Sugar And Spice And My Gender Advice!

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

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

Advertisements

Of Lice & Men (a miniature hell!)

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

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

I also find it fascinating that two of my biggest phobias just happen to rhyme. LICE and MICE. I also don’t have great rapport with dry ICE or brown wild RICE either, but that’s another blog.

She’s just a little girl and already I’ve doused her head with Tea-Tree & Lavender Essential Oil, Campho-Phenique, Listerine Mouthwash, and Cetaphyl Cleanser. She won’t even bat an eye when she joins a college sorority and has to go through their hazing phase. On three successive nights I wrapped her scalp in mayonnaise, then olive oil and finally vinegar in the hopes of smothering these critters. On the 4th night I just tossed up a Caesar salad instead.

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

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

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

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/miniature/

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

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

When Bloggers’ Worlds Collide! (An offbeat Meet & Greet)

IMG_0083 (1)It was finally happening!   The cleverly hilarious and wise blogger/poetess Marissa Bergen, AKA “The Rock & Roll Supermom” who blogs at Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth was coming to my town and suggested we meet at Starbucks. I don’t even drink coffee!  What would I do with myself for an hour?  How to hide my anxiety if I can’t pour cream in something and stir every five minutes? My anonymity would be shattered! She’ll find me so unfunny in real life, it won’t even be funny. I can only amuse people in writing. I better have some good one-liners and punchlines ready to go in case of emergency.

I had only met one other blogger, and that was only in my imagination right HERE. It didn’t go well!  But my biggest fear with Marissa was that she’d speak in rhymes so witty, I’d look like an idiot if I didn’t at least quote Dr. Seuss.

The Day of Our Meeting I Calmed Myself Down With the Following Reminders:

  1. She’s just a normal, down-to-earth blogger like the rest of us.
  2. She has to log in with a password (and sometimes forgets it) just like I do.
  3. She puts on her titles one word at a time.
  4. She sometimes gets tongue-tied and doesn’t know if what she’s saying even has a point.

And most importantly . . .

She can’t always End her poems with a surprise Twist and a Rhyme.

Surely she’s Penned something that must’ve Missed at one Time??

Everything would work out just fine, I told myself over and over as I played her voicemail on my cell phone which would give me the time and place to meet her. She had an adorable East Coast accent but her final sentence was :

“I look forward to meeting you, oh Stephanie

I think we’ll have lotsa fun, oh definitely!”

OMG! Did you see what she did there with Stephanie and definitely?  It’s starting already!  Nobody’s ever rhymed my name before. I need to funny myself up and FAST!

But first my daughter straightens my 80’s style hair because she always tell me I look like Fran Drescher. Besides Marissa just wrote about hair right HERE.  Next I worry that she won’t recognize me without my trademark pouf.

I drive to Starbucks fretting and meditating on Seinfeld and Shel Silverstein.

I barely got my kids fed supper. Where will I park?  I can’t be late!

Maybe I should take an upper. Will I trip in the dark? That’d be great!

Oh god, my rhythm and meter are so off! And I never use the word, “Supper.”  I say “Dinner.”  What a contrived mess!

I scramble inside Starbucks and see the most beautiful poet standing before me. She embraces me briefly before remembering one of my posts about hating hugs. She says,

Sorry I didn’t mean to hug you.

I sure hope that didn’t bug you.

What??  Such ease and natural fluidity! How can she do that?? What to say? What to do? What would I do if I were on her blog leaving a comment?

“That was terrific, Marissa.  You sure are brilliant.  Was that from the Daily Prompt?  I bet WordPress Freshly Presses this one!”  She looks at me oddly.  Oh here I go.  Putting my foot in my mouth already. I have to calm down. But wait, she’s speaking again.  Listen!

“You’re gonna think that I’m the absolute worst.

But I left our hotel without bringing my purse!”

Well she was a little off on that rhyme, but still!  Unbelievable! Thinking fast on my feet, I mumble . . .

“That’s okay. I do not like coffee in a cup, not in a mug, don’t fill ‘er up.

I do not drink Starbucks at night, so forgetting your wallet is always quite right.

No worries, Sham I am!”

That was horrible. What was I thinking with that one?  I really need to stick to my blog’s gimmick and not cross into her territory.  People begin to stare and Marissa wisely whisks us into a dark corner. We sit down and she tells me how funny my blog is and that I never fail to make her laugh. That’s my cue!  The pressure is really on now! Immediately I scrawl on a napkin:

“Did you hear about the fire in the shoe factory?”  

I hold it up for her to read. She shakes her head no, a little puzzled. I continue writing on the napkin.

“A hundred soles were lost!”

