5 Reasons You Should Make a Dating Profile for Your Ex-Spouse (With an Example!)

This doesn't mean your ex is "mousy."

This doesn’t mean your ex is “mousy.”

Disclaimer:  I am in no way “pro-divorce.” But once it occurs, I think both parties should make the best of it.

 

  Creating a Dating Profile For Your Ex Is An Idea Whose Time Has Come and Here is Why!

1. You’re divorced and have moved on in a healthy manner, but your Ex hasn’t quite made the transition.  He or she is  “mopey” (in that same way that made you want to give them a haircut in their sleep when you were married to them because THEN they’d really have something to mope about!) or he/she simply hasn’t developed that “confident single attitude” yet. However, the two of you have stayed civil and you’d like to help this person (whom you supposedly cared enough about to take vows with)  get “out there” with a friendly little (okay, big) Shove.

2. It’s been quite some time now after your split and “somehow” you got signed up to pay spousal support for (a) the rest of the duration of your Ex’s natural life OR  (b) until he/she remarries. How to shorten this outcome?  (Hint: I’m talking about option (b) – – that’s the moral/ethical one!) Writing a dating profile on their behalf to get them married off will abbreviate this route significantly!

3. You’re doing a great service for society. Nobody knows your Ex like you do, right?  Therefore, writing a personal ad for them will actually lessen the future divorce rate in our country by helping his/her dates have reasonable expectations. Your personal ad will reflect accurate reality and allow the new potential Suitor (or Suitess in the case of your ex-husband) to do their due diligence completely online!  But you must be fair and honest in your description and respond to all follow-up questions courteously and without intent to sabotage.

4. You have kids and you would very much like to steer your Ex toward a quality individual so that you can sleep at night knowing your Ex won’t bring Charlie Manson or Kim Kardashian to your children’s Back to School Night.  In other words – – You are a Control Freak.

5. Your Ex is still very much obsessed with the past and drives you crazy trying to go back in time and rewrite history with statements that begin with, “If only we would have ____________, we would still be married today.”  They may fill in the blank with some of the following…

If only we would have . . .

  • Dated longer before tying the knot
    Had better communication
    Had More sex
    Had Less sex
    Put a lock on the refrigerator
    Had double sinks
    Had His and Her Bank Accounts
    Had a slight inkling that cheating would be destructive
    Gagged your mother
    Worn coordinating Halloween costumes like Romeo & Juliet
    or John & Lorena Bobbitt

You get the idea.  They dwell forever and have an unrealistic idea about reconciling. They need a real life distraction with a new relationship!  Yep, yep they surely do!

Here is the profile I wrote for my ex-husband and examples of follow-up correspondence.

Nice Enough Guy, Still Looks Pretty Good Thru Lots of Marital Stress!

Versatile Aged Man who could pass for 42 (if you don’t keep up with your optometrist appointments) or could also sneak by as 65 (and often will try this to get a Senior Discount at the movies) Seeks Loving Female who gets that “he works hard all day and when he comes home would just like a little peace and quiet, some good food and lots of sex.  Is that too much to ask for?” The preceding was a direct quote that I can replay for you on my cellphone (which I recorded without his knowledge) if you call me on my landline after 10 am.  I can’t stomach hearing it any earlier than that because the volume/tone of his voice is quite irritating when I first wake up. You’ll understand six months in.

He’ll be your biggest fan and best friend in every way you can think of….except will  NOT go shopping, compliment your appearance, help around the house, make you a surprise party, or hold your hair back during morning sickness, which everyone knows is really All Day sickness  – – but pleeease be beyond that stage of your life!  Makes a mean pot of chili for Super Bowl Sunday and bucks up when he gets a cold.  No acting like a big baby on the sofa with a  99.5 temperature for this dude.  Nuh uh.

Treats your family nice when they’re over, but afterwards might make a few off color jokes about the low-cut dress your sister wore.  But hey, at least he notices fashion!  Note:  He WILL always tell you your ass looks great in those jeans (regardless of how much of a bubble butt you have) because he’s learned this gets him a little somethin’/somethin’ later that night, so definitely do NOT go by him when you’re getting dressed for an evening out.

Great with cars, (driving, washing and repairing) and will even stop to ask directions (only after you’ve been cruising around, lost for at least 10 minutes) but overreacts terribly if you drive over a curb, back into a pole, or happen to smash into a parking attendant booth, causing your car to get banned from the movie theatre forever. Supportive of your career if it’s math or science related but if you’re a writer, have a ready-made list completely memorized so you can easily rattle of the answer to  “what exactly did you do all fucking day long?” (Again, phone me after 10 am for voice inflection example.)

TEN ADJECTIVES TO DESCRIBE WHAT HE’S LOOKING FOR IN THE NEW WOMAN:  Flexible, (physically and emotionally) Gullible, Sweet, Able to be Well-Kempt on a Budget,  Possess a Patient Sense of Humor (ability to laugh enthusiastically at the same joke over and over again as if you are a Virgin Audience) and must have a Positive Nature (the washing machine isn’t old and broken, it’s quaint and charming!)

HIS  IDEA OF A  REALLY  GOOD  FIRST  DATE:  Not to spoil any fun or surprises for you, but do dress in something you won’t care gets ruined. And eat lots of protein beforehand. (Oh, and bring a single sharp knitting needle, some super-glue, and some feathers)

More Questions?  Contact me at    EveryoneDeservesASecondChanceJustNotWithMe@gmail.com

Hi there – – Everything sounds pretty typical here with the no shopping and no compliments, but can you tell me if he would ever be open to  breakfast in bed ?

Signed,

Wondering Stella

Dear W.S.

Yes, he’ll be on the receiving end any weekend morning.  Oh, silly me.  Did you mean will he ever serve YOU  brunch in bed?  On Mother’s day and sometimes Valentine’s day, but you have to be okay with runny eggs because he once overcooked them and I made the mistake of complaining so now he overcompensates. (or else he’s just vindictive)

Little Miss Menopause

Hi and Thank you for telling it like it is.  What about talking? Will he just listen without always trying to solve or fix everything?

Signed,

Just Need A Sounding Board

Dear J.N.A.S.B.

Yes, he will stay very quiet and let you talk, but you should occasionally check to make sure he hasn’t completely tuned you out.  I sometimes interrupt my own monologue about going to the pediatrician’s office by seductively saying, “… and the next thing I knew, he pushed me back on his desk and he was an incredible lover — I climaxed over twenty times!” Then I strategically pause just to see if he jolts forward and says, “Huh??”

With regards to trying to solve your problems or fix everything.  Do not worry your pretty little head.  He’ll fix absolutely nothing.  Especially  if it’s in desperate need of repair.

Little Miss Menopause

To Whom it May Concern:  Good idea to write your Ex’s profile but you don’t mention money very much. Did you get jewelry?  Taken out for meals?  What about vacations, live-in maids and weekly massages?

Signed,

Just Appreciate Pleasure

Dear J.A.P.

This may NOT concern me anymore since I removed the cubic-zirconia from my left hand, but You REALLY need to move along to a different profile. You’ve got the wrong guy.

Little Miss Menopause

Hey! So what exactly does he look like?  On a scale of 1-10, what did your friends think about him?  I really can’t be with a guy who is losing his hair, or is shorter than I am, or has that little stomach paunch thing going on.

Signed,

Some Have A Little Less Of Worth

Dear  S.H.A.L.L.O.W.

You must be gorgeous.  Life must be Perfect. Your manicure never chipped.  And you’re still looking for your Significant Other because……???

Little Miss Menopause

Well there you have it!  A totally new concept in “Dating After Divorce!”  I will be starting my own website where you too, can make a profile exactly like the one above for your own Ex, so stay tuned for your chance to submit something at “MySpouseWasn’tACompleteLouse.Dot Com.” Please leave an indication in the comment section below whether I should hold space for a Text Profile  (with endless scrolling for your vivid descriptions) or a Visual Profile because you can get the job done with a single photo and a short video clip of your Ex in the shower.
Happy Life After Divorce!

