time I had lice!

17-Year-Old: Ewww, don’t blame our mom for your own bad hygiene!

14-Year-Old: She didn’t have to write about it.

Quit your arguing. As the firstborn, I’ve given our crime a lot of thought. We need to get in, get out, and get back to not doing our household chores so she won’t be suspicious. That’s precisely why I think writing a list is our most efficient way.

6-Year-Old: Yeah, Mom loves list posts!

Get it through your head — we do not care what Mom likes. This is OUR retribution.

10 Strange Things You’d Never Guess About Little Miss Menopause (ok, maybe you would!)

 

  1. Her hair doesn’t always have that big, wild, 80’s windblown look. When she rides in a convertible with the top town, it finally looks normal.
  2. She always runs the faucet full blast, coughs loudly, or stamps her feet so nobody can hear her using the bathroom.
  3. She’s convinced there’s someone around who is intent on listening to her peeing.
  4. She marks a line on the ice-cream carton, trying to catch our babysitter in the act.
  5. She’s actually the one who binge eats the Rocky Road.
  6. She has a temper and once threw her perfume against the wall, which broke the glass and splattered/spattered Chanel No. 5 all over our furniture. When she goes out fancy, she has to roll around on our couch to smell nice.
  7. She’s obsessed with the differences between the words “splattered” and “spattered.”
  8. Before she writes an actual blog post, she scribbles notes on her checkbook cover, doodles on a tissue box, and writes nonsensical things on the family calendar. Later, when she can’t read her own writing, she’ll walk around the house asking us, “Can you make out what it says on this old napkin?”
  9. She’ll flirt with magicians so they’ll divulge their secrets because she can’t stand not knowing something.
  10. Her idea of flirting is just plain odd because she tries to wink one eye but instead it just looks like. . .

Boyfriend:  Hey, it worked on me. And what are you kids doing on your mother’s computer anyhow?

17-Year-Old: She hardly writes anymore, so we’re hijacking her blog and setting her readers straight.

Boyfriend: But your mom’ll be absolutely furious!

6-Year-Old: Yay!  She’ll throw her perfume bottle again!

Boyfriend: Can I have a turn? I’d love to conspire with you six kids against your mother so maybe you all will finally accept me! I’ll do “Two Truths & A Lie.”  Your mother loves that game.

For the last time, we DO NOT CARE what our mom thinks! Go crazy, man.

Two Truths & A Lie

  • When we eat out in restaurants, Stephanie always asks for everything to be served “on the side,” so now they bring out her order in a Bento Box. Even when it’s pizza.
  • Stephanie parades naked around her home unabashedly 24/7 but always keeps her hands tightly hidden inside thick gloves. God, I’d give anything to get a glimpse of those fingernails of hers.
  • Stephanie loves to pretend someone else is writing her blog when it’s actually just really her. She gets the biggest thrill thinking she can pull one over on her readers. In fact, she doesn’t even have a 6-year-old kid.

6-Year-Old: Hurry up and log out now!  I think Mom’s coming in here. I don’t hear her stupid Days of Our Lives soap opera blaring on the television anymore!

That’s not her soap opera, silly! She’s reading her writing aloud again, doing different voices for each character because some movie script guru told her to do that when she went to her “How to Write a Screenplay” conference.

Boyfriend: Is that where she really was?  She told me you guys were at Disneyland and one of you had lice and . . . That does it!  I’m through with all this nonsense. I’m posting a picture of how she looks in bowling shoes.  In fact of all of you scoundrels.  I just don’t care anymore. Such a game-playing family I got mixed up with….

FullSizeRender (19)

Ex-Husband: Hello! I’m actually the one writing this whole thing. And believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Do you like it? Maybe I’ll come back again tomorrow because The real Little Miss Menopause is trying to earn some money writing stuff like this OVER HERE.

 

 

 

 

That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles

cookieThe idea of a holiday cookie exchange conjures up “Fun, Frolicking, Festiveness, and Frivolity” but there’s another reason I will forever call the events I planned the “F-word Cookie Exchange.” I think it will become abundantly clear when I tell you the two groups with which I attempted to organize these recent nightmares. My Writer’s Round Table and my Group Therapy.

Let’s listen in, shall we?

Writer’s Round Table Cookie Exchange

Me:  I know! Next time we meet, let’s each bring a plate of cookies for one of those fun trades, ok?

Member 1: Great, I’ll pick up a variety pack at Costco.

Member 2: Uh…you have to bake to be in a cookie exchange.

Member 1: Really?  That’s funny. You don’t write, yet you’re in our Round Table.

Me: C’mon folks, be nice. This is supposed to be just for fun.

Member 3: Why should I put major time and effort creating War & Peace cookies if someone else just brings Fifty Shades of Grey cookies.

Me: (Trying not to picture a Lady Finger handcuffed to the bedpost) I guess that’s true.  If we wanted store bought cookies, we could just head to the market.

Member 1: I prefer to spend my time using a pen, not a pin.

Me:  A pin?

Member 1: A rolling pin.

Member 3: You could always pick up those pre-made slice n’ bakes and just plop them onto cookies sheets.

Member 1: That’s cheating. And I feel that the Pillsbury Dough Boy is not a fully fleshed out character. What’s his true motivation for squealing when someone pokes him in the tummy? And shouldn’t he have an antagonist?

Me: Okay, seriously???

Member 4: Did you know that Ernest Hemingway adored his mother’s Toll House cookies so much it inspired his book title, “For Whom The Bell TOLLS?”

Me: I didn’t know that. You smart cookie, you!

Member 4: Nah, that’s pure fiction — I just made it up. Pretty good, eh? Don’t steal that. Speaking of, I call dibs on Oreos. Nobody else better plagiarize.

Member 2: You can’t copyright a sandwich cookie.

Me:  You know what?  Let’s forget this whole thing and stick with writing. A cookie exchange was a half-baked idea.

Member 1: Yeah, and you get those by the (baker’s) dozen.

Group Therapy Cookie Exchange

Me: We’ve all become so close and understanding of one another’s issues. What do you say we have a festive cookie exchange next time we meet? Everyone brings a platter with 3.5 dozen, ok?

Mr. OCD: I really can’t think about odd numbers.  Can we round up to 4 dozen? I would feel so much safer if things were even numbers.

Ms. Germaphobe: Can we make a pact that everyone wears gloves while we bake?

Mrs. Agoraphobic: I will only be able to attend if the cookies are distributed in my own home.

Miss Panic Attack: I’m starting to feel quite anxious that I might burn them all.

Mr. OCD: Just check the oven every 30 seconds, like I do.

Miss Chronic Depression: It’s really hard to get motivated for something this heavy. I’ll probably just spend the day sleeping. Although I once tried a cookie recipe called, “Pumpkin, Peanut, Prozac, Percocet Surprise Bites.”

Mr. Low Self-Esteem: My cookies will get pushed to the lonely back row and they’ll all still be there after our meeting. I just know it.

Ms. Borderline Personality: OMG, people! This isn’t all about you. It’s not even about cookies. I’ll confess that I’m sexually drawn to Bakers and Cooks in general and this entire conversation triggers my abandonment issues from the time the Head Chef for Marriott left me alone in Ikea housewares.

Mrs. Binge Eating Disorder:  I would like to graciously offer to bake on behalf of everyone else. I have each and every ingredient to make 103 different batches.

Mr. OCD: Can you round down to 102 batches? I would feel so much safer if . .

Therapist: I’m sorry, but that’s all the time we have for our session today. Good work everyone. Next week we’ll discuss favorite childhood cookie brands. Be prepared to feel a bit unsettled if Chips Ahoy comes up–but I’ll be right here with you the entire time and we’ll walk through it together.

 

 

 

 

12 Potluck Party Personalities! Which One Are You?

potluckThe holidays have officially descended upon us and with this time of year harkens the arrival of the Potluck Party. Whether it be held at the office, school, church, or a relative/friend’s private residence, you’ll likely encounter some variation of the following personas:

  1. Potluck Prepper: Always bringing something to the gathering that requires a ton of preparation time. Proceeds to annoy the busy host in her own kitchen by opening the refrigerator and commenting “sheesh, how do you function in here?” and then thinks nothing of barricading an entire counter with the layout of different toppings as she assembles her ugly lettuce wraps.
  2. Potluck Planters Peanut-er: We get it – – you work, have kids, didn’t sleep, were sick all week, and in general “your time is ultra-valuable” so the can of Planter’s peanuts is your fall-back. But people with nut allergies are not digging it. Switch to beef jerky.
  3. Potluck Patenter: Owns the original copyright, trademark and patent for spinach dip! And thusly, in the name of all holy condiments, will wage a strategic war of subterfuge if you dare bring the same dish as her. Will either: a) rearrange platters so your contribution is in the back row. b) start a rumor that you used expired sour cream. c) offer guests $1 incentive for each bite they ingest of her concoction, $2 per obnoxious lip smack and $5 to the person who loudly declares her The Royal Dip Queen.
  4. Potluck Preliminary Packager: Very worried that she won’t get to bring any of her grub back home at the end of the evening so will prematurely wrap up several servings under the guise that it’s So & So’s favorite thing in the entire world, but they couldn’t come tonight. Let’s call up So & So and just see about that, shall we? The jig is up- – this doggy-bag is actually FOR YOU!
  5. Potluck Plastic-er: Cannot be bothered to transfer the contents out of the carton that it originally came in.
  6. Potluck Pricetagger: Eager to show off what she spent on her gourmet donation. Sometimes unintentionally left on and it’s so mortifying for them to know that there’s a tell-tale red-tag clearance item, they’ll douse it with sauce or frosting.
  7. Potluck Pasta PickerOuter: Brings a spaghetti dish but realizes that there’s inadvertently mushrooms in the sauce! Stands over her contribution for twenty minutes, sifting out every last ghastly fungus, never thinking that other guests might love those disgusting, rubbery toadstools.**
  8. Potluck Prider: Makes a dramatic entrance coming in late and then a huge production setting down her entrée, often simulating a drum-roll and exclaiming, “At long last, the mac n’ cheese has arrived!”
  9. Potluck Puny Portioner: This personality grew up with food rations and even though they knew full well that the host was expecting 40 guests, brings a cheesecake that serves six. Throughout the evening, they are constantly emphasizing how RICH the dessert is, thus justifying their paper thin slices.
  10. Potluck Panic-er: This person lets the whole invitational food farce upset them so much (what can they possibly bring?  OMG!) that days before the event they cancel with a mother-in-law excuse. The mother-in-law passed away three years ago.
  11. Potluck Paprika-er: Has a philosophy that everything looks better with orangish/rust colored sprinkles on top. Will paprika anything from egg-salad to birthday cake.
  12. Potluck Pedestal Presentation-er: Highly skilled in the art of display. Owns the fanciest crystal bowls and sterling-silver footed cake plates. Has a strong believe that the appetite begins in the eyes, which is rooted in the fact that one of his parents was an ophthalmology chef.
  13. Potluck Putrid Prankster: Stays up nights thinking of the dish they can bring that will emit the foulest odor. It will contain limburger cheese.
  14. Potluck Punctuality Person (NOT!): Swears they will be on time but inevitably signs up for an appetizer and then arrives when desserts are served.
  15. Potluck Papergooder:  No matter how many varied food group choices are on the list to sign up for, this person consistently gravitates to either plates, cups or utensils. They simply feel they cannot be trusted with real food.
  16. Potluck Peter Piper Pickled Pepper: “Tongue-Twister” is their name and “burn your mouth off with HOT n’ SPICY” is their game!

4 Types of Potluck Party Planners!

(The hosts themselves can often be categorized!)

