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!

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!

Everything Gets Between Me and My Calvins!

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It’s always enjoyable walking through the Jeans section of a department store, isn’t it? If you wanted to up your joy factor, you could simply drop a bowling ball on your foot, and then stroll through the jeans section. There I was in Nordstrom having a revelation – – I would rather shop for swimsuits than jeans! First came “Bell-Bottom” jeans, then “Boot Cut” followed by “Boyfriend” jeans. Someone got smart and invented “Mom Jeans” followed by (depending how confident you were) “Not Your Daughter’s Jeans.” Now I am proposing, “Not My Muffin-Top” jeans. Of course this would be one of many styles in my new Fall Menopausal collection. If that sold well, my final contribution to blue jean heaven would be, “I Ate 2 Peach Cobblers and Still Zipped These Up” jeans.

As I wandered in front of a display with an older, full-figured, wrinkled mannequin (oh wait, that’s a mirror!) I came upon “Relaxed Jeans,” and “Distressed Jeans.” Could “Worried” and “Irritated” Jeans be far behind? But lest we lull ourselves into a false sense of comfort and security within the fashion world, beware of “Yeast Infection Heaven” Jeans, AKA “Skinny Jeans,” right Ladies? I’ve been circulating on the Internet that Skinny Jeans are a major fashion faux Pas, but someone keeps sending back an email that they’ve checked Snopes and that’s just an urban legend. Darn.

Before I escaped, an overly helpful young salesgirl took my arm, offering me a guided tour. She pointed out denim now comes in plum, turquoise, buttercup yellow, seafoam green, mustard, and burnt sienna.

Because self-consciousness always looks better cloaked in Crayola Colors!

It’s complicated where jeans should sit on your torso too. There’s low-rise, (which she assured me would make my husband’s temperature rise!) mid-rise, sunrise, and I’m still hoping for stock market-rise jeans. Oh! You must never make the humiliating mistake I did – – calling them “Slacks,” or your salesgirl will raise her eyebrows and march you over to “the Girdle section,” bypassing Spanx completely.  Like there’s a difference?  I am continuously perplexed when names abruptly change for the exact same fashion item. In the seventies, people trudged around with a pair of “thongs” on their feet at the beach. Now thongs are sold in Victoria’s Secret and instead of coming in pairs, they’re worn below a pair. . . of 36 C’s! And these same people now trudge around in Flip-Flops on the sand, when that used to be a trick that accomplished gymnasts performed on padded mats.  Must you really re-name merchandise, Designers?

But if I thought browsing was fun, I was in for the time of my life once coerced into the no-elbow dressing room. “Little Miss Menopause – – How’s that size 16 working out for you?” the 12 year old, (if she was a day!) sales-assistant blared sweetly over the department store’s PA system. “Field trip’s over – – bus is waiting for you outside,” I muttered under my sweaty breath. She repeatedly returned to check on me, bringing new items (that she just KNEW I would simply adore,) when I finally told her to pretend she worked in Walmart and disappear. I consoled myself thinking that Brooke Shields could be having her own hot flash at this very moment!

As I slinked to the register, I hid my item away from prying eyes. “Baggy, Saggy, Craggy, Shaggy, Haggy Trouser Style” proclaimed my label. “With 48% Span-dex, (for long lifespan?) 32% Fan-dex (for hot flashes) 16% Expand-ex (for Thanksgiving dinner) 2% bran-dex (for constipation) and 1% Man-dex (for lonely nights) Hmmm, only adds up to 99% but who’s counting? I secretly hoped the missing 1% was Demand-ex (for bossy moments)

Handing me the receipt, Miss Growing More Youthful by the Minute cheerily (but suspiciously) remarked, “See you very VERY soon!”

Fat chance. Then I drove home to discover the plastic store security tag still firmly attached to the pocket of my new Trouble Shooter Jeans. Grrrrrrr. Naturally. Bitch works on commission!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Rants

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Growing up with only a brother surely deprived me from experiencing the joys of girl power. You know – – the female closeness that arises when a group of women get together to support, commiserate, elevate, celebrate and then… scratch each other’s eyes out. Okay, so my idea to form a ladies group wasn’t supposed to end up like that, but when you have five women dealing with every symptom in the (mid-life) book, can it really go as smooth as silk? (Silk doesn’t breathe well during a hot flash) Our first order of bonding was to pick a name for our club. That went really nicely. Let’s listen in, shall we?

“We’re calling ourselves the Sisterhood of the Traveling Fans,” said Sweaty Sue, “and instead of passing a pair of pants, we can trade back and forth a magical cooling device that makes our night sweats disappear.” She turned to Huffing Harriet, (who recently made public her struggle with weight gain and exercise) to get a response. “I vote leaving it Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” She said tentatively, “You know, because we get breathless and kinda start to pant when we walk up the stairs?” Testosterone Tiffany interrupted right on cue. “Speak for yourself, honey. Forget the Traveling anything. I want our name after that other chick flick, The Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” Tiffany fluffed her perfectly coiffed tresses as Sweaty, err I mean Sue broke in again. “Change Ya-Ya to Blah-Blah and I’m all over it.” I could see her point — she was always tired and listless. Being a huge Seinfeld fan, I suggested changing Ya-Ya to Yada Yada Sisterhood, but was ordered to stay out of it because I wasn’t deemed sponge-worthy. Well!