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Paying It Forward Backfires!

photo-167Disclaimer: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

It all started with an innocuous online message.  “ 1)  Make a list of five people and do an act of kindness for each.   2)   Ask each of them to pass it on to five more people.   3)   Enjoy making the world a better place!”  Simple, yes?   Oh right, there was a fourth step.   4) “Now you’ve seen this message and cannot Unsee it!  If you break the cycle of good deeds – – bad things will happen!”

This was “Pay It Forward” Damien Omen style!

“Unsee it??”  My  OCD  now  properly  activated,  I decided to keep a carefully detailed journal for proof and safety documentation.

        1st   Act  Of   Kindness:  Sent My Mother Flowers

       Result:

Mom:   Got your flowers. This  your way of saying, “the bloom is off the rose?”

Me:   Ma,  Nobody says that anymore.

Mom:   But you’re thinking it!

Me:   I just wanted you to have some grace and beauty.

Mom:   Some Grace.  I dropped a glass pitcher trying to water them. And in a few days, I’ll have a dead bouquet. There’s your Beauty.

Me:   Okay nevermind.  But do me a favor, do something nice for five friends, ok?

Mom:    I should do YOU a favor and do something nice?  You want something nice done, do it yourself.

Me:    Alright.  I’ll do kind deeds in your honor.  And put your name on them.

Mom     Don’t do me any favors!   Better you should  sign it, “From Your Secret Pal.”

Me:    Nobody has those anymore.

Mom:    My Mahjong ladies are here.   I have to defrost the water.  It’s  still  frozen.

Me:    Ma,  That’s  called  ice.

Me:    (into dial tone)   Be careful.  There’s a cycle of goodness that shouldn’t  be… Hello, hello  Mom?  How’s your rheumatism?

2nd Act of Kindness:  Put Chocolate Heart in Son’s School Lunch.

photo-163

            Result:

Son:   What’s with the candy?  One of your nags to see Dr. Tartar  for my cavities?

Me:   Not at all.  Just conveying love.

Son:   Well, now Savannah is jealous.

Me:   And you’re absolutely positive she wasn’t born in Georgia?  Maybe  conceived?

Son:    Seriously?!   It’s called a Destination Name.  Very popular.

Me:   Okay, okay.  So your Resort-Style, Vacation Girlfriend is jealous because your own mother loves you?

Son:   Hell,  I  couldn’t  show  her  that  Lame-o  note of yours.   So she thinks the heart  is  from Madison,  (who was not born OR conceived in Wisconsin)  but who beat her out of head Cheerleader and now she hates her guts.

Me:   Sorry to hear that.  But please abide by the rules and pay it forward.  I have this cycle…

Son:   Why do you always have to bring your monthly friend into everything?  Maybe after my Physics finals.

Me:   (swallowing hard)   Uh   oh.  You’re  in  the  middle  of  finals??   (Secret Pal better strike again!)

3rd Act of Kindness:  Left a Water Bottle for the Mailman

generic water bottle: no trademark infringement!

generic water bottle:
no trademark infringement!

       

           Result:

Mailman:   I’m sorry Little Miss Menopause,  but  I  gotta  issue  you a citation for using marked US Postal Service property as a trash receptacle.

Me:  (batting lashes)   It was  terribly  warm out.  I thought you might be thirsty.

Mailman:   It’s 62 degrees out.  Are you having one of your Hot Flashes or Confusion Episodes,  Miss  Meno?

Me:    No,  I  am not.  Clearly,  I  was  NOT  littering.  There was a “Pay it Forward” note that was attached.

Mailman:     I’m  returning  your note,  postage  due.

Me:     You don’t understand.  We mustn’t break the chain.

Mailman:    Chain letters are illegal to send through the mail.   I’ll have to report that too.

Me:     Okay, okay.  But please, when you get home – – can you just cook your  wife  a nice dinner or something?

Mailman:   That’s  very  unlike  me.  She’ll  guess  you and  I  are  having an affair.  Plus she’s about to have a baby, remember?

Me:  (swallowing harder)   OMG,  Rosemary’s  Baby!!!

Mailman  (pats  my  hand)     It’ll  all  be okay once  your  Xanax  gets  bumped up.  See you at 11 pm tonight when  I’ll  make a delivery  with  “the complete package.”  I’ll knock three times.

Me:   Shouldn’t you ring?  Doesn’t the Postman Always Ring Twice?? (Note to self: Write a blog about people conversing using only Movie  Title  dialogue)

4th Act of Kindness:  Bought  Random  Buff  Guy  a  Coffee  at Starbucks

Forget Trademark infringement. Maybe they'll sponsor my blog!

Forget Trademark infringement. Maybe Starbucks will sponsor my blog!

        Result:

Guy:   This  some  kinda  sick  joke?   I’m on a health kick.  I just gave up caffeine a week ago.  It interfered with my steroids.  I’m  only  here for  the  chocolate crumb cake.

Me:    Oh, sorry!  Could you pass this coffee to the cute, elderly lady behind you, then? But say it’s from you.  I’d like you to take the credit.

Guy:   Oh  man  Gramma!  Is your tongue ok?  This crazy broad  in front of me  made me  give you scalding coffee.

Me:   (leaning)   Sorry,  Gram.  But  did you see that movie, “Pay It Forward?”  With Helen Hunt?

Guy:    Hard of hearing.  She’s looking around for  Candid Camera.

Me:     No,  not  Funt,  Dear.  Hunt.  Hunt.  HUNT!

Guy:    Now she thinks you’re calling her a female body part.

Me:     Naturally.

5th Act of Kindness: Go to Stationery Store and Buy a “From Your Secret Pal” Stamp and Send Blank Checks To…(deep breath)

1. My Mother’s entire Mahjong group  2. Her Rheumatologist  3.  Son’s Physics teacher  4. Our dentist,  Dr. Tartar  5. Son’s girlfriend Savannah  6. All her Timeshare cheerleader friends:  Madison,  Brooklyn,  Tallahassee,  Seattle,  Massachusetts,  &  of course, Mt. Kilimanjaro  7.   The Mailman’s Wife,  8.  Their  OB-GYN,  9. Starbucks Staff,  10.  The Buff Guy’s Grandmother’s Hearing Aid Salesman, 11. Helen Hunt  12.  Alan Funt  13.  (and for good measure) Emily Blunt & Bonnie Hunt.

Oh and what the hell,  send Steven Spielberg the ominous “Pay It Forward” note.  (Evil laugh)  Let him be the one to worry about “Just when you thought it was safe to go to your mailbox!”  He could use a Prequel.

photo-165

Hum the Theme from Jaws starting now…..

Do Opposites Attract?! (Maybe if you have a Magnetic Personality)

  Blech!

Blech!

“Birds of a feather flock together.” Maybe that just means you should marry someone who also owns a parakeet. In honor of February and Valentines Day, I’m trying to find out if there’s any truth to that age old theory that opposites not only attract; they make for long sustaining unions?

First I will confess to writing Snopes.com to convince them to list this notion as an urban legend based on my past, personal (and polarized!) relationships, which went downhill faster than Lady Gaga can belt out, “Bad Romance.” Now I’m not talking the Donny and Marie syndrome, (“she’s a little bit country, he’s a little bit rock n’ roll”) I mean true fundamental differences at the very core of your personalities. So can extreme opposites ever really work out in the long run?

I’ve been married nine times. Note: In reality I’ve only walked down the aisle twice but I’m trying to disguise my situation because my ex-husbands are best buddies and claim they’ll collaborate to sue me if I ever blog about them. (Like you can copyright aggravation!) Maybe after reading this, they’ll join forces and search for the seven other stashed away, missing ex-husbands instead!

Husband #6 (really #1 but shhhh!) seemed like your typical romantic bachelor during courtship, but I soon realized he was a Sciencemathologist. That’s code for being a total left-brained thinker. (Note: I’m a right-brained creative, emotional personality type – just in case fabricating seven extra marriages and concocting the word “Sciencemathologist” didn’t tip you off)

This husband expressed his affection by custom ordering Valentine conversation candy with the periodic table elements on them. I found this slightly endearing – after all, how many chalky, heart-shaped Pepto-Bismols proclaiming, “crazy4u” can you consume? And there’d be instances when I’d need the atomic number for both helium and aluminum, right? Suppose I simultaneously bought a party balloon and a roll of Reynolds Wrap?  Hey, it could happen.  photo-155

“Oh Honey, No diamond engagement ring, please. I’ll just loop some carbon atoms around my finger,” said no Bride-To-Be ever!