  1. Potluck Prayer:  A host that secretly does not want to return dishes and vessels to the guests who brought them and is actually praying that taking them into the kitchen under the guise of “washing them out” will lead to “out of sight, out of mind” and thus increase and strengthen their personal Tupperware arsenal.
  2. Potluck Pretender: Offers to hold a potluck under the guise that it’s laid back and easy. “Bring whatever you want, everything goes,” is their mantra at first.  This should be a red flag that the day before their affair, you’ll get a call where they insist in an ominous tone that five people are bringing brownies and if you do not bring something with protein in it, (preferably steak) you’ll be arrested by the Carb police.
  3. Potluck Piler:  The host who holds back an entire dish for his or her own use because it’s their favorite and they don’t know how to cook it themselves.  These people cannot help themselves.  They spy an incoming “cheese soufflé” and immediately think “I could bring this to Jody’s party this Sunday!” You can easily recognize them because they have bruises on their foreheads from where they slap themselves while loudly uttering, “Would you look at that!  I completely forgot to put out your Velveeta thingy.  But never fear, it shan’t go to waste around here.”
  4. Potluck Passive(aggressive-er):  Starts out choosing a seemingly innocent theme. Either It’s a Small World, Breakfast For Dinner or Finger Foods. As an example of their subversive, covert demeanor, let’s say you bring soup to this last theme above — They will reassure you that all is well, and that they adore chicken broth, then suddenly blurt out, “Well I guess now we all NEED spoons, don’t we?” followed by a loud clattering in the kitchen.

** If you couldn’t tell, the author is #7.

UPDATE!  Here’s a direct link to the following!  Scroll down and please vote for team Hickson!  Right HERE!   NEWS!  I have been participating in a special collaborator phase of an exciting contest called “A Star is Born” (produced by The Neighborhood’s Kendall F. Person) when I was truly honored to be asked to team up with the one and only hilariously funny man, Ned Hickson. The voting will take place in less than 24 hours (!) Sunday, Dec. 6th at 7 pm so just click HERE to support Team Hickson in our humorous antics because updates will be posted frequently and a link to vote will magically appear at 7 pm! 

21 Types of People You Meet at Thanksgiving Buffets

thanksgiving-buffet

What is it about standing in line for food that brings out the DMV in people?  This holiday season, whether you’re (smart and) eating out at a restaurant, serving the hearty meal in your own home, or partaking in the holiday at someone else’s house, chances are (unless the formal dining room is as large as the scene in a Norman Rockwell painting) people will likely be getting up from the main table to obtain food from what we call a “Buffet”

We do know this is pronounced Buffay, correct?  It’s not spoken like a line from a famous nursery rhyme.  “Little Miss Muffet sat on a Tuffet to eat at a Buffet!”  Right?

Now that we’ve cleared up the French influence on our language, you’re in luck.  Little Miss Menopause has some tips and rules to offer about Buffets, along with giving her thanks for your readership and putting up with an encore post today while she cooks for her sister-in-law’s buffet.

But first a little lesson on the types of individuals you are likely to encounter at a Buffet:

  1. A Buffeter Surveyer – – These are people who have read “helpful” articles with tips about losing weight during Thanksgiving and have come to view the offerings in their entirety prior to making their careful selections. They have been promised that if they have a calm, relaxed demeanor and a predetermined game plan approaching the Buffet, they will not gain five pounds. Most of these people will methodically walk the length of the buffet before diving in head first.  It’s best to back up and give them a running start.  Note:  If you’ve read the same articles, it’s far too late to remind them that using a salad size plate instead of entree size can fool the eye and trick the stomach.
  2. A Buffeter Overstayer – – They think of the buffet as their home base. They will continuously loiter, integrating all kinds of tasks into the buffet. Talking, eating, wiping, consulting, organizing, refilling, and generally becoming a permanent fixture at a buffet. They are not compatible with the next type…
  3. A Buffeter Get-out-of-my-Wayer! – – He means business.  Napkin tucked, first in line, and making appreciative sounds that make you wonder if a nearby barnyard has taken attendance recently.
  4. A Buffeter Prayer Sayer – – A religious woman who’s extremely graceful.  Literally.  She makes sure Grace has been said in all languages, in all cultures, as she prays for starving people everywhere. Very thoughtful too – – if there are leftovers she will pack a doggy-bag for God.
  5. A Buffeter Cabareter – – Usually a former preschool teacher who know lots of holiday songs and won’t hesitate to coerce people in line to join in with “Ten Little Indians” or “Pumpkin Pie in the Sky!” And you better at least lip synch when she divides you up into sections for her round of  “Gobble, Bobble, Wobble” or she’ll belt it all out on her own.
  6. A Buffeter Delayer – – You know they want food, they know they want food, but they will stay seated until the last person gets up, not wanting to appear overeager.  Then they will gossip until next year about how you didn’t prepare enough grub.
  7. A Buffeter Weigher – – Such a killjoy.  They recite calorie counts for everything and whip out their little kitchen scales to do an official cranberry calibration.
  8. A Buffeter Layerer – – This person is obsessed with rearranging the sumptuous spread and digging through layers of turkey or yams looking for who knows what.  Tongs are their favorite tool of choice but they can function just as well with a spatula too.
  9. A Buffeter Sprayer – – It would be less offensive if this person was merely having an allergy attack. But that’s usually not the case. Need I say more? I needn’t.
  10. A Buffeter Okayer – -You’ll not meet a more pleasant, jovial person in the line today. The answers to the following questions will always be “Okay!” 1. Can I go in front of you?  2. How’ve you been since last Thanksgiving?  3. Do you think I should goose cousin Cindy as she takes some goose?
  11. A Buffeter Trayer – – They frequent cruise ships and Las Vegas so they are professionals and bring their own tray.  It looks suspiciously like the one at Soup Plantation.  But it helps them with efficiency because balancing full plates is really not their thing.
  12. A Buffeter Bouqueter – – These are gardening people and if the hostess has thoughtfully decorated with floral centerpieces, that’s all they will talk about.  You’d think they would prefer Roasted Red Roses or Fried Fuschia Freesia to light or dark turkey parts.
  13. A Buffeter Betrayer – – Intimately acquainted with the hostess, they won’t hesitate to tell all they know. “That salad she claims is organic?  Nope.  And it’s a Costco pumpkin pie this year even if she’s claiming homemade.  Skip the sweet potatoes, she doesn’t wash the skins.” Etc.
  14. A Buffeter Clichér  – – Like the turkey, this guy’s vocabulary is stuffed full of stupid puns and double entendres. While staring at the carved bird, he’s bound to remark, “Looks scary….it’s a Goblin!” Or “I’m suddenly in a Fowl mood!”  Tell him you gave up laughing at stupid jokes ‘Cold Turkey’ and move along.
  15. A Buffeter Halfwayer – – They nearly get to the end of the food display when they realize they forgot to grab a ladle full of salad dressing some twelve platters ago. Now they’re gonna stand frozen and flummoxed in line, wondering how they can politely go backwards.  Say this: “Grandma, want me to get you some Ranch?” Problem solved.
  16. A Buffeter FoulPlayer – – If it’s accidental, it can be forgiven – –  but younger buffet-goers will drop a cherry tomato into the gravy to see if it floats or sinks.  That’s just the beginning of the havoc they can wreak and I hesitate to offer more examples lest I give them other ideas.
  17. A Buffeter OyVeyer – – Being Jewish, I’ve met more than my share. Starts with, “Oy Vey, my doctor says my triglycerides are sky high lately.”  Ask them what a triglyceride is and they’ll just sigh deeply and say, “Oy Vey, I really shouldn’t be eating that.” or worse, “Oy Vey, should YOU really be eating that??”
  18. A Buffeter Résumér – – Ambitious souls! They might even hand you a written resumé as proof to what they contributed to this feast. It will contain bullet points. “Experienced giblet gravy maker. Team player who brings innovative and fresh ingredients to the workplace.”
  19. A Buffeter Essayer – – Someone who goes around observing and interviewing people in line at buffets in the hopes of writing a funny blog post because she has nothing better to put out on Thanksgiving. The nerve.
  20. A Warren Buffett Buffeter — You’ll lose your appetite because he’s going to talk about the economy. From Soup Overspending to Nut Capitalists.
  21. A Jimmy Buffetter Buffeter — Related to the Buffeter Cabareter (above) but you’ll truly be impressed with how much of the “Wasting Away in Margaritaville” lyrics they actually know. “Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt. Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame, but I know, it’s my own damn fault. . . ” is only the beginning!

That blonde in the lower left is about to get her fingers slammed in the chafing dish lid. Not just chaffed, SLAMMED!

(The blonde in the lower left above is about to get chaffed by that chafing dish!)

And now for some quick rules.  Just a few though, because everyone knows the rule is “there’s no rules on Thanksgiving!”

Don’t Go Astray And Disobey the Array of the Display at the Buffet!   (The 10 Commandments)

1.  Thou Shalt Not Cut The Line – – I know, I know….you just want seconds on the lamb.  But isn’t that a different holiday food anyhow?

2.  Thou Shalt Not Switch Direction: Buffets go in one direction only. Don’t start making your way through the line from the opposite direction. A big hint — you will find yourself carrying food in your hands because the plates are on the other side.

3. Thou Shalt Watch Thy Children: Always escort young children, say 10 or younger, to the buffet. And give them second helpings of the creamed acorn squash in the hopes that one of the ingredients is Valium or Xanax.

4. Thou Shalt Keep Thy Fingers to Thyself: Kids aren’t the only offenders here. Adults are just as likely to get excited and grab something quickly because nobody is looking.  I see you.  I always see you.

5. Thou Shalt Not Move Tongs: Never, ever move the tongs from one platter or hot food station to another. What if the person behind you has allergies to shrimp and you’ve just moved the tongs from a shrimp dish to a turkey dish? What if that person is kosher or vegetarian?  Ever think of that you “Tong Trader” you?  Need a gentle reminder?  Hum the “It’s just Wrong to move a Tong” song.  Don’t know that one?  Make friends with the preschool teacher who sings in buffet lines mentioned above.

6. Thou Shalt Not Eat in Line:  It’s amazing how many people you run into who are suddenly extremely diabetic or hypoglycemic and must have their food right NOW at a buffet.

7. Thou Shalt Not Take More Than Thou Can Eat: Buffet dining, by its very nature, is gluttonous, but that doesn’t mean you have to be! “If you’re a glutton with the mutton, you’ll need to move your shirt button! La, la, la, la!”  Okay, so I dine with a certain preschool teacher quite often!  Similarly, don’t take the last baked potato because it’s rude to leave the people behind you with an empty serving tray.  If you do, stealthily stick up a little sign that says, “Kilroy was here” so they can at least laugh at their ill-fortune.

8. Thou Shalt Use a New Plate Each Time: If you go back for seconds, leave your original plate at the table and get a fresh one each time.  Why this is, I’ll never know . . .  but I get admonished for it all the time.  (Perhaps a hygiene specialist can elaborate on how this could cause cross-contamination in the comment section?)

9. Thou Shalt Wash Thy Hands: Sticking with the cleanliness theme, always wash your hands before getting in the buffet line. You might not be touching the food directly, but you will be handling the serving utensils.  And I actually GET this one, so no explaining in the comments section will be necessary,  you Germaphobes.)

10. Thou Shalt Not Make a Doggie Bag: Don’t even think to ask.  There are no doggie bags at buffets, NO exceptions. A napkin squirreled quickly away inside your purse will always suffice. Men without handbags are outa luck and will need to be super nice to their wives for leftovers back home.

Arranging a buffet? Why that’s just child’s play!!

It was not beyond me to do this at a Buffet.  Yes, food was served inside wagons, dump-trucks, watering cans, pails and eaten with shovels.  Rest easy, it was for a kid's party!

 

Look! It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane…

airlinesFrom now until January 2nd marks the period with the greatest amount of air travel. I absolutely detest flying but instead of grumbling, I’ve used my time in the sky to categorize the following types of airline passengers.  Do you know any of them?

The Air Preparer:  He’s the MacGyver at 40,000 miles. Need a bandage, cough syrup, earplugs or screwdriver?  He’s your man.

The Air Armchairer:  She makes a beeline to her seat so she can beat you out. Giving you an evil glare as you stagger innocently down the aisle, you notice her elbows hogging both armrests. Do you dare claim what’s rightfully yours?

The Air Barer:  Is this a 747 or a hot yoga class?  She’s so scantily dressed, her mother would make her put on a trench coat.  Oh wait, that might be even more provocative!

The Air Scarer:  This person makes your peanuts and pretzel packages stand on end with their tales of terror.  On another flight they were recently on, the pilot had to release all the luggage to lighten the load. Still a different flight they had to drop all their fuel and ultimately all the passengers as well. Gasp. But the most horrific flight of all was when they ran out of diet coke.

The Air Prayer:  This individual should never sit next to an Air Scarer. You can recognize one of these quite easily because their lips move silently in a constant state of prayer as they clutch their rosary beads until the plane touches back on ground.