“There’s always ‘The Secrets of the Claw-Claw Sisterhood,’ since apparently one of us can get quite catty,” piped up Harriet again. “Just who are you calling catty?” accused Tiffany. “Um, Catty? Did I say Catty? I meant Patty,” Harriet quickly recovered. “Meow” whispered Sue. “Well Thank you,” Tiffany fluttered her impossibly long eyelashes, “I do often get told I look like Lapone.” I overheard Moody Marsha mutter, “Duke. Patty Duke.”

Suffice it to say that we never came up with a name, but we did come up with our Menopausal Bylaws and I’m proud to share them here.

1. All members must wear Mood Rings so we can monitor how you’re feeling before we ever greet you.
2. If you don’t have a Mood Ring, we’ll go by the beads of perspiration on your forehead or the number of dark circles under your eyes.
3. If you lose your keys, glasses, pen, sunglasses or cell-phone, we have a Lost & Found. If you’ve lost your temper, sex drive or your mind, join the club.
4. If you invent a female Viagra that really works, you’re our new President.
5. If the lights go out suddenly, please rely on your own personal Hot-Flashlight.
6. If you forget other member’s names, make some (hot) flash-cards – – don’t try to be clever with, “Hey, Hot Stuff” or “Minny Paz.” We’ve heard every dumb joke.
7. Don’t come in here singing anything from Menopause: The Musical. Don’t even hum.
8. It’s actually a good thing to gain 20 lbs. That’s the kind of motivation you need to stick to your diet.
9. We’re sold out of our “Menopause is the new Puberty” bumper stickers. We never believed that anyhow.
10. Most importantly, Break all these Laws and do it with abandon. Don’t you know your God-Given rights of passage into Menopause, Sister??!

I’ll Have The Menopasta With a Side of Heatballs, Please!

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In this day and age, (especially at our age!) with the influx of baby boomer women reaching their mid-life years, it’s about time someone finally gets smart and opens a restaurant specializing in issues exclusive to menopausal females. Women come to these establishments for a little R&R, hence their name – – “Rest-or-Rants!”

I invite you to accompany me during tonight’s dining experience, complete from droopy butts    from soup to nuts.

As I stroll inside, I immediately detect the light strains of Carly Simon crooning in the background, “I haven’t got time for the pain…” (so far so good!) followed by a cheery greeting from the “Hostess with the Mostest…” wrinkles, that is. But how refreshing to be seated by a Menopausal Mama instead of the usual stunning, Spanxless, skinny-jeaned, stiletto-heeled, sexy siren named Savannah.

“Hello! I’m Esther Jen!” my hostess’ badge proclaims. I later find that customers too, don these cute name tags, saving us from resorting to clever recall tricks with our tablemates such as, “Okay, she chatters like a Magpie bird, so remember her name is Maggie. Wait, maybe it’s Robin?  Or Raven? How about Sapsucker?”

Next order of business — decide whether I prefer to sit in the “Fanning or Non-Fanning” section. I won’t tell you which one I choose, because it will be apparent as Esther Jen (say that 5 times fast) leads me to my table. All around, women in various stages of sweating, swooning, swelling, swearing and swallowing (pills) – –  complain to their male servers (not waiters, women our age hate to wait!) in irritated tones, while their husbands catch a break, reading Victoria Secret catalogues at home.

Thoughtful touches include:

  • napkins folded/creased like makeshift fans
  • Medicine droppers and syringes in place of silverware
  • Placemats have guided meditations printed on them
  • Plates perched on pillows for unexpected naps.
  • Water glasses refilled constantly with Icy stares from servers

Since this is an upscale Rest-or-Rant, a well-dressed woman walks around with a basket of Ice for the gentleman to purchase for his lady. Choice of Cubed, Chipped, or Shaved. For the discerning woman, room temperature ice is available upon request.

Esther places the menu before me with a conspicuous placard stating it will be left during the entire meal for use as a fan.

 

Specials of the Day:

Wilted Insomnia on a bed of Lettuce (lettuce sleep please!) tossed (and turned) with Mean Goddess dressing.
Black Cohash Succatash Squash gently sautéed in Evening Primrose Oil
Chicken Tender Breasts battered with Lose Your Temper Tempura
Hot Flash Sundae

Main Dishes and Sides: Past Your Prime Rib, Alaskan King Cramps, Forgetful Farfalle, Beef Swellington, SlamDoory Chicken deep fried with a vengeance, Arugula Adrenala, Nip N’ Tuck Duck with caramelized Cortisol, Taming of the Shrew Stew with rehashed hot-flashed browns, Fetchabikini Afraido paired with Beach Wobbler for dessert, Chicken Cancha FriggenSee? Accompanied by Shredded Wits with Toasted Testosterone and I’ma Crack Pot Roast served with Half-Baked potato with sex drives chives.

Beverages: Iced Tea, Iced Coffee, Iced Milk, Iced Diet Pepsi (or Irregular Pepsi) and of course, Iced Ice. Dr. Pepper is available by appointment only.

Desserts (Forget gluten free, these are Glutton free!): Muffin Tops, Pumpkin Praline Progesterone Pie, Part-Gray Parfait with Melatonin Mints, TearsofMissYou Tiramisu (the self-pity dessert)

I Scream Flavors:
Rocky Road, Cookies & Cramps, Schitzopolitan

Whine List: Chabliss, Chagrin, Chabloat, Crabbyday SaveYourYawn, and a White Sinfandel or Merlobido that will make you Blush.