Instead of anniversaries symbolized with the traditional gifts of paper, linen, silk, bronze and pearls, he favored titanium, sulfur, lithium, sodium (sodium got me a saltshaker) hydrogen, and chlorine.  No, that last one doesn’t mean he built us a swimming pool. My friends deemed it “quaint” but I wasn’t sticking around for the big ten-year gifts — plutonium and arsenic.photo-156

A certain other husband (who shall remain numberless) was a painstakingly slow decision maker, a fastidious planner, and tossed food out days before the sell-by dates. I’m carefree and spontaneous, (sounds better than saying disorganized and impulsive) and happen to know Dannon puts premature expirations on their yogurt. Heck, I even throw caution to the wind and buy day-old donuts. Needless to say, leaving the house simultaneously was impossible, let alone going away on vacations. Miles ahead, I’d sneak through airport security, (harboring full-size tubes of Colgate, mind you) while back home, he hunched over the bathroom sink, deliberating, “should toothpaste really have baking soda in it?”

Yep, he highlighted expiration dates.

(above) Yep, he highlighted expiration dates.

And SEX! So how was intimacy, you might inquire? Scheduled and organized. Or maybe that was just a game of “Twister” we always played? (“Left hand on red negligee!”) Where was his soap-opera push me down on the pillows passion play? Things were entirely too calm in the boudoir and elsewhere. Grocery shopping was equally regimented, with elaborate lists written for a week’s worth of dinners. Do you know on Sunday if you’ll be in the mood for beef-stew on Wednesday in the dining room? Or (ahem) “Beefcake” on Friday in the bedroom?!

I’m certainly not the only one grappling with these oil & water issues. My friend Tiffany (who promises NOT to sue me if I mention her scenario) enjoys expressing herself with eloquent and flowery phrases that even Hallmark has plagiarized. However her boyfriend (who doesn’t care enough to send the very best, but still expects a little somethin’ somethin’) is one of those “Love Ya” kinda guys.

You know the type. They can’t even be bothered to spell “love” correctly, so she gets “Luv Ya!” And exactly what part of speech is “Ya” anyhow? Pretty sure it’s an exclamation like “duh or “meh.” If a man can’t commit to using a solid personal pronoun, then he shouldn’t be dangling his participles in your direction. But yesterday Tiffany excitedly called to report a new revelation . . . he switched to “Wuv You!”  Not wanting to shatter her “Tiffany Epiphany” I said, “Congratulations, Tiff. Now you can say you’re in a relationship with a guy who speaks fluent Kitten.”

photo-162

I still haven’t come to any definitive conclusions on this whole opposite dilemma but as you read this, I’ll probably be answering the door to find both my exes standing united, holding an official court summons.

On the porch will sit a Bunsen burner and some stale Sourdough rolls. “Even though you didn’t use our real names and you changed our marital numerical order, we still recognized ourselves in your blog” they’ll accuse in unison. And I’ll be hard pressed to deny it – after all, personality traits as distinctively irritating as theirs are hard to camouflage.

But I’ll finally have my answer to the age-old question. Do opposites definitely attract? No, but they definitely attack!

Have you been drawn to your opposite?  Did it last? I’d love to hear.

           

Bad Bitter Butter!

Bad Bitter Butter!

  

He HIGHLIGHTED the exp. date!
He HIGHLIGHTED the exp. date!

                .

photo-162

“I’ll Have What She’s Having!”

photo-152I recently watched the “climactic” restaurant scene in,  When Harry Met Sally  and while it could’ve inspired a racy post about “Women Who Fake it And Why,” I’m sorry to say that instead it conjured up a “Once Upon My Prime” flashback.  When I was newly single, (between marriages)  I immediately turned to food for help.  Not eating it.  Working with it.

“A cobb salad without any cobbs please,” said Goofy, Gangly, Glasses Guy who promptly looked at me and laughed heartily, his next phone call most likely to a comedy club, booking himself a stand-up performance. I smiled back (because that’s how you increase tips) but inside I was shouting, “Yeah, Mr. Original…That’s the third time I’ve heard that. Tonight!”

My first job in the restaurant business was actually as a hostess. I thought seating people would be easy and ringing up their checks would be okay too, even though balancing my own checkbook required taking a Dramamine for motion sickness. I even learned to tolerate being called the “Hostess with the Mostess” from male customers and perfected my “Splenda” sweet voice when I took names down and chirped, “five to ten minutes and we’ll call you,” even though I knew damn well it would be more like thirty.

There were a few troublemakers who no matter where you started to lead them, were already looking around to sit elsewhere. It could be the best booth in the house with an ocean view but nope… “The food always tastes better on the other side of the restaurant!” was their basic philosophy. I had this one well-dressed couple, (obviously a special night) with the guy insisting he read in a newspaper review that he should ask to sit in “The Back Room” because it was more intimate. He kept turning to his femme fatale date, desperately trying to impress her with his experienced ways, boasting,”Wait till you see it back here.”  After politely trying to deter him from where he wanted to go, I finally acquiesced, leading him and his lady directly through those back double doors to . . . sit in the restroom.  And Bon’ Appetitoilet!

The biggest break-thru (for my mental health AND my lungs) came when the “No smoking” law was finally enforced in California.  I can’t count how many diners I played musical chairs with when the tobacco stench drifted over the imaginary line from the Smoking Zone into the Non-Smoking Section. Whose brillant idea was that anyway?  Probably the same genius who decided that handing out little light-up, vibrating pagers would make customers feel like important doctors.  “It’s blinking,” whined most elderly folks at the hostess stand, “Our table is ready!”  I would then have to explain that only when it loudly buzzed, scaring the Bruschetta outta them, THAT’S when I would seat them for their meatloaf dinner. Geez, and who goes OUT to order something their mother force fed them at home?

Customers aside, my main problem were the female food-servers. They were so belittling and patronizing with me.  Probably because my job wasn’t as physically demanding, yet they still had to split their gratuity with me at the end of the evening.  However there was power, prestige (and vengeance) in being the first one to greet (and size up) guests in a restaurant. I easily learned who the regular, obnoxious customers were and intentionally sat them in a few certain witch’s stations. “You have a bad cold, smell like Essence of Wet Gym Sock #5, or you leave pennies as tips?  Right this way, please!  After that, these catty girls warmed up to me and even taught me the ropes so that I too was promoted to be… horror of horrors…A WAITRESS! (there was no politically correct job titles then)

As a waitress,  I was disorganized, impatient, clumsy, and in short not very good at all. But I really, truly tried to please because that was my nature. The best part of the job was the people watching I did. It’s amazing to me how many couples sat down, the woman ordering “just a dinner salad, please” for her whole meal and then either nonchalantly picked off her male companion’s plate the entire time or waited until he got up and wolfed down his portion when he wasn’t looking. Women…just order food for God’s sake! You came to a restaurant presumably to eat, right?

The other typical occurrence would happen when I asked someone how their meal was, and they would answer, “Oh, it’s okay.” Guaranteed – –  something was wrong with it!  Either these customers were not assertive enough to speak up or they were actually frustrated writers who would leave a War and Peace commentary on the back of their check in red sharpie, for my manager to read. But either way, I didn’t have the time to stand there and pry out of them what was unappealing, so most often I’d just smile sweetly and say, “Well that’s nice, enjoy,” and get the hell out of there.  But once I  had this one woman who moped over her uneaten Chef Salad, making occasional grief-stricken faces.  Finally I demanded, “Is something wrong?” “Well,” she bemoaned, ” I have this really Big Salad (she must’ve seen Seinfeld!) and only a teeny, tiny little bit of dressing.” Okay, please! Just ask for more Ranch, but don’t sit there and memorialize lunch.