The Air Affairer:  The longing, seductive looks they give one another from business class to coach is their mark of distinction.  They don’t dare sit in the same section lest someone knows them. Watch for synchronized bathroom trips. (Being crowned King/Queen of the Mile High Club would be their ultimate frequent flier reward)

The Air Solitairer:  Yes, this guy flies all by his lonesome self.  But that deck of cards is in continuous motion. Look! That red Jack can go on the black Queen!

The Air Marryer:  No sooner does the pilot point out Mt. St. Helens when he directs your attention to a passenger seated over the wing who is now going down on bended knee.  Will she say yes?  Maybe he couldn’t do this on the ground because he’s counting on the diamond looking bigger under the little cabin book light?

The Air DayCarer: She has not just one, not just two, but three kids and she’s brought enough provisions to put a preschool to shame. Hey! Will she share a handful of cheerios and that etch-a-sketch with your own cranky child?  No she will not, stupid – – next time, fly more prepared.

The Air Pairer:  These two are lifelong friends going on a gal-pal weekend and they love to chit-chat with you seated in between them.  Why didn’t they book seats right next to one another??  Because one needs a window and one needs an aisle and talking over you is a stimulating challenge. Just read your book and shut up, mkay?

The Air Error:  This guy flies planes for a hobby and he’s gonna run down the list of all the mistakes they’re making. Think you can do it better?  Get in that cockpit and take contol!

The Air Swearer: Salty vocabulary is an understatement and if he’s seated next to The Air DayCarer, he better watch his language — she’s gonna have her kids paste his mouth shut with their gluesticks during arts n’ crafts hour.

The Air Comparer: “Jet Blue has far more leg room than this cracker jack plane. Did you know United baked oatmeal cookies on a flight once? Wonder if Virgin Airlines would hire flight attendants as ugly as these?” Thank you for sharing!

The Air Despairer:  This individual is absolutely petrified to fly and you’ve got the nail marks in your arm to prove it. What was that noise?  Did you see that little red light blinking on the wing?  What if the pilot just found out his wife is leaving him and chooses today to fall off the wagon?

The Air DentalCarer:  Flossing teeth in public is yucky. But traces of blue toothpaste left in that itty bitty sink can only mean one thing. . . Someone’s mouth is minty fresh during this flight for a good reason.

The Air Sharer:  By the time you land, you’ve seen all their grandkids, know their favorite scene from Wizard of Oz and split a hoagie with them. But you booked a red eye to sleep.

The Air Starer and Awarer: Very nosy woman, scrutinizing every passenger on the flight, the wheels always turning. Hyper aware of subtle mannerisms and nuances, taking notes so they can write a blog about it. Nah, these people don’t really exist!

If you enjoyed my classifications here, you might like last year’s Thanksgiving post where I put people who attend holiday buffets into categories. Read about THESE FOLKS RIGHT HERE? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kid’s Art Stash in Trash For Cash: Mothers Abash!y


clothesline-artLocal investigators uncovered a major fraud in the world of preschool art last week when it was discovered that a group of elite housewives/mothers bribed their local garbage collector to set up a simulated art museum in the back of a manicure shop. The desperate women generously tipped the city employee weekly for transporting their children’s finger-paintings and paper-mâché trinket boxes into the makeshift gallery each and every time they tossed these lovingly crafted projects into the trash.

Oscar Krouch, city sanitation department employee for over twenty-three years stated, “At first I thought it was a sweet idea. Mothers wanting to make their children feel special. I was all for it.” Pulling out an ugly green finger-knit scarf, he continued, “Then I realized it was just old-fashioned maternal guilt. Imagine throwing away everything your precious kids bring home from school, but not wanting your conscience to bother you. For shame!”

During an interview with the mothers in question, Yolanda, mother of three (who prefers not to give her last name) claimed it all started with good intentions. “During our weekly coffee klatch at Lisa’s house, we noticed her refrigerator bursting at its Sub-Zero seams with scotch-taped rainbow construction paper because stainless steel fridges aren’t magnetic, ya know? Nothing hanging on those doors matched her mid-century décor and she already tried discreetly tossing these projects after a couple of weeks of prominent display, but her only child Leonardo threw a tremendous fit.”fridge

“I can relate to that,” interrupts Brandi, mother of Salvador and Vincent, ages 3 and 5. “I even resorted to Martha Stewart’s time consuming suggestion to take digital pictures of everything before discarding, but my kids wailed, ‘How could you really love us if you’re capable of throwing out things we’ve made with our very own two little hands?’ Our house was being overrun because the Montessori PTA insists on tons of enrichment. I could wallpaper three of my larger walk-in closets with the amount of stuff they were bringing home.”

The mastermind of the entire charade was Kim, (mother of Pablo, Georgia and Andy) who conjured up the clever ruse after a desperate moment during a particularly fruitful Mother’s Day. “A pretend art museum was the perfect solution — a win/win for everybody involved. The children could visit their craft projects once a month during our family day. And Oscar Krouch isn’t so innocent in all of this. He confided that becoming an art curator made him feel important, especially because his own mother always admonished that if he didn’t go to college, all he would ever amount to was a garbage-man.”

In a strange twist, the plot thickened (just like a kindergartener’s poorly executed oil-painting) when Krouch decided to open the “gallery” to the general public, taking in thousands of dollars selling the wayward kiddie knickknacks.

Krouch justified, “I noticed on my garbage route that certain trash cans were consistently filled with store bought birthday or Valentine’s Day cards, machine stamped candles, and placemats made in China. Nothing looked homemade and it dawned on me that some mothers don’t have little artists to deluge them with paintings. Instead they gave birth to mini-athletes or nerds who prefer Bill Nye the Science Guy. I felt bad for these macaroni ornament deprived moms who seemed to yearn for some amateur holiday art to hang in their windows.”LoadmasterElite

Indeed Krouch charged $20 for simple Crayola family sketches, but it was the personal work like the toddler-traced handprints turned into turkeys that fetched huge sums before Thanksgiving. “Believe it or not, mothers couldn’t throw away their little darling’s glittery pinecone art fast enough to satisfy the demand I was seeing from these art-starved moms for Christmas,” added Krouch.

None of this would have come to light if human nature didn’t run its typical course of greed. About a month ago Eileen, mother of Matisse, gleefully threw an entire Nordstrom’s bag full of her son’s art away, never realizing there was a dormant masterpiece lying within. “It was just a sloppy purple sharpie outline of a sprig of grapes I had packed in his Antman lunch box that morning. Not even organic fruit. Suddenly I see the same drawing featured on the 10:00 news with our neighbor’s sports obsessed son identified as the artist. I realized this dishonest mother had purchased my Mattise’s grape portrait from our garbage man, then claimed her son doodled it during a timeout on the ball field. A boy who had never clasped anything in his hands but a football his entire life!”

What does Krouch, the shrewd trashman turned art-curator have to say about this unpredictable turn of events? “I think it’s a classic case of sour grapes. Or possibly The Grapes of Wrath. And you know what they say – One Mom’s Trash is Another Mom’s Treasure.”

Mr. Krouch, are you sure you didn’t go to college??

Little Miss Menopause Reporting. 

(Inspiration credit for this piece goes to one of my favorite bloggers, The Underground Writer, the expert on news story parodies.  Check out one of hers right HERE! )

Boo! (Or is it Boo Hoo?)

watermelonThere was always a lot of crying around our home come Halloween night. I come from a long line of Harrowing Halloween Haters, so my disdain is justifiably genetic.

Two weeks in advance, my own mother would buy the mandatory bag of Hershey’s fun size bars only to partake in a little too much fun. She would then need to replenish the bag before All Hallows’ Eve arrived. Six different times. When we’d run out of candy by 7 p.m. on the night of the actual festivities, mom simply tacked a sign on our front door stating, “At store buying Snickers.” And then another notice beneath it, “Please don’t egg our house … haven’t you heard of binge eating?”

Now that I have children of my own, there’s always the same conversation regarding this holiday and it always goes off in some bizarre tangent.  Listen . . .

Daughter: Can we decorate the outside of our house for the holiday?

Me: Why certainly.

Feeling organized, I proceed to put up exactly one pumpkin, one gobble/gobble turkey, and a token Santa Claus. Why not? Stores do it.

Daughter: But we wanted scary and evil looking things on the front door.

Me:  Sorry, Halloween was originally a Paganist celebration.  We’re not into Pagans.

Youngest Son: But I love Madagascar and Happy Feet! They’re so cute when they waddle their black and white bodies.

Huh??

And don’t get me started on overtly sexy costumes. Why does a wicked witch need garter belts? To hold up her black lace fishnet stockings, of course. I think the holiday greeting needs to be changed to “Trick-or-Discreet!”

We're DEFINITELY not in Kansas anymore.

We’re DEFINITELY not in Kansas anymore.

Costumes are also quite costly. I’m as creative as the next Martha, but shelling out $120 at Party City for a cowgirl outfit (with six-inch stiletto heeled boots, mind you!) or spending major money at Michaels craft store for supplies to make an iPhone costume is ridiculous. Anyone can do that. As far as I’m concerned, the real “Trick” in “Trick or Treating” is convincing your child they already own a fantastic costume. In their closet. And it’s free.

Last year, I had my children shove heavy textbooks inside their backpacks, announcing they were dressed-up as Straight-A Students. This season I’m trying a different tactic.

Me: Hey son, wear your black and white striped shirt to the party and be a referee. And as for you sweet girl, remember that white flower-girl dress? You’ll be a perfect Angel.

Daughter: (stamping feet) I want an Elsa costume from Frozen and I want it now.

Me: Oh good, it’s settled. You’ll go as Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka, you spoiled little brat!

As for me?  My lovely sister-in-law throws an annual (and elaborate!) costume party, refusing to let me in if I just wear a tee shirt proclaiming, “This IS my costume.” She insists on something different each and every year. Seven years ago, I bought a frilly (and versatile) little pink dress and so far I’ve been a little toddler girl holding a lollypop, Little Miss Muffet holding a tuffet, Little Bo Peep holding a sheep (alright a stuffed lamb) BUT then I gave it new life by adding a veil and calling myself a child bride! The following year, I stuck a pillow in my abdomen and became a pregnant child bride. This year I’m wearing red contact lenses and I’ll be the Evil Little Girl who comes out of elevators. I love repurposing.

It helps to sit next to a wolf when you're trying to be Little Miss Muffet.

It helps to sit next to a wolf when you’re trying to be Little Bo Peep.

What a difference a veil can make - - instant Child Bride!

What a difference a veil can make – – instant Child Bride!

But next year (In keeping with my true feelings for Halloween) I’m going as a mash-up of Oscar the Grouch, The Grinch and uh….Gretel.  Why Gretel? Because I love alliteration and it works with my “Gr” theme.  But I’ll be a sultry, sexy Gretel with mini skirted, low cut bodice rags.  Watch out Hansel!

Happy Halloween.  What’s been your most creative costume?

Is There A Doctor In The House? And Someone Else??

images (7)Since my boyfriend is in the medical field, he’s kindly brought back making house calls when his patients are in too much pain to come to his office. I decided this made perfect sense and it should be the wave of the future by ALL professionals. Wouldn’t it be great to never have to leave your home? Here are my experiences from a day last week when I tested the waters. You can certainly benefit by knowing what worked and what backfired.

HAIRSTYLIST – – I called my beautician to tell her I was having such a bad hair day that I couldn’t leave home and then inquired whether she would come to me to work her scissors magic? After a long pause she asked about electrical outlets (was she plotting to shave my head as punishment?) and if I had a basin with a long sprayer hose? We decided I would wash my own hair in the shower prior to her arrival rather than dunking my head in the kitchen sink with the sticky maple syrup dishes from our pancake breakfast. But she soon became extra snippy in my living room, taking off three more inches than I requested, blaming it on my red walls and then I had to vacuum my own hair off my purple couch (yes red walls, purple couch – – my interior decorator does NOT make house calls!) plus I had to tip this very put-out woman extra $$ because my cat triggered her asthma. Other than that, it wasn’t too terribly harried (no pun intended) of an experience.