She discreetly moves her chair back a few inches. So far, so good.

We talk about kids, blogs, and everything under the sun.

We don’t mention squids or dogs, but still we’re having fun!

Whenever there’s a lull in conversation or an awkward silence, I simply hold up one of my pre-printed index cards with a riddle on it. So far I’ve stumped her on three of them. She’s not quite as brilliant as I thought because her jaw just drops and she stares helplessly, clearing her throat.  Who doesn’t know “What’s black and white and read all over?” I mean….c’mon now!

But time flies when you’re away from your bratty kids (mine, not hers!) and before we know it, we must part ways. I walk her out to her car because that’s the polite thing to do with out-of-town guests.

When she opens her driver’s door, that’s when I see it!  A brown leather purse sitting in plain sight on her passenger seat. This is her surprise twist ending!  She had money all along!

She turns to me and recites . . .

I thought I’d be nervous, trip over my words and fall

Or say the wrong thing, or not be able to rhyme at all.

So I decided to intentionally forget my ugly purse,

Giving me lotsa opportunities to speak in verse.

But it was just so perfect, so great, so cool….

As the night unfolded, it was plain you were the bigger fool!

Then we took our photo, gave a final hug and agreed to never speak of this again.

So of course we both went home and blogged about it.

Thank you for the fun, Marissa!

Signed,

Little Miss Menopause (and you thought you’d get “Little Miss Sunshine??”)

A Blog Only a Mother Could Love!

Both Mom and WordPress will make you feel guilty that this cake is not very creative!

Both Mom and WordPress will make you feel guilty that this cake is not very creative!

Okay, I know! Neither my Mother nor WordPress would approve of my recycling material but gratefully I have 1 or 2 new readers since last Mother’s Day who I hope might agree with these 8 comparisons.

8 Ways WordPress And Mothers Are Alike:

1. PRESSURE!    WordPress(ure?) sends me these “naggy little reminder” notifications when I have not met my “One Published Post Per Week” goal.  They sound like this,  “Uh Oh.  Have you forgotten something? It’s been a while since you’ve published anything new!”  But yet just like Mom, WordPress never acknowledges when I’ve far exceeded those expectations (four posts in a week?!)  C’mon a little extra love?  Cookies and Milk before bed?  Grrrr,  Just like Mom – -always quick to point out that one darn B+  even though the rest were straight A’s.

2.  BARE NECESSITIES!    WordPress lets you have the basics for free but you’ll have to pay extra for any custom designs to make your blog uniquely yours.  Mom provided room and board and three square meals a day, but if you wanted to go to Disneyland or shop at Nordstrom, those “life upgrades” were gonna cost ya!

3.  REWARDS!   Remember sticker charts?  If you kept your room clean for a week, you got taken out for ice-cream?  Well, we all know that WordPress offers the chance to be “Freshly Pressed.”  But darn it, I’ve emptied the trash, dusted and vacuumed hundreds of times on my blog . . . and my only reward has been having my allergies clear up.  So WordPress – –  If you’re gonna dangle the “Freshly Pressed Carrot”  – – be clear in the steps we need to take to finally reach it.

4.  SELF-DOUBT!   Before I did anything even slightly risky, my mother had some applicable, yet tragic horror story to deter me or make me think twice about my abilities.  “Go ahead, ride your bike in bad weather.  Lisa Carter rode her 10-speed in the rain two weeks ago and now all that’s left of her is a soggy pair of size 3 Keds strapped to her bike pedals.  Is that what you want??”  On WordPress, when I am just about to delete something, up pops a little window with what I like to call a “Lisa Carter Warning Message,” It says, “Are You Sure You Want To Do That?”photo-359

5.  CONTEMPLATION!    WordPress features “The Daily Post,” which offers different Weekly Challenges. They are fun and rewarding opportunities for writing.  i.e. “Think About a Time When You Did Something So Terrific, Everyone Cheered For You.”  or  “How Has Blogging Helped You Stay Out of Therapy?”  Whereas Your mother issued some Weekly Challenges that maybe weren’t quite as fun or rewarding. “You Just Think About What You Did Wrong and By The Time I Come Back Into Your Room, You Better Have a Handwritten Apology!”   And of course your mom is the one who single-handedly drove you into therapy.

6.  ENRICHMENT!  WordPress offers a variety of themes with lots of ways to showcase your talent.  Some play up your photography skills, others emphasize your writing more prominently.  Still more themes can help you start a business or heighten your salesmanship skills with products.  Mom read books to you, enrolled you in summer camps and gave you voice lessons so you could become a more well-rounded person.  (But I’m still waiting for someone to ask me to play, “You’re a Grand Old Flag” at a social get-together – – My Mom promised me piano lessons would make me popular at parties.)