Here’s the thing – –  if your meal is only “okay,” a waitress cannot read your mind about what to do to make it “Really Great!” Please state exactly what is wrong so it can be fixed WHILE you are still eating it. We don’t bite (or spit!) you know.  I always laughed at the customers who cleaned their plates and then wanted to send things back. “Gee, our management is strange that way,” I’d tell them… “they won’t let me take things off the bill that visit your GI tract!”

that subtle "bug-eyed."

That subtle “bug-eyed” look.

I’ll never forget when I did a brief stint in a family-style restaurant where the owners still had us wear these strategically cleavage-baring tops. Being busty, I got accustomed to the husband’s (or the father’s) lingering glances and even a few with what they thought were witty euphemisms as they’d place their order and inquire, “Wow, are melons in season?” But one day a family sat down and after they placed their order of scrambled eggs and ketchup (yep, surprised how many people did that!) I felt the head of  household’s eyes leering down my blouse, non-stop. As Dad ogled me, their little boy kept handling (and knocking over) all the condiments; the glass salt and pepper shakers, the syrups and the sugar packets, you name it. Suddenly the mother yelled, “Okay you! You can look at those things all you want, but don’t even think about touching them!” The husband jumped up so hard, his knees banged the bottom of the table and silverware rattled. He and I exchanged knowing, “inside joke” looks and he left me a $20 bill that morning.

TOP TEN TIPS FOR THOSE GOING OUT TO EAT TONIGHT:

1.   Be decisive when I come around. Before you order, don’t look charmingly confused and ask me if I can tell you what Aunt Beatrice just ordered. Who the hell is Beatrice? Along the same lines, don’t ponder aloud, “Gee, is everyone really getting a full meal?” Who cares…just order what YOU want.

2.  Please don’t bring your favorite OCD friends and think they’ll be interesting table-mates. If someone NEEDS to have their toast dotted with butter 5 times (true story!) they’ll be Toast in our establishment.

3.   If after only five minutes you’re going to nag me, “Where’s our food?” Be prepared to be told sweetly, “Why, in the kitchen, of course.”

4.   In a classy restaurant, leave the children who crash into my tray, blow straw wrappers, and gargle with the olive oil at home! Unless you’re planning on ordering our special Ritalin appetizer for your little Shrimp Cocktail!!

5.   If you’re going to be a regular customer, please consider tipping.

6.   If you pay with a gift card or a coupon and the meal costs you nothing, please consider tipping.

7.   Just point if you can’t pronounce something on the menu. Don’t suavely say, “I’ll have a side of rototiller instead of rice.” I’ll never figure out you mean ratatouille.

8.   Don’t be so cheap that you tell me your child never eats and so you’ll just share your entrée with them. This is actually fine until you start politely requesting (one item at a time, within the course of the meal) A. side of tomatoes  B. some grated cheese, C. a little lettuce, D. shredded carrots and E. a fork.  I see what you are up to . . . You’re creating a salad!

"It wasn't him, it was that fresh lobster!"

“It wasn’t him, it was that fresh lobster!”

9.   Honestly Dads…don’t pinch a waitress on her derrière and then look the other way, chuckle, and pretend it was your toddler son.

10.  Dieters…don’t ask a waitress to warm up your Jenny Craig frozen dinner and bring it with the rest of the table’s food. And No, I don’t know “how many points” a premium slice of cheesecake is.   Probably too many my dear Weight Watcher, and I betcha a slice of cheese is a better choice.

And finally, if your dinner is really taking a ridiculously long time to make its appearance, chances are great that another server stole your entree from the warming counter and is now serving the hot goods (in more ways than one!) to her own impatient customer! But as consolation, bend over and I’ll be glad to pinch you on your own butt while confidently rattling off the ingredients in our Molten Lava Cake.

There – – wasn’t that infinitely more stimulating than reading about women who pretend to have an orgasm??

How To Become a New Blogger & Not Sound Like An Old Codger! (or Codgerette)

Pen and Ink or Calligraphy Blogs like this are coming back in vogue, so you should strengthen your fingers!

Pen and Ink or Calligraphy Blogs like this are coming back in vogue, so you should strengthen your fingers!

DISCLAIMER:  (Are you noticing all my recent posts have disclaimers? I think I’m onto something)

Anyhow….DISCLAIMER: I am far too young (and therefore not too qualified) to write this particular post. You might find its content laughable. I sincerely hope you do.

However that being said, my grown children apparently think a “How To” post exactly like this one needs to be out there. And they (coincidentally) formulated this thought immediately after I told them that I (49 years and holding) have started my own blog. Hmmmm.

Here’s how the conversation actually went.

Me:   Guess what?

Daughter:   You rewrote your Will and I’m back in?

Me:   Funny.  No,  I’m starting a blog.

Daughter: (rolls one eye)   Oh, that  IS  funny. Well, you can post your updated Will on the blog then. As well as your Advance Medical Directives and funeral instructions. Make it a static page.

Me:   Are you implying nobody will be interested in anything I have to say?

Middle Son:   I’d be interested in your cremation. And at what point on Space Mountain I should scatter your ashes?

Me: (dryly)  I really hope Disneyland cancels your annual pass.

Eldest Son:   So that’s your last dying wish then?

I should add that I actually have six kids, however three of them always mumble or talk so softly that I can never catch anything they say. But whatever they said, it was probably not as respectful as above.

So here we go . . . (Note: I am using a typical “How to Start a Blog” template and customizing it for an audience that is WELL ABOVE my age range. Yeah, right.)

1. GIVE YOUR BLOG A UNIQUE NAME – – I happen to be partial to, “My Foggy, Soggy, Groggy, Sloggy, Smoggy Bloggy!” But that’s just me. This has to be YOUR blog. Your own identity. You could choose something like, “Oh, My Aching Blog,” or “How’s That Again?” or even “The Old Blog and The Sea,” if you want to be literary and you like Hemingway. Poor examples of a name would be “Blanche’s Bland, Bleak Blog,” or “Blackbeard’s Bleeping, Blathering Blog.” Unless of course your name is Blanche or Blackbeard. Then go for it! Remember your blog name is key to getting a Follower. Note: Someone can choose to Follow you without wearing dark sunglasses or hiding behind dumpsters in bad neighborhoods.

2. TECHNICAL ASPECTS! – – These are crucial to adhere to.  You should always first Gargle the name you have in mind to make sure nobody else is already using it. Gargle Searches are easy to conduct (and you don’t need warm saltwater) as I found out the other day. It is important to make sure that some guy named Url agrees to assign you a personal Dough-Main Name. Of course if you don’t bake bread (and who really does anymore these days?) then you might not care. Oh, but be sure and invite someone to Host your blog! Because really, when it comes down to it, good manners are still important – – even on the world-wide-web.

Bloggers like to know other bloggers can make a mean sauce. And carbs are not the devil anymore. Use this!

Bloggers like to know other bloggers can make a mean sauce. And carbs are not the devil anymore. Use this!

3. COME UP WITH AN EYE-CATCHING LOGO OR PICTURE. – – Really! Even if you can’t see it without your glasses on, chances are someone else might be able to squint and focus. A distinctive image is everything for a blogger. For example, I was toying with using a Geritol bottle that had fallen down and couldn’t get up, but I figured that might be too cleverly symbolic and it could go over my target audience’s head down at WordPress-ure.Com. The picture to the left would be a good choice. But don’t use your high school yearbook photo, even if you were on the rowing team. If your grandchild draws something, have them use permanent markers so your computer screen doesn’t smear.  Whatever you decide, be consistent and use this same image on ALL your future communications (even sympathy cards for friends) from now on. I was lucky enough to find a place that silkscreened my own blog photo onto a front door welcome mat that’s shaped like a cow.  Now, that’s branding! You might want to leave this iconic image off any of your ARP correspondence though – –  unless your local branch is Italian. (see photo of pasta)

4. BE ORIGINAL! – – This is very important. Stand Out. Your audience wants fresh material, not the same stale stuff over and over again.  Think donuts.  Add filling and glaze.  Keep careful notes about what you’ve already blogged about so you don’t repeat those especially tasty “good & plenty” stories. If they missed it the first time, that’s just their loss. However, writing about your childhood is still considered fine. Whenever I do it, I just sneakily leave off the “Back in the day….” intro and people are none the wiser. Also, here’s a little tip that nobody else will give you. Try to throw in phrases like, “No worries,” and “It is what it is,” and “Let’s roll!” and “I really rocked that . . . article of clothing.” The thing that is usually being rocked is a mini-skirt or a bikini, so dig up a picture from one of your scrapbooks or photo albums and cut and paste it on your computer screen. (I think I’ve read that glue sticks work best for this.) Reminder: nobody says “Awesome” in this day and age, so substitute “Sweet” and even “Super Sweet.” And “Chilling” is not for wine anymore. Plus “Bad” is actually Good! Don’t worry, it will all make more sense as you continue to blog. Just remember to be careful – – you want to come off as being totally Hip, but you don’t want to fracture yours.