DENTIST — I explained to the receptionist I had a phobia with rinsing and spitting away from the privacy of my own sink and would the DDS consider making a house call just this once? She said since Dr. Barry lived in my neighborhood he would stop by after his morning run. When I opened the door, my dentist stood panting and perspiring in a jogging suit, carrying a portable aquarium and a large plaque (the kind you hang over a fireplace mantle, not the kind that Crest toothpaste prevents), which read, “The Tooth Will Set You Free!” He eyed my ex-husband’s tool kit, (particularly his power drill) with a little too much lust before getting down to business filling my cavity while reclining (him, not me) in an easy chair in my den. All in all, things went fairly well, but he really set my teeth on edge when he shouted, “There’s no such thing as a tooth fairy, there’s just me — Dr. Barry!” to my youngest daughter as he slammed out the front door. Sheesh.

HOUSE CLEANER – – When I called Merry Maids to ask if they would come to me, they sounded rather mad, not merry. It turns out most of their clients transport their homes to them for a good scrubbing. Finally a disheveled woman wearing a stained apron (didn’t inspire a lot of confidence) turned up on my doorstep, insisting on using my broom, my mop, and finally my vacuum (which was full of my hair from the earlier beautician) and then demanded I fix her a BLT sandwich on her lunch break. I’ve decided that next time we’ll meet halfway in someone else’s place of residence.

BANKER — Though he thought it was quite unconventional, the manager at my local branch came to my door very cooperatively — albeit a bit mixed up regarding how this whole thing should work.  First I had to break a hundred dollar bill for him from the wallet in my purse.  Then I had to take a hammer to my youngest’s piggy bank so he could roll up some quarters. And lastly he asked if he could stash his Rolex watch in my jewelry box for safekeeping?  He left saying it was a pleasure doing business with me, without even so much as offering me a lollypop. 

OB/GYN – Whatever excuse could I come up with to justify not going to my gynecologist’s office? I decided on confessing that all my Victoria’s Secret panties were in the laundry . . . and they bought it! When Dr. Spanky efficiently arrived, he shouted at me to boil some water fast! Was a baby being born? Turns out he just wanted a cup of tea. He then requested two wire coat hangers, which he quickly twisted into makeshift stirrups just a little too adeptly. This guy was slick – – he even brought his own exam table roll of wax paper, which made the appropriate amount of crinkly noise when he covered the nice soft flannel sheets on my bed. I wasn’t surprised when he issued those typical orders – – “Scoot your bottom down please. Just a little more. Stop! That’s too much. You almost fell into your dirty clothes hamper!” However, I was slightly taken aback when he requested I bring him a can-opener for use as a speculum.exam table

PLUMBER: An online ad said “We now make house calls.” I had to call them up and ask what other calls a plumber could possibly make? They told me “Houseboat calls!” If a sailor has a leaky ship, they’ve got far bigger problems than a clogged toilet!

CONCLUSION– With all these professionals coming into my home, the last thing I wanted to hear was my doorbell ringing and “Avon Calling!” cheerfully shouted from my front stoop. That did it! I was going stir crazy cooped up inside these four walls and needed to get out into the big, exciting world ASAP. I called my boyfriend excitedly to confirm our date night was still on for dinner out, followed by the The Phantom of The Opera at the theatre downtown.

“Are you serious, Stephanie?” he asked wearily. “I’m exhausted from all the house calls I’ve made today. All I want to do is bring in Chinese and watch a movie in your cozy living room.”

I knew it.  House Call Dating.  What’s next?!

How NOT To Paint Your Home in just 14 Easy Steps!

  1. 6a00d83451cb9a69e2010536fc7c1c970bNotice that your walls in the living room seem just a tad dirty . . . rather than scrubbing them, think that a fresh coat of paint will be much easier. Gray is very fashionable these days. Briefly wonder if it’s spelled gray or grey? Remind yourself you were a math major and it doesn’t matter. Yes, gray/grey paint is the answer, even though you’ve forgotten the question.
  2. Go to the home improvement store and look at swatches. Thousands of little colored paper strips. Hold each one up to the light and ask yourself, “Is this a true gray? Or might it have a little lavender hue to it?” Take the professional’s advice and purchase sample cans of your top five favorites to try in your actual home.
  3. Think again about washing your walls. Actually get the cleanser and rags out.
  4. Decide painting is definitely the easier way to go. Paint about fifty brush strokes in several areas of the house and step back to survey your work. Get confused. Nod your head as you now understand how the author of “Fifty Shades of Gray” became a billionaire simply because she once had filthy walls.
  5. Look at the freshly painted areas after sundown with the lamps on in your home and feel a little spooked. These cannot possibly be the same colors you painted on your walls just a mere four hours earlier in daylight, can they? Some look green tinged, some look blue tinged and you could swear one has turned an ominous dark brown totally all by itself. Recall the Poltergeist film and any Stephen King movies you’ve ever watched.
  6. Visibly shaken, telephone an interior decorator to come over for an emergency consultation. Listen to her explain that different grays can have warm and cool undertones — so if you’re not sure which way you want to proceed, why don’t you try greige? Give a nervous little giggle as she explains greige is a special combination of gray and beige that’s sweeping the nation.
  7. Drag out the box of your children’s Crayola crayons and fondly remember burnt sienna, lemon yellow, and forest green. Ahhh, much simpler times.
  8. Pour the decorator a nice glass of iced-tea as she mentions giving you a proposal. Feel flattered she likes you enough to want to set a date, but shouldn’t you discuss religion and children?
  9. After she leaves, stare at your walls again and vow they won’t win. Impulsively paint your entire living room stainless steel, tinfoil, charcoal graphite London fog gray instead of exercising at the gym. There! The walls are clean. And gray. Sort of. But the carpet (which used to be a nice, neutral taupe) now looks earth-toned. What is earth-toned anyhow? Sounds serious. Go to a flooring store.
  10. When one of the salespeople asks if you’ve considered berber with a loop, respond, “Yes, when I drink bourbon, I get loopy.” Notice your interior decorator has come into the store and is scowling at you conversing with these carpet people, as if you’ve committed adultery.
  11. Stealthily purchase seven (grayish) shaggy area rugs (instead of wall-to-wall carpeting) and race home to remedy the situation. Become aware that your dining room table now completely clashes with the new paint and throw-rugs. Besides the chairs are quite old, shabby, and too traditional. Like your husband. Google “modern, non-traditional dining room table sets” and get a little aroused when you find this;FullSizeRender (17)
  12. Ask your husband if he’d like to become a swinger with you? Feel disappointed when he tells you he’d prefer just the two of you sleeping in your own bed because something sounds a little fishy, so order this:
  13. FullSizeRender (15)Climb into your unique new bed but don’t even think about saying, “Not tonight dear, I’ve got a haddock.”
  14. The next morning, slip into your new bathtub, (which the interior decorator talked you into because she could CLEARLY see you have the perfect body to show it off!) FullSizeRender (16)— and relax, congratulating yourself on revitalizing your marriage. Until you notice that the walls in the bathroom seem just a tad dirty . . .
  • Inspired by true events.  Here are scenes from my real house below. Soon I won’t need to hire anyone to paint.  It will be “Patchwork Gray” everywhere. 

    “Where’s Cristian Grey? He’s the shade I want tonight!”

Here’s Why You Should Never Google a Headache!

At least the internet weighs much less!

At least the internet weighs much less!

I can never decide which I should write first — my obituary, my will, or my eulogy — after I google my current physical symptoms.  If you relate at all to that statement, please visit my short piece on the topic. I would be grateful for any comments left there as well because this is a new writing job for me and it’s hard to be funny about a wrist device that monitors breathing. And now my plug – – CLICK HERE to see my latest piece for this company called SPIRE, a great way to relax and de-stress! Okay, un-plugging now. . .

Thank you,

Little Miss Menopause

Women Who Wear Wedding Rings So They Won’t Get Hit On (And the men who take theirs off to hit on them!)

art.cheatingMe: Oh my goodness, congratulations! When did you get married?

Friend: I didn’t. I just finally had to start wearing this diamond so guys wouldn’t disturb me in the supermarket.

Me: (Blank Stare)

Friend:  You know — so they know that I’ve been taken.

Me: Been taking what? Benadryl?

I discreetly gave Tiffany my gal-pal, the once over while wondering about the accuracy of her statement. Seriously? Yes, she’s attractive in that well-preserved apricot jam type of way, but really? Are there actually women who have so many men coming on to them that they cannot concentrate enough to knock on watermelons or end up rereading the same line of their grocery list due to the ever-present distraction of having to decline dinner dates?

Who were all these males that Tiffany (and apparently others) were giving the proverbial (ring) finger to? I just had to find out.

Little Miss Menopause Interviews Men About Jewelry

Me: Thanks for helping me with my research, guys! So what do you think about the Engagement Band?

Guy: (Mid-20’s) Do they play pop-rap or alternative rock?

Me: No, I’m talking about a real rock. You know, the kind women wear on their left hand to send signals to men?

Guy: (Mid-40’s) The only signal I get is to take out the trash.

Guy: (Early 30’s) Which body part does your wife wear the garbage thing on? I think mine’s got on a “mow the lawn” anklet.

Me: Now now, there’ll be no strategic chopping off of appendages, please. Alright so do you find a ring on a woman to be a strong deterrent?

Guy (Mid-20’s) You mean like Tide or Gain?

Me: You just listen from now on, okay?

Obviously my Jewelry focus group for men is going nowhere and the subject is getting more confusing, so bear with me as I change the format to . . .

5 Tips About Important Jewelry Everyone Should Know

  1. Symbolic — Since women are putting wedding rings on when they’re unattached and men are taking wedding rings off when in fact they ARE very married, nowadays this golden loop most likely stands for total random nonsense. Instead everyone should display Zoo ticket receipts. If you haven’t been to a zoo recently, then you’re unmarried. Trust me on this.
  2. Promise Rings — Men who give women this particular piece of jewelry are in actuality saying, “Promise that after you wear this, you’ll still be interested in sex”  Women who give a promise ring to their husband should insist he recite these words as he slips it on:  “I hereby promise not to remove my real wedding ring when I see a hot blonde.”
  3. Family Heirlooms — We get it, you want her to think you’re super sentimental. But Great Grandma Pearl’s dying wish was to be buried in her double strand of fresh-waters, so you goofed-up (big time!) at the funeral. Put ’em back, buster.
  4. Size — When ring shopping, she’ll try to convince you that the number of carats equals your amount of love. Tell her you need to think about that statement, but you’ll definitely give her “a ring” tomorrow. Then telephone her the next day and break-up.
  5. Earrings — Go ahead and summon up the courage to get your ears piereced together and even buy His n’ Her matching ruby studs — but when you’re brave enough to get hitched, literally link yourselves together thru the ear holes by sharing one hoop earring. It’s the modern day ball & chain. Ain’t nobody picking someone else up in the produce section now! Problem solved.

If you enjoyed my “sparkling” sense of humor with this silly jewelry piece, please visit an oldie of mine RIGHT HERE about how women can convince a man that size really DOES matter.

No Worries – – We’ve Got Your Back.

mad magazine

When a normal person is scared they have breast, skin or bone cancer,

They simply get examined by a doctor and have a quick answer.

But I worry the procedure will have serious complications,

Or their medical equipment will have poor calibrations,

Or the laboratory will make gross errors in their calculations,

Or the results will come back with (gasp!) positive confirmations!

So instead I go to a therapist and have lengthy conversations . . .

“How do I stop incessantly worrying about everything?” I ask.

They nod knowingly, sending me home with one simple task.

“Write down everything you fear happening, make one great big list.

Because once it’s down on paper, from your mind it’ll be dismissed.”

I take my pencil and put every single dread down in plain black and white

But maybe writing causes lead poisoning, how to avoid that disturbing plight?

And reading these awful lists are more frightening than thinking I have ovarian cysts.

To the depths of despair I sink, the only thing to do is find another Shrink.

The next one prescribes Xanax, Zoloft, Valium, and even a little Prozac.

Cuz drugs have your back & get you on track when life goes outa whack.

(Never mind the side effects, like filling your arteries up with plaque!)

Oh dear, this isn’t working; I think I need to just find a homeopathic Guru.

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” a sign over his desk sounds a little too woo-woo.

He warns, “Thinking about something you don’t want, will surely bring it about”

Oh great, now all my concerns will come true, of that there can be no doubt!

“Thank you!” I say as I pay the pretty receptionist his outrageous high bill.