As I decide what to order, a fellow diner accidentally pokes me and I awaken with nightsweat irritation before I am able to slap him. Yes it’s all been just a wild dream! But I’ll still have what Meg Ryan is having!

How Do You Like Them Apples?

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It happened again! Glamour magazine just called me an apple! As opposed to pear-shaped. Disclaimer: Don’t bother reading this blog if you don’t regularly get labeled some kind of fruit!

I don’t mean to compare apples to bananas but you know who you are. Always too full to eat dessert, even when it’s Molten Lava Cake? You buy bags of fun-sized Snickers in Sept, which stay intact and accounted for when actual Trick-or-Treaters knock? Upon ordering, you request waiters to wrap up half your lunch in doggy bags (and you really do have a canine at home that devours it). And you shun the ‘five seconds’ rule, throwing away the yummiest of dropped morsels even on newly waxed floors!

“Oh, I really couldn’t eat a thing,” my friend Tiffany laments when she’s upset. So how come when I get angry (after being told how to dress as an Apple, for example!) – – I eat everything in sight?? Including biting poor Tiffany’s head off?? And if I hear another busy person remark, “I just realized I forgot to eat all day long.” I’m gonna reply, “Gosh, I can relate. Last night, without a moment to spare — I became aware that my heart hadn’t remembered to beat all evening long.” Seriously? These harried individuals need to write “consume something” on their daily planners?!

Why is it that when my co-workers come down with a nasty bug, their taste buds are thrown “off” and suddenly they have no appetite? Within 48 hrs, these sick office-mates demonstrate how their jeans fall down. (They’re each receiving a belt for Christmas) Yet when I get the exact same flu, cardboard toast and plain white rice never tasted so divine! And everyone else’s prescription seems to list possible side effects like weight loss, yet I get that one persistent sinus infection requiring a steroid that makes me bloated.

Finally, how come no matter which thyroid condition (hypo or hyper) I’m diagnosed with, I never get the one with weight loss as a symptom? Listen, I know my rights! And one of these (I think it’s Hyper!) causes a sped-up metabolism!

If you can relate, are 35-55, and feel like your recent weight gain has upset your entire apple cart, the culprit may be close to home. In fact, it may be your own body — in particular your thyroid. I joked about it above, but it’s really no laughing matter. Recent studies suggest that millions suffer from undiagnosed thyroid problems. Women are particularly likely to develop thyroid issues and experience weight gain, especially in the abdomen (hello Granny Smith!) because the thyroid is linked to other systems that impact weight – – namely proper functioning of the sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) and the adrenal glands.

It is imperative to go to an experienced, healthy aging doctor who understands how to properly test. A whole thyroid panel (not simply TSH) must be run. If not, a patient can be deemed to have normal levels and left unfairly struggling (as a Fuji or a Gala!) with fatigue, dry hair/skin, foggy thinking, increased cholesterol, puffiness around eyes/face, memory loss, and even yikes, heart disease! But once you find someone competent that you can trust, they will be the Apple of Your Eye!

Newsflash: Swimsuits Out of Style Forever!

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Ok, Ok, so that was my first 49th birthday wish, but (Thanks to Twiggy and Kate Moss!) skimpy swimsuits are still very much in style. I think there should be a special “menoclause” added to the “menolaws” when you’re over forty – – you get to have Three birthday wishes! So can this desperate Peri-menopausal woman find a “Peri-Godmother” to wave a magic wand for her 2nd wish? Because if there’s a San Diegan Prince throwing a (beach) Ball, inviting eligible maidens to attend, then I want to escape my wicked diet/evil exercise regime for just one magical night, wear a two-piece (with glass flip-flops,) and promise to come home by the stroke of midnight or before I have an actual stroke (from holding my breath while sucking in my stomach)…whichever comes first.

It’s so unfair! When you gain friends, knowledge, money, creativity, or energy – – opportunity knocks. But gain some weight (or a jean size?) and bam, Jenny Craig comes a knockin’ with Richard Simmons shrieking by her side! In fact, a recent survey reported women confessed they would rather subtract ten years off their life span than add on ten pounds! Let’s face it, in our appearance-obsessed society, weight gain is the scariest “menocausal” symptom of all!

I have a boyfriend (bless his non-muffin top heart) who (sensing that I had the “menoblahs” over my recent “menoflaws”) serenaded me under my window with that Billy Joel song, “Just the way you are.” While he earned my “menoapplause,” I still continued to resort to every trick in the book to lose my “menopudge.” First I heard drinking half my body weight in water helped shed stubborn lbs, so I became passionate about staying well hydrated. Whenever the Culligan Man or Sparklett’s Guy came near me, friends admonished, “Sheesh, get a room!”

Next I drastically banned carbs. I even cut out anything that remotely sounded like “carbs,” which meant I stopped nibbling on all those “curbs, cards and carts” between meals. Hmmm. After that it was the Cookie Diet. Really!? Perhaps Elmo and Big Bird have an eating plan too? And finally I gave the Paleo Diet a go. Gathering berries, seeds, and nuts like my ancestors went fine until one day I was so starved, I gobbled down an actual caveman. But at least he was gluten free.

Unable to make the pounds vanish, I finally decided to just make the scales disappear. Yep, tomorrow I hold a Garage Scale, err I mean, Sale. All the mechanical devises and electronic gadgets ever invented to torture vulnerable females will formally line my driveway with a sign “Everything Must Go! (before my sanity does!) and another which will read, “Best Scoffer Takes All!” Remember ladies, scales are for fish!