5. WRITE! – – It cannot be said enough. Find what you are passionate about and just start typing. Your energy will come through. People might even re-blog your piece on “how you caught a pharmacist not crosschecking all of your prescriptions.” (I personally keep a handwritten list in my purse of everything I take, but again, that’s just me.) Engage your readers by asking questions at the end. A good one is usually, “Can you repeat this entire post back to me so I can make sure you heard it correctly?” Sometimes concluding with a “Call to Action” can trigger a wave of intense enthusiasm. Like the time I asked every single one of my 14 Followers to please boycott Denny’s coffee shops since they won’t turn off their air-conditioner and it gets so drafty in there. Don’t try to petition anyone to turn down music in nice restaurants though. Talking isn’t cool anymore. And don’t worry. I will get right back to you regarding whether or not it’s still cool to say “cool.” I’ll gargle it.

Hey!  Last night I got a blog! (No, it's not a poodle or a Pit Bull) I'm blogging! So let's roll!

Hey! Last night I got a blog! (No, not a Poodle or a Pit Bull) I know it sounds Cray-Cray, but I’m blogging! So let’s roll!

6. PROMOTE! – – What in the world do you think places like Stumble Upon, Tumble Down, Bumbling and WatchYourStep.com are for?  These are excellent sites (sights for sore eyes . . . lol! I just love wordplay) and they are tailor-made for us to advertise on. And I know everyone says that you need to tag your posts for these places to be more effective – – but really, do you want to tag something that isn’t getting viewed much and later on may need to be put on sale or clearance? And if a post is doing really well, you may even want to mark it up. So skip the tags. Too confining. But don’t skip Word of Mouth. Say the following to your circle of friends: “Guess what? I just started blogging!” Loudly repeat that phrase (with clear enunciation) for anyone who warns you not to do it at night or you’ll get mugged.  Or if they start talking about it being hard on your knees and joints. Last point in this section, don’t constantly beg and cajole friends to repost what you write. Nobody (especially plumbers) likes a clingy blogger. . . A Clogger.

7. BE RESPONSIVE! – – Answer all comments and other interaction from other bloggers. If one of your comments begins with “Hey Pops!” or “Dear Grandma,” don’t play the part of the wounded blogger. Boo-hoo-hoo. Just remember sticks and stones. By the way, the “Dear Grandma” comment could actually be from a love child you didn’t know your eldest son fathered. Stay open to all possibilities for the most successful inline experience.

8. GET SMART! – – (Wasn’t that a great show? I miss Don Adams!)  Always stay on topic. It’s a cardinal sin to go off on tangents.  (Barbara Feldon was so pretty in that show, too. I wonder if it’s on anymore?) Another good rule of thumb for bloggers – – when you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Posting a blank blog can be considered mysterious, intriguing, dare I say even exciting, like Katie Perry singing that you’re a Firework!  Baby! Also only post when there’s the highest amount of traffic.  I know, I know – –  we all hate rush hour, but if you don’t have a gas-guzzler computer with an old search engine,  you’re in good shape and won’t need a new Hard Drive. The absolute best times to put something new on your blog are… A) When you think your Follower has awakened from his nap.  B) December 31st at midnight (the most festive way to ring in the New Year!) and C) Both A & B. But not C.

9. RECIPROCATE! – – Visit lots and lots of blogs. It’s okay to drop-in without calling first. And say “Hey” not “Hello.” Even “Hi” is completely out. Always comment back when someone leaves you their comment. Say this – – “Super Sweet comment. How bad of you! Gonna chill now, but I got your back. Bye.”  Trust me, you’ll be golden.

10. TAKE CONTROL! – – You wrote it, You posted it, You own it. Now don’t be afraid to stand up for it! (By now you should know what “it” is!) Increase your exposure by joining services like “Bob’sBogBlogLogLapTopDog,” and then provide an RSS feed.  RSS stands for “Really Sorry, Sir” but you can change that to “Ma’am” as needed.  Create new threads, yarns and even an entire crocheted sweater on all sorts of other forums. The last part of taking charge of your own blog is to frequently check your Stats. You want to get as many hits and runs as possible in one day. Even if they don’t leave a note. It’s okay, insurance will cover it.

There, we’re done!  Now I’m just going to submit this to my kids first for a little light editing before I post it on my blog. Always proofread your work because your Follower won’t find you credible if you have typooos and punctuation issues,?.’  He or she could be a retired English teacher and then where would you be?  Oh and as promised, I remembered to gurgle and yes, it’s definitely still cool to say “cool.” Happy Blogging!

UNUSUAL BOOKS FOR THE NOOKS (And Crannies in Your Life)

Bonus if you know why this image correlates with the title of this post!

Bonus if you know why this image correlates with the title of this post!

Disclaimer: This topic has no author turning over in his grave. It’s all in fun.

Let’s turn “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” into “If You Give Your Spouse Some Nookie.” I think books should grow with us as we age. I don’t want to keep packing up my beloved classic children’s literature into cardboard boxes to be rummaged through by sticky hands at garage sales for a quarter. Any writer expecting to have their children’s book become a Classic AND sustain a permanent place on our bookshelves needs to offer an intriguing 2nd Half-Of-Life version. We are no longer wearing footie pajamas and reading in our bean-bag chairs. Now we’re donning housecoats (what IS that type of apparel for, anyhow?) and reclining in our Barcalounger chairs.

In that spirit, here are some new “Grown-Up” Title modifications and a few of my recommendation notes to the Author.

SELF-HELP SECTION

Goodnight Prune (Good Night Moon)

Are You My Udder? (Are You My Mother?) This one should be carefully illustrated so as not to offend certain body types.

Withering Nights (Wuthering Heights)

Les Menopausals – Hey Vic – – You were so close with the whining women, the depressing outlook, and the frumpy dresses.…just kill off that pretty little Cozette.

Are You There Bod? It’s Me, Menopause (Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret) – – Self-explanatory content but I suggest the Dust Jacket have a fun-house mirror on it.

Poky Little Progesterone (Poky Little Puppy) – – Hurry back home, sex drive!

Mopey Chick (Moby Dick) – – On Depression

The Legend of Weepy Wallow – – On Grief and Sadness

Scratch Her In The Eye! (Catcher In the Rye) – – Yup. When the Depression Fades, There’s Rage!

STILL MORE  SELF-HELP SECTION! (And we need it…Oy!)

Shred Bag to Discourage (Red Badge of Courage) New Tips For old Shopaholics

Calm Lawyer (Tom Sawyer) A list of Divorce Attorneys who don’t yell.

Struck Thin (Huck Finn) The latest “Lose 10 pounds overnight” diet book.

All of Her Lists (Oliver Twist) Household Organization book

All of Her Cysts (Oliver Twist) Medical Diagnostic Manual

PURE FICTION

Kvetcher and the Rye – – An older Jewish woman visits a Deli

The Middle Spouse I’ll Remarry Series (The Little House on the Prairie Series) – – Includes Titles:  The Middle Spouse on the Contrary, Middle Spouse is Scary & Middle Spouse is on Dairy – – about a Lactose Intolerant Hubby who falls off the wagon with ice-cream.

Games the Defiant Teach (James and the Giant Peach)  – – Spy/Espionage novel about rebellious grown children who give aging parents wrong directions on how to play Words With Friends and Candy Crush.

