Sitting IS the New Smoking??

images-17  You better have a seat before reading this — in case you’re as shocked as I am. Or maybe not!  I’d love to take credit for creating this catchy warning phrase, but a quick internet search brings up headlines screaming the same sentiment for the past few years — like this one RIGHT HERE

Beware of the Chair!! But seriously? They’re asserting that you can never have puffed a cigarette a day in your life but (even with daily strenuous exercise) your chances of heart-attacks/strokes are the same as a smoker’s . . .  if you spend the rest of your time sitting.

“Sitting is the New Smoking!”

This gives new meaning to addictions and begs the following questions…

  • If you have a problem with more than 4 sofas a day, are you a chain sitter?
  • Should you gradually wean yourself off La-Z-Boy recliners, or just quit cold turkey?
  • After good sex, how likely are you to have the urge to reach for a barstool?
  • Can you tell by someone’s breath and smell on their clothing that they are a heavy sitter?
  • Is it still legal for restaurants to have sitting and non-sitting sections in their dining rooms?
  • If you’re a super active person but your spouse is a couch potato, are you being subjected to second-hand chairs?
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She won’t be smiling when she’s charged a “Nicobean” tax for sitting on this thing.

 

But the real point is…

“This Is The New That!”

It started with our ages, “50 is the new 40.” And the television show, “Orange is the new Black.” Now anything is fair game. So here we go…

For Kids:

  • Hugs are the new allowance!
  • Bath tubs are the new swimming pools.
  • Hatchimals are the new puppy under the Christmas tree!
  • Cellphone Trackers are the new “Call to let me know you arrived safely.”
  • Google is the new library.

For Women:

  • 155 lbs is the new 125 lbs.
  • Tossing & Turning and Night Sweats are the new gym workout.
  • Gray is the new blonde.
  • Nutella is the new breakfast of champions
  • “You’re a jerk, I deserve better!” is the new, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

For Men: (a little throwback in time!)

  • “Come over for a home cooked meal” is the OLD “meet you at Starbucks.”
  • Opening car doors for females is the OLD click your remote keyless entry.
  • A goodnight kiss is the OLD blowjob.
  • A perfumed love letter is the OLD sexting.
  • Sleeping on the couch after a fight is the OLD sleeping with her best friend.
  • His Girl Friday is the OLD Siri.

Disclaimer: It is highly recommended when perusing this blog, that you be (at the very least) sitting in a rigorous rocking chair so you aren’t endangering your health with stationary sitting. Also nobody can accuse you of being “Off Your Rocker” for reading Little Miss Menopause. 😉

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Dance Movie Women…Where Are They Now?

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Join us as we pay tribute and catch up with some famous female characters from the classic musical films we’ve all watched zillions of times:

  • Saturday Night Fever               Dirty Dancing
  • Grease                                          Footloose
  • Flashdance                                  Hairspray

Today’s your lucky day because through the magic of blogging, you’re about to listen in on their group therapy session!

Therapist: Hi ladies, how ya been?

Sandy: Who you calling a “Has Been?”  Fans are still Hopelessly Devoted to me.

Stephanie: Relax, Miss Sandra Dee. You misheard. She’s just asking how we are. Personally, I’m just barely Staying Alive.

Therapist: Great! Whether you’re a mother or whether you’re a brother… well I’m sure we’ve all had enough of those lyrics. I was going to have us go around the circle and introduce ourselves, but I think it’s rather obvious who everyone is — except for you there with the leg-warmers on.  And you are?

Alex: That’s okay. Nobody ever knew what my name was in Flashdance either. When they referred to me, they just said, “She’s a maniac, MANIAC!” Mainly I was known by my iconic sweatshirts. I gave everyone the cold shoulder in the 80’s.

Therapist: You certainly did. Please tell me more about how that feels. But first Baby, could you please scoot your chair back further so I can see everyone. Maybe sit closer to that wall?