And my “Peri-Godmother” just granted my third wish – – because now there is, I kid you not, a new scale out there (don’t believe me? Just google it!) that WON’T tell you how much you weigh, but only whether you lose or gain each time you step on it. My boyfriend (bless his trim, in-shape brain) told me this is akin to having a doctor who WON’T tell you which disease you suffer from but only whether you’ll live or die!

Speaking of doctors, if you want to find one who WILL give you some straight-up answers over the confusion that women our age experience, including explanations for this seemingly unexplainable weight gain (and a myriad of other symptoms) then you need to ask your girlfriends for a referral to a really compassionate alternate health care practitioner because out there somewhere is your own “Peri-Godmother” who will not only grant you three wishes, but will turn an ordinary pumpkin into zero calorie pumpkin pie!

Once Upon Your Prime . . . They Lived Happily Ever Laughter!

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Fairy Tales definitely give “old Hags” a bad rap.
Let me walk you through an 18th century recap.

Did they have Hormone Replacement in those days?
Doctors to carry out the plastic surgery craze?
Supplements or Oils of Olays? Miss Clairol to cover grays?

Could women do a detox or get Botox?
Mommy Makeovers to turn back the clocks?
Could they buy Spanx to slenderize their frocks?
Was it hip to wear baseball caps over thinning locks?

Nope! Aging Queens were left all on their own.
Threatened by younger Beauties for their throne.

And always a chatty, magic mirror on the wall.
Reflecting back how gravity makes things fall.

Flaunting hair as black as ebony, skin white as snow??
Your stepmother might just turn from friend to foe!

Singing like a nightingale all around the palace?
Yep, I would hire a huntsman with a bit of malice!

Is inviting us older gals to christenings too big a hassle?
Sleep forever with prickly thorns surrounding your castle!

Shiny, flowing hair to your ankles gives you seductive power?
Try some female Rogaine while you’re locked up in that tower!

I’m starving on Atkins and you nibble on my gingerbread cottage?
Just have a close-up look inside my oven….check out the wattage!

But for any fairytale to end happily ever after,
There’s always “Old Witch” karma, met with laughter.

We’re pushed over cliffs, stabbed in the heart, turned into a serpent or snake.
C’mon Brothers Grimm & Disney, we’re your menopausal moms – – give us a break!

And now to right the wrong of another childhood crime,
Let’s rewrite a more accurate menopausal nursery rhyme!

READY?

Jack and Jill went on a date,
To see if they could get along.
Jack touched Jill and met his fate,
For everything he did was wrong!

Oh do you know the Hormone Man?
With testosterone and progesterone?
Oh do you know the hormone man? Who lives on Sex Drive Lane?

I am a bitchy “don’t touch!” girl
It’s a pity how witchy I can be…
And all the boys in the neighborhood
Know how crazy sleeping is with me!

Mary, Mary, still eating dairy!
How does your stomach bloat?
With the way Brie smells, and those pasta shells
And 31 flavors all in a row… (not to mention a rootbeer float!)

Old King Cole was a married old soul
In bed, his menopausal wife wanted to flee!
He called (her friends) for a gripe,
and he called for his pole,
and he called for some fiddling around with thee!

Little Miss NapPlop sat with her laptop,
Searching for midlife online dating.
Along came a good provider,
Didn’t care she’d grown wider…
But everything he did was just irritating!

There was an old woman who lived in a Jimmy Choo.
She had so many symptoms, she didn’t know what to do.
She went to a conventional doctor, who examined her head,
So she went out with her girlfriends and drank wine instead!

Living Libido Loco!

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Did you read my last week’s blog, “Confessions of Menopausal Women Who Can’t Keep Their Hands Off Their Men?” Neither did I! And if the title above is the exact same variation of the Ricky Martin song that plays (and replays) in your home….we need to talk.

Sometimes it seems the world revolves around sex. Everyone is fantasizing about doing it, actually doing it, talking about what it was like to have done it, or hoping they will do it again soon. Women our age feel there’s one big universal joke circulating, only we’re missing the punchline. Sadly, we often ARE the punchline. Which cake makes women hate sex? Wedding cake. Hmmmm.

Here are the reasons most studies cite for women losing interest in sex: Hormonal Imbalances, Stress, Anxiety, Irritability, Fatigue, Weight Gain, Depression, Hot Flashes/Temperature Changes, and Pain or Discomfort during Sex. Coincidentally these happen to be signs of perimenopause or menopause as well. And interestingly enough, addressing the first reason, (Hormonal Imbalances) will often alleviate all the others listed. So I always remind my girlfriends that this is precisely where to begin. In fact I’m currently involved (alongside my amazing doctor) in the hormonal balancing act myself, so at least I’ll play cards with a full deck once again.

Another reason a woman’s libido can decline is often not given much attention in research. Low Self-Esteem. Poor body image and insecurities skyrocket when we compare ourselves to airbrushed and photo-shopped images the media bombards us with daily. Or contrasting a friend’s appearance to our own. C’mon, we’ve all done this. Walked into a Super Bowl Sunday party like a relative of Levi Strauss – – evaluating all the other female forms in their jeans. A conversation with our man will thus ensue. “I’m the only one here wearing stretch denim.” To which he responds, “Wanna jog with me tomorrow?” An innocent invitation because he loves our company, right? Wrong! “Oh! So you admit I look awful tonight?!” Because “Hell hath no fury like a woman whose pants are poorly worn!” And now this pitiful guy will be playing solitaire all night.