Sale of Two Pretties (Tale of Two Cities) – – A couple of well-preserved, middle aged women become Call Girls

Pat The Money! (Pat The Bunny) – -Latest Wall Street Thriller…comes with a velveteen dollar bill.

Nancy Drew a Most Wanted Photo, to Help Police Find Her Deadbeat Ex-Husband – Enough said? Mystery solved!

Bi-Curious Georgia Series – – Includes Titles:  Injurious Georgia, Spurious Georgia and Luxurious Georgia (after the divorce settlement)

Court or Oy! (Corduroy) Yes, Lots of lawsuit books coming out.

Ramona the Best Chest is Never A Pest!

Henry Huggins & Henrietta Kissings – A match made in Beverly Cleary heaven.

Wilma Wantsa (Dark) Chocolate (Satis)factory (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory)

PURELY ADULT SECTION

(For those of us who haven’t thrown in the sheets just yet.)

Where the Wild Flings Are! (Where? Where??)

Charlotte’s Web of Sexual Deceit!

Pat the (Playboy) Bunny!

Rebecca Of Little Blackbook Charm

The Sketcher and the Thigh (That J.D. Salinger, gosh he sure is prolific!) – – Here I’m envisioning a coffee table artistic book of classy nudes.

Hop On Cop – – Dr. Seuss meets strippers in uniform!

Lean Legs & Gam (Green Eggs & Ham) – – yeah, I could have gone for an exercise book here, but Fetish seems more fun.

Challenge: In a comment below, Think of your own fave child/teen book and try to “Adultersize” a new title. Or leave one for me (to try!) to do.

Forget Aesop’s Fables, I’ve Got ‘Aesop’s Fails!’

Note: There is a far different outcome in the fable pictured here when the subject is female. See below.

There’s been some astounding news in literary history!  It has just been discovered that there was an entire second set of Aesop’s Fables written for his poor, feeble wife, who was battling chronic middle age.  Let’s take a quick peek, shall we?

The Crow(’s Feet) and the Pitcher (of Moisturizer)

A 48-year-old woman, (noticing crow’s feet and other crevices that were certainly not present yesterday) reflected in her looking glass as she came upon a pitcher of Oil of Olay.  Alas, its creamy contents were so low, that she could not reach down far enough to get at it with her chipped nail-polished finger.  Try as she might, she finally gave up in grave despair. Then a thought came to her and she searched for a pebble.  Making due with her cholesterol lowering capsules instead, she took one and dropped it into the pitcher.  She dropped still another and another, until one by one, she finished up the entire prescription.  At which point she promptly switched to her Xanax tablets. With each dropping of the panic attack medication, the contents of the pitcher rose a little higher until at long last she was able to scoop up the overpriced mineral oil to quench her overly dry skin so she could attend her 30th high school reunion.

Moral:  “Little by Little Does the Trick.”  And A little Anxiety goes a long way toward “Moisturization Motivation.”

The Stairclimber, The Elliptical, and The Ass

The Stairclimber and the Elliptical conspired together to make weary and sore the Ass of new gym member, Minny Paz. Presently they began to feel a tad cocky, although to be certain, no cock was in the vicinity of this particular weight room. (Indeed, the Cock hangs out with the Lion and the Sly Fox at 24 Hour Fitness around the corner, but that’s another fable for another blog) Nevertheless the two pieces of equipment were laughing merrily as the poor Ass grew exhausted and flabbier by the moment. When her so called friend, (a former beauty queen who shall remain unnamed) came thru the entrance, she ridiculed the poor ass, which felt so depressed it sunk lower and lower with the help of gravity, to the ground. The washed-up, has-been beauty queen elegantly climbed onto the Stairclimber with finesse and a flourish, when to her dismay, her long golden tresses caught in the mechanism as the Elliptical looked on and laughed uproariously.  Two staff members came and put “Out of Order” signs on both machines and offered Minny Paz a job as the front receptionist where she could sit on her beloved ass all day long while her “friend” (who now conveniently referred to herself as Rapunzel) went to buy new conditioner.

Moral: “Inconsiderate and ill-matched alliances generally end in ruin; and the woman who compasses the destruction of her neighbor is often caught in her own snare. Or her hair, as the case may be.   In other words: Avoid the gym at all costs.

A Woman On a Sweet Mission

A woman blocked the doorway of a See’s candy store, refusing all would-be customers from entering for their free sample. She had just come from a Weight Watcher meeting and was feeling quite slighted by the scale. “What a selfish old lady,” uttered a Jennifer Aniston lookalike.  “She cannot eat the candy herself, yet she refuses to allow those who can an indulgent moment.”

Moral: “We should not deprive others of blessings because we cannot enjoy them ourselves.” (Unless some new research suddenly portrays milk-chocolate caramel blessings to be unusually healthy, then it’s a free-for-all-binge for every deprived soul in the land. Good luck.)

Wine, Women, & Whine

An older divorced woman went on a girl’s night out where there was a lot of male bashing taking place. As the handsome waiter served their final round of wine, the woman fluttered her eyelashes in his direction.  The chagrined waiter immediately picked up his cell phone, snapped a pic of the woman and posted it on Facebook, tagging her as “Chlamydia Lydia.”  He then placed the bill for the entire night on her plate.

Moral:  A woman is known by the company she keeps. And it will cost her dearly.  Instead, invite your bitter friends to see Eat, Pray, Love on DVD at your own house.

The Milkmaid And Her Mask

Still another poor, down-trodden maiden going thru a mid-life crisis proceeded to have one cosmetic surgery procedure after another. Cheek implants, brow lifts, frown lines, laugh lines, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, double chin, and an upper eyelid blepharoplasty (say that three times fast) were all on the menu for improvement. When all was said and done, she met the man of her dreams (A local wealthy Miller?) who proposed marriage to her on bended knee if she could answer but one tricky question. “Can you go to Yugoslavia?” The woman’s smooth skinned and unlined face turned into an anguished grimace as she hesitatingly sung, “You go Slavia and I go Sleevia…Let’s call the whole thing off!” then she asked if she could use a lifeline and phone a friend? The man swiftly took her gal pal’s cell number and went on his way.

Moral: A Fair Face is Of Little Use Without Good Sense. Also don’t confuse “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” with “Who Wants to MARRY A Millionaire?” with “The Voice” and with “The Swan” if you’re empty-headed and need help paying your cosmetic surgery bills.

 The Sly as a Fox Woman and the Grapes

There once was a rare sale in the produce section of Whole Paycheck Foods Grocery Store. In particular stood out the shiniest, firmest, juiciest looking red globe grapes ever to be beholden.  When the stock ran low, a newly menopausal woman (prone to shopping related mood swings) reached for the display, but presently a quicker and calmer young woman swept the last of the bunch into her cart. “Who wants those grapes anyhow?” the first woman said, nose upturned, “They’re from Chile and on the Dirty Dozen list. It’s only organic grapes for these lips. They’re also high on the Glycemic Index, so good luck with that diabetes. Nanny nanny boo boo!”

Moral: There are many who pretend to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach.  Also Whole Foods charges an arm and a leg and the produce is just as good at Trader Joes.

The Little Woman Who Lived In a Shoe But Cried “Backache!”

In a size 7.5 very narrow, high heeled shoe, (with just 1.5 bathrooms) lived a little old woman who didn’t know what to do. (Bear with Mr. Aesop here for a moment; research shows he had sympathy brain-fog for his menopausal wife and often mixed nursery rhymes up with his fables.) She had so many children and so much lacework and Velcro tugging, she didn’t know what to do. Plus her cooking tasted like old shoe leather. Every night, upon tucking the kids in (and blessing their soles) she would blow loudly on her shoehorn for neighbors to come help with her next day’s chores.  Complaining of lower back issues, one evening, t’was summoned the Village Chiropractor who attempted to set her straight. “You live in cramped quarters. There’s nothing wrong with your back that a size 8, extra wide shoe with an orthotic insert wouldn’t cure.” And nobody ever helped her again.

Moral: A Liar might get a free adjustment once, but Hypochondria and Vanity require going up a shoe size.  And there’s seldom a wolf involved unless the chiropractor has just come from a Halloween costume party.