Baby: Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Therapist: Hmmm, Paranoia. And Dissociative Behavior talking about yourself in the third person.  I see we’ve got our work cut out for ourselves.

Tracy: I’ve actually already worked hard on myself to overcome society’s criticism about being the fat girl. I’m not ashamed of how I look. I’m just grateful I wasn’t born a negro.

Therapist:  Excuse me!??  Tracy Turnblad! That last part is completely out of character for you!

Tracy:  Sorry, I guess you can take the girl outa Baltimore but you can’t….well the main thing is – I role modeled self-acceptance.

Therapist: And how can any of us really tell when we’ve achieved self-acceptance?

Stephanie: Well you can tell by the way I use my walk, yada yada no time to talk. Music loud and feeling warm, been kicked around since I was born . . .

Therapist:  Really?  You’re amazingly confident even with that kind of child abuse.

Sandy: Me too. I always liked myself just as I was.

Baby: What are you talking about, girlfriend? You purposely turned yourself into a complete slut, forever teaching impressionable young girls that being a goody-two-shoes sucks, and the only way to be well-liked is to put out!

Sandy: Tell me about it, Stud.

Ariel: Yeah…Let’s hear it for the boy!!  Sometimes you gotta cut loose, kick off your Sunday shoes.

Therapist: Please do not remove your footwear here. And I really would like to be the one who leads this discussion.

Stephanie: Wow. Somebody has control issues. And it’s not Tony Manero.

Coco: You know, I just want to belt out one hit song and get some FAME. Okay, I confess…I wanna live forever!

Tracy: Sweetheart, you’re in the wrong room. The Washed-Up Movie Singers Support Group meets down the hall. Sheesh, that Irene Cara is still looking mighty fine.

Therapist: Can we please stay focused? Let’s talk about what dancing did for you ladies. You all have some great moves. What impact did that have on your relationships?

Sandy: Well when I lost the big Rydell high school dance contest, I thought I lost Danny too. After all, he only had eyes for Cha-Cha DiGregorio at that point. But I clung to the hope that “We go together, like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong!”

Therapist: Yes, that makes so much sense.

Sandy: And I’d also remind myself that “We’re one of a kind, like dip da-dip da-dip doo-wop da doo-bee doo!”

Therapist: Very profound indeed.

Tracy: I have a little issue with my femininity. My mother was also a very big woman. But sometimes she was also a big man. She sent me double messages about which gender she identified with.

Therapist: Well, “Big” was the key. And you did the right thing by telling her, “Mama, I’m a big girl now!” without hesitating or missing a beat.

Tracy: Well, you can’t stop the beat!

Stephanie: Beat? Does this mean it’s time to talk about the child abuse now?

Therapist: I’m afraid we’ll have to stop here for this week. But I’d like to go around and hear from everyone what kind of time you’ve had today and please be honest.

Baby: Now I’ve had the time of my life. No I never felt like this before. Yes I swear it’s the truth. And I owe it all to you.

Therapist: Well at least you owe me $150 for this hour! Sandy, what about you?

Sandy: You’re a fake and a phony and I wish I never laid eyes on you.

Therapist: Lot’s of anger there. Maybe if you didn’t always keep that Elvis and his Pelvis so far away from you.

Tracy:  Or maybe if she ratted her hair earlier in the movie. Personally I loved everything about this session. I just wanna let the whole world know I’m still big, blonde and beautiful. And every day should be negro day!

Therapist:  Honey, maybe you should just say, “Black lives matter.” As for the rest of you, if you take nothing else away from this meeting, just remember this one word….

Sandy: Grease is the word!!!

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Scheduled Sex and Mystery Dates!?

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Scheduled Sex and Mystery Dates are two ideas that you might have been thinking of incorporating into your relationship because all the “Couples Experts” are talking about these things lately. Plus implementing both means they’ll balance (cancel??)  each other out.