Confidence also plummets because we remember how we used to look. Jealous much? Yep, we’re actually envious of a younger version of ourselves! We try on jeans from the 70’s and get furious when a seam rips, hoping Gloria Vanderbilt looks heavy and wrinkled today. That’s right – – “Hell also hath no fury like a woman whose pants are torn!” Or we peruse our wedding album sadly humming, “The Way We Were.” But woe to the man who happens to walk in as we’re muttering, “Damn, I never realized how good I looked back then,” when he nods his head in zealous agreement. “Oh! So you admit I look awful today?!” And now this same pitiful guy will be playing 52 card pick-up all night.

So, what’s the solution? I won’t pretend there’s one single answer, especially in a blog. But I know making peace with ourselves while cultivating inner love is the key to stepping out of pathetic puddles of pity. Surround yourself with compassionate women who can relate. Swap the measure of value from our exterior facade to our beautiful interior essence. Identify areas of our lives (aside from physical looks) that need attention and lavish some on them. Become passionate about a new charity, career, hobby, craft, skill or sport. But for now, start small and just cook something nourishing, yet exotic for dinner. Who knows? Tomorrow morning when that same poor guy comes strolling in with a compliment – – “Last night was great!” – – he may not just be talking about your new Hot ‘n Spicy Shrimp Curry recipe!

Fifty Shades of No Way!

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If that’s the version of the recent bestseller you’re reading in your house, this is for you! However, if you’re too busy having sex to read this blog, then you obviously don’t believe in statistics. Research shows the majority of females (in our age range) have low or no sex drive. But apparently, a mere 15% are quite the opposite. If you fall in the latter category of highly sexually “driven” women, before you quit reading this to “rev up your engine” again, I have a favor to ask – – Can I please carpool with you?!? Okay, since this is a humor blog, I am permitted to joke a bit, but there’s a common misconception that lack of libido is a trivial issue. And until it is taken seriously, women will continue to suffer. Unless these same women talk openly with their partners and doctors about how disturbing they find their lack of desire, (hey, we aren’t having sex, we may as well use the extra time in our schedules to talk about WHY we aren’t having sex!) nothing will ever change.

Professor John Studd, (a distinguished gynecologist from England and chairman of the British Menopause Society) is angered by what he sees as the dismissive attitude of many doctors to the problem of low sex drive in women. First of all, go ahead and google his last name so you can put to rest the idea that I made it up! Then read this quote from him – – “Low libido is a very common condition. My patients are aged anywhere from 30 to 70. I think it’s a tragedy when an important part of their lives just disappears, women are expected to do absolutely nothing.”

Well well, Dr. Studd… I’m 49 and doing absolutely nothing this weekend — shall we make London Bridge fall down? Err, I mean…I couldn’t agree with you more that honest communication is a crucial component here. Just look at all the men who fill a Viagra prescription so they can keep up with the women they think want MORE performance. And then to partake in some next day “Vi-Brag-ra” with their buddies on the golf course, of course. Meanwhile, we females are filled with tremendous “Viaggravation,” because the only performance we actually want is viewed from third row, center, orchestra seats. “Wicked” anyone?

So how do we detangle ourselves from this woven web of misinformation and intertwined assumptions that have long been perpetrated? And how do we dispel the myths about hormonal balancing, which in many cases is all that’s needed to bring back sexual desire? I am living proof that using testosterone will not deepen a woman’s voice – just yesterday Disney asked me to fill in for one of their high-pitched characters – – Menopausal Minnie Mouse! And if it grew excessive hair, wouldn’t all men be rubbing testosterone by the bottle on their bald spots?

But don’t take my word for it, get all your sexual questions answered and fallacies set straight by showing up to your nearest bookstore to check out all the new Menopausal Guides on this very subject. Oh, and if you don’t bump into me in one of the aisles, it surely means I’m now one of the 15% too busy having sex to leave my house. Okay, that may be a bit optimistic. If I’m absent, it means I’m writing my own new novel, “Fifty Shades of…Well, Okay!”

PS. I know you’re still wondering – – why do those 15 percent of menopausal females want so much sex? Well, they claim they no longer fear pregnancy. I don’t know if I buy that logic, but let me think about it while I do housework. Scrubbing my (thank goodness, bunless!) oven is a total turn-on!

Somewhere Over The Abstain Bow

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“Sometimes I think it would be easier to follow the Yellow Brick Road and find Oz than to find out where my sex life went during menopOZ.” ~ Me! = Stephanie Lewis

Yesterday in the waiting room of my new doctor’s office, I overheard two husbands conferring in whispered tones. “Cindy has Vaginal Atrophy,” one husband confided. “Well, we’re here because Trixie, the little woman, has SAD,” said the other husband. At which point I could no longer restrain myself. “Listen you!” I said to the second husband, “I’d be blue too if my guy referred to me as Trixie, The Little Woman!” Next, unleashing my wrath on the first man, I shouted, “And I’ve heard of Trophy Wives, but displaying female genitalia-shaped awards on your fireplace mantle is a new low.” Both men rolled their eyes, muttered “Mood Swing Mama” under their breath, then proceeded to inform me that S.A.D stands for Sexual Arousal Disorder while Vaginal Atrophy is an inflammation. As they slipped me their business card, they told me to send the man in my life to their next HAM meeting. “But he’s kosher,” I protested, before reading the full acronym, “Husbands Amidst Menopause!”