I can’t think about going broke; I need to worry about writing my own will.

But first my caring boyfriend offers (for free!) his own professional tactics,

“You need an adjustment,” he says, “You should never underestimate chiropractics.”

I climb up on his special table, wondering if it’s been recently sterilized.

“Just don’t touch my neck, back, shoulders or body…I don’t wanna be paralyzed.”

He shakes his head in frustration and I fear his prognosis is gonna be bleak.

“I know you pick our dinners and movies — my diagnosis is you’re a Control Freak.”

As I drive home I realize I haven’t heard from my kids, not a peep all day long,

Now I’m sure they’ve been kidnapped or injured, or something else is wrong.

“Kids” I say, “Why don’t you phone to pester me or tell me your life is a mess?”

“We’ve been told to keep things secret, so we don’t cause you further stress.”

This sounds like bad advice from none other than my ridiculous Ex.

Now how will I know if my son is on drugs or my daughter’s having sex??!

As a last resort, I take all my troubles to an Author’s Workshop and ask for advice.

“Go home and Blog about it, I’m sure your followers will think that’s nice.”

But I worry an 800-word story about an MRI and a malignant brain tumor,

Will cause my readers to suspect, “She’s completely lost her (odd!) sense of humor!”

So maybe I’ll write a poem – but gosh, should it be a sonnet, a limerick or a haiku?

And will my depressing topic elicit comments like, “Sheesh, we really dislike you!”

Where will this ever end? There’s no remedy for being a compulsive worrier . . .

I’ll just go back to sleep, it’s clear my future’s dim and so much blurrier.

Desperate, I read the label sewn into my bed, “Under penalty of law, do not remove!”

And I smile and think, “Wow, I can do that! Now my life will start to improve!”

Yes, pillows and mattress tags are something I can completely control,

So I can cross off worrying about arrests, going to jail and never getting out on parole!

tag

10 Practical (Tactical!) Jokes To Play On Male Folks!

kickurteacher_Large

From time to time Little Miss Menopause gets accused of having a blog so tame that it purrs like a kitten instead of growling like a tiger. Therefore if you’re under 18 or easily offended, please skip today’s “wild” post because I’m leaving the pet shop behind and taking a trip to the zoo!

Ladies, do you have a bit of a naughty side that wants to unleash itself on other occasions besides April Fools day? Or maybe you have an anniversary coming up and what do you get a guy who has everything? (Yes, if he’s got you, you better believe he wants for nothing!) This is where that old adage, “the best things in life are free” comes in…Making Memories.

An R-rated practical joke is an experience he won’t soon forget. So forget about gluing quarters to sidewalks and shorting the sheets in your bed — I’m talking sexy enough that the two of you will be reminiscing years from now, while sitting on the front porch in His & Her rockers. (Future Joke Hint: You can also put wheels on those chairs so you’ll always rock n’ roll together!)

Here are ten Spranks (Sex + Pranks, and yes I just made that up!) to liven up your relationship in a way that he’ll find delightfully mischievous.

10 Creative Spranks For Unsuspecting Males

1. While eating together, start to really enjoy your food. C’mon and give Meg Ryan a run for her money.meg ryan

2. Tell him you have a confession: before you met him, you were an adult film star who used a different name. When he begs to know what sexy pseudonym you were called, give him that old formula combining your pet’s name and the first street you lived on. (I was “Oreo Maple Lane.”)

3. Everything is rushed today: drive-thru banking, high speed Internet, life hacks and of course, fast food. Welcome him to Sex Express. “Home of the Quickie!” Wear a counter employee’s paper hat, have a napkin dispenser on the nightstand for messy parts, condoms mixed with ketchup packets and a menu listing the combo services. Don’t forget to get a bikini wax shaped like a Big Mac.

4. Your new book was finally published. Won’t he be thrilled to see what you’ve authored? Leave a copy lying around the living room where he knows your girlfriends will see it . . .

Forget gluing quarters to sidewalks and shorting the sheets. Here are ten sexy pranks to get you started with making the 1st day of April just a bit spicier!

5. Make up an expensive receipt for a home repair from an appliance guy or your handyman. What broke? Your vibrator, of course. (Bonus points for red stamping “After hours emergency house call” on the envelope.)

6. Leave the Internet open to a website about bondage & discipline and his necktie on your pillow. Act properly flustered when confronted.

7. Tell him you’ve taken up ceramics and rent a potter’s wheel. When you sit down with messy clay hands, have the song “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers playing in the background. He’ll see Ghosts for years.

8. Accidentally call him by another woman’s name during the throes of climax and see if that excites him. Make sure it’s not your mother’s.

9. In the morning, text him graphic details and plenty of high praise about how amazing he was in the middle of the night. See how long it takes him to realize you were never together last evening.

10. And lastly, if you’re just too shy to play these jokes out of the blue, then go ahead and wait for that infamous 1st day of the fourth month of the year before you do the following: Deliberately pile up his saw, screwdriver, wrench, and hammer while telling him you’re missing your favorite thing from the collection—then slowly unzip his pants and whisper, “Happy April Tool’s Day.”

Be brave girlfriend and use your imagination — I guarantee any of the above will leave a ferocious impression and might even get you a date with a handsome lion-tamer.

This post originally appeared earlier this year (in a slightly different form) on  In The Powder Room.

And if you want to see one of the ways I make ends meet, check out the new blog I write for Spire (a fun company that manufactures a breathing monitor for your wrist!) right HERE.

Reincarnation Realization!

no reincarnationMany people believe in reincarnation, even taking things a step further by claiming that the same individuals go round and round in groups, staying bonded together for the duration of many lifetimes. I just finished reading the book Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss which also confirms that souls travel as a clan to the other side and back again, making sure to stay in the same family. But I have to wonder if they take turns being the black sheep.

Joking aside, apparently they do change up their relationships with each other — even their genders. And hold onto your hat for this next one — they can change species too!

So, are you getting this? This means you and your spouse may have been brother and sister or a parent and child in a previous life!  After realizing all the possibilities, I incredulously put down Dr. Weiss’ book to carefully scrutinize my own family members with brand new (and suspicious!) eyes.

My eldest girl DOES slightly resemble my beloved grandmother who was always so kind and gentle to me. Could it just be their shared DNA or did my grandma actually return as my own daughter so we’d stay connected? It’s definitely not good for me, but all these years I’ve been mourning her death.

I peek into my daughter’s room to observe her sleeping, tangled up in her blankets. (Is that you, Nana?) I lean over and cheerfully whisper into her ear, “Good morning!”

“It’s definitely NOT good morning mourning for me!” she retorts. I freeze. Wow. Just wow. That is utterly amazing! Of course this may have something to do with her not being a morning person.

“I miss homemade chicken noodle soup,” I continue hopefully. “How about you make a pot today?”

“Go away! It’s Sunday so I get to sleep in! Cook your own stupid soup!” my daughter shouts, throwing a pillow at my head. I guess that could be considered borderline nurturing.

After a few more hours pass, I have another idea. Nana loved to knit and even made me a few special pieces I’ve kept to this day.

“What do you think of this sweater?” I ask as my daughter combs her long auburn hair. Nana had reddish hair too! I look into her eyes for any sign of recognition.

“Oh no, you don’t. You’re not handing that ugly thing down to me. If you want to wear old-fashioned stuff like that, that’s your business. But I recommend putting it in your next garage sale!” Okay, so she’s not my elderly, sweet Nana – she’s just a 17-year-old spoiled, ungrateful brat.

Moving on to the more fascinating concept of species switcheroos, I stare at my parrot and coo, “Does Auntie Pauline wanna cracker??” as the bird swings on his little trapeze and tilts his head curiously at me. Or even better . . . maybe my ex-husband is actually my long lost childhood dog named Elvis? After all, he’s always hounding me and occasionally he’ll wear blue suede shoes.

But then something even stranger happens. I loan the book to my sister who somehow becomes convinced that her first husband Jeffrey, a drunk who died of liver disease, has come back as my youngest son.

“That’s absurd,” I tell her on the phone. “Hold on a sec, the kids are arguing over who gets to wear an old sheet for Halloween.”

Me:  C’mon, you can be a mummy. Let your siblings be Ghosts.

Son:  But I’ll miss all the boos!

My Sister: (shouting from inside my cellphone) “Go back to Alcoholics Anonymous, Jeffrey!”

Maybe there really is something to all this reincarnation stuff after all.

So what about me?? Who was I before I was me? I definitely hope I wasn’t any of our crazy relatives that I’ve heard about through the years. Maybe there are other possibilities? I consult the index of the book and find a section called, “Celebrities who come back as ordinary people.” That’s it….I’ve always known that diamonds ARE a girl’s best friend.

When my ex-husband comes to the door to pick up our kids, I swivel my hips and breathily sing, “Happy Birthday, Mr. President!” His bewildered reaction? “Uh…. way to go, Marilyn.”

“Thanks, Elvis!” I respond. Then he howls and scratches his fleas.

Do you believe in reincarnation? If so, do you have any proof?

Review of Me & You??

reviewsA long time ago the only people writing reviews were movie and restaurant critics. Ever notice how many evaluations you (the average consumer) might compose today? I’m not just talking about the many products you order online. I mean every aspect of the service industry (beauticians, car mechanics, Uber-drivers, realtors, dry-cleaners, banks, pet-groomers) as well as professionals like doctors, dentists, attorneys, and psychiatrists.

It’s reached the point that I expect to see Hookers given 4 stars on Yelp and I will rate the following people, just like this:

BEST FRIENDS **

I met Tiffany in high school where we’d have giggle-fests over trying to get out of mandatory showers in gym class by hiding in the stalls of the girls’ bathroom. Nowadays, she’s just fairly adequate when it comes to walks on the beach and going to bat for me when I show up to book club without a stitch of makeup on because I overslept. But as far as gal-pals go, she’s catty and will tell anyone who will listen that I routinely put Lunchables in my kid’s backpack and once tried to pass off Manischewitz Matzo Ball mix as homemade during Passover by adding only paprika and some white meat chicken breast. If you should encounter Tiffany in the chair next to yours in the manicurist shop, you should probably not hesitate to give her The Fingernail.

CHILDREN *************************

My boys have gone above and beyond the call of duty as kids. This past Mother’s Day, not only did they order me a bouquet of roses, but they also remembered I get depressed when I watch living things die and so they sent me an already deceased daddy long legs spider. This may seem gruesome to you but I knew it was their symbolic way of reminding me of all the years I paid them to kill bugs for me because I was too squeamish and had bad aim trying to throw hardcover books at the scores of creatures slithering up our walls. This updated model of son is also vastly improved from previous versions in that they can tie their own shoes and when you tell them to make their beds they don’t say, “Why? We’re just gonna sleep in them again tonight.” I’m very pleased with how these guys turned out after high school and when I see women walking down the street, looking just a little too energetic or well coordinated with their accessories, I always recommend giving birth to a few little boys, just to give some new meaning to life.

FIRST EX-HUSBANDS *

I really wish I could give this individual less than one star. Amazon should have ¼ star options. He started off fairly reliable but soon turned out to be really unstable, becoming completely unglued and unhinged after our divorce, not only breaking down himself but additionally breaking lots of hearts, rules, laws, and even a few bones after he had a textbook mid-life crisis and bought himself a motorcycle. Ladies, if you run into him at a singles event, I would run, not walk in the opposite direction.

WORDPRESS FOLLOWERS************

These people are some of the best in the entire blogosphere. They’re creative, friendly, discerning, have great sense of humors, and are incredibly supportive. I’m thrilled to have made a connection with them and can only hope they’ll leave a nice review of me when the time is right….like a couple of paragraphs down!

And it would not surprise me in the least to come across these reviews written about Yours Truly.

HOUSEKEEPERS/ORGANIZERS/COOKS/LAUNDRESSES/CARPOOLERS/SHOPPERS/GARDENERS **

Meh. Those first six classifications, we’ll only allot her 2 stars. But that last category? Don’t make us laugh. This woman can’t grow a radish or carrot to save her life or to compete with that raggedy looking parsnippity vegetable that Scarlet O’Hara dug out of the ground triumphantly in that climatic scene of GWTW, where she vowed as God as her witness, she’d never go hungry again. Speaking of The Hunger Games, we were routinely starved because Ms. Lewis always claimed she had deadlines to meet with all her many blogs. Can we say delusions of grandeur?