Scheduled Sex can tend to feel a bit artificial and contrived — while Mystery Dates can counteract that with a sense of impromptu and spontaneity. Here are my tips for each concept.

Tips for SCHEDULED SEX

Verification! The good news is you can schedule sex as often as you want. But if you don’t pencil your partner in, (and get an advanced agreement that the date/time works for them) instead of climaxing to greater heights together, you’re gonna just be left so low. Just to be clear, that’s “SOLO.” (As in “uh oh!”) So always conFIRM, ConFIRM, ConFIRM! 

Vanishication! There’s no other surefire way to make your children disappear than by hiring a magician, so be sure and factor a white rabbit into the equation when scheduling sex.

Specification! Do you plan a work meeting without sending out the proposed agenda? No! Do you make a doctor’s appointment without letting the office know the reason for your visit? No! Do you call and arrange a day/time with your hairstylist without telling the receptionist if you want a dye-job, a layered cut, a fancy up-do, a perm, or just a blow-out?  No!  (Note: When calling beautician, Never combine the first word of the last service with the second word of the first service! Go ahead. I’ll wait whilst you go back and figure this one out!)  Well, it’s the same thing here — As long as you’re writing down a time/place for sex, you may as well suck every last bit of spontaneous fun out of the act by listing the specific type of foreplay (and exact positions during intercourse!) you’ll be expecting. So your calendar should look something like this after scheduling sex.

Feb 12, 9 pm. — Kissing, hugging, touching, cuddling, missionary, cowgirl/saddle straddle/rodeo and the stand and deliver!

If you’re a minimalist, (or work for Nike) a daily planner that looks like this is also permissible.

Feb 12, 9 pm. — Just do “it!”

Organization! Okay, so you’ve got things verified, specified, and your kids have been sawed in half. But now you still need to shower, shampoo, shave, moisturize, brush teeth, change the sheets, pick out what you’ll (not) wear, find good music, and rehearse clever lines that will make the whole scene seem unforced and natural. 

Celebration! Be sure and pick days that are worthy of having sex on. Favorite holidays include Friday the 13th, Groundhog Day, February 29th, Take Your Daughter to Work day, April Fool’s Day, Squirrel Appreciation Day, Backwards Day, and Crazy Hair Day.

Tips for a MYSTERY DATE

No Board Games! Your “Mystery Date” should not be just, “Surprise! We’re playing Monopoly, Scrabble, or Clue at the kitchen table tonight!” However, if you can get your hands on an old 1965 board game actually called, “Mystery Date” (with a little white plastic door in the center of it that opens to various pictures of men who are ready to court you — holding a corsage, a bowling ball, skis, a beach blanket, etc.) then send this to me so I can relive my childhood. I always managed to open the door to the “dud” date.

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Blindfold! If you have one left over from Scheduled Sex, use it as you drive your partner in the car to their mystery date. The real mystery will then become, “how in the hell can you see where you’re driving us??” Kidding. Tie it over your innocent passenger’s eyes to heighten the suspense of where you’re taking them.

Hint! Some people are just no fun, and by that I mean “control freaks” and by that I mean “me!” They will continually ask you to give them a clue. If they persist, you can satisfy their curiosity by telling them how they should dress for the mystery date. But keep ’em guessing by stating, “wear a bikini” (when it’s really for a broadway show!) or “wear a heavy jacket” (when it’s actually for a hot-tub) and I guarantee your partner will be pleased as punch. Or they’ll throw one.

No Calendar! Remember, Mystery Date is supposed to have the opposite effect of Scheduled Sex. There can be no details written down about where/what/how/. Otherwise there’s zero astonishment during your date, right? However if you’re really sly, you’ll pretend it’s actually Scheduled Sex instead of a Mystery Date. Then when they’re all ready and worked up to participate in the former, you can blindfold them, tell them to wear a ball gown, and drive them to a miniature golf park!