A low sex drive is often made light of, but for many peri/post menopausal women, loss of libido is a highly disturbing issue. Wasn’t it just yesterday we shirked the dishes and dusting to get busy between the sheets? Nowadays laundering those same sheets is more Afternoon Delight than any Quicky I know – – unless of course, it’s a “Sticky Quicky” – – meaning someone is overnighting me dark chocolate from Belgium!

But we are not alone. Many women mistakenly believe that losing desire or passion is something that comes with the territory of aging and they accept this situation as the new status quo. Or worse, suspect something is wrong with their relationship because they’re changing the oil in their car more frequently than they change into negligees. Often many unnecessary months are spent in therapy trying to find a psychological cause, (sadly sometimes a divorce is even initiated) when emotions might not have much to do with it.

Then there’s always the old “fake it till you make it,” advice, which essentially goes like this – – “Just start having sex, even though you don’t feel like it. Soon the more you have it, the more you’ll want it.” Really?? Oh, that’s right! Because the other night, I forced myself to eat brussel sprouts and now I crave them. And six months ago, I had a root canal and today I go to a twelve-step program for people addicted to dentistry. C’mom! We deserve better information than this, because (as L’Oreal tells us) we are worth it! It makes sense to me to first explore the physical causes of a change in sexual desire by seeking a medical professional who has expertise in balancing hormones.

This explains why last night, even though my name is not Dorothy, I added a new, creative twist to the old, “Not tonight Honey, I have a headache,” routine. Washcloth draped over forehead, I moaned convincingly, “But it wasn’t a dream, it was a real place, and some of it wasn’t very nice, but most of it was beautiful! And you were there, and you, and you!” I said pointing to my significant other and our two night table lamps. “And I learned that if I ever go looking for my heart’s sexual desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard, because I’ve always had the power to get it back with just three clicks of…” dramatic pause, “my Testosterone crème dispenser!” He looked at me incredulously, with widening eyes, and I decided as long as I was on a roll (not just a roll in the hay!) why not throw in a hint for our next vacation?! “There’s no place like Rome, there’s no place like Rome,” I repeated hypnotically. But that’s another blog.

Stop The Ride, I Wanna Get Off!

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“My mother took me to playgrounds and put me on mood swings!”

– Jay London

Last year I gave myself a headache crunching on Grape-Nuts (that is one loud cereal!) while my teenage son debated whether to go to the San Diego County Fair or hang out with me. When I looked baffled, he explained, “Mom, you have more ups and downs than the “Raging Thunder – SkyScreamer – Twister – Sling Shot – Crazy Mouse – Dark Night rollercoaster all rolled into one!” He meant “Dark Knight,” but since I was having one of my dimmer evenings, I changed the spelling.

Mood swings are the hallmark of menopause. Or are they? Approximately 1 in 4 women between the ages of 40 and 59 take antidepressants. Can this many of us be clinically depressed? Or are we victims zooming down the “Highway of Hormonal Hell?” Hey, now that’s a nifty name for a ride – (Note to Self: Call “Menopausey Land” and discuss sharing royalties!)

When your nickname becomes Sybil or Dr. Jekyll, you might rethink the idea that irritability, anxiety, depression, rage, and brain fog are the “prizes” that automatically come in this particular cereal box we know as “Life.” I’m living proof that with the right doctor, a woman can be stabilized faster than the economy; and certainly all those around her will be better off. It was my same thrill-ride lover son who first printed on a tee-shirt, “When mama’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy!” His grammar needed work, but he was on to something.

Now realize things might need reprioritizing, which brings up self-care. Mind you, my kids roll their eyes on airplanes when flight attendants give that “Parents, put your own oxygen mask on first” speech. That’s because I use that analogy to justify my outlandishly selfish behavior – – like actually taking a shower before making them homemade waffles. Imagine that! Or meditating instead of taking someone to Verizon for the latest iPhone. Or (gasp!) indulging in a girl’s night out at “Wine, Women, & Hormones,” where the underlying issues that have been wreaking havoc in my body and mind in the first place are finally addressed. This new mind shift takes some juggling, but we’re definitely worth it, ladies!

Fast-forward to yesterday while I munched on Grape-Nuts, (switched to flakes – – much quieter!) as my son actually invited me to this year’s opening day at the fair. I promised he wouldn’t be subjected to the gemology exhibit, and instead I’d willingly go to the Fun Zone. “Mom,” he said, hugging me, (no easy feat for a 17 year old!) “Nowadays … you ARE the Fun Zone!” Wow, just wow. Note: I still experienced mood swings (most notably fear, vomiting, and anger) after being dragged on Pharaoh’s Fury and G-Force, but that had nothing to do with my progesterone levels!

Is Your Memory Lane Paved With Potholes?

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“Not only is my short term memory bad, but so IS my short term memory.” – Anonymous (Note: Perhaps author forgot her own name?)

Are you losing it? In order to decide, first you must remember what “It” refers to. Then you must retain your answer without forgetting the original question. I guess it’s obvious by now that “it” means your memory! If you aren’t sure, take the following quiz … But file away the number 18 for a special bonus section at the end.