The North Wind and the Sun (Oh Yeah, and the Fan)

One day the wind and the sun were arguing over who was more powerful and so they held a contest to see which one could get the 49 year-old (and holding!) pitiful woman traveling on a winding road to remove her fake fur wrap. Over and over again as the Sun and Wind did their thing, they watched in surprise and horror as the woman unwrapped and wrapped herself up repeatedly within a ten-minute time span, regardless of how hard or soft the wind blew or how brightly the sun shone. “WTF?!” (This popular online  acronym occurred to them centuries before it was a fad) as they watched the woman withdraw a pocket fan from her purse and smile victoriously as she took fate into her own wrinkled hands.

Moral: Gentle persuasion or brute force can be interchangeable.  But a woman with a battery operated portable device can laugh in the face of all elements.

Ration Your Fashion Compassion!

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DISCLAIMER: These are NOT my shoes. I use these heels in a pinch as chopsticks when we bring in Chinese.

So my gal pals are throwing one of those clothing parties where you bring all your wardrobe faux-pas from the back of your closet, then display them so everyone else can snicker covet something you own. You earn credit for what they select and use it to trade/barter for their items, at which point you basically go home with more stuff to sell in your next garage sale. Now, doesn’t that sound like loads of fun to you?? Or maybe I’ll see what my Oral Surgeon is up to.

Instead I enlisted my local “couture expert” (my 16-year-old daughter) for help so I wouldn’t accidentally give away any high fashion items – – highly improbable since I don’t own any. As I caressed my stack of Swatch watches, we both surveyed my closet contents until she broke the long, sad silence, “Well, how many points can you get for your hangers? At least they’re the nice, satin padded kind.”

“Now wait just a Gloria Vanderbilt minute, Missy. What are you saying? That I have bad taste? That there’s nothing here anyone would possibly want?”

“Not necessarily. I hear they’re doing a Flashdance revival show downtown,” she replied.

“GOTTA GET FOOTLOOSE!”

“Oh fine,” I said. “What about all those gorgeous shoes over there?”

“Those Espadrilles?” she wrinkled her nose. “Don’t you have any Stella McCartney’s or Yves Saint Laurent’s?” She took a deep breath, “And no Gucci? Armani? Louboutin? Balenciaga? Zanotti? Or how about just some Fiorentini?”

“Yes I agree – pasta sounds great! Let’s go out for fettuccini or linguini.”

“Mom,” she said exasperatingly, “Not even one Jason Wu or Jimmy Choo!?”

“Gesundheit dear and bless you. Must be all the dust in here,” I said absentmindedly. “And I’ll have you know on that rack behind those legwarmers, you’ll find footloads of Targetellas and a special designer pair of PaylessaLobotomy. Now I’m tired of this subject. All I really know about shoes is there once was a little old woman who lived in one!”

“Okay, okay, don’t get so touchy,” she grimaced, placing her hand on my thickly padded shoulder. “Let’s have a look at your skinny jeans. What brand name are they?”

“Ugh,” I responded.

“No, mom. Uggs are footwear again. Stay focused.”

“I meant Ugh, as in my only pair of skinny jeans exploded the last time I sneezed,” I confessed.

“CASH-IN ON THIS FASHION? I THINK NOT!”

“Alright, we’re not making much progress. Let’s take a peak at your belts.”

“If God wanted us fruit to cinch their middles, he would’ve given Red Delicious a waist,” I said, recalling Glamour magazine claiming I was an Apple instead of a Pear. That publication is also how I found out it’s best for me to stick with things that lightly graze my breasts, while skimming my hips and hugging my thighs. Kinda like the hungry, drunk guy at my last Super Bowl party!

“Alright, I can see my work here is done.” My daughter impatiently tapped her Fendi heel, obviously eager to chalk this experience up to having a square mother who was beyond help and needed to get back to what she probably imagined was my boring record collection. “Let’s look at something even YOU can’t get wrong. Your cousin with the purse addiction always gives you a designer clutch for your birthday every year, right? So go bring out all your new, pretty bags.”

Aha! I would finally triumph at the closet game! I watched my daughter’s puzzled expression as I emptied my Duran Duran and Go-Go albums from the dozens of colorful paper gift bags I had purchased from the dollar store.

“Yep. We’re sure getting closer to our goal,” she said exhaustedly, picking up my car keys. “We’ll continue this treasure hunt after I go pick up some Juicy Couture.”

“Okay, but take lots of napkins,” I shouted after her, “I don’t want you drooling or dripping anything on the driver’s seat.”

“DO AS I SAY AND NOT AS I WEAR!”

My daughter continued to roll her eyes all the way to the clothing swap party the next night. But once there, she happily traded all her gently worn last year’s summer styles for brand new (at least new to her) back-to-school designer duds. Meanwhile, I sat in the back of the room, played my 8-tracks, and held a bake sale where the money will soon benefit poor confused, fashion-challenged women who still Jazzercise, wear mood rings, and sleep in waterbeds.

As for being a fashionista? Let’s just say I’m scrutinizing all the fashion blogs and am hopeful next year at this time, I will be a Cheryl Tiegs lookalike model. A clothing designer? How about seated in the audience at a fashion-show? Using the bathroom in my local Nordstroms?? Okay, okay, I’ll settle for “coming out of my closet” with my head held nice and high – – and that’s only because I will no longer be wearing those large, clunky, 80’s style earrings that currently weigh it down.

I’ve Dropped So Many Eaves – – I Need an Entire New Roof!

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I know, I know…Awful Title. But “Confessions of an Eavesdropper” seems to be way overdone. And I feel the need to come clean, (maybe purge some guilt?) about my past transgressions before a certain consequential birthday hits me in March.

“Hello. My name is ‘Little Miss Menopause’ and I’m a Snoopaholic.” (No, I am not obsessed with Charlie Brown’s dog.) Unfortunately, I have listened in on so many phone calls, read so many diaries, pressed my ear to so many walls, and glimpsed so many text messages that even a 12 step program cannot help me now. Besides I’d probably just spy on my “Higher Power.”

Next Stop…Eavesdrop!

I believe this obsession started unintentionally, dare I say even innocently? Back when landline phones adorned every kitchen wall, and those phones had other attached phones connected to the same line (called “Extensions” for you youngsters) in faraway upstairs bedrooms – – where eavesdropping could easily happen quite accidentally. Well let’s just say if you were ten years old, listened to a certain radio station where you simply HAD to be the sixth caller when the DJ played a sound-clip of The Fonz grunting, “Heeeeyyyyyy” (so you could win tickets to the County Fair) you might suddenly snatch up the receiver and . . .and…. instead of finding out you’re going to the fair, find out your older sister is actually HAVING an affair.

“What was that? Did you just hear a click like someone picked up the other line? We better hang up now, just in case. I love you, Alan…”

Of course there was only one thing for me to do the next day….

And the miniature key was right in the little padlock!

“Dear Diary,

Today Alan kissed me and then confessed to being a married man. This is so Marsha Brady/Dr. Dentist-like! (Oh God! I had just watched that Brady Bunch episode with her last week!) He gave me a locket and told me to wear it under my blouse and never show it to anyone. But today I noticed my ten-year-old sister staring at the chain. (I had been staring at her boobs, wondering about my own.) She is so obnoxious. And fat too. Gotta go study, Diary… (Nooo! Right at the best part?) college finals are a bitch.

It’s Not Always About You. (Yes It Is!)

Wait, forget the affair. So now I was fat?? This was news to me. Obnoxious I knew, but how many pounds did I need to lose? That was the day I learned something very important. You never really know what others truly think about you unless you eavesdrop.

I’m not trying to justify my actions, but don’t most people do this sort of thing to dig up dirt on others? From that moment on, I just wanted to find out the truth about MYSELF. Make sure I was living in the real world. I was dying to know what else was being kept from me.

The next day I played at a neighbor’s house (twin girls a year older than me) and decided to try a little experiment. In the middle of playing Barbies, (nobody ever calls Barbie “fat” behind her back!) I excused myself on the pretense of needing to use the bathroom. I made sure my footsteps could be heard stomping down the hall, then silently tiptoed back to listen through their bedroom door.