The Unknown!  Mystery dates are all about the element of the unexpected. So grab your partner, look deeply into their eyes, back them into the nearest wall, press your body tightly against theirs and say, “Forget Mystery Date or Scheduled Sex!” Then continue seducing them for a wild night of unbridled passion. Because frankly that beats anything any Couples Expert could ever recommend.

Readers: I hope these two ideas will help keep stale relationships staying fresh. Or you might just try using a chip clip.

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Forget Loss of Wages….It’s All About Loss of “Pages!”

dollars-in-books-framedAfter my recent auto crash, the insurance agent told me I could file a claim for loss of wages. Only I thought she said “pages.” Gee, what a nice way to treat writers, validating us just like any other reputable, steady employee.

And it was true! I hadn’t written anything remotely funny since the accident. Gee, I never thought of attributing this to my head injury. But look what a simple tornado did for Dorothy!

What I need is some professionally documented medical evidence.

Me: Hi! Since my auto accident, I can’t make people laugh anymore.

Neurologist: Are you sure? Have you seen your hair today?

Me: Haha. Could you just do one of those magnetic resonance imaging diagnostics with contrast dye of my right hemisphere, focusing on my cerebellum, pons and medulla. And maybe my amygdala and frontal cortex?

Neurologist: You can throw that important-sounding terminology you learned in high school biology at me all you want, but none of it will explain why you’re such a hack writer.

Me:  Hey, watch it! Okay, then just scan my brain real quick, print out a copy, and circle/draw professional doctor arrows to the part where my sense of humor used to be, so I can submit it with my claim.

Neurologist:  Look Ms. Menopause, I’m afraid it just doesn’t work that way.

Me:  Fine. Can you just sign this piece of paper agreeing that I’m now dull and boring?

Neurologist: With pleasure.

What I need are some real witnesses who remember how hilarious I once was.

Me: Kids, do you recall a few months ago we went to Disneyland and then the next day, with my trusty laptop, I turned what was just a basic, typical family outing into an uproarious, creative adventure — writing us into scenes from Cinderella, Aladdin, Mary Poppins, and Shawshank Redemption? It was so humorous, even The Huffington Post published it.

Daughter: You mean when you barfed all the way through Space Mountain?

Me: Yes, I simply changed my character action to “barked” all the way through Space Mountain. And it was a real knee-slapper, remember?

Daughter: Yes. Sorta. Kinda. No.

Me: Okay, well I need to prove that if we had that exact same experience today, there’s no way I could write anything amusing.

Son: Yippy! C’mon everyone, get in the car! Mom’s taking us back to Disneyland for the weekend!

Me: Yeah, not happening. No lawsuit is worth that.

What I need is an ex-husband willing to testify.

Ex: Let me get this straight, you want me to go into court telling a jury how much I used to howl with laughter at you when we were married?

Me: Exactly. And now you don’t even crack a smile.

Ex: That’s because I don’t see you getting undressed or cooking anymore.

Me: Well can you just say it’s the direct result of that fateful last drive in my car?

Ex: Your driving is no laughing matter.

What I need are a few humor writer girlfriends to sign some affidavits on my behalf. 

Bethany: Stephanie, give it a rest. We’re all happy you’re still alive, but honestly we’re relieved you haven’t blogged much since your accident. You were NEVER the least bit funny.

Me: What??!  Why do I even have you as a friend? You’ve always been so competitive with me and you’re just jealous of my wicked sense of humor! Why, even your name “Bethany” sounds an awful lot like “Stephanie.”

Tiffany: I suppose that goes for my name too? Ha. Don’t make us laugh.

Destiny: Yeah, that’s pretty hilarious. She’s actually a freakin’ side-splitter now. The blow to the head must’ve knocked some humor into her.