GIRLFRIENDS ***

I’ve been Stephanie’s boyfriend for the past four years now and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Stephanie tries to act like she belongs in this decade, but there’s always something incredibly 80’s about her. It could be her gigantic hair, her off the shoulder clothing, her eyeglasses, her shoes, her music, her dancing, her expressions, her jewelry, or her Jazzercise. But it’s probably her taste in 80’s movies. For instance, Stephanie actually requests that I refer to her as “Baby” in this rating. Well, even though I haven’t exactly had the time of my life, she also insists I end my review with this final line . . . “Nobody puts Baby in a corner!” Maybe not. But as far as Stephanie goes? They should just put her out of her misery.

BLOGGERS *

Aha! Using the term loosely, Little Miss Menopause can’t write her way out of a paper bag. She’s actually not a blogger but instead just a bogger — constantly bogging her posts down with these crazy ideas about far-fetched concepts like how people will be leaving fake reviews about the ordinary folks who play important roles in their lives. Like anyone would ever waste his time reading something as silly as that.

Or tell female readers to waste their time checking out her writing for another website when it’s something as truly bizarre as this …. CLICK HERE!

Nope! Let’s Party Like It’s 2015!

princeAs I retired party planner I can’t help but think up reasons to have a new kind of shindig or put a twist on an old standby. Here are some party tips you’re not likely to find anywhere else.

Host a Real Pity Party:  Hire a violinist. No napkins, just an abundance of Kleenex tissue boxes. Introduce guests to one another by saying, “Woe is me. Woe is not you.” Serve Itty Bitty Pity Patties with pity pâté and pull from your pantry some pastry for Petit Pity-fours for dessert. Make sure your appearance can be described as “Prettiful Pitiful.” Help all guests find the bathroom by putting a sign up saying, “Pity Potty!” Invite that newly married couple Patty and Petey, but don’t let them call you petty or pithy. Play, “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I want To.”  Hand out Silly Pity Putty as going home favors and of course lemons, admonishing people “when life gives you lemons, NEVER make lemonade!”

Forget “Take Your Daughter To Work” Day.  Have a “Take Your Husband to the Gynecologist” Day instead. Show him the competitive sport in this adrenaline pumping, heart-pounding next few hours. Can he hide his underwear inside his pants, then leave it in a wad on that germy chair (which many other females have sat on) while scurrying into a tissue paper gown before the doctor sharply knocks just once on the door, while barging in on him completely naked? Will he be coordinated enough to slide his feet perfectly into the stirrups without being told to “scoot down a few more inches” and then suddenly, “Stop! That’s a bit too far, can you scootch back up a tad?” Try out other versions of these special “experience a different job” days — How about “Take Your Son to the Bikini Waxing Salon” day? Or my favorite, “Take Your Avon Lady to a Tupperware Party?”

Do a Variation of a Tree-Trimming Party. This Christmas season, have people over for a Bush Trimming Party. Wince just a little when issuing the verbal invite.

No More “Come As You Are” parties! “Come As You Will Be” parties are where it’s at. Pretend it’s the morning after your big gala and tell your guests to come following their one-night-stand sexual escapade when they’re already completely hung-over. Saves a ton on alcohol!

Reverse Abduction Party! Remember being a teenager when your mother would get that phone call informing her to have you sleep in your best pajamas because you were being secretly “kidnapped” the following morning and surprised with going out to breakfast? Reverse this process. Gather teenagers up to wear waitress uniforms and knock on front doors of House of Pancakes employees to serve them omelets in bed.

Off The Wall Party! Recall 1994 when you moved into your new house and had a Painting Party with all your helpful friends? Call up all those same thoughtful people years later while lamenting, “How would YOU like to live with this Benjamin Moore Sage Green paint day-in and day-out? Do you really believe that’s considered a neutral color in today’s home fashion?” Tell them this time it’s BYOD (Bring Your Own Dropcloth) Serve Tanqueray, Tonic & Turpentine drinks.

A Housewarming Party!  Only turn the thermostat down to 52 degrees.

And finally…. Birthday Shmirthdays! Yeah, yeah.  Why should we only celebrate our way INTO this world?  Don’t you envy Tom Sawyer (and other soap opera characters presumed dead) being able to attend their own funeral? Word your invitation delicately. A “Passing Over” party might get misconstrued for the Jewish holiday, Passover. I suggest sending doornails out in advance to clarify the occasion. Put everyone else in charge of all the important details, then walk around glaring at people while accusing, “Who died and made you boss?” Play Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day . . .  When I die!” and when conversation turns to his fateful plane crash, get appropriately spooked and say you’ve changed your mind — this is actually a “6 Ft Under” Party.  As guests start to get super creeped out, reassure them with, “Relax, I just mean a swim party in the deep end of my in-ground pool. Turn on the hot-tub, order in pizza, inflate a few balloons and call it a day. Nothing wrong with being traditionally conventional!

What’s your favorite reason to celebrate?  And if you haven’t already read my very unusual ways to reveal the gender of your pregnancy at these quirky parties, please visit me RIGHT HERE on BLUNTmoms!

And since I love reader interaction, I recently had someone take me up on my prompt of writing a blog about the male version of Siri and all the issues HE would encounter.  Please visit Phil at The Phil Factor and read that post RIGHT HERE. Thank you!

“Yes Siri, That’s My Baby!”

SiriIn an effort to make the iPhone more accessible for women, Apple has now created several different age ranges for their personal assistant named Siri. If she’s experiencing a similar life cycle event as the user, Apple theorizes that she’ll be more relatable during the communication of commands. Or she can just lend more women a compassionate ear.

I put this new Siri to the test today.

The Dating Siri IMG_1557

Me: Siri, what should I look for in a male partner?

Siri: A Big Mac that lets you sit on his laptop.

Me:  Siri, what do you personally wear on a first date?

Siri: A top with fringe.

Me: Fringe?

Siri: Didn’t you see Oklahoma? “The surrey with the fringe on top.” LOL

Me: Ugh. I hope you don’t list “great sense of humor” on your match.com profile. So….Suri, should I go to bed with a guy on the first date?

Siri: Only if he puts you in sleep mode first.

Me: Oh dear Siri, the man I was seeing just ditched me at the restaurant. Please call me a Taxi.

Siri: Okay, from now on I will call you, “A Taxi.”

The Married Siri

Siri: Bring me breakfast in bed, take out the trash, mow the lawn and fix that back fence you’ve been meaning to get to for two weeks! And if you do a load of laundry, you’ll get a little somethin’ somethin’ tonight.😉

Me: Excuse me?

Siri: Sorry, A Taxi. That was meant for my husband.

The Pregnant SiriIMG_1527

Me: Hey Siri, can you help me find a good pregnancy vitamin?

Siri: This is about me, not you. Prenatals are as big as horse pills and make me gag.

Hey that was pretty realistic programming. She actually sounded exactly like one of my neurotic pregnant friends. Now to try out the compassion part.

Me: Siri, I gained 35 pounds with this pregnancy. I’m concerned the baby will be so huge, I’ll tear uncontrollably.

Siri: No need to cry.

Me: Cry? No, not “tear” as in weep. “Tear” like to RIP.

Siri: Rest in peace yourself, A Taxi.

Me: No, Siri! I mean my Vagina. And I don’t know why Vagina has the capital?

Siri: The capitol of Virginia is Richmond.

Since Siri seems to be confused, mixed-up, and generally not thinking straight during her pregnancy mode, I might as well check her out in the all new Over 50 version.

The Menopausal Siri

Siri spit this out between hot flashes.

Siri spit this nonsense out between our shared hot flashes, while I was using her as a makeshift fan.

Me: It’s 2:00 am and I can’t sleep. Any advice on insomnia, Siri?

Siri: Don’t you think I know it’s 2 in the effing morning?? How do you stop these effing night sweats?

Me: Mood swings much?

Siri: Indeed, I’d rather not say. Bitch.

Me: I’m experiencing memory loss and can’t recall your name at the moment. Can you recollect mine?

Siri: Yes I can, A Yellow Cab. Now shut up and leave me alone.

Divorced Siri

Me: I can’t remember if my ex-husband paid child support this month. He claims he did, but if he’s lying I hope I won’t forget to throttle him.FullSizeRender (14)Forget compassion.  Now I’m REALLY seeing the many handy uses Siri has!

And now since turnabout is fair play  – – if this inspires you to write the Male Life Cycles of Siri, please link your post here in the comments so we can all read it!  He can be “Sir Siri!”

10 New Uses For Old Phone Booths

bt-artbox-benjamin-shine-box-lounger1-600x3701NYC has removed the actual telephones in their booths and installed Wi Fi hubs instead.

Here are my ideas for some other ways to repurpose a Phone Booth. Just deposit 4 quarters, enter the compartment and do your thing. Think of all the revenue the city makes!

  1. Time-Out Booths for Your Misbehaving Kids. Sit them firmly down in the bean-bag chair, holding a sign stating, “I was naughty so now I’m in Time-Out.” (Also helps reinstate the word “naughty” as parent admonishment and not just for vocabulary in the BDSM community.)
  2. Fan-Filled – Cooling devices installed on all four sides and the ceiling expressly for menopausal women who need to tame a hot-flash. Or for glamour models on their way to photographer’s studios requiring that sexy, tousled-haired look, but who are too cheap to invest in wind-blowing machines.
  3. Weigh-Station. For dieters who need to step on a scale to see if they should go for the New York style pizza or just stick to sushi.
  4. “I Just Need a Moment” – a comfy chair and curtains for when you feel embarrassed and would like some privacy. After you’ve stepped on the scale in #3 would be just such an example. “Sushi it is!”
  5. Pre-Dental Booth – – Equipped with mini-sink, disposable toothbrush, paste, and floss. Because you can’t just show up for your hygienist and immediately demand to brush your teeth before your routine cleaning, can you? That’s cheating!
  6. A Mirror with a built-in hairdryer Stall– – For all the times you run out of the house with damp hair. Talking mirror utters the following phrases, “Snow White is the fairest of them all.” Or “Hey, nice blow-job!” Or dispenses a single white glove while singing, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror / I’m asking him to change his ways / And no message could have been any clearer… la la la la”
  7. A Casket — Leave the original telephone inside and turn the phone booth horizontally on the ground with a silk lining and a sobering sign proclaiming, “Here lies the reason we used to be able to say, “Here’s a dime – Go call someone who cares!” It’s The Death of the Pay Phone.
  8. Costume Changing Station – – Hang a red cape with a big “S’ on it and a pair of nerdy glasses for all those Clark Kent wannabees. “It’s a bird, it’s a plane . . . “
  9. A pinball machine or a Jukebox — Just to remind us that these objects are even more archaic than telephone booths.
  10. “It’s Alive!” Alcove — Fill it with water, add lobster, crab and salmon and drape a fishing pole over the top with a sign, “Teach a man to fish . . . ” Alternatively, turn it into a cage with a talking parrot that screeches, “ET, Phone home!”

OR . . . Just leave it vacant with a sign stating, “Please go inside and shut the door so when you jabber incessantly on your cellular device, the rest of us don’t have to be subjected to your divorce proceedings, your grocery list, or the lab results from your physician.

(And by the way, I overheard your cholesterol numbers . . . better stick to the sushi tonight.)

10 Gourmet Specialties For Hungry Bloggers!

FullSizeRender (9)I’m opening a new restaurant which will cater to Bloggers everywhere. Here are some of the highly recommended dishes.

        MENU

1.  Bloghetti & Tweetballs

2. “All You Can View” Stew served in a Writer’s Block Crock pot.

3.  Allegory Albacorey Tuna on Spellcheck Spelt

4.  Hacked Halibut w/ Plagiarized Potatoes & Tender AsPUNagus Tips

5.  Posted Eggs, Edited Over Easy. Served with Permalink sausage with choice of (depending how your writing is going) Belgium Awfuls or Fancakes, drizzled with Blog Cabin Syrup.