1. Do you walk into rooms needing someone holding flashcards with prompts of why you came? i.e. “Purse?” or “To make dinner?” or “To have sex?” or “To yell at my kids?”

2. Ever save on monthly entertainment with just one book, one DVD movie and one magazine? Isn’t it wonderful to watch Titanic 18 times, constantly shocked when she lets go of his hand on that wooden board in the icy water!? (PS. He didn’t need to drown – – They both COULD’VE balanced.)

3. When you go to a deli with a friend or spouse, do you ask them, “Is it the pastrami or the corned beef I like here?”

4. Is this how you tell jokes at a party? “A Priest and a bar walk into a Rabbi. Oops, that’s the punch line, only it’s wrong. Pretend you didn’t hear that. And scratch the bar – – they’re playing 18 hole golf. And then uh…what’s another word for a small horse? Oh, right! So then a pony comes over. Or was it a parrot? Alright Honey, you tell it! Never mind, I’ll send you guys the joke later when I refresh my memory on who emailed it to me!”

5. When you hear Streisand belting out, “The Way We Were,” are you grateful for the following famous lyrics? “Memories may be beautiful and yet….What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget.” Yeah, that’s the ticket! We voluntarily forget where we park our car because it hurts too much to recall. Better to get stared at while the security guy drives us 18 miles around the Nordstrom’s lot in his jerky little golf cart.

6. Do you claim your short term memory is worse than your long term memory? Which really means, you can’t recount what you had for dinner OR for breakfast?

7. Do you ever re-gift a present to a friend, then worry she might be who gave you, “The All New Clapper, Chia Pet Snuggie” in the first place? (Relax… she can’t remember either.)

If you answered ‘Yes” to several questions, rest assured you are exactly normal. But if you answered “Yes” to all, rest assured you are exactly like me. But we can still call ourselves normal, if we just conveniently forget what the definition is! So always remember you are NOT alone and there’s strength in numbers . . . which reminds me – – Hmm, next week’s topic might need to be on the significance of the number uh, um, was it 28? Because for the life of me now, I cannot recollect why I asked you to remember it.

See? We can all forget about your test results – – truly I am the one officially losing it!

Now Playing! (while you’re praying….for sleep!)

photo-122Disney producers know women are eternally exhausted. Why else would Sleeping Beauty and Snow White suddenly nod off, “only to be awakened by Love’s First Kiss?” I suppose, “only to be startled by husband’s irritating snores,” just wouldn’t sell as many tickets! With that in mind, here are some other “Menopausal Movies” that might have passed you by. Rewatch them on Netflix …if you can stay awake long enough!

The Wizard of MenopOZ – – Hiding behind a curtain (typically male) a great and powerful Man claims to have discovered the cure for All Female Fatigue…. MORE SEX. Ha! DVD includes never seen before footage where he gets the “Courage” to admit he doesn’t know everything, a “Heart” to hand Dorothy his VISA to shop Nordies for more ruby slippers, and the “Brains” to stay clear of Wicked Witches who haven’t slept in weeks!

Forest Slump — A woman named Forest (don’t ask!) slumps over with exhaustion while working, shopping, cleaning, driving, cooking, and exercising. But she’s totally alert when her head hits the pillow at night. Audiences will cheer when a Good Samaritan informs the tired waif that, “Life is like a box of chocolates” and she finally perks up for good! “Run Forest, Run….to See’s Candy!”

Gone With the Wind – – The nights are so hot on this plantation that “Scarlett O’Sweara” can’t get comfortable. Even her Boy Toy/Servant who fans her bare (now 28 inch instead of 18) menopausal waist, can’t create the breeze she craves to fall asleep – – plus the noisy way he parts his hair is so infuriating. What’s a Southern Belle to do when she has to be up by 7 am to eat grits? Rated PG which stands for “Pillow Gripping.”

Malice in Wonderland – – Vindictive, insomniac wife plots revenge as her spouse snores blissfully unaware beside her.

The Postman Always Brings Ice – – Getting ready to celebrate the big 5-0, a woman is grateful to her mail carrier for saving the day because- – a) She was too exhausted to get ice for her own big birthday bash b) She actually forgot she was throwing her own big birthday bash and c) To cool her wrists and neck when her own big birthday bash “hot flash” hit. Warning: Ending will “melt” your heart AND your libido.

Sophie’s Choice – – Predictably dark comedy about a woman who must choose between taking a nap or having sex. Seriously?

9 ½ weeks – – Depressing documentary about the length of time 8 women in a sleep study have insomnia until one of them blindfolds another and feeds her carbs. Now not only is she awake, has gluten intolerance but a nasty Atkin’s fan club is after her.

It Happened One Night – – See this one after you see Miracle on 34th Street. Both have the same bizarre plot twist….SHE FINALLY SLEPT!

SchindHER’s List – – Woman visits her doctor and walks away with everything from Xanax and Ambien to Tylenol PM and Melatonin scrawled in wretched physician handwriting on a prescription pad. Yawn, we’ve seen this all before….but still it fails to put us to sleep.

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore- – Silly fable about a fatigued and overworked woman, living with three jobless, OCD adult children who move back to the nest. Plus no air-conditioning or room darkening shades for naps. When her 26 year-old daughter mutters, “I think you missed a spot,” after Alice moves the girl’s bare feet to dust the coffee table, audiences will wonder, “What in the hell took her so long to leave?”