That was it!  I’ve been approaching this thing backwards. Instead of suing the insurance company for my loss of humor, I need to write the driver who hit me a thank-you note. Because now I’m a complete riot with lots of new car accident material I can use in a stand-up routine!  I can even take this act on the road.  Well, maybe not quite the road — just the sidewalk… with the rest of the droll, but perfectly safe pedestrians.

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“Guilty As CHARGED!” (But the Thief Lives in Your Own Home??)

0a3b2cd8fc3a57f55e82c17f42b70ac1And you probably already love this crook dearly! That’s right — If you possess a mobile phone and live with other cell users, a terrible crime occurs in your home at least several times a week.

Your phone charger is either being (A) used without your consent (B) swapped for a seemingly identical, but ever so slightly different charger (different in that the replacement one looks like a starved rat gnawed through the end of it) or (C) blatantly snatched right out of the innocent grasp of your usual friendly outlet, never to be seen or heard from again.

Hanging up posters like this will be totally ineffective.

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Here are some insidious indications that you’re either about to fall victim — or if you’re already missing your charger, it is NOT the result of your poor menopausal memory, which many would love for you to believe.

10 Tips To Detect Cell-Charger Foul Play

  1. Anyone who casually asks you, “Hey, have you seen my charger around the family room today?” is immediately suspect because if they can’t find their own, this means they’ve already set their sights longingly on YOURS, which you believe is safely sequestered behind your locked bedroom door.
  2. Careful of wrapping a piece of uniquely colored duct tape around your charger cord. Such “defective” tape can inadvertently slide right off in the slick hands of a CCCC (Charismatic Cell Charger Coveter) and suddenly you have no identifying mark to point to when trying to assert your position of ownership.
  3. And don’t get overconfident and think scrawling your initials on just the plug part will do the trick. The initial “P” can effortlessly be converted into “B.” And an “H” can easily morph into an “A” (in the right wrong hands!) and before you know it, your cell charger can justifiably be claimed by someone named “Benedict Arnold.”
  4. Think you’re safe because in all capital letters, you spelled out your first, middle, and last name (in Sharpie pen!) all over the darn thing?  Think again. Remember that “As Seen on TV Miracle Permanent Stain Remover” you ordered which failed miserably to scrub the tiny indelible ink mark off your leather sofa? That sucker suddenly works like a charm!
  5. Warning! Seemingly helpful children who regularly play the card game, “Old Maid” (skilled at palming off the ugly spinster woman with crossed eyes and multiple chin hairs!) are instantly experts at redistributing previously mixed-up chargers, making sure you end up with the one in exceedingly ill-repair.
  6. Beware! Your daughter (who often gains your sympathy) by showing you her home screen so you can affirm she has only 1 measly flashing bar left) will one day tip her hand, revealing a screenshot pic taken at 1% battery which she permanently relies on to strengthen her fraudulent case of a dying cellphone. She won’t intend for you to see this, and that’s why it’s known as a “Fraud-ian Slip.”
  7. Household members who know you’re deathly afraid of spiders will enthusiastically shout, “Wow! Would you get a load of that black widow crawling on the INSIDE of our window, right where mom does the dishes!” When you run screaming from the kitchen, that’s when the heist is adeptly pulled off.
  8. Anyone who is overheard using the term, “Frayed” and subsequently witnessed performing strange, delicate balancing acts consisting of holding their hands at weird angles or building a platform out of blocks or tupperware, while charging their phone with something that resembles this . . . icordrx-fixes-your-frayed-lightning-charger-cable-465051-2and the next day is seen strolling jauntily around the house, whistling a carefree rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In!” (while sporting a charger that’s miraculously healed) should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!
  9. Take a hint from often burglarized neighborhoods and form a “Bedroom Watch Program.” Have a designated individual patrolling unattended cords after dark so people can sleep soundly. Report unexpected “unplugging sounds” or “yanking noises” promptly.
  10. Resist the urge to show concern or compassion to anyone who frequently utters phrases like, “I’m running dangerously low and expecting a job offer to come in the next ten minutes.” And if they desperately whisper, “Oh my god, I think I’m about to die any second!” do not hesitate to put your finger on the inside of their wrist while sweetly responding, “You’ve got a good, strong pulse there, soldier!” Then demurely add, “But Bravo! Now go try your act on your sister because she already “borrowed” my cell charger an hour ago.”
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WHEN YOUR CELL CHARGER BREAKS BUT YOUR SIBLING HAS ONE THAT WORKS!