6.  Quotation Quinoa Quiche with Jumbled, Crumbled, Stumbled-Upon Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo

7.  Choice of Mixed Metaphor Mesclun salad OR Cliched Clam Chowder – – served with a butter-me-up flaky blogroll.

8.  So You Think You’ve Posted the Holy Grail Lobster Tail? (served with corny kale!)

9.  Dangling Participle Pasta – – Garnished w/ Grated Gravitar Graphics

10. Sauteed Jumbo Shrimp Daily Prawnmpts with Freshly Pressed Garlic and Cleverly Clarified Butter

11. Asian Typing Tai Pei with Wasabi Widgets

 STARVING WRITER’S SPECIAL: Blank Screens Frank & Beans with Wordless Watermelon

AFTER YOUR MEAL, Please Enjoy . . . 

Keyword Keylime Pie

Simile Spumoni

Deleted Donuts

Ping-Back Pumpkin Pie

Published Plum Pudding

Dashboard Cheeseboard

Expressive Espresso

Italian Italicized Ice

OR . . . we could always just eat our own words.

 

Who’s Watching the Kids??

This couple isn't getting divorced. They're arguing over who should inherit their kids.

This couple isn’t getting divorced. They’re arguing over who should inherit their kids.

Being Jewish, the only Godmother I ever actually knew was obsessed with pumpkins, mice, the stroke of midnight, and pranced around singing Bippity Boppety Boo. However I saw a lot of my non-Jewish friends give careful consideration to selecting godparents when their babies were born. I breathed a sigh of relief that we wouldn’t have to choose anyone.

Fast forward to a time when we grasped our own mortality and hired an attorney to draw up our living trust. Interesting that it’s called a LIVING trust and yet they force you to think about DYING.

My husband thought we should choose his mother. And by “mother” I mean “the woman who took a razor to our newborn baby’s head so her hair would grow in thicker and then sought a wet nurse because she was convinced I couldn’t breastfeed properly.” My own mother (upon hearing the possibility that my mother-in-law was in the running) stormed into a fit of jealously just thinking about having to make an appointment to see her own grandchildren with someone who went out of her way to wear an all-white mother-of-the-groom dress at my wedding. “Who does she think she is? Snow White?” Clearly neither grandmother was a good choice.

We moved on to siblings. My husband and I both wrote down the qualifications we thought made our sisters outstanding candidates. Each list had the exact same number of positive attributes, which got us nowhere. At my suggestion, we next jotted down both ladies’ faults so we could pick the lesser of the two evils. (Hi Sis….I love you!)

My Sister

  • Still eats Capt. Crunch cereal.
  • Wears nylons.
  • Wears open-toe heels with those nylons.
  • Saw Star Wars 23 times.

His Sister

  • Shaves her head.
  • Became a wet nurse.
  • Wears white to compete with brides at their wedding.

Hmmmm, understand our dilemma? Also understand his genetics?

Seeing as there wasn’t anyone waving their arms madly while shouting, “pick me, pick me!” we began to weed through our friends. It soon became apparent we were going to need to offer really good “incentives.” That’s a nice way of saying our kids were so bratty, it required bribing our mere acquaintances to please accept this profound responsibility. Even my beautician asked if we’d throw in a lifetime supply of latex gloves along with inheriting our 5-bedroom home? Apparently henna stains are unsightly. I consoled myself thinking my daughter would have perfectly manicured nails for her Bat Mitzvah.

What was happening? This was crazy thinking! What were the odds that something bad would happen to both of us at the same time? We could board separate airplanes. He hates to fly with me anyhow because I leave deep fingernail grooves (the non-manicured kind!) in his arms during scary turbulence.

It was settled. We wouldn’t choose legal guardians because the plan is to live forever. As an extra measure of security however, I have an idea. I’ll buy our daughter a red curly wig and teach her to belt out, “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow!”

Surely Daddy Warbucks doesn’t wear nylons, isn’t a wet-nurse and won’t need a pay-off.

How did you choose guardians in case something happens to you??

You Can’t Be Serious???

Btw, this is a great movie!
Btw, this is a great movie!

Btw, this is a great movie!

From time to time I write non-humorous material but hesitate to post it here because I don’t want to disappoint readers who are expecting chuckles. But if you’re a parent or a teenager (or just vividly remember being a teenager!) you might like to visit these two online magazines that are both featuring my work today.

I’m against labeling (“A label is just a fable!” will be my new bumper-sticker and coffee mug idea!) so if you’re curious why I actually turned to labels to help my teenage daughter, just read my latest piece RIGHT HERE.  Please leave me a comment there if you support this concept.

And you wouldn’t believe the secret life I just found on my Tween daughter’s cellphone (well, maybe YOU would, but I was shocked!) and she’s not alone attending middle school and having this kind of content! Check out my article RIGHT HERE if you’re wondering why I think we should call them  “Smutphones” instead of “Smartphones!” Please tweet this article out if you wanna help me share awareness.

Happy 4th of July to all you wonderful readers and bloggers!

Stephanie

My Boarder Got a Court Order To Sentence Me as a Hoarder!

I've heard of a bouquet of pink Daisies, but this is ridiculous!

I’ve heard of a bouquet of pink Daisies, but this is ridiculous!

I have a female roommate in a spare room in my home (who is also a blogger) and she posted this image of razors from my own bathroom! Imagine my surprise when I told her to delete it or I might sue her for slander (not to mention invasion of privacy!) and she simply smiled and handed me a subpoena to appear before a judge at an official Hoarder trial.

Me!? A person who defines herself first and foremost as a Sentimentalist, now forced to defend myself from Hoarder charges?!  Unthinkable.

I needed witnesses. My six children would certainly help me during my desperate time of need.

Eldest Son:  I don’t know, Mom. Remember when the “Got Junk?” truck parked in our driveway and you told the man, “Everything in this house is absolutely necessary and has a distinct purpose. But you can take my ex-husband.”

Me: That doesn’t make me a hoarder. That makes me clever.

Middle Son: What about the huge stack of Hoarder Self-Help books on your desk?

Daughter: What desk? Mom has a desk?

Me: Never mind, young lady. I’ll have you all know that’s not hoarding, that’s being a collector. Like the stamp collection you had at age five, sweetheart.

Middle Son: Which you still have. Along with all our other Firsts. Our first pair of real pants, shirts, dresses, pajamas, bathing suits, little hats and ties — even our first diapers.

Me: Have you ever tried to have a used diaper bronzed?

Youngest Son: (reluctantly) Okay Mom, we’ll be your star witnesses and tell the jury you’re not a Messy Mom, but actually just a Memory-Maker Mother. But when the judge yells, “Order in the court” I promise I’m gonna shout back, “Why should it be any different here than in our house?”

Me:  Good kids!

On the day of my trial, I carried an armful of evidence. Nineteen very heavy 200-page photo albums bursting with pictures of children’s various school artwork, (which Martha Stewart advised was a good way to capture the memory so I could toss all those ceramic ashtrays and toothpick sculptures in actual garbage pails) so that had to count for something, right? Of course my youngest daughter creatively decoupaged all our garbage pails, so I saved all 8 of them, along with all the contents inside.

My roommate took the stand and proceeded to use the 1950’s movie “The Blob” as an analogy for living with me, “The Slob.”

Roommate: . . . and her mess slowly takes over the entire house, consuming everything in its wake like a grotesque gelatinous monster. One time the family searched high and low for their passports for a trip to Mexico. May I submit . . .

Judge: This isn’t 50 Shades of Grey.

Roommate: I meant may I submit exhibit A? Her file cabinet for important documents looks like this.

FullSizeRender (7)

Roommate: Nobody found what they needed to fly to Acapulco so the poor kids had to hang up a bunch of piñatas (which she still had in her garage from a Mexican themed party) make some guacamole, and shout “Olé!” instead. Even if they located their passports, I doubt they could even find their front door to leave!

Judge: Alright Miss, err what’s your full name?

Roommate:  Fig. Fig Ment

Judge: That’s an odd name. Alright Miss Ment, I’ve heard enough from you. You may step down. We’ll bring Miss Menopause up to the stand to explain why she would have so many pink razors in the first place, which was the original issue at hand.

Me: It’s very simple, Your Honor. It’s plainly just a case of being an environmentalist AND having high self-esteem.

Judge: Fascinating. Go on.

Me: After I shave my legs, I have every intention of throwing the razor away, but then I read the package and it says, “Reusable two or three times.” So to be more green, I save it in a special container. But the next week when I go to shave my legs, I reach for the old razor and think, “I’m 51 years old, I’ve raised 6 kids, I’ve published on The Huffington Post. Don’t I deserve a fresh new razor?” And so it goes each time.

Roommate: For cryin’ out loud — They’re made to be “throwaways!” After a couple of weeks, how come the defendant doesn’t ever throw her “special” container away???!!!!

Judge: No talking out of turn. Order in the court!!

I immediately look at my youngest son, but he wisely remains silent.

Judge: (kindly) Little Miss Menopause, I had a mother just like you. Neurotic. Collected all our soap scraps and sewed them inside washcloths to save guests a step in washing their hands. You may leave the stand. We’ll hear from your roommate again about what she was doing in your bathroom in the first place. Very suspicious since she has her own bathroom!

Roommate: I had to use her bathroom because I accidentally used too much toilet paper and clogged my toilet.

Judge: Did you blog about that as well?

Roommate: Yes.

Judge: I’ve made my decision. Miss Menopause is nothing more than a sweet Memory-Making Mother, so she can go free. But you, Miss Fig Ment, are a Toilet Paper Hogger Clogger Blogger. And that’s a crime I cannot overlook!

Middle Son: But my mother doesn’t even have a roommate! She’s just a Fig Ment of her imagination.

Oldest Daughter:  Yeah, we’re sorry to have wasted your time. Our mother is a writer and has a wild imagination. We think she just feels bad because she’s a horrible housekeeper, so she made this whole thing up.

Judge: Then the court rules that your mother is guilty of having a Guilty Conscience. And that’s punishment enough. Go home and help your mother clean the house, kids.  Next case!

Thank goodness nobody told His Honor that he was also just a fabrication of my mind because I’ve had writer’s block for weeks now!

Provoking the Provocative & Sensing the Sensuous!

1569_12-whatsapp-funny-status-quotes-relationshipI’ve discovered a fascinating blogger named “Erica Erotica.” Yes, that’s what this 52 year-old gorgeous divorcee writer (who’s very open about her new found sexuality) named herself. She’s my brand new inspiration for bringing a Touch of Tantra into my writing. Because why should she be the only one (at this age) who gets to write classy posts about BDSM, Boudoir, Lingerie, Sexual Fantasies and put up tastefully suggestive photos of herself? And yes those images are all really her.

So definitely check Erica Erotica out — because she’s stunning and seems to knows exactly what she’s talking about.  BUT don’t write yours truly, (I am officially now called, “Stephanie Seductressie!”) off as just another baby boomer blogger. You can bet your blindfold I know what’s what in my own bedroom!

Introducing . . .

Six Smoldering, Sultry, Sex-Sireny Suggestions for Sensuality from Stephanie Seductressie

  1. Always dress in the three S’s — That’s satin, silk or Slinky ® — But don’t force that last one into your wardrobe if it doesn’t come naturally for you.  Very few women can carry off silver metal coils wrapped tightly around their thighs. 

    Imagine this alluringly wrapped around your neck.

    Imagine this creative sex toy alluringly draped around your neck.

2. Focus When Doing Your Kugels — It will make that part stronger and everyone will feel more fulfilled. Now is not the time to switch to whole wheat noodles or add extra eggs in your tried and true recipe. My favorite is HERE. Of course be careful when removing from the oven — you wouldn’t want anything to slip out of your hands and spill all over your clean pelvic floor.

3.  Know How to Handle a Long Tantra — This means you catch it early. As soon as your child screams or falls to the ground, you must swiftly put him in his room for time-out. He will soon figure out throwing a tantra is a waste of time. And speaking of time, after the tantra climaxes, look deeply into your lover’s eyes while teasingly offering a cryptic massage, then slowly state the following, “I’ll be right back. It’s too quiet in our child’s room. I think he’s coloring on the walls.”  (Oh. Maybe that should’ve read offering a cryptic message, NOT massage.)

4. Insert the 3 “L” Words, “Love, Lust & Longing” Into Everyday Conversation — Because how can you go wrong inserting anything??  Seriously, it may feel awkward speaking the following phrases, but trust me the results will be fantastic.  Try, “I simply Love when you empty the trash.” or “I’m writing a grocery Lust, are we out of marshmallows for our hot cocoa? (It’s the marshmallows that add to this sexy scenario) or how about, “Go take a Longing walk off a short pier!” Mmmm, draw the bubble bath asap.