7.  LOVE!  WordPress gave birth to all the rest of our millions of online Siblings (our Followers!) and helps us stay connected to each other by holding daily Family Reunions (The Reader).  WordPress also encourages our cyber brothers and sisters to continue to offer us support and attention by leaving kind comments.  Sure, there’s gonna be some sibling rivalry reflected in those comments (Mom likes My Poetry Best . . .  so mmmnyeah!) and some “sticking out your tongue” remarks  (Ha Ha, I have more followers than you. Check out my stats.  Made ya look!!) but overall there’s lotsa WordPress Love to go around.

8.  PUNISHMENT!    “You march right into your “Log-In” window, sign on, and write one final farewell post.  And you better make it good because from now on, you’re suspended from all your WordPress blogging privileges until further notice.  You’re lucky I’m giving you a chance to say Goodbye.  Some other Blogging Websites will shut you down for violations you’re not even aware of.  And you lose every single one of your posts! FOR LIFE.   Now don’t you take that typing tone with me, Bloggy Boy.  When I was your age, we had to write in tedious diaries.  With real tiny silver keys. And we had to turn the heavy pages, both ways, with only one finger. Next time you’ll think twice before you disobey Mama WordPress!”

Dear  WordPress – – I hope you enjoyed this post.  Because I did NOT get you a bouquet of roses this year.

Love, Little Miss Menopause

ps.  You’ll be so proud of me.  I finally have my picture next to the queen of humor writers – – Erma Bombeck!  Click HERE

“LOOK MA!  NO HANDS!”

Don't worry - - BOTH hands are on the keyboard at all times!

Don’t worry – – BOTH hands are on the keyboard at all times!

Rejection As The Best Motivation?

crop380w_istock_000012132005xsmallDear Editor,

I received your recent rejection notice and unfortunately it’s just not what I’m looking for at this time. It’s certainly a well-crafted piece and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, rejecting other aspiring writers. You may try me again in the future with something more upbeat.

Sincerely,

Stephanie D. Lewis

Aha! Rejecting the rejection letters! That’s the smart thing to do. I wish I could say that IS what I do. Instead when my writing gets turned down, it motivates me to try that much harder to get published in that particular venue. I become obsessively relentless. In fact, I seem to stop submitting to all the other places that actually like my stuff, in order to pursue chasing after the one place that clearly wants nothing to do with me. Sounds perfectly healthy, right?

On the off chance that this is typical human nature behavior and other people have similar responses, I’ve decided to take up rejection letters as a new hobby to see if it also motivates those around me to try their very best.

Recent Rejection Letters I’ve Sent

Dear Children,

Thank you for making your bunk-bed this morning. However, I regret to inform you it’s not exactly what I had in mind. The top sheet was all bunched up below the comforter, (simulating a sleeping body that creeped me out) the pillows were strewn haphazardly, and there were 8 used tissues crumpled in the center of the bottom bunk. Even the cat turned up her nose and slept in her Kitty Krib this morning.  Perhaps bed-making is not your niche and you would be better suited for playing Wii or skateboarding instead.

All my best,

Mom

Dear Bride-To-Be,

I am in receipt of the Halloween costume dress you picked out for me to wear as your maid-of-honor. I am sorry to be returning it at this juncture in time, but it’s just not a good fit for me. Literally. Also the eggplant color is horrific and if you think any woman would ever wear this again as a festive party dress, you’re sadly mistaken. I do appreciate you thinking of me in this capacity and look forward to future gowns you might submit for me to wear as I walk down the aisle to stand up for you at your wedding.

Thank you again,

Stephanie

ps. You two are all wrong for one another. Don’t be surprised if you get a rejection letter from your groom.

Dear Chef at Outback Steakhouse,

Thank you for auditioning this filet mignon on my plate. I’m sorry but it just wasn’t up to the caliber of flavor and tenderness I’m accustomed to. Feel free to try me again in about twenty minutes with more of your recent accomplishments, especially any vanilla offerings drenched in hot fudge and whipped cream that might be presented “on the house.”

Signed,

Your Customer at Table 9

Dear Dr. Goldstein,

Thank you for recently diagnosing my constant mood swings and elaborate white lies as Borderline Personality Disorder. While the acronym BPD is certainly impressive sounding, the whole label just doesn’t ring true for me. I could just be tired, irritable, and disenchanted with constantly getting asked to be a maid-of-honor. Ever think of that, Doc? I would like to invite you to submit a second opinion of my delicate condition in a few more weeks. However if you suggest I’m pregnant, you’ll never work in this town again.

Thank you for the recent appointment!