This Will Be the Worst Writing You’ll Ever Read!

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See what I’m doing here?  This is me playing with your anticipation level. You’ll read this post (hopefully!) and instead of hating it (like you are primed to do from the title) you’ll think, “Well, it wasn’t really all THAT bad. She kinda has a “loose cannon” charm to her. In fact, I think I’ll follow her and share this post everywhere!”  Okay that last sentence is me now playing with your suggestibility level.

But my point is that by my downgrading the quality of my writing in advance, you will have lowered your judgment criteria and therefore my chance of success will have increased.

We’ve all gone to see a movie someone raved to us about . . .

“Expectations and Disappointments and Reality…..oh my!”

A bit too much of a mouthful for Dorothy to singsong as she skips through the Cowardly Lion’s forest, but for me — this is something I chant everyday.  It’s how I cope.

Remember the book, The Secret?  Of course you do. The premise went like this: “Envision yourself living in an abundance of love, money, health, (or anything else you fervently desire) and you will automatically attract all of it.”

For months I walked around acting “as if.” I was this bestselling author, so utterly revered and famous that I couldn’t be bothered picking up the phone to deal with all the producers clamoring to adapt my latest intriguing novel into a thrilling movie.

Maybe I playacted this scenario a little too realistically and the frustrated filmmakers gave up on reaching me, contacting Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl!) instead.

Maybe, but somehow I doubt it.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t do well when my expectations are raised through the roof (because roofs can leak!) and the reality never lives up to the vivid pictures in my head.

A garage sale box was too good of a fate for my wretched copy of The Secret. That’s how much I detested its disappointing promising pages.

Besides deep down I believed there was somebody “up there” who had it in for me and made sure I never got what I wanted. I just knew this was true. The proof?  I always yearned for a daughter (the premise of my novel but don’t order it because it really IS the worst writing you’ll ever read. 😉 ) but I kept giving birth to sons (three in a row) so one day I decided to fool the Gender Granting Gods and instead I prayed, “Please bestow upon me just one more boy … so they can have a foursome on the golf course!” The result?  You guessed it!  My first daughter was finally born. Aha! I tricked you, Universe!

Therefore I will now write a sequel to The Secret and call it, “The Terces!” (George Costanza will be my publisher because he also believes in opposite thinking, remember?)

No I won’t write that silly book with the backwards title. But I will say this — I was recently in a very serious car accident (ahhh, you’re thinking — finally an explanation for why this post is completely all over the place!) where I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the truck about to barrel into my tiny red Mazda. In that millisecond, I braced myself to die. I anticipated it to be all over for me. When I opened my eyes and saw white puffiness surrounding me, I wasn’t thinking it would turn out to be airbags. For the first few days, I went around announcing to everyone that I was the luckiest person in the world to have come through an accident like that. Until someone said, “If you’re really so fortunate, why were you involved in a serious crash like that in the first place?”

Perspective.

Are we talking something as simple as optimistic, pessimistic, and realistic here? Do you drink from a glass that is half full or half empty? Or do you just believe glasses can shatter and reach for plastic cups instead? Are you Tigger or Eeyore? Oscar the Grouch or Elmo? Gilligan or the Skipper? Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton?  (Okay, that last pair was just to see if you’re still hanging around here, reading the worst writing ever!)

But now it’s time to take my version of the Stupidest quiz in the world.

Where are you on the Sliding Scale of Expectations?