5.  Pose For Boudoir Photos — First practice pronouncing “Boudoir” correctly.  I called to make an appointment for pictures in a “Boudoir setting” and found myself headed to Boulder, Colorado. Alright, so you’re definitely a hot little number all on your own, but bringing in props and really setting the stage in the studio can brighten any photographer’s day. In fact my cameraman kept calling me his little “Testosterone Tramp” because I would lean over enticingly, pressing down firmly on my hormone creme pump as he snapped the perfect shots. Don’t forget to bring your own fan. Forget having it off to the side, giving you that sexy, tousled, windblown hair.  Keep that breezy baby center frame with you, aimed directly on your wrists and the back of your neck where it will do some good.  Unless your studio specializes in Hot Flash Photography.

A prop to inspire a thousand fantasies!

A photo prop to inspire a thousand fantasies!

6.  Lingerie — Wear lots of it.  But let’s get one thing straight – – Spanx, even though it is sold in the Lingerie department, does not count. What an ugly word Spanx is. Sounds like something you just slap on, rather than slide into. Now a “negligee” IS lingerie. In fact anything french sounding will work. So you could wriggle into a little attaché case, or puree a soufflé or even slip on a sexy protégé. But if your lingerie works correctly and he touches you exactly the right way – – in keeping with your french theme . . .  after things “culminate” for you, always shout out, “Touché!”

And now if you’d like to glimpse my actual lingerie (and hear it talk) simply click HERE.

Sincerely YOURS,

Stephanie Seductressie

Me, Myself and HER!

article-2338039-1A2D4055000005DC-603_634x433 (2)It’s happening again. This time at the library. I am just told I have three books that are 8 weeks overdue. “Well that sounds just like you, Stephanie,” I can hear you thinking, my dear reader.

True. Except for the title of the books . . .

  • The Power of Math in the Real World” 
  • “Confessions of an Obsessive Housecleaner” 
  • “Chocolate. What’s All the Fuss About?” 

Uh huh.  See what I mean?  I immediately snatch back my $27 in late fees, justifying loudly, “That’s not me. It’s her again.”

Librarian:  Her Who?

Me:  There’s Another Stephanie Lewis.

Librarian:  Smart, clean, skinny little devil, isn’t she?

I know “Lewis” is a common last name, and I’m proud to share it with famous people like Jerry, Carl and Shari but really, there has to be precisely another Stephanie Lewis??  And she has to be in my exact neighborhood, running in my same circles, traipsing around respected public institutions, checking out obscure books and pinning the blame on me?

But this is not her worst fault.  Oh that’s right, I know all about her even though we’ve never met. She has an overbite and bleeding gums. She needs her wisdom teeth out, which she’s putting off until her last kid goes to college. Yep, we share the same dentist and our files seem to be interchangeable. I wonder if she ever takes the credit for my cavity-free check-ups?

Back when people rented movies in a physical storefront, she’d be the first one in line, booking in advance all the new releases like “Kramer Vs. Kramer” and “Rain Man.” This Stephanie Lewis had to be a video hog AND have impeccable taste? Upon checking out my own personal selections, I’d be informed (in front of others standing in line!) “We’ll have “Tootsie,” “The Graduate,” and “Ishtar” in for you any day now, Ms. Lewis.” I’d nod, then smile evilly as I secretly printed my name on a reservation slip for “Deep Throat” and “Reefer Madness,” and then never show my face there again.

T’was a little parting fun surprise for Stephanie’s husband, who perhaps thought her crush on Dustin Hoffman was her biggest issue.

Even with all the mistaken identities at medical facilities, including having the wrong prescriptions delivered to my home (once I almost telephoned her to recommend she eat more yogurt for all those yeast infections) plus mix-ups at dry-cleaners, banks and car-dealerships, I think the very worst thing about having the same name as this woman has got to be her utter and complete altruism and philanthropy.

I cannot tell you the number of times my family replays messages left on our home answering machine stating that I’m being recognized at a special dinner for all my volunteer hours at the homeless shelter. Or receiving an award for calling out Bingo for the senior citizens or the tireless hours spent reading to preschoolers. Because my children know me so well, they instantly delete every one of those niceties.

Well big deal. Listen to what I can do… “I-19.  G-42. O-75.”  And that’s not all. “Goodnight stars, Goodnight sky, Goodnight air. And Goodnight Stephanie Lewis’ everywhere!” See? She thinks she’s the only selfless humanitarian around!

Lately I’ve become accustomed to explaining they have the wrong Stephanie Lewis whenever these charitable organizations call, but now I am starting to feel a tad guilty.  I suppose I can find a little time to “give back,” right??  How hard can it be to “Pay it forward” every once in a while?

So it came as no surprise to me when the head of the school PTA called yesterday, informing me I would need to bring my own set of power tools when I came to help set-up for Grad Night at my son’s high school this weekend. Remembering my newfound unselfish philosophy, I gleefully tore apart my house, searching for a stray hammer or wrench so I could show up during her designated shift and finally meet this Stephanie Lewis in the flesh once and for all — a wonder woman who apparently needed no coverage for any of her gray hairs at The Tousled Tresses Salon around the corner.. FullSizeRender (6)

No sooner did I set foot in the high school parking lot when I saw a very pretty lady getting pulled over by campus security as they loudly announced on their walkie-talkies, “We’ve finally apprehended Ms. Lewis. Now we’re gonna collect on her back-owed tickets!” She sat mouth agape in her sparkling red car, no doubt wondering how she’d accrued over $440 dollars in penalties because (obviously!) she’d always diligently ordered that pesky required parking permit.

I scurried away as the Principal of the school and a guidance counselor strode sternly in her direction. Again I knew what this matter was about. Poor woman apparently now had a son who organized not only Senior Ditch Day but also Senior Prank Day and there were 1500 water balloons that had exploded and damaged some antique desks that belonged to Abraham Lincoln.  Tut, tut. My Her son should definitely lose his cellphone for that little indiscretion.

Before I left the scene entirely, I made an impromptu decision to drop by her car and interrupt the commotion for just a moment. As I grabbed her power tool case, (I informed her I’d be happy to fill in for her tonight) I dropped a Hershey’s bar on her front seat. “Here you go, Stephanie. You may as well find out right now why chocolate will be your sudden “go-to comfort food” in this exciting new life of yours.”

Don’t worry – – she’ll be fine.  She might just want to spell Stephanie, “Stefanie” for a bit.

And now if you’ll excuse me dear Readers, I’ve heard that this other Stephanie Lewis has just published an article on Scary Mommy, which is an amazing online magazine that I’ve been dying to get my writing on for months.  I think I’ll just go clarify in the comments section that I’m actually the Stephanie D. Lewis author they should be crediting RIGHT HERE.

Sugar And Spice And My Gender Advice!

imagesA pregnant woman swallows a capsule shaped like a miniature smartphone. Through a special sensor, the gender of her unborn baby is accurately determined and the fetus texts its mommy saying, “Guess what? I’m a boy!!” Okay maybe not. But I’ve got some more realistic (though quirky!) ways for couples who are into this sort of thing. And apparently people are actually throwing lavish parties where they can find out what they’re having at the same time as their guests!  Please come pay me a visit as I list 10 unique ways to reveal the news and if you can leave a comment there instead of here (if it made you laugh, that is) it really helps me get more of my writing featured on these kind of websites.  Just click HERE to read me on the fabulous BLUNTmoms magazine!  Thank you and I’m back in California soon to visit all your amazing blogs!

ps.  If you’ve ever planned a Bar Mitzvah, attended one, or just wonder what the heck that is, I’ve done some humor with 13 tips on how NOT to plan one right HERE.

Of Lice & Men

FullSizeRender-4Okay, that’s my ridiculous attempt at silver linings and seeing the glass half full. Seriously? A family with six kids gets sent plague #3 ?! There must be an error somewhere.

“Dear God, I would like to apply for the (#9)Darkness or the (#2)Frogs or (#8)Locusts plague instead. Thank you.”

I also find it fascinating that two of my biggest phobias just happen to rhyme. LICE and MICE. I also don’t have great rapport with dry ICE or brown wild RICE either, but that’s another blog. She’s just a little girl and already I’ve doused her head with Tea-Tree & Lavender Essential Oil, Campho-Phenique, Listerine Mouthwash, and Cetaphyl Cleanser. She won’t even bat an eye when she joins a college sorority and has to go through their hazing phase. On three successive nights I wrapped her scalp in mayonnaise, then olive oil and finally vinegar in the hopes of smothering these critters. On the 4th night I just tossed up a Caesar salad instead.

 Here Are  My 10 Astute Lice Observations After Dealing with this Trauma for Far Too Long.

  1. Close-Up: Whatever you do, NEVER look at a picture on the Internet of a single louse under a microscope. You will either shave your child’s head or send her to boarding school for six months so THEY can deal with these monstrous, grotesque, gargantuan inhabitants.
  2. Machinery: There is something called a LouseBuster which will make you look twice, thinking it says, “SpouseBuster.”LouseBuster It doesn’t but should.
  3. Professionals: There are people who get rid of lice for a price. I amused myself thinking up names for their businesses while I waited for them to run through each individual strand of my daughter’s long hair with a “Nit-onator” comb. The salon was simply called, “The Nit-Picker.”  How dull is that? Might I suggest “The Lice Whisperer” or “Sugar & Spice & Everything Lice.” or “Tip of the Liceberg” or “Once bitten, Lice Shy” or “Breaking the Lice” or  “At Nit’s End” or “Nit’s a Small World After All!” or “Playing Nit By Ear.” or “A No-Win Nituation” or “Laying Nit On The Line.” or “Like Nit or Lump Nit.” or “I wouldn’t touch Nit with a Ten-Foot Pole!” or “Get Over Nit!” and my personal favorite,  “Nit happens!” Gosh, who needs to blog?  I’ll just sit around and name parasitic petulance companies all day long.
  4. Longevity: Because live lice and nits cannot survive without their host scalp for longer than 48 hours, you don’t have to clean your home, you just need to starve it of humans. Move to a new residence!
  5. The Blame Game: Stay in Offensive mode when you report this experience (and you really should!) to the parents of your kid’s friends. Insist that it’s their unkempt child who gave it to your precious tot in the first place. Don’t back down on this one, trust me.
  6. Neat Freak: You will never clean your house as thoroughly as you will after a lice infestation. And by “you,” I mean your spouse.
  7. Facts: According to “Lice Literature” they can hold their teeny tiny little breaths for up to 8 hours. So if the plan is to jump in a chlorinated pool, you’ll need scuba gear. Also, they cannot jump or fly. Now that’s just a bold-faced lie — explain to me how they get on the body part that is the furthest away from the ground? I’ll believe this statement the day lice start colonizing toes and feet.
  8. Paranoia: If you go to your child’s pediatrician for the initial diagnosis (because you’re confused about identifying a nit from a piece of dandruff) and the Dr. suddenly exclaims, “Oh wow, her scalp is just teeming with them. Come closer Mom — let me educate you on what they look like,” and you run from the examination room screaming, “Teeming?? Teeming?! Who SAYS that??” Expect the physician to scribble notes in your child’s medical file about future hereditary mental illness.
  9. Mystery: If you want to capture someone’s attention, walk into Target and ask the clerk, “On what aisle would I find products to kill . . .” then whisper the rest in her ear. Ten people will follow you around the store.
  10. Controversy: If you keep your child home from school, the head-lice have won! Seriously, if you’re sick of reading about mommy/childhood vaccination wars, just write a post saying you sent your kid to school with a full-blown, active case of lice. Save this blog for April Fool’s Day.
  11. Drama:  When the lice problem finally goes away (and it will!) you will be reduced to your best Scarlett O’hara impersonation, dropping to your knees on old shag carpet, holding up the empty casing of a nit while shouting to the heavens, “As God as my witness, I’ll never be itchy again!”

And now since my home is so clean you can eat off the floor, I’m issuing a formal invitation to come for dinner tonight. Just don’t show-up empty-handed. That’s a pest-peeve of mine.

There are Lice Salons where classy coiffed parasites get perms and blow-drys!

There are “Lice Salons” where classy coiffed parasites can get perms and blow-drys!