Other notable films too numerous to review but worth a look are… “Kiss of the Tired-er Woman,” “Look Who’s Balking!” “Casablanket,” “Les Menopausals,” “Withering Nights,” “Maternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Numb and Number,” “Streetcar Named Expire,” “Total UnRecall,” and “Cloudy With a Chance of Menopause!

Too Tired To Exercise Anything But Caution?

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“My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.” – Ellen DeGeneres

Are you too tired to remember the three F’s? “Fat, Frumpy and Fatigued!” And while your sensitive mate should deny you being fat and frumpy, there’s no arguing when you’re totally fatigued, lifting your head off the pillow seems impossible; let alone lifting weights.

The only thing we desire when we’re this drained is catching some Z’s. Instead, experts say we’d benefit from using that Stairclimber which serves as a wine-rack in our living room. (I’m into Art Deco!) “Exercising will give you energy!” they proclaim. Now I only received a “B” in Logic 101, but don’t you first need to HAVE energy to exercise?

These experts claim exercise brings a flood of Indoor Fins. Because the last time you snorkeled in your den was…? Oh…Endorphins! Those little devils will help with fatigue, especially if you have (a medical catch phrase getting more common for women these days) “Adrenal Fatigue.” Perfect solution: I’ll put one of my adrenal glands on an Exercycle, while the other swims laps. Meanwhile…. I sleep!

Quite honestly, we’re not just too tired to exercise; we’re too confused. Should we do Aerobic? (Definition: Official language of Arab countries) or Cardio? (Definition: To deal a feisty hand of Crazy 8’s!) Turns out they mean the same thing, and a half hour each day will give us weary women a wonderful jump-start to our morning. A thirty-minute root canal would wake us up too, but rarely do I hear an “expert” recommend that.

Nevertheless, I went for a work-out for the first time yesterday. I’ve never done more huffing, puffing, heaving, tugging, and pushing before – – But it was worth it – – I succeeded in getting my gym shorts on just fine!

At the door, I was greeted by Gwyneth Paltrow’s twin sister chirping, “Hya, I’m Kimba! Welcomma to our Gymba. Wanna try Zumba?”

Can I just say – – “Rule of thumba: When you go outa on a limba, and shake your bumma to La Bamba, you’re gonna feel super dumba!”

After being laughed out of the crazy Latin-inspired dance class, I wandered exhaustedly into the equipment room where a handsome young fitness instructor named (according to large tag across shirt) Nike, offered to show me where I could pump. Having weaned my son from breastfeeding years ago, I demurely declined. He gestured at the weights while grunting, “Iron!” I casually explained that I use the drycleaners down the street. He and his friend Reebok, continued staring oddly as I glanced behind them, swooning over the only comfy, padded, flat surface in the room – – a Slantboard! Yawning, I pulled on my jammies, blew everyone a goodnight kiss, and curled up for my well-deserved nap!

Good Night, Sleep Tight….Yeah, Right!

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“People ask if I slept well? I always answer, No, I made a few mistakes.” ― Steven Wright, Comic

Are you so exhausted in the morning that you sometimes mistake a certain snoring male body part next to you for the snooze button? (And that’s all the action he gets for the week?) Ever pour orange juice in the cereal bowl instead of milk? Plan a “Girl’s Night In,” — a wild foodfest slumber party, only to find you’re the only one slumbering? I’ve never exactly been a morning person either, but when I hit my mid-forties, nobody dared phone before noon. I even joined the “National Unable To Sleep” club, but had to quit those “N.U.T.S” meetings when they foolishly rescheduled them for 10 am.

Fortunately during a beach walk last month, my best (and exasperatingly perky) friend Tiffany (the name has been changed to protect “the perfect” from the rest of our wrath) pulled out a new quiz from a popular women’s website. “Are you tired of being tired? Do you feel irritable? Tense? Depressed? Forgetful?” She told me to circle my answers. “Who do you think submitted those darn questions?!” I snapped, vaguely remembering tapping on my laptop during the Insomniac Hour. “Well, no wonder it has so many typos!” Tiff retorted, tossing her blonde (grayless!) tresses as she gracefully broke into an effortless sprint, kicking up wet sand that stuck to my face, highlighting the crevices of my under-eye bags and wrinkles. When I have more energy, remind me to make a new best friend. And her real name is actually Anita-Leigh, so there! (Anger Management blog coming soon!)

But on that fateful day, gorgeous “Tiffany” had an epiphany! She heard about a fun, free event called “Wine, Women, and Hormones” where doctors specializing in females who think they are losing their minds (but might actually only be losing their estrogen) give informative, entertaining talks while ladies listen, learn, laugh, and stuff themselves with dry-roasted almonds. Okay, okay, so I was too tired to cook dinner that night. And even though I secretly hoped they would start me on an IV of Red Bull; the wine was wonderful, the feminine energy rejuvenating, and I even found a new sympathetic doctor who understands that whenever someone asks, “What time is it?” the answer is always, “bedtime!”

Now I just have to list my symptoms so I won’t forget them at my next appointment. Then I have to put a sticky on my front door to remind me to bring that list. Then I need a post-it on my steering wheel detailing the location of the sticky. Note to self: Don’t forget to write a blog about memory loss.

Stay tuned because in the coming weeks, I will keep you abreast (word chosen intentionally due to new, unwanted and LARGER bra size) of my adventures into Hormone Harmony and how it impacts my life and those brave enough to stay in it!