  1. When you walk into your home after a long day of work are you expecting: a) Smiling guests to pop out from behind the furniture and curtains shouting, “Surprise!” because they missed your last birthday? b) Drawers and cupboards chaotically opened, jewelry missing, and your dog chewing on the soup bone that the burglars distracted him with? c) Ketchup, mustard, mayo, and tartar sauce to be all that’s in the fridge, but that’s okay because you have a craving for Condiment Casserole.
  2. When you post your new writing on WordPress are you expecting: a) These paragraphs are golden, baby! Stats are gonna spin wildly around like the increasing cents on the display when you put gas in your car. b) Nobody will read your words. c) Why do you assume everyone on WordPress is writing their heart out, Stephanie? I’m a photographer here!
  3. When you go out on a blind date, are you expecting: a) Chariots of Fire music to play as you race to the bed the alter. b) To be stood up. c) What era are you from? We date online. Besides there’s controversy over using the word, “blind” now.

That’s it. That’s my entire test. And I’m not giving you a key to interpret what your answers mean either. I warned you in advance that it would be a really stupid test!

And this time you’re inclined to agree, aren’t you?

Dear Reader: Do you have high expectations, (believing in the laws of attraction?) or do you lower them so you’ll avoid disappointment? And quick (no googling!) who said, “Reality . . . What a concept!”bfjznz7igaathtu

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Grounded From Your Own Cellphone?!

1e90696ff70a925f211d2c9e5d1d2b32It happens every single time.  I confiscate my teens’ cellphones (completely warranted and justifiable for their wrongdoings, believe me!) when inevitably I hear their incredibly plaintive (although there’s nothing plain about these dramatic waterworks!) wailings, “This is a fate worse than death. Not fair! Adults NEVER get their cell phones taken away from them — even though they abuse the privilege constantly.”

Never say “NEVER,” kids!

The next time I ground my kids from their electronics, I include myself in the same disciplinary action. Mainly to prove how much it builds character, but also out of curiosity and determination that I can survive it too!

After our three cellphones commune together in a locked trunk, (plus our laptops, iPads, notebooks, Kindles etc. because if you’re gonna build character you might as well go for constructing a superhero!) I hand the only key to our friendly mailman, (don’t ask!) and decide to keep a diary.

LIFE WITHOUT A CELLPHONE 

Day 1 – Dear Diary, the first thing I’ve noticed is that I really miss carrying a chunky, firm, substantial object that weighs me down in a reassuring self-important kind of way. How to fix? Easy Peasy Verizon Easy! I’ll just substitute a nice, shiny, heavy stone inside my jacket’s zippered pouch. Voilà!

Day 2 – Because it’s just after the holidays, today all my girlfriends show off their sleek, new gleaming technology stocking-stuffers at coffee . . . “I got an iPhone 7!” “I got a Blackberry Passport!” “I got a Samsung Galaxy.” All eyes focus expectantly on me as I slowly extract a stone-age “device” from my coat pocket and bemoan, “I got a rock.” I’ll credit Charlie Brown later, when I’m not feeling so dejected.

Day 3 – Today I announced I was going without a cellphone indefinitely to some other mothers at the gym. “Oh but your poor, pathetic family. None of them will ever be able to get a hold of you now!” pointed out one frazzled mom on a treadmill, obviously trying to empathize with my dire plight. I gave her my “seriously?” look, then burst into hysterical laughter while maniacally rubbing my hands together and gleefully repeating, “Yes, yes, YES!”

Day 4 – Tonight I silently remind myself what a newfound sense of freedom I now have! Like a little tyrant, a cellphone just barges into the middle of everything — eating, sleeping, important conversations, blogging, sex, cleaning, jogging, cooking… “You don’t clean, jog, or cook!” shout my resentful children from the hallway. How could they have heard my thoughts, I wonder?  Then I realize — even though I don’t have a silver rectangular gadget to dictate into, (out of force of habit) I must still be unconsciously talking aloud to myself. “That’s right! You are!” they retort again. “You’re not our mother. You’re like a wacky, homeless person now.”