“She smells like tuna.”
“I know. And she always wears her hair in that stupid fat braid.” Great, now my hair was chubby too.
“Let’s tell her we have a piano lesson and can’t play anymore.”

They should just have an “Evil Twin” lesson and call it a day.

Sheesh, this was a terrific week for my self-esteem. But now I was completely hooked.

I Was All Ears Thru The Years!

As the years passed, I fine-tuned my nosiness. When I was dating my soon-to-be fiance, we went to a party at his brother’s house so he could introduce me to some of his buddies and even his parents were invited. I was nervous but as the evening wore on, I seized the moment on their couch to sort of “drift-off.” Uh huh. I had a glass of wine. Hey, it could happen! And I was a good actress, earning high marks in Fake Sleeping 101.

“So….what do you think of her?”

Yes…JACKPOT!!!

“She’s pretty nice. I’d say she’s a slight improvement over Vanessa.” Vanessa? Who the hell was Vanessa? Don’t blink, don’t blink.

“But does she always wear her hair like Farrah Fawcett?” Man, I can’t seem to win in the hair department!

“Well Michael, I’ll say this – – If you’re really gonna propose to this one, make sure she knows I get Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Her side of the family can do Groundhogs Day and Washington’s birthday. Oh and I get Christmas Eve too.” A control freak future mother-in-law?

“Ma, she’s Jewish.”

“Really? But she doesn’t have the big nose.” An ignorant, anti-semitic, control freak future mother-in-law. No thanks.

After that, I got much more daring with my “detective skills.” Once in my thirties, after a horrible fight with my married sister, I got the idea to telephone her home but then not say a word when she answered. I figured maybe I’d get to overhear her using some choice words about me to her husband. How could it hurt?

She answered on the third ring, sounding like she’d been crying. Wow, I guess our fight upset her more than I realized.

“Hello? Is anyone there? Hello?! I can hear you breathing. Bitch.”

Silence. What juicy tidbit would I find out about me now? Maybe they think I’m a horrible cook, my kids are brats…or…

“Alan, why don’t you tell your Mistress to stop calling our home at night before the children are in bed.”

Silence. Wow. Talk about full circle. I sadly hung up.

Snoopology Technology!

But then came email. And text messaging. And Facebook. A veritable SnoopFest Smorgasbord.

In fact, it’s thanks to an unprotected password on my sister’s cell phone that last week I saw an entire text conversation about my big upcoming birthday that I mentioned above. (Okay, okay….I’m going to be fifty soon, blech.) And there’s going to be a surprise party. Or there would have been a surprise party. But now I know everything. Maybe I can pretend?

You’ll be happy to know that today I finally got my comeuppance. Unbeknownst to me, as I sat in the beauty salon, (I must’ve jostled my sweater pocket) my cell phone somehow stealthily dialed my sister. And can you believe she listened spellbound to my entire conversation with the manicurist, even overhearing me describe which dress I would be wearing to my own surprise party? And now, well now my birthday has been cancelled.

My name is Little Miss Menopause and I’m a Snoopaholic. Thank you.

PS. If I leave this blog right now, are you going to talk about me in the comments section??

PPS. Yeah, my hairstyle is still stuck in the 70’s.

Should You TOY with an “Older Woman?”

photo-139There are games meant for almost all phases of life – – childhood is obvious, (think Parcheesi and Trouble) and teenagers have their own particular brand of games (“Spin the Bottle” yes, but who remembers “Mystery Date?”) and currently there’s “Say Anything,” “Apples to Apples” and of course, “Telestrations!” At Bridal Showers we play Marriage games and on to Baby showers where we play pregnancy games like guessing how many inches it is around the mother-to-be’s stomach. Dignified fun! Of course, the older retired crowd gets to gather around partaking in Gin Rummy, Bunko or Mahjong. Here then are my versions of those beloved boardgames you learned to love and lose at, newly revamped for the left-out 40 to 55 year-old female demographic.

Menopauseopoly – – The classic game of monopolizing stuff from your opponents as you wearily drag your little pewter token – – a miniature fan, a Naturalizer high heel shoe, haircoloring kit, Prozac pill, a syringe of Botox, an iron and a thimble (see, I told you it would be classic, therefore still Chauvinistic!) around the board attempting to purchase back the properties of your Mind, Body & Spirit that you once possessed control over. Memory Lane, Sex Drive, Brain Cell Way, Stability Street, Metabolism Court and Smooth Skin Avenue. The Utilities are represented by Energy & Pep and Hydration. Take a ride on the Wispy Waist-Line Railroad. But if you land on the unmade bed you must go directly to Never Satisfied Husband, do not Pass the Doctor and do not collect your 200 mg prescription for testosterone.

Chest – – This is a game of the utmost strategy and wits wherein you move your Queen many various bra sizes around a black and white checkerboard until you capture your current correct cup size which will vary depending on if you just ate a grain of salt or are up ½ a lb. But breast assured, once you do this, there will be an immediate “Chestmate!”

Hoots On Ladders – – Best if played directly after a good, satisfying game of “Chest.” The object is to walk by a construction crew and if you can still get any man at all, (even the male parrot on the drywall contractor’s shoulder) to wolf-whistle after giving you the once-over, you win! Batteries sold separately.

I Apologize – – It’s “Sorry” redone with an Anger Management theme. Simplistic little game with easy to follow rules, 1. I yell or throw my estrogen at you. 2. I try to atone while making flimsy hormonal excuses. 3. You forgive me. 4. I do it all over again on the next roll of the dice. Once I grovel enough, I graduate to the brand new 12 step game, “I Surrender” which culminates at the finish line where I sheepishly admit that even my Higher Power has no control over my temper during menopause.

Afflictionary – – Be the first to draw what ails you and let your partner guess before the timer runs out. You’ll sketch a body with sweat pouring out of it and they’ll guess “a bee sting.” You’ll doodle a giant stomach with lots of excess skin and they’ll guess “fallen arches.” At this point you’ll need a new partner. Makes a great party game until you draw your biggest affliction ever…a realistic picture of all the guests attending who have gotten on your last nerve. They guess correctly. Party’s over!

Thoughtzee – – Who needs “Yahtzee” when you can noisily rattle 6 dice in a little jar, simultaneously giving yourself a migraine, just to eventually spill them out on the table to formulate thoughts that are so fleeting in your own head, you usually can’t remember them in time to vocalize, write or act them out. But be sure to scream out “Thoughtzee!!” at the top of your lungs so other players will run out of Tylenol and need to borrow yours. Comes with Advil bonus bottles.

Get A Clue! – – Oh that Miss Scarlett – – she’s still sexy and hot, especially with this new Night Sweat edition. But watch out Professor Plum and all other male players – – She’ll conspire with her Gal Pals and then the crime will be “a lethal male bashing with Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock in the Ballroom with The Mouth” – – the deadliest weapon of all.

Trivial Dispute – – It’s the game of Life…in other words who argues it better? The never-ending quest to always be right is the central theme of this fast-paced question and answer card game played in teams. Remind other players (your children) that you could’ve gone to law school if you hadn’t gotten married and devoted your life completely to family. Fight with them over your borrowing skirts from your teenager’s closet. How else are you supposed to look younger? And that if they told you they were staying late after school but you forgot, it’s still their fault for not reminding you. Always remember to play The Guilt Card (find it at the bottom of the deck) and also you have one free, “Because I said so” pass to be used anytime you appear to be losing. Good luck!

Tragic 8 Ball – – The Magic 8 ball just as you remember it, but this time you will receive prophetic answers to all your earth-shattering calamities. Go ahead and ask questions like, “Am I destined to have a muffin top in all my jeans or just the Skinny Jeans?” and “Am I wrong for wanting men to suffer through every single one of these 34 symptoms too?” and of course, “Didn’t Heather Locklear look majorly photo-shopped on the cover of this week’s People magazine?” The answers of course will always be “Reply Hazy, try again” because the “Tragic 8 Ball” is now a fifty year old toy and therefore also going through menopause, with brain-fog of its own.

Now, I’ll race ya to the nearest Toys R Us, where thankfully they still have the plain and simple “Candyland” with no age limit to the joy it brings!