Stephanie D. Lewis

Dear Faithful Blog Follower,

It is with utmost appreciation that I thank you for taking the time to read “Once Upon Your Prime” and click the “Like” box. You certainly do so with aplomb and bravado. However lately your comments seem a bit jaded as if this is the 13th or 14th clever posting you’ve read in a row from me.  Though that may be the case, the redundant use of the word “genius” becomes rather tiresome. Ho Hum. At this point in time, due to the high volume of comments I’m currently receiving on “Once Upon Your Prime” (a whopping 3-5 per month!) I will be closing this particular section, so do not attempt to leave even an original comment as it will be promptly exiled.

Thank you for your understanding,

Little Miss Menopause

So far, the reverse psychology method of my rejection letters seems to have elicited some interesting results. a) A military style bed so tightly made, I could bounce a quarter off of it. b) A stylish black bridesmaid dress that I will proudly wear to my next funeral. c) Roasted chicken so garlicky I wouldn’t dare kiss someone even with ten breath mints. (But healthier than steak and the chef only spit on the parsley!)  (D) A physician’s diagnosis of “Just being your everyday, garden-variety bitch.” E) Followers who were so offended at my quirky humor, they promptly unsubscribed to my blog.

Oh dear . . . please come back my dear reader.  It was just an experiment in human nature.Mad-Rejection-Letter.jpg (1)

Gee Mom, You’re NOT What I Ordered!

Do NOT choose me if you throw your clothes on the floor, kid!

Do NOT choose me if you throw your clothes on the floor, kid!

Many people believe that before conception, babies are actually able to pick out exactly which mother they would like to be born to. There must be a catalogue of some sort that the “man upstairs” presents them with so they can make an educated choice.

In honor of Mother’s Day coming up soon, I’d like to share just a partial glimpse with you now:

 Mommy Menu

(New selections added every Sunday)

Mommy #6,035 – A frugal female but a good cook so you won’t go hungry. After weaning you from the breast, (at age 4) she’ll whip up culinary masterpieces with a bottle of hot sauce, cupcake sprinkles and some beef jerky, which she purchased with expired coupons. Quick tempered, won’t put up with unmade beds, smart mouths, or even pierced ears. But you’ll never hear, “Because I said so.” Currently single, but actively looking for a husband – so please like adventure. Note: Must buy own car and pay for college with this model of mother.

Mommy #27,686,235 – You’ll have four older siblings and always be considered “the oops” baby. She’s endearingly “scatterbrained” which is a nice way of saying you better have an affinity for cold chicken nuggets, Halloween costumes that are actually old sports uniforms, and be able to do your laundry at age six. Make that four. She’ll beg you to arrange your own carpool to and from baseball practice. (Uses the term “carpool” loosely since she’ll regularly forget when it’s her turn to drive.) Learn to be ultra polite so her more “together” friends will feel sorry for you and step in to help. There’s a Mother Code for that. Bonus: Your older brother is totally cool and makes the high school swim team which means you’ll always have a pool in your backyard!

Mommy # 18,633 – Control freaks unite. You’ll be a homebirth, your cord blood will be banked, she’ll grind her own baby food, and color code the Legos. Also nobody touches you without wearing full scrubs and mask. And this is at your Bar Mitzvah. Your house will be spotless and she might even sterilize your tallywhacker before you masturbate. When you’re 17, she’ll have a nervous breakdown and repetitively utter the mantra, “Always secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” She’ll make the perfect scapegoat when you’re in therapy for the rest of your life.

Mommy #312 – You’ll hit the jackpot with self-help books when you’re raised by this version of Mama. Postpartum depression, binge-eater, germaphobe, co-dependent, OCD, emotional intensity disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, histrionic personality disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, reactive attachment disorder, arachnophobia, and fear of flying. Plus she’ll start a blog about motherhood, which she’ll title, “Does This Straight Jacket Make Me Look Fat?”

Mommy # 318,206 — This one has the perfect nanny all interviewed so she’s ready to go back to her legal career in six weeks. But if you’re a real charmer, she’s gonna feel guilty and you just may snag yourself a full-time, super smart mother who will ask you to cite statutes and precedents when you ask for cookies and milk. Full Disclosure: She will constantly remind you what she gave up to raise you.

Mommy #1 – “The Perfect Mother.” Sorry, but this style is currently out of stock. Actually Perfect Mothers sat in the warehouse for thousands of years so they were all sent back to the factory. No baby ever requests a perfect mother because – – what’s the fun in that? Children are the best teachers and they just want a mommy who has open arms, heart, mind and soul. And a ton of LOVE to give, in return for all they’ll receive.