Day 5 – Today I have been informed that even a wacky, homeless person’s children would have cellphones.

Day 6 – I was right. This experience IS building character for me!  In fact TWO very well-rounded characters! Because I suddenly have a new story idea where the antagonist grounds the protagonist from using her cellphone, causing her to lose her pics, her appointments, her to-do list, her friends, her lover, her memories, her mind, and her life! It’s a Sci-Fi Porno. The only problem is I have nothing to write it on. Normally I type my good ideas inside the little yellow notepad icon on my homepage screen.

Day 7 – Ha! All you other people out there are getting brain tumors, crashing your cars while texting, being eavesdropped on by Big Brother, and getting blackmailed for sexting — while I sit here innocently relaxing and eating some healthy fruit. How many calories are in Sour Grapes anyhow?

Day 8 – I prop myself up on my elbows and stare begrudgingly at our family’s two pet parakeets, blithely Tweeting back and forth to each other.

Day 9 – Does Facebook ever send out a search party when people go missing in action? Maybe it’s gone past that point now. A Facebook Funeral! Complete with a newsfeed obituary, eulogy comments, and privacy options so my burial won’t be broadcast live or made public. Just please “Poke” me first, Facebook — to make absolutely sure I’m completely lifeless before sending me 6 feet under with a musically accompanied slideshow of the highlights of my Posting Years.

Day 10 – What am I thinking??  “There’s nothing I used to do on my cellphone that I cannot still do in real life!” I console myself by endlessly repeating this mantra. Where’s that old cork bulletin board in the garage?  Here it is!  I viciously stab it with pushpins, hanging up scores of photos carelessly ripped from home decorating magazines. Take that! And that! Who needs Pinterest??

Day 11 – Today I couldn’t recruit a single soul to play the boardgame, “Scrabble” with me at our kitchen table. I wonder if I’ve been automatically resigned from my “Words With Friends” opponents yet?

Day 18 – Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written an entry in here, but I’ve been busy searching for things to put together for a Cellphone Substitution Survival Kit which will replace almost everything my iPhone 6 used to do!  Turns out I’m gonna be just fine, thanks to the fact that I still own: a landline rotary phone, an answering machine, a typewriter, a radio, 3 wristwatches, a pedometer, a polaroid camera, a bank checkbook (with deposit slips!) a Rand McNally folded roadmap, local take-out restaurant menus, a kitchen timer, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a calculator, a flashlight, a calendar, a compass, a do-not-disturb sign, a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a cookbook, The Yellow Pages phonebook, and a tooth that’s blue — not to mention I have an obedient friend named Sari, which is close enough to Siri. The only thing I couldn’t recreate was having an object to put on “airplane mode.” Oh! And I still long for the sound and sensation of a gizmo that buzzes in my purse. However now that I think about it, I sense an even more enjoyable contraption to fill my “vibrating void” will be quickly (forth)coming. (Ahem, you didn’t just read that here on my G-rated blog!)

Day 19 – Today (and only for my poor, uncreative children’s sake, of course!) it’s finally time to put an end to this lifelong lesson and reclaim our cellphones. I triumphantly make the announcement and am immediately rewarded with lots of appreciative cheers. (The loudest of which are mine.) We all gather around the locked trunk to ceremoniously open it and retrieve our precious electronic “friends.”

Oh dear, I think to myself (but somehow my kids still hear me?) — our friendly mailman possesses the one and only key to our cellphone jail and he’s gone on vacation. We can’t even text or call him. That’s right, there’s only one way to reach a US Postal Service worker . . .

And to think I don’t even own a stamp, an envelope, or a pen to put in my Cellphone Survival Kit.

Dear Readers:  What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without using your cellphone? Disastrous or peaceful?

mail carrier delivering to mailbox